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Monday, November 03, 2008

Yushchenko: Govt Piled Up Debt "Like a Bitch Piles Up Lice"

The last “Svoboda na Interi” (“Freedom on Inter”) show featured Yushchenko, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko in a heated debate that highlighted the show’s name.

President Yushchenko: Don’t flirt with people. Your flirtations work for 5-6 months. Then comes this audience and asks these questions: Why do we have inflation at an annual rate of 22 percent? Who did it? The global crisis? That’s bull! The whole crisis is sitting right here.

PM Tymoshenko: I realize that as Premier I don’t get much sympathy from you — neither from your party nor from your owners. But I will see to it that that people are treated fairly.

MP Azarov, PRU, speaking in Russian: First of all, Yulia Vladimirovna, I want to tell you that personally, as a woman, you have my deep sympathy… [roar of laughter]… so there’s no need for the accusation that our faction does not like you and so on. But your proposals don’t have my sympathy.

Opposition leader Yanukovych: It’s very hard to believe. I do, I do want to believe you, Yulia Volodymyrivna, but it’s very hard because you’re a…

Talk show host: Viktore Fedorovychu, Viktore Fedorovychu*…

Yanukovych: …a nat…a natural opposition leader, and still you work in the government. You’re in the wrong business.

Tymoshenko: Frankly speaking, I’m disturbed to the bone by these huge men who left the country with a ruined economy, and we are now step-by-step putting it back on its feet.

Yushchenko: The government stayed in power for a year or half a year, piled up debt, pardon the expression, like a bitch piles up lice, and when the time comes to pay the government’s debt to NAK Naftogaz, we make it look like it’s not our responsibility.

*Inflected first name and patronymic as used in addressing a person; the host’s correct Ukrainian usage puts her at odds with most Ukrainian politicians, who rarely observe this rule of declension.

That’s a memorable expression for our President to seek pardon for in a live broadcast.

Video uploaded from:
Original Source:


The Global Game said...

I'm grateful, Taras, for the translation. With the US presidential election less than a day away, it is easy to look to contrasting political cultures - even those in so-called fledgling democracies such as Ukraine - with envy. While this may have been a made-for-TV moment, the lively conversation and engagement compare favorably with the repetition of clichés ("bolster the middle class," "keep our borders secure," "support our troops," "Joe the Plumber") that characterized the three televised Obama-McCain "debates." From a neutral vantage point, the participants in Ukraine spoke as if something was at stake.

If either US candidate had referred to America's debt addiction in such colloquial terms, his political handlers would have committed hara-kiri. We have lost our appetite for straight talk, or at least the presidential aspirants assume that we have.

Gabriela said...

Taras: thanks a lot for the picture you sent me. I've added a link to it in that post as an update.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the expression was used with a double meaning: 1. to describe the government under PM Tymoshenko and 2. to imply that Tymoshenko was none other than the dog full of lice.

Taras said...

Good to see you again, John!

On the face of it, it may seem like straight talk. On closer observation, however, most of it can be dismissed as empty talk. These guys always talk the talk, but rarely walk the walk.

They do employ clichés and buzzwords extensively. The most popular one is stabilnist, which denotes stability, but connotes the status quo.

I agree that straight talk involves voicing unpleasant concerns. In times of crisis, the last thing we need is hot air, weasel words, and blinders. But sexist and offensive language can be just as counter-productive.

Gracias, Gabriela!

It’s amazing how similar some of the scenes in Lima and Kyiv look:)

Saludos desde Kyiv!

Touché, Vitaliy!

I, too, believe it’s an allegorical, gender-specific simile. Even if we separate style from substance, it’s clear that the President has gone way too far in his breach of etiquette.

In fact, it’s probably not the first time the President throws around such fancy vocabulary.
Here’s a recording of what appears to be a private conversation between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko leaked on the Internet:

Yushchenko: ...vam treba konflikt, vam treba tse blyadske* prezydenstvo! ( need conflict, you need this fucking presidency!)

*Blyadske literally means whore-like.

Anonymous said...

As it happens Yush is right. Tym doesn't compromise. That's her appeal as if she single handedly she's going to sort everything out, put all the criminals in jail and make Ukraine a European country. But that's only in fantasy, in realiy she just destroys any possibility of even gradual reform.

Anonymous said...

As far as the last comment is concerned -- huh?

What are the "political elite" fighting about in Ukraine? Except for Tymoshenko and Lutsenko, and Yatseniuk, and some others, they are fighting to keep the right to use and abuse government for their own personal benefit.

Yushchenko is simply fighting to keep Yulia out of power.

He has very obviously thrown in his lot with Akhmetov, and other oligarchs from the Party of Regions, in a bid to remain president.

Where is the public good in all of this?

As far as compromise is concerned - I wonder how much "compromise" a criminal who is not in the Ukrainian parliament gets.

In other words, members of the Ukrainian parliament have absolute immunity.

There is one law for them - and another for everyone else.

The "political elite" in Ukraine have been robbing the country blind now for at least 14 years.

Yushchenko intervened on behalf of corrupt thugs like Firtash and his RosUkrEnergo, and Akhmetov and his Vanco Prykerchenska scam.

Tymoshenko and others are trying to get rid of that kind of corruption, that kind of abuse and misuse of government.

So what kind of "compromise" does the last commenter propose? About what? And with whom?

A bit of logic and specificity based on facts would be very nice if one is going to post comments, rather than vapid accusations about "fantasy."

Anonymous said...

You piled on debt like a "bitch piles on fleas." Love it. This is the line of the year.

Taras said...


Of course, Tymoshenko does compromise, and it shows. First of all, it’s the glaring disconnect between her luxury wardrobe and her $31K annual earnings statements. Then it’s her team, which makes her looks just as two-faced.

Sooner or later, too much compromise will kill her popularity.


In relative terms, Tymoshenko, Lutsenko, and Yatsenyuk stand out as “cleaner” than the rest. But that’s in relative terms only. The truth is, they all run their own old-boy networks:

Tymoshenko: Haiduk, Hubsky
Lutsenko: Zhvania, Babakov
Yatsenyuk: Pinchuk, Akhmetov

In the 2007 campaign, Lutsenko and Yatsenyuk promised to lift parliamentary immunity and ensure “one law for all.” Tymoshenko promised that “she did it back then, she’ll do it again.”

So what did they do? Not much.


Unless something more impressive comes out, it's definitely the quote of the year!

Thanks for the alternative translation! It goes to show that translating Yushchenko’s "French" is an art, not a science:)

Anonymous said...

"Tym does compromise" - yes absolutely. I agree. She only puts out this image of no compromise against corruption and people buy it and still are.

As for Luts he's just a wheeler and dealer of the worst sort. When Yush was top dog he followed him, even announcing he knew what poison was used when of course he hadn't a clue. Then when Tym looked like coming out on top he switched sides. And now it looks like he's falling through the crack. His only chance is to hitch a lift with Yulia. He's been interior minister and what good has he done there?

Anonymous said...

The thing is, Yushchenko lied - about the government piling on debt.

Ukraine's debt is not out of line with that of other countries.

Now, Taras, the "glaring disconnect" between Tymoshenko's declared income and her wardrobe and other possessions, as you know, is not limited to Tymoshenko - all of the thugs in parliament do the same thing.

Akhmetov pretended to publicly declare his income.

NONE of the goddamn thugs in the Ukrainian parliament have publicly opened up their true tax returns, even though Ukrainian Pravda has speculated long and loud about the assorted crooks that call themselves deputies.

Now we're getting somewhere: which fat oligarch pig is part of which "political force." Ukrainian Pravda has also covered that in detail.

The issue of abolishing blanket immunity is nothing new. It's been repeated often during Ukrainian elections.

The thing that is astounding to me, absolutely baffling, is this - in the fact of all of this public information, why can't Ukrainians figure out what to do about it?

The foxes are guarding the henhouse.

It's time to remove the foxes.

The oligarchs are going to have to be blown OUT of government by a thing called the vote.

The oligarchs are not going to leave unless they are blown out of government.

Tymoshenko is a slim hope for that. Sadly, Yushchenko, clearly, doesn't care, and has blown it severely.

The dynamite is something called the vote - which was hard-won in the Orange Revolution.

Now that Ukrainians have a free vote - the stupid bastards don't know how to use it. The keep voting for the same thing over and over again.

Einstein's definition of insanity was - doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

Why can't Ukrainians do what is done in other countries -

1) recognize and identify problem

2) come up with solution

3) implement solution

Instead of talk, talk, talk, talk, instead of acting like drama queens?

Are Ukrainians really that apathetic, or brain-dead?

To put it in the words of Dr. Phil about what is going on currently in Ukraine, and for the past 17 years --

"How's that workin' for ya'"?

Anonymous said...

What? Tym doesn't have any oligarch friends? Aren't they're any in BYUT or in her administration? And where's her, sorry, her family's money from?

Anonymous said...

Taras, I'll put it to you this way, and this is something that does not seem to be sinking into the heads of Ukrainians -

When Yushchenko got elected, with a majority of the people behind him, he could have done anything he wanted to do, as long as he had stuck to the Orange Coalition points.

There are only a few oligarchs.

There are many, many people.

Lutsenko has already said it, but he was relying on Shakespeare - "the worst and most secure prison of all is one's own mind."

When will people realize that the body politic, the voters, the mass of voters, is far more powerful than just a few oligarchs?

Corruption is killing the country, people have no trust in government at all, and from top to bottom, it's out in the open, and has been for a while - noone abides by the law, no one pays taxes, there is a huge shadow economy, people are demoralized because they don't know how to organize themselves (Lutsenko did it for a while with GREAT success), and worst of all, they don't know how to think.

Oh, sure, they know how to kvetch, and moan and groan, and criticize, and be sarcastic, and snipe and gripe.

But to take any positive steps, to take positive attitudes, to build, as Tymoshenko put it, the "best government in the world," to figure out that it's not that difficult to get around big fat thug oligarchs like Pinchuk and Zviahilsky and Hayduk and Kolomoisky and Firtash and the rest?

Well - they throw up their hands and give you blank stares.

And why should people abide by the law in Ukraine when all the fat thug oligarchs so blatantly parade their ill-gotten gains in front of everyone's noses?

Much easier to pick the pockets of tourists on the Kyiv Metro. Much easier to pay the bribe to the automobile police than to fight it. Much easier to pay bribes to all the assorted government "inspectors" whose wives need new cars, since noone pays taxes anyway.

Much easier to sit back and wait for someone to spoon-feed democracy and reform into the people's mouths.

Well, if you throw the oligarchs out, then you've got a great start.

Yushchenko blew it.

Tymoshenko and Lutsenko seem to be the only ones who still have a concept of democracy.

Any others, Taras?