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In visits to Utah and Idaho, former Ukrainian President Yushchenko thanks the U.S. for its solidarity

 Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenkop
Murphy Woodhouse
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenkop

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was in Idaho last week, after visiting with business and government leaders in Utah.

Yushchenko, who survived a 2004 poisoning before becoming Ukraine’s third president, spoke at a packed Boise State University auditorium and thanked the rapt audience for the solidarity that many Americans have shown Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion. He highlighted the work of groups like Idaho-based To Ukraine with Love, which started an ambitious aid effort shortly after the war started.

“This is how (the) people of Idaho reacted to what was happening in Ukraine,” he told the Mountain West News Bureau through translator Maryna Antonova. “And this initiative continues, and (the) people of Idaho continue to help Ukraine. So I would like to assure you that people with great and very generous hearts live in the state of Idaho.”

Meeting with the U.S. public was one goal of his tour, but Yushchenko was also meeting with business leaders, especially those “that are supporting Ukraine and that eventually would like to work in Ukraine and have projects,” he said.

He also shared how he thinks peace can be achieved as the 14-month conflict drags on.

“I have a very simple formula for peace in Ukraine. What is peace in Ukraine?” he said. “Peace in Ukraine is victory of Ukraine and its allies in this war over Russia.”

He advocated for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders to be tried for the invasion in an international court proceeding, akin to the Nuremberg trials, which he says could help prevent another similar invasion.

“They should be sitting on the front bench of this court so that the whole world sees them and the whole world understands the nature of the crimes,” he said. “And if any young dictators decide to become dictators in their countries, they should learn their lessons by watching how Putinism will be condemned.”

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

Murphy Woodhouse
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