The former leader of Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich in an interview to the program “Gordon” on the TV channel “112 Ukraine” told about the signing of the Belavezha accords, on doctrines “the West-2017” and will return whether the Russian Federation annexed Crimea
Gordon: Good evening. In the radio program “Gordon”, and today my guest is the former leader of Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich.
Good evening, Stanislav Stanislavovich. Tell me, please, the signature on the Belavezha accords you curse often?
Shushkevich: I curse only methodically Lukashenko and his satraps. And so these are isolated cases. And when I am in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, of course, the recognition I good, usually thank – especially lately.
– You consider yourself a historical figure?
– No, I do not. I was doing my job as well, as did the physicist and as an aspiring politician. But I worked honestly, in good faith. For me the main achievement of the Belavezha accords, which Russia has recognized the independence of Belarus and Ukraine. We were colonies of Russia. And here Yeltsin’s signature, ratification, and we have been recognized as independent States.
– I had to hear that before you sign the Belavezha agreement, Yeltsin, and Kravchuk you were drinking heavily. Is that so or not?
– It is absolute nonsense. This gave rise to those journalists who are close and not admitted, by the way, Ukrainian as well. Belarusian and including even Western Belarus, emigrated. It was a completely sober decision, and I myself, in General, such could not afford. But here have not allowed myself to everyone else. It is a sober decision sober people responsible for what they do responsible work.
I know that initially didn’t plan to sign. But during your meeting already came up with this sustainable idea to sign the deed on termination of the jurisdiction of the Soviet Union. Who came up with this idea first? Who was the initiator?
– I do not know who she came first to mind, but the first announced her G. E. Burbulis, He said a remarkable phrase: “would you agree to put his signature under this proposal: the USSR as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality ceases to exist”. Here I was jealous that this philosopher, Marxist-Leninist found such a wonderful phrase. First I just cried, and yelled: “I’ll sign”. And very quickly all the other did. Then our Prime Minister Kebich said that I was forced to sign the phrase, and in the neutral position was your Fokin.
– L. M. Kravchuk arrived in Bialowieza at your invitation, when Ukrainians voted for independence. And the motivation of Yeltsin was to get rid of Gorbachev?
– About it nobody spoke, but my absolute belief that this was one of the motivations is to get rid of Gorbachev. In addition, Yeltsin had legal grounds. He was an honest Democrat: he not slipped, not shirked from any business. He worked in the open. So he deserved to serve the Russian people, who on 12 June 1991 he was elected President. And in the position in which we arrived, we had to ask Gorbachev about something, if we had not made that decision. But we went a different path.
– By the time Gorbachev all tired?
– He is tired earlier. I was not meddling embarrassing to Gorbachev. He never openly about anything said. He did not “know” anything about Vilnius, nor Tbilisi.He was a conscientious objector this – it just sickened me. I counted him as the head of the Soviet Union, but my respect for Yeltsin was fantastic. And remains to this day.
– You were the initiator of the meeting, and you had the most difficult mission after the signing of the Belovezhskaya agreements, Gorbachev to call and tell him Soviet leader that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Was it difficult to talk with Gorbachev and what was your conversation?
– Mikhail Gorbachev I had to say is very simple. Hard it was for me when he called me in my dvukomnatny and was surprised that I live in dvukomnatny and that in my apartment there is no SCS. I talked to him on the landline. And here I talked on SCS and knew that nobody was listening, and spoke calmly. Gorbachev said that before Bush called than him. This is – not true. I called him, but while he lifted the receiver, maintaining the break, showing how he is a great man, to Bush phoned Yeltsin. And I was ahead, but very small, Gorbachev explained what happened. I he outlined the essence of the agreement that we had signed.
– Gorbachev wasn’t threatening you in the conversation?
– No. But one feature was – it was the first time Gorbachev was talking to me.
– What is your attitude to Gorbachev today?
– Gorbachev – large. He deserves great respect. And I think you can forgive him all his mistakes for his glory. But he’s like a big figure, a big politician, I sincerely respect only in Germany, because all the other positions he made a shot and showed that he is more Communist than people. In Belarus, I especially hurt for the fact that he, speaking on television in may of 1986, after Chernobyl, have not done what I had to do a conscientious head of state warned that we should do and how. But Germany, in General, should pray to him.
– Yeltsin – bigger than a politician?
– In terms of size they are the same. But Yeltsin is great honesty, responsibility, risk, coming. Not looking at it some weaknesses, for me it is a much higher figure. But he never, being in a state of drunk – did not change its decision. He has always maintained the decision was made sober.
– It is true that his Nazarbayev tried to solder?
– It was right next to me. Moreover, it is specifically assigned a man who, unlike man, put Korzhakov, poured tea from a bottle, and brandy. And he stumbled when he began to propose a toast. He began to fall on me and I supported him. He spoke, then sat down, and he was called a Gaidar. He brought something, he handed me the box and said, “For the support of the Russian President in a difficult moment”. For a human joke Gorbachev was not able to. Yeltsin gave me a watch “Glory”, which after a couple of months stopped, but they kept me as a great heirloom.
On 25 December 1991, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist – what your feelings were?
Was that love, but we were rather unanimous in the view that we are bad. And agree that to speak boldly against this very difficult for us. So we had to show restraint. I’m not happy about the demise of the Soviet Union, but when I read that, Saakashvili said, “what if for Putin it was a tragedy, for him it was the biggest holiday,” then, perhaps, I did not make such statements, but stuck to this point of view.
But do you regret that you became a direct participant in the collapse of the Soviet Union?
– I’m proud of it. Some great political life anything similar did not. And I have then in less than 100 days since I became the chief Executive of Belarus. During this time I had the symbolism of Belarusian to change, sign the Belavezha agreement and had to say that we derive nuclear weapons.
– Which former Soviet republics have achieved over the years the greatest success?
I always believed this Republic Ukraine. I really had a lot of contact with politicians of good sense in Ukraine for which Ukraine is very important as the state. But it turned out that there’s a lot of fans of good live due to these changes. Many have a lot of good. I am and have been in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. The Baltic republics is, of course, ideal, but they came to Belovezhskaya agreement. Belovezhskoe agreement a little easier for their existence. I’m there a lot and are familiar with their leaders. Especially Estonia – is a triumph of human courage and national unity, not to harm anyone. By the way, in the first place, not to the detriment of the Russian, of which 50% in Tallinn, because they are also for the independence of Estonia in the majority.
– Why are you the leader of Belarus, today is not a billionaire?
Billionaire could become, if only to steal and violate the law. And I never, under any circumstances, did not violate existing legislation. This is my greater wealth than any kind of real estate, which I have not. I have a small garage, a small country and a relatively small apartment. Although the apartment I have received as Chairman of the armed forces – instead of the bedroom has got four rooms. During this time I have not lost any friends – they remain the same. I had a very good way to refuse a very flattering offer – and there were a lot. I have always said: “I do not quite understand.” I still don’t quite understand those who have offered me a way of dressing.
– President Niyazov told you that “on us the seal of Allah.” This seal on yourself you felt?
– Never felt. I understand their political illiteracy. I’m faster than others, can be mastered some books and tried to be an educated politician. But I understood what a Gulf separates me from those who have reached the highest heights, the true politicians of the highest level. I mean, Churchill, de Gaulle. Stalin (in a negative sense). I never claimed not claimed and I think none of my relatives from me did not expect.
– You – doctor of physico-mathematical Sciences, Professor, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, head of Department of nuclear physics of the University of Minsk. You cut from a different cloth: you have not been taught Marxism-Leninism in his youth so that you. You were an idealist?
– No. First, Marxism-Leninism taught me. I with honors twice graduated from the evening University of Marxism-Leninism. Moreover, a very decent way, absolutely no one objected. I was a member of the Bureau of the party Committee of the University, but responsible for the meetings I was allowed not to attend because I felt that I was unable to create a scandal, expelling someone from the party and so on. It was impossible to stand: elect – you were chosen. But in politics, I didn’t want to go. Friends here I have actually pushed this policy. But when I’m sat down, I not a single penny received as corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences our. At first I our fans of the Soviet Union delivered as President wojtowicz, and then President Lukashenko. And still not get anything, and I have quite a modest pension, and ten years, it generally was less than a dollar. But I know how to do something. At the end of last year, I was a guest lecturer in many universities, in Britain, in Cambridge, in Oxford. This is what I wanted. I was there not just a small barn, but I can at their level to work with them and to speak, and to understand their greatness, compared to my native Belarusian state University today. It gives me priceless fun.
– Why did you give power to Lukashenko?
The Lukashenko government did not give. Lukashenko, first elected Belarusians honest way. I just couldn’t be a populist this level, because I would lose my friends. I could not promise people what is not realizable. And Lukashenka was just – he people no idea. Frankly, uneducated in politics, as in history. I have my area where I’m the doctor, but the science is something I understand.
– Could you ever imagine the invasion of the Russians in Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea?
– No, I could not. And that is my political illiteracy. I couldn’t imagine that the new leadership of Russia will use arms, which he bulk. This weapon – the lives of Russian soldiers. They can push as pushing Zhukov, Stalin, Ivan the terrible, Peter the great. They don’t value human life. I respect those politicians who care about the person. Human life is valued above all. And Russia sees it as the cheapest weapon.
– Crimea and the Donbass, in your opinion, Ukraine will return or not?
– I am convinced that I will return. It is a pity that to live in this wonderful time very few people will remain, because a decent option, not humiliating for Putin, no. There are hybrid surrender, when talking about the fact that we will cease to pry into “little Russia”, which is so called, but Crimea will be with us. I think it’s contemptuous version of it. Ukraine – worthy edge. I was in Ukraine at the summit of Baltic-black sea and met with many University officials, rectors of universities. It seems to me that Ukraine is a Patriotic United, I just envy the Ukrainians, they are now United and monolithic. I think that against a country to do something can not – will return everything in its place.
– Upcoming military exercises of Russia and Belarus can be directed against Ukraine?
– From Russia only to be expected. Question: what the hell, in General, Russia to conduct exercises in a small Belarus, when Russian expanses, not “defiled” good agriculture, good pastures, is so big? Why persecute this little Krajina such countless troops? This is a show of strength, muscles. But I think that this demonstration will not go, because the West has shown that he will pull some power. So the provocation here is impossible. Against Ukraine it is difficult to provoke, because it seems to me that the Ukrainian army is not at the time of the annexation of Crimea.
– Can Putin to seize Belarus?
– On account of the capture is quite difficult. It is necessary to give some form that will not grip and about which Lukashenko will explain that it is our great happiness. Now, our historians, our politicians have shown that most accidents, in General, we had from our Eastern neighbor. Therefore, it is now difficult to show that we should be together. May be a variant of the approach, but Belarus already this not fooling.
– Do you think that Lukashenka skillfully maneuvering between Russia and the West?
– Yes, masterful. It is especially easy to maneuver in the face of “big-eared” by the West, because the West can always find a gap, the point where there is a poor understanding of what’s going on here. And this position is to develop, like a giant bubble, though soap – it can inflate until it burst. I have met many Western politicians. With regard to the top – they are very educated people and you know well. With regard to the level even of MEPs, they have such a deep lack of understanding of what is happening in Ukraine. They have an even deeper misunderstanding of what is happening in Belarus. And very hard in Parliament, which needs a majority to determine foreign policy and decide how to act… Unfortunately, international politicians are not the skills where you would like. Therefore, the West to make a fool of you, and with the insinuation Lukashenko and with our diplura, because we now have highly educated foreign Minister who faithfully serves him and tries to flirt with the opposition, the Belarusians of the world. Help him to do it are very skilled analysts, highly qualified people. His speech quickly “polished”, there is only what you need, although prasannata he says very much, but it corrected. Dangerous situation – if he loses power, he will need to get to Russia. Here in Belarus, it is difficult to stay.
– Theoretically and practically whether Lukashenko to buck against Putin dramatically?
Even a hint can not. He may gently became frondeurs, but not more, because he is a protege of Putin today. Whether Belarus fair elections – his long never would be. And fair elections in Belarus is not, because Russia and its satellites, for example, Armenia, recognize these elections fair. Armenia is forced to do it – she has no other way out. And all the normal, civilized countries do not recognize these elections. And it will end.
– What kind of man – Alexander Lukashenko?
– I would not like to discuss this issue… He is Neuquen, a brute and boor.
I can’t not mention the beauty of the roads, houses, facades in Belarus. The greens are neatly manicured, the products are perfect. Do you think that Belarus has such superior Soviet power?
– Belarus has always been in order, until rollicking lovers of the party to address the issue of alcohol is not debased and contaminated Belarus. Tell me the new roads constructed in Belarus during Lukashenka? There is some reserve. The architecture of Minsk has improved, but there are also deformities that are approved the same Lukashenko. I believe that we have a worthy architects, is worthy of literature, worthy art, but what about Lukashenka? It hurts this most. We retired suffocate from support to, from small pensions. We have salary, the average now is four times less than in Poland, three times less than in the Baltic States. But this is not the case. He needs to buy a plane better than Turkmenbashi.
– What is your pension in dollars?
– $160. None of my achievements are not taken into account, taken into account only the age. For a pension I can not live, but fortunately, I have health – I am able to earn. Not in Belarus, of course.
– Tell me, Putin in March will once again become President of Russia?
– Yes, of course, will be. Otherwise can not be. Russian society is configured now: “would the native country, and no other worries.” And about the country “cares” more Putin – he restores its greatness. And these “vile” Americans” and “shallow-minded ones” Ukrainians this way. And the date appointed – 18 Mar…
– …the day of the annexation of Crimea.
– …it’s already started training. I’m in Russia, giving lectures at many universities, this training is conducted. And to my deep regret Imperial nature of many Russian intellectuals also surfaced. They need a great Russia. And they speak of Stolypin: “you need great upheavals”. Preparations began, and obstacles along the way no no. Us sanctions only help this choice. They said, “we are under pressure – and we live. And Putin can lead us, I brought Stalin to the victory”.
– And what will end Putin, in your opinion?
– I would like to have it well finished – just arizonica. I am not bloodthirsty, I don’t want some shit. It would be best if he said, “that’s enough, I’ve stayed in power, let them honestly choose someone.” But he won’t do it. Probably will be the leader at all times, like Nazarbayev.
– In each town and whole rows of fresh graves. Victims are already more than 10 thousand people. Putin realizes what he has done?
– Putin sees from Stalin himself. Times a tragedy was the end of the Soviet Union – he sees himself from Stalin. A small victory forgives all sins, greatly raises the popularity. I’m sorry, but he is absolutely indifferent to the lives of Ukrainian young people. It is your policy sick soul and your mother’s ache for the loss of their sons. And he talks like Stalin – 10 km further in Europe, 100 thousand put – nothing. I often talked to the late Brzezinski on the subject, and the understanding that the cheap Russian weapons – a Russian life (although he never told me) is the quality characteristic of Russia. After all, there are dead your is dead on the other side. Russian mothers are no worse than the Ukrainian mothers. And when their sons die, they will realize what they get involved in a peace time. But for Russia it is a smaller loss in the public sense, than the desire of imperical to be a great Russia, pointing to the world and forget about the welfare of their citizens.
– I have heard that it is almost you sent at the time of Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President Kennedy.
Is a funny story. I worked in a factory after graduation, and when there were Lee Harvey Oswald, I was asked to brush up on his Russian language. It was a party mission party. I’m with another man taught him the Russian language within one month after work, and I learned a little bit. And when he attributed that he was mortally wounded Kennedy – I specifically visited in Dallas. It should be naive to assume that the case alone. My absolute conviction is well thought out, planned murder in which Lee Harvey Oswald, whom I had taught the Russian language has no relation.
– You are friends with the ex-President of Poland L. Walesa. How did you react to the fact that he was a KGB agent?
– More such agents. I had such a case. I’ve been to Walesa, and he learned that directly from him I’m flying to Yekaterinburg, Yeltsin’s home. And he said he wants to write a letter to Yeltsin and that I helped him with the translation. He, a simple worker, was the great Polish intellectual. The respect which he expressed in the address of Boris Yeltsin, is how to treat neighbors. I.e., the poles belong to the neighbors. Here’s how to apply the power – it’s not always the same. So, how much would it present Polish government does not obosnovalas – I’m on the side of Walesa. Brzezinski said in an interview about the government, which defy Walesa that it is necessary to consider that the transitional government, and that Poland deserves better.
– In Kiev, now renamed the Avenue in honor of Bandera and Shukhevych. How do you feel about that? And how you actually feel about Bandera and Shukhevych?
– I know it was the patriots of Ukraine, but I also know according to the documents, firsthand, because I worked a lot in wrocław, and Professor Usenko showed me documents. As for Shukhevych – I don’t know, as for Bandera, he was involved in anti-human actions which you could not do, even being in his position. So when I came to Lviv, and saw that Mira has become a St. Bandera, I felt a bit uncomfortable. This is a complex historical question. We must have the courage to solve this question, without blaming either the Ukrainians or the poles. Need to know the truth of history, and then to resolve this issue. Let’s name a street in memory of the victims of the time – with one and the other side – it will be much better.
– In Belarus today you live in peace? Security do you have?
– I’ve never had security ever since I resigned. There was never any support. Theoretically, if I had the law under which I left, I would have to get an excellent pension. I would have to be the security office – all in a civilized world. This law was adopted by the armed forces. But Lukashenka by his decree quashed it. He took another law, and secured my retirement at 97-th year. And inflation since that time has been a multi-million. Therefore, my personal pension was broke, and had to transfer to a retirement pension.
– I have read your book – you’ve seen. You are a happy man?
– I’m a very happy person. I now have updated my book, it’s called “My life, collapse and resurrection of the USSR, 25 years later.” I sent the manuscript to London – it will be released in English. Now looking for a way to publish it in Russian.
– I am grateful to you for the wonderful interview. And I want to say thank you on behalf of millions of Ukrainians for the fact that your signature is under a historic day for Ukraine document – Belovezhskaya agreement. You’re history – in any case, the Ukrainian sure.
– Thank you. I am very impressed with the way you work.