MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. Ukraine’s course on forced assimilation of Russians is comparable to the use of weapons of mass destruction from the standpoint of its consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin opined in his article, published on the Kremlin’s website Monday.
"It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that the course on forced assimilation, on creation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state, aggressive towards Russia, is comparable to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us from the standpoint of consequences. Such rude, artificial separation of Russians and Ukrainians may reduce the number of ethnic Russians by hundreds of thousands, or even millions," the head of state said.
The president called the law "On indigenous peoples of Ukraine", which does not include Russians, new seeds of discord in a country "with a very complex territorial, national, linguistic composition, and history of establishment".
Comparing the situation in Russia and Ukraine, Putin noted that Ukraine’s situation is special, because Ukraine currently faces forced change of identity.
"The most loathsome thing is that ethnic Russians in Ukraine are not only being forced to reject their roots, generations of their ancestors, but also believe that Russia is their enemy," the president said.
On July 1, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a law "On indigenous peoples of Ukraine". According to the law, this status is now granted to the Crimean Tatars, Karaims, and Krymchaks. It is implied that Russians cannot be considered an indigenous people in this country.