What the former president of Ukraine had to say in his trip to Utah

Apr 20, 2023, 8:30 PM

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks to a group gathered at the World Trade Center U...

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks to a group gathered at the World Trade Center Utah office in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 17, 2023. Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is rapidly becoming the crossroads of the world. Diplomats and other high-ranking officials often visit the Beehive State. Most recently, Viktor Yushchenko, the former president of Ukraine, made a stop in Utah.

Among his many stops in Utah, Yushchenko met with the Deseret News editorial board on Monday.

Jay Evensen, opinion editor for the Deseret News, joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on Thursday to share some insight into Yushchenko’s visit.

A message from the former president of Ukraine to Utah

Matheson asked, “Why did he come to Utah?”

“He has a message that he wants to give to Utah,” Evensen said. “And that is that Ukraine’s future is important to Utah and that we need to worry about it. We need to care about it.”

Matheson asked Evensen what he took away from the conversation with Yushchenko.

“He looked at me and said ‘If there was one good thing, it took the war in Ukraine to make Europeans sober about Putin’s influence,'” Evensen said. “And we’ve seen that since then, Europe has become more, much more, united now.”

If Russia wins, we all lose

Yushchenko is confident his country will eventually win the war. However, he has some concerns for after the war.

“But he worries if we just let Russia go back to being who they are now,” Evensen said. “We will all lose. And by all, he includes Utah in that the free world will lose. Because he said this is a man who really wants to reassemble the Soviet Union.”

According to a Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll in March, Evensen says 62% of Utahns believe the United States is doing enough to help Ukraine. To see more information from the poll, click here.

Matheson asked, “What did you notice or what caught your attention that we’re not talking about but should be?”

“But here’s a man, who probably, if he were in this country would be retired,” Evensen said. “But he’s so committed to his country and to what’s going on that he wants to use whatever influence that he possibly still has in order to help the cause.”

Listen to the entire segment.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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What the former president of Ukraine had to say in his trip to Utah