Yanukovych trying hard

Roman Tsymbaliuk
08:38, 28 November 2016
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On November 25, 2016 Ukraine’s fugitive ex-president made a rear public appearance in Rostov-on-Don, which may be followed by another one today.

After his short communication with the Ukrainian court via a video conference, the former head of state held a presser at the same hall where he appeared in public February 28, 2014, for the first time after fleeing to Russia. Two and a half years ago, there were Ukrainian flags standing behind Yanukovych, while he called himself a "legitimate president of Ukraine". This time, the organiers of the event did not bother with such peculiarities. The only common thing between these two events is safety: hundreds of law enforcers, riot police with dogs, spec-ops with assault rifles, and plain-clothed officials from the anti-extremism center. Abundant security measures cast doubt: hether he is a VIP person or a VIP prisoner with such a powerful escort.

Ukraine’s fourth president Yanukovych has already reserved a separate paragraph in history textbooks

On Friday, Yanukovych looked visibly older, though trying to show good spirits, calm and self-confidence. A simple question: "What do you think history textbooks will write about you?" caught him off his guard. Instead of answering he chose to slam on the reporter. However, the fourth Ukrainian president has already reserved a separate paragraph in history textbooks. He became the first president, who had openly invited the occupiers into his country. Yesterday he admitted it personally, adding that this decision was "emotional". No repentance followed, though.

On February 28, 2014 Yanukovych publicly stated that "Russia has the right to act." "I believe that Russia should and must act, and, knowing the nature of Vladimir Putin, I am surprised he is still so discreetly silent," Yanukovych said at the time.

Now calls his "biggest mistake" the fact that during the EuroMaidan, he "was not strong enough to bring in the troops and introduce martial law", claiming he did not want bloodshed. Less than a day later (March 1, 2014) Putin officially appealed to the Federation Council for "permission" to deploy troops in Ukraine. At that time, Crimea had already been captured and Russia was preparing for its official annexation. Russian occupiers also prepared to "stabilize" the situation in mainland Ukraine. As early as March 4, 2014, at an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin was waiving Yanukovich’s written request "to use the Russian armed forces" in Ukraine. Yanukovych personally invited the invaders, hoping to return to Ukraine along with the Russian tanks.

At the same time, the east of Ukraine seethed, a number of administrative buildings were captured by pro-Russian militants and pro-Ukrainian rallies were held in Donetsk (like on March 4, 2014), while young mothers still thought they were safe to walk their children in city parks. The leaders of the Donetsk Regional State Administration believed that the Crimean scenario would be impossible to implement in Donbas. However, after an easy seizure of the Crimean peninsula, the Kremlin decided to capture a bigger chunk of Ukraine.

Nothing depended on a fugitive president any longer and his signature was only needed as a pretext for invasion. Yesterday in Rostov, Yanukovych did not hide his actual role in that scenario. He explicitly stated that he had spoken with Vladimir Putin on the issue of "protecting the Russian-speakers" in Donbas and Crimea.

"It's his (Putin's) position, if I may say, the position of a man, a Russian citizen, and a patriot. Here it will have no difference if I agree or disagree with him," Yanukovych confessed.

Fugitives from Ukraine, who are now in Russia, automatically turn into political prostitutes, voicing the Kremlin’s theses, in order to retain their safe haven

On April 17, 2014, Putin called the south-eastern Ukraine "Novorossia" and demanded "to ensure the rights of Russians in these regions." A Russian-Ukrainian war started, which has already claimed the life of some 10,000 Ukrainians.

Fugitives from Ukraine, who are now in Russia, automatically turn into political prostitutes, voicing the Kremlin’s theses, in order to retain their safe haven. Yanukovych did the same thing. He had called for Donbas autonomy, he claimed that Russia invaded Crimea because of some fictional notorious "friendship trains", said NATO was evil, while Ukraine is doomed to become a buffer state. He also called for direct negotiations with militants, said there were no Russian troops in Ukraine (only "volunteers") and that the West was using Ukraine to influence Russia.  

If not for the Russian intervention, there is no doubt that Ukrainians would have found common language with each other

Two and a half years ago, "the president of Ukraine in Rostov exile" was already playing for another team. That’s the invaders' team. And he continues to play their game today. The team’s goal is the destruction of any Ukrainian government, in order to be able to impose the Kremlin’s “Gauleiters”, both in Donbas and Crimea. Yanukovych is trying hard to help.

One may have different attitudes toward the Maidan. It is true that three years ago, not all Ukrainians supported the Revolution of Dignity. But in any case, this was an internal affair of Ukraine, and if not for the intervention of the Russians, there is no doubt that Ukrainians would have already found common language with each other. The Russian invasion has changed everything. Meanwhile, the Kremlin, in order to justify their betrayal of the Ukrainians and the invasion of our country, continues to tell stories about cash dollars distributed at the Maidan along with the cookies from Victoria Nuland. However, for some reason they forget to mention that the Ms Nuland first came to meet with the then President Yanukovych.

Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow

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