Kyiv, February 18, 2016. February 20, 2014 was the starting point to begin forming a new perspective on national security and foreign policy of Ukraine. The beginning of the Russian aggression raised the questions about how it had been prepared, what had been its objectives and means, and what strengths and weaknesses it had revealed in Ukraine. These questions were the focus of attention of Volodymyr Gorbulin, Director of the National Institute for Strategic Research, during the presentation of the study “Crimea. War: prerequisite for Russian aggression” at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to him, the Russian aggression is a “logical step of the imperial politics of revenge” and not just an accident. Confrontation with Russia is neither the past, nor the present; it is the future prospect for Ukraine. “The empire will never leave Ukraine alone. It will exert every effort to set our country at loggerheads with Europe, the US, China and Turkey. It will stir up and nurture all possible internal conflicts in Ukraine. And all this in order to prove to itself and the rest of the world that Ukraine “did not exist, does not exist and will never exist,” said Mr. Gorbulin. In his opinion, Russia’s biggest weapon today is deception, blackmail and hypocrisy. The way Russia behaves in the framework of the Minsk negotiation process demonstrates its current form.
According to Mr. Gorbulin, Russia has never really recognized the independence of Ukraine. The only issue it raised was to return Ukraine to its own sphere of influence through control over the marionette power, or weapons. Preparation for the implementation of this plan actively began with the Orange Revolution and included anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Russia and forming a network of agents in Ukraine. “After Yanukovych’s team came to power, state authorities became a tool for dismantling the national independence. These were, primarily, the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security Service (SBU). Their activities were under the control of Russian security services, and the Ukrainian economy – under the influence of Russian capital,” explained Mr. Gorbulin. At the same time, according to him, Russia is actively strengthening the army. Thus, there were 18 large-scale military exercises near the border with Ukraine in 2013-2015 alone.
Volodymyr Gorbulin stressed that the fact that Ukraine wasn’t prepared for war led to an unexpected result. Patriotism and determination of Ukrainian society not only repelled the Russian aggression but also inaugurated the emergence of a new subject – the Ukrainian nation of century XXI. “It is too early to speak about it but the Ukrainian resistance begat a fundamentally new political and civilizational reality. The new subject of European politics and security – Ukraine has emerged between the traditional centers of confrontation – Russia and the West,” noted Mr. Gorbulin.
According to Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, now Ukraine has a task to ensure the priority of national interests, implement the strategic foreign security policy, increase the military potential, develop the armed forces, security services and law enforcement system. Thus, the state has to create conditions for the development of the society, which would be able to exercise effective control over public institutions and services. “Nobody will build anything for us. We are grateful to the US and Europe for their assistance. But help is given to those who are strong,” asserts Mr. Lytvynenko.