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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cosa Regio Nostra Fires Lutsenko, Tarasyuk

Cuius regio, eius religio. Whose rule, his religion.

Coming straight from the Middle Age, this proverb is right on the money. It perfectly illustrates the Armageddon in Ukrainian parliament that has culminated in the ouster of Yushchenko-centric Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and Foreign Affairs Minister Borys Tarasyuk.

Well done. The Yanukovych-centric Anticrisis Coalition certainly deserves praise for having positioned itself as something of a Cosa Regio Nostra/Holy Inquisition. Among the demoralized Orange Revolution vets, these two had a faint image of Robocop/Copernicus-like figures. (The only remaining martyr on death row is Defense Minister Hrytsenko.)

Whether by error of omission or commission, Bankova made their dismissal look like a foregone conclusion. Before the voting even started, President Yushchenko, for one, had discontinued his rumblings about the protectorate he held over them as accorded by the Constitution. The general impression is that Yushchenko has retired to his cell to deicide on further course of action. So far, he is holding himself incommunicado.

Such constitutional collisions, the hallmark of the post-Politreforma political landscape, add to Yanukovych’s confidence only to the extent that they embolden Yushchenko to go through with his referendum promise — once public outrage reaches a critical point: On the one hand, the three can only be appointed by the President, a status which makes them exempt from coalition considerations. On the other hand, because the Rada claims jurisdiction over them, the coalition has the power to fire them.

To expedite the public’s digestive process, the coalition had released enzymes detailing the trio’s misdeeds.

A parliamentary probe had found Lutsenko guilty of misappropriating several gift guns. (While there is no justifying the practice, the report did not provide comparison tables for Lutsenko’s predecessors.)

Multiple counts of financial wrongdoing had been uncovered in Defense Minister Hrytsenko’s realm of responsibility. (Here, due to the campaign’s fixation on financials, the rampant issue of military bullying went neglected.)

Foreign Affairs Minister Tarasyuk had been slapped with sabotaging Yanukovych’s meeting with Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe — not without the latter’s consent, as many believe. (As for Tarasyuk, my suggestion would be “breach of security, espionage, accepting bribes from Bush, kidnapping plot to fly Yanukovych to the NATO Summit in Riga.”)

Yanukovych had no problems with the Yushchenko-centric trio as long as he expected Yushchenko to do the wild thing with him. By the time that expectation proved to be overoptimistic, it had almost halved NSNU’s approval ratings.

The debris from these unmet expectations touched off a vicious vendetta. Lutsenko, along with the other two “untouchables,” stuck out like a sore thumb on the Yanukovych Cabinet uh Cupola. Day after day, they refused to take orders from it. Their blatant disregard for authority and crass insubordiNATiOn was nothing but trouble for Yanukovych.

Following an unsuccessful attempt on Thursday, Yanukovych-centric agenda-benders regrouped and stroke again — this time quite victoriously, ending a monthlong cliffhanger in Lutsenko’s law enforcement stint of 22 months.

The timing of the ouster evokes grim parallels. Not only does the ouster come on World AIDS Day, as if accentuating the fact that Yanukovych’s native Oblast of Donetsk ranks first in AIDS spread, but it also comes on a day that marks the 15th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence referendum.

Variable numbers of BYuT “leprechauns” (from 2 to 18) partook in the three voting rounds of the Lutsenko lynching. Obviously not happy with his robocopic watchfulness, these individuals customarily shun publicity and represent a BYuT equivalent of the lyubi druzi, that is, petty oligarchs who came to parliament to make money.

Tymo, who had used every opportunity to trash Lu as a PRU collaborationist, should have covered her bases first: The voting record pertaining to the ouster clearly lumps her entourage together with the Cosa Regio Nostra. Collaboration starts at home, doesn’t it?

Of course, the priestess immediately issued a statement saying that she holds herself to a higher standard and regrets what happened. Two “leprechauns” were banished from the BYuT temple.

Lessons learned:

1. Taking gold-diggers on board can make a captain cry bitter tears.

2. Somehow, the Lutsenko she had painted — one possessed by the demons of Donetsk — could not save his ass from burning at the stake.

A checklist for Yanukovych:

1. What could be more stupid than firing the No. 1 cop in the country who shouts from the rooftops of the Rada he’s onto something — something implicating your buddies?

2. What could be more self-incriminating than doing it when crime rates are down 15 percent?

3. Would this help do away with the stereotype that crime is encapsulated in the DNA of Donetsk Oblast, a region with the highest murder rate in Ukraine?

4. Does giving the axe to a pro-Western foreign policy guy lend credentials to your upcoming visit to the U.S.?

If making his X-file even more complicated was the goal, Yanukovych has surely succeeded. Or was this hardball assignment part of his recertification in Moscow?
In any case, the political exsanguination of Lutsenko and Tarasyuk strikingly reminds us of the vampirism of the Kuchma-controlled Rada in spring 2001 — when Premier Yushchenko was fired on lack of team play thinking, as it was phrased.

Given Ya’s DUI and Yu’s LID (Living in denial), somebody with a clean record has to stop this unhealthy thing.

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