Bosenko: Hello, dear viewers. from Airomir-TV. Today we premiere a new program in which we will try to clarify the question, is it possible to combine chess and boxing. If we would be able to do this, you will learn from our new program, “the Political ring”, in which people meet diametrically opposite points of view on a particular issue or several issues, and we are trying to figure out what exactly the positions of the parties. To ensure that you have correctly represented the situation: I am only referee in the ring, I am not an active participant. I’m just trying, if necessary, to intervene in the conversation, to put it in a constructive dialogue. Well, the main judge is, of course, viewers of our channel. You can vote for who won in this political fight on our website, to Express their opinions, comments, because the final judge of this fight is you, our viewers.
Now, before we begin our ring, let us, as usual, the draw. Here’s a coin, which side to choose – heads or tails?
Mironov: The Eagle.
Bosenko: Eagle, do so… Heads. First starts Igor Ivanovich, Igor Strelkov. The first question we have, yet whose Crimea?
Strelkov: Naturally, the Crimea is Russian. This is the Russian land, it must be in the Russian state. Crimean people (in this case I mean and Sevastopol, and Simferopol, and residents of all other cities) clearly called for the return to Russia, Great Russia, and, as far as I know, still, despite some difficulties objective and related to the war in Ukraine, support this decision and not regret what is gone from the Ukraine.
Mironov: And according to the law, and conscience, and history, Crimea, of course, belongs to Ukraine. President, justifying the annexation of the Crimea, this gangster annexation of the Crimea, refers to our historical experience, that this is the Holy land for us, Russians, because there was christened Prince Vladimir, Rus was baptized. President slyly silent, because the Prince Vladimir was Prince Vladimir of Kiev, and baptized it in the first place, Kiev Russia, because Moscow against Kiev, with its mention in 1147 for the first time, she’s not even a great-granddaughter, she is the great-great-granddaughter of Kiev. Now let’s look at the law. The Russian Federation was signed by all the laws, and, most importantly, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which clearly identified that we commit ourselves, along with the United Kingdom, and the United States, to protect the integrity and rights of Ukraine, which we treacherously violated. And on formal grounds: and you count Russian Federation Crimea belonged from 1922 to 1954, 32 years. But from 1954 to 1991, it formally belonged to Ukraine. What reasons can be to qualify us to the Crimea and to say that we are more worthy of Crimea, Ukraine? Yes, we conquered the earth, but we won in an open, fair fight. We have obtained land through diplomatic channels, skillful work of diplomats, i.e., we received land. More we’d open them up and defended, in different ways, but never, I repeat never, to our great shame, 2014 year, we did not steal land gangster way. And how can you call these “friendly green men’, which boasted Putin, not as a gang, because an armed man without the state and without chevrons wrap is a bandit, and we like bandits seized the Crimea, originally belonged to Ukraine.
Strelkov: Well, as I am, as they say, according to your terminology one of those bandits who “like bandits seized the Crimea,” I will not in this case to join the debate. Everyone sees differently. I do not think I’m a bandit, of course, and, moreover, I do not think that Russia “like bandits seized the Crimea.” I think that in this case Russia just took under protection of the Russian population of Crimea, and not only the Russian population, due to the fact that blatant anti-Russian elements seized power in Kiev, which is also part of great Russia, an integral part of great Russia, United Russia. Just have to look at the faces of these people, their whole previous career, their ideology, in order to understand that these are outrageous and radical enemies of the Russian World, who intend to drag Ukraine into the Western civilization, and really destroy the Russian civilization, of Kiev.
And if you want to talk about the grandmother of Moscow, relatively speaking, as you called Kiev, “the mother of Russian cities,” well, even Moscow is grand-daughter of Kiev, but I as history can tell, which read, not in the originals (the originals were kept in the Archive of ancient acts, and now they are stored in the archive under a different name), I’ve read written in uncial and half-uncial script Russian letters that belong to the Kiev period in Russia’s history. They are not written in Ukrainian, they are written in Russian. What we can say is the current Ukrainian language is far from the Russian literary language, on which were written the most ancient extant documents of the Grand Duchy of Kiev and Novgorod, and all other principalities. It’s very far, extremely far, (whereas the ancient documents are) much closer to the Russian language. I would say that the language which is now artificially introduced to the Ukrainian population is closer to the language of the Western Slavs for example, to Serbo-Croatian for example, and even closer to the Serbian dialect. But this is not Russian.
So when you talk about the fact that Ukraine is the state, for me it does not exist as a state. As a state it exists, because it recognized, but, in my opinion, it’s impossible to talk about Ukrainians as an independent people. They are part of the Russian people. So if such a significant part had been chipped off the Russian people, forcibly broken away, if a separate identity has been artificially created, and created only at the turn of 19th to 20th centuries, really, and artificially, with the support of foreign forces, then Russia has every right to restore control over the territory that is inhabited by people who do not share the desire to enter into this identity, and the Crimea populated by such people. I’m talking about the fact that when the Crimea was joined to the Russian Empire, the concept of “Ukraine” had a purely geographical sense. Ukraine was not and could not be. It was called a number of territories, and the name “Ukraine”, in fact, is of Polish origin, if you treat Kiev. In Kievan Rus was not ‘the Ukraine’, it was part of Muscovy. Then there arose a Polish “Ukraine”, with its capital in Kiev. So to say that the Crimea belongs to Ukraine, you just made a selection from 1922 to 1954, and completely forgot that since the annexation of the Crimea in the mid-eighteenth century, in the last third of the eighteenth century, and until 1917 Crimea was part of the Russian Empire, and not of some Ukrainian state.
Mironov: You, like Putin, have lost the reality of time, and that makes me scared, because what you said would have been harmless if you just wrote about it, or participated in historical round tables discussing it. But when a man with weapons in his hands begins to think about historical documents, while neglecting international treaties, memoranda which we signed, avoiding reality today, then like Putin you have lost contact with reality. I think he actually imagines himself Emperor of Russia, and now you have confirmed it. If the Crimea belonged to the Russian Empire, and so on, then you should not just take the Crimea, but the whole of Ukraine, all Belarus, Poland, Finland! Let’s map the areas you will restore to the Russian Empire, all of which you are currently targeting? What to do with contracts? Because the reality today is that we have recognized Ukraine as a state, we recognized borders, we signed the contract. You set a dangerous precedent, with your historical games. Well then, today our neighbours will raise thre stakeds with claims even more ancient. For instance, the Turks, according to your logic, have more reason, more rights to the Crimea, than we do, because they owned ir for a longer period. They owned the Crimea for more than 300 years, and this analogy is not suitable for today. But the worst thing is that you do is that over this you shed blood. You are not just fighting with feathers and wasting ink and airtime, you are shedding blood. We now sit with you and talk about the history, and there’s real blood flowing, which you started in this massacre, you and your “polite little green men.” Now, when we talk about the realities of the day, in this case, Poland can now play their own cards over these centuries-old claims, and where we are going with their land, with their Smolenskii? Lithuania will play their cards. You are pushing us into a third world war. You began the redistribution of territories beyond the borders of a sovereign state, territory which we had undertaken to protect. If it was just a historical argument, if it didn’t lead directly to bloodshed, we could spend a long time discussing it, what language they wrote, what grammar they used. Once again I say, if only it was just a pen in your hands today, and not the weapons with which you have pushed Russia into this fratricidal war with Ukraine, which will lead to a world war over the redistribution of territories.
Strelkov: Wonderful, very emotional, of course. But all I can argue is that you, Boris Sergeyevich, in your opinion, when you say “we”, who do you mean? When you say, “we have signed the contract,” who is this “we”? Is it yourself, when you were a Minister in the Yeltsin government?
Mironov: It was the Russian Federation.
Strelkov: Very well, the Russian Federation. Now tell me please, where you were born. Was it in the Russian Federation, or in the RSFSR of the USSR? I was born in the USSR, and for me my home country at that time extended from Brest to Vladivostok and Sakhalin, and from Kushka to Murmansk. And by the way, I have not forgotten this home. And for me the betrayal of 1991, in which you, I’m sorry to say, participated as a friend of Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, and are also directly to blame for the collapse of the USSR, as he is here for me this betrayal. And for me that part of the Russian people which remained in these boundary regions, speaking from a historical point of view, they are part of my people, the Russian people, our people. And so when you operate with such concepts as state contract, state contract existed since the times of the Roman Empire. We can trace it back to Rome, or Persia or Babylon, or Egypt, on the basis of the agreements that have reached us. Contracts change with the political situation. Every 20-30 years, the maximum is 50, the political map of the world is changing dramatically, and nothing that happens in human history is constant. So to say that we are violating some agreement, indeed, our opponents break them at every step. They have invaded a number of states over the last 10 years and spat on all contracts. They spat on the Versailles system, then they spat on the Yalta system, on the Yalta agreements with the Soviet Union, they spit on all, with their NATO enlargement to the East. They spit on the non-aligned status of Ukraine. Ukraine now by all means intends to join NATO, and this was announced back in the time of the coup, which was then produced. Russia is forced to defend, and the annexation of the Crimea, is not an invasion but the reunification of Crimea is just an act of defense of Russia, which is going to split and crack. They succeeded in 1991 in doing it, and well managed, and we signed the contract, we capitulated to them. And now Putin, whom you accuse, is trying at least to destroy the results of this surrender.
Mironov: If you are so concerned about the position of the Russian people, if you are, it’s scary to hear, not appealing to the law and to certain persons who, in your expression, anti-Russian, anti-Russians in Kiev, then I, as a military man, Colonel, I will give another address where there really sit Russophobes, destroying, creating today the genocide of the Russian people in Russia, and it’s the Kremlin. That’s really where there are Russophobes! Individuals and the policies they are pursuing. Do You have an idea of what is happening in Russia? Here you rushed to rescue the Russians in Ukraine, and who will save the Russians in Russia? If today we have 77 regions, oblasts, krais, is 93% of the 83 regions, today not make ends meet? If we in the country of 18 million people who live in poverty, in poverty or below the subsistence minimum. And if the poor be considered under 80% will jump, but the official figure of 18 million people, Russian people live in Russia. Today you chase humanitarian aid to the Donbass, Crimea, but please tell me you seriously will prove a man who knows the Ukraine that live there, or have lived worse than in my native Transbaikalia, or in Siberia live today? 18 million live in poverty! Why did you not save them? Why you don’t chase humanitarian aid, why you funds does not create to help the Russians, if you are so worried about the Russian people? I say again,today, the Kremlin’s power iz producing in the country, in Russia, a genocide, an extermination of the Russian people. The reduction in hospitals, reducing doctors, charge nurses for 2,000 roubles a month, is not a genocide of the Russian people? You who rushed to defend outside of Russia, you should protect the Russians.
Bosenko: The time has elapsed in a round. I think the audience will make their judgment about who won this round, and will vote on our website. And now we’re going on a short advertisement break so that our media partners on satellite and cable channels are able to advertise. Stay tuned, we will continue.
(filmed on 25/11/14 published on 28)
Original: Обращение Игоря Ивановича Стрелкова