Defiant Ukrainian MP vows to humiliate Russia and host Eurovision Song Contest in Crimea

Ukraine: Oleksiy Goncharenko praises UK’s support

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Oleksiy Goncharenko, who is visiting the UK this week, told Express.co.uk that the territory occupied illegally by Russia in 2014 would be the ideal place once his country has won it back in the war. Mr Goncharenko is in Britain to plead the case for assets taken from Russian Oligarchs and Putin allies to be used to pay for the rebuild of his country.

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest last weekend ahead of the UK in second on the back of a huge public vote as people across the continent demonstrated their support for the country which has been invaded by Russia.

It means that the war-torn country which is still desperately for its survival will be the hosts next year.

“Of course, it should be Crimea,” said Mr Goncharenko, who was involved in the defence of his country’s Parliament in Kyiv previously.

“That means we will have won it back and all the other territory that Russia has illegally taken from us.”

Mr Goncharenko has been meeting politicians including people in the Foreign Office this week to discuss the rebuilding of his country.

He said: “What has happened is just awful. Horrible. I have witnessed things that I did not believe were possible. Terrible crimes committed by Russian soldiers.”

He described finding the body of a seven-year-old boy in burnt out cars of people fleeing from the fighting which had been targeted by the Russians.

He added: “Nearby there were the bodies of young women who were naked. We can only imagine why.”

Russia and its President Vladimir Putin are under investigation by the International Criminal Court over war crimes including the massacres of civilians.

Mr Goncharenko runs a series of charitable English language schools across Ukraine some of which have been turned into humanitarian aid centres mostly in the east and south of the country.

But he wanted to discuss what happens after the war.

He said: “The cost of rebuilding is going to be huge. So much damage has been done.

“We don’t even know yet how bad things are in Mariupol because people cannot get there. It’s a city of 500,000 people and half of them could be dead or taken to prison camps.”


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He went on: “But it should not be the British taxpayer or other countries who pays for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“Those responsible should pay. This is why I am asking that assets and money were taken from Russian Oligarchs be used for the reconstruction which includes people returning to places like Crimea and Donbas which had been previously taken by Russia.”

Later in an interview with Times Radio Foreign Secretary Liz Truss revealed she is looking at the idea.

She appeared with Mr Goncharenko on the program.

She said: “We need a new Marshall plan to rebuild Ukraine. In fact, we’ve just been discussing this at the G7 meeting that I had with my colleagues from around the world. We are looking at what we can do to use Russian assets to help pay for this. It is also my view that we need wider contributions too. 

“Ukraine has been on the front line, not just fighting for your country in an incredibly brave way, but also standing up for freedom and democracy and European security. So we will, of course, work to make sure that Russia has to contribute to the rebuilding of Ukraine. 

“But we will also look at what else can be done. The vitally important point is that Ukraine is rebuilt after the appalling devastation that’s been visited on the country.”

She added: “We are very clear that Putin and all of those who’ve been behind the appalling war crimes that have been committed in Ukraine need to be held to account and we’re working very closely with the ICC. We’ve sent support into Ukraine to help collect evidence from witness statements to video evidence. 

“I’ve talked to the Ukrainian Government about this idea of a tribunal. We are open to the idea of a tribunal, we’re currently considering it. But what we want is the most effective way of prosecuting those people who’ve committed these appalling war crimes, including rape, sexual violence, the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, if, if the Tribunal will help to do that, then the UK is definitely considering supporting it.”

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