Russia will one day claim all of Ukraine’s territory as part of the country’s broader mission to take back areas to which it is entitled, a controversial Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.
Speaking on Monday following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, Alexey Zhuravlev recorded a video showing his joy.
Zhuravlev is the chairman of the Rodina political party, a far-right ultra-nationalist movement.
“All of Ukraine will be Russian” he said, addressing the camera directly and insistently while gesturing.
“They [Ukrainians] all understand that this will happen. It’s just a matter of when,” continued the deputy, adding that Ukraine was part of a “Russian World” that Zhuravlev pointed out “was and will be ours.”
By this remark, the member could be referring to the lands that were previously within the pre-Soviet imperial borders of Russia. During this time, the vast majority of Ukraine was ruled by Moscow, with only the far west of the country in the hands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Moreover, on Monday, during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Putin of “want to travel in time” to restore the Russian Empire, declaring that such imperialism could never coexist with the principle of UN decolonization.
The Russian president has since denied speculation that he wants the empire back, saying in a meeting with Ilham Aliyev, his Azerbaijani counterpart, on Tuesday that the allegation is “just not true.”
Zhuravlev’s comments follow Monday’s decision by the Kremlin to declare Russia’s official recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic. The two newly recognized states broke away from Kyiv’s control in 2014, following the events of Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the elected government.
You can share this story on social media: