Kiev ‘culling the opposition’ as political suppression continues
Igor Markov, a Ukrainian opposition politician, has been detained in the Italian city of San Remo at the request of Kiev. He is now facing extradition on charges of hooliganism relating to a case dating back almost a decade.
RT: Markov has been arrested just weeks after he joined the so-called Committee for Salvation of Ukraine. Are there any links here?
Daniel Patrick Welch: The situation inside Ukraine is so awful for opposition politicians or anyone who holds an anti-Maidan view that it’s perfectly reasonable. Poroshenko has given orders to disrupt the safety of Ukraine and there have been attacks on any number of politicians, so yes, I think it’s reasonable to see links.
RT: He's been a vocal critique of previous and current government as well. Could that in any way have influenced his arrests?
DPW: I don’t know exactly what the charges were – I know that they were dropped at some point. Obviously the situation is highly politicized, but again it’s difficult in a post-coup government to give much credence to elections and politicians and what they stand for because you have to remember that the government itself came to power at the head of a coup that was armed and funded by the West. What happens next is a direct result of that putsch.
RT: From your point of view, are there any signs that opposition is being suppressed in Ukraine today?
DPW: To be honest, I don’t give much credence to elections that take place after a government has been taken over. It’s a little bit like Honduras after the coup. I’m not being cynical, but in the past 48-72 hours there have been 800 shells launched against Donetsk by this regime. The Party of Regions was abolished, the Communist Party was abolished, and offices were set aflame in various cities. You have the Odessa massacre barely a year ago. To say that opposition is being suppressed is almost a neurotic understatement. The entire country is being transformed like Play-Doh into this army base against Russia and it’s being forced into this caricature of itself. So anything that is pro-Russian and starts with the letter “R” – whatever you can find that is against this paranoid vision of Ukrainian nationalism – is being suppressed in the public sphere.
RT: This year an opposition journalist has been killed and there are numerous cases of suicides by opposition politicians. What do you make of it?
DPW: It confirms what I have been saying that this is a cleansing operation. There are many politicians that have been killed, killed by snipers, which is a classic modus operandi of the CIA and their sniper teams that they used to destroy opposition politicians in Vietnam, in Central and South America in the 60s and 70s. It’s a way of culling the opposition and creating fear while presenting the kind of the surface view as this pseudo-democracy. Here we have chocolate oligarch Petro Poroshenko who is ostensibly elected, you have these elections that are held. It looks like they are having real democracy when it’s a complete farce and affront.
RT: Are there any hopes that the West could criticize Kiev for oppressing the opposition?
DPW: No, I hate to be so blunt but there is no chance of that at all. If there is criticism it will be soft and it will be: “We know you are scared of the big bad Russians, but you really shouldn’t have chopped off so many heads.” That kind of thing is typical of the US position when you are using a proxy. Let’s be clear: That’s what going on here was since the early days of Maidan. This is the playing out of a long-established political game to create destabilization on Russia’s border and eventually pursue a color revolution in Russia itself. That’s the main goal here. So the strands that lead to that are just playing with cotton candy. The West, if they do say anything against Poroshenko or against Kiev, will be within that context and it’s completely unbelievable and ingenuous because they helped to set the whole thing up.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.