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    Thursday, April 5, 2007

    Revolution Inc.

    So the blue-red-pink (Viktor Yanukovich's Party of Regions, plus the Communists and the Socialists) demonstrations continue in the centre of Kiev, growing in size if not in enthusiasm. There are now several thousand people (maybe 10,000?) on the streets, though the protest remains lifeless other than the loud pop music from the stage. One band actually played The Beatles' "Back in the USSR" to the delight of those waving the hammer-and-sickle.

    Still, you have to give Yanukovich's advisors credit for learning some of the lessons of 2004. They've occupied not only Independence Square, but also every conceivable spot that the "orange" forces might use as an alternate rallying point. There are blue tents outside the Rada, the cabinet of ministers and the presidential administration.

    Interestingly, Pora, the pro-Western youth group that formed the backbone of the 2004 protests that became the Orange Revolution, has reappeared in recent days. They've set up their own tent camp, forming a thin yellow line protecting Viktor Yushchenko's besieged office.

    I also saw a single young man walk through the sea of blue on Independence Square brandinshing an orange flag. He ignored the threatening glares from some rather sizeable Yanukovich supporters and said his solo protest was "a scream of my soul."

    3 comments:

    olechko said...

    "Back in the USSR" is the celebration of capitalist's point of view, because the Beatles wrote this song in response to the Beach Boys' "California Girls"... Those cheering communists must have been dying of boredom on Maidan.

    Anonymous said...

    Mark,

    If his comportment as President over the past 2 years tells us anything, Yushchenko had better get some tactical support as soon as possible because he is being outmanoeuvred at every turn.

    markmac said...

    Indeed, one of the oddest twists in all this is that Yanukovich, the "pro-Russian" politician that the West helped keep out of the president's chair three years ago is now receiving lots of solid advice from American spin-doctors-for-hire.

    Meanwhile, the pro-Western Yushchenko seems at times to be twisting in the wind.

    I know for sure that some members of the diplomatic community in Kiev can't figure out why Yushchenko can't get himself better advice.