Oleg Tsarev – Seven Years After Maidan

Oleg, seven years have passed since the coup d’etat, the so-called Euromaidan, took place in Ukraine. Over the years, passions have subsided a little, but the bitterness has increased, because our compatriots on the other side of the border (and it does not matter whether they are infected with Ukrainian propaganda or not) ended up not only at a broken trough, but with a broken life too. Recall that Maidan was held under slogans about combatting corruption. What is happening in Ukraine in this area now?

“There is no less corruption. On the contrary, the previously existing Ukrainian corruption has multiplied into lawlessness. And then there is the corruption associated with foreign officials and politicians, who steal much more, taking a systematic approach to this issue.”

Now there is a scandal surrounding the Zaporozhye company “Motor Sich”, which produces engines for helicopters and airplanes. In fact, this is a Sino-American showdown on the territory of Ukraine. What is happening with this most important plant, with the industry as a whole?

“There is a systemic decline in the industry, enterprises are closing, and the number of jobs is decreasing. As for Motor Sich, it is true that Ukraine, like many other countries in the world, has become a platform where two giants, China and the United States, measure their strength.”

I.e., in Ukraine, we can say, de-industrialisation is coming to an end?

“Yes, but at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was the 5th best economy in Europe! Now it is more and more sliding towards an agrarian power, and in the most primitive form, when processing is minimal, and everything is simply exported abroad. It is worth recalling that countries that produce mainly agricultural products, all over the world are not just not rich, but drag out a miserable existence.”

Is this agrarian orientation of Ukraine recorded in any official documents?

“No, in Kiev, they do not directly say that ‘we will destroy our industry and become an agrarian power’. They formulate it in a slightly different way: they say that despite the fact that our industry is falling, we maintain our agricultural production.”

There was a lot of rage concerning the law on the sale of agricultural land. What are the consequences of its adoption?

“Ukrainian chernozems have always been interesting to everyone. Because of them, wars were fought, blood was shed. And now there is an opportunity to buy them for a pittance. We have 20 million hectares of agricultural land. Now they have set an indicative price, $2000 per hectare. In Europe, a hectare of agricultural land — and not black soil! – costs €50,000. This means that Ukraine could get at least a trillion dollars for its land, but instead it will get only 40 billion. It’s just a ridiculous amount of money that will be eaten up. As a maximum, it would allow the authorities to stabilise the situation a little for 2-3 years. But Ukraine will no longer belong to Ukrainians.”

And who buys this land?

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“They will start buying it in the summer. I.e., the law was adopted, and the Constitutional Court, which could have overturned this law, but adopted unconstitutionally, was dispersed. As a result, Ukraine will simply be torn apart, and the people will finally fall into bondage.”

The ominous signs of coloniality and peripherality are becoming more and more apparent. What happens with coal? There is also some scandalous story unfolding there…

There is a war between Akhmetov and Kolomoisky, and in the media space we see echoes of this war, which is more intensively conducted ‘under the carpet’, behind the scenes.

It turns out that these oligarchic groups are still strong, they have not disappeared in seven years.

“Paradoxically, the Ukrainian oligarchs are the last thing that prevents foreign corporations from actively entering Ukraine now. Akhmetov, Kolomoisky, and Pinchuk are well aware that they are living out their last days in their current capacity. The task is to multiply them by zero. And here we will only talk about the fact that, for example, attempts will be made to jail Kolomoisky, and Akhmetov may be given the opportunity to crawl away with some money, but without political influence and, probably, without assets. Pinchuk hastily sells off his assets, moves his office from the US to London. He moved his family there. They understand what awaits them, and prepare. At the same time, Kolomoisky and Akhmetov continue to fight desperately for the last money that can be snatched from the Ukrainian energy sector.”

And what will happen to Ukraine when the Americans and Europeans come there?

“To understand what will happen, let’s look at what is now. Ukraine has not had a census for a very long time, but it is possible to estimate the population by indirect methods, through the consumption of bread. On the one hand, the lower the standard of living (and it continues to fall), the higher the consumption of bread. The people replace meat and other more expensive products with bread. On the other hand, there is still a limit to the amount of bread a person can eat. And if we count on this indicator, the population of Ukraine is now about 20-25 million people (and it was 52 million in 1991).

If everything goes as was planned by the Americans and Europeans, the population of Ukraine will be further reduced. They don’t need many people to farm the farmland. The old will die out, the young will leave. By the way, in addition to the fight against corruption, Maidan also took place under the slogan of free travel to Europe. But in the end, they received not free, but simplified, i.e., people leave on tourist visas or without visas at all and work abroad illegally.

If to look in the future, then after the destruction of the Ukrainian oligarchs and the purchase of assets, foreigners will bring their banks to Ukraine in order to serve their business in Ukraine. There will be a situation similar to the Baltic states, only much worse. I.e., it seems that formally the salaries are European, the pensions are European, but the people will live worse than now. It is worse, because now local officials are holding on due to the fact that budget decentralisation was carried out. There was no federalisation, but more money was given to the places. For this reason, the mayors of the cities that came to power after Maidan operate with large budgets and thus maintain the loyalty of the population.”

Ukraine is important to the west primarily as an anti-Russian buffer. Will there be any military-strategic initiatives of the west in this direction?

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“Against the background of the closure of enterprises, the reduction in the number of jobs, a huge number of people are released, and Ukraine passes a law on the legalisation of private military companies (PMCs). I am deeply convinced that there are no better warriors in the world than the Slavs, than the Russians. And although now in Ukraine Russians do not consider themselves Russians, they have not ceased to be Russians because of this. And this will be a fairly serious player on the PMC field.”

Recently, PMC detachments clashed in Libya: on the one hand — ours, and on the other hand — also ours, but called “Ukrainians”, who were recruited by the other side of the Libyan conflict.

“Unfortunately, we face each other not only in Donbass, but also around the world.”

A significant part of the population of Ukraine during Maidan was in the captivity of illusions. People assumed that there would be some changes. Now we can see that almost all the changes are negative. How does society react to this?

“When the first Maidan happened in 2004, after a while there was such a strong disappointment in those people who came to power then (and these are the same Tymoshenko, Poroshenko and others) that almost everyone I talked to, including myself, was sure that, thank God, we received a ‘vaccination against Maidan’, and there will never be another Maidan. Yushchenko had an approval rating of 4-5% after the first cadence. We thought that the nationalists would never come to power in Ukraine again.

But total propaganda on TV and in other media works according to the laws of Goebbels. I’ll give you one example. A Russian couple, whose son married a girl from western Ukraine, moved to Ukraine from Russia about eight years ago. And now the whole family is sitting at the table and, distorting the Russian language, tries to speak among themselves in Ukrainian and considers Russians to be aggressors.

But there is still some rethinking going on. We can see what figures the ‘Opposition Platform – For Life‘ party is gaining, and this is the merit of those pro-Russian politicians who did not leave, but remained in Ukraine.”

Under Zelensky, the offensive against the Russian language took a very harsh turn: fines for not using the Ukrainian language in public places, and the closure of undesirable channels. What will happen next?

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“It will be what we are currently seeing in the Baltic states, where they catch those who watch Russian TV on satellite at home. It will take quite a bit of time — the same will happen in Ukraine. And I have no doubt that this policy will continue.”

The information war can turn into real clashes at any time. Question: in what forms? More provocations on the border, sabotage groups or something else?

“When Maidan began, it was obvious to me that this would lead to a civil war, that Ukraine would lose territories, that if Maidan won, foreign bases would appear in the southeast of Ukraine. Recently, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the permanent presence of foreign military personnel in Ukraine.

Many still think that if there are military provocations in Donbass, the militia will reach western Ukraine, and everything will be fine. But foreigners understand everything perfectly and will deploy their bases in Ukraine in the shortest possible time. They are already in Ochakov, in Yavorov…

We are now at the bifurcation point. It is difficult to determine where and how much the pendulum will swing, but much will depend on Russia’s policy in the Ukrainian direction.”

Andrey Fefelov

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