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