Ukraine: Marat Gelman's Notes

To prepare for his visit to the post-election Kyiv last week, Marat Gelman – LJ user galerist, a Russian art dealer and, allegedly, Victor Yanukovych‘s “spin doctor” in 2004 – looked through Ukrayinska Pravda, a popular online source of political news, co-founded by Georgiy Gongadze in 2000.

Boris Berezovsky‘s blog was one of the curious things that Gelman found there. He wrote (RUS):

It is him [Berezovsky], indeed. I guarantee that.

He also ran into this political joke (RUS) about George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin and Victor Yushchenko:

God summons the three presidents – of the United States, Russia and Ukraine – to heaven and tells them:

- Dear presidents, I've summoned you because of some really bad news I have to share: the end of the world is in two weeks. I'd like you to report this sad information to my three most favorite peoples.

Bush appears on TV:

- Brothers and sisters, I've got two pieces of news for you. One good, the other bad. The first one: there is God, after all. The second: the end of the world is in two weeks.

Putin speaks on the radio and TV:

- Ladies and gentlemen, I've got two pieces of news for you. Both are bad. The first one: there is God, after all. The second: the end of the world is in two weeks.

Yushchenko makes a radio and TV address:

My people, I've got two pieces of news for you. Both are good. The first one: God himself has recognized me as president. The second: I'll rule the country till the end of the world.

According to some of Gelman's readers who have commented on this joke, it appears to be an old one, recycled many times over the years: substitutes for Bush, Putin and Yushchenko have included Aleksandr Lukashenko; Boris Yeltsin, Helmut Kohl and Leonid Kuchma; Leonid Brezhnev; and, surprisingly, Bill Gates.

But, joking aside, here is Gelman's three-sentence analysis of today's political situation in Ukraine (RUS) :

[…] It's impossible to imagine collisions that are more complicated. Though, all in all, everyone would like to drown [Yulia Tymoshenko]. But since she may become president in the future and is very unforgiving, everyone wants to do it with someone else's hands.

1 comment

  • Ann

    I like the information about the spin doctor, but the NYT, I think it was, had a story about Davis, Manafort & Freedman, Inc., a well-known American PR firm, helping out Yanukovich, as well as Yushchenko to some extent. But, apparently, from I could gather they really worked on Yanukovich for quite a while for which they were paid quite well.

    Tell more about Ukrainian spin.

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