DANGEROUS TIMES in KIEV                           ORIGINAL (inaccurate) Bulgarian

American journalist Michael Hammerschlag : exclusive to "Economics" - (Bulgarian Economic Mag  )

                  Moscow could still win in Kiev

 Maidan becomes dangerous, Yanukovych is like a rat in a trap, says journalist Michael Hammerschlag

Nikolay Marchenko, February 5, 2014 08:31 3453 views 

Protests in Kiev may not bring good news and a European future for Ukraine, warned  (Economic.bg) American political journalist and blogger Michael Hammerschlag, who has 34 years of experience in the profession as author in dozens of publications in the U.S. and Europe (The New York Times, Seattlle Times, Providence Journal, Yahoo.com, Novaya Gazeta, Kyiv Post, Kyiv Weekly, Business Ukraine, Columbia Journalism Review, Moscow News, Moscow Tribune, Moscow Guardian, etc.). According to the American journalist (who also publishes on his own BLOG and site- Hammernews.com), Maidan life is quite bearable for a professional associate of the media. He lived for several years in Ukraine, and wrote about the EU/Customs Union choice since before the most tragic days in November. Although he has never really studied Russian, he can speak and read it somewhat.

  Chronicler of protest

Of course, it isnt getting better, as evidenced by the rapidly depreciating Ukrainian exchange rate "Yesterday was 8.60 hrivna/$, 8.70 and today who knows (+9 -ed). Tell your friends to sell them, because even if they win in Maidan, it will crash to maybe 10 ".

Photos and stories on his blog tell about those nights of fights in Kiev. A pic of a "Molotov"cocktail, which he managed to capture the night of the storming of Ukrainian House and pictures of burning buses and houses from the big battless between Berkut and protesters on Hrushevskogo St.. With the enthusiasm of a child, he shows how one can use a good shirt-pocket camera to take spectacular pictures of burning buses and thrown bottles of lighter fluid by youths in masks.

It's the geopolitics of gas ...

As a political analyst, he says its all about economic interests and money. According to him, the gas problem is helping the Kremlin to maintain control over Ukraine and half of Eastern Europe: "Since the 2009 gas crisis, I predicted that it would come to this! Kiev should become energy independent! Ukrainians and Bulgarians could import gas from Algeria at 30% of the cost- $130/1000cu M, if they had just built LNG-terminals (liquefied natural gas), the Chinese could build them cheaply and quickly," he says emotionally. That could have saved Ukraine $11 billion in the last 4 years

Believes that Putin wants a stranglehold over Ukraine, like Belarus, and recognizes that countries such as Moldova and Georgia were lucky (unlike the authorities in Kiev and Yerevan) they signed the European Union (EU) Association Agreement, before Russian sticks were used. I think that Putin has enough time to pressure Moldova, which cant withstand it with Russian troops in the breakaway TransDneister," he thinks.

Bleak outlook, Yanukovych is like a cornered rat

He is very skeptical to predict the end of the saga of the Maidan. "Nobody knows what will happen with this Opposition. This could end very badly, many people could die ... If Maidan falls, many people can be shot, go to jail, disappear from special services terror squads.

According to him, if Berkut riot police, Interior Ministry troops, and other parts of the National Security Service (known as SBU) really "decide to fight," then the protesters do not have a chance, "I believe that many of them are really ready to shoot protesters- theyve seen their friends smashed by paving stones, set on fire by firebombs."

Michael believes that the Opposition should be worried because "Yanukovych is like a cornered frightened rat that could attack any moment. I think Opposition leaders Klitschko and Yatsenyuk should accept the Prime Ministers proposal of the Yanukovich government and try to change things from within; whittle him down from the inside. With that offer, the President, perhaps, is making them share responsibility for any ultimate violence," he says.

But the reality is there are only two eventual outcomes - Yanukovych and his son fleeing abroad (to Belarus, or Arabia).  Or they attack, destroy the protest camps, enact widespread repression, and sent the opposition in jail, he concludes (like Putin did to ​​the leader of the opposition and candidate for mayor of Moscow Alexei Navalny).