Monday, November 29, 2004

An ultimatum to Kuchma is the main political news tonight. I was surprised Yulia Tymoshenko wasn't next to Yushchenko on Friday, when he announced the start of negotiations, but now she is there, her usual self. I think her decisiveness is good, for the morale of the people in the street, at least.

But in general, I'm really confused and not sure how to take things, no longer know how to analyze the situation, even just for myself.

The crowd on Khreshchatyk was wonderful this evening; we stopped to listen to some Polish band - very moving; spent some time chatting with the guys who were scribbling their names on the wall of the post office building - as someone said somewhere, this wall looks like Reichstag at the end of the war.

Then we went to a bar and sat with a few guys from Kharkiv, and one from Lviv, and a few from Kyiv, and one from both Kyiv and Canada, and everyone had some pretty amazing observations and opinions, but in the end it just all seems too overwhelming and the only thing left to do is to wait for tomorrow's Supreme Court decision, and also to hope that nothing bad happens this night.

There aren't that many people out there after midnight - when we were passing Independence Square around 1 am, it was being cleaned and almost empty. A lot of people by the tents, but they look tired (or maybe it's just me who's tired), and Khreshchatyk at night looks somewhat too unkempt, with an air of a slum around it.

There was a crowd by Kuchma's administration building (the trucks that separated the tents and the crowd from the riot police are now gone, for better or for worse - I heard people say it's a kind of a victory, but doesn't it allow the police easier access to the crowd?). There was also a wonderful, loud crowd by the Cabinet of Ministers - the guys sitting on the hill where Yanukovych fans' tents used to be, hitting large metal cisterns with sticks, like drums, producing some very energizing sound; there were also many city names and some pro-Yushchenko slogans made of snow - I'll post the pictures tomorrow.

My favorite hypothesis for today (via Mishah) is that Kuchma is trying to let Yanukovych down by having sent him to meet with Luzhkov today - because meeting with separatists isn't good for the image of someone who's agreed to negotiate with his opponents. Or is Kuchma too weak to stop Yanukovych from being such a fool? You should have seen footage from that meeting in Severodonetsk...

A disclaimer: I've met a woman from the tents today who said that it's better not to donate money into those boxes on Khreshchatyk but instead take them to 33 Honchar St. where there's someone's headquarters. The reason I felt those boxes were safe and reliable was because I read about it somewhere and also because they were chained right next to where the people from the tents stood - and if they belonged to someone unrelated to the protesters, those guys would know... I'm not sure what to make of it.

Two more sort of disclaimers: I've mixed up some facts in the story about Tanya's marshrutka trip to Kyiv - but at some level it is totally true. It's just better to listen to Tanya telling it, I guess. Also, the guys who were flying to Kyiv via Vienna were flying from Kharkiv, not Lviv - which makes this story even more absurd...

Anyway, I hope it'll all get less ambiguous tomorrow.

I'm sure I have more stuff to write about - but I keep forgetting things and I'm really looking forward to some kind of denouement.

Two of my friends are spending this night walking around, equipped with a thermos full of tea.

Oh, and we've just learned our main slogan in Spanish, the original one, it seems (spelling isn't 100 percent correct - can't find those stress symbols): El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido! - My razom, nas bahato, i nas ne podolaty!

Good night.


  1. Privet, Veronica!

    I hope you get some rest--it sounds like people there are getting tired, and I hope they don't wear themselves out before Kuchma does.

    Did you see that the sign language interpreter at UT-1 is interviewed in The Moscow Times? Here's a link:

    Tucson AZ

  2. I'm really concerned that this thing is going to lose momentum if something doesn't happen. A revote seems to ignore the main argument. Not an expert in these things but my feeling is the wind is dying in the sails. yushchenko needs to do something.

  3. You said president Kuchma is either weak and stupid or he wants to discredit the prime minister Yanukovych letting him go to meet the separatists.

    So you are trusting in Kuchma's good will, that he wants, at least, to keep the country together and in a relative order.

    I don't know how much right they are, but Polish press seems to have a much worse opinion. They say Kuchma and Yanukovych are playing together the same game: They want to gain more time and let the citizens get tired, and that's why they had agreed for the round table talks.

    According to the recent news from, the authorities broke up the talks on Sunday and left the conference room without giving a reason, which may be a proof that they don't care so much.

    I don't really know what to think about that. Actually, I can't believe that a president of a state might be so cynical to let it disintegrate. I hope that you are right and not our journalists.

    Let me add up this one to the collection of the slogan translations:
    "Jestesmy razem, jest nas wielu, nie pokonacie nas!"

    Ania, Cracow, Poland