Hard Decades Ahead to End US Hegemony - Putin Advisor Valery Fadeyev in Exclusive Interview
THE CITIZEN EXCLUSIVE
Valery Fadeyev is advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Fadeyev is a former journalist, starting his career as a journalist, moving into the print media, hosting television programs and was always seen as an influencer of significance. Since October 21, 2019 he has been an advisor to Putin.
He starts the interview meeting with journalist and author SAEED NAQVI with:
“I also have an idea, Mr. Naqvi, about how to reform the international human rights system. I have recently published an article on this topic, we will translate it and send it to you. I believe that one of the main problems that led to this military conflict in Ukraine is the inability of international institutions to preserve the rights of the citizens of Donbass.”
The full interview:
Welcome to our interview, Mr. Fadeev. The first thing that the world wants to know is what is the mystery of Mariupol and the Azov Steel Plant? What is such secrecy around it?
To be quite frank, I don’t see a big mystery here. The Ukrainian nationalist battalions, in particular the Azov Battalion, were concentrated in Mariupol and the Azov Steel Plant.
These battalions are very motivated, because they consist of actual Nazis.
They study Nazi ideology, one of their thought leaders is Hitler himself, they consider Bandera a hero.
Stepan Bandera is a war criminal, his crimes have been proven. He organized and took part in mass killings of Russians, Jews, Poles during World War II.
Why is the Azov Battalion not leaving this plant? They are calling out to third countries to help them.
There is a lot of information about them committing war crimes. Of course, they are afraid that they will have criminal cases opened against them and they will have to answer for these war crimes.
Is it just them? I believe a Canadian general has been arrested, as well as some people from the West?
Those are not rumors. That has happened. This proves that some Western countries were directly involved in training the Ukrainian army and especially the nationalist battalions, preparing them for war. They delivered weapons and trained soldiers. Many western instructors were located and still can be found in Ukraine.
I’m asking specifically, has a Canadian general been arrested? And is Macron calling Putin about some French officers who are at that steel plant?
Mr. Naqvi, I’m afraid I have no comments on this. I am not part of the general staff or the group in command of this operation. I am in charge of other questions.
What I am asking are important questions, at least you can accept that.
I accept that, but regarding French officers I have no answer.
In the middle of this war the Victory Day on May 9th acquired great importance. What is the big announcement that president Putin is going to make on Victory Day?
There is one very serious problem. Our former allies from World War II, who helped us fight Nazis, for quite a while now have been rewriting the history of World War II: how it started and who is to blame for it. There is a highly sinful, disturbing idea to equate Hitler’s Germany with Soviet Russia.
I see this position, taken by some Western countries, as a betrayal.
And we can see how these very harmful ideas have affected Ukraine. Part of the Ukrainian people has been poisoned by this idea. And part of the Ukrainian people has turned their back on the USSR. They turn their backs on the victory that was achieved by the Soviet people, including Ukrainians who were part of the Soviet people. Our victory in World War II.
Historical lies have become an instrument of discord, sowing discord among people. It’s an instrument of destabilization. And we can see that in Ukraine.
Is all of this likely to be part of president Putin’s statement on May 9th?
I believe so, yes. President Putin often writes his speeches himself, but I think this will be part of it, because Putin has brought up this problem many times before. He pointed out numerous times that you shouldn’t “play with history”. You shouldn’t lie, you shouldn’t rewrite well-known historical facts. That this is a very dangerous game. Putin insisted on that and I’m sure he’ll continue doing so now.
Is it possible that on Victory Day some of these people who are hiding in the Azov Steel Plant will be identified and revealed to the world?
I don’t think that the Victory Day celebrations will be in any way tied to the military operation in Ukraine. There was deliberately planted information about some decisive actions initiated by the Russian troops that should take place on May 9th. That’s not true. Nobody is trying to tie military actions to any celebrations.
But there was a special operation planned for this day?
I’m not a general, I don’t know.
Let me quote one general — General Lloyd Austin. The Defense Secretary said “We want to weaken Russia”. […]
The first time this was said out loud was by president Putin in 2007, during his famous Munich speech at the Security Conference.
I would like to remind you that in the 90s and the 2000s Russia announced that it was willing to closely cooperate with Europe and the West. There were many economic projects announced at that time. There were even proposals that Russia should join NATO. These proposals were voiced even during Putin’s time. But each time we were told “no”.
These last several years were all about Russia’s security. Putin had addressed Western leaders many times about this. He urged them to understand Russia’s security problem. I served in the Strategic Rocket Forces, so I know what “flight time” means — the time it takes for a missile to hit its target.
Putin said that if Ukraine joins NATO or finds itself under NATO’s influence, like it did right now, then it would only take 5 minutes for a missile to reach Moscow from Kharkiv. This is a radical violation of the strategic balance.
Putin called this “a knife to the throat”.
But the West didn’t accommodate our concerns. It refused to discuss this military problem that was crucial to us.
Instead it helped strengthen the Ukrainian military group stationed near Donbass in order to capture Donbass.
Is it because of the military industrial complex in the US? […] They are nervous about the rise of China and China’s friendship with Russia.
I think it is not just the military industrial complex that is to blame, I think that first-and-foremost we should blame the American elites.
They were hoping that Russia would cease to exist as a global power after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But that never happened. Russia started regaining its power. Russia managed to find its voice again. Russia found, if not allies, then at least some strong countries that regarded us with sympathy in the 90s and supported our restoration in the 2000s.
And, of course, that aspect that you mentioned — Russia’s role in this new geopolitical struggle between China and the US. Russia’s role might end up being crucial.
Ursula von der Leyen said that ‘we cannot lose this war’. What do you think?
The final authority here is the United States. Europe is suffering the most because of the sanctions.
In some aspects the US is interested in weakening Europe. I would like to remind you that for the last 30 years Europe has been talking about creating an independent European army, not tied to NATO. And the US has been against such an army.
Can you outline a formula for peace to end this war?
The Ukrainian army must disarm. Only this can guarantee the safety of Donbass and its citizens. And some other Ukrainian regions now as well.
So you want a completely disarmed Ukraine?
Yes. This is what president Putin talked about on February 24th. Because a militarized Ukraine under the control of the US and NATO is a great threat to Russia. This threat must be removed.
This is an invitation to keep sending arms to Ukraine. They want to bleed you the way they did in Afghanistan. […]
I would like to remind you that the war in Afghanistan lasted for 10 years and the Russian army didn’t lose its strength. The Russian, or rather Soviet army left Afghanistan still in possession of a large amount of equipment and weaponry. It was a political, not a military decision. One I still consider a mistake.
Are the Israeli soldiers fighting alongside the Ukrainian army? […]
I believe those are mercenaries. Mercenaries from many different countries are fighting on the side of the Ukrainian army. We have such information and we even have some prisoners, British prisoners. But those are all mercenaries.
We haven’t heard from Victoria Nuland for a long time. […] What do you know about her?
I am in charge of human rights, I’m not part of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Mrs. Nuland gave an interview to the Russian media, when the military operation just began, and later in April. So she did appear on screen.
Russians and Iranians had once said at the highest level that Islamic militants were being flown from Syria to Afghanistan. Is this another way to destabilize the situation in Russia?
On the one hand, we have all witnessed the American army leaving Afghanistan in disgrace. On the other, there are theories that this was a calculated move, to leave a country in the hands of the Taliban, who can continue to work with other radical groups.
This is a very dangerous situation. I would like to remind you that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan went through a terrible war, a civil war, many people were killed. Radical Islamic groups took part in that war.
In Uzbekistan we could witness the heyday of terrorist groups. Terrorist acts took place in the very center of Tashkent, right near government buildings.
The terrorist groups were defeated with the help of Russia. And right now nobody wants these terrorist groups to gain power again.
Is Pax Americana finished or is it revived?
The process of dismantling a hegemonic power takes tens of years. Back in the day my good friend, a famous American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein said “this is the end of the American hegemony” about the war in Iraq. Because the States couldn’t win that war. That was 20 years ago.
I think we should expect some very hard decades ahead of us. The creation of a new world without American hegemony or Western hegemony is a very hard process.
Two-thirds of the world’s population lives in countries that do not support the sanctions against Russia, despite the pressure from the West. This shows that the world will never be the same as it was before.
People in these countries remember colonial times. They remember how the West oppressed them. China remembers the Opium War of 1840 that was started by Britain. It basically returned China to feudalism. This just proves the arrogance of the West. And this arrogance makes a lot of people reject the West.
Donald Rumsfeld used to separate new Europe from old Europe. […] Is that contradiction sharpening?
I think that Europe got carried away with the expansion of the European Union. New countries got accepted too quickly. You could say they got dizzy with success. A lot of analysts and sociologists believe that the process of adding new countries to the European Union should have been slowed down. Then we wouldn’t see the contradictions we see today. And these contradictions are very visible, so we can agree with Rumsfeld on that.
How demoralizing was the sinking of cruiser Moskva?
I wouldn’t say it was demoralizing, but it was very sorrowful.
This war could last for years, did I understand you right?
I didn’t say that this conflict can last for years. The conflict with the West can last for years, but this special operation in Ukraine will likely end soon.
The Western allies accuse you of war crimes. What is your response?
Not the whole world - if we’re talking about the Western media, almost all of the Western media is acting as a military tool. We can’t change this situation today. We need new ideas, you offered an idea at the beginning of our meeting - the creation of an international, independent media.
We must look into ideas like that. I believe that there is no such thing as independent media in the West anymore.
What can you tell the world that it needs to know?
A few days ago I met with a group of Russian volunteers who are working with refugees in the Belgorod Oblast, who came to Russia from Ukraine and Donbass.
And I’m sure you know that Ukrainian propaganda claims that these people are forced to come to Russia from Ukraine. That is a lie. But not only is it a lie, I can tell you something else.These people have different passports: some have DPR and LPR passports, some of them have Russian passports, because they were given Russian citizenship, some have Ukrainian passports. But when it comes to helping them, nobody differentiates between them based on their passports. They all receive the same help. And that is humanism in its purest form. Despite everything that is happening in Ukraine.
How is president Putin’s health?
There is an old joke from Odessa. An old man walks down the street. People ask him: “How is your health?” And he answers: “Keep dreaming!”
Cover Photograph: Valery Fadeyev and Vladimir Putin at a meeting in the Kremlin. Photo TASS