We are publishing English original of the interview given by our permanent correspondent Andrew Korybko to the esteemed Croatian media outlet Advance on August 10, 2014.
The conversation revolved around the US’ grand strategy in Eurasia, general chaos in the world and especially in the Mideast, Ukrainian Civil War, state of the US-Russian relations.
Talking about the current instability shaking the world, Mr.Korybko argued that it is part of the US’ policy of strategically directed chaos a la the ‘Eurasian Balkans’ principle developed by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Addressing the Arab Spring, he sees it as a theater-wide Color Revolution supported by Washington. The US wanted control over the process of leadership transition in this geostrategic region, which was bound to happen sooner or later owing to the old and long-running nature of their leaders. It also wanted to inflict strategic losses on regional holdouts not bowing to its authority. Although fulfilling most of its objectives, such as the destabilization of Syria and the destruction of Iraq, it also had some drawbacks, most notably the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Bengahzi.
Pivoting to Ukraine, the interviewee is adamant that the US would have destabilized the country regardless of Russia’s Syria stance, quoting Ukraine’ s former National Security Chief Alexander Yakimenko. He also thinks that Ukraine was targeted because Hillary Clinton previously threatened in 2012 to “slow down or prevent” the Eurasian Union and its expansion. The Color Revolution was pushed forward a year in advance from its planned 2015 deployment due to Yanukvoch’s sudden stalling of the EU Association Agreement, as the latter understood the economic and sovereign suicide that it entailed.
Post-coup, the US and EU are identified as supporting different candidates for power, Poroshenko and Klitchko, respectively, although they do have a confluence of interest in Ukraine joining Western institutions regardless of who is leading the country. Poroshenko’s American appointment is explained by the fact that the US has no interest in changing Ukraine’s oligarchic system of governance, preferring to place one of the most notorious of them at its helm to guide the system to their whims. Klitchko isn’t out of the game just yet, as he is merely being placed on the political sidelines for future utilization, if need be.
Moving on to the question of Donbass, it was stated that Russia could have of course expected the region’s inhabitants to be against any coup-imposed radical pro-Western government, but that it did not envision the extent of the rebellion against Kiev. Russia has special cultural and civilizational advantages over the West relative to the Donbass people, thereby making it more preferable to Kiev’s current course. It is because of this that the movement has such strength at the grassroots level, he believes. Commenting on Lugansk and Donetsk’s ambitions for independence or union with Russia and Moscow’s reluctance to see this happen, Andrew says that this shows that all three actors are independent and further disproves allegations of a Russian conspiracy to tear Ukraine apart. He rhetorically asks why these entities would have different goals if they were really controlled by Russia? All in all, Andrew sees federalization as the best option for Ukraine.
Russia does have two red lines and that is the de-jure inclusion of Ukraine into NATO and expansion of the Missile Defense Shield to the country. Mr.Korybko distinguishes between de-jure official NATO incorporation and de-facto Shadow NATO absorption. He sees the former as being impossible so long as Ukraine does not recognize Crimea’s reunion with Russia, while the latter is proceeding at breakneck speed under the orders of Washington. Simultaneously with this, Kiev’s forces have been shelling Russian territory and border checkpoints as a provocation to goad Russia into a stalemated military intervention in Ukraine. Brzezinski did something similar in Afghanistan by advising President Carter to support the Mujahadeen there nearly 6 months before the Soviet intervention. Details on how Brzezinski, head of Foreign Affairs advisory committee during his 2008 presidential campaign, taught Obama during his time in Columbia. There are even allegations that he staffed the White House and other influential places with his ideological supporters after Obama’s victory. Thus it is not farfetched to consider that Brzezinski’s teachings are deeply rooted in current American foreign policy.
The entire paradigm of the Ukrainian crisis is a containment of Russia with the eventual goal of dismantling it from within. For this purpose, Color Revolutions may be attempted not just to seize power over the center, but to destabilize the internal periphery of the country. It will unlikely to succeed under the current circumstances owing to the strength of the Russian state and the patriotism of its people, but in a future scenario where Russia’s Eastern European, Caucasian, and Central Asian near peripheries are being destabilized in unison, this could change. The US is also fostering fifth columns of political and social support in the country, and learning from their experiment with extreme nationalist forces in Ukraine, it is probable that they may try to co-opt similar movements in Russia to pursue their internal divide-and-conquer goals.
For now, Russian and US rivalry will be limited to proxy conflicts in the former Soviet space, but things could take a dangerous turn towards a conventional war or a US nuclear first strike if the Missile Defense Shield is completed. The prerogative for exacerbating or lessening tensions is thus on the US, which has continually been expanding its military, economic, and political presence in a noose around Russia since the end of the Cold War. This resulted in Russia having to defensively react to the US’ developments, but due to intensive information warfare, its counter-moves are instead painted as the opening aggressive salvos of a new Cold War. Under such a state of affairs, the rivalry cannot be stopped and Russia must continue, regardless of manipulated Western opinion, to defend its interests, sovereignty, and by extension, its very existence.
The full text of the interview in PDF is available here.