Saturday, December 18, 2004

So Omelchenko, Kyiv's mayor, is demanding that the tents are moved to the sidewalks, so that the cars could use Khreshchatyk again and the city could start preparing for the New Year's celebrations.

First, it feels as if Omelchenko thinks this is some kind of a tourist camp, not a political protest action carried out by people whose demands haven't been met yet.

Second, if the tents are moved to the sidewalks, are the car-less pedestrians supposed to disappear from Khreshchatyk at all? Or are we gonna have to walk in between the cars?

Third, is he really cleaning up some space for the Yanukovych supporters who are rumored to be preparing to march on Kyiv, to protest Yushchenko's victory, when there is one?

I'm spending most of my time in the center, but a few days ago I ventured to the relative outskirts, to have my poor camera fixed, and I wasn't too surprised to realize that the subway hasn't really been developing in the past few years of Omelchenko's rule, except for a new station or two, and most streets have remained as unprepared to the ever increasing number of cars as I remember them from before the time I left Kyiv three years ago. It's nice that we've got a few comparatively fancy shopping malls in the center of the city, where everyone can see them, but otherwise, the situation in the city isn't too hopeful.

My point is that Omelchenko hasn't been as efficient as he could've been, and now that he is so not pleased with the protests that he himself was supportive of just a week ago, I'm wondering how long he's gonna last as Kyiv's mayor.

The tent city is doing great - my mother comes up to the guys every day, to get reassurance that they're not gonna leave: no, they aren't. Today, I've noticed a new fence - a wooden one, painted yellow - at the entrance to the tent city from the Bessarabka side. This new fence looks totally symbolic but very impressive at the same time, somehow.

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