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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Tale of Two Conventions: Yanukovych v. Tymoshenko

They’re working. They want it all.

MP Hanna Herman (PRU): When you’re standing, you feel some sort of movement. And we here are ready to take the first steps.
MP Serhiy Kivalov (PRU): People were saying really sincerely that the only candidacy from the Party of Regions is Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych.
MP Oleksandr Kuzmuk (PRU): There will be order in the country.

Reporter Mustafa Nayem:
What happens if Yanukovych doesn’t win?

MP Nestor Shufrych (PRU): No way!
MP Vladyslav Lukyanko (PRU): What? It’s unrealistic! You know, I think Ukraine will lose everything.

Kharkiv Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin (PRU):
Yanukovych will definitely win. It’s just a question of how much he scores in the first round and how much in the second one.

Singer-supporter Taisiya Povaliy: But he will win!
Dobkin: It’s a situation when Yanukovych will be competing with himself.
Producer-supporter Ihor Likhuta [Povaliy’s husband]: All the candidates are decent people, but ours is the most decent one.

Vice Premier Oleksandr Turchuynov (BYuT): It’s a very serious event, one on which our country’s future depends.
Singer-supporter Pavlo Zibrov: I’m a grown-up person and I made a choice, and those kids running back and forth are just making money, I think.

Reporter Mustafa Nayem:
Many are saying it’s a Maidan [protests] rehearsal in case Yulia Tymoshenko doesn’t become president.

Turchuynov: You know, Maidan cannot be rehearsed, it cannot be arranged technologically. Either you have it or not. Our Maidan is in our hearts.

MP Andriy Shevchenko (BYuT):
Yulya is cute?

Daughter: Yes!

[Welcome] Yulia Tymoshenko!

Don’t you have the reflex to shout “Yushchenko?”

Shevchenko: Hahaha!

Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko:
No, [incoherent]. In 2004, Yushchenko was the only way for the country not to roll back. Uh...but it’s only idiots and corpses who don’t change their points of views.

What happens if Tymoshenko loses?

MP Serhiy Sobolev (BYuT): I can’t even imagine.

Video embedded from:
Original source:


Anonymous said...

This video clip is Back to the Future. I feel all warm and fuzzy and 2004.

In America, politicians mess up, they are blasted by the press, chewed up and spit out... and their careers are kaput. I'm struck and intrigued how these political heavyweights in Ukraine continue to stay around.

Kivalov should be in jail and I certainly hope he is not running TsVK this time around. Maybe Shufrych won't get boogers wiped on him. Dobkin would be advised to keep score of ballot stuffing. Kuzmyk is a sovok dinosaur from the Kuchma days, and he is still around? Maybe Ya is more decent this time around, but his past speaks volumes.

Lutsenko is usually incoherent and it is amazing he survived Lufthansagate intact. Idiots and corpses don’t change their points of views, but opportunists like him certainly change parties... Shevchenko thinks Yulka is cute, and this is an obvious cliche...but what about her hyper-sorochka nanook outfit? That was insane!

Anonymous said...

it's very interesting on who will be Ukraine's next leader, and which direction it will take her. who are you voting for?

Rotislav said...

Interesting blog you have here :) There's a large Ukrainian diaspora in my neighborhood - none of which seem to identify with your politics. It's very interesting, is the anti-Russian Ukranian Nationalism you support have a significant following in Ukraine? From most of the opinion polls I've seen ( )most Ukrainians would prefer closer relations to Russia over the US and even the EU - this sentiment is echoed by those Ukrainian's aboard too. In my experience anyway. You are a rare creature!

Taras said...


You’re absolutely right! We don’t have as much turnover as you do.

Last action heroes like Yanukovych, Kivalov, Shufrych and Co die hard. Millions see them as saviors.

Lutsenko survived because Tymoshenko needs him. She “dressed for success” — success with the “little Ukrainian” who entertains the thought that her designer vyshyvanka costs less than her Louis Vuitton outfits.


It’s both interesting and sad because it’s about choosing the lesser of two evils: “Alien vs. Predator,” as many Ukrainians put it.

I’ll probably vote for Tymoshenko in the runoff, but quite reluctantly so, given her ways.

Taras said...


Where do you come from? Is the Ukrainian diaspora in your neighborhood Russified? Do they speak Ukrainian or Russian?

As you can see from our last few elections, the idea of an independent Ukraine has a significant following in Ukraine. Whether they live in Ukraine or abroad, Ukrainians who identify with Ukraine — as opposed to the USSR or Russia — strongly support this idea.

Our country has a lot of problems to fix, but we do have elections, as opposed to Russia.

Does it surprise you that a much higher percentage of Ukrainians view Russia as a friend compared to a much lower percentage of Russians who view Ukraine as a friend? It’s very simple if you add up two things:

1. Decades of Russification/assimilation/migration policies that forced the Russian/Soviet identity on national identities;
2. The view of Ukraine as a colony/ “younger brother”/sphere of influence of Russia, a view propagated by the Kremlin.

If you support these views, don’t be surprised to find millions of Ukrainians who oppose them.

Rotislav said...

Taras, I am from Denmark. 4th generation Russian émigré. Ukrainian's in my neighborhood speak Russia - like 30% of Ukraine.

You mention an independent Ukraine defensively, I'm not suggesting anything to the contrary. My point is that those Ukrainians who support democracy in their country and wish to exercise their right to guide the country in whichever direction they see fit, tend to favour strong relations with Russia - does this necessarily mean that they are Russified?

In relation to Russia's political climate that you mentioned, the supposed "outrage" of the Russian people has been wildly exaggerated - I am sure you are aware. It will take years to restore peoples desire/will to embark on democracy/liberalisation. For some reason, I anticipate the next Ukrainian president to copy Putin's rise. at least Tymoshenko perhaps.

"Does it surprise you that a much higher percentage of Ukrainians view Russia as a friend compared to a much lower percentage of Russians who view Ukraine as a friend?"

Aside from the two points you mentioned, I think the fact that Ukrainians make up 2% of Russia's population - compared to Russian's making up near 20% of Ukraine. I the normal Russian xenophobia applies to Ukrainians aswell - in my experience.

The "sphere of influence" issue is ridiculous in my opinion, of course Ukraine is going to fall under Russian influence, either that or American influence (re: the statement a DOD offical made up using Ukrainian territory for missile radar). This is reality, smaller countries fall under the influence of larger countries. The hypocrisy displayed by American officials when they dismiss the notion of countries having spheres of influence. What do they call Mexico? or Canada? Can you imagine in the future if China put a "missile radar" in Mexico to defend against a "rogue" south American country? the response would be overwhelming by America.

also, not too long ago I read an article (which I haven't been able to locate again, it was in Russian) about Yuschenko erecting a statue in some city - commemorating the victory of a Swedish King (maybe Charles) over Russia. Did this happen?

Taras said...


If by strong relations with Russia you don't mean submissive relations, then I support such relations myself.

I want Ukraine to be Ukraine: neither a colony of Russia nor a banana republic of the West. If the Ukrainians in your neighborhood speak Russian, it means they represent the last (heavily Sovietized/Russified) wave of Ukrainian emigration.

As a Ukrainian who lives in Ukraine, I support the “one country, one language” formula, with a civilized degree of regional diversity. This means people can preserve their ethnic heritage as long as they embrace an undivided Ukraine and master its language.

The numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. One should know the underlying historical facts. Because the melting pot of Russification assimilated non-Russians into Russians/homini Sovietici, millions of ethnic Ukrainians throughout the former Soviet Union no longer identify with Ukraine. They do not count as Ukrainians in local censuses. In Ukrainian censuses, they may count as Ukrainians while declaring Russian their mother tongue.

By contrast, because Russification dissimilated ethnic Russians from local populations in non-Russian republics, the number of ethnic Russians in the former USSR remains significant. They strongly identify with Russia and demand more rights in Ukraine than Russia extends to its ethnic Ukrainians. According to the 2001 Ukrainian census, some 3.9% of ethnic Russians considered Ukrainian their mother tongue while 14.8% of ethnic Ukrainians considered Russian their mother tongue.

Spheres of influence do exist and vary by degree. IMHO, Russia clearly wants to have more influence over Ukraine than, say, the United States wants to have over Canada or even Mexico.

Ukraine operates two major early warning radars and, until recently, rented them to Russia for more than a decade. The U.S. has invited both Ukraine and Russia to participate in what it calls the new BMD architecture. No agreements have been reached so far and I doubt any agreements will ever be reached. So, for the record, Ukraine has never threatened/invaded Russia.

By the statue story, you probably mean the debate over the erection of a monument to Ivan Mazepa in Poltava. Russia views Mazepa as a traitor who betrayed the czar while many Ukrainians, including Yushchenko, view him as a patriot who sought independence from Russia.

It’s normal for different countries to have different historical perspectives. Ukraine and Poland do not see eye to eye on many historical events yet it doesn’t prevent us from being good neighbors.

For Ukraine and Russia to be good neighbors, Russia should abandon its policy of using ethnic Russians and Russified Ukrainians as agents of influence.