Historical Revisionism of Russia-aligned Yanukovych as a “pro-EU president who betrayed his presidential campaign platform”
Yanukovych never turned away from a Kremlin-friendly platform. He got elected in 2010 on the platform of restoring good relations with Russia.
After elected, he made Kremlin-friendly changes to Ukraine’s law on foreign policy by dropping NATO aspirations, and instituting a neutral, non-aligned status. Yanukovych also signed the Kremlin-friendly Kharkiv Treaty on the extension of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet lease in Crimea, Ukraine. This undermined years of previous efforts of Ukraine’s government to force Russia out of Crimea.
Yanukovych appointed Kremlin-friendly key Ministers who were most likely FSB agents in the government, including the Minister of Defence, and the Chief of Intelligence who helped to actively undermine Ukraine’s army and intelligence. This deliberate weakening of key institutions left Ukraine vulnerable to Russia’s invasion of Crimea and invasion of Donbas.
Members of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions heavily criticized the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement until 2012 *parliamentary* elections (which needs to be distinguished from Yanukovych’s presidential platform of 2009).
The change in rhetoric by the Party of Regions to a less Russia-aligned, more pro-European campaign slogans, was part of the larger objective to mask the pro-Kremlin policies of the party.
As an electoral strategy, it also served to appropriate distinguishable image of the pro-European opposition to diminish apparent differences between the parties and to ensure the Party of Regions ultimately enjoyed broad popular support, especially in Western Ukraine.
The Party of Regions did not want to be seen for what it in fact was – a pro-Russian party with its support base primarily in Donbas. The expansion of the support base for the Party of Regions was meant to set the stage for Yanukovych’s re-election for a second term.
This masquerade, meant only to garner popular support for future presidential elections, has had the impact of revising history. It is now being written that Yanukovych campaigned on a pro-EU platform, and this is patently false.
Another sad instance of the death of truth.