Grigory Pasko: Lukashenka is Putin’s slave
10:03, — Interview
Putin’s plan for Ukraine is to create a marionette regime like the Belarusian.
Well-known Russian journalist and former political prisoner, director if the Russian Foundation of Investigation Journalism Grigory Pasko told about it editor-in-chief of charter97.org Natallia Radzina.
Grigory Pasko’s case used to be one of Russia’s most prominent cases. The military journalist working for the Pacific navy was accused of espionage for Japan and sentenced to a 4-year prison term.
- Grigory, some don’t know that you, a Russian journalist, former political prisoner, officer of the Pacific navy, are actually Ukrainian. You were born in the Kherson region and studied in Lviv Military Political college. What do you think of the Russian occupation of Crimea?
- I am having a unique sensation. I understand perfectly well why the Maidan has happened, I do understand what has happened in Crimea, I am aware that in the Ukrainian navy there are officers born in Russia, and in the Russian Black Sea navy there are Ukrainian-born officers, just like me.
This entire situation, this idiocy was started by one single person. And we will not see the end of it in any near future because even when Putin is gone, it will continue to roll on. Geopolitical processes always take long time.
Until now the world has agreed not to fight for Cyprus, the Falkland and Kuril islands. And here comes this idiot with his medieval understanding of the world and his arrogant attitude.
- Can we expect Russia to seize south-eastern Ukraine after its occupation of Crimea?
- I do hope that the sanctions that the USA and Europe have introduced or will introduce will have some effect. Nobody can predict how effective the sanctions will be – neither in Russia nor in the West. Both business and politics are being globalized. Today putinoids can take a time-out to observe and analyze possible outcome.
They are threatening the West with their sanctions but they have nothing. Joe Biden twittered that he didn’t know what he would do without his secret account in the Russian Sberbank and how he would send his kids to study in Tula. Putin’s arrogance has no connection to the realia of the American and European sanctions.
- Nevertheless, Russia is gathering troops at its Ukrainian border and even from the north – the Belarusian side.
- Yes, they have to move the army to the borders and clang with their weapons. But at the same time, the Russian powers are too cowardly and foul to openly show their troops. They will change their soldiers’ uniform to camouflage with no labels and send to Ukraine, just like they sent them to Crimea. They will order them to seize military bases, districts, violate all international laws. Meanwhile, the powers will keep distance claiming that these soldiers aren’t “their people”.
Cowardice, hypocrisy and falseness are the essence of the politics of Putin and his entourage. This toad that has been ruling for 13 years has become a dragon.
Putin’s plan for Ukraine is panic, obscurity, chaos and constant provocations with the only purpose – to win some preferences in the time of instability.
- Do they plan to create a marionette regime in Ukraine, like the one in Belarus?
- To begin with, Putin has created marionette regimes all over Russia, in all its 69 regions. Initially governors were elected, but then he started to appoint criminal foul marionette thieves. As a result, Russia has lost all its friends.
The Belarusian regime is, too, a marionette Lukashenka fully depends on Putin. With such a number of Russian troops in your country they cannot be any independency.
I don’t recall any serious disagreement between Lukashenka and Putin. Lukashenka, like an obedient servant, has come to each session of the stillborn organizations like the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States and other scams that exist only on paper. And then there is this mysterious and completely pointless Customs Union. So I believe that Lukashenka is nothing more than an obedient slave on Putin’s galley. And it will be this way until the Belarusian people get rid of him.
Lukashenka’s regime has long been an outcast in the West. After the annex of Crimea, Russia has become an outcast, too. Russia has been expelled from the G8, although in my view it should have been done for a long time ago. The West had all reasons to put an end to Putin’s rule, but they have been waiting for something, have been flirting with him.
- Is Putin trying to restore the empire in the post-soviet block?
- What is this empire? It cannot be restored. All normal countries have given up their imperial ambitions for a long time ago. Putin is not restoring the empire; he is demonstrating his imperial ambitions to compensate for his inferiority complex.
For 13 years has he been sitting on his throne, and now it occurs to him – or he has heard it from someone – that despite these 13 years of ruling the biggest country in the world he is nobody, a complete looser, and this is how he will remain in history. And suddenly he got this chance with Ukraine and Crimea. That’s it. He decided to unite “the Russian lands”. He decided to become a ”reunificator of Crimea and Russia”, not an aggressor, fascist or new Adolf Putler.
- Does he think about consequences of his actions? Why not give the Kuril islands to Japan, Far East to China and Kaliningrad to Germany, as so many people have been joking?
- Had Japan been ruled by similar idiots, they would have moved their troops to the Russian border. Japan, who has self-defense units instead of a regular army, or its American allies would have blocked the Broughton bay and La Perouse Strait. But being politically literate people, they realize that if they step into politics in dirty boots they will create long-lasting conflicts. Putin, in his turn, doesn’t give a damn. He has created a conflict zone – Crimea – that will last for decades.
As for China, right now Putin is their good friend after having given away three islands near Khabarovsk without a necessary sanction from the Russian Parliament, which basically is treason. I doubt that tomorrow China will demand that Russia give away the Amur region because it used to be a part of the Jurchen Empire.
I believe that Putin doesn’t understand what he has done. And most of those who see themselves as such great patriots who have saved the Russians in Crimea, and even the Crimeans don’t understand what has actually happened. Those few people in Russia whom Putin has called “nationalist traitors” are capable of reflecting upon the historic perspective of the events, but not the rest of the nation. These “great patriots” don’t think about future.
- How probable is it that Russia will split? What will happen in the Caucasus?
- I believe nothing will happen In the near future. The entire region has been cleansed, Putin’s bandits rule everywhere. With them at the helm, local nations will not fight for their right to independence. Dudaev could do that because he was a real man and officer. But these are mere bandits in sweat pants.
- Let’s assume that, for example, in Tatarstan people vote for leaving the Russian Federation. How would the Russian powers react?
- They would eliminate everyone and change the regime.
- And what should the new Ukrainian powers have done in Crimea?
- During one week they took the power and then found out that the aggressor came to their home… There was no other way to react because they had no real instruments of national control, no legal restrictive measures (like presidential elections), and no basic laws. Moreover, the thief got into the shed and stole everything of value when there is no actual army in Ukraine.
- You are a naval officer. What is your opinion of the present situation with the Ukrainian navy in Crimea?
- Minister of defense Tieniukh allowed the Ukrainian military and the Black Sea navy in particular to use weapons. But when the unidentifiable bandits came and said that they would shoot everyone, nobody opened fire because it would be meaningless. Bandits had power, weapons and support of a huge country.
- In other worlds, this situation leaves them with no other option than to save lives and leave?
- Yes, they should leave with their wives and children. I cannot even blame them. On the one hand, they are military man and they should fight for their land and their ships, but on the other hand, they realize that nobody will help them. The Americans said, “We’ll give you allowance but we won’t send any ships or weapons”. It is a stupid situation to die in. Moreover, Russians would have to shoot Ukrainians who serve in the Russian army, and vice versa.
I know many high-rank officers from the Ukrainian and Russian navy. They don’t want a war. And hence those sent to fight and kill are simple dumb bandits. It seems to be FSB speznaz, Putin’s private unit.
- What is the actual condition of the Russian army?
- In my view, it is quite bad, no matter what Shoigu and other flashy holders of medals from the Ministry on Emergencies say. It has never been good during the past 20 tears. The army’s state has only been deteriorating – its military readiness, provision. If the country is falling down, its army cannot be moving towards progress with the civilized world. It just never happens.
By the way, the Georgian conflict from 2008 showed that the Russian army is in fact incapable of any real military action, because it is shameful to lose four fighters with pilots during three days while Georgia only lost several UAVs. What anoutcome.
In my view, in case of a real conflict, say, with the USA, the Russian army would appear in a very unpleasant situation because there are so many words and ambitions, and so little actual power and skills.
Even the Pskovskaya, Tamanskaya and Kantemirovskaya divisions are nothing more than cannon fodder. They can win with their great number, not with their skills, electronic devices, war technologies, organization, mobile relocations or aviation attacks. This is how the West fights. Russia goes to the war relying on the great number of its soldiers, just like during the WW2.
- Does Russia have any money for the war, given that the country is in an economic crisis?
- It has taken us 25 years to build nuclear submarines of the fourth generation. For 25 years ago the technology was launched, today it is completely obsolete. Well, maybe India or another similar country can be interested in buying these submarines, but I doubt it. Russia places construction orders on French plants.
- Putin’s former councilor Andrei Illarionov has recently emphasized that while neither the USA, nor the UK who are the guarantors of Ukraine’s independence fulfill their part of the agreement, the country has to defend itself.
- But Ukraine has nothing to defend itself with. Its economy and state organization are ruined. Yanukovich’s corrupted regime destroyed the country. And even before him the Ukrainian army had never had a proper management or modernization process. And now we have the result.
- What can be done today?
- We should start from the beginning. Ukraine needs new decent powers and state institutions, not criminal or pro-Putin but completely independent.
Of course, there cannot be any economic, political or military connections with Russia right now. The sooner Ukraine integrates with the EU, the better it will be for the entire Ukrainian nation. And of course, Ukraine should join NATO.
Ukraine needs NATO as a reliable ally and partner, otherwise the putinoids will persist in trying to annex its lands.
- Let me quote Illarionov one more time. He said that today many countries can consider having nuclear weapons in order to protect their independence. Can one say that the world is on the brink of a nuclear war?
- Of course, all thanks to comrade lieutenant colonel of KGB Putin. He doesn’t care however; he is a St Petersburg punk.
- What other sanctions can be used against Russia? That is, apart from target sanctions against several officials and oligarchs. There is an opinion that the most effective measure would be to stop import of Russian oil and gas.
- The USA is going to lift sanctions on oil supplies from Iran. The American oil reserve has returned to the market. It will hit hard the Russian regime.
I believe that today the Russian powers will try to buy western politicians, cheat, register Russian companies in their names while keeping Russian ownership – just like Timchenko did when he sold 85 percent of the entire business to Swedish billionaire Torbjörn Törnqvist. As a matter of fact, the Swedish powers should annul this fake deal and launch a case against Törnqvist, but nothing has been done in this regard. The Swedish government gives no comments. I believe they are afraid of Putin.
- Numerous military trainings of Belarus and Russia had been held before Russia’s attack of Ukraine. During the trainings, the military simulated a nuclear attack on Warsaw and a break to Kaliningrad through Lithuania. Why such trainings if not to prepare a war?
- Putin is provoking the West trying to make it take weapons to protect itself from the unpredictable lunatic. Today they have to put missile complexes at the Russian borders and strengthen NATO’s presence in Europe. Putin has given them carte blanche. Before, the West could experience doubt, embarrassment, or organize voting and debates in Polish and Czech parliaments. Today there are no opponents.
Had we been talking about a sane person, then we could have made forecasts based on common sense and logics. But since we are dealing with a person whose mind is a mystery, any forecast is false.
I have a favorite joke. Winnie the Pooh hits Piglet. Piglet asks, “Winnie, why?” Winnie replies, “You pigs are so unpredictable.”
- Do you mean that this is what western sanctions should be like?
- Yes. The KGB are unpredictable pigs.
The West should finally realize that Belarus, Ukraine and Russia are European countries. They are not some lands that are so hard to understand with their mysterious Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian souls and situations. To live in an incomprehensible country with incomprehensible leaders is, to quote my favorite writer Voinovich, “to put a torch on top a barrel with gunpowder”.
- But does the West have any defined strategy regarding our countries?
- An excellent question. It is very important for me right now because quite recently Gernot Erler whom I know personally has become in charge of relations with Russia in the German government. Before we argued a lot. He said that already during Schröder’s rule, they knew all Putin’s drawbacks, and that they used to tell him informally, as friends, not to suppress the opposition and media.
And that was their mistake. They did a horrible thing to us being friendly and informal with Putin, instead of talking to him officially and publicly from international tribunes.
I’d like to see what this Erler would say today about his friend Putin who has walked into Crimea in his dirty boots. I would really like to hear what he has to say.