It is causing a scandal in Ukraine. The ‘Orange Revolution’ has apparently been privatised – and by the president’s own son. It appears Andriy Yushchenko owns the copyright on products derived from the popular uprising that swept his father, Viktor, to power. Mugs, clothes, stickers and badges emblazoned with the trademark downturned horseshoe or ‘Tak!’ meaning yes are still widely sold in Kiev. Andriy, a 19-year-old student, has been in the papers a lot recently because of his extravagant lifestyle. One vendor says it is clear the sales pay for his BMW.
Andriy says a part-time job allows him to rent a top-of-the-range car, and own a platinum-bodied mobile phone. Political analyst Mikhail Pogrebinsky says revolutionaries are “insulted”. “They stood in the cold to force changes, now one person has the right to profit from their ideals,” he adds. Presidential aides say the ‘Orange Revolution’ symbols were registered as trademarks. But only to prevent political opponents using them against Yushchenko – and not for commercial gain. The President has not commented on the row. But it is all a far cry from last year’s huge popular uprising that brought him to power. His son supported him then. Now, say critics, the Revolution is supporting his son.