Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was plunged into fresh controversy on Tuesday after Russian television broadcast a tape where she is heard urging the “wiping out” of Russiansover Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
“This really crosses all the boundaries,” Tymoshenko is heard to say in the leaked phone call posted on YouTube and broadcast extensively on Russian television Monday.
“One has to take up arms and go wipe out these damn ‘katsaps’ together with their leader,” the voice said in Russian, without mentioning Putin by name.
The word “katsap” is a derogatory Ukrainian term for Russians.
During the conversation, Tymoshenko is said to discuss Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking peninsula ofCrimea with Ukrainian MP and former government official Nestor Shufrych.
Tymoshenko, who spent three years in jail on what her supporters say were politically motivated charges of abuse of power before being freed last month, said if she were in power Moscow would not be able to take the peninsula.
“I am sorry that I am not able to be there and am not in charge of these processes, they wouldn’t have had a fucking chance of getting Crimea off me.”
“I would have found a way to finish off these bastards,” the 53-year-old leader of the 2004 pro-democracy Orange revolution was heard as saying.