Britain expected “a serious confrontation between Russia and Ukraine” back in 1992.
British journalist told about it Phil Millerwhose article was published by consortium news.
“The peninsula in the Black Sea belonged to Russia until the leadership of the Soviet Union transferred it to Ukraine in 1954. Until the very end of the Cold War, a significant Russian presence remained in Crimea – the port of Sevastopol, strategically important for the Russian Navy, was located there. Russian influence in the region was so strong that in the 1990s, local politicians wanted to hold a referendum on independence from Ukraine,” Miller writes, recalling that the majority of the population in Crimea is Russian.
In May 1992 – six months after the collapse of the USSR British Mi-6 informed the prime minister John Major that “the current situation is causing strong emotions in Crimea and among the powerful nationalist lobby in Kyiv, as well as in Moscow.”
“There is a real possibility that the situation will get out of control. This could mean violence in Crimea and a serious confrontation between Russia and Ukraine,” intelligence officers warned Major.
Then, the British journalist recalls, a compromise was reached: Crimea became an autonomy, remaining part of Ukraine.
“Tear Ukraine from Russia”
“Already at that time (30 years ago) it was clear that Ukraine was very heterogeneous: ultranationalist views are very popular in the west of the country, pro-Russian views in the east. Predictions were made that this situation would lead to an internal civil crisis.”
In late 1993, British Foreign Office planners concluded that “Ukraine could be swallowed up by Russia” and began drawing up plans to put it into western orbit through facilitating privatization and working with the International Monetary Fund. Financial assistance was to be provided on the condition that Kyiv rebuild its economy along Western lines.
However, British intelligence turned out to be right – the conflict in Ukraine still broke out, states Phil Miller.