Savchenko: A “Trojan Horse” or a Political Foot-Soldier?


June 17, 2016 – 

Andrey Bortsov, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

When Savchenko was exchanged, two basic types of comments were heard: “How is this possible! Putin betrayed us!” and “Oh wow, now she’s going to make a mess.” The first comment is senseless, but the second is partly correct.

Assumptions as to how everything will turn out were mainly focused on the possibility of overt extremism, saying that now Savchenko, released from prison, would build a new Rada based on her ideas. However, the show turned out to be not so much of a storm as internet analysts, those who only like to see one aspect of a system, expected. However, Savchenko did manage to declare that she is ready to become the president of Ukraine if the people want her to, but somehow this didn’t take off despite the fact that this scenario could in fact be realized.

Much more interesting was this statement of hers: 

“Each of us has in their soul that they want to indict Russia, while the Russians think that they have some kind of claim to us. We will never be such a brotherly people as we were before. Sure, there are a lot of relatives, mixing of blood, and everything else, but let’s be good neighbors rather than bad brothers… I think that this is possible in the future.”

These words caused quite a shock! And when Savchenko stated that she was ready to hold direct negotiations with the leadership of the DPR and LPR on the exchange of prisoners, the shock intensified. The press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Artem Shevchenko, called this a “coming out” of the deputy, Heroine of Ukraine, and member of the European Parliament, Savchenko, who is already ready, as you all see, to hold negotiations with terrorist leaders directly, something sought after by the Russian aggressor.

According to “Kommersant”, one of the deputies of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyashko, believes (perhaps reflecting the view of his party as a whole) that the moment of Savchenko’s return meant the beginning of the realization of the Russian scenario for the collapse of the Ukrainian government from within. In addition, there is the version that Savchenko was recruited while in prison using FSB methods which Putin himself engaged in, that has been voiced by more than one Ukrainian politician.

However, this is “their” problem. For us, what is more important is understanding what this all means. Has Savchenko begun to have a better attitude towards Russia? And why? In her interview with Radio Liberty, she frankly says: “The enemy should leave our lands. Ukraine should become a free, self-sufficient, unitary state including Crimea and Donbass. No questions asked.” 

Savchenko formulated her idea of “non-brotherhood” even more harshly: “Russia will never be our brother. It never was.”

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Sure, one should be aware that from time to time Savchenko openly manipulates public opinion. In the same interview, she says: 

“The 40th day of hunger strike happened, and their eyes were wide: ‘How can she do it?’ Then the 60th day came. Even the feeling of hunger had passed. I totally forgot what food was. It was clear that I was losing weight and that my organs were suffering. But I liked the look in their eyes…”

But this is the art of hyperbole. In politics, however, Savchenko is trying to get used to being quite intelligent. What are the aspects of her activities? 

On her desire to begin negotiations with Donbass on the exchange of prisoners, Anatoly Vassermann quite cleverly commented:

“This solution, in my opinion, is not so strange. On the one hand, Savchenko herself has said that she can surely participate in negotiations with Donbass, while on the other hand, the proposals she has made for such negotiations are, mildly speaking, far from ideal for Donbass. She is essentially considering the leaders of Donbass to be ordinary people’s deputies of Ukraine. That is, roughly speaking, she is putting them on the same level as herself and, accordingly, lower than the accomplices in the mass killings on Kiev’s independence square. This is unlikely to suit Donbass. And, moreover, absolutely nothing is being said about the status of Donbass itself or the status of the citizens of the new republics. I do not think that this suits Donbass. So I don’t foresee any real results of Savchenko’s mission unless she can change her views which, honestly speaking, I hope she doesn’t. A fanatic is a person incapable of changing their position.”

In other words, Kiev now has bigger problems with the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as it is necessary to guarantee a special status for the DPR and LPR, that very independence which other regions want. The option proposed by Savchenko allows “points” to be “earned” by bypassing the Minsk Agreements. Of course, it is clear that this approach to the issue has been rejected.

What’s more, Savchenko has called for earlier elections to the parliament. The speeches centered around “the betrayal of the Maidan’s ideals” proposed something similar. But Savchenko has gotten down to business: “Ukrainians deserve a better government than the one they have now.”

Sure, Savchenko did not demand any kind of precise date. But most likely, this means that this is more of a testing of bluffing ideas. And it is clear that Savchenko is not working for herself alone. She is a deputy from the Fatherland Party of Yulia Tymoshenko, and she believes that this party is ready to fight for Ukraine until the end: “The leader of Fatherland already spent 17 years fighting for Ukraine even though she had the opportunity to leave politics.” An interesting point. As is known, Savchenko sits in the sessional hall of the Rada next to Alexander Abdullin, the longtime ally of Tymoshenko, who is responsible for Fatherland’s propaganda work. 

It is totally logical to assume that the outrageous behavior of Savchenko after her arrival to Ukraine is but an additional way of attracting attention, and is a preparation for the voices of “nothing profitable can be expected rom her, don’t take her seriously.” In reality, it is possible that both of the allegedly likely events can be realized. The composition of deputies can be changed for those more acceptable to the owners of Ukrainian politics under the guise of looting all the others. And then the outright Nazis can be removed from the scene (as if the OSCE has suddenly, steadily and partially seen the light on the subject of the Banderite government’s crimes) and the ruling party can be disgraced. For example, Fatherland’s Tymoshenko, which besides one speech [on the Maidan] after being released from imprisonment, is not particularly shiny and has not engaged in any ventures. It is very likely that they are waiting for their moment. 

Thus, there’s no need to focus on Savchenko’s outrageous behavior or her allegedly growing adequacy in relation to Donbass. She understands that, one the one hand, she is not an ordinary pawn for Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, but a political figure, albeit an unorthodox one, who represents a “trojan horse” so to speak. On the other hand, she is a figure who can easily be sacrificed for the victory of a party. 

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