Leonid Kuchma   Letter 35   02-Nov-2004   Two egg attacks compared

Yulia Tymoshenko
Victim of an egg attack
Yulia Tymoshenko
"And what do you imagine people say of you who picked Viktor Yanukovych — this clown, this buffoon, this embarrassment, this laughingstock of Europe — to rule Ukraine?" — Lubomyr Prytulak

          02 November 2004

Leonid Kuchma, President
vul. Bankivska 11
Kyiv, 252005

Leonid Kuchma:

Two prominent Ukrainian politicians have recently been the victims of egg attacks, a single egg hitting each on the right breast, but with opposite results.

Victim of an egg attack: Prime Minister and Presidential Candidate Viktor Yanukovych

In the case of your Prime Minister and successor designate, Viktor Yanukovych, the egg attack in Ivano-Frankivsk on the morning of 24-Sep-2004 resulted in his losing consciousness and collapsing, needing to be carried to a van which served as ambulance, and needing to be hospitalized, as is documented below in two videos.  The eyewitness account of Deputy of Oblast Council Yuri Romanjuk at www.ostro.org/shownews_tema.php?id=384&lang=en points out two revealing details: (1) that Yanukovych's security personnel did not after the incident attempt to detain anybody, did not force anyone to the ground, did not twist anyone's arm, did not handcuff anyone — which suggests that they were aware that what had happened was trivial and that apprehension of the egg-thrower did not have high priority; and (2) that bystanders did not see anything being thrown other than a single egg, and that nothing could be seen on the ground after the incident but the remains of a single egg.

The first video comes with German commentary, suggesting that it may have been broadcast throughout Europe in other languages as well, and shows the moment of attack once at normal speed and twice in slow motion.  As Yanukovych twists and collapses, the egg can be seen dripping off his coat.  It may have seemed to eyewitness Yuri Romanjuk above that five or six guards carried Yanukovych away, but in fact the video shows that three people managed it, which is an impressive feat given that Yanukovych is said to weigh 100 kg (220 lbs).  People knowledgeable in first aid might object that hefting someone with undetermined injuries, running with him, and stuffing him into a van falls short of recommended procedure — either these people know nothing of first aid, or else they are aware that Yanukovych is in good health, and want to get him out of sight as quickly as possible so that nobody else discovers it:  Yanukovych Egg Attack, German Commentary Version (downloaded from "Euronews flick" at maidanua.org/files/News-2004-09-24_21-09-43h.mpg).

The second video comes with no commentary, though one can hear the ambient sounds, mainly the onlookers chanting the name of Yanukovych's opponent in the Presidential race, "Yushchenko!"  The impact of the egg is shown only once, but in very slow motion, making this the clearest depiction of what happened.  The egg hits a split second after Yanukovych's right foot touches the ground as he steps off the bus, such that he could not have been simultaneously hit by some harder object thrown from behind.  On Yanukovych's left we see the back of a balding man who begins to extend his hand to welcome Yanukovych just as the egg hits — Yuri Romanjuk above identifies him as University rector Vitaly Kononenko.  The remains of the egg are shown afterward lying on the ground:  Yanukovych Egg Attack, No Commentary Version (originally published by Channel 5 at www.5tv.com.ua/newsline/119//1341/).

Disinformation is circulated about this incident, as for example that "Several hard objects, including an egg, were thrown at Yanukovych hitting him in the head and chest when he was in Ivano-Frankivsk on his presidential campaign trail.  He was rushed to the hospital but released after receiving first aid" www2.interfax.ru/eng/news/politics/041001/68955/story.html.  When pro-Yanukovych thugs had pelted Yushchenko with eggs a year earlier, Yanukovych had advised his rival to not visit places where he was disliked, and to keep a stock of diapers on hand in case things got scary.  Yanukovych spokeswoman Hanna Herman-Stetskiv recently informed journalists that she plans to write a book about Yanukovych titled "The Iron Master."

Victim of an egg attack: Member of Supreme Rada Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko, in contrast, had been the victim of an egg attack the day before Yanukovych, on 23-Sep-2004.  The egg failed to break upon impact, and can be seen rolling down Yulia Tymoshenko's slanted right arm.  It appears to be the case that Yulia Tymoshenko glances down when she hears the egg cracking on the ground, then checks her jacket to see if it had been soiled, and seeing that it had not, continues her address.  Most of the video shows glimpses of the young egg-thrower being apprehended and led off by police, with the Union Jack glimpsable on the back of his white jacket probably amounting to nothing but a fashion decoration.  The sound track of the video demonstrates that Yulia Tymoshenko continued her address composedly, rather than losing consciousness, collapsing, being carried to an ambulance, and requiring intensive-care hospital treatment:  Tymoshenko Egg Attack (originally published by Channel 5 at www.5tv.com.ua/newsline/119//1341/).

One would have to say that the petite Yulia Tymoshenko shows dignity and composure under egg attack, whereas the hulking Viktor Yanukovych shows either an extraordinary capacity for cowardice and panic, or else an equally extraordinary readiness to grandstand when he imagines he has been presented with an opportunity to hoodwink the public.  From just his hammy reaction to an egg breaking against his chest, some observers will conclude that Viktor Yanukovych is unfit to be president.  Viewing his courage under fire by itself, one must conclude that it was less than manly; comparing his courage under fire to Yulia Tymoshenko's, one must conclude that it was less than womanly.

And what do you imagine people say of you who picked Viktor Yanukovych — this clown, this buffoon, this embarrassment, this laughingstock of Europe — to rule Ukraine?

Lubomyr Prytulak

Note added 28-Nov-2004:  Viktor Yushchenko jokes about the Yanukovych egg attack




Originally published on the Channel 5 web site at  www.5tv.com.ua/video/143/75/

Yushchenko began his hour-long address in Kharkiv with a joke

Viktor Yushchenko, candidate for President of Ukraine:  "Has the egg been thrown here or not?"

Audience:  "Noooo!"

Yushchenko:  "It hasn't been thrown yet?  ...  (laughs)  My request to those who are getting ready to do this — please do it at the end, because according to precedent I will have to faint and take four hours to recover consciousness.  But then we won't have a meeting.  So let's save it for the end!"
Ющенко в Харкові свій годинний виступ розпочав з жарту

Віктор Ющенко, кандидат у Президенти України:  "Тут яйця кидали, чи ще не кидали?"

Натовп:  "Нііііі!"

Ющенко:  "Ще не кидали?  ...  (сміється)  У мене прохання до тих, хто збирається це робить, — давайте зробіть це у кінці, бо за сценарієм я повинен падати в обморок і на чотири години їхати до реанімації.  І тоді у нас не відбудеться мітинг.  Тому давайте ми це зробимо вкінці!"

Note added 02-Dec-2004:

Yanukovych after the egg attack in the Ivano-Frankivsk hospital
Янукович після яєчної атаки у Івано-франківській лікарні



Originally published on the Channel 5 web site at  www.5tv.com.ua/video/143/90/

Soon after the egg attack upon him on 24-Sep-2004, Viktor Yanukovych makes a statement from the Ivano-Frankivsk hospital where he had been rushed for treatment.  Probably unaware of the wealth of graphic evidence that would soon be released testifying to the fact that the attack amounted to nothing more than a single egg breaking against the coat covering his chest, Yanukovych plays the role of one who has emerged from medical treatment and is both shaken by his injuries and saddened to think that he could have been so mistreated.  He blinks his eyes rapidly in indication of meek submission to his cruel fate.  During his life in politics, he says, he has never addressed a word of insult to his opponents, but what he sees happening to him now is the outbreak of a disease.  He does not blame the youth who perpetrated this act against him, but he does blame opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko for having incited it.