Novaya Gazeta Ukrainy is so far the only website that managed to get an interview from Viktor Yanukovych and only because the journalist he agreed to give an interview to was his old friend Olga Berezovskaya. The exclusive report of our journalists will tell what Yanukovych really thinks about Ukraine and the perspectives of the country. Viktor Fedorovych is in hospital near Sochi, but it is more of a sanatorium. There are security guards outside his ward. Not in uniform but in business suits. The ward is clean but modest. There is nothing what has been ascribed to and what the now former President of Ukraine has been blackmailed with by ill-wishers. A TV set hangs on the wall. We have agreed before the interview that we would not ask about the President’s illness, and would only speak of the fate of Ukraine, about life, international policies and war.
“Viktor Fedorovych, what do you think of Poroshenko?”
“He is illegitimate,” Viktor Fedorovych looks to the side, collects himself and continues. “The way Poroshenko came to power is illegal. He could have only become President by means of re-elections. And the Kyiv junta chose a bloody, horrible way. Meanwhile I want to remind you that I proposed a peace plan to regulate the conflict in February. I proposed a road map to the three leaders of the so-called opposition, which included the algorithm of action to stabilise the situation. Instead, the leaders of the junta led the people to bloodshed, which they are unable to end until today.”
“You have known Petro Poroshenko for many years. What can the Ukrainians expect from him now?”
“Nothing good. Petro Poroshenko aims not for the welfare of the state and all Ukrainians, and only his own enrichment. Now he is a marionette in the hands of American puppet masters. He was the same in the hands of the oligarchs during the period when we met. This person does not have principles, for him only material wealth is important. I remember back when I was the governor of Donetsk oblast, Poroshenko crawled to me on his knees to ask me to give him the heavy industry plant. Back then I told him that I was not going to give away state property and that he should not even think that people like himself can steal state property and hide it away in their pockets.”
“Now the new government is accusing you of looting the National Treasury. Is this true?”
First, let us not call Poroshenko’s Kyiv junta the new government. The people that were unworthy of ruling Ukraine are in charge now. They are the people we kicked out of the Party of Regions for their incapability, they are those who did not know how to be efficient leaders, and instead of that stole state funds audaciously. Now they are calling themselves the Kamikaze Government, now they are saying we have to live in a new way. But wasn’t it them, long before I became President of Ukraine legally at fair elections, that led the country to such a state that we were unable to make it live normally in short terms? When I came to power in 2010 I honestly admitted that in order to return the country to economical flourishing a miracle should happen. But a miracle did not happen – and we rolled up our sleeves and set to work. They did not let us finish what we wanted to. We proposed a simple and comprehensive reform plan for the country. We stated our actions honestly and openly. Can we see the same in he new so-called government, de facto a junta? No. They don’t have a plan, nor the will to admit that they cannot do anything, that they are political losers and incapable managers. And you see for yourself, as to whether I stole billions. I am in a modest ward. I don’t live in a palace, I don’t go fishing by helicopter. If they want to prove with facts that I stole something from the treasury – let them go to court. I am ready for an honest court process and ready to be held responsible for my every action as head of state. But they have to be ready for responsible in the future as well. I know, they are still telling me, lamenting the scale the state budget is being looted now. The Ukrainians will yet see who is the thief and the liar.
“The situation in the southeast of Ukraine is war of Russia against Ukraine or civil war?”
“Neither. They are Ukrainian citizens who don’t agree with the Kyiv junta. Millions of people were consciously rid of the right to vote at the elections and elect the President they wanted to vote for. Such a bloody political step allowed Poroshenko to become the head of state. But he does not have much time left to enjoy the result of his deception. The fist of Donetsk miners has already clenched and the hand has been raised over Poroshenko’s head. If the Kyiv junta does not make steps to peacefully regulate the situation, in Kyiv doesn’t want to listen to the voice of Donbas, the national uprising will sweep everything off its path. There will be not hundreds but thousands of killed and wounded.
“Are you ready to return to Donetsk if the People’s Republic of Donetsk is officially declared?”
“I am ready to return to Ukraine at any moment. But only if myself and my people are given guarantees of safety. I have nothing to hide, I am not afraid personally. But I am responsible for the lives of the people that trust me. I have said it before many times and I will reiterate: I am ready for open dialogue and I am ready to help and give my utmost for there to be peace and order in Ukraine, I love Kyiv. Enough war and blood, it is time to end fratricide. No post is worth the death of peaceful civilians.”
“The Association with the European Union, which they are planning to sign by the end of this month, will it bring economical stability to Ukraine?”
“In the end of the previous year we were forced to and all talks with the European Union. The conditions in the Agreement which were offered to us, I think, are unacceptable to the country and it people, and neither then nor now does the leadership of Ukraine have the right to accept such overtly humiliating agreements. In November 2013 I gave the order to suspend the work on signing the agreement but not cancel it completely. We saw that they are playing an unfair game with us. But the leaders of the junta have twisted everything, as if I am against Ukraine becoming part of united Europe. I have seen and I want for them to speak with us on equal terms. No state has the right to dictate its conditions to Ukraine. I said this in my presidential campaign in 2010. Very soon the people will be able to compare how the President realised their programs. I did not violate any of the points of my promises before the elections. Petro Poroshenko is already doing everything in contradiction to everything he said. He does not have the will, the power, the resources in order to do the things he promised. Because all of his statements are empty words. There is no concrete plan, just loud political statements. This once more emphasised the unprofessionalism and lies of both himself and his team.
“Viktor Fedorovych, do you miss your motherland?”
“I would very much like to return to my motherland, talk to the people, hear them out. But I am unable to do it. All of these recent events led to my health becoming worse. I am forced to stress a lot, think, give advise. In Ukraine there are people left that want to alter the situation. But they are not being given the floor, they are not being heard. My assistants complain that they have created a dictatorship in the country and they are shutting all those up who want to say intelligent things against the nightmare into which the country was submerged with Maidan and everything that came after. But while I am alive, while I have strength, I will continue to do everything for Ukraine to return to normal stable life even from outside of the country.”
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina