Saturday, November 30, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Right place, right time.
The Orange Revolution is 9 and this blog is 8. Back to square one, back to the future!
And by the way, sometimes twiplomacy does work!
See you at the Nov. 24 rally!
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
To those who crossed the Dnipro in 1943 and died trying.
Kid: Look at that car! The red [Studebaker] one. I'm gonna buy me one! (3:27-3:35)
The Battle of the Dnieper, which included the Battle of Kiev, was Ukraine's Operation Overlord.
Thank you for Lend-Lease, guys!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Whatever happened to “Workers of the world, unite”?
ЕС - плохая игра from Компартия on Vimeo.
“EU accession is a bad game. Even kids understand this.”
That’s probably the one that makes the most sense. It combines both emotional and logical appeals, hinting at Ukraine's unequal bargaining power with the EU. OK, that’s a big one right there. Nice femdom angle! Of course, in reality, no one’s talking about accession. All we get, hopefully, is association. Well, that’s beside the point. Still, I’d make the Ukrainian boy and EU girl look like Yanukovych and Merkel, respectively, for comic effect.
But what’s with the girl? Why does she suddenly switch from *EU* to *Customs Union* mode? “Boy: Can I play with you now? Girl: Sure!” Whoa, are they about to play doctor in there? If so, isn’t it a bit downright gender-bender confusing? Considering that Putin is not a girl yet?
The rest of the collection looks like crap. Plain and simple. And instead of calling Commies on their crap, the opposition actually validates these ads. By trying to have them banned! Communist-style?
Message: “Didn’t get a word of this? Foreign language, foreign union! We speak one [the same] language [Russian]! The Customs Union.”
Target audience: Eastern Ukraine mostly, monolingual Russophones and surzhykophones
Appeal: Emotional, multilinguaphobic
The opposition calls these manipulative. I call them masochistic.
Мы с вами говорим на одном языке. Английский from Компартия on Vimeo.
Ever wonder why so many rich Russians and Ukrainians are shipping their kids abroad and parking billions of dollars offshore? Maybe it's because they’re not buying any of this?
Мы с вами говорим на одном языке. Французский from Компартия on Vimeo.
As if France wasn’t so USSR-friendly during and after WW II and French movies weren't so popular around here in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Мы с вами говорим на одном языке. Немецкий from Компартия on Vimeo.
Doesn’t Putin speak German and Merkel Russian?
Not to say there are no undercurrents to the EU Association Agreement and DCFTA. But these masterpieces don’t hold any water. And here’s how the opposition can turn Commie propaganda on its head. Lenin and Stalin loved kids, didn't they? GET THIS GIRL.
And this one too!
And use this English class movie scene!
It’s from “Guest from the Future,” a Soviet children’s/teen cult film of the 80s, the local mishmash equivalent of “Terminator” and “Back to the Future”. Take it and drive it home to Eastern Ukraine. Refresh their memory. Remind them of Alisa Selezneva. How she came from the bright Communist future of 2084 into the not-so-bright present of 1984. And how she surprised the hell out of her classmates with her English. “I’m not very gifted. I only speak eight languages,” she said. The Soviet kids of tomorrow were supposed to be THAT fluent in foreign languages.
Tomorrow is now.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Call it extreme makeover or soft power, it’s here and it’s long overdue.
Tough U.S. visa policies have long alienated many Ukrainians. Add in those endless flirtations with Ukraine’s ruling elites and you get a U.S. foreign policy that’s a bit out of touch with reality. Without some sort of grassroots engagement/cultural dialogue going on, behind-the-scenes/business-as-usual diplomacy only takes you so far. Especially, when you have leakers like Edward Snowden and troublemakers like the Bloodhound Gang on your hands.
Apparently, Geoffrey Pyatt, the new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, is trying to fix things. Just a few weeks on the job, he’s already been to many places and embraced social media. His Twitter will keep you updated, augmented by the U.S. Embassy’s presence on Facebook and YouTube. Actually, we're friends on Twitter!
You can even hear the new U.S. Ambassador learning to speak Ukrainian. Which automatically propels him above and beyond most Western ambassadors...just as it puts some of our not-so-Ukrainian-friendly officials to shame.
With Ukraine at a crossroads and Yanukovych between a rock (Russia) and a hard place (EU), the U.S. has a role to play.
Keep up the good work, guys!
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Whoever wrote that speech has a great sense of humor and balance.
Lutsenko: Dear friends, a major goal of the new leadership of United Fatherland is to learn to hear people, party members and independents. The invincible power of Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko was that she, like all the other politicians, had to borrow money from the oligarchs yet she would hear the voters only, and not her campaign contributors. We have to learn from this and bring that spirit back to Fatherland and to the opposition as a whole. [round of applause]
If Tymoshenko heard her voters so well, why didn’t they vote for her? And does the All-Hearing Crowdsourcer know you raid his closet?
Here comes the harsh part. Take your time to observe the VIP body language and that of the audience at large.
Lutsenko: Dear friends, I have friends among Fatherland’s leadership, it is you address: In order to be honest and talk about moral revolution and, by extension, political revolution, get rid of the turncoat generator within the party. [round of applause] Dear friends, we all, including yours truly, need to get rid of, discard, the practice of masquerade politics whereby it seems that it’s enough just to say “I’m not Yanukovych!” and, conceivably, support will be guaranteed. We should stop harboring Potemkin designs in politics. People see the falsehood and fiction behind these things and that’s why millions won’t take to the streets. Let’s be honest about it and start acting in new ways, like Tymoshenko did when Ukraine was winning.
When was the last time Tymoshenko acted in new ways?
Saturday, June 01, 2013
You’ve got to draw the line somewhere. After all, it’s Border Troops’ Day!
Just make sure you don’t cross that line.
Beware of the war games in the area.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
When will State get over Tymoshenko and get it right?
As if "Kyrzakhstan" wasn't enough...
Could you guys lead us by example? By releasing Bradley Manning maybe? Or, at the very least, by letting Pavlo Lazarenko go home? Home, sweet home. He would've been the opposition candidate in Ukraine's '99 presidential election...had you not jailed him, right?
Isn't that what Tymoshenko told you — loud and clear — in '03?
Monday, April 08, 2013
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
What good is democracy without 360 degree feedback?
It takes balls to play snowballs with the state, considering how it can always play nightsticks with you.
Maybe that little opposition rally did get its point across after all?
While some not-so-opposition MPs sucked it up, Tymoshenko strongly opposes such non-violent snowball protests. In a country where MPs, officials and cops beat, mutilate and kill people on a regular basis, isn't it a bit too much to ask?
Obviously, not for the Tymoshenko part of the establishment. Wait, wasn't it Tymoshenko's top brass and then-Interior Minister Lutsenko that defended — and even wanted to award — MP Lozynsky? Until it became clear that, contrary to earlier reports, this guy — one of their guys — had hunted and killed an innocent villager?
Maybe they all like democracy? But not if democracy doesn't like them back?
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Earth to Washington! Earth to Brussels!
No matter how much they oppose each other, no matter how much they pay their lobbyists, the truth is out there. Over-reliance on oligarchs and elites that lack grassroots support only takes you so far.
Happy Women's Day!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Small world, huh?
According to this report, Svitlana Buchyk, 26, hails from Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Ukraine. At age 15, she and her family moved to Spain. She then went on to become an actress in New York.
So...could U.S.-Ukraine relations be warmer than we thought?
Or is this whole HookerGate thing part of Yanukovych’s smear campaign against Tymoshenko?
Whatever it is, at least we’re getting all the democracy support we need.
Hope he doesn't end up in one of those politically motivated U.S. jails.
Unlike most of their Ukrainian counterparts, U.S. electeds who select a trifling $60K from friends may fall victim to selective justice, right? Is that fair?
Friday, January 11, 2013
Lib€rt€, €galit€, frat€rnit€!
Bienvenue à Courchevel! €4K champagne, €10K skis, €25M chalets. Step aside Eurotrash! Here come the guys with cash!
Klitschko, Berezhna, Kilchytska, Firtash... Some of these guys might be "opposing" each other back home. But here? Here it’s nothing but e pluribus unum! And they keep coming back for more. It’s just like Davos. Except you can save all the lofty rhetoric for your kids.
Now how about the ultimate down-to-earth opposition skiing experience?