Ukrainian politician Tatiana Montyan interview #3: “Find an excuse for yourself, and you can steal the rugs from a mosque”
From the translator:
Refer to the preface for these earlier translations of Montyan for an explanation as to who she is, her nationalist ties, and what her biases probably are.
In addition, I found a comment to the previous translation quite interesting. It said, roughly: “Montyan isn’t very astute – she simply assumes everyone is corrupt, and Ukraine being what it is, that passes for brilliance”. But, be that as it may, it doesn’t make her speeches any less interesting.
The views presented herein represent only the person being
translated and may not match those of the translator or his collaborators.
The translator does not guarantee all of the facts mentioned are true.
The translation is presented as an interesting perspective on the
conflict and as an example of the views held by a sizable segment of
Source: Rusinform interview.
Translated and edited by Tatzhit, Aug 7th, 2015.
Presented as a text transcript and video with voiceover below it.
(subjects covered, in order):
Tatiana Montyan talking:
= About the “war economy” and Kiev selling weapons to rebels.
= About the problems Russia brought Crimea, and most people still being satisfied with joining Russia
= About attitudes in Russia
= About the “new police force”
= About Mukachevo and Poroshenko’s tensions with other oligarchs
= About Americans trading Ukraine to Russia in exchange for Iran, and pushing Constitutional changes demanded in Minsk-2 through Rada Parliament
= About new Kiev government “fighting corruption”
= About the claims that Maidan revolution brought better “civil society”
= About the possibility of another “people’s revolution”
About the “war economy” and Kiev selling weapons to rebels
Tatiana Montyan joining us today. We will start with a serious subject – in a few of your interviews and videos you have mentioned that Ukrainian economy is in a “war economy stage”, so what can you tell us about what it is and how does it work?
It works very simply: the biggest money is to be made at the war, so all the efforts are obviously concentrated on earning money on the war, and keeping the war going and keeping the money flowing.
First off, the main thing is stealing the military budget. Lying to people that we are about to be invaded by Russia, that there are millions of troops on the border… It’s much easier to simply steal the military budgets instead of spending money on things truly important to society. They are the first and main target of the war economy.
So how does the money get stolen? The more volunteers, or forcibly conscripted people grabbed off the street, can be pushed into encirclements and killed by the thousands, the more people can be used as an excuse to steal a huge amount of salaries, weapons, gear. That’s the main profit. Separatists with telling me – “What, they really think in Ukraine that Putin is sending us weapons across the border? We just buy them from the Ukrainians!”They
sell the weapons and gear that were supposed to be given to the people
who are now rotting in Ilovaisk, Debaltsevo, Lutugino, and other
encirclements. UAF is not reporting losses mainly to be able to steal
the salaries, weapons, and gear those people were supposed to have. And
of course, if a person is “missing in action” and not actually reported
killed, his family doesn’t need to be paid any sort of compensation, so
that’s another benefit.
Relevant quote by Igor Bezler, leader of Gorlovka rebels:
“Mr. Gerasimov, who got into Ukrainian parliament from Poroshenko’s party, said in his interview that I used to be his driver, and he has no other connections with me. I would like to ask Mr. Gerasimov a question, how did surrounded Gorlovka receive weapons in large quantities? That the weapons came from Ukrainian side can be confirmed by Ukrainian POW’s who unloaded them. …Through Mrs. Lebedeva and Mr. Poroshenko, who wasn’t yet a president of Ukraine, weapons were delivered to Gorlovka, not by one or two boxes, but entire ‘Ural’ trucks, and the frequency was once every 3 days. … To those Ukrainians who give 5 UAH on the phone to support Ukrainian army, I can tell, the price of a gun, delivered by Ukrainian side is 1,900 UAH, the price of a BTR is 19,000 UAH. We didn’t agree about tanks.
This is where the weapons are from. So don’t look for Moscow’s hand, there is a very big hand of Kiev.
Mr. Poroshenko, when he was not yet a president of Ukraine had very good business with me. Delivered a lot of weapons.”
Then, of course, the checkpoints that everybody “loves” – where smuggling is going through in huge columns of trucks and the money for it goes to the people holding checkpoints. And to get to run a checkpoint you have to pay our glorious Army a huge amount of money – this has been discussed and discussed again, everywhere.
And we can not forget the category of people that are the so-called “volunteer helpers”. Of course, some of them are naïve and stupid and don’t understand that if they collect the money and aid for the army, and do the job that the Ministry of Defense and the government is supposed to be doing, they are taking that task away from the government and letting it steal more money, therefore exacerbating the problem.
But there are also a lot of people who are actually stealing the money that they are supposedly collecting for “the front and victory” and we already had plenty of scandals like that, and some people are even in prison for stealing.
So these are the four simplest kinds of earning money on the war, and this is not even talking about looting and all of that. And of course, looting doesn’t start at the bottom – in order to be able to rob with impunity, you have to share with the command. As you know, [after a year], the Post Office has finally stopped taking shipments from the soldiers without proof of purchase, because they were literally sending washing machines that still had water inside, etc. A huge amount has been sent home by our glorious soldiers over this year… So everybody is earning money on the war, everybody who’s connected to it, or connected to people who are connected to the war. Of course, if that’s the most profitable venture then people will ensure it keeps going. This happens in any country and under such circumstances – if what we had at the Maidan was a “glorious revolution” or “heinous betrayal” doesn’t matter at this point. If this is this what brings the most money, all the effort will go to earning money on war. And yes, everybody is like that – 90% of people are just like that. There are a few percent altruistic people who wouldn’t take the money, but the rest would find some sort of excuse – “I need to feed my family”, “it’s not me, it’s the situation”… As an old Arab saying goes – “Find an excuse for yourself, and you can steal the rugs from a mosque”.
So it’s obvious that in order to stop this, we need to create conditions where this is not the most beneficial activity, but as Ukraine’s is no longer sovereign – I think that after the speech in the parliament of the State Department representative Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt it’s obvious to everybody – nothing depends us, everything depends on the “White masters”, and the white masters don’t want to stop the war for now.
So this is what we got. When people at the Maidan were being told – “What are you doing, you will ruin the country”, they didn’t believe, or were too stupid or something. And that’s not the first time that happens in history – [look at Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, etc.]. And still, for the hundredth time, there are plenty of idiots who believe that they just need to do a revolution, and as long as they throw enough Molotov cocktails at their own law enforcement, if they destroy and kill everybody who doesn’t agree with them, then they will make heaven on on earth.
I don’t know where we got such degenerates, but there are plenty of them and they walk among us. And now they wonder “How did this happen? We didn’t expect it…”
[Relevant article: “Blame the imbeciles” by Alexander Rogers]
About the problems Russia brought Crimea, and most people still being satisfied with joining Russia
Have you been to Crimea, what are your impressions from being in the Russia-annexed territories?
I saw what I expected to see. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, but in order to form my own impression I went there in person, saw everything with my own eyes.
Simferopol airport is getting about 110 flights a day from a huge number of cities all around Russia, and before they were maybe a few flights a day, because most people came by a car and train. But the Ukrainian border crossing at Chongar has been “blocked” – although by now there is a way to get in, you just need to pay about 30 bucks to the right people, they already figured everything out and arranged with everybody, but the rail is blocked.
So these 110 flights plus the people that come by ferry to Kerch, still can not create the same number of tourists that they had when Ukraine was controlling Crimea. The people who come there on the planes, they hang out in the famous, well-known places. Yalta, Altushta, Koktebel, Evparotia. Kerch is especially lucky, of course, because before, to get to Kerch, you needed to drive 60 miles, and, you know, what was the point. But now Kerch is the site of the ferry where the Russians come, and that’s where they stay – because there are no better beaches than in Kerch anywhere, not just in Crimea but in the world – and this is my just my patriotism, as I’ve been everywhere on beaches in the world and Kerch is really the best one. But the places that are not famous and not large centers are completely screwed.
I went down the 29th highway, it’s a winding road on the south shore. Rybachie is completely desolated, I was one of three people in a four-story hotel at the entrance to town. Two thirds of the restaurants are closed, I went to the local market – disgusting beef covered by flies is about 4 bucks a pound. So that’s that’s how it is. Morskoe was always a cool place, the slightly poorer people were always dancing there, hanging out, now completely deserted, very few people. Further on Hwy 58, there were crowds of people there, there was a tent city, now there are a few tents even though it’s just a dollar per day. So away from the big centers is completely dead, very few people, Beregovoe is like 200 yards from Feodosia and completely empty. Ukrainians knew where to go, all the cool small places, they always knew the locals, they always came to the same places – they knew not to stay in Yalta, with its crappy beaches, but go to nice small places away from the crowds. But now there are no Ukrainians, and Russians are all crowding in Feodosia and 200 yards away Beregovoe is a ghost town.
Moreover, Russia has their own way of stealing budgets, there are so-called “10% cost union-organized trips”. So of course they send grannies who come there, [stay in a reserved hotel] and are on a tight budget – not like the Ukrainian mafia who would come there with a bunch of prostitutes and drank all the money away. So the Russian tourists are more reserved and more demanding. Even in the famous places, in Kerch, all the cool hotels and the resorts and everything is occupied, but the so-called “hostels” in the slums – they are mostly empty. Because people who make it to Crimea from Russia, who flew in, the will not go to a crappy slum place, and the smaller hotels are also half-empty.
So the situation was the people who owned a few apartments and rented to the local tourists, the Ukrainian government never asked them many questions, never taxed them. The Russian government made them register, made them pay taxes, they know exactly how many rooms they have…
So there are several kinds of people in Crimea:
– The extremely pleased – the cops, the judges, the prosecutors, the military, and various officials. They get a comparatively huge amount of money, they are totally pro-Russian and completely happy.
– The retired people. They get decent social security checks, even though the prices increased, they are happy because they got healthcare and other good infrastructure they still remember from the Soviet times, and Russia is really much better than Ukraine. One grandma told me – “What did Ukraine ever do for us? And the Russians gave us free MRI – right here in town!”
– The various government employees – teachers etc. The salaries increased, but the prices increased too, so financially it’s the same but they tell us – “You have war, you have crazy usurpers in Kiev, so this is way better.”
– And the completely unhappy – the people who earned their own money, the people who rented the rooms, the people who owned small businesses, and those who live in small towns, etc.
So I drove about 450 miles – I went up to Yalta, down the 29th hwy, down to Alushta, been to Feodosia and Kerch, and I can’t say that they fixed the roads up that much. They’ve added like 50 miles of new highway between Feodosia and Kerch, they added new highway between Feodosia and Simferopol, but I didn’t see that much fixed up otherwise. From the Russian budget, they sent $4 billion to Crimea. So this money went to increasing salaries for various retirees, government employees, to Artek camp, which is being improved hugely, to the airport which already has four terminals and is really a very good airport, as I said – over 100 flights a day, coming and going every five minutes. I heard that Sevastopol has been redone but I haven’t seen it. But overall, I would say that about $3 billion was just stolen by the local “Goblin” Aksenov and the various “activists” – also known as bandits – that Russians decided to put in power, plus Yanukovich’s people that have now joined the Russian ruling party, and so on. Now there are tons of corruption scandals…
Moreover, locals told me to that a huge number of [powerful] people from Kiev – you know, prosecutors, cops, various businessmen – they get the Russian passports, they come to Crimea through Moscow or Rostov, to avoid being seen at Ukrainian checkpoints on Chongar, they figure out all their problems, figure out all the questions, and feel great there. It’s especially funny for cops and prosecutors who in Kiev prosecute people for being “household separatists” [i.e. merely disagreeing with the government in their kitchens].
So most likely Russians will only invest in Sevastopol’, Balaklava,“Artek” [famous Soviet-era resort for children], they will invest in the airport, in the ferry and Kerch, but it won’t invest in anything else. So the agriculture will get screwed over, Jankoi got screwed over because before it was on the main route to get into Crimea, but now it’s deserted. So that’s how it is.
Interviewer: [What about pro-Ukrainians]?
Yes, there are some people who are our “Ukrainian patriots”, who walk around with Ukrainian flags, wear traditional embroidered shirts – nobody cares, nobody does anything to them because they are not dangerous at all, because the vast majority of locals, even if they’re not terribly happy with Russia, they look at the chaos and Somalia that we got in Kiev and tell me – “Yes Russian state is bad and harsh, but it’s an actual state! It’s not chaos and lawlessness that usurpers established in Kiev!” So that’s the situation objectively.
About attitudes in Russia
I went from Moscow to Crimea and then back to Moscow, I had a matter to settle there. As for how the Russians are doing in Moscow, they’re doing fine. Yeah, the currency is jumping, when I was there the before the ruble was 49 rubles per dollar, and this time it’s 57 rubles to a dollar, by the locals are ok. You know, if anybody thinks Russians are such fans of Putin, that’s not exactly true. They tell me – “Yeah, we know everything about Putin, we know everything about his bunch of thieves, problems with the budget etc. but [if the other option] is a State Department-funded revolution and all that brings… Let [Putin’s bunch] stay in power for now, until they’re tired of it, because if we have Maidan or anything similar we’ll get the same Somalia that you have in Ukraine – it’s better to have a bad state than none.” Well, that’s what the reasonable people are saying – of course, the victims of state propaganda shout “We got Crimea! We got Crimea!” because they don’t the look of the state of economy, they can’t calculate the budgets, they just have their imperial ambitions. But the reasonable people who don’t have any illusions and look at everything objectively, they still think Putin is better than Maidan.
About the “new police force”
So, looks like Americans decided to film a rerun of the “Police Academy” show in Kiev. What can you say about the new police?
Well, I’ll say this: I had a driver’s license for a very long time. In Crimea, they rented a car to me just seeing how long I’ve had one. I’m an accomplished judo competitor- I can easily throw somebody so they won’t get up.
[Relevant video: Montyan competing in an MMA fight, back in 2009, against a much younger champion. Warning – looks quite bloody. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tgtBZiUaXI ]
But after three months training I wouldn’t go to the police force, because even for someone with my experience of driving it’s not easy to learn police-type driving skills, it’s hard and is very different from driving like a regular person. I don’t think that even with my hand-to-hand experience I could be taught within 3 months to secure a person without damaging them, because in all my previous practice, I never had to do this, because the people I threw were trained to take it. So I think this is all for show – in 3 months time one can’t train people, even prepared ones like myself, much less people off the street, which is evidenced by the fact they already destroyed several cars. Yes, they try their best, they are nice, polite, etc. – but when it was at a train station going to Ivano-Frankovsk, two guys had a fight… So one new police car came, everybody told them what happened, second car, explained again, third car, go again… People were already standing there laughing. Finally, regular cops came and did everything correctly, wrote down the protocol and police report. So all you need to know about the new police force.
The regular cops tell me – “If we got that much money, if we got new cars, if we got enough gas to get around as much as we want, if we didn’t have to collect bribes for our bosses and pay their bosses as well, if we didn’t have to do a bunch of pointless bureaucratic work, useless statistics, if we didn’t have a strict quota of crimes we are supposed to solve every month – we would be much better than these kids that still don’t know what they’re doing, and won’t to learn for quite a while”.
And moreover, the new police started working on July 4th, they have no legal basis – the law has not been signed yet, as far as I know they did not swear allegiance to anybody, and why are they working at all and what legal justification they have – nobody knows.
Why did [our government] have to bend so low in front of our foreign masters in order to [launch new police] on their Independence Day – I have no idea. Why don’t they do it legally, correctly, and without screwing over all these nice kids, most of whom actually tried to do something good? I have no idea. I think it will all end as usual – some people will become corrupt, some will leave, the new cars will get broken… So that’s how it is. The worst thing is that some of those glamorous girls may get their noses broken by some local toughs. Because I look at them – what can they do to a drunk thug, if called to a mafia fight in a bar? And since nowadays everybody’s on the street got guns – they’ll just get shot…
About Mukachevo and Poroshenko’s tensions with other oligarchs
So the attention of the Ukrainian people is focused on events in Mukachevo…
Okay, what’s there to wonder about? The people there always lived from smuggling income because that’s the only thing there is – it’s mountains, nothing grows, you can’t live by growing your own food!
The “Right Sector” guys who came there were local, local Transcarpathia guys who came to argue for their share of the smuggling profits. This wasn’t the first time, probably not the hundredth, but this time they were filmed from three directions, they been set up. And who used it later and for what – that’s another question. Of course, Poroshenko had his quarrel with Baloga, so he decided to kick Baloga out of smuggling, replacing him with Moskal’ who was in charge of smuggling in Lugansk area, so now they’re gonna have a smuggling ring clear across the country.
And yes, Poroshenko broke up with all his former allies – with Kolomoiski, Pinchuk, Levochkin, Ahmetov, with Firtash – he broke up with all other oligarchs. I guess he stays in power because of American support, for now, but we’ll see how it goes, especially the since America traded Ukraine to Russia in exchange for Iran, so we’ll see what happens.
Americans trading Ukraine to Russia in exchange for Iran, and pushing
Constitutional changes demanded in Minsk-2 through Rada Parliament
How do you have this information?
Haven’t you seen Nuland and Payett’s performance in the parliament, [and heard of their trips to Moscow]? Have you read what the Minsk agreements [they forced Rada to accept]? Agreements say “full amnesty for everyone, decentralization and all that stuff” – yeah, sure, that they should’ve done it a year ago, this decentralization should have been done from the beginning, and it was everything the rebel republics wanted in the first place…
But what does it look like to the crazy nationalists, who were sent to die there – 50,000 of them had been killed, they have been brainwashed with completely opposite rhetoric? Now, of course, they scream “betrayal”. It’s just as we’ve been telling them all along – these patriotic shouts from Rada are only necessary to steal the military budgets. They didn’t believe us, and now Poroshenko and his buddies turned out to be “traitors” all of a sudden. 287 traitors in Parliament – listened to their foreign masters and accepted the constitutional change! I ask the nationalists – haven’t you read what they accepted in Minsk in the first place?
So okay, another question about the changes in the Constitution, that according to you, were pushed through by Americans, they imply…
Yes, yes, but that does not matter. The Constitution is just the icing on top of the cake. If the Constitution isn’t based on normal civil and criminal law, and local government, and local laws, this is not a Constitution – just a piece of paper that people wipe their feet and other body parts on. So all of these other changes do not matter because they would not work just like the current Constitution doesn’t work.
<Relevant article: “14 articles of the Ukrainian Constitution violated by the new Kiev government“>
It’s all a circus – so Americans pushed through Minsk-2 [to throw a bone to the rebels] – amnesty, self-government, etc. Which, by the way, is going to lead to other regions demanding autonomy as well. Everybody will start to shout – Odessa, Kharkov – “Why do the [accursed] separatists get self-government and we don’t? Why do we have to give all the money to Kiev?”. That’s going to happen in all the regions, because that’s logical – why would Donetsk and Lugansk get real self-government but not Lvov or Dnepropetrovk?
About new Kiev government “fighting corruption”
So we hear on the mass media about fighting corruption, how the government is fighting it so hard and so dedicated… So what is that about? What had been achieved?
There are no achievements – corruption is winning by huge margin. The “fight with corruption” is not about removing corruption, but to be able to participate in it. People that are being kicked out are those who are not fitting in the current “usurper” government. They’re being replaced by Poroshenko’s collaborators who are willing to share more. That’s all that’s going on.
What about the anti-corruption committee, what can you say there?
Well, as usual, those people also want corruption money. You know, during the Maidan revolution they fought not against corruption, bit against not being among those benefiting from it. Well, apart from a few idealists who already got disappointed and left, the rest were fighting to be part of corruption. And if they did not make it [to the money sources] yet, they are fighting to get in there [by forming new “anti-corruption” shakedown structures].
About the claims that Maidan revolution brought better “civil society”
One lawyer that we both know has said that after the Maidan revolution there were two positive things – lots of bad, but two things are good: there is more freedom of speech in the country, and there are beginnings of a civil society.
Well, you know Maidan idiots will never be cured. What kind of freedom of speech is he talking about? I have no idea. Even if we talk about journalist Kotsaba, who simply recorded a [Youtube] video addressing the president and he’s being tried for treason and for interfering with the armed forces… And as far civil society, what kind of civil society is he talking about? If Maidan idiots are ready to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their opinion – what kind of civil society is that? Excuse me, if people are ready to KILL simply for your neighbor having a different opinion, we are degrading! We degraded to Stalin’s times, and even before that, into the times of the Inquisition! But I understand that the poor idiots are not able to claim that the any there are any real positive developments, so they claim spiritual improvements. But even spiritually or legally you can not claim things like that.
So those who have courage to admit that they have destroyed the country by their own hands have admitted it, and the rest say things like that. And of course the funny thing is lawyers supporting the coup – that shows the level of legal understanding we have among out my not-so-respected colleagues. And now they’re surprised that the courts are doing whatever they want, the cops aren’t doing their job at all, and the prosecutor’s office is virtually absent.
As far as Kotsaba, he’s in jail, and he will stay in jail as long as the usurpers are in power. That last day in court was extremely impressive – the witness was probably shell shocked or something, a military guy. Screaming, jumping at [Kotsaba’s] cage, shouting “if had a gun I would kill you right here”. And those people are among us, people like that guy, they are ready to kill just for having a different opinion. The judges – they simply ran the show and were happy that Kotsaba’s still in jail.
And as far as what it decent civil society should look like – people should understand their responsibility and their ownership of our common society, of their houses and of the state as a whole. And the revolutionaries that we got running the “student revolution” did not understand the revolution can’t start from the top. You can replace just the top of the pyramid, and you can’t build a pyramid from the top down. If you can’t agree with your neighbors to change lighting in your common stairwell, how can you run a country of 45 million people?! All thought “we jump at the Maidan and the Europeans will solve everything for us”. Europeans solved everything only for themselves! … Civil society implies responsibility – what responsibility the people from the “revolution of dignity” had? They didn’t think about the consequences of their actions! When people asked them “Okay, you kick out Yanki – who will replace him? If you were president, what would you do?” – they said nothing, because apart from jumping at the Maidan they didn’t know anything. The extent of their organizing talents is gathering tires and setting them on fire. That’s all they’re capable of.
About the possibility of another “people’s revolution”
So about the Maidan of 2013-2014, they call it “The Revolution of Dignity”, and it was done under the pretense that the Ukrainian people are very freedom-loving and that they rose up against the dictator Yanukovich, but the events in Ukraine right now are probably dozens of times worse than what happened under yanukovich, so why don’t people rise up?
Because State Department and Nuland didn’t bring the funds and cookies, and oligarchs didn’t help it with money and media support. As they say “the popular revolutions not sanctioned by the State Department aren’t real and should not be followed”. Everybody in there was organized by our oligarchs and by the US State Department and only the dumbest people still believe that was “a people’s revolution” and not an engineered coup. So now there’s no money, nobody supports [another revolution] in the media, and moreover if you talk too much you can get shot or kidnapped.
[Relevant articles: Double feature: What are the ingredients of a revolution? / How to tell a real revolution from a paid protest US Citizen protester tortured by Ukraine State Security] …
I don’t think another revolution can happen. Yes, all the oligarchs are pissed at Poroshenko, but they would probably just kill him instead of risking another revolution and destroying the rest of their own assets and factories. That’s what I told them of Yanik – you didn’t like him, why didn’t you just shoot him? Why did you have to destroy the country?
I recommend clicking the gear symbol on the bottom-right of the
video and increasing playback speed to 1.5x, that will save you 30
minutes and is completely understandable.