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Monday, December 29, 2008

$100,000 for a Meeting With a Babushka Lover-Singer

Down with bribery! Long live babushkas!

Kyiv Mayor Leonid “Kosmos” Chernovetsky: For the last lunch, the entrepreneurs paid me $800,000 — paid to the budget. All of this will go to my beloved babushkas. They will also pay us for meeting with every one of my deputies. I’ll charge not less than $100,000 for a meeting.

Wow! The $50,000 rate is history! The stakes are skyrocketing!

The “pay grades” per meeting: Deputy Mayor Irena Kilchytska, up to $10,000; other deputies, at least $11,000, the land department chief, $5,000. (Poor Irena! I think the City Hall needs to hire someone from Hay or Mercer to ensure internal consistency, or some talent may walk out the door.)

Chernovetsky: First, you show me a slip certifying that you paid for a meeting with the modest Mayor who loves babushkas — to the tune of $100,000 — and then you talk about your problems. And this goes only to the budget of Kyiv. There will be a note from the bank: “Paid to the budget of Kyiv for the benefit of the Mayor’s beloved babushkas.” That’s it! If you want to do business fast, please pay less than a bribe — to the budget — and breathe easy. That’s the approach I declare.

He doesn’t just declare it. He serenades it.

Bonus track: “Pisnya pro rushnyk (Ridna maty moya),” or “A Song About the Towel (Native Mother of Mine)”

Chernovetsky: I’m a very creative person. I have a tender soul. I have a musical education, absolute pitch. On New Year’s Eve, I will sing to all Ukrainians…the song I was born with: “Ridna maty moya,” alright, “ty nochei ne dospala.” I’ve sung this song for the outstanding Channel 5 — completely — I was euphoric, it was Sunday, before I went to bed. Then I had a good night’s sleep myself. And now, to the world’s best channel, TV channel, TRK Kyiv. Enjoy! Say what? Shall we do it? Will you show it? Maybe I shouldn’t?

Reporters: Go ahead! Go ahead!


Рiдна мати моя, ти ночей не доспала,
Ти водила мене у поля край села, [hums]
I в дорогу далеку ти мене на зорi проводжала,
I рушник вишиваний на щастя дала.
I в дорогу далеку ти мене на зорi проводжала,
I рушник вишиваний на щастя, на долю дала. [hums]

Bye! [laughs]

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Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, government by bribery.

So, let's see - the people of a city elect a mayor in order to bribe businessmen, so that the mayor can then pick a few select old ladies to purportedly receive some of the largesse.

And these are not just any old ladies, but "beloved" old ladies somehow selected by this particular idiot, Chernovetsky, himself!

In other countries, charities are established privately if one wants to help "beloved" old ladies.

Not in the world of the Space Cadet/Kosmonaut.

In other cities, the mayor is elected to do a job - without the necessity of accepting bribes from businessmen men, whether designated for selected little old ladies or not.

And the job includes a number of functions - without the necessity of bribes destined for selected little old ladies.

He needs to go to Mars where he belongs.

Ludmila Hribar said...

Just arrived from Seis de Enero. Glad I discovered it! Happy 2009 for you and all your readers.

Taras said...


In the West, such fundraising initiatives would automatically result in a full-scale probe by law enforcement. In Ukraine, they merely generate publicity.

That’s why we’re Europe’s next-to-last poorest country.

Gracias Ljudmila!

So you're a Ukrainian Argentinian?

Feliz Año Nuevo to you and to all Ukrainian Argentinians!

Anonymous said...

So why is it that if these "businessmen" pay big bucks to Chernovetsky so he can give a few bucks to selected little old ladies, they get "special" treatment?

How is it that a mayor can simply create 2 classes of citizens - those who bribe the mayor and his officials in return for "fixing" the problems of donors - and everyone else?

What kinds of "problems" is the mayor "fixing" for these "businessmen" donors?

And wouldn't it be cheaper for a "businessman" to simply bypass Chernovetsky and hand out the money to selected little old ladies himself?

Taras said...

You're asking rhetorical questions, Elmer!