NEW YEAR SPEECHES AS A REASON FOR UNPLEASANT REFLECTIONBy Pavel Vitek | Researcher in Politics, the Czech Republic | Issue 4, 2009
Politicians around the world regularly use the end of the year to address their nations. They usually shortly remind several key points characterized departing year and quickly disappear not to hinder from going on private celebrations. The clever politician the shorter speech. New Year performances of President Dmitry Medvedev in Russia and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine forced one to contemplate what persons govern these two states. Concerning upcoming presidential election in Ukraine more attention will be devoted to the Ukrainian leader.
Medvedev kept the ordinary style. He shortly summarized situation, wished all the best and quickly disappeared. He spoke rather about family then about politics. On Kyiv´s Maidan we could see absolutely different picture. Tymoshenko turned Maidan into would-be cheerful party expressing its support to the Dearest Leader. Tymoshenko´s midnight performance reminded very intensively old communist times, however, such speeches were held by communist bosses during May Day manifestations. From Tymoshenko´s mouth poured words about a new power station, flats for young families, fantastic results of aerospace industry, high nativity etc., etc. Among megawatts neonates and aircrafts only information missed when the building of the communism in Ukraine will be finished. Not to disappoint fans of this kind of information Tymoshenko announced that Ukraine would become a leader of all Europe and Europe would be in Ukraine. After that histrionic performance she forced present crowds to chant that they believe in Ukraine. Understand Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko repeated a whole performance following day on the TV in a role of Mother of nation. The aim of both performances was only one: All Ukrainian successes were done thanks to me and if you want to have a “paradise on the Earth” you have to vote for me.
The difference between performances of leaders of two big Eastern countries was wide. Scarcely anybody outside Russia keeps illusions about Medvedev and his regime but the fact is that Russian leaders´ New Year performance was much better. He was natural and civil. Even his terrible diction sounded softer. In Kyiv we saw a populist losing discernment.
During meeting with journalist (24 December 2009) Medvedev brought back his plan of the modernization of Russia. We can have a lot questions and doubts about it but it is possible to believe that there is some conception and he is going to carry out it. Hearing Tymoshenko nearly everyday coming with new ideas to forget older ones and everyday speaking untruth, relying on the lack of opportunity of ordinary citizens to check her statements, a heretic idea can emerge in the mind: maybe either rather marasmatic Yushchenko or Yanukovych, again heading to the power, are not typical symbols of stolen Orange revolution. This symbol is Yulia Tymoshenko.
There are not any doubts that a sad result of the revolution 2004 is a consequence of the joint “effort” of both then orange leaders but today´s Ukraine is going to meet colossal problems particularly owing to Prime Minister´s tactics after election, the deluge.
Today´s Russia does not and will not solve in the near future the question what will be after elections because it knows that current regime will remain the same. There is tiny difference who –Putin or Medvedev- will sit in Kremlin and which of them in “White House” on the bank of Moskva River.
Situation in which Ukrainians are finding themselves today is different. Unlike Russians they have right of free choice but this time they will choose between two favourites knowing that either Tymoshenko or Janukovych are not a good choice but tertium non datur. Thinking about Ukraine under Yanukovych or Tymoshenko we can paradoxically (this paradox is done by the fact that author of this sigh has been a supporter of Orange revolution) assume that Yanukovych would be a better choice.
A reason is not too intricate. Contrary of Tymoshenko, Yanukovych has been under much bigger influence of Orange revolution than Tymoshenko. She used the revolution only like a lift to the lost power whereas Yanukovych has learned very well what the conflict with civil society means and it is possible to presume he will not want to undergo this once again. Therefore we can expect he will not oppress main democratic freedoms as minimum. Tymoshenko does not give such guarantees. She is something like a bad social democrat with the heart of bolshevik and this variant is both dangerous and unfit for today. Her falling popularity in Western democracies is the clear evidence of it.
Who would have thought in December of miraculous 2004 that the situation would be so bad that Ukraine should fear more Tymoshenko than Yanukovych.
Speaking about stolen revolution we speak about people who only used it for their comeback to power. They were not any new generation of politicians they were only offended and humiliated Kuchma´s children (if I recall how passionately I disagreed then with Anders Aslund due to his article in weekly Standard where he used, describing Orange revolution, expression “a revolt of the millionaires against the billionaires”) who prevented to civil society to take the power over. The result is evident today: Yanukovych ante portas and it could be taken as a victory in the current political constellation in Ukraine.
Note: Wisdom of nation is mirrored in jokes. One of the latest comments prospective Tymoshenko´s victory in presidential election as follows: We replace hand which have never stolen with lips which have never laid. The remark for those who are not familiar with nuances of Ukrainian politics: It is President Yushchenko who very often demonstrates his never stealing hands to the nation and never lying lips naturally belong to our heroine.
 Beyond the absence of the conception how to lead Ukraine from crises we can look for refusal of Tymoshenko´s team to answer very concrete questions of the site Ekonomichna pravda asking presidential candidates their economic programme. In the hands of experts Tymoshenko´s ideas would come off not too good. www.epravda.com.ua/publications/4b3b37d08552a/
 Aslund, A., Ukraine Whole and Free. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/053geygt.asp
USEFUL LOOK UNDER HAT |
В САМОМ ЛУЧШЕМ СЛУЧАЕ РЕЗУЛЬТАТОМ ВЫБОРОВ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАИНЫ СТАНУТ НОВЫЕ ВЫБОРЫ |