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Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Power of Shyrkgestion

The dialogue involves certain compromises, finding a certain golden mean around which, you know, will be boiling the thing we call shyroka koalitsiya [grand coalition]. I call it Obyednana [Ukr. united] Koalitisiya — I like that OK acronym very much. So…but at the center of that golden mean will be Yanukovych. All...uh-eh-uh-eh-uh…the remaining issues — lots of controversial issues, issues that perhaps should be put on the back burner for a while, issues that perhaps need to be talked over with the people, issues that…uh… perhaps should be viewed or visualized on common grounds for the future — we here are ready to talk about it, and I say the only thing that our electorate, our people, would not forgive us is if we betrayed our leader. For if we discard that name, we will lose a whole lot.

— MP Hanna Herman, PRU, former spokeswoman for Yanukovych

Unbeknownst to herself, with that shyroka koalitisiya “thing,” Herman unleashes the power of suggestion — or should we say, shyrkgestion.

By a Freudian slip of the tongue, she conjures up images of a shyrka scene: a needle, a spoonful of heroin, and a lighter. (More on shyrka.)

So how many Ukrainians are "OK" with that toolkit?

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Anonymous said...

WOW - there really is discussion in the party to dump Yanukovych. No more does she just laugh that off. Will he be traded away for a chance to get together with OU? Because OU will never come in from the cold with him as PM, but with someone like Yekahnurov or other, perhaps... perhaps...


PS WOW - thanks.

elmer said...

All hail the Great and Powerful Oz, Yanukovych (Jabba-the-Hut), who must not be betrayed. Hail him and bow down to him.

She calls it "kasha" - to me, it's more like gruel or soup.

Follow the money - "reform" has been on the table for a number of years now, even during Kuchma.

But instituting good government, separating it from the dominant control of oligarchs, and from the sovok tradition of "blat" (favors) - well, that's something else.

Where else have we heard the "we cannot betray our people" speech?

Apartments and mines blow up in "silly Donbass" - that's not betraying one's people?

This is sick, sick, sick, delusional politics - all talk, no action, no responsibility.

As usual, Hanna Herman blows a lot of hot air.

All hail the Great and Powerful Oz, Yanukovych, who must not be betrayed.

Taras said...


Herman’s manifesto against trading Yanukovych for a compromise figure makes sense.

Dumping Yanuk would decimate the Party of Regions’ approval ratings. No matter how much some Regionalists crave his demotion, they will have to stick with him until they build a worthy replacement brand.


I chose not to translate kasha literally (as cereal meal, or substance) for fear of distracting the reader. The moment I heard Herman’s boiling kasha phraseology, I had a vision of shyrka — fresh out of a drug bust TV report.

Herman’s “sacred cow” logic carries the concept of chauvinism and double standards to another level. Why is it that Yanukovych cannot be betrayed, but NUNS voters can?

elmer said...

I have no problem with your translation, Taras.

The poker games and the card games go on.

"They can't betray their voters" means that PoR was elected to continue the lying, cheating and stealing, and that PoR voters would be really angry if PoR stopped doing that.

I think Kuchma also called for a "shyrka." I think Kravchuk made noises about it as well.

Let's buy some more Brazilians for Shakhtar Donetsk - that will solve all of the problems of Ukraine.

Taras said...

You’re right, Elmer!

Shyrka will “solve” Ukrainians’ problems. To be precise, it will solve the problems of about 5 percent of individuals, high net worth individuals, some of whom loathe the word “Ukraine.” The rest can go dumpstering, as far as stabilnist is concerned.

Speaking of Brazil, The Sandpit Generals (1971) packed movie theaters in the USSR. This movie looks into the lives of homeless Brazilian kids who struggle to survive in a world of social injustice and teen gangs. Soviet authorities used it as a propaganda ploy to expose the vices of capitalism and to extol the virtues socialism.

At that point, hardly a soul could imagine how short the historical distance between these two worlds was. Hardly a soul realized that The Sandpit Generals was the shape of things to come for tens of thousands of post-Soviet kids.

In a matter of two decades, the course of history would toss the audience and its offspring behind the screen — into a reality no less grim than the one portrayed in The Sandpit Generals.