In order to achieve our goals in life, we do not always go forwards and upwards, and in fact everyone has their own path. All my life I worked with the goal of making profits. I was a businessman who played according to extreme rules and without any rules – this is always the way business has been done in our country. I thought that politics did not concern me, and that I could always stay on the sidelines. And the first time in my life when I had to change my principles was when I saw the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev. For the first time, I felt that this was a chance to change our life and our society, and that this was more important than any sum of money. When we organized Euromaidan in Dnepropetrovsk during the Revolution of Dignity, criminal cases were opened again us, and inspections were made at our companies. When Yanukovich fled, and Russia invaded the Crimea, there were 106 deputies from the Party of Regions out of 140 on the Oblast council of Dnepropetrovsk, and one of the main agents of Russian influence Oleg Tsarev, the Communists and the “Regions” deputies conducted pro-Russian propaganda. We did not have any police, courts, prosecutor’s office or the Ukrainian Security Service. There were people everywhere appointed by the “Regions” deputies who did everything to hinder our work, so that we could not gain a foothold.
And for the first time in my life, Igor Kolomoisky invited me to take part in an extremely important and completely unprofitable project – to defend our Homeland, and defend Dnepropetrovsk from war and occupation. No one could help us, and we entered into a war against infiltrators and terrorists with the forces that we possessed. These were a few dozen people from our security companies with pump-action shotguns, and also a few dozen people from “Right Sector” whom our compatriot Dmitry Yarosh unexpectedly brought to Maidan.
The government was not functioning, there was no money in the budget, and we had to do everything. We fought without weapons, without anything – and we had to repel terrorists, and prepare the army for a war. For months we lived in offices. We did not hold tenders when the tanks were fuelled, we bought all the necessary spare parts, food and equipment.
We did everything we considered necessary, because apart from us there was no Ukrainian government in Dnepropetrovsk at all. Yes, we took any help we could. And we demanded support from everyone. Was this legal? Were all our comrades in the battle upstanding citizens? Of course. We were at war. And we were only interested in whether we could count on a person in battle.
Don’t ask me what decisions we had to take. We did things that are not recorded in history textbooks. We caught and neutralized Russian agents, we searched for weapons – because neither the army nor the police gave voluntary units weapons until mid-May. We bypassed all the laws that hindered us from fighting. And we formed the first voluntary units, the first voluntary battalions in the country, and as soon as they received weapons, the soldiers immediately went out on missions, without even testing the weapons at firing grounds. We were saving the country. And we fulfilled our duty.
During our work in the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast there were no mass disturbances or acts of terrorism. Several dozen Russian agents were neutralized. The Ukrainian Security Service arrested three infiltrator groups which were planning an attack the leadership of the Oblast – they wanted to shoot us and blow us up. We repelled all attacks.
We did not expect gratitude from the government, because we were not fighting for money, but for our Homeland.
Over the past year we did not privatize any assets, or take part in auctions. We did not have the time to earn money, we only spent it. We transferred all the money either to the country’s defense fund, or to specific projects to support the army and the police.
What did we get from the government? Eight criminal cases have been opened against me and our company, and now new ones are being opened. Not a single case has been opened against the people who tried to destroy the revolution, the supporters of Yanukovich, Vilkuk, Kuchma and Firtash. They stayed at their resorts, maintained “neutrality”, earned money and stayed clean. But we fought, and now for many officials we have become enemies.
We drove the enemy out of the Ukrainian land. We made them fear to cross the border of the Oblast. We became a base for deploying troops of the entire “South” operations command, and with them we decided all the necessary issues without any calls from Kiev. We organized the best hospital system and system for evacuating the injured, we organized delivery of ammunition and all times of equipment, we are leaders in the mobilization of people and equipment, leader sin paying taxes of all kinds in Ukraine. We showed by our deeds how we are capable of working.
I have asked Igor Valerievich Kolomoisky to accept my resignation. I don’t intend to take part in restoring the old corrupt system where feeding troughs are provided for selected people. I would also like to add that we are against betraying national interests in energy, transport and the economy. We do not want to take part in loathsome corruption which is once more being created in the government by the efforts of several high-ranking officials and leaders of certain parties.
We fought in order to stop lying. We will not forget that here, our command buried several hundred of our comrades, who gave their lives to change our country. People do not believe that we took part in the conflict for the sake of principles, not for the sake of money. Never mind, we are not clinging on to power. We don’t want to take part in a conspiracy of officials against their own people. We have decided to step down from power. So that nothing restricts our abilities to criticize and reveal painful problems and abscesses in our nation.
We leave the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast with a record budget surplus of 2.8 billion hryvnia. We started reforms in all spheres of the economy. We prepared the Oblast for defense, and Ukrainian flags fly across our entire land.
And I want to tell my compatriots, and all the patriots of Ukraine, that whatever certain people may want, we will not abandon you, and we will not stop the fight. We will stay with you. And we will not allow a repeat of 2005, we will not allow “dear friends” to sell off Ukraine once more to pro-Russian clans, and once more make us dependent on Moscow. We will also not allow revenge by the Party of Regions and the Opposition block.
We will prove that for the sake of principles and truth, we will not stop, but we will go to the end. After a whole year of war we are no longer afraid. We are leaving our government offices in our native Dnepropetrovsk, but we remain patriots of Ukraine, and we are continuing the fight.
Glory to Ukraine!
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