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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Moroz Indahouse, Unready to Let Go
Ukraine’s Ghost Parliament Vows to End Party Shopping as Constitutional Court Prepares to Rule on Issue

In a bid to put the pressure on the President, the disbanded Verkhovna Rada, which refuses to comply and still meets in session presided by Speaker Oleksander Moroz, has made a concession.

On Friday, the Coalition of National ImpUnity adopted a rule that could have saved its ass during last-ditch negotiations with Yushchenko. It should be noted that, according to polls, Moroz and his Socialist Party (SPU) stand little chance of re-election. The prospect of early retirement keeps him in high gear, fighting till the bitter end

But now it appears to be too late. The train has left the station. For Yushchenko to change his mind would be akin to political suicide. He would effectively derail and disembowel whatever is left of his credentials. This condition would in turn invite the Coalition to reverse its decision at its convenience some time later. Mr. President, if you want to buy a ticket to your political funeral, go ahead. The vultures are waiting.

The Counter-Maidan has experienced incremental growth, but still falls far behind Maidan 2004/05 numbers. Neither the show they have staged there nor the showdown itself offers a perfect historical parallel.
People come to Kyiv for both ideological and financial reasons, the latter arguably being more prevalent. It’s no secret that the Regionalists have to use hired labor to compensate for the deficit of true-Blue supporters.

In a country with a per capita GDP of about 8K (PPP), participating in political tourism, on a daily allowance of ten bucks, can be a good way to spend one’s spring break and to chase one’s small-town blues away. But it can hardly put the spark back into the lives of those students who, upon graduation, will not find a job that corresponds to their education.

The good thing is, Kyiv is a place where urban legends meet reality. After spending a few days here, many Donetskites discover, much to their surprise, that no one gives them a dirty look when they speak Russian. During the Orange Revolution, the media in eastern Ukraine painted Kyiv as a hornet’s nest of nationalism where Russian speakers risked having their throats slit.

In the largely Orange Kyiv, public sentiment toward the Blue brothers vacillates between indifference and curiosity. Angry outbursts have not been reported.

There remains a high degree of uncertainty as to what the Constitutional Court has in store. Even more so, there seems to be no win-win solution in what the Coalition has to offer.


Anonymous said...

As u mentioned it comes down to CC and Moroz holds 3 aces which is a huge advantage!
ua pravda - orbit article re judges

Moroz has no interest in elections at all as neither does Russia.
Did u catch Moroz's rant against the Catholics and the Pope?

Anonymous said...

What are they thinking/planning? Neither PoR, nor SPU, nor CPU have registered for the elections at all. I would thnk that this is a 'trust in Allah but tie up your camel moment' for them. Should CC decide that the Pres. decree to dissolve is Constitutional, then the only two political parties who would be on the ballot for May 27 would be NSNU and BYuT.

PoR, SPU, CPU are ... ?

David said...

I paid 20 dollars per day for a translator two years ago.

Dan McMinn has a decent recent post where he links to where Neeka quotes Blue protestors commenting on the cost of living in Kyiv and how they'd be dead if it weren't for the 10 bucks a day they were making...

By all means, steal from other bloggers their best material, with giving them some credit...


David said...

This is a well done post.


Taras said...

Happy Easter, everyone:)!

If new elections are held, the PRU-SPU-CPU triumvirate stands a great chance of losing its grip on power.

But there are losses and there are losses. While Yanukovych and Symonenko can easily garner enough votes to ensure re-election, Moroz can't. He’s done the math, and it says he’s finished. He won’t pass. He has everything to lose and nothing to gain. He can blame the Vatican, he can blame Washington, but in the end he only has himself to blame. Didn’t he spend the last few months drooling over the idea of packing a 300-strong bordello? And now all he got is a “baranka ot bublika,” as Proffessor had prophetically put it, unbeknownst to himself, though.

So far, coalitionists of National ImpUnity have sabotaged Yushchenko’s directives, while at the same time trying to sweeten things up with a party shopping freeze.

Yanukovych and his partners pin their hopes on the Constitutional Court’s ruling, several weeks away, according to the most optimistic predictions, at which point they will have to comply — whether they like it or not.

As one school of thought has it, an unbridled Yanukovych won’t make Akhmetov happy. Ditto Taruta, Kolomoisky, Pinchuk, Zhevago, etc.

This gives us another reason why further sabotage looks far-fetched. Who would want to buy stock from the ПіСУАР (Southeastern Ukrainian Autonomous Republic), the late Kushnaryov’s fantasy state? Still, both sides may agree to have the elections rescheduled slightly, for organizational purposes.

Of course, if we heed the best OSINT available, we will find that there is no guarantee that the Court will rule in our favor. Therefore, any allegations that the Constitutional Court acts as a Yushchenko puppet could only stem from severe substance abuse, namely Injection Orange, as diagnosed by would-be First Lady Liudmyla Yanukovych.

Time will tell.

Taras said...

Aside from the statistics, one of the most striking differences between Maidan and the Counter-Maidan is that local Yanukovych supporters haven’t rushed to bring food for the protesters.

Speaking of the cost of living in Kyiv, here’s some food for thought:

I liked the Global Voices article. Summarizes the whole story. Besides, it’s good to hear an Orange voice from Odesa!:)

Anonymous said...

Taras thank you for the write back. Interesting.

I had no idea that both Ministers Rudkovskyi and Vasyl Dzharty are on 'vacation'. (Can't get fired if u r on leave.) Rudkovskyi said that he will extend it to the coming week. And he said that if the CC rules that the Pres. decree is unconstitutional then the Pres. will be impeached. Time and time again it comes back to the courts who will not begin til Weds. 4/11. (what a way to respond to a crisis try to wait to see if it goes away)

If the Pres. decrees direct Pres. govt then strikes will be called (endanger the economy.)

Threatening the economy is the weapon that has been used to force Yushchenko to back down. Will it happen again?

If PoR or CPU want to be in on the voting - they have to reschedule as they already missed the deadline. Unlike the way the situation is portrayed it is not at stalemate as the clock has already begun ticking down, the moment the decree was publ. and there is so much work that has to be done, which is way behind schedule already.

Anonymous said...

Yulia now has her own website, mainly in English...

It comes with free wallpaper.


Anonymous said...

They have some good debate on Ukraine going on in the comment section of a Publius Pundit post.


Anonymous said...

Taras K predicts that Timo will be PM and prescribes that PoR replace Yanuk as their leader, as his desire for revenge finally poked Yusch one time too many...


Anonymous said...

OMG - they blinked - yet again.

Tried protests - brought up label of "cargo cult." not work.

Tried silly blind of putting the defected deputies out (but of course those deputies would be voting w/ the Coalition). not work to call off elections.

Try reaching out to West - Yanu and Austrians (who btw don't seem to have any info. at all about Yanu's appeal.) not work.

Try condemnation from RU/ spin stories / economic threats and still not work.

Now call off Monday's protest - [mom says that it was probably because RU refused to finance (see Duma speeches)]. Official reason - bad weather - freezing rain. (I can hear the yucks rising now.)

All to call off elections ---- what must they be doing to the judges of the CC - I do not even wish to contemplate. Moroz is in the fight of his life.

Taras said...

We shouldn’t accompany Yanukovych and Moroz on their delirious journey of confusing Ukraine with Uganda and Uruguay. Their talk of impending doom, be it direct presidential rule or martial law, can only be studied for its scaremongering value. They’d probably pay a million dollars for a single buttshot fired by a pellet gunman in orange:)

Escalating the crisis to the point of taking the economy hostage could backfire. The public may interpret such aggressive tactics as direct evidence of special interests, a self-serving force crusading against “dictatorship” where there is none.

The Court will clear things up. Until then, we’ll have some funny times. In any event, neither the PRU nor the CPU will be excluded from the campaign, whose results, however, may disrupt their torrid love affair:)

To stem the spinfluenza, Yushchenko should speak more often.

Herr Janukowytsch obviously got a little lost in Austria’s good offices:) Moroz could oust DiCaprio in a sequel to Titanic:) He must have already learned Morse code;)

Anonymous said...

I reposted a translation into English of Yuschenko's easter sermon by Elmer from at OU blog.

It may be worth sharing at other blogs...


Taras said...

David, did you use that wallpaper;)?

Regionalists will dump Yanukovych only when his brand starts hemorrhaging red ink profusely and a white knight appears on the horizon. As of today, I see no such condition nor any such candidate.

I’ve never been a frequent reader of Publius Pundit, and I don’t plan to engage in protracted blog warfare anywhere, but, just to get off my chest, here’s what I have to say.

Why do some liberals tend to leave so little liberty for peoples involved in liberty disputes with Russia:)? Discussing Ukraine’s situation, Konyok there shares some pretty objective insights, except as follows:

>>“The only export income comes from the arms industry, centered in Donetsk, home of the Russophone Regions Party.”

Inaccurate. While Ukraine ranks as the world’s No. 6 arms supplier, most of the export revenue comes from the metallurgical and chemical industries scattered throughout eastern Ukraine.

>>“Like Orwell's sheep, the bleet (sic) du jour is ‘Orange good, Blue baaaad!’"

I’d say the works of Orwell contain more Orange stuff.

>>“Ukraine is a basketcase. This is a country without a banking system. People carry a shopping bag full of hrivnyas, greenbacks and euros.”

Getting elitist with Ukraine;)? Yes, they do carry cash, even though there is a banking system. It’s just that most of the population does not make enough money to carry a Visa or MasterCard.

>>“Ukrainization has become the priority of the state. All schools in the country must now be conducted in Ukrainian, even the majority Russian areas.”

That’s ridiculous:)! I won’t say another world until you visit Donetsk and hear for yourself.

>>“The solution for Russian irredentism surely isn't reverse colonization. Consider Crimea. Capriciously transferred from Russia to Ukraine by Khruschev in 1955 (sic), it is 90% Russian and 10% Crimean Tatar.”

The ones who got transferred capriciously are Tatars, the Crimea’s indigenous population, and Russians, the replacement population. History also tells us that Kyiv had set its foot in the Crimea long before Prince of Kyiv Yuriy Dolgorukiy founded Moscow in 1147.

>>“The ‘Reverse colonization’ is mostly the linguistic issue. By forcing the Ukrainian language on communities with no history of speaking Ukrainian, the state is causing more problems than it fixes. Aside from the emotional reaction, it adds another complication and expense to people's lives. As a result of the Orange revolution every transaction with officialdom must be conducted in Ukrainian, whereas before that the country was officially bilingual. This only profits the translators, who are in short supply and charge as much as a lawyer. Lawyers, schoolteachers, doctors all must learn Ukrainian in order to continue their careers.”

Millions of Ukrainians spoke no Russian prior to their urbanization and Russification. Today, their children speak little or no Ukrainian. Can we put them in a time machine and ship them back to the USSR?

The Orange Revolution did not translate into a revamped Ukrainization effort. On the contrary, last year’s adoption of the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages by pro-Yanukovych local governments in southeastern Ukraine has seriously undermined efforts to uplift Ukrainian to a level commensurate with the ethnic make up.

Those lawyers, teachers, and doctors are now free to continue their careers in the Jurassic Park of Soviet colonization, all duties paid.

One can find entire communities in NYC and LA with limited use of English. Does that sociocultural phenomenon put the burden on local Anglo Americans to learn Spanish, Chinese or Korean?

Of course, learning a foreign language for travel abroad makes perfect sense. And that’s exactly what Ukrainians have done over the last century. A few million people of Ukrainian origin live in the Americas. To the best of my knowledge, they had no problem mastering English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.

>>“Remember, this is not a country with evolved borders like France or Portugal. The Soviet Central Committee decided them without regard to demographics. Self-identified Russians are almost half of the population.”

Ukraine’s borders have evolved just as continuously as France’s and Portugal’s, except that our borders could never be found overseas.

True, Moscow did all the mapping in the USSR. Yet, somehow, few Ukrainians have decried Stalin’s spin-off of Moldova from Ukraine in 1940. Prior to WW II, Ukrainians made up a majority of the population in southern Russian regions of Voronezh and Kuban. Many still speak Ukrainian dialects in rural areas there.

Moscow also did all the cooking in history books. As a result of that activity, some Westerners still identify Anne de Kiev and Kyivan Rus with Russia, even though no Russia existed at the moment:)

According to the 2001 Census, self-identified Russians are almost one-fifth of Ukraine’s population.

Finally, UkraineToday declares:

>>“Ukraine has only been a democracy for one year. Its transition from a Presidential 'rule by decree' dictatorship to a Parliamentary 'rule of law' democracy has brought Ukraine in line with other European Counties all with the exception of Cyprus, use a parliamentary system of governance.”

If that’s the way things are, I’d like to know the going party-shopping transfer rate in the Europarliament. Do they pay cash or Airbus stock?:)

David said...

Oh yeah, I got Yulia all over my rooom, particularly on the ceiling over my bed... ;)

I agree that the Publius Pundit dialogue had a good deal of misinfo and probably isn't a good place to dialogue, but you shd take the bulk of your last comment and make it into a post.


Anonymous said...

Taras, u stated far better than I could/would have!!! (Anyway, I would have worn out the bleep bleep keys on my keyboard. :)))

And also thank you because your responses were informative for me.

(Now of course, dlw will take ur comments and post them at the publius pundit site, etc.)

Anonymous said...

FYI In case u did not rd it - the following is the "cult cargo" reference.

Anonymous said...

T., All the best, big day tom. (protests both for and against.) Look forward to your news. Sleep well.

Anonymous said...

Buildup continues (the continuing saga) or Spin Out of Control

Tlls you how bleak the landscape is when this deep level of silliness is invoked. someone must be panicking.

Gives me hope that all will be resolved гараз.

btw Hrysenko is super-cool! caught his interview on 5kanal

Taras said...

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

It’s absolutely OK if someone reposts my corrections anonymously, without linking them to my blog. (I won’t bear another round of Michael Averko and friends:)))

David, I hope you hear me:))) I need to keep myself mentally fit for the upcoming events;)

Thanx for directing my attention to the cargo cult article:) That was quite a bit of useful info — and very much to the point;)! Yanukovych’s Cargo-Maidan surely keeps the story alive!;) LOL!

Defense Minister Hrytsenko, who takes orders from the President only, has them deeply upset. Just imagine what would happen if they had the military plus the intelligence community at their beck and call.

The article is a good one. Moscow ‘93 and Kyiv ‘07 really don’t mix. Balanced views from Russia are always welcome:)

Don’t worry. Все буде гаразд:) Everything will be all right. We’ll ship Moroz off to DreamWorks immediately:))

David said...

Is Mikey hanging out at Publius these days?

no, I learned my lesson...

Here's to a peaceful successful protest tomorrow!

It's nice to see some of the money being spread around to more Ukrainians by PoR, even if they're just robbing the banks they control for it(as Elmer and IIU have pointed out)...

I look forward to reading your additional posts on the developments. Remember, dignified suffering!

Anonymous said...

good articles about Ukraine in RFE/RL one on the CC and the other on

It's funny - no one has pointed out the situation in Kyrgyzstan which is undergoing its re-revolution. Two yrs. after running the Pres. out of town - not much has changed and the people are not happy.

Anonymous said...

some stuff in the following I agree with regarding business interests in the current situation

But it completely does not mention MOROZ/constitutional crisis/political reform Kabmin bill/etc. and just focuses on those pesky businessmen - Who have of course been brought into line in Russia.

Anonymous said...

OMG - they blinked - yet again.!!

Put forward that no elections. No work.

Put forward - will not fund elections. Vote still going through.

Put forward to change leadership at CEC and put case into CC. Still going through.

Put forward to use lower courts to prevent elections. Vote still going through.

Put forward package deal - Pres/Parliament/referendum. No work and vote still going through.

Put forward to postponse elections. And no, vote still going through.

Ques. is - what will happen on the next election deadline April 17th?

David said...

this fellow seems to have a rat'l, albeit marxist perspective(which isn't all bad) on what is going on with Russia and Ukraine.

David said...

Well, it definitely is a marxist perspective...

(sometimes I pass along stuff without reading them in I read the remarks about Ukraine becoming Russia's Mexico, without reading about how much worse it would be for Ukraine to become dominated by Nato.)

Still, it's a perspective...


David said...

Here are some fruits. I just got this email response...

"Thanks very much - very helpful.

Christa Case
European news editor
The Christian Science Monitor
One Norway Street
Boston, MA 02115

From: DLW
Sent: Friday, April 6, 2007 12:39 AM
To: OpEd
Subject: Reporting on Ukraine.

Responding to:

I recommend that you direct more attention to blogs, as english news from Ukraine is quite restrained as the freedom of the press has declined in the past year.

Foreign Notes, Orange Ukraine, Neeka's BackLog, Abdymok, Ukrainia or Taras Kuzio's blog are reasonable blogs that often translate from Ukraine to English and demonstrate a better knowledge of what's going on in Ukraine than most english news media.

dlw "

So, it seems my proposed strategy of writing western newspapers and blogs may be paying off...(sorry I misspelled your blog name...)


Taras said...

Can you believe it? Stability must be out of fashion in Kyrgyzstan too;)!

If that’s how the CSMonitor staff sees the world, the guys there should seriously consider hiring Osama bin Laden as a columnist:( The man is a guru on democracy and deserves the Pulitzer Prize right away, plus the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Thank you for raising your voice, David. Keep up the good work! We should stand up to this kind of Moscow-centric reporting.

I agree, there is a surprising dose of sanity to what the Russian guy says. I reveled in his Mexico analogy;)! In fact, I often use it myself. Still, his Marxism seems to have traces of Russian imperialist machismo left in it.

>>“Ukrainian nationalists will be allowed to further re-write the history of Ukraine and Russia, confusing those youth that still choose to remain in their plundered homeland.”

Does he thereby admit to the fact that history was originally written by Russian imperialists:)? Well,that’s exactly why partnering with NATO, not Russia, is the lesser evil. I’d say it’s an imperative. It’s part of our survival instinct.

>>“The only solution that can end the ongoing tragedy of independent Ukraine is socialist revolution. Real unity between Belorussians, Ukrainians, and the Russians can only be achieved through a socialist federation that aims at bringing about Communism.”

Dear northern neighbors, we’ve had enough of your Soviet way life. We’ve had enough of your genocide. We’ve had enough of your communism. As a person born in 1980 — the year communism was supposed to set in according to five-year plans — I have this message for you: Give us a break, OK:)?

As always, some links fail:( Vitaly Portnikov, author of the RIAN article, used to be a veteran RFE/RL reporter. He’s a good guy, although his story leaves a lot unsaid. I’ve been listening to him, from time to time, since the ‘94 presidential campaign.

Back to our current events, sooner or later stonewalling will have to give way to solution-selling. It’s just that we haven’t come to that point yet.

In the long term, an all-out victory for either side would be damaging to both sides, that is, damaging to the balance of power. And yet the only practical and legitimate vehicle of getting Ukraine off to a better start and having the Regionalists play by the rules is new elections — a rematch, not a deathmatch.

David said...

I think it could make a diff if individual Kyivans take time to show some hospitality to your political tourists.

Buy them a beer or something and talk a little bit about the situation and maybe how new elections would not be a death-match, just a political realignment.


David said...

maybe tell them some stories of what the real Orange Revolution was like...


Taras said...

A lot of Oranges tried to make a Blue connection during the Orange Revolution, and quite successfully so: Some Blues even joined us:)

As we talked to others and got our points across, we pulled the rug from under miles of Soviet mythology and propaganda. Our goodwill made us different. Those people may still support Yanukovych, but they came home secure in the knowledge that in Kyiv they don’t beat their opponents they way they do in Donetsk and in the Crimea.

Today, many of just don’t care. There’s not much of a Maidan on either side. Ukrainians, including their leaders, would rather spend the weekend out of town than pay a visit to Maidan.