Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stephen Cohen: United States may choose to replace Poroshenko, if he can not cope.

Today at 12:55 pm

Stephen Cohen: United States may choose to replace Poroshenko, if he can not cope.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that next contact group on Ukraine meetings set for December 24, 26
The political situation in Ukraine is extremely dangerous, - the situation in Debaltseve and negotiations in the"Norman Quartet" in Minsk demonstrated that the Ukrainian president did not have full power in the country and its position is unstable, says American historian Stephen Cohen. 

Ukrainian President Poroshenko is not a strong leader capable of implementing his own strategy, in many key issues he is forced to rely on the opinions of others - both internal and external forces, said the American historian, an expert on the Soviet Union and Russia Stephen Cohen TV show American writer and radio host John Batchelor. 

The Debaltseve situation when in the "pot" were several thousand Ukrainian soldiers and negotiations at the"Norman Quartet" in Minsk demonstrated that the Ukrainian president does not fully control them situation in his country. "Debaltsevsky pot" was one of the main topics of the meeting of heads of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, but Poroshenko failed to address this issue, despite the fact that he had repeatedly left the courtroom for phone calls. 

The Ukrainian president has refused to accept the conditions under which hundreds of soldiers in an environment could leave Debaltseve, leaving behind heavy weapons. This led to a huge number of victims, accurate data on which Kiev still ignores, and the loss of almost all military equipment, is there reminds historian. As a result, a document was adopted, the terms of which the Ukrainian president has to perform in Kiev, but it is possible that "he can not do this" for political reasons. 

Many ultranationalist forces that somehow came to power after the elections in the autumn of 2014, strongly disagree to negotiate with the militia. Thus, the radical organization "Right Sector" whose activity is banned in Russia by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, immediately declared that opposes the ceasefire, the leaders of volunteer battalions also argue with the decisions of the authorities, says Steven Cohen. The political situation in Kiev is extremely dangerous. Poroshenko tries to present the situation with Debaltseve as a "victory", but everyone knows what really happened. 

On the part of commanders of battalions there was insubordination, but the Ukrainian authorities can not do anything about it, because in many respects it depends on radical groups, the men who take an active part in the hostilities in the Donbass. It is impossible to say for certain that Poroshenko threatens a "fascist coup," but the situation with the radicals, some of which have won public office should alert not only the Ukrainian authorities, but also the United States and the European Union, said Stephen Cohen.

In his opinion, the most likely candidate for the post of leader of the Ukrainian state is the current Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. Back in early 2014, US Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland said in a telephone conversation that he is a suitable candidate for a high post in the government according to the State Department. Most likely, said Steven Cohen, Washington continues to support Yatsenyuk, as it believes that he understands the economy and can be a "man of the IMF." 

Furthermore, it attracts the West that Yatsenyuk holds radical views on relations with Moscow and wants to build a wall around Ukraine, to "protect" her from Russia, says the historian. In November 2014 the Supreme Court recognized the right radical extremist organization and association banned its activities in Russia. "Right sector" entered in the register of banned organizations in the Russian Federation. Earlier in Russia against Yarosh was prosecuted for incitement to terrorist activities.

The political climate in Ukraine is extremely precarious as the situation in Debaltseve and the implementation of the Minsk peace accords indicate that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is not fully in control in Kiev and his overall position is pretty shaky, says prominent American historian Stephen Cohen.

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President Poroshenko is not a strong leader capable of implementing his own strategy, and on many key issues he is forced to depend on other people’s opinion, both inside and abroad, Stephen Cohen, a scholar of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, said during the recent John Batchelor Show — a radio news magazine hosted by American author and radio personality John Batchelor.

Implementing the hard-won Minsk accords may prove a near-impossible task for Poroshenko given the number of dyed-in-the-wool ultranationalists now in high places in Kiev in the wake of the recent parliamentary elections.

These people will under no circumstances talk to the pro-independence forces in Donbas.

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Moreover, the radical Right Sector organization said loud and clear that they did not recognize the terms of the ceasefire agreed in Minsk. The leaders of the volunteer battalions are no less determined to fight to the bitter end.

Hard as Poroshenko is trying to picture the Debaltseve debacle as a victory, few people are ready to buy it. The battalion commanders openly challenge the authority of their Commander-in-Chief, who, in turn, can do nothing about it because he and his government depend much on the volunteer units fighting in Donbas.

Whether there is a “fascist coup” now brewing in Kiev is hard to say, but the great deal of power wielded by the radicals is something Poroshenko and his friends in the US and the EU should really worry about, Stephen Cohen warned.

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He sees Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the most viable candidate to replace Poroshenko. In a telephone linkup with the US Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, early last year Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland mentioned Yatsenyuk as a good choice for Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Stephen Cohen believes that Washington still holds Yatsenyuk in very high regard as a man who knows how the economy works and could become the “IMF’s man” in Kiev.

What makes the present Ukrainian prime minister even more attractive to Washington is his hardline stance toward Moscow and a desire to build a wall around Ukraine to “defend” it from Russia, Stephen Cohen emphasized.

Read more:

Have We Entered The New Cold War?

Thursday on “The Alan Colmes Show,” Alan spoke with Stephen Cohen, Professor of Russian Studies and History Emeritus at NYU to get his perspective on the United States’ response to the Russian/Ukraine conflict.

Professor Cohen told Alan that there is no smoking gun in regards to who shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight, and why he thought why the incident was an accident. He also explained why we are entering a new Cold War and why we don’t know who is advising President Obama about Russia.

Watch the interview here

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