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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, April 6, 2010, 9:00 AM ET

    Op-ed

    After the Yushchenko Fillip and Hangover
    By Boris Danik

    In Februry 2010, Viktor Yanukovych of the Party of Regions was elected the new president of Ukraine.

    There may be some uncertainty about the intensity of his pro-Russian government's pull towards Moscow. But there is little doubt that the oligarchs – the actual owners of the Party of Regions – would not resist the temptation to trade away to Moscow the national independence of Ukraine for personal gain.

    The real question is how the Ukrainian resistance will be organized and directed. It is the question of leadership – usually Ukraine's Achilles heel.

    The genesis of the existing state of affairs – the government in the hands of the Party of Regions – goes back to the disastrous choice of "the leader with the legs of clay" [Viktor Yushchenko] who would be trusted to bring change in the place of the corrupt Kuchma regime in 2004.

    "We did not have anyone else" was the most often heard explanation, while the real organizer – the woman who became the scourge of the regime and was jailed by Kuchma, and then inspired the crowds at Maidan – was getting a partial credit and was thought by some to be "overly ambitious". An important part of the story is that Yulia Tymoshenko, despite her wealth, with a flare to shake up the system, is an outsider to the oligarchs' club, to which Yushchenko was connected by his nomenclatura [the higher officials of the Soviet Union] credentials.

    Besides, she is a woman. (Concerning the political attitudes towards women in Ukraine, the reprobate who publicly denigrated them days before the balloting, was elected the country's president on February 7, 2010. The year is not a typographical error).

    As for "the new emerging leadership", much talked about during the lengthy election campaign in 2009, it is a motley of light-weights, minor-leaguers, and posturing middlemen. (The most manicured one was the money-changer Sergey Tigipko, the epitome of the burgeoning Russian-speaking big city business icons, grown up from the susrprise, surprise, nomenclatura roots).

    The most appalling was the advocacy of the "Against All" ballot, coming from the politicians who were thought to have at least some noodles, or had an axe to grind against Tymoshenko.

    The consequences of the Yanukovych win can be so devastating to Ukraine that the country may again to turn to Tymoshenko in a national response.

    In addition to her lasting role as the standard-bearer of the Orange Revolution, she must continue to carry the torch of the substance of Ukraine.

    This view of Tymoshenko's leadership role happens to be the same as that of a prominent group of 14 Ukrainian intellectuals, in an "Address to the Ukrainian People" a few days after the February election. Among them are Ivan Drach, Dmytro Pavlychko, Levko Lukianenko, Ihor Yukhnovskyi, and Bohdan Horyn.

    As for the diaspora, its activists of the post-DP generation seem to be still in a daze from the Yushchenko cocktail, clasping their medals. They probably would rather see Yulia go away. Some of them may not realize that the leader is needed not on a pedestal (already taken by Taras Shevchenko and Lesia Ukrainka), but someone with live energy, cool head, and savvy.

    Dr. Boris Danik
    North Caldwell, NJ
    April 1, 2010

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