03 August 2006

The Morning After: No Activists in Sight

What a bizarre morning. It starts with an SMS just before 7 am from cousin D. in New York. I quickly turn on the T.V. and sure enough there is the President, in a 01:56 recorded address explaining that he will confirm the nomination of Victor Yanukovych.

"I decided to nominate Victor Yanukovych to be the Prime Minister of Ukraine. I understand all the complexity of this decision, for both the East and West of Ukraine. I appeal to the nation to accept this with an understanding that we have a unique chance to unite people on both sides of Dnipro. Ukraine has a polarity which cannot be resolved with another election." Channel 5

I decide to leave a little earlier for the office and swing by Maydan etc. On my 20 minute ride to the center, radio ERA is not even covering Yushchenko’s announcement. They are actually playing a song: “…obla-di obla-da, life goes oooon…ohohoh life goes on…”. I flip through all the radio stations: nothing. Back to radio ERA where the newscaster is now going through the morning’s press headlines. Of course nothing. The printing presses were well into their run when Yushchenko made his announcement. Now a story about a German putting together a soccer team comprised of elephants. Still nothing about Yushchenko. Finally at the hour mark a brief casual announcement that Yushchenko will confirm Yanukovych and that Moroz, Regions, and Nasha Ukraina have signed the “Universal Agreement”.

Arriving at Maydan I see no one. Not a single activist. All tents quiet at 8am. Bankova: nothing. Cab Min: nothing. A few black Mercedes with VR plates escorted by cars with flashing blue sirens pass me on the streets but no activists. At the VR: nothing. No one out. Nothing on 5TV but a recurring story about some Japanese Xylophone musician. Finally a couple re-runs of the 2am address. Then Ukraine appears, at 09:30, on CNN immediately after the Isreal/Lebanon headlines, and before Mel Gibson’s drunk driving charges. Now it’s 12:44, it appears Nasha Ukraina, has yet to sign the agreement, and it has been announced that at 16:00 Yanukovych will be sworn in as Prime Minister of Ukraine. Ukraine is now the top story on Google News, above Israel. BBC has a nice chronological recap:

21 Nov 04 Yanukovych declared winner of presidential election - protests begin
03 Dec 04 Election annulled
11 Jan 05 Yushchenko declared winner of re-run election
08 Sep 05 Yushchenko sacks Tymoshenko government
26 Mar 06 Yanukovych party wins most votes in general election
03 Aug 06 After four-month deadlock, Yushchenko agrees Yanukovych can be PM

In the bottom, bottom line, instead of being placed in jail for crimes against the people of Ukraine. The same individuals are now given control of the government.

No comments: