The following report is from EIRNS:
Dr. Natalia Vitrenko, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, yesterday began a tour of Europe at the head of a delegation of signers of the January 25 appeal by 29 Ukrainian organizations, addressed to world leaders, to stop a neo-fascist coup in Ukraine. Yesterday evening she keynoted a webcast, broadcast on the site of the Solidarity and Progress (S&P) organization, www.solidariteetprogres.org.
The speakers were introduced by S&P leader, former French Presidential Candidate Jacques Cheminade. He discussed the doctrines of Anglo-American geopolitics, going back to Halford Mackinder at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. Today, Cheminade said, the goal under the modern continuation of these doctrines has been to create a focus of destabilization in the center of Europe, which could trigger a showdown against Russia. He cited Zbigniew Brzezinski on this intention.
Cheminade introduced Natalia Vitrenko, doctor of economics, former member of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, and leader of the PSPU, as having fought for the past twenty years to prevent this current crisis from coming to pass. On her visit to Europe now, she is joined by Col. Valeri Sergachov, leader of the Kiev Rus Party, former member of the Odessa Regional Council, and a decorated veteran of the War in Afghanistan; and Volodymyr Marchenko, chairman of the All-Ukraine Trade-Union Organization “Ukrainian Confederation of Labor,” former member of the Supreme Rada and member of its Committee on Constitutional Issues, and deputy chairman of the PSPU. Both Sergachov and Marchenko participated in the webcast as well.
The following translation of Dr. Vitrenko’s keynote and the remarks of her colleagues has been produced from the Russian-language audio track of the event. The speeches were translated and broadcast in French (archive video will be available soon on the S&P website).
Note: This is a preliminary translation. A final translation will be posted soon.
Natalia Vitrenko: Bonjour, camarades! I am very glad to greet you, and I know that millions of people around the world are watching and listening to us.
On January 25 of this year, in Kiev, there was a gathering of 29 leaders of Ukrainian political parties and public organizations. We wrote an appeal to the Secretary-General of the UN, the leaders of European organizations, including the President of the European Union and the Chairman of the European Parliament, as well as other leaders, as well as U.S. President Obama and the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Among us were representatives of four different political parties, and ten who have been Members of Parliament at the national level in Ukraine.
We stated, first of all, that it is a lie that the people of Ukraine want to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. The Ukrainian people do not want this.
Secondly, we stated that it is a lie that what is going on in the Maidan is a peaceful demonstration. Guerrillas are in charge of the Maidan, and those guerrillas are neo-Nazis.
Third, that the will of the majority of the population in Ukraine is being grossly flouted, because the majority favors Ukraine’s increased integration with Russia, and does not want Nazism in Ukraine.
We, although we represent political forces, are denied access to the media. We appealed to those European and American organizations to invite us to Europe — us, who are not in power in Ukraine today, but we are not neo-Nazis. And we would tell you the truth. These agencies did not invite us, but we received invitations from the Parisian Academy of Geopolitics, from the Schiller Institute, and from our colleagues in Italy. We are very grateful for this.
Therefore we are making this tour as representatives of people’s diplomacy, representing the majority of the population of Ukraine, who want to stop the flames of civil war. We know with certainty, that the coup d’etat in Ukraine threatens the stability of the Eurasian continent.
Our delegation includes people of various professions. I am an economist, a doctor of economic sciences, a professor and an academician. Valeri Sergachov, my colleague in that he is also the head of a party, is a retired colonel, a combat officer [and an experienced veteran of the Afghanistan war —on-site translator’s note]. The deputy leader of my party, Volodymyr Marchenko, who is responsible for our party’s ideological work, is a construction engineer. Therefore we are well aware of what Ukraine’s real potential is, and what the prospects for our country would be in the case of integration with the European Union or with the Eurasian Union.
First of all, Ukraine has never been offered membership in the EU, is not being offered, and will never be offered such membership, because the EU would disintegrate, sooner than admit Ukraine as a member. The members of the Customs Union, on the other hand, are Belarus, Kazakstan, and Russia, our long-term and reliable partners; Ukraine’s integration into the Customs Union, and only such integration, can provide an impulse for the economic recovery of Ukraine.
But the Ukrainian oligarchs, and that’s who has been determining our country’s policy, long ago integrated themselves into the EU. An example is the wealthiest man in Ukraine, the billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. He bought a fancy house for himself in London for 40 million pounds sterling. He already owns companies in both the USA and in EU countries. The children of the Ukrainian study in European countries, they go to Europe for medical care, they take their vacations here, and they keep their money in the banks of the City of London and offshore zones. Therefore, they are oriented toward Europe and the West. It was in order to defend their money, that they wanted to sign the Association Agreement.
This Agreement would have completely destroyed machine-building in Ukraine and dealt a serious blow to all industrial production and to agriculture. The Agreement would have required Ukraine immediately to open its domestic markets, with all imports tariff being immediately lifted from 72% of all products. The output of Ukrainian industrial companies is not competitive in today’s European market. Our Academy of Sciences has calculated that the cost of compliance with EU standards would be 160 billion euros. This is equivalent to the budget of Ukraine for four years. We do not have this kind of money. In other words, Ukraine would have been condemned to the bankruptcy of its industrial enterprises, a total economic collapse, and mass unemployment.
In addition, the Agreement prescribed that all of this would be presided over by supranational organizations: the Association Council and the Trade Committee. Ukraine, that is, would have lost both its state sovereign and its economic sovereignty. Furthermore, the Agreement provides that Ukraine, upon signing it, would enter into a Common Security and Defense System. This means political convergence. This means pushing Ukraine into NATO. From both the economic and the military standpoint, this would have been a blow against Russian interests. Calculations done by a joint task force of the Russian and Ukrainian Academies of Science showed that integration with the Customs Union would be very beneficial, economically, for Ukraine.
In addition, it is the case that historically and in its outlook, Ukraine is unquestionably oriented toward Russia. We are one people. We are the people of Rus. An ancient Russian state was formed. One thousand one hundred and fifty years ago, its initial capital was in Novgorod. Later the capital was in Kiev. After the period of the Tatar-Mongol yoke, Moscow became the capital. And, all together, we were called “Rus.” There was Little Russia, White Russia, South Russia, and Great Russia. “Ukraine” was artificially created by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in order to tear away a chunk of territory from Russia. Because 336 years ago, there had been a unification of Great and Little Russia [Russia and Ukraine]. And it was only in 1922 that Ukraine appeared as a nation-state.
Therefore, in economic terms, in world-outlook, and genetically, the majority of the Ukrainian population is oriented toward Russia. Let me read you some data, published in the journal Obozreniye by Nikolai Shulga, head of the Institute of Sociology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. This is the most respected sociological research in Ukraine. They posed the question to people, of what foreign policy orientation they would prefer for Ukraine. Fifty-four percent of the population replied in favor of developing relations with Russia and building up an eastern alliance. In favor of relations with the developed countries of the West — 15%. People were asked how they viewed the prospect of Ukraine’s joining a union with Russia and Belarus. Fifty-nine percent favored this, 21% were against. These figures were clearly differentiated by region. In western Ukraine, 16% were in favor of this idea of union with Russia and Belarus. In eastern Ukraine, 84% of the population. But the national average was 59% in favor.
The date of that poll was 2011. After Yanukovych came to power [in 2010], there was a dawn-to-dusk campaign throughout Ukraine, in favor of integration with the EU. It was hammered into people’s heads that, once the Association Agreement were signed, there would be jobs for everybody, wages like in France, pensions like in Germany, and everything would be hunky-dory. Therefore, two years later, in May 2013, the figures showing the orientation of our population had changed somewhat. In favor [of alliance with Russia and Belarus] were 49%, with 28% against and 22% undecided. If we split the undecided in half, the result is still that 60% of the Ukrainian population is oriented toward union with Russia and Belarus.
But the Ukrainian oligarchs, headed by Yanukovych, were preparing to sign the Association Agreement on November 29 in Vilnius. Suddenly, one week before it was to be signed, the Ukrainian government decided to halt the process and not sign for Association. And, indeed, on November 29, 2013, Yanukovych refrained from signing the Agreement.
The minute the whistle sounded, the Parliamentary opposition summoned people to a “Euromaidan,” to pressure the government on this issue. Indeed, people — several tens of thousands — poured into Independence Square [Maidan Nezalezhnosti] in Kiev, demanding Association with the EU. The majority of these people simply had no idea of what awaited Ukraine, were it to sign. It was only in January of 2014, that the this diagram appeared on the government website. It shows that if Ukraine signed the Agreement with the EU, Ukraine would lose $36.9 billion [U.S. dollars] in 2014 alone, whereas if Ukraine didn’t sign, but rather built up its relations with Russia, it would gain $5.1 billion dollars in 2014. But by then, nobody was listening.
That is because on the night of November 29-30,  the staff of Yanukovych organized a provocation, and the Maidan ceased to be peaceful. What was this provocation? The organizers of the Maidan announced that the demonstration was over. They began to take down the stage and remove the sound system. Only 300-400 people remained in the Maidan, primarily youth. At 4:00 a.m., a thousand people from the Berkut special police force showed up at the square. And the Berkut, rather than pushing the people out of the square, started brutally beating them. At 4:00 a.m., quite a number of TV channels happened to have crews in the square. The videos they filmed where then shown not only in Ukraine, but all over the world, to demonstrate “how the Ukrainian authorities were dealing with a peaceful demonstration.” The next day, tens of thousands of people from various regions of Ukraine, chiefly the western parts, streamed to Kiev. As of December 1, the neo-Nazis took the lead within the demonstration.
They brought in well-trained guerrillas, who began to do combat with law enforcement. Neo-Nazis did not suddenly appear in Ukraine on December 1, but much earlier. After the end of World War II, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), these collaborationists, was taken under the wing of the U.S. CIA. The minute Ukraine became independent [in 1991], their organizations were legalized inside Ukraine.
President Yushchenko, in particular, did a lot to promote the growth of the neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine. President Yanukovych not only did not cancel the Nazi decrees of Yushchenko, but also continue the same line. The question arises: why did Yanukovych do this? The Party of Regions, headed by Yanukovych, is not a party with an ideology. It is a business corporation, which uses the methods of banditry to do everything for the enhancement of its own wealth.
U.S. support has been very important for them. Under both Yushchenko and Yanukovych, the USA did everything it could to develop the neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine. I sued the President, demanding the repeal of Nazi decrees. I went through all the levels of court in Ukraine and beyond, up to and including the European Court. All of them ruled on the basis of a political decision, rather than the law. Contrary to the standards set by the Nuremburg Trials, to resolutions of the UN, to the Durban Resolution, and to various European conventions, they approved honoring Nazi collaborationists as Heroes of Ukraine who had fought for the liberation of our country. The national-socialist ideology and its idols, such as Bandera, Shukhevych, and Konovalets, have all surfaced at the Maidan.
Let’s look at a video, showing what Nazis in Ukraine look like. [Translator: This is a torch march of Right Sector.] Their slogans include “Glory to the nation, death to the enemies.” This is in Kiev, January 1, 2014. They are well-equipped. Here’s the leader of Svoboda, Tyahnybok. There they are in Kiev, at the Maidan. [Tr.: They are always masked. Right Sector is a grouping of several right-wing movements.] Here they are toppling a monument to Lenin. Now you see them throwing Molotov cocktails at law enforcement. Here are their insignia. This is Right Sector leader Yarosh, with the torch march. This is a “peaceful demonstration.” And the European politicians come, and here are these posters of agents of the Abwehr, Bandera and Shukhevych.
There they are tearing up the flag of the Party of Regions. They are shouting “Knife the Moskali [Russians], Hang the Communists.” Their greetings are analogous to those of the Nazis. In place of “Sieg heil!” they shout “Slava Ukraine, heroyam slava!” [“Glory to Ukraine, to the heroes glory!”]
Look at those chains. This is a “peaceful demonstration.” And later, they had guns.
They did not appear by accident or suddenly. This has been prepared over a long period of time, as a force for carrying out a coup.
Their swastika graffiti are all over Kreshchatyk Street. There are portraits of Bandera.
This is December 1 [shows video]. Here you have policeman standing, unarmed. [Guerrillas shown attacking.] Now, Molotov cocktails. [Tr.: And cudgels.] They are attacking the Presidential Administration offices. [Long passage of video.] On December 1, the whole world could see that there were terrorist guerrillas in the streets of Kiev. The EU said, no, this is a peaceful demonstration. These neo-Nazi guerrillas began to seize buildings: the Kiev City Hall, the Trade Unions House, the Ministry of Agriculture, the October Palace of Culture, and then they broke into the Ministry of Energy. Only there, did the Minister of Energy say that there was a danger to the fifteen nuclear reactors in Ukraine, and he drove them out of the Ministry building.
Central Kiev was totally blockaded, but Yanukovych was conducting negotiations with the opposition. [Former European Parliament President Pat] Cox and [Former President Alexander] Kwasnieski, from Poland, came to Kiev 27 times. Senator McCain from the USA, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Stefan Fuele, Catherine Ashton, and a great number of other European officials came to Kiev and they did not notice any guerrillas or neo-Nazis, and demanded that the government pursue only a peaceful solution. But on January 15, Zbigniew Brzezinski gave his interview, saying that the Maidan should not stop, but must go forward. Then, on January 19, there was a new wave of aggression. The police, the Berkut were just standing there, standing guard around the government quarter, making no moves, and not touching the Maidan. But the neo-Nazi guerrillas came out of the Maidan to attack the government quarter.
[Shows video.] This is January 19. [Tr.: Here the guerrillas make their move to take the government quarter.] The EU said that these are not terrorists or guerrillas, but “Euromaidan activists.” [Tr.: Each time, the actions are more aggressive. On January 19, you have them throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, setting the police on fire. //French narration by translator, inaudible.//]
What you’re seeing here is how the Euromaidan defends European values.
Out of twenty thousand people in the Euromaidan, there were 2000 neo-Nazis.
Here you have February 18. They said they were going on a peaceful demonstration near the Supreme Rada. [Video of armed guerrillas attacking police outside the Rada.] Two days later, on Feb. 20, they came after the Supreme Rada with guns. In the interim, military depots and police stockpiles of guns had been seized. Now it is estimated that there are as many as 25 thousand armed bandits in Kiev and throughout Ukraine. They have destroyed over 200 offices of the Party of Regions, shooting several office employees in the course of that. They have burned offices of the Communist Party.
I am also the leader of a political party. And I have my own attitude toward the government, but we do not support neo-Nazism. What can our party expect, if these people are in power? The neo-Nazis terrorized the Parliament, and on Feb. 20 they essentially reformatted the Parliament. On Feb. 21, they signed an agreement with Yanukovych. Three leaders of the opposition: Klitschko, Yatsenyuk, and Tyahnybok . The agreement was witnessed by representatives of three foreign ministries of EU countries — Foreign Minister Franz-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski of Poland, and the head of the Continental Europe Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eric Fournier.
This was a monstrous agreement. I never imagined that the European Union could flout the norms of law in such a way. Ukraine has a Constitution. Section 13 of that Constitution spells out the procedure for amending the Constitution. Yet, the first point of this Feb. 21 agreement demanded that amendments to the Constitution be adopted and announced within 48 hours, including a change in our state system. The Constitution requires a vote by a “constitutional majority” [two-thirds] in two consecutive sessions, followed by review and approval by the Constitutional Court.
The agreement contained not one word about dispersing the Maidan and disarming the guerrillas, so that the Parliament might vote in peace. Thus, by aiming pistol barrels at MPs, beating them up, and intimidating them with potential repercussions against their families, they forced the Supreme Rada to convene on Feb. 20 and start to vote. They voted to change the Constitution. The procedure for impeachment is spelled out in the Constitution. But the Parliament spat on that, simply voted, declared that Yanukovych had resigned, and set elections for May 25.
The agreement forbids declaration of a state of emergency. The agreement decrees that violence should cease. Immediately, the Berkut and the police were ordered: no use of force, no resistance. Meanwhile, the guerrillas were shooting at them. In the space of these three months, the Parliament has passed three amnesty laws. In 1999, when I was running for the Presidency of Ukraine, there was an attack, with two grenades, on me and my entourage. Forty-four people were wounded, including myself and Vladimir Marchenko. The organizer of this attack was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years. After five years, he was released. Just now, he has taken part in the latest events. He was arrested when he and his buddies attempted to seize the city hall of Krivoy Rog in Dnepropetrovsk Region. Eighteen Molotov cocktails were found in his car. He was detained, but under the amnesty he has been released again. Now, the organizers and guerrillas of the Maidan are shaping the entire government of Ukraine. We can see from the Svoboda Party’s program, what kind of government this will be. This is a neo-Nazi party, which does not conceal that it continues to implement the ideology of the National Socialists. The European Parliament, in resolutions passed in 2010 and 2012, condemned any support for this party. Now, it appears, the head of this party will become first deputy prime minister.
Look at the Svoboda Party program. It calls for ending Ukraine’s participation in any international groups of countries initiated by Moscow. Impose visa requirements for travel to and from Russia. Restore Ukraine’s status as a nuclear power. Demand from NATO member countries favorable conditions for Ukraine to join NATO. They have a special chapter on Crimea, which calls for changing the status of Crimea from an autonomous republic to merely a region. End the special status of the city of Sevastopol.
I ask you: what use does the EU have for Nazis in power in Ukraine? Is it not understood, that civil war in Ukraine will develop more and more.
There are fifteen nuclear power plants in Ukraine. Ukraine has the largest natural gas pipeline network in Europe. Ukraine has dozens of large chemical plants. What does it mean to have a civil war in the vicinity of industrial facilities like that?
The Russian Federation’s Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol. Russia gave the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine 60 years ago, in token of friendship. Do Catherine Ashton, Fuele and the others really not realize that this neo-Nazi regime will provoke a conflict with Russia? Do the EU officials really not understand that Ukraine will be completely bankrupt, and that millions of Ukrainians will become refugees, pouring into Europe in search of work?
What should be done? Moscow, Berlin and Paris should immediately unite their efforts to stop neo-Nazism in Ukraine. Adopt a decision, without Washington, on early Parliamentary elections in Ukraine. But, first, disperse the Maidan and disarm all the guerrillas. And, in accordance with the standards of international law, ban neo-Nazi parties and movements in Ukraine. Only then will there be a free expression of the will of the citizens of Ukraine and the formation of a normal Parliament. Without question, new Presidential elections are needed, because Yanukovych is a scoundrel who has no right to hold any political office in Ukraine. But if the Presidential elections are held on the Maidan’s terms, and under a dictatorship of Right Sector, Ukraine will get a Fuehrer. And then, with a neo-Nazi Parliament and a neo-Nazi government, the creation of a neo-Nazi state in the center of Europe will have been completed. These are our evaluations, and I thank you for being so attentive. If you have any questions, we welcome them.
[Dr. Vitrenko’s keynote was followed by an hour-long Q&A period, which will be reported later. Here are the concluding remarks offered by Mr. Marchenko and Col. Sergachov.]
Volodymyr Marchenko: I would like to draw your attention to the precedent, brought about by the USA and the EU. The essence of the matter is that the EU has proclaimed its principles and values, including the defense of human rights and the defense of minority rights, democracy, free elections, and non-acceptance of Nazism. These standards have guided the European Court of Human Rights, in implementing the provisions of the European Conventions. These values are the calling card of the EU, worldwide.
In regard to Ukraine, EU officials have violated all of these declared principles and values. In the Maidan, the neo-Nazis declared a “national revolution.” Their slogans proclaim, “Ukraine for Ukrainians!”, “Glory to the Nation, Death to the Enemies!” But the EU officials maintain that the Maidan is defending European values.
Today, the new authorities proclaimed that the only people considered part of the Ukrainian “nation” will be those who speak Ukrainian. Beyond any doubt, there is going to be forcible assimilation of ethnic minorities. Today, the new Parliament repealed the Law on Language Policy, which defined the procedure for the languages of ethnic minorities to obtain official status on the regional level. [Tr.: This applied to certain regions, where the majority of the population speaks Russian. Today, Russian lost its special status.] In western Ukraine, speaking Russian on public transport was banned, six or seven years ago. Now these processes will be generalized to Ukraine as a whole.
Irina Farion [of the Svoboda party], a neo-Nazi, is being proposed as minister of education in the new government. She is the teacher who forbid a schoolgirl to use her own name, which was a Russian name.
Another problem is that European values include the rule of law. Natalia Vitrenko showed that the agreement witnessed by the three foreign ministers included a demand to change the Constitution, to alter the state system of Ukraine, in the space of 48 hours. They changed the Constitutional system illegally, shifting from a Presidential to a Parliamentary republic. Violating the supremacy of law, namely, the priority of Constitution within the system of domestic law, President Yanukovych was illegally stripped of his authority.
The European Parliament, or EU officials, termed guerrillas with weapons in their hands, who were shooting civilians, shooting at elected bodies, and seizing government buildings, “peaceful demonstrators.” By supporting the Ukrainian Euromaidan as a repository of European values, the EU officials have recognized the swastika, as well as collaborationists like Bandera and Shukhevych and their practices, as European values. This means that the precedent of support for neo-Nazis, terrorists, and guerrillas in Ukraine, may be spread to other countries in Europe, to EU member countries.
Lastly, this: the EU has blessed the accession to power of neo-Nazis, who have already publicly declared Russia to be a hostile state. Russia and Ukraine are bound by a Treaty of Friendship and Partnership. And I think that the new, neo-Nazi Ukrainian regime will abrogate this treaty. But even without that, a hotbed of tension has already been created on the Eurasian continent, and the question of how to put it out, is a big problem for those who supported the Euromaidan and made out such values as were expressed there, as a so-called peaceful demonstration.
Valeri Sergachov: I would like to underscore that there are 134 ethnic groups living in Ukraine. Where are people supposed to flee? Poland and Romania have declared that they are prepared to accept refugees. Romania, for the past five or seven years, has been voicing territorial ambitions regarding land in the Odessa region and Bukovina, which they call Bessarabia. Claims on Crimea have already appeared in the Turkish press. The nationalists say that the territory of Ukraine extends from Lviv to the Don River — and that is already in Russia! I would like to underscore, once again, that there are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine: 15 Chernobyls. This all creates the potential for a military conflict that could spill over into World War III. Thank you.