The Main Quotes From Viktor Yanukovych’s Press Conference in Moscow

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


In Moscow the former president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych held a press conference. He spoke about why Petro Poroshenko won’t be able to win elections and how to stop the war in Donbass. The main statements are in the summary of RBC…

About the events of 2014 and their consequences

“Revolutions don’t give benefits to the states and inhabitants living on this territory. They give only a deterioration of life, hatred, dirtiness, and lies. <…> I think of these last five years after the coup d’etat as the blackest pages in the life of Ukraine during the years of it being an independent state. <…> We saw processes that led to numerous victims, and which are called a military standoff. It’s high time to assess these events, but it can’t be Ukrainian because now in Ukraine power is in the hands of those people who committed these crimes. They violate laws and the Constitution, they organise judicial processes that can’t at all be called trials. They are simply spectacles. There was never such a scale of permissiveness in Ukraine before”.

About the standard of living in Ukraine

“The lives of people became considerably more difficult. The population of Ukraine became much poorer. <…> The economy falls, debts grow, they are already inordinate. Investments fell to practically zero. The next generations of Ukrainians will be obliged to pay back the loans that are being taken out by the authorities. They also will be inordinate. The overwhelming number of residents of Ukraine don’t trust this government, because only an insignificant number of citizens who are close to the authorities experience a growth of income. <…> The destructive work of the authorities led to a considerable decrease in the economy. About 6 million residents of Ukraine during these five years left to look for the possibility of survival in other countries. Such things never happened during all the years of independence”.

About the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church

“It was categorically inadmissible for the state, politicians, and the president to interfere in religious affairs. The church was always separated from the state. None of the previous presidents allowed themselves to interfere in church affairs. And everything that happened to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] was directed not towards decreasing the tension, but towards division, hostility, and hatred. All of this also affected a very fine fabric as the soul human – after all, those people who assumed this responsibility also assumed a great sin. It shouldn’t have been done like this”.

About possible falsifications during the upcoming presidential elections

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“The authorities will use falsifications at any cost, because without them Poroshenko can’t win. Analysts consider that the current elections will become the dirtiest. And the current authorities aren’t capable of holding clean elections. <…> We still don’t know what schemes will be used. Everywhere different methods and schemes are described concerning how it can be achieved. It’s impossible to avoid dirty methods, but the task of rigging elections in Ukraine in such conditions that the country now has is rather difficult, because there was never such total mistrust towards the authorities before”.

About the tasks for the new authorities

“Establishing peace in Ukraine is the first thing that needs to be done. Professionals who are capable of managing the economy and are capable of feeling the pain of their people/citizens need to come to power. Continuing the policy of dividing the country and dividing people into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ mustn’t be done whatsoever. Everything must be done on the contrary to what these authorities have done during these five years. It will be necessary to show patience and tolerance. It is necessary to find ways and opportunities to unite the state. <…> If this government is re-elected, the consequences are unpredictable. There is a need to look for ways of reconciliation”.

About the agreement of Ukraine with the EU

“Why Russia didn’t sign the agreement on the entry of Ukraine into the EU … Lukin (Vladimir Lukin — the former Commissioner for Human Rights) was the representative of Russia at the time. He sat at the negotiating table, and, unfortunately, he was right. He told me: ‘Do you really believe that this agreement will be implemented?’ I said: ‘Yes, I want to believe that at such a level they will surely be implemented’. I didn’t believe that they [EU – ed] could discredit themselves. But Lukin was right. I was deceived, betrayed, or as advanced Ukrainian politicians say, I was ditched like a sucker. Responsibility lies on them. I would like them to publicly answer me: why haven’t I received an answer from the leaders of these countries I despite the fact that I have appealed to them for many years? How did they sign the peace agreement with me on February 21st 2014, and on the 21st the armed youth seized the Presidential Administration, the Verkhovna Rada, and the next day the European countries approved it? <…> They encouraged lawlessness, so they pay the price. Well, after all, you signed an agreement with me, so give me an answer. At least write ‘thanks for your letters’ — but they don’t give any answers. I write to nowhere”.

About how to end the war in Donbass

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“Everything depends on state of mind and goals. Poroshenko has no desire to end the war. The war helps him stay in power. There is a need to sit down at a negotiating table with the citizens of Ukraine who live in Donbass. <…> I consider that God gave us a tongue and a mind, and we have to find the strength in ourselves to overcome emotions. And Poroshenko is obliged to make a decision and sit down at a negotiating table with representatives of Donbass, residents of Ukraine. And this is a way of solving this conflict”.

About the recognition of being guilty of treason

“The sentence was written under the dictation of the authorities, the pressure being put on the court was unprecedented. Everything is built on lies and hatred. In reality the shootings on Maidan were carried out by the organisers of Maidan, and independent journalistic investigations showed that the organisation of this awful provocation was profitable for those who wanted to disrupt the peace agreements that actually started with the participation of three European states – France, Germany, and Poland – on February 20th. Those groups of snipers who took part in these shootings, in these films they give concrete evidence and name specific people — for example, Andriy Parubiy who today is the head of the Verkhovna Rada, Sergey Pashinsky (from March 5th to June 10th 2014 he fulfilled the duties of the head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine), who also was running there with a little rifle and described how to do everything correctly. Disinformation doesn’t live for very long. I would now like to address to the main signers of the peace agreement — France, Germany and Poland. In this peace agreement there was a paragraph about the creation of an international independent group for investigating the crimes on Maidan. If this group had started working five years ago, then this tragedy and catastrophe that occurred in Ukraine wouldn’t have happened. There most likely wouldn’t be a war in Donbass and the situation in Crimea would probably would be different”.

About a prisoner exchange

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“I am ready to show the initiative if president Poroshenko hears me. If he has the desire to solve this problem, I am ready to initiate it, but by the principle ‘all for all’: this not a market, these are living people. Let’s gain strength and wisdom, especially since now there is an electoral campaign. Well, and of course, it is necessary to implement the Minsk Agreements. It is time to stop giving lip service and to start implementing them, especially since all the conditions for this exist, there is just a need for political will. Therefore I am ready, if necessary, to talk with the president of Russia and to make such an offer if there is such an initiative from the Ukrainian side”.

About Ukraine’s path towards decreasing energy dependance

“Once upon a time I was also very seriously dealing with this problem, and not only when I was the head of the government, but also when I was the governor of the Donetsk region. What did we work on? We worked on mutually advantageous conditions for cooperation. We looked for ways of buying cheaper and receiving the necessary volumes of gas, and so on. Everything that is now going on is the purest cheap politics. It is lies. Where does Ukraine receive its gas from? Now Ukraine says that there are more than 60 suppliers of gas. This gas comes from Russia to Europe, and these intermediaries resell it to Ukraine with a certain extra charge. This money is taken from the budget of Ukraine, they actually rob the Ukrainian people. Today’s price in Ukraine are much more expensive than the gas Russia could deliver. <…> Gas consumption is being reduced also because the industry stops. If things continue like this Ukraine won’t need gas anymore”.

About Petro Poroshenko

“I’ve known Petro Poroshenko for a long time, and I know him well. The trouble is that he isn’t a statesman. He is a businessman, and personal benefit and money are a priority for him, and he is ready to exchange everything for this. His distinctive feature is telling lies, and for as long as I’ve known him he has not only lied to me, he constantly lied to everyone. Personal enrichment at any cost, and for this purpose he exercises both power and all the opportunities that he has. I don’t believe that he stands any chance in elections, although he is very calculating”.

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