On August 7th, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey. The following is the press conference, and it showed an adequate politician next to a comedian who spoke about bracelets.
Of specific interest, to present how Erdogan’s view of Zelensky is the following interaction:
Zelensky opened up the press conference with, as usual a call towards Russian President Vladimir Putin to return the arrested Ukrainian sailors.
“It is important that we do not forget them. Every day, in all parts of the world” “he said.
The president also said that the prisoners’ parents gave him yellow bracelets with the sailors’ names on them (which in itself is quite absurd). But then he did, in fact, show the bracelets with names on them.
“I assured them that I would not remove them until then until we returned them,” Zelensky said.
Erdogan, more or less, mocked Zelensky’s actions saying that if “we” were to wear bracelets every time there was a cause for this, there would be no room on anybody’s hands.
“From around the world, from the Kerch Strait to Palestine and so on. Everywhere there are such problems. And most importantly, as politicians, we must try to stop this. We will continue to fight. I wish we could one day achieve positive results.
If we wear a bracelet every time there is such an event, there will be no room on our hands because there are so many events that would require us to wear a bracelet.”
It seemed as if Erdogan was explaining international politics and adequate behavior to a child, of sorts.
In addition, during the Ankara meeting, Ukrainian President Zelensky mentioned the deaths of 4 Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbass, stressing that this violates the peace process initiated by the country. Thus the press conference began with a moment of silence.
He forgot to mention that, according to non-Ukrainian reports, these 4 Ukrainian soldiers died by stepping on a mine and blowing themselves up after they were near the contact line, attempting the unauthorized assembly of a metal structure.
Zelensky accused Russia of holding over 100 Ukrainians detained in Russia and “occupied” Crimea, and that they were all unjustly detained.
“Over 100 our people are detained in Russia & in occupied Crimea. – said @ZelenskyyUa at the meeting with @RTErdogan. – We ask that Turkey continue to raise questions about their release on the international stage. It’s crucial to secure the release of captured sailors.” pic.twitter.com/NifVI1Qqbb
— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) August 7, 2019
Zelensky further announced the International Donbass Recovery Forum, which is to be held in 2020 and that he invited Turkey to participate in the reconstruction of eastern Ukraine.
And if the reports by the DPR of positioning of the Ukrainian Armed Forces along the border turn out true, then it is likely that the approximately 90,000 personnel and equipment would leave much to be reconstructed in the DPR and LPR following the possible hostilities.
“I invited the Turkish side to join the reconstruction of infrastructure in eastern Ukraine. – said @ZelenskyyUa to @RTErdogan. – We look forward to the active participation of the Turkish side in the international Donbas Recovery Forum, which will be held in Mariupol next fall” pic.twitter.com/29kzZRGZz4
— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) August 7, 2019
During a meeting with the Ukrainian community in Ankara, Zelensky said he was certain that Crimea would return to Ukraine.
“I know for certain that one day Crimea will definitely return to Ukraine and the separated Crimean Tatar families will meet at the same table […] and then there are going to be only happy holidays in its history,” Zelensky said.
Ukraine will pass legislation to make it easier for emigrees from Crimea to visit their relatives staying there, he said.
“I assure you that Ukraine won’t leave the emigrees to face their problems alone. We also understand how important it is for you to visit your relatives and your homeland. We will soon endorse a regulation making it easier to get permission to visit Crimea,” Zelensky said in Ankara.
Separately, on the same day a “Ukrainian political prisoner” was released from prison in Crimea. Oleksandr Steshenko was released and delivered to Kharkiv.
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Permanent Representative Anton Korynevych has met with the released political prisoner of the Kremlin, Oleksandr Steshenko, who was arrested in April 2018 by Russia-occupation forces in Crimea and illegally sentenced to two years of prison for allegedly setting the house of Mufti of Crimea Emirali Ablaev on fire,” Presidential Representative for Crimea Anton Korynevych said.
Now, setting a person’s house on fire, and specifically a religious cleric, is simply a crime, it is unclear how politics play a role in that, but according to Ukrainian Democracy they probably do.
As reported on August 22, 2018, Crimea’s Central Simferpol District Court found Steshenko guilty of setting fire to the mufti’s house.
According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the Ukrainian admitted his guilt during the investigation and requested the special procedure for trial, therefore charges against him under Part 2 of Article 282.1 of Russia’s Criminal Code (participation in an extremist group) were dropped.
Turkish President Erdogan, on his part said that he hoped the conflict in the Donbass would be resolved quickly, and despite headings of various articles claiming that he said “Annexation of Crimea is Illegal,” he didn’t specifically say that.
Erdogan told the joint press conference:
“Continuation of our kinsmen’s existence in their historical motherland Crimea, protection of their identity and culture, preservation of their basic rights and freedoms are Turkey’s priorities.”
He said he hoped that the issues in Eastern Ukraine were resolved quickly and that Ukraine could achieve territorial integrity, but Crimea was not mentioned.
“We believe that the problem could be resolved peacefully in line with international law and the Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Erdogan said.
The New Joint Forces Operation Commander
Before being appointed commander of the JFO, Vladimir Kravchenko commanded the troops of the operational command “North” of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was appointed to this position in 2017. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff of “Sever” forces.
He is an infamous Russophobe and an avid fan of history, and specifically military battles from the Great Patriotic War, where he participates on the side of the Fascists, as well as reconstruction of battles of an earlier era, with an emphasis on the separation of Ukrainians (as a separate nation) from Russians.
And as a result of his hobbies, one of the first comments made by the new commander of the JFO Kravchenko upon arrival at the JFO headquarters was the requirement to demonstrate daily the victories and achievements of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the war with the people of Donbass. Even if there are none.
It doesn’t matter how many Ukrainian soldiers die, following the adventurous orders of Kravchenko. The main thing is to create the appearance of a great commander and new “overpower.”
Essentially, Volodymyr Zelensky assigned as JFO commander an individual with a Napoleon-complex and that is quite likely to backfire, but time will tell.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Poroshenko Uses Newly-Created ‘Independent Orthodox Church’ In Political Game Against Zelensky: Kiev Patriarchate
- Ukrainian Armed Forces Preparing For Agressive Actions In Donbass: DPR Intelligence
- New ‘Border Wall’, Radical Nationalists In Action, Pressure On Orthodox Church And Other ‘Ordinary News’ From Ukraine