Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
November 21st, 2013, starts the countdown of Ukraine’s history that contemporaries have dubbed as Ruin-2. Even the decree of Petro Poroshenko, who declared this date as a national holiday with the magnificent name “revolution of dignity”, doesn’t save Ukraine from this evaluation.
Three years have passed since the moment when, in the night of the 21st to 22nd November, several hundred students and activists, answering the call of the journalist of “Ukrainian Pravda” Mustafa Nayyem, came out on the main square of the country, protesting against the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, headed by Mykola Azarov, to postpone the signing of the EU Association agreement.
From this date begins a sharp turn, which in the blink of an eye, plunged the country into the chaos of civil war and economic devastation. The man-made tragedy of Ukraine has its own “heroes”. Mustafa Nayyem is one of them. Today, the “father” of Maidan became slightly despondent: he was excommunicated from the feeding trough in PACE. The bright European prospects and optimism of Ukraine also disappeared somewhere. It all vanished into thin air. From the former stable and self-assured country today remains only memories. A dense stockade of sepulchral crosses of those killed in the bloody massacre in Donbass became a true sign of the new time. And still the prospects of the country’s emergence from civil conflict are yet to be seen. The army of crippled is growing, who are left to fend for themselves by the Kiev authorities. Millions lost their homes and jobs. The hryvnia collapsed and went into free fall. The prices of food are beyond reality, and the soaring utility rates incites stupor, so they are distant from the real solvency of the population.
Who blinded the country, who deprived of purpose millions of its citizens? Why didn’t they protest against those who plunged the country into Ruin? The names of these conductors are well-known: they were the first who rushed to gather people on Maidan on November 21st, 2013. In addition to Nayyem, present on Maidan were Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Oleg Tyahnybok, Petro Poroshenko, Yuri Lutsenko, the journalists Sergei Leshchenko, Svetlana Zalishchuk, Sonya Koshkina, and others. Behind each of them the threads stretch into a tight web of personal low interests, a lust for power and money, contempt for the concerns of their native country. They were playing not their game: they were played by experienced puppeteers. By shooting at the “tyrant” Yanukovych, all of them were aiming at the heart of Ukraine.
Not having cooled emotions, myths and legends grew from the surface of the events of November 21st. That’s why we decided to restore the course of events so that the truth is not swaddled in a cocoon of lies and falsehoods by the conductors of Maidan. Because for this they have long practiced.
…November 2013 was cold and windy. It was chilly and wet weather. The action “Rise, Ukraine!” had taken place in the country for almost six months, the leaders of which were Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who replaced Yulia Tymoshenko as the leader of “Fatherland”, Vitali Klitschko (“UDAR”), and Oleg Tyagnybok (“Svoboda”). The fight against the anti-people regime was rather sluggish, as the protests gathered not a large number of participants in districts and regional cities of Ukraine. Somewhere there were several thousands, and in other places a few hundred. However, during such “training” the united opposition audited the network of party activists, the extras started to develop a habit of going out on the streets, despite the rather active opposition of law enforcement officials.
Already at this time the technology of “sacral victims” had been perfected. It is when during the course of the demonstrations victims appeared from the “lawlessness of the authorities”, which were urgently “canonized” and used for further injection of psychosis and hysteria.
So, after the demonstrations in May in Kiev on Sofia Square, “innocently beaten journalists” appeared: an employee of “Channel 5″ (the owner was and still is Petro Poroshenko) Olga Snitsarchuk and her husband – photographer for the newspaper “Kommersant” Vlad Sodel. The bruises on the body of the “courageous” journalist were not found. While there were dozens of photos and videos, in which it was seen how young boys in “Adidas” tracksuits either tried to shove Snitsarchuk, or simply frighten her. The name of one of them – Titushko – was immortalized with the term “titushki”, which opposition-minded journalists, and then also politicians, started to call “hirelings of the regime used to disperse peaceful demonstrations”.
These details are necessary for further understanding of the course of events of November 2013, which became the trigger mechanism for the most ambitious coup in the history of the country. The United opposition (OO) toured Ukraine, working out a rough version of the technology of the “popular uprising”. It was already worked out for a long time in other countries, the CIA, and the US State Department. And now the “popular uprising” had to be grafted on Ukrainian land. It didn’t work very well. It was acknowledged even by the representatives of “OO” themselves, who blamed everything on the dictatorial regime of Viktor Yanukovych and the bribed media.
The wave of protest was clearly on the decline. “Innocent, beaten journalists” for a long time remained the only “victims” of the action “Rise, Ukraine!”. However, this was clearly not the reason to rise the masses for the fight. Everyone remembered the fight against President Leonid Kuchma, when the people followed their conductors, only after “sacred victims” appeared – the editor of the opposition website “Ukrainian Pravda” Georgy Gongadze. Opposition leaders remembered the words of Yulia Tymoshenko, that “there are no revolutions without blood”. The author of these words at this time was serving a prison sentence in the railway hospital of Kharkov in a specially built-for-her hospital room.
By the way, the demand to release Yulia Tymoshenko from prison was made by the opposition as a condition of signing the European Association agreement of Ukraine. The opposition “Troika” (Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Tyahnybok) convinced the masses that if Tymoshenko is released from prison, the EU will welcome Kiev with open arms. The opposition wasn’t somehow embarrassed by the fact that it is “bloody dictator” Yanukovych who led Ukraine to Europe, who in March 2012 initiated the Association agreement. There was an active revision of certain provisions of the agreement, which did not suit Ukraine.
On 18th September 2013, the Party of Regions overnight deprived the opposition of the chance to win the presidential election in 2015. On this day the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine devalued the main slogan of the opposition: “No to Customs Union, yes to European Union!”, and approved the draft Association agreement and the establishment of a comprehensive free trade area (FTA) with the European Union. Attending a government meeting, the EU Ambassador to Ukraine Ian Tombinsky was the first to bring the good news to journalists.
In these circumstances, it was extremely difficult for the opposition to mobilize the electorate for a protest with European slogans. The first attempt to organize a Maidan-2 near the “Ukrainian house” in early November of 2013 failed. The role of the instigator was performed by the activists of “UDAR” and “Svoboda”. There were also representatives of Kiev students. But this event did not cause much stir in the community. It’s true that a SBU car was damaged, which protesters hit because they believed that there they were being wiretapped. As always, “journalist” Tatiana Chornovil distinguished herself, who smashed the windshield of a car with a brick. The “three-member opposition” actively tried to shake the situation, using slogans about the release of Tymoshenko and the European Association.
In order to prevent a “spillover” of activists from the “Ukrainian house” on Maidan, in the presidential administration the decision was made to install on 15th November the Christmas tree in the main square. It was a pretty ambitious design, which consisted of a metal frame, artificial needles, and an illumination system. The crane was driven, and auxiliary machines installed the enclosure mounting platform.
On 21st November 2013, a week before the Vilnius summit, where Yanukovych was expected to sign the Association agreement, Ukraine made a sharp turn in its policy: at the morning meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the decision to postpone the signing of the Association agreement. Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov was opposed to such a sharp form of reversal occurring in Ukraine. He offered to do it at the Vilnius summit, with facts and figures to explain the position of Ukraine and to justify to the EU why Ukraine would not sign the Association agreement.
The week of postponement would give the opportunity to explain to the population the reasons of refusal to sign the Association agreement. The Prime Minister tried to convince the President that it is not logical to fly to Austria and talk about loyalty to the European integration course, while at this time, the Cabinet of Ministers takes the opposite decision. It was all in vain: the President firmly stood his ground. The final text of the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers was edited literally on the fly in the presidential Mercedes on the way to Boryspil airport, from where Viktor Yanukovych had to fly to Vienna.
The revised text to the Cabinet of Ministers was brought by the head of the NSDC Andriy Klyuev. After the opening remarks by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Industrial Policy Mikhail Korolenko made his speech. He informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the signing of the Association agreement will cause serious consequences for Ukrainian industry, and offered again to return to the issue of the forthcoming signing of the Association agreement. After a discussion, the Cabinet of Ministers unanimously voted in order to postpone the signing of the Association agreement with the EU. At the same time, Mykola Azarov tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development, and Ministry of Industrial Policy to offer the EU and Russia to form a Commission on a tripartite basis to discuss the issue.
The worst fears of Mykola Azarov came true: the opposition immediately took advantage of the situation, because there was no best reason to mobilize their supporters. At it is exactly at this time that the post appeared of Mustafa Nayyem on the need to conduct a Maidan without politicians. The protest movement was split into two parts. The “three-member opposition” decided to made Maidan near the “Ukrainian house”, while social activists, with the support of students, went to Maidan. “Students’ Maidan” didn’t want to see politicians, party flags, or party activists.
There was quite an interesting situation. On the main square of the country appeared a youth get-together, which during the evenings turned into a rave party with the heating of frozen parts of the body near barrels crackling with firewood. Generation “Facebook” got together on the narrow space between the massive skeleton of the Christmas tree and the wooden houses erected for the holiday, in which the sale of fast food and drinks was planned.
Lonely students wrapped in Ukrainian flags periodically ran to the subway to warm up. The so-called “departization of Maidan” led to the emergence of an off-line chat on Maidan with the participation of several dozen users. They spent 90% of the time to solve the main question: who can speak from the stage of Euromaidan, and who cannot. Yuriy Lutsenko and Vitali Klitschko visited the gathering. They sent them packing. “Svoboda” members publicly called Mustafa Nayyem “Asian n****r” for the idea of conducting Maidan without politicians. The activity was much more prominent on social networks, where there was the seething stormy debate: they “flushed” Maidan, “they’re all frostbitten, they don’t know anything”, “super-professionals of the Kremlin are working against protesters, it’s them who decided to transfer Maidan to a non-party format.”
The traditional scheme of the “orange uprising” lasted no more than five days. Key points of this technology is the setting up of tents and the constant anticipation of dispersal by Maidan security forces. All PR accompanying the party’s headquarters was aimed precisely at this. Either they found provocateurs, or the aforementioned SBU car, or, started throwing smoke bombs. The emergence of an “alternative” Maidan led to the fact that the political Maidan on the European square gradually began to die. The protests of the student youth waned: on 29th November, the coordinating council of students took the decision to end the “rise of generation Facebook”. This was publicly announced at 12 o’clock midnight on Maidan. The stage and musical equipment was dismantled.
And here: attention! The pilgrimage of politicians on Maidan started. The first to run here was Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He tried to persuade the guys to stay until the end, scared them with the seizure of Ukraine by the “Russian world”, said they should stay until the end against the hated regime of the dictator Yanukovych. Petro Poroshenko also arrived, and for a few hours he tried to persuade the protesting youth not to leave. He left approximately at about 4 am. By this time, the audio equipment and the stage had already been taken away by trucks. And also the main mass left. About 300 people remained on the square.
And further, the script, which became, as it turned out, the trigger of the Ukrainian tragedy, which has lasted to this day, was launched. When politicians were unable to persuade students to continue the protests, militants from parties “Svoboda” and “Fatherland” quickly descended to the Square. These militants were included in the security structures of the two parties. And “Self-defense” and “Right sector” would be later formed from them. All of this is clearly seen in the video, which was promptly released on the Internet. The footage shows burning logs from campfires, fittings, and paving stones flying at the police. So law enforcement officers were openly provoked into harsh actions. And it was not done at all by students, but by men of 40 years of age.
After the dispersal of Maidan, on the Internet appeared an extract from a document from the emergency room near Maidan, where victims were treated. From the 32 people who showed their passports, only 3 were students, the others were men of 40-50 years of age, which originated from Western Ukraine.
This extract from the book of the records of the victims was put on the desk of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. He immediately contacted Sergey Levochkin and asked for the maximal dissemination of this information on the channel “Inter”. Levochkin asked to send him the extract, but the material was never aired as promised. Why did the head of the presidential administration actually decline to defend his superior – President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych? This was clearly not a part of his plans. The Prime Minister had to give the order to his press service to maximally spread this extract. But his opportunity did not compare with the opportunity of Levochkin, who could informally influence all leading TV channels of the country.
The opposition could rub their hands with joy: in a few hours, after the dispersal of the students’ Maidan, almost all Ukrainian TV channels furiously engaged in covering the night dispersal. The mood of the masses had to escalate up to the limit, until the explosion. It looked like someone’s invisible hand gave them the order to soak the current government. But to be honest, special orders were not even required, almost all of the channels, under the order of their owner-oligarchs, had long supported Maidan’s mood of the people. It is the channel “Inter” that especially tried its best, which was fully controlled by the head of the presidential administration Sergey Levochkin.
TV channels aired footage of beaten students for almost two days and nights, from dawn until dusk. And never mind that for some reason there were only two with bloody noses. But these pictures, along with the comments of “talking heads” with one meme – “they are just children” – did the trick. By the way, the meme “they are just children” was launched by Party of Region member Inna Bogoslovskaya in hysterical comments on TV channels. And it is her curator, Sergey Levochkin, who aired Bogoslovskaya on television.
Today it is possible to reconstruct the events of that time. Before the dispersal of Maidan, a meeting took place in the Interior Ministry, where the Deputy Minister Ratushnyak received from Vitaliy Zakharchenko the order to disperse Maidan in the event of resistance. For this, on Maidan, on the orders of Zakharchenko, a detachment of “Berkut” (Cherkasy, Poltava, Kiev region) and a special unit for the dispersal of demonstrations was sent. Usually, this unit disperses protesters on the Square, arrests the ringleaders, but does not chase them around the city in all the nooks and crannies. This time they seemingly received the command to chase people around town. And to cruelly punish students.
Sergey Levochkin knew about this meeting and its decision to disperse Maidan by force, if students did not disperse peacefully. His wife, fashion designer and artist Zinaida Lihacheva, maintained a close relationship with the leaders of Maidan. From the first days of Maidan she sided with the protesters. “Every thinking person, who feels themselves to be Ukrainian, cannot fail to react when such things happen in the country. I am an artist with a civil position. This position is reflected in the fact that I went to Maidan to support European integration, as well as in my work,” she wrote on her page on Facebook. After the “brutal dispersal” of Euromaidan, she wrote after the night’s events “power will feel the blockade and non-acceptance at all levels!” posted. Levochkin maintained contact with the leaders of Maidan through his wife.
But her help this time was not necessary: from one of the phones of Levochkin, a text message about the impending dispersal of students was sent to Yatsenyuk. Then everything was just a matter of technique. And the leaders of the opposition correctly arranged everything. They gave orders to militants to provoke the police and “Berkut”. They also called in advance all friendly-to-them TV channels. Almost 40 cameras were pulled together at 4 in the morning to Maidan. About 20 car “ambulances” were also herded to Maidan. A massacre awaited and they were well prepared for it. And the role of Levochkin was one of the key ones in the organization of this provocation. Levochkin was not alone. Former chief of staff for Viktor Yushchenko – Oleg Rybachuk – closely coordinated his part of work on the organisation of the students.
After the departure of Yushchenko, Rybachuk’s star did not fade. During the first “orange” Maidan, it is precisely Rybachuk who coordinated work with the American Embassy and foreign intelligence agencies. And he didn’t make a big secret of it. Thus, in one interview, he openly boasted about his connections with the embassies of the US and UK. He openly boasted about his contacts with one of the English colonels from the British Embassy. He said that he was on close terms with the Americans from the Embassy.
This Oleg Rybachuk brought together Mustafa Nayyem and Sergey Leshchenko with the head of the administration of President Yanukovych. Levochkin took care of their upkeep and fed them information. This is confirmed by the phone records of Rybachuk to Levochkin, and to the first Deputy head of the presidential administration Irina Akimova, which is at the disposal of the Prosecutor General in the case of dispersal of Maidan from 25th to 30th November, 2013.
All these facts only confirm the fact: behind the scenes of the dispersal of students’ Maidan was the head of Yanukovych’s administration – Sergey Levochkin. And he led together with Rybachuk the American game to aggravate the situation in the country, in order to pursue his own interests. That’s why today Levochkin is again afloat. He’s one of the mouthpieces of the Opposition bloc, created by the Americans in order to bury the Party of Regions and to model from its remnants controlled opposition in their hands, which Levochkin was assigned to command.
What for did Levochkin try to provoke Maidan to destabilize the situation in the country? The answer is clear: only on the crest of popular discontent was he able to convince Yanukovych to send the Prime Minister Mykola Azarov into retirement and to try himself to take the Premiership. But to achieve this aim there was need, with the help of Maidan, to weaken Yanukovych’s power to such an extent in order to convince him to refuse participation in the 2015 elections and to implant in his circle his faithful people. Such people up the sleeve of Levochkin were Valery Khoroshkovsky and Vitali Klitschko. But Levochkin himself believed that he had long outgrown his position and saw himself in the Premiership.
Having provoked the dispersal of students’ Maidan, he hoped that the wave of discontent “by savage beating” would hit the Interior Minister Zakharchenko and Prime Minister Azarov. And it worked. Angered by the “beating of children”, Maidan demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Zakharchenko and Prime Minister Azarov. Achieving the articulation of these demands was easy, as Levochkin closely coordinated his activities with leaders of Maidan. Installed in-advance cameras filmed everything that was needed to provoke the wrath of the people of Kiev, and from the early morning until the evening of December 1st, the same two students with bloody noses were shown on all the channels. Well, it had nothing to do with this extract from the emergency room, and provocateurs? Levochkin not only prevented the dispersal of the pictures on all TV channels, but also gave the command to replay these images also on the controlled-by-him popular TV channel “Inter”. And in the hands of Levochkin was not only administrative resources, but also the budget for media to the amount of 5 million dollars per month.
Where did Yanukovych disappear to on the day of the dispersal of students’ Maidan?
Viktor Yanukovych, until the last days of the coup, was faithful to his habit to spend time hunting. It was his most favourite pastime. Early on the morning of 30th November, when all the TV channels the hysteria about the bloody noses of “they are just children” was everywhere, it was impossible to find the President. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was searching for him. The head of the NSDC of Ukraine Andrey Klyuev also tried to contact him. Many journalists, as proof of his involvement in the dispersal of the students, often cite the words of Yanukovych, spoken by him three weeks after “the savage beating”: “I invited Klyuev. He told me how everything was. I asked: what was your aim? He said, to stabilize the situation.” What else do the doubters need?
Is it not the case that Yanukovych made it clear who executed the whole of this scandalous operation? In reality all this happened differently. The employee of the office of the head of the National Security and Defence Council told us that Klyuev, on the early morning of 30th November, tried to contact the President. He succeeded to reach him only in the afternoon. The President had already spoken with Prime Minister Azarov. The report of Klyuev was listened to coldly. The President didn’t ask about anything because he had received all the information about the incident from the Interior Minister Zakharchenko. For the media, the Interior Ministry issued a statement that in the night from 29th to 30th November, the Minister was not at his workplace, and that the events would be investigated. However, the results of this investigation never saw the light.
We will try by ourselves to understand the role of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in this scandalous situation.
Firstly. The Minister lied when his employee disseminated a statement that he wasn’t at his work place, and that he went home and found out only on the morning of 1st December. In fact, Zakharchenko sat in his office until 5 am, and was aware of all the events and personally gave the command of dispersal.
Yes, at 4 a.m the cars with artificial pine needles for the presidential Christmas tree already arrived on the Square. The idea to call the Christmas tree as the President’s one was born in the presidential administration, the head of which – Levochkin – was the author of this idea. The tree was supposed to be installed earlier in order to occupy Maidan and to oust the protesters. The administration instructed the governors to bring children from orphanages to Kiev for the presidential Christmas tree, so that from October until December the kids could circle the tree and receive gifts from Yanukovych, and to use the new year’s fuss to alleviate Maidan.
Levochkin realised that if everything will go according to plan, his scenario of destabilizing the situation in the country, with the help of the opposition, will be doomed to failure. And he and his partners – the leaders of Maidan – saw how the desire of Kiev residents to protest on the main area of the capital became weary. There was a need to sharpen the situation. Levochkin on the night of the installation of the presidential Christmas tree, pushed leaders of the opposition in order to inflate the situation. Levochkin himself, immediately after the dispersal of the students’ Maidan, staged hysterics in front of Azarov and Klyuev, loudly and demonstratively distanced himself from the dispersal, announced to Yanukovych and Azarov his resignation, and launched a rumour about his dismissal in the media, but a statement was never written. Zakharchenko said different things, saying that all the blame was not on him, but on Klyuev. He personally called all the ambassadors of the EU countries. He said that he’s not involved. His wife immediately ran to Maidan to give an interview to Ukrainian TV channels.
But the most interesting: Levochkin did not hold any meeting concerning the sad events. While the analysis of what happened, along with a debriefing of all participants, was included in direct duties of the head of administration. Moreover, Levochkin stopped all attempts at a common meeting concerning the situation. Why? So everything is clear and the President should just fire those who are at fault. The President discussed the situation with each of them seperately – Zakharchenko, Klyuev, Levochkin. Then this practice will become a signature feature of the President – to never hold meetings on analysing the situation and not to develop general measures of extinguishing fires, but always to solve all issues tête-à-tête with each Minister.
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