Friday, December 03, 2004

Two views on Russia's reaction to the events in Ukraine:

- Natalia Gevorkyan, a Russian journalist, column

These Ukrainian oranges in the snow have turned everything upside down. Moscow interprets the peaceful color of Ukrainian opposition as the top-level threat to Russia's security. Orange alert. Remember? That's when there's a threat that airplanes would take a dive on the skyscrapers. And now the Kremlin folks are having nightmares about Ukraine taking a dive on Russia. They were almost done decorating the cattle pen, so to say, but there was still some work left. Took them five years! The herd got used to it, showed some defiance for decency's sake at first, but finally fell asleep. And then what? Those unruly ones in the neighboring pen decided to rebel. They've swept away the vertical supports and are bellowing so loudly it might wake our cattle, peacefully asleep for now. Orange threat! It's crucial to act fast. First, to amend the anti-terrorism law, appropriately or not, with a ban on "actions that may affect the government's ability to make decisions aimed at satisfying social and political demands and interests" of the protesters. So that it didn't occur to them, God forbid, to come out into the streets and rally, as in Kiev, and to exert psychological pressure and demand their social and political rights. Not a single step out of the pen. Otherwise, send them to trial. And hence, the number two task is to agree with the judges. They may be an independent branch - but a branch of the government, after all.

This is the first paragraph. There's more, and it's in Russian, and maybe I'll translate it one day. (Note: Thank you, Tatyana, for pointing out a mistake - it's orange (high) terror alert, not threat, of course. Sorry!

- Jonathan Thatcher, Reuters

The move by the Russian president underlines Kremlin fears that if Ukraine's opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko took power he would weaken links with Moscow and push Ukraine deeper into the West's embrace.


Gevorkyan's piece is full of weird imagery and figures of speech, and yet it is so accurate; Reuters' bit is tight and serious, but so very abstract, somehow...


  1. Hi, Neeka
    I tried earlier,seems the server was asleep...I enjoy reading your your stories.[Duzhi Dobri]. Putin put all his marbles in Kuchma and Yanukovich's basket. Yanukovich went down,when Kuchma goes down,Putin will be forced to follow shortly thereafter.
    John, Edmonton, Canada

  2. Hi,Neeka
    Just one more thing,the other day President Bush was here in Canada. I'm very glad,as most Canadians are I'm sure, that our prime minister [highest position in Canada]said very bluntly that Putin should stay out of Ukranian politics. President Bush tried to be more diplomatic about it. [why beat around the bush?] No bad will intended to the President of the United States or the good people.
    John, Edmonton, Canada

  3. Neeka, great translation, please continue.
    May I offer one small suggestion though?
    It should be "orange alert", not "orange threat", otherwise reference to the skyscrapers and planes is unclear. It refers to the Homeland Security system of color-coded public terror alerts implemented after 9/11 in US.

    Thank you for your blog, it provides emotinal background to dry news coverage.

    Tatyana, NY