Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An amazing story about a 64-year-old American woman whose donation helped the Chernobyl Children's Project International to buy medical equipment that "will save as many as 175 young lives a year" in Belarus:

[...] One of Judy's dreams was to swim Hood Canal. Not a natural athlete, she trained hard and found it difficult and monotonous. To spark her motivation, she went back to her dream book, and saw that one of her dreams was to help children with birth defects. She realized that she could accomplish two dreams with one swim.

Judy's friend Steve Cagan, of Restoring Hope Foundation of Southern California, had raised $20,000 in a Chocolate Festival last year, and donated those funds to Chernobyl Children's Project International for a life saving children's cardiac surgery program in Belarus. Hearing about this program, Judy found her inspiration. [...]


The initial reaction - "And here people are so different, lack altruism, etc., and that's why it sucks the way it does here" - gets interrupted with: "But this story is so much more about HERE than it is about OVER THERE!.." And then, somehow, it hurts even more...

(via MoldovAnn)

Peter Nalitch: the guy totally rocks.



:)))

(We're in Moscow already, btw.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just ran into this video of Eduard Limonov chatting with Radovan Karadzic, then shooting at Sarajevo. Have no idea if it's the real thing.

But, even if it's not, I still don't understand how Garry Kasparov could possibly agree to team up with Limonov.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've had a haircut today/yesterday - and now I've changed this blog's template. So revolutionary of me. Mama says it's full moon now, and I guess that could be the reason.

It'll stay messy here for I don't know how long - please forgive me. If something suddenly turns upside down, and if it stays this way for over a week, please do let me know.

:)

P.S. Ouch. It looks okay on Firefox, more or less okay on Safari - and truly horrible on Explorer. The text is green, for example. Is it the same for those of you who are on IE?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To a recent visitor from Saudi Arabia, who came here looking for "sacking facking free wonen photos" - go "sack" and "fack" yourself.

Thanks to one good-looking but very dumb cop, I'm a pravoporushnyk now - a criminal, almost.

Anyone who loses his or her passport in this country becomes one and is subjected to a 17-hryvnya fine (nearly $3.5).

And it doesn't matter that my passport had been stolen - as long as there are idiots who can't or aren't willing to do the paperwork properly, I'm the one who broke the law, a pravoporushnyk.

Fighting them is a bit too time-consuming and a real pain in the ass.

So I hope they'll choke on my 17 hryvnias - and the asshole cop will never get promoted out of his shitty office somewhere at Rusanivka.

Maybe I'll write more about it later. Maybe not.

I'm really pissed right now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thank you all for your warm wishes.

Here's a quick question - and then I'm back to my blogging vacation:

Serving Corona beer with a straw stuck into the bottle next to the lemon - it's one of those devushka things, right?

***

Two competing worldviews:

"I can't imagine drinking beer through a drinking straw."

vs.

"I can't imagine drinking anything straight from the bottle."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm taking a short break from blogging here. For a week, at least, and then we'll see. Maybe I'll post a thing or two, maybe not. I'm exhausted, and depressed, and worried sick about certain family issues, and about to move back to Moscow, which is both good and bad, for a number of obvious reasons. Writing in my Dear Diary would be the right thing for me to do now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wow. It appears that Yerevan is way crazier than Kyiv, traffic-wise...



(Two bloggers' reactions: Onnik Krikorian and Notes from Hairenik.)

Two posts from my today's GV reading:

- MoldovAnn on Chernobyl aid programs -

[...] I do believe aid organizations want to help people have better lives. But when I hear them talking about “we’re going to support this community because it’s not too far from Kyiv and we can easily visit it in a day during our short visit to Ukraine”, it’s hard for me to take them seriously. If they really want to help the most needy, the most affected, the most at-risk people, then they should go to the far away, isolated, hard-to-get-to places - precisely because no one goes there. [...]


- Window On Eurasia on the centenary of the birth of General Pyotr Grigorenko -

[...] The National Bank of Ukraine has issued a special commemorative coin in an edition of 35,000 copies. And the Tatars in Crimea itself, to whose return to their homeland Grigorenko made such an important contribution, reportedly are planning a small commemoration.

But elsewhere in Ukraine, few if any events are planned. [...]


Here are also two old New York Times pieces - one on Grigorenko's memoirs, the other on "the world of Soviet psychiatry" - both from 1983.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First, someone landed on this blog via a Google search for "uzhgorod hostess and escorts." A few hours later, another person from another country stopped by in search of "uzhhorod prostitute."

And I was horrified.

Because, somehow, I've no problem with the fact that Kyiv is full of prostitutes and their clients. It's a big city, what can you do. I don't really care when someone comes here looking for prostitutes in Kryvyi Rih - mainly, because I don't care about Kryvyi Rih in the first place.

But Uzhgorod is sacred. It's my favorite Ukrainian town. I love to idealize it. It's like a tiny New York City. It's got a lot more than you expect to see and hear in such a small place.

And it's got prostitutes, of course. And they are cheaper than in the EU, obviously. And booze is cheaper there as well.

And I like to pretend that this parallel universe doesn't exist. Not in Uzhgorod.

And then some guys run through my blog and ruin it for me...

Three months since my father disappeared. I still haven't really found a way of dealing with his death. Nor has my mother, I'm afraid. There are plenty of distractions, Marta is the best of them, but very often nothing really works.

It'll always be the 16th for me. Not the 19th, the date that they put on his death certificate. It could've been the 18th or the 20th. With the 16th, there's no uncertainty. It's the turning point, and what was before and after it seems very blurry now. Which is sort of good, I guess, because when I attempt to focus, it gets unbearably painful.

***

And Ukraine, too, is mourning today - mourning the 15 victims of the gas blast in Dnipropetrovsk.

Monday, October 15, 2007

At last, the official results of the Sept. 30 vote are in, and it does look like the coalition between Yulia and Yushchenko/Lutsenko is actually going to happen, after all. Nice, very nice.

***

And, there's also this nice piece (UKR) in Ukrainska Pravda, by Kostyantyn Levin:

[...] We can, perhaps, assert that the anniversaries of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's creation will be marked according to the same scenario every year - mass PR events by Vitrenko, Symonenko and Tyahnybok on the streets and squares of Kyiv, burning of the UPA flags in Crimea, some more local news from Lviv, Kharkiv, Frankivsk and Poltava, which, however, no one cares about.

[...]

But, in fact, we aren't talking about the official recognition of the Insurgent Army, nor is it about those who earn their political capital off the Cossack Glory holiday. It's not even about UPA. It's about ourselves. Because, if someone's forgotten, we are the Ukrainian people.

All our history is the history of fighting against inner opposition, and our every war [...] ends up turning into civil war.

Actually, all our history - if you look at it from a certain angle - is the history of UPA. Some are in favor, others - against, and the majority works [day and night] and drinks.

[...]

Why aren't we using all the heritage of our ancestors? The Crimean Tatars, by the way, also have something to tell about their past.

Ukrainian history is the history of suffering, interfighting and great blood. The history of rupture and scars that haven't healed since the times of Khmelnytskyi and Mazepa, that continue to rot, making it impossible to finish the process of consolidation of that one whole that we'll eventually call "Ukraine" - and won't be wrong.

And there are only two paths to follow: the path of mutual exclusion, of cutting off what doesn't fit the framework, what's not on the map and dressed in the wrong uniform - and the path of collecting.

Collecting the differences in one place, the path of recognizing our century-long fratricide as an inseparable part and even (why not?) the most typical feature.

So that next time we could avoid robbing our culture in the process of "cutting off" - and perhaps, as we take aim [...], we could even feel ashamed. And stand next to each other instead.

[...]

Trying to entertain Marta this morning, I kept straying off to YouTube, to watch some of my favorite Soviet cartoons. I realized they were a bit too boring for Marta when we were watching the first one, Winnie-the-Pooh, and I wasn't surprised at all, but since it didn't really matter after that, I got to watch Padal proshlogodniy sneg (1983) in between other, more kid-friendly, things.

(All videos and links are in Russian.)

Part One:



Part Two:



Here's another one, made by the same guy, Aleksandr Tatarskiy, in 1981:



I don't think I've ever seen it from the very beginning. In general, it feels very different to watch this stuff on YouTube, not on TV. A totally different context.

Tatarsky was born in Kyiv in 1950, and died this past summer, at the time when we were searching for my papa. So very sad.

Here's a video interview with him, conducted by The New Times just ten days before his death.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our window would've been like a TV if it hadn't been for the chestnut trees, a few of which still have some leaves left. No use trying to take pictures. And I'm without my camera again, anyway, so I didn't even bother to go outside (and, yes, it is very cold today, Marta spent most of her "walk" at a coffee house with Mishah and his mother).

Outide the window, a few fights, riot police, folks chanting Han'ba, a few anti-Vitrenko guys arrested, apolitical Kyivites walking past the police cordon as if nothing's really happening.

Maybe I should run outside before it's too dark and take a few pictures with my cell phone? (The phone is back, by the way, but I keep forgetting to write about it.)

Fascists, Communists, whatever.

Taking Marta for a walk feels like a guerrilla operation today. Vitrenko is on the right flank, Tyahnybok's fellows, a thousand of them or so, on the left, by Taras Shevchenko's monument. The original plan was to take her to the wonderful playground at the Shevchenko Park, but we've been forced to reconsider.

Mishah was buying herbs at Besarabka, had a conversation with a real cute babushka, a vendor, there. She told him how once Vitrenko was at the market, along with reporters, bodyguards, the crowd, and she got really curious, and ran to look, unaware it was Vitrenko. And someone from Vitrenko's entourage gave her some flowers right away and told her to go ahead and present them to "Natalya Mykhailovna" and thank her. Babushka said, "But who am I supposed to give flowers to?" "Natalya Mikhailovna." "Yes, but who is she, this Natalya Mikhailovna?" "Vitrenko." "Vitrenko?! But I don't want to give her flowers, I don't like what she does! Me, I'm a bazaar woman, yes, and I am at my place, at the bazaar. But Vitrenko, she's a bazaar woman, too, so why is she in politics?!!"

:)

Oh boy, now it's Oleg Gazmanov's turn: Sdelan v SSSR... To fully grasp what a torture it is to live at Besarabka on weekends, go to La Russophobe for the lyrics and the translation of this song...

The Communists are right outside our window now, playing Vstavay, strana ogromnaya and Den Pobedy loudly since around 8 am.

No way for them to get to Maidan: the cops have been preparing for today since yesterday.

No more than a hundred of them, but a really loud bunch. And every other one seems to hold a flag, Mishah reports, so it may appear as if there are more of them than just a hundred. The guy who is making a speech now says there are eight people among them from Crimea - not sure if he thinks that's a lot or not...

Not a single Ukrainian flag, but at least one Russian and about a dozen strange-looking flags - the Imperial Russian yellow-white-black on red.

Mishah thinks most of the people there are Vitrenko's (she's speaking at the moment) and about a third might be from Russia (hence, those strange flags). So, technically, they aren't Communists, but, likely, the so-called Progressive Socialists and the so-called Russian Eurasianists. Not that it really matters, of course.

Some guy is bitching about a recently-dedicated Stepan Bandera monument in Lviv - and this reminds me of an item (RUS) I saw on Gazeta.ru yesterday: a bunch of the opposition and near-opposition groups were protesting in Moscow against restoration of a monument to "the White generals who fought on Hitler's side" during WWII; they called it hypocritical of the Russian authorities to get involved in their neighbors' affairs and yet ignore what's taking place at home.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I don't mind it when this blog inspires discussion, conversation, argument.

But the previous post is too fragile for any of it.

So I'm moving Elmer's comment here - feel free to discuss whether I could have meant that "the commies were not fascists" or any other such crap. Thank you.

8:06 AM, October 13, 2007

Elmer wrote:

Well, Neeka, I don't mean to spoil your melancholy mood, or if you like Duke Ellington, your Mood Indigo, but one thing contained in your write-up just about punched me in the face - the reference to fascists.

My immediate reaction - "you mean the commies were not fascists?"

Charles Aznavour certainly had his day in the limelight all over the world. So did Maurice Chevalier. The Marx brothers did a great spoof of Maurice Chevalier in one of their movies ("If a nightingale could sing like you...")

Hang on to those tapes and that old equipment. These days you can transcribe those old tapes onto CD or DVD - what a great keepsake and memoir.

Fascists - interesting.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Here's some of what I wrote to a friend on August 8, 2003:

[...] I'm home alone again, the third day in a row. I've been talking to my cat, you know... And I'm too sick of Kyiv to go for a walk or something, and all my friends are either busy with family and kids, or away on vacation. And it's 4 am now.

[...] I found myself in my parents' room, trying to watch the news, and then I drifted off to one of those dusty corners where my father keeps all the useless vinyl records (is that what they're called?) - and there I saw our ancient reel-to-reel Philips recorder, underneath a pile of my mama's sewing patterns magazines. And I realized that I'd wanted to drag it out for so long, and to see if it still works (it must be at least a few years older than I am - my father's diplomat friends gave it to him when they acquired something newer...), and to try to find those old records (Italians, and the stupidest English-language disco, and the great Dalida...) that I used to listen to as a child, in the early 80s. So I unearthed it, and then I checked whether the records were still where I remembered them to be - they were, stocked behind all the vinyls, invisible and hardly reachable.

I wiped the dust off the recorder and removed its gray, rough lid - and inside it had that incredibly familiar smell, nice smell, of some kind of plastic I think. I plugged it in and put on the first record - I still remember how to put on reel-to-reel - not from childhood but from the radio journalism class at Iowa where the recorders were very shitty and broken-down. It worked! (The only two things that don't are the rewind and fast-forward functions - they never did, as far as I remember - so I have to do it manually, at first using my index finger and then when it starts bleeding, I switch to a pen.)

The first record was of my father's idol, Charles Aznavour, the French Armenian who has recently had a secondary role in Atom Egoyan's Ararat, a film about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. I never really liked him too much (except that he reminds me of my grandfather who died before I was born, allowing me to idealize him all I want) - but this time he sounded like magic!

I unplugged the recorder and transported it to my room. There, I put on one of my favorites, Nada, an Italian who won at San Remo in 1971, three years before I was born. She has a boy's voice - and I've been missing her so so so much all this time. As soon as I heard this voice, I saw my mama dancing around the room to her, twenty years ago... (When I was in Iowa, I found her sound-alike, an Arab woman with a boy's voice, and at first mama would yell, Turn this horrible music off, but when she was going back to Kyiv four months later, she asked if I could please let her have that Arabic tape, and back home she was torturing papa with it the first thing in the morning...)

At Nada's fourth or fifth song, I realized I was so happy I felt like crying, so I called Mishah in St. Pete. But it's Friday night, right, and he was tipsy and not too much use.

To chase away the reality that Mishah had imposed on me, I put on the recording of my 5-year-old self (as any parent, my papa used to sit me down in front of the mike every year, religiously, till I was ten or something). In 1979, he had me believe that the mike was still off and so I chatted away happily for half an hour, interrupting myself every other minute with, Papa, let's record me already, enough of this testing! Among other things, I showed off my English - a dog, a cat, a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a baby, hello, good morning good morning good morning to you, good morning good morning I'm glad to see you - all with the strongest and the funniest Ukrainian accent I never knew I had to such extent (the way to tell a Ukrainian accent - in Russian or in English - is to listen to the "g" sound: the word God would sound like GHod; also, in proper Russian you'd say 'shto' ('what') and a Ukrainian is likely to say 'sho'...). I've also sang a song they taught us at the kindergarten, a very sad song about a schoolgirl named Lyudmila, from the town of Cherkassy, who was captured by the fascists and they wanted to know where the communists were, and she wouldn't tell because she was a conscientious young Pioneer, so they tortured her in every way possible and then hung her... (If I ever have children, I'll record them every three months - because now I know that by the time they are 29, this stuff would make them laugh their asses off.)

Now I'm beginning the fourth hour of listening (it’s my favorite mix now), feeling totally happy, and totally grateful to my parents [...]

[...]

The latest thing I've discovered listening to papa's reel-to-reels is that in 1982, I spoke French. It was some little poem, and it did sound like French to me, like real French! My English didn't sound too English then - and now I'm allergic to French (I mean I like the sound of it but when it comes to spelling and understanding, I always freak out). So now I'm waiting for one of my French-speaking friends to return from his vacation - I really want to know what that poem was about!!! (It's very strange not to be able to understand yourself speaking - almost like amnesia...)


I still remember how happy I was that night. Papa was still healthy, they were in Odesa with mama that week, I guess...

And here're two old videos by Nada - I found them on YouTube a few days ago, and it was the first time I saw her, and both mama and I got really emotional listening to her...



Armenian Genocide on the Daily Show:



Update: The link above no longer works, because of some copyright issues.

The video can now be found here.

Or here, somewhat truncated, though.

Speaking of Our Always - Their Always, that is - Lyndon of Scraps of Moscow has translated answers to Kommersant-Vlast's question of the week: "Is he [with us] forever now?"

I haven't listened to Radio Echo of Moscow since the end of June - but now, after reading Sergei Dorenko's answer, I suddenly begin to miss his morning hooliganism on the Razvorot show...

Sergei Dorenko, journalist: "Putin's problem lies in the fact that he wants to leave power but cannot. His feet are tied to the bicycle pedals. Everyone is crediting Putin with some clever plan, but I think he wakes up every day with a new plan. No one needs him once he's out of power. Though it is true that outside of Russia many are waiting for him with open arms: Chechen families, Nevzlin, Berezovsky, and about thirty other people."


***

And Mishah has posted Kommersant-Vlast's selection of Putin look-alikes on his blog - check it out... :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another political joke - in my tonight's GV translation:

To prepare for his visit to the post-election Kyiv last week, Marat Gelman - LJ user galerist, a Russian art dealer and, allegedly, Victor Yanukovych's "spin doctor" in 2004 - looked through Ukrayinska Pravda, a popular online source of political news, co-founded by Georgiy Gongadze in 2000.

Boris Berezovsky's blog was one of the curious things that Gelman found there. He wrote (RUS):

It is him [Berezovsky], indeed. I guarantee that.


He also ran into this political joke (RUS) about George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin and Victor Yushchenko:

God summons the three presidents - of the United States, Russia and Ukraine - to heaven and tells them:

- Dear presidents, I've summoned you because of some really bad news I have to share: the end of the world is in two weeks. I'd like you to report this sad information to my three most favorite peoples.

Bush appears on TV:

- Brothers and sisters, I've got two pieces of news for you. One good, the other bad. The first one: there is God, after all. The second: the end of the world is in two weeks.

Putin speaks on the radio and TV:

- Ladies and gentlemen, I've got two pieces of news for you. Both are bad. The first one: there is God, after all. The second: the end of the world is in two weeks.

Yushchenko makes a radio and TV address:

My people, I've got two pieces of news for you. Both are good. The first one: God himself has recognized me as president. The second: I'll rule the country till the end of the world.


According to some of Gelman's readers who have commented on this joke, it appears to be an old one, recycled many times over the years: substitutes for Bush, Putin and Yushchenko have included Aleksandr Lukashenko; Boris Yeltsin, Helmut Kohl and Leonid Kuchma; Leonid Brezhnev; and, surprisingly, Bill Gates.

But, joking aside, here is Gelman's three-sentence analysis of today's political situation in Ukraine (RUS) :

[...] It's impossible to imagine collisions that are more complicated. Though, all in all, everyone would like to drown [Yulia Tymoshenko]. But since she may become president in the future and is very unforgiving, everyone wants to do it with someone else's hands.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One of the comments to Sean Guillory's post about Nashi's celebration of Putin's birthday:

There is a new joke going around: Pushkin is our everything, Tsereteli is our everywhere and Putin is our always.


:)))

An interview with Victor Shenderovich in Die Tageszeitung, translated into English at Robert Amsterdam's blog:

I cannot speak for the majority of citizens. Among those around me, people are shocked. They are downright ashamed that the Kremlin party congress was such a retro-event. The dramatization was not content with falling back on the symbolic forms of the Brezhnev era. It went right back to Stalin: standing ovations lasting for minutes; a weaver as representative of workers who asks the Kremlin boss to remain in office; a delegate from the provinces who suggests to the president that he do the people a favour and become minister president. This script hails from the Stalin era. It was never before so clear. One just has to be ashamed.


In this interview, unfortunately, Shenderovich is nowhere near as brilliant and funny as he normally is. Maybe something got lost in translation.

But it's not often that he's being interviewed in the West, so I thought I should post the link here.

Here's his Russian-language site.

I wish Ukraine had someone like Shenderovich, too.

Or - it would be nice to live in a separate country, with Shenderovich as its president.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I've only now gotten to look through that New York Times' piece on Yanukovych - which they chose to run right before the election, on Sept. 29.

It begins:

Once a divisive figure reviled by some here as a shady reactionary and Kremlin pawn, Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovich has turned into arguably the nation’s most popular politician.


"Arguably" is the key word of this sentence.

And then there's this:

He [Yushchenko] then lost to Mr. Yanukovich in balloting that was denounced as fraudulent by Western observers. Protests forced another election, which was won by Mr. Yushchenko.


How come there's no mention of the Supreme Court's ruling?

Don't really feel like reading on. Maybe later.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The fucking disco outside is driving me crazy. It rained around 6 PM, so there was some hope they'd cancel the concert, but the rain stopped after half an hour or so.

You know, there were moments when I did sympathize with people living around Maidan in 2004 - but at the time, one of the alternatives was a civil war or something similar, and a seemingly non-stop concert with little breaks for political speeches must have seemed okay even to those stuck in the epicenter, I guess.

Here and now is so different.

Is this how Chernovetsky is preparing for a new election? Buckwheat for the elderly, shitty music for the kids?

It's 9:30 PM now. Don't they have to go to work tomorrow morning?

66 photos of the winners of this election - taken on Oct. 1 - are here.

I was upstairs, uploading this set on Oct. 4, while my camera was being stolen downstairs...































Saturday, October 06, 2007

Shit. They'll have another concert like this tomorrow, too. Same place, same time.

Melodiyi sertsya is what it's called. The Melodies of the Heart. Fucking sovok.

It's over now, I hope. Unless they decide to play more Pink Floyd to the empty Khreshchatyk.

Marta has fallen asleep, despite the noise.

Will be three hours of this nightmare in ten minutes. Marta, of course, can't fall asleep. This is too extreme of a transition. So unfair. Some asshole is singing now, no ear for music, no voice. And there are very few people listening to this. Mama thinks this is how Chernovetsky is celebrating those land deals (worth about $200 million, I guess) that he managed to pull through on Monday.

I hope this concert won't last too long. The music is awful. Pink Floyd it is not. And it's so loud, things on my table are dancing, almost. I want our dacha back.

Leaving the dacha was heartbreaking. It's so nice there now, the weather's surprisingly amazing, and we've had such a wonderful time there overall. I was packing our stuff this afternoon, and really, I almost cried a few times.

At Besarabka, there's a stage right outside our window, and Chernovetsky's sponsoring some stupid concert, about to begin, at 7 PM. For the past few hours, they've been playing "Leave the Kids Alone" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy" real loud.

At Maidan, there are two stages set up: one belongs to the Party of the Regions, the other - to some Pylypyshyn guy, who's sponsoring some anti-car event tomorrow, I guess.

Whatever's going on in our politics now is not reflected in Kyiv's center. Everyone's walking around, drinking beer, listening to the street musicians. Just an average weekend.

Ran into Mikhail Dobkin at our grocery store a few hours before he appeared on Savik Shuster's show - I think he saw it in my eyes that I recognized him because of that lovely video...

At Savik Shuster's show, Dobkin and Lutsenko had a rather nasty argument - who got more votes, who represents a bigger chunk of the country, who is more honest, who is a better manager - and Lutsenko did well. The language issue came up, and Lutsenko said Russian should be protected from "Anna Akhmetova."

Dobkin, and now Shufrych, insist that "percents" of their voters are more important than the "real numbers": this year, compared to 2006, the Party of the Regions got more of the former and less of the latter.

Listening to kurwa Lytvyn, I realized once again that most politicians here like to scream about how divided the country is - and how people are never going to unite unless politicians do so first. Which is complete bullshit. And so far, Lutsenko has been the only one who said more or less what I think: that across the country, people appear pretty united if you look at their main common concerns - high prices and low salaries.

Overall, if I didn't know that we'd just had an election, I'd think we were about to have one soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

We are back to Besarabka - because our dacha got slightly robbed this afternoon, while all three of us were there, me and Marta napping upstairs, and mama reading a book right next to the house.

I've no idea how it could've happened: we didn't hear a sound.

I'm without a phone again (the previous one got stolen about a month ago), and without a camera (this one was Mishah's, mine is broken), and without a passport (had this happened a week ago, I wouldn't have been allowed to vote).

In a way, however, we are lucky, very lucky, because none of us got hurt - thank God.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted and going nuts again.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I've read these two articles out loud to mama while she was feeding Marta this morning:

Ukrainska Pravda's "Victor Chyvokunya" (UKR) and Obozrevatel's "Sonya Koshkina" (RUS, bad grammar) - on all the different things that may or may not happen next.

Interesting.

And, if we continue like this, Marta will probably grow up to be a political scientist or something.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Need a break from all this election business... Here're two apolitical Kyiv photos:


Khreshchatyk


Livoberezhna - "Used Mobile Phones from Europe"

:)

MoldovAnn posts a detailed report on observing the election at a polling station in Kyiv where Ukraine's foreign minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk cast his vote, accompanied by rather threatening-looking secret service folks.

I wonder if anyone else is blogging about observing this election. Please send me the links if you discover any. Thanks a lot.

And what if Yushchenko uses this gas situation to kick Yanukovych's ass?

Because it's definitely not Tymoshenko who's to blame for such an enormous debt, right? And in the ideal world, someone would have to bear responsibility. Maybe.

This is probably why Azarov has announced today that the debt isn't as huge as Gazprom claims it to be, etc.

Reacting to Yushchenko's unbearably ambiguous statement on the future coalition, Yanukovych sounded as if truth is and has always been on his side. As if it had been something other than his silly megalomania that caused Yushchenko to call this early election. As if now he is finally being given a chance to save the country, and everyone's got to unite around him.

Tymoshenko disagreed with his interpretation of Yushchenko's words and offered her own vision: that Yushchenko is actually asking her and others who'll form the new government to be nice to the opposition - to Yanukovych, that is.

And Yushchenko, instead of making himself 100 percent clear, flew off to Germany to present some award that he had received last year - and to meet with the queen of Sweden, of all people. Now, that's an important excuse for leaving the whole country wondering and guessing.

Yanukovych sounds really important, promising to work out a solution for the very complex Russian gas problem, blah-blah-blah. But of course. And then try replacing this "Superman" with another premier.

And Ukrainska Pravda feels (UKR) that Yushchenko supports a "broad" - not "democratic" - coalition. But we'll see, right?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Someone please explain to me:

What's the deal with Lytvyn? Is he being considered as a potential coalition ally? Or not anymore, now that Moroz seems to be out?

Because if he is, isn't it somewhat fucked up?

Here's a leaflet I've photographed today at Livoberezhna, underneath the metro bridge:



It seems to be one of Lytvyn's campaign statements, addressed to the Kyiv folks. In what looks like lipstick, someone wrote over the thing, in Russian:

Gong[adze]'s Killer

A little bit more on Lytvyn's alleged involvement in Gongadze's disappearance is here.

And there's something else, too. We all know that "the country needs Lytvyn" - that ad was all over the city. But this leaflet also says that "Kyiv needs Chernovetskyi" - and that some "political forces" are pushing for the mayor's resignation, and that Lytvyn's Bloc has always been on Chernovetsky's side, and that Chernovetskyi's not gonna "do harm to anyone" - and so Lytvyn's Bloc is planning to start collecting signatures in support of our poor, beleaguered mayor.

I thought Lutsenko - with his "I don't promise, I guarantee" bravado - was against Chernovetskyi.

I hope they'll somehow manage without Lytvyn. Otherwise, it all seems kind of pointless, once again.

Update: Or is this leaflet a fake? As recently as Sept. 28, Lytvyn's Bloc complained about brudni tekhnologii ("dirty technologies") being used against them (here, in Ukrainian)...

If he's not a fan of Chernovetskyi, then teaming up with him wouldn't be such an absurd thing to do, after all.

As for Gongadze, it's been seven years now, and hardly anyone remembers the details of the case. And no one really expects Yushchenko to solve it anymore. They'll find a way out for Lytvyn, I'm sure.

Another update: It is a fake. But it failed to hurt them bad enough, obviously...

Here's a comment from an anonymous reader:

The leaflet which you photographed was shown on 5kanal interview show on October 2nd, and Oleh Zar[u]binsky [...] of Lytvyn Bloc stated that was black PR and then went on to state - we know who printed where etc. but would not state any name or party connected to it.


Thanks!

The best justification for this election: Moroz is out.

***

And the world is all over Yulia again - here're some google searches that have brought visitors to this blog today:

- yulia tymoshenko pics
- yulia tymoshenko legs
- yulia tymoshenko heels
- tymoshenko sexy
- yulia tymoshenko leather pants
- yulia v. tymoshenko cute
- yulia tymoshenko campaign adviser
- timoshenko hair
- yulia tymoshenko ass
- how does yulia tymoshenko braid her hair
- yulia tymoshenko oops
- tymoshenko braid
- sexy yulia tymoshenko heels

Yulia-maniac googling reports from two years ago are here and here.

There've also been a few searches for Yushchenko, one for his son, Andriy Yushchenko - and one for Vyacheslav Pikhovshek. Is Pikhovshek still around?

P.S. (10/04): Here's one more - someone from Cairo is googling for the "truth about mrs. timoshenko hairdo."