Yushchenko's Kid

KIEV, Ukraine -- In the popular imagination, President Viktor Yushchenko is seen as a humble man who spends his free time painting rustic landscapes, hiking, and communing with his collection of Ukrainian folk handicrafts. If only by default, his family has tended to be considered quiet and humble, too.

Andriy Yushchenko

Now, courtesy of the news Web site Ukrainiska Pravda, come indications that even the Yushchenko family might be less than perfect. A Pravda article nastily entitled “Andriy Yushchenko – The Son of God?” examines aspects of the personal life of the president’s teenage son. The amusing piece has the young Yushchenko driving at least two extremely expensive luxury cars – one of them a BMW M6 that the article says costs 133,000 euros – and taking liberties that only the extremely well-connected can take. In one anecdote, Andriy parks squarely in the middle of Luteranska outside of his girlfriend’s home, blocking traffic and forcing cars onto the sidewalk. His bodyguards, meanwhile, fend off the timid officers of the State Auto Inspection (which President Yushchenko liquidated the other day).

The article also has Andriy hanging around Decadence House nightclub drinking Cristal champagne (which costs more than $1,000 a bottle) and using a cellphone that sells for $43,000. He’s Ukraine’s own little Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

In the end, none of this is so scandalous. Yushchenko is at worst another rich, well-connected brat, somewhere on the continuum between the Bush daughters and Paris Hilton. Ukraine will survive.

But it will be interesting to see where the kid ends up in a few years. Will he grow out of this high life nonsense, realize it’s unseemly, and make something of himself? Or will he get worse, and become another sponging, string-pulling, nepotism-exploiting victim of “affluenza,” a parasite who drives half-million dollar cars around his impoverished country and takes off to Ibiza for the weekend?

Time will tell. But we’ve got our eye on that young fellow. We trust his father does, too.

Source: Kyiv Post Editorial

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