‘Kiev will have to talk to Donbass whether they want to or not’
As ballots were cast, reports of another ‘Russian convoy’ emerged – and, as political observer Nebojsa Malic says, the claims again are not backed by any facts.
RT:We know Kiev is unhappy with these elections and will not recognise them. What will this do for attempts for peace in the region?
Nebojsa Malic: The situation as it is right now confirms that leaders in republics in the east have [the support of the population], which really sinks all the narrative coming out of Kiev and the Western press that these are the Russian fanatics somehow stirring up the peace in eastern Ukrainians to war. So, at this point, it means Kiev will have to talk to these people whether they want to or not. I think that in Kiev, as the comment of the volunteer battalion commander suggests, they really don’t want to talk about anything with the people in Donbass. They really just want them to perish or somehow disappear and leave the land to the Kievites. At this point, I’m not very optimistic about the peace process, simply because there is no political will in Kiev to finish this peacefully. I think there is very much a state of mind in the Kiev-controlled parts of Ukraine to finish this by force in the spring when American weapons and other assistance become available. Whether that equipment will [arrive] or not is anybody’s guess.
RT: Russia says the elections in eastern Ukraine today do not breach the Peace Accord signed in Minsk - what's your interpretation?
NB: You see this time and again: two sides sign a treaty, the West says one thing, Russians say the other. The Russians are basing their arguments on the actual content of the document, the West is basing their arguments on whatever the hell they want at the moment. It’s one of those democracies, whatever the EU says it is, peace, whatever Washington says it is. You know, elections are democratic if Washington says so, but they are not… It’s a complete double standard, a complete absence of facts in the narrative in the West! I’ve seen the drafts of the Minsk agreement circulating and, based on what I can tell, these local elections are in it, but again, you have these people to whom no agreement is sacred because they just make it up as they go along. And they are currently sitting in Kiev and making threats on TV, and they are sitting in Washington, and supporting these people.
RT: Amid these elections, Kiev claims that a huge military convoy passed into eastern Ukraine. This was quickly picked up by Western media - citing sources on the ground and social media. Is it a coincidence that reports like these are emerging on election day?
NB: There are really no coincidences in this story, especially when you are looking at propaganda. What is this, the fifth or the sixth phantom convoy that the Ukrainians have spotted? There were Western journalists who reported seeing Russian convoys with their own eyes, never providing any pictures because cell phone cameras, apparently, don’t exist! And they are still in their jobs, and they are still allowed to repeat further claims of phantom convoys because again, it doesn’t matter if you lie, there are no consequences for doing so, at least not in the West. Again, I don’t honestly believe people who have said, time and again, oh, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.
RT: A radical Ukrainian commander-turned-lawmaker yesterday threatened to carry out attacks on Russia. Is there anything in the timing of his threat? Comments like that can be made these days in Ukraine, and there is no obvious uproar…
NB: The fact that he said so on air, he is a lawmaker, and he is not getting any criticism [either in Ukraine or the West], which has been waging a self-proclaimed war on terrorism for 14 years, tells us that something is seriously wrong with people who claim to be fighting for freedom, democracy, against terrorism, and end up suppressing freedom, violating democracy and supporting terrorism instead.