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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

5-Year Olds Sing Yanukovych Songs, Soviet-Style

Ever heard one of those Soviet kids' songs that idolize the Great Leader?

Well, here’s a fresh one. Welcome Ukraine's not-so-unlikely 2011 Eurovision entry!

Uncle Vitya
Strong and big

Uncle Vitya
There’s no one like him
Uncle Vitya Yanukovych
A smart president

Reporter [asks in Russian]: Who is a president?
Girl [responds with a Ukrainian-inflected и]: Yanukovych.

Reporter [continues in Russian]: What does he do?
Girl [responds in Russian]: He tells...all the people...what to do.

Courtesy of: Barbie Jazz, a children’s ensemble that brings back the good old days of Stalin’s personality cult.

There’s a romantic side to this. It turns out the director of the Luhansk-based ensemble admires Yanukovych’s grandsons and would love to have them marry his girls.

Hey girls, looks like you have your gender work cut out for you, in a couple of five-year plans!

Could one of these blasts from the past do an album with you, feat. Uncle Vitya?

Debut single suggestion: “Woman, Step Aside Please” (feat. Azarov)

Video uploaded from:

Original source:


Anonymous said...

Well it reminds me the Rákos era, when Rákosi Mátyás established Stalinism and Rákosism in Hungary. However after 1956, we had much softer type of communism called fridge or goulash communism by Kádár János. By the end of his life he became quite senile and he had such ideas in the 1980s that we should join the EU. However his memory is quite positive, because now after 20 years of social capitalism, the living standards are not much higher than in the peak of communism (1970s).

Anonymous said...

FYI -- the same exact thing happened in the U.S. after Obama's election.

There was another video that pissed off the right:

Right-wingers were calling this another propaganda act from the "Dear Leader" Obama, calling the kids Hitler Youth, etc.

But I also remember "Razom nas bahato" and how OR haters said it was an example of Western propaganda at Eurovision.

I take an objective view -- all of this is part of political culture.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, we are also going back to the past. Our government plans nationalisation and a kind of re-militarisation. However we have right wing conservative government.

Taras said...


“We're gonna spread happiness, we're gonna spread freedom, Obama's gonna change it...”

Oh yeah... Is that the same Obama who smiled happily as freedom changed to fear in Ukraine? No kidding?

That’s exactly why I oppose the practice of packing kindergartens with “praise the leader” songs. It doesn’t matter if the leader is black or white, right or left. It’s just wrong.

I live in a place where songs like this brought stagnation and suffering to generations of people, both under communism and capitalism.

If we compare “Razom nas bahato” to “Uncle Vitya,” we’ll see that culture and cult cannot be used interchangeably.

In fact, “Uncle Vitya” centers on praise for the leader while “Razom nas bahato” centers on protests against election fraud. One song contains cult language and the other doesn’t. That’s the difference.

“Uncle Vitya”: “strong and big,” “a smart president.”

“Razom nas bahato”: “Yushchenko yes, Yushchenko yes, he’s our president, yes, yes!”

Once Yushchenko blew it, the song became a stinging reminder of broken promises and dashed hopes for most of his voters.

Will the same thing happen to Yanukovych? I don’t know. Sometimes, it looks as if no matter what he does to his voters, most of them will let him do it.

Call it slave mentality or Stockholm syndrome — it’s Ukraine’s biggest problem.

As long as millions of Ukrainians behave this way, there will be stagnation and suffering.


Many Ukrainians would tell you that today’s living standards fall short of those in the mid 70s-mid 80s.

I agree in such key respects as housing, healthcare and education. The average Ivan had better access to these products and services.

Any chance Hungary plans to invade Ukraine? If so, you’ll have to stand in line:)

Anonymous said...

"In fact, “Uncle Vitya” centers on praise for the leader while “Razom nas bahato” centers on protests against election fraud. One song contains cult language and the other doesn’t. That’s the difference."

Of course, I agree with you (you know what side I lean toward ;). Razom nas bahato is much more catchy than Uncle Vitya.

But that depends on whose ears listen to it. My original point is that in a politically divided country like Ukraine (blue vs. orange) the perception is that culture = cult when looking at the "other side".

IMHO, "Uncle Vitya" is less about cult of personality (Yanuk has a personality?!) and more about the leftover culture of the Sovok Union. Interestingly, isn't dolling up little girls for show kind of a Western phenomenon (beauty pageants and the like)?

I recall people saying, "oh, this Grinzholy is paid by the CIA and spreading propaganda."

From the viewpoint of the USA (red states vs. blue states) the perception from the right was that Obama was channeling the Hitlerjugend or Kim Jung-il, which is ludicrous.

Also, I love FEMEN... but NSFW!

Taras said...

You lean to the right side if you draw the line between cults and cultures:)

I draw the line here: servile v. supportive, maladaptive v. adaptive.

If Obama scams his voters bigtime, they will change faster than the wreath that hit Yanukovych.

Sovok thrives on a history of personality cults: from Stalin to Brezhnev to Yanukovych. It’s all about blind worship and zero thinking.

For Obama to be justly compared to Hitler or Stalin, he needs to kill millions of human beings, not abstract hopes, right?

Therefore, I can't compare crimes against humanity to crimes against innocence.

I can only compare the songs. “We’re Gonna Change the World” reminded me of Brezhnev-era smash hits like “Идем дорогой Ленина.”

As Brezhnev spread freedom and happiness to Afghanistan, the USSR substituted reforms with petrodollars and continued spending itself to death militarily.

The rest is history.

On a lighter note, if I were FEMEN, I’d be spoofing “Uncle Vitya” like crazy:)