Transcript: Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, on “Face the Nation”, April 10, 2022

The following is a transcript of an interview with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova. airs Sunday, April 10, 2022 on “Face the Nation”.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’re back with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova. Welcome to FACE THE NATION.

AMBASSADOR OKSANA MARKAROVA: Hello everyone.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, we just heard from Jake Sullivan all the equipment that the United States is planning to donate and train, he said, to the Ukrainian forces — what specifically do you need now?

AMBASSADOR OKSANA MARKAROVA: Well, we are now working daily with our colleagues here, and I must say that there is progress and I will of course not divulge the details of what we are working on. I would rather surprise, you know, the Russians on the battlefield with this, but I think it is understood that after the battle of kyiv, we really have to win this battle of Donbass and we have to win this war. And we need all the equipment, all the firepower, all the anti-aircraft warfare to be able to do that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There had already been eight years of fighting in the East before this full-scale invasion. So when you see the full force of the Russian army pouring into this area, what exactly are you preparing for? What are you telling Ukrainians to prepare for?

MARKAROVA: Well, we saw that, as you rightly pointed out. I mean, we say for eight years and we’ve seen these atrocities and we’ve seen these horrible attacks in the east in Donetsk and Lugansk when Russia illegally occupied it and attacked in 2014 and 2015. Right now, we see that all these airstrikes that we see all over Ukraine, we see in Mariupol, we see in Kharkiv, in Chernihiv, you basically destroy cities from the air, but there are also atrocities on the ground that now all the world sees after we were able to liberate northern kyiv. So what we are preparing is the massive attack in the East. Yes, the enemy, the Russians. They are demotivated. They are war criminals. But there are so many and they still have so much equipment and it looks like they are going to use it all. So we prepare for everything. We are preparing to secure the civilians. This is why the Oblast announced the safe evacuation of children and women. And we saw what happened in Kramatorsk when Russia attacked that same evacuation effort in order to get as many civilians out of where we expect the attack to escalate. And, of course, our armed forces, I mean, the president, the commander-in-chief and all the armed forces, they are preparing for whatever Russia is going to do in order to be able to defend us.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Department of Justice says it is working with your government on these alleged war crimes. And we heard President Zelensky say that you have radio intercepts, you have people in custody who shared information about what they were told to do. They had maps of the civilian areas they were told to bomb. So what happens to these base soldiers? Will they be tried in Ukraine?

MARKAROVA: Well, look, I know lawyers have to say “presumed.” I can say war crimes, because we see them. We see them in real time. So we have all these witnesses on the ground. We have filed all criminal charges in the international tribunal. We have opened criminal cases in Ukraine, more than 4000 individual criminal cases already by the Prosecutor General. We have ten other countries that have opened their own individual criminal proceedings, and we are providing them with all the evidence. So, yes, all will be prosecuted, military commanders, personnel, people who did it on the ground, people who ordered it, and ultimately Putin.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s complicated, but the United States is not a full party to the International Criminal Court. So how exactly does this happen? Where do you want these people to be judged?

MARKAROVA: Everywhere. There should be no place on earth for them to hide. So, yes, we would like them to be tried in Ukraine. And we really hope that after our victory and after the liberation of Ukraine, we will have a tribunal. I think, you know, Ukraine and our people have a right to a full tribunal, but anywhere, anywhere they can be sued is fine. Justice must be there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been transferred to Russia since the invasion began. President Zelenskyy said 2,000 children had been abducted in his speech at the UN, he made this claim. What proof do you have of this and do you know what is going on in these so-called camps?

MARKAROVA: We just released an official resource called War Crimes Ukraine UA. And we have up-to-date information there that almost half a million people, over 400,000, have been forcibly deported or relocated to Russia. Among them, 91,000 are children.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What are – why?

MARKAROVA: We’re trying to locate them all and get as much information as possible. We already have evidence and stories that they are taken to temporary camps, that they are taken away by the Russians who take away their documents, that they try to move them elsewhere in Russia and forbid them to come back. So this is, yet again, another horrific war crime. And diplomatic groups are working day and night to basically locate people. Also, we have publicly given out the numbers of the consulates that people can call wherever they are and– and tell us where they are, who they are, so that we can see them and locate them. So we are collecting all the evidence on this and doing everything we can to bring them home safely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, thank you for your time today. And we’ll be back with more Face the Nation. Stay with us.