MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Ukraine’s new authorities aim to employ “dictatorial and sometimes terrorist methods” to suppress opposition in disloyal regions.
The statement follows the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych over the weekend, which has already aroused concerns that a surge of nationalism in the former Soviet nation could unfairly marginalize the substantial ethnic Russian community.
On Sunday, lawmakers also revoked a series of laws adopted by the previous government, including a bill recognizing Russian as an official language in regions where at least 10 percent of the population is Russian-speaking.
Moscow expressed doubts about the legitimacy of the parliament’s actions, saying that lawmakers “churn out ‘decisions’ and ‘laws,’ including those designed to infringe on the rights of Russians and other national minorities who live in Ukraine.”
“[The new leaders] aim to use dictatorial and sometimes terrorist methods to suppress disloyal citizens in various regions of Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Calls are being made to introduce an almost complete ban on the Russian language, bring about lustration, abolish parties and organizations, close disloyal media and drop restrictions on the propaganda of neo-Nazi ideology,” the ministry said.
Russia also expressed its “extreme concern” about recent “armed clashes between aggressive youths [or] militants from ultra-right nationalist organizations and law-enforcement officers who defend peaceful citizens and the interests of the state.”
“Militants refuse to disarm, they refuse to leave the streets of cities that are de-facto under their control, to free administrative buildings, to cease violence,” the statement reads.
Moscow also called for a constitutional reform, in line with the recent reconciliation agreement, signed shortly before the parliament impeached Yanukovych.
“It is evident that for this reform to be a success, all political forces and all regions of the country should take part, and its results should be put to a nationwide referendum,” the statement reads.