Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Herman's generous colleagues..

Deputy Head of Presidential Administration Hanna Herman, in a TV interview, was queried about a $60K wrist watch she was seen flaunting in public recently.

She replies: "I have lived in Ukraine and in this world for many years now. And I did not come to the presidential administration [straight] from the street. I have earned well all of my life." [Prior to becoming Yanukovych's press secretary in 2004, Herman was a journalist - latterly director of that gold mine, Radio Svoboda in Kyiv]

Herman, now a mere civil servant, added: "Partly people gift me things, partly I bought them myself. I have many things from previous years. I'm 50 years old. I'm not a girl that came from the street to the presidential administration and grabs things here. I have no factories, I have no yachts, I have no trains. But I can earn enough for a jacket and a brooch. I have several pairs of quite expensive watches that colleagues gave me, the prices of which I learned from the Internet".

$60K is equivalent to 10 to15 years average salary in Ukraine...

p.s. Ukraine in 146th position, is perceived to be more corrupt that Mozambique, Nicaragua, Uganda, Cameroon, Ecuador, and Timor, and is only one position above Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Ukraine is 34 spots above Somalia, the most corrupt country in the world..
Herman's brazen responses do little to improve Ukraine's image.

p.p.s. Hanna H. you should have said, "From hubby, from hubby!" or... "Another 60 monthly instalments, and it will be mine!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Latest PACE monitoring report on Ukraine is troubling.

Some bits from the latest report from the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe:

21. Therefore, we are concerned about the increasing numbers of allegations that the authorities are reducing these freedoms and that democracy is receding in the country. The allegations have mostly centred on the freedom of the media, freedom of assembly and increased pressure from the law enforcement agencies for political purposes.

24. The role of the State Security Service, and especially its Head, Mr Khoroshkovskyi, is of concern....

25. A number of NGOs have complained to us that protest actions had been broken up, and their activists harassed by the police and other state law enforcement agencies, which, if corroborated, would be of concern....

31. A clear and unwavering respect for democratic freedoms and rights has been one of the main achievements in Ukraine’s democratic development in recent years. We are therefore concerned about the increasing number of allegations that democratic freedoms, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the media have come under pressure in recent months. Any regression in the respect for and protection of these rights would be unacceptable for the Assembly....

Friday, June 11, 2010

'Reporters without Borders' call for Khoroshkovsky to quit

The international 'Reporters without Borders' press watchdog has called on Ukrainian Security Service chief Valeriy 'Mentadent' Khoroshkovsky to quit.

Read more about this man, who is also one of Ukraine's biggest media barons, and the threat he poses to the country's press liberty, in the 'Reporters without Borders' posting' here

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Nerdy Nestor's telephones

Ukrainian Emergencies Minister Nestor Shufrich showing off his collection of antique telephones? [From U.P.]

Maybe these guys could be of help...Allo?.... Allo?