We are happy to give the floor to the Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yuri Filatov, who recounts his futile efforts to persuade “democratic” Ireland’s media to publish his assessment of the proximate causes of the Ukrainian crisis. One would think that the Russian point of view about the origins of the current conflict would greatly interest the Irish public and that the local media would be keen to keep their readers properly informed by publishing a variety of views on that subject. According to the ambassador, however, that has not been the case. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov does not seem to have been wide off the mark when he commented that the nations of the collective West are living under an information blockade.

These February days mark a tragic milestone in the history of modern Ukraine. Ten years ago, on February 21 2014, the Ukrainian government has been overthrown in an unconstitutional coup d’etat by a group of right-wing extremists and ultra-nationalists, supported and guided by the US and its NATO allies. That has had disastrous consequences for Ukraine as well as for the entire system of European security.

I have written an article on this topic, entitled “Maidan in Kiev:10 Years After”, which provides an in-depth view on the events of 2014, their aftermath, the lessons that could be learned and the look at the prospects of the conflict in Ukraine.

Regrettably, when we have offered this article to the mainstream Irish media, they all have ignored it totally, showing that any dissenting views, which differ from their narrative, are not welcome. That is why I’m bringing this article to the attention of anyone who thinks outside the box, seriously analyzes the roots of the conflict and looks for a possible way out of it.


Yuriy Filatov,

Ambassador of Russia to Ireland 


The Russian ambassador’s Open Letter to the Irish public is as follows:

“Maidan” in Kiev: 10 Years After

Ten years ago, Ukraine encountered one of the most tragic events in its history, which plunged the country into the acute political and military crisis, paving the way to the current deadly conflict. With the blessing and direct support from the US and its EU allies a bloody coup d’état was organized in Kiev. As a result, the power in Ukraine’s capital was usurped by a group of opportunists, who promoted ideology of extreme, aggressive nationalism and, above all, hatred to all things Russian. The new rulers of Ukraine – Dmitriy Yarosh, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyk, Oleg Tyagnibok, Oleg Lyashko and Arsen Avakov – were leaders of ultra-nationalist, neo-Nazi parties and groups like “Right Sector” and “Svoboda”, who conducted torchlight marches, modelled after the German Nazi parades, openly sounding slogans like “Kill a Moscal” (derogatory for a Muscovite), glorifying Nazi collaborators, harassing and physically intimidating or eliminating their opponents.

The phenomenon of Ukrainian nationalism has a long history, dating back to the 18th century. However, it was in the first half of the 20th century, when it took extremely radical and violent forms. In 1929 the League of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Union of Ukrainian Fascists and the Ukrainian Military Organization merged into the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which promoted the ideas of anti-liberalism, anti-communism, totalitarianism and anti-Semitism. Collaborating with Hitler during the World War II, the OUN punitive battalions “Nachtigall”, “Roland”, “Ukrainian Legion”, SS division “Galicia” and the regiment “Brandenburg” participated in mass killings of civilians in the territories of Ukraine and Belarus. In 1943, the OUN created the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (a.k.a. UPA), which “assisted” the Nazis not only in eliminating citizens loyal to the Soviet government, but also, for example, Polish people, including during the Volhynian Massacre. The head of the OUN and the chief ideologist of the UPA Stepan Bandera and the “commander-in-chief” of the UPA Roman Shukhevich are known as the most odious and cruel leaders of the Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary movement. They borrowed from Nazi Germany the ideas of ethnic superiority and introduced fascist-style symbols, such as a famous slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” (Slava Ukraini!) accompanied by a hand-throwing type of “Sieg Heil” salute.

It is a well-known historical fact that since the early days of the Cold War informal relations between the United States and Ukrainian nationalists were established. The CIA actively cooperated with former fascist collaborators, using the so-called Ukrainian independence movement as a tool of inciting internal social and political tensions within the Soviet Union.

The collapse of the USSR and creation of the independent states in 1991 gave the Ukrainian nationalism an additional impetus. Numerous far-right groups rapidly growing popularity in Ukraine. Among the largest nationalist movements of the 1990s were the Svoboda Party, the Trident association, as well as the Ukrainian National Assembly – the Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense. In the 1990s-2000s, the Ukrainian authorities condoned the growth of nationalist sentiments in society and flirted with radicals for political purposes. As a result, in the beginning of the 21st century, ultranationalist groups in Ukraine flourished and gained significant influence over the political landscape. Under their pressure, the Ukrainian authorities thought out a legal rehabilitation for the OUN and UPA fighters, allowed ultranationalists to hold public manifestations, openly demonstrating nationalist symbols, including those closely related to Nazi-style attributes and emblems, spread extremist literature, and praise the OUN and UPA “heroes”, such as Bandera and Shukhevych. It is symptomatic, that on October 12, 2007 Ukrainian President Yushchenko signed the Decree 965/2007 awarding Shukhevych posthumously the title of Hero of Ukraine. On January 20, 2010, he issued a similar decree 46/2010 in regard to Bandera. At that time, these moves immediately caused a wave of discontent in the Ukrainian society, among Europeans and throughout Jewish communities. A number of European governments, as well as the European Parliament sounded their protest.

The US and its allies have been interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs in a blatant and open manner since the dissolution of the USSR. In 2013, US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland admitted publicly that Washington spent 5 billion US dollars on nurturing an obedient political elite in Ukraine. In 2004 and 2005, the West sought to bring a pro-American candidate to power and this led to the first illegal and undemocratic Maidan (a.k.a. “Orange revolution”), when the Constitutional Court of Ukraine adopted in violation of the national Constitution a decision to hold a third round in the presidential election. It happened under pressure of the US and EU, who were not comfortable with the winner of the second tour Viktor Yanukovich and promoted their favorite Viktor Yushchenko.

The West acted even more aggressively and cynically in 2013-2014 during the second “Maidan”, attempting to channel anti-government social protests in Kiev into the anti-Russian and pro-EU, pro-NATO mode. In November 2013, the decision of the legitimate President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich to postpone the signing of EU–Ukraine Association Agreement with the simple intent to evaluate its potential impact on the long-standing economic ties with Russia was used to initiate protests under the slogans of “Eurointegration” followed by acts of violence towards police forces. At the time, Western visitors traveled to Kiev one after another to encourage anti-government demonstrators to engage in deadly clashes. On February 21, 2014, Viktor Yanukovich reached an agreement with the opposition leaders, designed to stop protests, while Germany, Poland and France acted as the guarantors. All that was thrown out the next day when radical nationalists seized power in Ukraine, announcing the undemocratic and illegitimate formation of a “government of the winners”.

Right after the coup, its perpetrators took action to suppress anyone who would doubt their legitimacy, mostly in the Russian-speaking regions. Those who didn’t obey were designated as terrorists and became targets of a punitive actions against them. Crimea and Donbass responded by holding referendums – in full compliance with the principle of self-determination of peoples as enshrined in the UN Charter. Crimean population opted to rejoin Russia while Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic proclaimed their sovereignty and became independent from Ukraine. They were not the only ones who aspired to claim independence, but in other Ukrainian regions these movements have been brutally demolished. Horrifying crimes of that time remain without proper investigation, including massacres in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, as well as in Mariupol. Total economic, trade and transport blockade of Donbass was imposed by Kiev authorities. Then, in April of 2014, in a fateful decision the putschists in Kiev launched a war against Donbass under the guise of “antiterrorist operation”.

During Petr Poroshenko’s and Vladimir Zelenskiy’s rule in Ukraine racist laws were adopted to cancel everything Russian, including language, education, media, culture, destroying books and monuments, banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and seizing its property. Human rights and fundamental freedoms of Russians and other ethnic minorities in Ukraine were gravely violated. Ethnic Russians were targeted by multiple public threats at an official level of being exterminated, either in legal or physical terms. Not to mention a full economic, trade, and transport blockade of Donbass, imposed by Kiev authorities.

February of 2015 saw Minsk Agreements as an attempt to settle the de-facto civil war in Ukraine. This document was endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution 2202 (2015). It appears that it was doomed from the very beginning – just recently former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ex-President of France Francois Hollande, and same Petr Poroshenko confessed publicly – with a certain degree of satisfaction – that they did not intend to fulfil their obligations when they signed the Agreements. Instead, they sought to win some time to reinforce Ukraine’s military capabilities and supply it with more weapons for countering Russia and the breakaway regions. For all these years, the EU and NATO engaged in an outright effort to support Kiev in sabotaging the Minsk Agreements while encouraging the Kiev regime to capture Donbass by force, thus violating the UNSC resolution 2202 and the UN Charter, which clearly states that all UN members must “accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”. In late 2021 NATO countries started supplying Kiev with ammunition, anti-aircraft missile systems and other heavy weapons that were used against the residents of Donbass with growing intensity.

For many years, President Putin has been warning against the attempts to break the Western promise not to expand NATO to the east, making it clear that any attempt to draw Ukraine into the alliance will end tragically, that common security guarantees need to be developed to take into account the interests of Russia and the European countries and ensure the security of Ukraine without it becoming a NATO member. All of that was ignored, including the draft treaty on security guaranties that Russia proposed to negotiate with the United States and NATO in December of 2021. Equally, the Western countries, including Ireland, turned down our proposal to confirm commitments to the principle of the indivisibility of security in Europe, adopted at the OSCE summits in 1999 and 2010. These documents stipulate that “no state, group of states or organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere of influence”, as well as lay down the principle that no one’s security can be ensured at the expense of the security of others. Instead, NATO planned to turn Ukraine into its bridgehead and continued to rush weapons to Ukrainian Armed Forces, which in late January and early February 2022 intensified shelling attacks against Donbass cities in defiance of the Minsk Agreements and international humanitarian law. This is when Russia’s leadership took the final decision on the special military operation (SMO).

The primary goal of the SMO is to protect lives of Donbass people. However, a direct threat from NATO’s uncompromising expansion eastwards, to Ukraine, to the very borders of Russia, has been also taken into account in Moscow as an obvious red line in terms of national security.

It is important to note that even while Russian forces approached Kiev in the early days of the SMO in March of 2022, several rounds of negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegations took place in Belarus and Turkey to settle the crisis. Both sides went as far as to an initial agreement, which would have stopped military activities and guaranteed that Ukraine would not join NATO, as well as neo-Nazism would not be cultivated in this country. French and German leaders asked President Putin to withdraw forces from the outskirts of the Ukraine’s capital “to create conditions for the final signing of the documents.” As soon as it happened, a notorious provocation in Bucha was staged, while the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rushed to Ukraine to order Vladimir Zelensky to throw away all the agreements reached in Turkey and prepare for a long armed confrontation against Russia with the help of the United States and its satellites in Europe.

Today, Kiev regime is able to carry out hostilities against Russian population almost entirely due to the Western financial and military support. Since the beginning of the (SMO), the total amount of its assistance to Kiev has exceeded 200 billion US dollars. For comparison, in 2023, Washington’s humanitarian aid to the entire African continent hardly exceeded 4 billion US dollars. Supplies of arms and military equipment to Ukraine are growing, including banned depleted uranium shells and cluster munitions, which are a significant and inhumane threat to civilians and the environment. The US and EU, including Ireland, actively invest in training programs for Ukrainian military. NATO shares with the Armed Forces of Ukraine its intelligence, including information from satellites and reconnaissance aircraft which is then used to launch attacks on civilian population in Donbass, Crimea and inner Russian regions, resulting in deaths and injuries. Ukrainian officials openly call these terrorist attacks on civilians “a legitimate, logical and effective step.”

The dominant Western narrative on Ukraine tends to ignore completely the true meaning of events of 2014 that triggered war in Ukraine. It is hard reality that it was planned for by the US and EU political elites, bent on implementing their grand design of turning Ukraine into “anti-Russia”. It is equally clear that such a policy misfired with tragedy for Ukrainians and Russians as its main result.

It might look as a wishful thinking, but if and when the Western politicians return to their senses and assume their share of responsibility for the safe future of the planet, Russia will be open for a genuine diplomacy based on the international law, the principle of equality of states and rejection of the Cold War mentality. For the sake of ending the war in Ukraine that was initiated by “Maidan” 10 years ago it is absolutely crucial for the West to come to terms with its own fatal mistakes, learn hard lessons of history and listen to the voice of reason from Moscow.



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