The Day’s authors have warned multiple times about the dangers of Kuchma’s legitimization and justification of his politics, which has led to many things, including the current events in the east of the country. And here is the result. Could any Maidan participant have imagined, a few months ago, that Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Medvedchuk, and Nestor Shufrych, who joined them, would become one of the key figures of Ukrainian politics, and the fate of our country would largely depend on them? Who could have thought that leaders of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, declared as terrorist organizations by the Prosecutor General’s Office, would be legitimized as full-fledged participants of the political process, where they would take part alongside the legitimate Ukrainian government and the OSCE? Who could have dreamed that independent Ukraine’s worst enemies would be politely invited to participate in local and parliamentary elections, on condition they would stop killing Ukrainian patriots? And that they would sit at the Verkhovna Rada (there should be no doubt about that, they will have enough votes to pass into the parliament) along with those whom they killed? Sit, shield themselves with parliamentary immunity, freely continue their activity, which is anti-Ukrainian, anti-democratic, and anti-European.
But today this became brutal reality and the nearest prospect for Ukraine. Negotiations with terrorists, carried out in Donetsk under the aegis of the OSCE and Russia, provided these results and outlined such prospects. And also, another result of these negotiations is that Russia (which provoked and initiated this hybrid war) will start controlling Ukraine from now on, to see whether the latter is keeping the truce with terrorists. This was announced by Nestor Shufrych, a notorious Party of Regions member, delegated by unknown powers to participate in the negotiations: “An agreement was achieved on the involvement of the OSCE Mission and Russia to monitor the ceasefire, and also consultations on issues of truce and continuation of negotiations.” In other words, the Kremlin received the status of a “peacemaker,” just as it happened in Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, but without bringing in its “peacekeeping forces” just yet.
And here is an interesting point: negotiations were held in an office decorated by the flag of the terrorists’ Donetsk People’s Republic, and Medvedchuk sat near Kuchma, and judging by the photos, either directed him, or spoke on his behalf.
However, it is possible this was not his spontaneous activity, and he received the right to be the main negotiator officially, since President Petro Poroshenko met with Medvedchuk and other participants of negotiations with separatists, former president Kuchma, Russia’s ambassador Mikhail Zurabov, and representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office Heidi Tagliavini, on June 23 in Donetsk. According to media, during the meeting Poroshenko voiced his vision of the compromise. It remains unknown to what extent the result of negotiations corresponds to this vision, but it is a fact that events in eastern Ukraine continue unfolding according to the Abkhazia scenario.
It is proven not only by the virtual recognition of terrorists and separatists (there could be no negotiations under their flag!) and granting Russia the status of a “peacekeeper,” but by the very persons who were invited to the discussions in Donetsk. Kuchma is not just a “specialist in establishing relations with Russia,” but an expert on selling out Ukraine’s interests to the Kremlin. Medvedchuk and Shufrych should not even be mentioned. Except for the fact that all three persons have unique negative charisma, and thus do not enjoy any trust from Ukrainian society. Zurabov is Russia’s ambassador, and this says it all. The so-called political leaders of the terrorists are unambiguous figures as well. But the OSCE representative Tagliavini should be mentioned separately, her participation in negotiations shows what this all can end up with.
It was Tagliavini who headed the European Union’s commission on Russo-Georgian war of 2008. The commission, which piled up a heap of insolent, blatant, and sometimes even exquisite lies, designed to protect the Kremlin’s interests and forging its role in unleashing that war. This falsehood caused enormous damage to Georgia by creating a distorted image of the real events in the Caucasus and of the participants’ roles in these events.
For instance, Tagliavini’s commission noted that Abkhazia’s air forces had no right to bomb the territory of Georgia because it is a violation of the international law. But this commission delicately omitted the issue of presence of military air forces as such in the self-proclaimed “republic of Abkhazia.” Because in reality, it was Russian airplanes from the airfield in Gudauta that bombed Georgia under the guise of Abkhazian Air Force.
Another example: Tagliavini’s commission observed that Georgian artillery had no right to shoot at Tskhinvali port on the night from August 7 through 8, 2008, because apart from Ossetian militants, there were civilians in the city. But after the artillery preparation of that night, Georgians occupied Tskhinvali, and then Russian storm troopers and artillery bombed at the city and the Georgian troops deployed in it for two days. It was this fire that caused the most damage to the city and the civilians. But Tagliavini’s commission was not interested to know whether Russians had a right to destroy Tskhinvali for two days and kill civilians.
And finally, according to the opinion of Tagliavini’s commission, the war started on the night of August 8 with an attack of Georgians. Period! But for a whole week before that Ossetian militants had been shooting at Georgian villages and seized one of them, before that almost all civilians had been evacuated from Tskhinvali, instead, “Ossetian militiamen” and “Russian volunteers” appeared there in large numbers; also before that, hundreds of Russian tanks and armored carriers moved through the Roki Tunnel in the Greater Caucasus Mountains, having crushed the Georgian enclave on their way, positioned on a convenient path for armored vehicles’ movement on the way to Tskhinvali, but in Tagliavini’s opinion, this was not war.
When Georgians did not wait until these tanks and “militiamen” move to Tbilisi, but delivered a retaliatory strike, that is when the war started, it turns out.
In other words, political monsters exist not only in Russia. And not only in Ukraine, but in Europe as well. And the whole composition of the negotiating pool in Donetsk can be described as a parade of political monsters, from whom Ukrainians should expect no good, judging by the facts from their biographies.
VOICES FROM FACEBOOK
Mikheil SAAKASHVILI, former president of Georgia:
“The conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk is identical to the war in Abkhazia of 1992-93.
“Back then Shevardnadze signed three truces, and each time Russia used them to regroup forces and seize new territories. By announcing a truce today, Putin is likely setting three tasks: the primary one is to avoid sectoral sanctions from the West, which would be inevitable if an agreement was not reached now. The second one: Putin managed to create new subjects out of the criminals from the Donetsk People’s Republic, which will let him refer to the conflict between Ukraine and the Republic in the future, instead of Ukraine and Russia. And the third task is to try and decrease the vigilance of the Ukrainian government, secretly strengthen bandits for the deliverance of a final blow, and throw Ukrainian troops out of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“I am convinced the leadership of Ukraine has enough experience to analyze all possible risks and not to let Putin carry out his plan of further division and undermining of the country.”
Valerii CHALY, deputy head of the Presidential Administration (TV show Svoboda Slova, ICTV):
“Ukraine’s side was represented only by the second president Leonid Kuchma during the negotiations of the trilateral contact group in Donetsk. I think that a peculiar solution was found, when the second president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma became involved in this work, and he was the only negotiator who represented the incumbent president. All others [Medvedchuk, Shufrych. – Ed.] were not Ukraine’s representatives.”
Larysa IVSHYNA, Den/The Day’s editor-in-chief:
“Very good. But Kuchma and he [Medvedchuk. – Ed.] are like twin brothers, always together. Did you notice? Putin did. And he assigned both terrorists and negotiators. Now the Ukrainian expert community has to pretend that nothing obscene has happened. Political analysts, especially regulars at the Yalta initiative (which is now homeless), please do explain how it could have happened that the person, against whom the first Maidan rose, is now ‘authorized’ by the person, who was brought to power by the second Maidan?”