Oleg Tsarev: How Maidan Began, or How War Came to Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard





I will start from afar. When Ukraine seceded from the USSR, and the Russian language ceased to be the state one, then the government almost immediately signed a contract with the United States. Not a big contract, just a few pages, in which NGOs could now do on the territory of Ukraine almost anything they wanted: duty-free import of goods, no filing of reports, unimpeded access to the media, and so on.

In Ukraine there are about 5,000 non-governmental organizations, even in rural regions there are reception halls for them. According to the official representative of the US State Department Victoria Nuland, about 5 billion dollars were spent “for the development of democracy in Ukraine”. But in reality this money was spent to create a stratum of people who have a negative attitude towards Russia. Training courses and classes were constantly held in Ukraine, where young people were invited. They were brought over to the United States, and arranged courses in Ukraine, in the Baltic States. At these sessions young people were imposed the idea that all of Ukraine’s problems since time immemorial occurred solely because of the fact that Russia is next door. And this simple idea became a part of their beliefs. In addition, an entire system was working that aimed at making the people who arrived in this group remain put. None of them went to work on a construction site. They worked as assistants of deputies in the presidential administration, and in the media. As a result, from the people working in the Yanukovych administration, almost a quarter passed such study or courses. And many politicians who are now ardent Russophobes, in the beginning of their career they were not adherents of such beliefs. For example, the same Yury Lutsenko, an assistant to Poroshenko, in the beginning was in the socialist party, and opposed the “Banderists”. Or Yulia Tymoshenko, my compatriot from Dnepropetrovsk, who never in her life had anything in common with Ukrainian nationalists.

At my request, the activists of our party were enrolled in the courses of one non-governmental organization, “Techcamp”, which promised to teach students how to use computers to work on social networks and other useful skills. This non-governmental organization, de jure, was not supposed to have relations to the US government. However, the last session was held in the U.S. Embassy, where the Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had a speech, and the guys were taught already completely specific things: how to organize meetings, how to gather supporters on social network, how to inform each other, how to resist the police, to seize buildings, tearing through the gauntlet of special forces, and so on. On 20th November, 2013, I spoke in Parliament where I appealed to the President, to colleagues, to the security service saying that the US is preparing a coup in Ukraine. But no one listened to me.

This story, however, started a little bit earlier, when the Association Agreement started to be imposed on Ukraine.

Whatever continent in the world we use as an example, whatever country we put our finger on, almost all of them at one stage was a colony of a European country. Australia, India, Latin America, and Africa. And there is only one territory in the world that was never under any circumstances a European colony. This is Russia and Ukraine, the land in which we are living. However, the European Association Agreement, which was being imposed on Ukraine, is a classic neo-colonial agreement. Ukraine had to open its markets, had unilaterally to adopt European legislation, the Association Council was being formed in the country, the decisions of which were mandatory for the Ukrainian government, but where the majority of seats were taken by European officials. I.e, in fact, Ukraine was losing its sovereignty. Thus, it was obliged to adopt European standards, and this meant the elimination of the industry and the transformation of Ukraine into a raw material country. Moreover, if, for example, Eastern European countries upon accession to the EU were allocated funds, Ukraine, at this time, transitioning to foreign standards, would cost $150 billion, and no one was going to compensate this money. And the European forecast was that we should replace Ukrainian Railways with narrow gauge railway. And all this with European intricacy was recorded point-by-point and with conditions. And this document should have been signed by Yanukovych.

But Yanukovych didn’t sign it. And this was the result of hard work, including of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, of a number of Russian and Ukrainian politicians – I, in particular, was opposed to it, Sergei Glazyev, and many others. The scenario that had to happen in Ukraine, provided that after the signing by Yanukovych of the Agreement, Russia would close its border, or rather would have imposed ordinary duty, instead of a preferential one. This would lead to the closure in Ukraine of a number of enterprises and a fall in the standard of living of the population. Six months later, when the election campaign should have started, the vocal performances of discontent people would have begun. Maidan, and on its background, Yanukovych, of course, would have lost the election, and the pro-American President would be victorious. Everything was well and pre-planned, and suddenly it was like a cold shower – Yanukovych didn’t sign the agreement. Moreover, it’s not that he simply didn’t sign it, but that together with Putin he signed another agreement, under which Ukraine is allocated a supportive loan. And in this agreement, all details in all branches of industries were written down: the construction of the southern machine-building plant in Dnepropetrovsk, a new more powerful rocket that can carry heavier satellites, in Kirovograd – a plant for producing nuclear fuel, in Kharkov – the Antonov plane, in Nikolaev – shipbuilding. And so on. I.e, it was clear that signing this agreement and in the future joining the Customs Union, the standard of living would increase to the point that the US can forget about Ukraine. Something had to be done urgently.

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And in Ukraine, Maidan started to be prepared at a furious pace. In front of our eyes diesel generators started to be bought, and the captains of tens, hundreds, thousands were formed to gather other people. TV was expanded, which was engaged in the coverage of this process.

A part of Yanukovych’s team, by the way, immediately gave impetus to this process: the dispersal of the first Maidan is the joint action of these people and the opposition. But this dispersal was entirely unnecessary, people almost were leaving by themselves. And then they are dispersed, it is shown on TV and, of course, immediately hundreds of thousands of angry people took to the streets of Kiev. Such a number of protesters was not expected by even the initiators themselves, and they were not ready to control them. Coming to the streets were not only those who were in favor of European integration, and not only supporters of the nationalist “Svoboda”, but also the people dissatisfied with corruption, law-enforcement bodies, courts, and tax collectors.

The events of 1st December laid an information bomb under the actions of the opposition. Several times the protesters attack the fighters of the internal troops and beat them, ramming them with a bulldozer. At this time, the opposition distanced themselves from these attackers, saying that they were provocateurs from the authorities. But when these provocateurs began to be detained, the opposition began to stand up for them and demanded their release.

In Ukraine, all the most famous political strategists who were involved in “color revolutions” in the world were gathered. This is Brian Fink, Marko Ivkovic, who staged the revolution in Yugoslavia, which killed 100,000 people (he even made a film about what he a talented political strategist he is), Alex Ross, who deals with network technologies at the U.S. State Department. Mikhail Saakashvili also came, along with his strategists, who organized the war in South Ossetia.

On 8th December, the opposition gathered a people’s council on Maidan. It was planned on its behalf to propose the composition of a technical government with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Minister of Internal Affairs Oleg Tyagnibok, and Minister of Education Irina Farion. The new oppositional government were supposed to occupy the Kiev city state administration. In parallel, tens of governmental and administrative buildings were supposed to be captured, moreover Biden himself insisted that the seizures take place in the most rigid form, preferably with victims. The best way to push people towards radical actions is someone’s death. After this the “technical” government had to seek the support of the army, police, and people in the face of regional councils. This scenario was coordinated with foreign embassies, including the United States. They would have immediately recognized the change of government. And further everything is simple – we would get two governments in one country!

After this, three scenarios were possible: dismissal of the current government and the announcement of early elections, or the introduction of a state of emergency and the arrest of opposition leaders. The scenario of civil war was also fairly realistic. I am sure that the Western regional councils would have supported the new government, and the Eastern old one. In the same way, the police and army units would have been divided. And then until the first shot… something like what happened in Yugoslavia.

I submitted a request to the Security Service of Ukraine on these 30 spin doctors so that they were declared as persona non grata. But, unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done.

Two weeks after the unfortunate dispersal of protesters on Maidan, and many criticized President Viktor Yanukovych for his absence in the country in such a tense situation. However, Yanukovych at this time made international visits: he was able to negotiate about Chinese investments in the Ukrainian economy to the amount of 9 billion and obtaining political support. The visit to Russia ended in an unprecedented, remarkable agreement with Russia, the total economic effect of which for Ukraine was more than $40 billion!

The opposition was losing the last chance to get results from the mass protests, so they decided to act by fraud. Any Maidan needs preheating, continuous feeding of the emotions, disturbing news that would again and again mobilize people. However, the rumors about tanks, Russian special forces, about the preparation of cleansing already at this point became tedious, therefore the opposition dared engage in blatant forgery and provocation in order to push people to the violent seizure of state institutions!

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They decided to create a false Presidential decree for the introduction of a state of emergency. As no one from the opposition knew what such a document looked like, in strict secrecy they began to consult former members of the Ukrainian government. However, there was an information leak. On 16th December, the head of the faction of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc Andriy Kozhemyakin scheduled a press conference and prepared his General’s uniform of the Security Service to declare: army units, 80,000 soldiers are moving to Kiev, all must gather to defend Maidan!

Already at 18.00 on Maidan, someone from the opposition activists, not the leaders of the first echelon who were afraid to smear their reputation, but those who would inspire confidence should have climbed on the podium of Maidan and to announce excitedly that an important document had been handed over to him. After this it was planned to present a fake, and to announce a general mobilization and to begin to seizure of buildings.

I had to urgently convene a briefing in the Parliament, and already at 12.00 I warned all of them about the fake document. The press conference of Kozhemyakin was canceled. At the meeting the fake presidential decree wasn’t published.

In its latest desperate attempt, the opposition tried to play the card involving the dismissal of the government: they began to collect signatures of Deputies for the resignation of the government, relying on representatives of the opposition factions, the Communist party of Ukraine and non-factional parliamentarians. The desperation of the opposition showed their willingness to pay a considerable sum for only one signature of non-factional deputies – more than one million euros. The readiness to dispose of such amounts may be surprising, if you do not know about the external feeding of the protests. In my possession was a video that shows the delivery of consignment to the American Embassy in Ukraine. “Particularly valuable” bags were loaded separately, in a specially-arrived collector car with a Ukrainian number plate, whereas everything else was in the Embassy car. If this was the salaries of Embassy staff, it, in this case, is handed out in denominations of one dollar! The mystery of the voluminous bags is easy to explain if we remember that Euromaidan needs not only bread, but also salaries, and travel expenses, field kitchens, generators, and much more.

Bribing of non-factional deputies, however, did not solve the problem. The votes were still not enough. As part of the deputies categorically refused to add their signatures, the opposition decided to falsify them – they tried to use old sheets with signatures for the vote on the resignation of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak. So in this way, they needed to replace a few sheets at the beginning and end of the list. Surprised deputies who already signed the letter were offered to sign it again, but not in the order of general priority, but in specific areas where it was necessary to collect signatures for the first sheets.

The idea seemed foolish: the deception would be revealed during voting in Parliament, but it turned out that they were not going to vote at all. The list just had to be shown at Maidan, and for it to be declared – here they are! There were 226 votes for the dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, but we will not be allowed to vote in Parliament, so we turn to you and declare that the old government has been overthrown! So, and furthermore, they would act according to the already-known scheme – the “technical” government would be supported by a part of the regional councils of Ukraine and other countries.

The plan failed when the leader of the Communists Petro Simonenko, offended by the opposition to the demolition of the monument to Lenin, withdrew the signature of Communists for the dismissal of the government.

It is worth noting that at the beginning, Maidan was developing according to Gene Sharp’s technology – the technology of the non-violent overthrow of the government. People take to the streets with peaceful protests, singing, dancing, all is friendly. In response, the government applies some restrictive measures, people are then outraged, and an even greater number of discontent people gather. But this technology faced certain personal characteristics of Yanukovych, who did not do anything. The police, “Berkut”, special forces were ordered by all means not to oppose the protesters and not to succumb to provocations. There was a terrible situation. I came in the hospitals, where I visited wounded law enforcement officers, who had shattered teeth and broken legs. They were not given weapons or orders to defend themselves, moreover, they were punished if they retaliated or hit back in any way. But for this reason, Maidan, for the New year, began to fade. There was even a period when it seemed to me that we won and that the revolution will not happen. At this time I constantly spoke on television, addressed the people urging them to stop.

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Approaching New Year, every Sunday, fewer and fewer people gathered, and the United States replaced the team of spin doctors involved in Maidan. They changed technologies, and immediately after the New Year killed people appeared on Maidan. Three dead people were found, and it was announced that they were shot by special forces’ snipers, i.e. Yanukovych was blamed for everything. The whole world was indignant. But when the autopsy was done – it turned out that they were killed by a shotgun, not a sniper. Besides this, Maidan was continuously filmed by hundreds of cameras, and no one saw the source of the gunfire. In my opinion, these unfortunate people were killed elsewhere and the bodies were just planted. Then there was the seizure of the Supreme Council, the seizure of the building that belonged to the “Party of Regions” – we had at this time two people killed. The first one was a guard, who left the building for the negotiations and he was immediately killed; another man choked to death when the building was set ablaze by molotov cocktails. In response, “Berkut” went on the offensive, protesters ran, panic ensued, and then the special forces received another order to stand down.

I met with officials at a high enough level and know that the decision was made to cleanse Maidan. I went to the TV, address the people, saying that they should leave the street, in order to have as little a number of victims as possible. At this time the brave opposition leaders Tyahnybok, Klitschko, and Yatsenyuk – were ready to flee; on the podium amongst themselves they discussed that they had to leave. Klitschko had two constantly fueled, ready to fly aircraft. In the Presidential Administration at this time the was constantly ringing – politicians from Europe and the United States were calling. And, apparently, someone managed to get through, because Berkut received the order to “stand down!”

The TV channel “Inter” showed how, without being hidden, shooters targeted the “Berkut” fighters. They stood in formation, next to them the tires were burning, they fired at them, they were falling – during the night about 30 of them were killed and 84 were injured. They were standing and were not shooting back. And during this time, the Ivano-Frankovsk, Lvov, and Khmelnitsk regional departments of the Security Service were stormed. They were seizing the regional police Department, while in every department there is a stockpile of weapons. In this way, during the night, about 3 thousand units of the weapons were seized. The heads of security agencies of these areas were constantly calling via phone, and there was only one question: “Well, was the order to use weapons given or not? We are standing and can’t hold on anymore, was the order given?!” Because if there is no order, and they use weapons, it means that actually they become criminals, and if the center is being “flushed”, then what’s the point in fighting for the regions. Only in Khmelnitsky did the chief of the Security Service give the order to use weapons. He defended the Armoury, and then ordered the staff of the department to give their personal things to all employees of the SBU. They received in their hands their personal arms, and went home through the back door. The chief remained and was captured by the protesters, which he himself had suggested that it would be easier for them to deliver him by plane. When they brought him to the airport, he went to the toilet and they didn’t see him again. So it all ended well for him.

In this way, the war came to Ukraine. The Yugoslavia scenario was launched, in which a civil war and devastation had to happen: the same diversity of regions, denominations and churches, and mentalities, the same protests that began with the beating of students, storming the authorities, the same tractor crushing the police. The same organizer. According to the Yugoslavia scenario, at a mass demonstration a technical government was created in opposition to the legitimate one. Everybody remembers with which blood this scenario ended for Yugoslavia.

Why was it necessary? The fact is that the most horrible thing for the U.S. in the current situation is that Europe has friendly relations with Russia; in this case money, technology, and natural resources are joined together and a new economic block that is much stronger than the United States can appear. Therefore, the policy of other countries always consisted of playing off Germany and Russia, Europe and Russia. That’s why the First World War and the Second World War happened, and in the clash of Europe and Russia victorious every time were those countries that did not participate in the war or were on other continents. It is the same situation. The Europeans in this situation work, unfortunately, against themselves too.

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