Today in the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, the time has come when it is possible to achieve significant results in its resolution. This is due to the appointment of a new representative of the United States Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and the desire of the administration of Donald trump to achieve any victories. How will change in the next 15 years the world why the Ukraine a few of those who for the sake of the Motherland is willing to push its own interests by the wayside, what will happen to Russia, stuck in the NINETEENTH century and reproducing the bad guys, and why Vladimir Putin has lost the war for the Ukrainians, in an interview with “Apostrophe” said Russian political consultant, gallery owner and art Manager Marat Guelman.
“Apostrophe”: Your visit to Kiev coincided with important events that directly or indirectly affect the situation in Ukraine. Including, visiting Ukraine’s Rex Tillerson, antónio Guterres, Jens Stoltenberg. Each of them speaks of the necessity of ending the war and restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine. But for three years the situation has not reversed — the conflict drags on. In your opinion, when can come a tipping point, and what will it be?
Gelman: you Know, when I’m in my diary sometimes comment on the situation in Ukraine, necessarily accumulates a huge number of people who say, “who are You, how can you comment, rate? Live there in Montenegro, what do you know about our domestic situation?” I am confused, because I often met with this situation, everywhere and always. Come to Samara, they’ll tell you how they are different and not the same as in Nizhny Novgorod.
I, frankly, am optimistic. This new U.S. representative in Ukraine Kurt Volker — a man with very clear thinking. I think this issue [out of the crisis in the East], in contrast to cultural policy, which does not require Ukraine special intellectual effort, and requires only a choice of directions, then we need an intellectual effort because it is a complex chess problem.
Before the interview we talked about the situation in Ukraine, future presidential elections, and you said that Donetsk is not involved, so there are various scenarios. So the situation is very complicated. If Poroshenko is interested in the fact that to presidential election it (the return of Donbass — approx. ed.) has occurred — we don’t know, I’m not sure. This is not a task pressure to find out who is stronger, Russia or America. It is the task solution. In this sense, I am in it, Volcker, I believe, because you know how he arranged brains.
Second. The last visit I was at the cultural forum in Lviv and talked a lot with his clientele — the situation is sad. In the sense that mobilization occurs at the ritual level and at the level of actions and decisions — no. I was on one of the channels, there was a game like this — “homeland or life?” I ask: “Marat, what do you choose, Home or life?” I say choose life, otherwise I would have remained in Russia and fought there with Putin, and I left.
Unfortunately, there are not many people chose a Home. A person makes a decision based on their own interests, and this, of course, sadly, as tragic as conformism in Russia. Here you realize that a lot of people are not even able to say to yourself: “No. Motherland!” Although, of course, we saw… the Passionate 5%, sufficient to make a revolution in Kiev is. And those who should not make such a huge bet not to risk my life and temporarily put their interests into the background — such was not 50%.
— Do you think that the situation in Ukraine, particularly the Donbass can be resolved with the help of the Americans?
— I’m even prepared to argue. The first time this Ukrainian situation. I am willing to bet that these guys will rectify the situation. In particular, because they are forced to do following the presidential elections in the United States. They have almost no wins. And here you can achieve something. Even if we believe that trump is an agent of Putin: “You let me win the second elections in America.” What’s the difference, which will stop the war, collusion or not collusion? Let the conspiracy, great.
Summit “Big twenty” visual component for Putin was quite successful — the pictures of world leaders shaking hands with trump. But from the point of view of policy — ineffective, and statements by Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the intervention in elections, Americans generally denied. It turns out the situation when contact is there, but the meaning of it is almost nothing. How do you assess the foreign policy of Russia? What is its purpose? In this concept now fit in the Donbass and the Crimea?
— Putin, unlike trump, there is no problems with the elections. It will be as insane as before. It seems to me, although it is not common place, and many do not agree with me that Putin is not a politician. He tries to understand who he is: Julius Caesar, Alexander the great.
— Nicholas II?
— No. Nicholas II, for it is already passed stage. He lives in the historical future past. He looks at the situation from the year 2100 and leafing through pages on the years of his reign, as it will be called: Putin Crimea, Crimean Vova. I’m totally serious I’m sure he thinks so. The fact that he “took” Crimea is the same XIX century. He lives in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century no fighting for territory, fighting for resources. And in the twenty-first century war is for the people, for you, he lost it. How many people in the world consider Russia an attractive country — this is the territory of the country in the twenty-first century. There is little Japan, and she is interested in a huge number of people — a country of this size, but as far as she’s attractive.
Putin, in my view, inadequate. When they did the coup in Montenegro, have asked me: “Why? Why?” There was no chance — they have become a victim of its own propaganda. It turns out that it is impossible to divide a research note and an article advertising — if you always say and write that in Montenegro people are against NATO, although it is not so, then gradually for people who make decisions in high offices, such articles become a source of information. And he is now in such an unreal situation. It’s bad. After all, today is more important than rational.
— The situation in Montenegro is much like what happened in Ukraine: they thought that they hate government and love Russia tomorrow and will be on her side. But it didn’t work, they moved on to more sophisticated tactics, particularly the attacks. You are not afraid to come to Kiev and how far you can go, the Russian special services in Ukraine?
My wife, when I said: “You will be at the Premier Palace!” I was too late to fear. With me they tried different things to do. So, no. But this does not mean that we should not worry about safety. It is necessary, of course. When these guys learn that the world is not as they thought, they begin to act in such ways. It’s also have a discussion. At this point hawks win.
Inside this Kremlin debate were people who said, “Well, with Gelman. Need to persuade. Can buy. No, you cannot. Well, you said. It is necessary to soak”. It can be. After the incident with Pussy Riot, they realized that with me there will be more problems if they start… the fact that people of the art world showed fantastic solidarity.
In Russia, thousands of political prisoners who, like Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina (members of Pussy Riot who have already served prison terms, approx. ed.), imprisoned for nothing. No twitching, no one about them knows nothing. Once the art is the same with Oleg Sentsov is immediately a serious problem. There was not a single international forum where we do not agree. When Sasha Cheparukhin (Russian music producer — approx. ed.) has brought, and I published [an open letter to the participating groups Pussy Riot] Paul McCartney, who Putin’s idol, told me that at that moment sounded: “You (more profanity — approx. ed.) all wrong. It was not necessary to put them”. I think I find myself in comparative security. Deputies, businessmen and there… And from people in the arts more noise. I am much more connected with other international some activity, it’s my protection.
— At first it seemed that the sanctions will soothe some of Putin’s policies. In your opinion, the sanctions have been effective or not? As the international community now responds to what is happening in Russia?
— Sanctions about something else, they are very effective, but not in the sense in which you assume that have joined the sanctions became ill, and they will change their policy. Here Yugoslavia was 10 years under sanctions — there is scorched earth in terms of the industry. Killed whole industry. The objective of the sanctions was not to affect Putin’s power. The objective of the sanctions — the collapse of the country.
How to change the attitude to Russia over the past five years? Originally the idea was to convince Putin to be a good guy, “That he was sorry to be the good guy? We will teach you. We will have a world organization for human rights, which will teach you how to comply with the law. We will have the institutions of a free press — they will show you how with the press. You have a bad democracy — we will do you good.” Then I realized that Putin will not be affected, and began to influence people — you guys, stop it choose this bad boy. Decided to influence society. It was after the Crimea.
When did all this Donetsk situation, I heard it all in Brussels, through me all took place, the conversations were like, “Well, okay. For example, replacement policy Putin a good guy succeed. Yeltsin was the good guy, after it came to a bad guy. The situation is resumed”. Empire requires the bad guy, the good guy can’t run a country with such different conditions. This problem is not the last twenty years, and the problem of three hundred years. This is a problem that has been solved in the world in the late NINETEENTH — early twentieth century. This great destruction of empires — the British, Austro-Hungarian, but here the process is not over.
Therefore, in order not to have returned the “good-bad-guy” country must be modernized. I ran the regions. Maybe not such a big country to be controlled from one centre — different economy, different people, different culture and so on. Need the dismantling of the Empire to complete. So I think that the sanctions are effective, but not in the sense that Putin is afraid or wallets will decrease. They have so much money that to them is not affected. People will be affected. It is in the sense that the economy will move thus: decentralization or Federal peaceful or non-peaceful division of the country.
— You do not exclude such variant?
— I’m pretty sure. I’m cagey because I had once… haven’t moved to Russia — they opened a criminal case due to the fact that I am calling for violent change of power. And I just said I don’t see how to remove Putin, in addition to a Palace coup. Here I cautious, but I think it’s the most likely scenario. We can discuss how long it will last, but, in the end, the decision is taken within that this country plays the bad guys, not bad guys capture this country. Must have something to do with the country.
— If in response, they will go the way of Iran or North Korea? Are grouped, compressed, but they live under the sanctions.
Great. To shrink a country is impossible. Shrink is one of the options split. Read “Tellurium” Vladimir Sorokin. Many different principalities: someone on that flight with Europe in the future, someone will be compressed and will turn into Iran. Centrifugal force is an inevitable situation in Russia.
— A question of time and resources?
— A question of time and hardness of Europe.
— These fragments are not giving Ukraine?
— What do you mean giving? From my point of view, the global processes will block. Now we live in a time that is happening in the world that has nothing to do with Ukraine or Russia. It pereformuliruem all in 15 years. I think that the country will remain, but will act as shells for international organizations. All essential for us to go to locations where we live. People living in the town area. I think that in 15 years we’ll be talking about city, not about the country.