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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Back on the Billboard

As Ukraine verges on the brink of a snap parliamentary election, political advertising starts springing to life again. Well, in some cases, it never stopped.

In a bid to “keep up with the Yushchenkos,” stabilnist daddy Yanukovych courts Ukrainian youths with a verse from the Ukrainian national anthem: “Upon us, fellow Ukrainians, fate shall smile once more!”

So far, fate has smiled on the offspring of Yanukovych and Yushchenko more generously that it has smiled on ordinary Ukrainian youths.

Ironically, the copy's bucolic setting adds insult to injury because young Ukrainians living in the countryside grapple with the worst job market. Unless, of course, they take their chances with labor migration and find dangerous work in Russia or the EU, as millions of Ukrainians have done.

Finally, Yanukovych often rhetorically contrasts Ukraine’s “industrial East” with the “agricultural West.” In the latter, he sees "free riders and foes," in the former "friends and worker bees."

So where does this countryside idyllic posturing leave him?

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