Sunday, October 22, 2006

Straws in the wind?

Last Thursday's newspaper "Donbass", the largest-selling daily in eastern Ukraine, carried the following story about a demonstatration in Konstaninovka, a town about 60 km north of Donetsk, against large increases in communal and utility prices:

"We will continue to hold meetings until the draconic tariffs are changed!

Yesterday near the building of the Konstantinovka town council approximately two hundred angry townspeople with placards in their hands emotionally protested against the sharp increases in the cost of living.

The reason for the picketting of the town council was the decision of local deputies to introduce new, two-fold increases in tariffs on housing services and utilities in the city. Last Friday, at a special session, elected representatives almost unanimously abolished the previous tariffs affirmed by city council in the past year.

It is possible to understand the position of authorities - in the event of their non-acceptance of new tariffs, the city will not receive 1,5 mln. hryven from the state budget in the form of subsidies for fuel. One way or another, from 1st November the monthly payment of the heating of one square meter of dwelling in Konstantinovka rises to 2,64 hryven, and for the delivery of one cube of water, to 2,22 hn.

Meetings will be held repeatedly, until the excessive valuations are completely cancelled."
But what is interesting is that day's edition of "Donbass" also carried a large article by Yuliya Tymoshenko entitled "About populism, tariffs and the [VR] speaker/terrorist", which had been posted in various other periodicals including her own website on 5th October. In it she lambasts PoR and the Socialists for voting down a motion in the VR to maintain a moratorium on price hikes on these tariffs, after having supported it weeks before.

Last Thursday the NSNU executive council head Mykola Katerynchuk declared that the leader of a united VR opposition should be Yuliya T.

At Saturday's NSNU congress fiasco, once Yushchenko had finished his address, Roman Bezmertnyi's immediately pronounced that the congress was ending but would be reconvened in three week's time. The abrupt termination of the congress was met by the chanting of Katerynchuk's name by some of the delegates who wanted it to continue.

All of the delegates had received a 'welcome pack' containing congress documentation etc. - the pack also included a copy of a book entitled, 'The Donetsk Mafia'.

'Oboz' periodical journalists made enquiries whose idea this was; no-one was keen to say, but apparently it may have been Katerynchuk's. None of the party's leading lights were to be seen holding or examining the book, probably because of the numbers of TV cameras present.

NSNU in the anti-crisis coalition still possible?

1 comment:

R. Smith said...

Seen today on

"Belarus, Cuba, China, and North Korea astonished the world today by announcing their intention to join NATO. Inquiries were met with the explanation that according to the latest data from Ukraine, Russia will give a 50% discount on gas to nations that decide not to join NATO. In response to this news Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Poland began to consider the possibility of leaving NATO."