Sunday, 22 July 2018 11:38


Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 22.07.2018 
On July 19, The Washington Post published excerpts of an interview with Matteo Salvini, head of the League party in Italy and deputy prime minister and interior minister in the current coalition government. Lally Weymouth, senior associate editor for The Washington Post asked Matteo Salvini some questions about Ukraine:
Q. You said that Russia had a right to annex Crimea?
A. There was a referendum.
Q. It was a fake referendum.
A. [That is your] point of view. . . . There was a referendum, and 90 percent of the people voted for the return of Crimea to the Russian Federation.
Q. What kind of referendum was it with Russian soldiers there?
A. Compare it to the fake revolution in Ukraine, which was a pseudo-revolution funded by foreign powers — similar to the Arab Spring revolutions. [Editor’s note: Independent fact-checkers have not found evidence for this claim, though it did spread widely after Russian news sources published it.] There are some historically Russian zones with Russian culture and traditions which legitimately belong to the Russian Federation.
Lally Weymouth was right to correct Matteo Salvini: there was no ‘referendum’ in Crimea and what happened on 16 March 2014 was fake. In the press conference after the Helsinki Summit with Trump on July 16, Putin confessed that it was the Russian Federation that conducted the so-called ‘referendum’ and not the residents of Crimea.
The so-called ‘referendum’ was held in Ukraine’s territory of Crimea while it was under Russian occupation. The voting, such as it was, amounted to little more than political theatre for Kremlin propaganda. The vote was held under Russian guns. Ukrainian authorities were blocked from access to Crimea. There was no option in the referendum to maintain the status quo and to remain a part of Ukraine. There was no campaigning. There was no compliance with Ukrainian electoral law. There was no compliance with international standards of of the conduct of elections and referenda. There were no legitimate international observers. The result of the voting – the 90 percent Salvini claims – is statistically impossible and fake.
Putin rushed the fake ‘referendum’ in Crimea so that it would pre-empt the Ukrainian presidential election that was held on 25 May 2014. Putin then prevented Ukrainian citizens from voting in the presidential and then the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, in the parts of Ukraine that Russia had invaded and occupied: Crimea and a portion of Donbas.
As for “historically Russian zones with Russian culture and traditions which legitimately belong to the Russian Federation,” if people living in Ukraine want to be Russian citizens they can move to Russia. Ukraine owns the territory of Crimea and Donbas. People from the Russian Federation have no right to be there without the permission of the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. That’s basic sovereignty.
Matteo Salvini said in the same interview that “we have almost 500,000 illegal migrants at the moment.” What right does Italy have to say that these migrants Salvino is talking about are illegal if Salvino denies Ukraine the right to say that the presence of Russian soldiers and occupation officials in Crimea and Donbas is illegal?
If a fake referendum can transfer Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, and that’s OK with Matteo Salvini, then he could have no objection to a fake referendum transferring Trieste from Italy to Austria. After all, Trieste legitimately belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918.

salvini le penPutin's guys: Salvini and other 'ultra-right' politicians from all over Europe whose aim is to destroy united Europe
Matteo Salvini slanders the Ukrainian people with his lie about the “fake revolution” in Ukraine. As Lally Weymouth points out, there is no evidence for this outrageous claim. To the contrary, there is the experience of millions of Ukrainians that the Revolution of Dignity of 2013-14, also known as Maidan or EuroMaidan, was a genuine, spontaneous expression of people-power. Ukrainians did not go to million-person strong rallies every Sunday for weeks because they were paid. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians did not encamp on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Independence Square, for three freezing months because they were paid. Thousands of Ukrainians did not go from the barricades of Kyiv for the fight against Yanukovych to the battlefront in Donbas for the fight against Putin because they were paid. Ukrainians fought in the Revolution of Dignity then, and they fight against foreign invaders from Muscovy now, because they love Ukraine and want a normal and better life for themselves and for their children. 

Matteo Salvini illegally entered Ukraine on 11-13 October 2014. He entered the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine without the permission of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. While in Crimea, Salvini met with EU-sanctioned war criminals, including the notorious gangster Sergey “The Goblin” Aksyonov. 
salvini crimea
Salvini in occupied Crimea 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine will summon the Italian Ambassador to Ukraine, Davide La Cecilia, on July 23. Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine for European Integration, Olena Zerkal, wanted to make clear that Ukraine is angry about what Matteo Salvini, and not with the Italian ambassador. “On Monday, we will meet with the Italian ambassador. He is a very nice person. I understand that he cannot be responsible for the words of their politicians, especially given that that one politician went to Crimea and just returned from Moscow, where, according to our information, he met with Putin,” said Olena Zerkal. 

salvini putinSalvini met Putin in Moscow several times. Just no comments
Matteo Salvini is taking Italy down a very dangerous path. By attacking Ukraine and supporting Russia at war against Ukraine, Salvini is corrupting the rules-based international order that kept international peace in Europe from 1945 to 2014. In his zeal to support crypto-fascist Russia at the expense of democratic Ukraine, Matteo Salvini undermines Italy’s place in Europe.
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