Kerch Strait Incident: Poroshenko’s Fiddling While Ukraine is Burning - Putin at Direct Line

Dmitry Peskov, Press-secretary: I see the Ukrainian flag in the second row.

Vladimir Putin: Wait a minute — is it you who attends our conferences all the time? You're from Ukraine, right?


- It's our colleagues from Ukraine.

- My colleagues told me not to let you speak because you will make a scandal. Are you going to make a scandal? Please, go ahead.

- Egor Sazaev-Guriev, Izvestia. I have a question about the incident in the Kerch Strait.

- Izvestia isn't from Ukraine, right?

- But the question is about Ukraine.

- Well, alright.

- About the incident in the Kerch Strait — I wonder what will happen to the Ukrainian servicemen? And don't you think the provocation turned out well? And I can't help but ask about the Russian citizens detained in the USA: Bout, Butina, Yaroshenko. How can Russia protect their rights? Maybe we should look at what our Chinese partners did; a Chinese citizen from Huawei was detained in Canada, so they detained some Canadian citizens in return. Maybe we should replicate this?

- Well, I would divide your question. You asked if I think the provocation turned out well. The first thing to say is it was a provocation and you agree with that. That was the right thing to say. Now about if it was successful? I think that provocations are always bad. Provocations are aimed to aggravate the situation. Why do our Ukrainian partners need this course of events? It's clear, they have the upcoming elections, so they need the aggravation to boost the ratings of one of the aspirants to the presidency. I mean the incumbent president. But this is bad. In the end, it will do harm the interests of the people and of the state. Although it's possible to move on without any provocations as it used to be. Whether it was successful in terms of boosting his ratings, maybe it was. Mr. Poroshenko's ratings seem to be a little higher. He's in second or third place instead of fifth. He's at about 12% now. Ms. Tymoshenko has more than 20% now. All of the others: Zelinsky, Boiko, and Poroshenko, have about 12%. In this sense, yeah, he accomplished his task. At the expense of national interests, I think. It's a bad way to boost your ratings.

Concerning the future of the Ukrainian servicemen; They were sent there in the hope that some of them would be killed. I see huge dissatisfaction among the ruling class that no one died, actually. They thought that some of them would die. Thankfully, this didn't happen. The investigation is underway. After the criminal proceedings, we'll see what to do next.


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