"Had they told him to love Ukraine, he would have loved it. They told him to destabilize [the country] – so he has been destabilizing it. Surkov is Putin's expensive mercenary who has already committed a lot of crimes. Their strategic goal is to prevent Ukraine's development on the European model. It is more important than any territory or Crimea," he said.
Read alsoUkraine views $3 bln loan as Putin's bribe to Yanukovych to give up EU integration plansAccording to him, when Putin bribed Yanukovych, he was not going to capture Crimea. However, as time passed, he wanted to take even more, like seizing areas in the east to create the so-called "Novorossiya".
Read alsoRussia’s ex-Minister of Economy: Putin has given up on "Novorossiya" project"But it turned out that this would not happen for several reasons. The main one is that the Russian population of Ukraine did not support this. And now, his task is to block the country's pro-European development. They want to tempt the Ukrainian leadership with an illusion of restoration of territorial integrity. This is what Putin and Surkov have been doing," Piontkovsky said.