We recently had the distinct pleasure of watching former President Viktor Yanukovych speak on affairs relating to the country he fled in disgrace. Of course, Yanukovych does nothing of his own volition now – he is fully directed by the leadership of the country that shields him from a litany of legitimate charges against him, and essentially does their bidding. When they woke him and dusted him off this time it was to speak at a press conference in Moscow.
The opening of Yanukovych’s speech was to present claims that it wasn’t the authorities who shot protesters in central Kyiv on 20 February 2014. That’s not true. We’ll leave it at that.
The disgraced former leader then went on to make several more interesting assertions. First, that the central authorities in Ukraine should have a direct dialogue with the (Kremlin-appointed) “leaders” of the nominally separatist entities in Donbass. It is quite clear why the Kremlin wheeled him out in front of the media: they want this to happen because such official-level contacts would confer a degree of legitimacy on those entities and the people appointed (note, not “elected”) to pretend to run them. Moscow’s demand, presented through a man who is unique in history due to actually having had two revolutions against him, is once again rejected, and it’s laughable to think someone in the Kremlin decided Yanukovych had any kind of authority to put forward any such suggestion as well.
Later in the press conference a US journalist asked Yanukovych about his relationship with Paul Manafort. Hilariously, Big Vik distanced himself from the man who went on to become the campaign manager for Donald Trump (it should be noted, at the time Manafort was pulling the strings the RNC platform shifted away from providing lethal weapons to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression).
Let’s think about that: if a man as bereft of any kind of decency as Viktor Yanukovych distances himself from you (Yanukovych claimed their contact was minimal, etc.) then it really doesn’t get much worse.