Who Unleashed the Civil War in Ukraine?.
Ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych intended to wait out Maidan, but the people in his circle had other ideas
Rostislav Ishchenko The text below is an excerpt from a longer essay from Rostislav Ishchenko, a prominent Russian commentator.
This article originally appeared at the Russian website Odnako. It was translated by Eugenia at The Vineyard of the Saker.
However, we need to thank for that [Maidan] not so much the US as Levochkin [Chief of Staff of ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych]. He and Firtash [Ukrainian businessman, former associate of Yanukovych, and in post-Maidan Ukraine main financial backer of extremist Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko] providently protected their business in the association agreement, which was prepared under the watchful eye of the Chief of Staff of the president of Ukraine – that is, the very same Levochkin.
Therefore, after the signing the country economy was supposed to go downhill, most oligarchs to become poorer whereas the group of Levochkin-Firtash – to get richer. The refusal to sign the association agreement put an end to the financial and political wellbeing of the group. Levochkin, who was coordinating his activity with the US embassy from way back and was involved in the Maidan preparations, decided to use that mechanism to put pressure on Yanukovych and coerce him into signing the association agreement. He initiated the students’ Maidan, and then it did not make the proper impression on Yanukovych, provided the provocation with beating up the students, after which Maidan stopped being peaceful.
After that, Yuanukovych had only two-three weeks left to disperse Maidan, before his power began to crumble from the inside, before his nominally loyal ministers and generals started negotiations with the opposition about switching to their side, before the West actively intervenes. Yanukovych, too sure of the strength of his position and insignificance of Maidan, started long negotiations with the opposition trying to make Maidan go away by temporary concessions. As soon as his weakness became evident, the West entered the game. The regime was doomed.
Having learned form the previous Maidan, Yanukovych was prepared to defend himself. He intended to simply wait out Maidan behind the police cordons. The idea was: if they do not go away in half a year, then they will after a year; sooner or later they will give up. And then it was revealed that, in contrast with the army, the Ukrainian police are professional and well trained, and peaceful Maidan has no chance to overthrow the government. Only a military coup has that chance. (…)