Friday, November 12, 2010

Their own words

No amount of PR support or spin doctoring can fully cover up what people really think, especially those who hold powerful or influential positions. From the top down, some of Ukraine’s elite routinely reveal their true thoughts in unguarded moments – and they aren’t pretty.

“I will pull off their heads if they don’t deal with the sewage system, water and gas supplies,” President Viktor Yanukovych said on Nov. 11 in Kalush of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, referring to recalcitrant opposition mayors. His choice of words is more befitting that of a twice-imprisoned offender, which he is, rather than the leader of a democratic nation. No wonder many people fear the return of a 1990s mafia-like nation that existed under authoritarian ex-President Leonid Kuchma.

Only last week, in response to allegations that police are conducting a racist and illegal crackdown on merchants at Troyeshchyna market, Kyiv police spokesman Volodymyr Dmytrenko said: “Even if they are citizens of Ukraine, what positive contribution are they making to this country? None. They stand on their market, and sell goods of bad quality.” Such statements basically confirm the accusations.

Also last week, 12 journalism students at Taras Shevchenko National University were betrayed by their own instructor for having the bravery to create a calendar posing tough questions to Yanukovych. For instance, one asked: “When will authorities be held accountable for taking bribes?” “These kids are only 18 to 19 years old; they are too young and too inexperienced to ask such questions,” scoffed Volodymyr Shevchenko, deputy rector of the Journalism Institute.

It’s clear that, from the president to police to the universities, the nation's leaders are failing Ukrainians, young and old.

Source: Kyiv Post

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