“Those who opposed them were killed”
Losses of the Ukrainian army during the special operation of the Russian Federation can reach up to 200 thousand people, according to the US military. Former senator and Vietnam War veteran Richard Black has calculated that Ukraine is losing 12 times more soldiers than the U.S. Army lost in Vietnam — 6,000 every month. But there are still casualties among the civilian population. The people who led the country to this catastrophe are well known. Today we will talk about them with political scientist and political technologist Semyon Uralov, who worked a lot in Ukraine.
Vladimir Zelensky. Photo: Social networks
The blame for the Ukrainian tragedy, of course, lies in one way or another on every representative of the country's political elite. When I pronounce these words – “Ukrainian political elite”, I mentally see a tangled, moving ball of hissing snakes. They greedily bit into the inheritance they got from the USSR, divided it, snatching sweet pieces from each other, and destroyed competitors. The result of their disgusting fuss was what we are now seeing. But still, the key role in the catastrophe of Ukraine, our interlocutor believes, was played by four people: Turchynov, Avakov, Poroshenko and Zelensky. Each personifies a certain stage of falling into the abyss. A kind of “horsemen of the Apocalypse.” As you know, there were also four of them, and they appeared one after another: Disease, War, Famine … The last to appear was “a pale horse, and on it a rider whose name is death.”
After the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, people whose names were known only to a few experts in the region came to the forefront of politics. Once we lived with them in the same country, went to the same schools and cinemas, could run into them on a city bus or on the beach in Yalta. I think that not only I am interested in the question: when did they cross the line, beyond which there is only blood and death? How did the transformation of these formerly Soviet, ordinary people into hellish creatures take place?
“And Turchynov, and Poroshenko, and Avakov were people from the second echelon of Ukrainian politics,” says Semyon Uralov. – Turchynov has always been a “grey eminence” under Yulia Tymoshenko, and he got into the “major league” of Ukrainian politics quite a long time ago, even under Pavlo Lazarenko (former head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional state administration, prime minister of Ukraine in 1996-1997, convicted in the USA for corruption.— M.P.). Turchynov actually came to power in key positions after the “Orange Revolution” in 2005, under President Yushchenko, when he was appointed head of the SBU without any reason, although he is not a career officer and has never served in the security agencies. This did not prevent Turchynov from carrying out the first reforms of the SBU, as a result of which the service began to turn from the successor to the KGB into a branch of the CIA. Then foreign intelligence was withdrawn from the SBU and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine was formed as an independent body. It was under Turchynov in 2005 that the centers of information and psychological special operations were created – the famous TsIPSO, which we see today in all its glory. This is a person from the system, deeply integrated. It's just that in 2014 all these people came to the forefront. Turchynov was the first to cross the “red line”, starting the ATO. That is, he committed a war crime, legitimized it.
Petro Poroshenko. Photo: press service of the President of Ukraine
Bloody graphomaniac Turchynov
The well-established nickname of Turchinov among the people is “bloody pastor”. Here is a hint at the confessional affiliation of the patient, who is an adherent of the Word of Life neo-Pentecostal church founded in Sweden. The Russian Association of Centers for the Study of Religion and Sects (RATSIRS) included this organization in its list of destructive totalitarian sects. They say that Turchinov was baptized twice. The first time – in the Orthodox faith. But he quickly realized that he would not earn special dividends on this, and switched to Protestantism. This opened up new horizons for him: it is known that many influential Western politicians and security officials are representatives of Protestant denominations. Baptists and Pentecostals are very influential in the US, with 50 million and 20 million respectively. And in his youth, the head of the department of agitation and propaganda of the Dnepropetrovsk regional committee of the Komsomol, Turchinov, was, of course, an atheist. Also sincere. By the way, he joined the CPSU at the age of 26, not everyone at that age was accepted there. Under the auspices of the regional committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League of Dnepropetrovsk, Yulia Tymoshenko created the youth center “Terminal”, from which her ascent to the heights of power and wealth began. From there, apparently, her connection with the figurant extends.
This is how Turchynov sees himself (illustration for the book “The Tale of Dobromol” ).
But few people know that Turchinov is also a writer. He writes mystical thrillers and even … children's fairy tales. With deep undertones. One of them is called “The Tale of Dobromol”. Dobromol (Good fellow) is Zelensky. The Ancient Kingdom of Dreams (Kom) is Ukraine. The Gloomy Kingdom (Darkness) in the north is, of course, Russia. It is inhabited by terrible creatures born from the mating of alcoholics with bearded female swamp cannibals – Russians. In the book, they are depicted wearing earflaps and holding balalaikas in their hairy hands. Europe is designated as Country Sausage, and Poroshenko is bred as the Old King – Starko. Dobromol wins Starko, carries out unsuccessful reforms, establishes a dictatorship, the people rise up, and then the drunks from Gloom attacked the country. As a result, Dobromol escapes from Kom on Starko's boat. Turchinov himself the storyteller is depicted in the book as a one-eyed inquisitor standing in a pool of blood against the background of a feather and an axe. And he obviously likes this image – after all, he paid the artist.
Alexander Turchinov. Photo: ru.wikipedia.org
This incompetent nonsense is a godsend for a psychiatrist, but it perfectly reveals the personality of Turchinov himself. He sees himself in the image of the Grand Inquisitor, administering bloody “justice”. The symbol of European well-being is unhealthy sausage, and Russia is Mordor.
In one of his books, Turchinov describes the moment of his triumph – a meeting with the director of the CIA. “After passing the famous hall of the main office of the US Central Intelligence Agency with the eagle and CIA shield known from numerous films on a sparkling marble floor, we took a personal elevator to the reception room of America’s chief intelligence officer … A conversation with the CIA director in his office is the highest sign of trust in the head of a foreign special services.” At that time he was the head of the SBU. However, it looks like he showed up to report to his boss.
Arsen Avakov. Photo: ru.wikipedia.org
“The Devil in the Flesh” Avakov
If Turchinov came to power from the Komsomol, then the ex Interior Minister Arsen Avakov – straight from the organized criminal group.
“Avakov is a figure of smaller caliber,” says Semyon Uralov. – This is a regional businessman with a very strong gangster bias. Kharkiv has always differed from other Ukrainian cities in that they tried to maintain a balance there, not to participate in all-Ukrainian showdowns. This is a different political culture. This city was to a lesser extent gangster, rather “red”, i.e. “Cop”, as the people say.
Since Soviet times, the region has been ruled by Oleksandr Maselsky, Chairman of the Kharkiv Regional Executive Committee, People's Deputy of the USSR, then the representative of the President of Ukraine in the Kharkiv Region, Chairman of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration from 1995 until his sudden death in April 1996. He was a hardened Soviet manager and a strong business executive.
The second powerful figure in Kharkov was Yevgeny Kushnarev, who in 2007 died hunting, according to the official version, from a ricocheted bullet. He was the chairman of the Kharkiv city council, worked for two years as the head of the administration of President Kuchma, then returned to Kharkov as governor. He held the post of head of the regional state administration until December 18, 2004.
“Kushnarev was both a governor and a center for the consolidation of elites,” says Uralov. – And most importantly – he was the second figure after Yanukovych in the then-nascent Party of Regions. His death was very strange, because initially the wound was not fatal, but he was taken to hospitals for too long. Kharkov was against the “orange revolution”. Avakov then became a man who plunged a knife into the back of the Kharkiv elites and Kushnarev specifically. Seeing that the “orange” were gaining the upper hand, he publicly supported them, for which he received the post of governor from Yushchenko in 2005. Then in 2010 he betrayed him. As a businessman, he was formed within the Kharkov system, but betrayed it, violating the unspoken intra-elite consensus that had existed since the 90s. The late mayor of Kharkiv, Gennady Kernes, with whom I worked, claimed that it was Avakov who was behind the assassination attempt on him in April 2014. He also said that Avakov killed his senior business partner Alexander Konovalov, nicknamed Fascist, after which he took possession of all his assets.
By the way, Kernes called Avakov “the devil in the flesh.”
“Avakov, having become governor, began to attract nationalists,” says our interlocutor. “After the Orange Revolution, the Kharkiv region was given over to President Yushchenko's elder brother Petr, whose son even served as vice-governor under Avakov. But the “orange” government was unpopular. Avakov needed the nationalists in order, on the one hand, to torpedo the city government, which was oppositional, with their hands, on the other hand, to “nightmare” business. In Kharkov, there is the largest market in Eastern Europe, the Vietnamese diaspora is seriously represented there, and it was terrorized under the guise of “struggle for the white race”, up to the murders of Vietnamese businessmen. On the other hand, these scumbags were used as a political technology tool to make the “orange” look like such “light” nationalists against their background. In those years, I worked in Kharkiv and myself observed how the SBU and regional authorities took control of local nationalists and protected them. Biletsky, a rural Fuhrer of Azov (a neo-Nazi organization, the question of the ban of which the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation will consider on August 2. – M.P.), in those years was the leader of the “Patriot of Ukraine” (banned in the Russian Federation) , and they “nightmare” these Vietnamese. Then he was imprisoned for attempting to kill a correspondent of one of the central Ukrainian TV channels, which showed this lawlessness.
In 2014, Avakov took on the dirty role of destroying the anti-Maidan in Kharkiv. If Kharkov had been added to Donetsk and Lugansk then history would have gone differently. But Avakov, relying on criminal structures and neo-Nazis, coped with the task. True, for this he had to attract special forces from Vinnitsa, and Kharkov “became famous” throughout the world as a city in which there are secret prisons of the SBU. Appointment to the post of head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was his reward. As a result of Avakov's activities, peaceful Kharkov became the base of the Nazi rabble. The nationalists covered by him turned into frostbitten “Azov”. Neo-Nazis and representatives of organized crime groups were included in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. There was a “Nazification” of the power structures, and the military, who in the spring of 2014 did not want to shoot at the people, were already ready for anything.
Then he will release the book “2014. Moments of the Kharkov spring”, where he will tell how in Slavyansk the special forces refused to crush people on the barricades with armored vehicles: “I read about the experience of Croatia, where there was a similar hybrid situation, where civilian aunts also climbed onto tanks. They immediately found a way out: a couple of times such aunts were shot and the rules were immediately established.
But the main betrayal, according to Semyon Uralov, was committed by Poroshenko.
– In 2014, he was elected as the “president of the world”, he promised to end the ATO, promised that peace would come in two weeks. It is clear that this was a political technology deception, because some interpreted these statements in the sense that he would win in 14 days, while others believed that he would be able to agree. The majority still believed that he would be able to negotiate, because both in the elites and among the people he was known as a person who is deep in the system, who knows how to negotiate with both the “Donetsk” and the “orange”. But Poroshenko exchanged his historical mission of a peacemaker for huckster “nishtyaki”. In it, the businessman of the “hunter” type took over. Which resulted in muddy schemes for the delivery of Donetsk coal to Ukraine under the guise of Dutch. Plus, the opportunities that have opened up for IMF loans and other subsidies from the US and Europe. And he spent all 5 years of his presidency to build a personal financial empire, to enter the top league of the Ukrainian oligarchy. He constantly deceived everyone – both Russia, and his own citizens, and American curators. He followed the principle of “do not say yes and no”, “no peace, no war.”
“Moreover, he is a representative of a dynasty. His father was a member of the elite of the Ukrainian SSR and the Moldavian SSR, he was one of the first millionaires back in the Soviet Union, was convicted of embezzlement. Poroshenko has been in big politics since 1998, and was an ally of Medvedchuk. Then, for some time, he was the leader of what later became the Party of Regions. That is, he was an ally of the “Donetsk” – Yanukovych, Azarov. He was the godfather of ex-president Viktor Yushchenko.
– I think that Poroshenko was really counted on in Moscow, because he was a systemic figure since the days of Kuchma's presidency. During the Yushchenko era, he maintained a very rational position. The parents of the wife of his son Alexei live in St. Petersburg, he regularly flew to them. One fine day in 2007, he was not allowed to cross the border, and he was forced to sign an obligation for the FSB not to take part in activities directed against the interests of the Russian Federation. Plus the business that he had in the Russian Federation, plus connections since the days of the Komsomol youth. He was considered an able-bodied businessman. Poroshenko really could, if he wanted to, at least prevent the conflict from escalating. But he clearly decided that the opportunities for making money far outweighed the costs. His commercial streak took over, and he decided to do business on blood. Therefore, I consider him one of the key culprits of the Ukrainian tragedy.
Servant of the State Department Zelensky
– The Zelensky project was launched a long time ago, but initially as a cultural one. Then, in 2015, there was a quarrel between Kolomoisky and Poroshenko… Poroshenko then convinced the Americans that Kolomoisky’s too strong influence on politics did not allow him to do what the United States demanded of him. Kolomoisky was forced to emigrate, but he still has his main asset – the 1 + 1 channel. Zelensky was given full carte blanche to ridicule Poroshenko. Around the same time, the idea of the series “Servant of the People” appeared. Initially, Zelensky, apparently, was considered as a technical candidate for Yulia Tymoshenko. Polls showed that the people were completely disappointed in all current politicians, 70% of citizens hated everyone. The ratings of Poroshenko and Tymoshenko did not exceed 10-12%. Against the backdrop of general disappointment, the Zelensky project suddenly took off. It was a project with the longest pre-election video in history, because Servant of the People has three seasons.
Zelensky, like Poroshenko, was elected with the hope of peace. Like his predecessor, he betrayed the trust of the voters and missed his chance to stop the fighting.
They all came out of Kuchma's overcoat
– All modern figures somehow came out of “Kuchma's overcoat”, like Russian literature from Gogol's “Overcoat”, but it would be more correct to call them not members of his team, but people who “sprouted” inside his system. In the oligarchic system there are no permanent allies or any ideology. There is only a desire to bite off a piece of property, and on this basis, some kind of alliances constantly arise. As such, Kuchma did not have a team. The same Lazarenko, with whom they came to power together, turned out to be his sharp opponent.
– “Banderization” went through several stages. Under Kuchma, Ukrainian nationalism was legitimized as a “decent” ideology. In Soviet Ukraine and in the early 90s, the word “rukhovets” sounded like a curse. But in Kuchma's system, Rukh members have already taken a legal place, they have become part of the official opposition, many of them have held positions in power. There were two Kuchmas: Kuchma of the first term, who relied on the south-east of Ukraine, and Kuchma of the second term, when he began to rely on Western and Central Ukraine. During his second term, there was already a complete legalization of Bandera. Under him, a deal was made: the elites of the southeast were given the economy, and the elites of the poor west of Ukraine were given culture and ideology. The society was still pro-Soviet, the politicians of the left flank posed a threat to Kuchma, so he began to lure the right into his team. In this sense, he is the architect of a new Ukrainian nationalism, but still “light”, its light version. But the trouble is the beginning, what he started was then continued.
– Kuchma's re-election for a second term was the result of a deal between the Ukrainian elites and the United States. In exchange for the legitimization of the election results, the post of prime minister was given to the creature of the West – Viktor Yushchenko, and the key deputy prime minister for the fuel and energy complex – Yulia Tymoshenko. This was followed by the first attempt at a coup d'etat – the “Ukraine without Kuchma” campaign. As planned, Kuchma was to be demolished back in 2001, and the newly appointed prime minister was to take power. Then it failed, but the script was run.
In 2004, there was no longer a state in Ukraine. Formal signs of statehood remained, but in fact the framework of the state was replaced by a system of tacit agreements between large oligarchic groups, on the one hand, and on the other hand, a significant part of state functions was placed under external control. Both Poroshenko and Turchynov are people who have made a conscious choice in favor of external control, who have become operators of this control, moreover, 20 years ago.
Why do I call them the “Horsemen of the Apocalypse”? Because the main crimes, after which irreversible consequences occurred, occurred at certain points. The key one is the seizure of power in 2014 and then the declaration of an illegal ATO, that is, the use of force against civilians, which Turchynov sanctioned.
– I think that all this is due to impunity. People who built their careers on the destruction of the state, earned capital on this and did not suffer any punishment for their crimes. Whether it was murders or massacres, that is, the ATO, they got away with everything. They have always had 25 years of impunity, permissiveness, private armies under the guise of private security companies, there was no control over them. Those employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who tried to resist them were killed. For example, there was such a Minister of the Interior Kravchenko, who shot himself twice after the “orange revolution”. Or regional prosecutor Volodymyr Shuba in Dnepropetrovsk, who died during training at a police shooting range in 2008. He also allegedly “shot himself” with one shot in the heart, unloading his pistol. He was still from the old Soviet prosecutors. These people would have taken place in the Soviet system. But the demolition of foundations, moral and ethical norms led to this evolution. In the Russian Federation there were exactly the same types – Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky. But if in the Russian Federation in 1991 there was a rapid collapse of statehood, and in the 2000s the process of restoration began, then in Ukraine the 90s passed quite gently, with the preservation of the Soviet state, the process of decomposition began in the 2000s, and since 2004 the state has no longer was.