I'm still trying to assess the importance of Raisa Bohatyryova's appointment as secretary of the National Security and Defence Council. It has to be remembered she is [for how long?] #2 on PoR's election list for September's VR early elections - a big beast indeed.
Ukrainska Pravda write: "It has become clear that if you have powerful support in certain circles in the party you can openly disagree with Yanukovych, and conduct your own game, ignoring the threats. Moreover, the hints of expulsion of Bohatyryova from the party, bear witness to the weakness of the 'Regionaly' leadership."
Bohatyryova may even possibly be setting up her own party. and there has been some speculation in the Russian media [subsequently denied] that Akhmetov may be moving away from PoR.
Yushchenko conducted an end-of-year assessment press conference, in which questions were put to him from viewers and from other quarters. A transcript and several good photographs are provided by Glavred here
LEvko thought the event appeared very well stage-managed by the presidential admin. to show Yush as obvious top banana in the country. Yush looks relaxed, and presidential, [maybe even regal?] seated on a raised platform. The leading players from the newly-elected government, including Tymoshenko, and PoR turncoat Raisa Bohatyryova, were seated on the front row to look like 'second stringers - Bohatyryova clearly on display like a star player, newly-purchased by a soccer team - the whole scene set up to show viewers Yushchenko in clear command. Sitting with them was head of the presidential secretariat Viktor Baloha - a spin-doctor civil servant with a dubious past. Yulka T must have felt well humiliated.
Brief video clip here
As usual, his boring, droning delivery was just not engaging enough though. He should get himself a voice coach. When Margaret Thatcher became British prime minister her PR advisers felt that her voice was irritatingly high-pitched, and that she spoke too fast. A top-class voice coach was quickly brought in. After some analysis, she was taught how best to use her voice, particularly when appearing on TV. For may years she used to perform a voice-training exercise - in order to speak more from 'the back of the throat' she had to repeat the phrase 'um-koka-goka-woka, um-koka-goka-woka' 100 times every day. It's a little-known fact this was the true key to her success..True..[only half-joking]
ps. Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I cannot alter the favourites or any other details of the foreignnotes site - only Scott - whose blog this is, can do this. I can heartily recommend 'Ukrainiania' though - the video clips posted often say more about the political scene that individual articles..Maybe more on this later..