09:53 02 Mar 2021

Zelenskyi learned about Sternenko's sentence from the media - Avakov

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that he and President Volodymyr Zelenskyi had learned about the sentence of activist Serhii Sternenko on the day of its announcement.

The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was asked about this during an interview on the 1+1 TV channel.

"We don't have ideal people and an ideal society. It's no secret to you, and it's no secret to me, that our judicial system is what it is. Perhaps this creates a crisis of justice when we say that there's no justice," Avakov said.

When asked why the case, which had been pending for 5 years, suddenly accelerated, Avakov said that he also agreed that the proceedings had intensified.

"Have certain forces stimulated this process? No doubt. But they're not hiding," Avakov said.

The Minister of Internal Affairs assured that both he and the President learned about Sternenko's sentence only on the day of its proclamation. Volodymyr Zelenskyi learned about this from the media, and Avakov when he saw rallies to support the activist.

"To be honest, when I found out about it, and President Zelenskyi found out about it, we talked immediately, on the day of the sentencing. I found out about it when too many police forces were invited to Odesa. And we saw that there's a finalization of the process which took 5 years for some reason, and is now being finalized. And Zelenskyi learned about it when it appeared in the press and when the process came out," Avakov said.

As for Sternenko's story inspiring young people and many of them associating the activist with the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, Avakov said that it was sad, because, according to him, "it means that we've replaced the notion of real heroes and with created heroes."

"We shouldn't call a person who invented the image of a rebel revolutionary. If we talk about Sternenko, what's his heroism? Was he at the front, maybe? Was he on the Maidan in the most difficult moments in 2013-2014? No. He appeared at the very finish of the Maidan. They say so themselves. He distinguished himself by various protests under various offices with sharp criticism, etc. Or does he have the experience of some good deeds? I don't want to believe the slogans, masks, and myths, I want to see the specifics. Let's say, the specifics of these criminal cases, which are now so surprisingly fast forward… I also agree with it: they ran forward surprisingly fast," Avakov said.

To recap, Avakov commented on Sternenko's case.

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