Acclaimed German publicist specializing in Ukraine, Winfried Schneider-Deters, presented in Kyiv his book “Ukraine’s Fateful Years 2013-2019.”
The presentation was held at Ukrinform with the author’s participation. The event was organized by the International Courier weekly.
The author outlined the main theses of his book, devoted to the events in the Maidan and the war in eastern Ukraine.
Schneider-Deters drew public attention to the fact that there are still many questions left unanswered about the events in the Maidan.
“To date, it has not been established who the snipers who staged the massacre on Institutska Street were and who gave them the order. I consider it a scandal. This led to a grotesque statement, which was also spread in Germany, that the deliberate killing of the Heavenly Hundred was a false flag operation, that is, the street fighters of the Maidan were shot by their comrades. The question of why Putin’s minion in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, fled and who ordered the Berkut SWAT teams to withdraw on February 20 also remains unanswered,” he said.
The journalist considers the events in the Maidan that were later supported by the subsequent parliamentary and presidential elections, to be a legitimate power transfer in Ukraine.
“If the Maidan hadn’t won, Ukraine would have come under Moscow’s wing again. The seizure of power by the patriotic opposition was no coup d’etat, as Putin insists, but a parliamentary seizure of power. The popular uprising was legitimized by the next parliamentary and presidential elections,” Schneider-Deter stressed.
In his opinion, Russia’s military intervention in Donbas in order to allegedly protect the Russian-speaking population can be referred to as “Putin’s doctrine”, which, however, didn’t achieve its goal.
“Putin claims Russia’s role as a patron state for all Russian speakers wherever they live. This claim can be called ‘Putin’s doctrine.’ The growing protests in Donbas were a special operation by Russian intelligence services. The so-called ‘Russian spring’ that Putin tried to ignite in Novorossia to divide Ukraine never erupted. What is left of Putin’s project of secession is the Russian zone of occupation in Ukraine, the eastern part of Donbas, in which the Kremlin has set up two puppet regimes,” the journalist said.
He is convinced that the war in Donbas is not a fratricidal war, as the Kremlin claims, but undeclared Russian aggression.
“Military situation Ilovaisk and Debaltseve is the result of direct intervention by the regular Russian army. Russia is a direct party to the conflict in the war of attrition in Donbas. The war in Donbas is a Russian-Ukrainian war in which Russia employs Ukrainian militants from Donbas as auxiliary troops,” Schneider-Deter said.
According to the publicist, Putin’s ultimate goal in his hybrid war with Ukraine is to return the neighboring country to Moscow’s geopolitical orbit.
“Without Ukraine, Moscow’s plans for post-Soviet reintegration and restoration of the empire lose their significance. The Eurasian Economic Union remains an empty shell. For Putin, the war in Donbas is a means of maintaining a slow fire to prevent Ukraine from settling down, directing its resources to military needs and hindering its economic development,” the expert said.
In his book, the publicist also examines in detail the international legal aspects of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which the author says meant the end of the European security system.
“The verdict of almost all experts in the field of international law confirms that the annexation of Crimea by Russia was an act of aggression, a criminal offense under Article 5, Paragraph 1, of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the author stressed.
The work of the famous German Ukrainianist Winfried Schneider-Deters “Ukraine’s Fateful Years 2013-2019” was published in German in March 2021 by the Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag and consists of two volumes: “People’s Uprising in the Maidan in Winter 2013/2014” and “Annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. It offers a total of 1560 pages worth of episodes and facts from the fateful period in Ukraine’s history.