Ukraine’s President Cancels Annual Online Q&A Session For Flimsy Reason

KIEV, Ukraine -- The president chickened out. He was afraid to face questions from the nation that elected him and stood up for him, and canceled his Internet conference.

The president chickened out...

On Dec. 16, Victor Yushchenko was supposed to have an Internet chat through three of the largest news portals on the Ukrainian web.

The growing Internet community was holding its breath, hoping to get answers to thousands of questions they had been posting on participating web sites for more than a week.

But the president’s aides announced on Dec. 12 that the session would be canceled. They said the president scheduled “an emergency meeting” instead to deal with cutoffs of heating and hot water in Kyiv.

Some of the questions, they said, the president might take during his annual press conference summarizing this year’s performance. Maybe. If the president has enough time.

Obviously, the "emergency meeting" is the lamest of excuses.

The president, who has plenty of time to fly abroad and grant interviews to foreign journalists, has no time for those in his own nation.

By the time the “emergency meeting” took place, Kyiv residents would have been freezing for nearly a week.

The real reason for refusal is, of course, Yushchenko’s fear of facing tough questions.

The most popular question asked on the Internet was:

“Dear Mr. President, Can you tell us (the simple people) how much do we have to pay you so that, together with parliament deputies, ministers and government members, you leave for abroad and do not hinder Ukraine’s normal development?” This question received over 72,000 votes from the audience of, where it had been posted.

Nearly 13,000 questions were posted altogether on all three participating websites, and none of them was easy.

Many questions called for his resignation, asked for accountability involving crimes and election promises, and asked for help and advice on how to survive in times of crisis.

Many personal questions were asked, including why the Ukrainian president’s young children study in an English-language school and why his oldest son is an idle and rich “golden boy.”

So, now the nation will have to wait for the annual press conference to hear answers to some of these questions. Maybe. If the president has enough time.

Source: Kyiv Post


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