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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As the court battle of two Viktors opens this Tuesday, the SBU went public with the results of its background checks on Justice Susanna Stanik, according to which her mother has recently become the proud owner of $12 mn worth of real estate.

Bribery, the lifeblood of Ukrainian institutions, has long been manifest in luxurious suburban mansions that have mushroomed grossly out of proportion to their dwellers' salaries. When legalizing their trophies, bribe takers often put relatives on registration forms to mask their true identity.

In this regard, the Stanik Affair appears to be an attempt to challenge the credentials of a Justice tasked with preparing the briefs on the case. Stanik, who denies the allegations, has promised legal action against the SBU. The Office of the Prosecutor General, a Yanukovych-friendly organization, sided with Stanik, citing a lack of evidence. The SBU, a Yushchenko-friendly organization, should be ready to deliver on that account.

It all began when Realna Politika came up with the alleged transcript of a 2004 conversation between Susanna Stanik and Olena Lukash, the front woman on Yanukovych’s legal panel. In that dialogue, the two appear to be engaged in an important discussion of the Orange Revolution’s outcome.

Lukash, now Deputy Minister of Justice, outlined her business proposition to Stanik, a Kuchma appointee, on a first-name basis. She asked Stanik to endorse Yanukovych publicly and to pull a few strings for him using her connections in the High Court.

(Do not confuse the High Court, which had jurisdiction over the election fraud case, with the Constitutional Court, which handles the dissolution case. These are two separate courts, as Ukraine does not have a single supreme court.)

The story clearly falls into the kompromat, or political blackmail, category. Remember, we a wiretapped nation. For better or worse, our politicians have a passion for spying on each other. Ukraine has a rich kompromat culture in which highly sensitive intelligence leaks were used for the purpose of persuasion/dissuasion.

The cold shower Yanukovych took at the Council of Europe hearings could be compared with the cold shoulder treatment accorded to Yushchenko by the European Commission’s hands-off policy of ‘stability and democracy,’ as framed by President José Barroso.

Meanwhile, the opposition has urged Yushchenko to recall his appointees on concerns of the Court's pro-Yanukovych bias and corruption. To be continued.


Anonymous said...

"$12 mn worth of real estate"

no - mamasha 'allegedly' made last year worth about $20 mil in real estate deals and this year is the proud owner of a quantity of cubic meters of gas which on the world market is worth about $12 mil.

"Please adopt me mama!"

Anonymous said...

For me the main ingredients to this mix is: Dnieperpetrovsk, Donbass, Donetsk. Politicians are their playthings and puppets.

Off to read highlighted entries of the Mafia Manager and wondering about the reasons why some prisoners turn their lives around and some don't.

What works? why would a mobster choose to go straight? or a prisoner to truly repent?

and how can it be applied to Ukraine??? possible/impossible?

The biggest drawback is glamorizing their lives and est. them as celebrities not as those who are 'shamed'.

Anonymous said...

It'd be interesting to see a link that went into more detail on the comparison of Europes' treatment of Yanuk and Yusch.

It's an import statement that shd be corroborated...


Taras said...

Attention potential adoptees! You better stand in line:)!

It doesn’t take a certified penologist to realize that a good share of Ukrainian politicians should make “Prison Ministry: Understanding Prison Culture Inside and Out” their Bible.

I saw Yushchenko beat his head against the wall at his joint press conference with Barroso. The guy built around himself a wired fence of platitudes that boiled down to the following: “It’s none of our business. Just don’t go killing each other, OK?”

Minutes later, I watched Yanukovych duck a barrage of tough questions at the Council of Europe. As a parting shot, Yanuk decided to mess with the audience’s impression management. In a surge of originality, he tried to convince the euro folks that “tell’em what they wanna hear” wasn’t his style. To further disarm hard graders, he went on to position himself as a lifelong student of democracy who had "learned his lesson well."

Today, however, Ukrainska Pravda quotes a preliminary report by Severinsen and Volvend that portrays Yanukovych as “irresponsible” and Yushchenko as “weak.”

Taras said...

Sorry, there's been a misspelling on my part. The name is Wohlwend.