‘All Ukraine’ will be Russian, far-right MP declares
Russia will one day make its rightful claim to the entirety of Ukrainian territory as part of the country’s larger mission to take back the regions to which it is entitled, a controversial Russian MP declared on Tuesday.
Speaking on Monday, following the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Alexey Zhuravlev recorded a video displaying his delight.
Zhuravlev is the chairman of the Rodina political party, a far-right ultra-nationalist movement.
“All of Ukraine will be Russian,” he said, speaking directly and insistently to the camera while gesticulating.
“They [Ukrainians] all understand that this will happen. It is just a question of when,” the MP continued, adding that Ukraine is part of a “Russian world” which Zhuravlev stressed “was and will be ours.”
By this remark, the MP could be referring to the lands that were previously inside Russia’s pre-Soviet imperial borders. During this time, the vast majority of Ukraine was ruled by Moscow, with just the extreme west of the country in the hands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Also, on Monday, at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Putin of “wanting to travel back in time” to restore the Russian Empire, declaring that such imperialism could never coexist with the UN’s principle of decolonization.
The Russian president has since denied speculation that he wishes to reclaim the empire, stating on Tuesday in a meeting with Ilham Aliyev, his Azerbaijani counterpart, that the allegation is “simply not true.”
Zhuravlev’s comments follow Monday’s decision by the Kremlin to declare Russia’s formal recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic. The two newly recognized states broke away from Kiev’s control in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests ousted the elected government