It would be nice if Western journalists and pundits stopped denigrating Ukraine by equating new IMF tranche with internal matters i.e. Nasyrov case.
Because, frankly, I find it hard to believe an organization like IMF makes its monetary aid conditional on arresting people, much less prosecuting them.
It would also be nice if people, including Western journalists and pundits, stopped crying wolf for a change and parroting Ukrainian opposition rhetoric i.e. ‘hybrid Poroshenko regime’. Preferrably not while demanding that Poroshenko order the judges to indict Nasyrov a la Yanukovych.
Although it would help in perpetuating the ‘evil regime’ rhetoric so many Ukraine watchers in the West now embrace.
So (I know this because of my learnings) Western journos apparently disregard the whole scandal with Serhiy Leshchenko and his hard-earned (not) posh apartment smack dab in the centre of Kyiv. I wasn’t here to cover it in painstaking detail, but the down and dirty is this: Leshchenko bought the apartment with funds of questionable origin, rumored to be a loan from Russian-owned Sberbank Rossiyi, then tried to lamely excuse them as a loan from his former employer (Alyona Prytyla, of the Ukrainska Pravda news site), then tried to lamely excuse them as a gift from his mother, and then the National Anti-Corruption Bureau declined to investigate this case, despite Leshchenko being an MP and thus falling smack dab under NABU jurisdiction. Leshchenko evaded attempts at investigation from the National Corruption Prevention Bureau ever since, publicly decrying them as politically motivated by Kononenko, Granovsky, the Bankova et al, all the while keeping the apartment, which is actually the last of the three he owns.
Western journalists so far have decidedly ignored the matter, even though I’m not in the habit of reading the likes of Oliver Carroll or Shaun Walker anymore. I could say that they’re ignoring Leshchenko’s apartment troubles out of journalistic solidarity (they do seem intent on sharing Leshchenko’s denials re: Manafort blackmail, which may or may not have been a thing, I’m not saying anything), but my working theory is thus: Western journos chalk any grassroots criticism of Leshchenko’s real estate to jealousy, plain and simple.
They’re not far off the mark. Jealousy of this kind is quite widespread in Ukraine, reaching its maximum intensity in direct proximity to posh neighborhoods and apartment blocks. The average Ukrainian on the street (or, in my case, on the 118 bus) has little flattering to say about these posh neighborhoods – or their inhabitants, come to think of it. This is what 25 years of corruption and income inequality do to you, even if both are somewhat blown out of proportion. Corruption is a symptom, not a cause: income inequality somehow doesn’t stop Ukrainians from buying cars and apartments, taking loans in foreign currency (which since jumped several times) and casually evading taxes.
However, I have just discovered one critical flaw in my reasoning. Western journalists aren’t ever shy of showing off other people’s real estate – other high-standing officials, judges and MPs, in this case. In fact, this is usually considered an effective way of bringing attention to a corrupt official’s misdemeanors, doubly so for Ukraine. Self-proclaimed anti-corruption crusaders spend quite a lot of time discussing these ill-gotten properties in exquisite detail, which then gets aired in the West by respected publications ranging from KyivPost and Moscow Times to The Guardian and Mashable, destroying Ukraine’s reputation and support in the West. For maximum effect, this should be done right before an important decision is about to be made, in Brussels or Washington, concerning Ukraine, as demonstrated by the last year’s Dutch referendum.
Yet now, when one of their own is under fire, Western journalists resolutely keep mum.
I’m not sure if this blog is going to wake up permanently (and be promptly renamed into America Today), but I’ve been watching this with keen interest (and a fair amount of popcorn on the side).
Trump’s victory last year was surely unprecedented (soon to be unpresidented, too). For example, last year I would never have thought that Ukraine – with the war, the occasional protest and the on-off political crisis and everything – would seem more stable than America.
One thing for certain, though. It took Yanukovych four years, plus some roughed-up students on the side, to piss off us Ukrainians so much that Maidan overthrew him.
Trump somehow managed to have mass protests, widespread condemnation, judicial rulings and outright disobedience in just ten days.
With America electing its first Ukrainian president (and putting a Nazi fucktard like Steve Bannon in the White House), I’d like to come forward and say that what Ukraine needs is a nuke. In fact, make it two, with the tacit understanding that what can reliably FLATTEN BELGOROD can reliably flatten half of Russia’s Donbas force or sink half the Black Sea Fleet.
I am not allowed to disclose details but I’m not alone in that line of thinking.
International support and sanctions are all well and good, but then, God helps those who help themselves.
*goes back into indefinite hiatus because fuck political commentary in general*
Don’t see any difference between Russian narrative on occupied Donbass and Western journalists’ narrative on occupied Donbass. Doubly so when those journalists take their time criticizing Ukraine’s evil government while giving head to Zakharchenko at the same time.
Them’s the breaks, it seems. Not one Western journalist was in Mariupol in January 2015, when it was shelled by ‘DNR’. I remember Oliver Carroll interviewing Zakharchenko right when casualty reports started tricking in. When I asked why the hell he isn’t in Mariupol, he banned me.
The same applies to the rest. Not how journalism works?
Not that I care.
P.S. The whole spectacle would be a touch more believable if the parties involved didn’t hand over their real contact info to the terrorists in the first place.
But apparently Western journalists (and quite a few Ukrainian ones, too) have a terminal case of stupids in regards to that.
P.P.S. Since I’m not on Twitter anymore (and this had spared me approximately >9000 nerve cells in the past week alone), follow me on Telegram. Hopefully I no kill myself.