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Viktor Yanukovych boasted of Ukraine corruption, says Mikheil Saakashvili | World news | theguardian.com

Ukraine's disgraced president, Viktor Yanukovych, used to boast to other heads of state about how corrupt he was, according to Georgia's former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Yanukovych, who fled Kiev at the weekend and is believed now to be hiding in Crimea, was known for his thuggish behaviour and obsession with money. The extent of his interest in the latter was revealed over the weekend when his lavish presidential compound outside Kiev was opened to the public.

Saakashvili's comments suggest the Ukrainian leader was brazen in his abuse of office. Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 until November, and met Yanukovych on numerous occasions.

He recalled one incident in particular, at the 2011 UN general assembly in New York, when he said Yanukovych bragged at length about how his corrupt government worked, in front of Saakashvili and a group of leaders from post-Soviet countries.

"He would talk very loudly about how he had corrupted senior officials, in the supreme court and the constitutional court," Saakashvili said during an interview in the Ukrainian capital, where he is meeting with opposition leaders after Yanukovych's downfall. "He didn't care who he was talking to; the guy did not have any idea about morality."

Saakashvili said Yanukovych was unique among post-Soviet leaders, even the notoriously ruthless and corrupt central Asian dictators.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 25th, 2014 at 10:56:57 AM EST

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