Mikhail Khodorkovsky: “Glory to the people of a new and democratic Ukraine.”

March 9, 2014

Mikhail Khodorkovsky spoke at Maidan in Kiev. The full transcript in English is available below.

Glory to the people of a new and democratic Ukraine.

Dear Friends

Crowd chanting: Russia, get up on your feet.

Khodorkovsky: Last night I was at Maidan with my Ukrainian friends. We spoke to folks here quite a lot. Russian propaganda has been telling lies, as always. There aren’t any fascists or Nazis here. To be more accurate, there aren’t any more of them than in the streets of Moscow or St. Petersburg. These are perfectly fine men here, Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars; there are Afghan war veterans here who are the same age as me. They are wonderful people who have successfully defended their freedom. I wish them luck and all the very best.

I was told and shown what the authorities did here. They did it with the consent of the Russian authorities. Over a hundred dead. Over 3,000 or 5,000 wounded. I have seen shields made of plywood that were used here against submachine gun rounds. I felt like crying. It was horrifying. It is not my government.

I want you to know that there is another Russia. There are people there who, during those days, took to the streets to participate in anti-war rallies. They did so despite arrests and many years that they will have to spend in prison. There are people there who value the friendship between the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia over their personal freedom.

Crowd chanting: Thank you, thank you.

Khodorkovsky. I believe that Russia and Ukraine have a common, shared European development path. And I wish you luck. (in Ukrainian now). Fight and you will overcome. Godspeed.

Thank you.