On 30 November 2013 when students were protesting at the Maidan, the first Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, together with Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage went hunting, after which they had dinner and sang karaoke, said Kravchuk on the Batsman Live program on channel NewsOne.
Kravchuk related how in 2013 at Yanukovych’s invitation, he used to go hunting with him and his entourage nearly every Saturday. “A lot of people. 20 people, sometimes 22. For the most part, these were people who had had contact with him earlier and were in his team, his supporters. They were from Donetsk, the Donbas. There were also Muscovites. That is, people with whom he had discussions of a different nature (I can’t tell you about their content, because I was not present),” Kravchuk said. Leonid Kuchma was also with them.
According to Kravchuk, the last collective hunt took place on November 30.
“On Friday [November 29] he flew from Europe, where he had refused to sign the document on the association [between Ukraine and the EU], on Saturday there was hunting, and the first thing he was asked, when we met up, was: ‘Viktor Fedorovich, tell us how it went.’ And everyone commended him firmly for acting correctly...” Kravchuk said.
“And our people also complimented him… that there was no other way. Then I said one phrase: ‘How so? Yesterday it was possible, today not?!’ They started to put pressure on me. Not Viktor Fedorovich, but the people close to him. Then Viktor Fedorovich got up and looked at them: ‘Shut up! The first president of Ukraine can say whatever he thinks and whatever he wants. And don’t forget who you would be if there had been no first president, and if the Belavezha Accords had not been signed [the unofficial name for the agreement to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States, signed on 8 December 1991 by the leaders of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia; which stated, amongst other things, that the USSR had ceased to exist].’ He said this, and everyone knows about it,” the former president reminisced.
According to him, after hunting, everyone went to dinner and then sang karaoke.
“I did not react to this, because the situation was in fact complicated, and we already knew that students had been gathering at the Maidan. When the hunting ended, we went for dinner, sang songs… what’s it called when you sing along with the TV… Viktor Fedorovich always sang karaoke. He had a good voice…” Kravchuk said.
Kravchuk conjectured that Yanukovych did not know about the plans to beat students at the Maidan, because afterwards, when this was reported to Yanukovych, he quickly left for Kyiv.
As is well known, Yanukovych had a presidential hunting club called “Kedr” which 28 people belonged to, including current MPs Vadim Novinsky, Yuriy Boyko, fugitive MP Serhiy Klyuyev, and others.