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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tymo Shoots Verbal Ammo at Reporter

Pravda has captured a moment of tension that spiced up Tymoshenko’s meeting with the Ukrainian diaspora in Washington.

The provocative question came from an RFE/RL reporter who has tortured Tymo with inquiries on whether she feared detention by American law enforcement due to her past involvement with Pavlo Lazarenko, the exiled former Ukrainian PM whose trial is nearing the end in California.

This time the reporter asked her how she was going deal with the thugs in the PRU while consorting with such controversial figures as Feldman and Hubsky, at which point she became visibly distressed.

What followed was an awkward attempt to regain composure using a two-pronged rebuttal that included self-victimization and ad hominem components.

Ми вішаємо мітки на людей, не розбираючи їх сутності. Запорукою того, що наша команда ніде не схибить, не відступить на жоден крок від стратегічного шляху є моє власне ім'я і моя власна позиція.

І я буду крок за кроком руйнувати опорних людей Партії регіонів на сході, я буду перевербовувати і забирати кращих організаторів процесу, і забиратиму їх для того, щоб вони не працювали на їх перемогу. Бо я вважаю, що перемогу ми отримаємо тоді, коли переконаємо людей на сході, що Партія регіонів – це не їх партія.

А ця молода людина на першій публічній зустрічі, яку я мала, він перший вирвався з запитанням "що ж ви сюди так довго не їхали, тому, що ви є подільник Лазаренка і ви не їхали, бо боїтеся, що вас заарештують". Я хочу вам сказати, я просто не хочу, щоб ви й 10% пройшли з того, що пройшла я, моя родина і моя команда. Бо я бажаю вам добра, але не будьте чорним піаром в Вашингтоні проти України. Бо це чорний піар не проти мене, а проти України. Але я звикла до цього. Я заздалегідь пробачаю всі провокації, які є, були і будуть в майбутньому.

We put labels on people without looking into their substance. The guarantee that our team will not err and will not stray a single step from the strategic course is in my good name and in my personal stance.

And step by step I will destroy the PRU henchmen in the east, I will woo away and reclaim the best talent in organizational matters, and I will reclaim them so that they do not work to precipitate a victory for the PRU. For I believe that we will win only when we convince the people in the east that the Party of Regions is not their party.

And this young man here, during the first public meeting I had, he was the first and he came up with this question, “So what took you so long? Is it because you’re Lazarenko’s accomplice and you’re afraid of being arrested?” I want to tell you that I simply don’t want you to go through even 10 percent of what my family, my team, and I have been through. I wish you well, but don’t be a smear campaign here in Washington against Ukraine. For this is not a smear campaign against me, but one against Ukraine. I got used to this. I forgive all the attacks in advance those that have occurred, are occurring, and will occur.

The reporter drew catcalls from the Ukrainian American audience, which took the question a bit too personally, without giving thought to its merits. The way Tymo tried to make a sport out of shooting the messenger leaves no doubt that the guy hit the right spot.

Doesn’t the public have the right to know how, in the event of her comeback, she is going to manage her lyubi druzi?

If she wasn’t in the mood for a frank discussion, she should have injected humor into the situation, with something like, “Lazarenko? Let me think, why don’t you call Lt. Colombo and let him check things? I’ll be in touch.”

Instead, she threw a tantrum, exhibiting the very character flaws she has always trashed in Yushchenko.


Anonymous said...

You shd try to network with other Ukrainian political blogs.

You link to their sites, they reciprocate...

Taras said...

I know it's weird, but I just haven't decided yet. Still warming up, you know:) Thanx for encouraging me to go public;) Sooner or later, it will happen.

Anonymous said...

You get better by practice and reading other's blogs.

I have read some of my early posts and they were quite bad...


Taras said...

Same here. We learn as we go:)

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't the public have the right to know..."

I agree with you - the public does and hard questions should be asked of every Ukrainian politician, anywhere, at any time. Unfortunately, the "Third Wave" diaspora believe in sweeping stuff under the rug, which is why they so readily became apologists for Kuchma.

Taras said...

Come on, Kuchma never had much of a fan club among representatives of the third-wave diaspora. I’d say most of his fans came from the heavily Sovietized and largely apolitical fourth-wave diaspora.

But whoever tries to sweep things under the rug should apply for membership:)

Anonymous said...

Totally not true. Fourth wave was just getting started in coming over and yes, they are apolitical (yes and no, but that is a whole diff. topic.)

I do not mean Canada but US - check out the following "President Leonid Kuchma responded on November 1 to accusations "that no democracy exists in Ukraine today" made by Pavlo Lazarenko during the former prime minster's recent visit to the United States, and caused a minor stir by quoting an editorial from The Ukrainian Weekly to support his attack on Mr. Lazarenko.

"It would be more accurate to say that the authoritarian ways of the government ended after Lazarenko decided to leave the post of prime minister," President Kuchma said at his first press conference in several months."


"As Leonid Kravchuk's former prime minister in 1992-1993, Mr. Kuchma was hailed as an unwavering reformer and earnest crusader against corruption."

I mean, did you not find it a LITTLE ODD that there was absolutely NO protest, no demonstration, nada, when Yanukovych visited the US, from any diaspora group?

Anonymous said...

Eureka! I did find it - you need to read the following
"A final comment should be made about an important aspect of how the U.S. government and policy-makers perceive Ukrainian Americans. During the Kuchma era an important group of influential Ukrainian Americans from a wide range of émigré political orientations were “derzhavnyky” (statists, literally meaning supporters of Ukrainian statehood regardless of its domestic politics), which led them to defend some of the dubious policies and practices of the Kuchma regime. Not surprisingly, these apologists turned the U.S. government and policy-makers away from dealing with some Ukrainian American organizations.

The most visible example was the president of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), who was regularly an apologist for the Kuchma regime and a staunch critic of American policies and legislative initiatives. These included congressional resolutions in 2002 and 2004 that called for free and fair elections in Ukraine, which were overwhelmingly passed by both the House and the Senate.

This is a good example of one wing of the organized Ukrainian community undermining the other. The UCCA’s work with the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and organization of election observers in Ukraine was undermined by the UWC president’s hostility to congressional election resolutions and U.S. policy to Ukraine.

But, there were other derzhavnyky from the academic, judicial and military fields. Some, inspired by Ukrainian officials, launched spurious attacks on individuals in Washington and elsewhere who were critical of the corrupt and undemocratic practices of the Kuchma regime. An academic institution refused to host panels on Kuchmagate and the murder of journalist Heorhii Gongadze. Ukrainian sociologists from the Academy of Sciences were castigated by Ukrainian American and Ukrainian Canadian professors at an annual Ukrainian American academic conference in the U.S. for being too critical of domestic developments inside Ukraine (the episode was recounted in the April 2004 issue of Suchasnist magazine). These derzhavnyky were so cross-party that among them was an ex-Canadian-Ukrainian Trotskyist working in Ukraine since the early 1990s.

Today, of course, they have – not surprisingly – all re-painted themselves Orange. "

A Guide to Who's Who in D.C.'s Ukraine Related Activities

Taras said...

You’re right, the derzhavnyk in Kuchma must have died long before some Ukrainian American derzhavnyks could even notice it.

I know that freshman Kuchma appealed to a large segment of the Ukrainian American community that mistook him for a born-again nationalist.

The only valid excuse for any of those people would be a sincere and selfless belief that isolating Kuchma would have made the entire country a fair target for a resurgent Russia. In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush and Putin had a busy dating schedule, and it scared the hell out of many decent people in Ukraine.

Of course, this amnesty does not apply to those Ukrainian Americans who let themselves be fooled or financed by Kuchma. It does not apply to those pseudo-patriots who would give Kuchma the carte blanche to do whatever he wanted as long as he could cover it up with the blue- yellow banner.

As for Yanukovych’s visit, my vantage point here in Kyiv tells me that part of the community boycotted it while others wanted to “have a word” with Proffessor. So, for fear of embarrassment, Proffessor chose to cut class, right?

A few months earlier, Yushchenko had gotten an F from the Ukrainian Village in Chicago for his role in catapulting Proffessor back to power.

I really enjoyed the links, especially

Y2K-kissers are no friends of Ukraine. (By Y2K I mean Yanukovych, Kuchma & Kravchuk:)

Slava Ukrayini:)!

Anonymous said...

"As for Yanukovych’s visit, my vantage point here in Kyiv tells me that part of the community boycotted it while others wanted to “have a word” with Proffessor."

Who did you talk with? (rhetorical ques. of course :) But seriously, you must have missed the VOA broadcast of Hanna German (who accompanied Yanu to US) very proudly telling Myroslava G. about the "success" of the evening at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington which held an informal meet and greet with the PM. And the many numbers of people who pressed business cards into his hands and the crush of people who attended. My was she a happy camper at how well it went. And why not? no placards, no demonstrators, no fuss.

And "boycott"??? that is the stupidest protest I have heard about - why not just give him the silent treatment, from afar or just "send" him negative thoughts???? Foolish.

Unlike the young people who chanted "Shame" in Kyiv at the Shevchenko event, people in the US were silent and as we all know, silence = death.

Taras said...

You helped me recall the famous Reagan quote, “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”:)

Hanna Herman gets paid for what she does. And it was Proffessor who helped her discover her true profession.

Ever since Yushchenko opted for accommodating Yanukovych, Orange Ukrainians have experienced a sense of fatigue with politics, viewing Yu and Ya as two of a kind. (A similar trend can be observed in America, where a large number of voters see little difference between Dems and Reps.) Sad sight and a self-fulfilling prophecy too. People quit the game in despair, only to let the other guy play with their lives.

The Ukrainian Embassy, despite its sympathy for Tarasyuk, had no choice but to provide a crash pad for Yanukovych. That’s what embassies do, regardless of who’s in charge back at home.

But most of the event planning credits should probably go to lobbyist Paul Manafort, Yanukovych’s guide to Washington. But most of the event planning credits should probably go to lobbyist Paul Manafort, Yanukovych’s guide to Washington. This consultant has a global acquisition strategy for his client, and, as the seduction of German analyst Alexander Rahr demonstrates, he shoots for the stars.

Plus, it was a brilliant networking opportunity for U.S. companies interested in exploring Ukraine’s government procurement market. One of those enthusiastic companies reportedly sponsored a charter flight to Washington for Yanukovych Jr.

Who says America has no respect for extended family values;)?

Anonymous said...

Roundabout for me to make my point but I am concerned that those same people who were apologists in the 90's esp. during Kuchma's 2nd term (sorry, 9/11 had nothing to do with it)are the same ones who scoffed at anyone who voiced unease with Yush's first 100 days and are the same ones who did not protest during Yanukovych's visit and are the same ones sounded off "shame" when the journalist asked Yulia about not coming to US for ten yrs. Unfortunately these are the ones who will in coming future whitewash any Ukrainian politician.

Taras said...

If demography provides any guidance, we could say that Kuchma's second term had far more fatal consequences than 9/11.

What I was trying to say is that many Ukrainians, myself included, had a feeling that in his first term Bush would trade a pound of Ukraine’s independence for an ounce of Putin’s support in the war on terror. The Kuchmagate scandal and the Kolchuha affair strengthened that scenario.

But anyway, if the standpat behavioral patterns you’ve described are indeed the case, please do not consider me an apologist. I’m the last person to be happy with Kuchma and his followers, no matter where they are.

Anonymous said...

(My last comment on this topic (I swear - must get sleep soon))

There should have been NO fear that Bush would trade off UA independence for closer ties with Putin.

The following comes from a comment made to the forum at Kuzio blog in Ukrainian and it sums up perfectly the view of diaspora activities from the outside and it does not make for pretty reading.

"Всі свідомі українці в Україні знають, що діаспора мало розуміється на тих процесах, що відбуваються в Україні. Так було завжди, так залишається і зараз, і ніякі українські телепрограми чи любі гості з України цій проблемі не зарадять. Найкращим підтвердженням цього факту є те, що діаспорянська захопленість була адресована то на Кучму ( проти Кравчука), то на Ющенка, тепер на Тимошенко...."

(of course u could not point out the irony to her comments that she knows from the outside what is going on in the diaspora but disputes that the diaspora could know what goes on in Ukraine :))

(nor could u point out to the author that the MAJORITY of Ukrainians living in Ukraine - supported Kuchma (which is why he became Pres.) and Yushchenko (which is why he became Pres.)


Taras said...

Go get yourself some sleep and give Kuchma a break!:)

Fear is part of living in a country that is not free. The diaspora lives in a different country. No matter how dear they hold Ukraine to their hearts, their eyes and ears remain outside Ukraine most of the time.

Before you hit the hay, let me share a couple of flashbacks with you.

I voted Marchuk in the first round of the ‘99 presidential election. And, yes, I voted Kuchma in the second round, seeing him as the lesser evil to Communist Petro Symonenko. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. As a 19-year-old college student, I didn’t plan to leave my bones in Chechnya.

That’s how Kuchma got himself re-elected — Yeltsin-2 style. (Well, not exactly. The ’96 presidential campaign in Russia did not involve a candidate’s death in a road accident.)

When, on a warm July day in ‘94, I learned of Kuchma’s narrow victory over Kravchuk, my world crumbled. I thought, “Shit, by the time I reach the voting age, my vote will not count. We’ll definitely have another Soviet Union going on!”

It turns out that millions of Ukrainians from all walks of life have their heads in the shadow of the Soviet Union even after Kuchma is gone.

Duerme con los ángeles. Hasta luego:)