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You're reading: Beauty and the beasts

Here are her comments verbatim:

“Rich people are mostly Russian-speaking, while a great many citizens
of Ukraine with Ukrainian mentality are poor people. This is the legacy
of the first Ukrainian leaders. Whereas Vyacheslav Chornovil [a former
political prisoner and one of the leaders of national-democratic
movement during perestroika and the early years of Ukrainian
independence] led us to meetings, where we sang Chervona kalyna [a
patriotic song], the Komsomol functionaries have seized banks,
privatized factories, and now they are wealthy, influential, and dictate
fashions” http://ua.korrespondent.net/ukraine/1194816-german-ukrayinomovni-gromadyani-ne-mayut-finansovogo-vplivu-v-krayini.

Herman may know what she is talking about. As a journalist and
democratic activist, she supported the anti-communist, pro-independence
movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Eventually, she headed the
Ukrainian service of the Radio Liberty in Kyiv, but unexpectedly
switched sides in 2004 and became a close associate of Viktor Yanukovych
– a presidential hopeful whose victory in the forthcoming elections
looked, at the time, to have been firmly secured. Whether her choice was
ideological, or purely mercantile, or, as some authors suggest,
intimately personal, is not that important. What really matters is the
fact that she is one of a very few intellectuals, liberals, and genuine
Ukrainian-speakers within the profoundly illiberal, anti-intellectual,
and predominantly anti-Ukrainophone team. Either by chance or choice or
the party assignment, she serves as the human face of the rather ugly
political-cum-economic group that runs the country.

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