President Putin boasted that Russia took Crimea «without firing a shot». «The document released on Monday shed new light on why the annexation was bloodless, and on the limits of Putin’s aggression,» reports Bloomberg View columnist Leonid bershidskiy.
News site Pravda.com.ua published a transcript of the meeting of the national security Council and defense of Ukraine, held on 28 February 2014. «The day before the Russian troops without insignia helped Pro-Moscow activists seize buildings of the Parliament and government of Crimea», — the journalist explains.
The current Chairman of the security Council and Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov raised a question about the possibility of resistance. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke out against.
«We’re talking about the Declaration of war against Russia,» he said, according to the transcript. Yatsenyuk stated that the Treasury of the Finance Ministry’s empty and that, according to the Ministry of defence, Ukraine has no military resources to protect Kiev in the case of a Russian attack. In addition, Yatsenyuk declared that in the Crimea will be «an acute ethnic conflict».
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said that Putin wants to implement the same scenario that took place during the Russian-Georgian war of 2008: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili attacked Pro-Russian forces holding South Ossetia, after which Russia intervened and crushed the Georgian army.
Then, the author continues the article, Turchynov received a call from the speaker of the Russian Parliament Sergei Naryshkin: the latter gave the threat of Putin to the Ukrainian government.
Then the head of the intelligence service Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said: «the Americans and the Germans have asked us not to take any action, because Putin is using it to start a full-scale invasion».
«The Ukrainian government surrendered without a fight because they were afraid of losing the whole country», — said in the article.
Putin could not know how weak Ukraine, but he did not want to invade the rest of the country and to deal with serious consequences at the global level, says the journalist. Putin does not want public control of one or another neighboring country — only political and economic influence.
Saakashvili, now the Governor of Odessa, apparently, learned his lesson: he creates a political force, the purpose of which proclaimed the cleansing of Ukraine from corruption, says the author. «Such resistance to Putin potentially much more effective than a military offensive. Western politicians should take note and instead to build up the defenses in Eastern Europe, focus on helping Russia’s neighbors in creating an efficient economy and public administration», concludes the bershidskiy.
Bloomberg View. Why Russia stopped at Crimea 23.02.2016