Skip to comments.Ukraine’s Yushchenko Starts Anti-Corruption Campaign With Bath Ban
Posted on 04/20/2005 12:27:16 AM PDT by jb6
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has started the corruption clean-up campaign with an informal ban on visiting bath houses (banyas) for government officials, The Independent daily reports.
Its all about showing the new face of Ukraine, presidential spokesperson Irina Gerashchenko said. Its no secret that you get all kinds of unsavory types there, and they are not the people with whom officials should be mixing.
New Ukrainian authorities believe that a traditional place where Ukrainians, and indeed Russians, go every week to wash away their sins has become the check point where officials are nobbled by corrupt businessmen, the paper writes.
In the modern Russian and Ukrainian tradition the banya has become a staple of business culture, often replacing informal meetings and even business dinners.
Yushchenkos aide conceded that there was no way the president could physically prevent his officials from frequenting bath houses, but he had made it clear that banya-goers will be frowned upon.
Moreover, Yuschenko has already banned officials from accepting gifts worth more than $22 and from having any business interests, and has ordered them to regularly declare their outgoings as well as their income.
As soon as the former opposition leader took up the presidential post, the process of reversing the privatization of Ukraines biggest steel producer Krivorozhstal was launched on the grounds that the original deal was a bare-faced robbery. A further 3,000 privatization deals are set to be reviewed.
Cronyism, fraud and corruption are Ukraines biggest ills, the president declared at the beginning of the anti-corruption campaign.
According to Transparency Internationals latest ranking of corrupt nations, Ukraine came 128th out of 146 nestling between Sudan and Cameroon.
Joke if you must, but bath houses in Russia are NOTHING like the bath houses in, say, San Francisco. Traditionally, they have been a place where men meet to schmooze while a Babushka gives them a rubdown.
If you mean homosexuality, you're off by a mile.
NO! I was trying to explain to my fellow Americans that "bath houses" in Eastern Europe are NOT for gay carousing, but rather like country clubs and lodges where men meet to shoot the sh-t and discuss business and political deals.
Oh!...Bath HOUSES!...I thought they were actually banning BATHS....maybe in the hope of becoming more Franco-centric.
(Oh, Jacques! You forgot to pick up your soap!)
Ahh, yup, you're right. The soviets didn't allow mixed sex places but the modern ones, at least on my trips there and to Ukraine, were pretty mixed. Never quite got into the whole birch branch slapping thing though.
Do you support Yushchenko's various other progressive moves? Like Tymoshenko's declaration on renationalization of the steel plants, the increased heavy taxation on oil companies and their transport, the fixing of prices for oil/gasoline sales and even the anti-tobacco legislations? So very capitalistic. I've posted all those articles describing his actions and one where his brother is now under investigation for selling nukes to iran and china while Yushchenko was Prime Minister. Hmmmm.
"Do you support Yushchenko's various other progressive moves?"
Very little of what is packaged as "Progressive" anywhere has my support. And Stalin is being 'reincarnated' by Useful Idiots there, as practically a folk hero, statuary and all....
I guess not, considering there is a huge Lenin statue in Seattle, Washington....
I know that's mind boggling.
jb6 is just shilling for the crooked Ukrainian oligarchs who are beholden to the Russian mob. He defends Putin for cracking down on these gangsters and renationalizing oil assets but then turns around and calls the Ukrainians "progressive" for doing the same thing.
Ukrainian businessmen who amassed their fortunes during the reign of Leonid Kuchma and who now face the threat of re-privatization from the new Ukrainian government have launched their case in the European human rights court, trying to protect their wealth from being taken away from them.
On Tuesday, April 5, Serhiy Vlasenko, a Ukrainian lawyer who represents the interests of the Investment-Metallurgical Union consortium told a news conference that he lodged a complaint with the European court to challenge a ruling made by a Kiev court on Feb. 17 suspending the privatization of the Krivorozhstal steel mill that was begun last year. The case has become one of the most disputed of Ukraines post-Soviet privatizations as the government of new President Viktor Yushchenko moves to undo the deals that put state property in the hands of people close to the previous government.
Investment-Metallurgical Union which won the privatization tender last year, despite reportedly higher bid prices from Russian and U.S. steel companies, is largely owned by Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma, and Rinat Akhmetov, a wealthy businessman with a stronghold in the city of Donetsk.
After his election Viktor Yushchenko called the sale of Krivorozhstal a theft and said his government would return the mill to the state. A group of lawmakers backing Yushchenko challenged the sale in a Kiev court, which halted the privatization. Vlasenko said that the ruling violated his clients right to a fair hearing as guaranteed by European human rights laws.
The law was breached so many times and so flagrantly during the opening of the review of the privatization that now we have no choice but to defend our rights in a totally unbiased manner by appealing to the European court, he said, quoted by AP. Vlasenko told a news conference that he had lodged a complaint with the court in Strasbourg on March 23 and expected a decision within the next five months on whether it will accept the case.
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