Yushchenko jumps back into political fray, visiting relatively friendly territory in Lviv

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March 12, 2010, 12:03 a.m. | Ukraine — by Natalia A. Feduschak

For a man who 'hates politics', Yushchenko forcefully threw himself back into the fray at a March 10 press conference, enduring harsh accusations from assembled journalists.

Natalia A. Feduschak

LVIV, Ukraine – If you didn’t know Viktor Yushchenko suffered a humiliating defeat in the recent presidential election, you would hardly guess so by the way Ukraine’s former president talks. For a man who "hates politics," Yushchenko forcefully threw himself back into the fray at a March 10 press conference, enduring harsh accusations from assembled journalists.

Yushchenko sounded a stern warning that Ukraine’s Constitution was under threat and that pro-democracy forces were now at a critical crossroads.

He said the law passed in parliament on March 9 that eased the Party of Region’s ability to form a new coalition and government was unconstitutional. At a separate meeting the same day, wire services quoted him as saying: “If the president moves along such [an unconstitutional] road, I will turn to the nation to start a rebellion.”

But after receiving 5 percent of the vote in the Jan. 17 first-round election, a call for rebellion from Yushchenko is one that will likely go unanswered. But Yushchenko insisted he was happy with his performance during his five years as president.

“I am proud of my politics. I’m absolutely happy with what I did as president. I achieved what I wanted,” Yushchenko said, citing the revival of his country’s historical memory as his greatest triumph.

Yushchenko indicated his future plans would largely depend on Yanukovych’s performance. Analysts widely expect Yushchenko to remain politically active and, at age 56, he is not too old for the game. Yushchenko reiterated he would work with anyone who upheld “the values of a national course…and worked for Ukraine.”He also did not did not rule out another presidential run, an idea that now strikes some as delusional. Ukraine’s Constitution, nonetheless, allows a person to serve for two five-year terms.

Private citizen Yushchenko came to what should have been a relatively friendly place, accompanied by representatives of his political party, Our Ukraine, and local intellectuals. Yushchenko finished in second place in the Jan. 17 first round of voting in Lviv Oblast, with 31 percent of the vote.

But the tone was not friendly. When Yushchenko’s press secretary, Iryna Vannikova, introduced him as president, someone several feet away audibly whispered: “You mean former.”

“No, president,” Vannikova retorted. “By protocol, the title is used for life.”

The conference proceeded with journalists hounding Yushchenko to explain a series of decrees that were passed in the last days of his presidency, including awards on his bodyguards.

Angered, Yushchenko said the guards had lived daily in a heightened state of alert because of constant threats. “There was a real threat on my life,” he said. “It is easy for you to talk.”

Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin during the presidential race in 2004, but the culprits remain at large and the criminal investigation made no known progress during his five years in office.

One of the principal reasons he has come under attack, Yushchenko said, is because, unlike past presidents, his decrees were a matter of public record.

“They were published. I didn’t have any secret decrees,” he said, despite numerous media reports with evidence to the contrary. “Of course, those who were before me are without sin. Do you know how many times Medvedchuk was awarded?” Yushchenko asked, referring to Viktor Medvedchuk, who was former President Leonid Kuchma’s controversial chief-of-staff. “Where were you then?”

Yushchenko called on democratic forces to unite at a time when a president was elected by less than half of the population. “Democracy didn’t lose, the Maidan (2004 Orange Revolution) didn’t lose, nor did the ideals I came to power with. But the question now is how to consolidate,” he said.

A day earlier, Yushchenko’s former ally turned rival, ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, took up the mantle as leader of the democratic opposition. But Yushchenko warned that her leadership will end in disaster. “Every political force that united with Tymoshenko ended badly,” he said.

Natalia A. Feduschak is the Kyiv Post’s correspondent in western Ukraine. She can be reached at
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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 12:35 a.m.    

Wow - what hostile reporting by the Kiev Post on Yush. Wonder what a report of Tym's actitivities would look like? Why this bias? Yush is absolutely right. There's double standards - he gets questioned as in western countries and quite rightly but why aren't these standards applied to other polticians. Where's this kind of questioning and reporting about Tym's or Yanuk's activities.

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 2:27 a.m.    

Get off the stage!

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 2:39 a.m.    

Yushchenko is 100% correct.

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 3:24 a.m.    

Yushchenko only achievement was to demonstrate absolutely that the Presidential system has and will continue to fail Ukraine. His tern of office was a total waste of time. He never practiced or held democratic values. He espouses the words of democracy and constitutional rule of law yet his own actions have been undemocratic and contrary to Ukraine's Constitution and the notion of rule of law.

His policies and proposed constitutional changes would enrich power in the hands of the president and world relegate the parliament to an advisory role. Under Yushchenko's constitution the president would have absolute power over the parliament, the courts and the government. the president would not be accountable to anyone and can only be removed from office if convicted of intentionally committing a crime. Something that would be impossible given the president also has absolute immunity against prosecution.

Yushchenko betray the orange revolution and the people of Ukraine. he undermined successive parliamentary governments and betrayed those who supported his election.

Yushchenko is and was the main cause for the collapse of the Orange revolution.

In 2006 he and his party failed to support the formation of a orange governing coalition, refusing to share power with his coalition partners he played hard ball and lost out.

in 2007 Yushchenko unconstitutionally dismissed Ukraine's parliament and illegally interfered with the independence and operation of Ukraine's Constitutional court in order to prevent the court from ruling against his decree. His actions caused seven months of political and civil unrest.

in 2008 Yushchenko continued to undermine the success and stability of the newly elected government and in the process he lost all respect

In January 2010, 17 candidates, four from his own faction, stood against him. 95% of Ukraine voted against him.

In February 2010 Yushchenko committed his final act of betrayal of those who supported his election by actively supporting the Yanukovych election as President began the question why did he dismiss Yanukovych government in 2007 only to hand him the keys to the Presidency in 2010.

Yushchenko has no vision for Ukraine, certainly not one that supports or promotes the values of democracy and European integration. He has been the main reason for its ongoing economic and political instability. His term of tenure as President was the worst in the history of Ukraine and would never have been supported in a democratic western democracy.

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 6:51 a.m.    

That is why he was democratically voted out of power. Now let's see if the oligarchy under puppet Yanko will allow themselves to lose power. They are quickly putting into place laws to protect themselves indefinitely, just like puppet master Putin

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 10:21 a.m.    

Yanukovich managed to come back, so why not Yuschenko! He is so popular in Masoch-Sacher city!

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 11:12 a.m.    

Lviv is the best of citys in the world.

Lviv ground is Holy ground!

Ukrainian language is most beautiful language in the world !

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Anonymous March 13, 2010, 5:31 a.m.    

u must have written the ukrainian language to consider it so great as no else has any appreciation for it, even in ukraine, and none else abroad except in winnipeg canada, where few speak a broken russian calling it ukrainian..

liev is a holy city, like mecca jerusalem and ur the city in iraq where abraham came from,,,

well get out of your old fashioned neglected city of ukraine, and start travelling,,,

lev is as dull as a chopping board,,, there is nothing in it,,,

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 3:11 p.m.    

Its different losing thern running again, It another thing to have win the lost. Yanukovych will serve two terms.

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 11:40 a.m.    

If you think the language is so beautiful could you explain why, when my wife and I, both ukrainian speaking, holidayed there last year, we found so many polish and russian words frequently used?

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Anonymous March 15, 2010, 8:32 p.m.    

Have you ever thought that they were using Ukrainian words?

Don't forget, Ukraine, (Kyiv Rus) is older than Russia or (Muscovy) and many in many border areas with Poland, there as been an overlap of some linguistic influences throughout the generations, as we see with other countries in the world.

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Anonymous March 14, 2010, 12:31 a.m.    

janukovych won twice properly, the americans forged the results and claimed fraud.

yusenko lost twice, and with 5 years hard performance and popularity his real support was 5 %

5 years ago it was less than 2% ,,

americans, the masters of fixing elections and staging velvet revolutions..

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 8:24 p.m.    

There ar no Russian or Polish words in Ukrainian language.

Ukrainian language is best of the world.

Slava Ukraini !!!

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Anonymous March 12, 2010, 10:28 a.m.    

Does anybody really believe Yushchenko can run again for president and win? If so, you have no idea about politics.

Just imagine how much money and resource went into his re-election campaign and all he got was 5.45%. Most of that because of administrative resources and free state TV.

Without that Yushchenko stands little chance of passing the 3% barrier for parliament. And, given the losers of Our Ukraine that he has surrounded himself with, including those who are currently in parliament, Ukrainians will think about voting for this discredited political force and its has been president.

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Anonymous March 15, 2010, 8:25 p.m.    

What are you suggesting?

Have the Kremlin financially back him like with Yanukovych?

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Anonymous March 13, 2010, 4:26 a.m.    

After 5 years of Yanukovich dictatorship, Ukrainians will be more than happy to vote Yushchenko back in office.

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Anonymous March 13, 2010, 5:26 a.m.    

yusenko should be made a stature, a stature of foolishness and division, a stature of a western traitor

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Anonymous March 15, 2010, 8:23 p.m.    

Spell check you idiot, spell check!

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Anonymous March 13, 2010, 10:03 p.m.    

In you dreams :)

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Anonymous March 14, 2010, 2:04 p.m.    

They all came foe the war in Georgia, Guest | Today at 12:29

About 30 years ago, the soviet Empire began to crumble, as its economy, and the ecomies of its alies, were no longer able and willing to supports its vast military force, so it run out of fuel, and stopped. The last eefort they had mage, trying to revive the military machine, was Afghanistan, where overwhelming american support from Pakistan Iran and Saudi Arabia, had dealt a death blow to the Soviet Military Might They had withdrawn from Eastern europe, and the deal with nato was, no nato forces will replace withdrawing Soviet/Warsaw Pact forces. America watched as its arch enemy crumbled wthout a fight, and got deflated like a huge bloon. Then the US decided to exploit the power vaccum, and went on a rampaging war, to declare itself the world's only super power.

The check and balance the Soviets had provided, was gone. europe was stunned, and it quickly wanted to defend itself from American dictatorship, by forming a common Union, and Military alliance, outside of Nato. The USA came to prevent that, by initiating a war in yugoslavia, to give it an excuse to keep its forces in Europe, to keep Europe under American threat and occupation.

The rest is history,,,Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a dozen other wars,, as a result of USA no longer had any visible balancing Power.

Then the USA attacked with Israel, Ukraine and Georgian forcs, the Russians, as Bush was desperate to test a weak Russia, and Isreal saw Russia, its only enemy and obstacle in taking over the entire west bank and gaza.

The joint attack on russia by the US and its odd allies, resulted in the first drastic crucial humiliation of the out of control USA military adventurism.

No longer did America looked like a world's only super power, but a deafeted inflated paper tiger.

The Georgian war revealed America's/Nato's alliances' reluctance to finance america's wars of insaity, and cracks on its military might began to appear very rapidly.

The defeat of US forces in Georgia was followed by a financial meltdown of the global economy,, no one can deny the end of America's rain as the only super power was quikly coming to an end.

It costed the US andd the world's economy $20 trillion dollars, to keep america's wars of insanity going,,,$20 trillion, and nothing to show for, except George Bush Jr had made $300 billion in oil money..whilt the netire world lost 0 trillion.

100 years ago America turned the light on in the world, wiith its industrial and technological innovations. The later generations with silver spoons in their mouth, were told to achieve it all via creative visulisations, and if that dont work, use agression, force, brutality, terror...

The US will go back to be a creative force in the world for progressive positive rsults, as it has a good track record of doing that.

In case of Iran, we have heard the same nonsence from Israel over Ieaq. that was an entrapment by Israel, to discredit the west.

Israel must be brought to compliance with modern International standards and norms, and disarmed to prevent it from continuing terrorizing and inflicting holocaust on its neighbours.

Israel pauses much more danger to the world than Iran does. Iran had not attacked any nation n the last 30 years, but Israel had not have a year, without comitting war or war the last 30 years..

The people of Isreal wants peace, better working conditions, better wages, not simply a goverment who can only produce wars after wars.

In Ukraine, the the imperialistic expansionism of America ends....

The USA must use all its agents, energy, cia, fbi, irs, and what have you, to improve the standards of living of the american people, and not simply oppress them, suspending their human rights and use them as guilty tax payers, as it had been the case since the Soviet Union fell.

The world wants a strong Russian empire, as it lived a lot better, richer, finer life, when Russia was providing a check, so America will not turn out to be another Hitler,,,

In this, Ukraine is an important contributor to the world's peace!!!

Link Answer Flag

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Anonymous March 15, 2010, 8:19 p.m.    

Do you really think anybody gives a shit what you think with your anti West, pro Russian rant?

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Anonymous March 14, 2010, 11:41 p.m.    

Yushchenko is a mental midget and a physical coward. He should move to western Ukraine permanently and not bother for all our sakes to visit the rest of the country. He has no guts and will not visit eastern Ukraine or Crimea where he would definitely not get a friendly welcome.

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Anonymous March 15, 2010, 8:16 p.m.    

Sure, whatever you say.

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