The Ukrainian authorities seek to escalate conflict with Russia so as to call for the support of the West, NATO and the EU, while Right Sector plays the role of the illegal infantry of the Kiev government, journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter told RT.
RT: Do you think the shoot-out in Slavyansk on the weekend indicates the interim authorities in Kiev are losing control?
Manuel Ochsenreiter: No, this would be the most Kiev-friendly explanation of the incident of Saturday night. What we witness now is just one of a countless series of provocations which take place by Kiev. Kiev really desperately tries to get into a bigger conflict with Russia. The background of this is very easy – to call for the support of the West, to call for the support of NATO as well as of the EU. So I don’t think that this incident is a sign of losing control. Maybe Kiev would like it to look like that, but in reality this is just an organized provocation against the people of eastern Ukraine who desperately want to have a federation or even to become officially Russian, and against of course Russia to get more support from the West.
RT: Could the killings push Kiev to become more active in dealing with radicals? Does Kiev have enough power to crack down on these extremists?
MO: This is a philosophical question because if you want to crack down on extremists you need the will to crack down on them. What we know is that those extremists, those armed forces which are pushing the interim government of western Ukraine to government, to power, the so-called Right Sector, that they have to be almost thankful for them [that they are in] power. Why should they want to crack down on those extremists?
It looks like something else right now. It looks like the Right Sector is now playing the role of the illegal infantry of the Kiev government. It’s very easy. We see it in other geopolitical conflicts with the same frontlines as well. We see in Syria, for example, that the Salafi gangs play the role the Right Sector is now playing for Kiev. Always when these gangs are doing something, the so-called political opposition of Syria says, “We are not responsible for what they do there, they are acting on their own behalf, we don’t have to do anything with them.” So those illegal forces always violate those agreements as [they are doing with] the one of Geneva for one side.
RT: The Kiev authorities have agreed that the illegal groups should be disarmed. How achievable is this?
MO: You see, the Ukrainian state stopped to exist. It’s a failed state, so the government in Kiev is nothing else as satellite government. It’s a mix of oligarchs and organized crime, and of course terrorists – the Right Sector. We should see it as a terrorist organization, activists of the Right Sector fought in Chechen wars against Russia alongside Islamism terrorists. So we should see that Kiev doesn’t have a will as well as the power to crack down on those people, and that long since weeks other people telling what to be done, what not, we have to see that American advisors already active there, that there are NATO advisors, we have to see this in a context that Poland is asking for 10,000 US troops on their soil. Something big is going on and the Right Sector’s aggression against the Eastern Ukrainian is just a little pretext of what we will maybe expect within the next weeks.
RT: Do you think a healthy national dialogue, another key point agreed in Geneva, is possible in the current circumstances?
MO: Of course it would be possible in theory if both sides would act on behalf of the people. The western Ukrainians have as little interest in the armed conflict as the eastern Ukrainians, but we have to see that the government in Kiev is not anymore acting on behalf of its people. We see it at the social affairs that people start suffering. Western Ukraine already have the leverage shock therapy, the first phases [of] what the people should expect there. So it would be possible if both sides act on behalf of the people but at least one side is not doing this and this is for sure the western Ukrainian side.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.