Two years ago, April 13, the term “ATO” officially came into usage: the Minister of Internal Affairs announced the start of the Anti-terrorist operation in Slovyansk. Within a few days “ATO” would become a common substitute of “war” used by politicians, the media, and people. Consciousness could not stand the word “war”, thus jumped at the word “ATO”; moreover, inaction was unbearable, while the ATO meant beginning of actions.
But this very abbreviation began to form the conceptual construct which eliminated the words “war” and “occupation” from our consciousness.
So it will go on unless Ukraine recognizes the reality itself and makes the world do the same. And the reality is simple: Russia started a war against Ukraine. Russia occupied Ukrainian territories. And Russia must be held accountable for this.
Therefore, it is very symbolic that this very day the draft law “On temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine” was reviewed by the Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building. The draft law provides for recognition of the occupation, banning trade with the occupied territories, and recognition of Russia as an occupant.