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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Davos Meets Donbas: Bohatyryova Flashes $20K Watch

“Wearing a watch like this around here is de rigueur. Let’s not write about this subject because it’s uninteresting and mean.”

That’s what she told Serhiy Leshchenko of Ukrayinska Pravda.

Boy, did she wear that $20K Harry Winston watch at Davos!

Back in Ukraine, she likes Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. She drives a Porsche Cayenne.

Who is she? A celebrity?

No, a civil servant!

She serves as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. Before accepting Yushchenko’s job offer, she used to be a Party of Regions MP and, early in her career, a gynecologist.

In Ukraine, the road from rags to riches is often paved with civil service. Indeed, civil service works miracles in Ukraine. It makes them celebrities before they know it.

It makes it de rigueur for them to consume some of the world’s most expensive brands to run Europe’s second-to-last poorest country.



Gabriela said...

What's that that some people have with watches and cars? No matter who the new rich is, he/she will always start buying a brand new car (one that even Magnum would envy) and a luxurious watch.
The more expensive, the better.

Taras said...

Yes, it's the same old "¿Como Lo Hacen?" song.

The state gives them status. What does the state get in return?

A closed system of social stratification whereby power breeds poverty.

The poorer the governance, the richer the governors. The richer the governors, the poorer the governance. It's a vicious circle.

As a civil servant, Bohatyryova earns a monthly salary of $3-5K. This income would instantly put her in Ukraine's razor-thin middle class.

And yet this income doesn't quite measure up to her luxury lifestyle.

So how does she do it?

Gabriela said...

If I had US$20K to spare, I guess I won't be buying any watches. I think travels would be top of my list... but then again these people travel for free, thanks to the Treasury.

Taras said...

I too would probably spend it on travel.

After all, we the ordinary citizens can’t rely on taxpayer money to cover our travel expenses!