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Monday, June 29, 2009

Yulia in the Sky With Diamonds

Q: What’s the difference between middle-class Ukrainians and upper-class Ukrainians?

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.



Ropi said...

Well, politians are not saints, we should keep it in mind. In Hungary these kind of things are also present. However in Hungary usually males are in important offices, thus these fashion things are not so eye-catching.

Gabriela said...

After reading posts like this one a question comes inevitably: are all these people morons or something? Don't they know they are always in the focus of some photographer, who is searching thouroughly for these exterior signs of wealth?

Anonymous said...

Taras, is it true that citizens of Ukraine can only vote for a political party and not for specific candidates? Who elects the 450 members of parliament (Verkhovna Rada)? Where do these people come from (who picks them to sit in parliament)?

Anonymous said...

Girl power
To a new high
And low
How sad
How true
Do I want to unsex?
Not quite yet ...
But politics
Is a dirty profession
But not quite the first
So still hope remains?
Or does it?
Deeply concerned
Yanu will become king
and reign supreme
forever and

The end.


Taras said...


Luckily, your country is a member of NATO and the EU, with considerably higher governance and living standards.

Your PM resigned in March, citing his government’s plummeting popularity and calling himself an “obstacle” to the country’s reforms.

Now, compare Hungary to Ukraine. Our economy shrank 23% in Q1, but our PM has not resigned.


The poorer the governance, the richer the governors — and the poorer the governed. They’re so intoxicated with power that they just can’t see past its trappings.


It’s absolutely true. We have a fully proportional closed-party-list system, a real democracy killer.

We elect parties, not MPs. The parties decide which people to take on board so they become MPs if the party scores at least 3% of the nationwide vote. To finance the campaign, the parties sell seats to rich and corrupt people who seek huge returns on their investments and parliamentary immunity for whatever they do.

There’s no geographic connection between the MPs and their constituencies.


This kind of girlpower makes me want to unsex my vote:)!

Ever since Yanuk and Tymo started scheming for a sexy time, the hots I used to have for my sweetheart have reached the North Pole.

Anonymous said...

Taras said, 'It’s absolutely true. We have a fully proportional....'

Thank you Taras. That answers a lot. It's difficult to see how this will ever work, but I live in hope, like you I'm sure.

You've got a wonderful website, Regards from Canada

Taras said...

Thank you for visiting! You're welcome! A belated Happy Canada Day:)!

Dein Koenig said...

real good PPictures