In the early 1990s, two representatives of the top nomenklatura of the CPSU received the nickname Old Fox for their ability to mimic and change political coloring – Shevardnadze and Kravchuk.
Eduard Amvrosievich and Leonid Makarovich had much in common. And above all, the phenomenal speed with which these members of the political leadership of the USSR turned into “super-liberals” who drove an aspen stake into the coffin of the Soviet Union (at the All-Union referendum on March 17, 1991, 76.43% of those who took part in referendum, but the undertakers of the Soviet country did not need to find out the will of the people).
Old Lis Kravchuk, who recently turned 87 years old, does not leave the political arena, clinging to its stage with all his might. He is greatly helped by the forces that 30 years ago set the former leader of the Ukrainian communists on the “true path.” On this path, Leonid Makarovich, known for fox cunning, Volyn vitality and gutta-percha flexibility, made statements and made steps that bordered on “zrada” by the standards of the current Ukrainian government. Just what are his words that in Belovezhskaya Pushcha he was ready to give the Crimea to Russia, but Yeltsin did not ask about it, and the assistants did not suggest. The trouble with these assistants …
Kravchuk’s attention to the Crimean peninsula is invariable, and one of the reasons for this is the role of Crimea and Sevastopol in his political career.
Recently, the Crimean and Russian publics recalled (in Ukraine they also remembered) the January days of 1991. Then, on January 20, the first referendum in the Soviet Union was held on the peninsula, as a result of which the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was restored, declaring its status as a subject of the USSR and a participant in the Union Treaty.
Leonid Kravchukbeing the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR, then he was cunning, convincing the Crimean deputies of the advisability of transforming the status of the peninsula by a decision of the Ukrainian parliament without a referendum. He did not succeed. Later, he explained Kiev’s tacit agreement with giving the peninsula the status of autonomy by the desire to avoid civil conflict. This, too, was slyness, because on the wave of the referendum in Crimea, several public organizations emerged, which soon formed a powerful pro-Russian movement that existed until 2014.
In that historic 1991, Kravchuk visited Crimea several times, and his visits were remarkable.
In early August 1991, the main ideologist of the Communist Party of Ukraine, in the near future the president of the Ukrainian independent state, visited Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet. Accompanied by the Commander-in-Chief of the USSR Navy, Admiral of the Fleet Vladimir Chernavin, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Nikolai Bagrov, and Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Mikhail Khronopulo, he arrived aboard the fleet’s flagship, the anti-submarine cruiser Moskva. After meeting with the crew, Leonid Kravchuk wrote: “To the sailors of the Black Sea Fleet to preserve and enhance the glory and traditions of the heroic fleet. Ukraine will do everything to strengthen the fleet. “
In principle, there is nothing special in these words. However, over time, they acquired, to put it mildly, a peculiar shade. Especially considering that, having become the head of independent Ukraine, Kravchuk has repeatedly stated that the young Ukrainian state does not need a military fleet. And then he changed this opinion to the completely opposite.
As they say, the ink in the Book of Honorary Visitors of the Black Sea helicopter carrier did not have time to dry, as two weeks later, having got rid of the ticket of a member of the CPSU, Kravchuk proclaimed the Act of Independence of Ukraine on August 24. On the same day, its Supreme Council adopted a resolution “On military formations in Ukraine”, which brought to the agenda the issue of the future of the Black Sea Fleet, the main forces of which were stationed on Ukrainian territory.
Here in the behavior of Kravchuk something appeared that is difficult to define. The fact is that the election of Kravchuk as president was largely ensured by the south-east of Ukraine. This conglomerate of regions with Crimea and Sevastopol was further elevated to the Kiev Olympus of politicians who, with impunity, hypocritically and blasphemously, exploited the feelings of the Russians, who hoped at least for an alliance with the Russian Federation. Kravchuk’s shameless behavior was then only the beginning …
On August 29, 1991, in Kiev, Kravchuk held a working meeting with the commanders of military districts and the Black Sea Fleet, commanders of centrally subordinated military formations, chiefs of internal, border and railway troops deployed in the republic. The Chairman of the Supreme Soviet spoke about the work of the extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine, about the nature of the resolution on military formations in Ukraine. In principle, it was from this meeting that the practical work on the creation of the Ukrainian national armed forces began, which predetermined the emergence of the so-called problem of the Black Sea Fleet.
The presidential campaign made the problems of defense and military development in Ukraine particularly acute. Simultaneously with the elections, an All-Ukrainian referendum was scheduled for December 1, to which one question was brought up: “Do you confirm the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?” Of the six presidential candidates, Kravchuk could run for a high post with great chances, but during the pre-election period his primacy did not look obvious. Therefore, Leonid Makarovich’s team played win-win solitaire. Crimea has become a pawnshop table.
Crimeans, Sevastopol and Black Sea sailors could not stay away from the election campaign. Most importantly, they were residents of this native land for them, which had been part of the Ukrainian SSR since 1954, which did not give rise to special issues with the existence of a single Union. Everyone, including conscripts, has always taken part in all elections – all-Union, republican, regional, local. However, the decisive factors in those troubled days were the almost daily surrender of positions by the union center, the vagueness of the country’s development course, and the rapid decline in living standards. A significant part of the voters on the peninsula did not believe either Gorbachev or Yeltsin.
Let’s note a fundamentally important point: the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the peninsula, voting for Kravchuk, did not realize that the result of the Ukrainian presidential elections and the referendum would be the collapse of the USSR, because at the same time the issue of “renewing” the Union was removed from the agenda.
In a sense, the “naval question” was the litmus test of the election campaign. And Kravchuk, who became the first of all presidential candidates to come to Sevastopol, took this factor into account.
Kravchuk’s arrival, his meetings, active coverage of his media eloquently and unequivocally showed that the city and fleet leadership has already decided on who will be preferred in the upcoming presidential elections. Moreover, the presidential candidate, having caught the conjuncture, made it clear: “Ukraine does not need such a fleet”… At a meeting at the House of Naval Officers, he stated: “Our concept of military policy is to ensure collective security. Ukraine is in favor of having a common defense space of a military-strategic nature. That is, all military-strategic forces, including nuclear ones, should be collective and controlled from a single center … National armed forces should be numerically small … Protection of the entire territory – by joint efforts on the principles of collective security. And we do not claim to lead the nuclear, missile and other strategic forces located on the territory of Ukraine “…
It was not said directly about the Black Sea Fleet, but everyone understood: the fleet belongs to the strategic forces, since it operates far beyond the borders of the country and has nuclear weapons. This means that the Black Sea people can be calm – the fleet will remain in “all-Union” subordination. Approximately the same was stated by the newly minted Minister of Defense of Ukraine Konstantin Morozov, stating in his interviews that Ukraine does not need a large fleet, ships are needed only to guard the borders …
What happened next is well known: if it had not been for the renunciation of the Ukrainian oath of Admiral Igor Kasatonov, who in December 1991 led the struggle to preserve the Black Sea Fleet for Russia, there would have been no Russian Spring or “Return of Crimea and Sevastopol to their native harbor”… For the sake of truth, it should be emphasized: the Black Sea Fleet never left its home harbor …
Black Sea Fleet. Photo: tehnowar
Note: after the events associated with the beginning of the fleet division, the explosive peak of which was the events of 1992, Leonid Makarovich did not “shine” in Crimea. At least publicly. It is also unclear whether his foot has stepped on the legendary land soaked with Russian blood to the extent of the Russian blood of the hero-city of Sevastopol. If she did, it happened in secret, in a thief’s way.
Now Kravchuk says he wants to come to the peninsula. What for?
He again made his statement slyly – somewhere there he told journalists. As an official person – after all, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for resolving the situation in Donbass – if such a desire appeared, he had to act in the established order, through the appropriate diplomatic, interstate channels. Judging by the fact that no deeds followed the loud words, Kravchuk’s statement is a bluff. The motive is the desire to draw attention to your person: in 2021 there are many reasons for this – the 30th anniversary of the State Emergency Committee, Ukrainian independence, the collapse of the Union …
There is one more motive – the 90th anniversary of March 2, one of the leading performers of the program of destruction of the USSR M. Gorbachev.
Against this background, Leonid Makarovich wants to stand out in relief.
But what if he tries to come? Let him try. Seven years ago Poroshenko also tried it.
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