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Friday, June 19, 2009

Tymoshenko Equates Herself With Ukraine (Part 2)

Post-traumatic stress disorder? Not exactly. Welcome to another segment of her Joan of Arc/Virgin Mary/Mother Theresa show.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko: Sometimes 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’ 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!

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elmer said...

If Tymoshenko doesn't shut up about how she was hoodwinked, and how it's not her fault, and how it was all a conspiracy of the 2 Victors, and how the proposed amendments didn't say what they said about eliminating direct elections of the Prez, and postponing elections, and how it was the only way out of the crisis - she is going to dig herself right into her own little sewer.

This is one time when she ought to just simply shut up about it.

She is obsessed about losing - she went into a deal for the convenience of oligarchs, and got caught.

And yet she still claims it was for the convenience and benefit of the people.

She's going to compound her mistake by her incessant narcissism, and by her incessant talking.

She ought to just shut up, propose an anti-crisis program, wave it in front of the Rada and the IMF and the public, get it done - and leave put her "victim-hood" aside.

Lingüista said...

In all fairness, it is possible that her comment wasn't meant as equating herself with Ukraine. Maybe she meant to say that what the Viktors did / are doing to her was one thing, and what they did / are doing to Ukraine was another thing.

Should one despair, Taras? Is there really no one in the Ukrainian political scene who could actually be a good politician and a good leader?

Taras said...


That’s the whole idea! She’s covering her anatomy with angelic embroidery — the size of a country.


She’s done it before and will do it again. It’s all part of her Joan of Arc/Virgin Mary/Mother Theresa syndrome.

Actually, she’s not alone in it.

In Ukraine, the people at the top have so much power that one day they simply stop separating themselves from it. As of today, I don’t see any leaders at the top. I only see leeches.

Lingüista said...

Taras, I wished I could disagree with you, but the record does seem to support your viewpoint.

I'm really sorry for Ukraine. Such a wonderful country, with some very good people in it (including my wife and my in-laws, the latter still living in Kyiv). I wished their future could be brighter.

elmer said...

You know, Taras, for some reason this kept creeping up in my mind.

Now, I give credit to her for getting rid of Vinsky. It's not enough, but even the devil gets his due.

The act may be "Joan of Arc/Virgin Mary/Mother Theresa".

But the reality is more like Marie Antoinette, perhaps.

For some reason, this song came to mind - "Peel Me a Grape."

You'll understand when you hear the lyrics.

Several female singers did this very, very nicely.

Here's Nancy Wilson, but Diana Krall does a great job also. Dusty Springfield was more demure.

"Thunderbird me
you heard me"

Thunderbird being the originally very famous sports car, of course, before Ford ruined it.

Taras said...


Why hadn't she fired him earlier? Why had she protected him in the Mercedes story?

In fact, she wouldn’t fire Vinsky until he became a major liability, having exposed her and himself in the Lviv Airport story.

To add insult to injury, he went on to launch a self-promotional project using funding from Ukrposhta (Ukraine's state-owned Postal Service). I guess she just couldn't take any more of his freewheeling.

Nice song, by the way! Do you know any song called "Grease Me a Palm?":)


Thank you for the kind words! Don't give up on us! Our time will come!:) Btw, where are you from?

Lingüista said...

Taras, you're welcome! I'm Brazilian, and I now live in the Netherlands. My wife, however, is Ukrainian, from Kyiv; except that she identifies with the Russian minority (her father is Russian, her mother a Russian-speaking Ukrainian). She is mostly neutral in terms of politics (though she thinks the Ukrainians are 'going too far' in pushing the Ukrainian language everywhere). Her mother, however, despite being Ukrainian by blood, identifies with the old Soviet Union (you know the song: 'ah, everything was so much better in the old Soviet times... we had 3-year maternity leaves, people were so much more helpful and friendly, there was no chaos, first class medical service...') and hopes Putin will 'succeed in rebuilding the Soviet Union'.

I've been several times to Kyiv, and once to Crimea (Simferopol and Yalta). I've met a number of very nice people there (and also some less nice ones, I must admit), and my interest and admiration for this country have grown steadily. I do understand the problems and challenges, even surprising ones (I was surprised to see old men selling anti-Semite propaganda on the Majdan Nezalezhnosti... felt like Vienna in the early '30s). But frankly, the people, the individuals I met, left a very positive impression on me.

Which is why I really hope it works out well in the end. I wished there was a politician that could help Ukraine turn her incredible potential into reality, but I don't really see any. And nearby Russia, with her tsk-tsking policy towards Ukraine ('Ukraine won't pay her bills...'), doesn't seem to help.

Taras said...

So you're a Brazilian global villager with ties to Ukraine:)?

Many older-generation Ukrainians strongly identify themselves with the Russian minority/Soviet past (especially those living in eastern Ukraine). It's the legacy of Russification — the Soviet melting pot — a legacy complicated by today's rampant government corruption and low living standards.

For the impoverished elderly, the standard of living that they enjoyed in the '70s-'80s, in many respects, surpasses the one they have today.

The issue of anti-Semitism in Ukraine requires an in-depth historical discussion and a hard look at Ukraine's elite. Unfortunately, against a background of rampant corruption and low living standards, many local xenophobic/racist organizations draw inspiration/resources from their Russian-based mother ships. This activity prolongs the legacy of Russification and helps the Kremlin keep Ukraine in its orbit.

For Ukraine to be a successful country with a strong Ukrainian identity, corruption must be reduced and the injustices of Russification must be redressed.

There needs to be a balance between the rights/responsibilities of the Russian minority and the rights/responsibilities of the Ukrainian majority.

By the way, in Brazil, there are approximately 300,000 people of non-Soviet Ukrainian descent.

As for me, I had my first impression of Brazil in 1989, while watching perestroika's most popular telenovela: Escrava Isaura:)

elmer said...

Linguista, I really would not trust everything that you see or hear in Ukraine - seriously.

Russia and the sovok union perfected disinformation - and that includes playing the "anti-Semite" card, wherever and whenever it's convenient.

In short, it's a method of trying to discredit Ukraine, or any other country, for the purpose of discouraging any overtures or influence from the West.

It's not a new technique - the sovoks used it often during WWII, blaming Nazis or Ukrainians for assorted atrocities staged by the NKVD or other sovok instrumentalities.

Here is a fairly lengthy article about the matter, by Moses Fishbein, but it illustrates what I'm talking about:

Lingüista said...

I don't necessarily trust anything anyone anywhere says, elmer -- people can simply be wrong, even when there is no disinformation campaign aimed at them.

My Ukrainian in-laws look like hard-working people -- my tëshcha works as the dean of a department (I forget which one) at Kyiv's Mogila University, and she's even been awarded a prize for overachievement in her administrative functions -- which I can believe, seeing the level of efficiency with which she runs the household.

Still her political opinions are pretty naive, and it's easy to see that by just talking to her for five minutes. It's surprising at first to see such an obviously intelligent person harboring many obviously propaganda-driven opinions without questioning their sources (she does go by 'the world is against us Russians!'); but then again, maybe it's not. Intelligent people who are naive outside of their field of expertise are also plentiful outside of Ukraine.

Taras, I heard several references to Escrava Isaura when I was in Kyiv (I'm always surprised to see something Brazilian outside of Brazil. (Lucélia Santos -- the actress who played Isaura -- speaking Ukrainian, I'd love to see that! It would feel so, well, startling I'd probably laugh.)

Interestingly, as a Brazilian, the most frequent cultural reaction I got wasn't Isaura, but the sequence: "Ja -- vasha tëtja iz Brazilii, gde mnogo dikix obezjan." :-) I've never seen this movie, but so many people mentioned it to me when I was in Kyiv that I feel as if I already have.

I've heard about the Brazilian Ukrainians, Taras, but only after I left Brazil -- I now live in the Netherlands. Do they still speak Ukrainian? (I wished I did; but in my in-law's very Russian household, it's hard to practice... I'm still at the "Djakuju" and "Duzhe priemno" level.)

How come your English is so good, by the way? Did you live in the US?

Lingüista said...

Elmer and Taras, if I may ask an out-of-topic question, what's the deal with the Ukrainian government apparently ignoring the Crimean Tatars and their protests? They'd be good allies in Crimea, now that the Russian media keeps claiming how it is really a part of Russia.

Taras said...

Kyiv Mohyla Academy? Not a very comfortable place for someone with pro-Russian views!

Escrava Isaura achieved cult status in the USSR. After watching it, people began calling their dachas fazendas.

With Ukraine still part of the USSR, we watched a trimmed version of the telenovela, dubbed in Russian. I remember my friends/parents/relatives watching, discussing, empathizing, joking and longing for a rerun. Several reruns followed.

Then came our Lambada-mania. “Lambada” can be rightfully called the anthem of perestroika at its peak.

A magic age was unfolding: Gorbachev, Reagan, Bush, Reykjavík, Rukh rallies, yellow-blue banners, glastnost, the Afghanistan pullout, calls for independence, consumer good shortages, cooperatives, racketeering, Western music & movies, the August ’91 coup, the Declaration of Independence, the December referendum on independence…

We all thought our “slavery” would soon magically dissolve into some sort of “happy end.”

Crimean Tatars have been the “forgotten people” throughout Ukraine’s independence. Loyal toward Ukraine, rather than Russia, they haven’t had their loyalty returned by the Ukrainian state.

Failure to accommodate Crimean Tatar repatriates has been one of the “missed opportunities” of Ukraine's post-Soviet era.

Thank you for the kind words re my English! I can say the same thing about your English:) No, I never actually lived in the States. My English is “Made in Ukraine” (uh…with some U.S. help:)

At about age 11, learning English became my dream. Since then, I’ve followed that dream through thick and thin.

elmer said...

Linguista, I don't think it's accurate to say that the Ukrainian government is ignoring the Crimean Tatars' protests.

It's not.

The Crimean Tatars want land. They were deported by Stalin, and have gradually moved back.

So - how does one address that issue?

Russia - and the sovok union - took over Crimea by force for 2 things. First, access to a sea port. Second, especially during the sovok union, for lavish resorts and retirement communities for "sovok heroes."

Here's an article that might interest you:

Ironically, if you go back far enough in history, you will find that Crimean Tatars used to attack Ukrainian territory.

So did the Turks.

However, this is now the 21st century.

Taras said...

You’re absolutely right! It’s 21st century.

The Autonomous Crimean Republic is part of Ukraine, not Russia. The land injustices with regard to the Crimean Tatars should thus be redressed with the help of Kyiv.

Since Ukraine’s independence, oligarchs and oligarchlets from Moscow have grabbed thousands of juicy Crimean land plots and dozens of Soviet-era recreation facilities.

All this was done with Kyiv’s nodding approval and with kickbacks to the Kuchma regime.

If Kyiv wants to keep the Crimean Tatars on its side, this hands-off policy must be reversed.

Anonymous said...

to Linguista: