Last week, Vitali Klitschko, a former professional boxer and the current Mayor of the Ukrainian capital, was on a visit to the United Kingdom
The Mayor of Kiev Klitschko met with the members of the Oxford Union. On the official website of the Mayor it is explained that Oxford Union is one of the most influential discussion communities of the graduates of the University of Oxford. Among the club's members are well known British and world politics. In different years, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama – and now the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko – were the speakers of this club.
The reader should bear in mind that the current Mayor of Kiev has been well known to all of Ukraine by his comic reservations and no less amusing tricks as well as other misunderstandings. As malicious tongues explain, the reasons for all this are occupational injuries (remember, that Vitali Klitschko came to politics from professional boxing).
On April the 28th, the Mayor was spotted at the airport in London, where he was standing in line at passport control as a regular passenger. "It's nice when you are not ashamed of your Mayor. You are even proud for him... sort of," wrote Ksenia Karpenko from Kiev on her Facebook page. The ironic comment was caused by disbelief of the majority of Ukrainian voters. Usually, they have difficulty to trust a deliberate modesty of the Ukrainian officials, infamous for their invincible love for luxury and privileges. Therefore, such actions are perceived solely as a disingenuous attempt to please the voters, a kind of "playing at democracy" game, etc.
For example, recently Klitschko decided to show to the world (and especially to the Ukrainian) public how democratic and attentive he is to the problems of the urban environment. Announced in the numerous media bike ride through the city streets, turned out to be the PR-scandal.
First of all, Internet users have instantly calculated the price of completely undemocratic Mayor’s two-wheeler (about $ 4,000).
Secondly, falling off the bike in the most shameful manner, the Mayor showed a complete ignorance of traffic regulations as well as a very poor condition of the city sidewalks (there are only a few bike lanes in Kiev, and all of them are situated far from the city center), and the Ukrainian roads in general...
The inability of the Mayor of the Ukrainian capital coherently express his thoughts has already become a byword. Therefore, the Ukrainians waited for the future Klitschko’s meeting with the intellectual elite of Britain (and of the world in general), and watched it attentively as if it were the Finale of the European football Championship.
So, at a meeting with the youth the Mayor he said how he succeeded in life. The children were interested in the motivation of the champion, who – after reaching the top in the sport – went into politics. According to official sources one of the topics for discussion was the situation in Ukraine and the ways of its solution.
This is the story, told about this exciting event by the journalist Natalia Mechetnaya on her Facebook:
"Meanwhile, Vitali Klitschko is having a great fun in Oxford. Dr Klitschko (as it was stated in the announcement) spoke in English with a bunch of mistakes, sometimes putting in the German words, but he held the speech without the help of the interpreter. And what was important, the participants understood him. I even thought that his English is no worse than his Russian.
The Kiev’s Mayor talked about his success stories («I have a dream» is his favorite expression, he pronounces it clearly, distinctly and loudly. Apparently, his PR advisers told him to copy King) He invited people – trying to do his best – to visit Kiev. «It's safe, I promise. Now you have a one strong friend». Klitschko lured them into coming to the capital by Disneyland, which he promised to build in Hydropark (and suddenly I somehow imagined how people in sports wear – a typical contingent of Hydropark – will ride on the chic rollercoaster)…
Another fun expression – pronounced with great pride – was “I ride a bicycle”, while telling the story about how he is introducing various changes in order to make a European capital out of Kiev. With regard to learning foreign languages, the Mayor explained that "at the times of the Soviet Union" when his mother asked him to study foreign languages, he answered her that he would not need the languages, because he wouldn’t be let to travel abroad (all the Soviet Union’s borders were closed). He talked about his childhood, about the life between the desert and the forest (I was just scratching my head, thinking: perhaps, he meant the wasteland?) And how he was the only one out of approximately 20 boys, who was rejected for the boxers’ sport youth team. Instead, he was advised to practice swimming.
And I must say that the public perceived him positively and cheered. However, they asked about the "Panama’s Papers" (the question was why he was connected to offshore President), but Klitschko answered that he was not engaged in the business of other people and they had to respond to this question by themselves.
When asked who he would invite to dinner if he could choose a few people, including historical figures of different eras, he suddenly said: "Jesus. I would ask Him why….". And suddenly he fell silent, the philosophical expression on his face. In the hall there was an awkward pause. "May be, not Jesus. Obviously, Chezus" – whispered the students. It was the most pathetic moment of the meeting! No one ever dared to clarify what he meant by the word "why." I suddenly remembered the anecdote with the answer: "That is why!" – an example of the short funny answer to the question when the person doesn't actually provide any necessary information. At the end he reminded the audience to be sure to watch in July the fight of his brother Wladimir with Tyson Fury: "I'll be there, too, sitting in the corner."
In general, the students perceived him very positively. He left, and they all continued to smile. Suddenly, I also felt very happy and glad. After all, it is not so bad, when the Mayor of Kiev has a bunch of fans all around the world and uses his international fame to promote energetically the Ukrainian capital. I was glad he could speak a foreign language. Let us forget about the grammar and style - the point is he doesn’t need an interpreter. Let him fall in a funny manner off the bike and tell foreigners how he loves to ride. Still, now our country is being presented not by the old and fat Soviet big wigs of the pension age, not by the bandits in the costly shoes, not by those looking like freaky drug takers with the constantly repeated expression about “beloved babushki” (as the former Mayor of Kiev, Chernovetsky, did). Other personalities have appeared on the political stage. And I think, it's for the better "
– sums up the journalist.Nastya Sotnichenko, "Vector News"
Translated by Maria Kryzhanovska