February 19, 2015
Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine (1994-2005)
Podrobnosti Nedeli (The Week in Detail)
Translated by Kristina Rus
[Kristina Rus comments in square brackets]
The talks were most difficult on our president [Kuchma is a loyal friend of Poroshenko!], because these were not talks, but basically combat operations, but without the weapons, were the main weapon was – the word [Poroshenko got hammered!].
You can very well understand what was the level of pressure on the negotiating process with representatives of so-called DPR and LPR, because, as you understand, they did not have a desire to achieve any consensus or, most importantly, to achieve peace on this poor, so to speak, land [Read: they didn’t have a desire to agree to Ukraine’s terms, but he doesn’t really believe himself when he says, they didn’t want peace, judging by his tone].
The contact group was supposed together with Zakharchenko and LPR to sign this document, pass it to the four presidents, they were supposed to come out to the press, bless this document and say: “Guys, let’s be friends!” [Poroshenko was ambushed!]
But when we sat around the table together with Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky to sign the document, they made an announcement: “We will not sign this document, it is not acceptable to us!” And began: “Your guys are in the cauldron today at the train station, the main railroad junction in Donbass, we offer them to raise their hands, lay down their weapons and we will let them go with peace”, and so forth, according to this document. [Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky had a better negotiating position, long list of demands and the main card was Debaltsevo and military victories of Novorossia]
Of course it was a deaf scene [Ambush!], basically, and of course the FOUR received the information right away. Almost went home again. Took a timeout [No one would let Poroshenko out].
And the only thing that changed in that document, the ONLY thing, although there were many amendments from Donbass – instead of ceasefire starting at 8:00 on the 14th, to start at 00:00 on the 15th. That was the only thing that had changed in that document. [To give more time to finish off the Debaltsevo cauldron, but, really – 16 hours for ONE thing? I don’t think so! And no word on any concessions from Donbass?]
But this situation so influenced the chief negotiators, that they were supposed to come out together in front of the press, which there was up to 500 people) and announce and bless this decision, but each of them came out later on their own. [Poroshenko really got into it with Putin and wouldn’t even come out together]
I see a breakthrough in that we put the Europeans, Putin and Ukraine around the table. [oh, it was all thanks to the peacemaker Poroshenko – is that what they were telling him to feel better?] That the Europeans, and Putin took responsibility for those documents signed in Minsk. It is one thing to observe from the sidelines, and another thing – is to make some decision all together. [since the agreement was capitulation of Ukraine, we will say that getting Putin to sign anything is already a victory for Ukraine in itself!]
Of course it is not thorough, of course we would like more. But I think Ukraine took the correct position on major issues [bravo to Putin and Merkel convincing at least Kuchma that a de facto autonomy of Donbass is a victory for Ukraine].
If after the 15th at 00:00 the military operations will continue, then I think there will be a very different conversation with Russia, Putin. [is Kuchma convinced only Putin is fighting in Donbass?]
Can you imagine, what kind of situation will Merkel and Hollande be put in? Including Obama, who talked to Putin for 4 hours the day before, what position will they be in? Is this a person who you can negotiate with and come to a consensus, or – what we saw until today? [too much Ukrainian TV]
For us, the primary issue – is the Russian-Ukrainian border. If we cannot hold the border under a lock, then we have no basis to hope for a lasting peace [by surrounding Donbass with a barb wire and using heavy terror tactics on the population, better yet replacing the population with patriotic Ukrainians will achieve lasting peace for sure] This is a situation when Russia will keep throwing the wood in the fire, to keep the fire going in Ukraine [to keep Ukraine from continuing the genocide of Donbass population].
It cannot be contained on the territory of Donbass. It will spread to our other regions like cholera [other regions do not accept the Kiev junta either] Therefore, this is an issue among the issues, and I think that our authorities should have this issue foremost in mind for the future.
I would like to see a more active European position [Europeans dumped Ukraine and US] , because I think under an internal business pressure they want to close the Ukrainian issue as soon as possible, and start a normal life with Russia, because Europe desperately needs the huge Russian market [the godfather of Ukrainian oligarchs, Kuchma, should know! then why close that huge Russian market for Ukrainian business?]
After the 15th either we will move past the dead point or – Europe will have to adopt the most stringent sanctions against the Russian Federation [again, only Putin is fighting in Donbass!], because it also has no choice for today. First of all, Merkel has put her reputation on the altar of the fatherland.
We cannot expect peace immediately, but at least we are pulling the heavy equipment and most importantly, we gave our word. We shall see what the word is worth… [he is not even sure if the Ukrainian word is worth anything!]