Yanukovich, an honorary citizen of Spitak, the town in which he led a rescue and rehabilitation effort by a Ukrainian group in the days following a devastating earthquake more than two decades ago, won a majority of votes in the runoff of Ukraine’s presidential election held last Sunday. (He was declared Spitak’s honorary citizen in 2004).
Spitak’s vice-mayor Anahit Gyulazian has already completed the text of the congratulatory message.
Almost everyone in Spitak, who are rejoicing at the victory of the Ukrainian, know Yanukovich, former prime minister of Ukraine and the leader of the Party of Regions. He was in their town only a year and a half ago to see his fellow townsmen and the town itself that was razed to the ground in the devastating earthquake in 1988 but was restored in recent years.
Yanukovich was not only pronounced honorary citizen of Spitak. This town also has a square named after him. In the presence of Yanukovich the Spitak authorities in 2008, on the 20th anniversary of the earthquake, renamed a central square after the Ukrainian politician.
Now the authorities are going to make repairs of Yanukovich square.
The Spitak folk got to know Yanukovich first 21 years ago. During the days after the December 7, 1988 earthquake a production unit, Donbastransremont, headed by Yanukovich conducted rescue and rehabilitation work in the earthquake-hit town.
Sergey Sahakian, who was head of the Ideology Department of Spitak’s district committee back then, now shows the territory, where the winning candidate in the Ukrainian presidential vote lived for six months in the late 1980s.
Recalling the days of the disaster, Sahakian tells about a group of young Ukrainian rescuers who came to Armenia under Yanukovich’s leadership.
The people of Spitak not only feel happy for their honorary fellow townsman, but they also consider his victory useful for themselves.