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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yushchenko Regrets Mistakes, Talks Freedom, Justice, Patriotism

Damn, he almost made me trust him again!

Incumbent President Yushchenko: We’ve come a long way and we’ve been through a lot. We didn’t walk on water, nor did we walk on sunshine. There are achievements and there are mistakes. They’re hurting me. I’m a Ukrainian, a citizen, and, just like you, I’m a free person. Jockeying for power is not the meaning of my life. The meaning of my life is Ukraine. The meaning of my life is freedom. Freedom is like the sun: an ordinary wonder. You notice it when you lose it, when it’s gone. I want to forever preserve freedom for all of us. I want to forever preserve our state. I want to forever set fair and equal rules — for all. That’s why I’m running. I’m aware of the purpose. My choice has been made. Your choice will be made by you — because even now everything depends on us only. We must forge ahead. We cannot stop, lest our children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren start over again. I choose a free, strong and just Ukraine. We’ll make it. And Ukraine will win.

Good point about taking freedom for granted!

So far, we’ve only gained freedom of speech. It’s a lot. But not enough.

We haven’t gained much economic freedom, nor have we gained freedom from corruption and injustice, freedom from social and geopolitical insecurity.

No matter how high a mountain you climb, actions speak louder than words.

If you could put a dozen thugs behind bars and lose the key, maybe we could trust you again.

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Anonymous said...

Damn, he almost made me trust him again!

I see your point. Sometimes he seems like a conman you'd like to believe in but seems oblivous to everything he pormised and you know perfectly well you'll be conned again. On the other hand there are somethings he sticks to whether popular or not which is more than can be said for anybody else. He has something else that is also unusual - he genuinly seems to care about things that can't be measured in money. Money's essential but so are other things that politicians don't normally both about. He takes his holidays up mountains in Ukraine and not on luxury yaughts with very rich "friends".

elmer said...

Taras, Yushchenko has consistently given some great speeches - I still remember his Easter speech - Воскресну Україна!

He is not a fiery orator, he is very low-key and calm, but he is a very good orator, and many of his speeches contain substantive concepts with which a person desiring true democracy can easily and readily agree.

But, as everyone recognized in the sovok system -

"they think one thing, say another, and do a third"

How does one, as President of Ukraine, mobilize people - and get around - the oligarch pig sycophants feeding at the government trough, especially when your own supporters are of that kind?

How, as President, does one implement a huge, required change, from a massively corrupt government, to a truly representative democracy, with consequences for corruption?

One way is not to encourage it - which Yushchenko did. For example, by his support of Firtash and RosUkrEnergo. There are other examples.

Another way is to go directly to the people - he had their support - and explain, in clear and concise and SPECIFIC terms what's up.

But in Ukraine, the sovoks still have the mentality that people are only there to sit down, shut up, and listen. Even post-election, if he had appealed directly to the people on a daily basis, instead of trying to cover up corruption in back room deals, he would have achieved a lot.

He tried to create a "round table" with all the parties, including the Party of Regions - OK, but when he went into a "universal agreement" with the Party of Regions, that stank. Because it was done to squish Julia.

No question that Yulia is a self-obsessed, self-centered, self-promoter, and she could not wait to hog the spotlight from Yushchenko when she was Prime Minister right after the Orange Revolution.

He might even have gotten around that, especially after she accused him and his "dear friends" of corruption.

"Fight fire with fire" - point out her own corruption - and that of everyone else.

Too bad.

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating ad. While it is clear he is speaking to voters to choose him, the subtext says that his race is run and he is bowing out for good. It is a "swan song" message, not a "vote for me" message.

The orange sun was the symbol of NU in 2002, but here it is a setting sun, not a dawn. The message is very general and patriotic -- not the type of language used in mudslinging hyper-competitive politics in Ukraine.

It appears as if Yushchenko is giving a farewell message -- I did my best, I've brought you this far, but it is up to you to choose the best people to lead -- which is me, of course -- but I know that I am not going to win, so use your best judgment.

When Yushch loses the first round, who will he support? Will he openly support anyone? Or will he deliver this generic message -- use your best judgment and choose freedom, justice and patriotism?

Where will Yushchenko go? Back to beekeeping, or will he get a prestigious chair a la Kwasniewski?

Lingüista said...

I wonder what went wrong with Yushchenko -- he had the country behind him after the Orange Revolution, but apparently he was not capable of delivering on all those promises. The wrong man in the right time, you might say.

I, too, wished he had been a better president. Because what I'm afraid of is that he's left many Ukrainians hoping for a Ukrainian Putin -- a guy who won't put so much emphasis on freedom of speech, and who will do something to 'regain lost pride' (come from one's knees), whatever that would be, and forget about democracy.

Taras said...


Our failure to modify Yushchenko’s and Tymoshenko’s behavior deferred our Ukrainian Dream.

Ukraine will never be respected abroad until Ukraine restores respect for the law at home.

We need greater power over our leaders, not their greater power over us.


Good point! The sunrise in Yushchenko’s commercial looks more like a sunset.

The return to the old brand — the sun — lays to rest the once-almighty horseshoe brand, which now looks more like a toilet seat.

And, yes, in the runoff, Yushchenko will probably say “use your own best judgment.”

To those of his voters who will come to the polls, the “lesser of two evils” will be Tymoshenko. Some will vote “against all.”


Yushchenko helped Ukraine secure freedom of speech.

Other than that, he became part of the problem, not solution, and Tymoshenko followed in his footsteps.

We Ukrainians made freedom of speech happen. From then on, we watched things happen and wondered what the hell happened.


Indeed, he shows more patriotism than Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, despite being no less of an oligarch lover.

Yushchenko made his bed and now has to lie in it. By contrast, Tymoshenko’s bed appears to have room not only for cronies but also for czars. In its own way, the same applies to Yanukovych.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s bed gets eaten by all these termites jockeying for power.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, he shows more patriotism than Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, despite being no less of an oligarch lover.

and yet people would much rather Tym or Yanuk

Taras said...

That's because they've seen Yushchenko's presidency but haven't seen Tymoshenko's/Yanukovych's yet.

Anonymous said...

Out of the frying pan and into the fire?