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Russia blasts US assessment of events in Ukraine’s southeast

“Washington collects all speculations distributed by the current Kiev authorities in order to substantiate accusations against Russia of instigating” the ministry said

MOSCOW, April 16, /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday sharply criticized the assessment by the United States of events in southeastern Ukraine .

“The US Department of State feverishly collects all speculations distributed by the current Kiev authorities in order to substantiate accusations against Russia of instigating and all but organizing disorders in Ukraine’s southeast,” the ministry said in a statement.

As an example, the ministry mentioned “two hurriedly compiled press releases dated April 13 with a pile of doubtful ‘facts’ of involvement of Russian special units in the seizure of administrative buildings and coordination of protest rallies”.

“One may judge the quality of this ‘agitprop’ by such convincing ‘proof’ for the State Department as Kalashnikov assault rifles seen carried by some camouflage-clad protesters,” the statement said.

“As if the American foreign policy department does not know that the rifles are in service with the Ukrainian army and law enforcement structures,” it said.

“The thesis being spread by Washington of the interim Ukrainian government’s adherence to ‘protection of the rights of all nationals of the country’ holds no water either,” the ministry said.

“One can certainly say that black is white but it is impossible to refute what is evident: the Russophobic, anti-Semite party Svoboda, led by Oleg Tyagnibok, received as a result of a coup several ministerial portfolios and the post of the prosecutor general,” the statement says.

“The key thing is not about juggling with facts but about the persistent unwillingness or inability to see reality as it is, and about the desire to impose on the rest of the world a corrupted perception of what’s going on in the southeast of Ukraine,” the ministry said.

“To justify riots of ‘Maidan heroes’ from briefing to briefing calling them people’s revolution, but to call protest rallies in Donetsk, Kharkov, Lugansk, Slavyansk and other cities raids by terrorists controlled from outside is not only double standards but blatant hypocrisy,” it said.

“Now that the governing regime in Kiev has staked on the use of force, public speculations by White House and Department of State spokespersons that the talk is only about ensuring law and order mean nothing else than approval of a war declared by Kiev on its own people,” the ministry said.

“Washington should be aware of the catastrophic consequences of such reckless support for their Kiev prot·g·s,” it said.

A coup occurred in Ukraine in February and new people were brought to power amid deadly riots as President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave the country citing security concerns. The Ukrainian parliament appointed its speaker, Alexander Turchinov, as acting president and approved a new government. The Verkhovna Rada also set early presidential elections for May 25.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities. Crimea and Sevastopol signed reunification deals with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

The events were followed by protests against the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities that erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories, in particular, the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions, with demonstrators taking control of some regional government buildings and demanding referendums on the country’s federalization.

Ukrainian interim head of state Turchinov on Tuesday announced the start of an antiterrorism operation in the Donetsk Region in an apparent effort to put an end to protests of federalization supporters.

Maidan is the name for downtown Kiev's Independence Square, which is the symbol of Ukrainian protests. The word “Maidan” is also used as a collective name for anti-government protests in Ukraine.