He says: “Mr. Obama, for Ukraine's sake, tear down this wall!”
I say: “Mr. Obama, for America's sake, tear him a new one!”
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
He says: “Mr. Obama, for Ukraine's sake, tear down this wall!”
Monday, June 29, 2009
Q: What’s the difference between middle-class Ukrainians and upper-class Ukrainians?
A: Middle-class Ukrainians make up about 5% of the population. By contrast, upper-class Ukrainians run the government (or have friends/relatives there) and often report middle-class incomes.
Take PM/gasocialite Yulia Tymoshenko.
She cloaks herself in her Louis Vuitton attire and flies off to Luxembourg, begging for a $4B loan to compensate for her Putin-leaning gas deal.
She dresses to impress.
She puts on a $550 Louis Vuitton scarf, complete with the LV logo, as if to tell the EU how badly she needs the money.
No wonder, she gets the finger (as of this writing).
By the way, until April 2009, when she filed her 2008 tax returns, she had reported lower-middle-class earnings (by European standards).
According to her 2004-2007 tax returns, she had owned neither cars nor stock nor real estate. Not bad for someone who lives in a splendid mansion worth several million dollars. Initially, she claimed to have bought it but then claimed to have rented it, with no rent whatsoever quoted in her tax returns.
Now, take her aide, Olha Trehubova.
This government official obviously wants to keep up with her boss — or even surpass her boss. While in Luxembourg, she wore a waterproof Ulysse Nardin watch — 18 carats of gold plus a diamond-laced dial — worth $25,430.
The two ladies go way back — back to Tymoshenko’s “Gas Princess” years: In the mid ‘90s, Tymoshenko’s company, United Energy Systems of Ukraine, was trading billions of dollars in natural gas.
A longtime confidante of Tymoshenko, Trehubova has been the definition of success for a Ukrainian government official. Thanks to Ukraine’s overblown MP perks — and contrary to Tymoshenko’s sweet promises — she became the proud owner of a taxpayer-paid apartment in an upscale Kyiv neighborhood. Her son landed a spot on the BYuT party list and became an MP. That’s what friends are for, right?
Oh, I forgot to mention the model name of her watch: Lady Diver.
Come Election Day, I hope both ladies take the dive they deserve.
Friday, June 26, 2009
He was one of my idols. He fueled my idealism. And now he's gone. Gone too soon.
Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon » скачать клип
A Ukrainian kid growing up in the late ‘80s-mid ‘90s, I embraced Western music as my spiritual guide through the breadlines and hyperinflation.
Western music electrified my soul and energized my English studies. I wanted to grow up in that “better place.” I’d listen, I’d watch, I’d sing, I’d learn and I’d dream. I’d dream my way into the MTV generation, even though few Western kids at that time knew of a country called Ukraine. I wanted to put Ukraine on the map.
By the way, did you know that his “Black or White” video features hopak, a traditional Ukrainian dance? (3:48-4:12)
When I learned of Michael's death, early in the morning, I was shocked. Like many people, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I went on YouTube and got a little tearful.
I just wanted to thank you, Michael! Your music was freedom to my ears.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
These people really rock! Watch footage of how a bribe-seeking highway patrol got their car rocked a little bit in Zakarpattya oblast.
Самосуд над гаишниками
Extorting money from zarobitchany (labor migrants) who work in neighboring EU countries and drive foreign-registered cars has become a profitable business for local law enforcement.
Some zarobitchany couldn’t take it anymore.
Police responded with indiscriminate beatings and arrested up to 30 people. Meanwhile, the people who did the car thing remain at large.
I hope this episode will serve as a wake-up call and will get the corrupt cops jailed. Otherwise, indiscriminate beatings of people may lead to indiscriminate beatings of cops.
Video embedded from:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Want to hunt people? Buy yourself a slot on one of our party lists — and here you go!
Viktor Lozynsky is a land baron and member of parliament who lives in Kyiv and does business in Holovanivsk, a small town in Kirovohrad oblast. Before defecting to BYuT a few years ago, he had been a member of the Party of Regions.
On June 16, 2009, MP Lozynsky joined forces with rayon (county) prosecutor Yevhen Hrebenko and rayon police chief Mykhailo Kovalsky. The three went on safari that claimed the life of Valeriy Oliynyk, an unemployed man, age 53.
When the posse approached him on the road leading to the woods, the man started running away. They chased him into the woods, hit him and broke his leg. Then they shot him as many as nine times.
That’s what the locals are saying. They describe the victim as a man who worked odd jobs, collected things and has never done any harm to anybody.
MP Lozynsky gets totally different reviews.
The locals describe him as the modern-day equivalent of a medieval lord, one who treats country folks as serfs and terrorizes them. His grip on the community can also be compared to that of Latin American drug lords.
This Inter footage opens with the news anchor saying the locals fear for their lives and appeal to the SBU and the President for protection. They don’t trust local law enforcement.
Original Video- More videos at TinyPic
A woman says that, on that day, many people heard automatic rifle gunfire. Ivan Kucher, a former rayon executive, portrays MP Lozynsky as a man who bragged about his hunting prowess. His list of VIP guest hunters includes former president Leonid Kravchuk (a fan of Tymoshenko) and former speaker Ivan Plyushch (a fan of the Party of Regions).
Towards the end of the footage, Kucher questions Tymoshenko on why she put Lozynsky on the BYuT party list. To stimulate her thinking, he reflects on Ukraine’s turbulent history and predicts a popular uprising.
Wild boar from Lozynsky’s woods regularly attack people's farmlands and destroy crops. People are afraid to go out into the woods. An elderly local hunter with a registered gun who dared venture into the woods recalls being nearly strangled by Lozynsky. He had to find his way back home, some 8 km (5 mi), walking without his shoes and skis. In another encounter, the senior got beaten at gunpoint, had his house raided by police, who, as he says, planted evidence on him. The court gave him a suspended sentence.
A local Orthodox priest recalls confronting MP Lozynsky about an act that couldn’t have better epitomized Holovanivsk’s communist-capitalist “animal farm.”
Right outside the church, Lozynsky recently phased out the Ukrainian coat of arms, the trident, in favor of the Soviet coat of arms, the hammer and sickle. When confronted about the act, he told the priest to mind his own business.
What else would you expect from a former cop, discharged 18 years ago for professional misconduct, namely blackmail and forgery?
An STB report offers more slice-of-death scenes from Holovanivsk.
Lyubov Oliynyk, the victim’s mother, 81, claims that two days after her son’s death, four men and two women visited her house. These “great people,” as they called themselves according to the mother, came looking for some papers and clothes, and made inquiries about Valeriy. The group left Hr. 200 ($26) as an obvious inducement to keep her from pressing charges.
No one except the victim’s classmates was allowed to ID the body. When a female STB reporter raises the issue with an employee at the local prosecutor’s office, he suddenly becomes camera-shy and says this: “You just don’t want to have a normal conversation, do you?”
Oliynyk didn’t get to see her son until they mounted him on a truck, in a manner typical of all countryside funerals. She couldn’t give her son a proper burial for eight days.
In the footage, a friend of the deceased climbs into the truck bed along with the mother and briefly examines the body in the coffin. He reports a shaky head, possibly consistent with internal decapitation. The medical examiner ducks questions and suggests that forensic experts be consulted.
In the same vein, the rayon morgue will not issue a certificate of death. Instead, they forward the request to the office of the oblast prosecutor in Kirovohrad. In the death certificate, which the victim's classmates obtained in Kirovohrad, the cause of death reads: “Severe bleeding as a result of a gunshot wound,” “multiple gunshot wounds to lower limbs caused by a firearm,” “bodily injuries.”
The horrors don’t stop there. At the cemetery, the mother finds out that her son’s body is missing a leg.
Lozynsky’s side of the story: We spotted a man who looked like a poacher. He didn’t identify himself and started firing on us. We requested backup. Hrebenko (the prosecutor) and I chased the man into the woods and caught him and snatched his gun. Next, he pulled a knife on us. We ran away. He then pulled another gun at us. We jumped back into our car. Some 7-8 minutes later, police arrived and surrounded him. After negotiating for 20 minutes, they finally caught him and called an ambulance. (Lozynsky claims having sustained knife injuries.)
At a news conference in Kirovohrad, Lozynsky presented controversial material that he claimed implicates Oliynyk in illegal drug and weapons possession as well as professional misconduct during his service in law enforcement. (Both are former cops?)
He also produced video of an elderly woman (victim's mother?) in which, according to fuzzy news reports, she claims that her son would abuse her and would show her his gun. Asked about whether she believes her son could have fired at a human being, she says she does. (In the Inter report, the victim's mother says quite the opposite.)
Another Inter report shows two fragments of that press conference:
MP Lozynsky: We jumped out of the car and took measures to detain him. He was thrown on the round: I was holding one hand, with the pistol (he had a handgun in his right hand). The prosecutor was holding his left hand. The struggle continued for about maybe a minute and a half or two munutes. During this time, a few shots were made from this handgun...
Next time, we'll get a judge [on board]. There's no problem. But let me assure you: If this situation repeats itself in the future, I'll do the same thing.
Q: How many more handguns did the victim have? Why didn’t he shoot you with at least one of his handguns?
As questions linger, BYuT plans to award MP Viktor Lozynsky — for assisting in the capture of an armed criminal.
Monday, June 22, 2009
He used to annoy the hell out of his voters by acting holier-than-thou. He’s now admitting that everyone is a sinner, in what sounds like a trite syllogism meant to downplay the scale and scope of his sins.
President Yushchenko: Only God is without sin...[pause] Or are there sinless among you as well? No, there are not. Apparently, everyone is a sinner. And there’s a sinner sitting in front of you as well.
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
That’s what the Bible says. President Yushchenko here says something different. In my judgmental opinion, he says something like, “Hey, you're all sinners! I'm a sinner, too. So why even bother?”
Let’s bother. Not all sins are born equal, especially if you’re the #1 role model (or anti-role model) in the country.
So...wanna talk about, it Mr. President?
Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/123966.html
Original source: http://stb.ua
When you mix Soviet-era infrastructure with Soviet-era maintenance procedures, you may get Scandinavian-looking sights.
Every May-June, Kyivites expect to go without hot water for about two weeks. And yet, for some Kyivites, it can be much worse than they expect.
This is what happens when Kyiv utility companies begin pumping extra pressure into pipelines to find out which ones need fixing.
The situation you’re watching occurred Thursday in the left-bank district of Troyeshchyna. At least four high-rise apartments suffered broken windows and heavy flooding.
The utility company promised to compensate residents for the “collateral damage” done to their property.
Videos embedded from:
Original source: http://tsn.ua
Friday, June 19, 2009
Post-traumatic stress disorder? Not exactly. Welcome to another segment of her Joan of Arc/Virgin Mary/Mother Theresa show.
PM Yulia Tymoshenko: Sometimes I...now that it's all ruined, I even think about whether Yanukovych and Yushchenko might have consorted to drag me into this negotiation process, because they realize that there’s no other way for the country. And I, as a person who bears responsibility today — before the people and before the future as to how the country will come out of the crisis — I'd definitely go for this negotiation process. I think maybe they dragged me into it consciously in order to discredit me and then, uh, “dump” me brutally like that, as they say in the Party of Regions environment. Maybe it was on purpose [that] this program was planned. Because what became of the absolutely positive and right steps, it only suggests that it might have been planned, geared toward such...massive defamation. But I just want to say to these people, to both Viktors, that one can’t...one can treat Tymoshenko like that — maybe they have such morals, such kind of conscience and code of, uh, conduct — but one can’t treat Ukraine like that. That’s what I...I wanted to emphasize this.
I always knew it. She’s the most intelligent, immaculate, responsible and resilient prime minister in the world!
Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/124187.html
Original source: http://5.ua
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
“L’Etat, c’est moi,” said one guy. “Après moi, le deluge,” said his successor.
Tymoshenko clearly subscribes to the first dictum but finds the second one slipping away. She recently split with a guy who used her and abused her so he can proudly put both dicta to good use.
PM Yulia Tymoshenko: ...and some think that Yanukovych...well, has mended his ways and has become, uh, a politician who does feel responsibility for, uh, the country. But, unfortunately, there are those aunties...they think that it’s BYuT who got dumped, that it’s Tymoshenko who got dumped — this is the general view. I want to say that it’s the country that got dumped — and it got dumped by a smear campaign that had been arranged against the backdrop of a normal negotiation process. I think that those who withdrew from the negotiation process — to be precise, not those, but he (and, actually, he said it in his statement) — it’s scary to take responsibility for the crisis before an open presidential election. That’s the explanation. Besides, there’s the desire to limit access to the open election campaign. That’s exactly why they withdrew from the negotiation process — because this Constitution gave a guaranteed victory to no one.
Indeed, Yanukovych said it. He decided he could make it on his own. He wants no strings attached fun. He wants to equate himself with the state just as badly as you do, right?
“Desire to limit access to the open election campaign”… Was that a reference to the “no candidates under age 50 accepted” clause? Why would age matter to you if you’re PM and he’s President until 2014?
All of which brings us to another stupid question: What “Constitution” are you talking about? The one that would have abolished direct presidential elections and would have made you prime minister and Yanukovych president? Is that what you call “open presidential election?” Well, such “open” elections can only work if both parties keep their side of the bargain. You’re in the same boat.
Now, if you meant the current Constitution (which I doubt), then nobody has any guaranties. You’re in different boats. So if you’re as good as you say you are, you’re sure to win!
Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/123989.html
Original source: http://5.ua
Monday, June 15, 2009
Roman was a 17 year-old on his way from Odesa when his BMW-335 collided with a Mercedes truck. He died.
He was the younger son of MP Hanna Herman (PRU).
Accounts of the accident, which took place in Kirovohrad oblast, at 2:40 a.m. local time, vary. According to kirovograd.proua.com, Roman was driving the car, while, according to UNIAN, the driver was another person, an 20-year old. (In Ukraine, driving a car is illegal for people under the age of 18.)
In the Tabloid comments section, people express condolences, offer sympathy, blast the mazhory, argue with each other and ask questions: How could this kid travel to Odesa and back without parental supervision? Was he driving the car?
According to eyewitness accounts, the two had spent some time at a nearby restaurant, Gazeta.ua reports. The car was moving erratically, indicating that the driver might have been drunk. It even took the opposite lane before entering the right lane and gaining speed, says a local convenience store manager quoted by Gazeta.ua.
The driver was hospitalized and remains stable.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
She’s spent the last four years collecting votes (including mine) by posing as the antithesis of those she wanted to do a coalition with — but failed.
She’ll tell you any “solidarity” you want to you hear. Now that “everything’s gone,” as she aptly put it in her unintended double entendre, let’s “skip backward” a little bit.
The Party of Regions faction are wearing some white-yellow scarfs. Those are ropes on their necks that they came with to hang themselves…
Let me remind Yanukovych of the aliases he had while serving his jail time out there. The alias was “Boor.”
I would appreciate if the Party of Regions would not act according to the Somalian pirates principle.
They were stealing at a rate of 60 dollars per second.
Viktor Fedorovych, I would like you and I to become absolutely similar-minded people.
I’ve stood for, and stand for, the complete unification of all political forces and for the achievement of effective results for Ukraine.
June 4, 2009, during her visit to Poland, 3 days before the coalition talks collapsed...
In these very days, Europe is electing a new parliament. And I’m convinced that when we honor the Polish Revolution, let us again devote ourselves to carrying out Solidarity’s unfinished business: the dream of one free Europe. Niech nasza solidarność żyje tysiąc lat! [May our solidarity last for a thousand years.] Hahaha!
She’s a very charming lady. Sometime ago, I compared her to Eva Peron. I now believe she has outlived the comparison.
Because many compare her to men, and here she talks about some unfinished business in Europe, my question to her would be as follows:
Which of the following historical figures, in your most honest opinion, best represents your leadership profile:
A. Lech Wałęsa
B. Václav Havel
C. Erich Honecker
D. Nicolae Ceauşescu
Videos uploaded from:
Monday, June 08, 2009
The Coalition of Impunity and Deprival? Not now, maybe later.
On the Orthodox holiday of Trinity, on a hot but rainy Sunday, the two appear to have scrapped their plans and gone their separate ways.
Yanukovych delivered his stump speech in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, one of Ukraine’s oldest and largest Orthodox shrines, controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Alas, the prodigal son of Ukrainian democracy came to worship direct presidential elections, but confessed no sins. He merely admitted that gutting the Constitution with the amendments he and Tymoshenko had proposed would have been a step back from democracy. The people should have been consulted, he said, as if reprimanding himself. Interestingly, he spoke like a robot, in a manner that betrayed the dirty little piece of equipment supposedly stashed in one of his ears.
A few hours after this throw-momma-from-the-train maneuver, Tymoshenko made her own televised stump speech.
In announcing her bid for the presidency, she accused Yanukovych of unilaterally pulling out of the coalition talks. To dilute responsibility and distance herself from the coalition’s undemocratic slant, she raised the number of would-be coalition partners to four: the Party of Regions, BYuT, NUNS, and the Lytvyn Bloc.
She vehemently denied seeking undemocratic Constitutional amendments. Moreover, she even blamed Yanukovych’s pullout on what she described as her refusal to his proposed Constitutional amendment to raise the presidential candidates’ age to 50. In other words, she’s just an innocent girl who wants the best for her country.
One may argue that, in this parade of disappearing acts and stump speeches, Yanukovych (sugar daddy) dumped Tymoshenko (material/anti-crisis girl). She got what she deserved. I hope he gets what he deserves, too.
Everyone was doing their job. She struggled to rekindle her Joan of Arc image and equip it with Mary Poppins features; he masqueraded as Dr. Democracy with the heart of Santa Claus. They both spoke to fifth-graders, which is how they view their voters.
According to a recent poll, 83.4% of respondents oppose the idea of indirect presidential elections.
P.S. A friend sent me this uncut version of Tymo’s stump speech (intro). She's very nervous. She switches back and forth from Ukrainian to Russian.
Tymoshenko, speaking Ukr: Thank you all for coming on such short notice on a holiday. [takes deep breath] God help me. [crosses herself, closes eyes, clears throat]
Tymoshenko, speaking Rus: Everything’s gone! Uh…no! Skip backward! The teleprompter’s wrong! [gets angry, gesticulates, adjusts position]
Tymoshenko, speaking Ukr: My darlings, first of all, let me greet you with the bright holiday of the Holy Trinity… [discovers her sweet Ukrainian voice]
Ironically, the Russian expression “пропало все!” can also be translated as “it’s over!” or “I’m screwed!” In fact, that’s exactly how she made it sound!
This tragic video made me recall the uncut version of Yanukovych’s November 2004 post-election address. As the President-Elect (soon to be dethroned by the Orange Revolution) stumbles, he gets showered with positive feedback by Hanna Herman, his then press secretary.
Yanukovych, speaking Ukr: Dear countrymen, dear friends, thank you for coming and casting your ballots for the new president — for me. Should I omit “for me”? [makes indecisive gestures]
Hanna Herman, his then press secretary: No, you can leave it that way! It's very good! You're doing very good…
Camera man: It was very good, organic.
Herman: It's very organic and even your hand gesture was organic!
Yanukovych: Let’s start all over again.
Videos uploaded from:
An accident at the Skochynsky coal mine in Donetsk has left 30 miners missing. Of the 53 miners working on the shift, only 27 have managed to escape.
The bodies of two miners have been recovered as twelve remain missing.
As of Tuesday, the bodies of six miners have been recovered as seven remain missing.
As of Wednesday morning, 9 dead, 4 missing.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
She lives in a village hut and wears a $50K watch.
Tabloid paparazzi spied on her again and here's what they found...
What looks like a $10K diamond ring...
A $1,400 Derek Lam shoulder handbag...
A pair of $800-$1,200 Chanel shoes...
A $100,000 Toyota Land Cruiser.
None of this stuff shows up on her tax returns.
She says she doesn't remember the car. Tabloid says her son was driving it.
Ukraine ranks 134th on the 2008 Corruption Perception Index, out of the 180 countries surveyed.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Ukraine's parliament today voted to dismiss Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, a pro-Yushchenko figure, amid intense power struggle and allegations of corruption.
The firing of Yekhanurov comes on the eve of the expected birth of a new coalition, between the Party of Regions and Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, one that would be fiercely opposed to President Yushchenko.
The Coalition of Unity and Revival, as the two would-be coalition partners call it, plans to rewrite the Constitution and abolish direct presidential elections.
The vote breakdown:
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Imagine Obama and McCain had chosen not to run. Imagine that, instead, they had agreed to rewrite the Constitution and appoint each other president and vice president, respectively. Imagine, also, that they had bribed Congress by extending its term to 2014.
Why overtax your imagination? Welcome to Ukraine!
Described above is the master plan about to be implemented by opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych (PRU) and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT).
After years of backstage talks and gyrations in the PRU-BYuT-NUNS love-and-hate triangle, the biggest two are about to form широка коаліція (shyroka koalitsiya, or the grand coalition). Many Ukrainians have long reduced широка коаліція to sarcastic terms like ширка (shyrka — slang for intravenous drug use) or ПРіБЮТ (PRiBYuT — a near-homophone for приб'ють, or “they’ll nail [us]”).
To put a good face on their nailing business, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko — both of whom are being nailed by the Kremlin — call it Coalition of Unity and Revival. I call it Coalition of Impunity and Deprival. They want to deprive me of my Constitutional right to elect a president, and they want to do it with impunity, seeking to please the Kremlin.
The idea behind the Pres Yanuk/PM Tymo arrangement:
1. Hedging against the risk of losing the winner-take-all presidential election and post-election oligarch wars, persecutions, etc;Cabinet seats by party:
2. Splitting the country into political fiefdoms/spheres of influence.
Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Justice Ministry of Transport & Communications
Ministry of Agricultural Policy
Ministry of Coal Industry
Ministry of Health care Ministry of Culture & Tourism
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Fuel & Energy Ministry of Industrial Policy
Ministry of Labor & Social Policy
In other words, Ukraine’s two major parties have agreed on a 21st-century Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, one country at a time. Tymoshenko (aka Gas Princess) and Yanukovych (aka ProFFessor) will divvy up whatever that’s left ungrabitized after the last eighteen years of grabitization. My other name for this coalition: H1N1 (How 1 Needs 1).
To secure a rock-hard majority and cement oligarchic bipartisanship, two-round parliamentary elections will be held. In addition to extending the office term of the current Verkhovna Rada to 2014, the agreement informally calls for further cooperation, reaching as far as 2024.
President Yushchenko has repeatedly vowed to challenge such moves in the Constitutional Court and/or put them on a referendum. He may also reschedule the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections to an earlier date, which may complicate the coalition’s efforts to amend the Constitution.
Enjoy this Channel 1+1 report (may contain major spoilers):
Speaker-Priest Volodymyr Lytvyn: Do you, Viktor, agree to join Yulia to be with her in sorrow and in joy till the parliamentary elections do you part?I don’t know who’s going to be on top of who. All I know is they love being on top of Ukraine. For them, it's the best option. In fact, it's the only way they can love Ukraine.
Opposition Leader-Groom Viktor Yanukovych: I do.
Lytvyn: And you, Yulia, will you respect Viktor and…
PM-Bride Yulia Tymoshenko: I do, I do! [giggles]
Lytvyn: And so, by the power vested in me by the MPs, I pronounce you husband and wife, er, that is, the Grand Coalition.
Former MP Oleksandr Volkov: Well…speaking in purely human terms, it’s about who’s on top. You know, uhhh… being on top is not always the best option, OK? Because everybody loves…uhhh…basically, different ways [giggles], that is.
I can’t wait till Ukraine gets over her Electra complex (elect Viktor, elect Yulia, elect Viktor…), grows a penis and loves them back.
Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/123099.html
Original source: http://tsn.ua
Monday, June 01, 2009
First, they stripped us of our nuclear arsenal, the world’s third-largest. Then, they promised us that “sweet harvest.”
Now that we have neither the nukes nor the harvest, some of them don’t mind us being harvested by a nuclear Russia.
Check out this brilliant appeasement article, written by Ivan Eland of the Independent Institute.
Eland states my country’s name as “the Ukraine.” Most English-speaking Ukrainians consider such usage insulting or ignorant. To us, “the Ukraine” means a territory, not a country, and underscores centuries of Russian domination. Since independence, Ukraine has persuaded the U.N. and the U.S. to drop the article and switch from Kiev (the Russian name) to Kyiv (the Ukrainian name).
So either Mr. Eland knows little about Ukraine, or “the Ukraine” carries a coded message from the Independent Institute.
By the way, Obama said “the Ukraine” during the presidential debates. To me, this came as a shock. How could the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on European Relations say that? Hadn't he mentioned his visit to Ukraine in The Audacity of Hope?
Two weeks before the election, Obama described
the Ukraine as being ready for a NATO Membership Action Plan. He wrote this in a letter to the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, in an apparent bid to court Ukrainian American voters. Since then, however, despite reassurances old and new, he must have changed his mind.
Indeed, U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine, in practical terms, is all about
chicken Kiev change.
It can be summarized by the following quote from Don’t Admit the Ukraine into NATO:
In any honest assessment of U.S. security goals, the faraway Ukraine is not strategic to the United States. To Russia, given its history of being invaded by foreign powers, the Ukraine, a large neighboring country, is much more strategic than even its small Baltic neighbors.
So “the faraway Ukraine” is no longer as “strategic” as it was in 1993-1995, when Washington was twisting our strategic arms? And Ukraine has never been invaded? Not even by Russia?
In other words, “disarm and disown.” That’s the policy. Wait, how about this one: Wasn’t Czechoslovakia more “strategic” to Germany than it was to France and Britain when they signed the Munich Agreement?
A fool and his nukes are easily parted. When Ukraine — lulled by the “end of history” — gave up its nuclear deterrent, it did one hell of a foolish thing. It gave up power and got poverty in return. The IMF loans we received in exchange for our 5,000 warheads did not help us to the “sweet harvest” that U.S. President Bill Clinton promised us. Instead, they helped our President Kuchma convert his sweet reform rhetoric into an overnight billion dollar fortune for his family.
And guess what? Bill Clinton, who now runs a foundation, has been quite friendly with the Kuchma family, even after his wife became secretary of state. Talk about the peace dividend.
Contrary to Western clichés, Ukraine did not just “inherit” its nuclear arsenal from the USSR. Ukraine invented and ingested a huge part of that arsenal. Ukraine produced some of the deadliest ICBMs in the Soviet nuclear forces and, on orders from Moscow, deployed them on its territory. Ukraine paid the price of collectivization, industrialization, Chernobyl and grabitization.
Now, what benefits did Ukraine get from its denuclearization? Or, in a narrow sense, what did “friends of America” in Ukraine get from “friends of Ukraine” in America? Prosperity? No. A ticket to Western Civilization? No. Constant threats from Moscow? Yes. A bunch of appeasement artists from Washington? Yes!
So what should Ukraine’s story tell Iran and North Korea?
A. Hey, why don’t you drop your weapons like Ukraine did?
B. Hey, why don’t you follow Ukraine into the NPT and the MTCR?
C. Wanna be bossed around?
D. Wanna get your chicken change?
Finally, what effects would Russia's appeasement-induced adventurism have on U.S. security goals?