President Petro Poroshenko, like his American counterpart Donald Trump, is disparaging his critics as losers.
Visiting Kharkiv in March, Poroshenko lashed out at protesters. These people, he said, were destabilizing the country. And they have no right to do so, since “they haven’t built a dog’s kennel in their lives,” added the oligarch, who leads Europe’s poorest nation.
The president is proud of his achievements in life. His net worth is close to $1 billion. He owns a range of businesses, the confectionery company
Roshen being his biggest asset.
However, we don’t credit the president with a lot of “building.” He built his chocolate empire by acquiring Soviet confectionery factories on the cheap. And we know that he sought to move his business offshore – presumably for a tax-free sale.
Many Ukrainians would have built much more than a dog’s kennel if the country’s leadership gave them a chance. Instead, entrepreneurs face bureaucracy, corruption, and high interest rates.
Poroshenko’s disgraceful slip is part of a trend. Two weeks earlier, Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko called his critics “a team of skunks.” If only this arrogance was proportional to the performance of its bearers.
The country’s bigwigs might want to remember that those same Ukrainians that they discard as skunks or losers have a habit of kicking out the leaders who grow too big for their boots.