Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Embassy

Exposed: Has Putin Been Planning to Carve Up Ukraine Since at Least 2010?

Russia Tank Ukraine
A Russian tank under attack by a drone from Ukraine. Image Credit: YouTube/Ukrainian military.

Some people still believe that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin had no intentions to conquer Ukraine when he invaded on February 24, 2022.

Sorry to be a spoiler, folks, but there is now concrete evidence of his wanting to partition Ukraine after his puppet Viktor Yanukovych became Ukraine’s president thirteen years ago—in 2010.

In a March 13th interview, Oleg Tsarev—an authoritarian par excellence, a rabid admirer of Putin’s fascist regime, and one of Yanukovych’s key supporters in his Party of Regions, stated the following in response to his interlocutor’s suggestion that he had heard of a Russian scheme to partition Ukraine in 2014, during the Maidan Revolution:

“This was discussed much earlier. I’ll tell you something that I’ve never told anyone before. I held in my hands a document developed by analysts of the Party of Regions, which considered the scenario of Yanukovych’s lifelong presidency. It was obvious that by building friendly relations with the Russian Federation it would be realistic to achieve economic growth and raise the standard of living. Two presidential terms, a change in the Constitution, two more terms… And the only threat to the implementation of these plans was seen as Western Ukraine, which would always undermine the situation throughout the country and do everything to prevent such a scenario from being realized. And then a plan was drawn up according to which Tyahnybok, who received money, including from the cash desk of the Party of Regions, would begin to advocate for the separation of a number of western regions into an autonomous entity that did not support the central government. Well, the central government would have to “reluctantly” agree. So, events could have gone like this.” 

Several points need to be made.

First, Tsarev knows what he is talking about. As a high-ranking member of the Party of Regions and leading advocate of Russia’s plans to seize Crimea and the Donbas, he would have had access to the kind of document he mentions.

Second, the Party of Regions would not have dared to embark on such a plan without the approval of the Kremlin. The Party’s plan for dismembering Ukraine would have been Putin’s plan.

Third, note that a central component of the plan was transforming Yanukovych into a lifelong dictator. His opponents—including me—claimed that this was his goal all along. Whatever veneer of democracy Yanukovych and his American advisor, Paul Manafort, displayed was just that—a veneer. The Maidan Revolution was exactly what its supporters said it was: a popular uprising against a dictator.

Fourth, Tsarev states that Oleh Tyahnybok, the head of the right-wing Svoboda (Freedom) party and the bogeyman of the Western left, was on the Party of Regions’ payroll. So much for Russian claims that Ukraine abounds with homegrown neo-Nazis.

Finally, such elaborate plans aren’t developed overnight in the form of a Pauline conversion. Both Yanukovych and his henchmen and Putin and his surely began hatching their schemes many years earlier—no later than 2005, when Putin claimed that the fall of the Soviet Union was the “greatest catastrophe of the 20th century,” and possibly as early as 1999, when Putin assumed control of Russia.

Is it unrealistic to believe that the Kremlin has prepared similar scenarios for Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan?

And perhaps even for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania?

Dr. Alexander Motyl is a professor of political science at Rutgers-Newark. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and theory, he is the author of 10 books of nonfiction, including Pidsumky imperii (2009); Puti imperii (2004); Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires (2001); Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities (1999); Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism (1993); and The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919–1929 (1980); the editor of 15 volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2000) and The Holodomor Reader (2012); and a contributor of dozens of articles to academic and policy journals, newspaper op-ed pages, and magazines. He also has a weekly blog, “Ukraine’s Orange Blues.”
 
This piece has been updated to fix a small typo. 
 
Written By

Dr. Alexander Motyl is a professor of political science at Rutgers-Newark. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and theory, he is the author of 10 books of nonfiction, including Pidsumky imperii (2009); Puti imperii (2004); Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires (2001); Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities (1999); Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism (1993); and The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919–1929 (1980); the editor of 15 volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2000) and The Holodomor Reader (2012); and a contributor of dozens of articles to academic and policy journals, newspaper op-ed pages, and magazines. He also has a weekly blog, “Ukraine’s Orange Blues.”

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Tamerlane

    March 13, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    The Maidan Revolution Was an American backed coup.

  2. YS

    March 13, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    WW2 had significant impact on Ukrainian history (see brilliant movie “Everything Is Illuminated”)… Few jewish villages even met German army as “liberators” only to be exterminated later.

    With Red Army advances came KGB drive to “denazify” territories… And that was done everywhere in Eastern Europe. Most notable is story of Crimean tatars – almost all got executed or sent to labor camps. Similar thing happened to Western Ukraine to those who fought on German side “against communists”. With Stalin gone practically all of those convicts were freed.

    Thus western Ukraine has significant nationalism and eastern & southern – pro-russian and mostly russian speaking. BTW, see UAF movies – they all speak russian between themselves and in battles, use ukrainian language exclusively for official statements.

    To the article – it’s possible Yanukovych planned federalization or splitting the country but very unlikely if “Party of Regions” were kept in power.

    “assume nothing question everything”

  3. ejot

    March 13, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    of course putin painted a red line “nato stay far away from russian border and yankee go home” ..putin spend decades to warn us to don’t come in ukraine … cia sent soros and the rest is history ! Nato was suppose to disappear at end of cold war .. plus US promised to don’t expand nato and it was a lie !

  4. pagar

    March 13, 2023 at 10:40 pm

    2010 ? ? ?

    In 1990 james baker assured gorbachev the big fool NATO won’t move an inch to the east after wehrmacht unification.

    That’s twenty years prior to any foggiest thing ever showing up under putin’s radar.

    The grand plan is to balkanize russia once NATO has completed moving onto the front doorstep of moscow in order to realize the manifest destiny concept of a one-world order first proposed by bush senior in a speech to Congress on sept 12 1990.

    Nothing to do with putin or 2010.

  5. Gary Jacobs

    March 13, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    Tamerlane,

    LoL, still peddling this phony ‘coup’ narrative I see…

    FYI: Precisely Zero of this coup nonsense stands up to the slightest bit of basic research, but then again you have never been good at that.

    1st of all, it was actually a constitutional process to remove Yanukovich, AFTER he fled the country. Then the Ukrainians immediately scheduled new elections.

    Furthermore, This coup conspiracy theory usually boils down to pretending Victoria Nuland is some nefarious character, and that her recorded call exposes the “plot”.

    In the real world, Nuland did not “choose” Ukraine’s leader or otherwise orchestrate a coup during the Euromaidan. She was floating candidates for P.M., not president, and only because Yanukovych *asked* the West to help mediate a deal with the opposition. Nuland & Pyatt are discussing who should become PM alongside Yanukovych, not who should replace him as president.

    Therefore, per the transcript itself, a Nuland led plot obviously did not exist.

    When Pyatt suggests outreach to Yanukovich, does Nuland reply “No, actually, Yanukovich must be replaced?”

    No, she agrees and says “yeah, let’s bring Biden in on that.”

    Nor was Nuland trying to force this arrangement on an unwilling Ukraine. It was Yanukovych himself who, on Jan. 25th, 2014, originally put forth the idea. That’s the proposal Nuland & Pyatt are discussing.

    In a three hour meeting with his opponents, Yanukovych offered the deputy prime minister’s job to the boxer Vitali Klitschko, the head of the UDAR party. But Klitschko announced afterward to the crowd on the Maidan that there was no deal. The two sides need to keep talking.

    Yanukovych’s stated willingness to amend the laws passed Jan. 16 restricting freedom of speech and assembly wasn’t sufficient, Klitschko said, and he called for their repeal instead.

    Oh ya, then there is the matter of the $5 Billon the coup conspiracy theorists claim was spent by Nuland to orchestrate the ‘Maidan coup’…except that $5 Billion turns out to be the *total* spent by the US in Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

  6. Fred Leander

    March 14, 2023 at 4:59 am

    ejot – you hit the nail! The Baltic states Putin could not stop from joining NATO (which is purely a constellation of US errand-boys) – Ukraine he can stop. With the Baltic States’ present attitude to their neighbour in the east it would simply not be unreasonable for this large nation (Russia) to put them in a place where they used to be. Poland and Finland have also learnt nothing from history, doing exactly the same mistakes they did before WW2, thrusting in The West, not considering the neeeds of Russia, a nation whose resources and markets the western (first the British, now the American) finance-capitalists have striven to get control over since the 19th century. The same goes for China.

    With the attitude the Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian leaderships show towards Russia, never mind the way they read the history, it was, and is, an extreme provocation to let them into NATO. The other NATO members must have understood this and should have put down the foot. As per now it seems that President Erdogan is the only leader with his head properly placed on his shoulders regarding the eventual entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO.

    As for Putin’s eventual plans, if they are/were as outlined by the author here, they would not be unreasonable considering the political situation as it has developed the last 20/30 years. Anyway, plans are made to take care of eventualities – the present situation has been forced upon Russia.

  7. Whodunnit

    March 14, 2023 at 6:10 am

    For all those proclaiming NATO expansion as though it is a one sided perpetual recruitment drive. Do you never ask yourself why those countries want to join NATO ? I’ll give you a clue as you obviously dont have one – They fear Russia and Russian colonialism. Look to history for the reasons why. Putin is nothing more than a modern day Stalin who, for those that have conveniently forgotten, was Hitlers ally and also invaded Poland on the 17th Sept. 1939 after agreeing to carve it up between them. This was after starving 4-5 Million Ukranians to death previously (Holdomor).

  8. Jim

    March 14, 2023 at 11:51 am

    When the Soviet Union collapsed and voluntarily dismembered itself, U. S. strategists knew three things:

    1. Afghanistan was a significant factor.

    2. If the Soviet Union could fall apart, then the Russian Federation could also fall apart because it had ethnic regions the same as the Soviet Union.

    3. (Classified & Top Secret) The Ukraine was strategically decisive to the dismemberment of the Soviet Union… that the CIA had been supporting Banderite (neo-nazi) separatists all along, going back to the 1950’s, when Stephan Bandera was still alive (the Soviets had him assassinated in 1959). This CIA support ran all the way into the 1990’s and to this very day.

    All of foreign policy Washington (the “blob”) knew this dynamic… at least the first two parts.

    If The Ukraine was strategically decisive to the fall of the Soviet Union… then Ukraine could also be strategically decisive to the Russian Federation’s possible collapse and dismemberment.

    Many astute or inclined people knew from which direction the political winds were blowing… a career bashing Russia would be well rewarded, both in academia and for getting into the U. S. foreign policy apparatus, and moving up the ranks (think tanks, as well).

    The Ukraine Project was a 30 year operation, like a field full of mushrooms waiting for the Fall rains to sprout, in other words, there was an institutional momentum to the Ukraine Project that once started is hard to stop because so many institutions and powerful people wanted it to go through… believing it to be a strategic operation.

    Once that freight train was up to speed, the momentum was huge… and as almost always the case, Neoconservatives, Warhawks, and Neo-liberals wanted to “GO FOR IT,” plunge right in… no matter how many prerequisites they failed to meet that were necessary for their plans to work… and they had been told about these necessary prerequisites.

    Neoconservatives have a bad habit of jamming a square peg in a round hole… it just doesn’t go as planned… and wood splinters all over the place… resulting in…

    Neoconservatives also have a bad habit of not meeting their own metrics of success… then lying about it to avoid blame for a failed policy, see Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

    Leading to disaster… right where we are now!

  9. Fred Leander

    March 14, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Whodunnit – have you ever asked yoursef this: What would have happened if Stalin/Molotov had not taken the deal with the Germans?

    This would have happened: The Germans would, in June 1941, had so much shorter way to go to reach Moscow before winter (with what consequenses we do not know – use your imagination), the Germans would have swept through the Baltics without Soviet resistance (and take Leningrad), the “Winter War” may not have taken place, resulting in an open Finnish Bay and Leningrad naval base – the Soviet arctic bases
    would have been more vulnerable and Petsamo would still have been Finnish.

    It is also fair to see things in another context. The Soviets, Czechslovakia and France (the Soviets more than the others) before the war wanted to establish a defense cooperation together with the British to stop German expansion towards east. The British, always lukewarm to communism preferred Hitler, so to speak, they more or less sabotaged the initiative. The Poles were desperately against it, preferring to thrust in British guarantees (we now know what that was worth), they would not allow Soviet forces to eventually cross Polish soil to come to the rescue of the Czechs when/if Hitler attacked Czechoslovakia.

    The Soviets had to do the second best – buy time and get access to eastern Poland, the Baltic states and Finland.

    As for Russian colonialism – they let the Finns off the hook in 1944, they could have invaded and held on to the whole country. After helping to drive the Germans out of Northern Norway (Finnmark) in 1944/45, they graciously left the area and let the Norwegians take over. Some criticise the long Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe after the war without considering the fact that most of these nations actually participted in the German attack, and war, on the Soviet Union. The Russians have since gone home, the American occupation forces are still there. So much for colonialism.

    The situation in the East is almost exactly the same but that is another story. Who threatens who?

  10. KosKys

    March 14, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Fred Leander, this is scenario from a parallel reality, because soviets never took advantage of this. Instead, Stalin seamed to have ignored the intelligence reports prior to June 22, 1941. And after that he was so mentally broken that he basically isolated himself from decision making for several weeks, which caused a massive retreat of the soviet army.

  11. Paul

    March 14, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    @Fred Leander

    You said “With the Baltic States’ present attitude to their neighbour in the east it would simply not be unreasonable for this large nation (Russia) to put them in a place where they used to be. Poland and Finland have also learnt nothing from history, doing exactly the same mistakes they did before WW2, thrusting in The West, not considering the neeeds of Russia”

    You are like a rapist who put the blame on the victims.
    Russia took part in the three partitions of Poland in the late 17-hundreds, land grabs that ended the Polish state. Then in 1939 Russia together with their good friend and ally, Nazi-Germany, once again plunged their knife in Polands back to again expand their empire.
    Finland and its people was handed over like cattle from Sweden to Russia after Russia won the 1808-09 war with Sweden. Eventually Finland gained its independence in 1917 only to be faced with new land grab demands by Russia in 1939. Russia invaded and after a bloody war managed to defeat the Finnish army and incorporated Karelia in Russia.
    In fact, only one of Russias many neighbors, Norway, have never been at war with Russia.

    What is it you think these nations should have learned from this. To just roll over when Russia comes knocking on the door and demands the keys?

    The point is that they have learnt their lesson. But instead of the lesson Russian trolls try to instill in them, they have learnt this:
    When you are the neighbour of a known rapist, make sure to never turn your back on the rapist, never trust the rapist and always keep your friends close.

  12. Gary Jacobs

    March 14, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Jim,

    LoL, not sure what planet you live on but back here in reality it was the US that was actually counseling Ukraine *not* to declare independence. In August 1991, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush was in Kyiv to counsel Ukrainians against statehood. That Bush was a former head of the CIA. If he was in on some major CIA plot to dismember the USSR, that was a major opportunity to finally tip the scales.

    That speech is famous it is mocking called “The Chicken Kiev speech”. The address, in which Bush cautioned against “suicidal nationalism”, was written by Condoleezza Rice when she was in charge of Soviet and Eastern European affairs for the first President Bush.

    The speech outraged Ukrainians, and %92 proceeded to vote for independence not long after.

    Furthermore, the Ukrainians have been seeking independence from Russia for centuries before Bandera ever lived. You pretending all roads for Ukrainian independence lead back to him is pure fiction.

    And speaking of square pegs with round holes, you try to pretend everything is a ‘neocon’ conspiracy, even when there is none in sight. Kind of like you pretending Victoria Nuland is some coup plotting mastermind, when the evidence you cite actual says the exact opposite of what you pretend it does. All one has to do is look at all the evidence…like the full transcript of her call.

    Bottom line, your faux notion of smarts never stands up to the slightest bit of basic research. This time is no different.

  13. Jim

    March 14, 2023 at 8:17 pm

    Gary, please, politicians, presidents included, make public statements designed to cover for private, covert or secret actions… as I suggested it was a secret policy objective… Bush wasn’t going to announce it publicly… you’re dumber than I thought.

    Regarding when aspirations for independence first started, it was spun out of nothing… the supposed Ukrainian language was an obscure Russian dialect from a remote rural area of Galleria. This movement started in the few years before the 1917 revolution. Your assertion is false.

    If any independence is left… the name of the nation should be Galleria… not Ukraine… while Bandera wasn’t the only person pushing for “Ukraine” independence… he ended up a collaborationist with Nazi Germany and was a mass murderer to boot and is a hero to the clique in Kiev, to this very day.

    Go ahead, mention Victoria Nuland… Neoconservative and point person on Ukraine… her husband Robert Kagen is one of the Grand Pooh Bahs of Neoconservative ideology… you’re stuck with Nuland… everybody knows that… even Ukraine Kool-aid drinkers.

    You remind me of the early cartoons of a soda bottle cap stamped down on a guy so that only his big flapping shoes stick out from under the bottle cap… funny.

    Keep coming back… I like seeing those flapping shoes.

  14. dave

    March 15, 2023 at 2:01 am

    Gary here`s some research for you. Ukrainian casualties over 600,000. Most of Ukrainian politicians, and US politicians visiting Ukraine are money laundering scumbags!NATO told Russia they wouldn`t move 1″ east after German unification. How is Ukraine having US bases, or nukes any different than the Cuban missile crisis? Western governments are bankrupt, and most of the world`s lining up with Russia, and China.

  15. Andres Durbak

    March 15, 2023 at 10:11 am

    Putin’s intentions toward Ukraine were well known by Western intelligence agencies, long before the 2014 invasions of Crimea and Donbas. In a 2010 article by Horbulin, former member of Yushchenko’s secuity council, which was published in Dzerkalo Tyznia, he revealed the master plan hatched at a Kremlin meeting on Dec. 25, 2008. That step by step plan exposed by Horbulin was partly realized by Moscow in 2014, except for the botched attempts to take over Kharkiv, Odesa, and other South Eastern Ukrainian cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement