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From Prison To President

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Feb. 11, 2010, 11:02 p.m. | Ukraine — by Peter Byrne

Victor Yanukovych answers journalists’ question after casting his ballot at a polling station in Kyiv on Feb. 7. Complete, preliminary results show that Yanukovych, a two-time prime minister, has been elected as president over rival Prime Minister Yulia T

At least no one can argue that Ukrainians knew little about the man they elected as president.

Victor Yanukovych, the twice-convicted felon who almost became president in a rigged election overturned by the 2004 Orange Revolution, is set to become independent Ukraine’s fourth president. Preliminary official results released on Feb. 10 mirrored all exit polls. The Central Election Commission said Yanukovych won nearly 49 percent of vote, compared to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s 45.5 percent. Nearly 4.5 percent of 25.5 million voters who showed up on Election Day cast ballots against both, a valid option on Ukraine’s ballot. Yanukovych came out on top by 887,928 votes, or 3.48 percentage points ahead of his rival.

As of Feb. 11, however, Tymoshenko had refused to concede the election and her advisers promised to launch legal challenges alleging that large-scale voter fraud thwarted the will of the people – and her victory. But as the Orange Revolution heroine remained in seclusion for much of the week, she faced growing pressure to bow out.

The 59-year-old Yanukovych has loomed large – in physical stature and political influence – on the national scene for nearly a decade. He has served twice as prime minister. The first time was from 2002-2004 under ex-President Leonid Kuchma. He returned again in 2006-2007, serving under President Victor Yushchenko. Before that, during the late 1990s, Yanukovych served as governor and vice governor of Donetsk Oblast, the nation’s most populous region.

But Yanukovych has never been seen as his own man. His critics view him largely as a subservient tool of the nation’s wealthiest billionaire, Rinat Akhmetov, and other patrons. Many also say that the Party of Regions – the largest faction in parliament with 172 out of 450 seats – serves mainly the interests of Ukraine’s wealthiest citizens.

CNN’s Matthew Chance on Feb. 10 summarized this view with this preface to an interview question. “In the past you have been linked with corruption, with fraudulent elections, with inappropriate ties with big business. Do you think you have changed over the past five years as a politician and that you are now fit to lead a country like Ukraine?” Chance asked.

Yanukovych responded: “This is what the Ukrainian people who voted for me think. They voted for the change I offer.”

How much change Yanukovych delivers is yet to be seen. He was talking magnanimously after the vote, perhaps in recognition of the fact that he will enter office with support from less than half of citizens who voted in the runoff, and less than one third of all registered voters.

Speaking in Russian, a move that could further alienate Ukrainian-speaking citizens in western regions, Yanukovych promised after the vote to do everything in his power, irrespective of where people live in Ukraine, to make everyone happy. “We must not look for enemies in our country or in politics,” he said late on Feb 7. “We must join together and fight poverty, irresponsibility and corruption.”

Many will be watching to see how Yanukovych can make good on his promises, considering his inner circle – called a corrupt gang of oligarchic interests by Tymoshenko and many others – has been surrounding the president-elect for many years.

Then as now, members of Yanukovych’s inner circle are still there. They include Akhmetov, the richest of the rich in Ukraine; Borys Kolesnykov, deputy head of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions; Andriy Klyuev and his brother, Serhiy, whose interests span from industry to banking; Mykola Azarov, a co-founder of the Party of Regions who held top government posts under Kuchma; and Yuriy Boyko, chief of Ukraine’s state gas and oil monopoly Naftogaz monopoly when Yanukovych was prime minister in 2002-2004; and Serhiy Lyovochkin, Kuchma’s top assistant from 2002-2005. All were elected to parliament in 2007 on the Party of Regions ticket.

Of all the remarkable facets of Yanukovych’s political comeback, none is more laden with irony than the fact that Ukrainians have elected as president the same man who is widely accused of taking part in the grand conspiracy to steal the presidential election in a rigged vote on Nov. 21, 2004. Public outrage fueled the Orange Revolution and a Supreme Court ruling that fraud was so widespread that the winner could not be determined. Yushchenko easily won the head-to-head rematch against Yanukovych on Dec. 26, 2004.

To this day, Yanukovych has denied trying to steal the 2004 election, a position that flies in the face of massive evidence that went largely uninvestigated by those in power over the last five years. The individuals who organized the attempt to steal the 2004 election on Yanukovych’s behalf were never identified or prosecuted. And Yanukovych figures in none of the 1,887 criminal cases opened in 2005 in connection with the fraudulent 2004 presidential runoff.

Acting Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said in a Feb. 1 interview that there’s a reason for this. Lutsenko told the Kyiv Post that a compromise reached between Yushchenko and Kuchma to end the Orange Revolution precluded prosecution of the culprits. Yushchenko, elected in a repeat runoff on promises “to put the bandits in jail,” has denied making any deal to grant immunity.

Yanukovych has spoken contemptuously about the Orange Revolution that denied him the presidency in 2004. “So what did it give us?” Yanukovych said in an interview with the Associated Press on Dec. 27. “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.”

Democracy is “above all the rule of law,” which the Orange Revolution failed to bring, Yanukovych added.

Ukrainians, if they haven’t forgiven Yanukovych for his alleged role as villainous thief of their votes back then, evidently decided that they liked the way Orange Revolution leaders Yushchenko and Tymoshenko governed even less.

Yanukovych has other trouble spots in his background that many thought would have been enough to prevent his election as national leader.

For instance, Yanukovych claims a master’s degree in international law and a doctorate of science in economics – all achieved while he was serving as governor of Donetsk Oblast between 1997 and 2002. While the degrees are valid, some question whether the academic effort that went into obtaining them was genuine. Questions have also been raised about the propriety of Yanukovych’s purchase of property in the lush 340-acre (130-hectare) Mezhyhiriya state residence outside Kyiv, where he currently resides.

But the most often-cited trouble spot in Yanukovych’s past took place more than four decades ago and is still subject of debate today.

Yanukovych was arrested in Yenakievo in 1967, tried and convicted pursuant to Article 141, part 2 of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic’s Criminal Code (theft and assault, or pre-mediated theft carried out with a group of individuals).

According to court documents, on Oct. 29, 1967, Yanukovych was in the company of two friends who punched a man unconscious. Yanukovych denied hitting the man or stealing his belongings, but was convicted of the crime and sentenced to three years in prison. The sentence was commuted to 18 months in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Communist Revolution.

Yanukovych was sentenced to another two-year jail term for his participation in a drunken brawl. The fight, which took place in Yenakievo on Sept. 16, 1969, also involved several men. Yanukovych again denied guilt, but was convicted pursuant to Article 102 of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic’s Criminal Code (inflicting moderate bodily harm). Released in June 1972, Yanukovych returned to Yenakievo and married Lyudmyla, his wife.

Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko on Jan. 29, between the first and second rounds of the presidential election, said that the Donetsk Oblast Court in 1978 overturned Yanukovych’s convictions of theft and assault during his youth.

Talking about his criminal past during an appearance on the Savik Shuster TV political talk show, Yanukovych provided few details. “Of course it [prison] was a traumatic experience, but one that gave me the opportunity to think about life more deeply,” Yanukovych said. “When a person receives a test in life, he suffers and gains experience. The realization that something awful can happen to anyone at any time forces me to pause, to meet people halfway and, at a minimum, to understand them and empathize [with them].”

Over the years, Yanukovych has been reluctant to talk about his upbringing in grinding poverty in an industrial backwater in eastern Ukraine, where he spent his teenage years as a gang member in the shadow of coal mines, factories and metallurgical plants.

Yanukovych was born on July 9, 1950, to a working-class family in a village near Yenakievo, a heavily industrialized city in eastern Ukraine. His mother died two years later from unknown causes and his father remarried, leaving him in the custody of his Belarusian paternal grandmother, Kastusya. The pair lived in a clay-walled house so small that it only fit one bed. They tended livestock and grew vegetables. According to his biography, Victor walked 12 miles to school every day and celebrations – even for his birthday – were non-existent or rare.

Two 100-page hagiographies, titled “The Enigma of Victor Yanukovych,” by Valentyn Chemerys and “Touch the Destiny,” by Vera Nikolaeva, paint a bleak picture of the candidate’s formative years.

But the story that emerges is inspiring: A street kid who is raised in a violent town by his grandmother achieves success and enlightenment. And that’s how many of his supporters see in him.

Oleh Korenev, a native of Horlivka, an industrial town close to Yanukovych’s hometown Yenakievo, predicted Yanukovych’s victory weeks ago.

“It shows most Ukrainians are less interested in democracy than in their own economic suffering,” Korenev said. “People are fed up with the clowns who have been running the show for the past five years.”

Korenev, 40, who in the late 1980s spent two years in jail for stealing a hat, said he admired Yanukovych for putting his criminal past behind him, moving forward and making his dreams come true.

“The only reason he went to jail in the first place is because he didn’t have parents to bail him out,” Korenev said.

Kyiv Post staff writer Peter Byrne can be reached at byrne@kyivpost.com.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Feb. 11, 2010, 11:34 p.m.    

It is sure the Orange Goats hurt more Ukrainians than Yanukovych ever did. It is reprehensible to judge a man who has had hard life, in rough place, made some mistakes, of which are subject to who tells the story. He is the best witness and says he learned from......He is man actually did hard work with his hands. Better than vampires who dress cuteness, pose and steal. They took Ukraines energy, kill soul. Sukas die hard. Don't forget.

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Anonymous Feb. 11, 2010, 11:36 p.m.    

You speak English like Yanukovych speaks Ukrainian...or Russian for that matter

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:43 p.m.    

Your comment just demonstrates that you are only a stupid arrogant idiot...

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:20 a.m.    

And as recently as three years ago, he was known for kicking one of his own associates in the kidneys. You call that learning from his mistakes? Tell us what chance he would have becoming president in the U.S. or in the U.K. or Canada? In Russia, anyone can be president or Prime Minister. There's no such thing as moral standards to work towards. Look who they had as leaders. Murderers such as Stalin. Great leaders to be proud of.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:58 a.m.    

The question is, how did Viktor rise from his poverty? How will this upbringing determine his style of government? That part of his story will be extremely interesting.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 2:53 a.m.    

How did he rise from poverty?AN easy answer, criminals associate with other criminals and they look after eachother in their criminal lifestyle.

Vory y Vory is alive and well and Akhmentov is at the top.

In NORMAL places in the World , you can't elect ANYONE with a criminal history esp Australia, or Britain or USA .

WHen they get found out if they missed the political screening process, they are gone.

The people have to stand up for themselves and be counted and throw off the yokes of the Oligarchy that pays them low wages while they make huge profits and live lavish lifestyles off all their hard work.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 1:39 a.m.    

What an absolute emabarrassment!

...and this is why Russia keeps laughing at Ukraine.

Putin strikes again.

Wake up Ukraine. You keep on complaining about corruption in the Parliament, yet you elect a convicted felon.

Stedno!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 8:47 a.m.    

Sted i hanba !

Thw whole world is laughing too, not just russia.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:26 a.m.    

All we can hope for is that the opposition will keep them in line. We all remember the dark Kuchma years, we can only pray thugs won't be coming around and extorting money from average citizens to try and fill the state coffeurs. Systematic bridery may be on the way back. The country can't afford another major set back! The road to real democracy and freedom is long and sometimes there are some very hard choices this was not one of them.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 3:51 a.m.    

Did someone purposely add that quote from Korenev in at the end to show how many criminal Ukrainians think that they can buy their way out of jail? Bail or not,a proper court even by Ukraine standards put him away in jail where he belonged for crimes that he did commit.If people look upto Yanukovych as someone they aspire to be,it is that they see that breaking the laws is ok as long as you have had time to think about it each time you get out of jail and go back in a few more times.What a Joke.I hope the judges,courts and militia start taking their jobs more seriously as way for Ukraine to pull itself out of a hole that corruption has caused.Drop the hammer on all that see themselves above the laws allready on the books or quit their jobs if they can't do it right.Maybe Ukraine needs an outside force to come in and clean out the corruption???

If Yanukovych gets confirmed as president,I would like to see what he does about corruption and I'm not talking about going after people that oppose him. I am talking about criminals in all of Ukraine (east,west,north,south and center) that use their power to keep ordinary citizens down to bring themselves up and get richer.

Lets see what he learned about how to deal with criminals after he served his time in jail. If anyone that helped him get elected are corrupt,I would like to see him drop the hammer on those people also. If he does not bring equal justice to all of Ukraine,he should quit before he even gets started.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:41 a.m.    

What she did about corruption, just promises nothing else. Her time has ended.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 9:34 a.m.    

Tymoshenko has never had the power to do much about anything in Ukraine because she was Prime Minister under a setting President which she took orders from him and the parliament on what to do.

She has a voice in Ukraine under President Yushchenko which she serves.As you have seen for many years,Yulia and Yushchenko have not always got along with each other as he sacked her as PM before.To link these two people together as the people that brought financial weakness to Ukraine is absurd.She wanted to make more changes to Ukraine,but she was not President.

If you had a Parliamentary system setup like the UK,Canada,Japan,Sweden and other similar countries then sure Yulia would have had more power as there would be no President,just the Premier or Prime Minister.

Check on wikipedia under Prime minister.The first paragraph and that is what you have in Ukraine,not the second paragraph that talks about the Westminster Parliamentary System.

Yulia has always been limited by what the President and parliament wants to do.So if you want to blame someone ,I suggest you read the definition of Ukraine's Prime Minister.She has had the power to negotiate agreements,but I would think that she had to get agreement from Yushchenko and Parliament to finalize anything.

Here is a link. Copy and paste it in your browser to learn more about Prime Ministers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_minister

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:09 a.m.    

in ukraine prime minister has more power then the president. the president in ukraine is just a representative figure. so go and tell ur lies some where else. timoshenko has been in charge the last 4 years and did not do anything for the country to develop.

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:04 p.m.    

So how did Tymoshenko get alot more votes than Yushchenko in the first round of voting if as you say President is a Representative figure and Prime minister has more power?The voters seem to speak to who they thought had more power or was not doing what people wanted in Ukraine.Also the Rada has more power than Prime Minster or President.Voting seemed to go by who the people had seen more similar to themselves,by ethnic background and how a person grew up in Ukraine and what education they seemed to have.People only know what they are told by newspapers,television stations and by word of mouth or gossip if they have not gone out and seen for themselves first hand what is going on in the world.What goes on behind closed doors is anyones guess.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:18 a.m.    

thats right timoshenko had her go, time to let some 1 else have a go. and timoshenko has been to jail 2 or 3 times her self and she has been to jail for worse things then yanukovich. yanukovich just stole a few hats from people and timoshenko stole millions if not billions from the ukrainian budget system and she also stole alot of gas from the state owned company and then opened up her own company and sold on the gas that she stole. every 1 go watch a movie called STEALING POPCORN, its about timoshenko. and im not trying to defent yanukovich, im just trying to focus on timoshenko because ever 1 already knows and every 1 concentrates on repeating what yanukovich has done but no body concentrates as much on what timoshenco has been up 2.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 4:23 a.m.    

Everyone in the Ukraine should be happy, now they too have a criminal president just like Putin. I bet this guy can't steal as much as Putin.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 8:29 a.m.    

TOWN CLOWN fools 11M voters, can’t wait to celebrate with TOWN CLOWN Supporters! ...how did this happen you ask? ANSWERS – two primary reasons: (1) lack of voter education and awareness about the candidate they voted for (2) the candidate’s propensity to deny and pathologically lie about the truth. Thus, the TOWN CLOWN was born.

TOWN CLOWN Truth - get it HERE!

CLOWN or Criminal, it's all the same for Missster YANU!

...and 11M people voted for this TOWN CLOWN... the other 10M &quot;intelligent and informed people&quot; did not...

On December 15, 1967, Yanukovych was sentenced to three years incarceration for participating in a robbery and moderate assault. He served his sentence in the Kremenchuk detention center, but was released after seven months for exemplary behavior. Yanukovych also served a two year prison sentence starting in 1970 for theft and violence. While in prison he received the nickname &quot;Kham&quot; (Russian: хам, the boor) from other inmates.

On December 27, 1978 the Donetsk Regional Court reportedly quashed the recorded conviction. Yanukovych was quoted as saying that the crimes for which he was tried were &quot;errors of youth&quot;.

In October 2004, Ukrainian deputy Hryhory Omelchenko accused Yanukovych of having been a member of &quot;a group of individuals who brutally beat and raped a woman, but bought off the victim and the criminal case was closed&quot;. The press-service of the Ukrainian Cabinet asserted that Yanukovych suffered for the attempt to defend a girl from hooligans.

In 2006 a criminal charge was made for the falsification of documents regarding the retraction of Yanukovych's prior conviction. According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta two documents had been forged regarding Yanukovych's robbery in association with rape and assault and battery. The signature of the judge for these documents in Yanukovych's retraction was also forged. Subsequently, a criminal charge was filed for falsification of documents regarding the alleged retraction of Yanukovych's prior conviction after it was discovered that two documents had been forged. The signature of the judge in Yanukovych's case had also been forged regarding a charge of battery.

In 1972, Yanukovych became an electrician in a local bus company and later finished a technicum. In 1980, he graduated (by correspondence) from the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute, with a major in mechanical engineering. Immediately after graduation, Yanukovych was appointed chief manager of a transportation company in Yenakiieve and admitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This appointment marked the start of managerial positions in regional and automotive transport for two decades. There is no know citation for Mr. YANU possesing a Doctoral Degree, he is not a “Proffessor”!

...the joke is on the 11M voters (fools) who voted for their new TOWN CLOWN! The other 10M voters “APPLUASS” Please! ...our a duly legitimately elected CONVICTED FELON President – TOWN CLOWN YANU!! …Let's party man, break out that cheap imported Russian Vodka, said the BIG BEAR to the little bear...5-years with a criminal CLOWN at the helm of Ukrainia …ROTF LOL!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:21 a.m.    

and what would you say if timoshenko got elected?? shes been to jail also and every 1 just keeps forgetting about that.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 7:04 p.m.    

...BIG difference! the charges they tried to pin on her for which she was arrested and put in jail for a few days were phony, subsequently she was released from jail, and ALL charges were dismissed.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 9:30 a.m.    

LONG LIVE &quot;THE BOOR&quot;!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:17 a.m.    

The Pride of Ukraine!

Can't wait until he delivers a speach to the EU! Time to dig a whole and the sand and hide.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:28 a.m.    

out of so many candidates they pick the 2 criminals. ukrainians are very stupid and stubborn people

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:37 p.m.    

I lived in Ua for five years, and I can say that I completely agree with you!

Even my dog is more clever...

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:30 a.m.    

If you think this guy is bad, find a movie called: &quot;Stealing Popcorn&quot;, you can find it on youtube. Its about Ulia Timoshenko the other candidate for the president sit.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:33 a.m.    

Yanunkovych's election to President just highlights how sovietized Ukrainians still are and how far they have to go to rid themselves of this cancer which is homo sovieticus. Any rational thinking person would realise Yanu is just going to be a disaster who is going to make Ukraine more and not less of a basketcase. He is going to make Yushcheno and Tymoshenko look good I still cannot understand why eastern Ukrainian voted en masse for a criminal, a liar, a fraudster, a thug and overall prat. At least when people start to complain about him I can now say shut up- you voted him in.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 7:14 p.m.    

...AMEN Brother! ...your aim is deadly accurate! BESIDES, lets not forget, ...he was PM for many several years, and things DIDN'T change one bit, they worsened! ...what a fiasco embarrassment for Ukraine! No wonder the Princess is totally PO!

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:29 p.m.    

Right!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:43 a.m.    

Peter,

Your article is a nonsens. normally I like your articles, but you go too far. You know perfectly how Timochenko has became the &quot;gas princess&quot; with Lazarenko (in jail in US) and how many procedures were opened against her husband in US for money laundering.

Now, the election is over. Ukraine needs to establish quietly a new gov which will help the country to survive. Nobody would win of a new fight and the attitude of Tim is crazy and she is loosing her support. Nobody will go on street for her of for her friends. Please keep quiet...

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:53 p.m.    

You obviously don't live in Ukraine. Everyone knows about Yanukovich's criminal past. The question is, Does it bother anyone.

Obviously not!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:08 p.m.    

The writer of this article must be one of the American mercenaries under cover as a journalist. Kiev post was almost independent and a free press before it was recently bought by someone who came suddenly from the unknown. I am a free lance journalist/analyst. I have noticed ever since the transaction was concluded; Kiev Post lost its independence and never belongs anymore to those so rare under the category of FREE PRESS. This article is so cheap and no matter how far the writer goes is trying to affect others and readers; he and others like him shall never change facts by such similar articles that Mr. new President has won. I am not Ukrainian and have nothing to do with either side; but at least I respect myself when I feel and act as an objective free lance journalist and never sell myself and reputation and my history and my children and grand children future and their moralistic and ethics in heritage even for billion of tons of gold. This article is so cheap and the writer unfortunately spoils the fame and great reputation of the free independent honorable journalists in the world; but still he represents himself only and those vicious behind him and/or similar to him and they are well known where from they are and to whom they belong; they are the devilish planners for the whole world; it is called the Fish Ball in NY city. I was about to throw out and felt disgusted when I read the first few line to an extent I couldn't continue reading the rest. I wonder how could the Chief Editor in Kiev Post approved such an article to be published especially the writer is one of the reporters' Kiev Post staff and his name indicates his nationality as an intruder.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 1:31 a.m.    

it's the &quot;Kyiv Post&quot; fool -- learn at least one Ukrainian word and show some respect to the Ukrainian people and language.

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:24 p.m.    

I completely agree with you.

Sunden was better!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 7:17 p.m.    

...quite whining CLOWN, the article 100% accurate,...go cuddle-up with the BEAR

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:27 p.m.    

If Kiev post wasn't independant, it wouldn't be writing articles like this.And as for the contents of the article, it is 100% correct! Are you suggesting that the people of Ukraine shouldn't know the truth?

with regard to your comments about Kiev post, its staff etc..., well, you only need to read your own article to understand what trash and cheap means. The garbage you have written is not worthy of anything. And if think you're a respectable individual and worthy of something, you will at least tell us who you are! INTRUDER!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 3 p.m.    

POOR UKRAINE

You deserve what you get now that you have voted the mafia into power. You think things are bad now, well, you ain't seen nothing yet. It will get worse.

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:22 p.m.    

Right!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 5:02 p.m.    

the ukraines people and its people living abroad...backward and argumentave.no group of people bicker more and fight with each other as much as the ukrainians.every uke thinks he is higher then the next uke. that is why the ukraine is a basketcase

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:38 p.m.    

As a Canadian. I have had to fight off jokes from people saying, &quot;How can Ukraine vote as President a criminal&quot;? It's very embarrassing for someone to call themselves Ukrainian these days.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 10:55 p.m.    

Apologies — but the first three words of your statement imply that you сouldn't really be putting the last 6 words into practice.

How is it that the people who would argue that the political and judicial system of Soviet Ukraine were thoroughly corrupt and beyond redemption make an exception in the case of Viktor Yanukovych?

The same people who decry Yanukovych as a criminal based on Soviet jurisprudence, recently acclaimed as a national hero a saboteur and assassin convicted and sentenced in a Polish court of law.

As the saying goes: &quot;what's good for the goose-stepper...&quot;

If Obama, Sarkozy, Merkel, Berlusconi, Brown, Medvedev and others have sent congratulations and spoken with Yanukovych by phone — haven't pulled their ambassadors, haven't rallied to impose sanctions, drum up an embargo, or sent their Foreign Ministers to the podium to &quot;voice their concern&quot; — it is a signal that Yanukovych is the legitimate power in the land, and that they will do business with him. This is more important than any embarrassment he may be causing you.

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 6:19 p.m.    

Right!

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 7:21 p.m.    

...I share your sentiments Bohdan, but we must remember, 11M (fools) voted for the NEW TOWN CLOWN, the other 10M highly intelligent well informed voters, did not!

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 7:53 a.m.    

I second that!

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:36 p.m.    

Hide your face, fingers crossed, pray for Ukraine and wait 5 years!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 11:11 p.m.    

He is not the first President to ve jailed. Nelson Mandela like it or not was also engaged in acts of terrorism.

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:09 p.m.    

Nelson Mandella was a political prisoner jailed for his political views, and he was never involved in acts of terrorism.Get your facts right!

Yanukovich is a bully! a thug! a common criminal from the streets.

There is no comparison! SHAME!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 7:51 a.m.    

Open up a history book and learn something before writing such ignorant trash. Didn't Russia teach history there or was all of it garbage about the so-called 'greatness' of russia?

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 10:15 a.m.    

If the Ukraine has any current account money, it will be gone in the next 60 days. Putin has bank accounts all around the world,US state department thinks he may have 50 billion dollars.

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:45 p.m.    

Only a nation of criminals can vote for a criminal to be their president. And it doesn't bother us?. SHAME!!!

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