[...] The question is on the topic much discussed now - about the president's son, the car he's using and other equipment, pretty expensive... And a question about morality - is it moral in a country like this to be using things like these?
Is it moral to have a salary of, say, $500 a month when the rest of the country is doomed to survive on much less? Et cetera.
- Victor Yushchenko's reply to the Ukrainska Pravda journalist:
[...] You see, I'm not wearing a watch. Even though I've probably got 20 or 15 of them. And until I remain the president, I won't be wearing them.
I don't need these primitive themes, these primitive analyses, I don't want it! I'll only be wearing a trident badge and a neat suit. That's all I need, my friends! [...]
So this is why Yushchenko is always so late for his press conferences. Seriously, though, the most dedicated ones around him will probably hide away their watches, too, now, and the hungry masses will be satisfied.
- Kyiv Post editorial:
[...] In the end, none of this is so scandalous. Yushchenko is at worst another rich, well-connected brat, somewhere on the continuum between the Bush daughters and Paris Hilton. Ukraine will survive.
But it will be interesting to see where the kid ends up in a few years. Will he grow out of this high life nonsense, realize it’s unseemly, and make something of himself? Or will he get worse, and become another sponging, string-pulling, nepotism-exploiting victim of “affluenza,” a parasite who drives half-million dollar cars around his impoverished country and takes off to Ibiza for the weekend?
Time will tell. But we’ve got our eye on that young fellow. We trust his father does, too.
The best thing for Yushchenko, of course, would be to surrender his other three kids to the highly moral public, before it's too late.
Today's International Herald Tribune has a nice roundup of the political situation in Ukraine (via Abdymok):
[...] They say the struggle between President Viktor Yushchenko, a former chief of Ukraine's National Bank, and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, a former business tycoon, over shaping Ukraine's future is delaying much-needed reforms. It could even erode the popular support that put both leaders - who are very different - into power.
Neither politician will admit publicly to clashing with the other. But the openness with which their advisers discussed the problem at a weekend conference in Yalta illustrates that the rivalry and clash of agendas are hampering change. This means that much-needed reforms proposed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - including introduction of clear property rights, the rule of law and privatization - have not gotten very far.