Wars begin in order to be finished
In an exclusive interview, Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian MP, tells on her future political plans, relations with Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, elections in Donbas, solving the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and Russian gas..
Nadiya, please tell us, what should Ukraine do with temporarily occupied areas of Donbas? What is your attitude toward a special status or special self-government there?
I think that taking into consideration current Ukrainian policy, we will be forced to adopt such status even for Ukraine. For how long should we wait? Our Ukraine is united country, so the laws should be unified. In times of Yanukovych’s presidency the power was in the hands of oligarchs, and Maidan stood against this. It means that now we need to do a certain decentralization in the country. More self-determination and power should be given to the local communities, as well as more budget funds, in order to allow people to manage what they have earned, and brought to the state as a tax. It seems to me that now is the time for policymakers to find some definite agreement.
The EU says that we have a list of instructions to follow. What should we do in this situation?
Sometimes, the house burns, and the firefighters cannot find the water. So thanks for the tips, but let us think for ourselves what is better for our country… Today, I gave an interview to the German newspaper, and said that in addition to the sanctions against Russia, we should add some personal sanctions… Speaking about the war, we have the so-called couch heroes, who tell us that we should take part in the war for Ukraine. If you speak your mind – so just go and do it. Every soldier should go to war with a desire for peace. If the soldier joins the war and wants to kill, he will be a killer. Wars begin in order to be finished. Our boys die for Ukraine to ensure our victory.
Mykola Kohanivsky, far-right commander of Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Battalion, insists on a military solution of the conflict and does not believe in diplomacy.
I do not believe in diplomacy, and I do not believe in a purely military conflict. If there is a military conflict, it must be accompanied by diplomacy. No need to yell that we are facing a third world war, and Ukraine is a battlefield. If we deal with Donbas the way Russia dealt with Chechnya, Abkhazia, and now with Dagestan, we will just fill Donbas with blood. I do not want Ukraine to follow Russia and repeat that mistake.
How effective would be OSCE police mission in Donbas?
I have heard that two OSCE staff was captured. This is an observation mission and has no means of protection. But it must be protected. The police mission is really needed for a period of time, because someone has to control rampant illegal weapons.
What did you see in the ATO zone? What has really shocked you?
It is nice that people there still say "Ukraine is united" and "Glory to Ukraine." Indeed, wherever you go, the people across the border are grateful that they live in Ukrainian state and not in the occupied territory. And this is significant. I was surprised that there are patriots who are always ready to die, stand on the front line, they do not get tired, they are eternal fighters, and they are willing to die for Ukraine. At the same time, there are soldiers, who get tired very quickly, they complaint and cry, and beg for the rotation, because they are tired…
Now our army is reviving. The soldiers see the sense that Ukrainian army is not a post-Soviet army, but it is something new, and it is worthy to serve the people of Ukraine.
Why did you meet with Dmytro Yarosh (a leader of the far-right organization Pravyi Sektor in 2014-2015, ed.) while being in ATO zone?
Yes, we have spent some time together. Then I left for work, he had to go to his work. Yarosh is also an MP and has also worked with the voters. We decided to meet and spend some time together. I have not been here (in ATO, ed.) for a long time, I did not know the situation, and Dmytro is the People's Deputy, who has time to work in the parliament, and protect the border of Ukraine.
Do you agree that if you were not the MP, if you were not a representative of Ukraine in the PACE, the process of your release could be faster?
I cannot tell you what would have happened, because it's like a fortune telling. I don’t know what exactly has worked out, but I think that everything was important. You cannot make a bullet out of shit. A single man is not a warrior. I was not alone. The whole Ukraine was with me… I will never stop doing something just because of the fact that it will harm me or my popularity.
Did you talk to the president about this?
Yes, I spoke to the President on this subject today. The president holds the line, which is now the voice of the Security Service - they [Russian-backed militants] are terrorists, they killed our people, and we must negotiate on the release the hostages. Basically, I am just going to discuss it. Donetsk and Luhansk regions are Ukraine.
People accepted your statement that you are already prepared to announce Zakharchenko a negotiating party? Is it your purpose indeed?
No, I did not mean that. I do not know why people make conclusions without listening. My goal is Ukraine. A peaceful, free, independent, and strong country. And the life of our soldiers.
Does Poroshenko speak to you using the official language?
I set the scene, and he follows my tone. I cannot say that the tone is formal or informal. I spoke to him like I am speaking to you now.
Do you have many advisors in the context of what to say to the world?
I have many advisors, starting from my mother, who indicates to me if I have done something wrong, and ending with the politicians and the people. I have many assistants, but I also have my own head.
Have you met with Viktor Medvedchuk? And what is your attitude to that person and his role in Ukrainian politics?
When Medvedchuk was under Kuchma, I was not an active participant of Ukrainian politics. I did not go to the action "Ukraine against Kuchma," I was very young. Who is this person? I do not know. I have never met him. I cannot comment on his role concerning Ukraine.
What is your view on buying Russian gas?
We have a lot of other places to buy gas, don’t we? This is an economic issue; unfortunately, I am not very familiar with this issue. I do not have economic education. But I think we can find other ways.
Facebook audience asks you to support an idea that our judges should refuse from their wages ($12 000).
Dear judges, please refuse. This practice does not work in Russia. I was against this law because it was uncompleted. I do not think that if you love Ukraine, you must be paid that much. Do your work honestly.
Elections in occupied Donbas might take place only if…
…Only if it is not occupied. Otherwise, they are not possible. Residents of Donbas, who stayed there, will have the right to vote safely. Residents, who have left, cannot now return to their homes because their houses are destroyed. People cannot return because they would go to jail immediately.
Please, tell us about your relationships with Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of ‘Batkivshchyna’ party?
These are absolutely constructive and working relationships. We do not drink coffee together, we do not have time for that, we have very busy schedules. I see what the party is, and Tymoshenko is a party leader with extensive experience.
Do you plan to organize your own political force?
People ask me this question every day. I have no ambitions for the sake of ambition. I do not want power for power's sake. If it is necessary, I will do it.
Donbas conflict: 18 attacks reported 17 October, 23:58
33 ceasefire violations in Donbas region reported, - ATO HQ 23 October, 11:23
Donetsk militants hand over another 23 hostages 19 October, 15:31
29 attacks in Donbas region during previous 24 hours, - ATO HQ 18 October, 09:31
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