US accused of ‘trying to destroy Russia’
An ally of Vladimir Putin has accused the US and a “global financial oligarchy” of organising the violent overthrow of power in Ukraine to “destroy” Russia as a geopolitical opponent.
Vladimir Yakunin, a former senior diplomat who now heads Russian Railways, the state railways monopoly, claimed the US had for decades been intent on separating Ukraine from Russia and bringing it into the west’s fold.“We are witnessing a huge geopolitical game in which the aim is the destruction of Russia as a geopolitical opponent of the US or of this global financial oligarchy,” Mr Yakunin said in an interview on Thursday.
“A CIA analysis . . . described three possible scenarios for the development of the geopolitical situation. The most acceptable scenario was considered to be one in which a certain world government is created – and the realisation of this project is in line with the concept of global domination that is being carried out by the US.
“We saw this in Iraq, we saw it in Afghanistan, we saw it in Yugoslavia and in North Africa. Today, the borders of carrying out this doctrine have moved to Ukraine.”
Mr Yakunin’s comments offer a view into the mindset among hardliners in Mr Putin’s closest circle as the Kremlin reacts to the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Moscow Ukrainian president.
His comments reveal a section of Putin’s security establishment still smarting from the collapse of the Soviet Union – an event Mr Putin has called the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century – and fears the recent revolution in Ukraine was aimed at pulling the former Soviet republic into the EU and Nato.
Mr Yakunin said he hoped Mr Putin’s call at the weekend for approval from the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, for the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine had given western leaders “a cold shower”. This, he added, should see them step back from backing the “armed fighters” who, he claimed, had sparked the shooting on Kiev’s central Maidan Square that led to dozens of deaths and whom he accused of being behind the ousting of Mr Yanukovich.
The west must now help to ensure democratic elections in Ukraine to create “legitimate organs of power without the participation of armed men and fascist elements”. However, he added that May 25, the date set for presidential elections, was too early to ensure a true democratic process.
“The blood on the asphalt is not yet even dry,” he said. “It would be great if this cold shower that Mr Putin sent to western leaders – I mean US politicians – had its effect and they understood it is not decent to stamp around in your boots in someone else’s house.”
“If you look at things objectively, [the former German chancellor Helmut] Kohl swore to [Soviet leader Mikhail] Gorbachev that the exit of Soviet troops from Germany would not lead to Nato’s approach towards Russia’s borders. But in reality everything that has happened is the exact opposite.
“Today I heard that Nato intends to more than double the contingent of fighter jets patrolling the territory of Baltic states. It seems to me this looks fairly comic [but] is in fact pathetic and disgusting.”
Washington was still fighting cold war battles aimed at crushing and emasculating Russia. “Zbigniew Brzezinski [the former US national security adviser] wrote in 1996 that with Ukraine, Russia is a great power and without it it is not – and this was not a new idea [in the US]. More than 40 years ago, when the US developed plans for the destruction of the Soviet Union, CIA documents said it should be accompanied by the separation of Ukraine from Russia.
“Somewhere on the shelves of the CIA’s leaders there are such files with these projects and they activate them maybe every three years.”
Calling any threat of sanctions of “secondary” importance, he said that Mr Putin’s decision to call for parliamentary approval of the deployment of Russian troops on to Ukraine’s soil “absolutely correct”.
“On the one hand it created balance and showed the world that Russia will not leave people in trouble in the face of mad rogues and [in a state of] anarchy when the authorities practically do not exist. On other hand, he was absolutely counting on this being a serious restraining factor for those idiots.”
“Here we are speaking about people who have been one civilisation ever since people have been writing history books,” he said, referring to the links between Kievan Rus, which emerged more than 1,000 years ago, and the modern Russian state. “Russia could not fail to react. The president could not fail to react. His own people would not forgive this, not to speak of Ukraine.”