This whole past week, I've been trying to write something about Ukrainian politics here, but kept getting distracted.
First, I got bogged down in the Beslan anniversary GV translation, and then, in the one on Ingushetia violence.
All the fresh thoughts I had now feel sort of stale.
But I'll try anyway.
In the past year and a half, Ukraine has lost 24 parties/blocs: in March 2006, there were 45 running, and now there are only 21.
If we translate this into people/candidates, we are down from 7,595 to 4,890.
2,705 are out. Good riddance, whoever they are.
(CVK info on the March 2006 election is here; September 2007 is here.)
An entity I've been itching to write about: KUCHMA Bloc.
Pronunciation differs from that of Kuchma the ex-president - stress falls on the second syllable, not on the first.
Moreover, it's an acronym: Konstytutsiya - Ukrayina - Chest' - Myr - Antifashyzm ("Constitution - Ukraine - Honor - Peace - Anti-Fascism").
Their slogan: "Motherland is in danger."
On the fences throughout Kyiv, though, they call themselves "Kuchma, Come Back! Bloc":
You'd think this balagan is some joke, a masterpiece of idiocy similar to the Party of Putin's Politics, which ran in March 2006 (more on it here and here), but no, they all sound completely serious, and they've got some "serious" people in their ranks.
The thuggish-looking thug Oleksandr Volkov is #1 on KUCHMA Bloc's list. He used to be Yulia Tymoshenko's friend until relatively recently, was at her daughter's wedding. He also used to be Georgiy Gongadze's enemy - there was some sort of an argument between them, sometime in 1998 or 1999, and this was how I first heard about Gongadze.
Another "serious" person on KUCHMA bloc's list is Oleksandr Leufenfeld (#11) - according to this piece (UKR) in Ukrainska Pravda, he is a co-owner of the Globus shopping mall at Maidan, among other things.
According to the same piece, KUCHMA Bloc is funded by Vadym Rabinovych, among others.