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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Yanukovych Residence Separated From Ukraine in Mock Protest

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.



Anonymous said...

"Yushchenko's re-emergence into public life to promote the EU-Ukraine treaty has prompted suspicion he is part of Yanukovych's PR machine.1/2

It seems anyone to do with Ukranian politics can't open his or her mouth without someone asking who's paying. Also that if someone isn't with the opposition (consisting of one female oligarch, Svoboda, some boxing champion mostly resident abroad and one chameleon) than he has to be a Yanuk stooge.

Taras said...

Right on! As you know, our opposition pretty much opposes criticism.

Still, re-emergence? That's a bit of an overstatement right there.

Yushchenko's done politically. He's a historic figure now. He had his shot at changing his country and he blew it.

Therefore, even if he's part of Yanukovych's PR machine, there's little he and his EU roadshow can do.

No matter how favorably those Western PR agencies/media cast their Ukrainian clients, no one can shit rainbows in a desert all the time. It takes true leaders — with balls and brains — to create a true story. Take Turkey. Hope their revolution turns out well. Better than ours.

Back to Yushchenko, I don’t like his pitch, but I do agree with some of the points he makes. IMHO, turning their nose on Ukraine because of their own tribal favoritism makes the West look silly. You put your citizenry under the microscope, you put China, Russia and our oligarchs on a pedestal, and then you put Ukraine down? Me, my friends and relatives? Is that how you engage the ordinary folks? Are we somehow less European than Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco?

Come November, if the deal gets signed, good. If not, good. It won’t be “Cry Me a River” all over Ukraine (well, with the notable exception of Mezhyhirya maybe).

Aside from this personal drama and maybe a few more, life will go on. Our day will come!:)

Anonymous said...

@He had his shot at changing his country and he blew it.'

Did he? Did he really have that much of a chance to do more than he did? Everyone was in there from right from the beginning to Sc* him, starting with his own PM (who he appointed because as he basically said he was scared not to given public opinion "society demanded it"), not to mention the oligarchs, the half of the country who didn't vote for him, paid journalists and that's before we get to Russia who also put a spoke in any possible agreement with Europe or NATO. When in the 2006 elections people turned to Tym or Yaunk wasn't that the point at which it was truly blown? From then on wasn't the best he could do was hang on and stop either Yanuk or Tym or both taking over without electoral approval.

Taras said...

Well, Saakashvili had Burjanadze to deal with and a war with Russia on his hands, right? Now look at the giant gap between Georgia and Ukraine on the Ease of Doing Business index.

Anonymous said...

But you could look make another comparison which is that since the Georgian President's party lost the parliamentary elections he's turned into a lame duck and even said somewhere something like that he's now in the last two years or so the same position as Yush was for most of his term and as such could have done nothing much either. (and secondly at least the latter didn't start a war with Russia)

Taras said...

OK, it’s hard to make an apple-to-apple comparison between Ukraine and Georgia.

In my oranges-to-roses comparison, I’d still say Yushchenko failed to use his window of opportunity. Maybe it was his poisoning or his personality or both.

With the support he had in early 2005, right after the Orange Revolution, he could've beaten Yanukovych and the oligarchs to a pulp. Those who hadn’t left Ukraine already were ready to make a mad dash for the border any minute.

And what did Yushchenko do? Instead of managing the high maintenance lady, he engaged her in a tug of war. He then fired her, lost a lot of support, and started appeasing Yanukovych to compensate for the loss. Ironically, by doing this, he set a trap of an example for Tymoshenko. She would later try to replicate this failed strategy, adding Putin to the list of appeasees, to her own peril.

What Yushchenko never failed to do was alienate the hell out of his voters.

Like taking pride in his 20-year-old son’s luxury lifestyle and blasting the reporter for raising the issue. His cover up story added insult to injury. Turns out, any college kid could get a “consulting job” that would allow him to “rent” a BMW M6. That episode alone probably cost daddy millions of votes. Honey, I shrunk the Orange Revolution.

Meanwhile, Saakashvili was doing things a bit differently. If he’s in trouble now, it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

What could he do except fire her? She was running off on her own agenda starting her election campaign for President five years in advance. He bought in instead (with POR's votes) what appears to have been an honest and competent manager to straighten out the newly created economic mess, which he did. But instead of voting for his continuation the orange electorate went for the glamorous blond who promised everyone the moon and never of course to make a deal with the Yanuk. Everyone was so fixated with the POR = the enemy and orange = good that nobody was prepared to contemplate the possibility that the fault lines crossed east-west, blue-orange and that reformers and anti-reformers were to be found on both sides.

And yes he was stupid with his son's business - he should have publically apologised etc but a) he was much more abused by the press than vice-versa especially UP.b) he was much more supportive or a free press and public discussion than any other politician. Perhaps that was his problem. People don't really don't want to be bothered - they'd rather have someone that just leaves them alone and fixes everything for them.

Taras said...

Good point about the fault lines! They turned out to be more “colorblind” than the rigid East-West/Blue-Orange map we had pictured at the time!

Yushchenko should've found a way to keep Tymoshenko on board without sinking himself in the process like DiCaprio in Titanic. At least, he should’ve waited for a major screw-up on her part, something big enough to register with the voters. Instead, he fired her too early, appointed one of his boys and started wooing Yanukovych. That made him look like a misogynist/cronyist/traitor.

Last but not least, as you point out, people gave up too early on the Orange Revolution. We crawled back into our shells instead of coming out on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

It is a very straightforward and easily understood fact that Nasha Ukraina, which bore Yushchenko's face in it's advertisements, only served the purpose of siphoning votes from the true opposition. Why else would such an expensive TV and billboard advertising campaign (with no actual rallies/substantial promises) be run? No one was remotely interested in what Nasha Ukraina had to say, and yet every 5th political ad on television was one of theirs.

The facts speak for themselves. If Yushchenko wasn't pro-POR back then, he is now.

Also, to equate Batkivshchyna with "one female oligarch" is a risky proposition. Tell me, who else has mass appeal and is fighting for pro-Ukrainian and European values today? Yulia Volodymyrivna isn't perfect, and neither is her party, but a Batkivshchyna government would be leaps and bounds better than the outright geopolitical mess we see today.

Yulia has something rare: she actually wants to be president, not for the money or for the rights to overtake property, but to better people's lives. She might not be able to fulfill this task flawlessly, but she at least has her heart in it.

Anonymous said...

That made him look like a misogynist/cronyist/traitor.

He most definately looked all wrong to the people who stood in the square for him and voted for him. How much of that was the look and how much was 'reality' (given a lot of dicey journalism) is not so clear. And also the question of what people were actually looking for as opposed to what is just assumed. The fact that a majority of people turned to Tym or Yanuk instead suggests that,,at least the way it looks to me, seriously, it wasn't for a less corrupt or more reforming president.

Taras said...

Come on, what European values does Tymoshenko have? I mean, other than her Louis Vuitton apparel?

Where would she and many of her allies be if we had European laws - like those applied to Berlusconi? Or if we had US laws - like those applied to Jesse Jackson and his wife? Of course, the same goes for just about any other major party we have here in Ukraine.

Now, I do agree with you about Yushchenko siding with Yanukovych to defeat Tymoshenko, who had tried the same trick with Yanukovych.

In the tricky love-and-hate triangle of jockeying for power, the two boys beat the girl. This would’ve never happened had so many of her voters not walked away on her, as illustrated here.

Sometimes, the people do know their power. And the moment they do, all those broken promises and bad decisions catch up to the idols they once worshiped.

That said, the tables may turn come 2015.

Anonymous said...

" true opposition"

Just because they oppose the government doesn't mean they're any better than what they oppose. As for 'stealing votes from the opposition', why this patronizing on the part of commentators People are perfectly capable of reading opinion polls and deciding either not to 'waste' their vote or to insist none the less on voting for the party they really want. Without Our Ukraine their voters might simply have stayed at home, no guarantee they would have turned up and voted for the 'true opposition'.

Taras said...

Exactly! To win back the voters, the opposition needs to start opposing some of its old habits.