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Petro Oleshchuk: Nobody Knows Whether Yanukovych Is Alive Or Not

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Petro Oleshchuk: Nobody Knows Whether Yanukovych Is Alive Or Not
PETRO OLESCHUK

Why did Putin and Lukashenka start talking about Zelensky’s legitimacy?

Putin unexpectedly spoke about the issue of the legitimacy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He is echoed by the Belarusian dictator Lukashenka.

Why did this campaign start now? Charter97.org website spoke about this with Ukrainian political scientist, professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Petro Oleshchuk:

— In this situation, Putin takes advantage of the fact that five years of Zelensky’s presidency have passed. Naturally, this in itself is not a reason. Behind this is an attempt to put pressure on the Ukrainian authorities, in particular on the Ukrainian president himself.

The funniest thing about this situation is that Putin personally makes relevant statements. The Russians don’t even try to use their opinion leaders or any other “independent commentators” for this. No, it is Putin who is speaking, which does not really add to the popularity of this idea among Ukrainians.

Let me note one more point: it is obvious that Putin is unlikely to be interested in the Constitution of Ukraine. Simply because, according to this document, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Crimea and Sevastopol are parts of Ukraine. At this point, Putin does not read the Constitution of Ukraine, but in terms of the powers of the head of Ukraine, he does. Acts directly as an “expert” on the constitutional law of Ukraine. Clearly this is not the reason.

I think that Putin simply understands perfectly well that he needs to achieve the signing of any agreements with Ukraine as soon as possible in order to freeze the war on the most favorable terms for himself. He understands perfectly well that this will not work with Zelensky. Accordingly, he thus sends a signal to both Ukraine and its Western partners, saying, “let’s remove Zelensky somewhere, I’m ready to negotiate.”

It seems that Putin really believes that somewhere there is a control button for Ukraine, they say, as soon as the United States wants it, there will be a new president in Ukraine, and the Russian Federation will sign something with him.

— It is noteworthy that during Putin’s visit to Belarus, the plane of the fugitive ex-president of Ukraine Yanukovych arrived in Homel. Do you think the story of Zelensky’s legitimacy will be used solely as a propaganda narrative or will practical steps follow — the creation of some kind of quasi-state with the same Yanukovych at its head?

— You see, there is no particular place to create this quasi-state. After all, Russia declared all the occupied territories of Ukraine “Russian”.

The interesting point is that Yanukovych’s plane seemed to exist, but Yanukovych himself has not been shown to us anywhere for several years. When he made a statement in 2022 in support of Russia, it was in writing. It was published in relevant Russian publications. Yanukovych himself didn’t even read it on camera.

We have no idea what's going on with him: whether he's alive or not. I think that this whole story with Yanukovych is an element of an information war to promote the idea that a new attack on Kyiv from the territory of Belarus is being prepared.

By the way, no one takes Yanukovych seriously in Russia itself. The same propagandist Solovyov on Russian TV strongly criticizes him. He is a zero figure for absolutely everyone, but his image is periodically taken out to be used for their own purposes. I don't think this will go anywhere further.

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