Ukraine: Politics and Reality

Global Voices Online
Friday, July 7, 2006

Ukraine has been without a new government since the March 26 election. A coalition between Victor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc and the Socialist Party was finally formed at the end of June, but it didn't last past yesterday, when Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz unexpectedly joined forces with the Communists and Victor Yanukovych's Party of the Regions and received their votes to become the speaker. On Tuesday, the country is likely to get its new prime minister, though much isn't clear yet, and Ukraine-watchers may be in for another surprise or two.

Below are some bloggers' (emotional) reactions to what's now a certainty: the Orange Coalition has collapsed and Oleksandr Moroz is the speaker.

Adrian J. Erlinger of Leopolis calls what's going on in Ukrainian politics "uninterrupted hysteria." Here's his summary:

Fast forward to yet another election. 3 months after that - no goverment, no constitutional court. Yu, Yulka, and Moroz refuse to speedily form a coalition. Eventually, a virtual orange coalition is formed, but then Yanukovich in snakeskin boots with sovok CPU allies also refuse to work. Like PORA activists, they begin a hunger strike and block the Rada. PR nominates former head of tax Mykola Azarov as speaker of the Rada, even though he cannot speak the state language. Moroz is elected speaker of the Rada by his opponents and former enemies. PR, CPU and SPU form an "anticrisis" coalition.

No end in sight for dramapolytyka in Ukraine.

Petro of Petro's Jotter feels "unclean" after watching the "speaker chapter" of the post-election "drama":

I am very glad I didn't waste time following the whole agonizing formation of the so-called "Orange Coalition", only to see it lay dying a week later.

Abdymok jots down the developments leading up to the speaker vote - "the un-coalition," he calls it:

(17:09) moroz takes podium . . . explaining his decision to leave the coalition with our ukraine and tymoshenko bloc. . . . says there is no way ukraine can be governed by people like poroshenko and tymoshenko . . . etc. blech.

Also, he criticizes the slow response of the English-language media:

it’s amazing how SLOW english-language media have been to cover this mess. there is NOTHING on the kyiv post site. i look at their issue for this week and get SICK.

such incompetence!

Stefan of Dykun tries to analyze the situation and assign blame, despite feeling "dumbfounded, flabbergasted":

I once again blame the incredible stubbornness of Our Ukraine that has resulted in a) its failure to accept its defeat at the polls and b) its continual support for people like Poroshenko for much of what happened today.

And of course, Moroz's cunning is also to blame. . .he is indeed a major political risk-taker and is very, very cunning; will this risk work?

He gives up eventually, however:

I don't know what to think about Ukrainian politics in Kyiv anymore. I think I will, from now on, keep completely to the grassroots, as I mostly do on this blog, anyway. . .

And as Ukrainian politics is getting more and more confusing, the gap between political discourse and ordinary people's lives is growing wider. Here, for example, is an entry (UKR) on how much the state pays Kyiv kindergarten employees (posted in the LJ community kiev-child, by LJ user mg-g):

Does anyone wish to work in a kindergarten?

We are sending our kid to daycare. They, however, lack teachers, don't have a nurse at all, et cetera.

This is how it is.
And here's more detailed info - maybe someone will find it useful!

Preschool Educational Institution #463
24-A Dobrokhotova St., metro station "Akademmistechko"
(phone number: 424-00-62)

Vacancies for Sept. 1, 2006:

Teacher - 4 vacancies, pedagogical education (490 hryvnias [monthly salary, $98])

Nurse - 2 vacancies (400 hryvnias [monthly salary, $80])

Music Teacher - 1 vacancy, special education (490 hryvnias [monthly salary, $98])

Teacher's Assistant - 4 vacancies, secondary education (430 hryvnias [monthly salary, $86])

Cleaner - 1 vacancy, secondary education (390 hryvnias [monthly salary, $78])

Nanny-Nurse - 1 vacancy, secondary education (390 hryvnias [monthly salary, $78])


libellule_fun: A teacher costs only 100 hryvnias [$20] more than a cleaner. And a nurse is 10 hryvnias more ($2). Amazing...

mg_g: :) The director hesitated for a long time before giving me these salary figures - like, they'll see it and decide not to call...

libellule_fun: But how is it possible to live on this money and not to collect additional fees from parents?

aksonova: They work two shifts. In our kindergarten there is one teacher, not two, and that's why she's making more. And they aren't asking any money from the parents. Well, maybe only for repairs.

libellule_fun: But working two shifts isn't adding up to $200, either. Horror-horror. They work with children. These professions are some of the most important...

aksonova: In our kindergarten, there's also a lack of teachers. They are inviting me to work there and I've learned about the conditions, little by little. God, how much they are demanding from them for this money! But I really admire our teachers who love kids so much and work there. [...]

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