Excerpts from the briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Yemen faces strikes by US and UK-led “coalition”

Based on available information, on the night of January 12, the “international coalition” (which should be referred to as the illegal coalition) led by the United States and the United Kingdom conducted missile and bombing strikes on multiple sites in sovereign Yemen under the control of the Houthi movement, Ansar Allah. Reports indicate that the areas of Sanaa, Hodeidah, and Taiz, as well as the port of Midi in the Governorate of Hajjah, were targeted. In response to these attacks, the Houthis have declared their intention to retaliate against US facilities in the region. These events further affirm our concerns that the US position in the UN Security Council regarding the Red Sea is merely a pretext for further escalating tensions in the region.

We strongly condemn these irresponsible actions by the United States and its allies. A significant military escalation in the Red Sea region has the potential to reverse the positive developments that have recently emerged in the Yemeni peace process and could instigate destabilisation across the entire Middle East region.

As we previously warned, the Anglo-Saxons are attempting to justify their aggression by citing UN Security Council Resolution 2722, which was initiated by them and adopted a day earlier under the guise of ensuring the safety of navigation in the Red Sea. The Americans have long resorted to such unscrupulous methods that run counter to international law. Everyone remembers the repercussions of their reckless military interventions in Libya and Iraq, which were also initiated through distorted interpretations of UN Security Council decisions. The people of these countries, as well as the entire region, continue to grapple with the devastating consequences of the illegal military interventions by Washington and its proxies.

We urge the international community to strongly condemn the attack on Yemen carried out by a group of countries without a UN mandate. We share the concerns expressed by our partners in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia, and call for increased international efforts to prevent further escalation of the situation. We believe that this undertaking by the forces of the illegal “coalition” poses a direct threat to global peace and security. Based on this understanding, we have called for an immediate convening of the Security Council, where we will voice our principled assessment of these unlawful actions.

The Ukrainian crisis

Throughout 2023, the Kiev regime continued to repeat like a mantra that Ukraine’s “sacred mission” is to protect the “democratic world,” while continuously demanding financial and military support from the West. These appeals did not go unanswered, as the US and the EU called upon their own taxpayers to tighten their belts and pay for the needs of those who were supposedly forging a victory over Russia “on the battlefield.” This is the same reckless undertaking that began decades ago with illegal coups in Ukraine, the anti-constitutional “Maidans” that overturned the country’s early statehood and sovereignty. Who was behind all this? The United States, Britain (then part of the European Union), and the core of the EU, which we refer to as “collective Brussels.”

However, the anticipation of an imminent “victory” was replaced by the aftertaste of a failed “counter-offensive.” As a result, efforts to support the festering Zelensky regime, deeply entrenched in widespread corruption, cost what it may, has led to severe domestic political and economic problems (to put it bluntly, a collapse) in many leading Western countries. Increasingly, voices are heard in Western Europe and the US questioning the excessive spending on Ukraine.

In addition, people have started thinking about the true nature of the ruling Ukrainian leadership, which seized power almost 10 years ago through a violent armed coup, with direct involvement from the Western regimes of Washington, London and the “collective Brussels.” Ukraine cannot be considered an “outpost of democracy” by any stretch of the imagination. The country is plagued by lawlessness; any forms of dissent and political opposition are suppressed. They are waging a struggle (in every sense) against freedom of speech, religion and conscience. Strict censorship is enforced, and repressions along with extrajudicial killings have become commonplace.

In reality, Washington, London, and Brussels have nurtured an aggressive nationalist and essentially neo-Nazi dictatorship in Ukraine whose sole objective, openly expressed, is to bring a “strategic defeat” to Russia. Western countries can no longer deny that Ukraine itself has been brought to ruin as a result of these policies. However, this has yet to be officially acknowledged. Naturally, we cannot allow such a source of threat to the security of our country and our citizens to exist near our borders.

While Western capitals are trying their best to shake down their own citizens to support the Ukrainian Nazis, the Zelensky regime uses the aid they have received to carry on with their dark agenda, engaging in demagoguery, robbery and mass murder. Simultaneously, it urges Europe to “teach Russia a lesson,” advocates for more NATO weapons to be sent to Ukraine, and demands that stolen Russian assets are turned over to them.

The aggressive rhetoric of the Kiev regime is accompanied by pre-planned terrorist attacks against the civilian population of Russia, as well as their own country.

In late December 2023 and early January 2024, Ukrainian neo-Nazis conducted numerous barbaric strikes on Belgorod, Donetsk, Gorlovka and other Russian cities, using cluster munitions. Let me remind you that these munitions were supplied by the West. One particularly tragic incident occurred on December 30, 2023, when the city centre of Belgorod was heavily shelled by the AFU, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, 29 people died and 129 were wounded in Belgorod and the Belgorod Region. Additionally, about 150 private houses and 100 apartment buildings in Belgorod were damaged. Residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic and other Russian regions were also affected by attacks from Bandera’s followers, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Those responsible for these crimes will be identified and face appropriate punishment.

The West’s indifference towards the criminal terrorist acts of the Kiev regime, as well as their threats to expand these actions to other peaceful Russian cities, is outrageous.

It is worth noting that American, European and NATO representatives have failed to condemn the brutal attacks carried out by Kiev in Belgorod and other Russian regions ahead of New Year’s Eve. There has been complete silence from Washington, London and Brussels. Have any relevant international organisations responded? These organisations receive substantial funding to document and condemn such crimes. Yet the UN and OSCE leadership, whose duty it is to monitor and respond to such incidents, have also remained silent or only made general statements. It appears that they are unaware of the source of these shells, who is supplying them, and who is sponsoring the Kiev regime.

Furthermore, the EU countries have gone even further (or rather, fallen even lower) by justifying these actions. The French Foreign Ministry referred to the killing of civilians in Belgorod as “Ukraine’s exercise of its legitimate right to self-defence,” while the EU Lead Spokesperson Peter Stano said that “no information that comes from Russia can be considered trustworthy.” Such statements demonstrate the lack of counterarguments and basic decency on the part of European politicians and officials. They are afraid to call things by their proper names and continue to vindicate the Kiev Nazis and justify their bloody atrocities against civilians, even if it means resorting to blasphemy and bloodshed. The conclusion is clear: the tolerance of these so-called civilised democracies is deceitful and criminal.

With Western financial and military aid starting to dwindle, Vladimir Zelensky decided to hit the road on January 10, 2024, with a concert tour of the Baltic states. These countries, in their Russophobic frenzy, are willing to do anything to enable the Kiev regime to carry on fighting against Russia on the battlefield. This is how Washington intends to shift the burden of funding Ukraine to its submissive European satellites. It has long stopped paying attention to what people in the European Union or NATO might think about it. It is for this purpose that it has been nurturing Eurocrats for decades, using them as the regime’s backbone, which has brought the entire governance system to its heel by cleansing it and the society at large of any democratic manifestations.

However, it seems that they too have ran out of money or have very little left. Estonia has proven to be the most generous of the three, with its leaders pledging to allocate 1.2 billion euros to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by spending 0.25 percent of the country’s GDP for this purpose over the next four years. Lithuania has limited itself to offering another 200 million euros in military aid, albeit in small instalments. So far, Latvia has only reported spending 595 million euros on Ukraine without pledging any new contributions. The decision Latvia took yesterday was also staged for Vladimir Zelensky’s tour.

On January 11, 2024, the Latvian Saeima adopted a draft law in its final reading to confiscate the Moscow House, a cultural and business centre in Riga. Let me remind you that this is not about confiscating property from a Latvian owner, be it a private entity, an NGO or a public institution. This building belongs to the Government of Moscow.

We have already condemned this move as an illegal takeover, theft and state-level robbery committed in gross violation of international law, which guarantees the inviolability of other countries’ property.

The Latvian authorities and the country’s leadership must be held accountable, including in terms of their financial liability, for these illegal actions. Let me reiterate that Russia will respond firmly, which will be extremely painful for Latvia.

Vladimir Zelensky’s entourage has high expectations for his attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 15-17. In fact, members of the Presidential Office have made no secret of their plans to persuade the world’s business leaders to get their wallets out and provide new defence loans. In exchange, they are willing to offer anything, be it land, natural resources, or Ukraine’s minerals. They would even be ready to pay back with their own people, but there are too few of them left at this point. The Vladimir Zelensky regime has been killing Ukrainian nationals. I have no doubt that Vladimir Zelensky would be willing to sell Ukraine in its entirety, should the need arise. After all, there is nothing else left.

On January 1, 2024, Ukraine discreetly observed Stepan Bandera’s 115th birthday, without holding the traditional torch processions. Some may say that they have finally come to their senses and realised that holding torch processions is not fitting and that Stepan Bandera is even worse than that. But no, this is not the case. You can see that there is a different explanation. A large share of Stepan Bandera’s fans from nationalist organisations perished on the front. What an inglorious way to die. But what about those who are still alive? Some of them are in Europe, while those who stayed behind traded their principles for safety. They understand that those who take part in these torch processions will be mobilised and sent directly to the front lines. This is the way they have been asserting what they used to refer to as their core values.

It is worth noting that on January 1, 2024, the Ukrainian media reported missile strikes targeting Lvov, which damaged the university once attended by Stepan Bandera. The strikes also burned Roman Shukhevich’s memorial museum to the ground. In another interesting development, a local resident sold Shukhevich’s bust and several other exhibits from the destroyed museum for scrap metal instead of helping preserve them.

Do you know why this is happening? First, they know that no one would ever allow them to restore a museum glorifying neo-Nazis. Second, this is the essence of their false values. This demonstrates what people truly think of all these Banderas and Shukhevichs. They recycled them the moment they could do it. This was the first time they got this opportunity, since they knew what the Zelensky regime would do to them in response. This is the way to go. Indeed, all these new Ukrainian heroes, all these Shukhevichs, Banderas and the like, belong in the garbage heap, and I am not talking just about the garbage heap of history, but a liberal rubbish dump.

Still, there are people there who sincerely treasure their nation’s sacred memory. They treasure the memory of those who defended them from Nazism during the Great Patriotic War and who opposed all this frenzy for many decades. In early January, 2024, we learnt that people from Pushkino, a Transcarpathian village, refused to demolish a monument to the Soviet soldier and a pedestal commemorating the fighters from this village. They took this decision unanimously at a town hall meeting in late 2023.

We have previously discussed similar initiatives. This is more than just taking action. By acting in this way, these people are performing a true feat by continuing to resist despite all odds, despite the threats, despite all the intimidation and despite facing a totalitarian regime with kidnappings and detentions. This is a true feat. All this demonstrates that no matter what the Kiev Nazis do, they will never succeed in breaking the people’s resolve and imposing an alien, inhumane, neo-Nazi ideology on them.

On January 7, 2024, the people of Ukraine celebrated Orthodox Christmas despite all the obstacles created by the Zelensky regime. Yes, you heard me right: January 7. It happened despite all the orders and directives issued by the Kiev regime’s neo-Nazis to change the Christmas date in order to stand with the West. People flocked to churches for the Christmas service, while they remained empty on December 25, the date imposed by Kiev for celebrating Christmas.

The government’s attempt to enforce the celebration of Epiphany Day on January 6 instead of the 19th also failed. Judging by media reports, very few people showed up at Epiphany Day ice holes. All this goes to say that Ukrainians are not willing to reject their roots and centuries-old traditions. They refuse to accept the anti-Orthodox political project Washington and Constantinople are trying to impose on them under the guise of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

All these facts confirm the relevance of the special military operation’s objectives to de-Nazify and demilitarise Ukraine and remove the threats originating from its territory. They will be achieved, as the Russian leadership has consistently stated.

Zdroj:Министерство иностранных дел Российской Федерации

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