14 May 2014, 19:32

Yanukovych unlike new Kiev authorities never used force against his own people - expert

Yanukovych unlike new Kiev authorities never used force against his own people - expert

The Ukrainian armed forces have opened fire on journalists from Russia’s LifeNews TV channel near the city of Kramatorsk, where fighting broke out on Tuesday between self-defence forces and Kiev’s army. The shooting incident took place after the engagement, when the crew tried to enter Oktyabrskoye, a village some 20 kilometers from Kramatorsk.

LifeNews reporters told Russia Today Television that the shooting crew, travelling in a car with TV stickers, ran into an armored troop carrier carrying the Ukrainian flag and armed people in black uniforms. First, there came one shot and then machine-gun fire followed. Joining the Voice of Russia on the matter is Eric Kraus, Director at Principal Asset Management and keen observer of the Russian and world politics.

As we know, Ukraine’s interim government has supported the idea of a second round of talks in Geneva to defuse the crisis in the country. However, we also know that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has put it bluntly that new four-party talks are not promising at all. So, do you think a new round of talks involving Moscow, Kiev, the EU and the US is necessary and if you think so, is it likely to help defuse the Ukrainian stalemate?

Frankly, I think I’ll have to agree with Mr. Lavrov on that question. The first round achieved nothing and the agreement was that all sides were disarmed and stop occupying public space. The maidan occupation has continued bearing essentially illegal government in Kiev. There are a number of factions, which have taken over various public spaces also in the west and in the east. The west refused to disarm and disoccupy, while people in the east did the same thing. I don’t see in this or that any change until Kiev intrude into good-face negotiations with the people of the east of Ukraine.

So, do you think they will actually agree to Ukraine self eastern-regions’ representatives taking part in the talks as well. Or you think it’s a dead end and Ukraine will never accept it?

At the present time, I think that the Ukrainian junta, the Kiev junta still has a sense of very victorious, very military stick. Frankly, quasi the fascist ideology, they believe that they are going to impose their rule to not just the west, where they are probably popular, but in the east, where they are extremely unpopular. Until their Western masters – the EU and the US make them understand that they have to find a compromise, but the West will not back them into issuing war.

Moscow said the Geneva accord on Ukraine reached last month was no longer viable because of the military operation in Ukraine’s east launched by Kiev. What’s your point of view? Do you agree with that?

Well, obviously, the appalling massacre in Odessa, first of all, shows that the military actions carried out. You know, what was striking about Yanukovych is he refused use military force against people. But there were limits and he refused to bring out the army. Now, in the east of Ukraine we see, what is called punitive operations, where armored personnel carriers attack helicopters and tanks are being used against civilian protestors. So, under these circumstances, obviously, what may be possible at the time of the Geneva accords is no longer possible.

So, my last question Eric. There are many parties. They are trying to solve or to help solve this crisis in Ukraine. So, could you also comment briefly on the road map proposed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe? Will that help reduce tensions in Ukraine and finally stop unrest there?

It could possibly help, if the Kiev junta is willing to accept it. Thus for, they have the public statements of people in Kiev initiative have been very skeptical. They want to disarm the east, but they don’t want to disarm. Until this time, as there is a change in mentality, which can only be achieved by pressure from the EU, they are not going to accept the good offices of the OSCE. I mean, I would very much hope that the OSCE could be successful, but it’s got to be stricter, it’s got to be accepted by the people in power in Kiev, before there is a hope of administrating this pack.

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