Thursday, September 08, 2005


Man, this is not a good week for Yuschenko. First, Zinchenko resigns saying corruption is rife in the new government and singles out Poroshenko and one other as part of the corrupt cabal. Then Lytvyn piles on with a "the-corruption-is-as-bad-as during-Kuchma's-time" press conference and says Ukraine is weaker now than before. Of course, even a soft authoritarian administration is stronger than a democratic administration any democratic administration, so what is he really saying? He is saying, "Vote for my bloc not Yuschenko's" that is what he is saying. I take back what I said about him during the OR.

Now today, Poroshenko resigns saying that his resignation clears the deck for an inquiry into the corruption alleged by Zinchenko that is supposed to take place soon. That is the stated reason but surely it isn't the real reason. As to what that real reason is, who knows. But rumor is more resignations to follow so it looks like the little band is breaking up to make their own way probably to consolidate their own power in the upcoming elections, if they can. Leaves Yuschenko alone on the ship.

And then Tomenko from Humanitarian Affairs resigns saying he agrees with Zinchenko. He apparently talked with Tymoshenko before he did.

A bad set of days for Yuschenko.

The one who wins from all this is Tymoshenko, of course. Increases her power no end. While Yuschenko may end up floundering trying to stop up holes and prop up his credibility, Tymoshenko emerges popular and unscathed by it all. And the fact that her chief antagonist, Poroshenko is no longer around clears out one obstacle she has had to deal with. Only increases her power.

This may be good news to some who see her as a reformer and don't take seriously what she says she wants to do. But they ought to understand that she has done exactly what she has said she was going to do. They may see some social justice in it all, or even some liberal reforms if they are not looking closely enough, but it will end up in disaster for the country if it becomes state policy. And there will be no oil revenues to paper things over as there are in Russian and Venezuela. It may be popular and the people may rejoice to see it but you will end up with much the same system as before, corruption and all, even though Tymoshenko personally might be trying to stamp it out. If you interfere in the economy and put bureaucrats in charge of it, corruption follows. And economic stagnation follows, if you're lucky.

UPDATE as I write: We just heard on the news that Yuschenko has put someone in as Acting Prime Minister. Unless we heard wrong, does that mean Tymoshenko is out? Does that change anything? Run your own party in the elections and come back in on the shoulders of the people. In other words, not really.

But we shall see.

Another UPDATE as I write: Yuschenko apparently has told the Acting Prime Minister to form a new government. Bold move and the right thing to do under the circumstances. Makes it look like he's cleaning house. Makes it look like it because he is cleaning house.

Curiouser and Curiouser.

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