Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, warned during an interview with Russia Today his government will not stand idly by as the junta in Kyiv attacks its opposition in eastern Ukraine.
“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” Lavrov said. “If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law.”
During the interview, Lavrov characterized the junta’s use of forces against activists in eastern Ukraine as “criminal.” He accused the coup government of violating the Geneva agreement. “In Geneva we agreed there must be an end of all violence. Next afternoon [interim Ukrainian President Aleksandr] Turchinov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people,” he said.
South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1990 which resulted in three wars. During the third conflict in 2008, Russia responded after Georgia amassed a large number of troops and equipment in the enclave and shelled villages. Prior to the conflict, both the United States and Russia conducted war games in the region.
State Department documents released by Wikileaks in 2010 reveal the United States was well aware of the Georgian plan to invade and reclaim South Ossetia. Despite knowledge of a Georgian military build-up, then U.S. ambassador, John Tefft, said Russia was the aggressor. Read More …