Friday, August 04, 2006

Looks Like The Good Ol' Boys are Back

Remember when Interior Minister Bilokon boasted before the 2004 elections that the militsija would celebrate Ya's presidential victory with three days of drinking? Well, the good ol' boys are back; got this from abdymok:
asked by reporters on aug. 4 how yanukovych planned to celebrate his re-appointment as prime minister, party of regions spokesmen replied, “по-мужски” (in a manly way). asked what that meant, they elaborated: “нажраться, подраться и кого-нибуть выебать” (eat too much food, have a fist fight, and fuck someone).
Bob also reminded me of this:

further degrading the image of yanukovych [in the lead-up to the 2004 elections] as the “people’s choice,” was the assignment for police officers to guard each of the 6,000 billboards nationwide on which the prime minister’s campaign poster appears.

the reports stated that the measure was enacted in order to protect the posters – and the prime minister’s image – from vandals. heavy criticism of this maneuver later led to denials from the prime minister’s office that this was indeed the case.

In the late summer of 2004, either in August or September, I was on the same bus route from Lviv to Pidhajtsi (a 2 1/2 to 3 hr trip) that I had, by then, been on a # of times when I spotted a giant poster of Yanukovych placed in the center of each of the major Lvivska and Ternopilska oblast towns through which we passed--thus, in the towns of Peremyshljany, Berezhany, and then in Pidhajtsi, but also in a number of villages along the route. I was rather shocked, and thought to myself, "Well, those won't last long without being defaced." Once in Pidhajtsi, I learned that the two-story-tall poster of Ya in the center of town was being guarded at night by a policeman. And indeed it was. Parked right there every night in front of the poster was a car--not the usual, marked, car of the militsija, but a car nonetheless.

"Nu, Stefane, rozumijesh? Admin resource! (Well, Stefan, understand? Administrative resources!)," I was told.

It became a local tradition to walk past the poster giving it the finger or the sign of the thumb pressed between the index and middle fingers. People cursed at it, spit at it, shouted at it as they passed by. If Ya could only comprehend how ridiculous he looked, standing there in the center of a town of people who despised him.

Pidhajtsi county of the state of Ternopil had the highest votes for Yu as well as the highest voter participation in the 2004 elections in Ukraine. The Pidhajtsi region has a long and colorful history of fervent Ukrainian nationalism (all the pluses and minuses of that history). It was a hardcore OUN-UPA center. Nearly everyone in the Pidhajtsi region has relatives that were and/or who have continued to be active participants in the Ukrainian nationalist cause. In this context, that Ya poster guarded by a militsijoner or policeman could not have announced any more clearly the utter shamelessness and the Soviet mentality of Ya and gang, as well as their total contempt for the Western Ukrainian people.

Late one night some boys finally succeeded in throwing some paint bombs at the poster. A chase ensued, but the lazy police who were roused from a half-asleep stupor did not catch them.
It was almost sad when the poster was taken down. It had become such a rallying point for townsfolk, and a fun little tradition to curse the bastard, almost as though in person.

The good ol' boys are back--well, they basically haven't gone anywhere since the OR, except the few that have either run away or killed themselves--and their talk about national unity is bullshit, and I am not convinced that they've been "tamed" or will be "tamed" in the coming process. . .

And oh, most folks in Pidhajtsi, I am told, supported Ty in the parliamentary elections and continue to support her bloc.

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