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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kyiv in Colors 3
The Four Seasons of Political Campaigning

With the Oranges back in power, has Fukuyama’s end of history come? Not at all! And if I should borrow from Tymoshenko’s rhetoric, I’d say, “This is just the beginning.” In Kyiv, one can find harbingers of the presidential election 2009 here, there, and everywhere.

So here’s my Sunday promenade through Kyiv in pics and vids.

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! Your Dreams Will Come True!
(Not until we grab stabilnist by the balls. Not until we make every philanthrapist behave. Not until we make this country more livable.)

Merry Christmas! Love, Viktor Yushchenko.

Three in a Row, or Tomu Shcho Merry Christmas!

Don't Be Surprised to See Sights Like This in Kyiv
(If I were the President of Ukraine, I would seek re-election by investing in legislation on DUI, on emergency care, on animal rights, and on animal lovers' responsibilities. I would never litter the streets with expensive personality cult-like billboards that add no value to my people and annoy them.)

Both Sides of the Coin

Happy New Year! Leonid Chernovetsky. City Budget (UAH): 9 bn (2006), 17 bn (2007), 25 bn (2008)

If I were the Mayor of Kyiv, I'd be sure to spend some of that budget on street cleanup.

Billboard 1: Happy New Year! President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko.
Billboard 2: HIV/AIDS: Who's at Risk?

Rearranged: Danilych [Kuchma], Come Back!
(In the September parliamentary elections, the KUCHMA Bloc scored 0.1 percent of the vote. So, Danilych is not coming back anytime soon.)

Repressed: Danilych, the People Are with You!

Remixed: Daniylych, Save Ukraine!

McDonald's at Minska
(McDonald's customarily equips its local outlets with Ukrainian banners. This comes across as some sort of pledge of allegiance to the country in which they operate, now that America's image across the globe has seen better days.)

Anywhere You Go, I'll Follow You Down...

Double Impact

Just the two of us, we can make it if we try
Just the two of us, (Just the two of us)
Just the two of us, building castles in the sky
Just the two of us, you and I

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument at Sophiyivska Ploshcha (Square)
The red circle points to the recently built Hyatt Regency Kyiv. The Global Hyatt Corporation was founded by Abram Nicholas Pritzker, the
son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.


Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car

Underneath Maidan: Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! MP Vasyl Horbal.
(A member of the Party of Regions, Horbal allegedly controls Ukrgasbank and is the pillar of the local PRU chapter.)

More of Maidan

Qatar Cat, Check These Out!

The Passage at Khreshchatyk


Khreshchatyk Station

Kyiv City Hall, or Chernoco House

A Closer Look at Sardine-packed Construction
(The middle edifice being erected must be quite a bit of trouble for locals.)

The Central Department Store, aka ЦУМ, spelled tsoom (tsentralny univermag)

Sell an Apartment in This House, and You Can Buy a New One in Manhattan!

The Lonely Lady

Vote No. 4, Party of Regions
(September 2007)

Bourgeoisie of All Countries, Unite!
(You can also spend the night at Premier Palats, a 5-star hotel.)

Besarabsky Market

PEOPLEnet, Ukraine's First 3G Network

Stabilnist in the Exchange Rate
Unlike the rest of the world, the official Ukrainian exchange rate for the U.S. dollar has shown remarkable stability during the last eight years:
USD 100 = UAH 544.02 (2000), 537.21 (2001), 532.66 (2002), 533.27 (2003), 531.92 (2004), 512.47 (2005), 505.00 (2006), 505.00 (2007).

Who Cares About the Big Mac Index?


Anonymous said...

thankyou for so many pics. I do remember Kyiv and am always glad to see more of her. I love your commentary too. Politicians priorities are too often messed up, they sadly can get away with spin, too easily...


Taras said...

You’re welcome. If you can’t come right now, make arrangements for the summer:)

Having been annoyed by those billboards for quite some time, I finally went on a rampage. And that poor cat just happened to be on my way as I crossed the street. In my native district, Obolon, roadkill can be prominently displayed for ages. It’s an ugly tradition. The same applies to dead birds. So I decided to drop some hints at what needs to be done.

Improving street cleanup or organizing community service days would have created more value for the people and, ultimately, for the prominently displayed politicians.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pictures.

The billboards are rather odd - they sort of remind me of sovok times, or Iraq, or North Korea, or China, where a multitude of pictures of "Fearless Leader" paints the entire cityscape or landscape, lest anyone forget about "Fearless Leader."

But at least they are wishing everyone good, rather than, like in the Stalin posters, talking about how they are actually a "Teacher, a Leader, and Our Father."

That's a big change.

In the meantime, the pictures really are great!

And - you might enjoy this laughing look at the US elections (small excerpt pasted in):

The voters of New Hampshire have made their decision, and the big winner is: Change. Here's the final vote tally:

Change - 43 percent

Hope - 28 percent

Hope For Change - 17 percent

Hair - 9 percent

Experience - 2 percent

Dennis Kucinich - 1 percent.

Taras said...

You're right on target with that North Korea analogy!

As far as I'm concerned, those billboards don't wish me anything. They just want me to like the guys. And the guys don't seem to realize how counter-productive they are.

Congrats! I'm glad that change came first:) Thanks for the tip:)!