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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Humble Beginnings, Happy Ending: A Forward-Looking Tymoshenko Biopic

If you want something said, ask Tymoshenko. If you want something done, ask the U.S. judicial system.

During the last two decades, Ukraine has been robbed blind.

Only one person has served jail time for it: former PM Pavlo Lazarenko. And, yes, that happened outside Ukraine.

The $200M he had looted in Ukraine in the ‘90s amounts to a fraction of what his stay-at-home buddies have been looting all the while.

Which finally brings us to our main character, Tymoshenko. What’s her story?

Hers is a story of accidental love and manifest destiny, of modesty and compassion, of industry and imprisonment, of success and sacrifice.

In this airbrushed account of her life, she tells us that:

  • She’s the Iron Lady (she’s not the Gas Princess);
  • She only does business with Putin, Barroso and Biden (she never did business with Lazarenko);
  • She once met a poor old lady in a decrepit khata and felt impelled to “change the situation” (she’d probably change her entire wardrobe, if only she lived like that lady);
  • She never consorted with the oligarchs, nor did she ever consort with Yanukovych;
  • She’s the martyr (Yushchenko is the traitor);
  • She’s the reformer who kicked RosUkrEnergo out (she’ll punish the bastards who quadruple-charged the government for Tamiflu, creating shortages and causing deaths — on her watch — just give her a little more time);
  • She’s the workaholic who works for Ukraine, takes responsibility and has Ukraine-first family values (don’t believe those stories about her estranged husband and her love affair with Shufrych — it's all a big lie).

PM/presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko [opening quote]: Since early childhood, when I started going to school, I felt that, in my life, I must do something very weighty. It wasn’t just a random thought for me. It was the confident knowledge that my life would not be very usual, that I would have to devote my life not just to myself and my family.

Handwriting: I believe in Ukraine! Yulia Tymoshenko

Quotes from her latest “Svoboda on Inter” appearance would have turned this biopic into a bestseller.

When asked about her husband’s business — the elixir of her wellbeing (for those who still believe in Santa Claus) — she modestly replied: “He’s in the construction business. It’s a small company.”

When asked to name the company, the Gas Princess, uh, the Iron Lady, gave us a dose of how she puts career over family:

I have no time for this. And I absolutely have no interest in this. Because when I come [home], he’s already asleep. When I go [to work], he’s still asleep. When we do get in touch on weekends, it happens very rarely. And I try to say something pleasant. Delving into business — let alone employing government capabilities — I consider this immoral.

Or how about this one, from a recent interview: “If all officials treated corruption as I do, New Zealand would only come second. Ukraine would come first.”

PM/presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko [closing quote]: I love Ukraine so deeply that Ukraine has become my life. It’s not about my family — may they forgive me — nor is it about my personal affairs, nor is it about my ambitions. My life is about Ukraine. I made an oath to her once, and I will be with her until my last breath — whatever the status, whatever the position, whether in government or in opposition, in politics or outside’s just my life. I understood this a long time ago and I no longer wrestle with this destiny of mine.

Indeed, why wrestle with your own destiny if you can wrestle with other people’s destinies? Using other people’s money.

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briaxis said...

I somehow knew this biopic would sooner or later deserve a post of its own, ;-).

It has some unwillingly comical moments, like where they got Paulo Coelho to make some general statements on Tymoshenko's inner strength (6:24). By the way, it's not the first time "She" tries to present herself as a vaguely mystical, sort of spiritual person – there's even a post in her official blog on a visit to the Jordan river, full of common places and Coelho-like stuff. It's probably meant to reinforce the virginal Jeanne d'Arc aura, just like the haircut, the pretendedly naïve comments on worldly affairs (her husband's businesses, for instance) and so on.

As you correctly put it not long ago: "She's just another innocent girl". Or at least that's what she obviously wants us to believe.


elmer said...

Wow! This smacks of a lot of American airbrushing.

It's the type of puff piece used in American elections to try to "personalize" the candidate (oh, look, they have a great dog!).

Except that in the US, noone wears their love for their country on their sleeve - and candidates don't profess their self-proclaimed patriotism, or their fanatism to make the country "their life" - that, actually, is a bit scary.

Also, I have not heard any US candidate's spouse say in any puff piece video (or elsewhere) - "I hate politics." Her husband is allowed to say that in a puff piece about her?!!!!!! You're kidding!!! Does that kind of stuff fly in Ukraine?

Public service is one thing. Going insane, and claiming that you have made your country "your life" - that's quite another.

Ukraine, though, has a far larger problem than many other countries - completing the transformation from a sovok state, where everything is centrally controlled and the government owns everything, to a truly representative democracy.

And what ever happened to her challenge to "make Ukraine's government the best in the world"?

давайте - створимо найліпшу державу в світі

It is a worthwhile goal - eliminating corruption is just one aspect of that goal.

Taras said...


Coelho plays this campaign’s version of Nostradamus and Vanga, the mythical “endorsers” in Tymoshenko’s 2007 commercials.

The demographic calculation here looks clear-cut. Millions of rural and elderly Ukrainians believe in astrology, occult and clairvoyance. Thousands of Ukrainians (especially women) have read Coelho’s books: The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello, The Devil and Miss Prym, etc.

Therefore, Coelho’s half-endorsement should cement Tymoshenko’s astrophysical aura.


Last Friday, Yushchenko switched to Russian for a moment when he said “Я ненавижу ее!” (“I hate it!”) That’s how he responded to Kiselyov’s question on whether he would stay in politics.

And, yes, all those tiger-kitten stories have one objective: to put a human face on a politician.

In Ukraine, sovok persists in the way the government paternalizes people while exploiting them in the worst capitalist way.

In Ukraine, the government costs a lot but no longer owns everything.

We have only about 20% of ungrabitzed public property left.

Besides, there’s no death penalty. Under Soviet law, many of the beautiful people we see on “Shuster Live” and “Svoboda on Inter” would be dead.

The same thing would happen under Chinese law.

Cheap labor alone would never make Chinese capitalism so vibrant and attractive to foreign investors.

elmer said...

Yushchenko hates politics because he has a distorted view of a democratic presidency. He has the Ukrainian/sovok view that his word is the law, that noone should question or challenge him.

And here's what is strange - I will never forget the side-by-side pictures posted by Ukrainian Pravda, where Yushchenko is kissing the hands of the people in the crowd, and Yanukovych is allowing his hands to be kissed by the crowds.

In other words, Yuschhenko clearly understands that in a democracy, government is supposed to serve the people. While Yanukovych clearly does not.

Yushchenko's problem is that he simply does not understand it completely, and he thinks that he does not have to engage in the hard work of leadership in a democracy.

As far as the government owning everything - I beg to differ with you. There may be almost nothing left to steal. But who is the government? The people who stole everything in the first place.

As that putrid punk, Shufrych, said on Savit Shuster's show - "government is money, and money is government."

And so, right now, 100% of everything is still in the hands of the sacks of shit that constitute the "political elite," the oligarchs, and their limousine drivers and masseuses.

All done through nominees and dummy corporations (including, in Yanukovych's case with respect to Mezhihirya, the 400-acre estate - a fishing club).

As far as the death penalty - you're right, sovok law provided for a death penalty, and that was noted on Savik Shuster's show.

But there are far more effective and efficient ways to get rid of corruption. And methods of getting rid of it were also discussed on Savik Shuster's show.

In fact, Tymo has now announced that her government will implement one of those ideas - by creating an "Anti-corruption agency." That's not the way to do it, but we'll see whether this is just another "say one thing, and do another."

Bottom line - the pigs (свині)in Ukraine simply don't want to get out of the government trough.

I wonder how Zvyahilsky, the putrid fatty in the Party of Regions that owns - no, wait he doesn't own, he just collects money - the mines that exploded is doing these days?

Bea said...

Its a worthwhile goal. eliminating corruption is just one aspect of that goal.

elmer said...

This is the way Tymo operates.

She appeared on the "Ready to Answer" (Готовий Відповідати) program recently.

Some questions popped up about the recent pension and wage increases, which the IMF counseled against, for various reasons, and which led to the IMF walking away from its loan commitment to Ukraine.

One of the reforms demanded by the IMF was to raise residential gas prices by about 20%, so that Naftohaz doesn't go bankrupt, because consumers are paying vastly subsidized prices.

One guy started his question with "Julia, I know you are against raising gas prices..."

She is a formidable intellect, and her wheels are always spinning at light speed.

If you watch Julia very carefully, you can see her wheels spinning very, very quickly, and an ever so slight smile, which she quickly forces away.

Why? Because she told the IMF that yes, yes, Ukraine will raise gas prices - and then went to Ivano-Frankivsk and elsewhere and told the public that she will NOT raise gas prices "one kopek."

What's more important to her? The fact that she created the impression among voters that she will not raise gas prices, and that they apparently don't know what she told the IMF.

But then again, talking out of all 20 sides of your mouth is a high art form in Ukraine.

That's what makes this presidential election in Ukraine such a sick, sorry thing to watch.

It's like watching maggots crawling around.

ukrainefan said...

I try not to be so cynical; I still believe Tymoshenko sincerely wants what is best for the populace of Ukraine.

Taras said...


If you watch her closely, you'll see that eliminating corruption is not a goal. It's a joke.


Check out this documentary about Tymoshenko's alleged $2,000,000,000 interactions with Lazarenko.


Tymoshenko sincerely wants what is best for herself only.