Viktor Yanukovych

Ukrainian politician and the 4th President of Ukraine, ousted from office during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014

Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych (Ukrainian: Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич, Russian: Виктор Фёдорович Янукович; born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.

Viktor Yanukovych in 2011

From 2006 to 2007 he was the prime minister of Ukraine; he also served in this post from November 2002 to January 2005, with a short interruption in December 2004. After rejecting the Ukrainian-European Association Agreement, Yanukovych was ousted from office in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. He currently lives in exile in Russia. On 18 June 2015, Yanukovych was officially deprived of the title of President of Ukraine by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. On 24 January 2019, he was sentenced in absentia to thirteen years' imprisonment for high treason by a Ukrainian court, which was affirmed on appeals that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

Yanukovych was known for his numerous gaffes, which often relate to his poor knowledge of Ukrainian, malapropisms, Freudian slips, geography mistakes, or general errors of speech. Earlier speeches could sometimes include aggressive rhetoric, while some examples (not shown due to their intranslateability) have sparked controversy due to the employment of criminal jargon.

Quotes edit

2004 edit

  • And another lie from the opposition - there is no revolution underway. And in the current conditions, it is not possible. During a revolution, a majority of citizens wants a change to the government structure. In fact, the majority of the Ukrainian people wants stability and improvement of their quality of life. It is not a revolution, it is political technology [abetted] by the uniformed special services, which is essentially being openly admitted by the organisers of the street protests.[1]
  • And today I am summoning for talks, just like we did during our [electoral campaign - note] debate, that miscreant Leopold the Cat - Yushchenko.[2] (in fact, Leopold was the protagonist of that cartoon; the mice were the mischiefs)
  • (About his opponents) I believe that there are many more strong and healthy people than these assholes who are constantly troubling our lives![3][4]
  • I don't believe the exit polls. This is some new modern technology that will be rolled out in Ukraine for the first time. And we don't know yet how to manipulate it.[5]
  • (Speaking of the Orange Revolution) What is happening in our country is a slow-motion coup d'état.[1]
  • Veteran: What is the reason you've declared that Russian would become an official language in Ukraine? The native nation here is the Ukrainians. Language, in its turn, is the principal characteristic of a nation. If the language disappears - so does the nation... I wouldn't want the Ukrainian language to disappear!
Yanukovych: It will not disappear. But the second official language was there and will be there. Keep this in mind!
Veteran: Why so?
Yanukovych: Because there should be a second official language.
Veteran: What is the reason for that? If this happens, despite my being 83 years old, I will take arms, an automatic rifle and I will go to defend the right of the Ukrainian language to exist.
Yanukovych: Listen! Listen! (with condescension) There are a lot of blokes like you!
Veteran: Blokes?! You see, he called me a bloke!..
Yanukovych: Get him the fuck out![6]
  • The people who've spent the New Year's Eve without electricity or heat, they couldn't have called anyone: not the Cabinet of Ministers, nor the Secretariat of the President, nor their municipal utility; the bureaucrats were hanging out and drinking alcohol.[7]
  • I would like you to remember this: the moment I saw the Constitution, of an unknown authorship, I immediately said: "This is going to violate the rights of the people in Ukraine, the infringement of the rights of the people..."[7]

2005 edit

  • (Speaking of the failed talks to purchase gas in Russia, which he said was Ukraine's fault) The government has decided to up and throw us into such a conflict without understanding the consequences. Who is going to bear responsibility for that?[8]
  • (On live TV) I will very briefly say to the residents of... Chernihiv... (prompted) Kirovohrad region... that this Sunday there will be a festival of machine assemblyers... or will it be on Sunday?[7]
  • But, as they say, whether [you take] a bull or a billie, you have no milk; but a bull is still a bull - it's strength after all.[7]

2007 edit

  • I am an industrialist; for 20 years I was working as a leader of various companies. And more than ten years have passed since I became a bureaucrat and, I'd like to say, I, uh, (from the crowd: have got to their swamp?) no, no, I'm in deep shit. [...] This is why I can't stand lies.[9][10]
  • I am sure... I don't remember who said that "beauty would always win"? Who said these words?[11] (Yanukovych misquoted Dostoyevsky's Idiot; the original was: "beauty will save the world")
  • You know, Odessa is a genuine paradise for talents. Dozens of famous, popular and simply wondeful people were able to develop their talents in the city by the blue-blue sea. I would want to say a few words about them right now - for example, Anna Akhmetova, a poet...[12] Yanukovych meant Anna Akhmatova; Rinat Akhmetov is an oligarch who was then a member of Yanukovych's party
  • In response to the opposition's calls to fire some of his ministers I've recalled, you know, the film called The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed. Have you heard, how was he...? How was he called? Vysotsky!.. (prompted) Zheglov! Yeah. As he said: "You'll only get a bagel of a bublik, not Sharapov..." Or how did it go? "Hole of a bublik"! That's right. We understand these are only dirty political games.[13]
  • If to cast aside spread by our opponents' nonsense, I’ll use chess-players phrase: we have sacrificed quantity to quality and showed such respect to our partners and readiness to properly account for their interests which others neither could or wished to reveal. (Speech by Prime Minister of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych at the International conference "Ukraine and European Union: new approaches") (28 February 2007)

2008 edit

  • I would like to quote a phrase said by one of the characters from Bebel: "If you would like to watch the life unfold, come over to our backyard - you'll have plenty to laugh from."[14][7] He meant Isaac Babel
  • Savik Shuster: The experience in prison, 1968-70 - does it make a person stronger or does it traumatise him after all?
Yanukovych: Of course, this traumatises people, but it also hardens them, I'd say. In my life, I've long lost fear of anything.[7]
  • As they say... So that the effectiveness... becomes... at the end of the day... reachable![7]

2009 edit

  • I would like to say that in the end, our task should be, if we are speaking of metal, to process it to the highest depth so that we can trade with the most sophisticated products...[15]
  • Speaking of the agriculture, we should at least stop selling grain but instead we should process it, for example, into meat or meat products.[15]
  • There is a certain plan with concrete measures of how to do this [to get out of the economic crisis - note]. I don't want to announce it just yet for one simple reason: I don't want my opponents to make a mockery of it. We know them too well.[16]
  • I'd rather go to prison for the third time rather than let the current government [of Yulia Tymoshenko] assume power. It would cost the country less for one person to suffer than for the whole country to suffer.[17]
  • (Speaking of the proposed increases of utility prices) I don't want to drop salt on the wound, as it already hurts[18]
  • the words of our compatriot Pavel Bessmertny...[19] Yanukovych meant Pavel Besposhchadny

2010 edit

  • (Referring to those assembled at a rally) Why are these morons not dispersing?[20]
  • My task is to create a strategy for Ukraine until 2010.[21]
  • If we have worked for many years with Russia, then we had these rushed declarations - by the way, of Team Orange [Yushchenko - note] - that we're gonna change something, [create] some order... I'll say, it's not a balalaika: one stick and two strings do not make a country your personal thing.[22][23]
  • The best genocides of the country have assembled here... Yeah, and the gene pool, too.[24]
  • And then in 2003 there was a Ukraine-EU summit in Brussels, and just before that summit Romano Prodi from Ireland - you remember who he was - he said that Ukraine had no prospect of integration with the European Union...[25]
  • I would like to tell all residents of Yalta that I know and remember that today we are celebrating 150 years of the literary works of Chekhov - a Ukrainian, (looks up in his notes) Russian writer. And, it would be more accurate to say - 150 years of this figure in world culture. I will absolutely sign an order to renovate the museum of Chekhov in 2010, so that we needn't be ashamed of it, so that when the residents of Ukraine and of other countries come to Yalta, come to Crimea, they could see the landmarks and the biography and the history of that beautiful poet. The famous poet Anton Chekhov. We'll do that.[26][27]
  • They are mistaken, people need an effective government that doesn't lie, that is always at the cutting edge. When the government is top notch, people feel the drive, they have the motivation, that's when life gets interesting... That's what people ask from the government.[28]
  • We've made a deal with Dmitry Anatolievich, we won't be talking about bad things, we'd rather do them instead.[29][30]
  • (Announcing Israel's decision to introduce visa-free travel for Ukrainians) This is the first swallow from Europe. The first country to have decided to abolish visas with Ukraine.[31]
  • (In Balaklia, Kharkiv Region) I hope that you, representatives of rural district, who have come here to Balaklava...[32][33]
  • I have said some time ago that we are against the policy of double standards. I was speaking of Serbia... Or rather, the recognition of the independence of Montenegro, indepen... erm, Kosovo, the recognition of the independence of Kosovo. [...] By then it was already apparent that the conflicts on the territories with frozen conflicts will only become more acute. I can point to another prominent example, that of North Ossetia.[34] (In these cases, Yanukovych meant Kosovo and South Ossetia, respectively)[35]

2011 edit

  • I would like to raise a toast for you, for the veterans [of World War II]... (looks down to see his cup) Hey, Sasha, pour me [more] so that I don't have to feel ashamed.[36]
  • The twentieth anniversary of our independence is only an instant in historical terms, yet the roots of our statehood can be traced back thousands of years. Since ancient times, Ukraine has been developing a European spirit and culture, while cherishing the traditions of tolerance and inter-ethnic and intercultural harmony in our society. We believe that straightforward and frank dialogue based on universal values is the only way to find a common language in each country and in international relations alike. "Speech at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly" (21 September 2011)
  • This slogAn - tun on... tun... tun on Ukraine for you - is the slogAn of our country's promo-campaign to Euro 2012. In order to tun Ukraine on, I would like to say that it is enough to see it with your own eyes at the time when in Kyiv, chestnuts will blossom. And when warm weather comes around, and in Ukrainian cities, women will start to undress. It is a wonder to see this beauty.[37][38] (Yanukovych struggled to read the word "увімкнути", omitting the "м" all the time)
  • ...the Unification Act between Ukrainian People's Republic and Ukrainian People's Republic...[39]
  • The main resource we have at our disposal is trust and the understanding of the need to get over the temporary difficulties of the contagiousness of reform implementation.[40][41] (Yanukovych said "зарази" instead of "заради", meaning "in order to")
  • By 1914, the tax will be lowered to 16%, just like we have already agreed.[42]
  • Serious steps to implement reforms have been undertaken, the land reform, the retirement reform, and those of healthcare, education and urban management have been started; the conditions for the development of businesses are being distorted, fight against corruption is underway...[43][44] Note. "Спотворювати" means "distort", he meant "створювати" (create).
  • Speaking of Alcântara Space Center...that's why all of the space programs that we have, which is, among others, the construction of the space centre in Brazil... eh, in the space centre in Balkantaura[45]
  • I am against the idea when we, so to say, throw someone behind the bars, which is the place where they would hide and flee from responsibility. We will surely find them, but they first have to return public money.[46]
  • I may say without exaggeration that this is a revolutionary approach; it is very painful, because this system of permission was the underpinning of the great bureaucratic system on all levels. And that democratic system, a corrupt one, it has been built for years and decades.[47]
  • It is important for me to feel that the barometer, which the business is, helps me understand whether the winds blow the right way or not.[48]
  • Our sacred duty is to overcome the shadows of the past, make new tragedies possible. Any encroachments on the peaceful future of Ukraine will meet with instant and resolute response...[49]
  • And now, I wanted to tell everyone: "Welcome in Ukraine, welcome in Kyiv!"[50]
  • Be as happy as the sea of Monaco, as the spoil tips of Donbas![51]
  • Mustafa Nayyem: I understand from the previous experience that asking direct questions about the Mezhyhirya Residence is no good, therefore I will ask the following. Today you have indeed talked many times about the state of our economy being bad and that the people indeed don't feel the improvement yet, and that we don't have money for Chernobyl liquidators and for the veterans of the Afghan War, yet at the same time, every day we are witnessing the improvement of your personal wellbeing. We see how you rent a helicopter for a million dollars from the company which, according to the investigation in Ukrayinska Pravda, is owned or controlled by your son, we know that in Mezhyhirya, construction works are continued by the companies also controlled by your son. Tell me please - where's the inconsistency, what is your secret ingredient of success, why is the country ailing while you are feeling just fine? Thank you.
Yanukovych. (laughs) I will say that the thing you have been so fervently expanding on, I have little interest in it at all. And I will say why - that's because... I... have too little time for luxuries, you know, too little. For example, yesterday I came home at 3 am, and today I got up at 6 am. The day before yesterday it was a bit earlier, and so on. Therefore, I have no idea about the sweet life you are talking about and why you are constantly discussing my family matters. I would like to say that I don't envy you. (laughter). We know and understand each other well. As for the rest, you can think it up.[52]

2012 edit

  • I am forced to speak about it (the Customs Union) every day, all the day long, at least once a week...[53]
  • All the achievements of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in the last two years - this is only the beginning on the road of the renaissance and the development of Transnistria and the whole of Ukraine.[54][55] Yanukovych confused Придністров'я (Transnistria, an unrecognized state occupying part of Moldova) and Придніпров'я (Dnieper Region), where the oblast is located.
  • Journalist: The freedom of the press is still OK, I can still ask you a question. Tell please, during the two years have you achieved your targets you've set, or are these not the tasks you've created?
Yanukovych: In order to work on such a level like I do by working 24 hours a day, you have to be healthy. In order to be healthy, you have to have a certain lifestyle: eat little, be more active and so on. I do it all. If anyone envies me, I'll say - he's right. Try to live this way. And I encourage you to do so.[56]
  • (During a visit of the president of Turkmenistan) The strategic economic and trade cooperation between Ukraine and Kazakhstan is of mutual interest.[57][58]
  • Healthcare is the field which should go ahead, like smoke from a steam train.[59]
  • (Addressing World War II veterans on Victory Day) You have passed through the hell of war, (pause) with fascism you've fulfilled your duty to your fatherland until the end.[60]
  • I'm being advised that this should be done before Euro 2012, but we shouldn't be limiting to that, dear colleagues. We shouldn't. And as a general matter, we believe that our... that the territory of our country has to be made unsafe for the life of our citizens, and when the guests arrive here, this should be even more the case.[61][62]
  • (During the opening of the Ukrainian Olympic house for Ukrainian athletes in London)It is wonderful that this event, it happens just before the thirteenth Olympic Games in London.[63] The 2012 Olympic Games were 30th; the 13th Summer Olympics, also scheduled in London, never happened due to World War II.
  • Well, after that, [there will] be the visit of the president of Ukraine, we have to deepen our cooperation, we have very, very many common topics.[64]
  • One theory of researchers says that in ancient Smyrna, today's İzmir, Homer was creating his Illad [sic] and Odyssey. Troy, eternified by the blind poet, is located in Turkey. Legendary Heracles has set foot on the territory of today's Ukraine.[65]
  • Yesterday we had a photography procedure with President Obama, and during that short visit [there was] a short exchange of information, [and] President Obama asked me about the progress of the delivery of equipment to the labs that we are building in Kharkiv [and] which are going to work on low-enriched Iran. I said that the equipment was arriving on schedule.[66]
  • We are regularly receiving reports from the governors... in Kyiv, but when you see [them] with your hands, as they say, [when you] touch [them] with your eyes, as the old Ukrainian tradition goes, this is a totally different matter.[67]
  • (Speaking of an upcoming soccer match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea) This will be a match between Ukraine and Russia. I hope that Shakhtar wins and that the mood will help to fight.[68]
  • We are going to strive to the restriction of political dialogue (pause) erm, to the maintenance![69]
  • I was in the opposition twice. I was in power twice before this, and this is my third time. Before this I was Prime Minister twice, and now I am President. The political process is constant, and our goal is for it to move forward under civilized rules, under the laws and for there to be no chance for politicians to abuse their power.
    But in our situation, we do not have the goal of locking up our political opponents. I can prove this, with facts. Let the opposition say the opposite. But watch the television, and you will see that the ruling government does not appear there at all. The opposition takes up 99% [of airtime]. They behave in a radical way, and nobody locks them up.
    I’m sure that the number of friends we have is only growing. We are open. We are not fooling anyone. We are pursuing a stable policy … We passed the tax code, the pension reform, the budget code, the customs code, now the criminal code. No one could do that in 20 years. People close their eyes and pretend not to see these things. Well, so be it. We’ll do it just for ourselves … If Europe has decided to take a pause, then so be it. It’ll probably work out for the best both for us and for Europe. If Europe does not see us as part of Europe, we will build Europe here in Ukraine.
  • We support the complex approach that has been initiated in connection with sustainable energy for all, sustainable consumption and production, the elimination of hunger, and ensuring urban infrastructure development.

2013 edit

  • [Dear] participants of the press conference! Since I have that occasion, I would like to remind [everyone] that this year, Ukraine will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the baptism of the [Kievan] Rus'[70] Note. The baptism happened in 988.
  • I am accused of doing something wrong. Tell me please, what good is an agreement [with the European Union] when they take us and force it upon us? [71]

2014 edit

  • The country has plunged into chaos and anarchy.
    The country is in the grip of outright terror and violence driven by the West.
    People are persecuted on political and language grounds.
    In this context, I appeal to the President of Russia Vladimir V. Putin to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to re-establish the rule of law, peace, order, stability and to protect the people of Ukraine.
  • I would call on the president of Russia, Mr Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.
  • I would like to say that I am alive, although I cannot say that I feel very well, because I feel a deep and profound concern over what is happening in Ukraine now. Disguised behind a veneer of an allegedly legitimate government, there is a gang of ultranationalists and fascists now acting in Ukraine involving people who are now aspiring to presidential office.
    I would like to remind you that I am not only the -- not only the legitimate president of Ukraine, but I’m also the chief of staff, the commander of the army.
    The United States and a number of other countries have been stressing that I have allegedly lost my legitimacy because I fled the country. Let me say again: I never fled anywhere.
    I would like you to warn that the economic situation in Ukraine is going to degenerate, and those who usurp the power are going to shift the blame for this economic crisis on my shoulders, and perhaps even on Russia.
    And I would like to say: Glory to Ukraine, and I hope everything will be fine in my country.
  • You need to understand who benefited from the EuroMaidan events, I had no advantage of that.
    It was a planned provocation in order to radicalize peaceful demonstrations. I had no evidence that it was organized by then chief of staff Serhiy Lyovochkin. But these suspicions have good grounds.
    Do you remember those two young men who were supposedly killed on Hrushevskoho Street? According to preliminary investigations, we had evidence that they had been killed in a different place. Their lives have been sacrificed to the coup technologies.
    As of February 20, some 20 police officers were killed and at least 130 were hospitalized with gunshot wounds – but there were almost no mentions in media about it. And they were standing there under fire and Molotov cocktails not for Yanukovych, but rather for Ukraine and the rule of law.
    During the tragic events of EuroMaidan Revolution, as a legitimate president I had all the grounds to use the force, I didn’t do that.
    It is important that each side could influence the process. And the dialogue should lead to the elimination of economic problems and the resumption of economic relations in Ukraine,” Yanukovych was quoted as saying. It is especially important for Donbas people, who suffer from hunger, as well as for the entire country, which is on a brink of economic collapse.

Rostov-na-Donu conference edit

  • I think Russia should, and is obliged, to act, and knowing the character of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, I am surprised he is so restrained and keeping silent.
    As the current president of Ukraine, I want to say that Crimea should stay within the boundaries of Ukraine.
  • 28 February 2014 Viktor Yanukovych urges Russia to act over Ukrainian bandit coup in The Guardian

2015 edit

2016 edit

  • One should always remember that no victory can be achieved without losing. Burning bridges is never an option in politics, never.
    Such outrageous actions can have really bad consequences.
    I never took the liberty they afforded – to unleash war on an entire region, running people over with tanks and using artillery, and for what?
    For not liking you or treating you somewhat below par?
    Or having an opinion of their own about their future?
    This is wrong.
    If you take the history of any country, it never ended well for those who came to power through bloodshed.
    No amount of power is worth spilling even a drop of blood to obtain.
    That’s my fundamental principle, but they chose a different path.

2017 edit

  • I have no illusions, or as they say, some big ambitions. I just have to take a principled position today, because as a person I can't act otherwise. I am obliged today to take an active position by political means, in order to bring an end to the war in Ukraine, to begin the restoration of the destroyed Donbas, my small homeland, where I was born and lived for more than 50 years.

2018 edit

  • The courts should be like courts, and not the shows of Tymoshenko the actor... Poroshenko the actor![72]
  • I will say that no one envies me. Do you believe this or not? No one envies me. [...] I live with my family and, as they say, I don't count your money, please don't count mine.[72]

2019 edit

  • I was duped, betrayed, they cheated on me like on an asshole.[73]
  • A journalist from Ukraine: Just out of curiosity, are you being held captive?
Yanukovych: I'm so pleased to see you, you are always on my trail.

2022 edit

  • Ukrainian citizens themselves must make a choice — should they fight ‘until the last Ukrainian’, or save what is left?
    It is important to give everyone who has constructive ideas the opportunity to speak and to give peace a chance

Quotes about Viktor Yanukovych edit

References edit

  1. a b Янукович назначил нового руководителя своего штаба и ушел в отпуск. NewsRU (2004-12-06).
  2. В.Янукович вызвал на переговоры "шкодливого кота Леопольда Ющенко" (in ru). LIGA (2004-11-26).
  3. (in ru)Янукович про козлів, retrieved on 2022-06-12 
  4. Помаранчева революція: 20 відео, які запам’яталися. Istorychna Pravda (2010-11-21).
  5. Янукович еще не умеет манипулировать екзит-полами (in ru). Ukrainian Pravda.
  6. Янукович послал ветерана на Х…Й |. (2004-10-28).
  7. a b c d e f g (in en)Ляпи Януковича. The Best, retrieved on 2022-06-13 
  8. Янукович просит Ющенко покаяться, что отсылал шестерок за газом (in ru). Украинская правда (2005-12-19).
  9. Янукович привселюдно зізнався, що вже десять років він “у д...ме” (in uk). Українська правда.
  10. (in en)Янукович и дерьмо, retrieved on 2022-06-12 
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  17. Янукович пожалел, что в третий раз не сел в тюрьму - Украина - (2020-10-27).
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  19. Янукович назвал Беспощадного Бессмертным (in ru).
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  29. Очередной конфуз Януковича: “Не будем говорить о плохом, а лучше сделаем” (in ru). Украинская правда (2010-09-21).
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