Yanukovych was too slow with understanding the
situation. So were the opposition leader.
After the casualties, people demanded Yanukovych’s
head. The one who brings it to Maidan Nezalezhnosit will be declared a national
hero. There will tens of thousands of people who will chip in to reward that
person. Maybe they will name streets in his honor. Uncivilized, you may say?
But Yanukovych has created a hell in their state himself.
In this situation, negotiations for another year in
Yanukovych’s presidency became nonsense. He
had to go – and the only guarantee would be to let his plane freely leave the
airspace of Ukraine within 24 hours.
Yanukovych killed more than 100 people. These citizens
have friends and families. And those people have weapons.
So if Yanukovych continues living in Ukraine, he will
be accompanied by a lifetime fear of being shot or burned alive in Mezhyhirya.
I have serious doubts whether the new government will pursue the avengers.
The only alternative for Yanukovych was to
flee the country.
The only question is who will be willing to host him.
I am not sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to associate with a
loser who, twice in 10 years, made himself look like a fool in front of the
international community. Also I am not sure either whether Belarusian President
Alexander Lukashenko wants to host Yanukovych if you consider the humiliating
comments he made about Ukraine’s former leader. Yanukovych may flee to Africa,
where he is unfamiliar, or to Venezuela or to Syria. The choice is not wide.
This is what I can advise bereaved
families: sue Ukraine in the European Court of Human Rights and demand
financial compensation. The process may take a long time. But the reward can be
measured in the hundreds of thousands of euros. It will also legitimize
confiscation of the Yanukovych gang’s property in the eyes of society.
One more thing.
Yanukovych’s oligarchs had a chance to save their hide
a month ago, before bloodshed. Now it’s too late.
Yanukovych and his son, Oleksandr. Rinat Akhmetov. Vadim
Novinsky. Yuriy Ivanyushchenko. Vasily Khmelnitsky. Dmytro Firtash, Serhiy Liovochkin.
Andriy and Serhiy Klyuyev. Viktor Pshonka — all should be deprived of assets
that were taken out of state or pseudo-state ownership since February 2010, when
Yanukovych took power.
numerous residences, hunting reserves, power companies, regional gas companies,
electricity generators Zakhidenergo Dneprenergo, Donbasenergo, Ukrtelecom, Illich Iron & Steel Works , concentrating mines,
titanium assets, solar power station – all of these were “privatized”
during fake contests with straw participants or even as a result of raider
And it should be returned to state
ownership by the scheme of the Krivorizhstal reprivatization in 2005 with the repayment
of the sum paid by oligarchs after re-sale at public auction.
Akhmetov has to be aware that Arseniy
Yatseniuk, the Batkivshchyna Party leader, is not authorized by EuroMaidan to
give him any guarantees.
Moreover, the privatization of
Cherkasy Oblenergo, which is ongoing, should be stopped. The Firtash scheme of
taking control over Titan Ukraine, which is in full swing now, should be
stopped. The country is filled with blood, while they are preparing to pick up
another batch of ownership under the curtain of EuroMaidan smoke.
Oligarchs should be deprived
of any influence on policy. The new politicians must understand that if they
repeat the mistakes of predecessors, they will be punished even more because
they betrayed not Yanukovych, but the people who died in the name of the better
All current security officials and judges should resign as well as all Communists
and members of the Party of Regions members, including those who believe that
their escape from a burning ship is a noble act.
The country has changed. And in this country they do
not have a choice to pursue a political career.
Do not believe the stories
that re-privatization would result in irreparable loss to the country. The oligarchs
will lose only part of the assets they gained during the criminal Yanukovych
Perhaps Akhmetov will sell his
apartment in London for $200 million to buy something more modest. Maybe he will
sell one of his two private jets and several football players.
But these people who are identified
with three months of genocide have to pay a price.
And these are not my words, but the words of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine John
Herbst, who represents the country where private property is inviolable: “The
problem is that the most influential people in Ukraine are still motivated by
their personal narrow interests. Ukrainian society is not strong enough to seek
punishment for those ‘influential people’ who go too far.”
It’s time to prove that Ukrainian society has accumulated enough power to
put these people in their place.
Serhiy Leshchenko is the
deputy chief editor of Ukrainska Pravda. The original opinion piece can be