Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Klychko looks a winner

A few words about Vitaliy Klychko.

Over the last days and weeks of the crisis he has definitely gained gravitas, despite some commentators suggesting his oratory skills are limited.

He speaks in short, crisp easily understandable sentences - ideal for all-important television sound-bites, and looks a most credible presidential candidate.

As a long-time top class boxer he faced cameras and journalists hundreds of times and is a confident performer, particularly when speaking in Russian. He is familiar with techniques of outstaring and talking down opponents at pre-fight press conferences. He instinctively knows during a boxing match when he is getting the upper hand, and when to attack. I believe he puts this to good effect in his crisis meetings with Yanukovych - a guy who is easily bullied or browbeaten. Klychko is certainly his equal.

There were rumours that at a meeting a few days ago when Yanukovych proposed cabinet posts to Klychko and Yatsenyuk, Klychko responded: "Right now you are sitting in my chair.."

He will have no problem gaining big financial support from backers who quickly recognise a winner..

p.s. No-one has noted quite how easily opposition activists managed to seize the Ukrainskiy Dim conference hall close to Hrushevsky Street were the worst of the trouble is, a couple of nights ago. Riot police and security forces had been using the hall as a billet for eating and resting. A few dozen youths with sticks and stones smashed the windows, and after a few hours those inside gave up and walked out through a corridor of protesters. Why was the conference hall  so unprotected? No windows were boarded up, no sandbags, barricades or barriers of the kind that are seen  throughout the world for crowd control were in position. Same goes for other ministry buildings that have been stormed.

I have written previously how the Lenin statue had been assaulted during two weekends. But even on the third when it was toppled, there were still no barriers around it. It had not even been boarded up.

Why have government ministers, particularly those of the power structures not gone down to the front lines and demanded to to be photographed offering encouragement the police and riot police under their control who have been standing in the freezing cold?

The Berkut and other security force leadership are utterly incompetent, particularly when it comes looking out for welfare of their rank and file who must by now be well and truly demoralised.

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