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Blast from the past: 8 years ago tomorrow
Plan A. The Kremlin planned to finish the operation before the Christmas holidays. If this had happened, the response of the United States and European Union would have been muted.
Plan A entailed creating two separate #euromaidan (s), one non-political and the other political. Presidential Administration Head Serhiy Lyovochkin put himself in charge of managing the former, and National Security and Defense Council Chief Andriy Klyuev dealt with the latter.
Leading Ukrainian journalist Mustafa Nayyem called people to Independence Square on November 21. He emphatically called on protesters to bring with them only EU banners, not the banners of Ukrainian political parties. The protest camp was located on Independence Square.
Ukrainian opposition parties (Udar, Batkyvshchina, Svoboda) began their protest on Sunday, November 24 with a large rally in Kyiv. They occupied European Square, a block away.
Provocateurs, at Klyuev’s behest, on November 25 began inciting conflicts with the police defending the Cabinet of Ministers building on Hrushovoho. The conflicts continued daily.
The president applauded the non-political #euromaidan rallies while warning about the dangers of the political protests (because “extremists” were provoking the police).
The spectacularly violent crackdown of the non-political rally on Independence Square early November 30 was orchestrated to provoke the Ukrainian people to march on the Presidential Administration during the demonstration planned by Ukrainian political parties on December 1.
Provocateurs prepared in advance for the clashes at the presidential administration. Their aim was to incite violence in order to provide horrible pictures and scenes of brutality, focusing the cameras on the so-called “extremists.”
The final crackdown on #euromaidan was planned for December 11 during the visit to Kyiv of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and EU foreign policy czarina Catherine Ashton. The intention was to blame them (the west) for supporting the violent overthrow of a legitimately-elected head of state by fascist anti-semitic critics.
Police at the time had more than enough resources to end #euromaidan on December 11 and to arrest political protest leaders en masse. But they did not do so. They stopped. The parliamentary pro-presidential majority next voted on draconian legislation to curtail civil rights.
The greed of the Yanukovych family won out over the Kremlin’s Plan A.
Yanukovych did not follow Plan A. Instead, he tried to wheel and deal with the EU. The crackdown did not happen, and the next morning, on December 12, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov opened his cabinet meeting by declaring that his government required at least 20 billion euro before it could sign the EU association agreement. Moreover, unofficially, first deputy prime minister Serhiy Arbuzov weeks earlier said Ukraine required 160 billion euro to enter into the agreement.
This is why the Kremlin’s Plan A failed.
[Ported over an old Medium entry, titled “anschluss of ukraine before — or after — sochi olympics: the kremlin had contingency plans (October 25, 2014)]