Dear Viktor Yanukovych:
So now the Moscow Times is saying you're to blame for everything that's going wrong with Ukraine. I've reproduced the article at the bottom of this page. They're even saying you're stupid. They search through the hundreds of photos available of you, almost every last one of which makes you look good, and pick the one that could be interpreted as you looking foolish. Doesn't really make you look foolish at all. It's an ambiguous photograph that could be interpreted in a hundred ways, but if the suggestion is made that you look stupid in it, many people will take it as evidence that you are stupid.
And just when you need a friend to stick up for you, to announce to the world that things aren't going as badly in Ukraine as they may seem, and that you're not stupid, and that many good photos of you are available — where is Vladimir Putin? Where is your supporter, your mentor, your idol? Where is the guy who has been hiding behind the scenes giving the orders for all those things which are now being recognized as stupid?
Vladimir Putin stays hidden behind the curtain. He does not come to your defense. You might well wonder if Vladimir Putin was not the one who paid for that article to be written. He needs a fall guy for his blunders. Which puts you in a difficult position, because you suddenly realize that you are worth more to him dead than alive.
Vladimir is itching to invade Ukraine. To justify an invasion, he needs rioting in the streets and the Reichstag in flames. Make that the Verkhovna Rada in flames. But that doesn't seem quite enough. Could just one more provocation be added? Aha! A flash of genius! — what's needed is for the president to be assassinated! The duly-elected president of Ukraine assassinated by right-wing extremists. Neo-Nazi nationalists from Lviv. That's it! Putin's tanks can start streaming into Ukraine the very next day.
Putin arrives in Kyiv sticking out of the hatch of a tank, grinning broadly, wearing a helmet and goggles, but bare-chested. The cheering crowds welcome him as the man who has been criticizing the hated Yanukovych, as the man too wise and good to have made all the stupid mistakes Viktor Yanukovych made, as the only man able to calm the rioters and bring peace to Ukraine, that special kind of peace that Russia knows well how to bring, the Pax Russica which will outlast the Pax Romana by a thousand years. When he climbs out of the tank and springs nimbly to the ground, it will turn out that his pants pockets are stuffed with American twenty-dollar bills, which he will hand out to the crowd. What a sensation that will make! Too bad you won't be there to see it.
That may be Putin's plan. Can you be sure that it isn't? Notice that in the Moscow Times article below, the caption underneath your photograph says "Nothing and nobody can help Yanukovych escape his fate". What a chilling thing to say! In view of the many negative things the article says about you, the fate alluded to but not specified is not likely to be a happy one. The caption sounds a lot like a threat. And the other horrible things that the article continues on to say about you! This is Vladimir Putin talking. The putative author, Yulia Latynina, a political talk show host in Moscow, would not be saying such terrible things about a Ukrainian president unless Vladimir Putin requested it.
If there is any doubt that Vladimir Putin wants you dead, then just read the last sentence in that Moscow Times article. It makes reference to suicide by means of two bullets to the head, meaning what? Meaning that as someone cannot shoot himself in the head twice, then the event must be a murder illogically set up so as to look like a suicide? Why are these words being thrown in your direction? Is Vladimir Putin telling you that you have no way out but suicide? Is he hinting that he might kill you, not caring that the pretense of suicide will be unconvincing? Perhaps what Vladimir Putin is saying is simply that he wants you dead.
The Ukrainian people want you dead too. As you're surrounded by that much hostility from all sides, I think you should forget about hanging on to Mezhyhirya and all your other properties. And forget about leaving Oleksandr established as a wealthy man. All of that is now lost. The most you can hope for at this late stage is to stay alive. But there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Is it possible that Putin will let you live, given that you know so many of his secrets — like whose idea it was to murder Heorhy Gongadze, and the name of the torturer who skinned parts of Gongadze's body while he was still alive? And is it possible that Putin will let you live when your assassination is the green light he needs to invade Ukraine?
But I do have a way out for you, and if you don't take it, then you will end up dead, and I will conclude that you were as stupid as Vladimir said. My way out is for you to come over to the Opposition. Putin is blaming you in preparation for killing you, but you can blame him in preparation for staying alive. Everything that is happening in Ukraine is not your fault, it is Putin's fault. You went along with his destructive plans only after he subjected you to unbearable duress. He issued orders which you resisted, but which he forced on you against your will, against your better judgement, against your conscience.
But now you have seen the light, and you wish to atone for your sins. You turn to the Ukrainian nation, you turn to the youngsters protesting on the Maidan, and you beg their forgiveness, and you tell them that you wish to be their protector against the villanous, the rapacious, Vladimir Putin. You command the Berkut to protect these youngsters, the children of Ukraine, which to you are like your own children. The Berkut lays aside their guns and their bludgeons, and they take off their helmets and their body armor, and they work side by side with the Maidan youth dismantling the barricades and making the Maidan beautiful again. Tourists flock to the Maidan, the Berkut set up booths selling memorabilia of their Maidan experiences — their helmets their trucheons, all autographed, spent cartridge casings, whatever. They make good money, they set up small businesses, they become entrepreneurs.
I think I can guarantee that you will come out of this alive, and more than that, that you will emerge beloved, that you will go down in history as the savior of Ukraine. Investment capital will come pouring in from Europe, from America, from all over the world.
That is your way out of your predicament. It is a sure way. It is a safe way. It is a glorious way. It is the only way. The question is, Are you as stupid as Vladimir Putin says you are, so stupid as to stand passively and be slaughtered when escape is possible?
You know that Vladimir Putin is ready to sacrifice a hundred thousand lives to gain a swath of territory for his Russian Empire. You know that to acquire Ukraine he is ready to sacrifice a million lives. You know that if your death will give him the slightest advantage in acquiring Ukraine, he will not hesitate to kill you. If you lack the courage to take bold action to save yourself, then muster enough courage to save Oleksandr.
Hoping that you will do the right thing, not only for yourself but also for Oleksandr and for Ukraine, I am able to sign off as
Yanukovych's Unlimited Stupidity
28 January 2014 | Issue 5298
By Yulia Latynina
Former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer once said, "In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity." Every one of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's recent actions provides living proof of this statement.
Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio.
P.S. 23 Feb 2014, 01:55am PST. From what the press has been saying, I gather that Vladimir Putin has been blocking your attempts to enter Russia, which might understandably deepen your fears that now that you have become a liability to him, he wants you dead, preferrably killed on Ukrainian soil so as to render more plausible the story that you were assassinated by Ukrainian nationalists. Like Saddam Hussein before you, you seek refuge with your friends and family near your place of birth. But Putin is bound to pinpoint exactly where you are within a day or two, if he hasn't done so already.
One thing you can be thankful for is that you will never go on trial, as the above article imagines you doing, for commanding snipers to shoot protesters and thugs to wreck Kiev. In such a trial, your best defense would be that you acted under extreme duress from Vladimir Putin, or even better that Putin delivered his orders directly to your subordinates, and directly to his own special forces who were mixed in with your subordinates, in either case without your involvement or even awareness. You will never see such a trial because Vladimir Putin would rather kill you than let the world hear you offering such a defense.