RT:The leader of the extremist Right Sector group Dmitry Yarosh has been appointed as an advisor to Ukraine’s Chief of Staff. What do you make of this appointment?
Dmitry Babich: It’s not a surprise to me because basically he became an advisor to the Minister of Defense. But let me remind you that in the beginning of the new Kiev regime the first Defense Minister was a member of the Svoboda party, formerly known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine. I think you understand that "social-national” is a euphemism for national socialist. The Prosecutor General in Ukraine in the new regime was a member of the Svoboda party. Four ministers were members of the Svoboda party. So, basically it is still a very radical nationalist regime. The fact that the Right Sector did not win many votes at the parliamentary elections does not mean much, because a lot of its representatives made it to the Rada through other parties. For example the founder of the Social-National Party of Ukraine, Andrey Parubiy, is now the vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament. So these people hold important positions.
RT: What message is the Ukrainian government sending by this appointment?
DB: This government owes its existence to people like Yarosh and Parubiy. Yarosh was the iron fist of the Maidan revolution. Basically he headed the people who took hold of the Presidential administration and of the building of the Rada. After that attack suddenly the Rada started to vote in a completely different way for obvious reasons. Andrey Parubiy was the commander of Maidan. So this new government understands very well that it owes its existence not to the voters but to the fighters of Maidan. And Yarosh and Parubiy were the leaders of the fighters of Maidan.
RT: What about Western partners, are we going to see any reaction from them?
DB: Let me remind you that initially the Western press was very negative about the Right Sector. The narrative was that Maidan is good but there are some bad people from this small Right Sector group which spoil the whole picture. Now the West stopped talking about it. I would like to point your attention to the fact that there was not a single word of criticism against Mr. Poroshenko, despite all the killings in Eastern Ukraine, despite the fact that he cut off 4 million people in Eastern Ukraine from the banking system, he doesn’t pay them pensions and public sector wages and we didn’t hear a single word of criticism from the West.
RT: According to the latest news, federalization is pretty much not going to happen in Ukraine. What does it mean for the Minsk agreement?
DB: It’s a huge danger to the Minsk agreement because let me remind you that according to these agreements Ukraine should control its Eastern border with Russia only after elections are held in the rebel regions, only after the normal economic life is restarted between the rest of Ukraine and these regions and only after the Ukrainian Constitution is changed. Before the end of the year Ukraine should have a new constitution with, it’s written in the Minsk agreements, some special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. What Poroshenko said [on Monday] was "We are not going to federalize Ukraine, 90 percent of the Ukrainian people don’t want it,” he said "I know it, we can hold a referendum, but I know for sure 90 percent of people are against it.” And the head of Ukrainian National Security Council, Mr. Turchinov, said and I quote "We are not going to feed separatists.” So there will be no resumption of pension payments and the public sector payments in the Eastern regions. About two weeks ago, the Ukrainian Parliament announced that Donetsk and Lugansk were occupied territories, so much for the Minsk agreements which presupposed that the Ukrainian Parliament would within 30 days after signing the agreements give special status to these regions. So the Ukrainian side didn’t fulfill any of its obligations under the Minsk agreements and the West doesn’t criticize them for that. But I’m sure the West will criticize Russia and the rebel regions for not fulfilling their part of the obligations. Although I think it’s impossible to fulfill what Russia and Donetsk and Lugansk have agreed to impose on themselves until there is a real change in the way Ukraine is run.