Sunday, September 4, 2011


I first noticed these stickers on the side of my apartment building and have since seen them all over town.
These ones say "Yulia, we're with you!" in Ukrainian
In a nutshell, Yulia Tymoshenko was the prime minister of Ukraine twice between 2000 and 2010. Now she's in jail for "misusing funds" and there's a big protest / counter-protest going on.

This is the pro-Yulia side (please ignore the gigantic Oriflame ad. Did I mention advertising is freakin' everywhere here?)
This is the anti-Yulia side.
I don't know much about this whole thing, but I know a little about PR. Listen to this: one side has intimidating-looking black and white signs and is constantly broadcasting a very angry voice....I couldn't understand everything, but I caught these threatening snippets: "American mistake", "the thief should be in jail", "against the Ukrainian people", "Washington", and "Europe doesn't like scandals". Take a listen:

I was told that this is the "government" side and the people holding the signs have been hired by the government. They're enclosed inside a makeshift area and are not interacting with the passer-by. I wanted to take a better video but there were a lot of soldiers and police standing around and they made me really nervous.

Meanwhile, the pro-Yulia side is playing nationalistic music to try to drown out the angry voice. They're handing out free stickers. They've got lots of displays and handouts. I saw a Chinese tourist posing for a picture here and stopped to do the same. 

The guy who came over and gave me the sticker said that all foreigners were stopping here for a picture. I'm not saying I'm on one side or the other, but guess which camp is winning the friendly PR campaign?

Meanwhile, just down the street things appear to be as normal. For some reason the main street was closed here and families and couples were out strolling, enjoying the afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment