Taking a stern stand on the Ukraine issue, the White House has announced that the President Barack Obama has signed an executive order on sanctions on Russia, including a ban on visa to Russian officials and individuals, who may have had a role to play in the Crimea crisis.
Recently, the White House in a report titled 'President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine' denounced the claims by the Russian president Vladimir Putin on the Ukraine crisis as fiction.
Here are the ten lies told by the Russian President Putin, according to the White House.
- 1. Russian forces in Crimea that are acting only to protect Russian military assets are a 'citizens' defense groups. But the fact, according to the US is that the Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea. While these units wear uniforms without insignia, they drive vehicles with Russian military license plates and freely identify themselves as Russian security forces, when asked by the international media and the Ukrainian military. Moreover, these individuals are armed with weapons not generally available to civilians.
- 2. Russia's action fall within the scope of the 1997 Friendship Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. But the fact, according to the White House is that Russia's military actions in Ukraine, which have given them operational control of Crimea, are in clear violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- 3.The opposition failed to implement the 21 February agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The 21 February agreement laid out a plan in which the Rada, or Parliament, would pass a bill to return Ukraine to its 2004 Constitution, thus returning the country to a constitutional system centered around its parliament," says the US. Under the terms of the agreement, Yanukovych was to sign the enacting legislation within 24 hours and bring the crisis to a peaceful conclusion. Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain. Instead, he packed up his home and fled, leaving behind evidence of wide-scale corruption.
- 4. Ukraine's government is illegitimate. Yanukovych is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine. On 4 March, President Putin himself acknowledged the reality that Yanukovych has no political future. After Yanukovych fled Ukraine, even his own Party of Regions turned against him, voting to confirm his withdrawal from office and to support the new government. Ukraine's new government was approved by the democratically elected Ukrainian Parliament, with 371 votes - more than an 82% majority. The interim government of Ukraine is a government of the people, which will shepherd the country toward democratic elections on 25 May - elections that will allow all Ukrainians to have a voice in the future of their country, states the White House.
- 5. There is a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands are fleeing Ukraine to Russia and seeking asylum. To date, there is absolutely no evidence of a humanitarian crisis. Nor is there evidence of a flood of asylum-seekers fleeing Ukraine for Russia. International organizations on the ground have investigated by talking with Ukrainian border guards, who also refuted these claims. Independent journalists observing the border have also reported no such flood of refugees, Obama government claimed.
- 6. Ethnic Russians are under threat. But White House notes that it is a fiction and states: Outside of Russian press and Russian state television, there are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians being under threat.
- 7.Russian bases are under threat. But, the truth according to US is that the Russian military facilities remain secure. It is Ukrainian bases in Crimea that are under threat from Russian military action.
- 8.There have been mass attacks on churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine. It is a false statement, as the US notes: Religious leaders in the country and international religious freedom advocates active in Ukraine have said that there have been no incidents of attacks on the churches. All of Ukraine's church leaders, including representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate, have expressed their support for the new political leadership, calling for national unity and a period of healing. Jewish groups in southern and eastern Ukraine report that they have not seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.
- 9. Kyiv is trying to destabilize Crimea. But in reality the White House notes: Russian troops, have moved beyond their bases to seize political objectives and infrastructure in Crimea. The government in Kyiv immediately sent the former Chief of Defense to defuse the situation. Petro Poroshenko, the latest government emissary to pursue dialogue in Crimea, was prevented from entering the Crimean Rada.
- 10. The Rada is under the influence of extremists or terrorists. But the truth according to the White House is that the Rada is the most representative institution in Ukraine. Recent legislation has passed with large majorities, including from representatives of eastern Ukraine.
(Edited by Anu James)