Thursday, September 08, 2005

Here's my translation of parts of Yushchenko's today's address:


I knew there were certain misunderstandings between these people. I was sure, though, that these were just episodes typical of anyone and especially such interesting and extraordinary people. I was sure the every great person had problems.

I thought these problems were temporary. I hoped that if everyone started doing his/her job, they wouldn't have time left for conspiring against one another, for PR or anti-PR between certain political forces of the united coalition. Those were my hopes.


But as time went by, I was witnessing more and more how these institutions were getting involved first in confrontations and then in serious conflicts. There were mutual backstage intrigues, which were beginning to spread onto the foundations of the state policy.


I was sure that my friends, who were enjoying the unique trust of the people and the unseen authority, could use the resources in their work in a unique way. I was also positive that people holding such high positions were aware of their responsibility to the state, and I thought that they were obliged to hear one another and be able to compromise - that was their responsibility.

The president isn't supposed to be a nanny for them, someone to help them make up after a fight. But I'll be honest and admit that I was doing it eagerly, because I understood that this was the issue of great importance. I felt bad about wasting my time on things that weren't constructive. But that was the reality.


For eight months the president of Ukraine was a peacekeeper between these institutions. I rarely spoke about it in public. I thought of it as the karma I had to carry on my shoulders. Meanwhile, Ukraine was falling behind, economically and otherwise. I think that members of my team listened to the president but didn't hear him.


I'm sure this has to stop. I see how some government officials have become so preoccupied with this PR that they don't have enough time anymore for a productive conversation. They do not imagine life without TV cameras anymore. I've always been and will always remain a supporter of the government's openness to the public, [...] but this has to occur after the work has been completed. We should not drag the country into dangerous promises and dangerous populism.



On the one hand, it seems like such a justified thing to do, to fire them all in order to stop the in-fighting. And it seems so noble of Yushchenko to talk about it openly. This isn't too relevant, but I can't help comparing our situation to that in Russia: Yeltsin's frequent changes of prime ministers in the 1990s seemed nothing but senile, and Putin is only now beginning to deal with those who deserve it - the Navy guy Kuroyedov, fired five years after the Kursk submarine disaster, and now Patrushev, head of the FSB, may finally be questioned, a year after Beslan and three years after Nord-Ost... So yeah, in a way, we seem to be doing much better than Russia.

But on the other hand, why would anyone outside Lipki be interested in what Poroshenko thinks of Tymoshenko and vice versa? Yushchenko does admit that he had to babysit them from the very start, forgetting about the economy and other important matters - but why would anyone believe that everything is going to straighten out now, after he's been forced to say it all out loud?

It's very disappointing, all of it.

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