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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tymoshenko Equates Herself With Ukraine (Part 3)

“Each of us is being taken care of by Stalin in the Kremlin.”
“Stalin's kindness shines on the future of our kids!”

“Thanks to native Stalin for the happy childhood!”

Welcome to the 21st century! She’s larger than she.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko (voiceover): Every day, I work till late night because I know that my every minute is for the sake of the people, for the sake of my native Ukraine. I know that millions of people work a lot every day as well because they know that today their work is needed like never before. Every minute, our country smelts ore, sows bread, heals the sick, creates art, teaches and brings up kids. It is she, our best country. She works. She is Ukraine!

Never mind that it’s the oligarchs who own the plants, the cops and the courts, and it's she who serves them.

Never mind that your labor earns them billions of dollars and leaves you struggling to make both ends meet.

Never mind that Ukraine ranks 85th out of 182 on the Human Development Index.

If she lived like you do, would she call it “our best country?” Or would she run away?

“Life's getting merrier by the day.”

“Beloved Yulia — people’s happiness.”

Video uploaded from:
Original source:


Sandy said...

I did not understand where Yulia equates herself with Ukraine, but the pictures are nice. :-)

Ropi said...

The last 2 posters are photoshopped, aren't they? These bring the Soviet style back.

elmer said...

These types of ads are laughable - they're just cotton candy, puffery.

Tymo puts on a good show.

But when we look at hard facts - it's a different story, as in the recent fiasco with the botched privatization of the Odessa Port Facilities.

This article reports how Tymo first insisted on going ahead with the privatization, despite a court ban - and then canceled the winning bid, which went to Ihor Kolomoisky.

Oh, yeah, Kolomoisky - a Jewish Ukrainian oligarch, who's tied in, somewhat, with some politicians in Ukraine - including Tymo, to a certain extent.

The last part of the article is truly revealing on why she canceled the deal. It comes from Yatseniuk, who is also running for president in Ukraine, against Tymo:

An alternative explanation was offered by Arseny Yatsenyuk, the presidential candidate and former parliamentary speaker; supported by Valentyna Semenyuk, a former FDM chairwoman. They suggested that Tymoshenko is sure that Kolomoysky will successfully defend his right in court to buy OPZ. According to them, Tymoshenko is only pretending to “fight a greedy oligarch” in order to avoid any accusations of helping Kolomoysky –who has been viewed as her ally– to purchase a lucrative asset (Ukrainska Pravda, September 30; Ukraina TV, October 2).


elmer said...

Taras, your points are exactly right - her ad ignores a fundamentally flawed, oligarchic, kleptocratic system, which is designed for the purpose of keeping the "political elite" in power:

- party list system for Parliament, with no representation of voters, and no accountability to voters in discrete voting districts

- appointed, rather than elected, governors

- corrupt judges, some of whom are owned by Tymo

- an extraordinarily high "registration fee" for running for President - 2.5 million hryvnia.

- Parliamentary immunity, which insulates members of Parliament from any prosecution for ANY crime.

The list goes on.

And you're right, the "I work every minute of every day" is really, really irritating - and something that she's done before (like when she bubbled with joy over the Akhmetov's Shakhtar Brazilians winning the UEFA championship over the German Brazilians - she "apologized" for taking time out to laugh, cry, jump for joy, and scream and shout while watching the game).

She shouldn't wear it on her sleeve.

If she's going to treat her government job like she's some kind of a workaholic martyr, she should spare us the "I work every minute of every day for you" - and resign.

She didn't have to take the job.

She chose to run for office.

And it's not how many minutes a day one works - it's how effectively one works.

Putting on a miner's hat and having her picture taken shaking hands with miners isn't work.

It's Public Relations and self-promotion.

Getting rid of corruption is work. Improving the Ukrainian system is work. Getting rid of the stranglehold of oligarchs on the Ukrainian economy is work. Living up to promises made to the IMF is work (which she hasn't done, by the way).

No doubt that she is incredibly bright, and extremely energetic.

But her almost insane penchant for self-promotion is bothersome.

alan said...

How are the people reacting to this stuff? Or are they even paying attention.
Looks like very tough economic times there.

Taras said...


You’re welcome! “She is Ukraine” settles the question of who “she” is and marks the culmination of Tymoshenko’s “They __. She__.” quasi-teaser campaign.

She started out with the opening gambit “They’re interfering. She’s working.” and so on. Once this mantra sank in, the putative meaning of “she” suddenly migrated from Tymoshenko to Ukraine, as she voiced it in this commercial.

The campaign clearly aimed at cementing the intriguing association Tymoshenko=Ukraine. In other words, she’s like one of us; she works hard for us; they don’t work hard for us so let’s vote for her, not them.

Basically, Tymoshenko poses as a microcosm of Ukraine and paints Ukraine as a macrocosm of Tymoshenko. She has presented this emotionally charged equation before (here and here).

Now, does Tymoshenko really epitomize Ukraine, the “little guy,” so to speak?

Not if we take into account her leadership and lifestyle.

If you add up just a few of her Louis Vuitton dresses, you’ll get two years’ worth of Ukraine’s GDP per capita.

And if you make some of her decisions, you’ll probably get a long prison term in the U.S. and a death sentence in China.


You’re absolutely right! Those two are spoofs of Soviet propaganda posters.


She’s bright and energetic but she’s working Ukraine into a huge debt hole, with 0 reform.

For someone who equates herself with Ukraine but puts herself above Ukraine, the choice is natural.

Btw, hryvnia (like lira and rupee) is a countable noun, isn’t ?:)


People pay some attention, or some people (freaks like me) pay a lot of attention:) Yet most people have more important things to pay attention to.

Tymoshenko’s ads puzzled my aunt, a native of Ukraine and a resident of Moscow for decades. She couldn’t make head or tail of them until I explained the whole thing to her.

Sandy said...

Taras, I agree that emotionally this association could take place. Yet, I think that her campaign aimed not to equate Ukraine and Tymoshenko, but to make an image of Tymoshenko as the unique hope of Ukraine and of the people.

Also I would like to add a picture to your collection: ;)
They hinder | She - works... | She is Ukraine | They are Ukrainians. :-)

Lingüista said...

Taras, I feel really bad when I see things like Tymoshenko's ads. It looks as though Ukraine won't have a good government for a while still. If the choice is either Tymoshenko or Yanukovych, what the hell can even the few Ukrainian citizens who haven't entirely lost their optimistic hopes yet do?

It's almost as if the only alternative were some sort of popular revolution--but to put whom in power?

Taras said...


This emotional association is exactly what she aims for. It’s emotion over reason. She might as well have used Yeltsin’s 1996 campaign slogan: “Vote With Your Heart!”

Thank you for the spoof poster! Check out this one:)!


I don’t know. As of today, I see no signs of revolution. In a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating, or, rather, commemorating, the 5th anniversary of the Orange Revolution.

As I’ve said many times before, we went home too soon. We should have stuck around, keeping an eye on the bastards.

Sandy said...

Very nice one. Thank you. Unfrtunately, it's untranslatable.

If I vote with my heart I will vote for the person who will do a massacre in our Parlament and Goverment. ;)

Lingüista said...

Were you part of the Orange Revolution, Taras? If it hadn't been for a problem at work that made me cancel a trip, I would have been in Kyiv precisely at the beginning of this quite impressive event (which was very popular here in the Netherlands, where I live, since orange is the royal color--the ruling dinasty is Oranje...)

Taras said...


Indeed, it’s hard to translate it word-for-word unless the audience knows who Sonka the Golden Hand was.

I’d put it this way: “She’s working. Sonka the Golden Hand is resting” or, by way of analogy, “She’s working. Madoff’s resting.”


You missed quite an event!:) Yes, I was a part of it and, yes, I’ve heard about orange being the royal color of the Netherlands.

In June 2006, Yushchenko, still going strong (relatively) at the time, enjoyed a warm reception in the Netherlands.