Dzhaparova: "Russia tries to blackmail the whole world with nuclear weapons"


Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova tells Newsroom LIVE that "Russia is trying to blackmail the whole world with nuclear weapons". She also believes that the partial mobilization "may be equal to genocide".

And joining us now is deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova.

It's a pleasure to be here.

Deputy Minister, let me start with Russias staged fake referendum in four regions of Ukraine. All four oblasts with the predictable outcome of fantasy numbers in favor of the annexation, of course. What will be the next step of your government after Vladimir Putin declares those regions as Russian?

Well, you should expect that the Ukrainian Government, of course, will not recognize this deliberate and intentional policy to legitimize newly occupied territories. This is not a new action that Russia has been committing.

They started doing so in 2014 in my homeland, in Crimea, with the so-called referendum, while the Russian army was on the peninsula and they were insisting that the overwhelming majority of the population attended the referendum. But I was a journalist in Crimea during these days. I traveled Crimea back and forth and these numbers were purely fake.

So the same situation happened in East and South of my country in the newly occupied territories. And let me remind our viewers that approximately 20% of Ukrainian territory is under occupation. So it's something that Russia is intentionally doing to legitimize its crime. The Ukrainian Government, of course, will not recognize it and we will call upon all of the partners in the international community not to do so.

And these annexations will have severe implications, given the military doctrine of Russia, that attacks on Russian territory can be answered by all means, including nuclear strikes. Are you expecting such a drastic answer by Russia?

Let me be clear. Because it's probably the most serious question that is being asked and oftenly asked by our partners, including here in Vienna on my official visit.

We take it seriously, but we also know, that at this stage, Putin and the Russian leadership is using this nuclear weapon blackmail to bring numbness and fear into the international community. To scare people and to scare leaders in order not to make them help Ukraine.

For us there is no other choice but fighting. We did not choose this war, and there is only one way out of this war, to win and to keep on fighting.

Russia is trying to blackmail the whole world, saying that they might use the nuclear tactical weapon, the country that is a P5 member, the country that is supposed to guarantee the whole global architecture of security is now blackmailing other countries! That is something that they are doing deliberately in order to disenable countries from action.

But I think that the only way out here is to give a proper response by continuing the military assistance to Ukraine because there is no way out of this.

Could I translate the word blackmail with bluff? Is Russia bluffing?

Usually when someone directly and openly says: “and I'm not bluffing”, this means an opposite.

I think that this very particular expression of President Putin is an attempt to blackmail, but it doesn't mean that we should not take it seriously.

So I think that potentially and theoretically there is this plan B, plan C, plan D in case they cannot stick to the tactical battlefield goals. What we see so far they are now regrouping, strengthening their positions on the East and on the South. A lot will depend on the outcome of these battles.

When you're talking about taking those threats seriously, will Ukraine stop or cease military actions in order to avoid counter strikes?

For us, this is an existential war. If we seize and stop fighting, we will die.

Do you think that it is possible to stop when we are killed and targeted? I think that we are defending ourselves. You cannot stop defending yourself.

If some perverted man comes to your house and pulls a gun, and threatens your wife and children. Would you stop? Would you surrender? I don't think so.

We are not ready to step back when it comes to our territorial integrity. If someone trades and bargains this very sacred fundamental core principle, this means that state does not exist and nation does not exist. We want to choose our future, and we are fighting for this future, not the future that Russia wants us to live in.

There is another implication of the annexation, of course except from the nuclear threat. Russia is mobilizing people, tens of thousands of maybe poorly equipped personnel to go to the front lines and in the then-annexed territories of Ukraine, forcing people in Ukraine to fight against Ukraine.

Yes, it's yet another deliberate action that may be equal to genocide. Because they've been destroying their national minorities for years, for centuries, I would say.

What we see for example in Crimea, while having this mobilization campaign, they for example disproportionately target Crimean-Tatars and they draft as many Crimean-Tatars as possible. Since 2014 they showed their opposition by boycotting the so-called referendum and by not participating in the collaboration with the new administrations, so today we see it also as an act of revenge.

To draft anyone to the Russian army means that they are sending them to die, because over 55,000 Russian soldiers have already died on the Ukrainian soil, and this is done on purpose. It's a very cynical thing, you know, to put Ukrainians to fight against Ukrainians.

Mentioning that you as a person are of Ukrainian-Tatar descent, of course.

Yes, I used to live in Crimea when this whole occupation happened.

When my psyche grasped what happened to my homeland, it helped me not to be in illusion about Russia.

My war started in 2014, not 24th of February, when I was a journalist.

I was in a small room where the so-called new administration presented the results of the referendum from the 16th of March 2014. The tiny passage was overcrowded with cameras, with journalists from all over the world. One man came and put his tripod right in the center of this passage as an obstacle.

Another journalist asked him, could you please move your camera because you are kind of blocking the way. And then, in a very bold manner, he said: “This is my homeland now, don't you dare to tell me where I can or cannot film.”

And I was just standing there witnessing this, and that’s when I understood what happened to Crimea, that now the Russian invader is here and he dictates his own rules. This is what is taking place in my country, and it’s awful.

Deputy Minister, there are actually two Nord Stream pipelines leaking. Suspicion is that Russia could have sabotaged these pipelines. From today's knowledge, would you agree? And if so, why would Russia destroy a pipeline when instead they could turn it on or turn it off at their will?

Look, every criminal is interested in not being punished, every criminal is hiding his crime. The logic of the criminal is to cause panic and chaos. If you see how Russia has been acting, these are hybrid means. It's not only the conventional war in my country, when they hit infrastructure, when they hit civilians, but it's also the war in Europe against the very Western core fundamental principles like liberty and freedom. By sabotaging the pipelines they would, I'm sure, they would put the blame on Ukraine.

It's a very abusive attitude, they always do it. They do the crime and they put the responsibility on Ukraines shoulder. I think that it's about ruining the energy security and causing real panic in Europe.

There's another instance you claim Russia is responsible for, these are the attacks on the nuclear power plant of Saporischschja. Hundreds of Russian military is stationed there, guarding the Ukrainian technicians there since almost the beginning of the invasion. Why should the facility be attacked when it's under the control of Russia?

It's yet another stroke of having this panic, of having this instability, of causing this turbulence intentionally and not only Ukraine claims that it was hit by Russia. Also the IAEA mission that came a couple of weeks ago to Ukraine and there was a report where they clearly say what they saw there.

If you want to get your response to your questions, you should go back to the core. And the core is that since 2014 Russia is attacking Ukraine.

The cardinal lesson that we all should learn is absolutely the same that happened with Anschluss of Austria, when Hitler occupied the sovereign lands of other countries, and others were still trying to appeal Hitler by, for example, signing up to the peace accord in 1939 and the result was a large war.

So for Putin, it was the same with Crimea and Donbass in 2014 and our inability to give a proper response and our kind of appeasement policy. The whole world was kind of thinking that they could find proper language to talk to Putin, but if aggression is not stopped it always becomes bigger and what we see at the nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye, in every piece of other Ukrainian land that has been under occupation, in Izyum, in Bucha, when we found bodies of Ukrainian citizens tortured.

It is all the consequence of this very nature of aggression, because Russia questions the very existence of my country. It's not logical, but it is a matter of fact.

Deputy minister, thank you for your visit here.

Thank you. Dankeschön.

ribbon Zusammenfassung
  • Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova tells Newsroom LIVE that "Russia is trying to blackmail the whole world with nuclear weapons"
  • She also believes that the partial mobilization "may be equal to genocide".