Testimony of Poland’s Professor Bronisław Geremek who was active in forming Poland’s eastern policy after the fall of the Soviet Union. Here, he quotes Gorbachev’s envoy:
“Don’t you understand that we will never let you extend support to Ukraine? To hell with Lithuania– and you will soon regret it yourselves. But Ukraine is off-limits to you. It is a country on which Russia’s potential relies. Some 40% of the Russian armaments industry depends on spare parts supplied from Ukraine. It is impossible to think about a Russian economy without ties to the Ukrainian economy. And the latter will perish without Russia, without the Russian markets and raw materials.” Then he added something which at first made me think I misheard him: “It is not only about the economy or the military,” he said. “The thing is, Russia could not exist with its spiritual capital being part of a foreign country.” Kiev was treated as the spiritual capital of Russia….
Western leaders, the story goes, have realised their mistake and are flocking to make amends with Vladimir Putin, the magnanimous Russian leader who tried to warn them against supporting Ukraine. First it was Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who sought an audience with Mr Putin. Then it was John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, who flew all the way to Sochi to pay his respects. “America has realised that Ukraine is not worth spoiling its relationship with Russia,” proclaimed Channel One, Russia’s main television station. Russia’s military might and its alliance with China, the channel implied, had forced America back to the table.
In this section
The images of war which dominated Russian television for the past year have been supplanted by tales of diplomatic victories and Ukraine’s failures. If war resumes, according to Channel One, it will be launched by the desperate Ukrainians.
Transbaikal officials are working on a deal with China that would allow Chinese firms to lease more than 300,000 hectares (1.2 thousand sq mi) of land in that Russian region, but a Beijing official says that the deal won’t go through unless Moscow agrees to a massive influx of Chinese workers because there are no Russians available for work there.
According to “Nezavisimaya gazeta,” the Transbaikal kray government in Eastern Siberia is ready to sign a letter of intent that would allow a Chinese company to lease the land for 49 years, but “in Beijing, they consider that such a transfer of land is insufficient” and that Moscow must allow for the entrance of Chinese citizens to work it.
This new Chinese demand was presented by a senior official of the Chinese Institute of International Strategic Research last week in a Chinese newspaper. Moscow has traditionally viewed that institute as expressing the official position of China. (For a Russian translation of the article, see here).
According to the Chinese writer, Beijing believes that Moscow not the Transbaikal authorities is being Russia’s new willingness to lease land to China but insists that this “progress” will not be complete until the Russian authorities agree to simplify procedures for Chinese workers to come there in large numbers.
Fifty days after Mikheil Saakashvili’s appointment as Governor of the Odesa region and after much speculation that his appointment was risky, it is high time to acknowledge his successful first steps. Not only did the former Georgian President succeed in breaking the old rules, he also established unprecedented standards of transparent administrative management, demonstrated openness to the needs of local residents, and proposed innovative ideas for eliminating endemic corruption.
Saakashvili deserves even more credit when one considers the difficulty of the task: Odesa is one of the most corrupt regions in Ukraine. Controlled by local, Russian, and international mafia, Odesa and its port had served as a transit point for drug dealers, money launderers, and traders all intent on evading taxes. Saakashvili also has to work with Odesa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov—a local businessman with ties to criminal groups and a former Party of Regions Member of Parliament—and keep Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the country’s most powerful tycoon, in check.
For the last two decades, the central government didn’t deal with local corruption. No real investigations against the local mafiosi at the Odessa Regional Customs Office or the Odessa Border Control Directorate were launched. Despite evidence collected after the Orange Revolution, the Yushchenko government squandered its chance to prosecute guilty people. Ihor Kaletnik, who served as head of the Odesa Black Sea Regional Customs Office under former President Leonid Kuchma, re-emerged like a phoenix on the political horizon after Viktor Yanukovych was elected President in 2010. Promoted to the position of State Customs Service chief, Kaletnik loyally served the “Yanukovych family” until he too fled to Russia. Yet, some of his best friends are still in town, and they don’t have handcuffs on. . . .
One of Saakashvili’s first decisions was to make Yulya Marushevska—the civic activist who rose to prominence after her Youtube video “I am a Ukrainian”—his deputy and head of the new Odesa Investment Agency. He also invited Maria Gaidar, the daughter of former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, to serve as adviser for social reforms. Gaidar’s appointment is meant to demonstrate to Russian citizens that Ukraine is an open, democratic society and that it is eager to work with liberally minded neighbors.
Marushevska is boldly re-establishing law and order on Odesa’s beaches. Illegal land grabs and the nontransparent distribution of beach plots has been a long-standing problem. Marushevska opened investigations into the legality of land-sale decisions and pledged to remove numerous concrete walls that had been built to separate “private” beaches from the public eye. On July 20, Saakashvili announced that a beach previously controlled by an unnamed Kyiv oligarch has been made available to everyone.
Saakashvili plans to cut the 800-member staff of the Odesa Oblast State Administration by half. He also plans to replace all 26 heads of the local district administrations and announced an open call for candidates to apply. An independent commission comprised of international experts has interviewed 2,700 candidates for regional administrative posts and shortlisted thirty for final appointments.
His first, truly unprecedented move as Governor was to hold a strategic planning session on June 14 in partnership with the civic movement Nova Kraina (“The New Country”). More than 700 civic activists from across Ukraine came to Odesa to discuss regional reform. The tone of the session was respectful, which demonstrates the vibrancy of Ukraine’s civil society and Saakashvili’s eagerness to listen.
Days later, Saakashvili held a second meeting with civil society organizations, at the initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF, the local name of the Soros Foundation), an active promoter of reform in Ukraine. IRF and Saakashvili signed a partnership program to involve civil society in jointly monitoring local tenders, investigating corruption cases, and auditing local budgets.
Police reform is also on Saakashvili’s agenda. In partnership with Eka Zguladze, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Interior, Saakashvili has promised to launch a new police service in Odesa by the end of August 2015. Like Kyiv’s new police, young men and women with untainted reputations and uncompromising positions on corruption will staff the Odesa force.
Saakashvili also hopes that Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General David Sakvarelidze will replace all local prosecutors and customs officers through a transparent, competitive process.
The newly appointed Chief of the Odesa Oblast Interior Department, former Deputy Minister of Interior of the Republic of Georgia Gia Lortkipanidze, started three weeks ago. He has already opened the first criminal cases against local policemen, who have been charged with taking bribes.
Saakaskvili hates red tape, often because it leaves room for small-scale corruption, and his government combatted it in Georgia, in part, by setting up one-stop administrative shops. He plans to do the same in Odesa by the end of 2015. The new center will guarantee the efficient delivery of everyday services such as preschool registration, business registration, and birth certificates.
But the most radical steps are yet to come. On July 19, Saakashvili announced that he had enough evidence to implicate Kolomoiskyi in tax evasion and money laundering. “That is why he [Kolomoiskyi] is so nervous. Because he knows it is impossible to buy or intimidate me… But it is high time for him to acknowledge a simple fact—he did some good things for Ukraine, now it’s time to calm down and start paying taxes to his country.” Saakashvili’s rhetoric, if supported by real action, will demonstrate his readiness to rein in the region’s oligarchs. At the same time, he cannot engage in selective justice and abstain from investigating corruption within the Odesa Municipal Administration. So far, Saakashvili hasn’t criticized Odesa’s notorious mayor, but he should take a clear position to demonstrate consistency.
Saakashvili may be ahead of his time. Sadly, some of his revolutionary ideas won’t see the light of day in Odesa because they are contingent on parliament passing some additional laws. If parliament doesn’t adopt these laws in the next three to four months, Saakashvili may ask Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to establish a “special zone” in Odesa, where some national laws won’t apply, enabling him to boldly experiment and create additional incentives to attract foreign investors. But if Poroshenko refuses, Saakashvili’s hands will be tied.
The statements by those featured on the clip in support of “the Russian world” were too much. Buryat models Viktoria Maladayeva and Mariya Shantanova denounced them as did Buryat director Solbon Lygdenov who was upset, as many Buryats are, that any small group would presume to speak for all Buryats on such things.
It quickly became know, the Buryat journalist says, that those involved in the clip were all “activists from Irkutsk” rather than from Buryatia proper. That led many Buryats to breathe a sigh of relief: “Well, thank God, at least they aren’t ours.”
But that is not “the main thing,” Garmazhalova says. “In [her] worst nightmare,” she writes, she “could not imagine that Buryats (not as volunteers but all the same) would go to fight for ‘the Russian world’ given that they would have to know what the imposition of imperial ideology and nationalism would mean for [them].”
Buryats know from their own experiences that what the Rogozins and Zhirinovskys complain about in Ukraine really exists in Russian cities and that they are the victims of the worst kind of ethnic discrimination and mistreatment.
Buryats and members of other ethnic minorities in Russia “have become accustomed not to leave home on November 4 (the Day of National Unity) and on April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday).” They also “are accustomed that the police will check our passports,” that they will find it hard to rent an apartment or even get a job.
In many Russian cities, “apartments are now rented ‘only to Russians,’” and people are hired for work in those places only if they have “’a Slavic appearance.’” And in addition, the Buryat journalist writes, “we have become accustomed to hear from acquaintances” that Russians transfer their children to other schools if there are “too many” minority pupils.
Many may remember that a Buryat was not allowed to win the Mrs. St. Petersburg contest because officials said “’the first beauty in a European city could not be a Buryat woman.” And they may also recall that Elmira Abdrazakova, who did win the Miss Russia contest in 2013 was abused as someone who should never have been named “the main Russian beauty.”
Given all that, how can anyone think that “we want ‘a Russian world’ ‘from sea to sea,’” a world in which there are the “’titular’” people and “’the outcasts?’” Garmazhalova says that she would not presume to speak for everyone but as for herself, she wants “simply a world for all” in which all are treated equally and fairly.
Not long ago, she continues, a Russian came up to her in the St. Petersburg metro and said she should give up her seat to him because she, “as a representative of ‘a lower caste,’” should defer to him as a member of “’a higher caste.’” When she responded that if he didn’t like to use public transportation, he should buy a Ferrari, the situation almost degenerated into a fight.
Such individuals “like Russia as a whole” need to “learn to respect others.”
Saakashvili announces latest removal of corrupt official
The head of the Illichivsk port, Yuriy Kruk, has been placed on leave for his alleged role in corruption, Odesa Regional Administration Head Mikheil Saakashvili announced at a July 23 press conference. Several days earlier, the port signed an agreement on renting the first and second berths with an offshore company, removing it from state control and contributing to the budget, he said. The Infrastructure Ministry helped remove Kruk to hire a temporary replacement, he said. The ministry will perform a review of the port’s work and financial audit, the pravda.com.ua news site reported.
Zenon Zawada: Saakashvili’s battle against corruption keeps impressing. Every few weeks, he targets a new structure, whether public or private, and finds the legal levers to remove its head, which is the source of corruption in most structures. As we expected, Saakashvili is targeting the smaller players first, in a tactic of acquiring experience and building his arsenal as he moves towards bigger targets. Unlike the top officials in Kyiv — some of whom use the anti-corruption battle as a pretext to eliminate political opponents or build their own corrupt networks – we believe Saakashvili is motivated by the desire to renew his standing among Western leaders and solidify his reputation as among the most effective politicians in the post-Soviet sphere.
The big question is just how far Saakashvili will take his anti-corruption campaign. We continue to believe that he will refrain from targeting the big players, especially not having acquired the necessary political capital. Moreover, his political maneuvers have demonstrated that he is loyal to President Petro Poroshenko and is playing by the unwritten rules of his team. Therefore, Saakashvili won’t make any moves that will get the president in trouble with the key players of Odesa, a region where the president has built up quite a strong support base. Saakashvili also doesn’t see the need for overshadowing the president. In short, he has demonstrated himself to be a tactical, clever and effective political player in the wild Ukrainian steppe. So far.
Zakarpattia magnate alleges conspiracy in July 11 Mukacheve shootout
Viktor Baloha, widely recognized as the kingpin of the Zakarpattia region, told a July 23 press conference that Praviy Sektor became an instrument in the July 11 armed conflict in Mukacheve, which was an operation planned among top Kyiv officials to pursue business, political and criminal interests. He outlined a conspiracy to simultaneously take over the contraband trade and ruin the public standing of Praviy Sektor, also alleging that among those involved was Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, reported the pravda.com.ua news site.
At the same time, Baloha said he had no interest in the July 11 armed conflict, as had been alleged. He acknowledged that he has financed the Praviy Sektor paramilitary group in his region, as well as in Kyiv, though this financing was small compared to funds provided for a Ukrainian Armed Forces brigade based in Mukacheve. He also said he financed the EuroMaidan protest in the winter of 2013.
Zenon Zawada: Setting aside Baloha’s conspiracy claims, what’s valuable here is the first public acknowledgment of an influential businessman or oligarch financing Praviy Sektor, Ukraine’s largest paramilitary group. This has troubling implications, given that Praviy Sektor has challenged the government’s monopoly of power and is currently engaged in an open political conflict with both the Presidential Administration, and the Cabinet of Ministers. Baloha’s statement seems to have been aimed at demonstrating his loyalty to the president and discrediting Praviy Sektor’s Robin Hood image.
As the war drags on, the domestic political and business configuration is growing more precarious, with an entire series of rivalries threatening the stability of the state. If Baloha financed Praviy Sektor in Zakarpattia, who can doubt that the organization is being financed in another region, to fulfill some narrow interests other than the state’s well-being? The government is trying to restrict the activity of Praviy Sektor, but as we’ve mentioned, it will have to do so in a way that doesn’t boost its public support. Pursuing reforms and anti-corruption is the best method in dealing with the threats posed by Praviy Sektor.
June, 2015. Protesters in occupied Donetsk say “Stop shooting from our residential areas”.
Evidence of shooting from residential areas:
Published Dec 1, 2014
Grad Launch from beside apartment buildings
Attack on airport from residential area
Russian news shows them attacking from residential building where people live
Published Dec 2014.
@4:40 — Shooting at Airport from apartment building rooftops, and from apartments themselves
Borisov also recently told Vladimir Putin that other aspects of Russia’s military modernization program will experience delays as a result of international sanctions. “The objective reasons for the failure to meet state defense procurement orders include restrictions on the supply of imported parts and materials in connection with sanctions, discontinuation of production and the loss of an array of technologies, insufficient production facilities,” Borisov told Putin by phone, according to a transcript made available by the Kremlin.
The Moscow Times reported that the programs that have experienced a delay as a result of sanctions include: “production of Navy guard ships, Beriyev Be-200 amphibious aircraft, Vikhr anti-tank missiles, remote control and radio monitoring equipment for Igla surface-to-air missiles, and weapon launch systems for Tupolev-160 strategic bomber planes.”
It’s also possible that the PAK DA strategic bomber will never seen the light of day. After all, the newly produced Tu-160 strategic bombers will incorporate a number of upgrades that will give them some of the capabilities envisioned for the PAK DA.
(Concorde Capital Political Report July 22)
Up to 4,000 members and supporters of Praviy Sektor, Ukraine’s leading paramilitary organization, rallied at Kyiv’s central square, the Maidan, to declare their disapproval for the politics of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his handling of the war in Donbas with the Russian government. Speakers complained about ongoing government corruption and political persecution of volunteer battalions. Some battalion leaders threatened a revolt against the current government though Praviy Sektor leader Dmytro Yarosh said he opposed any government overthrow, which he said would play into the hands of Moscow.
Praviy Sektor, which has a nationalist ideology skeptical of the West, will launch a nationwide referendum today to declare “no confidence” in the President, Prime Minister and the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, said Yarosh, who is himself an MP. The referendum will also pose questions supporting or rejecting the organization’s key demands, which are renouncing the Minsk accords, redefining the anti-terrorist operation as a war and allowing for military offensives and imposing an economic blockade on the occupied territories of Donbas.
Recently, Poroshenko said he would consider new rules that would prosecute all those not legally authorized to carry arms as terrorists. Hennadiy Moskal, the recently appointed regional administration head of the Zakarpattia region, accused Praviy Sektor of engaging in organizing crime, and carrying out kidnappings and extortion of local business.
Zenon Zawada: Instead of holding a rally to merely criticize the government and its alleged persecution campaign of paramilitaries and volunteer battalions, Praviy Sektor turned the tables in the current infowar by declaring the “no confidence” referendum. It’s intended to turn public support in its favor against the government and it was quite a wise political maneuver.
Until the Ukrainian government gets its act together and earns the public trust through reforms and fighting corruption, it will have to deal with the Praviy Sektor as a legitimate organization and reach compromises with its leaders. Praviy Sektor’s popularity is directly correlated with the public’s lack of trust in the government, which means it will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. While it remains on the margins of Ukrainian politics, barely qualifying for parliament according to polls, its potential to muster more support is significant as fatigue with the war grows.
Yanukovych dropped from INTERPOL search, lawyers allege
A law firm representing former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced on July 21 that it succeeded in removing him from INTERPOL’s list of suspects under international search and wanted for arrest, a category called “red notice.” The law firm, Joseph Hage Aaronson, claimed INTERPOL took into account its argument that the Ukrainian government’s request for his arrest was part of a campaign of political persecution.
The Ukrainian government’s request to INTERPOL for Yanukovych’s arrest was based on a fraud conspiracy involving the anonymous purchase of the Ukrtelecom state telecom monopoly, reported MP Serhiy Leshchenko on July 21. He was declared a suspect in October 2014 and placed under INTERPOL search in January.
INTERPOL has temporarily restricted access to information about the search for Yanukovych, MP Anton Gerashchenko reported on his Facebook page on July 21. He didn’t confirm that INTERPOL dropped the Yanukovych search altogether. Instead, he claimed that INTERPOL merely restricted public access to the Yanukovych case pending appeal, which he claimed was standard procedure following a complaint filed by the former president and his lawyers.
Yanuokvych’s case will be reviewed in September by an INTERPOL commission, the pravda.com.ua news site reported, citing a July 21 statement by the Interior Ministry. The statement also claimed that access was merely restricted and his search was not dropped.
Zenon Zawada: Based on these conflicting statements, it’s not clear whether INTERPOL has dropped its search for Yanukovych altogether. Yet at minimum, it seems as though he has avoided being the target of a search until September, when this commission hearing will apparently be held.
It’s a flawed policy for INTERPOL to be avoiding the pursuit of such high-profile alleged criminals based on the desire to avert politics, which is a pervasive factor in many parts of the world. The organization, which is financed by its member-states, has to adapt its criteria to address the peculiarities of the post-Soviet world, in which business, politics and crime are one and of the same.
Yanukovych is the ultimate symbol of Ukrainian corruption. His ability to evade arrest – as well as almost everyone in his entourage – remains among the largest embarrassments of the current government, regardless of the apparent hurdles on the international arena. This failure chips away at the public’s trust in the current government, as well as in Western institutions.
I’ve had the feeling for a while that the west had made a decision about Putin. I think this article (from last month) may have it right. It’s from Russian Analyst Andrey Piontkovsky.
“But if they come to the assistance of Estonia, this would be a war with a nuclear power led by a man who lives in another reality and who flaunts his nuclear weapons. That is an unthinkable choice [for the West],” and that is why, Piontkovsky argues, the West has made a firm decision to “stop Putin here and now in Ukraine…‘without boots on the ground.’”
The West doesn’t have any need to use military force in Ukraine, he continues, because it “has sufficient economic and political means to inflict a humiliating defeat on Putin.” And, it is important to understand, that what the West is doing is about its own security and has nothing to do with its sympathies or lack thereof to Ukraine.
This new toughening of the West’s position has left Putin in “a very complicated situation.” His efforts to promote a frozen conflict in place of the failed Novorossiya project have not been accepted by the West, and consequently, he must either accept a slow retreat or escalate dramatically, something that his entourage may find “’too dangerous and extremely expensive.’”
. . . .
Putin’s choice, Piontkovsky continues, is thus between “political death as someone who will be held responsible for corruption, responsible for the downing of an airliner and a mass of other unattractive affairs or be the fighting leader of ‘the Russian world’ who throws a challenge to the entire West.”
Emotionally, of course, Putin would be drawn to “the second variant.” But not everyone around him will be happy with that, and the Kremlin leader may be less of a free agent on this question than he or others suppose – indeed, Piontkovsky suggests, some commentators close to the Kremlin have indicated that Putin faces exactly this kind of choice.
. . . .
Moreover, Piontkovsky says, if Putin moves dramatically in Transnistria or Odessa or somewhere else, there is little doubt that “the reaction of the West will be very harsh,” judging from the statements of Western diplomats and leaders over the last two or three weeks with regard to Putin.
Consequently, the Russian analyst says, one can say that Putin “has already suffered a political defeat … he has two variants for the future: that of a slow retreat and that of an insane escalation. And both will lead to his political defeat.”
Fantastic article! Read the whole thing here or my summary below to understand Russia.
It again demonstrates what I keep saying: strength is all that matters to them. Not truth, not prosperity, not justice, just strength.
* As early as in 2001, Russian science fiction writer Roman Zlotnikov published the duology “Empire,” in which Russia creates a “Rurik Foundation” (Ruriks were the kings of Kyiv Rus) with the purpose to create an all-planet Russian Empire. Reformation starts with Russia. The plot resembles the plot of “Highlander” where immortal people attempt to influence historic events in the earth. The head of Rurik Foundation and its members are immortal and have a mission to restore monarchy in Russia and then to institute a Russian empire over the world. Rurik Foundation has inconceivablly huge financial resources and uses them honestly and unselfishly for the good of Russia by strengthening its army, supporting teachers and doctors, and creating a vast university.
*  A series of books, “Baptism with Fire,” authored by the Russian nationalist of Ukrainian origin Maksym Kalashnikov (real name Vadim Kucherenko) describes scenarios of disintegration, the division of Russia into separate territories and the occupation of Russia by the West and China. A joint attack by NATO and China was described in a book in this series, “Star of Captivating Risk.” This scenario also mentions a so-called “Crimean Kosovo” plan. In 2012, Kalashnikov also described an apocalyptic scenario in his book “Collapse of Putin’s Russia: The darkness at the end of tunnel.” The author explores the collapse of Putin’s Russia as a result of disturbances in the financial world and the competition for resources. This serves as the justification for an urgent solution to prevent this negative scenario for Russia, one of which is a more active Russian position in the form of external expansion.
* Several books about a war with Russia against Ukraine have been issued in March 2009. The most prominent of them are “Battlefield Ukraine – broken Trident” by Georgiy Savitskiy and “Ukraine – collapse of the project” by Sergey Buntovskiy and Maxim Kalashnikov.
In the scenario of the book “Battlefield Ukraine – broken Trident,” “Orange Nazis” unleash civil war in Ukraine in 2010 by provoking mass riots against the legitimate government of Ukraine. With the help of “peacekeepers” of NATO, under the cover of US aircraft and armored vehicles, Western Ukrainian punitive squads with a trident on their shoulder straps begin to destroy the Russian-speaking population, wiping out entire cities; Poltava perishes in a fire, and Dnipropetrovsk is razed to the ground. All of the Ukrainian Left Bank (east side of the Dniepr), Crimea and Novorossiya (‘New Russia’) rise against the invaders. Russia helps Resistance fighters with the latest weaponry, volunteers and military advisers.
US and NATO support Ukrainian shelling of South Eastern Ukraine by AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), supported by F-15C and F-16 fighter jets. Heroic Russian pilots in SU-27SM and SU-30 aircraft destroy AWACS and US fighter jets. The Russians then start the operation “Broken Trident” to destroy the Korshun systems, US tanks and armored vehicles, US ground air-defense systems, US combat robots and to defeat joint NATO-Ukrainian forces.
After this defeat, Ukrainian nationalist terrorists from the organization ‘Tryzub’ (‘Trident’) seize a hospital and maternity home in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskiy. Ukrainian nationalists request that Russian troops stop resistance in Donetsk within 24 hours or the hospital and maternity home will be blown up. Shocked, the US and the international community start to cooperate with Russia in order to prevent such a horrendous terrorist act. Russian speznaz (special forces) successfully storm the hospital and maternity home, and the cruel animals from ‘Tryzub’ are killed.
The book has been so popular in Russia that it was reissued in March 2014.
* The next book is “Ukraine – collapse of the project.” The topics and question discussed in the book concentrate on the non-recognition of Ukraine as separate nation: “If the Ukrainians are a separate nation, try then answer a few simple questions. For example, when were the “other” non-Russian peoples born? Where did they originate? When did they move to the lands of Kievan Rus? In what language did they speak?” The authors offer their own answers to those questions . . . The authors try to suggest to the reader that the main danger of the Ukrainian national myth is the supposed use of Russophobia as the main Ukrainian national idea and creating an image of an enemy from Russia and Russian-speaking people in Ukraine. It has been specially pointed out that Ukraine’s leaders perceive as not only the neighboring country, but also most of the population of Ukraine, branded as an internal enemy. The authors “forecast” that this makes Ukraine even more split, with growing conflict between the West and the East, and if this process is not stopped Ukraine can expect the sad fate of Yugoslavia.
The topic of possible NATO bases in Ukraine and the split of Ukraine as independent state as a Russian preventive measure are discussed. The authors believe that Russia has right to self-defense and the protection of citizens of Ukraine who are willing to be part of the Russki Mir (“Russian World) and who are against “unbridled” and shameless Ukrainian nationalists. The horrors of possible carnage of the Russian-speaking population were provided in full colors.
To prepare Ukrainian population for Russki Mir, the special program of Russian TV broadcasting on Ukraine was highlighted. On top of that, special programs to prepare units of Russian activists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine as well as Russian volunteers are considered to be a decisive factor in seizing key points in these regions of Ukraine.
* The book “Third Empire. Third Empire. What Russia Needs to Become” by Mikhail Yuriev, issued in 2006 elaborates that by 2053, during the Third World War, Russia will leave the US without its ruling elite, annex the whole of Europe, deprive of civil rights the populations of Britain and Ireland, and evict Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians from their places of current residence. The new Russian empire establishes autocratic “people’s” power based on a caste system, with the leading role of caste “warriors.” The author claims that a Third World War is inevitable, after which the world will be divided between the five superpowers and Russia (one of them). . . .
It is worth mentioning that the author of the book, Mikhail Yuriev, was an aide to the government Russia with ministerial authority from 1992-1995 and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Parliament (Duma) from 1995 – 1999.
* To make the situation worse, Ukrainian science fiction writers from Eastern Ukraine followed the model of their Russian colleagues. Among the very illustrative books of Fedor Berezin: “War 2010. Ukrainian Front” (issued in 2009) and “2011. The war against NATO” (issued in 2010). One can easily understand by reading these books what values were suggested to the people living in Eastern Ukraine during the 23 years of Ukrainian independence.
Fedor Berezin is a Ukrainian science fiction writer living in Donetsk, Chairman of the science fiction club ‘Strannik’ (‘Wanderer’), deputy commandant of Donetsk, ex-deputy Minister of Defense of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and member of Novorossiya (New Russia) “Parliament.” Fedor Berezin was appointed as Deputy Minister of Defense by Russian terrorist Igor Strelkov (aka Igor Girkin) on June 4, 2014. After the resignation of Igor Strelkov, Fedor Berezin remained in the position of Deputy Minister of Defense until November 2014. Since November 2014, he is deputy commandant of Donetsk.
* “2011. The war against NATO” is a sequel to the book “War 2010. Ukrainian Front.” According to the plot, Ukraine was occupied by American troops after being “betrayed by its own “elite.”. NATO warplanes are hovering in the sky. The Ukrainian island of Zmeiniy (“Snake” Island) in the Black Sea was captured by Romanians; Turks landed in the Crimea. The “democratic” West diligently failed to notice the aggression, Kyiv was silent, and the Ukrainian army provided no resistance to [NATO] invaders.
An annotation to the book: the book: “All of Southeast Ukraine is bleeding to death in any unequal fight against NATO occupiers and ‘banderivsti’ [West Ukrainian nationalist] punitive squads. But there are still patriots, people loyal to the [Russian] military duty and the officer’s honor, all Southeast of Ukraine is raising a wing of fighter planes [in Eastern Ukraine] that refuses to obey the orders of the Kyiv Ukrainian Nazis and here you go – NATO “hawks” downed by rebel missile battalions are burning, urban guerrillas made the occupiers a real hell on earth …”
* What shall be pointed out that Ukraine does not have enough and comparable products providing alternative to Russia science fiction, futurology, alternative history narrative. That is why many people in Eastern Ukraine were “reprogrammed” by such novels in form of capturing plots of Russian fiction.
* Russian TV broadcasting industry has also not lagged behind the trend. The scenario of war by Russia against Ukraine was broadcasted openly on the Russian channel Ren-TV in the program “Military Secret” on September 18, 2009.
This Russian science fiction scenario starts with the cutting off of Russian Black Sea fleet bases in Sevastopol by the Ukrainian army. Shortly before, additional Ukrainian troops, consisting of servicemen from Western Ukraine, had deployed in Sevastopol and Crimea. War starts from Sevastopol.
* One more “masterpiece” of Russian propaganda with “prophecies”: “What will happen with Ukraine in 2015” was put in YouTube on May 2012. . . .
The video clip shows the “alternative future” – June 22nd, 2015. Fierce fighting for the capital of Ukraine rages at full scale. “Freedom” “civilian” fighters from Kharkiv and Donbass named “Eastern liberation corps” after the series of victories over the Ukrainian army have come to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. On June 17, 2015, the Ukrainian army was ousted from Poltava, on June 19, 2015, from Cherkassy, on June 20, 2015, Eastern liberation corps sized Chernihiv, and on June 21st, 2015, the Eastern liberation corps entered Kyiv.
Nobody counts killed and wounded. In Kyiv, communications lines are damaged. Internet and mobile communications are not functioning. Bridges connecting the Left and Right banks of the Dniper river in Kyiv have been detonated. No potable water is available as retreating Ukrainian troops poisoned water in the Dnieper.
* in a short science fiction story ‘Without Sky’ (or ‘Cloudless Sky’ in some English translations), written by one of Putin’s closest political advisors, Vladislav Surkov, which was published under his pseudonym, Nathan Dubovitsky, just a few days before the annexation of Crimea. Surkov is credited with inventing the system of “managed democracy” that has dominated Russia in the 21st century, and his new portfolio focuses on foreign policy. This time, he sets his new story in a dystopian future, after the “fifth world war.”
Surkov writes: “It was the first non-linear war. In the primitive wars of the 19th and 20th centuries it was common for just two sides to fight. Two countries, two blocks of allies. Now four coalitions collided. Not two against two, or three against one. All against all.
And what coalitions! Not like the ones you had before – it was rare for whole countries to enter. A few provinces would join one side, a few others a different one. One town or generation or gender would join yet another. Then they could switch sides, sometimes mid-battle.”
* New Russian combat science fiction, series ‘Enemy at the gate’: ‘Medal for the city Washington’ by Vladislav Morozov, June 2015
Plot. 2020s. Everybody got it hot In the Third World War. Even the “golden billion”. Europe and Asia lay in nuclear ruins. However, the [Russian] decisive battle with the main enemy – the United States is still ahead. Reconnaissance mission of the Russian soldiers into enemy [US] territory brought a lot of useful information. The enemy [US] is still strong and ready to provoke a new global war, which it hopes to win, using the latest, extremely inhuman weapons. Russian soldiers of air born assault brigade are preparing to conduct a rapid raid, destroying a military base near the capital of the “Empire of Good” [United States]. The success of the operation will allow Russians to deprive the enemy [United States] of one of its primary military assets.
Author devoted his book to “all people who fight fascism in XXI century.”
Putin’s former aide Andrei Illarinov said in one of his interviews that Russia has been preparing for global war since 2003 – starting with war against Ukraine.
According to Illarionov, Russia has been preparing for a major war at least since 2003 and for a confrontation with Ukraine, including the capture of Crimea, since 2004, when the ‘Orange Revolution’ started in Kiev.
Another contingency plan was drafted for 2010, in case Yulia Tymoshenko had won the presidential election instead of Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych. One more potential date for a war was chosen for 2015, according to Andrei Illarionov, when Ukraine would hold its next presidential election. However, Euromaidan happened sooner.
The information campaign justifying the Russian invasion in Ukraine and all sorts of scenarios (including science fiction, alternative history, futurology) of possible Russian aggression against Ukraine started in 2001 but intensified in the period 2006 – 2010. These scenarios were presented in a form of science fiction, futurology or alternative history scenarios. This confirms the suggestion by Andrei Illarionov that, in the event that a candidate other than Yanukovych had won the presidential election in 2010, Russia had prepared military campaign to “handle” this outcome.
I have stated several times before in this column that Moscow’s secret war in eastern and southern Ukraine is having a devastating impact on Russia’s armed forces. . . .
Gazeta.ru published a sensational investigation reporting that dozens of soldiers from the 33rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade stationed in Maikop left their military unit last fall and now stand accused of desertion. The contract soldiers claim they had to leave the Kadamovsky training area due to inhuman living conditions and pressure from superiors to go serve as volunteers in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics in Ukraine. As expected, the Russian military command vehemently denied everything. However, even official data indicates that the Maikop Garrison Court convicted 62 soldiers in the first half of 2015 on charges of “leaving their units without permission,” but convicted only about half that number, 35, on the same charges in the four years between 2010 to 2014. What could have caused such a surge in desertions? It is also worth noting that the 33rd Brigade was formed in 2005 by presidential decree and was intended to become an elite mountain unit. . . .
the soldiers of the 33rd Brigade were clearly not eager to fight in Ukraine. At that point, commanders reverted to the tactics they had used a decade earlier when they received orders to persuade conscripts to sign up as professional contract soldiers, whether by hook or by crook. They achieved that by creating unbearable conditions for the men and presenting contract service as a means of deliverance. In the same way, according to the soldiers of the 33rd Brigade, commanders made life difficult for the soldiers at the Kadamovsky training area by forcing them to sleep on boards and depriving them of adequate food and water, with the result that they suffered from frequent colds. At the same time, various officers showed up offering them the moon in the Donbass: the impossible sum of 8,000 rubles ($142) per day in pay and the status of war veterans upon their return to Russia.
However, other men already serving as contract soldiers dissuaded them, explaining that if anything were to happen to them while fighting in Ukraine, army brass would write them off retroactively or declare them deserters who had been killed by land mines while running away, according to Gazeta.ru. . . .