Rostislav Ishchenko, the most accurate political analyst of Ukraine shares his predictions in an exclusive interview with “The Mirror of the Crimea”, Alexander Dremlyugin, Simferopol, 01.07.2014.
Current Ukraine – a tangle of global strife and internal contradictions. We talk about it with the political scientist, president of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ischenko. Photos: oko-planet.su.
– More than six months have passed since the beginning of “Euromaidan” protest in Kiev – did the time change your attitude and perhaps understanding of the event or not?
– No, not changed. I originally came from the fact that “maidan” would still be held, but it was being prepared for 2015. It was assumed that Yanukovych will sign an association agreement with the EU, will take on all the negativity associated with the destruction of the economy and the impoverishment of the people (associated with this agreement), lose the election, would not want to leave and will be overthrown in a “popular revolution”, this time losing support even with his reference southeastern electorate. After which Ukraine can be converted into an anti-Russian ram (all the “shale gas” and other “economic” projects have not played any significant role in this, similar to how the pipeline “Nabucco” is already 20 years about to be built and nothing happens). Because Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement, the plans had to be changed on the fly. Therefore an “overthrow of the tyrant” could not happen but a Nazi revolution was used (the society has accumulated a critical mass of discontent and became the striking force of Nazi militants, with all of the consequences). As a result of this “false start” Ukraine is now in a civil war and, as a state, it has practically ceased to exist.
– “Putin expects Poroshenko to negotiate with terrorists” – that’s what Ukrainian media calls steps towards peace. The parties already agreed on the temporary truce and announced it, but at the same time the Kiev Court approved the arrest of a dozen representatives of the republics, including the Premiere of the Donetsk Republic Alexander Boroday, who is representing South-East in the negotiations. What does that mean?
– Nobody expects anything from Poroshenko. It’s just that in Europe the information about the atrocities of the Nazis in the Ukrainian Southeast finally began to break through. It is impossible to ignore it and pretend that nothing is happening much longer. Germany, France, the OSCE became more insistent in their demands that Kiev resolves the matter peacefully. They would certainly not impose sanctions against Poroshenko but he had to comply with the rules. So Poroshenko announced “ceasefire”, which did not stop fighting, and then extended the “truce.” In response, Putin commanded the withdrawal of authorization for the deployment of troops to Ukraine that nobody was going to do anyway. But the prospect of negotiations can be judged from the fact that they are conducted between Kuchma and Medvedchuk – people who do not decide anything, and hold no authority either in Donbass, or in Kiev.
– What will happen to Novorussia and its leaders?
– Novorossia will win along with the most of Ukraine. Those leaders who will be able to remain in politics – will remain. Most will go to private business. I hope Russia will not forget to reward them.
– By the way, what do you think of the ambiguous position of Lukashenko in connection to the events in the Ukraine?
– Lukashenko is afraid of, first, strengthening Russia, as every year he has to look increasingly up to Moscow, and he is an ambitious man and he does not like that. Second, Lukashenko understands that after the victory in Ukraine the value of Belarus for Moscow will fall sharply, and hence it becomes very difficult (and probably impossible) for him to bargain for “loans” and economic concessions in exchange for each case of political support for the actions of the Russian leadership. In general, he is afraid of a sharp decline in his market capitalization.
– What is the future of today’s Ukraine?
– Ukraine has no future: the economy is already dead, and can be only discussed in terms of shape, color, size and material of its tombstone, as well as the text of the epitaph. As for the political prospects, the country is torn by a civil war and it seems unlikely that anti-fascists would agree to live alongside the Nazis in the same state, even if the world community would be very insistent (well, it could be arranged, perhaps, like in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the state is formally one, but in fact three). The only question is how soon the international community will be ready to accept a new political reality.
– Didn’t top Russian leadership consider the possibility of such a development of events that happened today in the Ukraine?
– They took it into account. But not everything that is taken into account can be prevented. Much depended not on the Russian leadership but on the adequacy of the Ukrainian ruling elite, and it did, unfortunately, turn out to be woefully inadequate. In this situation, given the fact that Russia is not fighting for a couple of areas, but for the whole of Ukraine (or at least 70% of Ukraine), Russia has done everything that was possible and even more. In the autumn, at the latest by the New Year the results will be apparent.
– Why Putin did not use that resolution of the Federation Council to deploy the troops?
– It is not always useful to use the army. Often the threat of using the army works better than the actual use. Troops can only be deployed once, but a threat of deployment of troops can keep the enemy in suspense infinitely long. Once the Southeast was able to protect themselves, Putin withdrew that permission. Now Russia is not the aggressor, but Kiev is no better off. The capital will be taken and junta arrested by their own citizens, not by an external army, which is much more efficient.
– Will Russia avoid the “hot” phase of the conflict in the Ukraine?
– It did not happen already. Russia is involved in the conflict, including its hot phase, at least because Ukraine argues that the war is with Russia, and the West pretends to believe this. But Russia is winning the hot phase, without using its own armed forces, just by the internal Ukrainian civil war. It certainly does not please the citizens of Ukraine, especially residents of Slaviansk, Lugansk, Donetsk, etc., but from the geopolitical and military-strategic point of view, it is the most adequate, right and winning move. I understand the anger and indignation of the people who are dying and children whose homes are destroyed, but people always die in war, and since the First World War, civilians bear no less (and from the Second World War by orders of magnitude larger) losses than regular troops. Unfortunately, Ukraine – only one of the fronts of the global confrontation between Russia and the United States. Therefore expecting that Putin (who is still the president of Russia, and not of Donetsk or Lugansk Republic) would drop everything and become engaged only in protecting Slavyansk and Kramatorsk is naive. Yes, the “cynicism of politicians” outrages civilians that suffer from war – a natural reaction that can not be condemned, and people can not react differently. But when the “give up on Donbass” or the “cynicism of Putin” slogans are used by politicians or military experts, they are either lying or ineligible to serve.
– “Maidan” type protests around Russia are growing like mushrooms, the mood of protest covers neighboring countries, is this all part of the “Great Game”?
– If Russia wins in Ukraine, as events seem to indicate, this will be the last “maidan” “around Russia” (if there will be more, they will be in the EU or “around the United States.”) If Russia loses, this “maidan” becomes penultimate – the next one will break Russia up and more “maidan” will never be needed.
– But how to resist all this?
– To destroy the phenomenon, it is necessary to destroy its cause. The reason for “maidan” is the agonizing political and economic system of the USA. Only the destruction of this system removes the threat of further destabilization of the planet. Once USA loses in Ukraine their defeat becomes almost inevitable in Europe and then in the world, then comes the collapse of the American system that was based on global domination. That’s why I said earlier that if Russia wins in Ukraine, this “maidan” will be the last “around Russia.” The United States will not have resources for a new global political attack. The only thing that they will be able to do is to ignite Europe (the way they set fire to the Ukraine), so that victorious Russia would get only charred remains. But if “maidan” happens in Europe, “maidan” in U.S. becomes not a matter of possibility but only time.