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How long have you been out of the Ukrainian television space?
Since the end of 2016.
Who is to blame for the fact that you are out of the Ukrainian television space?
Let us not talk about blame. Let us talk about what can we do with this.
I think we must change the rules of the game, we must change the rules of the television market, we must treat our profession in a completely different way, and then what we call freedom of speech would be achieved.
During the last eighteen months, you have been living in Italy and other countries. Have you followed Ukrainian news, while being there?
Of course. I have been following all the major events, not the petty quarrels. There are some important events that appear on the front pages of the newspapers. Not only Ukrainian but Western and Middle Eastern newspapers or Indian.
Is Ukraine ended or not yet? My opinion: we suffer from schizophrenia. This, actually, cannot be happening to our country. It happens though. Would something save Ukraine or not?
I do not know if it is schizophrenia or something else. I do not really believe in these diseases of the soul. From my point of view, Ukraine has little time left. This is certain. What is threatening? When I look at this range of emotions, certainly, Ukraine is a very split country. And, of course, Ukraine faces the most unpleasant thing. Certainly, a certain way out still exists. It depends on a desire, a realizing that you have to make decisions very quickly. The main problem of Ukraine today is that people (in the vast majority of the regions) feel humiliated because of the conditions in which they live, because of the injustice they face every day. And this must be changed immediately. That is why I say: the social revolution. I would say evolution, but there is no time for evolution.
You have expressed a very interesting idea that every citizen of Ukraine should receive from the state 3 400 UAH (130 USD) each month.
If this were my idea, I would now immediately ask you to nominate me for the Nobel Prize. But this is not my idea. This is an idea of the Swiss young people, and, now, it is the idea of the whole of Europe, Australia, the USA, etc., because everyone understands that an absolutely new era of life is coming. And when you ask a person "Where do you work?", it does not make any sense anymore. I can work or not work, because technologies replaced the people’s jobs. Some 10-15 years ago, we did not think that the phone in our hands would become an instrument of world global politics. And in the same ten years it will turn out that we will have a working week two days a week, and 15% of the population will work. And this is normal, the life goes on, and the production develops. Everyone begins to understand it, but not in Ukraine. And people start talking about unconditional basic income as an absolutely necessary measure for maintaining stability. Where do the revolutions begin? The 17th year: soldiers are sitting in trenches, they are rotting, Jews live in the Jewish Pale. Let us remember Germany of the 1920s and 1930s: humiliated people, humiliated elite. What happens? They find their enemy. The main thing is to find your enemy. Therefore, I propose to follow this path: UAH 3,400 (130 USD) are two minimum salaries. The Swiss felt that they obtained 2.5 thousand dollars for an adult and 625 for a child. This means that the person receives money from birth to the moment of death. He gets 625 USD before getting 18, and then - 2,500. That’s all.
Isn’t it communism?
It is not communism, it is just a normal vision of the future. And what is so bad about communism? When we say "communism," we say: Lenin will come. Lenin will not come. This is not communism, it is just a decent life for everyone.
Is Ukraine able to allocate 3 400 UAH (130 USD) for every Ukrainian?
When you ask me this question, you humiliate yourself and me as well. The largest country in Europe, potentially very rich comes and says: where can I get money? This is ridiculous. Albania - a small country - cannot afford it. Bosnia and Herzegovina do not afford it. Nobody affords to say: I have no money.
Maybe we should stop stealing?
This is one of the ways out.
Tell me, please, Putin in Russia – is it forever?
I think that Putin or someone alike come for a long time. It does not matter, whether it is the 24th year or not. He will remain if necessary, then another will come that will not be better, of course. "Better", I mean, he will not be a liberal democrat.
In your opinion, would the war ever end?
I think yes. War is a big threat, people die and die every day. But our main problem is that the country needs to create such a life and conditions so that there are incentives to stop this war. And today there is no incentive to stop this war.
Elections would take place in Ukraine soon. Did any of the Ukrainian politicians, top officials, make any proposals to you?
No. I am not interested in it, and I do not want to talk about it at all. We tried to make an independent channel, not oligarchical one. A channel that would promote the development of the middle class, which would help honest business, which would help creative people, which would show positive aspects.
Who is the best president of Ukraine in all 27 years of independence?
I did not live here under Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, so I cannot say. Undoubtedly Viktor Yushchenko was the best out of the three under which I lived here. I came to Ukraine from Russia, and when I heard in Ukraine that gas was a presidential business, I thought: again? Back again? This should be stopped.
Who will be the next president of Ukraine?
I do not know.
Which oligarch made the most striking impression on you?
Nobody humiliated me and our channel like Kolomoisky did. Switching off from the air for 20 seconds before the start of the program – this is something new. It is impressive. But when we talk about people, we should be a certain level of respect. John Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Is there a politician in Ukraine today who can address it to the people? If not, then whom should I respect?