Orange Revolution
Democracy Emerging in Ukraine

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                              DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS

               V. YANUKOVICH  - V.  YUSHCHENKO

December 21, 2004

Part one: opening remarks. Victor Yushchenko speaks Ukrainian, Victor Yanukovych speaks Russian

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO (in Ukrainian): Dear people, dear Ukrainian nation, first of all, IРІР‚в„ўd like to congratulate you on the beginning of the New Year holidays. Yesterday we had a wonderful Christian holiday of St.Nicholas. I hope that he came to every family, to every house, because IРІР‚в„ўm sure that this year the Ukrainian community, the Ukrainian nation was especially fair. It fought for its freedom, it fought for its right to live in a fair, democratic country, as free citizens. That is why, I hope that to every citizen of Ukraine, yesterday, regardless of the age, St.Nicholas laid under the pillow the present one deserved. Because you were fair.
Now, at bottom of fact, listen, dear friends, I think that millions of people, looking these TV-debates today, ask themselves: why are these two guys again on TV? Why they are debating? Whether one debates were not enough to clarify the bases of their economical, social policy, and the foreign political situation in Ukraine. IРІР‚в„ўm confident that there is only one reason that collected us here: this is that the results of the elections of 21 Nov were stolen. More than 3 million of votes were stolen by my opponent and his team. Thus, the question today is to speak again and again about what happened Nov 21, why people were speaking so loud at the streets and squares of Ukraine. What incited them to do that? IРІР‚в„ўm sure that when we are speaking about the total falsification, this is not that in Donetsk, after 8 p.m., additional half a million of votes was cast into ballot boxes. This is not even that in the Mykolayiv Oblast 350 thousand were cast due to voting at home on absentee voting certificates. This is not even that throughout the whole Ukraine, 1.3 million of votes were merely stolen on the technology of absentee voting certificates. Dear friends, they tried to steal our future. And this is the most important. That is why, thanks to the parliament, thanks to the Supreme Court, we adopted a political and legal decision and put an end to these misuses. As a result, the government, which was the center of the falsification, was sacked, the CEC was sacked, because it allowed manipulations, the Prosecutor General resigned, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, former campaign manager of my opponent, resigned. In other words, I can say that the truth triumphed.
170 criminal cases, were brought today by the PGO against chiefs of district, territorial commissions, in our opinion, also add a word of law to this process. We must remember that the motivating force of all this processes, without any doubt, will not be a party, but all citizens of Ukraine, who did not want to live in the country ruled by criminal power, where 55% of the economics are in shadow, and which is working for 3-4 families. The people did not submit to depended force system, they want to have a freedom of speech, and not temniks of the President Administration. And, that is why, dear friends, to put it into a single sentence, the nation said the only thing: that it does not want to live in a joint-stock company, called a company of Yanukovych, Kuchma, and Medvedchuk. I love, dear friends, everybody, who came with orange colors, who came with blue colors. Indeed, orange is the color of victory, and even when Donetsk “Shakhtar” (football team) put on orange uniforms, it began to win. Thank everybody for your attention.

PRESENTER: Victor Fedorovych, your turn.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH (in Russian): Thanks you. Dear compatriots, Victor Andriyovych, I’d like to say several words that your accusations of me and of my electors, who voted Nov 21, do not allow to look optimistically into our common future in such a format. I’d like to address to Ukrainian electors, making a short overview of our history. Our history is not very long, but very bright. Since the time when the large country of USSR was wiped out and we began to build the independent Ukraine, all of us saw much grief and sorrow. I said many times that we together, and every single person, every family, every company looked for a possibility to survive. I’m confident that we survived not owning to the power that had been ruling these years, but, rather, in defiance of it, we survived, resisting to the destroying force of inflation, the catastrophic falling of the living standard of our people, and many of us lost the hope for future. Somehow or other, some of us, as they say, escaped the big grief, but many people were touched by it, and the injustice of this time, and many questions we asked to power structures, I do not want to say that everything was bad during this years. No. There were, especially at the local level, opportunities to solve different questions, and they were used by powers. We had governments who resisted, solving problems. But we know that almost every year governments were changed during these years. There was an open struggle that we did not understand, in all power branches, as they say in higher circles. This perplexity has remained till the present time. With this perplexity we have lived up till today. Really, the injustice and corruption in the supreme echelons of power and in the provinces forced us think that they really forget that there are people, there is a Ukrainian nation. I cannot argue with Victor Andriyovych that very often it happened that a group of organized people worked for itself, often forgetting about the Ukrainian nation. But, nevertheless, we built our economics with common efforts. We somehow solved this the most difficult situation, and we lived up to these elections. What happened at these elections: we’ve become witnesses that the power, represented by Leonid Kuchma, united with representatives of the so-called “orange putsch”. And, having practically done its part, it adopted illegal decisions, aimed against the Ukrainian nation, and against that part of electors, who, with this decision, were, in fact, deprived of their right to vote in the second round.
IРІР‚в„ўm speaking about this, my dear, with a deep regret, because those people, who went to the Maydan, they had the revolution in their souls, and I agree with them. Joining this peopleРІР‚в„ўs resistance, many thought that the power structures must be changed. I absolutely agree with you, and I will be with you.
I call on Victor Andriyovych to solve this problem today, how can we together solve the very important problem, how to prevent the disruption of this round of the election, and that this old power again teach us how to live. This is the problem. It exists, and I invite you to this problem, so that we, joining our forces, prevent the disruption of this round of the election. So that the Ukrainian nation can really express its will and elect the President it wants. And we together sacked this regime, and, by doing so, congratulated the Ukrainian nation on the New Year.


VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: Victor Fedorovych, IРІР‚в„ўve been surprised with the final part of your speech. Indeed, you are the single candidate of the current power. Really, you were proposed in the cabinet of President Kuchma. YouРІР‚в„ўre actually the Kuchma-3, you are his best child. And you are saying all that about the President today. DonРІР‚в„ўt spit into the well, youРІР‚в„ўll have to drink from it. But my question is as follows: all the country was covered with you billboards, saying that you are reliable and consistent. You propose the budget for the next year with a minimal wage of 237 hryvnias, you recall it and in several weeks you put 205 hryvnias. Then, in a month before the election, you give the increment to pensions. Making the state budget-2005, you forget about this increment, and you do not stipulate not a single kopeck for the increased pensions. Of course, weРІР‚в„ўll correct that in the parliament, and Ukrainian pensioners will receive the pension they are receiving today. But, Victor Fedorovych, IРІР‚в„ўd like, as an economist, to understand the nature of your mistakes: whether these are the mistakes of amateur activities, or mere blatant deceiving electors.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: Well, first of all, as for the best son, maybe, this wording suits you better. It was you who recently negotiated and agreed how we should pass this difficult race with President Kuchma. But, IРІР‚в„ўd like to remind that the most part of my electors voted for me. Many electors also voted for you. And if we do not accord how we should live in future in this country, it may happen that any of us can be elected a defective President, or a President of a part of the country. This question must be answered, when time comes. But, I wanted to say other thing. When it goes about the economics, about the budget, I say with confidence that my government has fulfilled its task, and tangibly increased the living level of people during these two years. In 2003, as well as in 2004, we increased salaries, pensions, grants-in-aid, and you know that namely the social orientation of my government allowed me to enjoy this huge support in the Ukrainian society, which we received in the second round.
Well, these allegations that the pensions will not be paid, I’ve heard them as early as in September, then in October and November. Then these words were in leaflets, sent to pensioners. Now when people have got these pensions…if you doubt that these pensions. I said and I say that we will pay the pension we established, and we’ll make the difference only on working conditions for pensioners. And this is my position of principle. I know what the poverty is. I know how it humiliates a person. That is why this problem is solved for me.
Victor Andriyovych! IРІР‚в„ўd like to ask you a small question, but very principal for me. You know that during and before the campaign, a large inflow of foreign organizations was to Ukraine, which were interested in free and fair elections. These organizations were not only interested, but also transferred funds, which influenced greatly the pre-election campaign. IРІР‚в„ўd like us to be respected. Do you agree that we should adopt a bill that would regulate interfering of foreign NGOs into our internal affairs?

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: I thought that you would openly say whether I was funded by Russia or America. But I have dignity - these hands never stole anything, I never took things that did not belong to me. I know that in this life we have to pay for sins. I was not convicted, my life is honest, and when I’m asked in different places about American valenki (national winter boots - UNIAN), I’m disgraced with it. Look into the eyes of these people, who were standing at Maydan. Are these eyes are telling you that they came for ten hryvnias? There were people standing, whose daily revenue is higher than the budget of my election campaign. These people were standing for conscience – they do not want criminal power. That is why, I agree with one thing: we should come to understanding that the Ukrainian candidate must not be appointed in Russia. And those voyages to Crimea or Moscow disgrace any candidate of the independent Ukraine. This issue concerns Moscow, Brussels, Warsaw…

I’m confident that we have a country that can elect by its own will its own President. If we have to adopt for this end some formal, additional – I agree for that. The most important is to prevent stealing of votes.

Nevertheless, you did not answer my question on the budget – the government, which thinks about the pension, it, first of all, increases the salary. And in the salary it sets up a fund, which goes for the pension. You began with contrary. When you say that people will receive pension – you are wrong. People will receive increment. Because, calculations have not been made as yet on any pensioners. Thus, lets accord, whether we are talking about a new pension, or about the increment, which will also exist under the next government.
My question is the following: when I became the Prime Minister, the problem number one was, in additional to the social debts, the foreign debt. This was a slip-knot, which caused the default. Thus, in 2000 the team, which was in the government and the parliament, agreed that a deficit budget wonРІР‚в„ўt be in the country any more. Tell me please, did you wittingly submit the draft budget for the next year with the level of deficit is the largest during the last 7 years, when we have the highest economic growth rate. Is this professionalism? Is this constituency? What a paradox is this?

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: I have an impression that you are living in a world of abstract figures. You do not imagine that the economics is being made in the countryside, in workshops, at plants and enterprises. Lets’ look at the real economics, we have a serious growth of the gross domestic product. Based on this, our salaries have grown. In 2003 – by 24%, in 2004 – by 27%. And this was the basis for boosting social payments. As for the pension - you know, you adopted that law on restriction of the volumes of pensions for payment of privileges and subsidies. You must know it very well. If we boosted pensions till 284 hryvnias today, we would immediately cut privileges and subisides. That is why we introduced the increment. As soon as amendments are introduced into the law establishing the level of the minimal pension, which influences the payment of privileges and subsidies - these money from the budget are easily transferred to the pension fund, and the pension, but not increment, is paid. To achieve the level of pension at 284 hryvnias, we have to rise the level of salaries up to 920 hryvnias. We will achieve this level by the end of 2005. This is the dynamics of the economics, if in 2005 we will have GDP approximately at 400-405 billion hryvnias. All these are economic calculations. I has been all the time in the real economics, I worked at an enterprise, in the region, and here in the government.

IРІР‚в„ўd like to return to the first question. Do you agree that we, two political leaders, have to really search ways how to unite and not to split Ukraine? Do you agree that we have a problem of disruption of this round of the election?. Do we have to change the injustice in the law on presidential election, so that our people, invalids, veterans, who were hurt by this law, violating the Constitution? To take into account the mistakes in this law that may disrupt this round of elections. I do worry about this issue.

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO (Ukrainian): Let’s clearly formulate what was the key mechanisms of this falsifications on Nov 21. This was the absentee voting certificates. Tens of trains were organized from Donetsk, to arrive in the Western Ukraine, and to what here and there. The results of the falsification is 1.3 million votes. Do we want to go this way? No. That is why the new law set out: the absentee voting lists are valid within the boundaries of one Oblast, there you can falsify as much as you want. When it goes about voting at home, Victor Fedorovych, do you really believe that in the Mykolayiv Oblast 35% of electors voted at home? No! Cars won’t be enough, the budget won’t be enough to maintain such a voting. It was a public theft of votes. Thus, the new law deals with voting at home, and gives preference to one category – invalids of the first group.

District electoral commissions must, using their own transport, convey other categories of invalids to polling stations. The law gives the answer how to provide voting of everybody. The commissions are set up on a parity basis – 50%/50%, allowing to avoid the situation when on Nov 21 you had 5 commission members, and I had 1. Thanks to this law, our opportunities have become equal. I'm confident that voting will be much more transparent in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast.

I thank for you lifted the problem of corruption. I do believe that this is the problem number one. When you explained that you lack 3 million hryvnias of wages to establish a minimal wage, and did not give the salary of 237 hryvnias since January of the current year, and, at the same time, “Kryvorizhstal” was stolen – the industrial complex, built by may be 4, maybe 5 generations of people from Russia and Kazakhstan, it appears that you have a third part in that holding. How could it happen that the best price, proposed by Russian and Indians, and the worst price, which was paid by the President’s son-in-law, differ by 5 billion hryvnias, which is exactly the sum needed to pay the salary?

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH (in Russian): Victor Andriyovych, unfortunately, you do not answer my direct questions. I’m sure that today we have a real opportunity to determine the future of our country. People are concerned today and waiting for the answer to the main questions – how to live in future.

I many times answered you questions, Victor Andriyovych. I said, and repeat now, that today the real economics of our state is rising. We have an opportunity to maintain the growth of the economics, and to maintain the living standard of our people, under one condition – that we will have a political stability, and no break-up in the society. If you stop to negotiate with the third player in our country, if we seat normally and talk – yes, we do have many differences, and that are of principle, each of us defends his own stance for improving the live in this country. This or that way, we’ll look for compromise, and will find them, uniting forces during the campaign as well as after the election. I believe that after the election, regardless who wins, we’ll have to hold a forum of national conciliation, and to live, so that people live peacefully. Because the examples, which we saw during the orange putsch, they threatened the people. Many regions, where I visited, are deeply concerned…How can Odessa be thrown into the sea, how can Donbass be encircled with barbed wire? I understand that all these are emotions, I understand very well that this revolution was growing in our people for a long time, but we should think about the future, which will not happen without us. The future is not in juggling with facts. You say this, I can say that. You know perfectly well that many violations were registered in the Western Ukraine, and we registered them, much more than you. But I today do not blame our electors, they were keen adherents – mine or yours, they wanted our victory. That’s why, Victor Andriyovych, be a man! Let’s think which can be the social consequences of the break-up of our state, which we must not allow. We must agree to conduct elections peacefully, to stop pressure, as they say, not to set off people neither from this nor from that side. We must live in the legal field. Only the law can be a basis for an appeal, I’d like to discuss this question with you today. The second question is, how should we build the real sector of the economics, and not to hammer pegs. You know, how you government worked, and how my government worked. There are very many professionals who must be respected. Our main problems are in complete reconstruction of positions, so that today, at the highest levels of power, so that we can enjoy trust. I ask question: are you ready, together with me, right after the New Year, to put in force the political reform, to invite me to form a normal government, of the people who we see today. If you win, I’ll recognize, if I win – you recognize, and we work together over the government, over the national accord, the unification.

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO (in Ukrainian): Beautiful words can be said... IРІР‚в„ўd like to put our polemics into one field, I asked you a question, and you are telling me about the weather. IРІР‚в„ўm sorry, but I ask to take this into account. Our polemics must be concrete.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: You did not answer none of my questions

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: Victor Fedorovych, what separates us? The difference between the word and the did. Why is this country today without a new President? Because of you! Because you committed falsifications! The transit server installed not in my office, but in the Presidential Administration, where, by means of it, Kliuyev and Medvedchuk were deceiving the nation for ten days telling who is the favorite. Now we are saying: let’s not use absentee voting certificates, and voting at home, which humbled the nation. You are now pushing me into the polemics about the law, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada – whether it is expedient or not. Let’s discuss the political reform. Victor Fedorovych, I think that we ten days ago discussed till 3 a.m., I asked to a separate cabinet, so that only your and my eyes could see – let’s discuss the problems for a middle perspective. I asked you to go towards me, to sign the law on election, on setting up commissions, to conduct elections normally, to put an end to them, to obtain a new President, who will form the government basing on the legislation. As for the political reform, you know, my faction voted for the political reform. We placed the position, which we did not support before, going towards you and your team.

YANUKOVYCH (depreciatingly) : for the sake of the country…

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: we supported #4108, though it was not a political reform, but a shade affairs of Kuchma, Medvedchuk, and Yanukovych. To reconstruct the presidential pyramid into a governmental one. Despite it, we supported the draft, and asked to introduce it since January of 2006, on the eve of which a new parliament, with new authorities, will be elected, according to 4180. Me, and my team support the draft that we opposed for 2 years. Victor Fedorovych, I’m really surprised to hear these terminology from you as for the current order. I repeat what I said at every meeting. The problem of Ukraine is not in the resource, not in the finance! The problem of Ukraine is that we have semi-skilled, semi-educated people! We have enough opportunities to have the most modern European market here. Why are the investors afraid? They are afraid of the criminal power. I stress I speak about the power, not about the opposition, and not about the people. The criminal power. Today, they invest into Russia 3 billion dollars, and 7 billion dollars into Poland, and hardly 600 million dollars into us. My question to you: I’m ready to repeat today that the main problem for the development of Ukraine is the criminal power of Kuchma, Medvedchuk, Yanukovych. There is enough evidence of this thesis. But, I’d like to ask you only one: are you ready today, as a consistent politician, to look into the eyes of people and to beg pardon for you called them “goats”, and later “orange rats”? Even if the matter concerns half a million people, but this is Ukraine! Even if the matter concerns 10 million people, this is also Ukraine! Why do you give such a humiliating estimate to your opponents, which will never bring to consolidation? Is this the position of a consistent politician?

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: (begins in Ukrainian) Thank you. I answer your question. Unfortunately, Victor Andriyovych, you understand nothing when I spoke about emotions. More than that, I called goats the traitors. According to the Bible, the goat is a traitor, and there are also rams, sheep. When I was really insulted here at Maydan, from the tribune. I will not say, you know…You probably heard what I was saying that time, when this fragment was shown – that I say, when I’m called a wolf, it is an animal that I do respect, so I’m grateful, let them say. But I say: well, what should I answer, are they orange rats, or what? But I said that all insults I heard, against me, even against my family, my wife, using such words, that…I have a wife, and my wife is my wife that I lived with for many years. (transfers to Russian) When she was hurt, I really pity her. I just thought that if such words were allowed. I was calmed by my friends and those who supported me, saying, “calm down, Victor Fedorovych, but now we know very well that the wife will never rule our President”. I forgave all insults I received. I said this in church. I said it and now repeat…

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: for rats and goats, Victor Fedorovych.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: I said this and I repeat that all the insults of me (I suppose that nobody was ever so insulted as me) I forgive. IРІР‚в„ўd like to say that I beg pardon if I emotionally hurt or insulted anybody. I, personally, did not insult, everybody knows that. And if I said something, I beg your pardon.

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO(Ukrainian): it seems to me that he only asks questions.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: I have a simple question, Victor Andriyovych. We lived through this hard and complicated period of time. We’ve seen that a large part of population supports you, as well as me. In fact, we split Ukraine into two parts. I ask you – you just do not want to answer my question - for the third time I ask you: do you agree that we, before the election campaign, seat and agree how we will live after the election? My proposals are simple: first of all, we must change this shameful law, find now a constitutional accord, I agree for a package voting, my faction voted for that. These people are our electors. If a law was adopted that violates the Constitution, we must change it. This is the first.

The second is that we must agree how to carry out the election, to prevent disorders, to conduct a forum of national accord of Ukraine. So, the three questions, do you agree? Asnwer me this question, and letРІР‚в„ўs go further.

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: Victor Fedorovych, first question, first position. Let’s recall that Ukraine is united, since the period of St.Volodymyr. It lived united through the times of Bohdan Khmelnytski, Ivan Mazepa, Skoropadski. Let’s consider the unity of Ukraine, its integrity, to be saint, which must be appreciated by every politician. And when he loses, he must not escape to the neighbor country, to the two regions, let’s not play with marked cards on separatism, federalism, creating the South-Eastern Republic. This PISUAR (abbreviation of this republic - UNIAN) were established, you know, not by only one politician, and they failed. That is why I’m confident that the value of Ukraine is in its unity, and its territorial integrity cannot be broken up today. Even Yanukovych, even Yushchenko, even any of our politicians today. I’m confident that we have no bases to say today that Ukraine is split on the language, on the confession, that Ukraine is split on the integration, to the East or the West. These all are Ukrainian state and national interests, which can be easily managed. The answer. Without any doubt, Victor Fedorovych, the aim of the politics is that political parties collect and discuss the conflicts and agree forms of resolving these conflicts. I can say that my political force, which came to the parliament in 2002, has always been open, has always been in a consistent dialog. And that what you say… I’d like to add, Victor Fedorovyh, if the Donetsk Oblast is open for other political forces, and thugs do not rule there…When we want to hold a convention there, some 600 drunk men are pushed to us, they are given to drink the Sarmat beer, and we are speaking about the integrity of Ukraine?
I, Victor Fedorovych, think that we should together speak in the Donetsk, Luhansk, the east of Ukraine. We should together speak in the west of Ukraine, in Lviv, Ternopil, Zakarpattya. We should produce any forms of national understanding. Without any doubt, we should talk, we should listen to each other. And IРІР‚в„ўm confident that we will find the answers, which will not threaten people in the east or in the west. That is why in the issue I support this, Victor Fedorovych.
I’d like to ask another question, but, since, I’m, listening to the words of the new oppositioner, I want to understand, who are you opposed to? If you are opposed to Kuchma, then I have a question of Leonid Kuchma, why he did not sack you in line with the law? Or are you an oppositioner to the top Vice-Premier, who you recommended, and who was appointed by the President? Are you opposed to the heads of the Oblast State Administrations, with who you hold a forum, whether this is in the eastern, western, or central Oblasts. Who are you opposed to? Kuchma with his team – Medvedchuk, Surkis, Pinchuk, proposed you as a united candidate of them. In 60 days you turn your back to them, and say that you are an oppositioner. Then act like the opposition does. You must stay in one field, Victor Fedorovych, either here, or there. Thank you.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: I answer, Victor Andriyovych. I’m oppositioner against those who teach us how to live in our land, for his money. And when putsches are organized, and when the power joins them, supports, and when negotiations are conducted, and agree how to fight the so-called united candidate. You know very well, how I became the united candidate – even better than me. These actions were planned. And I think that Leonid Kuchma was aware of them. And you knew very well about the preparation to these organized actions. The other issue is, that a certain part of the society, which was ready to this in its soul, and protested against the regime, which has ruled for many years. You know this perfectly well. That is why, I’m, Victor Andriyovych, opposed to your uniting and teaching the Ukrainian nation how to live.

The Ukrainian nation must live with its own mind, and, at its own land, solve its own problems, without the help from abroad. I’m opposed to that. And I clearly stated my position immediately after the election, so, let us observe the law. You know that the court ruling was political, you know, that the decision about the resignation of the government was political, the decision of the Verkhovna Rada was political – they declared that the election was void before the resolution of the court. This was a revenge – and this was planned. But the revenge was not against me, but millions of Ukrainian people, who voted in the second round for me. That is why my attitude to this cannot be another. I can say with confidence that, Victor Andriyovych, if you think that you will win, and you become the President of Ukraine, you make a big mistake. Should you win, you may become the President of a part of Ukraine. I do not want this, I want us to unite the Ukraine. This is my goal.

If you think that you lack power, and you need this power till
September 1, you also make a big mistake. This power is not enough. Me must keep on calm in our country. I told you, I don’t have ambitions, personal, no…and I…I did everything to keep on peace and calm in our country. I fought not for the power, but to prevent the bloodshed. Today, after these developments, we can estimate them. We estimated them. And now we should think how to live. That is I’m opposed to.

My question, Victor Andriyovych, at last, will you say me: do you think this is allowavbly in our country to violate the Ukrainian Constitution, to adopt these laws, and to deprive our citizens of opportunity to cast their ballot Dec 26? You never answered my question. I proposed you once more to negotiate, to reconsider this law, and to make decision, to correct this mistake. These are our people, citizens of our state.

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: Really, Victor Fedorovych, I do want you to hear me, very much. But I fail as yet. What was the problem of Nov 21? The problem was that you stole 3 million votes. IРІР‚в„ўm speaking figuratively. You, or Kliuyev, or Medvedchuk and Kliuyev, or you three together. This was an insult for 47 million people. And the whole world began to say that only criminals do this.

If we want fair changes in Ukraine, we, first of all, must conduct a fair election. Who provides the fair election? First of all, the power, everything was in your hands, you could provide the fair election. You used manipulations. Now, as for the Verkhovna Rada. Tell me, please, which resolutions of the parliament are illegitimate? All decisions, made by the politicial structure of Verkhovna Rada, are political.

VICTOR YANUKOVYCH: Where is the law?

VICTOR YUSHCHENKO: through the format of a law, or a resolution, as before. Now, the second. The Verkhovna Rada, politicians, gave the estimate. This is not the precursor of the legal estimate, this is the opinion of politicians, that the elections were conducted with large violations of the current legislation, that the commission must be sacked and a revote must be announced. This was the position of the Verkhovna Rada, of internal analytical centers, political forces, parties, blocks.

Victor Fedorovych, I’m hurt when votes are stolen from people. You are a believer, isn’t it? So, one must not steal. You must not steal things, you must not steal factories, you must not steal votes. And when 3 million votes are stolen…And you know very well that in Donetsk, after 8 p.m., when the election finished, half a million votes were stolen. You had a right to rise the hundred part or ten, and say: guys, this is a crime, I don’t need this. You did not.
This decision was made by the Supreme Court, it is legal. That is why, let’s draw conclusions. We should not say that this or that institute is incorrect. You committed a rough violation – the falsification of the election. And now, we return to the law, which you asked. Dear Victor Fedorovych, the matter concerns that Ukrainian electors have a right to vote, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. The law makes a preference for invalids of the first group. This is the group of people, who stay at home, and you can arrive to them with the ballot box. As for the other groups of invalids, the law sets out that this is the duty of territorial and district commissions – to give a car, to bring those people, so that they vote. Well, what is cynical here, what is incorrect, illegal to citizens? Everyone has an opportunity, but, let’s, Victor Fedorovych, not forget that if absentee voting certificates work as it did in the Mykolayiv Oblast, we will never have a fair election.

IРІР‚в„ўd like to ask you a question, dealing with the work of the ProsecutorРІР‚в„ўs General Office. I used to say many times that Vassyliev, who represents Donetsk, the Donetsk region, local residents, who was supported by you, together with communists, in exchange for certain categories of positions in the parliament, the person, who, during the time of his cadence, during the last year, I stress, sacked 2 thousand employees of the prosecutorРІР‚в„ўs offices. In fact, every fourth. Every fourth or fifth of the total staff of the Ukrainian prosecution.

We are speaking about the special role of the prosecutor’s office. The person, proposed by your faction, former Prosecutor General Vassyliev, appointed only his people on leading posts. If you are from Donetsk – you have all perspectives. 17 key posts in the PGO belong to representatives of the Donetsk region. During the time of Vassyliev’s ruling, PGO did not reveal a sole crime. I recall Lesia Gongadze, mother of Georgiy Gongadze, speaking at a rally, begging you and begging the Prosecutor General: please, return me the dead body of my son, I will not have any questions to you. The case was forgotten. Apart from that, in 2004 courts returned twice as much cases as during the previous years. Victor Fedorovych, I’d like you to comment on this instance – on your staff policy.

PART THREE: CLOSING REMARKS (translated by the BBC Monitoring Service)

Closing remarks of VICTOR YUSHCHENKO:

Dear compatriots, dear Ukrainians, dear people. There were a lot of emotions during the presidential election campaign. There were many words used, both face to face and on TV screens, which described various processes, both internal and external. I am proceeding from the fact that 26 December is polling day, which will come soon. Life will go on after 26 December. Understanding will be sought regarding the key issue that became a cornerstone for Ukrainians. That is Ukraine's unity.

Dear friends, I was born in eastern Ukraine, several dozen kilometres from the Russian border. I was raised according to my father's morals, who was a soldier of the Soviet Army, a border guard. I was a border guard myself.

Then he was taken prisoner and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Dachau and Buchenwald. I was raised according to his morals and values. Thanks to him, I learned to love my motherland, which is called Ukraine.

It hurts me today, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of emotions, when someone somewhere raises the issue and encroaches on the sacred thing by saying that there are three kinds of Ukrainians [in the east, centre and west], or that Ukraine should be a federation, or that a south-eastern republic should be created.
I am giving you my word about the thing I will mention later on. When I am going to the Sumy Region to visit my mother, there is not a single field without burial mounds. There lie the bones of our people, our grandfathers, who were fighting for a sovereign country. I am calling on all politicians to beware of one thing - no ideas of splitting Ukraine, no ideas of any federalization should be mooted now. This is a present we could give Ukraine on New Year Day.

Next. I would like to give a more precise response to some statements I've heard, including those made by Viktor Fedorovych here. As regards regional policy, dear colleagues, when I am president every region will have its own place, corresponding to its potential.

Second, nobody will close a single Russian-language school. Third. Nobody will divide Ukrainians into three minds, as it was said on the banners hanged in Kiev and across Ukraine by the pro-government force. Crimea will always belong to Crimeans and to Ukraine, rather than any single ethnic group. Viktor Fedorovych, nobody will fence Luhansk and Donetsk off with barbed wire. You are a serious person. Don't repeat these myths.

Nobody will close a single Orthodox church to the benefit of any other church. Dear friends, there are 250 religions in the world. Everyone has their own road to God, everyone has their own church. Tell me please, who can show someone else where they should worship? This is your responsibility, because you are bearing your own cross. We assure you that no church will be persecuted, I want to emphasize - not a single one, because we are living in the third millennium.

Next, nobody will raze the Seventh Kilometre market in Odessa. Nobody will bring Sevastopol down to its knees. Every citizen in Ukraine will speak the language they find more convenient. And the last one. I am running for president to tell everybody who is working honestly and living honestly – I wish you peace, peace to your home, peace to your families and houses. I wish you luck.

Closing remarks of VICTOR YANUKOVYCH:

Dear compatriots! All these days after 21 November, after the runoff round, all out country has spent in tribulations. You have just heard our conversation with Mr Yushchenko. We both have our positions, and we both have different views of these events. I believe that after these events we have seen a different country, and a different Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people have woken up and opened their eyes. I am not accusing the people who took to the streets in protest. I realize that over all these years, a lot of problems have accumulated. In this way or another, many people have been treated unfairly. And I too disagreed with some things, and that is exactly why I came to Kiev two years ago to work as prime minister in order somehow to influence the processes going on here in the capital.

We have seen different positions. I have been and I remain a proponent of stability. We have worked as best as we could to solve many problems. You have had an opportunity to assess my work. It will all depend on your assessment. After the election, and even now we can already say that we all have our point of view as to how the multiethnic Ukrainian people will build our lives, and which course the country will take.

I have made an offer to Mr Yushchenko, I hope he will think about it, to join our efforts and make sure that the election campaign is peaceful, and to see the New Year in peace. I would also like to apologize to you all for any incorrectness there has been during my election campaign. I hope there will be no feeling of anger lingering after the election, and that our society will come out renovated after this, and that we see the New Year with our families and children. As they say, the New Year will be the way you spend its first day.

I would like to ask all of you to come to the polling stations on 26 December, to keep calm and believe that we will build together our future and remember about our duty to our children. Our elderly people must also rest assured that we will protect them. I believe in Ukraine, in our people. I will serve the Ukrainian people and, with God's help, solve many problems. I will always we honest and fair to you. Thank you.