‘Opposition leaders should admit they don’t control Maidan crowd’
The violence in Kiev has turned into a bloodbath in less than a day. At least 35 people have been killed in the violence in Kiev, and another 505 injured, the Health Ministry has confirmed. Three policemen died, and over 50 were injured in Kiev on Thursday, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. Thirty of the wounded officers sustained gunshot wounds. Security forces in Kiev have been permitted to use firearms as self-defense.
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RT:Would imposing sanctions on Kiev really influence the Ukrainian standoff?
Alexander Selivanov: I believe that the EU actually has to put sanctions on themselves because they are partly in charge of what is going on right now in Ukraine and especially with the threat of these sanctions that is making a lot of people at Maidan to continue storming the official buildings of the government.
So actually it’s absolutely impossible to single out those who are in charge, but definitely those are the extremists, radical groups. The leaders of those groups have already said that they are not ready to sit at the table of negotiations, they don’t want to give up to Klitschko and Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok, they said that they have never signed any treaties, they have never hammered any agreements with the incumbent government of Ukraine. That indicates that it’s going to be very difficult to single out those who are really to blame for the unrest and the deaths of many civilians.
"The rioters don't want a truce in Ukraine and they don't want peace in Ukraine, they want all the power. And that is the same goal that the so-called moderate opposition has. In this regard the radicals and the moderate opposition are allies. When the moderate opposition says they don't have any control over the radicals, it's a very convenient excuse. In fact they don't want to exercise any control because the rioters on the streets are working for the same goal as they are in meetings with western governments," Veronika Krasheninnikova, the head of the Institute of Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives, told RT.
RT:Could we expect military intervention into Ukraine under the aegis of the NATO, for example?
AS: I believe that it’s not going to go that far as military invasion just like it was Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Yugoslavia, but we know that among the instruments that Western civilization has been employing is the ‘humanitarian intervention’. That’s what it is called. So they could of course ask for a mandate from the UN peacekeepers, and then maybe as usual turn to NATO troops. At least that’s what we heard from the telephone leaked conversation between Victoria Nuland and Pyatt, the ambassador of the US to Ukraine, so they actually said that they want the UN to step in and interfere into the situation. That could be one of the possible courses of action for the Western civilizations, they don’t see immediate results.
The West has extensively interfered in the conflict and the tipping point was that leaked conversation that I referred to between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt when they expressly said that they were thinking who is the illegible candidate for the prime minister position and the subsequent position of the president.
RT:Rioters have made it clear they don't respect any truce agreements between the government and the opposition leaders - is it even possible to tackle the violence diplomatically?
AS: That’s starting the big deal to the problems that the current president and the government of Ukraine are having. So actually what the Western powers should do is call for peaceful resolution for the conflict like, for example, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs. She called for dialogue between the two parties. So that’s exactly what the EU leaders should do – also call for a peaceful resolution of a conflict. Maybe they would just try to come and speak not just to Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok, but also to those radicals at Maidan and call for the peace. They shouldn't be using the word ‘sanctions’. Maybe they should be using the word ‘peace talks’, that’s what they need. And it’s also really bad when [US President] Obama is trying to order the Ukrainian army not to interfere in their own problems, which is an infringement of the sovereignty of a democratic state.
"What the Ukrainian government can be held responsible for is for allowing these riots to happen. These riots were predictable; the Ukrainian government knew that the rioters were preparing. The Ukrainian president has a duty to protect constitutional order in the country and the rights of peaceful citizens," Krasheninnikova told RT.
RT:Why after several weeks of relatively stable situation we see a new rise of violence?
AS: The violence is escalating because the opposition leaders do not control the crowds, that’s in the first place. And we've already heard that some of the leaders of the radical groups of the opposition, the nationalists, they said they haven’t reached any agreement, they are not subordinate to anyone, they don’t want to listen to either Klitschko or Yatsenyuk or Tyagnibok. So actually the violence has escalated because the aim of the protesters is not reached. They want to take the power, they want to control the country and the violence will be escalating as there is no control from the opposition. And the opposition leaders should honestly say that they do not control the crowd in Maidan. Unless there is some political will from the president of Ukraine, there will be more problems there.
RT:It's all very well condemning Ukraine, but how would riots of this kind be dealt with if they had happened elsewhere in Europe?
AS: We already saw when it was Occupy Wall Street in the US they dispersed the crowds very efficiently, very effectively and very quickly without ever listening to any journalists, any public opinion from the international community. In Germany, I don't think this situation could ever emerge because there is strict control and the police are free to use firearms both in the US and Germany when there is a threat to public peace and to state of sovereignty.
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