Russia’s goal was to take over Sevastopol at all costs

The Ukrainian authorities lost Crimea because of political infighting in Kiev, believes Ukrainian MP Sergey Kunitsyn.

16 March 2016 17:51

Speaking at a news conference at the Gorshenin Institute, Ukrainian MP Sergey Kunitsyn called Sevastopol’s takeover by Russia its main goal in Crimea. According to Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian authorities could have prevented Russia from annexing Crimea.

“Russia’s goal was to take over Sevastopol at all costs. They had a fifty-fifty chance of taking over entire Crimea. If we had resisted, the Kremlyn would have hesitated until the very end,” he said.

According to Kunitsyn, Ukraine lost the whole of Crimea due to internal squabbling after the Maidan revolution.  

“Because there was internal political struggle and some of my colleagues hated the idea of Kunitsyn going there, we lost one week which was of strategic importance. It did not really matter who should go there because we could have made a deal with the law enforcers. When I arrived at a guest house in Crimea, I got surrounded by people armed with assault rifles and told not to leave the place by the local authorities,” Kunitsyn said.

According to Kunitsyn, Ukrainian law enforcers had a numerical superiority of 10:1 following the takeover of the Parliament and Government buildings by Russian special force units.

“I wish we had made a deal with the law enforcers there... But when I arrived there and spoke to their commanders they told me it was too late. By then they had switched sides. We lost a week which was of strategic importance to us. The Ukrainian Navy headquarters was paralyzed and I could not reach them on a secure line,” Kunitsyn said.

He complained of the Ukrainian government is not doing enough to return Crimea.

“Everyone should wake up and ask themselves like Yeltsin once did: “What have I done to return occupied Crimea?” Unfortunately, the government has come up with no program. I applaud to the Crimean Tatars who came up with the idea of a blockade. Others have also done something. The government agencies handling matters related to Donbass and Crimea cannot be regarded seriously. They have absolutely no power, resources or possibilities,” Kunitsyn concluded.