STRASBOURG, France – The mood was very exalted this week in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), as the human rights body is about to re-establish Russia as a full member. One of the delegates from Ukraine even stated in English that all Russians are “bastards“.
The explosion came from Borislav Beryoza, a Ukrainian and Russianophobic deputy, with a long history of disruptive behavior that marks even the expressive delegates of Kiev. The insult came on Tuesday as he was entering the Palace of Europe, the meeting place of PACE.
The Ukrainian deputy is known for his verbal and physical abuse, although he generally prefers his insults in the Russian or Ukrainian language. His favorite target in recent years has been Russian journalist Olga Skabeeva, who covers PACE meetings for Russian news channel Rossiya 24 and also promotes a political talk show with her husband Evgeny Popov.
Last year he tore a microphone out of Skabeeva’s hands to make a furious speech about the Russian government and dropped it on the ground.
During another incident, he pushed her away from a colleague from the Ukrainian delegation, Vice-President Irina Goncharenko, while she informed several journalists.
Beryoza and the entire Ukrainian delegation at PACE are currently engaged in a desperate battle to prevent Russia’s voting rights being fully restored after five years. The runaway legislator had this remark to make:
“The gates of hell are open and the Russian demons will be in the Parliamentary Assembly, what is there to say? This is how the slag slides through every crack,” he said.
Last month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said he wants to conduct a survey to get the Ukrainian people’s views on possible negotiations with Russia.
Presidential spokesman Andrey Bogdan announced a few days ago that Zelensky intended to hold a referendum so that citizens could decide whether to negotiate with Russia or not.
“We have to listen to every person, not a legislative referendum, but an informational referendum: ‘citizens, what do you guys think?’ This is a normal conversation with people,” Zelensky told a meeting with activists, quoted by his press service.
He explained that research is just a way of getting to know society’s opinion.