How we know Victor Yanyukovitch is really a Russian

The extravagance and outrageous bad taste of the man who fled from the presidency of Ukraine was laid bare when dumbfounded ordinary Ukrainians inspected the residence of the missing president

An old joke is that if you ask a Russian “How much is enough?” you’ll get the reply “More than everyone else”.

And while they’ll do large and big, they tend not to do maintenance:

Bricks paving a recently built path leading to the shore have come loose, making it easy to trip.

Wooden steps in some places have simply been allowed to rot away.

I was never really able to work out, when living there, whether this was all about Soviet stuff, where new could be measured and thus was prioritised over maintenance, which was very difficult to put into the plan, or was something innate in Russianness. Still not sure but tend quite a bit to the latter now.

And ain’t this standard OP:

Shortly afterwards the government sold off the property in a murky privatisation deal, and Mr Yanukovych has remained there ever since.

Mr Yanukovych’s lavish spending on home improvements since – including building a new road with state funds to link it with the government district of central Kiev

30 thoughts on “How we know Victor Yanyukovitch is really a Russian”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    The extravagance and outrageous bad taste of the man who fled from the presidency of Ukraine was laid bare when dumbfounded ordinary Ukrainians inspected the residence of the missing president

    Bad taste? That is not fair. His cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It was a little gross, but his Smells like Teen Spirit was actually better than Nirvana’s.

    The damage that three generations of Communism does to a nation is nowhere shown more than in this struggle. We have open neo-Nazis clashing with nostalgic Communists for the right to crow on top of the wasteland that was once a flourishing country and now is reduced to pimping its prettier daughters.

  2. I was never really able to work out, when living there, whether this was all about Soviet stuff, where new could be measured and thus was prioritised over maintenance, which was very difficult to put into the plan, or was something innate in Russianness. Still not sure but tend quite a bit to the latter now.

    I’m not sure that this is a Sovet thing exclusively. When I worked for the CSIRO we had a perfectly functional, if somewhat anonymous, set of office and lab blocks. Then the state and federal politicians put their heads together.

    The outcome was a 6 story building the other side of the city (most employees lived close to work so were forced to commute much further). The new building has a full-height atrium. God knows how they are going to change the light bulbs. It also has a full height glass wall, needing specialist window cleaners in climbing gear, plus its a bugger to keep cool in a Perth summer and heat in the winter.

  3. I always thought Jacob Zuma, the South African president, was Zulu but elaborate homes, expensive roads to them..he must be Russian! Actually it’s generic top of the heap grab-it-all-ism coinciding with poor oversight from a corrupt state.

  4. There are few affectations in modern architecture more odious than the atrium. The inaccessibility of light fittings and other hardware so far as I can tell is inversely proportional to the owners’ status; you know you’ve really made it when your building’s lamps can only be changed by hiring a specialist team of free climbers. This is particularly true of the sumptuous Xanadu style headquarters which inevitably herald the imminent collapse of a previously profitable corporation.

  5. IanB: “The inaccessibility of light fittings and other hardware so far as I can tell is inversely proportional to the owners’ status; you know you’ve really made it when your building’s lamps can only be changed by hiring a specialist team of free climbers.”

    Heh! And I bet the scoundrel never used low-carbon bulbs too…

  6. Well, I think the whole thing’s fishy. It seems the US has been (as usual) using various front groups to get a coup d’etat to its liking, not least via the National Endowment for Democracy.

    Got rid of? Unlikely. Rather, a realignment of the Ukrainian poltiical class from East to West to give Putin a bloody nose. Daresay pure revenge for Syria is a factor there.

    Also, that woman’s hair. What’s that all about?

  7. Julia-

    Little anecdote. An engineer friend of mine went in a pub he had not visited for a long time recently and noticed many of the hanging lamps had failed. He asked the landlord about it, who replied that sadly it was an expensive enterprise with access equipment, so only done when many had failed.

    My friend then took him up to the balcony type area above the main bar and asked for a broom, and proceeded to demonstrate how to pull the hanging fittings over for easy changing. “How did you know that?” asked the landlord.

    “I installed them.” replied my friend. “I even left a specially modified broom in the cleaners cupboard for the task”.

    They went and looked, and the special broom was still there.

    He got a lot of free beer that evening.

  8. Ian
    The little bit of input I’ve had from Ukrainians indicates the Yanyukovitch mob have a pretty high shit rating.

    The barnet?
    Have a look at some of those Heroes of the CCCP posters. The surprised sticking the head through the noose style is very trad for the turf.

    http://www.sovietposters.com/

  9. BIS-

    I daresay. But then, I also daresay that significant proportions of the British population would have gladly had revolutions against Thatcher or Blair given the opportunity.

    According to the itnernets, Yuschenko had rather nice dark, normally styled hair; she hired an image consultant who constructed an image for her as an old-fashioned, prim, rural schoolteacher type, hence the bottle blonde and the braid/halo.

    Anyway, since Victoria Nuland has been leaked on the phone discussing who America wants running the new Ukrainian regime, and since we know they’ve been pouring money into the “protest” groups via NED etc (Nuland again is quoted at $5bn), and as we wonder how the US government would react if armed mobs were sacking US government buildings and police stations etc, I think it’s safe to say we’re looking at another put-up job.

  10. ” This is particularly true of the sumptuous Xanadu style headquarters which inevitably herald the imminent collapse of a previously profitable corporation.”

    Isn’t there a “Somebody’s Law” about just this, for some value of Somebody?

  11. Isn’t there a “Somebody’s Law” about just this, for some value of Somebody?

    It’s a pity we already have a “Godwin’s Law”. “Goodwin’s Law” is too close, unfortunately.

  12. Pretty much the definition of stupid right there.

    Or, just the confluence of a deliberate mistake for comic effect (pluralisation) with a transposition typo. It happens, you know.

  13. If Foggy Bottom is pulling the strings and Putin can be given a bloody nose in all this then it will be a very rare instance of a foreign policy endeavour of Obama’s that isn’t a complete clusterfuck. Putin is a repulsive little Russian Mussolini presiding over a joke of a country (basically Albania with nukes) and kicking him in the balls, repeatedly, is doing the Lord’s work. But it’s because Obama and his gang of cretins are so immemorially hapless that I doubt they’ve had any significant input into Yanukovich’s overthrow.

  14. Never been to Russia, but have dealt with enough Russians here in the States to come to the conclusion that it’s innate. Russians are not European in world view; they are Third World… and maintenance is not a concept well understood by Third World types. They’re just like the African immigrants I deal with… run it ’till it breaks and then get a new one.

  15. “hence the bottle blonde and the braid/halo.”
    Bottle blonde is very much default for Ukrainiana. Much the same as that ghastly ginger hue Britbints adopt at the drop of colourant sachet.

    As for what one can learn of our USian cousins, through consulting the internet… Even the alternation of the seasons is a CIA conspiracy.

  16. Well, we can check the website of the National Endowmen for Democracy and see how much money they’ve spent. We can all listen to Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU” phone call, and see her speech talking of how much money the US has spent so far on the project.

    Or just recognise standard form from the meddling Yankees. See, the CIA have a reputation for conspiracy because they do actually conspire. Regime change has become a tired cliche.

  17. We can all listen to Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU” phone call,

    Seems a perfectly admirable attitude?

  18. ‘Or, just the confluence of a deliberate mistake for comic effect (pluralisation) with a transposition typo. It happens, you know.’
    There was a transposition typo! I think most people get so used to auto correcting what they read that these thing usually pass unnoticed. My concern is more to do with working out just what on the interweb is actually the truth given that just about every idiot in creation seems to be posting.

  19. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “Or just recognise standard form from the meddling Yankees. See, the CIA have a reputation for conspiracy because they do actually conspire. Regime change has become a tired cliche.”

    Good for them. I mean really, how is this a bad thing? Not that it is true. For a start, the Americans are pathetic at regime change. They talk a good game, but they can’t do it. The Soviets on the other hand were much better. As we learnt to our cost. But even if it was true, how is reclaiming the Ukraine for Western civilisation a bad thing?

    Assuming we come short of a nuclear exchange over this, is there a single downside to the Americans funding the Ukrainian democrats? True, they will have to be nice to Gays for face the wrath of Hillary too, but apart from the second-hand effect of the stench of moral decadence from a rotting civilisation, how is the Ukraine being less like Russia and more like Germany a bad thing?

  20. Bloke in Central Illinois

    As I understand it, the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian speaking and pro-Russian in outlook while the the western part speaks Ukranian and is pro-western. Apparently they’re still upset at the Russians for deliberately starving them in the 30s.

    So maybe a partition would be best for all concerned.

  21. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Central Illinois – “So maybe a partition would be best for all concerned.”

    The world would be an infinitely better place if there was a reasonably sized Russian population that was Western-oriented, democratic and liberal. They could make a case that their countrymen would have to listen to.

    I don’t think Russia is doomed to be Russian forever.

  22. So Much for Subtlety

    “I don’t think Russia is doomed to be Russian forever.”

    Actually that is not quite true. I do think Russia is doomed to be Russian forever. Or at least until they become a Turkic speaking Muslim country sometime around 2040.

    But I hope they are not.

  23. SMFS-

    Well, there are matters of principle like, sovereignty for instance, but I daresay that a globalist utilitarian isn’t going to be much interested in that.

    So, the major problem is that American meddling is normally disastrous. The mess in the Middle East is mostly a consequence, not least due to the Bright Idea they had in the 1970s of bringing down the USSR by surrounding it with Islamists (thus, this included taking down the fairly nasty but reliable Shah of Iran and replacing him with Khomeni).

    You can’t plan the world any more than you can plan your internal economy. Consequences are unpredictable and more often than not undesirable.

    My favourite historical example of this is Rome vs. The Jews. The Roman attempt to “sort out” the Jews- easy, right, little weak bunch of shepherds and all that- set in motion a chain of events that ultimately brought down the entire Empire. We did Roman civilisation out of the ground these days, but the Jews are still going strong.

    It never works out how you thought it would work out. History just isn’t the nice linear, algorithmic process everyone wishes it was.

  24. ‘Hope we’re all learning the appropriate lesson from Kiev?
    The bastards can be got rid of.’

    The trouble is, young people lead revolutions (or at least kick in the doors) and young* people in Britain are irredeemably thick. So in order to get a revolution to provide what we actually need, ie freer markets etc, we’ll first have to go through about 50 years of leftist repression.

    It might work out OK for my grandchildren.

    As a matter of interest, why does the US keep going in for regime change (if it is them)?

    I honestly wouldn’t try to change North Korea, never mind Ukraine. Not my business, we always screw it up etc.

    Keep beaming in images of a better life, they will change things themselves eventually.

    *I’m in my mid 40s and I feel very old sometimes.

  25. @ZT

    Alas “shiny new headquarters are a portend of corporate doom”, or similar, does not seem to be one of Parkinson’s Laws in any version I have looked up so far…

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