“112”: “Gordon”, and today my guest is former Deputy Prime Minister, twice ex-Minister of defence of Ukraine Alexander Kuzmuk. Good evening. 4 October 2005 by a missile “earth-air” on the teachings of the air defense forces in the Crimea, the plane was shot down on route tel Aviv — Novosibirsk. The Russians claimed that the plane was shot down by Ukrainians. You are aware of another point of view?
Oleksandr Kuzmuk: It was a great human tragedy that happened 16 years ago. It was a routine air defense exercises and air force of Ukraine, which are held every two years, and performed regularly. As a rule, invited the commanders of air defense and air force of all neighbouring States. At the final stage of firing the commander of the air defense forces and air force of Russia reported about the tragedy that happened over the sea of Azov. By evening, it turned out that over the Black sea. I demanded to carry out selection of all the triggers that were in this moment. At the time, only fit the s-200, which theoretically could get. But practically this complex shoot targets at a distance of 70 km. So the question itself that the plane was shot down by a missile, is not entirely accurate.
We opened a criminal case, and Russia is opened. However, the excitement was under the article “Terrorism”. There is no exact place, but part of the wreckage was lifted by rescue vehicles, emergency situations Ministry. On 12 — 13th day of the international aviation Committee, which is located in Moscow, has directly accused Ukraine. For comparison, three years ago crashed Malaysian “Boeing”, and yet the final materials investigation. And he is on the earth. And there — at a depth of 2000 meters. The Russian Federation has transferred criminal case of the GPU, and she began a very thorough investigation.
And then went discrepancies: none of the outer skin of the aircraft has not been affected, including the nose of the aircraft. However, the inside of the plane was struck. MAK said that the explosion occurred at 18 metres above the tail of the aircraft. But this type of complexes do not shoot after he shoots for preemption. The bodies were found, unfortunately, the combat elements. We sent them for tests, and spectral analysis showed that they belong to the warhead missiles. We took samples of the water at the crash site, and there was no rocket fuel. No part of the missile into the sea was found. It lasted for ten years, because people died, and here the errors of the investigation can not be. All investigators came to the conclusion that the evidence that the plane was shot down by a missile, no. Judging by all the research, the plane was blown up from the inside. And it is carefully prepared. The time was chosen good. We are 20 days warned that closing the area that will be undergoing a missile firing. But the plane is off course — he wasn’t there at all to fly.
— If it was a terrorist attack, his goal was to expose Ukraine?
— I don’t think so. As a concomitant is possible. But the essence of this tragedy is among the passengers on this plane, in my opinion.
— Do you think Ukraine should have nuclear weapons?
— It was inevitable. Yes, the problem of secret nuclear weapons in Ukraine does not exist. We have enough scientists. But let’s see what we have from the strategic offensive weapons stood armed, and kept: this Intercontinental strategic missiles, strategic aircraft systems with cruise missiles, tactical aviation. We did not have strategic nuclear weapons, it was removed even before the collapse of the Soviet Union. These control arms are from a single center — Moscow. And here, execution in automatic mode. Codes are all there. When a weapon is created the control system.
— Ukraine to join NATO need?
— Ukraine is making such attempts for a long time. In 1997, in Madrid, we signed a Charter on special partnership Ukraine — NATO. And this is a straight road. Even those who are now in NATO, our former allies in the Warsaw Pact, this privilege was not. It was written in the principles of foreign policy for a long time that our strategic goal is Euro-Atlantic integration while maintaining normal relations with Russia. I believe that the first phase, which should last no more than two or three years — to reach the NATO standards. As for NATO, it is so far for the warring countries perspective, let’s focus today on the standards and we are very close to NATO.
— Who was the best President of Ukraine for all years of independence?
— I had to serve in the four Supreme commanders. Leonid Kravchuk made not just life feat, and he made the unprecedented civil feat. He practically gave himself, making a decision and participating in the creation of an independent Ukraine. He risked it all. President progress is Leonid Kuchma. And I will stay on it. It was clear where we’re going. It is often accused of multidirectional. But perhaps in that moment Ukraine was evil? To be clear to all the neighbors, near and far, this was normal. It was right up to the moment, while the country will not rise. But Kuchma did everything to the factory pipe was the smoke, which after him was not.
— Who was the best Minister of defence for all the years of Ukraine’s independence?
— I have great respect for Konstantin Morozov, the first Minister (of defence of Ukraine — approx. ed.). I can imagine what a Titanic work he carried out at the start of the creation of the APU.
— Sergei Pashinsky (Ukrainian politician, former acting head of the presidential Administration of Ukraine, people’s Deputy of Ukraine of several convocations — approx. ed.) said that all the defence Ministers plundered the army. You too?
— Nothing defence Ministers do not have to those things which he said. MP can “thrash” anything, and he was not responsible for it. Now, the Minister of defence does not deal with these issues. In Ukraine, a rigorous process and approach to the management of all that is in the Ministry of defence. Of course, for so many years when I declined certain types of weapons. The General staff made decisions on the basis of the state program of construction and reform of the Armed forces, which we had until 2005. I led a team for its development, and it is the only state program that is executed. This programme clearly painted in what year we have.
— How could it happen that under Viktor Yanukovych the Ministers were close to Russia Dmitry Solomatin and a citizen of Russia Pavel Lebedev?
Of these gentlemen two was convocation in the Verkhovna Rada. Who could have known that they are citizens of Russia? The Chairman of the SBU, a citizen of Russia. Knew about it a narrow circle of people in Ukraine.
— Imagine that at the time of capture of the Crimea by Russia are you the Minister of defence. Your actions?
At that time, when I was defence Minister, it was impossible. And look in the direction of Ukraine obliquely, no one could, because the Armed forces were powerful enough. Yes, they are seriously underfunded. However, the spirit, the education, the condition of the equipment did not allow for the success of a country that would like to be the aggressor. And besides, the economy was different, because the army alone is not able to fight. I was the third in March in the Crimea, and in form. Scheduled flight, with one helper. Every day, starting with the first appearance of “little green men”, I called every commander. They know me well and respected me and told me that they have going on.
I suggested the Verkhovna Rada to immediately exit meeting of Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada in Simferopol. Unfortunately, not responded nor Parliament, nor the Cabinet. However, late in March, an attempt was made first Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema, who invited me. But we only drive to Boryspil, and in Belbek, and any other airport we just didn’t take. Even Tenyukh (Igor Tenyukh, the Ukrainian military commander, Admiral — approx. ed.) was with us. And the third of March, I traveled freely from Simferopol airport to Simferopol, where she focused our based ground force (brigade naval defense), where my arrival was going to do all commanders of the Crimea. I stopped the car, got out. Ring “little green men” with guns, snipers, then a dense ring of Cossacks with Russian flags, and then — the locals even more dense ring to our military unit. That is, local residents and Cossacks were covered with troops who came. They were few — this team would have them killed.
— What did you commanders?
— I met not only with commanders and soldiers, but also with local residents and with the Cossacks. My first question was: what problems did they get? “Stay.” So they “hold”. The fact that they stayed more than three weeks, gave us the opportunity to begin a partial mobilization. They pinned down Russian troops. At this time we began to unfold. With regard to the readiness of troops then, the whole brigade, about 2 thousand people stood on the parade ground, singing the anthem of Ukraine. This team for the most part took the side of Russia. But in that moment, she sang the anthem of Ukraine.
— There was nobody to fight?
— A very delicate operation was carried out to RF. In the brains of not only the Crimeans but also of our soldiers was thrown that Ukraine threw them. Second, was a big mistake of the leadership of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine that troops 80% were staffed by Crimeans. It played a role. After the occupation of the Crimea began not in February, she for several years has begun. “Brushed” the entire SBU, militia, a branch of yenakiieve. “Brushed” and military units. Preparing all this in advance, and in January has already come to the Cossacks to “rest” for bikers. And after the Olympics ended in Sochi 40 thousands of riot policemen who stood on the passes and ensure the safety of the Olympics, was deployed on the prepared base in the Crimea. But deceit is not even that, and that they did when Ukraine was in a difficult political and economic situation.
— You would have thrown out the “little green men” and the Cossacks of the Crimea, if I were Minister of defense?
— The war is far from fame impersonation. This is organized murder, robbery and violence, which affect primarily the elderly, women and children. It said the British General Gordon. To throw “little green men”, I had to put half of the population of Crimea. Military people are not able to do it. I would not allow it. This is a different moment.
— Was it necessary in 2014 to introduce in Ukraine martial law?
— 17.06.2014 I as the people’s Deputy of Ukraine, filed a letter with their thoughts to the President of Ukraine, which clearly outlined the situation. I offered to change the law on the fight against terrorism where to place the management operation on the operational staff, and that it was a military operation. After a month I sent a letter to the head of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov. Then killed many of our soldiers, who had hoped that the border no one will. I made a proposal to place the question in Parliament about the introduction of martial law on the entire territory of Ukraine. After that, it was a closed meeting of Parliament, and Parliament voted for it with one caveat: “in the apparent aggravation of the situation”. After that we had a transfer.
— Who knocked Malaysian “Boeing” over the Donbas?
Buk-M1, which belongs to the Russian Federation.
— Whether Russia can now make a full-scale invasion on the territory of Ukraine?
— I do not exclude it. Initially, we were dealing with gangs. But in the three years that we, in General, provided the other side, Russia, hiring local people, created the 1st and 2nd army corps. These army corps equipped as standard buildings, armed and secured. They are organizationally included in the 8th guards combined arms army of the southern military district. At the tactical level all the commanders of the Russians. For three years, the guys from Donbass went to study at military higher educational institutions of the Russian Federation. And already returning officers is seriously prepared. Sergeants, soldiers are trained in training centers of Russian Federation. And plus, those who have previously served. To underestimate and say that it is spontaneous (formation), it is impossible. Yes, there are gangs. Of 10 well-known private military companies walking in Donbass seven. They to atoms (from space, air, land) have studied our entire defense. All attacks effective. They shoot in depth, but we are only dealing with the front edge. Therefore, should not be underestimated.
— The Russian army — a strong army?
The Supreme political leadership of Russia has drawn conclusions from the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. Unprecedented funding for the army, an unprecedented transfer of military-industrial complex on the closed cycle of production. Happened reform and change of leadership of the Armed forces and the defense Ministry — to the highest positions was carefully selected. As a result, today — 58% of the latest technology. Is a aviation in the first place, the nuclear triad, the Navy. The staffing of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation today is 93%. Recreated 1st Panzer army in the suburbs (it was not, she was in the group of Soviet forces in Germany in 80th year), launched 20th in Voronezh, recreated the 8 guards in the southern district. In Belarus every year teaching. To beat us, but win never. War is always a loss. But the nation must focus its actions to minimize them. It is said Napoleon. 500 aircraft prepared around our borders airfield. The whole territory of Ukraine sweep the funds of the Russian Federation, without violating the borders. We have 2 million internally displaced, and if it starts large-scale war, then, according to my calculations, 6.8 million will go to the nearest EU country.
— Today the Ukrainian army is combat-ready?
— Still a lot of work to become combat ready, and not only the army but also throughout the country.
— In the Ukrainian army many traitors today?
— I do not exclude it.
— Corruption in the Ukrainian army big?
Is unknown to me. But I believe that the measures are tough.
— The Crimea and the Donbass part of Ukraine back?
— Believe. But for this, Ukraine should be an example for Crimea and Donbas.
— Are you able to find a common language with your friends in Russia with whom you served?
— No. I had friends with whom I was tied by blood, who fought, studied, served. And they are all at a high enough level. February 28 was my last call to them, and on March 3 it was an appeal directly from the Crimea, Perevalnoe Shoigu and Gerasimov. Three and a half years I have no phone call no and can not be. Some I treasured and respected.
— What books, memoirs gave you the deepest impression?
— There are memoirs and there are theoretical developments. For example, our Sahaidachny (Petro Sahaidachny, Hetman of Zaporizhia army, the leader of the registered Cossacks in the service of the Commonwealth, organizer of the campaigns against the Crimean khanate, the Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire on the side of the Commonwealth — approx. ed.), his correspondence. Amazing commander. But the biggest impression — the book of Colonel de Gaulle in 1934.
— Zhukov was great?
— Of course.
— Victory Day and when you note it?
— For me it is a Holy day. My parents went through the war. And my grandfather served as a soldier. So no I won’t be persuaded. May 9 — for the rest of my life. Read Churchill’s six volume “the Second world war”. He assesses the Soviet Union, the red army, the role of the Soviet soldier at the time in great victory.
— I thank you.