Saturday, August 22, 2009

Remains of the Day

Tanya worked in her flower garden all day Thursday in a cold bitter wind. Flowers good; Tanya hadth a code id her head and of all peeble idth todally midtherable.

Our friends from P'yatikhatki, Valya, Valya, Valya and Volodya, called this morning at 9:30 to let us know they were coming to visit in the afternoon. They were going to a lecture on health (and beauty) products at 12:00 and would come when it was over. Tanya was too sick to go to the lecture on health.

They arrived at 3:00. Only Two Valya's. Third dropped out at last minute. Turns out the lecture was from an Evangelist of the "Great American Church of What's Happening Now", AMWAY. We had a good laugh. They never mention that in the advertising and by the time you find out, the doors are locked to prevent people from escaping the hall. Been there.

Got an update on the P'yatikhatki grain elevator story. Quite a few months ago now, when the owner, an acquaintance of the three women, had been on holidays, several men tried to force the local business registration office to change the title on the elevator to give them a majority share, based on forged documents. The woman at the office refused in spite of threats because the documents were not correct.

Before winter cereal harvest started, the owner was offered $1 million for the elevator (worth maybe $5 million??) by a company with connections to Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. The owner refused and there was a big fuss, lawyers, courts and newspapers etc. Consequently the harvest is now over and NO farms delivered any grain to the elevator which is now bankrupt and the woman who owns it in hospital (with a nervous breakdown?).

Exactly why they did not deliver is uncertain at least to me. Tanya says it is because they were afraid if there was a change in ownership that contracts with the previous owner would not be honoured and they would not be paid for grain in storage. I am guessing that there is more than that, that the farmers were warned off. Government bureaucrats still control farming to a great extent and can break a farm by holding up subsidy payments, holding up supplies of fertilizer, fuel, seed, pesticides. Everyone owes their job to someone above them and when the word goes out that the Prime Minister doesn't like you, "they have ways".

Timoshenko is also alleged to be demanding kickbacks for her party before she will approve necessary infrastructure financing to complete stadiums etc in preparation for the 2012 (Euro Cup??) Football matches.

She is in a dead heat to be the next president of Ukraine in the January elections. The other leader in the polls is Leader of the Opposition Yanukovich, the man whose blatant and violent rigging of the 2004 election brought us the Orange Revolution.

Timoshenko and Yanukovich have passed legislation in the Rada (Parliament) which the news reports as "reducing the presidential election by 30 days". Apparently if you read the fine print it also allows all kinds of electoral skullduggery and would virtually guarantee that elections would not be free and fair. The only legislation this crew seems able to pass is related to ensuring their own well being. President Yushchenko will take the legislation to the Constitutional Court if the Rada overrides his veto.

We'll end up with a Putin style of government yet.


  1. Interesting. How are elections financed there?

  2. By theft? In 2005, a teacher friend of mine was not paid her salary for a few months as the budget money was used in the election campaign on orders from above.
    Not sure what the real rules are. Reality is that money is extorted by the political parties, is taken from operating budgets of government departments.

    We must be having a serious politican coming to ZV as they have really been busy sprucing up the town.

    A few years back when Yanukovich was Prime Minister, he visited Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky when they celebrated the 1100th anniversary of founding of the city. He was appalled at the road conditions and they got a new surfaced highway from Kyiv soon after. Now everyone wants him to visit.


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