Kiev has hired foreign mercenaries to take over law enforcement duties as well as most covert operations in eastern Ukraine, as the country struggles to regain control of its security apparatus, economist Michel Chossudovsky told RT.
RT: Activists in Kharkov are saying that policemen from other Ukrainian regions arrived in the city and they were the ones, who provoked the violence. What were they trying to achieve in your opinion?
Michel Chossudovsky: First of all the Kiev government has lost control of its security forces, its law enforcement in Eastern Ukraine. And this, they've realized several weeks back, because Ukraine's interim government confirmed they were hiring a private military company, named Greystone Ltd, a company that was founded by (former) British SAS in the heyday, but actually they're bringing in private mercenaries, which are now most probably integrating with the police forces, but they are also acting outside the realm of official law enforcement agencies.
And witnesses said that these people came in, they could have been agent provocateurs, I suspect they were, which also integrates the US, NATO-supported military company which is acting in Eastern Ukraine. At the same time there is also the role of the neo-conservative, neo-Nazis given the fact that we know that the two extreme right parties Svoboda and the Right Sector are in control of the committee for national security and defense, which plays a key role. And I would suspect that the government in Kiev is also divided between the ministry of interior on the one hand and the right wing extremists on the other.
RT: With protests swelling up in the south-east of the country, Kiev is threatening 'a harsh response'. What does that mean do you think?
MC: First of all that government does not really control the shots. It is an instrument of the puppet masters namely the US, NATO, and to a lesser extent the EU. They obey orders and we have seen the position, they've taken with regard to the IMF reforms. They simply stated, we will accept whatever reforms proposed to us by the IMF. And essentially what they have accepted is the impoverishment of the entire population, from West to East, because that reform package is going to create a further process of impoverishment of a country which has already been impoverished in the course of the last 20 years. This reform package essentially destroys the livelihood of the Ukrainian population and the people in Eastern Ukraine are now protesting against this government which is committed to the impoverishment of the masses of people. And they actually have acknowledged that this is going to impoverish the population.
RT: The Russian foreign ministry said that the most troubling thing is that there are mercenaries from an American private security firm among them. What do you think about this?
MC: I'm going by a report that was published on March 25 by a Russian news agency. It was based on the statements made by the interim government to the effect that a US private military company, in fact it is not a US registered private military company, it is registered somewhere in the Caribbean, on an island. It is Greystone Ltd., and this particular company was hired with a view to essentially taking over law enforcement activities as well as most probably covert operations in eastern Ukraine. It is not in the interest of Russian government to see this process erupting in the form of a violent protest movement or a process that will ultimately destabilize eastern Ukraine. There is no evidence that the Russian government is anyway interfering with the unfolding events in eastern Ukraine. This is a spontaneous movement which is emanating from grassroots, which also has considerable support within the Ukrainian population of eastern Ukraine.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.