‘West backed Ukrainian extremists to get rid of Yanukovich’
Leaders of far right groups like Dmitry Yarosh in the Ukraine are useful to the West because their existence allows them to back more moderate political figures and save face, Christine Stone, who acted as an observer at Ukraine's presidential election during the Orange revolution a decade ago, told RT.
RT:What do you make of the decision by the leader of the Ukrainian far-right group, Dmitry Yarosh, to run for President – do you think he stands a chance?
CS: No, I don’t think he stands a chance. But he serves a very useful purpose for the West in that when he is soundly beaten by “moderates” like Yulia Timoshenko or Vitaly Klitchko – they will be able to appoint who the sensible and moderate Ukrainian voter “wants”. So I think he serves a purpose in this forthcoming election, assuming it takes place as predicted.
RT:Russia's Foreign Minister said the West was aware of the influence radical groups have on the interim Ukrainian government, yet prefers to stay silent on that issue. Do you believe that's the case - and if so, why?
CS: I think the West has used extremists in various wars and upsets that have been caused in the last 20 years or so. Originally in Georgia in 1991, the mafia helped chase Zviad Gamsakhurdia away from power. Similarly in Syria and Libya extremists were used – in Syria’s case unsuccessfully, at least so far – to break the Assad government, and to get rid of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
So, I think what happened in Ukraine was when they realized they weren’t able to shift Yanukovich and his government through peaceful demonstration, they had to call upon the mob, the mafia, to bring this about – in this case of course the far right. So I think they are aware of what’s gone on and I’m afraid they have been fully involved.
RT:The West seems to be rushing to assure Ukraine it will be welcome in the EU and NATO. What's in it for Europe and the US?
CS: Obviously in terms of NATO it means the West and its forces will be one step nearer the Russian border. So there is a lot to gain there. As far as the EU is concerned, it’s a slightly more nuanced state of affairs.
I think it’s very unlikely with things as they stand that Ukraine will become a member of the EU. But, it is not impossible if the West in any way felt they were backed against a wall they could hurry them in, or at least hurry a western Ukraine in. That would cause enormous problems, particularly for member states like Britain, which have taken in thousands of people from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union over the past ten years.
I think the prospect on the ground for Ukraine entering the EU for many member states would be fairly dramatic and unwelcome.