Several Russian media (RT, REN.tv, Lenta.ru, NTV, Forbes) distorted the words of former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (2012-2014) with such headlines as: “Michael McFaul: USA Will Not Fight for Crimea: Its Reunion with Russia Is a Historical Fact” and “McFaul Urged Ukraine to Accept Transfer of Crimea to Russia.”
RIA Novosti distorted McFaul’s words and wrote that he said: “The transfer of Crimea to Russia is an accomplished historical fact and the Ukrainian government should be realistic about this.”
Here are his exact words:
“I just do not want that people overestimate the possibilities of the Western countries. We will not participate in the military operation, it is obvious. Americans are not ready to fight for Crimea. As well as for Poland back then, for Hungary, for Czechoslovakia. This is an historical fact. You should be realistic about this. Sometimes I feel that people want Americans to do more than they do themselves.”
So McFaul said that it was a historical fact that Americans had not fought for Poland, Hungary, or Czechoslovakia. Moreover, he did not refer to the annexation of Crimea as a “the reunion with Russia,” and did not urge Ukraine to accept its transfer to Russia.
Here is the part of the interview concerning this question:
-The international community accepted the fact of the annexation of Crimea, didn’t it?
– McFaul: This is not Obama’s position. But it’s a matter of dispute in Europe, I agree. Most of all, I am concerned that there are people (and I am not talking about the present government) who would like to forget about it and to return to their normal work. And Putin expects this.
-Then what should Ukraine do?
– To tell you the truth, I do not have a good answer. I think it will be a long process. Only when it becomes obvious that life in Ukraine is better than in Russia — then everything will change. I am talking as an analyst: it is not my desire, it is the forecast of an analyst. I think it will be a long-term process, but after all I am an optimist and I think it will happen.
But what does it mean? In order that Crimea might return to Ukraine, you need successful economic reforms; you need serious democratic reforms; you need to fight against corruption. This is the only real way to accomplish this long-term goal.
LifeNews added to the falsehoods by issuing the headline “McFaul: Washington Considers Helping Ukraine Useless”.
The American political scientist also did not say this. He said the following:
“It is a more complicated question than should we help Ukraine or not. Because there are people in Washington who think that you did not manage to achieve success the first time, you did not manage after the Orange Revolution, and nothing will change a third time. This is not my position, but such a position exists.”
The full interview is available on the site Ukrainska Pravda.