Ex-president says Ukrainians face tough choice
Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has called on his fellow Ukrainians to decide if they wanted to return to peaceful life or continue to fight.
In a written address to the Ukrainian people that was posted on Facebook by his press secretary on Tuesday, the former Ukrainian leader said that “an adequate assessment of the situation” in the country was required now more than ever.
“Ukrainian citizens themselves must make a choice — should they fight ‘until the last Ukrainian’, or save what is left? It is important to give everyone who has constructive ideas the opportunity to speak and to give peace a chance,” he said, adding that this would save many Ukrainian lives.
Yanukovych also called the incumbent Ukrainian authorities inexperienced, opportunistic, and untrustworthy. “There can be no talk of any unconditional trust in [the Ukrainian government] … But the constant lies by the authorities only accelerate their downfall, exacerbate the situation … They threaten the future of the Ukraine that we know and love,” he said.
The former president also urged Kiev to show tolerance towards Ukrainians that do not share its views. “The leadership of Ukraine must, before it is too late, stop dividing Ukrainians into the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ones,” he stressed.
Yanukovych also believes that Ukrainians do not trust their current government because they have been deceived by both their leaders and their Western allies. He also noted that his post-coup successor, Petro Poroshenko, confessed that Kiev never intended to abide by the Minsk agreements, which were meant to end the conflict in the country.
In 2014, following violent riots in Kiev, Yanukovych, the democratically-elected president, was ousted from power. The aftermath of the coup d’etat was marred by a crackdown on opposition and a deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine.