Roman Tsymbalyuk actually is the last accredited correspondent of the Ukrainian media in Russia. At home, he became a media darling after he came to the press conference Vladimir Putin in Raglan with the inscription “Dill” and asked that awkward question about the Russian troops in the Donbass. In addition, the journalist makes sharp statements about the Russian policy in the Kremlin broadcast TV and constantly illuminates the trials of the arrested in Russia Ukrainian.
The chances for the release of the hostages of the Kremlin, the most epic run-in with the adepts of the “Russian world”, an internal contradiction because the participation in the Kremlin talk show and the only question to Putin about the new “Ukrainian” trend inside the Moscow crowd, the chance to see the Donbass in the coming years and the criminal delusion about Russia in an interview with “Observer” journalist Roman Tsimbalyuk.
The “observer” In January in one of interview you said that in the case with the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, everything goes to their condemnation, and then maybe and release. On your sensations during these six months, the goal became closer, or a process is in place?
Roman Tsymbalyuk: In my opinion, nothing has changed. The situation developed in such a way that the exchange of Ukrainian prisoners only possible political concessions. But everybody understands that Ukraine will not go for it, and there are many such examples in world history. The same Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was exchanged for fifteen hundred people. But if, then Israel has put forward political conditions, they would never have gone.
This situation has dragged on for so long… frankly, I don’t see today, when it would be completed. Probably, all will depend on the efficiency of the Ukrainian security services that should make our was for someone to change.
Recently I spoke with mark by vaginam (the Ukrainian lawyer Roman Sushchenko — approx. ed.). In his opinion, with the capture of Ageeva there is a real chance to get his client and other prisoners. Do you think the contractor Ageev much to the Kremlin?
— So this is the main problem. We have a list of prisoners of the Kremlin is always at the hearing. Everyone — from the President to the experts. In Ukrainian society there is a request to return her, but in Russia it’s different. About Ageeva on TV don’t speak. This is a “marketing” of the Kremlin. They would say that “it is not ours”, and therefore request in Russian society to exchange Ageeva no.
So from the point of view of the exchange value of a Ukrainian citizen is higher than the Russian. But every Russian soldier is well aware that the homeland of his throws. And the story that the Russians don’t throw — it’s just a beautiful phrase and fiction.
But Savchenko Ukraine managed to pull even without political concessions. I think that the more the Kremlin will not go for it?
— At that time it so happened that at the expense of the publications in the same “Novaya Gazeta” the issue of liberation Grushnikov was able to bring in the Russian discourse. Society began to request government, willing to release from captivity of Russian military in Ukraine. So they are forced to react.
— After Savchenko no single process is not widely covered. The information there is very little. The Russian elite have made conclusions?
Maybe. But I want to tell you that in Ukraine, too, the situation is a little changed.
— What do you mean?
For example, my main claim to Savchenko, which I saw in Moscow, and in Voronezh and in the Donets court (Rostov region — approx. ed.) that because of the whole her rhetoric political parties are already trying to distance themselves from the topic of prisoners. And because of this she leaves from the agenda. Here I’m annoyed. Even her lawyers say that she had hurt the process of exchange.
But at the same time, the task of any state to bring all who are in captivity home. A democratic state differs from totalitarian that when you come back, you can say whatever you want. When there will be elections, the assessment actions and words Savchenko will give the voter. I hope so.
— Wikipedia says that you are accredited in Russia at the beginning of the war against Ukraine. It seems to me now or are you in Moscow for much longer?
— No, no. I so long to come, and even scary sometimes… (thoughtfully). I came to Moscow as a correspondent of UNIAN, September 14, 2008. In my eyes was a change in relations between the two countries. The strange and funny that dawn and the peak of mutual trade, cooperation and all of this occurred in the period of Yushchenko’s presidency, which is so criticized in Russia, called Russophobia and other words.
— I want to say that even when Yanukovych was not like this?
— No, I mean, that when he came to Yanukovych, the Russian government began to change. It did not want to do something together: they want obedience, the restoration of “historical justice” and so on.
— Are you not tired yet from Russia? Thoughts in the style of “still got it, want to go back to Ukraine” visit?
— Well, listen, I treat this primarily as work. There is a drafting task that I perform. But that may be too long… the Thought of such visits, and more and more often. But the work there is interesting. Hardly anyone will dispute the fact that Moscow’s actions now are important to our state. Unfortunately, at the moment only from the point of view of war and peace.
— All had to ask about this absolutely wonderful story with your campaign at a press conference Putin in the sweater (with the inscription) “Dill”. And here recalled that in may at a press conference at Poroshenko there was a scandal, because the children first did not want to let shirts “Who killed Paul?”. Really in Russia at such events less strict “face control”?
— You know, it was 2014. Might sound ridiculous, but in Russia at that time didn’t really understand what “Dill”. It was only later that the topic was handled, what does it mean “Ukrainian resistance”. And then came a man in a sweater came, I still have the scarf hanging from the top, which closes all. They only enlightened me on the security question and all.
As far as I remember, the inscription looked at all, when I was already in the hall. But what can you do? To get me out of there? And I don’t think that because of this incident, Putin has lost something in the eyes of Russian voters. But on the other hand, I think the Russians realized that none of them Ukraine to take is not intended. Or at least I wish they thought so.
Recently, the Internet exploded video in which you “dip” advocates in a broadcast on Russian talk show. You don’t get the internal contradictions, when you agree to participate in such programs?
— I have still no clear position — need it or not. Internal contradiction there, but whatever it was is looking. First, I can’t do this often, because I have a job to do. And it is the glory of God. And secondly, when someone otsmatrivat, then cuts out minute segment, and the video gets hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, I realize that people with that opinion as me, a lot.
I’m not going to convince those 86% who pray on Putin, but in Russia there are other people. And then there’s the population in the occupied territories of Ukraine. These people should know that they are remembered, not afraid to talk about it, including on Russian TV.
Although I don’t feel superpremium. Sometimes at these events I feel as if I doused with sewage. And sometimes the opposite is impossible to say what I wanted, and the one who shares your opinion, can hear you.
— For years of work in Russia, you have probably accumulated a lot of stories about collisions with quilted jackets. Tell me about the most epic case.
— Now it is less, but in 2014-2015 I repeatedly got in a situation when we wanted to kill or beat up just because of the fact that we, Ukrainian journalists. You look at a person and see how his eyes are veiled with a shroud and he becomes simply inadequate. But we have the tactics are always the same — to escape from the conflict. Because even if you are faced with complete morons, the fight is not a journalistic thing.
And once we almost got killed. It was the year 2015. In Moscow gathered a giant rally, which they called “anti-Maidan”. Drove there from all neighboring areas of the students. Accordingly, in such event came to a bunch of morons who listened to Russian television. From there we literally had to flee. Although, maybe a couple of bruises and received when someone hit back. It was one of the few occasions when I was really scared. Just understand that they are an angry mob, to negotiate will fail. I don’t know if it was necessary to get a portrait of Putin out of the backpack, but he wasn’t (laughing).
— Questions to Putin always car. It is difficult to choose one that will ask him at the press conference?
— But in fact a question of one war and only war. At the moment I don’t see any other topics that are important for Ukrainian society. Well, I agree. What we still have from the Russians important? It is important that they leave the territory of Ukraine, because if this does not happen, then there is no further discussion on the peaceful settlement of the conflict will not.
Probably, Russia’s great to talk about the “common people”, but Ukrainian is very difficult to take seriously such claims when the aggressor shoots at our soldiers. Yesterday, eight people were killed (the conversation took place on July 21. — Ed.). Eight! What is it like? We are one people? No, you Russian occupants. And when you throw this phrase about the single people, keep in mind that you are now going to kill or Rob.
— When we met and went here on Khreshchatyk, you said that soon against Ukrainian officials will begin to impose sanctions in the West. Explain, please.
— In a situation in which we find ourselves now, in my opinion, independence is not an option. If not the Supreme commander, regardless of his name, who would give the order to fire on the advancing invaders, you lose all state.
But in the Ukrainian society, because there is a request for punishment for corrupt officials. The Western coalition also supports us because they want to support focus on the right things. And my idea is that if corruption can’t be cast into the Dnieper Kamenyuki on his feet, then at some stage the West will have to change the approach and begin to enter against them the same sanctions as against collaborators and Russian invaders.
— In fact, those who fall under the sanctions, will definitely raise a howl about the political component of these sanctions. In the West treat these things very tenderly.
I’ll tell you that for every action there’s a million comments. But this does not mean that we should not change its state. If we are talking about the development of our country, as for me, any means are good. Well, except for some totalitarian, which infringe on the rights of the ordinary citizen.
So, what about our corrupt officials. In Ukraine it did not pay attention, but at the beginning of the year, Putin drove to the state office of public Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and swirling said that “the Americans have created in some countries of Eastern Europe anti-corruption bodies to influence the internal policies of States, and we, Russian, it will never go.”
What does this mean? If the Russian President thinks about our anti-corruption agencies, he realizes that sooner or later a public inquiry will lead to power in this country crystal-honest people. They will have one goal: to go down in history of Ukraine to write about them in the history books with Golden letters. For these people to steal from the Ukrainian soldier who protects you, is unacceptable from the point of view of morality. Of course, Putin is easier to negotiate with people who can bend under him for a million or a billion, and then they will pass it.
— You know Russians better than I do. Could it be that in the future Ukraine will become an example for them that will encourage them to begin to change for the better their own country?
— I think not. There society is living in its news agenda. By the way, it is very important that despite our Russian language information space, they practically do not overlap, and they will not be affected. But will the next change… Yes, it has happened.
They are now there’s talk about the “Ukrainian-Jewish-Bandera fascism” but wanting to “liberate” Ukraine has become much less, because everybody knows what awaits them here. And this is a huge change. I do believe that if the Russians want to hate the Ukraine, please. You can even burn Ukrainian flags in their flats.
— Just let here do not climb.
— Yes, just do not go. If you crossed the border with a gun, then I’m sorry. I don’t care who you are: a professional soldier, crazy Russian fascist or just a thug. Who cares? Inside you understand who you are from the point of view of legal status. So, you know, now in this get-together had this thought: “Yes, there in the Ukraine everything is bad, but we will hate it here directly from Moscow.” I tell them, “Listen, guys, you rock! So be it. If it gets really bad, then there’s the Embassy of Ukraine. You can take the eggs and throw”.
But to speak about the beginning of the peace process will be possible only after the Russian TV will refuse the language of “brotherly peoples”. To talk about peace will be possible when each slow decision-making, it will become clear that Ukraine is a separate country. We celebrate Bandera or not is our business, our heroes or not heroes. Moreover, everybody is aware of how controversial this topic is for our society. But it is our history, and it does not give anyone any right to come in here with a gun.
— Yes, but business not only in Russia. For example, recently in Poland, said that Ukraine with Bandera in the European Union will not be included. What do you think about those statements of our, like, allies?
— Listen, our media do not analyze the political situation in Poland. Today there is also the discourse. But, first, it will not always. Second, in the next elections the situation may change. Thirdly, and very importantly, the poles have raised the issue of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. Yes, they push us conditions, because for them we are competitors, and when the representative of Ukraine will sit at a large round table, the alignment of forces will change. But this should wait.
— Many Ukrainian and Russian bloggers, experts, politicians love to make predictions in style: “Russia on the verge of collapse. Just a little more, and then we’ll begin.” You are living there, you see signs that our neighbors are bent? Or is it all nonsense?
Is not just nonsense. As for me, this is a criminal error, because the stock power and power of the Russian state is enormous! And it should be considered in a situation when this country is actually at war, because those who say, “wait, Wait, it will soon decay” are misleading themselves and others. Their policies need to build solely from the fact that a number of us is strong militarily and ruthless state which is our enemy.
— The “wall” on the border need to build?
— Need to take comprehensive security measures that go beyond the “wall”. It is possible to touch hands, “the wall” creates the illusion of security, but missiles, it will not stop. Therefore, the question must be approached comprehensively. This applies not only to military spetssluzhbistskoy measures. Also you can not steal public money, because they then build a “wall” in the global sense of the word.
One of the favorite themes of our politicians — the introduction of visas with Russia. I think that in the autumn it will pop up again. Some deputies told me to shoot from the hip is dangerous. Others believe that it’s time. In your opinion, the introduction of a visa regime, we are closer to victory in the war with Russia?
— At the moment I do not see how the introduction of visas will strengthen the security of our country. So I think that further discussion is inappropriate. Those Russians who travel to Ukraine on tanks — those will not care about a visa regime. But simply unwanted items can filter our law enforcement agencies if they work.
What does it mean? Get only mutual action reduce the value of Ukrainian passports in the number of countries with visa-free entry. I think it is short-sighted.
— Globally, there are two points of view on the duration of the conflict in Ukraine. The first is a year or two and the war will end. Second, this problem for decades. You what point of view?
— I’m closer to the second option.
— I’ll explain. I would really like to see the war ended as soon as possible. But the policy of the Russian Federation is that militarily occupied territory they do not intend to give. And in every way it’s demonstrated in Crimea and the Donbass.
In our case, in my opinion, the tactic should be next. Ukraine should be a national idea. The first is the development of the country, economic potential, which will be the army, security services, safety, comfort and happiness for everyone in this country. The second is the liberation of the occupied territories. To work the government should do just that.
When will this happen? It’s hard to say. Any power method will lead to armed clashes with military units of the Russian Federation, which stand for “curb”. Not just the same as they’ve deployed so many new divisions, brigades and regiments. It’s all for us, not for NATO. I sometimes read that we already have superarme, so let’s go to bomb Voronezh. But it seems to me that this is not the way out.
So I think that’s it for a long time. But, oddly enough, from the point of view of Ukrainian state-building, it will be good for you. This independence will be won in the truest sense of the word. But there is the global level, and there is a mom who lost a son, and how to combine in one head, I don’t know. Therefore, the price of Ukrainian state building is enormous.
— You do realize that no one mom the price to pay?
— See, the situation is that if you don’t protect the country where you have to defend it, then it will have to do at home. So you need to make the Ukrainian military was all to protect us and themselves. I think this is the main task of our state and society.