by Kennedy Applebaum
August 4, 2015
Edited August 6, 2015
Quemado Institute has suggested since the spring of 2014 that Vladimir Putin host a government-in-exile for Viktor Yanukovich, the technically legitimate President of Ukraine. Yanukovich fled Kiev, with the aid of Russian security, in February 2014 during the violent “Maidan” coup. He could not have remained in the capital; his life was in serious danger. Accused of the kind of illicit dealings rampant among Ukrainian officials, Yanukovich had become discredited, a fact which, along with disinformation concerning his alleged role in the Maidan massacre, was used to justify to his US-assisted overthrow. The Ukrainian citizens who sought to oust him apparently had impossible expectations of their leader, demanding exemplary behavior in an environment of unparalleled corruption.
Yanukovich deserved proper impeachment proceedings in a safe judicial setting. More importantly, Ukraine deserved his proper impeachment. As it stands, the ad hoc May 25, 2014 “election” of Petro Poroshenko lacked any constitutional basis, leaving the majority of the Ukrainian people ruled by an illegal regime.
Yanukovich’s flight was similar in some ways to that of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, who with modest help from the CIA, fled Lhasa in 1959 during China’s brutal invasion. A reluctant India, fearful of Chinese reprisals, nevertheless hosted the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile in the Himalayan enclave of Dharamsala, which stood not far from the Tibetan border. This provided hope and direction for the mostly Buddhist Tibetan people, and serves as a signal to the world that Tenzin Gyatso is and remains the legitimate Head of State of Tibet.
The world needed such a signal on Urkaine. Putin, however, seems to have shunned the idea of hosting a government-in-exile, an omission I’ve considered unforgivable. I attributed the oversight to Putin’s apparent obsession with appeasing the West. Yet, it may be that a government-in-exile was foiled by the “Fifth Column”, that undesirable element of subversive Western NGO’s currently being expelled from Moscow.
Now Nikolai* Azarov, Ukraine’s Prime Minister during Yanukovich’s term, is proposing just what was needed at the start: a government-in-exile hosted by Russia. It turns out, however, Azarov is excluding Yanukovich from the project, rendering it toothless and illogical from the outset.
The following articles shed light on two observers’ responses to Azarov’s proposal:
On the Meaning & Significance of Azarov’s so-called
“Commitee for the Salvation of Ukraine
by Mark Sleboda
August 4, 2015
Azarov’s “National Salvation Committee/Government-in-Exile, effectively the old Party of Regions-in-exile, comes far too late and after 7000+ Dobass dead [** See footnote] — too many to save Ukraine as a unified state from the civil war that resulted from the Maidan Putsch. A year and a half ago – maybe. Now – it is an exercise in cynicism and futility. All the West & IMF’s money and all Putin’s cunning plans can’t put Ukraine back together again.
Azarov and his gang have no support in Ukraine proper (apart from a handful of oligarchs in fellow exile – the one’s displaced by the oligarchs now in charge of the regime in Kiev) under the spell of the Putsch’s Orwellian propaganda machine AND no support in Donbass either.
And why should they? They were the one’s who froze and were too weak to act to restore law and order as the Maidan mobs seized control of the capital, being lulled into somnolence by the sweet whispered words and threats of the EU’s Putsch co-plotters. Where were they for the last year and a half when the new West-backed regime took over and begin to send bands of armed Banderites to seize the Donbass and then, when that failed, artillery and airstrikes to bomb the people into subjugation? They were fleeing to Switzerland and then Russia to secure their ill-gotten lucre, while other, better men in the Donbass and from around Ukraine took up arms to defend their homes, families, and way of life from the forces of the West-backed Putsch.
No – as was quite rightly pointed out in the presser, Azarov’s Government-in-Exile has NO ability to retake the country on its own, especially refusing to work with the NAF in Donbass. What’s more, they are also insanely refusing to have anything to do with Yanukovich or his government ministers. Whatever else Yanukovich is and was (a weak naïve corrupt fool) – he is still the last legitimate and democratically elected President of Ukraine – he would still have granted those last shreds of legitimacy and constitutionality to Azarov’s Committee. Do they actually think that Azarov or their announced presidential candidate (in what elections?!?), Vladimir Oleinik, will somehow appeal more to Eastern and Central Ukrainians without Yanukovich? That just plays into the whole Maidan Putsch narrative.
Like the West-backed Maidan Putsch regime in Kiev – Azarov’s Government-in-Exile lacks credibility and legitimacy. Unlike the regime, the Committee also lacks the military force and Western funding necessary to prop it up and to create realties on the ground.
No – the real significance in Azarov’s Government-In-Exile is as a message, a warning, to the West and their proxies occupying Kiev – because, whatever the public denials, of course Azarov and his gang, operating out of Russia, couldn’t and wouldn’t patch this farce together, especially after all this time, without at least a greenlight from the Kremlin. Its a message – a political rather military escalation. It says: “If you refuse to fully enact Minsk2 as agreed, in particular the definitional key requirement of engaging in actual dialogue and political compromise with the leaders of DNR and LNR, the legitimate voices of the Donbass people, then we can and we will – come to you in Kiev and pull this West-backed Putsch regime of neoliberals, oligarchs, and Banderites down around your ears and install a government of whoever we like in its place.”
Now we can discuss, at this stage, whether this a bluff or not – but that is the message and real significance of Azarov’s “Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine”. More disturbingly, it also shows us how far apart the goals and aspirations of the leaders of the DNR & LNR and the forces ascendant in the Kremlin, for the Donbass, have grown.
[References available at source.]
“The Committee for Salvation of Ukraine” Wants to
Take the Whole Ukraine Back
by Kristina Rus
August 4th, 2015
The creation of “The Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine” is the most important latest development in the Ukrainian crisis. Listening to former Prime Minister Azarov yesterday and his counterpart, presidential candidate Oleynik made me want to both cry from joy and applaud at the same time. This development is so critical and such a sign of a turning tide and a breath of fresh air, that I wanted to translate the entire 2 hours of it, but thankfully RT has already done the job for me.
Despite the many reasons that could be named about why Ukraine should be broken up, we should not loose sight of the fact that the ultimate prize and the ultimate solution to the crisis is to get the entire Ukraine back from the grip of evil ultra-nationalism and divisive russophobia.
Putin can not do that for Ukraine. Ukraine must heal itself. And this is where the “Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine” comes in. Yes, it is headed by a prime minister from the government of Yanukovich, but it is sufficient to compare the economic data before and after Maidan to see that the current government of Ukraine is leading it on the path to self-destruction. The goal of the Committee is to unite people from Ukraine not connected to either the current or the previous government to lead Ukraine to its salvation.
Azarov had rescued Ukraine three times, and his policies always produced economic growth and increased prosperity of Ukrainian citizens. Azarov’s intimate knowledge of Ukrainian issues make his remarks here an indispensable first source of information.
A range of topics are discussed – from Crimea to the volunteer battalions, to the role of Ukrainian media. Azarov’s remarks are passionate and personal, because the issue is deeply personal for him, and it is clear that saving Ukraine is his personal mission.
The Ukrainian people just received a sign of hope, and alternative vision and a doze of painful truth about their predicament, as well as a proposed solution. Azarov is the responsible adult who finally crashed the party and put the out-of-control Ukrainian “teenage” establishment in their place. He is not intimidated by the snark questions from Ukrainian journalists, he lectures them back and tells it like it is, with disarming knowledge and irresistible authority.
Azarov told the exhausted and disenchanted Ukrainian people exactly what they needed to here at this moment.
Azarov and Oleynik, as well as their network in Ukraine, represent the hope and the future for Ukraine, which has to come not from Putin and not from Russia, but from Ukraine itself. I urge you to listen to the entire press conference!
*Footnote: Nikolai Azarov also uses the name Mykola Azarov. Nikolai was his first name at birth.
**Footnote: German intelligence estimtated as many as 50,000 dead in the Ukraine war as of mid-February 2015, most of them Ukrainian soldiers. — KA
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 5 HEADLINE STORY:
No discussion of Yanukovych Criminal Prosecution by Ukraine Salvation Committee — ex-PM
See NEWS FROM NOVOROSSIYA
Contacts Between Kiev and Donbas on Political Issues Insufficient — Lavrov