Yanuk Singin' in the Rain as NATO Tells Ukraine “Until Next Time”
No longer posing as an ardent NATO aficionado — something he did in 2004 — the Viktor Yanukovych of today strongly opposes the idea of Ukraine’s membership. He and the Party of Regions have made it a cornerstone of their 2008 presidential bid, and are putting their money where their mouths are.
On April 3, the day Ukraine received her “yellow light” at the Bucharest Summit, Yanukovych and the Regionalists rocked the nation with anti-NATO telethon concerts.
Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the heart of the Orange Revolution, saw them serenading a few thousand people, most of them youngsters, who stood in the pouring rain.
Call them the “Moscow Consensus” or the “axis of evil,” but the way Germany and France made an ugly duckling out of Ukraine earned a lot of respect from the Party of Regions. Just as these countries had no qualms about brushing Ukraine off to curry favor from the almighty GazPutin, some Ukrainian and Russian performers did not hesitate to cash in on the lucrative PRU-sponsored anti-NATO protests.
One can notice new faces in the Party of Regions’ showbiz “facebook.” Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sofia Rotaru, the famous Ukrainian-Moldovan singer who had confessed to supplying meat balls to Maidaners. This year, Rotaru sided with the Party of Regions for a gig at an anti-NATO event in Donetsk.
Well, I don’t know about Donetsk, but the crowd in Kyiv greatly amused me. I emerged from Maidan Nezalezhnosti Station just in time to catch the tail of Yanukovych’s peroration.
Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych: …and friendly relations with our neighbors and with all democratic countries of the world. Today, we must not allow that the policy of cooperation be substituted, against the will of the Ukrainian people, with the idea of accession into a military-political bloc. Today, we say to such actions of the authorities and officialdom a categorical no! Such policies threaten to destabilize the situation not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe. The balance of power on the European Continent must not be altered. In Europe, there is no place for new demarcation lines and warring military blocs. Is that we strove for, is that what we dreamed of when we declared independence in 1991? We applaud the tolerance and commitment to democratic principles, and to the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination, that our European partners are demonstrating. We deeply appreciate the balanced positions of Germany, France and other countries that have called on their NATO partners not to make decisions against the will of the Ukrainian people. Ukraine was and is an independent state. Only the Ukrainian people have the right to decide the destiny of their country. And no one else has the right to decide the destiny of the people behind their backs. Thank you so much! Thank you all who gathered today at Ukrainian city squares to express their position, and all who care about the destiny of our motherland and our children. A deep bow to all of you! Thank you!
If only the fellas of all the world
Gathered together to have a ball
Imagine all the fun this company would bring
And our future would be right within reach
It’s within our power
To save this world from burning endlessly
Let’s make peace and friendship
Make our loved ones happy
Spend our meetings cordially
Male host: Thank you! We thank the Party of Regions and Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, who gave us the opportunity to finally express our opinion.
Female host: Thank everyone who was not afra… [terrible noise]
Male host: …despite our, despite our having a little problem here.
Female host: Thank you all! Thank you all who feared not the bad weather and came to express their position here today, to the center of the capital, to Maidan Nezalezhnosti!
Male host: Thank you, Viktor Fedorovych. Thank you, Ukrainian community! Let’s move on with our concert.
Female host: And the next band to appear on the scene is the legendary Agatha Christie!
As you can see from the vivid non-verbal communication signs, the young people at Maidan did not necessarily relate to the anti-NATO cause in the manner Yanukovych desired. Most of them simply came to see their favorite bands perform. Attempts to reach them at the Regionalist wavelength failed miserably.
Elderly Russian Orthodox gonfalone bearers, who had established their credentials during the Orange Revolution as pro-Yanukovych street crusaders and scourges of Baba Paraska, felt a little out of place in that melee. I chased a few of them down the escalator.
The anti-NATO «Парни всей земли» (“Fellas of the World”) theme almost made me wet myself. This mediocre male chauvinist-sung piece of sovok raised more gender issues than any American female peace activist would be willing to make peace with. I tried to translate the first verse of that funny song.
How pathetic! They should have had the dignity to bring Herman or Bohoslovska into the mix, or at least to have them do the back vocals. (No wonder Bohatyryova ran away from that boy’s club!) Just what sort of gender equity champions has Merkel partnered herself with in Ukraine?
Anyway, now that Yushchenko has bitten his NATO bullet, the important thing is to do the homework and to lose the battle without losing the war.
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