31 May 2018 19:04

Ukrainian president reacts to criticism of Babchenko's staged murder, praises security operation

KYIV. May 31 (Interfax) - Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has responded to critics of the Ukrainian security services' special operation that involved staging a murder of the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv.

"You should be accusing Russia, not the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians are doing everything possible to keep themselves together and to defend themselves. I can assure you it will always be this," Poroshenko said in the Ivano-Frankivsk region on Thursday.

He described the Ukrainian security operation to prevent Babchenko's assassination as "brilliant".

"Yesterday, as the result of a brilliant special operation carried out by SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] heroes, the whole world saw the true face of our enemy. They send in weapons, truckloads, send in money to kill Ukrainians, journalist, to kill statesmen. When they got caught in the act, [they] are saying this is not how we operate," Poroshenko said, commenting on the negative reaction to the operation from a number of public representatives.

Poroshenko revisited the topic when speaking at a Carpathian regional development forum in the region later on Thursday.

"The enemy wants us to be disunited, finances certain political movements and parties with money stained with the blood of the occupied territories, finances contract killers who must kill journalists in order to accuse Ukrainian government of inaction afterwards," Poroshenko said.

Then it transpired that there was no murder and the journalist was alive, and now "they ["certain political movements'] are beginning to express concern, again about the actions of the Ukrainian government, having forgotten to comment on the actions of the country which sent in the killers, finances them and is expecting these reports," Poroshenko said.

The purpose of all this is to break up Ukraine, he said. "What is this being done for? To split the [Ukrainian] state! No chance!" Poroshenko said.