Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych appeared at a press conference on 6 February in Moscow. The press conference came two weeks after Yanukovych was convicted, in absentia, by the Obolon District Court in Kyiv of state treason and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.
On the eve of the press conference, Yanukovych’s lawyer Viktor Horoshynsky said that his client would comment on the verdict and "evaluate the lawlessness."
The press conference lasted for an hour and a half. And here are the key things he voiced.
"It is not a secret that the verdict was shaped by the authorities. And the pressure over the court was unprecedented. The sentence has absolutely no basis in the law. The Criminal Procedural Law was completely violated, and everything was built on lies and hatred."
Maidan and the "anti-crisis" contract
(crisis settlement agreement signed on February 21, 2014)
"How can I call it? I was deceived? Fooled? Or, some advanced Ukrainian politicians, who feel as advanced today, call it "I’ve got blaved."
“I don’t even want to think about the possibility of new Maidans. We shouldn’t allow this to happen. The only thing I want the truth to be voiced because we were totally misinformed before.”
Ukraine’s presidential candidates
"There are many names that I hear for the first time. I have not seen their programs, I do not know them. I have high hopes for new faces, for fresh figures. This is normal."
Exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia
“My point is that I’m ready to take such an initiative if President Poroshenko hears me. If he has a desire to solve this problem, I’m ready to initiate the exchange issue, I mean all-for-all exchange. We should not divide and consider who would release less or more. This is not a marketplace, these are living people."
Life and problems
“I freely move over the territory of Russia. Moreover, I am not on the databases of Interpol and can visit any country in the world. I have no problems with it.”
The closeness of Donetsk and Rostov
“Sometimes, I walk down the street and feel like walking in Donetsk: “Hello, hi, good day, hey.” This is Rostov today. Actually, everywhere I look, there are Ukrainians in Rostov.”
"I hope that I could continue to practice my favorite sports. And if everything goes well, maybe in a month and a half I will be on the court again."
Earlier the court found Yanukovych guilty of addressing the Russian President Putin and asking him to deploy troops in Ukraine. Besides, the court sentenced ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych for the state treason and complicity in the holding of the aggressive war against Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
Yanukovych asserted that Ukraine should allow polling stations in occupied Crimea and Russia, claiming that it was fear of votes against those now in power in Ukraine that made them refuse to do so. While there certainly are arguments on both sides, at least with respect to Crimea, the recent Russian ‘elections’ illegally held there, and the methods used to force people to take part make it difficult to understand how the Ukrainian Central Election Commission could prevent mass election fraud.