Former Ukrainian President Wants a “Take Back” on Inviting Russian Troops Into Crimea

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 2 2014 7:11 PM

Former Ukrainian President Wants a “Take Back” on Inviting Russian Troops Into Crimea

477770225-deposed-ukrainian-president-viktor-yanukovych-attends_1
Deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych attends his press-conference in southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, on March 11, 2014.

Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

Former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, feels pretty crummy about the whole Crimea-to-Russia deal. Yanukovych, you’ll remember, wasn’t all that popular on the Ukrainian street at the end of his reign in February and endured months of protests in Kiev after deciding to deepen economic ties with Russia over Europe. But, that is small potatoes compared to Yanukovych’s parting shot as he fled to Russia last month. Here’s what went down via the Associated Press:

Putin said last month that Yanukovych had asked Russia to send its troops to Crimea to protect its people — a request seen as treason by many Ukrainians. Russian troops quickly overran Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority, taking over government and military facilities on the pretext of protecting Russians. Asked about the move, Yanukovych said he made a mistake. "I was wrong," he told the AP and Russia's state NTV television, speaking in Russian. "I acted on my emotions."
Advertisement

It’s unclear which exact emotions Yanukovych is referring to in what may be the understatement of the year. Any way you look at it, it doesn’t seem like a “my bad” is going to clear things up for Yanukovych, who still claims he’s the legitimate leader of the country. He does have a plan, of sorts, and “vowed to try to negotiate with Vladimir Putin to get the coveted Black Sea peninsula back,” the AP reports. The ousted leader of the country, who is currently in Russia, however, doesn’t seem to have all that much leverage—with anyone at this point. Even Putin doesn’t seem that interested in his once strategic partner. “Yanukovych said he has spoken with Putin only twice by phone and once in person since he arrived in Russia, describing their talks as ‘difficult,’” according to the AP. “He said he hopes to have more meetings with the Russian leader to negotiate Crimea's return to Ukraine.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Oct. 20 2014 6:49 PM God’s Oligarch One of Vladimir Putin’s favorite businessmen wants to start an Orthodox Christian Fox News and return Russia to its glorious czarist past.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 6:48 PM Apple: Still Enormously Profitable
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 6:32 PM Taylor Swift’s Pro-Gay “Welcome to New York” Takes Her Further Than Ever From Nashville 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.