Share |

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tymoshenko Ducks Criticism, Urges Womanliness

They dislike each other, but their wardrobes overlap. They deserve each other, and it shows.

On February 5, the Party of Regions called PM Yulia Tymoshenko on the carpet but failed to sack her. MP Hanna Herman (PRU) didn’t fail to ask her question.

MP Hanna Herman (PRU): Dear Yulia Volodymyrivna, you’re speaking very convincingly — a bit too loud, but very convincingly. It’s a shame you always speak untruths convincingly, Yulia Volodymyrivna. [draws catcalls] Now, I remember how, in October...I remember how, in October, you were convincing the entire Ukrainian people. Let me quote your words...that I will close the doors before the crisis and the crisis will never impact Ukraine. These are your words, Yulia Volodymyrivna. Please tell us: Was it the usual female light-headedness or a strategic mistake of the Premier?

PM Yulia Tymoshenko: You know, uh, Mrs. Herman, uh, what the problem is here. The problem is in the very low culture of the legislative corps, but that goes for one of its factions only, thank God. [draws applause] When an MP can hurl abuse, degrading words that, by the way, do not merit the title of “woman.” I just wanted to give you some advice, so that you stay a woman at all times. [draws applause; Herman tries to respond] Next question, please.

In this fish fight, Herman raised the gender issue in a satirical tone, focusing on Tymoshenko’s overconfident October quote: “The crisis is knocking, but we don’t have to open the door.”

Tymoshenko chose not to respond to Herman's criticism in substance. Instead, she carried Herman’s gender point further. She perfected it into an ad feminam argument: Being a woman matters more than being a professional, so the argument goes.

To meditate on Tymoshenko’s carefree womanpower concept, let me offer you collection of songs by professional women singers.

Video uploaded from:
Original source:


elmer said...

Taras, Yulia is absolutely right on this one - it was an absolutely crude, low-life question from forked-tongue Herman.

Hanna Herman, member of Party of Roosha, should have acted in a civil manner.

Herman was absolutely right to demand an explanation of Yulia's "there is no crisis in Ukraine" comment.

But there was no need for her to bring any sort of degradation of women, with her stupid "were you just acting like an airhead blonde" comment?

The British do it much better, with quick wit, to the point, in the PM Questions and Answers session.

Ukraine has a crisis. Herman added nothing constructive to solving the crisis. It was just a barb from a snake, and Yulia was right, first, to call it what it is (crude and vulgar), and second, to ignore it.

In other words, Herman isn't interested in contributing anything constructive - she's more interested in sarcasm.

Herman has money from the Party of Roosha - that's why she's more interested in sarcasm, and not constructive solutions to the crisis.

Taras said...

To me, Tymoshenko clearly outdumbed Herman.

She succumbed to the gender stereotype and defended herself as a beauty queen, not as a professional.

elmer said...

My take on it is different.

She gave as good as she got from Herman.

Herman degraded women - Tymoshenko gave it right back to her.

Herman might as well asked Tymo, instead of whether she was suffering from "female lightheadedness," whether she was menstruating when she made her statements about the economic crisis.

None of that type of "debate" has any place in the Parliament.

Herman never should have initiated that type of comment.

It's like watching cats and dogs pee and poo all over each other.

Except that even that is more constructive than what is occurring in the Ultimate Fight Club - Ukrainian politics.

Taras said...

That's right!

Tymoshenko did not answer the question.

She just gave it right back to Herman, in what looked like a tussle between two high school cheerleaders.

In doing so, Tymoshenko "forgot" about her poor economic judgment and welcomed the audience to judge her as a woman, not as Prime Minister.

elmer said...

Taras, I know that you are not defending Herman for asking her low-life question in the first place (referring to "lightheaded womanliness").

And I know you are not suggesting that Tymoshenko should simply stand there like a punching bag for Herman and Yushchenko and his secretariat to keep taking pot-shots at her.

On that, I believe, we agree.

Here's what I think the problem is, and I can illustrate it this way.

Raisa Bohatyrova has now entered this mud-wrestling, and has tried to pin the entire blame for the economic crisis in Ukraine on - Tymoshenko.

What's really happening in Ukraine? The "political elite," who are well-insulated from the crisis, are simply pointing the finger of blame at each other, as the Ultimate Fight Club mud-wrestling continues.

The IMF came to town and said: "we'll lend you $16 billion if you balance the budget and reform the banking system."


Instead, it's much easier to keep shrieking hysterically at each other.

Tymoshenko is trying to avoid all blame - she can't. But neither does she deserve all of the blame.

Yushchenko ofter talked about how corruption is killing Ukraine.

Well, here it is - Ukraine's corruption chickens are coming home to roost.

The corrupt boys and girls in the "political elite" simply don't know, and don't care, about dealing with this crisis - except as it affects their holding on to power.

Tymoshenko at least got rid of Firtash. So Raisa, whose Party of Regions benefited from funds provided by Firtash, is going to fire at Tymoshenko. Herman is also from the Party of Roosha. (Between 2004-2008, Firtash's RUE made over $2 BILLION from its corrupt middleman role in the gas business).

Here's the comment to the Ukrainian Pravda article about Raisa's accusations that I find most compelling:

Не знаю, може її криза і оминула, але серед моїх друзів, кого не запитував, до всіх у кишеню криза залізла

Не знаю чи оминула криза ЮВТ, вас і ваших друзів, а ось Богатирьову, судячи із публікацій на УП, коли вона у Давосі презентувала свій діамантовий годинник, криза оминула. Можливо ЮВТ бачучи цю розкішну особу на РНБО й вирішила, що криза Україну мине.

Translation ----

"I don't know, maybe the crisis has indeed bypassed her [Raisa], but among my friends, no matter whom I asked, the crisis has gotten into their pockets.

I don't know whether the crisis has bypassed Yulia, but as far as Bohatyrova, judging from articles in Ukrainian Pravda, when she was in Davos [in the economic forums]showing off her diamond watch [about which you have posted, Taras], the crisis has bypassed her [Raisa]. Maybe Yulia, having seen this elegant woman in the National Security Council, decided that the crisis will bypass Ukraine."

Here's the article about Raisa Bohatyrova screaming about how the crisis is all Tymoshenko's fault:

So there it is - all of these well-insulated "elite," who don't know and don't care about the crisis, screaming at each other about whose fault it is.

The IMF had a plan - nope, the Ukrainian "political elite" ain't going to do that, because that would get rid of too much corruption.

And so, here we have the bitches and bastards of the Ukrainian "political elite", complete with Rolls Royces, Mercedes and BMW's and Porsche's and diamond watches and Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags, and offshore accounts, and yachts and jets, and mansions in Koncha Zaspa and in other countries, screaming at each other, while Ukraine melts down.

Taras said...

Of course, I didn't mean to single Tymoshenko out.

You and I agree that she does deserve blame for not doing enough in her area of responsibility.

Responsible leaders accept criticism and thrive on it.

Did I say responsible leaders? Ukrainian elites have yet to learn those words.

elmer said...

But wait,there's more.

In what has been dubbed the worst Security Council meeting ever, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko went at, bare-knuckled, gloves off, claws out.

Yuschenko interrupted Tymoshenko and another official. Tymoshenko hammered back.

Yushchenko told her that if she was not a woman, he'd find it easier to talk to her, and told her that she has a gift for crime!

And he was clearly pissed about RosUkrEnergo being cut out of the gas deal.

But wait, there's more!

Tymoshenko accused him of leading Ukraine to default in 1997. He accused her of regularly "stealing the gas" back then, and now trying to teach people about how to get rid of corruption!

Wait, there's more!

He told here that she built her whole situation in Parliament based on bribery and corruption, and that if she stops paying bribes to her partners in Parliament so they can buy their next Lexus, they'll show her their ass!

Wait, there's more!

Tymoshenko told him to go to court.

Yushchenko shot back "what court - the court that you control, Yulia Volodymyryvna? You would climb over corpses to get to your goal!"

To add more gas to the fire, enter Inna Bohoslavska, another vile bitch from the Party of Regions.

"You are a cheat, madam," announced Inna the bitch, "and you should have been sitting behind bars a long time ago!"

Tymoshenko shot back: "Honorable ladies and gentlemen, everyone knows that madam Bohoslavska represents only the interests of Firtash, Boyko and Lyovochkin [note - all of RosUkrEnergo fame]"

Yushchenko: "Yeah, and the Pope also represents RUE."

Bohoslavska: "Gentlemen, why are you silent? Right now, all of Europe is reading about how we have gathered here [note - in the Security Council] to break the gas contract! Do you understand the consequences? Whom are you afraid of? This troublemaker? We are losing our country!"

Yushchenko: "Today, the person who represents the government did not uphold the national interests of Ukraine in the gas talks."

Tymoshenko got up and left what has got to be the worst meeting in the history of the inSecurity Council.

Here's the article:

Taras said...

Thank you for the detailed follow-up, Elmer!

I think I found another video of that meeting.

elmer said...

Here's a report from the Eurasia Daily Monitor, which is an excellent report, but doesn't begin to capture how vicious the political wars between all parties are in Ukraine.

Ukraine does not really have political parties - just collections of oligarchs and business interests.

There's a lot of money at stake.

Addressing the SNBO, Yushchenko described the gas contracts as a threat to national security. According to Yushchenko, Ukraine is obliged to buy 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Russia each year, although the country will hardly need that much, given the lower industrial consumption resulting from the economic crisis. Yushchenko also noted that, unlike in previous years, Russia did not assume any obligations with regard to the volume of gas transit through Ukraine for 2010, that transit fees had not been increased although the gas price for Ukraine had tripled over the past three years, and that Tymoshenko had agreed to "Europe's highest" base price of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters in spite of Ukraine's geographic proximity to Russia (Ukrainska Pravda, February 10).

It was also pointed out at the SNBO that it was not clear who owned the 11 bcm of gas in Ukraine's storage facilities that Gazprom, according to Tymoshenko, agreed to sell to Ukraine for a discounted price of $153 per 1,000 cubic meters. Dmytro Firtash, who owns the Swiss-registered gas trader RosUkrEnergo jointly with Gazprom, claimed earlier that the gas belonged to RosUkrEnergo and that it was bound for consumers in the EU. The SNBO noted that the dispute over this might result in Ukraine's failure to fulfill its gas-transit obligations. RosUkrEnergo was dropped as an intermediary in gas trade between Ukraine and Russia according to agreements between Tymoshenko and Putin. Tymoshenko flatly dismissed Yushchenko's criticism, accused him of trying to restore RosUkrEnergo's status, and walked out of the meeting (Channel 5, February 10).

Yushchenko instructed the Prosecutor General's Office and the Security Service to check the Moscow contracts for legal violations (, February 11). Both agencies are loyal to Yushchenko and will most likely find violations, but it is hard to predict the potential practical consequences. Yushchenko will hardly move to nullify the contracts. He pledged in Brussels in January that the contracts would be observed however negative they were (, January 27).

Yushchenko was even unhappier with Tymoshenko's request for a $5 billion loan from Russia. According to a source in the Ukrainian delegation that Tymoshenko dispatched to Moscow to discuss the loan, Russia came up with the following conditions for Kyiv: dropping any claims to the former Soviet Union's property abroad and agreeing that Russia should inherit all the assets and liabilities of the Soviet Union, solving all disputes over Russian property in Ukraine, and treating Ukrainian corporate debts to Russia's Vnesheconombank as Ukraine's public debt (Zerkalo Nedeli, February 7).

Tymoshenko dismissed the reports about the loan conditions. She also said that she had turned for loans not only to Russia, but also to the EU, the United States, Japan, and China (Interfax-Ukraine, February 7). The only positive answer came from Russia, Tymoshenko reportedly told Yushchenko at the SNBO meeting.

Tymoshenko desperately needs the money. Ukraine is on the verge of a default, because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is delaying the disbursal of the second tranche of its $16.5 billion loan apparently as a result of the overly optimistic state budget drafted by Tymoshenko's cabinet. Yushchenko told Tymoshenko that the IMF insisted that the budget should be revised as the IMF expected Ukraine's GDP to drop by 8 percent and inflation to amount to 16 percent in 2009, while the budget was based on expectations that GDP would grow and inflation would not exceed 10 percent. Yushchenko said that only the Russians would give money to Tymoshenko in this situation, because "their goal is Ukraine's assets." He claimed that that was the consequence of Tymoshenko's "corrupt" accords with Putin (Ukrainska Pravda, February 13).

Earlier, Yushchenko's secretariat had warned that the Russian loan could result in Ukraine losing control over its gas-transit network. Putin has said on several occasions that the network was in bad condition and Russia was not against taking part in its privatization, although this option is forbidden under Ukrainian law (see EDM, January 14). Yushchenko also suspects that Russia is eying shares in several state-controlled companies such as Ukrtelecom, Energoatom, and the Odessa Portside Plant (Ukrainska Pravda, February 9).

Apparently Yushchenko's belief that Tymoshenko is ready to sacrifice national interests for Moscow's support in the presidential election in January 2010 is behind all those accusations and suspicions. Yushchenko accused her of treason last summer when she refused to condemn Russia's actions in Georgia. Ukrainians, however, trust Yushchenko less than they do Tymoshenko. Several recent opinion polls indicated that hardly more than 2.5 percent of Ukrainians would be ready to re-elect him for a second term, while Tymoshenko is the second choice after Viktor Yanukovych. According to the most recent poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Social Studies, 57 percent of Ukrainians want Yushchenko to resign and only 16 percent want Tymoshenko to go (, February 17