The people’s Deputy from BPP Sergey Leshchenko in an interview to the program “Gordon” on the TV channel “112 Ukraine” said, who really runs the country, why Ukraine is doomed to fight corruption and how it feels in the Parliament
Gordon: “Gordon”, and today my guest – people’s Deputy of Ukraine Serhiy Leshchenko.
Good evening. You always have a lot of bright and sensational information. How do you take? Who are the sources?
Leshchenko: the consequences of the fact that I was a journalist. The people with whom I spoke, during these 15 years a lot. The journalist is not a profession, it is a way to live life very interesting. The more you work, the more you have contacts with people who want you to share something or, for example, to prevent some scheme. There are people actively trying to make contact with journalists. My old network is still being felt, and at the same time, becoming a Deputy, the number of people with whom I communicate, has grown significantly. And these people are very caring – they tell me I ask to help, something to prevent it, knowing where it might lead.
It is the most vivid sensation which you share with people, what was?
– As a journalist – the entire history of Mezhyhirya Yanukovych. As it is, in fact, for the stolen money to build your piece of Paradise. The country lived in poverty, and he reveled in the money that was stolen from our citizens. “Mezhyhiria” was state property. It was necessary to show how it got into the hands of the temporary people that were only needed in order to launder this deal. As it moved on the structure of Yanukovych, as it was designed. When I was a journalist, I wrote about it without any second thought, and when Yanukovych fled, the first month, in March, I was questioning a few hours, and I have all these documents passed to the GPU. I am a witness in this case – the seizure of Yanukovych “mezhigorye”, and documents that I collected as a journalist was sent as investigative materials. Based on these materials were charged and the supporters of Yanukovych and Yanukovych himself. Then nobody could assume that this will result in such consequences. For any journalist is a great acknowledgement that its materials form the basis of criminal proceedings. And when I became a member of much every day some kind of sensation appears. The Deputy, after all, more informed than the journalist, because the circle of acquaintances more. The journalist must look for the source, and to the Deputy of the people themselves knock.
– Are you the author of the book “the American Saga of Lazarenko”. Who provided for her material?
Is the story simple, because in America if a criminal trial ends with a verdict, then all the materials are in court. And any man who has the ability to visit America, can come to court and to study it. I was a journalist in California and had the opportunity to go to court. Unfortunately, this vast amount of material that at first stage I just took pictures, and then came to Ukraine has already been sorted. In none of our domestic corrupt sitting – and in America, was imprisoned for 8 years. The story itself Lazarenko dramatic – leaving the Ukraine, he was sure he’d be right back. When he went in again to check your bills, it in Switzerland, was detained. He gave some testimony, signed a paper that will return to court in Switzerland returned to Ukraine, and then fled to America via Greece. He was sure that would be there in a big way, and if there’s a problem – he very quickly they will decide. He was arrested in 1999, and he never came back. All the money that was found – so far arrested. The American justice system was found to 250 million, and they are still the subject of a civil lawsuit.
– Lazarenko to those who came after him “child”?
– Methodology, the scheme is the same, she has changed. You work as an officer – you have the ability to distribute or material benefits, or to change the law or put their firm on some stream. Get half – hiding money offshore. Martynenko is the same Lazarenko. On Lazarenko European financial system was trained, because Lazarenko lived in the days when you had numbered accounts. Martynenko acted in the same way – the money went to his Panamanian company (kickbacks for “Energoatom” there was accumulated), but in 20 years everything has changed, and when the investigation began in Switzerland, then very quickly found that this firm Martynenko. The mentality of the Ukrainian corrupt officials, old politicians have not changed. Changed the volume – Lazarenko stole less than those who came after him. The economy has evolved, and with greater economy had more to steal. And Yanukovych, in comparison with Lazarenko stole perhaps ten times more.
On the square you were. Why?
– I was not on the Maidan in February, but I was in December. In 2013, the year in spring I had the opportunity to present in the U.S. on the program-training in democracy support Fund, which is funded by the state Department. I left at the end of September. This is not tourism, and when you go, you have to work on your projects over the information that you provide in this organization. I moved back in 2012-th year, left in 2013, when the Maidan began, I returned, and the whole month of December was in Kiev. Then I had to go back because my commitments in writing.
– What you have in common with S. M. Nayem and Zalishchuk?
– I think we are those people who have not betrayed the ideals of Maidan, is in BPP. When we were not promised that we will cover corruption. We continue to do what we promised: to change the policy from within, to open ulcers and to do everything possible to, if not in this Parliament then in the next, there is a new generation of politicians who will change our country and make it a civilized European society where human rights are respected, will be a market economy and no corruption, and oligarchy. When we took the calculation was such that we smear, dissolve in the PPB and create a comfort zone. But we never promised – what we promised, we continue to do so. So we three share a promise to change the country, even if it is contrary to the plans of people who have their name called the block, in the worst traditions of the 90s.
– I have no doubt that after independence you had a lot of offers from parties.
– No, it was not the transfer market. We have not come – we went and looked. We were at least four games and tried to understand the “temperature”. We have met with various political leaders, trying to understand what their plans are. Based on the situation, realizing what credibility was the incumbent President, it was clear that he is a locomotive which can pull the situation forward, to change the country. But three years later the whole country was convinced that the credibility was just wasted to enrich yourself simply by using a policy. And this conflict of interest for Poroshenko: he wants to be number one in the list of Forbes as the oligarch or as a historical figure, which will be in the history books a Chapter of unprecedented reforms? It is this conflict of interest is not decided, unfortunately. It pulls him past, he pulls a habit to use politics for his own pocket. And this habit is still from the 90s, because Poroshenko, Tymoshenko and other people from the 90’s.
– Why you are fiercely critical of the President and your colleagues in the faction?
– We bring the oath to the Ukrainian people. The same moment the trash is not picked up, as someone said Yushchenko. At the time, when we were elected we were journalists, successful, we had international recognition. According to my investigations have had some suspicion in the criminal case against Yanukovych and his entourage filed. In this environment, we behave like the people we punish to behave. And they punished us to change the situation, change the policy from within. They didn’t tell us to dissolve and become a grey mass of traditional Ukrainian corrupt swamp. Why does the President? Because it is an extremely important driver of change. When we talk about fighting corruption as about a very important unit, in order to fight corruption – need three components, three ingredients. The first is civil society that must force politicians to fight corruption, which believes that corruption, Ukraine will never be successful. And it is right – there is a world of examples of successful corrupt countries. This ingredient we have fully matured. The second ingredient is institution. So regardless of who the President of the institution worked: NABOO, SAP, anti-corruption court. This ingredient partially ripe. And the third ingredient – the political will of the President. Without him to fight corruption is almost impossible because of its appetites and interests can serve or benefit the nation, or for the benefit of the pocket. Now Romania, over which all laughed on everyone’s lips – as an example of the fight against corruption at the highest level. And it was only after President Basescu said he would not intervene, he gives him carte Blanche. And even he was hurt because his brother was jailed, but its political will gave impetus to the transformation of the whole society.
– You colleague on fraction do not fit, do not ask: “Guys, what are you doing?”
First came – now he waved his hand. They are the same us faction don’t want to exclude, knowing that we have the freedom, but, for example, from the party chat excluded. What they are discussing – we are in this discussion no. Even in the 90s people were defined by moral constraints. It was the Soviet school, it has a lot to criticize, but it was some moral barriers. Many of the ‘ 90s have built something, and then they crush, cut, steal it could not. And this is wild capitalism, at the junction of the 90s-2000s, when they have no historical memory – they had not built. That they are a factory of Karl Marx built? Or “Lenkung”? They have Soviet assets that they by a variety of schemes are simply received in private property. Of these appetites, the practice continued to do business on the policy – use mandate in preference to the threads on the beholder, etc.
– Ukrainian Parliament is simply disgusting. You do not want to slam the door and leave?
– Not just wanted – it’s a daily instincts, the urges. But it’s the easiest thing – get peace of mind. If you want to live in a comfortable environment – very good to be a journalist. Journalist – people, favored by the public, the person who has the perfection of his actions. A politician can for years to build something, to do, and there is no guarantee that you’ll get. Therefore, it is much more uncomfortable sphere of activity, of course, if you’re not motivated by personal enrichment. I at some point crossed in the sphere of support of small and medium business from hitting law enforcement. I have over the last six months a whole bunch of complaints against the police assaults on business, it companies, trading companies, alcohol importers, etc. of SBU, we have become the main oppressor of the business in the country, and this happens in conditions when the SBU have something to do.
– Who among the Ukrainian politicians you like – there are?
– Here the question is not “like”, and who would have to be a moral authority. Unfortunately, one of these authorities we’ve lost this year – L. Husar. He was a man whose word must be very valuable. Sverstyuk is a writer. We often begin to value people when they are no longer with us. As for current players, it would be incorrect to evaluate because we are in the same field.
You call Saakashvili a great man. What you have in common?
– We the participants of the General movement against corruption. The advantage and uniqueness of Saakashvili is that he, unlike the Ukrainian leaders, have something to show. Our tell that we are stealing, we have to build, and to carry out reforms and have nothing to show, and Saakashvili, please – 2 hours by plane and you can see how Georgia has changed. I was in Georgia on inauguration day, Saakashvili in 2003 as a journalist, and was this year. Even a few years after the departure of Saakashvili’s changes have not gone away – they continue, because the institution began to work. And this, perhaps, should be the historical mission of the reformers – that you are not acting for the benefit of its behalf and for the benefit of what you leave behind. Therefore, his presence in Ukraine is good, if it is not considered as a personal rival. Poroshenko sees him as an enemy, because he his personal political rival. And Saakashvili has found a clue to the passport. But this is not an isolated case, but a systematic approach AP Poroshenko in order to discredit or to close the mouths of those who criticize him. On the Garden found a garbage scandal, and his approval rating dropped significantly, but, in fact, such stories are full of garbage throughout the country. It just decided to punish him for his independent stance. Saakashvili – citizenship, Shabunin – grants. Me is also past – practice on me with the apartment. I am honored to be on this list – it shows that our actions are effective. We believe, and corrupt you see that our words, our revelations, the bills – they actually harm them, make our country cleaner and make the Ukrainian economy is healthy.
– M. Saakashvili has a future in Ukraine?
– He will return to Ukraine – an attempt will be made. And in part of his involvement in the political process – it can not run directly nor the Parliament, nor the presidency, because there is no term of residence in the country of the relevant, but the fact that he will associate himself with a large anti – corruption movement-I have no doubt. For him it is a personal challenge, personal ambitions. He tried to destroy it, but he’s not timid. He’ll be back, God willing, and will be an active participant in a great movement for the purification of the country.
– You recently said, quote, “Avakov group is preparing to seize power.” What does it mean?
I never said that it was ready, I said there is always that risk. A “group” – is a very simple explanation. There is a power block of Kiva, Dade and people who are in this field. There is a PR Department – A. Gerashchenko. There is a business wing: Kotvitsky, nicknamed Bracelet. They form a clan, which today really is in its effect comparable to the Poroshenko clan. Clan Yatsenyuk already as such, because Martynenko has serious problems, although his schemes continue to operate, and the same “strip”, which exposes the NAB, you still receive your Commission on the sale of products of state-owned enterprises, which gave Yatsenyuk to feed, after the revolution of Dignity. But its impact is much less. And Avakov – today is the second center of influence in the government. He was first Deputy Prime Minister, the real one, because Kubiv – he is not Deputy Prime Minister. He’s the messenger I, messenger AP. But the real power centre No. 2 – Avakov.
– And who today runs Ukraine?
– We have, on the one hand, there is an attempt in the concentration of a specific resource in the hands of the President. It is the power resource, media, corruption. Money, media, security forces – the three most important ingredients for victory in the presidential elections. And we have election preparations. In order to start the campaign you need to clean, for example, a field fighters. Poroshenko is well aware that what we do is we change the agenda in the country. We make the whole country talking about corruption and the fight against corruption. We say that corruption is evil and fighting corruption – a way of cleansing the country, and if the agenda of Ukraine included in the election campaign, Poroshenko will lose this campaign because he’s got every second a potential customer of NABOO.
– Who will win?
I’m sure round the anti-corruption movement will be determined with the candidate at the time when the time is right. Now the campaign is not, but is that such a candidate be – I’m sure of it. Poroshenko knows this and is trying information frame in the country change, so we won’t talk about his corruption, and therefore starts fake threads trying to close the mouths of certain social networks, trying to attack it people, attack small and medium businesses which is the backbone for all protest movements. He’s trying to stand in the eyes of society pseudo because a patriot is one who does not steal nor gospodarul or the state budget. They are trying to do, and tell how they are going to rename streets, swap holidays, may 8-9. To create white noise, or a smokescreen that will represent them in a Patriotic light, and in fact, they will continue to Rob, and we will discuss the different studios as we have the holidays to rearrange, or to demolish the monument, or which street to rename. It’s all pseudo-patriotism. Returning to our question – the Ukraine led by the security forces, media and corruption resource in the hands of the President. At the same time what I see… I was recently in Chernivtsi region, like an island. They have a third region with Romanian passports, they have their own looking – Bourbaki. As Yura enakiyevsky was Ukrainian Donbas followed, then Bourbaki watching their patrimony. They have their own clans smugglers, their security forces, their own laws. They live in the Ukraine and not in Ukraine. It is not the government. The government – when acting in the framework of Ukrainian law and they just have more powers. This is a positive. And they have just passes separatiste corruption threads, and they begin to live according to its laws. They are apart now so live. But this is not the only precedent – the same processes and in the Odessa region. Unfortunately, these processes occur uncontrolled phenomenon, when the Central government, keen on their own enrichment, just loses sight of what is happening in the regions because they gave the region at the mercy of someone or allowed to build their quasicontinuum Republic and to live according to its laws.
– You talked with many of the oligarchs?
– I talked with all of them, except Firtash. With him, personally, I was not able to communicate.
– Who are the most interesting?
– I would say that there are people with brains and there are people who are guided by simple instincts. Brains Pinchuk and Grigorishin. And with the instincts Akhmetov and Surkis.
– Say that you contains Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin. Is that so?
Is the joke that is not funny. This is – not true. Our relationship was never built on any commercial relationship, which includes money or obligations. But to communicate – I spoke with him. But with others I also communicated and can compare the depth of their understanding of the processes. And inside which these people have, is important for me to understand what is happening.
– There is a video online where you get the money in “Sberbank of Russia”. You are a customer of this Bank?
– No, of course. It was a one-time payment. When this story was, I took a Bank statement, which shows that all operations in the Bank were held in one day. The money was laid and transferred to another account. This was done in order to pay the state fee – Bank fee was minimal. The Bank I earned nothing – and the money earned by the Ukrainian Pension Fund because I was making a payment on account of the Pension Fund.
– You call that the us, the Russian agent. Whose agent are you, really?
– I’m an agent of the Ukrainian society, and this is obvious because I don’t represent either American or Russian interests. I work as a Deputy and protect the principles that will change our state. I do not have accounts in offshore jurisdictions, I don’t have the beholder. The Deputy is a position, which is very easy to get something. I have no of his company-strip or my law, which I introduced in the interests of any oligarch or his looking at the post of Deputy Minister. This is the new fashion that we are trying to instill.
– Why P. Manafort accused you of blackmail?
– It was a special operation. We are an American journalist from the New York Times looked at how to create a fake account using one of the mailboxes that I no longer enjoy, but have access to it. There is the story of the relationship fifteen years ago. And we found in one of the folders in the summer of last year I created a fake account that someone had sent Manafort messages. Someone undertook this operation, and I can’t speak the Ukrainian or Russian secret services. Explanation I gave to the FBI about this – gave them my email, and they could be absolutely sure of that. American journalists showed – I Manafort in my life did not communicate any messages to the members of his family did not send. Saw him life twice – when he came with Akhmetov in the Ukrainian Breakfast in Davos in 2007, the year, and the second time when he came to the inauguration of Yanukovych and Akhmetov in the 2010th year. Both times I was as a journalist, and he to communicate with the press refused.
– Do you know who and what killed P. Sheremet?
– I think nobody knows this. But the demands that this truth set is one of the most acute in our society, because it was a challenge not just to journalists, but the entire country, in the city center it is possible with impunity to carry out exemplary punishment. So if the President said that for him it is a matter of honor, he is a point of honor to bring to an end. My sense and intuition is not backed by anything, but we know that Sheremet is Perched, I was tailed by Ukrainian security services at the moment. And in the process of investigation, I have a feeling that those who is leading the investigation, came to their colleagues that this surveillance is conducted. And they realized that these people have committed a service offence, and was blocking the investigation, or because they need to investigate, including these activities, and punish those who are instructed to monitor the journalists, and then the investigation just hangs in the air and no suspects there.
In 2012, the year V. Pikhovshek wrote an article in which he admitted the possibility of your murder to discredit Yanukovych. There was a threat of murder?
– In plain text, I think it was the phantom menace. He thus sent a signal that I should not let myself go, and then I will wait for the fate of Gongadze. But it didn’t stop us, we continued to engage in journalistic investigations. It was the beginning of the story about “mezhigorye”. But, all is well, and I hope that the threat of death will remain someone’s figment of imagination. But now, perhaps, politics is the most unsafe compared to what it was before: a weapon in the hands of agents of the various States feel free inside Ukraine, the Parliament turned into a Boxing club. If the bodyguard Firtash, Akhmetov, the driver behaved in the bounds of decency in Parliament of the last convocation, the convocation of the tramps, who yesterday was involved in GOP-stop, were the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada and allow themselves to behave as if there’s a new field of application of their talents. Yes, politics has become more dangerous, but direct threats to date no, although I know that surveillance is conducted by law enforcement agencies. I know for sure that phone conversations are recorded, SMS correspondence is fixed. They get unauthorized access to my SMS messages, my phone talks. I believe that this is malfeasance and they will be investigated after the change of government.
What it’s like to live knowing that you “Shine”?
– We need nothing to do to… even the apartment is not worth a damn. But I purposefully designed it yourself, don’t hide it, has paid all taxes. Budget nothing is lost – only gained my formal payments. I deliberately went for it, and they blew the whole story because they needed us as of yet to discredit. You have to be honest – and I showed it. This indicates, in particular, and my willingness to face the fact that we were being followed, bugged, etc.
12 years you were Deputy editor-in-chief the Internet-editions pack. “The Ukrainian truth” is grantovsky project?
– OOP was grantovsky project from time to time. It originated in 2000 as grantovsky project, because after the death of Gongadze has been allocated grants and the American Embassy, and the Soros Foundation. But over time, 4-5 years, Ukraine has appeared online market. UE was one of the first three online publications. Came Internet market, Internet advertising, and the last ten years – a project that lives by advertising. From time to time there are grants for some projects address social or journalistic investigations.
– West grants – is it good?
– Of course. This is good if these grants are given to build civil society institutions and promoting democracy and not grants in the bribery when you give money, have to work, attacking any politicians or promoting the idea that harm Ukrainian national interests.
– And activists who live on grants, needs to declare their income?
No, it’s not because the grants are money that is not withdrawn from the Ukrainian budget. It is not the money of Ukrainian taxpayers. Declare those who live at the expense of taxpayers. Civic activist and the activist that he is not related to public money and he should not have to declare them. And the fact that it is an attempt to restrain, to punish, to throw the handkerchief on his mouth to silence him. The responsibility for the false Declaration of the corrupt, who lives at the expense of public funds and plunder, and responsibility activist who does not live at the expense of state funds – are the same. One and the other is under the threat of imprisonment. And corrupt no one will punish, and an activist can punish.
– Corruption in Ukraine today – it is a total? Decided to blame the authorities, but in fact people too, all practically sitting on corruption.
– Corruption is a global phenomenon and the fight against corruption is also a global phenomenon, so attempts Poroshenko to force someone to shut up bots to incite, Lutsenko someone “down”, set the security service – they go against the laws of nature and history. Worldwide there is a trend of the fight against corruption. It was the fashion of the 21st century. 20th century was the century of the struggle against Nazism – he first came to power, and then with his legacy half a century fought – tried to build institutions that would have prevented a repeat of the tragedy 39-45 years. 21 century is the century of the fight against corruption. It has all the tools: transparency, social networking, the exchange of information. Manafort – it’s a new great example, when all of his money around the world are investigating and he will stand trial. In the 21st century created a global infrastructure to combat corruption, and Ukraine is doomed to be a country that will fight corruption, because a tube of toothpaste already squeezed back and not shove. And we will, in due time, we will be a good example for our neighbours, and we will be.
– Why in Ukraine, no one is sitting?
Because not completed the infrastructure of the fight against corruption – not established anti-corruption court. In the coming years will stand the howling wild, will be hired army of bots – but would not establish an independent judicial body. I think this is inevitable – it will create heavy bleeding, but it is a historical process. No one sitting because this mental transformation in politics, these “elites” still not happened. There are people who used to steal and not to sit. While they are in politics, this phenomenon will take place. But as soon as the precedents landings… The same Martynenko is important because if we have an example of what a Ukrainian court has jailed Ukrainian corrupt and he did from bell to bell that he received kickbacks for government contracts at the Ukrainian power plant, the Ukrainian enterprises of the uranium industry – it will be a good example. If you are not afraid to raise a hand against Martynenko, so I can raise and on the other – so maybe just not to steal? Why then spend half a lifetime in prison?
– M. Saakashvili said that he would like to see you as attorney General. You will be the attorney General ever?
Is a question I can’t answer you. I believe that the GPU needs to be reformed, including that it must abandon the authority which it should not be. Now Lutsenko is specially concentrating the investigation in the Prosecutor’s office, and in fact, the Prosecutor’s office from the investigation to completely give up. And this post won’t be so hot to him were such fights because it will be a body of oversight and representing the government in court.
– Early parliamentary and presidential elections in Ukraine will be?
– Today, presidential – unlikely, parliamentary – 50 to 50.
– Thank You, Sergei.
– Thank you for the invitation.