Zradofiliv (supporters of steps to commit treason) is a new term in the 2019 presidential elections that can be used to describe candidates who wish to strike deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin. These include Vadym Rabinovych and Yuriy Boyko from the Party of Regions, now Opposition Bloc, and Yulia Tymoshenko. Serhiy Taruta is not standing but he also is a zradofil, a lover of achieving peace at any cost – including capitulation to Putin’s demands.
Putin seeks at all costs to keeping Ukraine within the Russian World and Eurasian sphere of influence. At the annual Valdai meeting, Putin said he was awaiting the results of the Ukrainian elections so that he could negotiate with the new president – in other words a zradofil.
Who then could that be? When asked who Russia would like to see elected next year, Ukrainians listed Yuriy Boyko (46.5%), Vadym Rabinovych (38%) and Yulia Tymoshenko (28.4%).
It is not surprising to see Russia’s favorites as Opposition Bloc leaders Boyko and Rabinovych. But, Tymoshenko in third place shows how she is distrusted as a zradofil by a large group of Ukrainian voters. Ukrainian voters have cause for concern because Tymoshenko has never once criticised Putin. Tymoshenko has also never once visited Ukrainian troops in the Donbas. In 2008, Tymoshenko squashed any protests by Batkivshchyna to protest against Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
Zradofily are populists who routinely lie to Ukrainians about other things and they are lying about ending the war. When claiming that if elected they would end the war, they ignore the fact that Putin began the war and is the only person who can end it. Three quarters of Ukrainians do not believe Ukraine’s relations with Russia will get better while Putin is in charge of Russia.
Ukrainians are less romantic than zradofiliv and believe the war cannot end until after Putin is no longer Russian president. Unfortunately for Ukrainians, Putin is president for life and will not leave his position in 2024.
Zradofiliv are not being honest with Ukrainian voters because they are willing to capitulate to is demands and against the wishes of Ukrainian citizens. Ukrainians are more patriotic than the zradofiliv who seek to win their votes.
Capitulation by zradofiliv comes in 3 forms.
The first is agreeing to Russia’s demands for the return of occupied Donbas in return for Ukraine agreeing to recognise Russian sovereignty over the Crimea. Dnipropetrovsk oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, who supported Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych’s election in 2010, suggested this option in the Wall Street Journal in December 2016.
Poroshenko and three quarters of Ukrainian voters do not support a trade between the Donbas and the Crimea and see the Crimea as Ukrainian territory.
The second capitulation is agreeing to Putin’s interpretation of the Minsk agreements. This would mean to change the Ukrainian constitution to give the so-called DNR and LNR ‘special status’ and hold local elections – before the withdrawal of Russian occupation forces and return of the border to Ukraine’s control. Capitulation would lead to Ukraine being Bosnianised with Putin holding veto power through the so-called DNR and LNR over Ukrainian domestic and foreign affairs. This would effectively end European integration and Ukraine being Finlandised.
Poroshenko and the West demand that Russia first takes the steps of withdrawal and de-militarisation of its proxy rebels.
The third capitulation is to accept Putin’s terms for ‘peacekeepers’ in the Donbas. Putin has always wanted them ‘peacekeepers’ to stand on the conflict zone as in Trans-Dniester, South Ossetia and Abkhazia so that the Donbas becomes a frozen conflict under its control.
Poroshenko and the West support peacekeepers on the Russian-Ukrainian frontier.
Anti-war populism is cheap rhetoric espoused by zradofiliv who will lie to get votes in the 2019 elections. If a zradofil is elected in spring 2019 he or she will be ready to capitulate to Putin’s demands and give him victory in his strategic objectives of keeping Ukraine within the Russian World and, as attempted in November 2013, ending European integration.