Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Strange ways

(Via FR) Ukraine’s Yushchenko Starts Anti-Corruption Campaign With Bath Ban. That stinks! Well, not exactly:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has started the corruption clean-up campaign with an informal ban on visiting bath houses (banyas) for government officials, The Independent daily reports.
Shades of San Francisco!
“It’s all about showing the new face of Ukraine,” presidential spokesperson Irina Gerashchenko said.
I'll say!
“It’s no secret that you get all kinds of unsavory types there, and they are not the people with whom officials should be mixing.”

New Ukrainian authorities believe that a traditional place where Ukrainians, and indeed Russians, go every week to wash away their sins has become the check point where officials are nobbled by corrupt businessmen, the paper writes.

In the modern Russian and Ukrainian tradition the banya has become a staple of business culture, often replacing informal meetings and even business dinners.
OK, whatever you say. Follow the link for a fetching snap of bath house denizens.