By:Chronicles | May 12, 2014
[Srdja Trifkovic's latest interview with RT]
Published time: May 12, 2014 11:48
Those who keep power in Ukraine are a bunch of criminals who will advocate criminal methods in keeping their ill-gotten gains, with the West supporting this farce, Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor at Chronicles Magazine, told RT.
RT: Let’s say Donetsk and Lugansk declare they are now autonomous after the referendum. The vote will still be considered illegal by Kiev. What will happen then for the people in the east?
Srdja Trifkovic: Maybe the people of the region do not quite know what they want—whether to be autonomous within Ukraine or to join Russia—but they certainly know what they do not want. What they have in common is the absolute, categorical rejection of the legitimacy and legality of the regime in Kiev. After the referendum it will no longer be possible for the regime in Kiev to say that they do not want to negotiate with the so-called "terrorists," because it will become obvious that the political consensus, within at least the Lugansk and Donetsk regions (and unfortunately in Kharkov we haven’t been able to see what the mood there really is,) is such that that they can no longer assume to speak for Ukraine as a whole.
The second important point to make is that they went ahead with, it in spite of Putin’s request that they postpone it. It looks like his influence is on the decline, because these people had expected more resolute response to the atrocity in Odessa ten days ago and to the possibility that there will be an escalation of military action.
Kiev will be faced with the difficulty of claiming that these people are deluded, manipulated, missing the point... in some manner or another "cajoled by Moscow's agents" into acting against their own interests. The political consequences of this will be more important than legal or constitutional ones, which are really rather moot.
RT: The interim government's military operation in the east appears to be continuing. At the same time we see that public opinion has become a real force now. So would it increase tensions and lead to civil war as some suggest?
ST: At the very least—and I don’t think they are willing to admit this public manifestation of the collective will—they [the Kiev regime] will be forced to acknowledge to themselves, internally, that they are facing the level of consensus among the people of these eastern regions that will prove it difficult to deal with by force.
RT: Does the West still support the Kiev military operations in the east of the country?
ST: Absolutely. But let’s face it, it was not Kiev’s own military operation. It was the military operation approved and advised by Washington, because we had CIA Director John Brennan in Kiev, then Vice-President Biden came to Kiev. It is not as if the Kiev regime had any autonomy of action. They would not do anything without the approval of Washington.
RT: Will the presidential election take place against the background of military action? Will it be legitimate?
ST: Unfortunately it will go ahead, but it will not reflect the "democratic will" of the people of Ukraine. I do not think it will produce a leader with democratic credentials with whom Russia can do business. It will produce another puppet, like Petro Poroshenko, who advocates further violence, who advocates liquidating Russian as a second language even in the regions where the Russian speakers are the majority. It will give a cloak of the legitimacy to the [Kiev] regime -- which is unfortunate, because it as and will continue to be a puppet regime hell-bent on violence, and using the Western Ukrainian-Galician narrative in defining the Ukrainian identity.
RT: Those in Kiev who are in power, lack legitimacy themselves. Do they have a right to call the referendum illegal?
ST: Of course they don’t, but they are way beyond the issue of rights. [The Kiev authorities] came to power by violence and by extra-legal, illegal and unconstitutional means, and so effectively they are a bunch of criminals. So of course they will advocate criminal methods to keep their ill-gotten gains. It is really a matter of a clique of conspirators accusing others of conspiracies, and for as long as the West is completely committed to the continuation of this farce, in my opinion, it is essential for Russia to increase its own support for the eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters, because perhaps that is the right term to use in this context. The West has been accusing Russia of instigating and supporting these protests and since this is already so, the Russians should response in a way that would at least correspond to the level of accusations leveled against them.
RT: The West doesn’t want to accept the will of the people in the southeast of Ukraine. How will it accept the results of presidential elections when there is ongoing bloodshed and violation?
ST: The way they have done it before. Remember the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991-92. The referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina [in February 1992] was held amidst complete chaos and the collapse of public order. It was unconstitutional, because it meant that two of the constituent nations, the Croats and the Muslims, had ganged up against the Serbs -- and yet the U.S. recognized it, because it provided the propagandistic fig leaf that they needed in order to provide further political and military support to the mujahedeen government. Likewise in Kiev’s case, when someone like Poroshenko is elected—by maybe 28 or 32 percent of the total vote of Ukrainian citizens—it will be hailed in the West as a great and glorious victory of "democracy." Mark my words, even if it’s completely boycotted in the east, even if it is only partially successful in the south and the center [of Ukraine], they will claim that Ukraine now has a "legitimate head of state." And that head of state will be a man who is committed to violence and to the abolition of Russian as a second language, even in the areas with the majority of Russian speakers. Here's a man who is a thief, a corrupt oligarch, and a puppet of the West.