UKRAINE'S ORANGE BLUES - THE YANUKOVYCH–SANTA LETTERS

23.12.11


Dear Santa,

I gotta tell ya, big guy, 2011 ain’t been a good year. This joint’s falling apart, everybody hates me, and the skirts in my life are driving me crazy. I mean, like, first there’s that Ludmilla. What’s eatin’ her? Dunno. What did I do to deserve the broad? Nada, Santa, nada. I hole out in a shack near Kyiv and I set her up like a queen bee in Donetsk with the boys. Sasha’s one of the richest fellas in town (not bad for a guy who pulls teeth, and I don’t mean for laughs) and Junior loves his mom, even when he’s off the sauce. You’d think she’d stay home, watch TV, and pray for me. But nyeeeeeeet, the dame says she wants to help—to make a difference. Last time she tried that, Santa, was during that orange business, and you know what happened to me then. So, listen, Santa, how about doing me a solid? When you do your rounds in Donetsk, could you stuff a sock in her trap?

And then there’s Yulia! That tomato’s gonna be the end of me, Santa. Big Dima Tabachnik says I should let his boys do a number on her, but I gotta play up this rule of law thing, y’know, to make me look presidential-like. Big Dima says cement shoes are very presidential, and I crack up ’cause I know he’s pulling my leg. Little Nick says I should put her in charge of our space program, but I says to Azarov, “Like, huh? We ain’t got no space program,” and he says, “Sure, Vickereeno, let’s send the broad to the moon.” And I’m thinking “Sonofagun! With advice like that, who needs the coppers on your tail?”

And then them yellow-bellied Europeans get all wound up ’cause we let the judges act independent-like and dump Yulia in the slammer. I mean, like, don’t them rats in Brussels go for that rule of law stuff no more? I still figure we can pull a fast one on ’em, but I’m getting worried, Santa. I’m getting used to this Europe joint. I like them fancy restaurants and that red carpet stuff. And the streets are so damned clean that I don’t gotta polish my ostrich-leather shoes, except maybe with a little spit or some of Little Nick’s sweat. I ain’t ready to give all that up for some crazy dame, Santa, but if I let her outta the pen, she’s gonna go ballistic. Capiche? Dames! Ya can’t live with ’em and ya can’t live without ‘em—right, Santa?

Yours faithfully,

Viktor

 

Dear Viktor,

My dear boy, I quite understand that being president of a big country can be difficult, but that’s what you wanted, that’s what you got, and that’s what you’ll have to live with. Try to do a good job, Viktor. After all, the Man upstairs is watching. By the way, what did you want for Christmas?

Yours,

Santa

 

Dear Santa,

The man upstairs? You sure about that, Santa? Sonofagun! Once Putin’s got somebody in his sights, that guy’s a goner. What did I do to deserve this, huh? I loves my family, I loves my wife, I loves this Ukraine joint. Help, Santa, help!

Yours desperately,

Viktor

 

Dear Viktor,

There appears to have been some slight misunderstanding, but no matter. We may have an opening at the North Pole. Interested?

Yours,

Santa

 

Dear Santa,

Sure as hell I’m interested! Damn, I’ve always wanted to be an elf. Sign me up, big guy!

Yours hopefully,

Viktor

 

Dear Viktor,

My apologies, my dear boy, I should have been clearer. I have more elves then I can use, but Rudolf says he could use some help pulling the sleigh. You’re big and strong, Viktor. This might be just the thing for you. Think of it as a vacation.

Yours,

Santa

P.S. Rudolf says he’d also be willing to help you with your spelling.

 

Dear Santa,

It’s a deal, big guy, but on one condition: I wanna be in the lead. And I’ve got some ideas about that song. Ya gotta admit that “Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer” sounds dumb. Now, “Viktor the red-nosed leader,” on the other hand—well, think about it. I’ve got some other good ideas. I’m thinking we could modernize the North Pole. And how’s this for a slogan: “The North Pole is for the people”? Nice, right? Get my drift, big guy? But we’ll chew the fat when I get there. Ya gotta helipad? I figure I’ll take my chopper.

Yours, 

President Viktor

P.S. Big Dima is also coming. Says the elves should learn Russian and that you should change your name to SanDa. Little Nick wonders whether them North Pole elves pay taxes and whether he should learn North Polish.

P.P.S. Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Big Dima’s wants to be director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Thinks he’s a shoo-in. Says that, since it’s just south of your hideout, he can commute. The guy’d do wonders for the place, Santa—make it really scientific-like. Could you write him one of them letters of recondamnation?

 

Alexander J. Motyl



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