MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia is not pursuing regime change in Ukraine and Ukrainians should decide themselves how to live their lives, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the India Today TV channel on Tuesday.
"We are not up for regime change in Ukraine, we have said it repeatedly. We want the Ukrainians themselves [to] decide how they want to live further. <...> We want the people to be free to decide how they want to live in Ukraine," he said.
Commenting on the withdrawal of the Russian Armed Forces from positions in northern Ukraine after the March 29 talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul, Lavrov noted that Russia "made a good will gesture, and we changed configuration in the Kiev and Chernigov areas. This was not appreciated at all." "Instead, this Bucha thing was immediately staged and played," the minister pointed out, "Like Skripals were played in Salisbury, like [the] Malaysian Boeing, like Navalny - played, but immediately put aside when the hard facts were presented, which they cannot challenge."
The top diplomat continued that people in Ukraine have suffered for eight years, the neo-Nazis forbade them to speak Russian, commemorate the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, and hold parades. "And now when they have thrown away those neo-Nazis, and say that ‘Now we will decide who will be running the place, this is our mayor, this is our legislature’. I believe this is the manifestation of democracy after so many years of oppression," Lavrov concluded.