Baba Paraska represents the Orange Revolution as Joe the Plumber represents the American middle class.
I last saw her on November 22, at the Holodomor commemoration service attended by President Yushchenko. On December 15, President Yushchenko came to lay flowers at the Monument to Vyacheslav Chornovil, the famous Rukh opposition leader. And so did Baba Paraska, except that she came uninvited. She’s now in the hospital — thanks to Yushchenko’s guards.
Her story epitomizes the plight of the Orange Revolution. It highlights the downslide of Yushchenko’s leadership: from the “People’s President” who mixed and mingled with Maidaners to one who shuns them.
Still, he has to live with increased freedom of the press, the salvage value of the Orange Revolution. Baba Paraska’s story gained wide publicity in the Ukrainian media.
Baba Paraska: Isn't it because of the presidential entourage that you don’t want to talk to me? I didn’t sell myself for money.
Narrator: Baba Paraska got beaten — by none other than the President’s security detail. The warrior woman is certain of that, as certain as she is of the ideals of Maidan.
Baba Paraska: So here I am standing. They all surrounded me real tight here. A car came and instantly they grabbed me by the shoulders and legs, and, folding me in half, they’re hauling me into the car, and from above, and mumbling and pummeling me with fists in the shoulders and kidneys. And from the back, one can’t see that the car has approached, and already they’re hitting me in the back and twisting me into a bow and throwing me into the car. Now I’m beaten and it’s been four years since they haven’t allowed me near him. I’m very upset about Na…because I don’t know if it’s Nasha Ukrayina or whatever that’s putting such entourage on me. I’ll tell the President what entourage…[incoherent]
Narrator: The President didn’t find any time at all for his fellow Maidaner. Yushchenko’s spokeswoman, Iryna Vannykova, did find the time: 2 minutes.
Iryna Vannikova: Hello?
Baba Paraska: Irusyu, good evening, sweetheart. This is Babka Paraska…
Iryna Vannikova: Good evening.
Baba Paraska: …calling.
Iryna Vannikova: Yes, please.
Baba Paraska: Do you hear me, sweetheart? Do you hear me? Hello? Hello? What’s up with her?
Narrator: Paraska is disappointed. She doesn’t have the courage to call the man himself, even though she says she does have the number. She dials Larysa Mudrak, chief of the presidential press service.
Larysa Mudrak: Don’t worry, don’t cry. Everything will be alright. Go get some rest and medical treatment. Everything will be alright. We’ll get the word out, we’ll file a complaint against the guards.
Baba Paraska: Don’t hang up on me, I’m begging you, because Irynka, the President’s secretary, hung up on me. They dumped me like a dog. Mr. President, did I really deserve this, darling?
A report in Segodnya quotes Baba Paraska as saying:
My back hurts, and so does something inside. It’s hard to get out of bed. Perhaps there’s a crack in a rib or some abdominal trauma. While being pulled away, I kept saying: Don’t beat me, I’m old enough to be your mother. But they just laughed and pummeled me with fists in the shoulders and kidneys, and then I felt that something cracked in my back.
I had an X-ray but the doctors aren’t telling anything. They only said that the treatment would take six weeks. I’m in a two-person ward. As for medications, they’ve mainly administered painkillers. I feel hurt and bitter to have been treated this way. I’m not a thug. The whole country knows me by face. I believe it’s a spit in the face of all who were at Maidan.
I believe she's right.
Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/video