Jewish tycoon hits out at anti-Semitism in Ukraine

Jewish tycoon hits out at anti-Semitism in Ukraine

Glavred, Kiev
26 May 05

Ukrainian-Israeli businessman and champion of anti-Semitism Vadym
Rabynovych has said he no longer pursues careers in either business
or politics. Speaking in an interview, he accused Socialist Party
leader Oleksandr Moroz and the Silski Visti newspaper of stirring up
anti-Semitism in the run-up to the presidential elections. Despite
this, he believes that Ukraine has made huge advances in interethnic
relations although the country has a bad image abroad. The following
is an excerpt from the interview Rabynovych gave to Viktor Shlynchak
and Yuliya Lymar, published on the Ukrainian web site Glavred on 26
May; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

Some people are like off-road vehicles or steamers. Vadym Rabynovych
is a man for a scandal. Mr Rabynovych, who values tolerance above
all else, often finds himself at the epicentre of certain unpleasant

All this began back in the distant 1980s, when the young specialist,
a foreman at a construction and repair directorate in the town of
Bohodukhiv was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment. Nothing was heard
of him for ages, and then he suddenly re-emerged, this time, as a
more than well provided-for man, a citizen of Ukraine and Israel,
a media magnate and a top man in various Jewish organizations.

Champion of anti-Semitism

As far as the Jewish question is concerned, Vadym Rabynovych is a
consistent and resolute fighter against anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The
surprising thing is that the closer the elections get, the more people
there are who want to ignite the spark of the flame. And there is no
knowing whether the fire would flare up from it if Mr Rabynovych was
not standing on guard of international friendship. He warned about
the increase in the number of anti-Semitic publications in 1998,
spoke about the attempts to drag the Jewish community into politics
in the summer of 2002, and is now distracted by a fight against the
anti-Semites of Silski Visti.

Apart from the anti-Semitism, Mr Rabynovych has more than once figured
in political scandals. Up to now, incidentally, no-one really knows why
he was at one time extradited out of Ukraine, or why he was allowed to
return. It is also not clear, how much truth, and how much shock-value
there was in the book Oligarch by the German journalist Jurgen Roth,
and was it true that the hero of the novel had anything to do with
the real “tape scandal”? It is also quite a mystery why there was a
split between Vadym Rabynovych and [media-magnate MP] Andriy Derkach:
after all, were not previously these names linked in one deputy’s
question about the illegal trade in weapons? There are a number of
other questions, too.

Setting off for our interview with Mr Rabynovych we knew in advance
that we could not expect answers to all our questions, and he feels no
particular need to reveal all his secrets today. But sooner or later we
will find out what he is really like and if he is a man for a scandal.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Vadym Zynovyevych, one article about the last
congress of Ukrainian Jews, quoted you as saying that the longer
[Ukrainian President] Leonid Kuchma remains in his post, the more
comfortable it will be for all ethnic groups in Ukraine. Can you
clarify this statement for us?

[Rabynovych] The point is that in the heat of a political struggle,
that is right now, it is better to be in one boat and throw stones at
the other. Objectivity goes out of the window and all that remains
is a shell of political persuasions, replacing people’s conscience,
morals and all the rest.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Are you decoding or putting it into code? Are we
are talking about a conflict between the Jews and Silski Visti or a
much deeper problem?

[Rabynovych] Behind the article in Silski Visti, in my opinion, stands
a meaningless “need to vote”. [Socialist Party leader Oleksandr]
Moroz had already discredited himself in the eyes of all when in one
election, with the Kaniv Four [opposition alliance at 1999 general
elections], he received how many, 3 per cent of the vote? Now,
according to various polls, he is trusted by 3 or 2 per cent of
the electorate. At the same time he (the leader of the socialists –
Ed.) speaks on behalf of the whole people! And with what?

Interethnic relations not a problem in Ukraine

>>From the point of view of international peace – and this is the
standpoint of our congress in assessing what is happening in Ukraine –
there can be no forgiving Moroz! Even we, only used to having a dig at
someone of our own country, for some reason are afraid to say that we
have built a normal inter-ethnic society. And you will scarcely find a
country in Europe which is more stable than Ukraine in its tolerance
towards ethnic minorities and in its absence of conflicts. So why do
we keep silent about this? Just to avoid a quarrel with opposition
politicians do I have to say that the economic situation is bad –
Kuchma is to blame, the interethnic situation is fine – again because
of Kuchma? That’s wrong! You will not expect this from me! I will
only speak objectively as I have always done. Since this president has
been in office, in matters of inter-ethnic relations, I believe that
Ukraine has become one of the most advanced countries in the world.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Advanced, in what way?

[Rabynovych] Advanced in the sense that we do not have that problem
as such. We are not intolerant. It’s only now, in the run-up to
the elections, that this gang is stirring it all up. Am I making
myself clear?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Perfectly.

[Rabynovych] There is no other way I can describe the people who
are stirring up a bonfire in their own home. God willing what we are
seeing in Azerbaijan or in Armenia will not happen here. If anyone
thinks that this fire only concerns other people, someone else’s home –
this is nonsense. It can flare up anywhere.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] But for the time being, it seems, not everything
is so bad, is it? Could you be exaggerating the size of the problem?

[Rabynovych] On the contrary, I say this: “We have something good –
let us cherish and look after it.” We have in our country one great
achievement – inter-ethnic peace. What hatred for their own people,
what nihilism Silski Visti must have to do what they are doing. I
have not met a single politician in Ukraine who has said to me that
what Silski Visti writes is honest and correct. Not one.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What about Oleksandr Moroz?

[Rabynovych] First of all, I have never heard Moroz say that this is
an honest publication. After all has been said it would be very hard
for him, although everyone knows that he is behind this provocation.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Who are these “everyone”? And how, for example,
do you know about this?

[Rabynovych] I will stop there. Do you mind? I have already heard
Moroz’s statement that he has nothing to do with Silski Visti, and I
have heard [Socialist MP] Ivan Bokyy’s statement that the Socialist
Party has nothing to do with Silski Visti. I don’t believe that.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Why?

[Rabynovych] For 70 years they had nothing to do with Pravda or
Izvestiya. They used to say that they were not theirs, not communist,
but left-wing papers. They lied for 70 years and they are still lying
now. You journalists are intelligent people, you tell me – does the
Socialist Party have anything to do with Silski Visti, well?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] We have not studied the founding documents of
the paper.

[Rabynovych] You all know perfectly well. It’s all too obvious. This
paper is the operational news sheet of the Socialist Party. And they
knew exactly what they were doing. I used to listen to deputies of
the Socialist Party who would laugh and say: “Yes, this is to our
advantage, we need the ratings.” Every man-jack journalist I spoke to
said the same. There were 20 people from [oppo sition right-wing] Our
Ukraine I was chatting to and I asked them: “Why haven’t you spoken
out?” They said: “We are all against.” What is this “against”? What
are these political games? Are they afraid they might frighten off
Moroz in case he leaves the opposition bloc and moves to the party
of power? Okay, let all the ethnic minorities in the country talk
like that to boost Moroz’s ratings.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Have you as leader of a Jewish organization met
Oleksandr Moroz?

[Rabynovych] I suggest that your respected publication organize a
meeting between me and Oleksandr Moroz at your editorial offices. We
will answer any questions you like. We have no objections against
such a meeting. I am prepared to say everything publicly. Why not go
ahead and do it?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Have you suggested such a meeting to Moroz?

[Rabynovych] I have spoken with his battle deputies, twice at
Hromadske Radio with Bokyy, I have been on 5 Kanal [TV]. I myself
have heard stupid, fascist statements from Bokyy. For example, on 5
Kanal he said that if there were not 400,000 SS-Jews, then exactly
100,000 entered the country with the German troops. It is a shame to
me that he (Bokyy – ed) is an elderly man. Had he been a bit younger,
I would have punched him in the face for such insults. He should come
to our congress and look at these “SS-men” with all their decorations.

Jewish Congress well represented

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Going back to the congress of Jews, how true are
reports that you were given an ultimatum that either [Prime Minister
Viktor] Yanukovych or [Our Ukraine bloc leader Viktor] Yushchenko
would come?

[Rabynovych, laughing] You know, that’s the first time I’ve heard
it. Let us begin with the fact that during the time of the congress
Viktor Yanukovych was in Brussels, and even if he wanted to he
could not have come to us. I very much hope that if he had been
in the country, Mr Yanukovych would undoubtedly have attended our
congress. This was felt from his letter and from the fact that
Volodymyr Rybak [from the Party of Regions] came to our congress,
the only one in the country which was attended by representatives
of all political parties. If you had noticed, we had greetings from
the president read out, Viktor Yushchenko, Volodymyr Rybak and other
worthy people spoke. At other congresses some people are allowed in,
others aren’t.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] In your view, will the Jewish issue be used as an
election technique?

[Rabynovych] I have said to everyone a hundred times, and I will repeat
it to you: no-one will succeed in dragging the Jewish community to
support this or that political force.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] And to oppose it?

[Rabynovych] That’s quite possible. If any political force starts
advocating stirring up inter-ethnic discord, we will reply. Professor
[Volodymyr] Yaremenko writes that the Jews arrived in Ukraine to
rape all the women and kill the men. How can this be allowed?! How
can an educated man say that? And they are all now academics,
corresponding-members. In our Inter-Regional Academy of Personnel
Management [IAPM] everyone who makes an anti-Semitic statement is
given a cloak, a diploma of an Honorary Doctor of the academy and
an order. They have nine orders, 20,000, 15,000 or 10,000 each. I
believe that Bokyy – I can feel it in my bones – in the next few days
will become a corresponding-member.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Let’s move away a little from the situation with
Silski Visti. You said that the Jews may be used to oppose.

[Rabynovych] No, not used. They can simply provoke us. Even my position
– which I believe is more moderate than most of the congress delegates
– is already becoming more radical. I believe that our opposition
is insufficient, that we are indulging and giving the opportunity to
the Bokyys and the Yaremenkos to speak. But what is offensive is that
not many of our journalist colleagues have supported us.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] As we understand it, the media should not fight,
they should be above fighting and simply inform.

[Rabynovych] A merry clash of our delusions. Name me a country
in which the media should not fight? We are still a long way from
being informative, because no-one is yet giving any information in
a pure form. When people have equal access to television, radio and
the newspapers we will be informing. At the moment, unfortunately,
we are battling it out at the front.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Today many people joke that Vadym Rabynovych himself
funded this scandal, just to be, as always, at the epicentre of events.

[Rabynovych, becoming irritated] Yes, of course I funded Professor
Yaremenko to write a nasty article. What a great idea! Then, so
I’m told, I funded Silski Visti on behalf of the IAPM to put this
article in their paper and then I forced them to publish it. All for
myself. I will try to put it to you nicely – I think that even you do
not believe all this paranoia. Although, judging from what you say,
you are still interested in it.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Since we are joking, how much of a joke was it
of your deputy in the Jewish Organization, [Our Ukraine MP] Yevhen
Chervonenko, who said that he could never leave Our Ukraine, otherwise
this would mean that the Jews had given in to Yushchenko?

[Rabynovych] Nobody appointed Mr Chervonenko my deputy, in the first
place. Eight vice-presidents were elected, and one of them was Mr
Chervonenko. I told him and I am telling you: I am not interested
what political parties the vice-presidents of our organization
belong to. That’s their right as Ukrainian citizens. I don’t even
know where they all are, apart from Chervonenko. I wouldn’t even
know what party he is in, and he is always going on about it. Mr
Chervonenko is an expressive man, and if I were you I would treat his
words accordingly. He cannot leave the Orlan [company] now, otherwise
people will think he has resigned. He’s that sort of man, impulsive,
but honest.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] And yet, if we are not to speak about personalities,
is support for or opposition to the Jewish Organization at the
elections enough to interest you?

[Rabynovych] I repeat: participation in this or that political force
has nothing to do with participation in the Jewish Organization. I,
for example, three weeks ago was a member of the Rainbow party.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Pardon?

[Rabynovych] We have such an ecological party. Ecology is the one
problem which has interested me in the past eight years. I worked with
the Greens and with Rainbow. But this does not mean that I will go on
the platform and say: “Esteemed congress delegates, register now and
vote for [Rainbow leader Mykhaylo] Hutsol.” These are my personal
views. Some vice-presidents of the organization, on the contrary,
seem to want to politicize the situation, Mr Chervonenko more than
the others.

Ecologists should come to power

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What are your personal political convictions?

[Rabynovych] What is needed is not for the Communists, not the left and
not the right, but the romantics to come to power in the country. The
ecologists, for example. Everybody underestimates such problems! I
would put the ecologists at the head of the system and the rest in
opposition. That’s what the country should be like! But this is not
within my power. I think that the country will still choose – whether
it likes it or not – between representatives of the opposition and
the power. And when we approach the elections, I will see how the
candidates speak out on inter-ethnic issues. I will vote for those
who seem the most tolerant.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Vadym Zinovyevych, there seem to be a whole lot of
myths mixed in with the truth about the Jewish world community. Now
[MP, magnate and President Kuchma’s son-in-law] Viktor Pinchuk, for
example, is very busy with international contacts: he is arranging
meetings between the president and [former US State Secretary] Henry
Kissinger, [US financier] George Soros, and [former US President]
George Bush, senior. Who is more influential worldwide today – your
organization or Viktor Pinchuk?

[Rabynovych] You might as well ask who has more influence on the
situation on the grain markets – Yasir Arafat or Muamar Qadhafi? What’s
Viktor Pinchuk got to do with it? He hasn’t been active in our
organizations for a long time. His contacts, as far as I am aware,
have been motivated more by economic schemes. I don’t deny, he night
have had meetings with representatives of Jewish organizations, he also
could have met with representatives of some Muslim organizations. I,
for example, as president of the Jewish community, together with the
American Jewish Committee sat down all night with Yasir Arafat in a
bunker trying to persuade him to end the war. But all these “Jewish
plots” are such hackneyed things.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Nevertheless, various Jewish organizations do
exist. In your opinion, how strong is the influence of world Jewish
organizations on the politics of such a young and attractive state
as Ukraine?

[Rabynovych] Do we simply want to believe that serious political and
economic world structures are sitting down and thinking what will
happen in Ukraine tomorrow? Unfortunately, the reality is much worse:
90 per cent of them do not even know where Ukraine is. US senator
[John] McCain told me that “Ukraine is a small country in Siberia.”

Ukraine’s poor image abroad

Don’t delude yourself: Ukraine today is in the political backwoods. It
is in the backwoods of interests, because the stereotype of Ukraine –
I don’t want to accuse anyone – is formed on the basis of the words
of all those who travel abroad, arrange press-conferences and talk
about us. They don’t say that the people in power are bad, they say
the country is bad. And so one thing flows into another, a second to
a third, and the third back to the first, and as a result one thing
is clear: they are all one great mysterious package. I don’t know
if they realize it or not, but a Ukrainian passport today is a black
mark abroad.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Even your passport?

[Rabynovych] Of course, after all these scandals they look upon
Ukrainians as a group who will either pinch something or kill
someone. And when they take on Ukrainian workers in the Czech Republic
or Portugal, they pay them less than the Russians. But no-one thinks
about this! I have said many times: look at this parliament, no-one
there is wearing a suit cheaper than 1,000 dollars. And everyone’s
declaration shows that they earn 50 dollars a month. But who do they
take us for, these left-wingers and right-wingers? It’s all simple:
two financial-industrial groups are fighting among themselves – one
in power, and the other detached from power. Ninety per cent of those
in opposition used to be in power.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] So what, people’s views can change?

[Rabynovych] They can, but one cannot abandon one’s views. Moroz
was the head of the country’s parliament, did that mean you had
more meat on your plate? No. Why? “Because I’m not the president,”
he says. If you could get more meat when you were head of parliament,
I would have believed that one could get even more when you became
president. It’s a fight for a trough, for a long spoon. And the people
are being dragged into this war like sheep for this or that.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What’s the way out? One or the other has to win.

[Rabynovych] For Ukraine as a state, where the problem was always
with the hetmans [Cossack leaders], the ideal method was the Cossack
circle. If you recall, in the Zaporizhzhya Host no methods of rule
took root, apart from one – the circle. When the hetman tried to
become monarch with unlimited powers, this always ended badly for
Ukraine. I believe the ideal is Switzerland, where a referendum is
held twice a week on key issues. And the people take part in running
things. But in our country the people are either shut off, or they get
20 hryvnyas to take part in a demonstration, either as the opposition
or as the power. In Stolichnyye Novosti we published a story which
in any other country would have been a sensation, but nobody even so
much as looked at us.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What was it about?

[Rabynovych] We found a firm which offered services for organizing
demonstrations. We described everything and photographed it. Those on
the left had placards saying “Get Kuchma!”, “Down with the criminal
regime!”, and on the right they said “Yushchenko won’t make it!” “Put
Tymoshenko behind bars!”. All this can be rented. Is that normal?

Trust and mistrust of the media

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What politics will Mig-News and Stolichnyye Novosti
be conducting during the election campaign?

[Rabynovych] Mig-News and Stolichnyye Novosti, to my joy and
profound satisfaction, were the only independent media at the last
elections. You open ours and on the left there is an interview with
[presidential administration head Viktor] Medvedchuk, on the right –
Yushchenko. On the left (on the newspaper page -Ed) [Our Ukraine
MP Yuriy] Kostenko, on the right [Medvedchuk-lined MP Nestor]
Shufrych. We had [populist leader Yuliya] Tymoshenko and all the
rest. I don’t know any other such publications. And, what’s more,
neither those nor any other politicians pay me for this, believe
me. I think that in the future we will be able to stay tolerant. At
the same time, of course, some people don’t like one thing, others
something else. But that paranoia which goes on today in the media,
the hysteria of one against another, won’t help us. We will be the
only ones in this country who will stay outside the fight. That means
we will be the most objective and the most popular.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Do you think the media influence politics?

[Rabynovych] Yes, I believe they do. The simple fact is that some media
are trusted less, others more. But the general nihilism in relation
to the media, even to the more or less honest ones – after all,
there is no such thing as absolutely honest media – is not decreasing.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Why?

[Rabynovych] Because of the crudeness and bluntness of the media
themselves. But as for the people not trusting the media, you
don’t believe this either. People are intelligent. They can see
through the media. They allow for their cliches but they accept the
information. And it is not for nothing that an information war is
being waged.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Between whom?

[Rabynovych] It’s a war of the politicians; the media is just a
tool. It is not by chance that nine groups of political experts of
various countries and peoples are sitting here. They swoop down like
kites. They sense the smell of battle. And it may be, just may be that
something special comes out of the clash of opinions. Then it will
not be one of the groups – it is not important whether it is Kuchma’s,
Yushchenko’s or Yanukovych’s – who will tackle all the issues.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] And with what group do you think it would be easier
to tackle the issues?

[Rabynovych] For me it would be easiest to tackle issues with [Green
leader Vitaliy] Kononov, because these are my friends, the Greens. We
speak the same language. I believe that it would be a good thing if
today deputies got up and went to the Chernobyl sarcophagus and then
took three specialists and tried to tell them what would happen to
all of them in parliament – with the right, the left and the rest,
if all this falls apart.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] And what, in your opinion, has happened to the
former oligarchs? Have they faded out?

[Rabynovych] They have split into separate pieces. About five to
seven super-oligarchs have emerged.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] In the lists before the presidential elections
your name was there among the oligarchs.

[Rabynovych] I am not arguing about that right now. You can say
what you like, but don’t muddle up the names. You live in Ukraine,
journalists are reasonable people. What’s you definition of an

[Shlynchak, Lymar] A man who earns his money through politics.

[Rabynovych] Fine. In Russia oligarchs those who, by way of political
influence, illegal privatization and huge possibilities of their
lobbying became billionaires, were called oligarchs. In Ukraine you
will scarcely find a factory or a plant or a bank which I was able
to privatize. Shall we work on cliches or facts?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Facts.

[Rabynovych] Can you name me one enterprise which I received when I
was in power, which I privatized thanks to my influence, my connections
or whatever?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] We don’t have access to the information of the
Ukraine Security [and Defence] Council, for which you were expelled
from the country.

[Rabynovych] Let’s come back to this question later. So, you don’t
know of a single enterprise. So does the Security Council give any
information about the rest? Why write specific names, factories and
plants about the rest? Because you can’t find a black cat in a dark
room, if it isn’t there.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] But you got the money somewhere.

[Rabynovych] Many Ukrainian services checked me many times. My
businesses are open and understood. We deal in big boards, outside
advertising, we made the first insurance company when no-one had dealt
in this. I dealt in metal, when it was not known in the country what
this was, and then they started to privatize desirable enterprises,
but I just dealt in metal. We are a company which operates properly
on the market.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] In the last parliamentary convocation were there
people who lobbied your interests?

[Rabynovych] No. Unfortunately, I have a lot of friends in parliament
but I have nothing to lobby.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] It is well known that in Ukraine all businesses
are lobbied by someone.

[Rabynovych] That’s business. But I haven’t dealt in business for
ages. I gave it up a long time ago.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Why was that?

[Rabynovych] In our country they have never taken to people who don’t
like to bow and scrape. I’m not the right person to be in power.

[Passage omitted: criticism of Green Party’s performance at last

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Let’s go back to your business.

[Rabynovych] I really don’t want to deal with business in Ukraine. I
have earned a bit of money – not a lot compared to our billionaires,
but quite enough for my media holding to exist. I don’t want to get
on the political bus.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] But why don’t you want to be in business?

[Rabynovych] I don’t want to be in business because I don’t need to
bow and scrape and crawl around on all fours.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] But for your media business to do well you will
have to.

[Rabynovych] No. I don’t need anything for my business to
prosper. Nobody gives me instructions what to do. And nobody forces
me to withdraw the article on Yushchenko or Tymoshenko. Not one person
in this country has phoned me and said: “Withdraw the article”. Never,
and they never will.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What I mean is, for your business to prosper you
need contacts in the tax service.

[Rabynovych] I completely disagree with you. You say what you want
to say: if you want a most favoured regime and get subsidies for
your newspaper, so that at the end of the month they give you 20,000
to distribute to journalists, probably you need to work for some
party. It has already been suggested to me from various quarters:
get big-boys of one party interested, bribe a newspaper before the
end of the elections, and so on. But we get by without subsidies.
Often we upset some people by what we publish. So what?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Is it possible that tomorrow the money will simply
run out?

[Rabynovych] Yes, that’s possible.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] When might this “tomorrow” be – in a month, six
months, a year?

[Rabynovych] That’s a good question. You know, I think, give me a
year and I ‘ll get by. At least, until the elections. After that, I
don’t know. I can’t guess what fate has in store. I’m very satisfied
with my lot. If there were anything they could possibly hang on me,
they would have pissed themselves laughing. [Rabynovych grins – Ed]
So what? We all have our friends. One immediately rushes to rescue you,
another to sell you out. That’s life.

[Passage omitted: relations with Andriy Derkach; oligarchs should
spend money on restoring cathedrals]

[Shlynchak, Lymar] You mix with politicians a lot. Is there one man
among them you trust?

[Rabynovych] You want to ask if there is someone whom I would give
my wallet to look after? Probably there are many. Why would they want
my small savings? They have more. And is it possible to give someone
a letter with a request not to reveal something? I don’t know. I
certainly wouldn’t to the Socialist Party.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] What forecast would you make for the coming
presidential elections: who will triumph in the country and the main
thing – what will change from it?

[Rabynovych] I won’t make any predictions. Moreover, I know for myself
who will win. But I won’t say, because my words will be interpreted
as political engineering. I won’t say whether it is good or bad. I
have one hope since I mix with business and in many countries with
the most serious people: they expect very serious things from Ukraine,
and it could become such a rich gold mine.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Are you an optimist?

[Rabynovych] You know what is the difference between an optimist and
a pessimist?

[Shlynchak, Lymar] A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.

[Rabynovych] That’s one version. I know a lot of others. I am an
optimist, because I look at all this and I continue to talk to
them. What is happening in our politics? In what way are those in
parliament better than one another? They sat down together, agreed
among themselves and during the division they scattered. It strikes me
– the socialists, the communists – they’re all birds of a feather. I
am an optimist, because theoretically I want to go to Hawaii, lie
under a palm tree and do nothing.

[Shlynchak, Lymar] Could you last two days like that?

[Rabynovych] No, I am already getting on. I can stand a lot of things.
Because it is getting harder to get up and harder to fight. But I’ll
make it!