Press TV has conducted an interview with Dimitri Babich, a Moscow-based radio host with the Voice of Russia, to discuss the developments in Ukraine.
Press TV: Let us get a point of view from Moscow. Dimitri Babich, you are looking at things unfolding there in Ukraine. The Russian foreign minister has come out, making several statements, one of them saying that there is a coup attempt.
What is your reading into what is going on?
Babich: Well, indeed it is one of the cases where I can agree with the assessment of the Russian foreign ministry. It is a real attempt to seize power of the country and the problem is that obviously the violence was restarted, it was restarted by the extremist nationalist groups, which do not make any secret out of their hatred for Russia and out of their admiration for those Ukrainian nationalists who cooperated with the Nazis during the Second World War.
So these groups resorted to violence and the problem is that the so-called moderate opposition parties in Ukraine did not shy away from these extremists but said that this is a popular movement, this is liberation, the government is to be blame for everything; so they hope to gain power by violence.
They hope to come to power on the back of these extremists and one more terrible thing is the fact that the EU supports these nationalists. During the whole day the EU Commission Head, Mr. Barroso, the head of the EU diplomacy Catherine Ashton, they have been talking about sanctions against Ukraine and they are going to target government officials, they are going to target Mr. Yanukovych’s family and friends and they are not going to target the nationalists who are indeed responsible for what happened and the Polish prime minister, for example, blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine; although not a single Russian official visited Ukraine during the last three months while for example Catherine Ashton spent several days there and the polish officials also visited Ukraine many times. So indeed this is a direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Press TV: Well, let us open up these ultranationalist groups that you mentioned there and I like to address this to you again Dimitri Babich. This would concern Dimitri Yarush who is the leader of Pravo Sector, which is a coalition of these ultranationalist groups of which I believe right in the house of trade unions at Independence Square on the fifth floor; this is a militant side of the revolution of which this group represents that.
Now I find in interesting because they say that they are against outside interference but they are also against President Yanukovych and his government and they are also against Russia.
How did you reach the conclusion that the EU, for example, is supporting these ultranationalist groups? Is this one of the groups that the US is supporting based on the statement you made?
Babich: Well, the EU will not say openly that we support the Pravo Sector, which means the rightist sector, they are not going to say openly that we support the so-called Freedom Party or Svoboda, which openly expresses nationalist views. They are not going to say it openly but Catherine Ashton met publically with the leader of the Svoboda Party, Mr. Oleh Tyahnybok, who openly accused Russians and Jews for everything that happened in Ukraine, for all of Ukraine’s misfortunes. On several occasion he did that.
The EU is not going to support him publically but the EU officials meet him and the EU officials absolutely required from the Ukrainian authorities not to bring these people to justice.
When Mr. Yanukovych, just two days ago, released 234 so-called protesters, who are indeed not protesters but criminals, because these were not just the people expressed their opinions, they were the people who were burning policemen alive, who were attacking government buildings; so all of them were released and then the US state department also required from the Ukrainian government to stop all investigations into their activities, to drop all the criminal cases.
So you have this indirect support from the European Union and from the United States. They shield these groups from any kind of government repression, from any kind of punishment from the government and indeed the position of the European Union is very, very hypocritical. On the one hand they say that we only support the liberals, we only support the peaceful demonstrators but you can see with your own eyes that the people who are burning cars, people who are burning trucks, people who attack police with Molotov cocktails, these are not peaceful demonstrators and the EU supports them, so you just need to look at the television screen to understand that the EU is very hypocritical and that it indeed supports neo-Nazis without saying so openly.
Press TV: Well, let us look at the worst-case scenario here, Dimitri Babich. At least one of the scenarios that may evolve here, a high-ranking Russian official has said that Russia may decide to come into Ukraine in terms of providing its security.
Do you see that as a possibility in terms of having Russia involved in the crisis?
Babich: No, I think that that is absolutely excluded. Russia does not have the desire to interfere into Ukrainian affairs. We were ready to help economically when it looked like a compromise could be reached between various factions inside the Ukrainian political elite, but there is actually absolutely no question of Russia occupying Ukraine or bringing its troops there.
The problem with the EU officials is that they live in a mythological world created by their own press and the Ukrainian extremist nationalists; they also live in a mythological world that they created for themselves. For example today in Lviv which is in the west of Ukraine, the most nationalist part of Ukraine, the people blocked the military units; they prevented soldiers from entering and exiting their barracks but this is not the Soviet Army, the Soviet Army does not exist, it has not been there for 22 years now.
This is their Ukrainian army, their Ukrainian 18-year-old boys who are serving there; but they think that these are some sort of internal occupiers, these are enemies of the people, these are Kremlin’s stooges; so you have these conspiracy mentality, which unfortunately spread itself to the European press.
You know, a lot of journalists in the UK, in Germany, in France, especially in Poland they repeat these lies and the European officials seem to be , sort of, taken hostage by these lies. They come to Kiev, they see the violence from the extremist groups but they believe their press, they do not believe their own eyes. They do not speak the language, we Russians understand Ukrainians, we speak or at least we understand their language, so what they are talking about.
The EU officials believe their press which is just completely misleading on the Ukrainian question.