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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tymoshenko Tigers Up Presidential Campaign

The presidency becomes her. Stunt by stunt.

Last Wedenesday, she renationalized Yanukovych’s Mezhyhirya residence — a 137 hectare (339 acre) property privatized in a shadowy scheme with Yushchenko’s help.

This royal gift had remained a non-negotiable until her grand coalition talks with Yanukovych collapsed, wiping the slate clean.

She wants to be clean again. Her frenemy will be a dirty word as she struggles to position herself back into the jungle of her voters’ hearts.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko: Well, it’s understood that the coming year of 2010 is the year of the white tiger. Therefore, I understand this gift is a certain mascot for the coming year of 2010. And I can say it firmly that I already dream of taking him somewhere to talks, especially when he grows up a little bit [giggles].

A special gift!

I think...I think he’ll say everything convincingly. I also think he can be appointed...adviser to the PM on combat...[giggles] Judging by his appearance, he likes it [giggles] but I think that such little gifts [giggles] can really be a lucky mascot for the year 2010. I want to thank you, and I think that the year [says год in Russian]...the year [quickly corrects herself with рік in Ukrainian] of the white tiger will be a successful one for Ukraine and for every one of you.

Whey not gift her with a salamander? Or with a flock of silent lambs?

Oh, by the way, she had a cargo plane named after her.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Kyiv Jackass Videos: Dicing With Death

They make money by selling their stunts to web sites, netting $300-$400 per minute.

At the end of the report, the 19-year old who mounts the metro train — to emulate a famous bridge jumper — suffers a decapitation.

Hmmm...conscripting our politicians into a jackass reality show would be
a fantastic moneymaker. Well, some of them (or their kids) don't need conscription, do they?

Video embedded from:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Italian Look at the Reset Button

With Obama and Merkel playing incubus and succubus to Medvedev and Putin, what does the future hold for Ukraine?

Kligg Magazine weighs in.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Kyiv Military Parade 2009

A Military Parade Turns Into a Military Festival

Today marks the 18th anniversary of Ukraine's regained statehood. Ukraine is coming of age — in a very difficult, crisis-stricken age.

It wasn't quite as sunny as last year, but the flags were there.

August 23 is Flag Day in Ukraine

Give peace a chance!

After a rather soporific speech by President Yushchenko, the parade finally kicked into gear. It went well, albeit in an unusual mode: the troops marched in sync with the aviation, not separately as before. (According to news reports, the President was 9 minutes too long, which upset the flight schedule.)

Ruslan and Mriya (the world's biggest cargo aircraft)

Yet what began like a parade ended up like a puzzle: the tanks wouldn't come. That pissed many people off. Well, only those people who didn't make it to Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

I did make it through those nasty police cordons.
And, lo and behold, I found my favorite toys standing motionless there — from Independence Square all the way to European Square...

...with swarms of kids crawling all over them.

Older kids deserve special note. I, for one, couldn't resist the temptation to mount one of those toys and have my fair share of fun. I

I haven't done this since I was a kid enjoying myself in the open-air artillery section of the WW II Museum.


Rationally, I still contend that the money would have been better spent on the military's urgent needs. But emotionally, I concede that the touch’n’feel approach created an interesting break with the watch’n’listen tradition.

The flower clock! Amazing piece of work!

Evening edition

З Днем Незалежності, Україно! Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!