Interviews & Opinions

Statement by Evgeniy Muraev, MP of Ukraine State Rada (June 17, 2014)

Translated from Russian/Ukrainian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by @GBabeuf
Suggested by Luis López ()
Note: Rough Translation; Subject to Change


Video: Statement by Evgeniy Muraev, June 17, 2014

Note: Please tell me if the [opponent attempting to interrupt] insertions are too distracting.


Evgeniy Muraev: I categorically disagree with the assessments that are being enunciated by my colleagues. In our country, as usual, the politics of double standards reign supreme. And I can, of course, continue indefinitely to make parallels between the December, January and February events in Kiev and those that have been taking place in Donbass.

[opponent attempts interruption]

But I don’t think I will be allowed to do so now. Whereas I believe that the government, first and foremost, should have listened to the people, and if the people demanded that a referendum be conducted, and if they wanted to defend their interests entirely in a peaceful manner, then they should have been given this opportunity. The same way as when the events took place in Kiev.

While you say that “whoever does not like it can go to Russia”, exactly the same can be said in return—”whoever does not like it can go to Europe”. Let us not divide the population.

[interruption]

First and foremost, I believe, we should step back and refrain from radical, marginal assessments of the events. Second, we must give society a clear signal that we are ready to engage in a constructive dialogue. We need to focus not on developing immediate plans for imposition of a state of war or for strengthening the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation], but instead on clearly outlining what future awaits our country.

In my opinion, over the last ten years, the way all the election campaigns have been structured has been on the basis of a choice between integration with Russia and integration with Europe. However, if society is already split along this ideological imperative, then we need to tell everyone that Ukraine will be a non-aligned unitary state, and that, until all parts of the population that live both in the South-East and in the West of Ukraine come to a joint, consolidated decision, there will be no international agreements signed. This is my first point.

[inteeruption]

My second point: back in March, I already offered my proposal for resolving the current situation. I proposed postponing the presidential elections, conducting a referendum, making amendments to the Constitution, and—only after that—choosing the new head of state with a very clear mandate.

[interruption]

Please, stop using Putin to frighten the public. Why don’t we all use Obama to scare the people?

[interruption]

Guys, listen, we always have this [situation] when certain political forces engage in pure propaganda. They specifically insist on creating these types of divisions by improperly characterizing events.

I am a resident of the city of Kharkov. I am a resident of the Kharkov region. I can tell you, I am a majoritarian legislator. I know the opinions in my district, and my voters supported me at a sufficiently high level. I constantly talk to them and I know their positions.

Guys, the East did not want to flee from Ukraine to Russia. It wanted to disengage itself from that radical part of Ukraine that came to the East with its own code of conduct. And that is what gave birth to the protest mood among the population.

However, if the previous President of Ukraine attempted, somehow, more or less to smooth over the situation and to prevent war, you answered these protests with tanks. And now it is not only people with weapons in hand that are dying, but, unfortunately, also children and civilians. And there is still no answer.

[interruption]

Tell me please, what about the destroyed infrastructure, houses, and I think that the number of those who have died is in the thousands, thousands of dead. Who will compensate them for all of this? At the same time, there is no answer for their relatives and their loves ones. And all this aggression that you unleash every minute, this pressure to push and burn.

[interruption]

Guys, the elections are over! We must finally stop and try to preserve peace in this country. And I do not consider them to be separatists.

Kharkov is peaceful? Kharkov is peaceful. Just now, you accused the Party of Regions of everything. My dear vis-à-vis, I am one of those twenty who left. But I left the parliamentary faction; I did not leave the party. And I will later explain in detail why.

I have been a member of the party since 2007, from the time when we were in opposition. And I am still in the party. And I believe that it was founded on an absolutely correct ideology. So I will tell you this—the only thing that currently enables the government to remain functional in the South-East, apart from those regions engulfed by your war, is the Party of Regions.

[interruption]

This is because the majority of members of government bodies, the majority of members of local self-governance bodies, are representatives of this party. They did not flee anywhere.

[interruption]

Tell me please—this is one more example of double standards—when the Russian flag is flown on an administrative building, you call it separatism; yet when the European Union flag is flown, you call it the will of the people? So tell me: how is the flag of Russia, one of the world powers, different from the flags of the European Union and the USA?

[interruption]

Guys, today Tsarev was stripped of his parliamentary immunity. Tell me: why? Because of his appeals? Well, the same types of appeals were made by Tyahnybok. The same types of appeals were made by Yatsenyuk. The same were made by Klitschko. Why is it that you always look for a scapegoat?

[interruption]

Are you just excusing your incompetence and looking to make alliances against some else?

[interruption]

Host: Please explain to us, who is it that came to Ukraine from Russia with automatic rifles, grenade launchers, mortars…?

Muraev: Guys, we need to separate people who rally in protest, people who are ready to defend their homes with arms in hand, people who are defending their ideology, and people who cannot live without war. Undoubtedly, there is money there. Undoubtedly there are robberies. Undoubtedly there is banditry. But the army should not be dealing with this; the police must deal with it. The very same police that has been utterly destroyed and demoralized.

[interruption]

I am telling you, if you keep on bringing up history, this history is not so ancient. Just five month ago, military units also were being disarmed in the western part of our country. Just the same, when we were conducting our congress—which was later characterized as separatist—and this was a congress of legislators of all levels, exactly the same, when a column of six thousand men came—we were expecting some kind of provocations and armed attacks; because we knew that there were over two million units of weaponry that for some reason were out on the streets. And for some reason this was allowed to happen, and all of it was called “peaceful rallies” and “peaceful protesters.” And now it’s “separatists” and “bandits”.

[interrupt]

My dear colleagues, I would like to say the following:

[interruption]

If I understand correctly, it’s my time now, and I can speak. At this time, to forbid something is to appease those fascist moods that existed. Concerning that which the Party of Regions has led [the country]—

[interruption]

The first thing that happened in world history [of fascism]—it was the prohibition on alternative ideologies.

I would like to say the following. You say: this is where you led the country. Forgive me please, but if I have to start remembering December and February, I will tell you this: the Dollar exchange rate was 8.50 [hryvnia] and the Euro exchange rate was 12.00 [hryvnia]. I want to remind you that no one was contemplating war.

[interruption]

Ukraine was whole and undivided. No one even thought that there could be armed hostilities in any area of the South-East or in any other part of Ukraine.

[interruption]

So here you say that Yanukovich stole everything from Ukraine. Any person who has any idea at all about how a state budget works—you are currently a governor, correct?—you know that it is impossible to embezzle money ahead of time [money that does not yet exist]. Every year has its budgetary income and its budgetary expenses.

[interruption]

Right now unique reformers have come to power. Very wise politicians. They steal absolutely nothing. However, they have retracted all the social payments; they do not pay for gas, and there is no money. Tell me, where is all the money going? Yanukovich could not have stolen something that will be earned in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

[interruption]

I am telling you that you are incapable of leading the country. And you are inventing external disasters for the country that make tens of thousands of people suffer in order to cover up your own ignorance. And this is something that you should be apologizing for. You are the ones who should be apologizing—you are the ones who got Ukraine into this situation.

Host: Yatsenyuk said that all the social payments in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions were made, [while these regions made only fifty-five percent of the expected transfers into state budget].

Video: Last month we received into the state budget from Donetsk and Lugansk 422 million hryvnia less than we were entitled to. Donetsk underpaid 220 million hryvnia, and Lugansk underpaid 202 million hryvnia; in taxes. All the same, we covered everything to the last penny. We covered the pensions, we covered the salaries, we covered the subsidies. The ratio of what we collect and what we pay out is 1:2. We collect fifty-five percent and pay a hundred percent to Donetsk and Lugansk. Why do we do this and why will we continue to do this? Because Donetsk is Ukraine. Lugansk is Ukraine. We will soon expel the terrorists. And Ukraine will be a united, unitary and independent state.

Host: That was Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Muraev: If I may comment on this right away?

Host: Only very briefly.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk forgot to mention that, at the same time, they decreased payments to children, they decreased payments to mothers with multiple children. There is a long list of social assistance recipients that have been denied their subsidies.

[interruption]

Those sums, which they still currently pay, are not even thirty percent of the total social package that was provided by the “evil government” [of Yanukovich], as you like to call it.

[interruption]

Explain to me please, where does all the money go, if no one steals anything, everyone pays for gas at the market rate, and the electricity prices are rising, and there are, hold on, no subsidized industries whatsoever? Where does it go?

Host: [voice breaking] Mr. Evgeniy, listen to me, you are not alone in the auditorium, right?

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