Ukraine’s future government must represent all populations in the country, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He said this in conversation with the news channel al-Jazeera.
The government must be elected but must represent everyone. The statements follow a Russian invasion of Ukraine that began a week ago.
Russia argues that since pro-Western Ukrainians took power in Kyiv in 2014, Russian-speaking Ukrainians and/or ethnic Russians have been discriminated against and persecuted. About three-quarters of the population is ethnically Ukrainian, and around 18 percent is Russian. Russian is widely spoken as a first language in the east and south of the country. In addition, there are even more nationalities, including Poles and Romanians.
The fall of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, according to the West, was the result of a popular uprising that arose when he turned away from the European Union. It was a coup d’état, mainly concocted by Americans in Russian eyes. According to Russia, this was carried out with the help of extreme right-wing militias. According to the Kremlin, they still exist, which now wants to ‘denazify’ Ukraine.
The Russia-oriented east of the country revolted in 2014, and two regions seceded. Russia recently recognized these two as independent republics and now states that they must be protected by military intervention against, among others, the extreme right-wing militias.