Ukrainian Love for their President

The love of the Ukrainian people to their president Leonid Kuchma is obvious and visible in each program of his TV stations and newspapers. Ukrainian people spare no costs for their president, especially for his health. Therefore they pay monstrous amounts of money for his vacations in the German city Baden-Baden, on top in one of the most expensive hotels. Moreover, Ukrainian people are generous in giving money for building numerous villas for the president and his staff – the leaders of the Social Democratic Party (united) – within the country and especially in the Carpathians. The only problem is that nobody asked Ukrainian people about permission to take their money and how much will be taken out of their pocket.

Kuchma, the trendsetter

Recently we have seen a revival of the fashion to own villas in the most picturesque places of the country. The dictator, the trendsetter of this fashion is – as one would expect from a good old backward country – our major fashion designer, the President of the Ukraine: Leonid Kuchma! After renovating the Soviet villas on the Crimean peninsula, the time was right to build new ones in the Carpathian Mountains. The first one was a residence in the Carpathian village Huta.

Illustration: Jarek Sierpinski

Illustration: Jarek Sierpinski

A few years ago the people from Huta in the Ivano-Franko region, a place where all roads end and start in high mountains, did not suspect that their small village could be chosen for the president’s residence. But miracles happen. A distant place was chosen for the building of the president’s villa, which is officially called sanatorium “Syniohora.” Curious journalists found out that the building itself is huge, but provides accommodation of high standard only for few locators, which excludes workers of the company that officially built it. Our president spend there two New Years eves and once met unofficially with the Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.

No Boredom: Helicopters and Jacuzzis

The villa recalls, according to the reporters of the Ukrainis’ka Pravda, a railway station and has three floors plus basements where swimming pool, saunas, Jacuzzi and a fountain are located. As it should be in picturesque mountain houses the residence has an entrance hall made of marble, the main hall of monstrous size, the dining room made in unknown style and a library, which has three floors and reminds of libraries of rich Americans, with one but significant difference: there are no books, at least not on the photo. There is also a place provided for a helicopter, autonomous water, gas and electricity supply and other facilities. In order to please the president the average Ukrainian people had to be removed from the neighborhood. In return eleven thousands hectares of the Carpathian forests were granted to the president – as Deutsche Welle informed. Obviously the favorite hobbies of our president are hunting or walking.

The generosity of Ukrainian people is without limit, as proved by another residence, which is being built, in the same Ivano-Frankivs’k region in village Myslivka and near the place with the symbolic name Josyphstal’ (like Joseph Stalin) as the L’vivs’ka Gazeta found out. The term of presidency of Leonid Kuchma ends this year and Ukrainian people decided to take care of their president also once he is retired and presented him such villas. The new residence is smaller compared to the previous one and was build on only 3 hectares, however enlargement of the territory is planned. The details of the interior of the residence are so far unknown to the press, but it probably reminds in many respects of the Huta villa.

And on top: secret financial supporters

The common features of the Huta residence and the villa in Myslivka are secrets such as the name of the client or of the project manager and the lack of taste. In the first case the sponsorship of construction was made, according to one version, by the L’viv railvay company, ex-director of which is a present minister of the transport Georgiy Kyrpa. The other version says that the residence was built by the gas company “Ivano-Frankivs’kgaz”. The official owner of the second villa is the oil company “Naftohimik Prykarpattia” and it is planned to be the tourist camp of the company, however the villa does not at all recall a camp. The L’viv Railway Company similarly to the first case is believed to be the builder of the villa, as suggested L’vivs’ka Gazeta. The construction and ownership of that residence is under deep cover and probably we will never know who build such a present for our president.

The presidents of other countries should envy the Ukrainian president for the love of his people, who give him such “cheap” presents, as numerous residences, without asking about the sum of money stolen from them. But sooner or later they will ask…

This article was written based on the materials of the Ukrains’ka Pravda and L’vivs’ka Gazeta. Detailed information and pictures of the residences were available on the web page of Ukrains’ka Pravda, however mysteriously disappeared a few days ago, after I asked about permission to print them. This is one of the faces of the Ukrainian democracy. Information about the new residence can be found on the page:
www.gazeta.lviv.ua/2004/02/26/NewspaperArticle.2004-02-26.4140.

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