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Kiev releases audio tapes it says prove Russia's masterminding of separatism in Crimea and eastern Ukraine

Source: Meduza

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has published audio tapes of telephone conversations with top Kremlin advisor Sergei Glazyev, allegedly recorded two years ago. (The Russian audio is available on YouTube here.)

Ukrainian officials say Glazyev can be heard discussing preparations for the secessionist referendum in Crimea, as well the organization of unrest in Donetsk, Odessa, and Kharkov. Kiev says the recordings prove that the Kremlin is guilty of “encroaching on the territorial integrity of Ukraine and unleashing a war of aggression.”

In the recordings, Glazyev appears to speak to Konstantin Zatulin (a former State Duma deputy and now an advisor to the head of Crimea's State Council) and Sergei Aksyonov (the current head of Russian-controlled Crimea). In a conversation dated February 27, 2014 (the day that the Crimean parliament was seized, the Russian tricolor was raised, and Aksyonov was named head of the local government), Glazyev called Zatulin to remind him “not to forget” about the street demonstrators, who apparently needed additional support because they didn't “trust Aksyonov” and “might disperse.”

On March 6, according to Ukraine's State Security Service, Glazyev indicated to Aksyonov that the wording of Crimea's referendum ballot was problematic, saying “many voters simply won't support” the phrase “within the nation of Ukraine.” In the recordings, Aksyonov appears to answer that certain “colleagues” in Moscow “delivered pre-made materials designed with the State Duma's consent.” That same day, Crimean officials announced that the referendum wouldn't just propose greater autonomy from Kiev, but would actually suggest absorption into the Russian Federation.

On March 1, 2014, Glazyev allegedly spoke to a certain Anatoly Petrovich about the situation in Zaporizhzhia, a region in southern Ukraine. Glazyev said he “has direct instructions from the leadership to prop up people in Ukraine who ought to be ‘demanding help from Russia against the Banderites.’” He also complained that a certain third party had failed to mobilize enough manpower. “We use force only when we've got the support of the people—nothing more. But if there's no people, what kind of help can there be?” Glazyev appears to say. The audio recordings also contain chatter about “specially trained individuals who should drive out the Banderites from the regional council building, and then gather the regional council, in order to form a new body of executive power.”

On August 22, 2016, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced that 18 Russian state officials have been charged with criminal acts and are suspected of committing crimes against the nation of Ukraine. Aside from Sergei Glazyev, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Oleg Belaventsev (the Kremlin's former presidential envoy in Crimea) are charged with attacks on Ukrainian national security.

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