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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tymoshenko + Yanukovych = Coalition of Impunity & Deprival

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;

2. Splitting the country into political fiefdoms/spheres of influence.

Cabinet seats by party:

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?
Opposition Leader-Groom
Viktor Yanukovych: I do.

And you, Yulia, will you respect Viktor and…

PM-Bride Yulia Tymoshenko:
I do, I do! [giggles]

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 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.

I can’t wait till Ukraine gets over her Electra complex (elect Viktor, elect Yulia, elect Viktor…), grows a penis and loves them back.

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elmer said...

Well, Taras, you warned me about Tymoshenko, and you were right.

They keep denying the shyrka talks, including that a text of a "new" Constitution has been written - but the press keeps reporting it.

Here it is - forget about representative democracy.

The only goal is for the "political elite" to remain on a "stable" basis at the government trough.

All they had to do was 2 things:

1) get rid of Parliamentary immunity

2) get rid of the "party list" system for electing Parliament, and change it to direct elections of representatives in Parliament.

Tymoshenko was one of those who promised it.

Instead - this.

Damn it and damn them.

I can now understand the vitriolic hatred of Tymoshenko, who, as it turns out, is a self-absorbed, self-promoting, megalomaniac opportunist with lots of stolen money.

Yanukovych and his Donbass Mafia are even worse.

Yushchenko is absolutely right on this one - Ukraine will cease to exist if the maggots go through with this.

John Kalitka said...

Another very intresting post, Taras. Thanks. How do the BYuT-PRU factions hope to amend the Constitution? Can it be done with a simple majority? It should be difficult. Most systems impose a rather onerous set of requirements. What does the Ukrainian Constitution say about the amendment process?

DLW said...

that's unfortunate.

hopefully, they'll compete more so in more local elections.

In the US, we've more or less made it so the president doesn't have a whole lot of wiggle room and needs to give intere$t$ seats at the table, regardless of which party they're from. The issue is whether others also get to be at the table. Bush-Cheney made a power grab, violating the de facto rules from before and, as a result, the pendulum has swung back, so that Cheney is fighting for his political life/legacy, while Bush(and his family??) is largely out of the picture in public for good.

Taras said...


Now you understand me:) Stay tuned!


Thank you! They plan to do it by mustering the supermajority (two-thirds majority = 300 votes) required for amending the Constitution.


Good to see you again! The rationale for this coalition-cartel is to limit competition in a way that benefits the oligarchs behind Tymoshenko and Yanukovych.

If all they need is a little more power, they'll never get enough of it. And they should know what the wages of such power can do to them. Romania ‘89. It’s something they should think about.

elmer said...

Tymo was the one who challenged everyone in Ukraine to form the best government in the world.

Unfortunately, her idea of government is to be a "magnanimous" Dictator-Queen, with tons of power and wealth, ruling over sheep to be sheared at will.

Yanuk and the Donbass Mafia have the same idea.

As far as the amendment process, it would also have to be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

Sooo - naturally, Tymo, who, just like the rest of the maggots, is always calculating her next move in the chess game, is buddying up to the thug Baloha, because he some "influence" over the Court.

This, of course, requires a little somethin'-somethin' for Baloha.

And, she looking for support from Kolomoysky, who is one of the many Jewish oligarchs of Ukraine, and lives in Switzerland. In fact, he flew back all the way from Switzerland just now for the sake of "political stability."

Why him? Ah, because he owns lots of media which obviously would be used to support this travesty.

See how that works, boys and girls?

Вівці, мої вівці
хто ж вас буде пасти
як мене не стане, гей
ду ду ду ду ду ду ду ду

Taras said...

Here’s how (according to Obozrevatel) Tymoshenko’s right-hand man, Turchynov, addressed the 10 BYuT MPs who oppose PRiBYuT:

Those who are against it, surrender your mandates and get the f**k out.

elmer said...

In Ukraine, the "political elite" views government as - business - not government.

Ukraine's government consists of 30 Jews and 1 Tatar, and their hired servants.

And to them, it doesn't matter how or where they get their money.

They have huge tie-ins with oligarchs all over the former sovok republics, and abuse government to do deals with them as well.

The fact that they view business as government is evident on a daily basis.

The Vanco Black Sea oil drilling license is an excellent example.

Vanco Energy, from Houston, bid on, and won, the right to drill in the Prykerchensk Shelf in the Black Sea.

Wait a minute, not so fast!

At the last second, Premier-at-that-time Yanuk transferred the license to Vanco Virgin Islands, owned by 4 girls - virgins.

Ultimately, it turns out, the new owners turned out to be the Tatar, Akhmetov, a Russian oligarchs named Novitsky, and a couple other murky entities.

All approved by Prez Yushchenko, who was seeking support from Akhmetov at the time.

Not so fast, shouts new Premier Tymonatrix, on taking over! My corruption is "clean corruption" - your corruption is bad corruption.

Surrender the license.

This coup that is being engineered by the 2 major "political forces" is designed to render Ukraine's government useless - except for 30 Jewish and 1 Tatar oligarch, a few Ukrainian oligarchs, and their hired servants - Tymo and Yanuk.

Of course, Tymo herself is an oligarch, but she hides the sources of her income extremely well.

Goodbye, Ukraine, a former nation.

DLW said...

I'd say that all leaders lead by fiat and selectively feeding and goring others.

I know this is an imperfect analogy, but I'd say, you need to think forward towards your own 1828, when Andrew Jackson and the Democrats took power, upsetting the ruling federalist stability.

To do this, I'd refocus on remembering/reviving the spirit of the Orange Revolution, as such will pour shame on the heads of those in power and help to build up the sorts of intermediaries slash middle class base so as to make your kleptocrats give way to technocrats.

In this light, do not mourn the passing of Yuschenko as a political leader. A good deal of it is his fault that things went so badly. So be ready to support the BYuT people that refuse to join with PoR. They need to find allies in EU and the US so they can regroup and grow....

My opinion is that when it comes to politics, you need to be two-faced. You need to have a diplomatic face. The diplomatic face holds up the need for unity/order of some sort and to build more respect for public offices, which also needs to be deserved. I'd reserve the unvarnished truth for smaller groups of like-minded friends/workers for change.

But even then I'd pick my battles... Like I'd say "party lists" are okay, but why does the proportional representation elections need to be nation-wide?

There's an idea proposed for CA to elect its legislators via regional elections that would be mixed-member elections.

I'd shoot for something similar in Ukraine.

Taras said...


You’re right. The BYuT folks who refused to join this coup deserve a pat on the back. Except for those few brave souls, BYuT belongs in hell.

The California link made me think about the voting system reforms that need to be carried out in Ukraine. Our switch to fully proportional representation has widened the gap between the elected and the electors. Its glaring disconnect with local communities, combined with a closed party-list system, has further commercialized the election process.

This thing must go. We need a transparent and partially proportional system that would hold MPs accountable to their communities, not to their party bosses.

“Big ideas are hard to bring to fruition. However, given the recent history of reform efforts in California, it is clear that incremental change is inadequate to the tasks of reinvigorating the Legislature, improving governance, and reviving public confidence in the state's republican institutions.”

“…half the seats would be elected by district, the other half by proportional representation.”

To pass such drastic reforms in Ukraine, nothing short of an Orange Terminator would do:)


It’s actually 2 Jews, 1 Tatar and 1 Russian, if you mean the richest Ukrainians on the 2009 World’s Billionaires list by Forbes.

Given the fact that Ukrainians make up 78% of Ukraine’s population, the legitimate question is: Why no Ukrainians?

As I've said before, the problem with these people is not their ethnicity. It’s the ethics of how they amassed their fortunes and how those fortunes are affecting Ukraine.

Do they benefit Ukraine in a way that Bill Gates’ fortune has benefited America? Do they create safe and well-paid jobs? Do they add up to the 21st century knowledge economy? Do they practice social responsibility? Do they advance innovation? Do they promote democracy? Do they serve Ukraine’s national interests?

elmer said...

I was referring to the wider list, the list of richest Ukrainians.

And to their ethnicity as a fact, and nothing else.

You are absolutely correct - their ethics, or lack thereof, is the problem, along with their stranglehold on government.

The questions you asked are rhetorical.

The answers are, of course, obvious.

elmer said...

I would not rely no California for anything.

It's going broke.

It is the "left coast," the land of the fruits and the nuts. :-)

Although it's true that Lazarenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, bought Eddie Murphy's old mansion, with the 5 swimming pools, in California.

And got convicted for money laundering in San Francisco, California.

DLW said...

Democratic Capitalism has always given weight to $peech, but not always with exemption from punishment or loss...

It's a matter of "how much" and the need for checks and balances to be built up. But it's always easier to build up the checks and balances if you don't damn the freedom of $peech.

Maybe the BYuT folks who've entered into coaltion w PoR are in it just for themselves... Or maybe they see this as the best of a bad situation. The fact of the matter is that reality is messed up enough that even folks with their hearts in the right places can disagree on what ought to be done.

I heartily recommend trimming the lengths of party lists via the regional use of PR, in part. When you combine non-winner-takes-all elections with winner-takes-all elections then the result is two major parties plus minor parties capable of exerting influence.

It's not a bad formula, but to make it happen you gotta pick your battles with the status quo and forge alliances with other reformers, including those in other countries.

Utter Kleptocracy is very bad. In the US, we were trending strongly in that direction for decades as of late and have halted but not reversed that trend with Obama. You need to try to do the same. For all of our modern political systems are unstable mixes of kleptocracy and popular democracy. The best we can hope for is bolster the role of popular democracy by accepting the inevitability of some kleptocracy and participate in rule changes to provide more security/ voice for more people.

Taras said...

Comparing Ukraine’s kleptocracy to America’s is like comparing wolves to poodles and icebergs to ice-cream.

America as we know it simply wouldn’t survive the level of kleptocracy Ukraine has. In fact, America wouldn’t tolerate it in the first place.

I’m not a big fan of Chinese democracy but I admire their anti-corruption efforts.

DLW said...

Hi Elmer,
The reason things are bad in CA is because of how long it's been dominated by effective single-party rule and it's own corruption.

But, at the same time, it's also been a leader in the US in making reforms to its system. It's a paradox.

Historically, in the US, it was the Republicans from the time of Lincoln, up until the time of FDRoosevelt, that were the progressive party and the party of industry. It was essentially a party without an essence: both reform-oriented and benefiting from the rents associated with being in power. With FDR, the baton of reform and the rent$ shifted to enable the establishment of a Democratic party-machine. They redistributed wealth enough to keep themselves in power. Then in the mid-70s, election-reform and campaign-finance-reform subverted intra-party discipline so $peech instead flowed more directly to legislators and not indirectly thru the party. This has generally made it easier for K-street intere$t$ to manipulate things and harder to fight back, as the influence of $peech is bipartisan.

So to make a long-story short, yeah I know there's no comparison, but the US was on its way to becoming more like Ukraine with the BushAdmin. We got lucky. Karl Rove's manipulations of our cultural wars got upended as the truth about Iraq got out from 2004-2006 and right before the 2006 elections, there was an infamous outing of a Florida Legislator who apparently had sexual relations with male interns. The Republicans lost critical ground in what paved the way for the Democrats to take over both the legislative branches and the presidency in 2008.

But we were this close to the establishment of a single-party rule by the crony-capitalism embodied by the Bush family, which gained its wealth initially via Prescott Bush's timely investments in Germany right before the rise to power of the Nazis. A good deal of the wealth in the US stemmed from its strategic support of the significant economic turnaround of Germany led by those fascist-socialists...

So you know, the more you delve into any country's history, the more you can see that none of us are pure and we all are "pragmatic", picking our battles with what is...


Taras said...

By comparing the Bush admin to our admins, you're grossly insulting our admins' kleptrocratic pride:)

I'm not a big fan of Bush and I'm not canvassing Americans on how to resolve their domestic issues.

But as for U.S. foreign policy toward my country, I believe that the Bush admin, unlike the Clinton admin, did more good than harm.

Colin Powell showed support for Ukraine at a crucial time, putting pressure on Kuchma not to turn the Orange Revolution into a Tiananmen. By contrast, Bill Clinton, keeps showing support for the Kuchma family, having received a donation of $5M.

Could the Orange Revolution have become more like Romania ‘89 rather than Tiananmen ‘89? You never know.

DLW said...

Well, you can trust that Bush wasn't too much involved in Powell's actions on behalf of the Oranges. But it probably mattered that most US_Americans who'd visited Ukraine and empathized w the Ukrainians were of the religious sort who tend to vote republican. That's the no. 1 reason we heard John McCain bring up Ukraine in the past election. And it's a very good thing...

As for Clinton, he's long been quite respectful of $peech. He likes to talk about "giving", but doesn't like a lot of sunlight on his "takings" as an ex-president.

My hope is that Obama's recent speech to the Muslim world helps reduce tensions with Iran and makes us need the help of Russia less, so we can target more soft power against Russia and the oligarchs of Ukraine.

Taras said...

I’m not saying Bush was highly involved, as some in Russia and in the Western media believe.

But Powell was a member of the Bush administration, although, as you alluded to, he didn’t fare very well in it.

Compared to Bill Clinton’s Moscowcentric/nukecentric/Kuchmacentric foreign policy team, Powell actually did something for Ukraine, not just for Washington or Kuchma.

In spring 2004, I had even read a book titled The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Legendary Leader.

Bill Clinton’s principles? “I don't care where the money comes from as long as it comes to me.” That’s what they look like.

I think McCain’s support for Ukraine and his tougher stance on Russia stemmed from his Cold War military experience, conservative beliefs and electoral politics.

Ukrainian Americans tend to vote Republican. And, yes, Christian missionaries working in Ukraine largely supported McCain.

Bottom line, I hope “President Obama is hopeful, but he is not naïve,” as Robert Gates recently put it.

DLW said...

Powell does tend to have stronger principles than Clinton did and they were better informed than Bush's.

As for Obama, he's not without principles but his pragmatism recognizes the tensions between principles and the need to make tough calls and be open to the possibility of changing courses.

I can only hope that his efforts at diplomacy and more selective use of force, bear fruit for your country and mine.