Bye-bye Arseny! Things Yatsenyuk will be remembered for during his time as Ukraine’s PM
“I was honored to serve our greatest Ukraine,” Yatsenyuk said in his final address to the Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on Thursday, before his resignation was approved. Having added that he would like to thank not only his supporters, but also enemies “for making me stronger,” the politician left the meeting, without waiting for President Poroshenko to deliver his speech at the stand.
On the same spot in December last year, a mass brawl broke out during Yatsenyuk’s speech at the Rada, on which he reportedly blamed deputies from the President Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) for having failed to implement reforms. A PPB member Oleg Barna presented the then-PM with a bouquet of roses before lifting Yatsenyuk up by his crotch and trying to carry him off the stage. A mass fight between Ukrainian lawmakers followed, with the minister desperately clutching to the stand. When back on firm ground with both legs, Yatsenyuk then called on to his colleagues to proceed with the meeting, saying that he had pardoned the “morons.”
Another fight, but this time verbal, broke out the same month during Ukraine’s National Reform Council. An angry slanging match started between the ex-Georgian president and now Odessa governor Mikhail Saakashvili and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov over who of the two was more corrupt. Right in front of president Poroshenko, who had been present at the session, the PM decided to side with Avakov, sparing no abusive language for Saakashvili. Having called the Georgian native a “blabbermouth,” he expressively told the governor “to get out of Ukraine.”
Guarding his country’s borders from unwelcome guests has been among Yatsenyuk’s priorities. In September 2014, he announced plans to build a more than 2,000-kilometer long “real border” with Russia, and in May the following year Kiev authorities approved a major project to isolate the country from Russia – called “The Wall” or “European bulwark.” The PM intended to spend some $200 million on the huge barrier, equipped with anti-tank ditches and remote controlled weapons stations.
To support his theorizing about Russia being a global threat, Arseny Yatsenyuk surprised many with his knowledge of history. Speaking to German-state broadcaster ARD in June of last year, Ukraine’s then-Prime Minister said the USSR had invaded both Germany and his country in WWII. “All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany,” he said during the interview, warning the European audience that “nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War.”