Friday, August 19, 2005

The Russian makeover show

You thought Mogambo was a loony? His cousin Leonid Kuchma, the ex-Ukrainian president, is an even bigger one. Even though he won the 2002 elections, this dude still had to poison losing opponent Viktor Yushchenko to ensure he never showed up again.

While traveling in Vienna, poor Viktor chowed on soup with dioxin. Dioxin is known to be lethal, but Yushchenko miraculously survived it, though he got defaced. Viktor's makeover, sponsored by Kuchma, wasn't pretty.

Here's how he looked before the poisoning:

Here's how he looks today:

After being treated, Mr. Ukraine came back to save Kiev from Kuchma. The public was already rallying in Viktor's favor, dissenting Kuchma, who was accused of rigging the Ukrainian elections. And now he was accused of poisoning Mr. Ukraine himself.

The public was really angry, even those who didn't vote. Aha, Russians. You never know what's going to happen once a few vodkas are in their system.

A court nullified the first election and Viktor won a reelection, beating Kuchma by a decent margin. This was Ukraine's call of independence from the commies (or commie-like folks who called themselves democracy supporters), known as the "Orange Revolution". Much like India's Independence Day.

But two questions persist:

1) Why didn't Kuchma poison the judge who nullified the election.

2) Why did Yushchenko even return to Ukraine from Austria. It's like going from a Madras neighborhood to Beverly Hills only to miss Madras. (just kidding! South Indians please calm down)

Either way, Ukraine Khush Hua. I can now open my bhel puri-paani puri stall in Ukraine, without signing 150 licenses and without government intervention. Those who bash up Kuchma on its Kuchma-Punch-It pad will get a free panipuri.

(Photo courtesy: Ukraine Info, Associated Press)


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