Share |

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Trip to Kuchmaland
Lutsenko Rallies in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk Obstructed by Pro-Yanukovych Local Authorities

Half-pregnant with new parliamentary — and perhaps even presidential — elections, 2007 looks very much like 2004. “Narodna Samo'oborona,” or “People’s Self-Defense,” an opposition submovement headed by former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko that is haunting Ukraine in the runup to the long-awaited March on Kyiv, helps discover that similarity.

Talk about putting spokes in those wheels. Yanukovych and his allies seem to be intent on putting eastern Ukraine on the 2004 track.

But not all people take orders from Yanukovych there. In the three rounds of the 2004 presidential election, Kharkiv voted Yushchenko by 31.10, 21.11 and 26.12 percent, respectively. The figures for Dnipropetrovsk are 18.72, 29.62, and 32.01 percent.

Lutsenko’s roadshow in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk gathered from five to ten thousand people. Of course, those estimates do not include the brotherly legions of Communists and Regionalists (read: Capitalists) who stormed the streets to protest the project that threatens to shatter their highly profitable partnership.

Securing a venue turned out to be a major problem in Kharkiv: Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin answers to the PRU. In Dnipropetrovsk the city where Kuchma, as head of Yuzhmash, had spent most of his pre-presidential adulthood making ICBMs Lutsenko survived a retaliatory egg attack. (A single egg to Yanukovych’s chest in fall 2004 downed him in one fell swoop and kept him in the hospital for several days. Watch Tymo’s eggsperience.)

Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, SPU, who has stocked up on police clubs and water cannons, and has populated his staff with Kuchma’s knights, has adopted Kuchma’s rhetoric as well. Speaking at a press conference that marked his first 100 days in office, he advised Ukrainians against participating in the March on Kyiv, calling it “political schizophrenia.” Well, look who’s talking. Hadn't Moroz, his party boss, shared the same stage with Lutsenko at Maidan?


Anonymous said...

I wish I could see more than just the clip, because I do not think that Lutsenko even realized what had occured(I think it was pointed out to him that he had been hit) as his reaction was even better than Tymo's ----- NOTHING he did not stop his speech for a moment until he later excused himself and cleaned it off. I guess he has been "christened"!

Taras said...

Oops, I forgot to plant the link:) Thanks!

Yeah, that sucks. They should have hired an eggsniper:) But I’m sure none would have come even close to the Ivano-Frankivsk ’04 drama:)))

Anonymous said...

His - the following link -- is it Yanu after the egg attack? in the hospital being interviewed?

Taras said...

You’re right on target. That’s our man Yanukovych — a little eggshocked, as you can see:) First, he deplores the evil of nationalism. Then he pardons the boy who did this to him. And, finally, he condemns Yushchenko’s inner circle:)!

Taras said...

Back to the Lutsenko episode, they did deploy an eggsniper! But Lutsenko refused to bite the dust:)

Anonymous said...

Did you hear that the 'eggsniper' was a little old lady who was protesting NATO?

Taras said...

Really?:) She did a great job! Our seniors have my deepest admiration. They live on two bucks per day and still get the calories to be politically active. Has anybody seen anything like this in a NATO country? (other than Romania and Turkey)