Viktor Pinchuk is sharing his wealth. This sensational news has dispelled the wintertime ice-cold gloom of social networking sites and the press. One could believe at once in something great and serene, which only western winds used to bring us until now. Over there, on foreign expanses, is the homeland of Croesuses, which we have known since childhood from The Count Monte Cristo. It is there that Warren Buffet, Opra Winfrey, and other prominent philanthropists dish out gifts. In this country, however, only gangsters sometimes threw crumbled hryvnias into the social hat to celebrate the emergence of a new social system. And now everything is changing before our eyes. In a country, totally pervaded by the ideas of instant enrichment, an individual who looks like William Henry Gates III, alias Bill in the language of system administrators, suddenly crops up.
The two belong to the same generation, both symbolize the main wealth of their countries – computer software and weight of metal, – and both have come out against AIDS and taken a shine to fine arts. The two claim that they only owe their position and wealth to “these hands and these brains.” They are so alike that they took a direct part in the election campaigns of their presidents (George Bush and Leonid Kuchma). Given this similarity life stories, the equally grand gestures of self-sacrificingness are not surprising.
The only trouble is that the systems in which the art patrons function differ a little. In our system, disinterestedness not only causes rapture, but also raises questions. But let doubts in the sincerity of givers not outshine the grandeur of the event – it is not a question of 200 hryvnias in a church collection box, after all. So why is it now, when this country is in the grip of a money crunch, that a source is springing up to water the dried-up fields of education and public health? If it is a patriotic gesture of a member of one presidential family, will the members of others perhaps pick up the initiative? I am not forcing people to do charity, as some do so to make peace – I am just conveying American experience. Over there, the richest people also want to be the most generous ones. Can we expect this to occur in this country? Or is this Ukrainian style, when Giving Pledge billions are also a collateral of a different, more habitual for us, kind, when the Party said “you must” and the oligarchs answer “yes”? Under the laws of the dramatic genre, the most incredible plot turns out to be the most realistic one. Let us see.
PRESIDENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES, HIDE!
While we are only approaching the US in charity matters, we are easily overtaking it as far as justice is concerned. Last week the Russian media quoted the First Deputy Prosecutor General, Renat Kuzmin, as saying again that there are suspicions of Leonid Kuchma’s complicity in the murder of a journalist and that they were going again to have Viktor Yushchenko’s blood tested. It was clear from the justice guardian’s radio interview that two out of the four guarantors of the Constitution will have to look into the never-blinking eyes of Themis on Reznytska St.
What is the situation? Two premiers are doing time, albeit on the different sides of the oceans. Two presidents, who personify 15 years of our independent state, are facing prosecution. The former Verkhovna Rada speaker for eight years is under public suspicion. In a word, the Watergate scandal in Washington looks like underage monkeyshines in comparison with the uninhibited fervor of Kyiv prosecutors who are thirsty of presidential blood. Is it perhaps for this reason that Kuzmin is not allowed into the US? They must be afraid that he will run amok, like a fox in a hen coop, on the field of 44 presidents.
IN THE PRINCIPAL DIRECTION OF UDAR
As the prosecutors work, the obstructed parliament is not idling, either. Trench warfare exhausts one as much as an offensive. There is fatigue on both sides. The “Regionnaires” are failing to muster in a fist the forces that have gone away on some important business. The oppositionists are still unable to load their guns with fresh arguments against the “proxy button-pushers.” They are all fixated on the technical side of the matter. There was a saying in the years of my youth, when I was in the army: if you can’t put up a reliable roadway barrier, put in a brainy major. There must be a shortage of brainy guys.
We thought “the pushbutton is a trigger of radical changes in parliament.” But the trigger was not oiled properly and, hence, got stuck. Instead of spotlighting the darker corners of national parliamentarianism, the system only managed to hold the collection of some signatures and backstage negotiations. Why don’t they reveal the names of the MPs who persistently shirk sessions, tell about the masseurs and chauffeurs who seem to be among the lawmakers again, and show what a well-paid army of MPs’ assistants costs the country? Why don’t they find out who the servants of Ukraine’s political cardinals and musketeers really are? But, on the contrary, it is we, the aggrieved party, who have to explain to lawbreakers and witnesses what is really going on in the house where they work.