Ukraine: Victor Yushchenko the Anti-Hero (Or Not)

Global Voices Online
Saturday, August 5, 2006

Victor Yanukovych is Ukraine's new prime minister, and it looks like the president, Victor Yushchenko, is the nation's new "anti-hero."

At least, this is what LJ user didaio concludes (UKR) after reading through the recent posts of his fellow-bloggers:

Before August 2, the only problem with my friend list was that it had few people on it. The reason for that was that I used to add only Ukrainian-language journals (with just a few exceptions). About 95 percent of my friend list are political [blogs]. Before, there was no one on it who was openly pouring dirt on the President.

After August 2, I saw more dirt directed at the President in my feeds than I'd ever seen directed at [Oleksandr Moroz] (after July 6) or at Yanukovych. Judging by the feeds, the nation's main anti-hero is Victor Andriyovych Yushchenko. Everyone's calling him beekeeper [pasichnyk] now [...]. There can be only two reasons for this: his refusal to dismiss the parliament and the nomination of Yanukovych [for PM].

I don't want to judge these people's conclusions; I just want to say what I've been saying always (even back in [Leonid Kuchma]'s time): such attacks on the President are immoral [...].

In these two days, I've also heard similar accusations directed at me. I've also been accused of having [...] low intellectual level. The reason is my support for the President's latest actions.

So that no one has any doubts or questions as to my position, I repeat: I support the signing of the Universal of National Unity, support the creation of the new Coalition of the [Party of the Regions], [Our Ukraine] and [Socialist Party] (without [Communist Party]). I am immensely sorry that [Yuri Yekhanurov] is no longer the premier, and that the ex-con Yanukovych has replaced him. But this is the objective consequence of irresponsible behaviour of the Orange Team in the past year and a half. I've been a steadfast supporter of the Our Ukraine-Party of the Regions Coalition since March 27, 2006 [one day after the election]. And I'm very glad [Yulia Tymoshenko] is the opposition now - I'm positive she won't let the President and the government relax.

I'm very sorry that the friends whose feeds I used to read with pleasure now allow themselves to abuse the President of Ukraine. But I hope that my position and theirs won't affect our virtual relations, though if someone decides to delete me from their friend list, I'll understand.

It turns out, however, that there are plenty of bloggers who share didaio's views and are supportive of president Yushchenko:

czyk [in Belarusian]: I respect your president. I see logic in what he does, even though at times, he has to choose from [the worst]. I don't understand what the new election could change. Maybe the problem's not the president but the country: this is what it is now, not all of it is Europhilic, not all of it is Orange. [...]

love_precious: We voted for him, we gave him life as the president, and now we have to support him, attempt to understand his position. Yulia in the opposition is good for the Country. Let's judge Yushchenko when his presidency is over - whether life has become better or worse. And in general, would any of us be capable of a better performance? It's always easy to judge.

pashyrey: Oh, and I thought I was the only one like this :)) You've expressed all my thoughts almost verbatim.

didaio: I also thought that I'm the only one like this. But all comments to this post have convinced me that I'm not the only one. It's very, very nice to read it! Thank you!

pashyrey: Maybe this is because people who support the President are calm, have minimum emotions, and don't write much, unlike the opposite side. That's why it seems as if you are a white crow next to what appears to be mass dissatisfaction.

LJ user nezloy quotes (RUS) what Yanukovych said back in 2004, a year and a half ago, as a reminder - and an explanation of why it is such a blow to many to have this man as prime minister again:

From hatred to love - a year and a half.

[photo omitted]

"I believe that there are a lot more strong and healthy people than these animals ['goats' in the original], who aren't letting us live the way we want to!" This is what V. Yanukovych said [about his political opponents] on October 21, 2004, in his address to representatives of local communities of Luhansk region. [...]

LJ user faina_kaplan dreams (UKR, RUS) of her dislike for Yanukovych - and writes about Yushchenko's unfulfilled promise to prosecute the criminals who were part of the previous regime:

In a dream tonight, I saw [Yanukovych] tied to a chair, like in a mafia movie, and it was possible to do whatever you wanted to with him. And I was eating cherries, throwing pits at him, saying: "I hate you, do you understand? And not just me, but the whole nation hates you!" - And he looked at me sadly and said that he'd keep on moving toward integration with Europe.


kosta_kosta: And I'd put [Yushchenko] next to [Yanukovych]. And [extinguish cigarettes] on them, not throw pits. [...]

faina_kaplan: Better think of how [late Georgy Kirpa] must be feeling now: he shot himself prematurely. He really believed that "Bandits will go to jails."

kosta_kosta[...] And my friend said this today: "A thief's place is in the Cabinet of Ministers."

LJ user mc_yulka, a Kyiv journalist, experienced a different type of disappointment with president Yushchenko (RUS): because of his early-morning decision to nominate Victor Yanukovych as prime minister, her cover story about Israel's Russian-speaking community and the war was no longer a cover story, and since an urgent redesign of the magazine's cover was needed, her photo of two Israeli children (originally from Dushanbe, Tajikistan) had to be replaced:

Just an hour ago, the new issue of the magazine was supposed to come out with my photo of two kids that I took in a shelter outside Haifa during a bombing alert [...]. It was the first and the last chance in my life to have a photo taken by me on the cover.

But then, shortly after 2 am, Yushchenko came out and spoke quite a bunch, and the cover had to be changed, and now there'll be Yushch on the cover, instead of the children from the shelter.


I haven't slept in 46 hours. And I thought that - with a front page story - and with my photo on the cover - that it was worth it. But it's not worth it. [...]

mc_yulka has posted some of the pictures from her Israel trip here, and the cancelled cover here (RUS):

UNDER THE PROMISED LAND: Hizbullah's bombing of Israel has united former Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kyiv residents in the shelters.

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