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Jul 9, 2021
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Hero of Ukraine Nadezhda Savchenko: We had to give up Crimea and Donbass

In the photo: the former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Hero of Ukraine Nadezhda Savchenko

In the photo: Nadezhda Savchenko, a former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Hero of Ukraine (Photo: AP / TASS)

Ukraine “Will not be limited to the loss of Crimea and Donbass“And soon runs the risk of facing a complete loss of sovereignty and territorial integrity, said the former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Hero of Ukraine Nadezhda Savchenko

In her opinion, this situation is inevitable and is only getting worse “groveling before the British-American alliance. “

“The rhetoric that was not accepted in 2014 – how is it to give the Donbass a special status and forget about the Crimea – may seem like a good option in the future that will be offered to us”, – noted Savchenko.

At the same time, she added that hopes for the destruction of Russia from the outside relate to “Discharge of space”, but even such an outcome will not bring Ukraine independence to the full.

“Unless we will be given a Gauleiter who will govern us,” – said the ex-deputy.

Recall that Savchenko was taken prisoner by the Donbass militias, in Russia she was sentenced to 22 years in prison for war crimes, but was pardoned by the President of the Russian Federation and was returned to Ukraine during the exchange, where she became a deputy and Hero of Ukraine. However, even there she did not go free for long and soon went to jail on charges of attempting an armed rebellion. Was freed only after coming to power Vladimir Zelensky… Since then, Savchenko has regularly made various high-profile statements denouncing the regime. Could it be that the Russian prison corrected her?

– Having been released after her arrest already in Ukraine, Nadezhda Savchenko again began to appear regularly in the Ukrainian media as one of the leaders of public opinion, – explains political scientist, head of the Open Analytics project Roman Travin… – At the same time, she often enough allows herself to call a spade a spade. Today she does not have any serious electoral support, but the role of “truth-teller” and high recognition ensure that many are following her statements with interest.

“SP”: According to her, Ukraine will soon face the risk of a complete loss of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Are there any prerequisites for this?

– Indeed, after the Maidan, Ukraine has less sovereignty and subjectivity every year. “Semiposolshchina” is more and more confidently taking control of various state structures. But here we need to make a reservation: the majority of Ukrainian citizens are quite calm about this process, as well as about the influence of the West in general. If we talk about the prerequisites, then today the main reason for the acceleration of this process is the low professional level of the current government, the massive discrepancy between the members of Zelensky’s team to the level at which they have to work.

“SP”: Savchenko says that it could be worse further than in 2014, when Ukraine renounced its special status for Crimea and Donbass. And if Ukraine then abandoned Crimea and Donbass, would everything be different now?

– I would not put the question like that. Kiev could abandon the territories in those conditions only in an extremely difficult situation, much more complicated than the one that preceded the conclusion of the Minsk agreements. And this is exactly what we are talking about: it is in such an extremely difficult situation in the future that Ukraine may well find itself, and then the territorial losses will be even more significant. That is, by delaying the resolution of the Donbass issue, Ukraine will not necessarily wait for an optimistic scenario for itself.

“SP”: She added that hopes for the destruction of Russia from the outside belong to the “category of space”, but even such an outcome will not bring Ukraine independence in full. Does anyone believe that if there is no Russia, then Ukraine will immediately heal?

“In Ukraine, very anti-Russian people, including quite influential politicians, believe — I don’t know how sincerely, but they talk a lot about it — that if Russia, relatively speaking, collapses, then all Ukrainian problems will be immediately resolved. In my opinion, everything will be exactly the opposite. Today, the deepest internal contradictions existing in Ukraine, as well as serious elite conflicts, are held back exclusively by the West. With the fall in the value of Ukraine as an anti-Russian asset, no one will spend so much energy on this, and all this will lead to a catastrophe for the Ukrainian statehood.

“SP”: Can we say that Savchenko belongs to the minority that adequately assesses the situation? What changed her?

– Most likely, she was. Today, just few people in Ukraine can afford to say what they think and call white white and black black. Savchenko, no matter how you treat her, did it more than once. For the sake of justice, it should be said that the situation with censorship, self-censorship and persecution for opinion is quite typical at present not only for Ukraine, but also for the West and the East, albeit not to such an extent.

– Perhaps Savchenko is trying to return as a “moderate” politician, – suggests political scientist Vsevolod Shimov… – In principle, this niche can be in demand, especially if you consider that in the segment of frostbitten Ukrainian nationalism, competition is extremely high.

“SP”: Savchenko says that further it could be worse than in 2014, when Ukraine could get off with Crimea and Donbass …

– Not a single state will voluntarily give up territories that it considers its own. Ukraine has always been built on the principles of rigid unitarianism and the imposition of a single national standard on all regions. Since 2014, this ideology has only been radicalized, so a conflict with the rebellious regions was inevitable.

“SP”: At that time, some “smart Maidan people” said, they say, let’s get rid of the “cotton” regions and go calmly to the EU and NATO. Why hasn’t this thought been embodied? If they let go of the entire South – East, would they be living in Europe now?

– This idea is marginal. The prevailing trend has always been the Ukrainization of the allegedly “Russified” South-East. In addition, the main resource and economic potential of Ukraine is concentrated precisely in the southeastern regions, without which Ukraine turns into a small depressive state without access to the sea. So, Kiev will hold on to the lands of historical Novorossia with its teeth.

“SP”: Does anyone believe that if there is no Russia, then Ukraine will begin to flourish?

– Ukraine as a political project is based on opposition and confrontation with Russia, Russia is important for Ukrainian identity as a “constituent other”. If we assume that Russia suddenly disappears, the Ukrainians will lose their foothold. Well, in this case, the West will no longer be interested in Ukraine.

“SP”: Can we say that Savchenko belongs to the minority that adequately assesses the situation? Are they really a minority in Ukraine? A tendency to decrease even more? Or vice versa?

– I do not think that adequate people in Ukraine are a minority, they just, as they say, shut up. Savchenko may try to become the voice of this tacit, adequate majority. However, the problem is that Ukrainian politicians, oriented towards an “adequate” electorate, upon coming to power, immediately reorient themselves to the dominant ultranationalist discourse. This was the case with Zelensky, who was also voted for by an “adequate” Ukraine. The very political structure of Ukraine after 2014 virtually excludes the possibility of pursuing not only a pro-Russian, but at least just a moderate and adequate policy

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