The survival of an independent, democratic Ukraine is in the platform for a new, real opposition in Russia, said in an interview with Delfi, the former head of the security Service of Ukraine Valentyn Nalyvaychenko. Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, Ukrainian politician, the leader of the movement “Justice”, and also the head of the security Service of Ukraine in 2014-2015 participated with last week’s Third forum of the Russian opposition in Vilnius.
In his opinion, at the moment of victory in Russia’s democratic forces is extremely important understanding that you need to stop going on in the East Ukraine war and force the Russian leadership to take steps in this direction. “I believe that the time has come for an international coalition to stop Putin, his regime and aggression through leadership in the international coalition the United States. The time has come to serious political influence of such a coalition in ending the war, against the illegal actions of the Putin regime. It is countries like Lithuania, Germany, Poland and of course Ukraine, which is fighting and opposed this war,” — says Ukrainian politician.
Delfi: You came from Ukraine on the forum of the Russian opposition. What you would like to draw the attention of the participants of this event?
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko: to Tell the truth about how against Ukraine began and there is an undeclared war, as in fact the Putin regime and its military intelligence agencies have organized and are conducting a hybrid war against Ukraine and to support the Russian opposition the fact that the survival of an independent, democratic Ukraine — including, first and foremost, a platform for new, real democratic opposition in Russia to the opposition was the power that works in the interests of all Russian citizens, not oligarchic elite like it is now in the Putin regime. This is the first.
Secondly, I will tell you and Mr. Kasparov, and other representatives of the Russian opposition, whom we all respect in Ukraine, how important it is to win democratic and really free power in Russia, understanding that you need to stop the war, make now the Putin regime (to make steps in this direction — approx. ed.) and to continue international pressure and opposition pressure inside Russia to uniquely troops were withdrawn c temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, to return the occupied and annexed Crimea. This is my key message now to tell the Russian opposition and, through them, all independent non-governmental organizations, activists, unions of mothers and many other people that this is a key understanding for a peaceful democratic future for the two countries — Ukraine and Russia, and for the continent as a whole.
Peace is possible and necessary, the need to unite the efforts of the opposition, Russian activists and non-governmental organizations, civil society and all Russians using the truth, including this hybrid war, the horrors of crimes against humanity. And one of the priority calls for, say, Mr. Kasparov, Navalny and other opposition leaders is that they are supported and included in their political agenda a key requirement including the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. It is our citizens that have nothing to do with crime, are people who, like the Russian opposition, convinced the independent and democratic development of Ukraine and Russia. It’s all those Ukrainians among them Crimean Tatars, who are now in Russian jails are political prisoners and, of course, hostages. I appeal to the whole of the Russian opposition and civil society with an appeal to unite our efforts and show freeing of each individual, how we are different. It’s not about getting some people to sit in the other chair question in the system of values and the understanding that man for us is that we offer as an alternative power in Russia and Ukraine.
— You said about the world, many agree that the Minsk agreement do not work, and their implementation is hardly possible. What do you see as the mechanisms for the settlement of the situation with regard to the changing situation in the international arena?
— I am convinced, especially under the changing international situation that Lithuania, our key ally and partner, as a democratic Ukraine and a democratic, developing a civilized way of Russia. I believe that the time has come for an international coalition to stop Putin, his regime and aggression through leadership in the international coalition the United States. The time has come to serious political influence of such a coalition in ending the war, against the illegal actions of the Putin regime. It is countries like Lithuania, Germany, Poland and of course Ukraine, which is fighting and opposed the war.
The presidency of Donald trump in the US complicates the situation for Ukraine?
I was among the first Ukrainian politicians who, during the US presidential election, claimed that this false myth that trump and his administration may reconsider its attitude to the Ukrainian question. This is despite the fact that everyone, especially the Pro-government media trumpeted as advocates on the other. Fortunately, after the victory of Mr. trump in the election has confirmed our words, and preserved those international contacts that we have always had, and with the Senate and with the U.S. Congress and among Republicans and among Democrats. We are the political force in Ukraine, which rightly says that we need bipartisan support for an independent Ukraine, especially in the war against the Putin regime.
It’s good that the new President declares a clear position against Russia that it should withdraw its troops, at least, be held accountable for the occupation of the territories and, most importantly, troops from the occupied territories should be withdrawn and the war terminated. Therefore, I think that the position of Mr. trump and his administration right now, especially during the last meetings, events and negotiations in Brussels and Italy, it is very important that in matters of security, the US administration is considering the issue of de-occupation and liberation of Ukraine as one of the key issues for security in Europe. I think that the issue is to stop Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is relevant now because it is an opportunity for the Russian opposition, and political forces in Ukraine to think and make a common platform of mutual political vision for the future of Russia and Ukraine, because all you need to understand objectively.
Russia is a vast country with great people, Ukraine is a big nation. Still we are together historically, many thousands of years have a common border, and this border in the end should be restored, returned to safety, stopped fighting and crimes against humanity that have been found and returned all who were missing, killed (and their bodies to not fully identified), to deal with all these horrors of war. I think for any democratic government in Ukraine, and in Russia, these issues should be a priority.
— Now speak about the Baltic-black sea space, which includes Lithuania, and Ukraine. But there’s the little matter that the former Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Roman Bezsmertny called tube — is Belarus headed by Lukashenko. As you look at the development of this space and the relations with Belarus, after all, everyone knows that the UN Belarus and Russia vote the same way?
— I think that Baltic-black sea arc, in principle, now the key question that comes first is to stop the aggression, undeclared war against Ukraine and Putin, as we understand it, not only against Ukraine, and preparations for military units and intelligence services for possible further aggressive actions against neighbors. Including the Baltic countries. That is now priority number one. As for possible economic cooperation, creation of free trade zones and transit corridors, then I’m not one of the skeptics. I think that Belarus can and should work on an economic basis. I know this because I worked there as Ambassador. First and foremost it is very important for the economy of Belarus — the Ukrainian markets, Lithuanian and Latvian ports, transit of goods. The economy is that maybe the tube to dislodge and put everything on an economic basis, transit-based, free movement of goods in the Baltic-black sea arc in its full sense. But there is work to do in Ukraine. I mean the tariff, transit policy and other areas. I do not think that the Belarusian government will be against maximum liberalization and facilitation mutual transit from the Baltic to the Black sea.
— After Euromaidan you become the head of the SBU. What problems have you encountered?
— The survival of the country.
The question is, what the power structures were still people who worked under Viktor Yanukovych.
They fled, destroyed the security sector and defense of Ukraine, frankly, to the ground. Destroyed by betrayal, openly Pro-Russian and sometimes Russian approaches to work. The people who were in positions of power have betrayed the country, fled immediately after the shootings on the Maidan. Ran, of course, the Russian military bases in Crimea and immediately moved to the side of the aggressor and, moreover, gave criminal orders to capture Ukrainian territories. In this profound tragedy of our country that Yanukovych himself, and his siloviki entourage immediately moved to the side of Putin’s regime and called on the troops and security forces to carry out occupation.
The second thing I am really hurt, like all Ukrainians, and the Party of regions and the Communist party, especially the authorities in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions opened politically and in all administrations immediately called for the occupation of the territories by the Russian troops. In a word, it was a total betrayal of their own country and own people.
If you managed to organize the work of power structures of Ukraine?
— Now, Yes. We have cleaned it, came completely different people, if we talk about the SBU. In Ukraine now there is indeed Ukrainian counterintelligence, we were able to restore the unit to combat terrorism. But the magnitude, threat and loss in connection with such total betrayal of the Russian aggression, of course, are that we need to work more than one year.
— Recently in Ukraine was banned from the Russian social network. In your opinion, is the right step effective measure?
I know and can share this with everyone: from the first days of Russian undeclared war of Putin’s regime against Ukraine and the occupation of its territory was included crazy information machine. And advocacy, and discreditation, and blatantly false. That is, in hybrid war against us acted the Russian media, the so-called journalists of Russia, the social network under the control of Russia. They have a special unit of the security services, which are established and operate to distort-and sometimes manipulation all social networks, it was used as a tool of aggression and occupation. We share with the Europeans this information in order that you understand how serious the mechanism of the black influence, manipulation of social networks, Internet and the media created the Putin regime.
— Do Ukraine to convince Western colleagues that what you say?
— I think that professionals, in any case, the heads of the secret services know everything. From the first months after the revolution of dignity, when I was responsible for the security, they were all with me, and we all showed passed and shared experiences. I know that Estonia, Lithuania, the UK was one of the first countries who cooperated with us and security chiefs, I think we got very important information about how to protect yourself in the information and Internet space. The right decision at the EU level was the decision on the establishment of the Finnish Centre for combating information threats against civilized countries from Putin. This is an important decision. You need to run, because the influence and manipulation need to oppose, by combining the efforts and coordination with the EU, the channels of truthful news. We have something stronger on our side of the truth. But funding, the use of Russian intelligence services and created by Vladimir Putin lots of money for the infrastructure, it is clear that this is a serious force and it cannot be underestimated.
— You said you want to improve relations with Russia through the opposition. Many say that Russia’s actions have made normal relations impossible.
We’re talking about the Putin regime. Clear focus — the Putin regime, its security forces, its military. The people who give these criminal orders and they are the ones who organized all those crimes against humanity on our territory, so that terrorize our country and our citizens. We therefore clearly formulated: to return the Crimea, to withdraw its troops from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and one of the key things is understanding possible ways to move forward. A civilized, democratic. If it does not understand, neither the Russian opposition has no chances for the Ukrainian independent state, nor for the civilized Europe in principle.
— Do you see any prospect of solving these issues?
— The prospect of a solution depends on the efficiency, speed and tough action from the international coalition, and Ukraine, and the United States. Tough decisions in respect of sectoral sanctions against Russia, to prevent the use of modern Western technologies in Russian new weapons, which were immediately sent against us, against you now — all Russian planes and missiles around. Same thing happened many years around the Crimea, yet in the end they went into its territory. My prediction is as follows: in the case of decisive, coordinated action by the international coalition this year, we will be as an independent state to fight and not to let the aggressor. But the Union effort this year — Yes, next year, as far as we know, in the Russian presidential elections. And the situation in Russia is far from simple, despite all the propaganda. More truth to the Russians about the true causes of war, including victims of war, including Russians, in huge crimes against the Ukrainians, about the concentration camps in the occupied territories, the isolation of the Crimea and other things, which led to the Putin regime. Tools that, in my opinion, can and should be used to understand that such a war will not last long.
— Ukraine should try to speak with Russian President Putin?
— Only in case of withdrawal and the return of control over the Russian-Ukrainian border. In this case, we are unable to protect their citizens and to return to understanding what to do next.