Ivan Mezyukho: ''Kiev was interested in the death of its sailors''
About how Poroshenko divided the people of Ukraine using the Kerch incident and the frontman of Okean Elzy rock band was scoring political points
The conflict in the Kerch Strait between Ukrainian sailors and Russian border guards, which has occurred recently, has exacerbated the already difficult relations between Kiev and Moscow. As expected, the parties accused each other of provocation. Naturally, it was followed by a reaction of the West. Crimean political expert Ivan Mezyukho in the new column for Realnoe Vremya analyses the situation. Our columnist investigates the issue in the light of the first results after the incident.
The Kerch incident
As expected, the topic of Crimea has become much more frequently used by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is experiencing serious problems with the rating. The level of popular legitimacy of the head of the Ukrainian state is so low that he has to resort to administrative resources, idle aggressive foreign policy rhetoric and dangerous military provocations. Poroshenko acts as a classic desperate Ukrainian politician, ready to pour blood all over the country, just to stay at the helm of the state, which is being in a protracted political and economic crisis.
Certainly, the Ukrainian leader is not independent in his anti-Russian activities. So, there is no doubt that the latest provocation of the Ukrainian Navy in the territorial waters of the Russian Federation was agreed with the Western curators of Poroshenko. Judging by the belated reaction of the West to the detention by Russia of Ukrainian ships-violators, Washington and Brussels calculated various options for the development of the situation. Kiev was interested in the death of its sailors, which would serve as a powerful reason for the Ukrainian president to mobilize votes of nationalist nature, and the West the next day would introduce new anti-Russian sanctions. High professionalism of border management of the FSB and the Black Sea fleet allowed not only to stop provocation of the Ukrainian military, but also to carry out this operation without victims, though the Russian security officers had the full right to sink the Ukrainian metal that entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. Moscow has clearly shown the West that it is going to fight for the inviolability of its borders, for the protection of which it is ready to use force.
''The topic of Crimea has become much more frequently used by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is experiencing serious problems with the rating.'' Photo: Фото president.gov.ua
Who is behind the provocation of the Navy in the Kerch Strait? Trump? The State Department? I do not exclude that this operation was carried out behind Donald Trump's back. Nevertheless, this incident allowed the US president to find a far-fetched reason not to meet with the Russian leader at the G20 summit, which is exhibited by Kiev as a victory over the ''aggressor state''. The Ukrainian media are silent about that the head of the White House cancelled a meeting with Putin because of the domestic political situation.
By and large, Poroshenko does not bother about the fate of crew members of Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yana Kapu ships. He used military sailors to push the parliament to decide on a partial martial law. The Rada met the Ukrainian leader whistling and swearing. I'm not exaggerating at all. One can watch a video broadcast of an extraordinary session of the Ukrainian parliament on the Internet that eloquently captures the true attitude of people's deputies of Ukraine to the leader of the state.
Introducing martial law mainly in the south-east of the country, Poroshenko once again divided his people into 'right' and 'wrong', thereby exacerbating multiple ruptures within the Ukrainian society, about which he cares little. It cannot be ruled out that Poroshenko's political team has already developed a scenario of a new provocation, which will be the reason for the full introduction of the legal regime of martial law in some regions of the country, which will allow Mr. Poroshenko to acquire dictatorial powers in these territories, which he can use to intimidate political competitors on the threshold of the presidential and parliamentary elections. He understands perfectly that the people of the south-east, among whom there are many supporters of establishing relations with Russia, will not vote for him, so he faces the task of fragmenting this electorate, and even better — to marginalize it. Since the Ukrainian leader failed to impose martial law throughout the country for 60 days to cancel the presidential elections, he will use the 30-day period of this legal regime for his PR-purposes to the maximum.
''The incident allowed the US president to find a far-fetched reason not to meet with the Russian leader at the G20 summit.'' Photo: kremlin.ru
In Poroshenko's footsteps
For the sake of objectivity, not only Petro Poroshenko hypes himself using the Crimean issue. Recently, the leader of the group Okean Elzy, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, suddenly said that he was on the peninsula during the Crimean Spring. Why the Ukrainian singer and potential presidential candidate did not remember this before? Why do they speak about already pretty worn-out Crimean record before the election? We may soon know the answers to these questions. In the meantime, it is obvious that the United States has not finally decided which of the presidential candidates they will provide maximum assistance to.
Certainly, the temnik of the Poroshenko's administration in the near future will contain a number of Crimean newsworthy events. Among them there are regular anti-Russian speeches of the Ukrainian president at the session of the UN General Assembly, the issue of returning Scythian gold from the Netherlands to the Crimea, the topic of exchange of citizens with the Russian Federation.
''Recently, the leader of the group Okean Elzy, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, suddenly said that he was on the peninsula during the Crimean Spring.'' Photo: vk.com
The Voice Of Crimea
At the same time, despite the massive anti-Crimean propaganda in foreign media, the voice of Crimea still breaks through propaganda cordons. At the end of November, Crimean public activists made a report on discrimination against residents of the Republic of Crimea at the 11th session of the UN forum. Numerous foreign delegations continue to visit the region and the international trade relations are developing. The reality is strikingly different from the fakes of Kiev about the peninsula. The time when the West will begin to objectively look at the processes taking place in the Crimea has not yet come. As a matter of fact, Crimeans do not need anyone's assessments. The republic is preparing to celebrate its fifth anniversary as part of Russia.
On the eve of this anniversary, the Ukrainian leader may resort to another military provocation both in the Crimean and in the Donbass direction. Kiev does not hide its ties with extremists. The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Pavlo Klimkin, recently said that Kiev uses extremists from the banned in Russia organization Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People as its unofficial diplomats on the peninsula. Apparently, the law enforcement bodies of Russia should thank the head of the foreign ministry of the neighbouring state for the tip-off…