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Russia is emotionally in Ukraine, its troops are not, says Russian MP

September 1st, 2014
03:33 PM ET

by Henry Hullah

NATO satellites, journalists on the ground and Ukrainian officials have all reported Russian troops in Ukrainian territory, but how much longer can Russia claim it has no military presence in Eastern Ukraine?

"Russia will say that until it really has some forces on the ground. As at this point, definitely we don’t have any." answered Russian Member of Parliament Vyacheslav Nikonov.

He told Michael Holmes, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, that the Russian government had not been providing weapons, such as T-72 tanks which the MP insisted came from Hungary, to separatists and also had nothing to do with the current state of Ukraine.

"It is a completely domestic Ukrainian mess and people living there, in the eastern part of Ukraine, are mostly Russian. So I think it’s very understandable why Russia emotionally is there. Though Russian troops are definitely not there."

With high stakes and emotional investment in the dire situation of those in the Eastern Ukraine, the program asked what is the Russian Endgame here, do they want, as some believe, a land bridge to Crimea?

"The end game for Russia is of course a peaceful Ukraine, and Russian national security."

"In case of the Crimea, it was an immediate reaction of the people of the Crimea for reunification with their mother country, with Russia. "

"Crimeans never had any Ukrainian identity whatsoever. The people in Donetsk and Luhansk have maybe a little bit stronger Ukrainian identity, but it would be very hard for Kiev to convince them that they should stay inside Ukraine."

'Russia will not show up for this war.'

Nikonov was adamant that the accusations of a Russian intrusion into Ukraine came from people who had one goal:

"There are many people in America or in Ukraine who would like Russia to intervene and to have a big Russia-Ukraine war. But Russia will not show up for that war."

If Russia was genuine in its aspirations not to be involved militarily in the current crisis, then what is the next step for the country that has received international condemnation for its actions during the crisis.

"The only solution for that conflict is for the government in Kiev to sit down with the governments of the republics, of the Novorossiya, as they call themself now, and negotiate a solution, whatever that might be. Putin is really pressing hard on the republics to negotiate with Kiev," the Russian MP told the program.

"Russia will not be a broker in this situation. There are Europeans who are involved in the dialogue. I think Americans should also get involved, because of course without American position, Kiev’s position cannot be changed."

Filed under:  Russia • Ukraine
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Czechabroad

    Russia lied about Crimea and therefore its claims have no validity now. Maybe NATO should take out the unaccounted tanks and other heavy equipment from air. Since it is not there anyway, no-one should mind.

    September 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Erm...





      September 2, 2014 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • None Needed

        Proof of what? If Pooty-Poot denies that the tanks and arms are his, then he wouldn't care if they got shelled

        September 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • jv12

        Its slapping you in the forehead. Just look up.

        September 3, 2014 at 8:09 am |
      • Jim






        September 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Sanders

        You cant be serious???????????????
        Oh ok, the Russian rebels just happened to have a sophisticated missile launcher in their backyard to accidently bring down a jetliner.
        Looking at these Russian politician's continually lie, is a joke. The Russian people might be easily led and fooled, but the rest of the world is not so stupid.

        September 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • Cascade

      Putin is a bald faced liar and so is his inner circle mafia.

      Blatant liars and propagandists. All you have to do is take a look at RT or any other Russian media, all controlled by Putin. They literally doctor, falsify and invent information that is to continue tricking the Russian public. Fortunately, it only works on the Russian public – and not all of them.

      The entire earth is on one side, and Russia is one the other. It's safe to say NOBODY is taking Russias side here. Not even North Korea.

      September 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
      • Cascade

        Not even China.

        September 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Western Propaganda

        It really is pathetic how sheeple from US and EU are applauding every command the mainstream propaganda machine throws at them.

        And yes, where is the f.cking proof?

        September 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • Western Propaganda

        It really is pathetic how sheeple from US and EU are applauding every command the mainstream propaganda machine throws at them.

        And yes, where is the f-ing proof?

        September 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • Western Propaganda

        It really is pathetic how sheeple from US and EU are applauding every command the mainstream propaganda machine throws at them.

        And yes, where is the proof?

        September 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
      • I luv Russia

        China will most likely use Russia's desperation, in the face of european isolation, as an Opportunity to squeeze Russia of its precious resources. At discount rates and at Russia's expense. China only cares about China. As long as it gets what it wants. It doesn't matter who it aligns with. There is no real 'win-win' for Russia, here. Putin already, extensively damaged relations with US with his current policies. And he is continuing to risk whatever relations, Russia has, with EU by way of his policies and actions in Ukraine crisis.

        September 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm |

      Marvelous logic: Take out the tanks. Putin should not be offended, because the tanks are not Russian anyway. Therefore, Putin and Russia should not get upset if Kiev uses U.S. drones to blow up the tanks and other arms in eastern Ukraine.

      September 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • I luv Russia

        It is good logic, indeed. If not for the Anti-air defenses, Russia has so thoughtfully supplied the separatist. Including brand new SA22 systems.
        Guess, those came from Hungary as well. Along with the T-72s.

        September 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  2. Kafantaris

    Russia needs to find a way out of this destructive isolation. And the place to start might be Russia itself - not Ukraine.
    That's right, the nationalistic fervor whipped up by Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church has backfired and is now choking the country.
    Time for some cooling - to let the country can heal and find its way back to normalcy.

    September 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  3. Western Propaganda

    Where is the information about MH17?

    Where is the investigation about maidan snipers that triggered an illegal coup?

    Where is the investigation of massacre in Odessa by maidan's sturmabteilung?

    Where is the proof about countless "tank columns" from Russia attacking Ukraine? Not a single piece of evidence provided.

    Why are civilians from Ukraine fleeing to Russia from the Ukrainian army if Russia is attacking Ukraine?

    Why Ukrainian soldiers are fleeing to Russia when surrounded by anti-maidan rebels if Russia is attacking Ukraine?

    How many did US spend on Nuland's cookies on maidan?

    And many many many other questions US, EU and NATO lie about.

    September 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Your correct. I've wondered the exact same things.....never before has information been so readily available to people and yet deception, redirection, and propaganda been so prevalent. The united nations is useless when it comes to solving real problems....the world is insane.

      September 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Reply
      • Cascade

        He's not correct. He's a Russian liar, just like you. Hiding under Western names.

        You Russian vermin don't fool anybody. Take your cheap lies and Russian misinformation and go back to licking lili Putins boots.

        September 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • nixer

      Satellite photos of the tanks, and of troops, were handed out. Sorry you didn't get copies. Maybe you're not as important as you think you are. Ditto for your ideas.

      September 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • None Needed

        Amen. Unless he's a paid KAB troll, he probably is not important enough to get all of the pictures sent to him.

        September 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Pumpkin

        Those photos were a complete joke!

        September 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • Cascade

        Russians don't believe in physical evidence. They only believe what Putin tells them to believe.

        September 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • lambdais3

      The Odessa massacre occurred in 1941 during the German and Romanian occupation. The Romanian authorities carried out the execution of some 100,000 Jews as a scapegoat for the deaths of 67 Romanians and Germans (including 16 Romanian officers) caused by booby-trap left by evacuating Russians. The Russians, to their great credit, evacuated many more Jews before the Romanian occupiers arrived.

      This had nothing to do with recent events in Kiev.

      September 3, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Sanders

      So ok- The corrupt leader that Ukraine threw out was not corrupt, and should still be in power,
      Putin is also an honest guy and not corrupt. There are no Russian troops or tanks in the Ukraine. And pigs fly.
      But for you tell me that MH17 was part of a propaganda lie by the West, is disgusting,.
      I hope Putin is still invited to the G20, The Australian people will protest the hell out of him. Because that is something we can do and will do, sadly Russian's can't, if they do speak out they are thrown in jail.

      September 3, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
      • Jim

        I hope that it is possible to throw bags of dog excrement at him for what he has done.

        September 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Western Propaganda

    Current faces of the West:

    We know how it ended the last time though.

    September 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • karel

      nice pic... those are the one USA and EU are supporting... what a fraud.

      September 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Reply
    • Cascade

      Russian clown, go crawl back into the Putinoid propaganda hole you came out of.

      September 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Cascade

      Look at his name...LOL

      It's "Western Propaganda". As in the entire West, all of the leaders, all of the nations, all of the different people – all allied to create propaganda against pathetic Russia? Putin and his cyber army sound extremely stupid. I guess they are used to it.

      Putin will say the sky is green and they will argue with everyone else that it's not blue. Typical Russians.

      September 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Western Propaganda

        Sieg Heil?

        September 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • Russian Propaganda

      Do not forget that the United States is a major nuclear power (the major nuclear power)...that is a fact, not just words. Russia had better not mess around with the US or its NATO allies in Eastern Europe. Have fun in Ukraine you Soviet stooges. You will pay for this for decades, just as Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Andropov made you pay for the last century.

      September 4, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply
  5. karel

    he United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in more

    September 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Actually Viktor Yanukovych began the mess when he awarded oil rights to Exxon instead of Putin's favored GAZPROM. If Ukraine was ever to have its own gas & oil reserves Russia would lose its stranglehold on the most important former member of the USSR. Despite all of the feigned outrage of CIA plots and western interference, the complete disappearance of Yanukovych speaks a thousand words. Putin has no use for an incompetent lackey. He will spend the rest of his days under house arrest if he is lucky.

      September 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  6. Freddie Nerk

    Russia should give political recognition to the break away republics and provide financial and military support. Russia should open consulates, colleges and hospitals. It should provide police and military advice. Russia must also face NATO aggression and forward deploy more troops to its borders with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It should support Russians there. It should provide weapons to those who feel threatened by oppressive majorities and promote autonomy. Putin deserves the Nobel Prize for his support for liberty. Obama should give his back.

    September 3, 2014 at 3:39 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Russia is free to do whatever it wants on Russian soil – but not on Ukrainian soil.

      September 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • Western Propaganda

        Novorossiya is Russian land removed from Russia by Ukrainian Bolsheviks like Khruschev and given to Ukraine.

        The historical name implies

        September 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  7. Erm...

    lol now Poroshenko is lying about some ceasefire agreement which Putin's spokesman dismissed and CNN repeating like a parrot.

    Next step is "they violated the ceasefire!"

    September 3, 2014 at 6:24 am | Reply
    • lambdais3

      So, is Putin lying when he said that he and Poroshenko are close to agreement on "resolving the conflict"? (as reported by BBC and others)

      September 3, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • Western Propaganda

        Poroshenko is lying like he did all this time about "cease fires" during which the shelling continued.

        it's what US puppets do after all.

        September 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
  8. Erm...

    So why are you silent about the war correspondent Andrei Stenin who was found shot and his body burned after Ukrainians declared he was in their custody?

    September 3, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • lambdais3

      News reports, aside from RT, say that the Kiev government said it had no information on the whereabouts of Andrei Stenin, who was embedded with the pro-Russian rebels. (Source: Boston Herald) His vehicle was hit and burned. Dmitry Kiselev, the head of RIA-Novosty said, ""Our colleague, the photographer Andrei Stenin, is dead. It turns out he was not a prisoner, he has been dead for a month," (source: Economic Times / India Times)

      September 3, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • Erm...

        Lies. Ukrainians said themselves the reporter was in their custody.

        September 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jim

      Don't tell me that Putin is suddenly concerned with journalists after having had over 200 murdered since 1999. Let's talk about those journalists instead of one.

      Read wikipedia article : List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

      September 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
      • Western Propaganda

        So you claim it's ok to kill Russian journalists?

        Hi there, nazi.

        September 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • I luv Russia

      Wow. How hypocritical. You are desperately latching on to One incomplete phone conversation, 'supposedly' leaked by the Russian news agency (no surprise there).
      God forbid, we should hold your Putin and his 'thuggish' govt., the the same standards.
      How many times has he been caught lying in the Ukraine situation, alone? No intent to annex Crimea. To Russian troops in Crimea.
      And now eastern Ukraine. Same story. Slight modification. Shameless.That's what it is.

      September 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  9. lambdais3

    Putin can agree to a cease fire, but only when he is on vacation, like all the Russian soldiers vacationing in Donbas.
    How nice that they were allowed to take their tanks, er, transportation with them.

    September 3, 2014 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Erm...

      Last time Poroshenko used a "cease fire" to slaughter more people. Let's hope this time the rebels finish off his criminal regime.

      September 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • I luv Russia

        Seeing as eastern ukraine was remained peaceful even during maidan riots, and only erupted when the Moscow-led local militias started forcefully taking over govt. buildings.
        It shouldn't be, the Ukrainians laying down their arms to the militants. It should be the other way around.
        Ukrainians have a right to defend their country against traitors, whose alliance lies with Russia, not their own ccountry.
        The obvious and easy solution, is for them, to go live in Russia. A country, they love so dearly. Russia is a very big country, with a lot of unused, vacant land. Surely, these russian loyalists and their families could be easily accomodated.

        September 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
  10. Erm...

    "It challenges the most basic principles of the international system: that no border can be redrawn at the barrel of a gun, Obama said."

    What about Serbia?

    September 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  11. Western Propaganda

    The carnage is happening because US puppet Poroshenko knows that his masters will protect him no matter how many civilians he kills.

    And western neonazis are ok with killing Russians if it brings them more land and resources. After giving refuge to all those Hitler's thugs after WWII the chickens are coming home to roost.

    The sheeple will not mind too because they blindly follow what BBC, CNN and Fox tells them right off the lips of Poroshenko.

    September 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • I luv Russia

      You give a bad name for all russians with your ignorant and Obviously 'biased' Outlook. Thinking you are BETTER TAN EVERYONE ELSE. No wonder, there is a growing 'Negative' sentiment towards people like you and your 'Putin'.

      September 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • Erm...

        So where is the proof?

        All we hear is "US says","Pentagon says", "Ukraine says", "White house says"

        Where is it?

        September 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Western Propaganda

    Meanwhile, here is another face of US and EU.

    September 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  13. I luv Russia

    Putin and his 'mafia' govt. accused NATO of surrounding russia with bases.
    NATO forces are a DEFENSIVE!!!! Alliance. Not an OFFENSIVE one.
    Why should russia as a country be worried?
    Unless, it has aspiration to invade neighboring countries. And generally be a 'THREAT'.
    And as we have seen, in Crimea and Eastern ukraine. That, seems to be exactly the case.
    As long as people like Putin remain in power. Alliances like NATO will not only exist, but will be almost be a Necessity.
    For those amongst you, who would debate NATO existence as an antagonizing factor for Russia. The counter argument would be – Russia's refusal to play by the rules of the collective. While countries like the US, wants more integration with world mations as 'equal' partners. RUSSIA seeks only obedient 'Client' state.
    Putin accuses Ukrainians of being 'Nazis'. The only one acting like a nazi, here, Is Putin. And the russian citizens who shamelessly support his modern day 'imperalistic' desires are NO BETTER.
    As for the proof , many Putin-drones keeping yapping on about.
    It has been shared with Russia, Already, at the UN summit. In fact. More than once. Some, were even made available to the us, the public. One time, the Russian foreign minister was even quoted as saying that the satellite photos were from VIDEO GAMES.
    I ask you, what do you do with an remark like that. From a senior level diplomat, no less. I should be painfully clear to the US and EU, that any PROOF presented, no matter how strong, is going to be rejected by the Russian administration.
    So what's the point of proof ? Really.
    Instead of waiting for Putin to do the honorable thing regarding Ukraine. NATO should go the 'other' route. Sometimes, such things cannot be avoided. Even if the desire, is to avoid it at all costs.

    September 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • Erm...

      Frenchmen with the anti-Kiev resistance

      September 4, 2014 at 4:37 am | Reply
  14. Russian Propaganda

    Russia is now a 3rd world nation thanks to Putin. You blew your chance on the world stage. When will you ever get it right? The world laughs at you. By the way, Pakistan, a 3rd world nation, also has nukes. What is the difference between Russia and Pakistan, besides flaunting nukes? Oh, Pakistan is a democratic republic. Russia will soon be a dictatorship again. USSR failed. Stupidity is defined as trying a failed experiment over again expecting different results. Rid yourselves of Putin because he is obviously an idiot. Or desparate. You'll be bankrupt in 5 years following this route.

    September 4, 2014 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • I luv Russia

      Not just Pu-tler. The Moscow govt. That support and encourage him should be kicked into the russian gulags in Siberia

      September 4, 2014 at 4:26 am | Reply
  15. Erm...

    Before pointing finger at Russians one should remember that NATO's new "defensive alliance" countries stripped ethnic Russians of citizen rights as the first order of business, basically giving them the same status as Jews in 30s Germany.

    Still not a single concrete proof of legions of Putin's tanks in Ukraine except words.

    September 4, 2014 at 4:44 am | Reply
  16. Erm...

    In fact, Bambi is reassuring one of the countries on "making a right choice" as we speak.

    September 4, 2014 at 4:53 am | Reply
    • Erm...

      And if you are in bed with countries treating a category of people as subhuman for political gains, don't be surprised when they rebel.

      September 4, 2014 at 4:56 am | Reply
  17. Erm...

    Btw, id' like to see you do a "maidan" against the US-installed Poroshenko who is becoming the new unpopular prez. It will be crushed faster than you could say "coup" with thundering CNN applause.

    September 4, 2014 at 5:05 am | Reply
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