A memorandum titled "Save Ukraine!" will appear in tomorrow's (Wednesday's) edition of the Russian weekly Zavtra. Written by experts for the Izborsk Club, an influential intellectual group accorded prominence by President Vladimir Putin in recent months, the statement defines a "fascist and Nazi creeping coup" in Ukraine as a strategic threat to the Russian Federation. While holding the United States and the EU responsible for the regime-change project in Ukraine, the memorandum calls for summoning the USA to crisis-avoidance consultations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Ukraine's sovereignty or, if Budapest Memorandum signers Ukraine or Britain refuse such a conference, undertaking emergency Russian-American diplomacy based on the precedent of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis—when the world went to the brink of nuclear war.
Several of the evaluations and ideas in the memorandum coincide with last week's interviews and articles by Presidential advisor Academician Sergei Glazyev and retired Gen. Leonid Ivashov, who are Izborsk Club participants and were among the co-authors of the club's early 2013 military strategic white paper (see "U.S. Moves toward Nuclear First Strike Capability," EIR, March 15, 2013).
The "Save Ukraine!" memorandum states that the situation in that country "is approaching a boundary limit, beyond which lies the danger of Ukraine's going fascist." This development leads, it continues, toward "transformation of Ukraine from a non-aligned, neutral and non-nuclear state into a new 'hot spot'
for Europe and the entire world, and into a hotbed of instability and chaos on Russia's borders."
Detailing the recent concessions by Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych and the actions of the EU and the USA, including those revealed in the leaked phone conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Ambassador in Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt, the memorandum says that these events are
"creating the conditions for an illegitimate seizure of power by a coalition of political forces that do not represent the interests of the majority of the people of Ukraine." Charging that "the U.S. leadership group on top of Operation Ukraine is comprised of high-ranking intelligence and diplomatic operatives," the statement suggests that "Washington is most worried of all that Moscow, which has enormous reserves among the Ukrainian population, will suddenly wake up and become more active, wrecking the almost completed plan of establishing a totally anti-Russian government, up to and including the broad use of the fascistized followers of [Nazi collaborator Stepan] Bandera."
The report outlines possible political scenarios for regime-change in Ukraine, either by the abrupt ouster of Yanukovych or through a "coalition government" process that would also end in his ouster. A new leader, possibly former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, released from prison, would "take over the leadership of Ukraine, on the radical nationalist platform of [Oleh] Tyahnybok and other rightwing fascist groups. An ideological turn of events of that sort ... would be a way of forming an anti-Russian state on the Russian Federation's border, as well as disrupting any comprehensive integration processes in the former Soviet area."
"Strategic Interests of the Russian Federation"
Under the subhead, "Consequences of the coup for Russia's strategic interests," the memorandum outlines what "a new political and ideological regime in Ukraine, ... based on an extreme nationalist ideology, as the only available mechanism for suppressing social tensions," can be expected to do: "decisions which directly affect the strategic interests of the Russian Federation." The list includes military expansion by the United States and NATO that is unacceptable for Russia:
"— Rejection of the presence of the Russian Armed Forces in Crimea, including at Sevastopol as the base of the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet. The time frame will be set at six to ten months, which is insufficient for an orderly relocation of the military facilities to Russian territory in the vicinity of Novorossiysk.
"— Purges of pro-Russian forces in eastern and southern Ukraine, leading to a flood of refugees into the Russian Federation.
"— Annihilation of manufacturing capacities in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, and other Ukrainian cities, which do contract work for the Russian military-industrial complex.
"— Stepped-up forcible Ukrainianization of the population on the left bank of the Dnieper [where there are large Russian ethnic and/or Russian-speaking populations].
"— Expanded partnership of Ukraine with NATO and the appearance of U.S. and NATO bases in Ukraine, including Crimea.
"— Establishment in eastern Ukraine of bases for training terrorists, who will begin to operate both in the Caucasus and in the Volga Basin, and possibly also Siberia.
"— Extension of "Euromaidan" techniques into major Russian cities, especially in ethnically defined constituent territories of the Russian Federation.
"— Expulsion of the Russian Orthodox Church from Ukraine, accompanied by forcible seizure of churches and monasteries, resulting in a further decline of the authority of both the ROC and the executive branch of government within Russian society.
"— Launching of prosecutions against Gazprom, Rosneft, and their executives, with the new Ukrainian government also suing Russia in Western-sponsored international courts under various pretexts."
"Catastrophic for the Future of Russia"
In the final section, "What is Russia to do?", the authors state: "We consider the situation taking shape in Ukraine to be catastrophic for the future of Russia and the entire post-Soviet area." Among the measures they propose that Russian political leaders take, "within the framework of international law," are the following:
"— an official ideological evaluation of the creeping coup as fascist and Nazi, infringing the rights of all peoples and ethnic groups living in Ukraine;
"— an appeal to the Russian and Ukrainian peoples to resist with all their might the fascist plague that is seizing power in Kiev, and to bring broad layers of the public into the political process;
"— direct social and economic assistance to all the regions of southern and eastern Ukraine, through launching bilateral programs and keeping low gas prices for Ukrainian customers, while withholding additional direct loans to the government of Ukraine;
"— calling on all Russian citizens to contact their relatives and friends in Ukraine, to mobilize them to join an overt political process against the Maidan, which is leading to a future fratricidal war; <...>
"— launch of a broad campaign on national TV channels to support the Ukrainian public and expose the fascist content of the coup that is under way, as well as the adverse economic consequences for Ukraine, especially its eastern and southern regions;
"— an open declaration to the world community on the unacceptability for Russia of the creation of a fascist, anti-Semitic state close to our borders, as well as making such statements at the UN and other international organizations;
"— an appeal by the Government of the Russian Federation, under the currently valid Budapest Memorandum on the Sovereignty of Ukraine, dated Dec. 5, 1994 (Article 6), to the governments of Ukraine, the USA, and Great Britain, with a decisive protest against U.S. interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine and a demand to convene a conference of the parties to the Budapest Memorandum in connection with the situation involving political aggression and measures of "economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty";
"— in the event of refusal of one of the parties to take part in such a conference, the said memorandum should be declared temporarily invalid, with Russia entering into direct talks with Washington, citing the situation with the Caribbean Crisis [Cuban Missile Crisis] of 1962 as a precedent for the current events in
Ukraine, and proposing to the USA to hold negotiations on developing joint monitoring of the political process and elections in Ukraine, as well as joint mediation of a settlement of the developing political crisis;
"— a proposal to the People's Republic of China and other BRICS countries to develop economic assistance plans for Ukraine and joint work in the entire post-Soviet area, in order to rein in any attempts at unilateral U.S. hegemony."
In conclusion, they write: "Only such actions by the Russian state and sane forces in the Russian and international community, together with the executive bodies of our two countries, can stabilize the social and economic situation in Ukraine and prevent social and political catastrophe in that country."