They were a polite lot, the journalists at (ex) president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych’s press conference today in Russia. None of them openly laughed when he announced “I didn’t run away”. Not even as he was speaking from another country, staying with ‘an old friend’, with no particularly convincing explanation of how he had got there since disappearing from Kiev last friday morning without a word to the nation.
He was disappointed and surprised by Putin’s silence over Ukrainian events apparently (that’s going to make him popular with Putin when they finally do speak, I’m sure).
Even while insisting he needed international guarantees for his safety before he would return to Ukraine as its ‘rightful president’, he repeated that the international community (well, the West anyway) had tricked and betrayed him.
He owns no property abroad, no international bank accounts, he’s a poor honest man, he told those polite journalists who still didn’t appear to be laughing. He dodged around a lot of issues, but the one question he completely ducked was about Switzerland and Austria blocking his bank accounts along with those of his son and eighteen other Ukrainians, and launching a corruption investigation. Wonder why he didn’t answer that one.
Oh, he said say “sorry” though.