With some of the back-story out of the way, and now that we know more about the cast of characters, we can proceed to Semchenko’s actual rant on live TV, on a talk-show called “Veresen’s People”. Recall that Mykola Veresen no longer has his show, his boss Muraev fired him after this debacle. Veresen lost his temper and tossed a glass of water in Semchenko’s face. Semchenko looked unhappy, like a doused cat, but barely flinched. In the context of Ukrainian politics, it could have been fists or even bullets instead of water.
Semchenko told us himself (in his later interview with Elena Bojko) that he is the kind of guy who doesn’t like being pushed around and told what to do, and how to think. This independent quality is a good thing, especially in a society such as Nationalist Ukraine, which values conformity of thought over critical thinking. In the past 3 years, ever since the coup, the Ukrainian public has been brainwashed daily, by an increasingly totalitarian media, that Russian aggression is the cause of all their problems, and that everything Russian is bad. This is the back-drop to Semchenko’s performance.
“Do you enjoy the results of this man [Poroshenko] over the past 3 and half years?” Semchenko challenged Ukrainian Nationalists Veresen and Poyarkov. “Do you like this war? He promised to finish the war in the matter of just a few days. Instead, it has stretched out even longer. Do you like the fact that the GDP has fallen? The volume of industrial output has fallen by 3 times, since Poroshenko became President.”
Veresen reacted angrily: “And you? Do you like the Russian aggression in Ukraine? Do you like the aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine? You like the Russian aggression in Ukraine?” [repeated 3 times] “Well, do you? Ah, shut up!”
A few minutes later, the fighting resumed, this time between Semchenko and Sergei Poyarkov, a “patriotic” guest on the show. “The people who are being killed [in Donbass],” Semchenko stated, “they are residents of the Ukraine.”
“Stop this shit! Stop this shit!” Poyarkov screamed. “Let me finish my thought! You don’t let me either start or finish a thought.”
After some more scrabbling, this was the moment when Veresen tosses the water on Semchenko and orders him to leave the studio. Instead of complying, Semchenko responds with a “3-letter word” and tosses water back at Veresen. “I will not leave,” he announced stubbornly. “Because this is a tribune, which allows me to speak the truth. And all the nonsense that you spout on the air, the rudeness that you permit yourself, so be it, but I will not retreat. You turkey!”
Poyarkov, who has gotten spoiled over the years and expects everyone to lavish him with adoration for his “Auto-Maidan” exploits and his lousy art work; and who is clearly un-used to people actually contradicting his ill-formed thoughts, still tries to get in the last word: “Everybody understands now, why psychologically ill people should not be invited onto the air.”
But Semchenko still gets the last word: Pointing at Veresen: “It is precisely because of people [like you] that the people of Donbass rose up, and why the people of Crimea walked out of the Ukraine and fought for their own [self-determination].”
And, in conclusion, that is Semchenko’s feat. That he sat and told the truth to those who are too deaf to hear it. And, as far as I know, Semchenko is still alive. Vivat!