18 January 2018, Thursday, 14:40

Vladimir Ryzhkov: Meeting in Minsk failed


So far it is impossible to reconclide the conflict in Donbas with the help of talks.

Vladimir Ryzhkov has said that in an interview to Radio Svaboda.

- What is your evaluation of the meeting between Russian and Ukrainian presidents in Minsk, and the fact that the situation in Ukraine after the summit just escalated?

- Unfortunately, the Minsk meeting, hopes on which had been pinned by all normal people, has failed, at least in the part related to troubleshooting in Ukraine.

By all appearances, Vladimir Putin, who is constantly repeating that talks between the “DNR”, “LNR” and Kyiv are necessary, is attempting to create an enclave in the south east of Ukraine, which would be de facto independent, something like Transdniester, orientated to Moscow. Kyiv certainly cannot agree to that categorically, as would be continuation of Ukraine’s disintegration, which had started by annexation of Crimea by Russia.

The positions have proved to be totally incompatible, that is why the war continued. And every side is trying to have a military victory, in order to compel the other side to conclude agreements on one’s terms. That is why while the military standoff continues, the positions of Kyiv and Moscow remain the same.

- There are many confirmations that professional Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine. Putin and the Kremlin would probably never admit that, though coffins with Pskov paratroopers are returning to the country… It is clear that there are Russian mercenaries, but do regular Russian forces are fighting in Ukraine?

- Even Putin admits that. But in a very strange form, something like “Yes, there are our forces, but they got there by mistake.” And “the Prime Minister of the DNR” Zakharchenko went to even greater lengths. He says there are professional soldiers there, but allegedly they are on leave, and they are fighting there following the dictates of their hearts. But if they are on leave and follow the call of their hearts, it is not clear why they are accompanying armoured vehicles. It was told by the seized Pskov paratroopers, and they also disclosed the method: they were alarmed, loaded into trains; they were told that they were to accompany a convoy, and then they found themselves in Ukraine.

These two things do not seem to be congruent. And all that causes serious questions and concerns here in Russia now, and according to the Constitution, there should be a decision of the Council of Federation to use military forces outside the country. If Russian military are in Ukraine without a decision of the Council of Federation, it is a constitutional crime. And it raises the question about investigation and responsibly of the officials who had given relevant orders. And what the grounds for these orders are.

- And what is your vision of the solution to this conflict, which has gone that far?

- I do not see any way out so far. I would like to repeat that Kyiv is trying to regain control over Donetsk and Luhansk, and while Moscow is trying to hinder Kyiv, the war is going to continue.