January 26, 2015

Ukrainian MP S. Vysotskyi

Vysotskyi Serhiy Vitaliyovych

Born July 10, 1985 in Kyiv.
2009–2011 — political observer of the magazine "Focus".
LLC "Information Agency "LigueBusinessInform"— Deputy  Editor-in-Chief.
LLC "Novosti-TV"— special correspondent.
Since  November 27,  2014 — the Member of Ukrainian Parliament of the 8th convocation.
Member of the political party "People's Front".










“Ukrainians Have Shown That They Are Able to Put in Place the Most Brazen, Most Presumptuous, Tyrannical Authoritarian Regime”

Our communication was almost impromptu.  However, little is being done today with the buildup: for more than a year the country is on the march, hoping to plunge into a better, just life. It seems to be overleaping steps in the development of events, trying to escape from the vicious circle of post-Soviet problems. Will it? And do all of its citizens want it? And what has to be done for this, except for going to the Maydan? That's what we were talking about with the Member of Ukrainian Parliament Serhiy Vitalliyovych Vysotskyi. We started with the topical theme — the tragic events at Volnovakha where separatists killed civilians. By and large, the responsibility for this tragedy lies with the official Moscow. But in Russia there are citizens protesting against this nightmare, against the interference of the Russian leadership into Ukrainian events!

— I want to draw attention to the fact, — said at the beginning of our conversation Serhiy Vysotskyi — that all active Russian protests, which are suppressed by the Kremlin junta, as they go forward,  they more and more gain Ukrainian character. Examples are numerous. We see that the civil society in Russia did come out on a peace march in protest against the war in support of Ukraine. There were also several actions in defence of the Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko. “We all are Volnovakha” — the latest event, held in Moscow. This action of solidarity and mourning for the 13 peaceful citizens of Ukraine — victims of the Putin regime, who have recently died as a result of direct shell hit... The context is that the Russian politics, in principle, is getting more Ukrainized. Removal of  any domestic political contexts in Russia, degradation of the Russian foreign policy, that we are seeing right at this moment in the  east of Ukraine, where foreign policy is simply replaced by a dull, stupid aggression have led to the fact that in Russia there have remained no themes other than Ukrainian ones. We see that the Russian elite and the Russian opposition, whatever its number, begin to live with events in Ukraine. In this regard, the trend was well-formulated by Pavlovskiy, who called Maydan the beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian revolution. His being right is confirmed by recent events. In Russia, the Kremlin has created the movement “Antimaydan.” There is no Maydan, but there is an “Antimaydan”! What does this mean? In fact, this Maydan revolutionary agenda, since 2004, has been operated by a so-called non-systemic Russian opposition. In contrast to the so-called systemic liberals, such as Kudrin, who always talked about the changes within the system. Now this revolutionary agenda, which has always been marginal one, begins to dominate at the level of the Kremlin. The Kremlin itself is actualizing the threat of Maydan. And therefore is bringing it closer.

It all comes from the fact that the internal policy of Russia, in fact, has been exhausted. Putin's first term was under the trend of safety, the second term was held under the trend of stability, and the crown of the whole internal policy of Russia, during Medvedev's presidency and Putin's premiership, was the trend of modernization. And all these trends eventually turned out to be simulacra, 15 years in Russia had been spent on imitation. On creation of a television image of a bright future. The terms have come, but the bright future has not. And as the vector of Russia's domestic policy was chosen fundamentalism and deconstruction of achievements of the rich 2000s. Conventionally, if we could not reach the West's level of life, we should all be explained that all these quiet London parks and Scandinavian social system are a “Boko-Haram!” – rotting and attempt on native Russian special values. The quintessence of this attempt was the arranged by the United States Maydan. This is the agenda of a besieged fortress. But in the process of defense of the fortress in the Kremlin they seem not to notice that Ukraine and Ukrainian concepts begin to dominate in Russia.

Ukraine's political lexicon is embedded in the everyday life of Russian politicians. “Dills”, “quilted jackets”, “Titushky”, “Maydan”, “antiMaydan.” This way the Kremlin itself is actualizing revolutionary context in Russia. We see that the conditioned fear of Maydan has stuck in Putin's head. And he, like in his time Yanukovych, just paranoidly dreads Maydan. This will inevitably lead to a revolution in Russia.

— But the Russian society is said to still be supporting Putin's steps.

— Someone has pointed out very correctly that it is not a support, but telemetry of the degree of a television image. When people, conditionally speaking, for half a year are pumped up with this picture, this hatred, and then measure the temperature at the hospital, they see, if this signal has come to their heads.

— About supporting Putin?

— I do not think that Putin has a lot of support. I noticed that after the Maydan, after the beginning of Putin's aggression against Ukraine, the news have stopped appearing about serious sociological researches in Russia. I remember that such studies used to be published in due time, by “Levada-Center”. Russia once had a number of organizations publishing complicated researches. Those were not just banal polls “Do you support or oppose Putin?” They were a combination of interviews with data of focus groups with Psychosemantic analysis, with Psychovisual analysis. That way, by indirect methods, researchers received no trivial measure of ostentatious loyalty, but a picture of what was happening in the mind of a Russian citizen. I remember that the last time such a study was published openly, circa 2012 or 2013, by “Levada-Center”. And it turned out to be sensational. Because it demonstrated the sharp decline in confidence in the government and the state, despite declarations of support to Putin personally. Then I came upon Carnegie Center's non-public investigation. That was all. We do not know what really is going on in Russians' minds. We see their reaction to an injection of “a doze of Kiselyov”.  A prick — 84 %, another shot — 86 %. At this, social themes have disappeared from Russian media space. Through its anti-Ukrainian discourse the Kremlin is trying to disguise the enormous internal problems of Russia. But these problems do not disappear, they will have to be addressed. Problems do not turn out fine with a wave of a magic wand, they need to be solved, and social tensions are not subsiding. On the contrary, silence and neurotization of the population allow these tensions to accumulate. And it seems to me that the situation can reach some critical point of rupture. Maybe it will be another Kuschevka or Kondopoga or something else. But Russia will for sure have its own “30 November 2013”.

— Do you somehow keep in touch with representatives of the Russian opposition?

— Kyiv, I think, is becoming a safe haven for representatives of the Russian anti-Putin opposition. One of Kyiv's tasks in the upcoming victory over Moskoviya is to concentrate the sensible part of Russian society, to coordinate its actions, to direct them to undermining Putin's regime from the inside... Of course, there are some contacts. Now in Kyiv is staying Olga Kurnosova, a known representative of the Russian opposition, co-organizer of protest marches in Russia. Olga works, trying to convey her thoughts to the Russian audience through free Ukrainian media, to tell the Russians how things really are. With the present development of technical means, possibilities of the Internet, all this does not seem unrealizable. To make Russians understand what is happening, what we want to achieve. Apart from Olga, in Kyiv keep arriving other citizens persecuted by Putin. Kyiv can become a real point of assembly to undermine Putin's power.

— By the way, as a People's Deputy, tell us about the prepared draft law on mass media to which you have direct relevance.

— About the actual deletion of the capital of the aggressor from the activities of our media? I hope it will be the first in a series of laws aimed at elimination of the capital of the aggressor from the Ukrainian politics and economics.

— What if this so-called capital uses offshore capabilities?

— Yes, it is clear that offshore companies are a cover. But I want to say that the modern financial monitoring is able to identify the origin of the capital. The inter-factional Parliamentary group “Self-Defence of Maydan” will seek to exclude Russia from the Ukrainian capital turnover.

— Is the Group the initiator?

— The co-authors were three members of the group. We are well aware that the owner always has an impact on his business. And if the owner is dependent on the Kremlin for Russian assets? If he, so to speak, is in the orbit of influence of Putin's environment? Take, for example, the situation with the hryvnia. For example, I do not understand the role of banks with Russian capital in the situation with devaluation. Theoretically, their banking operations are quite capable to loosen the exchange rate. We are aware that the presence of Russian capital in our power is a socially dangerous topic. In order to raise the “discontent of any type,” as stated in the manuals of the FSB, the Russian secret service should be able to provoke it. Electrical power outage – is it a way to influence social tensions? Of course it is! The share of Russian capital in Ukrainian strategic enterprises – is it a threat? It is a threat!

— I wonder when the question about social responsibility of Russian capital will be raised at the state level?

— I hope — soon. To begin with, we need these shares of companies to go to Ukrainian owners or Western businesses. It is clear that even the domestic investor is, to put it mildly, different. But still a Ukrainian owner (if he is not an agent of the Kremlin) is not interested in the collapse of the Ukrainian state. Russia is, of course, interested in Ukraine's ceasing to exist. A Russian oligarchic capital, being in our economic field, contributes to this. Hence, it is necessary to remove such funds from the Ukrainian market. I was very upset that the first persons of our state so far have not come to solving these problems. I hope this is a consequence of the hard work which they face daily.

Yes, we have never had such important tasks, on the solution of which depends the fate of Ukraine. Are your current fellow MPs aware of this?

— Representatives of the “People's Front”, representatives of the “Self-Defense of Maydan”, who are Parliament Members, understand this very well and seek to take necessary measures within their power. As for counteracting the aggressor... You see, if we can defend the attack of dozens of Russian tanks, but cannot defend our energy system, which the aggressor can derail, and then what's the point of fighting?

We need to introduce in Ukraine system-based Western investments. This is what our politicians do not realize, or if they do, then not all of them. This is not just a question of manufacturing of some product. This is the question of national security of Ukraine. Transnational capital creates economic security umbrella over Ukraine and solves the problem of communications with many world capital-cities.

— In other words, we should manage to get on the train of the world civilization, in order not to stay on the world's roadside?

— Yes we should. The umbrella of economic security, woven from Western investments, guarantees us survival in the future. Such programs have been successfully implemented in some countries. For example, in Turkey, when it was completely re-equipping its Army with the help of Western capital. The “windmill” of 100 billion of credit money in the defense industry has ensured its successful entry into NATO, etc. Turkey has become a strategic area and a key partner of the West in the Middle East with all the ensuing consequences. This, ultimately, has strengthened its role on the world stage.

What we need is to break all ties with Russia and to establish links with the Western world. A strategic goal of Ukraine is in ten years to become in relation to the remains of Russia, the same state as Poland in the 1990's to us.

By the way, the western society meets our problems with a mixed reception. I mean our nearest neighbors. More than half of the French population, for example, is for giving “Mistrals” to Russia.

— It is difficult to identify what kind of information about the “Mistrals” this is, by whom it was thrown in...

— Well, but how to take Czech President's flaunty promise on the 9th of May to be in Moscow, in Red Square?

— If Comrade Zeman is just corrupted by Moscow, then why to be surprised? Russia is funding some marginal European politicians, right-wing radicals. But they are always out of context of European politics.

— We, the Ukrainian society, must realize that if within a year and a half or two years we do not solve our problems and do not choose the direction of our development, there will be no other such chance. Right?

— Yes, I agree with you. Everything is in our hands. But the problem is that the costs today are greater than in 2004. Then there were some idealistic impulses. And now the choice is, as they say, between life and death. Our society has not relaxed; it wants to get a specific result after the Maydan. It continues to look at those in power with caution, continues to criticize them, it keeps demanding decisive actions. The action to commemorate the victims of Volnovakha, was attended by tens of thousands in Kyiv alone, and even by more people – all over Ukraine. This means that the society has a request for the change. People are ready to go out, ready to protest. There is no such social apathy, as in 2004. And this is the key difference between the Maydan of 2004 and that of 2014. To the latest Maydan people came on their own, not by someone else's order. They were not for Yushchenko or anybody else. They themselves were aware, for the sake of what they were protesting, what they wanted. I think that the hardened by the Maydan and war with Russia, Ukrainian society will not allow any power to stumble or turn off the main road. Ukrainians have shown that they are able to put in place the most brazen, most presumptuous, tyrannical authoritarian power.

— If a need comes — will there be the third Maydan?

— The technology with a third Maydan is being actively thrown in by Russian secret services. After all, Russia benefits from destabilization of our government. But now Ukraine should have strong nerves and common sense. If you criticize the current Ukrainian authorities, the critics should be constructive. If you go to the protest, the agenda should be reasonable, with a sober view of the situation. If you frighten the power, be sure to give it an opportunity and time to solve the problem.

Simply put, saving of the situation is in concrete actions.

— Yes, it is. Because a chaotic protest's agenda – Down with them all! Everybody is a traitor! — cannot result in anything good. At the time of the third Maydan, Russia will chop off another part of our territory. If we manage to keep the balance of power and some constructive criticism of it, it would be a positive thing. This is a normal European practice, when people can demand something from the power, and the power hears them and responds properly.

The government should not just understand the aspirations of society, but it should also be able to demonstrate this understanding. Then the society will trust the authorities.

— So far we can see that not all is bad here. There is the leadership's reaction to public inquiries. This can be seen in the situation with the prosecution. With the law on lustration.

— Thank you for your answers and I wish you success in the Parliamentary activity.

Interview was recorded by Oleg Makhno.