Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A few Ukrainian notes 

Some scattered thoughts:

Tulip Girl has linked to Amy Ridenour's piece on Kateryna Yushchenko, which is excellent. One of TG's commenters asks why we keep referring to her as Kathy Chumachenko, and that's because that's how Ridenour knew her and how I knew her. It was common for the local workers in our office in Kyiv to call her Katya, and Kateryna would be how you translated her name to Ukrainian, just as my Armenian friends will sometimes call me "Takavor" instead of "King" (though it's rather silly, since the name is from my non-Armenian mother's side of the family.) But to suggest that somehow Kathy is not engaged in her husband's campaign is to misunderstand her. When I worked with her -- when she is described in her post as having trained a number of economists at Yushchenko's national bank, I was one of the trainers -- she opened doors for me to be successful without imposing herself in the work. (There was resistance to training -- too long a story to get into here.) The one criticism I ever heard of her was that she was too much a "true believer". I thought it was pretty neat that a western advisor actually thought of the concerns of the counterpart country Ukraine as much as she thought of those of the USA. So when TG replies that she's seen very little of Kathy, I can only think that she's working the same quiet effective way she did when we worked together. Who exactly do you think is helping to write those opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times? Maybe not her pen, but I'm sure her voice.

The squirrelly Yanukovych apparently played hide and seek with protestors, who are trying to keep him out of government offices while he still acts as prime minister. Kuchma is cooperating by suspending the acting PM, which allows Yanukovych to resume duties, "as a matter of principle" in his words. The appeals on the repeat voting from Sunday are at the Supreme Court, with one appeal already thrown out. There are reportedly three more to be considered. There are rumors that Yanukovych may quit, and another that the rest of the cabinet met in a different building (if it's the one I think it is, that's at least half a mile from where the blockade was supposed to happen). It appears the blockade is of only one person, however.

If all goes well for Yushchenko the inauguration will be January 10th or shortly thereafter. As I noted before, the calendar interferes, with Orthodox Christmas a week from tomorrow.

Scott Clark has more speculation about the Kirpa "suicide". Dan McMinn has links to some great articles in Zerkalo Nedeli with analysis. Dan's links are the best way to see them all. Go there.

Last, Terry Rogers:
The Orange Revolution proved the old saying that freedom is when the people can speak, but democracy is when the government listens.