Thursday, April 5, 2007

A stark comparison

This morning I had to head to Kyiv's main post office to take care of a couple of matters. As I crossed Horodetsky Street near the Conservatory I looked out over upon Maidan. I figure there were a couple of hundred people there, mostly holding red Communist and pink Socialist flags. It actually looked pitiful, and as I looked over across Khreschatyk I could see the stage and behind it a number of military style tents.

I descended into the underpass to cross Khreschatyk. The hand railing was entwined with blue plastic ribbon. While on the other set of steps up to Maidan the blue ribbon was shredded.

After visiting the post office I dropped by the Yaroslav Melnyk's CD stand. His assistant Vadym explained how a number of people he spoke to had admitted to having been paid to come out to Maidan, and how late yesterday afternoon behind the stage, the Party of Regions put out a spread for everyone, and how the vodka flowed freely.

I headed up to the Radisson on Yaroslaviv val for a meeting with my partner and make use of the WiFi there.

Just as I began to write this post, my partner walked in carrying a big white envelope. It had arrived.

Last year I received an e-mail from photographer friend of mine Bohdan Warchomij who had asked me if I would do him a favour. We had met during the Orange (R)evolution, and had published a book entitled Portrait of a Revolution and had requested I find out the best way to ensure this book made its way into President Yuschenko's hands, as a gift to him and the Ukrainian people. After consulting with some friends in the Presidential Administration they suggested that he get the book to me and they would help me take care of the rest. Bohdan wanted to get his book to the President prior to the anniversary of the (r)evolution. Well it seems that it has finally arrived on the eve of a possible second (r)evolution.

As I leafed through the pages I compared the images I saw and recall from nearly two and a half years earlier. I was right, what I saw on Maidan this morning was pitiful.

On his way to our meeting my partner said that his driver, a young man who we call quite often for driving services, mentioned that his mother who lives in a village in Chernihiv region had been approached by local Party of Regions official and was told that they would transport her to Kyiv, and pay her fifty hryvnia a day. She is still not sure if she will take up the offer he also stated. But was wavering in that direction.

While the Party of Regions, Communists and Socialists may have deep pockets; the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people are much deeper. And while I am all for new elections, they are extremely bad for business.

During the second round of the 2004 election, I was awaiting assignment as an international observer at the Committee of Voters of Ukraine office. As I walked in to the Information Department I read a sign posted on the door.

I try to live life normally, but elections get in the way!

The phrase was attributed to no other than yours truly. I later found out that it had been posted there by a good friend of mine Olesya Oleshko. Whom I had become acquainted with during the Mukachevo elections, which turned out to be a litmus test of what was to come later on in 2004.

No comments:

Post a Comment