16 March, 09:53

New Crimea prosecutor brands EuroMaidan as 'coup'

Natalia Poklonskaya, Prosecutor of the Crimean Republic

Natalia Poklonskaya, Prosecutor of the Crimean Republic

Natalia Poklonskaya, Prosecutor of the Crimean Republic

The newly-appointed Prosecutor of the Crimean republic, Natalia Poklonskaya, has described the EuroMaidan revolt as an "anti-constitutional coup." This has come in an exclusive interview with a Russian TV channel. The statement has already infuriated the self-proclaimed government in Kiev.

"What happened in Kiev was, first and foremost, an anti-constitutional coup and an armed seizure of power," Ms. Poklonskaya said. "That’s what my feeling has always been and that's the opinion I wasn't afraid to voice [while still working] at the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office."

The people who currently hold the offices of Ukrainian President and Prosecutor General are illegitimate, the 33-year-old added point-blank. Her outspoken criticism has already created many enemies in the Ukrainian media, with journalists describing some of her leaked photos as "frivolous."

The country’s regime has apparently declared a hunt on the young Crimean prosecutor, who it condemned of holding the office illegally and stripped her of the "justice counselor" status.

"I tell the truth and I’m not afraid of this truth. I am no criminal, I don’t propagate Nazism, unlike certain regime functionaries in Kiev," she said. "Let them bring legal cases against me. I believe that justice will be done."

As the prosecutor of the Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya says she will make sure that both Ukrainian and international laws are observed in the region. She said her office received petitions from the Berkut police officers who had been brutalized during the Ukrainian revolt.

Poklonskaya also added prosecutors were bracing for the referendum. But, whatever the will of the people, the Crimean EuroMaidan won’t happen, she added.

Russia vetoes UN resolution on Crimea, China abstains

Russia has vetoed a Western-backed resolution condemning the Crimea referendum at a UN Security Council emergency vote Saturday but China abstained from the vote. The draft resolution, which says Sunday's referendum would have no validity, got 13 votes in the 15-member Council. But it was rejected when permanent member Russia exercised its veto.

"It is a secret to no one that the Russian Federation will vote against the resolution," Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council in opening remarks before the vote.

"We can not go along with [the resolution's] basic assumption that is declaring illegal the ... planned referendum," Vitaly Churkin added.

He defended Sunday's referendum as necessary to fill the "legal vacuum" that arose "as a result of an unconstitutional coup d'etat in Ukraine."

China often backs Russia at the council, especially on Syria-related votes, and Western diplomats had seen its abstention as the best possible outcome from Saturday's vote.

When the Security Council ruled on a similar international crisis, between Russia and Georgia in 2008, Beijing abstained. Saturday's emergency meeting was called at Washington's request and the resolution had been drafted by the United States in very measured terms so that it could be accepted by Beijing.

The resolution declared that the referendum on Crimea has "no validity and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Crimea."

Members of the council that voted in favour of the resolution - including the United States - condemned the Russian veto.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Interfax, RIA, Life News

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