“Nobody is making an attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union,” he reassured viewers. When one caller demanded reunification of the Russian-speaking peoples, he issued a well mannered however agency rebuttal.
Higher to deal with financial integration and elevating dwelling requirements, and “then many issues will remedy themselves and won’t trigger the priority that’s current in the present day, is not going to infringe our nationwide emotions, or our dignity, and can make sure the safety of our international locations.”
However inside a day of Mr Yanukovych claiming victory and Mr Putin telephoning his congratulations, protesters started to collect on Kyiv’s Independence Sq..
The vote, they stated, had been rigged. They wished a re-run. And after a month-long standoff that grew to become generally known as the Orange Revolution, they acquired it.
Mr Yushchenko grew to become president of Ukraine, and Mr Putin’s plans had been in tatters.
It’s not fairly clear how the Kremlin was so hopelessly blindsided by the occasions in Kyiv that winter.
Many accounts recommend it was all the way down to poor intelligence. In his 2016 ebook All of the Kremlin’s Males, Mikhail Zygar, a Russian political journalist, describes how a military of Russian political operatives despatched to Kyiv had merely reassured Moscow till the final minute that every thing was going to be wonderful – whatever the proof on the contrary.
Unable to think about how the reversal happened, Mr Putin grew to become satisfied he had been defeated not by a Ukrainian public disgusted by blatant vote rigging, however by the plotting and machinations of hostile international powers.
The Orange Revolution would assist persuade him that Europe and the US had been basically hostile, that he should battle them for management of Ukraine, and that they could in the future strive an analogous “color revolution” in Moscow.
Ukraine is just not an actual nation
Over the subsequent 4 years, Moscow and Kyiv would conflict repeatedly, particularly over Mr Yushchenko’s dogged pursuit of a Nato membership once more plan.
“It’s important to perceive George, Ukraine is just not an actual nation,” a annoyed Mr Putin is reported to have informed George W Bush as he lobbied in opposition to such a transfer at Nato’ Bucharest summit in 2008.
The comment has by no means been absolutely confirmed, however many imagine it betrayed his true intentions.
However Ukraine was not but misplaced.