While the mainstream media tries to bury the Orange Revolution conveniently before next month’s Presidential election, the Canadian Press held a surprisingly insightful interview the pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych who didn’t hold back on who his allegiance is with:
Viktor Yanukovych, whose Kremlin-backed election victory in 2004 was overturned by the Supreme Court amid allegations of fraud, says the pro-Western revolution that brought his rivals to power has led to political chaos, corruption and a dismal economy.
“So what did this Orange Revolution give us?,” Yanukovych asked in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “Freedom of speech? That’s very good. But what price did the Ukrainian people pay for this? For the development of this democratic principle in our country, the price was too great.”
The Orange Revolution took Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit, as the pro-Western leadership sought membership in the European Union and NATO. It also deepened animosity between the pro-Russian east and the west of the country, where Ukrainian nationalism is strong.
Yanukovych said his first priority as president would be to revive the use of the Russian language in schools and in the workplace, a move that would reverse the “forced Ukrainization” of the millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians who support him.
He repeated his pledge not to seek membership in NATO, Russia’s Cold War foe. But he said he would give his full support to Medvedev’s proposal for a joint European security regime, which has gotten an icy reception in most of Europe.
He also promised, if elected, to do everything in his power to speed Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
Yanukovych, a barrel-chested hunting enthusiast, also denied that his 2004 presidential victory had been fixed. Instead the Supreme Court broke the law when it overturned his election and ordered another round of voting, he said.
“The third round of those elections was illegal,” he said. “Why? Because five years have passed, and in those five years, the falsification of my election has basically not been proven. This means that those elections were legal. They were not rigged.”
The use of Russian, seen by its opponents as a symbol of Soviet subjugation, has been phased out.
On a recent campaign trip to the Russian-speaking Crimean peninsula, where he enjoys broad support, Yanukovich poked fun at the Ukrainian language and the politicians who insist on speaking it.
So beware Ukrainian voters, this man is dangerously close to winning the election on January 17th and is intent on destroying the Ukrainian identity and the ideals of the Orange Revolution.