AUR#851 Jun 1 Ukraine’s Democracy Gasps For Air; Lawmakers Miss Deadline; Ukraine On The Edge; WTO Legislation Passes; Tatar Deportation; Gazprom

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 851
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                  UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007
 
Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

4.                                 UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE
LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

5.         UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED
                             TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 

AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

6.        UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                      PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING

ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

7.                       UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE
COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

8.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT
HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

9.                          THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS

UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

10.                        REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

11.     WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                    Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                  “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

12UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

13. MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
        
Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.
INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

14.                     AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7

STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
15RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
  POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

16.        RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE
By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

17.       RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
                   PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007
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       UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE
                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian lawmakers failed to pass a series of laws in time for a
deadline set by President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday, prolonging a
political crisis in the ex-Soviet republic.

The votes were a precondition for Yushchenko to set early elections expected
on September 30 after a deal struck with his rival, Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych. Yushchenko had given lawmakers until midnight on Thursday to
vote.

But the deputy speaker of parliament, Adam Martynyuk, declared the session
over and said the legislature would meet again on Friday in defiance of the
president’s orders.

Observers have warned that failure to pass the legislation on time could
plunge Ukraine into turmoil again by scuppering the deal between the feuding
leaders.

The crisis in Ukraine began on April 2, when Yanukovych defied orders from
Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. The president
meant to stop what he called a power grab by the prime minister’s allies.

Yushchenko earlier expressed confidence that lawmakers would meet the
deadline on Thursday but also said that elections could still be held even
if they failed to do so.

He said opposition deputies in parliament from his Our Ukraine party and the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc could simply resign their posts, triggering polls
within 60 days.
               SERIES OF WTO AMENDMENTS APPROVED
Lawmakers on Thursday did approve a series of amendments liberalising trade
rules to smooth Ukraine’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that
were also part of the crisis deal. But they failed to agree on other
legislation governing the elections.

Yanukovych’s Regions Party holds a majority in parliament in a coalition
with the Socialist and Communist parties, while Yushchenko’s allies are in
opposition.

Ukrainian newspapers on Thursday warned of a return to political chaos.
“Parliament fell apart in full session,” ran a headline in the Kommersant
daily, referring to the heated disputes between Yushchenko and Yanukovych
allies in parliament the evening before.

“The political deal has fallen through,” daily Izvestia said.

Tensions escalated sharply last week, when the president and prime minister
sparred for control over security forces and scuffles broke out at the
prosecutor general’s office.

The two sides put on a show of unity after the political deal on Sunday to
hold early elections. But tensions still simmered this week and numerous
disagreements remain.

The rivalry between Ukraine’s leaders dates back to the Orange Revolution of
2004, when mass protests helped bring pro-Western Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Moscow-backed
Yanukovych.                                            -30-
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2.     DEAL ON NEW VOTE IN UKRAINE NOW IN DOUBT

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – A hard-won agreement between Ukraine’s rival leaders to hold
new elections this fall was cast into doubt Thursday as parliament ended its
session hours ahead of a presidential deadline to pass legislation
supporting the deal.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, a central figure in the
political standoff between the president and prime minister, was flown to
Germany for treatment after his condition worsened following a heart attack,
the ministry said.

President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych agreed
Sunday to elect a new parliament Sept. 30, easing tension amid a persistent
power struggle in the ex-Soviet republic, but efforts to pass laws governing
the vote have foundered this week amid mutual recriminations.

Yushchenko, who had been calling for a much earlier vote before the
compromise deal, said Thursday his allies would withdraw from parliament if
the laws were not approved by midnight – a move he said would trigger a new
election in two months.

“If a solution is not reached, my party and (Yulia) Tymoshenko’s party will
meet and formalize our withdrawal from parliament,” Yushchenko said during a
visit to Croatia. “Then elections will take place automatically in 60 days,”
he added.

But parliament, dominated by Yanukovych’s majority coalition, ended its
session without approving the legislation. Coalition members vowed to return
Friday.

The head of Yushchenko’s faction in parliament, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko,
accused the coalition of violating the agreement and said it “must take all
responsibility for future development of events on itself”.

He also said that 172 opposition lawmakers had registered their resignations
at the parliamentary secretariat, an initial step toward quitting
parliament.

The resignation of 151 lawmakers is required to dissolve parliament and
force elections in 60 days, but a leading Yanukovych ally suggested his camp
would resist any attempts to hold a vote in that time frame.

“It is impossible to hold any early elections if the package of bills is not
adopted by parliament,” said lawmaker Taras Chornovil.

Ukraine has been embroiled in a political crisis since Yushchenko issued on
April 2 a decree to dissolve the parliament and to call early elections.
Yanukovych and his governing coalition called the order illegal and appealed
against it to the Constitutional Court.

Sunday’s pre-dawn agreement eased concerns the standoff could escalate into
violence after Yushchenko fired the prosecutor-general and the Interior
Ministry – headed by Tsushko – sent police to prevent him from being evicted
from his office.

Yushchenko then claimed control of ministry’s forces and sent some to the
capital, although Tsushko refused to recognize the order.

The Interior Ministry said Wednesday that Tsushko had suffered a heart
attack, and ministry spokesman Kostyantyn Stogniy said late Thursday that he
had been transported to Germany because his condition had worsened.

Stogniy gave no further details.

Yushchenko on Wednesday called the move to send police forces to the
prosecutor’s office a “serious crime” and said Tsushko was responsible.

Yushchenko and Yanukovych were bitter rivals in Ukraine’s 2004 presidential
election. Yanukovych was declared the winner of a fraud-riddled vote that
sparked mass protests known as the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko won a court-ordered rerun of the balloting, but Yanukovych
returned to prominence last year when his party won the largest share of
seats in parliament.                                  -30-
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3.                              STALLED BY CONFLICT,
                UKRAINE’S DEMOCRACY GASPS FOR AIR

Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine, May 31 – Two and a half years ago, the “Orange Revolution”
promised Ukrainians a freer, more democratic system of government. Instead,
the country now finds itself mired in perpetual political crisis, punctuated
by confusion, chaos and, at times, comedy.

In April, President Viktor A. Yushchenko issued a disputed decree dissolving
Parliament. That led to charges, countercharges and dueling protests between
the country’s warring camps, led by Mr. Yushchenko on one side and the prime
minister, Viktor F. Yanukovich, on the other.

On Wednesday, for example, protesters gathered outside the headquarters of
the prosecutor general, a member of Mr. Yanukovich’s party whom the
president had already fired two times.

Drawn by rumors of an imminent assault by government commandos, they
blockaded the leafy streets while their leaders issued instructions on how
to resist and warned of nefarious NATO plans to subjugate the nation. “We
don’t want to be imprisoned by America, like Yugoslavia was,” one protester
said.

Inside, a dozen members of Parliament occupied a landing by the elevator,
vowing to protect the prosecutor general, Svyatoslav M. Piskun. “Give me the
Constitution,” one deputy demanded, and then thumbed through the one
produced in search of some legal justification for all of this.

Mr. Piskun, who has accused Mr. Yushchenko of criminal conduct for
exceeding his constitutional powers, has refused to step down.

The president, in an interview, accused him in turn of politicizing the
justice system. He had already appointed somebody else to the post, only to
have his decree, like most of late, ignored.

The country’s leaders agreed early last Sunday morning to end a prolonged
political impasse by holding new parliamentary elections, the second in less
than two years. But that agreement, which appeared to be unraveling on
Thursday, has done little to resolve the underlying disputes.

They include an unclear division of power between a weakened presidency and
an empowered Parliament; allegations of corruption in Parliament and the
courts; and a lack of mature democratic institutions able to emerge from the
shadows of the oversize political personalities who dominate Ukrainian
politics.

The result has been not only endless conflict, but also public apathy,
tinged with disappointment, which even the country’s leaders acknowledge
having caused.

“We started a kind of judicial game, using the flaws of our laws,” Mr.
Piskun said in his barricaded building, referring to legal challenges that
have been swirling around him. “We make people lose trust in the judicial
system.”

Ukraine is immeasurably freer than it was in 2004, when President Leonid D.
Kuchma tried to orchestrate the fraudulent election of a successor, Mr.
Yanukovich, setting off protests that led to a new election, won by Mr.
Yushchenko.

One measure of that is that Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions won enough
seats last year in parliamentary elections to make him prime minister.
Ukraine, though, has failed to consolidate its democracy, even as it has
embraced the theatrics of democratic politics.

Protests abound, though often with paid protesters, as do the tents that in
2004 filled Independence Square, known as the Maidan. So, ominously, do
political threats and brinkmanship.

Those activities nearly resulted in violence when Interior Ministry troops,
following orders from the interior minister, a Yanukovich loyalist, occupied
Mr. Piskun’s office after the president tried to dismiss him. Mr. Yushchenko
then declared the ministry’s military forces under his command, and the top
uniformed commander declared his loyalty to the president.

The interior minister, Vasyl P. Tsushko, was hospitalized Wednesday,
reportedly with a heart ailment. On Thursday, a member of his Socialist
Party declared that the minister had been poisoned by his opponents,
implicitly Mr. Yushchenko’s supporters.

Poison is a motif of Ukrainian politics, the most notable case being Mr.
Yushchenko’s poisoning before the 2004 vote. That crime remains unsolved,
an emblem of Ukraine’s uncertain embrace of the rule of law. The twist is
that Mr. Yushchenko is now accused of abusing the law.

That stems from his decision – with the parliamentary majority led by Mr.
Yanukovich growing and members of his own party defecting – to issue a
decree dissolving Parliament in April on narrow grounds that members were
switching parties, which he called “an issue of political corruption.”

His opponents assailed the move as unconstitutional, but when they took the
matter to the Constitutional Court, Mr. Yushchenko dismissed 3 of the
court’s 18 judges, accusing them of corruption.

The Constitutional Court, Mr. Piskun retorted indignantly, is “the backbone
of democracy.” He acknowledged that there might have been justification for
Mr. Yushchenko’s charges, but he said there was a judicial and parliamentary
process for resolving them.

Mr. Yushchenko defended his actions, though he appeared subdued, even
resigned. “I would like to emphasize this is not a political crisis,” he
said of the turmoil surrounding the prosecutor’s office. “It is just a
reality of political life in Ukraine.”

Ukraine remains a deeply divided country, with a large Russian-speaking
population that has bristled at Mr. Yushchenko’s embrace of the European
Union and NATO at the expense, as widely seen, of fraternal ties with
Russia.

Increasingly, though, the divisions appear less substantive and more
political and personal.

Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, a former foreign minister and an adviser to Mr.
Yanukovich, said that the Yanukovich camp was equally committed to
integrating Ukraine into the global economy and, eventually, into the
European Union, though NATO remains unpopular. Instead, he said, elections
increasingly turn on personalities.

“People here vote most likely for the leader whom they like,” he said in an
interview. “I would hesitate to say trust, but like is the right word.”

Others said that Ukrainian politics had simply become a struggle over access
to business. “Having power gives you the instruments to do business,” said
Oleksandr O. Moroz, who became speaker of Parliament after breaking with Mr.
Yushchenko’s camp last summer. “They are fighting for power to obtain these
instruments.”

The biggest concern in Ukraine is that elections are unlikely to
significantly change the makeup of Parliament. They could simply prolong the
failures to bolster the institutions necessary to allow democracy to
flourish, including prosecutors and courts independent of presidential
decrees and street protests.

Without institutional changes, said Anatoly K. Kinakh, who became minister
of the economy after defecting from Mr. Yushchenko’s camp this year, “this
election will not produce any better quality of democracy.”          -30-
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/world/europe/01ukraine.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1,
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4.                            UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

The political peace deal struck in Ukraine in last-minute talks between
Viktor Yushchenko, the president, and his bitter rival Viktor Yanukovich,
the prime minister, comes as a welcome relief.

Their long-running conflict last week reached the point of violence, with
officials loyal to Mr Yushchenko occupying the public prosecutor’s office
and Mr Yanukovich’s men breaking windows and doors to retake the
building. It seemed only a matter of time before somebody was killed.

However, the agreement to settle the dispute by holding parliamentary
elections in late September will not, on its own, resolve Ukraine’s
deep-rooted divisions. The country is doomed to further instability, unless
its leaders work much harder at developing a genuine national consensus.

It will be difficult. When Mr Yushchenko triumphed in the Orange Revolution
in 2004 he appeared to have won broad support for a pro-European Union
democracy, with an open economy and pragmatic ties with Russia.

But the settlement that ended the Orange Revolution involved transferring
power from the presidency to parliament. When Mr Yanukovich bounced
back in the 2006 election, thanks to his Russian-speaking support in the
east, Mr Yushchenko was wrong-footed.

Until this year, the conciliatory president was on the defensive, to the
despair of his supporters. But in April he finally put his foot down, and
ordered new elections. Mr Yanukovich resisted, precipitating last week’s
confrontation.

The trouble is that elections will do little to change the power balance
between the two sides. Mr Yanukovich will almost certainly return as head of
the largest party, followed by the fiery Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr Yushchenko’s
erstwhile Orange Revolution ally. The president may well end up holding the
balance of power, and they will be forced to sit down and negotiate.

The outlines of a compromise exist. Most Ukrainians back closer ties with
the EU, but they also have doubts about joining Nato.

Almost all agree Russia will continue to play a big role in Ukraine, above
all in energy, although they are divided about the merits of Moscow’s
influence. As a buffer zone, the country cannot afford to tip too far
towards Russia or the west.

One thing must be clear, however: all parties must respect the legacy of the
Orange Revolution, which has created a more democratic political world.
Any attempt to resolve political conflicts through non-democratic, let alone
violent, means would split the country irrevocably.                -30-
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/294b0b90-0e4a-11dc-8219-000b5df10621.html
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5. UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED 
                           TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday passed all the laws needed to meet
the World Trade Organization’s admission requirements.

The 450-seat Verkhovna Rada approved 11 bills, including legislation
governing customs tariffs on metals and scrap; a law on food security and
quality; and changes to a law protecting intellectual property.

Ukraine said in December that it had brought its legislation into line with
WTO requirements, but the 150-nation global trade rules body has since made
new demands.

President Viktor Yushchenko has made joining the WTO a priority for Ukraine,
which needs foreign investment to boost its economy. Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych has said he hopes the ex-Soviet republic could join the WTO this
year.

Socialists and Communists, who now are in the ruling parliamentary
coalition, have opposed some of the measures, fearing the impoverished work
force could suffer by aggressively opening the country up to foreign trade
and WTO standards.                               -30-
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6.  UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                   PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING 
ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Parliament has voted in the first reading for changes to the budget
to allow financing for a snap parliament election. Presenting the bill,
First Deputy Prime Minister Azarov said that the government found 75m
dollars for the election.

The text of the budget amendments indicates that the election should not be
held earlier than 29 September 2007. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz
suggested that the amendments should be approved in the second reading on 1
June.

On 31 May, President Viktor Yushchenko extended by one day his suspension

of his parliament dissolution decree to allow MPs to vote on the necessary
legislation.

The following is the text of a report by Ukrainian ICTV television on 31
May:

[Presenter] Before leaving Ukraine [for visit to Croatia on 31 May], the
president [Viktor Yushchenko] extended the work of parliament for one more
day. MPs should consider 17 issues today – laws on the WTO, on the binding
mandate [banning MPs from moving from one faction to another], changes to
the election law, and changes to the budget on election financing.

MPs have already adopted the election financing law in first reading. Then a
break was announced. We will find out from Viktor Soroka whether the sitting
has restarted.

[Correspondent] MPs from the [pro-government] coalition and opposition have
already returned to the hall after their forced break. But they have
quarrelled again and walked out again. They have left the hall and dispersed
among the corridors and buffets, in order to discuss how to proceed.

One thing is clear. The coalition is ready to work not just today, but until
2009. The Communists and Socialists announced again that they do not want

an early election, so they do not want to provide budget money for financing
the election campaign.

Meanwhile, the Party of Regions thinks a little differently. In particular,
representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers have found the 365m hryvnyas
[75m dollars] needed for the election.

[First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov] The bill foresees a separate
budget programme for the Central Electoral Commission to the value of 365m
hryvnyas for preparing and holding an early parliament election.

[Volodymyr Makeyenko, captioned as parliament budget committee head] I
recall once again the formulation that is being put to the vote: to
establish that spending on the budget programme for holding an early
parliament election should be carried out if an early parliament election is
called not earlier than 29 September 2007.

[Correspondent] However, the Communists and Socialists are standing their
ground. They do not want to make money available for the election.

They are ready to amend the budget and allocate additional funds for the
countryside and raising pensions, student grants and public sector wages, in
particular for law enforcers and the armed forces.

But they are not ready to give money for holding an election campaign or
organizing the election campaign. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz thinks
the same or almost the same.

He proposed voting on changes to the budget only in the first reading, which
is what happened. And the second reading vote will be not today, but
tomorrow.

[Presidential representative in parliament Roman Zvarych] This surprises me
because his signature is on the joint statement of the president, prime
minister and parliament speaker. It is clear from the speeches of the
Communist and Socialist factions and from the fact that they asked for a
break that they will not vote for this law.

[Opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc MP Volodymyr Yavorivskyy] You are
consciously dragging out and undermining all agreements. It’s all clear.
It’s all on the surface. Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, put this document to the
vote as a whole.

[Correspondent] The opposition insists that the president has once again
made concessions to the coalition in order to have the maximum level of
understanding and suspended his dissolution decree for one more day in

order that it could vote on all the necessary bills. But the coalition did not
hear the president and are consciously inflaming the situation.

Only one out of 17 bills has been adopted in the first reading. In addition
to laws on social and economic development and changing the budget, there
are 10 bills that should speed up Ukraine’s WTO accession.         -30-
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7.                        UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE

COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

MOSCOW – Triumvirates worked well for ancient Rome, albeit never survived
for long. The triple alliance of President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych and Parliament Speaker Alexander Moroz was formed
under the pressure of an imminent armed conflict, and consequently implied
no parity.

It was clear from the very beginning that the president and prime minister
would keep their offices, while the speaker would probably have to go. His
opponents have been quite open about it.

However, the problem is deeper than the three politicians’ prospects. It
looks like Ukraine’s political culture in general does not require strict
observance of agreements, especially of bizarre ones like the “triple
union.”

None of its parties could guarantee commitment, because none of them
possessed any levers to pressure the Rada members into acting within the
outlined framework.

The three officials have eventually failed to find common ground.

Yanukovych confessed to having disagreements with Yushchenko and
demanded the extension of parliament’s session by more than two days so
that it would have time to pass a series of socio-economic development
bills.

Moroz, the main trouble-maker, predictably threw out the agenda, thus
violating the triple agreement.

The above is evidence that democracy actually reigns in Ukraine. The triple
deal was made for a reason, and was a good thing for the time being. The
three politicians seemed to realize that their brawl could grow into an
armed conflict, and armed people would be almost impossible to control.

When the president and the interior minister issue mutually exclusive
orders, regular army commanders turn into field commanders. But the
politicians who allowed this to happen will be held responsible for the
consequences.

That is why the Ukrainian president, prime minister and speaker chose to
strike a union deal, feeble as it was. But their agreement was not confirmed
by any procedures. The parliament-dissolving decree was never considered
by the Constitutional Court.

Moreover, the triple agreement excluded the Constitutional Court’s
contribution to the settlement of the crisis. And of course, no laws
stipulate that a parliament session should last for a specified period of
time and strictly adhere to a specific agenda.

Despite the odd situation, the three politicians have attained their most
important goal – they have avoided the armed conflict scenario. As for the
prospects, it has become clearer than ever that Ukraine is a lucky country
which abhors final decisions.                                 -30-
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
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LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070531/66415343.html

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8. UKRAINIAN PRES ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT

HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

ZAGREB – Ukraine fully supports Croatia’s aspirations to join the European
Union and NATO, and Croatia is an example of a successful, reborn nation in
the whole region, President Viktor Yushchenko said in the Croatian
parliament on Thursday.

Like Croatia, Ukraine too sees its future in united Europe, he said, adding
that the EU and NATO were strategic goals for his country, confirmed in
legislation.

He described his visit to Croatia as the opening of new possibilities and
prospects of cooperation. Apart from cooperation in Euro-Atlantic
integration, he said Ukraine was particularly interested in a closer
political and social dialogue.
                               ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Yushchenko also mentioned economic cooperation, saying it was increasingly
stronger and more dynamic. Last year’s trade exceeded 120m dollars, whereas
in 2003 it amounted to 43m dollars, he said.

Ukraine’s President added there were many areas for cooperation, including
investment, industry, agriculture, construction, and the transport and
tourist infrastructure. He said Ukraine was also interested in the joint oil
pipeline Druzba Adria project.

Yushchenko also spoke of the thousand-year-old history of the Croat and
Ukrainian peoples, recalling they had become brothers at the time of the
White Croat tribe.

He said relations between the two countries experienced a renaissance in
1991, after “the demolishing of the empire”, and recalled that Ukraine had
been among the first to recognise Croatia’s independence.
CALL TO RECOGNIZE HOLODOMOR AS ACT OF GENOCIDE
He said the two peoples had supported one another during social upheavals,
and called on the Croatian parliament to recognize the Holodomor, the
1932-33 famine, as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Our people will be grateful to receive such a decision, as an example of
support and moral assistance, Yushchenko said.
Speaking of the crisis in his country, he said Ukraine’s politics resolved
the hardest problems in a democratic fashion and that this tradition would
remain constant.

For me, every success and every test oriented towards democracy is an
important part of Ukraine’s renaissance, he said.
            CRITICIZED UKRAINE’S TOTALITARIAN PAST
Underlining the importance of democracy, reconstruction and the healing of
society, Yushchenko criticized his country’s totalitarian past, recalling
that dozens of millions of Ukrainians had been victims of communist terror.

He was also received by Parliament Speaker Vladimir Seks for talks on
bilateral relations and common strategic interests.

Seks thanked Yushchenko for saying in his address to the Croatian
parliamentarians that the opinions of ecologists and the public should be
taken into consideration with regard to the Druzba Adria project. The
Ukrainian president agreed that broad political support was necessary for
its implementation.                                  -30-

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NOTE:  Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
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9.                   THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS
 
UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

One cannot be clever, kind, and beautiful in Ukrainian policy any more. It
is possible only drive now. It’s up to you. Inspired by the President’s
example, everybody is driving now.

The President himself is driving, he appoints whom he wants and dismisses
whom he wants. The main thing for him is suddenness of his next steps, an
unexpected turn of the helm and a feeling that the helm is still in hand.

The Prime Minister is driving too. Rumors that he also contributed to the
new turn of the Ukrainian political crisis look like being true.

As it is well known, Mr. Yanukovich, after an arrangement with Mr.
Yushchenko on the day of the ill-fated elections had been already achieved,
took the liberty to twice publicly doubt that this elections would be held.

Why? Because he is dragging out time, – according to the same rumors,
Yanukovich has no chance of getting either the Prime Minister’s office or
the faction leader’s chair after the coming elections of the new Verkhovna
Rada.

The Regions Party’s financiers will most likely gamble on other figures
(nomination of Boris Kolesnikov is discussed, ambitions of Raisa Bogatyriova
are taken into account), thus in the situation where every miller draws
water to one’s own mill, Mr. Yanukovich decided to draw this water a little
to his mill, too. Well, let a person who is without a sin cast an egg at
him.

The speaker of the Parliament is also driving. Despite all statements of Mr.
Moroz that the Verkhovna Rada’s activity is quite legitimate, since lately
he does not sign any of the laws passed by the legitimate Rada.

These include the law on the Budget amendments, which is a trump-card of the
«regionals» (as this law prescribes an increase in wages and social payments
they need as the ruling party before the election).

It is said that this step of the speaker is caused by his desire to make the
«regionals» include Moroz himself and a couple dozen certainly no-go
socialist men in the Regions Party’s list at the future election.

The honest Tsushko is driving, – a man about whom no dirt could be dug up
even after six months of searching (obviously, for it is absent indeed).

Most likely, this man is ruling just due to his natural conscientiousness
and yet because he, a poor guy, has no way to go out from the submarine –

no desire to become the chief of a Moldavian collective farm again.

Of course, the overall driving started not today but yet at the time of that
“orange” Maidan, when both people and the authorities realized that they
could get through with bawling and push.   It’s unclear where all this may
end up: many predict a force way.

However, it is unlikely: yet at the time of “that” Maidan it was wittily
noticed that the average statistical Ukrainian participates in a revolution
only if he is absolutely sure that a plate of fatty rich borsch will wait
for him home tonight after the barricades. In short, there will be no
shooting while borsch is served.                          -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10.               REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

Morgan,

FYI, I thought I’d share with you my message to the Kyiv Post editor
(forwarded below), since you published a longer version of Mr.
Velychenko’s article in AUR today.

Rgds/Dan

PS:  Keep the AURs coming!  I spend way too much time reading them,
but don’t how I’d ever keep up with what’s going on without them.
———————————————————————————————-
From: Dan Fenech
Sent: May 31, 2007 11:28 AM
To: kpletters@kyivpost.com
Subject: Article “Regime Restoration and Ukraine”

LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/26691/

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Mr. Velychenko’s comments about potential regime
restoration in Ukraine (“Regime restoration and Ukraine”, May 30
2007).

However, while he accurately describes the Party of Region’s use of
American consultants such as Paul Manafort (a former consultant for,
amongst others, some Republican Party candidates), I don’t understand
why Velychenko inserts his apparent anti-American and anti-Republican
Party hatred into his otherwise observant article.

By making blatantly false statements such as “US Republicans also used
dubious and outright illegal methods to bring George W. Bush into power,”
he damages the credibility of  his other arguments.

He can legitimately criticize Manafort (as do I), but there’s no reason to
drag the rest of the Republican Party or all Americans  into his arguments.
After all, we are talking about Ukraine, aren’t we?

Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine
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11. WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                      Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                    “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”

COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007

I grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, in a family where it was the custom to close the
curtains before you turn on the light. My grand parents did it because
“ruski” used to shoot through the windows. My parents did it because “ruski”
spy through the windows.

During the short winter days I would come back from school wearing my red
pioneer “halstuk”, crawl to the window and do the house routine, so
mysterious “ruski” wouldn’t harm me. Only then would I turn on the light and
read my favorite “ruski” authors. This was in the beginning of eighties.
    “RED” VETERANS CAME TO MY SCHOOL TWICE A YEAR
Everything I learned at home was from overhearing the family talk about what
“ruski” have done again. Each conversation would end with the adults
realizing I was listening and immediately they would follow with, “don’t
even think to repeat it to anybody” or “forget it, or we end up in the
devil’s land”. I hated the “red” veterans.

They used to come to my school twice a year and talk about their heroic
attacks on Germans. Then they would ask whose grandparents were fighting
the fascists.

So that one time I decided to tell what I heard at home many times: my
grandpa was in the Polish army, he was sent to Germany as a spy just before
the war started, but was captured and send to the concentration camp.

He tried to escape, but dogs found him. The second time he made it as far
as the train station, but was reported. He survived though weighting only 42
kilos. He still had horrible stomach pains sometimes and our family menu
was based on what grandpa could eat, and I loved my grandpa. It was my
story.
“RED” VETERAN ANNOUNCED MY GRANDPA WAS A TRAITOR
The “red” veteran listen without stopping me, but then he announced to the
entire class that my grandpa was a traitor and if he did not kill himself
and gave himself up he deserves to be shot.

At home I was announced a traitor and got a slap from my father for wanting
to send the entire family “to the devil’s land”. Then my parents had to make
visits to school, bringing with them some documents about my grandpa and
saying grandpa was always making jokes and what I said was “false”.  Then
I had to apologize to the class for being a liar.

I was not trusted any more at home and I was not trusted at school. I was
different. I was not “ruski” and I was not “red”. This was becoming a core
of my identity.

I felt very lonely and misunderstood, there was nobody in the world whom I
could explain to about what was wrong, I couldn’t betray my family again.

My lessons learned from that experience: I associated that one “red”
veteran with the rest and disliked them all, I also did not feel any
compassion to any of the tragedies done to “ruski” during the WWII.  I
became oblivious.

It took me years to understand that I should not blame all the Russians for
whatever one person said.  It took me years to heal from the hate for
generalized Russians, who I blamed for all the misfortunes of my family:
loosing land, loosing relatives, whose graves you can only visit at night,
loosing opportunity to study journalism.

Things were building up and so was my imagination. I have to admit I went
so far as to justify in my head why the Russians did not deserve to live on
planet earth.
 “YOU UKRAINIANS, KILLED MY FAMILY, YOU KILLED JEWS”
Till one day, as they say what goes around comes around. In 1992 I was an
exchange student in U.S.  It was in North Carolina, just after the brake up
of the Soviet Union. My host family took me to the supermarket.

They met their good friend and immediately introduced me as a student from
the new country called Ukraine. Their friend’s reaction was rather strong.

“You, Ukrainians, killed my family, you killed Jews” – he screamed.  It
seemed to me at that moment the entire store went quiet and started
starring.  I was shocked.

Till that day I believed we – the Ukrainians were the biggest victims of the
war.  We were the only one who suffered while nobody did anything to help.
Now I met somebody who seemed to hate me or my people more than I
ever hated Russians, but for what?

It took me years to make sense for myself of what had happening in this
region.  I am still learning and the more I know the less accusations and
generalizations I have.

As British historian Norman Davis told me in the interview “In this part of
the region nobody suffered more and nobody suffered less – everybody
suffered the same”.

During the Second World War two huge mega powers Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia were using the national differences in order to manipulate
people and send them to fight each other instead resisting the occupation.

The ethnic conflicts that took place during that time were an atrocious and
horrifying part of what is considered today as one of the biggest wars in
the history of mankind.
THOSE WHO HELPED THOSE OF DIFFERENT ETHNIC ORIGIN
There were also people who did not allow themselves to be affected by these
brainwashing  techniques, people who helped others, who fought, who did
not degrade morally. The ordinary people who showed extraordinary
courage.

Unfortunately, there are still too many stories are awaiting to be told,
especially the stories of people who risked or gave their lives in order to
save others of a different ethnic origin.

Another big picture we tend to forget: all the veterans – Soviet and UPA -
were fighting first of all against Germany.  Even the few thousand
Ukrainians who fought for the Germans during the first two months
eventually became their victims. Each Ukrainian family, regardless of its
nationality had lost somebody to that war.

During the WWII Jews lost 7 millions, Ukrainians and Russians and others
of the Soviet Republics – 20 million lives.  Most of the war was on the
territory of Ukraine. The devastation is still hard to recover.

Unfortunately, there is no objective history written about that war that
would include the point of view of each ethnic group involved.

Because of that the bits of this painful history still can be used to
manipulate and produce new wave of generalizations that trig into
stereotypes, blame and hate.
             QUESTION RAISED IN MY HEAD WAS ‘WHY’?
So the question raised in my head after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
“WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP SOME BAD MEMORIES”
was :WHY?

Why would a person  write  in a casually accusational way without thinking
of the feelings and memories may be evoken, without much care to the
sensitivity of the issue?

But then, after rereading this “WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP
SOME BAD MEMORIES” one starts to have some sad memories of the
techniques used by the old Soviet propaganda machine.

That “Razdelyaj i vlastvuy” “know how” was and is responsible for people
still being hostile against each other 60 years after the war.

It is responsible for both the Ukrainian-phobia and the anti-Semite
sentiment. That “good old” propaganda machine was so effective it even
made people incapable of being compassionate towards each other.

The really sad fact is that there are not that many publications that try to
explain what really happened in that part of the world.
PASS THE LEGACY OF HOSTILITY TO THE NEXT GENERATION
Instead yet another article that aims to make the old survivors of these
horrific events to be more hostile against each other. And on a top of this
it looks like Mr. Matveyev attempts to pass the legacy of hostility on to
the next generation.

Again, it is important to remember that the war was not provoked by the
local people who had differences and could not co-exist with each others.

It was rather a huge confrontation between two mega-powers who
understood that as long as the population would be busy with people
fighting each others, there would be no threat towards them.

For the memory of all that died in that horrible war and out of the respect
to the ones still alive we have to look more closely at what happened not
through propaganda glasses, but with eyes of humanity, tolerance and
honesty.

Hate is not the answer. Or is it?
—————————————————————————————————-
RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20050503InUkraineWWIIann.html 

—————————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
—————————————————————————————————–
  “GALICIA: LAND OF DILEMMAS” VIDEO WINS A TOP PRIZE AT
                 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY”S VISIONS FESTIVAL
     Explores inter-ethnic conflicts during WWII in Galicia-Western Ukraine

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #841, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON – On Friday, May 4th 2007, as part of American University’s
Visions Festival, the video installation ‘Galicia: Land of Dilemmas’ won
first place in the category of best installation.

The project, created by Olha Onyshko and Sarah Farhat, explores inter-ethnic
conflicts during the Second World War in the region of Galicia-Western
Ukraine.

The video was shown, to around eight viewers at a time, in one of the
University’s small photography labs. The installation in the lab recreated a
Ukrainian basement of 1942 filled with all sorts of old Ukrainian artifacts
and household items, as well as food like potatoes, onions and dried herbs.

The smell, the confined setting and the cramped space bought one back in
time in order to experience the fear and uncertainty of the people who were
hiding in similar places during WWII.

The innovative visual style of the video was used to re-create the way a
person remembers images and recalls events while telling a story.

The tension built up while watching the video increases even more through
sounds of children whispering, parents hushing, doors slamming and dogs
barking outside.

“The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about the issues of ethnic
identity and relations during periods of crisis and war,” said Olha Onyshko,
one of the two filmmakers.

“The moving story of Ukrainian and Jewish neighboring families, told in
public for the first time 60 years after it happened, shows that tragic
moments of conflicts can bring out the worst and the best in people and
leaves us to wonder: why would people put their own lives in danger to
save their enemies?” Onyshko stated.

The two filmmakers are currently working on producing a feature-length
documentary with the same name that will explore the human side of ethnic
conflicts based on stories from the Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish and Russian
communities in Galicia.

“Events that happened 60 years ago are still relevant in today’s society;
that is why it is necessary to find a common language between people of
different ethnicities so that the horrors that happened will not be
repeated,” according to Olha Onyshko.              -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Olha Onyshko olia@verizon.net
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12.  UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

May 18, 2007 marked the 63rd anniversary of a grave tragedy. On that day
that left a dark spot on the history of humanity in the [former] Soviet
Union, Crimean Tatars in their entirety were deported from their peninsular
homeland under Stalin’s orders.

 Deportation was carried out by 20,000 interior ministry troops and
thousands of regular army soldiers,[i] who went door to door to wake up
sleeping Crimean Tatars and give them only 15 minutes to get ready before
being exiled to unknown destinations. During that time, Crimean Tatars
constituted approximately one fifth of the [Soviet] partisans who were
involved in guerilla warfare in Crimea.[ii]

Moreover, most of the able-bodied Crimean Tatar men were at the front
fighting the Nazis. As a result, the majority (86.1 percent) of the
deportees consisted of the elderly, invalids, women and children.[iii] This
mass deportation on guarded cattle-trains without food, water, and inferior
sanitary conditions, resulted in a substantial death toll. During and after
the exile, 46.2 percent of the total Crimean Tatar population perished.

Three months after the deportation, on August 14, 1944 the State Defense
Committee (GKO) authorized the settlement of 51,000 new migrants in 17,000
vacant collective farms (kolkhozes) to replace the deported Crimean
Tatars.[iv] Although some of these settlers were Ukrainians, the vast
majority of them were ethnic Russians[v] who had arrived in Crimea from
Russian lands.

While the systematic Russification of the peninsula was taking place
rapidly, with a decree published on June 30, 1945,[vi] the Crimean ASSR was
officially abolished and it became an oblast (district) within the RSFSR.

In the mean time, according to the orders of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (KPSS), Crimean Tatars were “to live in exile forever with no
right to return to the former residence.”[vii]

The surviving deportees were placed in highly regimented strict special
settlement camps (spetsposolonets) in their respective exile countries.
Crimean Tatars were forced to live in these camps where they had no freedom
of movement without the permission from the camp commanders.

This special settlement regime lasted for 12 years until the 20th Communist
Party Congress in February 24-25, 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev[viii]
condemned Stalin’s crimes in his famous [secret] speech that led to the
abolishment of special settlement camps throughout the Soviet Union.

A special [unpublished] decree issued on April 28, 1956 the Presidium of
Supreme Soviet (Ukaz 136/142) officially released the Crimean Tatars from
special settlement camps.

As soon as they were released, through their Initiative Groups, the Crimean
Tatars launched a nonviolent national movement that was solely focused on
return to Crimea. This return movement first began with individual letter
writing campaigns and continued with group protests in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
as well as in front of Kremlin in Moscow.

Despite the top-down pressures, Crimean Tatars continuously demonstrated,
went on hunger strikes, and protested against the Soviet regime demanding
permission for return to Crimea. The struggle for return took many years.

During that time, many Crimean Tatar national movement members, including
the head of the OKND (Organization of Crimean Tatar National Movement)
Mustafa Cemilev, were beaten up, jailed, and even killed. The movement for
return proceeded regardless.

Against the background of political dynamics of Perestroika, a new
commission formed under Genadii Yanaev recognized the forced deportations
as being illegal and criminal. In addition, the commission agreed on the
restoration of the Crimean autonomy. This decision was a major turning point
for the Crimean Tatars as they organized the beginnings of an [unofficial]
mass return to Crimea.

The 1989 Soviet census showed the number of Crimean Tatars in Crimea as
38,000. At the present time, it is estimated that at the present time
approximately 300,000 Crimean Tatars are living in Crimea.[ix]

Life in Crimea was not easy for the returnees. In their historical homeland,
they faced discrimination in socio-political spheres vis-à-vis land/housing
allocations, employment and power-sharing. Their desire for restoration of
historical justice continuously fell on deaf ears. Regardless, they remained
peaceful. As they often stated “they came to Crimea to build, not to
destroy.” Yet, the Crimean dynamics are a changing.

Since the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, as the political combat is
taking place between the two Viktors at the center, the Crimean crisis at
the periphery is getting out of hand. While Kiev is dealing with its own
political issues, Simferopol is being run by certain Russian-backed Crimean
politicians who are playing an important role in the magnification of
ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic cleavages in the peninsula.

Who are these instigators of conflict in the Crimean peninsula? Which
Crimean political actors are the frequent faces in most of the conflictual
events? In an effort to answer these questions, let us review several
Crimean conflicts that took place in 2006 which appeared to be unrelated but
in reality undoubtedly interrelated.

In the early mornings of May 28, 2006 the American warship ‘Advantage”
arrived in the Feodosian Trade Port as a part of an International military
exercise “Sea-Breeze 2006.” Upon their arrival, American soldiers were
countered with strong anti-NATO protests. In reality, these types of
joint-exercises have been taking place in Ukraine since 1997,[x] but in 2006
this exercise suddenly became a tool for showdown of the Russian-backed
groups.

These groups included the “Russian Block/Russkii Blok (RB)” under the
leadership of Oleg Rodiviliov; The Russian Community/Russkaya Obshina Krima
(ROK); the Communists; the Party of Regions; The Block for Yanukovych (Za
Yanukovicha),[xi] Progressive Socialist Party, “State”, Descendents of
Bogdan Khmelnitskiy” and Crimean Cossack[xii] Union, Skinheads, and the
National opposition: the Natalia Vitrenko Group.

During these so called anti-NATO protests, under the watchful eyes of the
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies (including BERKUT), the Russian flag
bearing protestors carried signs with writings such as “NATO – Worse than
Gestapo,” and “We are not Yankees, we have to turn to our brothers – the
Russians,” and burned American flags.

Although these protests in Feodosia were illegal under the Ukrainian
Criminal law (page 293) “Violation of Community Order,”[xiii] the Crimean
law enforcement agencies chose not to interfere.

After a month of protests, when the American ship had to leave Feodosia,
the administrator of the MVD (Ministry of internal Affairs) of Ukraine in
Crimea, Vladimir Homenko, declared that the military officers that were
assigned to Feodosia events were passive.[xiv]

One of the organizers of these protests was the well-known deputy of the
Crimean Upper Parliament, Oleg Rodivilov, who is also the president of the
permanent commission of Crimean AR that deals with culture, youth issues,
and sports. Rodivilov is not a stranger to conflicts in Crimea.

He is one of the organizers of the November 2005 anti-Yushchenko
demonstrations that took place in the Lenin Square of Simferopol during the
first year anniversary of the Orange Revolution.

During those protests, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok Party called for president
Yushchenko and his wife “the American” to leave the Ukraine and go to the
United States by continuously chanting: “Suitcase, Train station,
America/Chemadan, Vokzal, Amerika.”

Although the two events seemed unrelated, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok was also
the instigator of the July 8, 2006 attack on Crimean Tatar who organized a
nonviolent sit-in in front of the Azizler (Saints) holy site in the Crimean
city of Bahcesaray.

The Azizler area in Bahcesaray includes the mosque of Aziz Malik Ashter, and
three historical grave sites (turbes) of the former Crimean khans of Giray
Mehmet II (1584); Giray Saadet II (1590); and Giray Mehmet III (1629).

This significant Crimean Tatar holy place in Bahcesaray was being used as a
city bazaar for several years. In this location, in the midst of this holy
site, the market referred by Crimean Tatars referred as the market “built on
bones,” the noisy market stalls with cursing and bargaining merchants who
were using the turbes as garbage collection sites were offensive for the
Tatars as it would be for any religious site of any religion. The returnees
were trying to resolve this issue using appropriate state channels for the
last 10 years.

At the end of June 2006, when the court decided not to relocate the market
to another site in Bahcesaray, frustrated Crimean Tatars started to organize
a sit-in protest in front of the market. Since the younger returnees have to
work at some capacity to feed their families, these protestors were composed
of mostly older women and men.

As a result, when the Russian Blok, the Cossack union and the skinheads
attacked on these protestors and beat them up with iron sticks and clubs,
most of these elderly were among the 15 critically wounded Crimean Tatars
who were remained hospitalized for extended periods of time.

Also among the wounded were a Crimean Tatar news reporter and a television
cameraman whose camera was broken while trying to film the events. Although
these attacks were videotaped and the assailants’ faces were clearly
visible, no charges were brought against them.

In fact, no charges were brought upon anybody, including the market’s
director Medvedev,[xv] who was videotaped (and later was shown on Channel
10, KRIM television channel) while beating of an old Crimean Tatar with an
iron stick.

On the other hand, a well-known member of the Crimean Tatar National
movement Kurtseid Abdullayev presently is fulfilling his 8-year jail
sentence in a Ukrainian prison for his “alleged” breaking up a camera of a
television journalist during the Crimean Tatar field protest in Simeiz in
2004.

While the Azizler attacks were taking place under the watchful eyes of
Ukrainian BARS and BERKUT police forces, the aggressors were also

shouting the slogans from the signs/flyers they were carrying: “Suitcase, Train
station, Baku and Uzbekistan/Chemadan, Vokzal, Baku, Uzbekistan.” As
indicated from their slogans, these were the same groups who organized the
anti-Orange demonstrations in November 2005 in Simferopol’s Lenin square.

On July 10, 2006, Crimean Tatars brought up the issue yet one more time with
the Crimean authorities. At the end of the talks, when the relocation of the
Market issue remained unresolved and the attackers were not penalized
regardless of the photos and videos showing their faces clearly, Crimean
Tatars have decided to continue with their nonviolent sit-in starting on
July 11, 2006.

A month later, on August 12, 2006 Crimea witnessed one of the bloodiest
conflicts since the mass return of the Crimean Tatars in 1990s. On that day,
Rodivilov’s Russian Blok, the Russian Community (ROK) and the
Cossack/Skinhead connection had their general meeting that was organized at
the center square of Bahcesaray.

In this gathering, all the meeting-attending citizens were called for an
attack on protesting Crimean Tatars by Rodivilov himself (this was shown on
news footage on Channel 10). When the RB and ROK meeting ended, groups
came down from the city square to the Azizler (market) site and surrounded
the
Crimean Tatars from all sides and started to attack them with large rocks,
hand grenades, and Molotov cocktails.

This call for attack on that particular day was not a coincidence. First, it
was the day that Mejlis members from Simferopol decided to visit the Azizler
protestors to show their support for their efforts. Second it was the day
that 40 of the BERKUT military troops were called off the Azizler site and
were sent to Yalta for the Yalta City Day celebrations.

80 BERKUT troops were placed at the market by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs (MVD) after the first attack on the protestors on July 8, 2006. In
other words, on the morning of August 12, 2006, there were only 40
BERKUT members were present in the area.

Obviously, 40 members of BERKUT were not enough to stop the rock and
Molotov cocktail throwing 600 attackers that circled the Crimean Tatars. As
a
result, more than 50 Crimean Tatar men and women were gravely injured during
the attacks. Among the attacked were the two deputies from the Ukrainian
Upper Parliament Mustafa Cemilev and Refat Chubarov, Mr. Leonid Pilunsky,
the head of the Crimean branch of the National Rukh party.

Moreover, all the parked cars in the area were turned upside down and
damaged (including Mustafa Cemilev’s, National Rukh’s Leonid Pilunsky’s,
and the director of the Crimean Tatar television Seidislam Kishveyev’s).

According to the Ukraine’s Interfax agency’s August 17, 2006 report (ICTV),
Nikolai Fedoryan, the head of the MVD of Crimea stated that there were
approximately 600 attackers and after their the pro-Russian groups arrived
in the area and started to throw large rocks and explosives on Crimean
Tatars without any provocation.

These events that lasted for two days finally ended when the Crimean
Parliament officials and the Mejlis administrators co-signed an agreement
about the relocation of market from the Azizler area to Firunze Street in
Bahcesaray where market stalls were already existed for the new market.
After these bloody events, Gennadi Moskal’, the permanent representative
of Yushchenko in Crimea, condemned the attacks.

On the other hand, although Rodivilov was videotaped and photographed by
various news agencies and television stations while giving orders for the
attacks and cheering the attackers by yelling “Mejlis-tyurma
(Mejlis-prison),” no action was taken against him. Today he is still a major
political actor in Crimea and remains to be the deputy of the Crimean Upper
Parliament.

Presently, the artificially created ethnic cleavages between the Crimean
Tatars and the “Slavs” are still being fueled by these same groups in
Crimea. Since none of the guilty parties are penalized the returnees are
losing hope in the state structures.

The land issue remains unresolved as the Russian Community of Crimea (ROK)
and the Russian Blok claim that Crimean Tatars have all they need in Crimea,
including land and housing, and want to ban all activities of the de-facto
Crimean Tatar Assembly, Mejlis.[xvi] As time goes by, pockets of returnees
do not see any hope but continue with field protests (polyana protesta).

However, squatting on these fields is not danger-free. At the end of 2003,
the Militia troops were given permission to use dogs, chemical elements, and
special arms for the purpose of “preventing” or “liquidating” mass
squatting. Moreover, because of the new implementations of the Ukrainian
Criminal Code that now entails two years of forced work, imprisonment, and
fines for squatting on land.

The six Crimean Tatars that were put to jail for 3-8 years for their alleged
participation in Simeiz and Cotton Club events (2004) still remain in jail.
Since the original sentencing, this case went back and forth between the
Crimean court; the Ukrainian court; the Crimean appeal court with no change
regardless of the fact that the court had insufficient evidence to sentence
them to begin with.

In the mean time, the “Russian Block,” the “Russian Community,” and certain
“Cossack” organizations (pro-Russian paramilitary organization) that train
volunteer [paid] mercenaries in Crimea continue with their power showdown
against the Crimean Tatars and keep the “order and security” parallel to the
existing “legal” law-enforcement agencies although they have no judicial
right to do so.

As Crimean Tatars commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the deportation on
May 18, 2007, they remember the past. They pray for their dead and they
pray for their future in the Crimean peninsula. The future cannot be
isolated from the past. Meanwhile, the present shapes the future.

Accordingly, to prevent the future conflicts in Crimea, the Crimean crisis
at the periphery needs an immediate attention by the center. If Kiev views
the Crimean crisis objectively and deals with all the parties accordingly,
the future conflicts can be prevented.

To err is human. Hence if the state actors learn from the past mistakes and
regulate their present based on those lessons, the future can be brighter
for all parties not only in Crimea but in all Ukraine.           -30-
—————————————————————————————————
                                           FOOTNOTES
[i] Burke, Justin, et.al. (1996). Crimean Tatars: Repatriation and Conflict
Prevention, New York: The Open Society Institute, The Forced Migration
Projects, p 12.
[ii] Williams, Brian Glyn (2001). The Crimean Tatars-The Diaspora Experience
and the Forging of a Nation Leiden, Boston, Koln: Brill; p.376.
[iii] Noyan, Ismail (1967). Kirimli Filolog-Sair Bekir Cobanzade: Hayati ve
Eserleri/Crimean Philologist-Poet Bekir Cobanzade: His Life and His Work.
(Istanbul Universitesi Basilmamis Yuksek Lisans Tezi/University of Istanbul,
Unpublished Masters thesis), p.7
[iv] Pohl, Otto J. (2004). Timeline: deportation of Crimean Tatars and Their
national Struggle under Soviet Rule.
http://www.iccrimea.org/surgun/timeline.html
[v] Wilson Andrew (2002). Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. Second Edition.
New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene – Yale University Press, pp. 151
[vi] Fisher, Alan W. (1987). The Crimean Tatars. Stanford, CA: Hoover
Institution Press, p. 167
[vii] Iliasov, Remzi (1999). Krimskie Tatari: Kratkii Obzor Proshlogo i
Analiz Sotsialno-Ekonomicheskogo Polojenia Nastoiashego,  Simferopol, p. 7
[viii] Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR on February
19, 1954.
[ix] It is also estimated that about 250,000 Crimean Tatars are still
residing in exile (mainly in Uzbekistan, but also in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan,
and throughout the different regions of the Russian Federation), not by
choice but by impossible socio-economic obstacles placed upon them by
multiple circumstances.
[x] Dialogue Newspaper (in Russian). No=22 (36), 9-16 June 2006, p.2.
[xi] The head of the local PoR Party Za Yanukovycha is the Vice-Speaker of
the Crimean Parliament Vasyliy Kiselyev. During the 2004 presidential
elections, he was the one who declared “if Yuschenko is elected a President
of Ukraine, the Crimea will become a Crimean Tatar autonomy.”
[xii] One thing needs to be emphasized at this juncture. These so-called
Cossacks that appear in every conflict in Crimea are not the ones that we
know from Russian and Ukrainian folk songs, i.e., Don or Zaporijniye
Cossacks. Most of them are former Soviet officers who have retired in
Crimea. Most of them have their blood types tattooed on their hearts and
have Afghanistan tattoos on their arms.
[xiii] Krimskaya Vremya No: 63 (2301) 10 June 2006, “About the Feodosian
Events, Flight, Arson and “Annushkii Syndrome,”p.3
[xiv] Ibid.
[xv] On July 12, 2006 in his interview with the journalists, the head of the
de-facto Crimean Tatar Mejlis Mustafa Cemilev stated that if Medvedev’s name
was Ametov (i.e. a Crimean Tatar name),  he would have been sentenced to
jail for 10 years.
[xvi] “The Russian Community of Crimea wants to ban the activities of
Mejlis/[----] http://censor.net.ua/go/offer–ResourceID–44097 (February
12, 2007)
—————————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Idil P. Izmirli is a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Conflict
Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
She has been conducting extended field research in Crimea Ukraine since
2000. In 2006 she spent six months in Crimea, Ukraine as an IREX Individual
Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) scholar. She is the current president
of the International Committee for Crimea (ICC). In 2004, and 2006, she was
an invited participant of the “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood”
Conference sponsored by the “Ukrainian Congress Committee of America -
 UCCA.” Contact: Misket@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13.                      MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK,

                                 BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
         Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.

INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

There’s a note for the postman pinned to the front door of Marina Lewycka’s
functional, foursquare house in the rowdy university quarter of Sheffield.
“If no answer,” it says, “please put packages behind the wheelie bin. Don’t
worry – they’re only foreign books.”

A blase attitude to the new foreign editions of her bestselling first novel,
“A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian,” that arrive with every post – it
had been translated into 29 languages at the last count – but she has a
simple explanation. “What thief would be interested in foreign books?”

The Latvian edition has just arrived, and looks suspiciously thin. “Are you
sure they haven’t left bits out?” I ask her. “They might have done,” she
says. “The Russian edition is very short as well. I can read Russian a bit,
and it struck me as a bit of a slapdash translation. If you read Tolstoy in
Russian, it’s three times as long.”

I start reading aloud the first paragraph of Tractors in Latvian. It is
strangely like Latin. At least it is the way I pronounce it. “Do you know
Latvian?” asks Lewycka, evidently impressed.

Lewycka, who was 58 when her life-transforming novel appeared two years
ago, used to teach journalism and PR at Sheffield Hallam University, to
which she is still attached in some vague, part-time, institution-boosting
capacity.

It quickly becomes apparent that she is a far better interviewer than I am,
and is soon asking me questions. She is the sort of person who, on first
meeting, you feel you have known all your life. Funny, open, energised; a
bit like her fiction.

Readers must feel it, too – hence the 800,000 sales of Tractors in the UK
and the remarkably ugly book awards (“What on earth can you do with a
Nibbie?”) that litter her resolutely unmodernised kitchen.

So has this vast success after almost 40 years in pursuit of publication
changed her life – if not her kitchen? She laughs. “It has in some ways. It
had always been my dream to be a writer, and obviously having your dream
come true is fantastic.

But there is something a bit terrible about it as well, because once your
dream has come true, what else is there? It was your dream and it becomes
your job, and then it’s not a dream any more.”
I WAS JUST ANOTHER MAD WOMAN GOING DOWN THE ROAD
She also has to negotiate people’s idea of what a writer should be. “If I go
out now wearing my old jogging trousers and trainers, with my hair looking
wild, people know me, whereas they didn’t before.

I was just another mad woman going down the road. They expect you to be
witty or clever or profound, and to have all sorts of opinions about things
you have no idea about.

It’s nice and very flattering, but a bit unreal. People have a perception of
you as an author so you think, ‘I’d better try really hard to be an author.’
But what is an author? You try to become the person that people want you to
be or expect you to be.

What I enjoy more than anything is being with friends who knew me before
all this happened, and I can relax and go back to being that person.”

Before Tractors, the only creative work she had had published was a poem in
an Arts Council magazine about 30 years ago. Had she ever doubted that her
dream would come true?

“I doubted it all the time,” she says, “but writing was a compulsion. Lots
of very good writers never get published, and that could easily have
happened to me.

People think that good writers will always come out in the end, but I don’t
believe that.” She says she had reached the point where she barely discussed
her writing with her husband, a mining consultant, or grown-up daughter.
“When you’ve been doing it for as long as that, it gets a bit embarrassing,
so you don’t talk about it very much.”
 DAUGHTER OF TWO UKRAINIANS TAKEN TO GERMANY
Lewycka, the daughter of two Ukrainians who had been taken to Germany as
forced labourers by the Nazis, was born in a British-run refugee camp in
Germany in 1946.

Her family settled in the UK soon afterwards, and Tractors draws heavily on
her life – conflicts with her sister, the loss of her beloved mother, an
eccentric engineer father who married again to a much younger woman, and
his daughters’ schemes to oust the interloper.

How did her family feel about becoming material for a novel? “They have
been very generous about it, really,” she says. “I feel bad about my sister.
It must be awful for her, and I’d hate it if it happened to me. But you write
about what you know.

At least you start off by writing about what you know, and then the worst
thing is that you invent stuff, and no one really knows what’s real and
what’s invented, and in the end you don’t even know yourself.”

Her original plan for Tractors was to write a memoir of her mother’s life,
and before she died she had made a tape of her recollections. “I started
writing it,” she says, “but then I realised that there wasn’t enough on the
tape.

I just didn’t know enough, so I was going to have to make stuff up, and in a
way it was very liberating. If it had been my mother’s book it would have
been pretty heavy and gloomy and sad, and not having to do that was very
liberating.”
         TO TREAT SERIOUS THEMES IN A COMIC WAY
The defining feature of Lewycka’s writing is to treat serious themes – age,
family conflict, the back story of war and grief and separation – in a comic
way. Life’s a nightmare, but a hellishly funny one. She says it was the
realisation that she could use humour in her books that was the key to
unlocking what she had to say.

“You get funnier as you get older, but I hadn’t connected with my sense of
humour. I did for everyday purposes, but [before Tractors] I didn’t have the
confidence to do it with what I wrote. Tractors felt like a last fling
really. I thought, ‘What the hell? It doesn’t matter what I write. I’ll have
a laugh and stick it on the internet.'”

She embarked on a creative writing course at Sheffield Hallam, polished what
she had spent the best part of a decade writing, and at the end of the
course was approached by the external examiner, who also happened to be
an agent, to see whether she wanted him to represent her.

After 36 rejections (she has kept all the letters) for her previous work -
two completed novels, poetry, short stories, romantic fiction – she bit his
hand off.
                        SECOND NOVEL “TWO CARAVANS”
She published her second novel, “Two Caravans,” this spring, and says she
was keen to get the always tricky follow-up to a smash out of the way. “I
just wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could. Number one was so
overwhelming, and I thought, ‘Gosh, I might never write anything ever
again.’ I knew the second novel was traditionally the hardest one, and that
I’d probably get a lot of stick for it.”

In fact, apart from a general dislike of the sections that are narrated by a
dog – the book is ambitiously multi-layered – it was well received, and now
she can relax.

The third book is well under way, a fourth is germinating, and she gives the
impression that she has plenty of time to fashion an oeuvre. When your
father is still alive at 94, being 60 can still seem like a good time to
begin.

“Two Caravans” has the same characteristic blend of comedy and desperation
as her first book. It concerns a group of strawberry pickers drawn from
several countries who fetch up in Kent, and traces their lives, loves and
battle to survive.

It is far less closely aligned to her own life than Tractors, but its
starting point draws on an episode from her childhood, when she and her
mother worked as pea-pickers in Lincolnshire. “It was blissful,” she
recalls.

“You were out in the fields in the fresh air and I was with my mum, and
there was banter and camaraderie among the other pea-pickers. If someone

had been looking in from the outside, they’d have said it was grossly
exploitative, and no doubt it was, but it was still lovely, and I tried to
get that across in Caravans.”

For her third book, she promises that there will be “no Ukrainians and no
vehicles”. She is coy about what will be in it. “It’s about anger and hate,
and I’m looking at Israel and Palestine quite a lot. But I don’t want to say
too much.”
               REDISCOVERED HER FAMILY IN UKRAINE
One by-product of Tractors is that she rediscovered her family in Ukraine.
She travelled to the country for the first time in 2005, met her mother’s
sister and played her the tape she had made with her mother before her
death.

“Her sister was quite a bit younger than my mother and they had lost
contact,” she says. “She hadn’t heard anything of her or from her for 62
years, and then, suddenly, there was this tape of my mother speaking
Ukrainian and telling her everything that had happened.”

It is a pleasing irony that one language in which “A Short History of
Tractors in Ukrainian” has yet to appear is Ukrainian, though this is about
to be rectified and a visit from the Ukrainian translator is imminent.

Some Ukrainians were sniffy about the book, including the one who reviewed
it in the Guardian back in March 2005 and found it a “banal tale” that
crossed a “school textbook on Ukrainian history with . . . an episode of
Coronation Street.”

“It has taken me a while to understand why he hated it so much,” says
Lewycka, “but I think I do understand now. I’ve met a lot of Ukrainians
since then. Before I wrote it, I didn’t know many Ukrainian Ukrainians. I
knew a lot of Ukrainians who lived over here, and they all thought it was a
hoot.

The Ukrainian Ukrainians are quite self-conscious about Ukraine as a country
because it’s newly emerged on to the world stage. They always ask you what
people in the west think about Ukraine, and I think, ‘Gosh, what can I say?’
I can’t tell them that actually people in the west don’t think about Ukraine
at all.

So I make something up, and then, when Ukraine gets to be in the news, it’s
about an incontinent old man and a woman with enormous breasts, and
though they like the fact there’s a famous Ukrainian, they hate the fact
it’s for something like that”                             -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://books.guardian.co.uk/hay2007/story/0,,2091741,00.html
————————————————————————————————-

NOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14. AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7
 
STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
TO: Distinguished heads of states and governments of
the Italian Republic,
Canada,
the United Kingdom of Great Britain,
the Federal Republic of Germany,
the French Republic,
the United States of America,
and Japan!

On 6-8 June, within the framework of the annual Summit of the 8
largest industrially developed democracies of the world, you will be
meeting with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation,
and – in accordance with the current Constitution of our country – the
guarantor of human and civil rights and liberties.

We call upon you to explicitly and unambiguously bring to the
attention of Mr Putin – your partner in diplomatic negotiations – your
concern about the gross, mass, and defiant violations of the most
fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms by the authorities
of the country they govern.

We call upon you to renounce the practice of “Realpolitik”, turning a
blind eye to an anti-democratic course in exchange for shifts of
position with respect to political and economic issues.

The experience of the Second World War and the confrontation with
totalitarianism has shown the vital importance of observing
fundamental human rights in order to ensure international security.
It is for this reason that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
was adopted in December of 1948.  The Helsinki Act, signed in August
of 1976, enshrined a most important principle – that governments do
not have the right to violate rights and liberties by pleading state
sovereignty.

It is precisely for this reason that we insist that the leaders of the
world’s largest democracies stress that the suppressions of democracy
and the repressions taking place in the Russian Federation today are
unacceptable to them.

The general directionality of the political evolution of the system of
power in Russia is ever more irreversibly approaching a point beyond
which is found an already openly authoritarian regime, run by persons
who have come from the special services and security structures.

We regard as critically dangerous for democracy in the whole world the
de facto liquidation of democracy in Russia, and specifically:

-  the creation of a managed court and law-enforcement system, which
creates unlimited opportunities for persecuting political and civic
activists, human rights advocates and their relatives (who in such a
manner are transformed into true hostages), for broad-scale
persecutions on political, ideological and ethnic grounds.  There
already exist dozens of persons in Russia who have been recognized as
victims of political repressions by human rights advocates;

 – the suppression of freedom of the press, and of the freedom of self-
expression more generally, the transformation of the principal mass
information media – first and foremost the nationwide television
channels – into an instrument of state propaganda, based on a cult of
the head of state and of military power;

 – torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment, are widely practiced
within the Russian penitentiary agency, and there exist special places
of confinement for torture – a “new GULAG Archipelago”.

We bring attention to the scandalous situation in connection with the
violation of the right of citizens of Russia to the freedom to conduct
rallies and meetings and to form associations.

This is:
 –  the unlawful prohibitions and barbarous dispersals of peaceful
demonstrations in Moscow (16 December 2006, 31 March, 14 April, 5
and 27 May 2007), in St. Petersburg (3 March and 15 April 2007) and in
Nizhny Novgorod (24 March and 27 April 2007), the persecutions of
participants in a rally in Samara on 18 May – that had been permitted
by the authorities – and the demonstratively mocking detainings of
those who were preparing to fly out to Samara;

 –  the mass persecution of hundreds of civic and political activists,
who were suspected of a desire to participate in “Marches of the
Discontented” and Social Forums.

We call upon you to:
-  seek the release of Russian prisoners persecuted on political
grounds – those convicted in the YUKOS case, the Chechen woman
Zara Murtazaliyeva, the political essayist Boris Stomakhin and – as
indicated in a PACE resolution of 19 April – the scientists Igor
Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov and the lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin.

 – pay the most diligent attention to the use of charges of extremism
for the persecution of human rights advocates and opponents of the
regime;

 –  call upon the President of Russia not to violate the rights -
guaranteed by Russian legislation – of the participants in the
peaceful Marches of the Discontented planned for 9 (St. Petersburg)
and 11 June (Moscow), and to prevent new beatings and cruel
detainings of the demonstrators.
                                              
[1] Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group,
Foundation In Defence of Rights of Inmates
[2] Elena Bonner, human rights advocate
[3] Sergei Kovalev, President, Human Rights Institute
[4] Lev Ponomarev, All-Russia Public Movement “For Human Rights”
[5] Yuli Rybakov, human rights advocate,

member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[6] Yuri Samodurov, Director of the Andrey Sakharov Museum
and Public Centre
[7] Clergyman Gleb Yakunin, Public Committee In Defence of
Freedom of Conscience
[8] Alla Gerber, Holocaust Foundation
[9] Ernst Cherny, Coalition “Environmental Biology and Human Rights”
[10] Yelena Grishina, Director of Public Information Centre
[11] Boris Vishnevsky, Novaya Gazeta columnist,
member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[12] Mikhail Gorny, The St. Petersburg Strategy Centre
[13] Andrei Buzin, Chair of Inter-Regional Association of Voters
[14] Vladimir Oyvin, “Glasnost” Foundation
[15] Antuan Arakelyan, Chair of the Saint-Petersburg Intersectoral
Coalition “Dialogue and Cause”
[16] Alexander Vinnikov, Movement “For Russia without Racism”
[17] Sergey Sorokin, Movement against Violence
[18] Eduard Murzin, member of the State Assembly of Bashkiria
[19] Vadim Belotserkovsky, author, human rights advocate
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
 POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

KYIV- The May 25 meeting of the Rivne region council session has asked
President Viktor Yuschenko to assign posthumously the Hero of Ukraine
title to commander in chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) Roman
Shukhevych and head of the directory of Ukrainian People’s Republic
(UNR) Symon Petliura.

This follows from the resolution of the session, the text of which Ukrainian
News obtained.

‘… assigning of the Hero of Ukraine title commemorates the heroic deed in
fight for freedom of Ukrainian nation on the occasion of the 65th
anniversary of UPA foundation…,’ reads the address.

Deputies also ask the President to assign the Hero of Ukraine title to
commander of UPA Poliska Sich Taras Borovets (Bulba) and commander
in chief of UPA Sever Dmytro Kliachkovskyi (known as Klym Savura).
As Ukrainian News reported, in May Lviv regional council initiated assigning
posthumously of the Hero of Ukraine title to Roman Shukhevych. In March
the Volyn regional council addressed the President with the similar request.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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16. RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE

By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

PRAGUE – Valery Golubev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s state-controlled
gas monopoly Gazprom’s Management Committee, said in April that the price of
gas charged by Gazprom to Ukraine will depend on how closely the economies
of both countries are prepared to cooperate, the Ukrainian website proUA.com
reported.

“If politicians make a decision to establish closer economic ties between
our countries, this will guarantee lower gas prices.

However, if the politicians decide to separate these ties, then the price of
gas for Ukraine will be same as for Germany. Does Ukraine really want this?
I want to stress that Russia does not need this,” Golubev said.

This explanation of pricing for gas sold to Ukraine is different from
previous explanations provided by Gazprom managers and by Russian President
Vladimir Putin. Such explanations have emphasized that Russia is striving to
stop subsidizing gas sales to Ukraine.

“We have subsidized the Ukrainian economy with low gas prices for a decade
and we intend to end this practice,” Putin said in January 2007. Putin
didn’t mention, however, that Ukraine buys mostly Turkmen, rather than
Russian gas.
                                             GAS BASKET
The present price Ukraine pays for gas was negotiated in early 2007 and was
based upon the January 2006 agreement whereby Gazprom agreed to a price

for a “basket” of Turkmen, Kazakh, and Russian gas.

Ukraine wound up paying $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2006 and $130
in 2007, when Turkmenistan raised the gas price for Gazprom to $100 per
1,000 cubic meters.

Does Golubev’s statement reflect the future of energy relations between
Ukraine and Russia?

As of 2007, Ukraine does not buy any Russian gas — it only imports 50
billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas.

Turkmenistan sells this gas to a Gazprom subsidiary company Gazexport for
$100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazexport then resells it to RosUkrEnergo, a
middleman with headquarters in Switzerland, which resells it to a joint
venture company, UkrGazEnergo, at the Russian-Ukrainian border. It is then
sold on to Ukrainian domestic and industrial consumers.

If Gazprom should suddenly determine that the economies of the two countries
are not “close enough,” it could raise prices. But buying Turkmen gas for
$100 and reselling it to Ukraine at the market price of $250-270 could be
risky.

Such price speculation could upset the Turkmen leadership, which
traditionally has insisted that Gazprom not engage in such deals.
Turkmenistan would then most likely be forced to raise the price it charges
Gazprom to world market levels.
                                      TRUNK PIPELINES
Golubev’s comments raise another question: who is empowered to decide

when “closer economic ties” between Ukraine and Russia reach the point of
closeness that qualifies Ukraine for a substantial gas-price reduction?

Any price reduction that Russia might give to Ukraine would be, in effect, a
very expensive subsidy. Russian politicians and the Finance Ministry might
be hard-pressed to accept such an arrangement.

Golubev could well be disguising Gazprom’s long-standing efforts to obtain a
controlling share in the Ukrainian trunk gas pipeline by talking about
“economic closeness” in return for cheap gas.

This was the tactic used in Belarus and in Armenia where Moscow was intent
on initially gaining part and ultimately, a controlling stake in the
pipelines.

The question remains: is Gazprom willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in
subsidies in return for control over the pipeline?

During his visit to Moscow in April, according to the RIA Novosti news
agency, the newly elected Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s
said he would honor the 25-year contract signed with Gazprom in 2003 to
supply Russia with the lion’s share of Turkmen gas — at the same time,
however, Berdymukhammedov was very vague about the price he would charge
Gazprom for this gas.

Why, many ask, should Turkmenistan sell its gas to Gazprom at prices far
below world prices?

At this time Kazakhstan, according to RIA Novosti, began threatening to
raise its price for gas from $100 to $160 per 1,000 cubic meters and the
Turkmen leadership was reportedly contemplating a similar price increase.
Central Asian gas producers have said that in two years they plan to charge
world prices for their gas.

If this were to take place, it would definitely increase the price Ukraine
pays for gas — unless Golubev’s formula for cheap gas is implemented.

In mid-May when Putin signed the agreement with Central Asian leaders to
build a new Caspian gas pipeline to export Central Asian gas to the West,
the price Turkmenistan would charge for its gas was not mentioned.

Interfax reported on May 14 that: “The price [for Turkmen gas] is to remain
unchanged until the end of 2009, but talks are to be carried through before
July 1, 2009, on changing it under long-term deals by bringing it into line
with European prices.”
                                         UKRAINE CRISIS
Golubev’s remarks were by and large ignored by the Ukrainian media, which
was consumed with the current confrontation between President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych, who favors close political and economic ties with Russia, is
seen as the beneficiary of Golubev’s remarks. But does his business
constituency agree with this?

The Industrial Union of Donbas, one of the most powerful business groupings
in Ukraine, has had a separate gas-purchasing agreement with Kazakhstan for
many years.

Golubev has not been a visible participant in the Ukrainian-Russian gas
discussions till now, but given his background he seems to enjoy powerful
support from the Kremlin.

A former KGB officer, Golubev worked in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office
when Vladimir Putin and Aleksei Miller, the present head of Gazprom, worked
there.

In February 2003, he became a member of Gazprom’s management committee

and in November 2006 became its deputy chairman replacing Aleksandr
Riazanov who had been fired.

Golubev’s responsibility at Gazprom is the CIS market for Russian gas sales,
one of the most sensitive jobs in Gazprom.

His pronouncements about a vague gas-pricing scheme for Ukraine could be

an indication that the Kremlin is intent on trying to use a scare tactic in
order to bring Ukraine closer into the Russian fold at the same time helping
to further Putin’s long-standing support for Yanukovych.

Golubev’s attempt to promote this new “carrot-stick” scheme, despite his
unrealistic arguments, could mean that Gazprom is trying to both influence
Ukrainians to support Yanukovych in return for cheap gas and maneuver
Ukraine into abandoning or sharing its control over the largest single gas
pipeline for Russian gas to the EU.                          -30-
—————————————————————————————————–
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/05/a6452202-a170-421b-8c96-ee204475810b.html

—————————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
             PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

MOSCOW – Russia that defends the position of the Russian language is

looking upon it as a factor of unification and enrichment of people and
cultures of different countries, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Mikhail
Kamynin declared on the eve of a conference on the status of the Russian
language abroad.

Intellectual losses caused by cutting off foreign countries from one of the
universal languages and such a world center as Russia seem unnecessary, the
diplomat said.

The Moscow conference occupies a special place in a series of events
organized in connection with the Year of the Russian language, Kamynin said.
It will be the biggest and most representative in a series of similar
conferences organized in the CIS and the Baltic states.

The conference will offer an opportunity to compatriots to exchange opinions
on the status of the Russian language in countries where they live and
formulate recommendations to Russian state structures, the diplomat said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who chairs the governmental
commission for the affairs of compatriots abroad will open the forum and
First Vice-Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the organizing committee

of the Year of the Russian language festival, will deliver the main report at
the conference. A total of 53 delegates will arrive from all former Soviet
republics to attend the forum, Kamynin said.

In recent years, the number of the Russian-speaking population has slowly
declined in a number of “near aboard” countries, but at the same time it
went up in certain foreign countries.

The number of the Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan and Ukraine

is more than 30 percent. In Latvia and Estonia – around 30 percent.

Ethnic Russians account for more than ten percent of the population in
Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, and the Russian-speaking population
makes up 5-10 percent in Uzbekistan and Lithuania, Kamynin said.

There are 1.5 million Russian-speaking people living in Israel, around 3.5
million – in Germany and around three million in the United States. Most of
the Russian-speaking population of these countries are people who emigrated
from Russia on the wave of the 1990s, Kamynin said.            -30-

———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#851 Jun 1 Ukraine’s Democracy Gasps For Air; Lawmakers Miss Deadline; Ukraine On The Edge; WTO Legislation Passes; Tatar Deportation; Gazprom

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 851
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                  UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007
 
Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

4.                                 UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE
LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

5.         UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED
                             TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 

AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

6.        UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                      PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING

ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

7.                       UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE
COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

8.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT
HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

9.                          THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS

UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

10.                        REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

11.     WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                    Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                  “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

12UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

13. MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
        
Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.
INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

14.                     AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7

STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
15RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
  POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

16.        RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE
By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

17.       RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
                   PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007
========================================================
1
       UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE
                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian lawmakers failed to pass a series of laws in time for a
deadline set by President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday, prolonging a
political crisis in the ex-Soviet republic.

The votes were a precondition for Yushchenko to set early elections expected
on September 30 after a deal struck with his rival, Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych. Yushchenko had given lawmakers until midnight on Thursday to
vote.

But the deputy speaker of parliament, Adam Martynyuk, declared the session
over and said the legislature would meet again on Friday in defiance of the
president’s orders.

Observers have warned that failure to pass the legislation on time could
plunge Ukraine into turmoil again by scuppering the deal between the feuding
leaders.

The crisis in Ukraine began on April 2, when Yanukovych defied orders from
Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. The president
meant to stop what he called a power grab by the prime minister’s allies.

Yushchenko earlier expressed confidence that lawmakers would meet the
deadline on Thursday but also said that elections could still be held even
if they failed to do so.

He said opposition deputies in parliament from his Our Ukraine party and the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc could simply resign their posts, triggering polls
within 60 days.
               SERIES OF WTO AMENDMENTS APPROVED
Lawmakers on Thursday did approve a series of amendments liberalising trade
rules to smooth Ukraine’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that
were also part of the crisis deal. But they failed to agree on other
legislation governing the elections.

Yanukovych’s Regions Party holds a majority in parliament in a coalition
with the Socialist and Communist parties, while Yushchenko’s allies are in
opposition.

Ukrainian newspapers on Thursday warned of a return to political chaos.
“Parliament fell apart in full session,” ran a headline in the Kommersant
daily, referring to the heated disputes between Yushchenko and Yanukovych
allies in parliament the evening before.

“The political deal has fallen through,” daily Izvestia said.

Tensions escalated sharply last week, when the president and prime minister
sparred for control over security forces and scuffles broke out at the
prosecutor general’s office.

The two sides put on a show of unity after the political deal on Sunday to
hold early elections. But tensions still simmered this week and numerous
disagreements remain.

The rivalry between Ukraine’s leaders dates back to the Orange Revolution of
2004, when mass protests helped bring pro-Western Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Moscow-backed
Yanukovych.                                            -30-
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.     DEAL ON NEW VOTE IN UKRAINE NOW IN DOUBT

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – A hard-won agreement between Ukraine’s rival leaders to hold
new elections this fall was cast into doubt Thursday as parliament ended its
session hours ahead of a presidential deadline to pass legislation
supporting the deal.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, a central figure in the
political standoff between the president and prime minister, was flown to
Germany for treatment after his condition worsened following a heart attack,
the ministry said.

President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych agreed
Sunday to elect a new parliament Sept. 30, easing tension amid a persistent
power struggle in the ex-Soviet republic, but efforts to pass laws governing
the vote have foundered this week amid mutual recriminations.

Yushchenko, who had been calling for a much earlier vote before the
compromise deal, said Thursday his allies would withdraw from parliament if
the laws were not approved by midnight – a move he said would trigger a new
election in two months.

“If a solution is not reached, my party and (Yulia) Tymoshenko’s party will
meet and formalize our withdrawal from parliament,” Yushchenko said during a
visit to Croatia. “Then elections will take place automatically in 60 days,”
he added.

But parliament, dominated by Yanukovych’s majority coalition, ended its
session without approving the legislation. Coalition members vowed to return
Friday.

The head of Yushchenko’s faction in parliament, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko,
accused the coalition of violating the agreement and said it “must take all
responsibility for future development of events on itself”.

He also said that 172 opposition lawmakers had registered their resignations
at the parliamentary secretariat, an initial step toward quitting
parliament.

The resignation of 151 lawmakers is required to dissolve parliament and
force elections in 60 days, but a leading Yanukovych ally suggested his camp
would resist any attempts to hold a vote in that time frame.

“It is impossible to hold any early elections if the package of bills is not
adopted by parliament,” said lawmaker Taras Chornovil.

Ukraine has been embroiled in a political crisis since Yushchenko issued on
April 2 a decree to dissolve the parliament and to call early elections.
Yanukovych and his governing coalition called the order illegal and appealed
against it to the Constitutional Court.

Sunday’s pre-dawn agreement eased concerns the standoff could escalate into
violence after Yushchenko fired the prosecutor-general and the Interior
Ministry – headed by Tsushko – sent police to prevent him from being evicted
from his office.

Yushchenko then claimed control of ministry’s forces and sent some to the
capital, although Tsushko refused to recognize the order.

The Interior Ministry said Wednesday that Tsushko had suffered a heart
attack, and ministry spokesman Kostyantyn Stogniy said late Thursday that he
had been transported to Germany because his condition had worsened.

Stogniy gave no further details.

Yushchenko on Wednesday called the move to send police forces to the
prosecutor’s office a “serious crime” and said Tsushko was responsible.

Yushchenko and Yanukovych were bitter rivals in Ukraine’s 2004 presidential
election. Yanukovych was declared the winner of a fraud-riddled vote that
sparked mass protests known as the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko won a court-ordered rerun of the balloting, but Yanukovych
returned to prominence last year when his party won the largest share of
seats in parliament.                                  -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.                              STALLED BY CONFLICT,
                UKRAINE’S DEMOCRACY GASPS FOR AIR

Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine, May 31 – Two and a half years ago, the “Orange Revolution”
promised Ukrainians a freer, more democratic system of government. Instead,
the country now finds itself mired in perpetual political crisis, punctuated
by confusion, chaos and, at times, comedy.

In April, President Viktor A. Yushchenko issued a disputed decree dissolving
Parliament. That led to charges, countercharges and dueling protests between
the country’s warring camps, led by Mr. Yushchenko on one side and the prime
minister, Viktor F. Yanukovich, on the other.

On Wednesday, for example, protesters gathered outside the headquarters of
the prosecutor general, a member of Mr. Yanukovich’s party whom the
president had already fired two times.

Drawn by rumors of an imminent assault by government commandos, they
blockaded the leafy streets while their leaders issued instructions on how
to resist and warned of nefarious NATO plans to subjugate the nation. “We
don’t want to be imprisoned by America, like Yugoslavia was,” one protester
said.

Inside, a dozen members of Parliament occupied a landing by the elevator,
vowing to protect the prosecutor general, Svyatoslav M. Piskun. “Give me the
Constitution,” one deputy demanded, and then thumbed through the one
produced in search of some legal justification for all of this.

Mr. Piskun, who has accused Mr. Yushchenko of criminal conduct for
exceeding his constitutional powers, has refused to step down.

The president, in an interview, accused him in turn of politicizing the
justice system. He had already appointed somebody else to the post, only to
have his decree, like most of late, ignored.

The country’s leaders agreed early last Sunday morning to end a prolonged
political impasse by holding new parliamentary elections, the second in less
than two years. But that agreement, which appeared to be unraveling on
Thursday, has done little to resolve the underlying disputes.

They include an unclear division of power between a weakened presidency and
an empowered Parliament; allegations of corruption in Parliament and the
courts; and a lack of mature democratic institutions able to emerge from the
shadows of the oversize political personalities who dominate Ukrainian
politics.

The result has been not only endless conflict, but also public apathy,
tinged with disappointment, which even the country’s leaders acknowledge
having caused.

“We started a kind of judicial game, using the flaws of our laws,” Mr.
Piskun said in his barricaded building, referring to legal challenges that
have been swirling around him. “We make people lose trust in the judicial
system.”

Ukraine is immeasurably freer than it was in 2004, when President Leonid D.
Kuchma tried to orchestrate the fraudulent election of a successor, Mr.
Yanukovich, setting off protests that led to a new election, won by Mr.
Yushchenko.

One measure of that is that Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions won enough
seats last year in parliamentary elections to make him prime minister.
Ukraine, though, has failed to consolidate its democracy, even as it has
embraced the theatrics of democratic politics.

Protests abound, though often with paid protesters, as do the tents that in
2004 filled Independence Square, known as the Maidan. So, ominously, do
political threats and brinkmanship.

Those activities nearly resulted in violence when Interior Ministry troops,
following orders from the interior minister, a Yanukovich loyalist, occupied
Mr. Piskun’s office after the president tried to dismiss him. Mr. Yushchenko
then declared the ministry’s military forces under his command, and the top
uniformed commander declared his loyalty to the president.

The interior minister, Vasyl P. Tsushko, was hospitalized Wednesday,
reportedly with a heart ailment. On Thursday, a member of his Socialist
Party declared that the minister had been poisoned by his opponents,
implicitly Mr. Yushchenko’s supporters.

Poison is a motif of Ukrainian politics, the most notable case being Mr.
Yushchenko’s poisoning before the 2004 vote. That crime remains unsolved,
an emblem of Ukraine’s uncertain embrace of the rule of law. The twist is
that Mr. Yushchenko is now accused of abusing the law.

That stems from his decision – with the parliamentary majority led by Mr.
Yanukovich growing and members of his own party defecting – to issue a
decree dissolving Parliament in April on narrow grounds that members were
switching parties, which he called “an issue of political corruption.”

His opponents assailed the move as unconstitutional, but when they took the
matter to the Constitutional Court, Mr. Yushchenko dismissed 3 of the
court’s 18 judges, accusing them of corruption.

The Constitutional Court, Mr. Piskun retorted indignantly, is “the backbone
of democracy.” He acknowledged that there might have been justification for
Mr. Yushchenko’s charges, but he said there was a judicial and parliamentary
process for resolving them.

Mr. Yushchenko defended his actions, though he appeared subdued, even
resigned. “I would like to emphasize this is not a political crisis,” he
said of the turmoil surrounding the prosecutor’s office. “It is just a
reality of political life in Ukraine.”

Ukraine remains a deeply divided country, with a large Russian-speaking
population that has bristled at Mr. Yushchenko’s embrace of the European
Union and NATO at the expense, as widely seen, of fraternal ties with
Russia.

Increasingly, though, the divisions appear less substantive and more
political and personal.

Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, a former foreign minister and an adviser to Mr.
Yanukovich, said that the Yanukovich camp was equally committed to
integrating Ukraine into the global economy and, eventually, into the
European Union, though NATO remains unpopular. Instead, he said, elections
increasingly turn on personalities.

“People here vote most likely for the leader whom they like,” he said in an
interview. “I would hesitate to say trust, but like is the right word.”

Others said that Ukrainian politics had simply become a struggle over access
to business. “Having power gives you the instruments to do business,” said
Oleksandr O. Moroz, who became speaker of Parliament after breaking with Mr.
Yushchenko’s camp last summer. “They are fighting for power to obtain these
instruments.”

The biggest concern in Ukraine is that elections are unlikely to
significantly change the makeup of Parliament. They could simply prolong the
failures to bolster the institutions necessary to allow democracy to
flourish, including prosecutors and courts independent of presidential
decrees and street protests.

Without institutional changes, said Anatoly K. Kinakh, who became minister
of the economy after defecting from Mr. Yushchenko’s camp this year, “this
election will not produce any better quality of democracy.”          -30-
—————————————————————————————————–

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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/world/europe/01ukraine.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1,
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4.                            UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

The political peace deal struck in Ukraine in last-minute talks between
Viktor Yushchenko, the president, and his bitter rival Viktor Yanukovich,
the prime minister, comes as a welcome relief.

Their long-running conflict last week reached the point of violence, with
officials loyal to Mr Yushchenko occupying the public prosecutor’s office
and Mr Yanukovich’s men breaking windows and doors to retake the
building. It seemed only a matter of time before somebody was killed.

However, the agreement to settle the dispute by holding parliamentary
elections in late September will not, on its own, resolve Ukraine’s
deep-rooted divisions. The country is doomed to further instability, unless
its leaders work much harder at developing a genuine national consensus.

It will be difficult. When Mr Yushchenko triumphed in the Orange Revolution
in 2004 he appeared to have won broad support for a pro-European Union
democracy, with an open economy and pragmatic ties with Russia.

But the settlement that ended the Orange Revolution involved transferring
power from the presidency to parliament. When Mr Yanukovich bounced
back in the 2006 election, thanks to his Russian-speaking support in the
east, Mr Yushchenko was wrong-footed.

Until this year, the conciliatory president was on the defensive, to the
despair of his supporters. But in April he finally put his foot down, and
ordered new elections. Mr Yanukovich resisted, precipitating last week’s
confrontation.

The trouble is that elections will do little to change the power balance
between the two sides. Mr Yanukovich will almost certainly return as head of
the largest party, followed by the fiery Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr Yushchenko’s
erstwhile Orange Revolution ally. The president may well end up holding the
balance of power, and they will be forced to sit down and negotiate.

The outlines of a compromise exist. Most Ukrainians back closer ties with
the EU, but they also have doubts about joining Nato.

Almost all agree Russia will continue to play a big role in Ukraine, above
all in energy, although they are divided about the merits of Moscow’s
influence. As a buffer zone, the country cannot afford to tip too far
towards Russia or the west.

One thing must be clear, however: all parties must respect the legacy of the
Orange Revolution, which has created a more democratic political world.
Any attempt to resolve political conflicts through non-democratic, let alone
violent, means would split the country irrevocably.                -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/294b0b90-0e4a-11dc-8219-000b5df10621.html
————————————————————————————————

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5. UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED 
                           TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday passed all the laws needed to meet
the World Trade Organization’s admission requirements.

The 450-seat Verkhovna Rada approved 11 bills, including legislation
governing customs tariffs on metals and scrap; a law on food security and
quality; and changes to a law protecting intellectual property.

Ukraine said in December that it had brought its legislation into line with
WTO requirements, but the 150-nation global trade rules body has since made
new demands.

President Viktor Yushchenko has made joining the WTO a priority for Ukraine,
which needs foreign investment to boost its economy. Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych has said he hopes the ex-Soviet republic could join the WTO this
year.

Socialists and Communists, who now are in the ruling parliamentary
coalition, have opposed some of the measures, fearing the impoverished work
force could suffer by aggressively opening the country up to foreign trade
and WTO standards.                               -30-
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6.  UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                   PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING 
ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Parliament has voted in the first reading for changes to the budget
to allow financing for a snap parliament election. Presenting the bill,
First Deputy Prime Minister Azarov said that the government found 75m
dollars for the election.

The text of the budget amendments indicates that the election should not be
held earlier than 29 September 2007. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz
suggested that the amendments should be approved in the second reading on 1
June.

On 31 May, President Viktor Yushchenko extended by one day his suspension

of his parliament dissolution decree to allow MPs to vote on the necessary
legislation.

The following is the text of a report by Ukrainian ICTV television on 31
May:

[Presenter] Before leaving Ukraine [for visit to Croatia on 31 May], the
president [Viktor Yushchenko] extended the work of parliament for one more
day. MPs should consider 17 issues today – laws on the WTO, on the binding
mandate [banning MPs from moving from one faction to another], changes to
the election law, and changes to the budget on election financing.

MPs have already adopted the election financing law in first reading. Then a
break was announced. We will find out from Viktor Soroka whether the sitting
has restarted.

[Correspondent] MPs from the [pro-government] coalition and opposition have
already returned to the hall after their forced break. But they have
quarrelled again and walked out again. They have left the hall and dispersed
among the corridors and buffets, in order to discuss how to proceed.

One thing is clear. The coalition is ready to work not just today, but until
2009. The Communists and Socialists announced again that they do not want

an early election, so they do not want to provide budget money for financing
the election campaign.

Meanwhile, the Party of Regions thinks a little differently. In particular,
representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers have found the 365m hryvnyas
[75m dollars] needed for the election.

[First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov] The bill foresees a separate
budget programme for the Central Electoral Commission to the value of 365m
hryvnyas for preparing and holding an early parliament election.

[Volodymyr Makeyenko, captioned as parliament budget committee head] I
recall once again the formulation that is being put to the vote: to
establish that spending on the budget programme for holding an early
parliament election should be carried out if an early parliament election is
called not earlier than 29 September 2007.

[Correspondent] However, the Communists and Socialists are standing their
ground. They do not want to make money available for the election.

They are ready to amend the budget and allocate additional funds for the
countryside and raising pensions, student grants and public sector wages, in
particular for law enforcers and the armed forces.

But they are not ready to give money for holding an election campaign or
organizing the election campaign. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz thinks
the same or almost the same.

He proposed voting on changes to the budget only in the first reading, which
is what happened. And the second reading vote will be not today, but
tomorrow.

[Presidential representative in parliament Roman Zvarych] This surprises me
because his signature is on the joint statement of the president, prime
minister and parliament speaker. It is clear from the speeches of the
Communist and Socialist factions and from the fact that they asked for a
break that they will not vote for this law.

[Opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc MP Volodymyr Yavorivskyy] You are
consciously dragging out and undermining all agreements. It’s all clear.
It’s all on the surface. Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, put this document to the
vote as a whole.

[Correspondent] The opposition insists that the president has once again
made concessions to the coalition in order to have the maximum level of
understanding and suspended his dissolution decree for one more day in

order that it could vote on all the necessary bills. But the coalition did not
hear the president and are consciously inflaming the situation.

Only one out of 17 bills has been adopted in the first reading. In addition
to laws on social and economic development and changing the budget, there
are 10 bills that should speed up Ukraine’s WTO accession.         -30-
————————————————————————————————
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7.                        UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE

COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

MOSCOW – Triumvirates worked well for ancient Rome, albeit never survived
for long. The triple alliance of President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych and Parliament Speaker Alexander Moroz was formed
under the pressure of an imminent armed conflict, and consequently implied
no parity.

It was clear from the very beginning that the president and prime minister
would keep their offices, while the speaker would probably have to go. His
opponents have been quite open about it.

However, the problem is deeper than the three politicians’ prospects. It
looks like Ukraine’s political culture in general does not require strict
observance of agreements, especially of bizarre ones like the “triple
union.”

None of its parties could guarantee commitment, because none of them
possessed any levers to pressure the Rada members into acting within the
outlined framework.

The three officials have eventually failed to find common ground.

Yanukovych confessed to having disagreements with Yushchenko and
demanded the extension of parliament’s session by more than two days so
that it would have time to pass a series of socio-economic development
bills.

Moroz, the main trouble-maker, predictably threw out the agenda, thus
violating the triple agreement.

The above is evidence that democracy actually reigns in Ukraine. The triple
deal was made for a reason, and was a good thing for the time being. The
three politicians seemed to realize that their brawl could grow into an
armed conflict, and armed people would be almost impossible to control.

When the president and the interior minister issue mutually exclusive
orders, regular army commanders turn into field commanders. But the
politicians who allowed this to happen will be held responsible for the
consequences.

That is why the Ukrainian president, prime minister and speaker chose to
strike a union deal, feeble as it was. But their agreement was not confirmed
by any procedures. The parliament-dissolving decree was never considered
by the Constitutional Court.

Moreover, the triple agreement excluded the Constitutional Court’s
contribution to the settlement of the crisis. And of course, no laws
stipulate that a parliament session should last for a specified period of
time and strictly adhere to a specific agenda.

Despite the odd situation, the three politicians have attained their most
important goal – they have avoided the armed conflict scenario. As for the
prospects, it has become clearer than ever that Ukraine is a lucky country
which abhors final decisions.                                 -30-
————————————————————————————————
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070531/66415343.html

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    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8. UKRAINIAN PRES ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT

HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

ZAGREB – Ukraine fully supports Croatia’s aspirations to join the European
Union and NATO, and Croatia is an example of a successful, reborn nation in
the whole region, President Viktor Yushchenko said in the Croatian
parliament on Thursday.

Like Croatia, Ukraine too sees its future in united Europe, he said, adding
that the EU and NATO were strategic goals for his country, confirmed in
legislation.

He described his visit to Croatia as the opening of new possibilities and
prospects of cooperation. Apart from cooperation in Euro-Atlantic
integration, he said Ukraine was particularly interested in a closer
political and social dialogue.
                               ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Yushchenko also mentioned economic cooperation, saying it was increasingly
stronger and more dynamic. Last year’s trade exceeded 120m dollars, whereas
in 2003 it amounted to 43m dollars, he said.

Ukraine’s President added there were many areas for cooperation, including
investment, industry, agriculture, construction, and the transport and
tourist infrastructure. He said Ukraine was also interested in the joint oil
pipeline Druzba Adria project.

Yushchenko also spoke of the thousand-year-old history of the Croat and
Ukrainian peoples, recalling they had become brothers at the time of the
White Croat tribe.

He said relations between the two countries experienced a renaissance in
1991, after “the demolishing of the empire”, and recalled that Ukraine had
been among the first to recognise Croatia’s independence.
CALL TO RECOGNIZE HOLODOMOR AS ACT OF GENOCIDE
He said the two peoples had supported one another during social upheavals,
and called on the Croatian parliament to recognize the Holodomor, the
1932-33 famine, as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Our people will be grateful to receive such a decision, as an example of
support and moral assistance, Yushchenko said.
Speaking of the crisis in his country, he said Ukraine’s politics resolved
the hardest problems in a democratic fashion and that this tradition would
remain constant.

For me, every success and every test oriented towards democracy is an
important part of Ukraine’s renaissance, he said.
            CRITICIZED UKRAINE’S TOTALITARIAN PAST
Underlining the importance of democracy, reconstruction and the healing of
society, Yushchenko criticized his country’s totalitarian past, recalling
that dozens of millions of Ukrainians had been victims of communist terror.

He was also received by Parliament Speaker Vladimir Seks for talks on
bilateral relations and common strategic interests.

Seks thanked Yushchenko for saying in his address to the Croatian
parliamentarians that the opinions of ecologists and the public should be
taken into consideration with regard to the Druzba Adria project. The
Ukrainian president agreed that broad political support was necessary for
its implementation.                                  -30-

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NOTE:  Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
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9.                   THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS
 
UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

One cannot be clever, kind, and beautiful in Ukrainian policy any more. It
is possible only drive now. It’s up to you. Inspired by the President’s
example, everybody is driving now.

The President himself is driving, he appoints whom he wants and dismisses
whom he wants. The main thing for him is suddenness of his next steps, an
unexpected turn of the helm and a feeling that the helm is still in hand.

The Prime Minister is driving too. Rumors that he also contributed to the
new turn of the Ukrainian political crisis look like being true.

As it is well known, Mr. Yanukovich, after an arrangement with Mr.
Yushchenko on the day of the ill-fated elections had been already achieved,
took the liberty to twice publicly doubt that this elections would be held.

Why? Because he is dragging out time, – according to the same rumors,
Yanukovich has no chance of getting either the Prime Minister’s office or
the faction leader’s chair after the coming elections of the new Verkhovna
Rada.

The Regions Party’s financiers will most likely gamble on other figures
(nomination of Boris Kolesnikov is discussed, ambitions of Raisa Bogatyriova
are taken into account), thus in the situation where every miller draws
water to one’s own mill, Mr. Yanukovich decided to draw this water a little
to his mill, too. Well, let a person who is without a sin cast an egg at
him.

The speaker of the Parliament is also driving. Despite all statements of Mr.
Moroz that the Verkhovna Rada’s activity is quite legitimate, since lately
he does not sign any of the laws passed by the legitimate Rada.

These include the law on the Budget amendments, which is a trump-card of the
«regionals» (as this law prescribes an increase in wages and social payments
they need as the ruling party before the election).

It is said that this step of the speaker is caused by his desire to make the
«regionals» include Moroz himself and a couple dozen certainly no-go
socialist men in the Regions Party’s list at the future election.

The honest Tsushko is driving, – a man about whom no dirt could be dug up
even after six months of searching (obviously, for it is absent indeed).

Most likely, this man is ruling just due to his natural conscientiousness
and yet because he, a poor guy, has no way to go out from the submarine –

no desire to become the chief of a Moldavian collective farm again.

Of course, the overall driving started not today but yet at the time of that
“orange” Maidan, when both people and the authorities realized that they
could get through with bawling and push.   It’s unclear where all this may
end up: many predict a force way.

However, it is unlikely: yet at the time of “that” Maidan it was wittily
noticed that the average statistical Ukrainian participates in a revolution
only if he is absolutely sure that a plate of fatty rich borsch will wait
for him home tonight after the barricades. In short, there will be no
shooting while borsch is served.                          -30-
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10.               REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

Morgan,

FYI, I thought I’d share with you my message to the Kyiv Post editor
(forwarded below), since you published a longer version of Mr.
Velychenko’s article in AUR today.

Rgds/Dan

PS:  Keep the AURs coming!  I spend way too much time reading them,
but don’t how I’d ever keep up with what’s going on without them.
———————————————————————————————-
From: Dan Fenech
Sent: May 31, 2007 11:28 AM
To: kpletters@kyivpost.com
Subject: Article “Regime Restoration and Ukraine”

LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/26691/

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Mr. Velychenko’s comments about potential regime
restoration in Ukraine (“Regime restoration and Ukraine”, May 30
2007).

However, while he accurately describes the Party of Region’s use of
American consultants such as Paul Manafort (a former consultant for,
amongst others, some Republican Party candidates), I don’t understand
why Velychenko inserts his apparent anti-American and anti-Republican
Party hatred into his otherwise observant article.

By making blatantly false statements such as “US Republicans also used
dubious and outright illegal methods to bring George W. Bush into power,”
he damages the credibility of  his other arguments.

He can legitimately criticize Manafort (as do I), but there’s no reason to
drag the rest of the Republican Party or all Americans  into his arguments.
After all, we are talking about Ukraine, aren’t we?

Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine
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11. WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                      Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                    “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”

COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007

I grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, in a family where it was the custom to close the
curtains before you turn on the light. My grand parents did it because
“ruski” used to shoot through the windows. My parents did it because “ruski”
spy through the windows.

During the short winter days I would come back from school wearing my red
pioneer “halstuk”, crawl to the window and do the house routine, so
mysterious “ruski” wouldn’t harm me. Only then would I turn on the light and
read my favorite “ruski” authors. This was in the beginning of eighties.
    “RED” VETERANS CAME TO MY SCHOOL TWICE A YEAR
Everything I learned at home was from overhearing the family talk about what
“ruski” have done again. Each conversation would end with the adults
realizing I was listening and immediately they would follow with, “don’t
even think to repeat it to anybody” or “forget it, or we end up in the
devil’s land”. I hated the “red” veterans.

They used to come to my school twice a year and talk about their heroic
attacks on Germans. Then they would ask whose grandparents were fighting
the fascists.

So that one time I decided to tell what I heard at home many times: my
grandpa was in the Polish army, he was sent to Germany as a spy just before
the war started, but was captured and send to the concentration camp.

He tried to escape, but dogs found him. The second time he made it as far
as the train station, but was reported. He survived though weighting only 42
kilos. He still had horrible stomach pains sometimes and our family menu
was based on what grandpa could eat, and I loved my grandpa. It was my
story.
“RED” VETERAN ANNOUNCED MY GRANDPA WAS A TRAITOR
The “red” veteran listen without stopping me, but then he announced to the
entire class that my grandpa was a traitor and if he did not kill himself
and gave himself up he deserves to be shot.

At home I was announced a traitor and got a slap from my father for wanting
to send the entire family “to the devil’s land”. Then my parents had to make
visits to school, bringing with them some documents about my grandpa and
saying grandpa was always making jokes and what I said was “false”.  Then
I had to apologize to the class for being a liar.

I was not trusted any more at home and I was not trusted at school. I was
different. I was not “ruski” and I was not “red”. This was becoming a core
of my identity.

I felt very lonely and misunderstood, there was nobody in the world whom I
could explain to about what was wrong, I couldn’t betray my family again.

My lessons learned from that experience: I associated that one “red”
veteran with the rest and disliked them all, I also did not feel any
compassion to any of the tragedies done to “ruski” during the WWII.  I
became oblivious.

It took me years to understand that I should not blame all the Russians for
whatever one person said.  It took me years to heal from the hate for
generalized Russians, who I blamed for all the misfortunes of my family:
loosing land, loosing relatives, whose graves you can only visit at night,
loosing opportunity to study journalism.

Things were building up and so was my imagination. I have to admit I went
so far as to justify in my head why the Russians did not deserve to live on
planet earth.
 “YOU UKRAINIANS, KILLED MY FAMILY, YOU KILLED JEWS”
Till one day, as they say what goes around comes around. In 1992 I was an
exchange student in U.S.  It was in North Carolina, just after the brake up
of the Soviet Union. My host family took me to the supermarket.

They met their good friend and immediately introduced me as a student from
the new country called Ukraine. Their friend’s reaction was rather strong.

“You, Ukrainians, killed my family, you killed Jews” – he screamed.  It
seemed to me at that moment the entire store went quiet and started
starring.  I was shocked.

Till that day I believed we – the Ukrainians were the biggest victims of the
war.  We were the only one who suffered while nobody did anything to help.
Now I met somebody who seemed to hate me or my people more than I
ever hated Russians, but for what?

It took me years to make sense for myself of what had happening in this
region.  I am still learning and the more I know the less accusations and
generalizations I have.

As British historian Norman Davis told me in the interview “In this part of
the region nobody suffered more and nobody suffered less – everybody
suffered the same”.

During the Second World War two huge mega powers Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia were using the national differences in order to manipulate
people and send them to fight each other instead resisting the occupation.

The ethnic conflicts that took place during that time were an atrocious and
horrifying part of what is considered today as one of the biggest wars in
the history of mankind.
THOSE WHO HELPED THOSE OF DIFFERENT ETHNIC ORIGIN
There were also people who did not allow themselves to be affected by these
brainwashing  techniques, people who helped others, who fought, who did
not degrade morally. The ordinary people who showed extraordinary
courage.

Unfortunately, there are still too many stories are awaiting to be told,
especially the stories of people who risked or gave their lives in order to
save others of a different ethnic origin.

Another big picture we tend to forget: all the veterans – Soviet and UPA -
were fighting first of all against Germany.  Even the few thousand
Ukrainians who fought for the Germans during the first two months
eventually became their victims. Each Ukrainian family, regardless of its
nationality had lost somebody to that war.

During the WWII Jews lost 7 millions, Ukrainians and Russians and others
of the Soviet Republics – 20 million lives.  Most of the war was on the
territory of Ukraine. The devastation is still hard to recover.

Unfortunately, there is no objective history written about that war that
would include the point of view of each ethnic group involved.

Because of that the bits of this painful history still can be used to
manipulate and produce new wave of generalizations that trig into
stereotypes, blame and hate.
             QUESTION RAISED IN MY HEAD WAS ‘WHY’?
So the question raised in my head after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
“WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP SOME BAD MEMORIES”
was :WHY?

Why would a person  write  in a casually accusational way without thinking
of the feelings and memories may be evoken, without much care to the
sensitivity of the issue?

But then, after rereading this “WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP
SOME BAD MEMORIES” one starts to have some sad memories of the
techniques used by the old Soviet propaganda machine.

That “Razdelyaj i vlastvuy” “know how” was and is responsible for people
still being hostile against each other 60 years after the war.

It is responsible for both the Ukrainian-phobia and the anti-Semite
sentiment. That “good old” propaganda machine was so effective it even
made people incapable of being compassionate towards each other.

The really sad fact is that there are not that many publications that try to
explain what really happened in that part of the world.
PASS THE LEGACY OF HOSTILITY TO THE NEXT GENERATION
Instead yet another article that aims to make the old survivors of these
horrific events to be more hostile against each other. And on a top of this
it looks like Mr. Matveyev attempts to pass the legacy of hostility on to
the next generation.

Again, it is important to remember that the war was not provoked by the
local people who had differences and could not co-exist with each others.

It was rather a huge confrontation between two mega-powers who
understood that as long as the population would be busy with people
fighting each others, there would be no threat towards them.

For the memory of all that died in that horrible war and out of the respect
to the ones still alive we have to look more closely at what happened not
through propaganda glasses, but with eyes of humanity, tolerance and
honesty.

Hate is not the answer. Or is it?
—————————————————————————————————-
RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20050503InUkraineWWIIann.html 

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FOOTNOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
—————————————————————————————————–
  “GALICIA: LAND OF DILEMMAS” VIDEO WINS A TOP PRIZE AT
                 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY”S VISIONS FESTIVAL
     Explores inter-ethnic conflicts during WWII in Galicia-Western Ukraine

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #841, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON – On Friday, May 4th 2007, as part of American University’s
Visions Festival, the video installation ‘Galicia: Land of Dilemmas’ won
first place in the category of best installation.

The project, created by Olha Onyshko and Sarah Farhat, explores inter-ethnic
conflicts during the Second World War in the region of Galicia-Western
Ukraine.

The video was shown, to around eight viewers at a time, in one of the
University’s small photography labs. The installation in the lab recreated a
Ukrainian basement of 1942 filled with all sorts of old Ukrainian artifacts
and household items, as well as food like potatoes, onions and dried herbs.

The smell, the confined setting and the cramped space bought one back in
time in order to experience the fear and uncertainty of the people who were
hiding in similar places during WWII.

The innovative visual style of the video was used to re-create the way a
person remembers images and recalls events while telling a story.

The tension built up while watching the video increases even more through
sounds of children whispering, parents hushing, doors slamming and dogs
barking outside.

“The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about the issues of ethnic
identity and relations during periods of crisis and war,” said Olha Onyshko,
one of the two filmmakers.

“The moving story of Ukrainian and Jewish neighboring families, told in
public for the first time 60 years after it happened, shows that tragic
moments of conflicts can bring out the worst and the best in people and
leaves us to wonder: why would people put their own lives in danger to
save their enemies?” Onyshko stated.

The two filmmakers are currently working on producing a feature-length
documentary with the same name that will explore the human side of ethnic
conflicts based on stories from the Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish and Russian
communities in Galicia.

“Events that happened 60 years ago are still relevant in today’s society;
that is why it is necessary to find a common language between people of
different ethnicities so that the horrors that happened will not be
repeated,” according to Olha Onyshko.              -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Olha Onyshko olia@verizon.net
———————————————————————————————–
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12.  UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

May 18, 2007 marked the 63rd anniversary of a grave tragedy. On that day
that left a dark spot on the history of humanity in the [former] Soviet
Union, Crimean Tatars in their entirety were deported from their peninsular
homeland under Stalin’s orders.

 Deportation was carried out by 20,000 interior ministry troops and
thousands of regular army soldiers,[i] who went door to door to wake up
sleeping Crimean Tatars and give them only 15 minutes to get ready before
being exiled to unknown destinations. During that time, Crimean Tatars
constituted approximately one fifth of the [Soviet] partisans who were
involved in guerilla warfare in Crimea.[ii]

Moreover, most of the able-bodied Crimean Tatar men were at the front
fighting the Nazis. As a result, the majority (86.1 percent) of the
deportees consisted of the elderly, invalids, women and children.[iii] This
mass deportation on guarded cattle-trains without food, water, and inferior
sanitary conditions, resulted in a substantial death toll. During and after
the exile, 46.2 percent of the total Crimean Tatar population perished.

Three months after the deportation, on August 14, 1944 the State Defense
Committee (GKO) authorized the settlement of 51,000 new migrants in 17,000
vacant collective farms (kolkhozes) to replace the deported Crimean
Tatars.[iv] Although some of these settlers were Ukrainians, the vast
majority of them were ethnic Russians[v] who had arrived in Crimea from
Russian lands.

While the systematic Russification of the peninsula was taking place
rapidly, with a decree published on June 30, 1945,[vi] the Crimean ASSR was
officially abolished and it became an oblast (district) within the RSFSR.

In the mean time, according to the orders of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (KPSS), Crimean Tatars were “to live in exile forever with no
right to return to the former residence.”[vii]

The surviving deportees were placed in highly regimented strict special
settlement camps (spetsposolonets) in their respective exile countries.
Crimean Tatars were forced to live in these camps where they had no freedom
of movement without the permission from the camp commanders.

This special settlement regime lasted for 12 years until the 20th Communist
Party Congress in February 24-25, 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev[viii]
condemned Stalin’s crimes in his famous [secret] speech that led to the
abolishment of special settlement camps throughout the Soviet Union.

A special [unpublished] decree issued on April 28, 1956 the Presidium of
Supreme Soviet (Ukaz 136/142) officially released the Crimean Tatars from
special settlement camps.

As soon as they were released, through their Initiative Groups, the Crimean
Tatars launched a nonviolent national movement that was solely focused on
return to Crimea. This return movement first began with individual letter
writing campaigns and continued with group protests in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
as well as in front of Kremlin in Moscow.

Despite the top-down pressures, Crimean Tatars continuously demonstrated,
went on hunger strikes, and protested against the Soviet regime demanding
permission for return to Crimea. The struggle for return took many years.

During that time, many Crimean Tatar national movement members, including
the head of the OKND (Organization of Crimean Tatar National Movement)
Mustafa Cemilev, were beaten up, jailed, and even killed. The movement for
return proceeded regardless.

Against the background of political dynamics of Perestroika, a new
commission formed under Genadii Yanaev recognized the forced deportations
as being illegal and criminal. In addition, the commission agreed on the
restoration of the Crimean autonomy. This decision was a major turning point
for the Crimean Tatars as they organized the beginnings of an [unofficial]
mass return to Crimea.

The 1989 Soviet census showed the number of Crimean Tatars in Crimea as
38,000. At the present time, it is estimated that at the present time
approximately 300,000 Crimean Tatars are living in Crimea.[ix]

Life in Crimea was not easy for the returnees. In their historical homeland,
they faced discrimination in socio-political spheres vis-à-vis land/housing
allocations, employment and power-sharing. Their desire for restoration of
historical justice continuously fell on deaf ears. Regardless, they remained
peaceful. As they often stated “they came to Crimea to build, not to
destroy.” Yet, the Crimean dynamics are a changing.

Since the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, as the political combat is
taking place between the two Viktors at the center, the Crimean crisis at
the periphery is getting out of hand. While Kiev is dealing with its own
political issues, Simferopol is being run by certain Russian-backed Crimean
politicians who are playing an important role in the magnification of
ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic cleavages in the peninsula.

Who are these instigators of conflict in the Crimean peninsula? Which
Crimean political actors are the frequent faces in most of the conflictual
events? In an effort to answer these questions, let us review several
Crimean conflicts that took place in 2006 which appeared to be unrelated but
in reality undoubtedly interrelated.

In the early mornings of May 28, 2006 the American warship ‘Advantage”
arrived in the Feodosian Trade Port as a part of an International military
exercise “Sea-Breeze 2006.” Upon their arrival, American soldiers were
countered with strong anti-NATO protests. In reality, these types of
joint-exercises have been taking place in Ukraine since 1997,[x] but in 2006
this exercise suddenly became a tool for showdown of the Russian-backed
groups.

These groups included the “Russian Block/Russkii Blok (RB)” under the
leadership of Oleg Rodiviliov; The Russian Community/Russkaya Obshina Krima
(ROK); the Communists; the Party of Regions; The Block for Yanukovych (Za
Yanukovicha),[xi] Progressive Socialist Party, “State”, Descendents of
Bogdan Khmelnitskiy” and Crimean Cossack[xii] Union, Skinheads, and the
National opposition: the Natalia Vitrenko Group.

During these so called anti-NATO protests, under the watchful eyes of the
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies (including BERKUT), the Russian flag
bearing protestors carried signs with writings such as “NATO – Worse than
Gestapo,” and “We are not Yankees, we have to turn to our brothers – the
Russians,” and burned American flags.

Although these protests in Feodosia were illegal under the Ukrainian
Criminal law (page 293) “Violation of Community Order,”[xiii] the Crimean
law enforcement agencies chose not to interfere.

After a month of protests, when the American ship had to leave Feodosia,
the administrator of the MVD (Ministry of internal Affairs) of Ukraine in
Crimea, Vladimir Homenko, declared that the military officers that were
assigned to Feodosia events were passive.[xiv]

One of the organizers of these protests was the well-known deputy of the
Crimean Upper Parliament, Oleg Rodivilov, who is also the president of the
permanent commission of Crimean AR that deals with culture, youth issues,
and sports. Rodivilov is not a stranger to conflicts in Crimea.

He is one of the organizers of the November 2005 anti-Yushchenko
demonstrations that took place in the Lenin Square of Simferopol during the
first year anniversary of the Orange Revolution.

During those protests, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok Party called for president
Yushchenko and his wife “the American” to leave the Ukraine and go to the
United States by continuously chanting: “Suitcase, Train station,
America/Chemadan, Vokzal, Amerika.”

Although the two events seemed unrelated, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok was also
the instigator of the July 8, 2006 attack on Crimean Tatar who organized a
nonviolent sit-in in front of the Azizler (Saints) holy site in the Crimean
city of Bahcesaray.

The Azizler area in Bahcesaray includes the mosque of Aziz Malik Ashter, and
three historical grave sites (turbes) of the former Crimean khans of Giray
Mehmet II (1584); Giray Saadet II (1590); and Giray Mehmet III (1629).

This significant Crimean Tatar holy place in Bahcesaray was being used as a
city bazaar for several years. In this location, in the midst of this holy
site, the market referred by Crimean Tatars referred as the market “built on
bones,” the noisy market stalls with cursing and bargaining merchants who
were using the turbes as garbage collection sites were offensive for the
Tatars as it would be for any religious site of any religion. The returnees
were trying to resolve this issue using appropriate state channels for the
last 10 years.

At the end of June 2006, when the court decided not to relocate the market
to another site in Bahcesaray, frustrated Crimean Tatars started to organize
a sit-in protest in front of the market. Since the younger returnees have to
work at some capacity to feed their families, these protestors were composed
of mostly older women and men.

As a result, when the Russian Blok, the Cossack union and the skinheads
attacked on these protestors and beat them up with iron sticks and clubs,
most of these elderly were among the 15 critically wounded Crimean Tatars
who were remained hospitalized for extended periods of time.

Also among the wounded were a Crimean Tatar news reporter and a television
cameraman whose camera was broken while trying to film the events. Although
these attacks were videotaped and the assailants’ faces were clearly
visible, no charges were brought against them.

In fact, no charges were brought upon anybody, including the market’s
director Medvedev,[xv] who was videotaped (and later was shown on Channel
10, KRIM television channel) while beating of an old Crimean Tatar with an
iron stick.

On the other hand, a well-known member of the Crimean Tatar National
movement Kurtseid Abdullayev presently is fulfilling his 8-year jail
sentence in a Ukrainian prison for his “alleged” breaking up a camera of a
television journalist during the Crimean Tatar field protest in Simeiz in
2004.

While the Azizler attacks were taking place under the watchful eyes of
Ukrainian BARS and BERKUT police forces, the aggressors were also

shouting the slogans from the signs/flyers they were carrying: “Suitcase, Train
station, Baku and Uzbekistan/Chemadan, Vokzal, Baku, Uzbekistan.” As
indicated from their slogans, these were the same groups who organized the
anti-Orange demonstrations in November 2005 in Simferopol’s Lenin square.

On July 10, 2006, Crimean Tatars brought up the issue yet one more time with
the Crimean authorities. At the end of the talks, when the relocation of the
Market issue remained unresolved and the attackers were not penalized
regardless of the photos and videos showing their faces clearly, Crimean
Tatars have decided to continue with their nonviolent sit-in starting on
July 11, 2006.

A month later, on August 12, 2006 Crimea witnessed one of the bloodiest
conflicts since the mass return of the Crimean Tatars in 1990s. On that day,
Rodivilov’s Russian Blok, the Russian Community (ROK) and the
Cossack/Skinhead connection had their general meeting that was organized at
the center square of Bahcesaray.

In this gathering, all the meeting-attending citizens were called for an
attack on protesting Crimean Tatars by Rodivilov himself (this was shown on
news footage on Channel 10). When the RB and ROK meeting ended, groups
came down from the city square to the Azizler (market) site and surrounded
the
Crimean Tatars from all sides and started to attack them with large rocks,
hand grenades, and Molotov cocktails.

This call for attack on that particular day was not a coincidence. First, it
was the day that Mejlis members from Simferopol decided to visit the Azizler
protestors to show their support for their efforts. Second it was the day
that 40 of the BERKUT military troops were called off the Azizler site and
were sent to Yalta for the Yalta City Day celebrations.

80 BERKUT troops were placed at the market by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs (MVD) after the first attack on the protestors on July 8, 2006. In
other words, on the morning of August 12, 2006, there were only 40
BERKUT members were present in the area.

Obviously, 40 members of BERKUT were not enough to stop the rock and
Molotov cocktail throwing 600 attackers that circled the Crimean Tatars. As
a
result, more than 50 Crimean Tatar men and women were gravely injured during
the attacks. Among the attacked were the two deputies from the Ukrainian
Upper Parliament Mustafa Cemilev and Refat Chubarov, Mr. Leonid Pilunsky,
the head of the Crimean branch of the National Rukh party.

Moreover, all the parked cars in the area were turned upside down and
damaged (including Mustafa Cemilev’s, National Rukh’s Leonid Pilunsky’s,
and the director of the Crimean Tatar television Seidislam Kishveyev’s).

According to the Ukraine’s Interfax agency’s August 17, 2006 report (ICTV),
Nikolai Fedoryan, the head of the MVD of Crimea stated that there were
approximately 600 attackers and after their the pro-Russian groups arrived
in the area and started to throw large rocks and explosives on Crimean
Tatars without any provocation.

These events that lasted for two days finally ended when the Crimean
Parliament officials and the Mejlis administrators co-signed an agreement
about the relocation of market from the Azizler area to Firunze Street in
Bahcesaray where market stalls were already existed for the new market.
After these bloody events, Gennadi Moskal’, the permanent representative
of Yushchenko in Crimea, condemned the attacks.

On the other hand, although Rodivilov was videotaped and photographed by
various news agencies and television stations while giving orders for the
attacks and cheering the attackers by yelling “Mejlis-tyurma
(Mejlis-prison),” no action was taken against him. Today he is still a major
political actor in Crimea and remains to be the deputy of the Crimean Upper
Parliament.

Presently, the artificially created ethnic cleavages between the Crimean
Tatars and the “Slavs” are still being fueled by these same groups in
Crimea. Since none of the guilty parties are penalized the returnees are
losing hope in the state structures.

The land issue remains unresolved as the Russian Community of Crimea (ROK)
and the Russian Blok claim that Crimean Tatars have all they need in Crimea,
including land and housing, and want to ban all activities of the de-facto
Crimean Tatar Assembly, Mejlis.[xvi] As time goes by, pockets of returnees
do not see any hope but continue with field protests (polyana protesta).

However, squatting on these fields is not danger-free. At the end of 2003,
the Militia troops were given permission to use dogs, chemical elements, and
special arms for the purpose of “preventing” or “liquidating” mass
squatting. Moreover, because of the new implementations of the Ukrainian
Criminal Code that now entails two years of forced work, imprisonment, and
fines for squatting on land.

The six Crimean Tatars that were put to jail for 3-8 years for their alleged
participation in Simeiz and Cotton Club events (2004) still remain in jail.
Since the original sentencing, this case went back and forth between the
Crimean court; the Ukrainian court; the Crimean appeal court with no change
regardless of the fact that the court had insufficient evidence to sentence
them to begin with.

In the mean time, the “Russian Block,” the “Russian Community,” and certain
“Cossack” organizations (pro-Russian paramilitary organization) that train
volunteer [paid] mercenaries in Crimea continue with their power showdown
against the Crimean Tatars and keep the “order and security” parallel to the
existing “legal” law-enforcement agencies although they have no judicial
right to do so.

As Crimean Tatars commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the deportation on
May 18, 2007, they remember the past. They pray for their dead and they
pray for their future in the Crimean peninsula. The future cannot be
isolated from the past. Meanwhile, the present shapes the future.

Accordingly, to prevent the future conflicts in Crimea, the Crimean crisis
at the periphery needs an immediate attention by the center. If Kiev views
the Crimean crisis objectively and deals with all the parties accordingly,
the future conflicts can be prevented.

To err is human. Hence if the state actors learn from the past mistakes and
regulate their present based on those lessons, the future can be brighter
for all parties not only in Crimea but in all Ukraine.           -30-
—————————————————————————————————
                                           FOOTNOTES
[i] Burke, Justin, et.al. (1996). Crimean Tatars: Repatriation and Conflict
Prevention, New York: The Open Society Institute, The Forced Migration
Projects, p 12.
[ii] Williams, Brian Glyn (2001). The Crimean Tatars-The Diaspora Experience
and the Forging of a Nation Leiden, Boston, Koln: Brill; p.376.
[iii] Noyan, Ismail (1967). Kirimli Filolog-Sair Bekir Cobanzade: Hayati ve
Eserleri/Crimean Philologist-Poet Bekir Cobanzade: His Life and His Work.
(Istanbul Universitesi Basilmamis Yuksek Lisans Tezi/University of Istanbul,
Unpublished Masters thesis), p.7
[iv] Pohl, Otto J. (2004). Timeline: deportation of Crimean Tatars and Their
national Struggle under Soviet Rule.
http://www.iccrimea.org/surgun/timeline.html
[v] Wilson Andrew (2002). Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. Second Edition.
New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene – Yale University Press, pp. 151
[vi] Fisher, Alan W. (1987). The Crimean Tatars. Stanford, CA: Hoover
Institution Press, p. 167
[vii] Iliasov, Remzi (1999). Krimskie Tatari: Kratkii Obzor Proshlogo i
Analiz Sotsialno-Ekonomicheskogo Polojenia Nastoiashego,  Simferopol, p. 7
[viii] Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR on February
19, 1954.
[ix] It is also estimated that about 250,000 Crimean Tatars are still
residing in exile (mainly in Uzbekistan, but also in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan,
and throughout the different regions of the Russian Federation), not by
choice but by impossible socio-economic obstacles placed upon them by
multiple circumstances.
[x] Dialogue Newspaper (in Russian). No=22 (36), 9-16 June 2006, p.2.
[xi] The head of the local PoR Party Za Yanukovycha is the Vice-Speaker of
the Crimean Parliament Vasyliy Kiselyev. During the 2004 presidential
elections, he was the one who declared “if Yuschenko is elected a President
of Ukraine, the Crimea will become a Crimean Tatar autonomy.”
[xii] One thing needs to be emphasized at this juncture. These so-called
Cossacks that appear in every conflict in Crimea are not the ones that we
know from Russian and Ukrainian folk songs, i.e., Don or Zaporijniye
Cossacks. Most of them are former Soviet officers who have retired in
Crimea. Most of them have their blood types tattooed on their hearts and
have Afghanistan tattoos on their arms.
[xiii] Krimskaya Vremya No: 63 (2301) 10 June 2006, “About the Feodosian
Events, Flight, Arson and “Annushkii Syndrome,”p.3
[xiv] Ibid.
[xv] On July 12, 2006 in his interview with the journalists, the head of the
de-facto Crimean Tatar Mejlis Mustafa Cemilev stated that if Medvedev’s name
was Ametov (i.e. a Crimean Tatar name),  he would have been sentenced to
jail for 10 years.
[xvi] “The Russian Community of Crimea wants to ban the activities of
Mejlis/[----] http://censor.net.ua/go/offer–ResourceID–44097 (February
12, 2007)
—————————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Idil P. Izmirli is a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Conflict
Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
She has been conducting extended field research in Crimea Ukraine since
2000. In 2006 she spent six months in Crimea, Ukraine as an IREX Individual
Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) scholar. She is the current president
of the International Committee for Crimea (ICC). In 2004, and 2006, she was
an invited participant of the “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood”
Conference sponsored by the “Ukrainian Congress Committee of America -
 UCCA.” Contact: Misket@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
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13.                      MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK,

                                 BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
         Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.

INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

There’s a note for the postman pinned to the front door of Marina Lewycka’s
functional, foursquare house in the rowdy university quarter of Sheffield.
“If no answer,” it says, “please put packages behind the wheelie bin. Don’t
worry – they’re only foreign books.”

A blase attitude to the new foreign editions of her bestselling first novel,
“A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian,” that arrive with every post – it
had been translated into 29 languages at the last count – but she has a
simple explanation. “What thief would be interested in foreign books?”

The Latvian edition has just arrived, and looks suspiciously thin. “Are you
sure they haven’t left bits out?” I ask her. “They might have done,” she
says. “The Russian edition is very short as well. I can read Russian a bit,
and it struck me as a bit of a slapdash translation. If you read Tolstoy in
Russian, it’s three times as long.”

I start reading aloud the first paragraph of Tractors in Latvian. It is
strangely like Latin. At least it is the way I pronounce it. “Do you know
Latvian?” asks Lewycka, evidently impressed.

Lewycka, who was 58 when her life-transforming novel appeared two years
ago, used to teach journalism and PR at Sheffield Hallam University, to
which she is still attached in some vague, part-time, institution-boosting
capacity.

It quickly becomes apparent that she is a far better interviewer than I am,
and is soon asking me questions. She is the sort of person who, on first
meeting, you feel you have known all your life. Funny, open, energised; a
bit like her fiction.

Readers must feel it, too – hence the 800,000 sales of Tractors in the UK
and the remarkably ugly book awards (“What on earth can you do with a
Nibbie?”) that litter her resolutely unmodernised kitchen.

So has this vast success after almost 40 years in pursuit of publication
changed her life – if not her kitchen? She laughs. “It has in some ways. It
had always been my dream to be a writer, and obviously having your dream
come true is fantastic.

But there is something a bit terrible about it as well, because once your
dream has come true, what else is there? It was your dream and it becomes
your job, and then it’s not a dream any more.”
I WAS JUST ANOTHER MAD WOMAN GOING DOWN THE ROAD
She also has to negotiate people’s idea of what a writer should be. “If I go
out now wearing my old jogging trousers and trainers, with my hair looking
wild, people know me, whereas they didn’t before.

I was just another mad woman going down the road. They expect you to be
witty or clever or profound, and to have all sorts of opinions about things
you have no idea about.

It’s nice and very flattering, but a bit unreal. People have a perception of
you as an author so you think, ‘I’d better try really hard to be an author.’
But what is an author? You try to become the person that people want you to
be or expect you to be.

What I enjoy more than anything is being with friends who knew me before
all this happened, and I can relax and go back to being that person.”

Before Tractors, the only creative work she had had published was a poem in
an Arts Council magazine about 30 years ago. Had she ever doubted that her
dream would come true?

“I doubted it all the time,” she says, “but writing was a compulsion. Lots
of very good writers never get published, and that could easily have
happened to me.

People think that good writers will always come out in the end, but I don’t
believe that.” She says she had reached the point where she barely discussed
her writing with her husband, a mining consultant, or grown-up daughter.
“When you’ve been doing it for as long as that, it gets a bit embarrassing,
so you don’t talk about it very much.”
 DAUGHTER OF TWO UKRAINIANS TAKEN TO GERMANY
Lewycka, the daughter of two Ukrainians who had been taken to Germany as
forced labourers by the Nazis, was born in a British-run refugee camp in
Germany in 1946.

Her family settled in the UK soon afterwards, and Tractors draws heavily on
her life – conflicts with her sister, the loss of her beloved mother, an
eccentric engineer father who married again to a much younger woman, and
his daughters’ schemes to oust the interloper.

How did her family feel about becoming material for a novel? “They have
been very generous about it, really,” she says. “I feel bad about my sister.
It must be awful for her, and I’d hate it if it happened to me. But you write
about what you know.

At least you start off by writing about what you know, and then the worst
thing is that you invent stuff, and no one really knows what’s real and
what’s invented, and in the end you don’t even know yourself.”

Her original plan for Tractors was to write a memoir of her mother’s life,
and before she died she had made a tape of her recollections. “I started
writing it,” she says, “but then I realised that there wasn’t enough on the
tape.

I just didn’t know enough, so I was going to have to make stuff up, and in a
way it was very liberating. If it had been my mother’s book it would have
been pretty heavy and gloomy and sad, and not having to do that was very
liberating.”
         TO TREAT SERIOUS THEMES IN A COMIC WAY
The defining feature of Lewycka’s writing is to treat serious themes – age,
family conflict, the back story of war and grief and separation – in a comic
way. Life’s a nightmare, but a hellishly funny one. She says it was the
realisation that she could use humour in her books that was the key to
unlocking what she had to say.

“You get funnier as you get older, but I hadn’t connected with my sense of
humour. I did for everyday purposes, but [before Tractors] I didn’t have the
confidence to do it with what I wrote. Tractors felt like a last fling
really. I thought, ‘What the hell? It doesn’t matter what I write. I’ll have
a laugh and stick it on the internet.'”

She embarked on a creative writing course at Sheffield Hallam, polished what
she had spent the best part of a decade writing, and at the end of the
course was approached by the external examiner, who also happened to be
an agent, to see whether she wanted him to represent her.

After 36 rejections (she has kept all the letters) for her previous work -
two completed novels, poetry, short stories, romantic fiction – she bit his
hand off.
                        SECOND NOVEL “TWO CARAVANS”
She published her second novel, “Two Caravans,” this spring, and says she
was keen to get the always tricky follow-up to a smash out of the way. “I
just wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could. Number one was so
overwhelming, and I thought, ‘Gosh, I might never write anything ever
again.’ I knew the second novel was traditionally the hardest one, and that
I’d probably get a lot of stick for it.”

In fact, apart from a general dislike of the sections that are narrated by a
dog – the book is ambitiously multi-layered – it was well received, and now
she can relax.

The third book is well under way, a fourth is germinating, and she gives the
impression that she has plenty of time to fashion an oeuvre. When your
father is still alive at 94, being 60 can still seem like a good time to
begin.

“Two Caravans” has the same characteristic blend of comedy and desperation
as her first book. It concerns a group of strawberry pickers drawn from
several countries who fetch up in Kent, and traces their lives, loves and
battle to survive.

It is far less closely aligned to her own life than Tractors, but its
starting point draws on an episode from her childhood, when she and her
mother worked as pea-pickers in Lincolnshire. “It was blissful,” she
recalls.

“You were out in the fields in the fresh air and I was with my mum, and
there was banter and camaraderie among the other pea-pickers. If someone

had been looking in from the outside, they’d have said it was grossly
exploitative, and no doubt it was, but it was still lovely, and I tried to
get that across in Caravans.”

For her third book, she promises that there will be “no Ukrainians and no
vehicles”. She is coy about what will be in it. “It’s about anger and hate,
and I’m looking at Israel and Palestine quite a lot. But I don’t want to say
too much.”
               REDISCOVERED HER FAMILY IN UKRAINE
One by-product of Tractors is that she rediscovered her family in Ukraine.
She travelled to the country for the first time in 2005, met her mother’s
sister and played her the tape she had made with her mother before her
death.

“Her sister was quite a bit younger than my mother and they had lost
contact,” she says. “She hadn’t heard anything of her or from her for 62
years, and then, suddenly, there was this tape of my mother speaking
Ukrainian and telling her everything that had happened.”

It is a pleasing irony that one language in which “A Short History of
Tractors in Ukrainian” has yet to appear is Ukrainian, though this is about
to be rectified and a visit from the Ukrainian translator is imminent.

Some Ukrainians were sniffy about the book, including the one who reviewed
it in the Guardian back in March 2005 and found it a “banal tale” that
crossed a “school textbook on Ukrainian history with . . . an episode of
Coronation Street.”

“It has taken me a while to understand why he hated it so much,” says
Lewycka, “but I think I do understand now. I’ve met a lot of Ukrainians
since then. Before I wrote it, I didn’t know many Ukrainian Ukrainians. I
knew a lot of Ukrainians who lived over here, and they all thought it was a
hoot.

The Ukrainian Ukrainians are quite self-conscious about Ukraine as a country
because it’s newly emerged on to the world stage. They always ask you what
people in the west think about Ukraine, and I think, ‘Gosh, what can I say?’
I can’t tell them that actually people in the west don’t think about Ukraine
at all.

So I make something up, and then, when Ukraine gets to be in the news, it’s
about an incontinent old man and a woman with enormous breasts, and
though they like the fact there’s a famous Ukrainian, they hate the fact
it’s for something like that”                             -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://books.guardian.co.uk/hay2007/story/0,,2091741,00.html
————————————————————————————————-

NOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14. AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7
 
STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
TO: Distinguished heads of states and governments of
the Italian Republic,
Canada,
the United Kingdom of Great Britain,
the Federal Republic of Germany,
the French Republic,
the United States of America,
and Japan!

On 6-8 June, within the framework of the annual Summit of the 8
largest industrially developed democracies of the world, you will be
meeting with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation,
and – in accordance with the current Constitution of our country – the
guarantor of human and civil rights and liberties.

We call upon you to explicitly and unambiguously bring to the
attention of Mr Putin – your partner in diplomatic negotiations – your
concern about the gross, mass, and defiant violations of the most
fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms by the authorities
of the country they govern.

We call upon you to renounce the practice of “Realpolitik”, turning a
blind eye to an anti-democratic course in exchange for shifts of
position with respect to political and economic issues.

The experience of the Second World War and the confrontation with
totalitarianism has shown the vital importance of observing
fundamental human rights in order to ensure international security.
It is for this reason that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
was adopted in December of 1948.  The Helsinki Act, signed in August
of 1976, enshrined a most important principle – that governments do
not have the right to violate rights and liberties by pleading state
sovereignty.

It is precisely for this reason that we insist that the leaders of the
world’s largest democracies stress that the suppressions of democracy
and the repressions taking place in the Russian Federation today are
unacceptable to them.

The general directionality of the political evolution of the system of
power in Russia is ever more irreversibly approaching a point beyond
which is found an already openly authoritarian regime, run by persons
who have come from the special services and security structures.

We regard as critically dangerous for democracy in the whole world the
de facto liquidation of democracy in Russia, and specifically:

-  the creation of a managed court and law-enforcement system, which
creates unlimited opportunities for persecuting political and civic
activists, human rights advocates and their relatives (who in such a
manner are transformed into true hostages), for broad-scale
persecutions on political, ideological and ethnic grounds.  There
already exist dozens of persons in Russia who have been recognized as
victims of political repressions by human rights advocates;

 – the suppression of freedom of the press, and of the freedom of self-
expression more generally, the transformation of the principal mass
information media – first and foremost the nationwide television
channels – into an instrument of state propaganda, based on a cult of
the head of state and of military power;

 – torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment, are widely practiced
within the Russian penitentiary agency, and there exist special places
of confinement for torture – a “new GULAG Archipelago”.

We bring attention to the scandalous situation in connection with the
violation of the right of citizens of Russia to the freedom to conduct
rallies and meetings and to form associations.

This is:
 –  the unlawful prohibitions and barbarous dispersals of peaceful
demonstrations in Moscow (16 December 2006, 31 March, 14 April, 5
and 27 May 2007), in St. Petersburg (3 March and 15 April 2007) and in
Nizhny Novgorod (24 March and 27 April 2007), the persecutions of
participants in a rally in Samara on 18 May – that had been permitted
by the authorities – and the demonstratively mocking detainings of
those who were preparing to fly out to Samara;

 –  the mass persecution of hundreds of civic and political activists,
who were suspected of a desire to participate in “Marches of the
Discontented” and Social Forums.

We call upon you to:
-  seek the release of Russian prisoners persecuted on political
grounds – those convicted in the YUKOS case, the Chechen woman
Zara Murtazaliyeva, the political essayist Boris Stomakhin and – as
indicated in a PACE resolution of 19 April – the scientists Igor
Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov and the lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin.

 – pay the most diligent attention to the use of charges of extremism
for the persecution of human rights advocates and opponents of the
regime;

 –  call upon the President of Russia not to violate the rights -
guaranteed by Russian legislation – of the participants in the
peaceful Marches of the Discontented planned for 9 (St. Petersburg)
and 11 June (Moscow), and to prevent new beatings and cruel
detainings of the demonstrators.
                                              
[1] Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group,
Foundation In Defence of Rights of Inmates
[2] Elena Bonner, human rights advocate
[3] Sergei Kovalev, President, Human Rights Institute
[4] Lev Ponomarev, All-Russia Public Movement “For Human Rights”
[5] Yuli Rybakov, human rights advocate,

member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[6] Yuri Samodurov, Director of the Andrey Sakharov Museum
and Public Centre
[7] Clergyman Gleb Yakunin, Public Committee In Defence of
Freedom of Conscience
[8] Alla Gerber, Holocaust Foundation
[9] Ernst Cherny, Coalition “Environmental Biology and Human Rights”
[10] Yelena Grishina, Director of Public Information Centre
[11] Boris Vishnevsky, Novaya Gazeta columnist,
member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[12] Mikhail Gorny, The St. Petersburg Strategy Centre
[13] Andrei Buzin, Chair of Inter-Regional Association of Voters
[14] Vladimir Oyvin, “Glasnost” Foundation
[15] Antuan Arakelyan, Chair of the Saint-Petersburg Intersectoral
Coalition “Dialogue and Cause”
[16] Alexander Vinnikov, Movement “For Russia without Racism”
[17] Sergey Sorokin, Movement against Violence
[18] Eduard Murzin, member of the State Assembly of Bashkiria
[19] Vadim Belotserkovsky, author, human rights advocate
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
 POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

KYIV- The May 25 meeting of the Rivne region council session has asked
President Viktor Yuschenko to assign posthumously the Hero of Ukraine
title to commander in chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) Roman
Shukhevych and head of the directory of Ukrainian People’s Republic
(UNR) Symon Petliura.

This follows from the resolution of the session, the text of which Ukrainian
News obtained.

‘… assigning of the Hero of Ukraine title commemorates the heroic deed in
fight for freedom of Ukrainian nation on the occasion of the 65th
anniversary of UPA foundation…,’ reads the address.

Deputies also ask the President to assign the Hero of Ukraine title to
commander of UPA Poliska Sich Taras Borovets (Bulba) and commander
in chief of UPA Sever Dmytro Kliachkovskyi (known as Klym Savura).
As Ukrainian News reported, in May Lviv regional council initiated assigning
posthumously of the Hero of Ukraine title to Roman Shukhevych. In March
the Volyn regional council addressed the President with the similar request.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16. RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE

By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

PRAGUE – Valery Golubev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s state-controlled
gas monopoly Gazprom’s Management Committee, said in April that the price of
gas charged by Gazprom to Ukraine will depend on how closely the economies
of both countries are prepared to cooperate, the Ukrainian website proUA.com
reported.

“If politicians make a decision to establish closer economic ties between
our countries, this will guarantee lower gas prices.

However, if the politicians decide to separate these ties, then the price of
gas for Ukraine will be same as for Germany. Does Ukraine really want this?
I want to stress that Russia does not need this,” Golubev said.

This explanation of pricing for gas sold to Ukraine is different from
previous explanations provided by Gazprom managers and by Russian President
Vladimir Putin. Such explanations have emphasized that Russia is striving to
stop subsidizing gas sales to Ukraine.

“We have subsidized the Ukrainian economy with low gas prices for a decade
and we intend to end this practice,” Putin said in January 2007. Putin
didn’t mention, however, that Ukraine buys mostly Turkmen, rather than
Russian gas.
                                             GAS BASKET
The present price Ukraine pays for gas was negotiated in early 2007 and was
based upon the January 2006 agreement whereby Gazprom agreed to a price

for a “basket” of Turkmen, Kazakh, and Russian gas.

Ukraine wound up paying $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2006 and $130
in 2007, when Turkmenistan raised the gas price for Gazprom to $100 per
1,000 cubic meters.

Does Golubev’s statement reflect the future of energy relations between
Ukraine and Russia?

As of 2007, Ukraine does not buy any Russian gas — it only imports 50
billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas.

Turkmenistan sells this gas to a Gazprom subsidiary company Gazexport for
$100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazexport then resells it to RosUkrEnergo, a
middleman with headquarters in Switzerland, which resells it to a joint
venture company, UkrGazEnergo, at the Russian-Ukrainian border. It is then
sold on to Ukrainian domestic and industrial consumers.

If Gazprom should suddenly determine that the economies of the two countries
are not “close enough,” it could raise prices. But buying Turkmen gas for
$100 and reselling it to Ukraine at the market price of $250-270 could be
risky.

Such price speculation could upset the Turkmen leadership, which
traditionally has insisted that Gazprom not engage in such deals.
Turkmenistan would then most likely be forced to raise the price it charges
Gazprom to world market levels.
                                      TRUNK PIPELINES
Golubev’s comments raise another question: who is empowered to decide

when “closer economic ties” between Ukraine and Russia reach the point of
closeness that qualifies Ukraine for a substantial gas-price reduction?

Any price reduction that Russia might give to Ukraine would be, in effect, a
very expensive subsidy. Russian politicians and the Finance Ministry might
be hard-pressed to accept such an arrangement.

Golubev could well be disguising Gazprom’s long-standing efforts to obtain a
controlling share in the Ukrainian trunk gas pipeline by talking about
“economic closeness” in return for cheap gas.

This was the tactic used in Belarus and in Armenia where Moscow was intent
on initially gaining part and ultimately, a controlling stake in the
pipelines.

The question remains: is Gazprom willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in
subsidies in return for control over the pipeline?

During his visit to Moscow in April, according to the RIA Novosti news
agency, the newly elected Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s
said he would honor the 25-year contract signed with Gazprom in 2003 to
supply Russia with the lion’s share of Turkmen gas — at the same time,
however, Berdymukhammedov was very vague about the price he would charge
Gazprom for this gas.

Why, many ask, should Turkmenistan sell its gas to Gazprom at prices far
below world prices?

At this time Kazakhstan, according to RIA Novosti, began threatening to
raise its price for gas from $100 to $160 per 1,000 cubic meters and the
Turkmen leadership was reportedly contemplating a similar price increase.
Central Asian gas producers have said that in two years they plan to charge
world prices for their gas.

If this were to take place, it would definitely increase the price Ukraine
pays for gas — unless Golubev’s formula for cheap gas is implemented.

In mid-May when Putin signed the agreement with Central Asian leaders to
build a new Caspian gas pipeline to export Central Asian gas to the West,
the price Turkmenistan would charge for its gas was not mentioned.

Interfax reported on May 14 that: “The price [for Turkmen gas] is to remain
unchanged until the end of 2009, but talks are to be carried through before
July 1, 2009, on changing it under long-term deals by bringing it into line
with European prices.”
                                         UKRAINE CRISIS
Golubev’s remarks were by and large ignored by the Ukrainian media, which
was consumed with the current confrontation between President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych, who favors close political and economic ties with Russia, is
seen as the beneficiary of Golubev’s remarks. But does his business
constituency agree with this?

The Industrial Union of Donbas, one of the most powerful business groupings
in Ukraine, has had a separate gas-purchasing agreement with Kazakhstan for
many years.

Golubev has not been a visible participant in the Ukrainian-Russian gas
discussions till now, but given his background he seems to enjoy powerful
support from the Kremlin.

A former KGB officer, Golubev worked in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office
when Vladimir Putin and Aleksei Miller, the present head of Gazprom, worked
there.

In February 2003, he became a member of Gazprom’s management committee

and in November 2006 became its deputy chairman replacing Aleksandr
Riazanov who had been fired.

Golubev’s responsibility at Gazprom is the CIS market for Russian gas sales,
one of the most sensitive jobs in Gazprom.

His pronouncements about a vague gas-pricing scheme for Ukraine could be

an indication that the Kremlin is intent on trying to use a scare tactic in
order to bring Ukraine closer into the Russian fold at the same time helping
to further Putin’s long-standing support for Yanukovych.

Golubev’s attempt to promote this new “carrot-stick” scheme, despite his
unrealistic arguments, could mean that Gazprom is trying to both influence
Ukrainians to support Yanukovych in return for cheap gas and maneuver
Ukraine into abandoning or sharing its control over the largest single gas
pipeline for Russian gas to the EU.                          -30-
—————————————————————————————————–
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/05/a6452202-a170-421b-8c96-ee204475810b.html

—————————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
             PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

MOSCOW – Russia that defends the position of the Russian language is

looking upon it as a factor of unification and enrichment of people and
cultures of different countries, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Mikhail
Kamynin declared on the eve of a conference on the status of the Russian
language abroad.

Intellectual losses caused by cutting off foreign countries from one of the
universal languages and such a world center as Russia seem unnecessary, the
diplomat said.

The Moscow conference occupies a special place in a series of events
organized in connection with the Year of the Russian language, Kamynin said.
It will be the biggest and most representative in a series of similar
conferences organized in the CIS and the Baltic states.

The conference will offer an opportunity to compatriots to exchange opinions
on the status of the Russian language in countries where they live and
formulate recommendations to Russian state structures, the diplomat said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who chairs the governmental
commission for the affairs of compatriots abroad will open the forum and
First Vice-Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the organizing committee

of the Year of the Russian language festival, will deliver the main report at
the conference. A total of 53 delegates will arrive from all former Soviet
republics to attend the forum, Kamynin said.

In recent years, the number of the Russian-speaking population has slowly
declined in a number of “near aboard” countries, but at the same time it
went up in certain foreign countries.

The number of the Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan and Ukraine

is more than 30 percent. In Latvia and Estonia – around 30 percent.

Ethnic Russians account for more than ten percent of the population in
Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, and the Russian-speaking population
makes up 5-10 percent in Uzbekistan and Lithuania, Kamynin said.

There are 1.5 million Russian-speaking people living in Israel, around 3.5
million – in Germany and around three million in the United States. Most of
the Russian-speaking population of these countries are people who emigrated
from Russia on the wave of the 1990s, Kamynin said.            -30-

———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#850 May 31 Sunflower Growers Gain; More Wheat Export Restrictions?; WTO Legislation?; Lawmakers Defy President, Fail To Pass Legislation; Estonia

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 850
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
       Argentina is the world’s second- largest exporter of the oil after Ukraine.
            Minnesota-based Cargill is the world’s largest oilseed crusher, and
             is the biggest sunflower oil exporter in both Argentina and Ukraine.
By Matthew Craze in Buenos Aires, Bloomberg
New York,  New York,  Wednesday, May 30, 2007
 
2.          SOARING SUNFLOWER PRICES CREATING PROBLEMS
                         FOR RUSSIAN EXPORTS SAYS ANALYST
                              Having hard time catching up with Ukraine
Interfax – Food & Agriculture, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 16, 2007

3.    UKRAINE: UKROLIAPROM UPGRADES SUNFLOWER EXPORTS

                    OUTLOOK TWICE TO 400,000 TONS IN 2006/2007
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 20, 2007
4. US WHEAT FUTURES RISE ON UKRAINE BAN, US HARVEST DELAYS
               The move gives confirmation that Ukraine’s crop “is in trouble,”
By Tom Polansek, Dow Jones Newswires
Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5.              UKRAINE: GRAIN TRADERS BRACE FOR DRY SPELL
By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30 2007

6.         US AMBASSADOR TAYLOR WELCOMES ANNULMENT OF
                        EXPORT QUOTAS FOR GRAIN IN UKRAINE
Interfax Ukraine Business Express, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007

7.   UKRAINE DROUGHT THREATENS GRAIN CROP, QUOTAS LOOM 
By Pavel Polityuk, Reuters, Odessa, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

8UKRAINIAN GRAIN ASSOCIATION PROPOSES TO STOP THE SALE
           OF WHEAT FROM THE STATE RESERVE TO FREE MARKET
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

9UKRAGROCONSULT REDUCES ESTIMATES FOR Y07 GRAIN CROP
UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, UkrAgroConsult
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

10.    CABINET PROPOSES HELPING FARMERS TO SAVE HARVEST

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

11.          CABINET SUGGESTS PARLIAMENT ENDORSE 11 BILLS
                              ON UKRAINE’S ACCESSION TO WTO
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

12YANUKOVYCH SETS TOP PRIORITY TASKS FOR GOVERNMENT
                Agriculture, Wages and Pensions, Pre-Term Elections, WTO
UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

13.       UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER EXPECTS PARLIAMENT
                             TO APPROVE WTO BILLS QUICKLY
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1400 gmt 30 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

14.    YANUKOVYCH DIRECTS AZAROV AND KINAKH TO SECURE
              AGREEMENT ON PACKAGE OF WTO BILLS BY END OF
                                  WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2007
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 29, 2007

15.   POLISH AGRO-MACHINERY PRODUCER PLANS 6,000 TONNES
               IN RENEWABLE ENERGY STRAW BRIQUETTE SALES
                       Company has two production lines in the Ukraine
Interfax Central Europe, Warsaw, Poland, Wed, May 30. 2007

16UKRAINE’S GDP MAY DOUBLE IN DOLLAR EQUIVALENT BY 2010
Interfax Ukraine Business Panorama, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 29, 2007

17.         UKRAINE’S GROWTH POTENTIAL HIGHER THAN RUSSIA
Interfax Ukraine Business Panorama, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 29, 2007

 
18.                  NASDAQ TO COME TO UKRAINE BY MERGER 
Rynok.biz, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 29, 2007 

19UKRAINE CRISIS CONTINUES AS LAWMAKERS DEFY PRESIDENT
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

20.      UKRAINE MPs FAIL TO PASS LAWS FOR EARLY ELECTION
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

 
21.    UKRAINE POLITICS: ELECTION DEAL-A TEMPORARY TRUCE
EIU Politics – Country News Analysis
The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, NY, NY, Tue, May 29, 2007
 
22.      THE QUESTION OF REGIME-RESTORATION IN UKRAINE
COMMENTARY: By Stephen Velychenko, University of Toronto
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #850, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
23.                               BUILDING ITS OWN DESTINY
                      Ukraine Seeks a Place Between Russia and Europe
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Paul Abelsky
RussiaProfile.com, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 30, 2007
 
24.                              UKRAINE: PEACE DIVIDENDS
       Yanukovich got the date he wanted & achieved a victory for his image.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Sergey Strokhan
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007
 
25.       PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO ‘FAILED UKRAINIANS’ HOPES,
                                 WANTS ‘PLENITUDE OF POWER’
EDITORIAL: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Tue, May 29, 2007
 
26.              WAR FEARS TURN TO CYBERSPACE IN ESTONIA
    Digital Fears Emerge After Data Siege, Somebody Orchestrated This Thing
By Mark Landler and John Markoff, The New York Times
New York, New York, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, Page 1
 
27ASK YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT A RESOLUTION
               CONDEMNING RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN ESTONIA!
Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 30, 2007
========================================================
1
SUNFLOWER GROWERS FROM ARGENTINA TO UKRAINE
  BENEFIT AS PEPSICO AND MCDONALD’S CUT TRANS FATS
        Argentina is the world’s second- largest exporter of the oil after Ukraine.
             Minnesota-based Cargill is the world’s largest oilseed crusher, and
            is the biggest sunflower oil exporter in both Argentina and Ukraine.

By Matthew Craze in Buenos Aires, Bloomberg
New York,  New York,  Wednesday, May 30, 2007

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Sunflower growers from Argentina to
Ukraine are benefiting as companies such as McDonald’s Corp and
PepsiCo Inc. switch from saturated oils to healthier alternatives to combat
heart disease.

The price of sunflower oil, used in margarine and mayonnaise, is trading
close to an eight-year high of $800 a ton, Thomas Mielke, director of
Germany-based industry consultant Oil World ISTA Mielke, said today at
a meeting of the Argentine Sunflower Association in Buenos Aires.

Fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s are using more monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated fats, such as sunflower oil, which help reduce
cholesterol.

Argentina is the world’s second- largest exporter of the oil after Ukraine.

“There is a trend here; it’s going to go up a lot,” Mielke said in an
interview today. The premium that producers receive from selling
sunflower-seed oil over soy oil may rise this year, he said.

PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay unit can start advertising the heart benefits of
foods made with unsaturated corn and sunflower oils, spreads and
shortenings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said May 25.

Aramark Corp., which runs concession stands at 13 Major League Baseball
stadiums, has eliminated trans-fats in the cooking oils it uses.

It now uses corn and sunflower oils at concession kitchens including New
York’s Shea Stadium. Many major league baseball players munch sunflower
seeds for energy during games.

“We’ve found a new niche,” Ignacio Lartirigoyen, president of Argentina’s
Sunflower Association, said yesterday during the conference.
                                     GLOBAL SHORTAGE
The world needs growing supplies of sunflower seeds from Argentina to avoid
a global shortage, Mielke said. Argentina produced 3.9 million tons of the
oilseed last year, compared with 6.1 million tons in 1999, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Global sunflower-seed oil production may decline 6 percent this year to 10.5
million tons, as producers of other edible oils derived from soybeans, palms
and rapeseeds increase production to meet new demand for biofuels, said
Francisco Morelli, manager of Cargill Inc.’s sunflower unit in Argentina,
Wayzata.

Minnesota-based Cargill is the world’s largest oilseed crusher, and is the
biggest sunflower oil exporter in both Argentina and Ukraine.
                                              BIOFUELS
Ukraine’s government is seeking to convince farmer unions to replace some
sunflower crops with other oilseeds such as rapeseed to supply the European
Union with the commodities needed to make biodiesel.

Argentina’s sunflower industry almost collapsed in 1999 as sunflower oil
prices traded below soy oil, prompting farmers to switch crops, Lartirigoyen
said. Soybean growers also get more revenue than sunflower growers from
protein-rich pellets used for cattle feed.

Sunflower oil is a “better” source of monounsaturated oil, along with corn
oil and soybean oil, the American Heart Association said in an April 10
statement.

Palm oil, the world’s most-used edible oil, contains more saturated fat
which raises cholesterol. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can
lower cholesterol levels.

About 90 percent of sunflower oil contains unsaturated fats, according to
Monica Melgarejo, a researcher at Argentine agriculture company Molinos
Rio de la Plata SA, which said it will prioritize crushing of high
oleic-sunflowers.

“It’s a growing market,” said Domingo Massigoge, a farmer who grows
sunflowers on his 300-hectare (741 acre) farm in southern Buenos Aires
province. “The oil is of a very high quality, and it’s good for your
health.”                                         -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Matthew Craze in Buenos Aires at mcraze@bloomberg.net .
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  SOARING SUNFLOWER PRICES CREATING PROBLEMS
                  FOR RUSSIAN EXPORTS SAYS ANALYST
                      Russia having hard time catching up with Ukraine

Interfax – Food & Agriculture, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 16, 2007

MOSCOW – A significant increase in the cost of sunflowers and vegetable oil
seen in Russia recently has exacerbated the problem of a lack of capacity
for their export,WJ InterAgro analyst Vladimir Petrichenko said.

“The sharp increase in prices was the result of an increase on the world
market due to constantly rising demand for sunflowers and vegetable
oil,including as a result of an expansion in the production of biofuel,” he
told Interfax.

Sunflower prices in Russia have risen by almost 600 rubles since the start
of April to 7,400 rubles per tonne,he said. “And the potential for growth
has not been exhausted,” he said. The cost of vegetable oil has risen by
1,600 rubles to 18,000 rubles per tonne since the start of April.
                    
Russia’s annual capacity for exporting vegetable oil is about 1

million tonnes compared to 4.3 million tonnes in Ukraine, he said.

As a result,Ukraine exported 1.54 million tonnes of vegetable oil last
season,while Russia exported about 700,000 tonnes. “We’re having a hard
time catching up with our southern neighbor in terms of vegetable oil
exports,” he said.

The only ways to resolve the problem is to expand Russia’s capacity for
handling vegetable oil exports and increase the transit of such products via
Ukraine, he said.

“The urgency of this issue is growing because demand for vegetable oil for
the production of biofuel is picking up in the world.

In addition,Russia’s capacity has grown significantly in the last few years
for processing sunflowers,which are mainly oriented towards the foreign
market and thus not consumed by the domestic market,” he said.

Petrichenko said Russia currently has capacity to process 8 million-9
million tonnes of sunflowers per year. “Domestic demand for vegetable oil is
also growing,but the increase in capacity for processing raw materials is
overtaking it,too,” he said.

Russia harvested 6.7 million tonnes of sunflowers in 2006,up 3.8% from 2005.
Vegetable oil production grew 17.5% to 2.566 million tonnes in 2006.  -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. UKRAINE: UKROLIAPROM UPGRADES SUNFLOWER EXPORTS
                 OUTLOOK TWICE TO 400,000 TONS IN 2006/2007
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 20, 2007
 
KYIV – Ukroliaprom association has upgraded sunflower exports outlook
twice to 400,000 tons in 2006/2007 marketing year (September 2006 – August
2007). Association director general Stepan Kapshuk disclosed this to the press.
 
He said that during five months of current marketing year, a total of 42,000
tons of sunflower was exported. Oil crop exports rose in February and
according to forecasts a total of 60,000 tons will be exported.
He also said that a total of 2 million tons of sunflower oil would be
produced in Ukraine in 2006/2007 marketing year, if it is possible to retain
such forecasts.
He said that in five months of this season, a total of 900,000 tons of
sunflower oil were produced, 510,000 tons were exported.
He also said that currently, about 1 million tons of sunflowers were at
elevators and about 2 million tons in farm producers and traders.
He said that in 2006, sunflower yield had been 5.36 million tons.
Kapshuk said that currently, domestic sunflower oil market was stable,
domestic prices tended to fall and quality of sunflower 2006 yield was very
high.
At the same time, he expressed his concern about cancellation of customs
duty for sunflower, which was initiated in late 2006.

He said that after the cancellation, sunflower would be exported from
Ukraine, which would destabilize situation on the domestic market.
According to Kapshuk, in 2005/2006 marketing year, Ukraine produced 2
million tons of sunflower oil, of it 1.6 million tons were exported. Kapshuk
said that currently, Ukraine processes 6.2-6.3 million tons of oil corps a year.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in 2006, sunflower exports rose by 6.4
times or 193,900 tons, compared to 2005 to 229,500 tons worth USD 58.21
million.                                            -30-
———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE:  Most economic analysts believe the cancellation of
customs duty for sunflower exports was a very good move.  This will
allow Ukrainian farmers to receive a fair market price for their crop and
stop the governments subsidy of those business concerns in Ukraine who
use sunflower seeds and have considerable political power. Paying a fair
market price cannot be considered destabilization of the local market.
AUR EDITOR
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
4. WHEAT FUTURES RISE ON UKRAINE BAN, US HARVEST DELAYS
             The move gives confirmation that Ukraine’s crop “is in trouble,”

By Tom Polansek, Dow Jones Newswires, Chicago, IL, Wed, May 30, 2007

CHICAGO – U.S. wheat futures charged to strong gains Wednesday,
prodded by the suspension of new-crop grain exports from Ukraine and
domestic harvest delays, analysts said.

Chicago Board of Trade July wheat climbed 19 3/4 cents to $5.10 3/4 per
bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat rose 19 3/4 cents to $5.00
3/4, and Minneapolis Grain Exchange July wheat finished 15 1/4 cents higher
at $5.28 3/4.

Ukraine will allow the export of 900,000 metric tons of grain already held
by traders, but there will be no exports of the drought-reduced 2007-08 crop
until reserves are built, the government said.

 
[NOTE:  According to the best information received by the Action Ukraine
Report (AUR) the government of Ukraine has not announced any official
suspension of new-crop grain exports from Ukraine. The government has
only indicated they are considering doing this.  AUR EDITOR]

The ban shoved prices higher because the Black Sea has been an aggressive
seller of wheat on the world market, analysts said.

The move gives confirmation that Ukraine’s crop “is in trouble,” said Louise
Gartner, analyst with Spectrum Commodities. Ongoing dryness in Russia is
also concerning, she added.

A few thunderstorms developed in western and central Ukraine Tuesday,
although eastern areas were still dry, according to DTN Meteorlogix.
Temperatures were above normal but not as hot as recent days.

The next three days, however, will bring in a new heat wave to eastern
Ukraine and southern Russia, Meteorlogix said. Temperatures will then turn
cooler, but dry conditions will remain, the weather firm said.

There also is a lack of pressure on prices from harvest in the U.S., Gartner
said. Persistent, heavy rains in the Plains have delayed harvest there,
sparking concerns about yield and quality loss, she noted.

Thunderstorms that hit central Nebraska Tuesday also brought up to one
inch of rain to Colorado and Kansas, according to Meteorlogix.

More storms will fire up in the region through Friday, bringing rainfall of
up to one and one-half inches. The heaviest rain is headed for central and
eastern Kansas, the weather firm said.

The coming weekend will bring additional showers in Oklahoma and Texas,
along with normal to below normal temperatures, “a cool and rainy outlook,
which is unfavorable for crop maturation and harvest,” Meteorlogix said.

A rally in CBOT corn gave wheat further strength, analysts said. Wheat has
been following corn “very closely, especially Chicago wheat,” one analyst
noted.  Commodity funds were strong buyers of an estimated 7,000 contracts
at CBOT, traders said.

Looking forward, harvest pressure will eventually start to weigh on prices,
Gartner said. “It’s so difficult for me to be bullish going into harvest,”
she said. “It’s not unusual to have these harvest delay rallies. I would say
that ultimately harvest will prevail.”
                          KANSAS CITY BOARD OF TRADE
KCBT wheat futures felt support from ongoing harvest delays in the Southern
Plains and concerns about damage to the crop, a floor trader said. With more
rain headed to Kansas, the crop’s quality potential could decline, he added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress report lowered the
good-to-excellent rating for winter wheat two percentage points to 57%.
Kansas’ good-to-excellent rating dropped three percentage points to 37%.

The ban of new-crop grain exports in Ukraine and the rally in CBOT corn also
pulled prices higher, the trader said.
                        MINNEAPOLIS GRAIN EXCHANGE
MGE was seen as a follower of activity at the CBOT, a floor trader said.
There was a slight decline in condition ratings for the spring wheat crop,
and that may have given prices some strength, he added.

Seventy-nine percent of the crop was reported in good-to-excellent
condition, compared to 81% a week ago and 73% a year ago, according to the
USDA. Eighty-nine percent of the spring wheat crop was emerged, compared to
the five-year average of 76%, the USDA said.
—————————————————————————————————
By Tom Polansek, Dow Jones Newswires; tom.polansek@dowjones.com
—————————————————————————————————

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========================================================
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========================================================
5.   UKRAINE: GRAIN TRADERS BRACE FOR DRY SPELL

By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30 2007

Ukraine’s current spell of dry weather could mean a return to command-style
economics by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, which has
been mulling the maintenance of controversial restrictions on grain exports.

The government had recently announced an end to its lengthy ban on grain
exports, which has cost traders, as well as farmers, hundreds of millions of
dollars in losses since it introduction last fall.

But now the government looks set to keep the ban in place,

placing Ukraine’s reputation as a major international grain
exporter in jeopardy.

While further angering grain traders and farmers, the government might be
more concerned about high bread prices with elections on the horizon.

The cancellation of the ban on exports of food grain such as wheat and rye
was announced in a government resolution on May 16 following the annulment
of similar restrictions on feed grain for animals in February.

However, the resolution never came into force, and the government has been
sending out signals it may be getting ready to change its mind.

Deputy Prime Minister for Agriculture, Viktor Slauta, stated earlier this
week that the government was planning “to confirm anti-crisis measures due
to the drought to secure food reserves and compensate for the losses of
farmers, while analyzing the need to restore quotas on grain.”

Slauta didn’t specify how much of this year’s harvest had been damaged
by the drought.

Last fall, Ukraine’s harvest was also a little on the low side – 34.3
million tons of grain, in comparison to 38 million tons in 2005.

At the same time, world grain prices rose sharply, driven by poor harvests
in key producing countries, prompting the Yanukovych government to
abruptly halt grain exports by October to beef up domestic supply.

By December 2006, the government had come up with a grain export quota
of just over 1.1 million tons until June of this year, despite promises from
Yanukovych in November that the restrictions were about to be removed.

Grain traders protested and were supported in a joint statement by the
ambassadors of Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

With their grain already at Ukrainian ports waiting to be loaded onto ships,
the traders said they were forced to pay additional storage costs and
penalties to buyers for breach of contracts. Some dumped rotting grain

into the Black Sea to avoid the crippling storage costs.

Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry was unapologetic, blaming the traders
themselves for poor planning and dismissing criticism from the

ambassadors.

Informed industry sources told the Post that traders lost at least $100
million as result of the government’s unexpected restrictions.

And if the bans are reinstated, there will be even more losses, as traders
say they already started loading up ports after the government’s May 16
resolution.

According to grain traders, storage of grain beyond the initial 20-day grace
period costs $0.25 a ton per day, or $10,000 a day for 40,000 tons.

US Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor welcomed the government’s
announcement that it had cancelled the grain bans in a statement made on

May 21. The government signed the resolution and registered it, but it
doesn’t go into effect until it is published.

As the Post went to press on May 30, Deputy Prime Minister Slauta appeared
to be waffling on the issue. He told a briefing at the Cabinet of Ministers
the same day that the government order to cancel the grain export ban
“should be published” on June 1.

But Slauta also defended the ban. “Once again, we have come to the
conclusion that it would have been very bad without the quotas,” he said on
May 30. Now the government must decide whether to maintain the ban.

With temperatures steadily hovering at about 30 degree Celsius through this
month, some of Ukraine’s feed grain, barley and corn has already been
damaged by drought. The jury is still out on the fate of food grain – wheat
and rye.

The State Statistics Committee announced on May 21 that industry grain
reserves were 6 percent lower than last year. Slauta said reserves were

currently at around 3 million or 4 million tons.
              STILL NO REASON TO RESTRICT EXPORTS
Serhiy Feofilov, general director of Ukragroconsult, a Kyiv-based
agriculture consultancy, said that the harvest for wheat and rye could
indeed be lower this year due to dry weather, but that there still would be
no reason to restrict exports. “According to information available today,
we don’t see that the drought could influence this year’s harvest.”

Considering current reserves and domestic demand, Ukraine should have
enough food grain, he added. “For the second year in a row, Ukraine will
have a smaller than usual harvest, but it still remains to be seen how much
rain we’ll get in June and July – the most crucial months.”

Leonid Kozachenko, president of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation,
said that “disaster has already struck” for feed grain, but the food grain
situation is not clear yet.

Kozachenko, a former agriculture minister, said the government is currently
eyeing two options: either to ask parliament for money to buy up most of
the grain it needs for reserves – something it failed to do last year – or
to cut a deal with grain traders to ensure that they will sell their grain
to the government in case of a shortage – an option that remains to be

spelled out.

“What I want is the government to take a decision in full transparency,
allowing grain traders and farmers to participate in the decision,” he said.

Ukrainian farmers lost around $200 million as a result of the government’s
bans from last year and another $40 million due to this year’s drought, he
added.

Grain traders say if the government decided to use command-style methods
this time around, the real trouble would start next year, as farmers begin
planting things like export-oriented rape seed, which is used to make
bio-diesel as opposed to food, to ensure they get paid.         -30-

———————————————————————————————-
FOOTNOTE:  If the government of Ukraine once again restricts the export
of bread wheat the real reason will be that the government does not want
to pay the real market price for wheat and thus allow Ukrainian farmers to
receive a fair price for their product.  The government also receives
considerable political pressure from the internal buyers of bread wheat
who also do not want to pay the real market price for wheat and allow
Ukrainian farmers to receive a fair price for their product. Ukrainian
farmers and agribusinesses were forced to subsidize the price of bread
wheat purchased by the government and internal users of wheat through
government enforced grain export quotas which of course lowered the
internal price of wheat and other grains.  AUR EDITOR
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/26696/
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.   US AMBASSADOR TAYLOR WELCOMES ANNULMENT
             OF EXPORT QUOTAS FOR GRAIN IN UKRAINE

Interfax Ukraine Business Express, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 21, 2007

KYIV – U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor has welcomed Ukraine’s
decision to scrap export quotas for grain.

Export quotas for grain have finally been scrapped, the ambassador said. It
was a problem for Ukraine, and the government was aware of that. This would
benefit Ukraine and the companies selling grain, as well as farmers. It is a
good decision, Taylor told Interfax on Monday.

The Ukrainian cabinet annulled on May 16 the quoting of grain varieties, the
exports of which are subject to licensing in the 2006-07 marketing year. -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7. UKRAINE DROUGHT THREATENS GRAIN CROP, QUOTAS LOOM 

By Pavel Polityuk, Reuters, Odessa, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

ODESSA, Ukraine – Ukraine appears increasingly likely to prolong grain
export quotas as severe drought threatens the 2007 harvest, prompting
industry analysts on Tuesday to slash forecasts for exports in the 2007/08
season.

APK-Inform consultancy revised down its 2007 grain crop forecast to 33.3
million tonnes from 34.3 million last year due to a nationwide drought that
Ukraine’s top weather forecaster said was affecting 60 percent of winter and
spring grains.

Exports in 2007/08 would drop to 7.8 million tonnes, down from a forecast
8.9 million tonnes in 2006/07, analyst Anastasia Ivasenko told a conference
organised by her APK-Inform agency.

EXPECT STRICT MARKET REGULATION & EXPORT QUOTAS
“We have to expect strict market regulation and export quotas could be
preserved in the 2007/08 season,” Ivasenko said. “There are only two
possible decisions: to import or to limit exports.”

The grain crop in Ukraine depends heavily on the weather in May. An

absence of rainfall could result in a sharp decrease in the harvest.

Last week the agriculture ministry said drought had already killed 400,000
hectares of crops and the damaged area was likely to rise sharply. The
ministry’s current grain harvest forecast for 2007 is about 38 million
tonnes.

The drought could force the government to cancel a decision to lift wheat
export quotas that disrupted shipments and inflicted millions of dollars of
losses on some trading firms.

“In line with our obligations to the World Trade Organisation, Ukraine has

a right to introduce some limitations if the situation affects the country’s
ability to feed itself,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Serhiy Melnik told the
conference.

Restrictions were lifted last week but their cancellation has not yet been
signed into law. “Traders are nervous that the abolition of wheat export
quotas could be suspended,” one trader said.
                                          HOT WEATHER
Tetyana Adamenko, head of Ukraine’s department of agrarian meteorology,
forecast winter wheat — which accounts for 90-95 percent of the total wheat
crop — falling to between 10 million and 12.5 million tonnes from 13
million tonnes in 2006.

“We have passed the critical point in the south of the country,” she said.
“Those in the centre of Ukraine have another five days, but even if the
rains come, the harvest will be 30 percent less than it might have been.”

Spring wheat would also be affected, the meteorologist said. “It has a
chance if rains come at the start of June although it’s already the case
that we won’t have a good harvest.”

APK-Inform’s Ivasenko forecast Ukraine’s 2007 wheat crop at 14.01 million
tonnes compared with 13.9 million last year. She said wheat exports would
dip to 2.1 million tonnes in 2007/08 from 2.8 million forecast in 2006/07.

She forecast the barley crop at 10.73 million tonnes against 11.34 million
tonnes last year, and said exports would slip to 4.5 million tonnes in
2007/08 from 4.8 million in the current season.

Maize output would fall to 5.96 million tonnes from 6.43 million and exports
would be unchanged from a forecast 1.0 million tonnes in the current season,
she said.

Another agriculture consultancy, UkrAgroConsult, last week revised its 2007
wheat crop outlook to 16-17 million tonnes from its previous estimate of
17.7 million. It cut its barley harvest forecast to 9.5-9.7 million tonnes from

10.3 million. Ukraine consumes about 12 million tonnes of wheat a season.
———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Contrary to the remarks by the Deputy Agriculture Minister
Ukraine does not have a problem feeding itself.  It does have a very serious
problem of the government interfering with the workings of private markets
which lowers the price to farmers, cuts their income and reduces their desire
to plant bread wheat.  The hectares of wheat planted continues to go down in
Ukraine. The reasons given by the government in the fall of 2006 and the
spring of 2007 to justify the severe restrictions on the export of grain
were severely flawed. AUR EDITOR
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
8. UKRAINIAN GRAIN ASSOCIATION PROPOSES TO STOP THE SALE
         OF WHEAT FROM THE STATE RESERVE TO FREE MARKET

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

KYIV – The Ukrainian Grain Association is proposing that the Cabinet of
Ministers stop the sale of wheat from the state reserve.

The press service of the association announced this to Ukrainian News.  ‘It
is worth stopping the sale of wheat from the state reserve on the free
market,’ the press service said.

The association believes if necessary, foodstuffs from the state reserve
should be sold exclusively to flour mills and bakeries for production of
flour and baking of bread for domestic consumption.

This is one of the proposals that the Ukrainian Grain Association sent to
the Cabinet of Ministers in connection with the preparation of measures
aimed at facilitating creation of a food reserve and compensating farmers
for losses resulting from drought.
           FUNDS NEEDED TO BUY WHEAT AT MARKET
                         PRICES FOR STATE RESERVE
The Ukrainian Grain Association also believes that it is necessary to
promptly allocate funds to the Agrarian Fund and the State Committee for
Material Reserves to enable them to purchase wheat for creating state
reserves of grain. At the same time, it believes that they should buy the
wheat at market prices.

The association is also proposing that the Cabinet of Ministers officially
publish its resolution on abolition of quotas for importation of wheat,
which is posted on the official portal of the Cabinet of Ministers. This is
connected with the need to ship about 900,000 tons of wheat of the 2006
harvest.

The Ukrainian Grain Association believes that the decision on the grain
export regime in the next market year should take into account the weather
conditions in the first half of June and the situation on the world grain
market.

If the need arises to limit exports, the association says participants on
the market should be informed beforehand.

The association is confident that the Cabinet of Ministers will make the
optimum decision on the grain market and that the proposals of the market’s
participants will be taken into account.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Slauta is
not ruling out the possibility of imposition of restrictions on grain
exports if the current drought continues until mid-June.

The Cabinet of Ministers is concerned about the negative effect that the
draught may have on the situation on the grain market.

The Agricultural Policy Ministry believes it is necessary to re-sow crops on
500,000 hectares because of the drought. The Weather Center recently said

that the hot weather and the drought would significantly reduce the yield of
early grain crops.                                          -30-
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9. UKRAGROCONSULT REDUCES ESTIMATES FOR Y07 GRAIN CROP

UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, UkrAgroConsult
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KYIV – The drought in April/May will result in lower yields of grains in
2007. In particular, the wheat harvest is likely to decrease from 17.7 MMT
to 16-17 MMT. Spring barley will also suffer from the drought: its potential
total crop will shrink from 10.3 MMT to 9.5-9.7 MMT.

A detailed forecast for the Y2007 crop will be prepared by June 1, 2007.
   WEATHER CONDITIONS AND SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT
This year, extremely adverse conditions for crop vegetation developed in
spring.

The April precipitation deficit was from 40 to 70% in most regions.   Along
with windy weather this caused intensive evaporation of moisture from the
soil.

As a result, the soil moisture content decreased 2-3 times in May compared
with the beginning of spring.   Local rains seen in late April/early May
moistened only the top soil layer and did not improve the situation
considerably.

Starting from May 11-12, the plant growing conditions abruptly worsened
because the air temperature rose to 29-36 degrees C everywhere.

Especially adverse conditions set in over the Kherson, Mykolaiv,
Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kharkiv, Kyiv and
Cherkasy regions, where the soil moisture content accumulated during the
fall and winter was far less than in other regions.

At the moment, on most of those areas the productive moisture content
reduced to 1-10 mm at the plow soil layer and to 60-70 mm at the one-meter
layer, locally to 30-40 mm. This is not enough to generate even a
satisfactory harvest.                                  -30-
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10. CABINET PROPOSES HELPING FARMERS TO SAVE HARVEST

 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KYIV – The Cabinet of Ministers proposes that the Verkhovna Rada provide
UAH 270 million for farmers to take measures and save the harvest because of
unfavorable weather conditions. Reporters learned this from First Deputy
Finance Minister Vadym Kopylov.

He noted that the Cabinet of Ministers proposes that the Rada amend the
national budget for UAH 150 million to be channeled directly to farmers, and
UAH 120 million through the reserve fund of the budget.

According to Agricultural Policy Minister Yurii Melnyk, extra funds to be
provided for the agriculture ministry costs will be spent to form food
reserves and the state insurance fund of seeds (sowing reserve).

Melnyk noted that the agricultural policy ministry had drafted a Cabinet of
Ministers resolution for measures to be taken to overcome the results of the
drought.

Apart from this, the draft resolution proposes a number of efforts involving
preparations for the sowing of winter crops, as some regions may experience
problems with seeds due to the drought. The agriculture ministry also
intends to grant support to the farms hit by the drought.

The volume of assistance will be determined respective of the evaluation of
losses sustained. He also said that the draft resolution proposes increasing
the size of compensation of interests on framers’ credits. As Ukrainian News
reported, the Ukrainian weather center forecasted a serious decline in the
expected grain crop because of hot weather and drought.          -30-
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11. CABINET SUGGESTS PARLIAMENT ENDORSE 11 BILLS
                         ON UKRAINE’S ACCESSION TO WTO

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, May 30, 2007

KYIV – The Cabinet of Ministers suggests that the Verkhovna Rada endorse
a package of 11 bills necessary for Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade
Organization.

First Vice Premier and Finance Minister Mykola Azarov told the press that
the package was approved at Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday.

He said that currently, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers and
Verkhovna Rada would jointly work over the package of the bills to
coordinate them and prepare for Verkhovna Rada endorsement as soon as
possible.

At the same time, Azarov said that he has doubts that the Verkhovna Rada
would manage to endorse the package of bills. ‘Tomorrow is more possible,’
he said.
The package contains:
1) the bill on amending the law “On value added tax” concerning equal
conditions of VAT application on the domestic market and during imports;

2) the bill “On creation, testing, transportation and use of genetically
modified organisms;”

3) the bill on amending the law ‘On insurance’ concerning cancellation of
limitation in insurance sum at the level of 75% of the insured object value
in accordance with agreements on risk insurance linked with sea
transportations, commercial aviation, spacecraft launches;

4) the bill “On amending the law “On Ukraine’s customs tariff” concerning
introduction of technical corrections.

5) the bill on amending the law “On safety and quality of foodstuff”
concerning increase of the term the importer is informed about inspection
from 48 hours to 60 days;

6) the bill on amending the law ‘On rates of import duty for seeds of some
types of oil-bearing crops’ concerning cancellation of indicative prices for
the produce;

7) the bill ‘On rates of the export duty for scrap alloyed ferrous metals,
scrap non-ferrous metals and for semi-finished goods’ concerning
introduction of lowered rates of export duty for the produce as of the
moment Ukraine enters the WTO;

8) the bill ‘On export duty for wastes and scrap ferrous metals’ concerning
introduction of lowered rates of duty for the scrap metal as of the moment
of accession to the WTO, but not in a year after the accession;

9) the bill on amending the law “On standards, technical regulations and on
procedure of correspondence estimation” concerning priority of international
standards over regional ones;

10) the bill on amending the law ‘On order of payments in foreign currency’
concerning increase of goods delivery time to 180 days;

11) the bill on amending the Civil Code concerning elimination of
counterfeit, ‘pirate’ goods and equipment.

The amendments have to be introduced into Verkhovna Rada laws on
Ukraine’s accession to the WTO. As Ukrainian News earlier reported,
Ukraine intends to enter the organization by 2008.               -30-
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12. YANUKOVYCH SETS TOP PRIORITY TASKS FOR GOVERNMENT
                Agriculture, Wages and Pensions, Pre-Term Elections, WTO

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KYIV – The plan on regulating the political crisis signed by the President
of Ukraine, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada is in force.

But consideration of necessary issues in the Parliament requires more time
than it was envisaged by this plan. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych stated
in his speech at the Government sitting, according to the government’s web
site.

“As regards the negotiating process it is going on within the agreements
which have been achieved by the common statement. We face some
problems but we have agreed that we’ll find an answer to these questions -
it is desirable a positive one.

If one or another signatory side violates the agreements of the common
statement that side will bear responsibility to the whole country. We, I
mean the coalition, will spare no effort to fulfil our assumed obligations,”
the Prime Minister said.

According to the Head of Government, the top priority task today for the
Government is agriculture because the weather conditions are so complicated
now that if we do not undertake proper measures the country runs risks to
lose grain.

[1]Therefore, the first issue submitted for the Government’s consideration
includes budget amendments which provide for all measures aimed to
preserve the harvest and help villagers.

“If there is no grain we’ll have it at a higher price – and already by the
end of the year. It cannot be allowed,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

[2] The second priority task the Prime Minister called increase in wages and
pensions which had been practically resolved. But a final decision can’t be
made without providing relevant procedure, in other words, adopting budget
amendments, passing this budget in the Parliament etc.

[3] The third place, according to the PM, takes a political issue -necessity
to consider laws ensuring conduction of pre-term elections. We are under
such conditions when we must solve these issues and overcome the crisis,”
Viktor Yanukovych stressed.

As the Prime Minister noted, all the issues submitted today for the
Government’s consideration are extremely important for Ukraine.

[4] Besides, it also concerns the laws necessary for Ukraine’s accedence to
the WTO.

In this connection, the Head of Government commissioned First Vice Prime
Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov and Minister of Economy of Ukraine
Anatoliy Kinakh to make immediately an examination of these bills and to do
their best for bills consideration as the agenda envisages, that is by the
governmental committees and then – the committees of the Verkhovna Rada.

“If we fail to submit them for the Parliament’s consideration we’ll insist
on continuing the work of the Parliament for one more day. We have no other
way. I will personally insist during the meeting with the President, Speaker
of the Verkhovna Rada and faction leaders on adopting all economic laws
which we’ll consider today,” Viktor Yanukovych stated.

Moreover, according to the Head of Government, the Cabinet of Ministers
shall focus its attention now on drafting a series of social laws and work
at drafting 2008 State Budget which should be drafted already in September
so that new Parliament could pass it in time.                      -30-

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13. UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER EXPECTS PARLIAMENT
                             TO APPROVE WTO BILLS QUICKLY

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1400 gmt 30 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KYIV – [Presenter] The last day of work of the legitimate parliament of the
fifth convocation encouraged the Cabinet of Ministers to work at a lightning
rate. Government members approved 12 bills needed for Ukraine’s WTO
accession.

Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is sure that parliament will be able to
vote on them all today. He said that the documents do not require detailed
discussion.

[Yatsenyuk] I see that there is a whole lot of time left until midnight. So
given that the majority of these bills are purely technical in character,
and that the only sensitive one is the bill on VAT for the agro-industrial
complex, and it is necessary to understand that agriculturalists will in any
case receive different forms of compensation in the 2008 budget, the
procedure for voting should be cut as short possible and will not take much
time.

[President Viktor Yushchenko yesterday suspended his decree on the
dissolution of parliament dated 26 April 2007 for two days, 29-30 May, to
enable parliament to adopt laws needed for the holding of a snap
parliamentary election on 30 September.]                    -30-
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14. YANUKOVYCH DIRECTS AZAROV AND KINAKH TO SECURE
          AGREEMENT ON PACKAGE OF WTO BILLS BY END OF
                                  WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2007

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 29, 2007

KYIV – Premier Viktor Yanukovych has directed First Vice Premier and
Finance Minister Mykola Azarov and Economy Minister Anatolii Kinakh to
secure agreement on the package of draft bills required for Ukraine’s
accession to the World Trade Organization and their endorsement by the

Cabinet of Ministers by the end of Wednesday.

Yanukovych announced this at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on
Tuesday, Yanukovych said such a package of the bills had been drafted.

He said the government committees should urgently consider them.

Yanukovych stressed that he would insist on the prolongation of the
Verkhovna Rada work, if the parliament didn’t endorse the bills on
Wednesday.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Cabinet of Ministers planned to
consider a package of the WTO bills on Wednesday.           -30-

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15. POLISH AGRO-MACHINERY PRODUCER PLANS 6,000 TONNES
            IN RENEWABLE ENERGY STRAW BRIQUETTE SALES
                     Company has two production lines in the Ukraine

Interfax Central Europe, Warsaw, Poland, Wed, May 30. 2007

WARSAW – Polish agricultural machinery producer Pol-Mot Warfama
subsidiary Invest-Mot expects 6,000 tonnes in renewable energy straw
briquette sales per year following July’s upcoming stock exchange debut,
Invest-Mot production manager Tadeusz Kasjanowicz told Interfax.

“There is a 50% surplus of straw in Poland,” Kasjanowicz said. “A tonne of
straw briquettes produces 75% of the energetic value of coal. We think that
the use of bio-mass for power stations is likely to continue increasing.”

Briquettes are an ecological fuel which produces some 15 giga-jules of
energy per tonne compared to coal which produces between 21 and 24
giga-jules of energy.

EU regulations stipulate that by 2010 5% of Poland’s energy comes from
renewable energy source, according to a report by the Polish Institute for
Sustainable Development. Pol-Mot expects demand for renewable energy to
increase to more than 2 mln tonnes per year in the next three to five years.

Invest-Mot has been selling bio-mass energy to power stations since 2006
and hopes to produce 250,000 tonnes in 2007.
                  TWO PRODUCTION LINES IN UKRAINE
The company has two production lines in the Ukraine which also produce
ecological energy for Poland.

Pol-Mot Warfarma made PLN 76.9 mln in revenues for 2006 which is just under
50% more than in the analogus period of the previous year. The company had a
net profit of PLN 4.9 mln in 2006. It plans to debut on the Warsaw Stock
Exchange in mid-July.

Poland applied for 284 mln tonnes of CO2 emissions annually in 2008-2012,
but the EC cut this amount by 26.7% to 208.5 mln tonnes in late March.
Poland will also be forced to decrease its CO2 emissions by 20% before the
end of 2020 which includes an increase of at least 10% in the production of
renewable energy.                                    -30-
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LINK: http://biznes.onet.pl/7,1544750,wiadomosci.html

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16. UKRAINE’S GDP MAY DOUBLE IN DOLLAR EQUIVALENT BY 2010

Interfax Ukraine Business Panorama, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 29, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s GDP may double by the end of 2010, to $200 billion, which

will help boost stock market development, managing director of Kyiv-based
Dragon Assets Management company Dmytro Isupov believes.

According to him, an important factor influencing economic development will
be hosting the EURO-2012 football finals in Ukraine. The investments for the
event may reach $15-25 billion, which may result in hryvnia revaluation in
the mid-term.

“Probably, the NBU will act according to the tried-and-tested scenario – it
will prevent the hryvnia’s rate from strengthening via interventions, until
abrupt inflation begins. After that, the NBU will have to fix the official
exchange rate, which, in the mid-term, may be UAH 4.8/$1,” he told
journalists on Wednesday.

According to him, hosting EURO-2012 may cause a considerable increase in
metallurgical and engineering industry share prices, as well as the
appearance of new portfolio investors in the country.

According to the state statistics committee, Ukraine’s real GDP grew by 7.6%
in April 2007 year-on-year. In January through April 2007, GDP growth fell
to 7.9% year-on-year, compared to 8% in January through March.

Ukraine’s real GDP grew by 7.1% in 2006, while in 2005 the growth was 2.7%.
Ukraine’s government forecasts that GDP growth will slow to 6.5% in 2007.

According to Ukraine’s economic and social development program for 2008,
inflation will be 6.8% in 2008, and real GDP growth will be 7.2%.

According to the principles of Ukraine’s money and credit policy for 2007,
the exchange rate is expected to by UAH 4.95-5.25/$1 in 2007.    -30-
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17.   UKRAINE’S GROWTH POTENTIAL HIGHER THAN RUSSIA
 
Interfax Ukraine Business Panorama, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 29, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine has a considerable economic growth potential, which is

higher than the Russian one, says Anders Aslund, a leading expert of the
Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics [Washington].

“In 1989, Ukraine’s GDP per capita was 10% higher than in Russia. Today
this indicator is only 34% of the Russian one – that’s absolutely abnormal.
During the ten years Ukraine’s GDP per capita should be not lower than in
Russia,” he said at the third annual investment conference organized by
Dragon Capital in Kyiv on Thursday.

Aslund said that due to a critical mass of market-oriented reforms and
privatization, the Ukrainian economy has been demonstrating a high growth
pace since 2000, which is 7.4% on average, which could be higher if not
affected by “the chaotic politics.”

At the same time, inflation in Ukraine is about 10%, budget deficit is lower
than 3% of GDP, the state debt equals 14% of GDP, and although the current
account of the balance of payments is not negative, it is small in figures.

The expert said that Ukraine’s nominal GDP grew by 19% in dollar terms on
average per year from 2000 to 2006, having increased from $31 billion in
2000 to $106 billion in 2006.

In his words, in 1999 Ukraine’s GDP per capita was a mere 2.8% of the EU’s
level, in 2005 the figure hit 5.7%. “I see no reason why this indicator
cannot double again in six years,” he said. He forecasted that Ukraine’s GDP
in dollar terms might soar seven times in a decade.

Among the advantages for Ukraine’s growth potential are the low level of
monetization and market capitalization, considerable investments in capital
(23% of GDP) foreign direct investments (6% of GDP), as well as an

extremely high number (66%) of students, according to him.

Aslund says that Ukraine’s agriculture and the hospitality sector are most
promising. Speaking about necessary reforms, Aslund pointed out to judicial

and administrative and territorial reforms aimed at the decentralization of
power and finance, and medical insurance reform.

He also spoke out for the introduction of a liberal tax code, a decrease in
budget spending, an improvement in corporate legislation, the cancellation
of the Economic Code and a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land.
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18.        NASDAQ TO COME TO UKRAINE BY MERGER 

Rynok.biz, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 29, 2007 

 
American NASDAQ stock exchange and the Scandinavian OMX announced
about a merger. The united stock exchange will get a name NASDAQ OMX
Group. The bargain price will make USD 3.7 bln.

The merger won’t change the group plans on entering Ukraine by buying a
local market participant, among which OMX calls PFTS.

Stockjobbers predict that the presence of NASDAQ OMX Group in the

Ukrainian market will strengthen a competition and make the stock exchanges
get consolidated.        LINK: http://www.rynok.biz/eng/news/finance/6151
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19. UKRAINE CRISIS CONTINUES AS LAWMAKERS DEFY PRESIDENT

By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine remained in political deadlock on Thursday after parliament
failed to approve the laws required to end a two-month constitutional crisis
in the former Soviet republic.

The votes were part of a political agreement struck between President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to hold early parliamentary
elections on September 30.

Under the terms of the deal, parliament was given just two days — Tuesday
and Wednesday — to pave the way for the early polls and Yushchenko had
urged lawmakers to show “political responsibility.” Yushchenko undertook to
set the official election date after the votes.

But at a stormy session of parliament on Wednesday deputies failed to
approve votes on election financing, reform of the electoral commission and
Ukraine’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This raised fears that Ukraine could again be plunged into political
turmoil, although the president hinted on Wednesday that he may give
parliament more time for debate.

Yanukovych’s Regions Party holds a strong majority in a parliamentary
coalition with the Socialist and Communist parties, while Yushchenko’s Our
Ukraine party is in opposition. Yushchenko met with Yanukovych and other
political leaders on Wednesday.

Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of Ukraine’s biggest opposition party, was quoted
by Interfax news agency as saying the president and prime minister had found
consensus on all outstanding issues at the talks.

But Yanukovych earlier warned of new obstacles in resolving the crisis,
while Yushchenko accused parliament of “political corruption.”

In a further sign of the tensions surrounding the session of the
legislature, the parliament building was briefly evacuated in a bomb scare
after an anonymous call made to the police.

Analysts have warned that the deal between Yushchenko and Yanukovych, which
was announced after lengthy negotiations on Sunday, could falter because of
ongoing disagreements.

The crisis in Ukraine began on April 2, when Yanukovych defied orders from
Yushchenko to hold early elections, issued after what the president called a
power grab by the prime minister’s allies in parliament.

Tensions escalated sharply last week, when the president and prime minister
sparred for control over security forces and scuffles broke out in the
prosecutor general’s office.

The rivalry between Ukraine’s leaders dates back to the Orange Revolution of
2004, when mass protests helped bring pro-Western Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Moscow-backed
Yanukovych.

The international community, including the European Union and the United
States, have expressed concern over the power struggle and welcomed

Sunday’s political agreement as a sign of progress.

But analysts said the agreement did not signal the end of the crisis as
there were still numerous disagreements between the two sides, including
over the appointment of the prosecutor general.

Svyatoslav Piskun was sacked by Yushchenko last week, but with support from
Yanukovych he has refused to stand down. A top pro-Yushchenko official said
on Wednesday the refusal was “destabilising the situation.” Yushchenko has
already appointed another prosecutor to replace Piskun.            -30-

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20.  UKRAINE MPs FAIL TO PASS LAWS FOR EARLY ELECTION

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament failed early on Thursday to pass a series of
laws necessary to proceed with a September snap election intended to end
Ukraine’s protracted political crisis.

Pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, at odds for months with
Moscow-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, dissolved parliament by
decree last month and ordered the snap poll. An election date of September
30 was agreed by the government rivals last weekend after weeks of
wrangling.

The president, an advocate of European Union and NATO membership,

suspended his decree to give parliament two days — Tuesday and Wednesday
– to approve laws required for the poll.

The chamber made three attempts to pass the enabling legislation, but a
series of votes fell short just after midnight. Parliament speaker
Oleksander Moroz said debates would resume later on Thursday.

It was unclear what action the president might take. He suggested on
Wednesday he could extend the deadline for parliamentary approval.
Yanukovich, his rival from the 2004 “Orange Revolution”, said he would seek
such an extension.

At issue in months of sniping between the two leaders is a division of
powers on just who is to run the ex-Soviet state. The president had earlier
warned that “certain forces” were intent on torpedoing the election.

“For some, it would mean new corruption allegations, for others it would be
political death,” Yushchenko told a briefing. “That’s why today there are so
many destructive factors. This is indeed a political fight for the truth.”

Yanukovich had met Yushchenko twice during the day. He told a cabinet
meeting there was “not enough time to examine all issues in parliament. The
idea of doing this over two days has not worked out.”

Much of the evening debate focused on objections from Yanukovich’s allies to
the president’s call to bar parliamentarians from switching parties once
elected. Other rows centred on the voters’ list and a proposal for a minimum
poll turnout, rejected by the president’s allies.

On Tuesday, parliament tacitly recognised the president’s decrees. It also
formally approved more than 50 laws passed while the chamber operated in
defiance of the dissolution order.

The president called the election after accusing Yanukovich, who is lionised
by voters in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, of illegally poaching
supporters to expand his majority in parliament and change the constitution.

Yushchenko defeated Yanukovich in the re-run of a rigged 2004 election.
Yanukovich made a comeback when his Regions Party took first place in a
parliamentary election a year ago and he was later made prime minister.
(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov and Natalya Zinets)
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21. UKRAINE POLITICS: ELECTION DEAL-A TEMPORARY TRUCE

EIU Politics – Country News Analysis
The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, NY, NY, Tue, May 29, 2007

Ukraine’s leaders have agreed to hold a fresh parliamentary election on
September 30th, in a move widely regarded as bringing an end to the
two-month political crisis.

Yet the cause of that crisis is a lack of clarity and consensus on the
division of powers between president and government–and there is little
reason for believing this will be solved by a fresh election.

Unless the two sides can reach agreement on constitutional questions, the
crisis could resume within a matter of months.

Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, reached agreement on May 27th
with Viktor Yanukovych, the prime minister, and Oleksandr Moroz, the
parliamentary speaker, on the timing of an early parliamentary poll.

The date is a compromise between Mr Yushchenko, who wanted a summer
poll, and Mr Yanukovych, who didn’t want to face the electorate before
October-November.

The deal came shortly after a dramatic escalation of the political battle
between president and prime minister, which began in early April when Mr
Yushchenko issued a decree dismissing parliament and calling fresh elections
for May. In response, the government accelerated its efforts to strip powers
from the presidency.

In the process, the legal basis of the Ukrainian state was undermined. On
May 25th Mr Yushchenko sacked Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun, a
Yanukovych ally.

Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko deployed interior ministry troops to prevent
the newly appointed prosecutor general from entering office, after which Mr
Yushchenko announced that he was taking direct control of the interior
ministry’s troops–a command that Mr Tsushko refused to acknowledge.

According to some accounts, the crucial impetus to the agreement came from
the so-called oligarchs, Ukraine’s politically well-connected business
leaders. They have influence within both camps and were reportedly worried
that the escalating crisis was bad for business and endangering their
investments.
                           IT’S THE CONSTITUTION, STUPID
Inside and outside Ukraine, the deal has been hailed as bringing an end to
the crisis. As during the late-2004 Orange Revolution, Ukraine’s leaders and
people have once again succeeded in avoiding violence despite a highly tense
and lengthy political clash.

This, certainly, is positive. So too is the public display of unity by
president and prime minister in the wake of the agreement.

In an interview with Italy’s Corriere Della Serra, Mr Yushchenko said that
the political crisis was over and the compromise underlined that Ukraine was
a mature democracy.

He added that recent events had demonstrated the need to change the
constitution, in particular with regard to the running of the constitutional
court, election commission and prosecutor general’s office.

On this second point, Mr Yushchenko is undoubtedly correct. The
constitutional court should have resolved the dispute between president and
parliament, but it proved to be a politicised and divided body that was
subordinated to the principal combatants.

Because Mr Yushchenko is right about the flaws in Ukraine’s constitutional
set-up, his claim that the crisis is over does not fully convince. Until all
sides agree on constitutional arrangements and other rules concerning how
the country is run, the crisis could erupt once again.
                     THE ROCKY ROAD TO COMPROMISE
A fresh election, while sought by the president, is unlikely to resolve the
battle for control. Neither side, even with the help of allies, has a
realistic chance of getting the two-thirds majority needed to amend the
constitution.

At present, Mr Yanukovych’s Party of Regions (PoR), Mr Moroz’s Socialists
and the Communists have a reasonably comfortable majority, of around 250
seats in the 450-member parliament.

There are few wholly reliable opinion polls, but an election this year would
most likely result in the PoR once again being the largest party, with the
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (YTB) coming second and Mr Yushchenko’s Our
Ukraine third. This much would be unchanged from the current parliament.

The Communists too would probably cross the threshold to enter parliament,
but the Socialists probably would not; their supporters are disillusioned
with Mr Moroz for betraying the Orange Revolution by allying with Mr
Yanukovych.

In the place of the Socialists, an Orange-inclined party, Yuri Lutsenko’s
People’s Self-Defence, seems likely to enter the chamber.

The net effect of these changes would be to reduce Mr Yanukovych’s majority,
or perhaps to shift power in favour of Orange parties–assuming that they
could work together, despite a track record of acrimony. However, it is
highly improbable that either side could command a two-thirds majority.

As a result, the only way to resolve the problems created by the hasty
rewriting of the constitution in early 2005 is through negotiation. Initial
talks may start soon, but discussions will only begin in earnest after the
election is held and a new parliament convened.

A less hostile political atmosphere should help matters, but it will not
change the fundamental dispute between Messrs Yushchenko and
Yanukovych.

The best hope is that the deadlock of the past two months, and a new
election that confirms the country is approximately divided into two camps,
will convince both leaders that power must be shared. That should not be so
difficult.

The tricky part will be to get agreement on the precise balance, and the
particular competences assigned to each. Reaching a compromise on these
points is likely to be much more difficult than setting a date for a new
election.                                                  -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22. THE QUESTION OF REGIME-RESTORATION IN UKRAINE

COMMENTARY: By Stephen Velychenko, University of Toronto
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #850, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 31, 2007

In his study, “The Problem of Restoration” (1967), Robert Kann concluded
that regime- restoration is unlikely unless it is done in the life-span of a
political generation by people active in the old-regime and able to take
effective part in the restored regime.

This condition was met in Russia where Putin successfully controls a
neo-soviet style resource-based autocracy. Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia
faced  a similar prospect in 1996, 1997 and 1998 had their neo-communists
managed to win the elections. They did not and now restoration in those
countries is improbable.

In Ukraine, the neo-soviet Party of Regions/ Communist Bloc lost the 2004
elections, despite widespread black-ops, fraud, bribery and blackmail.

Had Yushchenko been more resolute at the time he would have arrested and
tried the convicted felon Ianukovych and all his top associates for what
they did.  As is known, that is not what happened.

Consequently, within the year the discredited Kuchma-elite had returned from
self-imposed exile or retirement. A man who because of his criminal record
could not by law hold any government job, became Prime Minister, and, by May
2006, the Party of Regions/Communist coalition was able to take power again
in what  amounted to a coup-d’etat.

Within the year, resorting to dubious methods and bribery, this coalition
was on the way to creating a majority in parliament. The EU still had
instability on its eastern border and Ukrainian citizens could not go about
their business due to the uncertain domestic climate.

In the summer of  2007 Yushchenko reacted and called for new elections. He
realized at last that  neo-soviet forces had no intention of compromising
with his national-democrats.

They were not interested in bringing Ukraine into the English-language
communications sphere, democratizing the country, or preparing it for entry
into the  EU.

But because he foolishly failed to exploit his popular support in 2004-05,
the old neo-soviet elite had  entrenched itself  and the national democratic
Orange Coalition still faces the threat of restoration.

The neo-soviet Regions leaders  also understand that if they fail to restore
the old-regime again, they are unlikely to get a third chance.

Having again taken over the government the Regions stopped the few changes
begun by the Orange national-democratic government and re-established
Kuchma’s “black-mail state.” A state in which officials apply the full force
of the law to those who do not do what they are told or don’t pay-up on time.

More aware than before of the importance of democratic patina to their
activities, Region’s leaders  fired their old Russian campaign advisors and
now listen to new American ones like Paul Manafort, who are not known to
have supported democratic leaders in the past and are close to the US
Republican party.

Old-time communists, new neo-soviet capitalists and American
neo-conservatives  may seem a strange mix, and it is rumoured that one of
Manafort’s suggestions that the Region’s ignore, is his advice to join the
EU.

In any case, in the neo-liberal global world where politicians in country
after country have been selling-off the public-sphere to private
corporations and lining their pockets with the profits, this ostensibly
strange association in Ukraine is not abnormal.

So, no one should be surprised when  a majority Region’s government
begins selling-off what is left of Ukraine’s public sphere to its biggest
supporters. On May 25th, for instance, we learned that Kyiv province will
sell all of the province’s museums.

Those interested in the upcoming Ukrainian election, therefore, should note
that Yanukovych’s fraudulent and manipulative  electoral practices were
similar not only to Putin’s.

US Republicans also used dubious and outright illegal methods to bring
George W. Bush into power. And since they worked in the US, observers
must realize that American advisors in Kyiv will want to add some of their
inventions to the Region’s bag of tricks.

Thanks to this kind of  “American know-how” the Region’s now not only
pay “political tourists” and ‘rent-a-crowds”, but wear the “right”  shoes
and sport new hairstyles. The tricks, sadly, work.

Naive journalists look at this and then run articles in newspapers like the
Telegraph and the Observer explaining how Yanukovych has become a
“new man.”

Eighty-years ago, a similarly profound article would have argued that Herr
Hitler had become a “new man” because he had trimmed his handle-bar
moustache and replaced it with a Chaplin-style broom- then very fashionable.

In Ukraine, meanwhile, it is not known if Region’s tell their supporters
that they take advice from “American capitalists.”

How long do party leaders think that the soviet Russophile nostalgia they
dispense to their rank and file supporters in lieu of infrastructure and
services, will distract those people from their terrible living conditions,
and the untaxed wealth controlled by party backers– who teach their
children English and don’t holiday or invest in Russia?

For how long can the Party of Regions reconcile its rank and file directed
rhetoric with its pro-oligarch policies?

What we do know is that after three months in power only 14% of the total
population thought the Party of Regions’ government was looking after the
interests of the average citizen – 45% thought it reflected exclusively  the
interests of Donetsk province, and 30%  thought it reflected the interests
of only the “mafia” or of Russian capital.

Perhaps his Americans have told Yanukovych that time is on his side. People
cannot remain indefinitely mobilized. And, as disinterest and indifference
set- in they will withdraw from politics – which for most means not voting.

From this perspective, we can  understand why, for the last two months the
Region’s ignored Presidential Decrees. They were delaying. Convoluted
events, accusations and counter-accusations can make voters cynical enough
not to bother to vote.

Also, perhaps, the intention was to discredit Yushchenko by obliging him to
use force – a move they hoped would discredit Ukrainian national
independence in moderate world opinion, which has difficulties in accepting
the use of force to protect or establish democracy.

All sides compromised by the end of May 2007, but the likelihood of

planned Region’s brinkmanship must not be overlooked.

Robert Kann’s book reminds us that regime-restoration is rare but not
unprecedented. It also reminds us that the conditions for restoration still
exist in Ukraine.

A new Ukrainian election that still includes a restorationist party,
therefore, obliges observers to  remember  that  the top and middle-level
people in that party responsible for the dirty-tricks in 2004, and on a
smaller scale in 2006, are still in their offices and will do the same
again.

Only this time they will probably do it better – which means observers  must
watch even closer. Observers must observe behind the scenes, in the
provinces, and what goes on at places of work before polling time. They

must not be distracted or confused by smoke, lights, hairstyles and outright
lies.

The Party of Regions is a neo-soviet party and should it come to power in
Ukraine only Russia and a small minority will benefit.

While Russian-speakers may be relieved of the need to learn Ukrainian, they
might also find themselves relieved of their jobs, pensions, government
funded services,  medical care and education.               -30-
—————————————————————————————————
A version of this article was also published by the Kyiv Post:
http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/26691/
Stephen Velychenko, CERES Associate; Research Fellow,Chair of Ukrainian
Studies; Munk Center, University of Toronto, velychen@chass.utoronto.ca
—————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23.                        BUILDING ITS OWN DESTINY
                     Ukraine Seeks a Place Between Russia and Europe

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Paul Abelsky
RussiaProfile.com, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 30, 2007

The opening of Roszarubezhtsentr in Kiev was a crowded affair. The
organization’s name is an acronym for the Russian Center of International
Scientific and Cultural Cooperation, an institutional network operated
throughout the world by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

An unassuming three-story mansion in the scenic Podol district of Kiev was
set to become a repository and an outpost of Russian culture, hosting
lectures, film screenings, conferences and language instruction.

The guests of honor for the jam-packed ceremony in late March included
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Ogryzko and Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, along with a sizeable
contingent of top Russian and Ukrainian officials.

Public democracy is back in vogue within the CIS, if only to offset the
economic and diplomatic strains that have pulled at the alliance. While
making available Russia’s cultural heritage to the Ukrainian public,
Roszarubezhtsentr defines its primary task in the country as an effort to
foster an “objective view of contemporary Russia” and educate the visitors
about Russia’s past and present.

“Objective” is a strong word – injecting a measure of intelligibility into
Russia’s policies would seem an equally urgent task – but this expectant
commitment to the exercise of soft power could turn the tide in the
increasingly awkward ties with Ukraine.

Although the Ukrainian establishment has seemingly downgraded the CIS to
the status of an almost trivial diplomatic association most important for
sustaining informal relations between national leaders and of occasional use
as a tool of public relations, questions about the nature and direction of
the strategic partnership with Russia remain of utmost importance in
Ukraine’s political discourse.

Russia may have discredited itself as an effective player in Ukraine’s
domestic politics, infamously trying to midwife Viktor Yanukovich’s
presidency during the 2004 ballot, but it has also served as an expedient
foil in the political intrigues that have roiled Ukraine in recent years.

Along with the status of Russian language and the constitutional reforms
undertaken following the Orange Revolution, which shifted more powers to
the parliament, the question of Ukraine’s foreign policy course with regard
to Russia has remained a political lightning rod that often obscures critical
long-term concerns.

Following the 2004 debacle, Russia has tried fitfully to forge a more
pragmatic basis in its relations with Ukraine, reacting with prudence to the
political predicament in which its neighbor has found itself after the
gridlock and infighting that followed the parliamentary elections in 2006.

Even as Ukraine has shifted yet again to a crisis footing during the first
days of April with the escalation of a political showdown between President
Viktor Yushchenko and the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, Russian
officials have tried to send words of caution and extend guarded offers of
mediation.

A week had passed before the State Duma effectively took sides, approving
a motion in support of Ukraine’s “lawfully elected” parliament.

Vladimir Kornilov, director of the Kiev-based Ukrainian branch of the
Institute of CIS Countries, believes the chief shortcoming of the current
approach is that the transfer to a more pragmatic form of relations – with
Russia reassessing the subsidized pricing of its energy exports – was not
balanced with a sufficient rise in cultural and social interchange.

“These factors should have proceeded hand in hand, but Russia has never
moved far beyond declaratory statements,” Kornilov said. “A deepened
cultural relationship should have followed closely behind the more pragmatic
economic course.”

The challenge is not strictly to stem the retreat of Russian culture, but to
bolster a constructive relationship between the two countries. The CIS has
not only failed to sustain and deepen processes of integration across the
post-Soviet space, but has also fallen short of offering an appealing model
of development in the face of European enlargement.

“The CIS is hardly a match for the EU, which is a product of a long-term
political evolution in the West,” said Andrei Yermolayev, director of
Kiev-based “Sofia” Center for Social Research.

“The CIS has succeeded the crumbled Soviet domain but was unable to
consolidate the course of integration between the former republics, at best
ensuring the maintenance of diplomatic ties. The epoch of the CIS as a
potentially viable regional partnership is swiftly passing into oblivion.”

Handy stereotypes continue to circulate in Ukraine, contrasting the allure
of Europe against the inertia of rejoining the Russian sphere of influence.
According to Iskander Khisamov, chief editor of Expert Ukraina magazine,
the CIS plays a minimal role in these deliberations.

“The CIS worked as a means of civilized divorce, but its effect has
otherwise been negligible,” he said. “Other institutions of integration may
yet arise in its place, although Ukraine’s participation in them remains
questionable.”

More fundamentally, Khisamov said, Ukraine is trying to choose between
becoming the subject of others’ ambition – whether they stem from the EU,
Russia or the CIS – and finding a path where it remains a sovereign object
of the ongoing transformation.

“The natural inclination for countries in Eastern Europe is to reincorporate
themselves into some political system instead of expending resources and
capital to determine their own future,” he said.

“Ukraine is balancing between these tendencies as a young country with an
uncertain identity. There is a temptation to delegate responsibility for
one’s
own development to someone else. But the momentum for European integration
may have been lost anyway, as the EU has become mired in its own problems.

So Ukraine may be forced into building its own destiny as a state and a
nation, becoming a player in its own right, independent of Europe and
Russia. And that may be the most promising course for the country to take.”
                                  A DIFFICULT HISTORY
Worsening Ukraine’s conundrum is not just a pull between European
integration and former Soviet bonds, but also the smoldering rift within the
country.

Even by the standards of the Soviet Union’s arbitrary internal borders,
which created a patchwork of republics that ran roughshod over historical
and cultural fault lines, Ukraine presents a particularly volatile
composite.

In addition to territories that became part of the Russian Empire beginning
in the mid-17th century, Ukraine features a distinct western part – first a
domain of the Habsburgs and then a subject of Poland between the world
wars – which was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939 and then brought back
into the fold following the Second World War.

In 1954, Nikita Khrushchev fatefully joined the Crimean peninsula to the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, in honor of the tercentennial
anniversary of the “unification” of Russia and Ukraine. The coastal towns of
Novorossiya (New Russia), many of them founded in the early 19th century,
gradually developed an identity that sets them apart from the rest of the
country.

Pro-European sympathies coalesce naturally in Lviv, western Ukraine’s
cultural nucleus. After straining to hear Ukrainian language spoken in the
central region or the southeast of the country, Lviv appears as a stronghold
of a linguistic and ethnic identity that has outlasted the trials of Soviet
subjugation.

European integration seen from Lviv is not only an appealing option but a
strategic imperative, the only means to yank Ukraine from the political
morass and overcome the internal divide.

“We may be unable to solve all the problems ourselves, and joining Europe
has a greater potential to consolidate the nation than a move in the other
direction,” said Natalya Balyuk, editor of Vysoky Zamok newspaper in Lviv.
“European values and standards of living provide the only sensible
alternative for Ukraine. The same cannot be said about the Russian model as
it stands today.”

Not unlike the political elites in the Baltic states, western Ukrainian
ideologues advocate the promotion of nationalist-minded linguistic policies
and a distinct historical narrative just as they urge their countrymen to
relinquish elements of sovereignty by entering the European institutions.
And there are questions about the pro-Western elite’s embrace of European
values.

“What we are seeing is the aspiration to join Europe without adopting the
corresponding standards and commitments,” said Kornilov.

“The pro-European mantras are more often used to cover up the struggle
over the electorate and pursue strictly political aims. If some
constituencies have turned against the outcome of the Orange Revolution,

particularly in Kiev and in the center of the country, it is because they realized
how hollow those enthusiastic slogans and promises have turned out to be.”
                                      UKRAINIZATION
The process of “Ukrainization” extends to introducing Ukrainian as the
primary language of instruction in schools and in the conduct of public
affairs. For Balyuk, “Ukrainization” is nothing more than the “restitution
of justice,” a non-coercive but necessary approach to forging a
nation-state, but Russian-speaking residents of Lviv espouse a different
view.

Alexander Svistunov, head of the Russian Movement of Ukraine, says the
early 1990s brought about an atmosphere of reprisals, singling out and
marginalizing the Russian-speaking population of western Ukraine. Five
Russian schools remain in Lviv, he says, and only eight continue to function
across western Ukraine, where Russian speakers number around 700,000.

“Ukrainization has grown increasingly more aggressive, pursuing a civilized
policy of cultural suffocation,” Svistunov said. “They may not smack you
straight in the face, but ask politely instead, ‘May I please punch you
hard?’ There are many elements intensifying the estrangement, which will
become a tragedy not just for the Russians, but for Ukrainians themselves,
cutting them off from a whole cultural and spiritual tradition.”

A distressing symmetry is at play in the outlook of different parts of
Ukraine. When citizens in the west of the country identify red lines that
must not be crossed to preserve civility and national accord – safeguarding
Ukrainian as the only state language, for example, or signaling the course
of European integration – the very same issues encroach on some of the
decisive concerns for the Russian-speaking population in the southeast of
the country.

For Valery Kaurov, head of the Odessa-based Union of the Orthodox Citizens
of Ukraine, the “wave of Ukrainization” trespasses on the cultural patrimony
of the country’s inhabitants that historically looked to Russia for its
sense of identity. Complications arise in everyday situations, when
Ukrainian is used for courtroom proceedings or on medicine labels.

His organization has launched an initiative – “I Speak Russian” – that aims
to secure a protected status of Russian as a regional language by setting up
tents around Odessa and collecting signatures in support of the legislation.

“To maintain Ukraine’s unity, the authorities must renounce policies of
Ukrainization in the southeast and not go against the wishes of the majority
of the population in imposing movement toward NATO,” Kaurov said.

“If such a consensus is reached, the tensions will subside immediately.
Federalization of Ukraine is the only option – that’s the only way out of
the dead end. With all the linguistic, religious, cultural differences,
parts of the country can only co-exist within a federally regulated polity.”
                                      A HOUSE DIVIDED?
For all the palpable disparities, the divisive attributes have been
mobilized to serve quick-fix political ends, most notably during the 2004
presidential vote when the resulting electoral map closely followed regional
fears and biases.

“There is no doubt that they were politically exploited, but that is not to
say that there were no significant differences between eastern and western
parts,” said Yaroslav Hrytsak, an eminent Lviv historian who now teaches at
the Central European University in Budapest.

“The revolution has antagonized two parts to the extreme, and since then,
nothing serious has been done to mend this. The chance to integrate the two
Ukraines is not lost, since there is a set of ideas on which they agree.
Ironic as it may sound, both of them agree that they would not be better off
outside Ukraine.”

What stirs up the divide, however, are the polarizing topics that resonate
with the political constituencies. “The similarities between east and west
of Ukraine fade away as soon as politicians bring up the hot topics – the
status of Russian language, integration with NATO, and memories about
World War II – then the differences grow rapidly,” Hrytsak added.

“There is a chance for Ukrainian reintegration, but it is getting slimmer
and slimmer because of the irresponsibility of the two antagonistic
political camps.

Reintegration may happen if a ‘third Ukraine’ emerges, capitalizing on
similarities rather then on differences. The question is: who will place it
at the top of the political agenda?”

What reignited the latest phase of Ukraine’s political face-off were
defections of parliament members to the ruling coalition based around Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions.

Although the opposition has alleged that the renegade politicians were
coaxed into switching factions with extortions and bribery, some have seen
the trend as a positive effort to overcome the lingering regional divide.

“The gains of the parliamentary majority came at the expense of those who
took the Orange side during the revolution,” said Khisamov of Expert
Ukraina. “The moves were driven more by pragmatism and economic concerns,
chipping away at the ideological extremes of both sides and forging
something close to what they call themselves, a coalition of national unity.

Ukraine was able to turn away from the brink of civil war and relocate the
conflict inside the cabinets, delegating to Yanukovich, Yushchenko and
others the right to debate each other directly and not on the streets. This
has taken the edge off a mounting nationwide split.

As we have seen, the parliamentary coalition absorbed members not just from
the southeast, but also deputies from the more nationalist-minded areas in
the west, negating the sharp regional contradictions.”

At the same time, the countrywide split that has given some politicians
increased clout and propelled them during the revolution has continued to
reverberate within Ukraine.

“The politicians who took power and made the most of the nation’s divide
didn’t fully appreciate the genuine problems that existed between parts of
the country,” said Anatoly Romanyuk, political scientist at the Ivan Franko
National University of Lviv.

“They may have exploited these issues unconsciously, but they did next to
nothing to address them in the years that followed. Starting in 2006, the
divisions reappeared, and what we are seeing now once again resembles the
identity politics of the earlier struggle.”
                                       NOT PRO-RUSSIAN
Despite the stereotype of the pro-Russian southeastern part of the country,
precisely those areas stand to lose the most as a result of any economic
integration with Russia. The heavily industrialized Donbass would enter into
direct competition with the corresponding sector of the Russian economy.

The Russian language and historical kinship with the eastern neighbor may
shape identity politics in Donetsk, the stronghold of the Party of the
Regions, but that does not translate into sympathies for Russia as a state
or an economic entity.

“If nationalism is effectively a particular attitude to one’s own soil, then
Donetsk is the most nationalist part of Ukraine,” said Dmitry Durnev, chief
editor of newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets in Donbass.

“Russian-owned assets and investments in Donbass are kept at a minimum
because there’s an understanding that local businesses will be squeezed out
if Russian corporations move into the region.”

The Ukrainian establishment has tried to counter the receding value of the
CIS with other levers of integration. Besides the EU and NATO, another
alternative path was GUAM, the largely ineffective grouping with Georgia,
Moldova and Azerbaijan.

Joint efforts with Russia included the Eurasian Economic Commonwealth
(EvrAzEs) and the Joint Economic Space (EEP), initiatives which have stalled
repeatedly.

For all the socio-cultural rifts within Ukraine, it has grown increasingly
unified as an economy, even as clans and large corporations have continued
to feud over the continuing privatization of assets.

“Ukraine’s economy has become globalized, and despite the internal
competitive pressures, the country has grown economically integrated,” said
Kornilov.

“The interested parties have learned how to negotiate and reconcile, ending
the phase of wild capitalism. There are no longer signs of ruptures between
the economy’s component parts.”

Despite the political and diplomatic strains with Russia, the two countries
remain bound not only by threads of cultural continuity, but also function
as interrelated economic entities. The pipeline network that passes through
Ukrainian territory is used for transit of over 80 percent of Russian energy
exports.

Political integration with Russia is a non-starter for many Ukrainians, but
a more transparent and mutually beneficial economic interchange could
counter the divisive issues that have roiled the relationship.

Any integration for Ukraine must begin from within. Pro-European
catchphrases have not stopped the country’s polity from splintering over
the basic issues of historic and cultural identity, and self-interested
politicians continue to ride the electorate’s instinctive urges to identify
with sensitive issues of linguistic and ethnic belonging.

It has already set in motion forces that have paralyzed the political
process. People from Odessa to Lviv whisper about the worse-case scenarios
of reaching the threshold of a decisive break. Most, however, would prefer
never to have to make this choice.                         -30-
————————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE: Paul Abelsky was born in Minsk, Belarus, and grew up in the
Chicago area after immigrating to the United States in 1991. Educated in
European history at Amherst College and Yale University, he has worked
as a journalist in Russia since 2004. He joined Russia Profile as a staff
writer in May 2005 and has covered a wide range of subjects, from cartoons
to Kaliningrad to Chinese migration, and has also been writing movie and
book reviews for the magazine. His other interests, in no particular order,
include architecture, fast cars and photography.
——————————————————————————————————–
http://www.russiaprofile.org/page.php?pageid=International&articleid=a1180521632

——————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.                 UKRAINE: PEACE DIVIDENDS
         Yanukovich got the date he wanted & achieved a victory for his image.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Sergey Strokhan
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

You count your chickens in autumn. That old saying applies literally to the
latest turn of events in Ukraine, where the Central Elections Commission
will be counting votes after the September 30 early elections.

The standoff between the two political camps equal in power, with financial
and industrial group comparable in power standing behind them, was settled
after it became clear that there would be no forceful arbitration in the
disagreement. The split that ran through the country divided the enforcement
agencies as well.

Thus the political crisis in Ukraine was settled by an unknown traffic cop
somewhere in Kolebyaki by Poltava, who held up his stick in front of the
Interior Ministry forces heading to Kiev to settle the argument in favor of
the president.

His stick was a magic wand that stopped the troops obediently in their
tracks. But it was not magic there in Gogol’s homeland.

Simply people in the capital understood that one turn would lead to another,
one special force to another and if, God forbid, it led to bloodshed, the
blood would be on the hands of both opposing politicians. And then who
would vote for their parties and what would their image be abroad?

Simple arithmetic will show who won finally from the holding of the
elections in autumn. The question of the date of the elections was a
technical issue, not a political one.

For the Orange ­Our Ukraine and the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc ­ it was of
principle importance that the elections occur as soon as possible.

Having succeeded in dissolving the parliament they considered illegitimate,
they took on the role of fighters for justice and the people’s interests and
reached a peak in popularity.

To preserve that popularity as votes, they had to seize the moment, and hold
elections as soon as possible. So they insisted on holding the elections no
later than July 8.

Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions and its partners in the ruling
coalition were in an uncomfortable spot. There was little moral victory in
the elections for them.

Thus the Regionals decided not to agree to elections any earlier than
October. By that time, the Orange popularity would have waned and
Yanukovich would have time to take action to raise the popularity of his
party.

Yanukovich got what he wanted. September 30 is essentially the same date as
they had mentioned before. Yanukovich also achieved a victory for his image.

During the current crisis, he called for peace, agreement and unity the
whole time, out of character for the wrecker Yulia Timoshenko portrayed him
as. Now she has to find new arguments against him, and fast.         -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25.  PRES YUSHCHENKO ‘FAILED UKRAINIANS’ HOPES,’
                          WANTS ‘PLENITUDE OF POWER’

EDITORIAL: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Tue, May 29, 2007

The political crisis in Ukraine has settled down for now. Until the fall.
Until the new parliamentary election which will take place on the last day
of September.

Each side (the president, the premier, and the legislature) tries to claim
credit for the agreement setting the election date and to present it as its
personal victory.

Meanwhile, it is clear not only to politicians, political analysts, or
deputies, meaning, direct participants in the latest show on Maydan
Nezalezhnosti (Kiev’s central square), but also to ordinary Ukrainians who
are far from political intrigues that there are no winners in this game.
There are losers only, including the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian
society.

Two years ago, it made its choice in favor of European values and proclaimed
a policy of integration with the West. However, as the events of the past
two months demonstrated, one can regard oneself as a European, but

becoming a European is not easy.

When viewed from the political perspective, the European level of relations
primarily presumes the skill of reaching agreement, as well as the ability
and readiness to achieve compromise.

Otherwise the result will be the same as the one we observed in Kiev. All
those to whom the people delegated powers — the president, the parliament,
and the premier — demonstrated their unwillingness to “yield their
principles.”

The Ukrainians were taught an instructive lesson on the consequences of
homegrown interpretation of democracy presuming the existence of democratic
freedoms and the opportunities they offer, but no personal responsibility
for the country’s future.

This gave rise to parliamentary, judicial, and legal conflicts, fights
between prosecutors in which Spetsnaz soldiers take part, and attempts to
disband the Constitutional Court and bypass the law altogether and was
accompanied by primitive reasoning along the lines “this is being done to

prevent war” and with slogans on the protection of democracy, which
cannot deceive anybody.

The people to whom these slogans were addressed made an absolutely
undemocratic choice in favor of an iron glove and pointed at neighboring
Russia.

People on Maydan Nezalezhnosti directly spoke about this on the last day

of the standoff between the authorities in Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities
failed to pass the democracy and parliamentarism test.

Viktor Yushchenko on whom the Ukrainians pinned their hopes of
transformations in society and of the country’s prompt entry into European
orbit not only failed those hopes, but also cast doubt on the possibility of
transforming presidential republics in the post-Soviet area into
parliamentary ones.

He demonstrated again that Ukrainians (as well as Kazakhs, Belarusians,
Moldovans, and the like) differ from people in the Baltics.

Parliamentarianism above all has to do with mentality — mentality of elites
and society as a whole.

Meanwhile, the elites on the territory known under the common name CIS
managed to rise to the level of state independence and ethnic
self-identification, but in all other respects remained at the level of
Soviet mentality, which became not only their own problem, but also a
barrier preventing reform of post-Soviet societies as a whole.

Moldova was the first country to demonstrate this when it abolished
presidency in 2000 and proclaimed the republic’s new parliamentary status.
The deputies who voted for this decision wanted to get rid of the
president’s autocracy.

In practice, however, they received what they wanted to avoid. President
Vladimir Voronin has the plenitude of power despite the fact that it was
elected by the legislature. Even presidents elected by general vote can envy
him.

Voronin is the leader of the ruling party and controls the parliamentary
majority which can be given orders without constitutional powers.

The situation in Ukraine is different, but Viktor Yushchenko also wants the
plenitude of power. Mutating parliamentarianism in Ukraine and Moldova
demonstrated that changes in society are impossible without changes in
political elites’ world outlook.                           -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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26.    WAR FEARS TURN TO CYBERSPACE IN ESTONIA
  Digital Fears Emerge After Data Siege, Somebody Orchestrated This Thing

By Mark Landler and John Markoff, The New York Times
New York, New York, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, Page 1

TALLINN, Estonia, May 24 – When Estonian authorities began removing
a bronze statue of a World War II-era Soviet soldier from a park in this
bustling Baltic seaport last month, they expected violent street protests by
Estonians of Russian descent.

They also knew from experience that “if there are fights on the street,
there are going to be fights on the Internet,” said Hillar Aarelaid, the
director of Estonia’s Computer Emergency Response Team.

After all, for people here the Internet is almost as vital as running water;
it is used routinely to vote, file their taxes, and, with their cellphones,
to shop or pay for parking.
 ORDERS FROM RUSSIA OR ETHNIC RUSSIAN SOURCES
What followed was what some here describe as the first war in cyberspace,
a monthlong campaign that has forced Estonian authorities to defend their
pint-size Baltic nation from a data flood that they say was set off by
orders from Russia or ethnic Russian sources in retaliation for the removal
of the statue.

The Estonians assert that an Internet address involved in the attacks
belonged to an official who works in the administration of Russia’s
president, Vladimir V. Putin.

The Russian government has denied any involvement in the attacks, which
came close to shutting down the country’s digital infrastructure, clogging
the Web sites of the president, the prime minister, Parliament and other
government agencies, staggering Estonia’s biggest bank and overwhelming
the sites of several daily newspapers.

“It turned out to be a national security situation,” Estonia’s defense
minister, Jaak Aaviksoo, said in an interview. “It can effectively be
compared to when your ports are shut to the sea.”

Computer security experts from NATO, the European Union, the United
States and Israel have since converged on Tallinn to offer help and to
learn what they can about cyberwar in the digital age.

“This may well turn out to be a watershed in terms of widespread awareness
of the vulnerability of modern society,” said Linton Wells II, the principal
deputy assistant secretary of defense for networks and information
integration at the Pentagon. “It has gotten the attention of a lot of
people.”

The authorities anticipated there would be a backlash to the removal of the
statue, which had become a rallying point for Estonia’s large
Russian-speaking minority, particularly as it was removed to a less
accessible military graveyard.

When the first digital intruders slipped into Estonian cyberspace at 10 p.m.
on April 26, Mr. Aarelaid figured he was ready. He had erected firewalls
around government Web sites, set up extra computer servers and put his
staff on call for a busy week.

By April 29, Tallinn’s streets were calm again after two nights of riots
caused by the statue’s removal, but Estonia’s electronic Maginot Line was
crumbling. In one of the first strikes, a flood of junk messages was thrown
at the e-mail server of the Parliament, shutting it down.

In another, hackers broke into the Web site of the Reform Party, posting a
fake letter of apology from the prime minister, Andrus Ansip, for ordering
the removal of the highly symbolic statue.

At that point, Mr. Aarelaid, a former police officer, gathered security
experts from Estonia’s Internet service providers, banks, government
agencies and the police.

He also drew on contacts in Finland, Germany, Slovenia and other countries
to help him track down and block suspicious Internet addresses and halt
traffic from computers as far away as Peru and China.

The bulk of the cyberassaults used a technique known as a distributed
denial-of-service attack. By bombarding the country’s Web sites with data,
attackers can clog not only the country’s servers, but also its routers and
switches, the specialized devices that direct traffic on the network.

To magnify the assault, the hackers infiltrated computers around the world
with software known as bots, and banded them together in networks to
perform these incursions. The computers become unwitting foot soldiers, or
 “zombies,” in a cyberattack.

In one case, the attackers sent a single huge burst of data to measure the
capacity of the network. Then, hours later, data from multiple sources
flowed into the system, rapidly reaching the upper limit of the routers and
switches.

By the end of the first week, the Estonians, with the help of authorities in
other countries, had become reasonably adept at filtering out malicious
data. Still, Mr. Aarelaid knew the worst was yet to come.

May 9 was Victory Day, the Russian holiday that marks the Soviet Union’s
defeat of Nazi Germany and honors fallen Red Army soldiers. The Internet
was rife with plans to mark the occasion by taking down Estonia’s network.

Mr. Aarelaid huddled with security chiefs at the banks, urging them to keep
their services running. He was also under orders to protect an important
government briefing site. Other sites, like that of the Estonian president,
were sacrificed as low priorities.
        ATTACKERS USED A GIANT NETWORK OF BOTS
The attackers used a giant network of bots – perhaps as many as one million
computers in places as far away as the United States and Vietnam – to
amplify the impact of their assault. In a sign of their financial resources,
there is evidence that they rented time on other so-called botnets.

“When you combine very, very large packets of information with thousands
of machines, you’ve got the recipe for very damaging denial-of-service
 attacks,” said Jose Nazario, an expert on bots at Arbor Networks, an
Internet security firm in Ann Arbor, Mich.

In the early hours of May 9, traffic spiked to thousands of times the normal
flow. May 10 was heavier still, forcing Estonia’s biggest bank to shut down
its online service for more than an hour.

Even now, the bank, Hansabank, is under assault and continues to block
access to 300 suspect Internet addresses. It has had losses of at least $1
million.

Finally, on the afternoon of May 10, the attackers’ time on the rented
servers expired, and the botnet attacks fell off abruptly.

All told, Arbor Networks measured dozens of attacks. The 10 largest assaults
blasted streams of 90 megabits of data a second at Estonia’s networks,
lasting up to 10 hours each. That is a data load equivalent to downloading
the entire Windows XP operating system every six seconds for 10 hours.

“Hillar and his guys are good,” said Bill Woodcock, an American Internet
security expert who was also on hand to observe the response. “There
aren’t a lot of other countries that could combat that on his level of calm
professionalism.”

Estonia’s defense was not flawless. To block hostile data, it had to close
off large parts of its network to people outside the country.

“It is really a shame that an Estonian businessman traveling abroad does not
have access to his bank account,” said Linnar Viik, a computer science
professor and leader in Estonia’s high-tech industry. “For members of the
Estonian Parliament, it meant four days without e-mail.”

Still, Mr. Viik said the episode would serve as a learning experience. The
use of botnets, for example, illustrates how a cyberattack on a single
country can ensnare many other countries.

In recent years, cyberattacks have been associated with Middle East and
Serbian-Croatian conflicts. But computer systems at the Pentagon, NASA,
universities and research labs have been compromised in the past.

Scientists and researchers convened by the National Academy of Sciences
this year heard testimony from military strategy experts indicating that
both China and Russia have offensive information-warfare programs. The
United States is also said to have begun a cyberwarfare effort.
          INSTRUCTIONS ON RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE SITES
Though Estonia cannot be sure of the attackers’ identities, their plans were
posted on the Internet even before the attack began.

On Russian-language forums and chat groups, the investigators found
detailed instructions on how to send disruptive messages, and which
Estonian Web sites to use as targets.

“We were watching them being set up in real time,” said Mr. Aarelaid, who
weeks later could find several examples using Google.

For NATO, the attack may lead to a discussion of whether it needs to modify
its commitment to collective defense, enshrined in Article V of the North
Atlantic Treaty. Mr. Aarelaid said NATO’s Internet security experts said
little but took copious notes during their visit.

Because of the murkiness of the Internet – where attackers can mask their
identities by using the Internet addresses of others, or remotely program
distant computers to send data without their owners even knowing it -
several experts said that the attackers would probably never be caught.

American government officials said that the nature of the attacks suggested
they were initiated by “hacktivists,” technical experts who act
independently from governments.

“At the present time, we are not able to prove direct state links,” Mr.
Aaviksoo, Estonia’s defense minister, said. “All we can say is that a server
in our president’s office got a query from an I.P. address in the Russian
administration,” he added, using the abbreviation for Internet protocol.
                               MOSCOW OFFERS NO HELP
Moscow had offered no help in tracking down people who the Estonian
government believes may be involved.

A spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitri S. Peskov, denied Russian state
involvement in the attacks and added, “The Estonia side has to be extremely
careful when making accusations.”

The police here arrested and then released a 19-year-old Estonian man of
Russian descent whom they suspected of helping to organize the attacks.

Meanwhile, Estonia’s foreign ministry has circulated a document that lists
several Internet addresses inside the Russian government that it said took
part in the attacks.

“I don’t think it was Russia, but who can tell?” said Gadi Evron, a computer
security expert from Israel who spent four days in Tallinn writing a
post-mortem on the response for the Estonians. “The Internet is perfect for
plausible deniability.”

Mr. Evron, an executive at an Internet security firm called Beyond Security,
is a veteran of this kind of warfare. He set up the Computer Emergency
Response Team, or CERT, in Israel. Web sites in Israel are regularly
subjected to attacks by Palestinians or others sympathetic to their cause.

“Whenever there is political tension, there is a cyber aftermath,” Mr. Evron
said, noting that sites in Denmark became targets after a newspaper there
published satirical cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

The attacks on Estonia’s systems are not over, but they have dropped in
volume and intensity, and are aimed mainly at banks. The last major wave of
attacks was on May 18.

Now that the onslaught has ebbed, Mr. Aarelaid is mopping up. A few days
ago, he managed to get to the sauna with Jaan Priisalu, the head of computer
security at Hansabank, and other friends from Estonia’s Internet security
fraternity.

“I’m a simple I.T. guy,” he said, gazing at a flickering computer screen. “I
know a lot about bits and packets of data; I don’t know about the bigger
questions. But somebody orchestrated this thing.”           -30-
———————————————————————————————-
Mark Landler reported from Tallinn and John Markoff from San Francisco.
Steven Lee Myers contributed reporting from Moscow.
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/technology/29estonia.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

———————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
27. ASK YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT A RESOLUTION
              CONDEMNING RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN ESTONIA!

Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ask your Representative to support a resolution condemning Russian
interference in Estonia!

On May 23rd, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) introduced H.Res.397, a resolution
condemning the violence in Estonia, as well as the cyber attacks on Estonian
government websites, and expressing solidarity with the people of Estonia.

The riots and the severe reaction of the Russian government following the
removal of the monument to the Soviet ‘liberators’ from Tallinn reminds us
that the Soviet legacy to exercise control over former Soviet states still
lingers.

The Ukrainian community should respond to this blatant Russian aggression

in Estonia, as similar incidents could occur in Ukraine.  It is our duty to
condemn the interference of the Russian Federation in the internal affairs
of another sovereign state and express our support for the Estonian nation.

The Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS) encourages the Ukrainian
American community to contact their respective representatives in Congress
and urge them to support H.Res.397. For your convenience, please find below
a sample letter to Members of Congress. 
                            SAMPLE LETTER
The Honorable (Name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative (Name):

Following the Estonian government’s removal of a monument to the Soviet

Army soldiers, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups turned violent resulting
in injuries to 153 people.

The propaganda offensive from Moscow, which reacted aggressively and
inappropriately to this decision by the Estonian Government included
implicit encouragement of further rioting and violence.

The attacks against Estonia were not limited to statements. A number of
Estonian media and government web sites have also been sabotaged.

The Putin regime in Russia has become increasingly aggressive towards

former Soviet states and continues to exercise influence over its neighbors
in a brutish manner.

I strongly rebuke the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the
affairs of neighboring states and I stand in steadfast support of the
Estonian people.  H.Res.397 is a very timely bill that deserves the full
support of the United States Congress.

As an American of Ukrainian descent, I understand the outrage of the
Estonian nation, as Ukraine has, and continues, to experience Russian
interference in its internal affairs.

The international democratic community should stand together and resist the
efforts by the Russian Federation to re-establish control over the former
Soviet Union.  As your constituent, I encourage you to support H.Res.397

and become a co-sponsor of that resolution.

Sincerely,
———————————————————————————————
   Representatives who have already signed onto H.Res.397 are:
Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA); Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO); Rep. Mary Bono (D-CA)
Rep. John Boozman (R-AR); Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA); Rep. Jerry F. Costello (D-IL)
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL); Rep. Luis G. Fortuno (R-PR)
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA); Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA); Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC)
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI); Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA); Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL); Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI); Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Marilyn N. Musgrave (R-CO); Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ); Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Mike J. Rogers (R-MI); Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL); Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ); Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI); Rep. Diane E. Watson (D-CA)
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL)

Write or call your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor the resolution,
or thank them if they have already done so.  Contacting your Representatives
is one of the most effective ways to communicate your views.  Tell them:

     [1] As your constituent and a Ukrainian American, you are asking

     your representative to co-sponsor H.Res.397 condemning Russian
     interference in Estonia’s internal affairs;
     [2] our support for the Estonian nation as it battles cyber-warfare
     instigated by the Russian government; and,
     [3] Thank you for supporting a resolution which brings light to Russia’s
     continued meddling in countries within their alleged “sphere of influence.”

Letters may be e-mailed directly to your Member of Congress from the
following site: http://www.house.gov/writerep/. Should you have any
questions, please contact UNIS at (202) 547-0018 or via email at
unis@ucca.org.                                          -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), 311 Massachusetts Avenue,
NE Washington, DC 20002, e-mail: unis@ucca.org; www.ucca.org
———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#849 May 29 Key Parliamentary Votes Needed; Tragicomedy Of Ukrainian Political Conflict; Shortchanging Democracy In Ukraine; Hero Forgotten

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 849
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.     UKRAINE FOCUS TURNS TO LEGISLATION IN PARLIAMENT
            Ukraine’s politicians are gearing up for what may prove a difficult
                     process of securing enabling legislation in parliament.
REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 28, 2007

2. NEW ELECTIONS NOT ENOUGH TO EASE UKRAINIAN TENSIONS
Deutsche Welle (DW), Bonn, Germany, Monday, May 28, 2007

3.                         UKRAINE DEAL GETS MEDIA BUZZING
Media review from BBC Monitoring 28 May
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28, 2007

4.                   FEUDING LEADERS REACH UKRAINE TRUCE
By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28 2007 03:00

5.                AIDE TO UKRAINE’S PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS
                        UNCERTAINTY ABOUT EARLY ELECTION
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 28, 2007

6.             UKRAINE – AGREEMENT LEADS TO FALL BALLOT
                  Election Date: September 30, 2007, At stake: Parliament
Angus Reid Global Monitor, Angus Reid Strategies
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Monday, May 28, 2007

7.                     EU WELCOMES AGREEMENT BETWEEN 

                               UKRAINE’S POLITICAL RIVALS
Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Monday, May 28, 2007

8.      THE TRAGICOMEDY OF UKRAINIAN POLITICAL CONFLICT
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone, Kyiv
Eurasian Home, Monday, May 28, 2007

9.                             THE CRISIS IS OVER IN UKRAINE
REPORT: By Mikhail Zygar, Kommersant Special Correspondent
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

10.                SHORTCHANGING DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE
                 President Bush’s ‘Freedom Agenda’ Is Losing Momentum
OP-ED: By Jackson Diehl, Op-Ed Columnist
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Mon, May 28, 2007

11.                                BUILDING BURNED BRIDGES
                 Ukrainian chief prosecutor sacked for disobeying president
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuliya Mostova
Zerkalo Nedeli, Mirror-Weekly, Kiev, in Russian 26 May 07 p 1, 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28, 2007

12.                      UKRAINE: “LOFTY LIES, MEAN TRUTHS”
       Offering plausible answers to questions about the Constitutional Court
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN), Mirror-Weekly, #19 (648)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 19-25, 2007

13.          UKRAINE: A STORY OF HOW POLITICAL ACROBATS
                                TURNED LIKE A KALEIDOSCOPE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Yulia MOSTOVAYA
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN), Mirror-Weekly, #19 (648)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 19-25, 2007

14.               UKRAINE: THE COUNTRY FORGETS ITS HERO
COMMENTARY: by Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Translated by Eugene Ivantsov into English
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

15.         A SAD ANNIVERSARY FOR THE BLACK  SEA FLEET
OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Viktor Safonov for RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007
==========================================================
1
UKRAINE FOCUS TURNS TO LEGISLATION IN PARLIAMENT
               Ukraine’s politicians are gearing up for what may prove a difficult

                        process of securing enabling legislation in parliament.

REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 28, 2007

KIEV – With a hard-fought deal on a snap parliamentary election clinched,

Ukraine’s politicians are gearing up for what may prove a difficult process of
securing enabling legislation in parliament.

Trouble in the unpredictable assembly could even cast doubt on the weekend
accord, which defused a long-running dispute between Ukraine’s antagonistic
leaders — President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

The rivals from the 2004 “Orange Revolution” agreed to an election on Sept.
30. But the deal depends on the assembly, in two days of sittings starting
on Tuesday, amending electoral law and approving other legislation and a
voters’ list.

Within hours of the deal, Yanukovich made plain he was lukewarm about the
election and would give final agreement only if it were arranged in full
accordance with the law.

Analysts said no sitting was likely to open until the president issued an
order rescinding or suspending two decrees last month dissolving the
assembly. A new election decree would have to be issued 60 days before the
vote.

“All sorts of unexpected things could occur in the meantime. Too many things
are unclear,” said Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta think tank.

Independent analyst Oleksander Dergachyov added: “The most unpredictable
part of the conflict is behind us. But there will be no easy way of finally
ending this crisis.”

The European Union expressed relief at the deal. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the
external relations commissioner, said she hoped for a “constructive process”
leading to the election.

The pro-Western Yushchenko dissolved parliament on grounds that Yanukovich,
most popular in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, was illegally poaching his
supporters to expand his majority in parliament in order to change the
constitution.
                                    INITIAL RESISTANCE
Yanukovich, back in office after his humiliating defeat in 2004, agreed to a
new election only after weeks of argument.

On Sunday, he accused the president of pandering to “troublemakers” in the
opposition led by Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister now realigned
with Yushchenko.

Other factors will complicate debate in the chamber. Deputies will be asked
to approve legislation needed to win membership of the World Trade
Organisation — Yushchenko’s first promise after taking office in 2005 and
still unfulfilled.

“There is a risk that party factions will prove to be rather undisciplined
and not submit to voting in mechanical fashion,” Dergachyov said.

Yanukovich’s Regions Party holds the most seats. Some of its members might
be reluctant to vote if they are not confident of winning back their seats
in September. Resistance might come for the same reason from the declining
Socialist Party or Tymoshenko’s bloc, the second largest.

Recent opinion polls put Yanukovich’s Regions Party in a narrow lead or in a
dead heat with those backing Yushchenko, at around 40 percent each.

Weeks of turmoil came to a head last week when Yushchenko said he was taking
control of 30,000 interior ministry troops and ordered some to Kiev. Tension
ebbed when the deal was done.                               -30-
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2. NEW ELECTIONS NOT ENOUGH TO EASE UKRAINIAN TENSIONS

Deutsche Welle (DW), Bonn, Germany, Monday, May 28, 2007

Key parliamentary votes are due in Ukraine this week to finally resolve a
long-running political crisis by setting the groundwork for early elections.
But some fear even these steps won’t heal the ex-Soviet republic.

The two rivals in the power struggle, President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych, agreed on Sunday to hold elections on September
30 but their deal hinges on parliamentary votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Once the votes are passed, Yushchenko is to formally set the election date.
“Agreement on the date is only the beginning of the end of the crisis and
the vote in parliament will be its final point,” Vadim Karasyov, head of the
Institute for Global Strategies in Kiev, told reporters. An earlier agreement

to resolve the crisis fell through last month.

The votes include parliamentary approval of financing for the elections and
changes in the make-up of the central elections commission to allow greater
representation for members of Yanukovych’s ruling Regions party.

Under the deal hammered out between the president and the prime minister,
parliament is also due to approve a series of bills easing Ukraine’s bid to
join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
          SHARP DIFFERENCES MAY HINDER ELECTIONS
Political analyst Kost Bondarenko said he did not expect the parliamentary
to pass off smoothly as there are sharp differences between Yushchenko
supporters and Yanukovych loyalists in the legislature.

Yushchenko has set WTO membership as a key goal for Ukraine but has faced
opposition among Yanukovych allies in parliament on measures aimed at
liberalising the economy.

Despite the show of unity by Yushchenko and Yanukovych on Sunday — the

two even attended the Ukrainian Cup final together later in the day — tensions
were barely below the surface.

“If the opposition fulfils all the conditions to allow the president to sign
the order, then there will be early elections and as lawful citizens we will
take part in them,” Yanukovych said in lukewarm comments about the deal.

His Regions party took the lion’s share of the vote in parliamentary
elections last year and is expected to do well again in any upcoming
elections.
                PRESIDENT SEEN AS A FAILURE BY MANY
In the eyes of many Ukrainians, pro-Western Yushchenko has failed to live

up to his promises of a bright economic future and international integration
made during the Orange Revolution in 2004.

A poll by the Sofia research centre earlier this month gave the Regions
party 41 percent of voting intentions. Another poll by the International
Sociology Institute in Kiev gave it 35.5 percent. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine
party scored just 15.9 percent and 12.9 percent.

But, despite Yanukovych’s power, his coalition with the Socialist and
Communist parties is fragile and faces a challenge from Yushchenko ally
Yulia Tymoshenko, whose party is expected to come second.

In the Orange Revolution, mass street protests helped bring Yushchenko to
the presidency and Tymoshenko to the prime minister’s post, overturning a
flawed vote initially granted to his Moscow-backed rival Yanukovych.
DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT LED TO TROOP BUILD-UP
The latest political crisis between Yushchenko and Yanukovych began on

April 2, when the prime minister defied orders from the president to dissolve
parliament and hold early elections.

As the power struggle escalated, thousands of protestors held rival rallies
in the capital Kiev and, last week, Yushchenko and Yanukovych ratcheted up
the tension still further by sparring for control of security forces.

International powers, including Ukraine’s giant neighbours Russia and the
European Union, have expressed concern at the crisis and urged both sides to
refrain from any use of violence.                            -30-
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3.                   UKRAINE DEAL GETS MEDIA BUZZING

Media review from BBC Monitoring 28 May
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28, 2007

There is general relief in the Ukrainian media that President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych have agreed to hold early
elections on 30 September, thus breaking the long-running political crisis.

Commentators see neither of the two men emerging as the clear winner and are
pleased above all that violence has been avoided.

In Russia, where the media have been following events in Kiev closely, there
is condemnation of the tactics used by President Yushchenko, alongside the
assessment in one paper that Mr Yanukovych now has the upper hand.
PRESENTER ON UKRAINE’S INTER TV
The politicians could only reach agreement when the situation in the country
had reached absurdity. The threat of a violent confrontation was all too
real. The president and government divided up power-wielding structures like
toy soldiers in a children’s game, making them hostages in a political game.
PRESENTER ON UKRAINE’S ONE PLUS ONE TV
The spirit of reconciliation descended just when everything suggested that a
violent scenario would replace a peaceful way out of the crisis… Enemies
yesterday, from today – partners… Each of them can count in their favour
the avoidance of a violent confrontation.
UKRAYINSKA PRAVDA
The emotional perception of the events of the last few days conceals another
goal that is not clear even to many participants in the process. Those who
think that Yushchenko’s main motivation is holding an early parliamentary
election are mistaken. In fact, this is part of a much broader project –
Viktor Yushchenko has begun his campaign for the 2009 election. He is going
for a second presidential term.
UKRAINE’S OBOZREVATEL
Viktor Yushchenko managed to overcome the resistance to holding an early
election. On the other hand, his demand to hold the election within two
months was not met… Viktor Yanukovych made a concession to the president
by agreeing to hold the election. But he also guaranteed changes to the
budget which will allow him to increase pensions and the minimum wage ahead
of the election – the favourite trick of the Party of Regions for the third
election in a row.
PRESENTER PETR TOLSTOY ON RUSSIA’S CHANNEL ONE
President Viktor Yushchenko opted for escalation and decided to dismiss
anyone who doesn’t agree with him… Everything that suits Yushchenko is
good, and everything that doesn’t suit him is simply illegal. Even Europe,
which had remained silent until now, paid attention to the scandalous
situation in Ukraine.
PRESENTER DMITRIY KISELEV ON RUSSIA’S ROSSIYA TV
These understandings can hardly be considered firm, since the state is in
ruins. Its institutions are largely discredited… Ukrainians are now full
of cynicism. Or, if not cynicism, then, at any rate, scepticism towards the
state, and towards the politicians who represent them. So there aren’t many
people who believe that these understandings are final.
CORRESPONDENT DMITRIY TARKHOV ON RUSSIA’S REN TV
In actual fact, to someone observing from the outside, it doesn’t appear as
if there was any confrontation in Kiev. As one passer-by told us, in general
this was a crisis among the authorities, and everything in Kiev was fine.
Splendid weather, lots of people on the streets… At any rate, we didn’t
glimpse any protests, any political marches. It feels totally as if people
were simply fed up with these political battles.
YANINA VASKOVSKAYA IN RUSSIA’S NOVAYA GAZETA
Ukraine is facing the threat of an armed confrontation between two power
structures.
ANDREY KAPUSTIN IN RUSSIA’S NOVAYA GAZETA
It looks as if the bloodless nature of the Ukrainian revolutions, which are
breaking down all traditional stereotypes, is becoming the norm. In any
case, Western experts on ‘hot spots’ are in total bewilderment – they cannot
comprehend the gist of the confrontation. In actual fact, it is all much
simpler. Neither Yushchenko nor Yanukovych want bloodshed. All this is some
kind of point-scoring at the top of the political Olympus.
OLEG BAZAK IN RUSSIA’S MOSKOVSKIY KOMSOMOLETS
Thousands of troops marching in the direction of Kiev with unclear
intentions have achieved a result, i.e. they put the particularly ‘obstinate
diehards’ in their place. Politicians realized that, if the military started
talking, there might be no place in the country left for them.
Y SOKOLOVSKAYA AND A MAKSIMOV IN RUSSIA’S IZVESTIYA
The prime minister’s Party of Regions regard as their main achievement at
the talks with Yushchenko the fact that it has proved possible to postpone
the elections until autumn. By that time, the government hopes, people will
begin to feel the benefits of the ‘social package’ under which pensions and
salaries are to go up.
SVETLANA STEPANENKO IN RUSSIA’S VREMYA NOVOSTEY
So far everyone is pleased with the accords… The compromise between the
leaders of the country guarantees a more or less sustainable functioning of
the system of state power until 30 September.               -30-
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4.           FEUDING LEADERS REACH UKRAINE TRUCE

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28 2007 03:00

KIEV – Ukraine’s feuding leaders agreed to sit together at an important
football game in Kiev last night in a show of solidarity after agreeing to
end a constitutional standoff that saw clashes between troops loyal to the
president and prime minister last week.

After crisis talks though the night on Saturday President Viktor Yushchenko
and his bitter rival, Viktor Yanukovich, the prime minister, emerged at 4am
yesterday to announce early elections on September 30.

Their agreement was viewed by some as a victory for the pro-western Mr
Yushchenko in convincing the Moscow-leaning Mr Yanukovich to accept a
move that could result in the ousting of his governing coalition.

Sitting alongside the two leaders yesterday was Rinat Akhmetov, one of
Ukraine’s richest tycoons, owner of the Shakhtar Donetsk football team and
an influential member of Mr Yanukovich’s Regions party. He is understood

to have played a significant role in persuading the prime minister to hold
early elections.

On Friday Mr Yushchenko had seized control of the national guard to
consolidate his grip on the country’s security forces. Yesterday with soccer
fans outnumbering protesters on the streets of Kiev ahead of the cup match
between Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, he declared the crisis over.

“I cannot say that it was easy, but after long discussions, we found a
compromise,” he said. “Ukraine is coming out of this crisis stronger.”

He said last week’s clash, which began after he attempted to sack the
prosecutor-general, highlighted the need to amend the constitution, to
clarify the distribution of authority between the top branches of authority.

Mr Yanukovich, who on Friday accused the president of staging a coup d’etat,
said things had gone too far. “If mistakes were made by both sides, then
they should be cancelled. We have already made conclusions.”

The crisis followed months of political stalemate following inconclusive
parliamentary elections in March 2006.

A power-sharing agreement last summer was supposed to bring stability. But
it was short-lived. Mr Yanukovich’s coalition abandoned key provisions of
the agreement and embarked on a campaign to strip authority away from the
president.

In April Mr Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called early elections to
prevent what he described as attempts by the coalition to usurp him. Mr
Yanukovich’s coalition challenged the legality of the decree, but the
politically divided constitutional court has failed to rule on the issue.

Jock Mendoza-Wilson, spokesman for Mr Akhmetov’s System Capital

Management holding company, said big business had grown frustrated by
the deadlock and wanted the leaders to compromise. “Big business wants
stability and that is what we want from our politicians,” he said.

Yesterday’s compromise agreement envisages that parliament will pass a
package of laws to make the election process more fair and transparent and
smooth the way for the country to join the World Trade Organisation this
year.

“The president demonstrated authority and strong political will. He
demonstrated that he is a strong president,” said Vadym Karasiov, a
political analyst in Kiev.

But it is not clear whether the agreement will be backed by Mr Yanukovich’s
coalition, composed of his Regions party, socialists and radical communists.

Analysts predict more intrigue ahead of the elections. “If we look at this
as a soccer contest, we are in the semi-finals. Passage of the laws
envisioned in the compromise could prove challenging and the election
campaign will be cut-throat,” said Mr Karasiov. “The final end to this
crisis should not be expected yet, at least until after the elections.”

Mr Yanukovich’s party and the opposition party of Yulia Tymoshenko, former
prime minister, are expected to garner the most support in the new
elections, with 25-35 per cent each.

Opinion polls show that Regions could muster enough support to return Mr
Yanukovich as premier, especially if he forms a bloc with the socialists and
communists.

Ukrainians have grown increasingly disillusioned with endless political
infighting but the increasingly assertive Mr Yushchenko is regaining appeal.
His Our Ukraine party could win enough votes to be kingmaker between Mr
Yanukovich and Ms Tymoshenko, who had a bitter falling out with the
president in 2006 and has ambitions to return as premier.

Analysts say the president could have enough leverage to secure the
formation of a broad coalition that would include Ms Tymoshenko’s Byut
party, Mr Yanukovich’s Regions and Mr Yuschenko’s Our Ukraine (the three
parliamentary blocs backed by big business) leaving leftwing parties in the
opposition.

Such a coalition is expected to back Mr Yushchenko’s speedy western
integration agenda and to be more effective in passing badly needed reforms.
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LINK: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/8f3c3d82-0cb7-11dc-a4dc-000b5df10621.html

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5.        AIDE TO UKRAINE’S PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS
                UNCERTAINTY ABOUT EARLY ELECTION

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 28, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine An aide to Ukraine’s premier said Monday that it would
depend on the president’s parliamentary allies whether an agreement to hold
early elections in September would be honored – reflecting uncertainty over
the hard-won deal that Ukrainians hoped would defuse a months-long crisis
between the two feuding leaders.

President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on
Sunday agreed to hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 30, allaying fears
that their struggle could escalate into open confrontation after Yushchenko

sent several thousand troops to the capital.

But Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko, a lawmaker from Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions, cast doubt over the necessity of the vote.

“Today there are no political or economic grounds for an early election,”
Kolesnichenko told The Associated Press. “But a narrow group showed that
it was ready for everything, even civil war, to achieve their goals, and we
agreed to a compromise to avoid that.”

Kolesnichenko said the early vote would not be held if lawmakers loyal to
Yushchenko failed to submit their resignations, which would pave the way
for parliament’s dissolution and the snap vote.

“If this is only the president’s personal wish, then there is no way” the
vote would be held, Kolesnichenko said.

The deal on Sunday marked a pause in the power struggle between Yushchenko
and Yanukovych, but it also set the stage for a new election campaign likely
to be driven by the same divisions that have marked more than two years of
political turbulence in the ex-Soviet republic.

The standoff between the 2004 Orange Revolution rivals escalated sharply in
April when Yushchenko ordered the legislature dissolved and called for new
elections.

Yanukovych grudgingly agreed to an early vote, but the leaders bickered over
the date, with Yushchenko pressing for a swift election and Yanukovych
saying it could not take place until autumn.

The crisis deepened further last week after Yushchenko fired the prosecutor
general, a Yanukovych ally, and the troops he sent to evict the official
found riot police loyal to the prime minister on hand to thwart them.

Yushchenko then asserted control over the nation’s 32,000 Interior Ministry
troops and ordered several thousand officers to the capital Saturday, but
most appeared to have been blocked outside Kiev by forces loyal to
Yanukovych.

After more than eight hours of tense deliberations that dragged on deep into
the night, the leaders announced the deal early Sunday – a decision both
hailed as a compromise.

The European Union welcomed the agreement. “This negotiated compromise
makes everyone a winner,” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in a
statement Sunday. Solana expressed hope that the agreement would allow
Ukraine to turn to reforms that would draw it closer to the EU.

In a show of unity, the two leaders attended together a soccer match between
Ukraine’s two top teams Sunday. But uncertainty persisted as shortly before
the match Yanukovych addressed a crowd of his supporters, talking about the
vote in the conjunctive mood, saying “if the election is held.”

In line with the agreement, lawmakers were to vote on Tuesday and Wednesday
on a series of bills needed for the election to take place.

But it was unclear whether parliament would remain in place until the
election, and Yushchenko and Yanukovych still had an array of other
complicated issues to resolve – including uncertainty over who controls the
Interior Ministry and the prosecutor general’s office, with fired chief
prosecutor Svyatoslav Piskun refusing to quit his post.

Allaying fears of potential violence, the Interior Ministry said on its Web
site Sunday that it was sending riot police units that had been guarding
government buildings in Kiev in recent days back to their home bases, but it
was unclear who would assert control over the ministry.        -30-
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6.     UKRAINE – AGREEMENT LEADS TO FALL BALLOT
                Election Date: September 30, 2007, At stake: Parliament

Angus Reid Global Monitor, Angus Reid Strategies
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Monday, May 28, 2007

                                              BACKGROUND
In 1922, Ukraine became one of the original constituent republics of the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. During World War II, Ukraine suffered
severe devastation under German occupation and underwent many territorial
changes.

Ukraine gained its independence following the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
Kiev is the capital and largest city. Since seceding from the Soviet Union,
Ukraine has tried to balance its close ties with Russia with its aspirations
of broader cooperation with the European Union (EU).

In 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected president. He won a second term in a
run-off against Petro Symonenko of the Communist Party (KPU) on Nov. 14,
1999.

The last years of Kuchma’s tenure were unsound. The president was chided
for his perceived authoritarian style; in 2002, a series of tape recordings
hinted at the possible sale of hi-tech radar equipment to Saddam Hussein’s
regime in Iraq.

A year later, Kuchma deployed peacekeepers to join the United States-led
coalition effort in Iraq, a strategy that resulted in a drop in public
support.

In November 2004, a series of public demonstrations took place in Kiev after
the presidential run-off. The Ukrainian Supreme Court eventually invalidated
the results of the second round, and ordered a special re-vote.

Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko-whose supporters wore orange-
coloured clothing at events and rallies-received 51.99 per cent of all cast
ballots, defeating Viktor Yanukovych.

During his term in office, Yushchenko has had to deal with sagging approval
for his administration, which has been dogged by allegations of corruption.
He dismissed his entire cabinet in September 2005 to appoint a new roster of
senior staff in an attempt to make the government more effective.

The cabinet reshuffle meant the end of the tenure of prime minister Yulia
Tymoshenko, who had provided her party’s support to Yushchenko during the
presidential re-vote. Yushchenko appointed Dnipropetrovsk governor Yuri
Yekhanurov as head of government.

In March 2006, Ukrainian voters renewed the Supreme Council. In July, the
“anti-crisis” governing coalition-which includes Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions (PR), the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) and the Communist Party
of Ukraine (KPU)-was formally announced.

In August, Yanukovych was confirmed as prime minister, while Yushchenko
remained as president.

Yanukovych and Yushchenko agreed on a 27-point declaration, which
contemplates improving Ukraine’s relations with the European Union (EU) and
includes a plan to eventually join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO).

On Nov. 3, Yushchenko called for a review of the national constitution,
declaring, “The future constitutional commission will be bound to make
pragmatic decisions for better relations between power branches, court and
legal reforms, opposition rights and other constitutional issues. The
fundamental law is a national document, and not a single power branch can
monopolize it.”

The government has been deemed very ineffective since Yushchenko’s
pro-Western and Yanukovych’s pro-Russian factions have been forced to work
in coalition.

In February 2007, Yushchenko accused lawmakers loyal to Yanukovych of taking
decisions “with such insufficient consideration that they can be based only
on emotions and the desire for some primitive revenge” for the current prime
minister’s defeat in the 2004 ballot.

On Mar. 19, Yanukovych dismissed allegations that the government has come
to a stall because of ideological differences, declaring, “We deny any
parliamentary or economic crisis in the country as the government works,
economy and budget are increasing, and decisions are being made together
with the president.”
                       2007 SUPREME COUNCIL ELECTION
On Apr. 2, Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko dissolved the Supreme
Council and called an election for May 27. The legislative branch refused to
acknowledge the decree and vowed to continue meeting.

Ukraine’s government has completely come to a standstill due to fighting
within the ruling coalition. Street protests in favour and against the
government are becoming more common.

On Apr. 2, the presidential office released a statement, which read: “Viktor
Yushchenko, as commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, stressed he
would allow no use of force in the country.”

On Apr. 5, Yushchenko reiterated his intentions, declaring, “I stress one
more time that it is obligatory to implement the decree of Ukraine’s
president. Any refusal to implement it will result in criminal proceedings.
I will not take a single step towards rescinding the decree.”

Party of Regions (PR) leader and current prime minister Viktor Yanukovych
dismissed the president’s call, saying, “We reject any form of early
elections. (…) If the decree is unconstitutional, then the heads of law
enforcement agencies should get involved to look into how the situation got
to this point and who started it.”

On Apr. 6, Yanukovych discussed the situation, saying, “The government will
ensure tranquility and stability in the country and all events will be
within the democratic limits and not affect our foreign policy priorities.
(…) In spite of the deepening the political crisis, the country’s activity
is going on.”

On Apr. 10, five of the 18 members of the Constitutional Court expressed
disappointment with the current situation and called for bodyguards before
issuing their ruling on the election call. Judge Volodymyr Kampo declared:
“Gross pressure has been applied.”

Also on Apr. 10, Yanukovych called for a legal solution to the current
political impasse, saying, “It would be better from all points of view, if
the president, in accordance with the law, consulted with the Constitutional
Court before upholding his decision.

He could ask if he had the right to dissolve the Parliament in other cases
in addition to those which are stipulated by the Constitution. But it has
not occurred. Today, all of us should wait until the Constitutional Court’s
ruling.”

On Apr. 25, Yushchenko addressed the nation again, and declared: “With the
aim to organize elections appropriately and resolve problems facing Ukraine
in a democratic way, I have signed a decree scheduling early elections for
June 24.”

On Apr. 30, Yushchenko vowed to go ahead with the ballot, saying, “I will
soon announce decisions that will guarantee the election takes place in a
calm and appropriate manner. The election will be honest and democratic with
an appropriate level of organization and international observers present.
You will be able to express your will freely and honestly. I have sufficient
means to ensure the preparation and staging of these elections. I will
overcome any criminal sabotage. Any failure to act will be brought to
account.”

On May 5, opposition lawmaker Yulia Tymoshenko discussed the current state
of affairs, saying, “Ukraine has again proved to be an example of how to end
a crisis strictly through our own political means, without outside
interference or pressure. An early election gives Ukraine the chance to
proceed along the path of renewal. (…) There is a single goal in doing
this. We must draw large numbers of people towards the democratic position
and make them members of a democratic team.”

On May 7, Yanukovych rejected the proposed new date because the timing fails
to guarantee the elections will be transparent, adding, “If early elections
are to be held, they must be provided with a legal framework, which is not
in place yet.”

On May 11, the main opposition parties ruled out any cooperation with
Yanukovych’s PR. NS-NU chairman Vyacheslav Kyrylenko explained the
situation, saying, “An agreement signed between Our Ukraine and the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc in February does not foresee any broad coalition, no
alliance with the Party of Regions in a new parliament.”

On May 17, Constitutional Court chairman Ivan Dombrovsky resigned.
Yushchenko repeated his call for a quick ballot, saying, “An early election
will take place. Let me just say that it will not be in October. We should
not engage in games on this. We need a quick, democratic reaction to the
crisis.”

On May 23, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court curtailed the president’s power to
appoint and fire the heads of local courts. Under Ukrainian law, chief
judges and deputies are nominated by the Supreme Court’s chief judge, and
then appointed or fired by the president. Critics of the president have
complained that Yushchenko had been appointing only loyalists to the courts
in recent months.

The decision suggests that the Constitutional Court may not approve
Yushchenko’s dissolution of the Supreme Council.

Yushchenko’s chief of staff Viktor Baloha said the president will not accept
the ruling on the elections if it is not in his favour, adding, “There are
two scenarios for the way out of the crisis: the early election to
Parliament and further monopolization of power with respective
consequences. The president will not allow the second scenario.”

On May 27, Yushchenko and Yanukovych agreed to hold the election on Sept.
30, after an eight-hour meeting. The president declared: “We have great news
for this holy day. Now we can say that the political crisis in Ukraine is over.”              -
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7.                  EU WELCOMES AGREEMENT BETWEEN

                             UKRAINE’S POLITICAL RIVALS
Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Monday, May 28, 2007

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Union welcomed Sunday’s agreement
among Ukraine’s political leaders to end a crisis that had threatened to
spiral into violence.

“Today I congratulate the leaders of Ukraine, both in government and in the
opposition, for their show of commitment to democracy,” said EU foreign
policy chief Javier Solana. “This negotiated compromise makes everyone a
winner.”

In a statement, Solana said he looked forward to Ukraine’s parliament
passing legislation this week to implement the agreement between President
Viktor Yushchenko and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, which
calls for early parliamentary elections to held in September.

Solana expressed hope that the agreement would allow Ukraine to turn to
reforms that would draw it closer to the EU.

“Now is the time for everyone in Ukraine to focus on implementing the
necessary reforms,” he said “The European Union is very committed to this
partnership, the quality of which depends on the quality of Ukraine’s
democracy and reforms.”

The German government, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said it
would maintain close ties with all sides in Ukraine in an effort to help
implement the agreement.

It urged “all involved to help ensure the success of the compromise now
achieved by refraining from unilateral measures.”

Ukraine’s political standoff has provoked mounting concern in the EU over
the stability in a neighbor with 47 million people which is an important
transit route for western Europe’s oil and gas supplies from Russia and the
Caspian region.

The EU in March approved a euro494 million (US$660 million) aid package for
Ukraine over the next four years, a significant increase in funding.

However, although the EU has started negotiations on a deeper economic and
political partnership with Ukraine, it has rebuffed the former Soviet
republic’s requests to be considered as a candidate for EU membership.
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=========================================================
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=========================================================
8. THE TRAGICOMEDY OF UKRAINIAN POLITICAL CONFLICT

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone, Kyiv
Eurasian Home, Monday, May 28, 2007

A truce has been announced in the seemingly never-ending conflict between
Ukraine’s pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko and his Moscow-leaning
nemesis, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych – but can anyone take it serious?

Only Saturday, the country was again attracting the attention of
international leaders and media, as Interior Ministry troops loyal to
President Yushchenko reportedly closed in on the capital.

Two days earlier, the head of the Interior Ministry, a member of Yanukovych’s
government and the majority it controls in parliament, had personally
stormed the Prosecutor-General’s Office with special police units in an
attempt to keep Yushchenko from firing the nation’s top prosecutor.

The country seemed to be headed toward a civil war.

The raid by Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, a political appointee, was
called the first clash of armed units against one another in Independent
Ukraine.

In fact, the special police unit under Tsushko simply broke down the door of
the prosecutor-general’s office and pushed out the state guards sent by the
president to lock out the top prosecutor.

That was the extent of “the violence.”

Far more violent scuffles between opposing lawmakers in the nation’s
parliament are a regular occurrence, while former President Leonid Kuchma
unleashed various law-enforcement agencies against his political opponents
and peaceful demonstrators on more than one occasion.

Nevertheless, ever since Viktor Yanukovych returned to head the government
last summer, the tug of war for executive power between him and President
Yushchenko has led the country from one crisis to another, as neither man
seems capable of legitimately assuming the position of the nation’s Hetman.

The reform-minded Yushchenko was handed power by the hundreds of

thousands of peaceful protesters who took part in Ukraine’s Orange
Revolution in 2004.

Yanukovych, who represents the country’s Russian-speaking east, went

from the villain of the Orange Revolution, on account of his fraud-filled
presidential bid, to a largely self-appointed co-president after his party
came in first during the 2006 parliamentary elections.

If Ukraine were more authoritarian, like its eastern Slavic neighbor, a
strongman like Putin would have firmly taken his place by now.

On the other hand, if the country were closer to the kind of European-style
democracy that Yushchenko has vowed to create, transitions of power would

be prescribed and conducted according to the law.

But Ukraine seems to be comfortable with its dual if not fickle approach to
statehood, as comical as it sometimes seems.

No one denies that the country is a de facto a bilingual east-west bridge,
but there are serious doubts about the assumption that it is transforming
from Soviet authoritarianism to Western rule of law.

The constitution was vague from the start, allowing former President Leonid
Kuchma to assume more authority than anyone expected.

But just as Kuchma was leaving office, then-opposition leader Viktor
Yushchenko agreed to a confusing and poorly thought out package of
constitutional reforms that are largely responsible for the current legal
chaos observed today.

As Yanukovych and his leftist allies in the parliament have tried to muscle
away the president’s executive authority, the country’s courts have proven
themselves just as partisan and therefore lawless as the rest of the
country.

The situation would be laughable if we weren’t talking about the destinies
of 46 million people.

And since the nation’s constitution can now be interpreted any way one
wants, then conflicts that arise have to be resolved in some other way.

Many of Ukraine’s so-called elite are businessmen with some sort of state
position. Several have their own media outlets.

That’s why it’s common to see their little conflicts, or battles, being
waged simultaneously in company boardrooms, the parliament and the

pages of  the country’s numerous tabloids.

The fact that the Orange Revolution polarized all these conflicts into a
neat East-West struggle is largely irrelevant.

One need only note how many times the various players switch teams.
Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun, the hero of the latest spiff between
Yushchenko and Yanukovych, is an excellent but by no means isolated

example.

He was widely criticized during the Kuchma administration by the opposition
of the time, including Yushchenko, who ended up keeping him on, firing him,
rehiring him and now firing him again.

Appointments and dismissals are also a common weapon in the battle between
Ukraine’s elites – if the elite in question are high enough placed.

Upon returning as premier last summer, Yanukovych immediately went about
getting rid of Yushchenko’s appointees, including some he had no right to
replace.

When Yushchenko finally had enough, on April 2, he fired the parliament,
which served as the climax of the two-men’s post Orange-Revolution war (as
opposed to the war they fought for the presidency in 2004).

Since April 2, Ukraine watchers have been treated to a rare spectacle of
buffoon-like brinkmanship, where the primary victim is the rule of law.

The president passes decrees, and the parliament, which has refused to be
dismissed, passes a law that counters the decree.

The president puts one of his people in a key position, only to have the
premier’s team question the appointment in a court that goes on to reverse
its own decision.

The president goes on television to tell his countrymen what’s happening,
and then the premier says just the opposite on another channel.

So while international media and world leaders were calling for calm, as the
Interior troops were reportedly headed for the capital on Saturday, it’s no
wonder that the average Ukrainian was getting a suntan or watching a
football match.

Their self-interested politicians tried to make the three-ring circus
interesting, upping the stakes with the threat of an armed conflict. But the
show didn’t sell at home.

And why should anyone believe that the president or the premier are willing
to advance their supposedly polarized strategic views through the use of
force, when the two men have announced an end to their long-running
struggle, shaking hands before the nation, on at least three significant
occasions in the past year?

This time the two men, together with Socialist speaker Oleksandr Moroz,
announced that they would end the standoff by holding snap elections on
Sept. 30.

Only a few weeks before, Yanukovych and Yushchenko announced a similar
compromise to hold the elections, but didn’t set a date.

Why should anyone believe this time that some other detail won’t derail
things again, setting off another comical standoff?

The presence of Moroz this time around certainly is no guarantee.

The Socialist leader stood side by side with Yushchenko during the Orange
Revolution against Yanukovych, only to switch sides last summer, allowing
Yanukovych to become premier again.

It was Moroz’s fellow Socialist, Interior Minister Tsushko, who called in
the riot police to block a presidential order on Thursday, while the
Socialist Transport Minister announced dutifully on Saturday that he wouldn’t
let trains be used to bring in troops loyal to the president.

And even though a date for fresh elections has been set, what about all the
other issues that have popped up during the circus standoff?

Has Piskun been fired yet again or hasn’t he?

And what about Tsushko? He has set a dangerous precedent in challenging a
presidential order by means of the police. Should he go unpunished?

Then again, there is nothing unusual about ignoring the law in Ukraine.
Yushchenko promised Ukrainians that he would jail the bandits who had rigged
the 2004 elections and done other nasty things, but that did not happen.

It’s a favorite Ukrainian pastime to “open criminal cases” against someone,
without ever charging them, much less getting a conviction, although some
end up spending a few weeks in the slammer only to be released and returned
to office down the road.

Indeed, it would be a mistake to believe that no one gets into trouble
during the circus performance of Ukrainian political conflict.

President Yushchenko himself had his face disfigured after being poisoned
during the 2004 presidential campaign. Others die in “accidents” or commit
“suicide.”

That’s why European leaders’ recent expressions of concern were not
altogether misplaced.

In addition to the reports of the Interior Troops approaching Kyiv, the
president’s team accused Tsushko’s ministry of planning violence against
peaceful protesters in Kyiv to create a pretext for seizing power.

Tsushko himself had announced that the Prosecutor-General’s Office had been
seized by armed men as a pretext for arriving with the special police units.

But by early Sunday morning, following a marathon round of closed-door
negotiations, the president, the premier and the speaker announced a
compromise.

Underlining the tragicomedy of Ukrainian politics, the president played down
the very threat he had used to force a deal with his opponents, by saying
that the 3,500 Interior Troops who were headed for Kyiv had been merely
reinforcements for a football match to be held in the capital on Sunday.

Ironically, the match was between teams from Orange Revolution Kyiv and
Donetsk, the premier’s power base.

Yushchenko glibly told reporters that he would attend the match with Moroz
and Yanukovych, two men whom he had just days before accused of state
treachery.

Later on Sunday, Yanukovych, Moroz and the head of the third coalition
member, Communist leader Petro Symonenko addressed supporters at a

rally in the capital, but the message wasn’t nearly so friendly.

Moroz called his opponents “provocateurs,” Symonenko called for the
“liquidation of the presidency” and Yanukovych sowed doubt on the very
agreement he’d just struck with Yushchenko.

The premier told his supporters that, “if they (the elections) take place,
they should put an end to adventurism and public mockery.”

Unfortunately, the premier’s words only go to show that the mockery and
dangerous buffoonery are likely to continue.

Ukraine’s politicians may seem comical to the casual observer as well as the
average Ukrainian, but the country is no stranger to tragedy.

One need only recall the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the shoot-down of a
passenger jet by the Ukrainian military in 2001, and the 2002 Sknyliv air
show crash – the world’s worst.

These tragedies weren’t political, but they were about the same kind of
incompetence by officials, disregard for the rules and complacency for the
safety of the people that we have seen demonstrated the country’s
politicians lately.                             -30-
———————————————————————————————
NOTE: John Marone, Kyiv Post editor, is based in Ukraine.
———————————————————————————————
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=738

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.                       THE CRISIS IS OVER IN UKRAINE

REPORT: By Mikhail Zygar, Kommersant Special Correspondent
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

The political crisis in Ukraine ended Saturday night. It lasted 60 days, but
ended with satisfaction all around. Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovich
forgot about their old hard feelings and called each other partners. The
president decided not to remember that he had dissolved the Rada either.

The prime minister agreed to early elections on September 30. Their
supporters practically forgot everything they had been fighting over for the
last two months. Kommersant special correspondent Mikhail Zygar witnessed
this Ukrainian happy ending.
                                        THE SOLUTION
At 3:30 a.m., Ukrainian President appeared in a window on the fourth floor.
He waved his arms at journalists lying directly beneath and banged on the
window. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich appeared in another window in his
shirtsleeves. He cast a gloomy look at the street. It was beginning to get
light.

Negotiations between the two Viktors, speaker of the Supreme Rada Alexander
Moroz, opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko and another dozen Ukrainian
politicians had been in progress for eight hours.

The political crisis in Ukraine lasted 60 days. It began on Easter week.
Yushchenko compared the dissolution of the Rada to the casting of the
Pharisees from the Temple at the time. By Whit Sunday, Yushchenko had
persuaded the “Pharisees” to leave the parliament.

A little after 4:00, Yushchenko, Yanukovich and Moroz came out of the
presidential secretariat building.

“We have news worthy of this great holiday of Whit Sunday,” the president
said. The political crisis in Ukraine is over. We have found a solution that
is a compromise.” He looked surprising well for having has a sleepless
night. So did Yanukovich. He was wearing a fashionable checked jacket and a
big smile.

In the last two months, Yushchenko and Yanukovich have spent a lot of time
together in their endless negotiations and apparently have grown close.

“I want to thank our immediate partners, with whom we found reached this
excellent result,” Yushchenko continued, nearly hugging Yanukovich, who
continued to smile. A few years ago, Yushchenko was not calling him a
partner, but a bandit.

The new-found partners had succeeded in finding a way out of the crisis on
that amazing night that made them all look like winners. Yushchenko dreamed
of dissolving the Rada.

He issued two decrees to that effect in two months, but it did not dissolve.
Under the first decree, it was to take place on May 27, that is, yesterday.

Yanukovich was not against new elections. He would win them most likely and
even make a better showing. But he did not want the Rada to be dissolved at
the president’s will. He and Speaker Moroz claimed that the president’s
decrees were illegal.

Finally they have reached an agreement on it. The president has agreed to
pretend that he never issued any decrees.

The Rada has agreed to meet two more times, on Tuesday and Wednesday, to
pass the laws necessary for the elections and then dissolve itself, not by
presidential order but because the embers from pro-presidential Our Ukraine
and from the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc are resigning.

Under Ukrainian law, the Rada cannot function if more than a third of its
members are absent. New elections will be held September 30.

The agreeing Viktors were in a playful mood. “Let’s not engage in. what’s

that called? Revisionism. There is such a word,” Yanukovich said. “We
have to agree. If there were mistakes on both sides, they have to be corrected.”

Yushchenko was ready to make corrections to. When they asked him about

the internal forced troops making their way to Kiev, he widened his eyes.

“That’s a lot of nonsense, one of the fables they are telling to misinform
the public!” he exclaimed and went on to say that the extra forces were
coming to the capital only because Sunday the final match between Kiev
Dynamo and Donetsk Miners soccer teams.

“And this evening we are going to the game together!” Yushchenko beamed,
taking Yanukovich and Moroz by the arms. Finally they embraced. Camera
flashes blazed. It was already light out.
                                        BEFORE THE WAR
Just a day before the peace, the president and prime minister were
practically ready for war to break out in Kiev.

“Yushchenko is Shrek!” an aggressive crowd of 1000 young people in shorts
and sandals (it’s hot in Kiev) chanted in front of the besieged Prosecutor
General’s office.

Berkut special forces in full battle gear guarded the building shared the
crowd’s anger. Inside the building, they were saying that it was going to be
stormed on Friday night.

Supposedly a unit of Alpha troops, which are subordinate to the president,
were in battle readiness and they intended to take the building from Berkut,
which is subordinate to the government.

They were waiting for Alpha, but they never came. Boys with Party of the
Regions flags took off their shirts and spread them on the ground to sleep
on. The reporters were drifting away and MPs were filing out of the building
as well.

In the morning, I went into the building that a war was almost fought over.
Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun was still in charge. He had won court
battles with former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma as well as Yushchenko
to prove that all attempts to fire him were illegal.

Thanks to a decision of the Solomensky Court in Kiev, which stopped the
president’s order to dismiss him, Piskun was again saying that he was the
only legal prosecutor general.

He called together the regional prosecutors in the main auditorium of the
building, sat them in their chairs and showed them to the reporters: they
support him, nit the president. The regional prosecutors sat silent and cowed.

“We prosecutors are also people who consider the law supreme,” he announced.
“What am I supposed to do now? I am supposed to initiate a criminal case
against people who illegally remove people from their jobs. I am not ready
to do it, there is no case yet, but it is getting ripe.” His threats were
hints, if not at the president, at least at Secretary of the Security
Council Ivan Plyushch.

The regional prosecutors sat looking half dead and Piskun kept on joking.
“What will you do if President Yushchenko declares a state of emergency?”

“I’ll put on a leather jacket, take a Mauser, form a tribunal and then we’ll
take him out to the courtyard and shoot him,” Piskun joked. The regional

prosecutors were ready to pass out.

The next morning, after Yushchenko and Yanukovich had agreed on everything,
Piskun was again ready to talk to me. It was easier to get in on Sunday.

The Berkut troops had been relieved from duty at the prosecutor’s building
and moved out of Kiev altogether. Young people with Party of the Regions
attributes remained and, due to the soccer game that even, their numbers
were increasing.

Busses were arriving from Donetsk and many fans wanted to catch a tan by the
prosecutor’s building before the match started. Everything was calm. No one
knew the two Viktors had come to an agreement and set a date for the
elections.

No one chanted “Yushchenko is Shrek.” Only one older woman with hair in the
style of Timoshenko held a broom and shouted, “Yulia, go to America. Here’s
your ride.”

The ever merry prosecutor general was also relaxed, and joking less than
usual.

“Do you feel that they sold you out?” I asked him. “While you were fighting
here, the president and prime minister agreed on everything.”

“I’m ready to be sold out if it helps the people. If violating the law is
for the good of the people, then do it for God’s sake. But I don’t think
this will be for their good.”

“You will probably be removed from office again. Yushchenko and Yanukovich
have agreed on everything, the Rada is meeting in Tuesday. It will probably
dismiss you.”
“If the Rada votes that way, I will not resist it.”

“What will you do?”
“As long as I am prosecutor general, I will work as prosecutor general. And
then I will run for parliament.”

“With what party?”
“With the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc. Or Our Ukraine,” he laughed. He is now an
MP from the Party of the Regions.

“Why not Party of the Regions?”
“Maybe with the Party of the Regions. I’ll see which of them will be most
honest and go with that one. Now the Regionals are very honest people. But o
Timoshenko Bloc is more honest, I’ll go with it.”

Out the window, I see that the youth that have spent two days surrounding
the building are leaving for the game.
                                          VICTORY, KINDA
For early elections to take place on September 30, MPs from the Timoshenko
Bloc and Our Ukraine are supposed to resign this week. They first threatened
to do so on Saturday.

In the morning, both factions held emergency meetings and gave Yanukovich

an ultimatum: if he and the president did not announce a date for the elections
by 4:00, the Orange would resign, that is self-destruct, killing all the
rest of the Rada at the same time. Then all of the compromise laws the
opponents had been developing over the last two months would remain
unenacted.

At the appointed hour, I venture unto Our Ukraine’s closed meeting. Having
said they would resign, they now sat dutifully waiting for a signal from the
presidential secretariat. The president was then only beginning the talks
that would end 12 hours later. So the legislators sat and discussed their
domestic problems lightheartedly.

“This country needs to be fully reloaded,” said deputy chairman of the
party’s executive committee Igor Zhdanov. “The court system has completely
discredited itself. The Constitutional Court has been practically destroyed.
It has to be renamed. Maybe Constitutional Tribunal, as in France.”

“Maybe it would be better not to,” someone suggested.
“Why not? The best things to do would be to call a constitutional assembly
and develop a new constitution.”

“But if you call a constitutional assembly, half of the places will belong
to Yanukovich. They will write the constitutional, not you,” I pointed out.

With the hum of the president’s supporters’ conversations about reforms they
had no chanced of carrying out, I drifted off to sleep. I dozed for 40
minutes. The MPs continued talking about the same topics. There was no

news from the presidential secretariat.

A concert was beginning on the Maidan at the same time. Day of the City was
that weekend. Kreshchatik was closed to traffic and several thousand people
walked on it, eating ice cream or drinking beer. Toward evening, it started
to rain and the public thinned out. The Blue-and-White activists began
packing up their tents on the Maidan.

“Where’re you going?” I asked.
“What is there to do here? Day of the City is over. We can go home.”

“What?” I asked. “Did you accomplish anything?”
They glanced at each other and then looked away. “Well, yeah. It was a
victory, kinda.”

They had certainly forgotten what they had fought for for two months.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.kommersant.com/p769165/r_527/Ukraine_crisis/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10.            SHORTCHANGING DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE
                   President Bush’s ‘Freedom Agenda’ Is Losing Momentum

OP-ED: By Jackson Diehl, Op-Ed Columnist
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Mon, May 28, 2007

Amid the wreckage of the Bush administration it’s easily forgotten that the
export of democracy to formerly unfree societies has not always been a
failing policy.

For a decade after the end of the Cold War, the United States and its
European allies worked through NATO and the European Union to convert
10 post-Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

At the time it wasn’t clear that all or even any of them would embrace free
elections and free markets. That they did was due in large part to the
abundant tutelage, training, aid and tough love provided by the Western
alliance.

Lots of people are pointing to Iraq as an example of what happens when
attempts at nation-building go wrong. But what happens when it isn’t
tried — when the West sees a country struggling to find a new political
order after decades of repression and simply decides to back off?

In effect, a test of that option is underway far from Iraq, in the biggest
country between Western Europe and Russia — Ukraine.

Three years ago, when the Bush “freedom agenda” was still gaining
momentum, Ukraine was a focal point. U.S. funds poured into
nongovernmental organizations that were agitating for a free presidential
election.

When a Russian-sponsored candidate tried to steal the election through
blatant fraud, the Bush administration strongly backed the popular protest
movement, the Orange Revolution, that eventually forced a new vote.

The pro-Western winner of that ballot, Viktor Yushchenko, was for a while a
favorite in Washington; there was even a push to put Ukraine on a fast track
for NATO membership.

The change from then to now is one measure of how far a demoralized
administration has retreated from its ambitions, and from the world outside
the Middle East.

Last week Ukraine was again in political crisis; the protagonists once again
were the pro-Western president, Yushchenko, and his pro-Russian rival,
Viktor Yanukovych, who is now the prime minister.

Once again crowds gathered in the center of Kiev. There were struggles for
control over government buildings, and each side accused the other of
plotting a coup.

The country seemed to teeter between a compromise agreement on new
parliamentary elections — which was announced yesterday — and an attempt
by one side or both to seize power by force.

The Bush administration and its NATO allies, meanwhile, were nearly
invisible. Contact between U.S. officials and the feuding Ukrainians was
limited mostly to the U.S. ambassador in Kiev and European affairs officials
at the State Department.

A senior adviser to Yanukovych who came to Washington last week to lobby
for more involvement, former foreign minister Konstantyn Gryshenko, found
it hard to get a meeting at the National Security Council or the vice
president’s office.

“What’s needed from the United States, and what has been lacking, is a
strong message to all sides that it is in their interest to abide by
democratic principles,” Gryshenko, a former ambassador to Washington,
told me. “The message we’re getting is that the United States really doesn’t
care.”

It’s not just the lack of phone calls or visits that conveys that
disengagement. As the human rights group Freedom House points out in a
new report, the administration’s foreign aid budget proposal for next year
contains big cuts in democracy funding for Europe and Eurasia.

In Ukraine, the administration would slash funding for civil society
organizations — that is, the groups that led the democratic revolution of
2004 — to $6.4 million, reflecting a 40 percent reduction from last year.

In Russia, where pro-democracy and human rights NGOs are under enormous
pressure from an increasingly autocratic Vladimir Putin, a cut of more than
50 percent is planned.

The retreat is largely a function of the administration’s ever-deeper
absorption in the Middle East — a lot of the democracy funding is being
shifted there — and simple demoralization.

There’s a reluctance to do anything that might help Russia’s perceived ally,
Yanukovych, who believes he would win any free and fair election.

It doesn’t help that European governments have lost their willingness to
offer more memberships in Western clubs. Both NATO and the European

Union have made it clear that Ukraine won’t be admitted anytime soon,
regardless of how its politicians behave.

What will happen in the absence of Western influence? Maybe Ukraine will
muddle through; most of its leaders seem more interested in the model of
democratic Poland than of Putin’s Russia.

Maybe Russia, which will never lose interest in its neighbor, will succeed
in converting it into a political satellite, as it tried to do in 2004.

Or maybe the chaos in Kiev will deepen, violence will erupt and the country
will start to splinter, like Yugoslavia in the 1990s — or Iraq. If so, it
won’t be because the United States tried to impose democracy; but it might
be because it didn’t.                                    -30-
————————————————————————————————
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052700929.html

——————————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.                         BUILDING BURNED BRIDGES
               Ukrainian chief prosecutor sacked for disobeying president

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuliya Mostova
Zerkalo Nedeli, Mirror-Weekly, Kiev, in Russian 26 May 07 p 1, 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 28, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko decided to sack Svyatoslav Piskun from the post
of prosecutor-general because Piskun refused to approve Yushchenko’s sacking
of three Constitutional Court judges, an analytical weekly has said.

The subsequent storming of Piskun’s office by the police was a mistake by
both sides to the conflict, but mainly by the head of the State Guard
Service, Valeriy Heletey and Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, the paper
writes.

It quotes people in the know as saying that Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych
is not inclined to conduct serious talks with Yushchenko.

The following is the text of the article by Yuliya Mostova entitled
“Building burned bridges” published in the Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo Nedeli,
pages one and two, on 26 May. Subheadings have been inserted editorially:

People who have known [President] Viktor Yushchenko and [Prime Minister]
Viktor Yanukovych well and for a long time, know for certain that both
politicians have parasite words. To be sure, by no means offensive ones.
Yushchenko’s yes and Yanukovych’s certainly are taken by many collocutors as
an expression of agreement with what has been said.

In actual fact, in the language of both politicians it means I heard what
you said rather than I agree with you. Many people have fallen victim to
such misunderstandings. As a result, both Yushchenko and Yanukovych have
fallen victim to it, with the prospect of the entire Ukrainian people
joining the list of victims.

The last five-hour meeting between the prime minister and president, in the
words of [opposition leader] Yuliya Tymoshenko and Viktor Andriyovych
[Yushchenko] himself, ended with a definition of and agreement on a mutually
acceptable date for holding the election. According to Zerkalo Nedeli’s
information, the date in question was 30 September.

This, of course, is a substantial step towards a compromise on the date on
the part of the opposition and the president. Yushchenko viewed the date as
being a result of negotiations. Yanukovych certainly agreed with it.

However, the president obviously did not ascribe significance to the
conditions that the prime minister raised: elections only after a decision
by the Constitutional Court [on the constitutionality of Yushchenko's decree
on the dissolution of parliament]; after the opposition returns to the
chamber with the aim of adopting as the bare minimum a package of
legislative changes required for holding the election.

(The sincere promises of [National Security and Defence Council Secretary,
NSDC, Ivan] Plyushch regarding the unification of OU [propresidential Our
Ukraine] and PR [ruling Party of Regions] in the chamber of the next
parliament, and the opportunist words on that score by [presidential
secretariat chief Viktor] Baloha are not the subject of our discussion
today).
                    RULING PARTY WRACKED BY DOUBTS
At first glance, the list of Yanukovych’s justified conditions had a false
bottom. In order to sort out why it appeared, let us take a small jump to
the side – into the camp of the prime minister’s party.

As we already mentioned in last week’s edition of Zerkalo Nedeli, the Party
of Regions is not ecstatic about the current sociological rating indicators
giving it a chance to remain in power after the elections, but not giving a
guarantee of ensuring it.

The rating of Our Ukraine will crawl on to the mountain with the speed of a
beginner climber. The rating of Lutsenko [former Interior Minister Yuriy
Lutsenko, leader of People's Self-Defence movement] – with the speed of
Father Fedor [character from 20th century comic novel who ran up a hill in
search of treasure].

The YTB [Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc] is marking time, but like all of them,
apart from People’s Self-Defence, has not yet started its campaign.

The prospect of approaching the finishing line neck and neck does not suit
those who currently own the controlling stake of power in the country.

What is more, far from everyone in the PR is sure that the socialists will
pass the barrier [of getting into parliament]. But even more importantly,
they are not all sure of the possibility of a personal return to a
hypothetically attainable second term in power.

The party’s leaders will have to correct their mistakes and accept into
their ranks with personnel prospects representatives not only of the Donetsk
and Luhansk political and economic elite.

But the list is not elastic, and neither is the Cabinet – far from every
current minister and parliamentary committee chairman is sure that the job
is consolidated for them for a second term. Why bother with birds in the
bush, when the one in the hand is not bad?

It is precisely this indistinct resistance headed by the active
intra-coalition militia of the speaker [Oleksandr Moroz] that made it
impossible for Yanukovych to take a definitive decision. That is exactly why
the prime minister, apart from the negotiation process being conducted with
the president, provided himself with the implementation of another plan.

The adoption of a decision by the Constitutional Court should sharply
strengthen the position of the coalition and, of course, weaken that of the
president.

As for the adoption of a small package of changes, mainly to electoral
legislation, it served as a lure to get the YTB and OU factions to return to
the chamber.

Representatives of these factions who are in the know claim that after the
adoption of a pro-coalition decision by the Constitutional Court, the
opposition factions might quit the chamber again, but this time in
substantially lightened numbers.

After all, recruitment work with regard to deputies of both factions has
been stepped up recently. As a result, nobody would vote for such a small
package: it is not ruled out that the Supreme Council would gain a
constitutional majority [350 deputies of the total 500], while the
opposition, if it consisted of 150 people, would stay outside parliament.

In a word, the situation of usurpation of power by the prime minister, which
the presidential decree on the dissolution of parliament was designed to
prevent, would again become absolutely realistic.
                   CRISIS TALKS WERE GETTING NOWHERE
Before Thursday [24 May] the impression was forming that both sides in the
course of lengthy and thorough talks were soft-soaping each other, luring
each other into traps.

One side wanted to lure the opposition into the chamber and slam the doors
of the mousetrap shut and the other side wanted to tempt them with prospects
of a broad coalition, soothing the vigilant fear of those who are uncertain
of the victory of the Regionals at the elections.

During the negotiations, already outside the bounds of violent
confrontation, the priests tempted Kozlevych [reference to 20th century
comic novel in which Polish priests tried to convert Kozlevich to
Catholicism], putting a question to the president directly: What can be done
to get him to give up the idea of early elections?

I think that it was precisely in order to accumulate (?sweeteners) that the
health minister [Yuriy Haydayev] unexpectedly received instructions from the
prime minister to take part in the activity of a working group on the
question of transferring the presidential secretariat to the Health Ministry
building.

However, so far as can be judged, Yushchenko was not seduced by these and a
range of other proposals on the part of Yanukovych and [prominent PR deputy,
tycoon Rinat] Akhmetov.

And yet, in spite of a certain difference between what is discussed and what
is implemented. The parties found themselves in a state of fragile peace.

Yushchenko’s yes regarding conditions for holding the elections and
Yanukovych’s certainly regarding the uncertainty of holding them facilitated
belief in each other’s declared positions. Each heard what he wanted to
hear.
                SACKING OF PISKUN IGNITED SITUATION
The situation was exploded by [Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav] Piskun, who
declared the president’s actions in sacking three judges of the
Constitutional Court to be illegal.

Yushchenko perceived the prosecutor-general’s actions as being coordinated
with Yanukovych. It is entirely possible that this was the case.

But there is also another theory: Piskun had deliberately broken accords
between him and Baloha, representing Yushchenko. They were concluded, of
course, before the decision of the Shevchenkivskyy [district] court on the
restoration of Piskun [to office].

However, Svyatoslav Mykhaylovych was not amusing himself with the hope that
the president would once again nominate him for the post of
prosecutor-general.

Following the completely pro-prime ministerial personnel policy in the
Prosecutor-General’s Office [PGO], the bridges with Bankova [Street in Kiev
where presidential secretariat is located] had been burned. Piskun was faced
with a choice about which horse to ride further. And he made that choice.

The information about a guaranteed speedy decision of the Constitutional
Court [CC], Piskun’s statement on the illegality of the removal of CC judges
and the judicial decision to reinstate [Syuzanna] Stanik, [Volodymyr]
Ivashchenko and [Valeriy] Pshenychnyy were real signs of a serious
encirclement of the president, and he started breaking out of the cauldron.

[Oleksandr] Turchynov, who was appointed first deputy secretary of the NSDC,
was brought in to help, since the readiness of Ivan Stepanovych [Plyushch]
to take unusual steps was somewhat exaggerated – where one sits determines
one’s point of view.

The leap-frogging of heads of the State Guard Directorate, three of whom
were effectively replaced within 24 hours, was perceived as a feverish
unwillingness to give in.

At the same time, the president understood that in the position of
prosecutor-general he had got not a weakling, but a turbulent copy of
[former Prosecutor-General Oleksandr] Medvedko: the PGO did not remain
pro-Yushchenko.

It was good that it did not become independent, but dangerous that it became
pro-Regionals, which is also bad. That was why he signed the decree on the
dismissal of the prosecutor-general whom he had reinstated, but had not
justified the hope placed in him.

You know and have seen what followed in the endless news confusingly
relaying clips of the seizure of the PGO by Berkut [riot police] under the
leadership of Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko.

It is not known for certain who gave the command to the minister to win back
the PGO that had already been left by Svyatoslav Piskun. Some people believe
that it was Oleksandr Moroz. But that is probably an emotional conclusion.
They are absolutely convinced on Bankova that the command came from Viktor
Yanukovych.

The fact that the prime minister, who was the basic party to the talks with
the president, failed to turn up on Friday [25 May] at 1100 [0800 gmt] to
the agreed meeting with Viktor Yushchenko is evidence of encouragement by
the coalition leader for prospects of a violent scenario of the development
of events.

[Former Defence Minister] Yevhen Marchuk was absolutely right, when he said
on TV 5 Kanal that after what had been seen on the news, the president and
prime minister should have met immediately, withdrawn their teams to the
previously occupied positions and reached agreement clearly and specifically
about the time frame and conditions for holding elections. Yanukovych
refused to do that. At least, he refused to do so promptly.
   UNPRECEDENTED CLASH BETWEEN SECURITY UNITS
The politicians could drag out the negotiations, causing irritation to the
whole country, up to the line that Tsushko crossed. For the first time in
the history of independent Ukraine there was a clash between security units
receiving commands from different political centres.

The mediocrity and clumsiness of [head of State Guard Directorate Valeriy]
Heletey is no justification for the seizure of the PGO building by special
units with the interior minister at their head.

In the course of the 52-day crisis of dismissals and reinstatements there
were masses of statements backed by incursions by deputies into state
institutions by both sides.

But there were people with weapons, quite a few of whom, dressed in plain
clothes by the way, penetrated the PGO… [ellipsis as published]

But there were special units kicking their colleagues downstairs…
[ellipsis as published] But there was the minister in the role of the main
Chapayev potato [Vasiliy Chapayev was a Civil War hero about whom many

jokes are told]… [ellipsis as published] The country had never known anything
like it!

And instead of cautiously but firmly together pulling up Ukraine, hanging
over the precipice, and helping it to cling on to the edge of the abyss, the
parties to a greater or lesser extent are continuing irresponsibly to swing
on a tightrope.

As far as Zerkalo Nedeli knows, Viktor Yushchenko’s plan for Friday was
written out in two versions.

[1] The first, postponed for now, looked like this: the morning meeting with
the prime minister was due to be completed by a joint appearance to the
people with an announcement of a definite date for the elections.

After that step, the president was ready to hold technical negotiations
determining the conditions for holding early elections with the leaders of
all factions and with the participation, of course, of the prime minister
and speaker.

But first there should be a date fixed by the president and prime minister.
Yushchenko did not manage to put that plan into action because of the
absence of his opposite number.

The non-appearance of the prime minister on Bankova (?at the appointed time)
was not officially explained at all. What is more, Yushchenko’s protocol
services were also unable to get explanations.

Unofficially, in conversation with Zerkalo Nedeli, a person in the prime
minister’s close entourage said: Who was there to negotiate with? They’re
crazy and understand only force… [ellipsis as published] One would like to
think that this was emotions.

Another source told Zerkalo Nedeli that Yanukovych did not want to have a
meeting without Moroz, but Yushchenko did not accept that condition. It is
possible that the meeting will still take place after lunch. But the same
source assured us that Yanukovych’s mood is far from being inclined to
achieve compromise with the president.

Confirmation of this is provided by the tough tone adopted by the prime
minister when holding an emergency sitting of the Cabinet of Ministers. We
were unable to cover the results of that sitting, owing to the schedule for
releasing this issue.
                              PRESIDENT’S ACTION PLAN
[2] For now, for the above-mentioned reasons, the president decided to go
for Friday’s plan No 2: the regional governors, notified in good time and
summoned to Kiev, took part in a meeting chaired by the president. Security
officials were also present. All apart from Tsushko.

The interior minister ignored two conferences with the president on Thursday
[24 May] and, in spite of an invitation delivered by courier post, he
treated the president with contempt on Friday too.

This fact confirmed once more the definitive prominence of the problem that
our paper was shouting about back in September last year: the
law-enforcement security agencies, shared out like Easter cakes will become
not so much a means of mutual control of the president and the coalition as
a means of the power struggle.

In the light of what happened, the president subordinated the Interior
troops to himself, and acting Prosecutor-General Viktor Shemchuk instituted
criminal cases against Tsushko and two CC judges previously suspected of
corruption.

Notices were handed to the two gentlemen and were ignored by them. SBU
[Security Service of Ukraine] staff who were instructed to carry out the
investigation have not yet managed to find the lady to hand over the
invitation.

The president’s plan being put into practice assumes the holding of a
sitting of the NSDC and congresses of OU and the YTB.

The purpose of the second measure is to get them to resign their mandates
and prove the illegitimacy of parliament which will not have the two thirds
of deputies required for work. From the legal viewpoint it is extremely
complicated to carry out this procedure (resigning mandates) impeccably in a
compressed time limit.

Many people agree that Oleksandr Moroz is right – you must not put the horse
before the cart: to start with, statements must be written to the Supreme
Council secretariat by each one of the deputies, and only on their
confirmation by the session (by the coalition majority?!) will a reason
arise for holding congresses.

But at the present time legal niceties are of little interest to either
side, it seems. The situation has blown up. And in the absence of prospects
for prompt joint intervention by the president and prime minister, it will
become irreversible for many.
        POSSIBILITY OF CONSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT
I very much want to believe that at the time when you are holding the fresh
issue of Zerkalo Nedeli in your hands, the most dreadful thing will not have
happened.

This belief is in spite of the existence of two prosecutors-general planning
double-edged arrests and dividing investigators into ours and not ours;

     [1] in spite of the appointment of hawks – the replacement of [Volodymyr]
     Radchenko by [Oleksandr] Kuzmuk [as deputy prime minister] de jure
     and of  Plyushch by Turchynov de facto;
     [2] in spite of the readiness of Tsushko accompanied by special units to
     seize whatever they want and the readiness of the interior troops to
     defend that state-owned whatever they want;
     [3] in spite of the victory of radical moods in the entourage of both
     Yushchenko and of Yanukovych.

The legal field capable of serving as a template for a settlement of the
situation has been trampled on by hordes of irresponsible politicians,
corrupt judges and meretricious lawyers. It is not possible to find a grain
of truth in these ruts. And this is an extremely bad thing.

But, on the other hand, it is an opportunity, by casting aside the weight of
mutual complaints of the opposing sides to plough the field anew, at least
in that section that assumes a settlement of the crisis.

The idea of a constitutional agreement was also proposed by the Razumkov
Centre [think tank], and as a consequence by a number of other expert
centres. It remained unheard.

Only one thing is needed for its implementation – the will, responsibility
and ability to take tough and responsible decisions. Only for this, will
must not be confused with stubbornness or pigheadedness; responsibility with
loyalty to appearance rather than the family; decisiveness with hysteria and
bull-like nature with mayhem.

All of this may be very easily muddled in a country where every electoral
section shouts not for itself, but for its own people:
     [1] where East and West sit in their homes without hot water;
     [2] where old men of East and West climb up to their homes without

     working lifts;
     [3] where patients of East and West receive – and this is guaranteed –
     only antiseptic in the hospitals free of cost;
     [4] where victims of East and West do not trust the courts and
     [5] drivers crash cars on roads not of the first quality.

No, my dears, there is no point in consoling yourselves with the illusion
that there is a war at the top for values and languages, for a different
vision of state prospects and for the improvement of life today. If we
understand this, then they will have nowhere to splash out to with their
irresponsibility and hostility.

If we don’t understand it, we will become petrol for the sparks struck.
And – probably the most important thing – the leaders who put the country on
the threshold of civil confrontation cannot have prospects in a society that
respects itself.                                       -30-
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12.              UKRAINE: “LOFTY LIES, MEAN TRUTHS”
        Offering plausible answers to questions about the Constitutional Court

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN), Mirror-Weekly, #19 (648)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 19-25, 2007

“Is the Constitutional Court dead?” With this question the pro-presidential
side responded (quite predictably) to the recent dramatic events that
changed the balance of power in Ukraine’s highest court of arbitration.

The response from the pro-government side was predictable as well:
statements about the court’s upcoming verdict became louder and louder. No
one in the white-and-blue camp doubts that the verdict will be in favor of
Yanukovych and his allies.

Without delving into the scenario of this poor show, ZN gives the following
comments.

Yes, passions rage and the stakes are very high. Yet the Constitutional
Court is not dead, as some politicians and officials have stated. The CC is
not only a vital organ of the state system; this institution is also one of
the natural features and symbols of the state.

It is very dangerous to deny its existence. Even if a country is ruled by a
scoundrel, can that be a sufficient reason for denying its existence as
such?

Yes, politicians have the right to assess the court’s performance, debate
the objectivity of its verdicts, or call its legitimacy into question. But
those who say that the CC does not exist question the reputation of all CC
judges, which is hardly fair.

Besides, those who deny the existence of the CC as an institution
acknowledge the absence of the main instrument for restoring legal justice.

If there is no such instrument, what is the use talking about law or
searching for legal (or pseudo-legal) solutions to the crisis?

In this case the politicians should declare: “There is no law in this state
anymore. There are no legal formulas for resolving this conflict, either. We
have to resort to political agreements.”

Then politicians of all colors and ranks would assume responsibility for
what they all have done to this court and to the law in general.

The question of the legitimacy of the CC remains open, mainly due to the
absence of true information. The CC keeps its doors closed while the country
is flooded with all manner of resolutions and counter-resolutions.

In this bacchanalia of true lies and false truths, all we can do is offer
plausible answers to several questions.

[1] FIRSTLY, the President undoubtedly did have the right to dismiss the

CC judges – the right given to him by the Constitution. All references to any
other regulatory acts or by-laws do not hold water. The question of whether,
when, and how he should have dismissed the judges is evaluative rather than
juridical.

Therefore, as long as the presidential decree on the dismissal of CC judges
Stanik, Pshenychniy, and Ivashchenko remains effective, they ought to be out
of office.

[2] SECONDLY, did the district courts have the right to consider the
presidential decrees? The answer is positive. It looks absurd, but this
absurdity is blessed by the Constitution, which stipulates that the
jurisdiction of courts covers all legal relationships in the country except
for those related to the constitutionality of legal acts.

There is another question: did the courts have the right to abrogate the
presidential decrees challenged by third parties instead of the CC judges
themselves?

This question is difficult to answer, but one thing is certain: these
citizens should have substantiated their appeals, explaining how the
dismissal of the CC judges violated their – the plaintiffs’ – rights. Their
lawsuits contained no argumentation. Subsequently, the court rulings to
abrogate the presidential decrees look rather dubious in legal terms.

[3] THIRDLY, does the reinstatement of the CC judges in their positions
have to be “sealed” with a relevant presidential decree?

Not necessarily, but the court that annuls any dismissal has to follow a
certain reinstatement procedure with all substantiations that go with it.
The documents published in the mass media suggest that the district court
judges did not follow the procedure.

They may have been in a hurry or simply ignorant (no kidding – everything is
possible in Ukrainian courts!), or may have acted deliberately (no
surprise – that is also possible). The conclusion is: if the court rulings
the press refers to are authentic, the reinstated status of the CC judges
looks rather questionable.

[4] FOURTHLY, is the CC legitimate, being short three judges? Some say

it is not, but they are wrong. It is, just like it was recently when the quorum
was even shorter. Do Havrysh and Kostytsky have the right to take the place
of Stanik and Pshenychniy? No, they do not – not until they take the oath.

[5] FIFTHLY, who has the right to challenge verdicts passed by the CC?
Nobody, even if it passes them with a short quorum and with obvious
violations. Its verdicts may not be challenged, abrogated, or ignored by the
President, or the National Security and Defense Council, or the Prosecutor
General Office, or any other courts.

Are there any protective mechanisms in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world
against arbitrariness of CC judges? There are none. In all civilized
countries CC judges care about their reputation, and politicians prefer not
to pressure or suborn them.

Did the CC prohibit the President from appointing judges to administrative
posts? If it did, is this ban just? The answer is positive. Leonid Kuchma
once usurped this right and his lawyers almost legalized it.

Such a function debilitates the principle of power division and the
independence of the judicial branch and contradicts the Constitution.
Article 106 only authorizes the President to establish courts, but not to
interfere with staff issues.

The question is why the Ukrainian politicians, who refer to the Constitution
every now and again, have overlooked this norm until now.

And the last question is: what to do now? The CC is what it is, its verdict
is very unlikely to cut this Gordian knot, and it might not even pass any
verdict at all. The politicians are what they are.

No matter which verdict the CC passes, one of the opposing sides is sure to
disagree with it. By “working” on the CC, the political leaders have
discredited themselves, the CC, and the very principle of the rule of law.

The conclusion is obvious: regardless of either verdict, the political
leaders must look for a political solution. They should jointly change the
legislation and hold a new election. It is only a half measure, but it is
the only way out for now.                                  -30-
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13.  UKRAINE: A STORY OF HOW POLITICAL ACROBATS
                            TURNED LIKE A KALEIDOSCOPE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Yulia MOSTOVAYA
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN), Mirror-Weekly, #19 (648)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 19-25, 2007

Looking at the current kaleidoscope of negotiating patterns, I cannot tell
what sickens me more – my weak vestibular system or my reaction to the
Pechersk Hills uprising, aimless and seemingly never-ending.

The patterns of forces, alliances, objectives (declarative or real), losers
and winners are changing quickly, unpredictably and often in no-go manner.
But the process is advancing.

The snap elections are unavoidable, as most of the population believe this
to be the only feasible way out of the protracted political crisis, or at
least out of the negotiating stalemate that has already entangled both the
participants and observers. And those aiming for the electorate to be cut
off from the observation process risk causing a dive in their trust ratings
prior to the election.

This is one reason driving the contracting parties towards a compromise on
the date of the election, and the terms and conditions for the new vote.

As a matter of fact, however, the early election is not going to put a stop
to the dispute, but will rather jumpstart yet another redistribution, the
conditions of which are being negotiated already. But about this more later.
Here let’s look at the prevailing patterns.

The ex-Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC),
Vitaliy Haiduk, has been let free to go fishing, play tennis and attend to
amateur floriculture.

This is where the transition to a state office has ended up for a man whose
brains, tuned up for the development of major business projects and
strategies, have turned out to be needful to nobody on Bankova.

Haiduk is one thing, but Ivan Spetanovych [Plyushch, newly-appointed NSDC
Secretary] is quite another. It is not Viktor Ivanovych [Baloha, the head of
President Yushchenko's Office] to whom Plyushch owes this new appointment;
by getting Haiduk ousted from the NSDC Secretary office, Baloha thereby
“neutralized” the man who objected to the NDSC being involved in dubious
plots.

The return of the Prodigal Son to the team of presidential associates took
place some six weeks ago, when Yushchenko was the first to make overtures to
his former comrade-in-arms, apparently having found it necessary to exploit
the latter’s experience, political guile and connections.

I am not going to ask questions as to ‘whether the NSDC under Pliushch will
become an efficient strategic center for this country’. But what is clear
even today is that Pliushch looks much more organic among the presidential
team than Haiduk was.

The ex-Parliament Speaker’s position as to possible ways out of the crisis
was originally very tough. At this point, Pliushch, having got the new post
together with a certain amount of responsibility, has weakened his stance,
and transferred from backstage deals with [Renat] Akhmetov, [Ukraine's
richest man, parliament member and the de facto head of the Party of
Regions] to official negotiator status.

Ivan Stepanovych is a known ardent proponent of a grand coalition [between
the Party of Regions and the Our Ukraine party], and he maintains close
contacts with many of the majority coalition members, which well explains
why his appointment as NSDC Secretary was not objected to by any of the
coalition deputies.

On the other hand, it may well happen that, if the NSDC makes some decisions
unfavorable to the coalition, there is no doubt they will not forget his age
(the president could not violate the requirement of the 65-year-age limit
for the sake of Horbulin, the NSDC Secretary under President Kuchma, because
of ‘blood incompatibility’, but did so for Plyushch), neither will they
forget about the Council’s composition itself, which is not fully compatible
with the legislation on that body.

There has been much talk recently to the effect that Pliushch is openly
aiming for the Speaker’s post in the future Rada. We would not disagree.

But this is not the only reason for Ivan Stepanovh to campaign for the grand
coalition; he is simply defending this scenario as seemingly the only one
feasible way out of the crisis situation, and he is finding more and more
supporters, both from among the Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions.

Incidentally, the Party of Regions is looking at the
‘We-will-not-allow-Yushchenko-to-tear-Ukraine-apart!’ catch-phrase as a
possible watchword for its upcoming election campaign.

Curiously enough, this idea originated with the same people who created the
notorious billboards featuring Ukraine divided into three parts during the
2004 presidential campaign. In short, the parliamentary election campaign is
progressively gaining momentum.

Rumors are afloat that the Party of Regions’ campaign will be led by Borys
Kolesnikov rather than Vasyl Dzharty. According to some sources, places on
the party’s ticket will be divided 50:50 between the Premier’s and
Akhmetov’s men.

Even the Party of Regions’ campaign budget has been approved (I would not
disclose the exact figure for fear of being murdered).

The only thing that remains unclear to date is whose political strategists
will take charge of the Regions’ campaign: the Kyrgyz (the term the Party of
Regions for some reason refers to Manafort’s men) or the Russians.

As for the latter, some problems may crop up, as Gleb Pavlovsky, [a
notorious election campaign manager from Russia] has been declared persona
non grata in Ukraine.

This all is taking place against the background of never-ending negotiations
on all levels; negotiating teams are discussing tender procedures for the
Central Election Commission on one day and the server problem the other day,
while lawyers and freelancers are speculating about possible ways out of the
prevailing situation, and looking for places of their own in the current and
future alliances.

For instance, the Constitutional Court de facto sided with the coalition.
And the Presidential Secretariat argued that following the dismissal of
three Constitutional Court justices, any decisions to be made by the Court
will be rendered invalid.

The chief Constitutional Court justice, Ivan Dombrovsky, who could no longer
tolerate the enormous pressure being brought to bear on him by the warring
parties, has submitted a letter of resignation.

By the way, those familiar with what is going on in that fairly closed body
are doubtful as to whether a decision on the constitutionality of the
presidential orders dissolving the parliament will ever be made.

The nerves of the judges, irrespective of which camp they belong to, are at
their limits; and it is only a sense of duty in a general sense of this word
that is keeping them from resigning.

Deputy Prosecutor General Holomsha is attempting to get case files on
Syuzanna Stanik, but cannot do so without written permission from another
deputy prosecutor, Renat Kuzmin, who has refused to sign the permission.

The Prosecutor General Piskun himself does not seem to be very much
interested in those refusing to comply with the presidential decrees.
Instead, he is studying intently the economic activities by the Kyiv City
Mayor [Leonid Chernovetsky], and additionally is collecting arguments to
defend himself in future court sessions.

The fact is that Piskun’s five-year term as Prosecutor General is coming to
an end in early July. Being doubtful that his nomination for this post will
be once again proposed by Yushchenko for Rada’s approval, Svyatoslav
Mykhailovych is most likely to try and prove that the time he spent beyond
the Prosecutor General’s Office must not be counted as part of the five-year
term provided for the Prosecutor General by law.

Here let’s change an ordinary kaleidoscope for an optical one, and look at
possible alliance configurations after the election, especially as this is
one of the main issues being discussed during every round of the election
negotiations.

Yulia Tymoshenko firmly believes that the ‘orange’ forces will win a
landslide victory during the election.

It was this belief of the leader of the political party with the best
chances of winning a majority support from the democratically inclined
voters that encouraged Yulia Volodymyrivna to continue to stick to the
seemingly unrealistic idea of snap elections. And it is the expected
‘orange’ majority coalition for which sake agreements are being signed

between the BYuT and Our Ukraine parties.

These call for portfolios in the future Cabinet to be divided 50:50 between
these two political forces, irrespective of who wins more votes, with the
nomination for the Prime Minister to be proposed by the winner party.

Tymoshenko is self-confident, while President Yushchenko is currently
devoting much of his time and effort to building up a mega bloc, in the hope
that the Noah’s Ark consisting of the Our Ukraine, People’s Self-Defense and
Pravytsia parties will be able to win over more voters than the BYuT.

Hopeful Prime Ministers from among the presidential team are legion: Baloha
is most unlikely to be too happy about his potential status as the first
deputy Prime Minister; Plyushch has long dreamed of becoming Premier some
day, even though the parliamentary speaker’s post could well satisfy his
ambitions; and, as claimed by some sources from the presidential camp,
Lutsenko is fighting for the top line on the Our Ukraine’s ticket not only
for the sake of winning mayoral elections in Kyiv.

Basically, the orange forces do have chances of winning the election. A
series of opinion polls conducted by various polling agencies suggests that
the Party of Regions would get into parliament with 32 percent of the vote,
the BYuT with 20 percent, Our Ukraine with 12 percent, the Communists with
five percent, and Lutsenko’s People’s Self-Defense with five percent.

[Ex-Parliament Speaker Volodymyr] Lytvyn’s party and the Socialists will be
0.7-0.8 percent short of passing the three-percent barrier required to enter
the legislature, while [Natalia] Vitrenko['s Progressive Socialist Party]
will have to double its popular support to make it into the Rada.

At this point, the list of potential winners ends there, but their
respective popular trust ratings may vary significantly one way or the
other. With such an alignment in place, none of the competitors can be 100
percent confident of winning a majority.

[1] First, because the Socialists’ fate remains unclear: the Party of
Regions may help them by yielding part of their voter support and other
bonuses.

But this option has a very little chance of being translated into reality,
as there are many influential people in the Yanukovych’s party for whom
charity begins at home and who are fairly tired of the Moroz’s appetite.

[2] Second, nobody has held any serious negotiations with Lytvyn yet, and
which side the potential candidate for a parliamentary party leader will
take remains unclear at this point.

The presidential office is doing a lot to wear down Lytvyn’s patience, while
the Party of Regions cannot launch negotiations with him because of the
burden accorded to the leading political force. Third, nobody can predict
the way the Progressive Socialists may behave in the next convocation of the
Rada.

Not only because of their anti-Regions election rhetoric–if some expert
forecasts come true and we see a lot of Ihor Kolomoysky’s men on their
election list, it will mean the only thing: there will be no friendship
between the Progressive Socialists and the Akhmetov’s party.

Considering that about one third of all voters are either undecided yet or
declared to be unwilling to come to the polls, it may be inferred that
neither the ‘blue-and-white’ nor the ‘orange’ camps have enough guarantees
of winning the election; instead, they both have a chance of winning the
poll.

This uncertainty about the outcome of the election sobered the Regions,
who were originally almost 100 percent confident in their victory; and it
jumpstarted two processes.

[1] First, the Constitutional Court has begun to work at last; on Monday,
without any previous debates and working behind closed doors, it is going
to start hearings on the presidential decrees.

There are men in the Regions Party who, considering the predictability of
the Court decision, rely on it as a final stop in their dispute with the
President and the opposition.

But prevailing among the Regions’ decision-makers are those who are about
to exploit the expected court decision for building up a qualitatively
different negotiating basis with the President to dictate terms and
timeframes for the election beneficial to them.

If this truth is nothing new to the President, he will take the lead once
again by reaching an agreement with the Regions on the date and terms for
the election, pending the Court ruling. Baloha, Pliushch and Tymoshenko are
all ready for the elections in September.

According to yet unsubstantiated reports, Yushchenko himself has made up
his mind to move the elections from July to September. Still, the three
political forces have not yet lost their chance to reach an agreement on an
election day acceptable to all.

The Communists may well join the three, following the example of Communist
deputy Shepilov. As for the Socialists, they are most likely to play for
time. In any case, any legal formula that would legalize the early election
is going to be a stopgap solution and a time bomb.

This scenario will not work if the three leading political forces, whatever
the election return may be, impose a blockade on major Ukrainian courts for
minor parties.

[2] The other process that came to the fore following the evaporation of
illusions about the predictability of election results had to do with
negotiations on a mixed majority coalition. By declaring the need for such a
coalition, Ivan Pliushch has one more time proved his consistency and
directness.

His long-time friendship with Yefim Zviagilsky and Borys Deich [of the Party
of Regions] has once again provided him a ‘communication link’ with
Akhmetov. The Our Ukraine leader, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, just like many of
his fellow party members, is quite sincere when reiterating time and again
that this party will never enter a coalition with the Regions.

That said, it turns out that it is only the ‘imperative mandate’ that can
make it possible for President Yushchenko to save his party faction from
disintegration.

What encouraged the President to issue the first decree ordering the
Verkhovna Rada dissolved was what the decree referred to as a “revision of
voters’ will” as a result of some deputies elected on the Our Ukraine and
BYuT party tickets defecting to the coalition ranks.

But if Our Ukraine gets into parliament in a single bloc with Lutsenko’s
party and Pravytsia gets in under the banner of impossibility of any
coalitions with the Party of Regions, and if it forms such a coalition
immediately after finding itself in the legislature, will this be a
‘revision of voters’ will’ or not? The point is not in the apparent fact
that a mixed coalition will be an evil.

 It may well be the case that a mixed coalition — be it between the
presidential party and the Regions, the BYuT and the Regions or the Our
Ukraine, the BYuT and the Regions – will be the most suitable alliance for
that given date. But if such a scenario is not ruled out altogether by the
presidential party, this must be expressed clearly to the voters.

In connection with a mixed coalition, there is one more scenario that came
under discussion during the most recent round of negotiations with Akhmetov
and Yanukovych: If none of the political forces garners enough voter support
for forming a ‘self-colored coalition’, the reins of government will be
turned over to the parliamentary minority.

In other words, Yanukovych will continue as the Prime Minister, the Regions
will replace some of the Cabinet members, and most, if not all nominations
currently assigned to the junior coalition partners will be de facto yielded
to the President. This surrogate government will exist for 12 months – a
period securing it against dismissal after the snap parliamentary election.

Following will be a realignment of forces in the run up to the presidential
vote, or another early parliamentary election will be held concurrently with
the presidential vote.

Incidentally, it is foreseen that future redistribution of Cabinet
portfolios should be held in such a way to ensure that the political forces
involved enjoy a 300-seat super majority that would be veto-proof and could
allow them to change the constitution.

It seems that it won’t be long before the situation clarifies; the
kaleidoscope will be turned a couple of times more, and by the resulting
pattern we will see an answer to the question as to when and on which terms
the early election will take place.

The third presidential decree will signal the choice of another toy.   -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.mw.ua/1000/1550/59334/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.         UKRAINE: THE COUNTRY FORGETS ITS HERO

COMMENTARY: by Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Translated by Eugene Ivantsov into English
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It was another year without Georgiy Gongadze. He was born on May 21, 1969

in Tbilisi. He became the Hero of Ukraine not because he was awarded this title
but because his name changed this country forever.

When he disappeared journalists first understood that it was dangerous to be
a journalist in Ukraine. When Mr. Moroz made Melnychenko’s tapes public
Ukrainians assumed that their president might be implicated in a murder of a
journalist.

When ordinary people came in the streets it became clear that the opposition
was not ready to fight Leonid Kuchma.

However, his death had its effect. It was then that people understood they
had the right to come in the streets and oppose those they did not trust in
order to protect their rights, their country and future of their children.
Such were people’s intentions when they came to Maidan in 2004.

After his death Ukrainian society became even more cynical. It seemed there
could be nothing more discouraging than the tapes on which the president of
their country is quietly listening to denunciation against his closes allies
who tell him how they rob the country. President’s remarks and cues on these
tapes are the model of dirty language.

Death of Georgiy changed the country and public consciousness, although it
cannot change the authority.

We were first ashamed for the Orange authority when they paid people to come
to Kyiv on Maidan’s anniversary. They feared that participants of the Orange
Revolution would not come after a year of the Orange reign.

After an outburst of expectations Ukrainians changed their hope and faith
for indifference.

Is it not why people were so patient watching the development of the
parliamentary crisis? After Mr. Moroz’s treachery they drew necessary
conclusions. It aroused neither anger or mass protests nor public
discouragement. That is why people from all over Ukraine are not
embarrassed to earn money taking part in all kind of rallies.

Today’s rallies arouse a mixture of indifference and compassion. It is also
compassion to the current authority which tries to demonstrate its strength
in such a way.

We have our own scores with this authority. During a short period of Mr.
Yushchenko’s effective reign, suspected of Gongadze’s murder were arrested
five years after the murder.

Does anybody believe that the police killed Gongadze because of “an extreme
hostility to him”? Does anybody believe that Georgiy was a personal enemy of
General Pukach? Who commanded the police to kill the journalist? How many
police officers know the truth?

Having serious doubts that Gongadze case will be ever solved, we complained
of the lack of the political will. Now we can state that there is the
political will to stop investigation of this crime.

After the return of the ‘regional’ prosecutors, investigators who brought
the suspects to trial were fired. The investigation is run by a man who has
not even read the numerous volumes of materials regarding this case.

It is difficult to say if it is good or bad, but President Yushchenko
stopped mentioning that “this case is a matter of honor to him.” Mr.
Yanukovych has even never mentioned Gongadze case.

The history is repeating. Mr. Kuchma does not seem that scary as he did when
in office of the president. Melnychenko’s tapes are sold on Inter TV Channel
as a black PR against ex-president Kuchma but not as the real records of his
conversations in his office.

Kyiv streets are named after Georgiy. Then the authority renames them. Mayor
Chernovetsky dreams of a monument to Gongadze which will become another
element of his advertising campaign.

Meanwhile the country is forgetting its hero.                  -30-
————————————————————————————————–
http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/5/22/7836.htm

————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.   A SAD ANNIVERSARY FOR THE BLACK  SEA FLEET

OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Viktor Safonov for RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

MOSCOW – Ten years ago, on May 28, Russia and Ukraine signed a “big

treaty” and an agreement on the status of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine. But
Russian sailors describe the occasion as a “sad” anniversary. Why?

The reasons are many. The central one is the lack of additional legal
agreements regulating basic aspects of the fleet’s existence, dropped for
some reason or other from the “bigger treaty.”

One of these, incidentally, is on hydrographic facilities in the Crimea.
Both sides lay claim to them. As a result, there are frequent disputes which
even courts at different levels cannot resolve.

Crimean judges regularly rule in favor of local authorities, but the fleet’s
command refuses to accept the rulings, justly believing that international
treaties are not subject to the peninsula’s law enforcement practices.

They must be dealt with by intergovernmental commissions. Yet even such
commissions, which meet once every six months at most, cannot come to

terms.

On the one hand, there is the safety of sailing in coastal waters of the
Crimea to consider, and on the other, a desire to get additional dividends
from servicing warships from a neighboring country.

On top of all else, there is a lot of hot air about Ukrainian sovereignty,
independence, etc., although similar facilities at the British naval base in
Gibraltar and the American base in Yokosuka (Japan) belong respectively to
the United Kingdom and the United States. No legal issues are raised there.

But the claims to hydrographic equipment near Sevastopol pale in comparison
with more serious problems. One of them is the rapid ageing of Black Sea
warships. No modern vessel has joined the fleet since the status agreement
was inked.

The fleet’s flagship Moskva is more than 20 years old. The missile cruiser
was built back in 1983, but spent half of its life at the Nikolayev repair
yards.

The refit, however, failed to give the cruiser its former might or new
strength. Over the past 14 years the cruiser has never used its main
missiles for practice. During its spell of duty in the Mediterranean in
2002, it carried no missiles at all.

The other first- and second-echelon ships that make up the core of the fleet
are also advanced in age, with more than 25 years under their belt. Two
relatively new missile-carrying ships, Bora and Samum, which are equipped
with supersonic Moskit anti-ship missiles, joined the fleet in the early
1990s.

In 1991, the Black Sea Fleet included more than 800 combat vessels and
launches, special and auxiliary ships, along with several hundred planes,
whereas today they are counted in dozens.

Admiral Igor Kasatonov, a former Black Sea commander (1991-1992), said

that the fleet is outnumbered by the Turkish fleet one to four. Ankara has 13
submarines on the Black Sea against Russia’s one. The Turks boast 26 ships
in the cruiser and patrol vessel classes, while the Russians have only six.
“No comment,” said the admiral.

But the crucial problem, he said, is that the fleet is losing its basing
facilities. Its main forces are stationed in Sevastopol, with only a few
vessels found in Feodosia, Temryuk and Novorossiisk.

Of the network of airfields that once stretched from Moldova to Daghestan,
only two airports remain – one in Kacha (north of Sevastopol) and one in
Gvardeisk (Simferopol).

The new bases that are being built in Novorossiisk and Tuapse are making
slow progress and will not be able to compensate for Sevastopol’s loss,
either in natural conditions or in infrastructure development, if Russia has
to leave it in 2017.

What has taken three centuries to establish in the Crimea will be impossible
to rebuild even in 20 or 30 years.

Problems also plague Russian citizens living in Sevastopol. Their status and
accommodation conditions are a far cry from accepted standards.

In the early 1990s, when Russia and Ukraine allowed dual citizenship, the
wives and children of Russian warrant and senior officers were persuaded to
take out Ukrainian passports.

It made no difference, they were assured, you will find it easier to take
care of your housing problems in the Crimea. Now the dual citizenship has
been repealed, and members of the same family belong to different states.
The husband is a Russian citizen and upon retirement is entitled to an
apartment certificate at his chosen place of residence.

The certificate, however, does not cover his wife or children, and a divorce
appears the only way out. In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it is no problem to
obtain a Russian passport, whereas in Sevastopol, it is practically
impossible.

Pensions, according to the agreements concluded in the same years, are paid
to Russian citizens in Ukrainian hryvnas. But Kiev charges high exchange
commissions, and retirees find themselves at a disadvantage compared with
their Russian counterparts.

Now, the “smartest” of them, when they go on a pension, register themselves
in a nearby Russian locality to draw their pensions there. Once in six
months they go there to collect it. Travel expenses are less than exchange
fees.

To be sure, Russian authorities, especially the mayor of Moscow, do
everything in their power to help out their citizens who sometimes find
themselves hostages in Sevastopol.

Moscow builds houses for them, opens Russian-language schools and branches
of the capital’s universities. But an absence of solutions to legal problems
often means that their efforts come to nothing.

A further problem is that Ukraine now has no one in a position of authority
with whom the issues of the Black Sea Fleet, Sevastopol and its Russian
residents can be decided. A drawn-out political crisis and the bitter fight
between the opposing forces stand in the way of serious negotiations.

The only option is to wait.                            -30-
————————————————————————————————
NOTE: Viktor Safonov is an analyst for Nezavisimoye Voennoye

Obozreniye. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and
do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070528/66210400.html
———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#848 May 27 Election Date Set, Three Leaders Sign Joint Statement For Sep 30; Good Intentions?; Constitutional Crisis & Legal Chaos In Ukraine

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World     

 
       THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT
          Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada
          Speaker and the Prime Minister on Urgent Measures Aimed at
          Resolving the Political Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections
                                                  (Article One)
  
                                                                              
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 848
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.           THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007 (unofficial translation)

2.                     TENSE UKRAINE SETS ELECTION DATE
REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday May 27, 2007

3. UKRAINE PRESIDENT DECLARES POLITICAL CRISIS ‘FINISHED’
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

4.            UKRAINE’S THREE TOP LEADERS DEFUSE A CRISIS

By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer (AP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

5UKRAINE SETS ELECTIONS SEP 30, DEFUSING TWO-MONTH CRISIS
Julian Nundy in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, May 27, 2007

6.                                    “GOOD INTENTIONS?”
                Ukrainian president’s actions may be justified in the long run
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 26 May 07; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, May 26, 2007

7.                           NEW ELECTIONS FOR UKRAINE
COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007
 
8.                      THE EDGE OF ANARCHY IN UKRAINE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch, Senior Fellow
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, May 25, 2007

9.        CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS & LEGAL CHAOS IN UKRAINE
COMMENTS: by Judge Bohdan A. Futey
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Kyiv, Ukraine in Ukrainian, Sat, May 26, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 9, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

10.   PLIUSCH SEES MAIN CAUSE OF ESCALATION OF POLITICAL
 CRISIS IN CABINET’S  DISINCLINATION FOR DIALOGUE WITH PRES

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26, 2007

11. FROM A BOG OF LIES THERE’S NO COMING UP SMELLING OF ROSES
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007
 
12.                               THESE NEW HUDDLED MASSES
COMMENTARY: By Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Managing Editor
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 25, 2007

13.    NO ROSE-COLORED GLASSES FOR FM ARSENII YATSENIUK
                  Minister discusses pragmatism in Ukraine’s foreign policy
Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 22, 2007

14.                MOVIES: UKRAINE’S WINTER OF DISCONTENT
                    Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter”
REVIEW: By Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun
New York, NY, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

15.     UKRAINE’S ORANGE REVOLUTION: RUSH TO JUDGEMENT?
                             Review of Three Orange Revolution Books
BOOK REVIEW: By Taras Kuzio
Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics,
London, UK, Vol.23, no.2 (June 2007), pp.320-326.
========================================================
1
   THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007 (unofficial translation)

Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada Speaker
and the Prime Minister on Urgent Measures Aimed at Resolving the Political
Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections

May 27, 2007

Being fully aware of the responsibility for the country’s social, political
and economic situation, guaranteeing that there will be no escalation of the
political crisis, seeking to immediately resolve it through exceptionally
nonviolent means and dialogue involving leading political forces, guided by
the Constitution of Ukraine and wanting to uphold the nation’s interests and
preserve the country’s unity, the sides have agreed to:

1. ensure that there are no attempts to aggravate the conflict in society
and prevent all possible actions provoking ‘force’ scenarios;

2. hold an early parliamentary election on [Sunday] September 30, 2007;

3. accept that this election will be held in accordance with the President’s
decree based on paragraph 2 of article 82 of the Constitution of Ukraine;

4. hold plenary sessions of the Verkhovna Rada on May 29-30 to adopt and
enact the bills for conducting fair, transparent and democratic elections,
particularly:

     [a] pass and enact the draft laws worked out by the authorized
     representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers,
     the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition;
     [b] readopt the laws passed between April 2 and May 29, 2007;
     [c] pass and enact the necessary WTO laws and other legal acts on
     economic issues.

5. ensure that the Cabinet of Ministers and the Central Election Commission
oversee the  implementation of the Law on the State Voting Register;

6. appoint new members of the Central Election Commission on the basis of
the agreements reached by  the authorized representatives of the President
of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the
parliamentary opposition to hold fair, transparent and democratic elections.

7. not to interfere in the work of the judicial branch and law enforcement
bodies.

President of Ukraine V.A. Yushchenko
Verkhovna Rada Speaker O.O. Moroz
Prime Minister of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_16143.html
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.                   TENSE UKRAINE SETS ELECTION DATE

REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine is to hold a parliamentary election on September 30,
President Viktor Yushchenko said on Sunday after late-night talks forged a
compromise to end weeks of tense confrontation with his prime minister.

Yushchenko, who issued two decrees last month dissolving parliament and
calling a snap election, announced the date after negotiations with his
rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, that extended into the early hours
of the morning.

The pro-Western president, swept to power after defeating Yanukovich in the
aftermath of weeks of “Orange Revolution” street rallies in 2004, said
parliament would this week consider legislation required to hold the poll.

A struggle between Yushchenko and Yanukovich, closer to Moscow in outlook,
over a division of powers had plunged the ex-Soviet state into a prolonged
political crisis.

“We have produced an agreement that in order to resolve the political crisis
an early parliamentary election is to be held on September 30,” Yushchenko
said.

“Ukraine emerges much stronger from this crisis than it was before
April…It is very gratifying for me to see that by this Ukraine is
demonstrating the development of its democracy. This is truly a wonderful
result.”

Yanukovich said the agreement reflected a will on all sides to hold an
honest and fair election, respect the law and keep from interfering in the
judicial process.

“I believe the experience we have acquired from this crisis shows that we
have learned certain lessons,” he said.

The president then thanked Yanukovich and Parliament Speaker Oleksander
Moroz for a successful conclusion to the talks and the three joined hands.
                                   TENSE TUG-OF-WAR
Yushchenko and Yanukovich had been in talks since the president issued

the first of his decrees on April 2. The president dissolved the chamber,
accusing Yanukovich of poaching his allies in parliament to expand the
ruling coalition and enable the premier to change the constitution.

Yanukovich initially resisted the dissolution order but later agreed to an
election. They remained at odds over a date, with the president seeking an
election as quickly as possible and the prime minister saying none could be
held before autumn.

Weeks of turmoil boiled over on Friday when the head of state said he was
taking control of the Interior Ministry troops, a move denounced by
Yanukovich as dangerous and unconstitutional.

The president ordered the dispatch of interior troops to Kiev on Saturday,
though most remained blocked outside the city.

Moroz told reporters he still opposed an early election, but was agreed with
the date to pull the country out of crisis.

Yanukovich made a comeback from his defeat in 2004 and was named prime
minister after his Regions Party took first place in the last parliamentary
poll a year ago and the president’s allies proved unable to form a
government.

Recent opinion polls show parties backing the two rivals in a virtual dead
head, each with about 40 percent support.                 -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. UKRAINE PRESIDENT DECLARES POLITICAL CRISIS ‘FINISHED’

By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Sunday declared a crisis
with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych “finished” after the two agreed to
hold early parliamentary elections in September.

“The political crisis in Ukraine is finished. We have come to a decision
that represents a compromise,” Yushchenko said at a joint press briefing
with Yanukovych after seven hours of talks between the two leaders in Kiev.
“Early elections will be held on September 30,” Yushchenko said.

Yanukovych signed a joint statement with Yushchenko sealing the deal, which
signals a major step towards resolution of a crisis in this ex-Soviet
republic that has sparked international concern.

“We remember everything, we will draw conclusions. We will do everything

so that this is not repeated, so that there are no more mistakes, no more
emotions,” Yanukovych told reporters.

In the joint statement, published on the website of the president’s office,
the two sides also agreed not to allow the use of force, following recent
wrangling over control of the security services.

The deal hinges on votes due to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday in the
country’s parliament, which is dominated by a Yanukovych-led coalition that
is bitterly opposed to Yushchenko.

“The date is only the beginning of the end of the crisis and the vote in
parliament will be its final point,” Vadim Karasyov, head of the Institute
for Global Strategies in Kiev, told AFP ahead of the agreement.

The stand-off began on April 2, when the pro-Russian Yanukovych defied
orders from his pro-Western rival Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and

hold early elections, calling the move “unconstitutional.”

In recent days, Yushchenko and Yanukovych sparred for control of the
security forces in Ukraine, prompting concern and calls for restraint from
neighbouring Russia, the European Union and the United States.

Yushchenko issued orders on Friday to take control of 30,000 interior
ministry troops away from the government led by Yanukovych, a move

denounced by Yanukovych allies as a “coup attempt.”

The president’s orders came after scuffles broke out on Thursday between
elite interior ministry troops loyal to the prime minister and a
presidential security service outside the prosecutor general’s office in
Kiev.

On Saturday, Yushchenko ordered convoys of interior ministry forces
estimated by officials at some 3,600 men to head to the capital Kiev in
order to guard state buildings and defend public order.

The forces, which were not armed but carried riot gear, were blocked at
checkpoints around the country by police loyal to Yanukovych under
counter-orders from the interior ministry banning troop movements.

“The interior minister has given an order forbidding the movement of
internal troops towards Kiev so that they do not upset public order,”
Kostyantin Stogny, a ministry spokesman, told AFP earlier.

Ukrainian analysts had played down the threat of violent clashes. “Despite
the whole drama of the situation, it doesn’t affect the masses, it’s just a
struggle between elites,” said Karasyov, adding: “We are not headed for a
civil war.”

Earlier on Saturday, the interior ministry reported that hundreds of
interior ministry soldiers had been stopped at traffic police checkpoints on
highways leading to Kiev.

Hundreds of protestors had also rallied outside government buildings in Kiev
in rival demonstrations favouring and opposing the president, as part of
ongoing protests that began last month.

Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko had appealed for calm, asking “politicians
to be more restrained” and saying: “It’s necessary to calm down. There

won’t be any use of force. We won’t storm anything.”

Control over interior ministry forces was crucial in the Orange Revolution
of 2004, when mass street protests helped bring Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Yanukovych. -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
4.   UKRAINE’S THREE TOP LEADERS DEFUSE A CRISIS
 
By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer (AP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s feuding president and prime minister agreed early
Sunday to hold an early parliamentary election on Sept. 30, defusing a
crisis that threatened to escalate into violence when the president sent
troops streaming toward the capital.

“We found a decision, which is a compromise,” President Viktor Yushchenko
said after emerging from eight hours of tense talks. “Now we can say that
the political crisis in Ukraine is over.”

Tensions had been growing since April, when Yushchenko ordered the
dissolution of parliament, where Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych leads the
majority coalition. The president claimed the premier and his supporters
were trying to usurp presidential power. Parliament defied the order,
calling it unconstitutional.

The president summoned thousands of troops to Ukraine’s capital Saturday,
but forces loyal to the nation’s prime minister stopped them outside Kiev.

Analysts said Yushchenko’s move was an attempt to pressure Yanukovych to
agree on an early date for new parliamentary elections, rather than a sign
he was preparing for violent confrontation.

In the hours-long talks, Yushchenko had sought new elections as early as
possible, demanding them held first in May, then in June. Yanukovych wanted
them no earlier than the fall.

Yushchenko took control earlier in the week of the 32,000 troops who answer
to the interior minister, a Yanukovych loyalist. A statement on the
presidential Web site said that Yushchenko ordered the troops to Kiev in a
move “necessary to guarantee a calm life for the city, to prevent
provocations.”

The statement did not specify how many troops were sent. Nikolai Mishakin,
their deputy commander, said on Ukrainian television that nearly 3,500 were
prevented from entering Kiev. He promised his troops would not turn back,
but vowed they would not resort to violence since none had firearms.

Yushchenko, however, denied that he had sent additional interior troops to
the capital, calling such reports “great stupidity” and “misinformation.”
Yushchenko said he had only ordered 2,000 troops to Kiev to maintain order
during weekend festivities, a move he described as routine.

Kiev residents are celebrating the capital’s anniversary this weekend and a
major soccer game is planned for Sunday.

Several hundred flag-waving supporters of both leaders held competing
rallies in front of the presidential office where Yushchenko and Yanukovych
were meeting. A thin line of police separated the two camps of protesters.

Yanukovych said he, Yushchenko and other senior officials and politicians
who took part in the negotiations agreed that the country cannot be allowed
to slide into violence. “We will do everything so that this doesn’t happen
again,” Yanukovych said.

Yushchenko came to office in 2005 after the popular uprising known as the
Orange Revolution broke out in reaction to Yanukovych being counted as
winner of a fraud-plagued presidential ballot. The Supreme Court annulled
that vote and Yushchenko won a rerun.

Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin, which badly scarred his face, in the
course of the race, and the mystery of who might have done it, and why, has
never been solved.

He has sought to lead Ukraine into the European Union and NATO but his
agenda has since been complicated by chronic political turmoil, including
fighting among his supporters and the ongoing disputes with Yanukovych,

who wants to preserve the country’s close ties with Moscow.

Yanukovych staged a remarkable political comeback. In last year’s
parliamentary elections, his party won the largest share of seats,
apparently benefiting from wide voter dissatisfaction with the country’s
stalled reforms and internecine political sparring.

On Thursday, Yushchenko fired longtime foe Prosecutor General Svyatoslav
Piskun – a Yanukovych ally – saying Piskun could not serve as the country’s
chief prosecutor while acting as a member of parliament.

Security officers were sent to oust Piskun, but riot police loyal to
Yanukovych immediately moved to protect him, standing guard outside his
office.

“I think these maneuvers with security forces are meant to give the
president a chance to maneuver at talks,” said Vadim Karasyov, head of the
Kiev-based Institute on Global Strategies.                     -30-

————————————————————————————————
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5.              UKRAINE SETS ELECTIONS SEPTEMBER 30,
                             DEFUSING TWO-MONTH CRISIS

Julian Nundy in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych set parliamentary elections for Sept. 30, defusing a political
standoff that has lasted almost two months, Yushchenko’s office said.

The two leaders and parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz agreed on the
election date at talks at the presidency in Kiev that ended shortly after 4
a.m. today, the presidency said on its Web site. The agreement showed that
Ukraine has become “an adult democracy,” Yushchenko told reporters.

“Our main concern was to find conditions for elections on a legal basis,”
Unian news service cited Yanukovych as saying. “We have finally come to
that decision.”

In a joint statement, the three politicians said the single-chamber
parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, will meet to approve the election date on
May 29, after the Whitsun weekend.

Yushchenko, 53, ordered the dissolution of parliament, where Yanukovych’s
coalition has a majority, on April 2, starting the crisis that has paralyzed
Ukraine’s institutions.

Yushchenko attempted to dissolve parliament and call new elections after
Yanukovych’s supporters passed a series of measures whittling away
presidential powers. Yanukovych contested the need for a new ballot.

Yesterday, Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko raised the prospect that force
could be used when he said internal security troops loyal to Yushchenko were
heading for Kiev. Television footage showed police vehicles blocking at
least one road into the Ukrainian capital to head off the threat of force.

INTERIOR TROOPS
Unian said today that, of a potential 35,000 internal security forces, only
2,050 of the lightly armed troops had in fact left their bases to reinforce
the security of public buildings in Kiev.

On May 24, Yushchenko, who has taken personal control of most of Ukraine’s
security apparatus over the past two months, triggered a new phase in the
crisis by firing state Prosecutor- General Svyatoslav Piskun, arguing that
Piskun’s refusal to stand down as a member of parliament broke the law.

Interior Ministry troops loyal to Yanukovych, 56, then prevented the new
acting prosecutor from entering his office, prompting Yushchenko to add the
security troops to the forces under his direct command.

Yushchenko was elected in a re-run of presidential elections ordered by
Ukraine’s Supreme Court in December 2004 after the pro-Russian Yanukovych,
who had won the vote a month earlier, was disqualified on charges of
widespread election fraud.

Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Regions Party is the main component of a governing
coalition that was put together last July after the three parties that made
up the 2004 “Orange Revolution” bloc failed to agree on a new government
following parliamentary elections four months earlier.

Yushchenko, himself a former prime minister and central bank governor, was
disfigured when he was poisoned in September 2004 by what Austrian doctors
who treated him said was a normally lethal dose of dioxin. His poisoners
have not so far been identified.

Moroz’s Socialist Party gave Yanukovych a majority in July by withdrawing
its support for Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party and former Prime Minister
Yulia Timoshenko’s legislative bloc and entering a coalition with
Yanukovych.

Yanukovych’s support comes mostly from the industrial and Russian-speaking
east of the former Soviet republic of 48 million people. He favors closer
ties with Moscow.

Yushchenko and his allies draw their support from the Ukrainian-speaking
west and center of the country. They seek membership in the European Union
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.                     -30-
—————————————————————————————————

Contact: Julian Nundy in Kiev at jnundy@bloomberg.net
—————————————————————————————————
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aD1aa6AjMEzw&refer=europe
————————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.                             “GOOD INTENTIONS?”
                   Ukrainian president’s actions may be justified in the long run

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 26 May 07; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, May 26, 2007

While Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko clearly overstepped the law in
subordinating the country’s interior troops to his command, his actions may
prove justified in the long term, an influential weekly has opined.

The author said Yushchenko is probably counteracting the threat to national
security which arose when Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko used the troops to
“storm” the Prosecutor-General’s Office in Kiev.

The author said Yushchenko’s response to summon the National Security and
Defence Council and his decree taking control of the troops appear to be a
move meant to bring order to the situation in the country.

The following is the text of the article by Serhiy Rakhmanin, entitled “Good
intentions?”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli in Russian
on 26 May; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
                                 THREATS TO THE STATE
Under conditions of a sharp escalation in the political crisis, Viktor
Yushchenko is quite predictably trying to make maximum use of the abilities
of the National Security and Defence Council [NSDC]. The NSDC has
essentially become the last executive body which is under his control.

Article 3 of the law regulating the activity of this structure reads that
the NSDC’s authorities include “coordinating and carrying out control over
the activity of the executive bodies of power in the sphere of national
security and defence in conditions of military of emergency situations, and
also in crises which threaten Ukraine’s national security”.

There is no doubt the current crisis does in fact contain serious threats to
the security of the state. Such conclusions can be drawn not only from the
rules of formal logic, but in the letter of the “related” law “On the bases
of the security of Ukraine”.

Within a fairly long list of threats to national security given in

Article 7 of this law, the following are noted:
[1] increasing corruption in bodies of state power, organized crime and the
intertwining of business and corruption;
[2] attempts to make use of the activities of military formations and law
enforcement agencies in the interests of individual persons;
[3] violations by state bodies of power and local bodies of self-government
of the constitution and laws of Ukraine, the rights and freedoms of people
and citizens, including during election campaigns, and insufficient control
over adherence to the norms of the constitution and fulfilling the laws of
Ukraine.

And so as one can see, as head of the NSDC, the president has reason to
forward the issue of activating the NSDC. Many reasons for this have cropped
up recently.

The following can be placed foremost among them:
[1] statements by the head of the government and a group of MPs on facts

of buying MPs in the Supreme Council [parliament];
[2] information from the acting head of the Security Services of Ukraine
[SBU], giving reason to suspect judges on the Constitutional Court of
corruption;
[3] similar allegations voiced by a number of influential politicians and
bureaucrats against the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office and
representatives of the body of judges;
[4] publications by the presidential secretariat on the possible link
between organized criminal gangs and representatives of the authorities and
also on alleged threats to the lives of state officials;
[5] presidential decrees being ignored by a large number of state bodies
and officials;
[6] illegal use of Berkut [interior police troops] in the conflict at the
Prosecutor-General’s Office.
                                 MINISTER’S MISTAKE
We take it upon ourselves to say that in sending special police units to
Riznytska [the address of the Prosecutor-General's Office in Kiev, on 24
May], [Interior] Minister [Vasyl] Tsushko crossed the line of what is
admissible.

That decision not only contradicted common sense, it was dangerous from a
political point of view and inadmissible from the point of view of the law.

Article 11 of the law “On the police” gives employees in the institution –
in fulfilling their professional duties – the right to enter unimpeded at
any time of day onto the territory of any enterprise, institution or
organization. Should they encounter force, they have the right to use
methods envisioned in the law.

The same law obliges a policeman to give aid to MPs in carrying out their
legal activities, if they encounter opposition or a threat to their safety
from the side of those breaking the law.

However, the Prosecutor-General’s Office is a regime site, one containing
secret materials. Access to the site is under special regulation. Using
Berkut, whose function is to fight organized crime, would be justified if
[Prosecutor-General] Svyatoslav Piskun was taken hostage for example.

In a case like that, the appearance of interior ministry troops at the
prosecutors’ offices and even storming the building with special troops
would be considered a fair and legal act. But the offended Mr Piskun freely
and unimpeded left the premises and then returned with a group of support.

Tsushko, who gave the direct and unfounded order, created a dangerous
precedent. Until now, the sides had refrained from using brute force. After
the events of Thursday [24 May], the “hawks” hands are untied.

We do not know for certain what prompted the minister to take part
personally in violating the law – lack of knowledge of the law or a fear
that in 24 hours he would lose his office on Bohomolets Street. Whatever the
case, it is hard to find justification for the step.

This and many other facts and suppositions both directly and obliquely show
that a real threat to the security of the state has arisen. And without
question, that should prompt the NSDC to take immediate and decisive action.

But the question is that the logic of the constitution and legislation
envisions a united power and a joint fight by bodies of the state against
internal and external threats.

What should happen when the threat arises as a result of a conflict between
various institutions of power and if all branches of power are drawn into
the conflict? Is there a purely legal way out of such a situation? It is not
easy to answer that question.

Here we remind ourselves that the situation is made all the more complicated
by the practical paralysis of the Constitutional Court and also by the sides
using various government bodies of power against each other.

Hypothetically, one cannot rule out the possibility that troops in units
legally bound to one and the same institution will not come face to face.

A theoretically possible meeting of Interior Ministry Berkut troops and
Omega internal troops appears not only undesirable, but thankfully, unlikely
for now. But tell me who could predict a practical storm of the
Prosecutor-General’s Office headed personally by Minister Tsushko?

Who could predict the present collapse of legalized illegalities organized
together by the Cabinet of Ministers, parliament, the presidential
secretariat and a myriad of all kinds of courts?

The constitution and legislation envision steps capable of protecting power
from being usurped. But no lawmaker could envision what is going on today.
Two centres of political influence harmoniously accuse each other of
usurping power. There are no legitimate referees recognized by all sides as
able to put things in order.
                       TRYING TO BRING BACK ORDER
What to do? We did not call the NSDC a structure under the president’s
control for nothing. The philosophy of the constitution supposes that this
structure should not be under the influence of any specific branch of power,
state institute or even less under a specific person.

But the same constitution views the NSDC also as a mechanism by virtue of
which the head of state may use his functions as guarantor of the
constitution.

We shall be bold enough here to suggest this: in conditions in which both
sides believe they are right, but at the same time both freely make use of
laws without being ashamed of showing they are incorrect, the president has
a few more rights. As long as he is the first person in the state and
guarantor of the constitution.

So far, Viktor Yushchenko has not given many reasons to suspect him of
conscientiously fulfilling his functions as guarantor. His behaviour in the
course of the conflict has been far from always inscrutable.

Well, now he has a chance to show how well he understands the constitution.
And how fully he recognizes his responsibility for what is going on.

The sum of his functions as head of state, leader of the NSDC,
commander-in-chief and guarantor gives him the moral right to take upon
himself responsibility for the situation and bring the situation under
control, choosing the single correct political-legal decision.
   YUSHCHENKO HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE FIRST STEP
Yushchenko has already taken the first step in bringing the interior troops
under his command and giving them the authority to protect a number of state
sites. By the way, such activities are mentioned in Article 2 of the law on
the interior troops’ authorities.

However, pursuant to Article 6 of the same law “On interior troops of the
Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs”, these troops are subordinate to the
head of the Interior Ministry.

The president did not have the formal right to subordinate them to himself
in his decree, and one which was not even based on a decision by the NSDC.
The decision does not stand up to any legal criticism.

But it can be called intelligent from the political point of view. The
minister of internal affairs had already decided to use force, crudely
violated the law and consciously exacerbated the situation. There is no
guarantee he will not attract the more numerous interior troops (armoured,
by the way) into the conflict.

Besides, according to some accounts, Tsushko intended to place the interior
troops under the command of one of his deputies who belongs to the war
party. Perhaps making active use of interior troops would have led to
irreversible consequences.

In order to avoid such complications, immediate and tough measures were
needed. One of them was the decree on changing the subordination of the
interior troops.

Many may say it is demagoguery to justify violating the letter of the law if
doing so is in complete harmony with the spirit of the constitution. Under
conditions of the unquestionable supremacy of the law, that is impossible.
But let us not jump to conclusions.

A strong-arm phase of the political conflict would unavoidably result in
limitations on and violations of many rights and freedoms enshrined in the
main law.

If the president acted as guarantor of these rights and freedoms and if he
issued the decree on the interior troops with the intention of protecting
the country from these violations, his actions can not only be explained
today, they could possibly be justified tomorrow.

We can only guess what his real intentions are. We can only hope that in
taking personal control of the interior troops as well as having control of
the armed forces, he is not forcing preparations for a violent scenario, but
rather trying to do everything he can to thwart it. And it is exactly that,
apart from everything else, which defines his function as guarantor of the
constitution.

But in taking upon himself the burden of using laws, Viktor Yushchenko was
obliged to have weighed all the pros and cons and obliged to recognize the
entire measure of responsibility he has taken upon himself. Because a change
in the “share of power” can play either a peacekeeping function or the role
of a serious irritation.
                           THE PRESIDENT’S SECOND STEP
All of the above relates to the president’s second step – increasing the
NSDC to include the governors [chairs of regional administrations]. There is
no legal ground for such a move, but the political reasons are clear.

The NSDC is the only instrument the president has to influence the situation
and the heads of regional administrations are the only mechanism he has to
carry out the decisions of the NSDC in the regions.

We will know very soon how justified Yushchenko’s last move was. We only
have hope left that the president’s intentions are good, that his rivals are
adequate [to the task] and that there is common sense on both sides in this
seemingly unending conflict.                          -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.               NEW ELECTIONS FOR UKRAINE

COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ukraine entered its fifth crisis recently after President Viktor Yushchenko
disbanded parliament and called early elections.

Premier Viktor Yanukovich has used the crisis to portray an alleged new
democratic image by staking out a claim that he is pro-Western and holds
democratic values. Such an image is fundamentally flawed by Ukraine’s
domestic realities.

Mr. Yanukovich has never reconciled himself to his defeat during the hotly
contested 2004 Ukrainian elections. He has never acknowledged his widespread
use of election fraud that the Supreme Court condemned and used to justify
overturning his election.

Indeed, Mr. Yanukovich blocked attempts at punishing his allies who
organized of massive election fraud and the poisoning of his opponent.

In fact, discredited Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC)
Sergei Kivalov, intimately involved in organizing election fraud at the
time, was elected to parliament in Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions.

Mr. Yanukovich’s election allies have reinstated Mr. Kivalov as CEC chairman
in what can only be seen as a slap in the face to the millions of Ukrainians
who braved the cold weather to stand on the streets of Kiev during the
Orange Revolution in 2004.

Mr. Yanukovich’s government was formed eight months ago in a coalition
with the Stalinist communists and anti-reform Socialists. His nondemocratic
instincts have repeatedly come to the fore in his penchant to upset the
balance of power put in place by constitutional reforms.

Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition and government have further damaged their claim
to uphold democratic values by refusing to recognize the fundamental basis
of any democracy.

Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition has bribed opposition parliamentarians with the
aim of creating a super-constitutional majority that could ignore
presidential vetoes, and has refused to adopt a law giving rights to the
opposition.

Ukraine’s constitutional crisis has been brought about by Mr. Yanukovich’s
greed for power and his desire for revenge for his 2004 defeat. Two years
ago, the Council of Europe ruled that the constitutional reforms were
adopted illegally by the Ukrainian parliament.

A recent resolution by the Council concluded that the current crisis is due
to the hasty and incomplete constitutional and political reform of 2004,
under which a number of changes have been introduced to the Constitution of
Ukraine without taking into account the reservations of the Venice
Commission and without holding a comprehensive public debate in the country.

The Council further criticized the government as having ignored repeated
calls on the Ukrainian authorities to address these issues as a matter of
urgency, in order to secure the legitimacy of the constitutional changes of
2004 and their compliance with European standards.

Premier Yanukovich’s Party of Regions paralyzed the constitutional court by
blocking the allocation of judges by parliament. His coalition has refused
to join the president’s constitutional commission to overcome major
shortcomings in the constitutional reforms and instead has sought to change
the constitution toward a full parliamentary republic.

Mr. Yushchenko is not a radical by nature — but he was forced into an
impossible position where he could (1) do nothing and see an authoritarian
parliamentary republic emerge led by Mr. Yanukovich or (2) disband
parliament to re-establish the constitutional balance of power and hold
fresh elections.

New elections remain the only peaceful manner for voters in a democratic
society to express their opinion. As the Council of Europe’s recent
resolution stated, early elections are a normal practice in all democratic
countries of the Council of Europe and as such could be accepted as a key
building block of the political compromise.

The crisis should be resolved by the Ukrainians — without international
mediators. A long-lasting resolution should include early elections and a
compromise that annuls the unconstitutional steps undertaken by Mr.
Yanukovich’s coalition allies. Without these steps, Ukraine will plunge into
another crisis in the near future.

The United States and the trans-Atlantic community should continue to
support strongly Orange democratic values during the current crisis in
Ukraine.

Only President Yushchenko and Mr. Tymoshenko, the opposition leader,
remain committed to the values enshrined by the Orange Revolution, and
only they remain Ukraine’s true pro-Western leaders.        -30-
————————————————————————————————
Taras Kuzio is an assistant professorial lecturer at the Institute for
European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International
Affairs, George Washington University.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20070526-091735-6951r.htm
————————————————————————————————

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8.       THE EDGE OF ANARCHY IN UKRAINE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch, Senior Fellow
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, May 25, 2007

Actions in Ukraine suggest the breakdown of the leadership hierarchy,
bringing the country closer to violent clashes between rival troops then
ever since its independence.   A quick election, free of administrative
interference, appears now the only way to solve this current crisis.

On May 24, 2007, Interior Ministry troops subordinate to the government of
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych seized control of the offices of the
Prosecutor General.

Troops loyal to Yanukovych and Socialist Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko
physically broke through a locked outer door and forced their way past
building security guards to the 4th floor. There they smashed through the
door to the Prosecutor’s main office and took control.

The action came hours after the announcement from President Viktor
Yushchenko that he had dismissed Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun.

The constitutionality of the President’s decree is questionable.  However,
all decrees are considered valid in Ukraine until overturned by the court.
Ukraine’s legal system does provide an appeals process, but the Interior
Minister instead chose to rely on his troops.

The actions of the Interior Minister suggest the breakdown of the leadership
hierarchy, and push the country closer to violent clashes between rival
troops than ever previously.

So far, the President has shown restraint, choosing not to use the military
troops at his disposal to remove Interior Ministry troops from the
Prosecutor General’s offices.  It is notable that Interior Ministry troops
were armed only with batons.

The scope of the actions by the Interior Minister are surprising, but not
the actions themselves.  Since taking control of the government (the
President controls the military and foreign policy) in August 2006, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych has ignored, or perhaps supported, clear signals
pointing to the breakdown of law and order in the country.

State tactics used during the regime of discredited former President Leonid
Kuchma returned;

     [1] arbitrary “investigations” of political opponents,
     [2] questionable accounting practicing regarding tax and VAT payments,
     [3] closure of political debate programs on state television,
     [4] pressure on regional media outlets and journalists,
     [5] the use of civil lawsuits against opponents, and
     [6] arbitrary “raids” on small and medium businesses by plain clothes
          groups of men

have caused serious concern for the country’s transition to democracy.

The use of Interior Ministry forces is also concerning since they were
feared during the regime of President Kuchma.  Three Ministry soldiers
confessed last year in court to following an order to kidnap and murder
journalist Georgiy Gongadze.  Tsushko was not involved in the Interior
Ministry or the government at that time.

President Yushchenko’s attempts to dissolve the parliament, beginning on
April 2, in response to these returning tendencies, led to protracted
negotiations to set an election date.

Despite significant electoral support in the East of the country and the
likelihood of winning a plurality of votes in a new election, Yanukovych has
been reluctant to move forward with the idea.

This reluctance may stem primarily from the potential loss of private
revenue streams created by murky energy deals that are said to profit high
ranking members of the government, should Yushchenko’s allies form a new
coalition government following the election.

The revenue streams have in the past reportedly profited not only the allies
of former President Kuchma and Prime Minister Yanukovych, but also the
allies of President Yushchenko.

It is likely these revenue streams that are causing the almost desperate
fight to control the premises of the prosecutor — where files with
significant, compromising material are kept.

It is unlikely that the current situation will escalate into full armed
clashes, given the peaceful nature of most Ukrainians, the deliberate nature
of the president and the fact that both sides have more to lose than to gain
should violence occur.  For the first time, however, its government has
created the possibility that it could.

There is little doubt that Yanukovych and Yushchenko can no longer govern
together.  A quick election, free of administrative interference, appears
now the only way to solve this current crisis.
————————————————————————————————
CONTACT:  Tammy Lynch, tammymlynch@hotmail.com

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.  CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS & LEGAL CHAOS IN UKRAINE

COMMENTS: by Judge Bohdan A. Futey
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Kyiv, Ukraine in Ukrainian, Sat, May 26, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 9, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

About a month ago, a number of us met in this same room to discuss the legal
and political ramifications of the political reform in Ukraine.  Back then,
and even as early as January, I said that there is legal chaos in Ukraine.
Not much has changed in the past few months, and the chaos has in fact
deepened.

The problems began following the fraudulent presidential run-off election in
2004, which sparked the Orange Revolution.  At that time, the Verkhovna Rada
(Parliament) passed several amendments to the Constitution on December 8,
2004, known as the political reform which became effective January 1, 2006.

Although the political reform resolved the 2004 presidential election
crisis, it was hastily adopted and not thoroughly thought out.  In addition,
because the reform was passed as a package, the Rada deputies were either
unable or unwilling to examine the effect individual provisions would have
on the operation of the government.

This was all evidenced by the considerable confusion surrounding the
formation of the majority coalition and new government following the March
2006 parliamentary election.  In addition, the President’s decree dissolving
Parliament on April 2, 2007 brought Ukraine to an even deeper constitutional
crisis.

The status of the political reform still remains in question.  In a decision
handed down by the Constitutional Court on October 5, 2005, just prior to
the expiration of the nine year term for most of the Judges, the majority of
the Court stated that any change in the political system of Ukraine should
be submitted to and approved by a national referendum. [1]  No such
referendum was ever put forward.

Many critics of the reform, including myself, [2] believe that the political
reform is a change in the political system because it converts Ukraine from
a Presidential system to a Parliamentary system and is, therefore,
unconstitutional unless submitted to a national referendum, regardless of
any other irregularities.

The political reform and its aftermath have created legal chaos and
constitutional crisis, thus forcing the current political confrontation.  In
addition, the Council of Europe criticized the reform and considers it void
ab initio and the Venice Commission called the reform a step backwards for
Ukraine.

Most recently, on December 8, 2006, at an international forum “Law and
Democracy For Ukraine”, held in Kyiv, a leading group of Ukrainian lawyers
and legal scholars adopted a resolution condemning the political reform and
questioning its legality. [3]

President Yushchenko has filed a number of cases with the Constitutional
Court in order to settle on what powers remain with the President and which
have now been transferred to the Cabinet of Ministers.  Yushchenko has asked
the Court to determine the legality of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers
and to resolve the issue of who has the authority to appoint regional
administrators.

The Cabinet of Ministers has similarly filed petitions on these topics.  The
Constitutional Court, however, is overwhelmed with cases at this point and
its docket is overcrowded.

It is, therefore, difficult to know when it will be able to open and hear
these cases.  In the mean time, while the bickering between the President
and the Cabinet of Ministers continues and is escalating, the chaos
persists.

All of these issues came to a head on April 2 when the President signed a
decree to dissolve parliament, which he re-issued on April 26 with a new
date for elections.  Both decrees are currently before the Constitutional
Court for consideration.

After the political reform came into effect and Yanukovych was elected Prime
Minister following the March 2006 elections, President Yushchenko had three
options open to him to resolve constitutional issues.

Soon after the elections, Yushchenko called for a roundtable discussion with
the Parliamentary leaders in order to reach an agreement on the ultimate
intention of the political reform in order to determine its proper meaning.

This seemed at least possible at the beginning of the Rada’s term when the
heads of the leading parties, including Yanukovych, held discussions with
the President and signed the declaration of national unity “in order to bind
president and government to a common platform setting out coherent and
realizable goals in line with the aspirations of the Ukrainian people.” [4]

Yanukovych and the Cabinet of Ministers, however, did not abide by the
declaration of national unity and instead repeatedly attempted to usurp the
President’s power.  These actions as well as Yanukovych’s underhanded
efforts to recruit deputies away from their political factions in
contravention of the constitution, made a political solution to the
constitutional issues impossible.

The next alternative open to the President, and one he actively pursued, was
appealing to the Constitutional Court.  First the Court would have had to
consider whether the law preventing the reform from being reviewed by the
Constitutional Court, as adopted by the Rada on August 4, 2006, is
constitutional.

This issue is currently before the Court, but, as with a number of other
matters, the Court has not begun any sort of deliberations on the issues.

Because the Court seems to be at a standstill, it is not in a position to
review and determine the constitutionality of the political reform.[5]  Nor
has the court begun reviewing the constitutionality of the laws passed on
the Cabinet of Ministers decreasing the power of the President.

With the Constitutional Court dragging its feet, this option was no longer
viable for Yushchenko because it is clear that the Court could not or would
not present the swift resolution necessary to resolve the growing crisis.

Yushchenko’s final option was to allow the people to decide, so he issued a
decree dismissing the Rada early, before its five year term expired.
Because of Yanukovych’s and the Cabinet of Ministers’ actions and the
Constitutional Court’s inability to render a decision on the extremely
pressing constitutional issues, this practically became the President’s only
option.

Yushchenko was faced with a Cabinet of Minister passing laws that vastly
diminished the President’s powers and Yanukovych threatening to gain a
supermajority of 300 votes in the Rada (which would allow him to override
presidential vetoes), both  accomplished by unconstitutional means.

Particularly troubling was Yanukovych creating a supermajority in the Rada
by recruiting individual deputies from other factions because Article 83(6)
of the constitution specifically states that a coalition may only be formed
by joining political parties or blocs.

Quite simply, it appeared that the Cabinet’s and Rada’s aims were to curtail
the powers of the Presidency and change or ignore the Constitution when it
was not to their liking.

Therefore, Yushchenko chose to, as he said in an open letter to the
Ukrainian people, “call[] on the nation to make a responsible, conscious and
fair choice which will help end political arguments and open a new stage for
Ukraine” [6] through new elections.

Yushchenko also stated in his open letter that Yanukovych’s attempts to
expand the parliamentary coalition “is a revision of the will of the
 nation.” [7]

Before the political reform came into effect, reforming the judiciary was a
top priority for President Yushchenko.  During his inaugural address on
January 23, 2005, Yushchenko issued a mandate that Ukraine must establish an
independent judiciary and a civil society based on the rule of law.

Parliament thwarted these goals quickly, however, when it refused to swear
in the President’s and the Council of Judges’ Constitutional Court
appointees and avoided electing its share of justices. [8]  This left the
Constitutional Court without a quorum for ten months, and rendered it unable
to consider the constitutionality of the rest of the political reform before
January 1, 2006, the reform’s effective date.

On March 22, 2006, just days before the Parliamentary elections, the
National Committee to Strengthen Democracy and the Rule of Law in Ukraine
adopted a new Concept Paper for the judiciary in Ukraine. [9]

Yushchenko, however, has been unable to pursue any of his ideas for
reforming the judiciary or implement any of the suggestions contained in the
Concept paper because since the political reform took effect more than a
year ago, he has had to deal with one political or legal crisis after
another.

Following the March 2006 parliamentary elections, it at least appeared
possible that the various factions could work together to pursue certain
goals that were generally in the national interest.  This quickly started to
unravel, however, because with every step forward, there seemed to be two
steps back.

From a legal standpoint, this was particularly obvious because immediately
after finally electing its justices and swearing in the President’s and
Council of Judges’ nominees, Parliament unconstitutionally limited the
Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction.

On August 4, 2006, Parliament passed a bill prohibiting the Constitutional
Court from deciding on the amendments to the Constitution passed as part of
the political reform.  President Yushchenko, for one reason or another,
signed the bill into law the same day.

This is clearly an attempt to prohibit the Constitutional Court from
considering the constitutionality of the political reform now that a quorum
exists.  This law is obviously unconstitutional itself. [10]  As I said over
a year ago “it is inconceivable that reforms of such magnitude would be
“immune” from constitutional scrutiny.” [11]

I am surprised that in order to solve the political crisis, the leadership
chose to reverse the progress of a rule of law system by passing this
legislation.

Many had hoped that there would be at least forty five deputies to challenge
the law as well as the political reform, but, although the Constitutional
Court is currently deliberating on the law, no petition has been filed
challenging the political reform in its totality.[12]

Although the law is currently “preventing” the judges of the Constitutional
Court from considering the political reform, this is not the only barrier to
the Constitutional Court playing its proper role in the current
constitutional crisis.

Instead of deciding on the issues, the judges seem to be avoiding taking
action right now and are waiting for the political situation to clear up
before making any moves.

This is an enormous mistake on their part because it marginalizes the role
of the entire judiciary in Ukraine, where the rule of law and democracy are
just barely holding on at this point.  Judicial independence is desperately
needed right now, and the judges must start performing their jobs.

Judicial independence does not mean the judges do as they choose, of course,
but do as they must in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the
country.  This all will depend largely on the conscience and courage of the
judges themselves.

Currently, the public has a low opinion of the Ukrainian courts.[13]  This
is only exacerbated by the fact that no one in the government is respecting
the judiciary.  This, however, is a symptom of the fact that the judiciary
is not stepping forward in this time of crisis.  Judges will not be
respected until they respect themselves.

There are two aspects in which judges must be independent.

[1] First, they must be honest-brokers, in that they are independent from

and neutral among the parties that appear before them.  Judges must decide
matters before them impartially, on the basis of the facts and the law,
without any restrictions, improper influences, inducements, or threats,
direct or indirect, from any party or institution or for any reason.

A judge’s moral commitment to this form of independence eliminates
favoritism and corruption from the nation’s judicial system.  If judges fail
in this duty the public will lose confidence in the basic equity of its
society, generating cynicism, anger and instability.

[2] Second, the judiciary, and hence each individual judge, must act as

co-equal and independent of the other branches of government.  Judges
are independent in this sense if they are not beholden to any other branch
of government or political party.  Right now, however, the Executive [14]
and Legislative branches are attempting to influence the judiciary.

This is dangerous because it is vital that courts have jurisdiction and the
power to restrain the legislature or executive by declaring laws and
official acts unconstitutional when they abridge the rights of citizens.
Further, for judicial independence to have practical effect, the courts’
interpretation must be accepted and enforced by the legislative and
executive branches of government.

As there cannot be a market economy without private ownership of property,
there cannot be a system based on the rule of law without judicial
independence.

In addition, the judiciary needs to have its own constituency, primarily the
legal profession and strong bar associations.  These will be responsible to
expose unethical practices of the judges, and/or coercive tactics upon
judges and enlist the press on their side.

In the United States the major defenders or critics of the judiciary are
members of the legal profession themselves (ABA), law school professors, as
well as the media.  It would be refreshing and welcome news if professors of
law schools in Ukraine would start to speak out, as well as the association
of lawyers, jurists, the Ukrainian Bar Association, and hopefully the World
Congress of Ukrainian Jurists.

What is needed is to strengthen the checks and balances – not control over
the judiciary by the executive.  Provide adequate salaries for judges,
insuring appropriate funding and assistance for the courts, prompt
publication and availability for judicial decisions, transparency in
decision making, enforcement of judicial decisions are ways to eliminate
corruption among the judiciary.

Nevertheless, greater access of citizens to judges should not mean or
indicate ex parte communications behind closed doors.  This practice should
be eliminated completely.  Furthermore, in order to ensure that individuals
selected to serve on the bench are qualified, it may be beneficial to
consider employing a system of uniform testing similar to that used in
Georgia.

The ABA-CEELI evaluated the Ukrainian judiciary and issued a report finding
that it did not meet the standards necessary for a democratic nation
following the rule of law.

This report, the Judicial Reform Index for Ukraine, assesses how the
conditions related to judicial reform and judicial independence in Ukraine
correlate with fundamental international standards in this area.

The judiciary is analyzed through a prism of 30 factors covering areas such
as judicial qualification and education, judicial powers, financial
resources, structural safeguards, accountability and transparency, and
efficiency of the judicial system.  Unfortunately, the results illustrate
that Ukraine scored positively only on four of these factors.

On the other hand, 15 factors received a negative correlation, including
most factors related to lack of independence in the judicial decision-making
and external interference in other aspects of the work of the judiciary,
dire financial conditions of the courts, and lack of transparency of court
proceedings and documents.[15]

There are any number of questions facing Ukraine’s government that could be
resolved by a strong, independent judiciary.  For example, the imperative
mandate and the election of deputies are very pressing issues because of
Yushchenko’s dissolution of Parliament.

The imperative mandate is articulated in Article 81 of the constitution
which states that a deputy must remain in his or her party in order to
retain his or her seat in parliament.

The constitutionality of this has been debated, but, there is an argument
that the people vote for the parties and their programs but not individuals.
Therefore, even if a deputy is terminated for leaving a party, it is the
will of the people that the party governs in the way it sees fit.

In addition, there is a safety valve available to the deputies because the
law does state that a deputy can vote his or her conscience even if it is
not in line with the party’s vote.

The imperative mandate, however, is not uncontroversial.  Some have argued
that it may contravene democratic principles and is not totally in line with
European standards as laid out by the Council of Europe.

In addition, critics point to Article 81 of the constitution that compels
the deputies to serve the needs of their parties over those of the Ukrainian
people, which conflicts with the deputies’ oath under Article 79. [16]

Each deputy swears to “provide for the good of the Ukrainian people” and to
carry out his or her “duties in the interest of all compatriots.”

Those who oppose the imperative mandate have also expressed concern that
there may be a situation where a deputy does not believe that serving his or
her party’s needs is in the interest of the people, but could lose his or
her seat in the Rada for leaving the party.

This is yet another issue that should be considered by the Constitutional
Court and is need of a decisive action in light of the upcoming elections.

When, and if, Ukrainians go to the polls again this year to elect new
deputies, many of the issues faced in the last election will still exist.
As of now, only the first five names on a party list are available to voters
when they go to vote, known as a closed list.

It would be preferable for all the names on a party list, known as an open
list, to be available to voters so that they can make a more educated
choice.  This would certainly present certain administrative headaches, but
it would bring Ukraine more in line with European democratic principles.

Finally, it is apparent that something needs to be done to clarify

and strengthen the Constitution. 
 
[1] One option is for the Constitutional Court to consider the political
reform and decide which amendments are constitutional and which need
to be changed, or even strike the entire political reform.

As I said earlier, however, this seems unlikely because the Constitutional
Court is unwilling or unable to proceed because of the political climate.

[2] Another option would be for the President and Parliament to agree to
eliminate the political reform, return to the original constitution, and
work together to amend the constitution properly.  The final option is to
start from scratch and completely re-write the constitution.

The second option is the most desirable because the constitution, as it was
originally adopted, was widely praised for its protections of human rights,
including commendations from the Council of Europe and the Venice
Commission.

It seems to me that the fault of the original constitution lay more with the
lack of implementation of its provisions and not with the concepts expressed
in the text itself.

The question remains whether democracy will survive in Ukraine.  Ideally,
the Constitutional Court would perform its duties faithfully and without
outside influence, solve the constitutional and legal crisis, and the other
branches of the government would respect and adhere to any decisions of the
Constitutional Court.

We are far from an ideal situation, however, and, although I have hope that
the rule of law will persevere in Ukraine, it at least appears that the
leadership on all sides has attempted to exert political pressure on the
judiciary[17] that may threaten the country’s democratic future. [18]

Furthermore, the current political crisis has ruined many of Ukraine’s
governmental institutions, including the Constitutional Court.

Unfortunately, I have to concur with the many critics that have stated that
the Constitutional Court has been discredited and that the legal and
constitutional systems are being destroyed.[19]

At this point, I cannot honestly and truthfully say that any decision by the
Constitutional Court pertaining to the current political and legal crisis
will be reasonable and objective.  Major changes will need to be made,
therefore, in order for the crisis to be resolved and for democracy to take
hold in Ukraine.

In order for democracy and the rule of law to continue the Constitution and
the checks and balances contained therein must remain in full effect.

Ukraine continues to sink deeper into legal chaos and democracy is in
serious danger in Ukraine right now.  It will take a great deal of work and
mutual respect between every branch of government, in order for Ukraine to
remain democratic.

[On May 4, President Yushchenko and Prime Minster Yanukovych met to discuss
early elections.  They agreed to definitely hold early elections in
accordance with the President's decree but left the details to a working
group.  Although a specific date has not yet been set, there are reports
that elections will be held before October 2007.]
————————————————————————————————-
Bohdan A. Futey is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in
Washington, DC, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in May 1987. 

Judge Futey has been active in various Rule of Law and Democratization
Programs in Ukraine since 1991.  He served as an advisor to the Working
Group on Ukraine’s Constitution, adopted June 28, 1996.
————————————————————————————————-
[1] People’s Authority to Amend Constitution, decision by the Constitutional
Court, October 5, 2005.
[2] Bohdan A. Futey, “Crisis in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine:  A
Court Without Judges?” August 18, 2005.
[3] Program of International Forum “Law and Democracy For Ukraine”, Kyiv,
Ukraine, December 8, 2006.
[4] Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s Crisis Need A Firm Response, Financial
Times, April 4, 2007.
[5] Under Article 150 of the Constitution, the President or no less than
forty-five Rada deputies may file an appeal with the Constitutional Court.
[6] President Dissolves Parliament, Official Website of President of
Ukraine, http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_14702.html.
[7] Id.
[8] Article 46 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that the
initiation of proceedings on a constitutional appeal or constitutional
petition shall be approved by either the Constitutional Court itself or the
Collegia of Judges of the Constitutional Court (Collegia), which is
established especially for this purpose by Article 47.  The provisions
governing the initiation of proceedings provide, in pertinent part, that
either of the above-mentioned entities may vote in favor or against
exercising jurisdiction over the case.  Under Article 50 of the law, a
meeting of the Constitutional Court pertaining to acceptance of a case is
considered valid, i.e., a quorum exists, if no fewer than eleven judges
participate in the meeting.  In order to initiate proceedings on a case, at
least six of the eleven judges must vote in favor of such a decision.
[9] In my opinion, this Concept is a valiant effort to strengthen some
aspects of court proceedings and guarantee citizens access to the courts,
but as a whole it seems to me that it fails to address the problem of
reforming the judiciary in-depth, and provides for additional ways to
exercise control over the judiciary.  Furthermore, it may be in conflict
with the Constitution as enacted on June 28, 1996, it violates the principal
of separation of powers (Article 6), and the rule of law commitment (Article
8).  The idea of having government inspectors for the judiciary is not an
encouraging practice (guarantee) for judicial independence.  Inspectors
looking over judge’s shoulders certainly will not allow the judges to act
freely.  Also, it fails to address many aspects of the present law on the
judiciary and it undertakes to provide solutions that are not very
democratic.  It barely touches on aspects of education at law schools and
the role of legal/professional organizations (like the American Bar
Association in the US).
[10] The law violates Article 8 of the Constitution, in my opinion, which
guarantees individuals the right to appeal issues of constitutional rights
and freedoms, and Article 147, which gives the Constitutional Court
jurisdiction over all “issues of conformity of laws” with the Constitution.
This law is also unconstitutional because it abridges the Rada deputies’
right to bring an appeal challenging the political reform in violation of
Article 150.  Even if the Rada would have attempted to pass the law as a
constitutional amendment, such an amendment would not have passed muster
under Article 157, which prohibits the constitution from being amended in
such a way that it takes away rights of the people.
[11] Futey, “Crisis in the Constitutional Court”
[12] Yulia Tymoshenko has stated that her bloc would challenge the reform in
the Constitutional Court.
[13] Many feel that judges can not be trusted.  For example, judges accused
of improprieties continue to hear cases because there is no mechanism for
them to step down or be suspended from their duties.  Judges need to be free
from suspicions of corruption in order to maintain public confidence,
therefore, a procedure should be put in place for judges to cease hearing
cases if while they are under investigation.
[14] Recently, President Yushchenko dismissed three members of the
Constitutional Court, even though it may be questionable whether he has such
powers under the Constitution.  Under Article 106(22) of the Constitution,
the President may appoint and dismiss six or one-third of the judges of the
Constitutional Court.  A judge may be dismissed if he or she violates the
oath office under Article 126(5).  The President’s right to dismiss
Constitutional Court judges has not yet been tested.  (As for the oath for
all the judges of the Constitutional Court before the Rada, I do not believe
it is constitutional because it violates principles of the separation of
powers.)  Nevertheless, on May 16, Chief Judge Dombrovsky resigned his post
of Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court and was replaced by one of the
judges dismissed by the President.  The President’s Secretariat subsequently
issued a statement that any decisions made by the Constitutional Court with
the participation of the judges fired by the President will not be
legitimate.
[15] Both Ukraine’s judges and journalists concur with these finding and
believe that the judiciary should be reformed.  For example, 84% of
journalists surveyed and 77% of judges believe that reform should be a top
priority.  See Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, The Baseline
Survey of Ukraine Rule of Law Project, March 2007; USAID Ukraine Rule of Law
Project, ‘Judicial Reform and Journalism’ Presentation of the Result of the
Sociological Survey of Journalists; March 2007.
[16] Article 79 reads: “I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with
all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to
provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian
people. I swear to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of
Ukraine, to carry out my duties in the interests of all compatriots.”
[17] Members of the Rada have made threats against judges of Pechersk
Regional Court that they will be dismissed for declaring that the attempt to
bring back the old 2004 CEC membership was illegal.  In addition, on May 8,
some Rada deputies introduced a bill attempting to dismiss five judges of
the Constitutional Court.
[18] On April 10, 2007 Justice Petro Stesyuk stated during a press
conference that five members of the Constitutional Court feel that they are
under political pressure to resolve this case without procedural safeguards
and that they “threaten to affect an independent conduct by the Court of its
constitutional duties, democracy in Ukraine and constitutional rights and
freedoms of citizens.”  Open Letter from Justices Lilak, Kampo, Stetsyuk,
Shyshkin, and Machuzhak to the Ukrainian people, President of Ukraine, Rada
deputies, and Judges of Ukraine, April 10, 2007.  On May 10, Chief Judge
Dombrovsky, made another statement condemning the dismissal of the Judges by
Yushchenko and expressing that various persons are trying to influence the
judges.  It is, therefore, questionable whether the Constitutional Court
will be able to act at all.  The Constitutional Court may also choose not to
decide on this case if it finds that the effectiveness of the decree is a
political question.  See Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).
[19] See Volodomyr Fecenko, Interview with BBC, May 17, 2007; Havrysh
Considers Court Unconstitutional, Ukrayinska Pravda, May 15, 2007.
Furthermore, Mykola Onishchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Lawyer’s Union
stated that the Constitutional Court must be dismissed.  See Ukrayinska
Pravda, May 17, 2008.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10.  PLIUSCH SEES  MAIN CAUSE OF ESCALATION OF POLITICAL
CRISIS IN CABINET’S  DISINCLINATION FOR DIALOGUE WITH PRES
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26, 2007
KYIV – National Security and Defense Council Secretary Ivan Pliusch sees
the main cause of the escalation of the political crisis in the disinclination of
the Cabinet of Ministers for a dialogue with President Viktor Yuschenko.
Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the President.

He said all problems could be resolved with an open and honest dialogue
between the branches of power.

However, according to Pliusch, the approaches of the President and the
Cabinet of Ministers to the issue are radically different.

“Nobody can blame the President with the avoiding the dialogue and with
unlawful demands concerning the relations between the bodies of power.
However, the Cabinet of Ministers shows insularity, incapability or
unwillingness to keep a word, barriers for the realization of rights of
common people,” Pliusch said.

He said the coalition demonstrated what kind of a country the coalition
intended to build by its actions at the Prosecutor General’s Office.

“If President Viktor Yuschenko had not issued the decree dissolving the
parliament, the law would be completely replaced by [the code of
criminals],” Pliusch said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Security Service of Ukraine is
investigating two criminal cases following the seizure of the building of
the Prosecutor General’s Office and the power abuse by officers of the
Ministry of Interior Affairs.

On May 24, the coalition MPs used force to remove officers of the State
Guard Department from the Prosecutor General’s Office after the dismissal

of Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun.                    -30-
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
==========================================================
11.      FROM A BOG OF LIES THERE’S NO COMING UP
                                     SMELLING OF ROSES

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

One of the sad things about democracy in a consumer society is how
fundamental principles turn into, at best, advertising slogans, at worst,
glossy packaging for questionable goods, or, in this case, people.

An article published recently in the Wall Street Journal (In Ukraine, a
Friend of Russia Stages Sweeping Political Makeover, by Marc Champion)
painted a picture of Viktor Yanukovych as the ultimate Ukrainian phoenix, a
political success story extraordinaire.

It was presented as the leap from presidential candidate whose rigged ballot
box “success” may have convinced Putin, but left the Ukrainian people cold
(quite literally) to Prime Minister espousing democratic values.

One might humbly suggest that a lion’s share of the credit can be taken by
Manafort and his mates – the American PR specialists who took over from
thoroughly discredited Russian political technologists.

A lot could be said on this subject. Suffice it to say that the reality in
Ukraine makes the packaging presented in the above-mentioned article ask a
question or two about the newspaper’s source of information.

For almost two months now, Yanukovych and his Verkhovna Rada coalition

have been fighting hard. If you read their statements, they have been defending
democracy, stability and the rule of law in Ukraine.

When the price is high, however, it is wise to look beyond the shiny
wrappers.

   FIGHTING AGAINST EARLY DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS                   
Yanukovych & Co. are fighting against early democratic elections. I stress
the word democratic for two reasons.

[1] One is that the methods used by the coalition to gain new members and
their attempts to thus achieve a constitutional majority able to overturn
Presidential vetoes and introduce changes to the Constitution had precious
little to do with democracy.

They certainly flew in the face of the wishes expressed by Ukrainian voters
only one year ago.

[2] Secondly, Yanukovych had not long before that stated in an interview
that the next “President” might be voted in by the Verkhovna Rada.

Psychologically understandable – the man felt aggrieved that the people didn’t
choose him, and parliamentarians were proving far more malleable.  It is
possible that Manafort and mates understood the flawed wrapping in this
case, and Yanukovych backtracked a day or two later.

The American PR experts are, however, fighting against the odds. If we take
just a few examples:

At an emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada following the President’s
Decree dissolving parliament, not only did the (dissolved!) Verkhovna Rada
contravene the Constitution by refusing to comply with the President’s
Decree, but they also reinstated the old makeup of the Central Election
Commission under their good friend and now Party of the Regions colleague

in parliament Kivalov.

He, should anyone have forgotten, approved the election “victory” of
Yanukovych, later overturned by the Supreme Court.

A lot of the 2004 “techniques” were reinstated, incidentally, including the
“mass rallies” of supposedly enraged coalition supporters.

These included children taken from schools to take part in the rallies on
Maidan, and whole coach or trainloads of “supporters”, paid to be the bodies
on these mass stunts.

The cries from various members of the coalition to have the President
impeached at least remain within a legal framework which cannot be said of
many of the hysterical outbursts heard from that quarter over the last two
months.

                       ATTEMPTS TO FRIGHTEN PEOPLE
Particularly disturbing have been the attempts to frighten people and
exacerbate the situation by speaking of armed forces in Kyiv, plans to
arrest members of the coalition, etc.  Disturbing because they show that the
Deputies involved are guided by anything but the needs of their voters and
of Ukraine.

The events of the last two days have demonstrated clearly how very much
these people are prepared to sacrifice for their own aims. A grotesque
spectacle with potentially catastrophic results was played out yesterday (24
May) in Kyiv following the dismissal by the President of the Prosecutor
General Sviatoslav Piskun.

The President’s justification was that Piskun had remained a National
Deputy, thus contravening the Constitution and leading to a clear conflict
of interests.  The political background and argumentation can and doubtless
will be argued.  Any such arguments cannot possibly justify the events which
ensued.

These involved the Minister of Internal Affairs personally arriving with
members of a specially trained unit (Berkut) at the Prosecutor General’s
Office and helping Piskun force his way into his former offices.

This monstrous distortion of the role of the law enforcement agencies
committed by those entrusted with our safety was then repeated in the
evening.

Yanukovych and his coalition cronies have learned nothing about democracy.
They have unfortunately failed to understand that the Ukrainian people are
not simply, as Yanukovych stated in 2004, “kozly” [stupid idiots - a term
used by criminals] who get in our way”.

They must be made to learn – peacefully, via the ballot box, and this time,
let’s hope, once and for all.                               -30-
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12.             THESE NEW HUDDLED MASSES

COMMENTARY: By Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Managing Editor
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 25, 2007

It was a coincidence, but an appropriate one, that last weekend’s annual
Ukrainian street festival in New York’s East Village began the day after
Senate negotiators announced an ungainly compromise on immigration.

Attacked by critics on the right as being too soft, and by critics on the
left as being too harsh, the proposed legislation is an apt representation
of America’s broader ambivalence towards immigration.

One of the sore points was embodied by the Ukrainian dancers and food
vendors who took over East 7th Street the next day.

Although they didn’t exactly arrive on the Mayflower, by New York standards,
Ukrainians have been in the neighbourhood a long time they celebrated their
first Ukrainian rite liturgy on Avenue C in 1890. And ethnic street fairs of
all stripes are a ubiquitous feature of Gotham life.

Even so, in America as a whole, the exuberant celebration of non-Anglo
culture, community and language that they represent is sometimes viewed

with hostility.

I spotted a snarling example at Washington’s Reagan National Airport the
other day a souvenir T-shirt on sale whose logo read: “Welcome to America:
Now Speak English.”

Samuel Huntington voices the more genteel version of this anxiety in Who Are
We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity.

The Harvard professor warns that immigration is now tearing America apart:
“The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United
States into two people, two cultures, two languages.”

In Immigrants Your Country Needs Them, a spirited counterpoint published
last year, Philippe LeGrain challenges many of Prof Huntington’s arguments.

He points to statistics showing that Latino immigrants, like those who came
before them, do learn English: by the third generation 78 per cent speak
predominantly English and 22 per cent are bilingual.

He also cites research by Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute, a
think-tank, showing that what may seem like immigrant waves of unprecedented
force are actually smaller, relative to the existing population, than the
great inflows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which so profoundly
shaped America.

Thus, according to Griswold, approximately 1.5 Mexican immigrants (both
legal and illegal) per 1,000 US residents now enter the country each year.

But in the 1840s and 1850s, the US absorbed an annual average of 3.6 Irish
immigrants per 1,000. Between 1901 and 1910 Russian, Italian and
Austro-Hungarians all arrived at a swifter pace than the Mexicans today.

So, partly, we are suffering from the usual historical amnesia. But
globalisation and technology have also changed the nature of the immigrant
experience, sometimes in ways that can be unsettling for the native-born.

Mobile phones, the internet and cheap air travel mean that immigration no
longer requires the near-absolute severing of ties with the home country
that it did in the days of Ellis Island.

Consider June Arunga, a Kenyan filmmaker born in 1981, who now lives in New
York. Arunga says she and other Kenyans benefit from new ways of staying in
touch with home: “The cell phone has changed everything. Your grandmother,
who basically lives in the Middle Ages in the countryside now you can call
her from New York It is almost like the person is not so far away.”

Cheap flights matter, too. Where once Kenyans could afford to visit their
homeland every 10 years, now, she says, many go back annually.

This continuous connection is the stuff of nightmare for some critics of
immigration. But at a time when even the ebullient Bush lieutenant Karen
Hughes is struggling at the State Department to burnish America’s tattered
reputation abroad, these shuttling immigrants may be their new land’s best
ambassadors.

“Even though there is disagreement about US foreign policy, the feedback
people get from their relatives is that I went there and I made something of
myself,” Arunga says. “It makes non-Americans love America.”

And what about the community ties immigrants may hold on to back in America?
For Arunga, they are mostly about personal well-being, the new American’s
equivalent of yoga or the Chicken Soup for the Soul books: “Everyone from
time to time takes comfort in listening to their own music, eating their own
food, telling their own jokes.”

That has certainly been my own experience. Living in a wonderful but foreign
city, it is fortifying to be able to slip into familiar Ukrainian community
rituals, and to be welcomed from the first sentence my daughters speak in
Ukrainian.

Nowadays, with fresh waves of smart, tough, young Ukrainians coming west,
remaining Ukrainian has an additional benefit. We worry a lot about ethnic
ghettos, but, in my experience of America in this age of growing income
inequality, the more powerful dividing lines are economic. The Ukrainian
community, for me, is a rare place that erases them.

These latest Ukrainian-Americans are part of a new twist on cultural
identity that I have started to observe in the parks of New York.

As I play with my girls in Ukrainian, young children who are talking to
their own parents in English occasionally approach us with fond interest.
They turn out to be the charges of Ukrainian babysitters. Could this be a
new category of hyphenated Americans ethnicity via nanny?        -30-
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NOTE: Chrystia Freeland is the FT’s US managing editor
chrystia.freeland@ft.com; More columns at www.ft.com/freeland
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13. NO ROSE-COLORED GLASSES FOR FM ARSENII YATSENIUK
                Minister discusses pragmatism in Ukraine’s foreign policy

Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 22, 2007

Arsenii Yatseniuk has been Ukraine’s foreign minister for more than two
months. Ukrainians would naturally like to know about the style, intentions,
and logic behind the actions of their country’s topmost diplomat, all the
more so as this is the first time that the foreign ministry is headed by a
person who has never been a career diplomat.

Yatseniuk partly showed his cards when he spoke with some print journalists.
He noted that he is not inclined to alter Ukraine’s foreign policy and is
generally very skeptical about the necessity of introducing any radical
changes.

He emphasized, however, that as foreign minister he will be trying to impart
more realism and pragmatism to Ukraine’s aspirations to integrate with such
organizations as the EU.

“Rose-colored glasses are absolutely out of place in this connection. First
and foremost, we should tell the people that there will be no European Union
either today or tomorrow. Early EU membership is very doubtful.

Even if Ukraine brilliantly fulfills the Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement with the EU and carries out all the reforms very quickly, EU
enlargement will still be a problem,” the minister admitted.
      YOUNG PEOPLE AS A MEANS OF EU INTEGRATION
The minister reminded his listeners that the European Union has quite a few
problems to deal with, so Ukraine is not exactly a priority issue for
Brussels.

On the other hand, there are numerous objections concerning Ukraine,
including its political maturity, which is indispensable for joining any
kind of union.

Secondly, there is a long list of unresolved problems with our neighbors,
including the Russian Federation. “The EU does not need a country that has a
‘vague’ relationship with Russia,” Yatseniuk said. Thirdly, there is a
problem of national unity.

Another important factor is that reforms should not be a purely declarative
issue. “We must say clearly what kind of state we want to build. Are we
building a classic market-economy country or a market-economy country with
some elements of socialism?” he noted.

The minister is thoroughly convinced that you do not promote Ukraine’s
integration and bilateral relations through bureaucratic announcements.
Above all, it is people – in our case, young people – who are envoys of
integration.

Therefore, this requires the right educational programs and free movement.
This is in fact what the minister was doing on his visits to the EU, the US,
and Canada, where he asked the leaders of those countries to update
educational exchange programs with Ukraine.
                   NO SPIN IN OUR RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA
Ukraine’s foreign minister believes that our country should build its
relations with Russia on the principles of pragmatism and mutual advantage.
At the same time he opposes Ukrainian-Russian diplomatic relations being
formed on the pages of newspapers.

“The whole cartload of current Ukrainian-Russian problems must be resolved
in closed rooms. What we will be saying to each other in those closed rooms
is a different question. What matters for Ukraine is the result. We don’t
need spin today,” Yatseniuk emphasized.

Ukraine would also not like to be a tool in someone else’s hands as far as
Ukrainian-Russian relations are concerned. “We are worthy of pursuing our
own policy toward Russia because there is interdependence in our relations
with Russia.

And it cannot be said that Russia has a decisive impact on Ukraine. This may
have been the case 20 or 10 years ago,” the foreign minister said.

Broaching the resolution of problems that exist in Ukrainian-Russian
relations, Yatseniuk offered his own approach to solving them.

[1] First, Ukrainian-Russian relations should reject any kind of radicalism.
[2] Second, there is a great degree of convergence, and even more
interdependence between the two countries.
[3] Third, economic interests must prevail over political declarations.
[4] Fourth, relations should be clearly spelled out in legal terms and be
based on appropriate treaties and laws.

According to the minister, Kyiv should now enter into negotiations with
Russia about signing 17 agreements pursuant to the 1997 Comprehensive
Treaty. To a large extent this will help clarify certain clauses in this
treaty.

Yatseniuk also stressed that Ukrainian-Russian bilateral relations will
uphold the principle of reciprocity. “We will be supporting their ethnic
minorities in exchange for them supporting Ukrainians in Russia,” he noted.
                   RELATIONS WITH SAME-LINE PLAYERS
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is well aware that Ukraine cannot play its
own geopolitical game and stand on a par with the US, Russia, and the EU.
Nevertheless, Yatseniuk thinks that our country can be a second-line player
and should therefore orient itself toward countries of comparable size.

In his opinion, GUAM is not a bad option in principle. Ukraine would like
very much to be heard in big-time politics via this regional organization.
But the problem is to fill GUAM with a concrete economic component.

“If GUAM were to take a common stand on a number of foreign political
issues, have true economic interdependence and an impact on other related
markets, this organization would be a player too,” said Yatseniuk. He thinks
that Ukraine should focus its attention on some countries in the East,
Africa, and Latin America, which are risky but attractive at the same time.

“These are markets that we can enter. Moreover, these are countries that
need political support not only from the G8 but also from countries like
Ukraine. We are very carefully considering the question of cooperating with
these countries,” the minister said.
                              THE TRANSIT TRUMP CARD
It is too early to say that the doctrine of economy-based foreign relations,
revived by Yatseniuk, is bearing fruit. At the same time sources in
Ukraine’s foreign ministry sources do not think that we suffered a defeat at the
Cracow summit.

At the time there was a summit taking place in Turkmenistan, where the
presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan signed a declaration to
build a gas pipeline across Russia.

A source claims that Ukraine managed to have the words “transit space”
included in the Cracow Declaration. The Ukrainian foreign ministry also
believes that the Cracow summit was a success because it triggered such a
reaction in some countries that their leaders rushed to the Polish city.

The foreign ministry is actively pursuing the policy of transit space,
capitalizing on Ukraine’s monopoly on transit. Kyiv will thus try to dictate
its own rules until a single energy space, one that would include the EU, is
established.

“We should be the promoters of this venture because 80 percent of gas is
being exported to Europe through our pipelines. With all due respect for
consumers, we still have a transit system of our own. Not to use this
opportunity today means losing all our chances tomorrow,” the ministry
source said.
                                 AT A LOSS FOR WORDS
All countries know that domestic policy influences foreign policy. Ukraine
is no exception, and the new foreign minister is perfectly aware of this. As
he confessed, his mission in the past two months has been to travel around
the world explaining that what is going on in Ukraine is normal.

“But I will say frankly that I began to feel at a loss for words. It is
impossible to have a stable and easy-to-grasp foreign policy if things are
in disarray inside the country. What is going on inside cannot be an
unending story. We have brawled a little, become somewhat democratic, but
now it’s time to reach a common denominator.

In the short term there are no negative consequences. But there will surely
be questions to Ukraine in the medium term. It’s OK if this lasts for a
month or two, but if the conflict drags on, nobody will take us seriously,”
the minister emphasized.
                      A WHIFF OF SMOLENSKAIA SQUARE
Yatseniuk believes that in the 15 years of independence the foreign ministry
has failed to become an absolutely normal, healthy, and full- fledged
ministry of independent Ukraine. “There is still a whiff coming from
Smolenskaia Square (Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Ed.),” he said.

The Ukrainian foreign minister thinks the world has changed radically over
the past 10 years. “But we are still living by the standards of the old,
understaffed ministry that is unable to perform the required functions.

For the ministry to be European, we should clean up the ‘stables.’ The
ministry needs funds to pay salaries, offset capital expenses, increase and
reformat the network,” Yatseniuk noted.                     -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/181832/
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14.      MOVIES: UKRAINE’S WINTER OF DISCONTENT
                Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter”

REVIEW: By Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun
New York, NY, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RE:  Andrei Zagdansky’s Documentary “ORANGE WINTER”

On November 21, 2004, Ukrainian citizens went to the polls to cast their
ballots in a run-off election for a new president, a right they had only
enjoyed for eight years since their nation’s constitution came into being.
Ukraine has a long history of political upheaval and conflict dating back to
the tsars.

True to historical form, the 2004 campaign had been both a close one and a
dirty one. Challenger Viktor Yushchenko, a former prime minister and leader
of the Our Ukraine Party, had suffered a near fatal dose of dioxin
poisoning.

This was not only barbaric it was ironic – Mr. Yuschenko’s followers rallied
behind bright orange banners, and stateside Dioxin is known as Agent Orange.

His opponent, the incumbent Viktor Yanukovych, was long rumored to have ties
to organized crime, and Orange Party loyalists naturally assumed that Mr.
Yanukovych’s followers had something to do with the chemical assassination
attempt.

In Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter,” which opens today
at the Pioneer Theater, the events that followed the run-off election were
even more bizarre.

“Power, the people, chance or fate, providence – the interplay of these
forces is what makes history,” the film’s narrator says. Mr. Zagdansky
shuffles a deck of images and footage showing history being made fast – both
in the halls of government and in the street. And while he misdeals a few of
his cards here and there, “Orange Winter” is a candid and exciting
nonfiction account of a fascinating contemporary popular struggle.

The election that had forced the run-off had been roundly criticized for
favoring the sitting government. It hadn’t helped the credibility of Mr.
Yanukovych’s candidacy that goon squads, believed to be plain-clothes
members of his government’s “Special Purpose Police Unit,” harassed
Orange Party campaigners and voters on numerous occasions.

Ukrainian citizens and international election monitors cast a dubious eye on
the November 21 vote count as well. Exit polls indicated that Mr. Yushchenko
was the winner by a small but legal margin.

So when state-run television declared Mr. Yanukovych the winner, the native
population of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev (a city split between Russian
and Ukrainian speakers and loyalists) took to the streets.

In Mr. Zagdansky’s footage, thousands of protestors pour into Maidan
Nezalezhnosti, Kiev’s central Independence Square, as the government
declares the election over.

But even as TV newsreaders urge the people to go back to work and get on
with their lives, a simultaneous onscreen sign language translator,
discreetly wearing an orange scarf on her wrist, contradicts the official
story.

“I find it very distressing that I’ve had to translate falsehoods,” she
tells sign language fluent viewers from her box on the lower right corner of
their TV screens. “I won’t do that anymore. I don’t know if we will see each
other again.”

Days go by and the mass protest becomes a tent city. Sympathetic retailers
put orange sweaters on sale. Sporting goods stores sell out of fishing rods,
the most practical hardware with which to hold up and control massive orange
banners springing up all over the Maidan.

Mr. Zagdansky’s camera captures an ad hoc community’s growth and life with
an eye for both egalitarian gesture and a pretty face.

The homeless get fed. Blond girls smile. An expressionless member of the
Special Purpose Police in riot gear works his way down a row of his
comrades, brushing the snow off of their body armor and helmets as he goes.
Couples make-out and marry. Christmas arrives and orange Christmas trees go
up.

Mr. Zagdansky also adds a performance of Mussorgsky’s opera ” Boris
Gudonov” and clips from Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s brilliant 1930 Ukraine-set
Soviet propaganda film “Earth” to the mix.

Though the music and images are lovely, the metaphoric point they make is a
simple one. As the real news events build to their January 2005 conclusion,
both opera and film excerpts pale in intensity alongside what actually
happened.

Mr. Zagdansky’s timeline is occasionally less sure-footed than it could be,
and his narrator, the print journalist Matthew Gurewitsch (sounding like a
cross between Ben Stein and Mr. Rodgers), fails to sustain a connection with
the images he describes and the words he reads.

But “Orange Winter” is nevertheless inspiring, and a viewer’s patience with
a filmmaker eagerly trying to fit two months that shook Ukraine into 72
minutes will be rewarded.

Through June 3 (155 E. 3rd St., between avenues A and B, 212-591-0434).
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LINK: http://www.nysun.com/article/55044

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15. UKRAINE’S ORANGE REVOLUTION: RUSH TO JUDGEMENT?
                             Review of Three Orange Revolution Books

BOOK REVIEW: By Taras Kuzio
Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
London, UK, Vol.23, no.2 (June 2007), pp.320-326.

Anders Aslund and Michael McFaul eds., Revolution in Orange. The Origins of
Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough  (Washington DC; Carnegie Endowment,
2006).

Askold Krushelnycky, An Orange Revolution. A Personal Journey Through
Ukrainian History (London: Harvill Secker, 2006). ISBN 978 0436 206 234

Andrew Wilson, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press).

There has been a flood of books published in Ukraine, coupled with a large
number of photo albums, following the Orange Revolution. In the
English-speaking West, only three books have appeared, two of which are
authored and a third an edited collection. All three books are reviewed
here.

The Orange Revolution took place following the second round of the 2004
Ukrainian presidential elections.[i] These elections proved to be the
dirtiest in Ukraine’s twelve year history with two assassination attempts
against the pro-reform candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has often been placed within a comparative
context of earlier democratic or people power revolutions in Serbia (2000)
and Georgian Rose Revolution (2003) and a year later in Lebanon (Cedar
Revolution) and, more controversially, in Kyrgyzstan (Tulip Revolution).[ii]
Other central European specialists argue that Croatia and Slovakia in 1997
and 1998 were the first to experience democratic, people-power
revolutions.[iii]

The Carnegie volume is, perhaps surprising, considering the attention the
Orange Revolution received in Washington DC, the only one published on the
subject by a Washington-based think tank.

The two editors, Anders Aslund and Michael McFaul, fulfill an excellent task
of bringing together leading specialists on contemporary Ukraine who closely
followed the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections and Orange Revolution.

The edited collection includes chapters by Aslund on President Leonid
Kuchma’s relationship with the oligarchs, former Freedom House adviser
Adrian Karatnycky on earlier elections and political parties, National Endowment
for Democracy Nadia Diuk on civil society and my own chapter on developments
within Ukrainian society that led to the basis for a democratic revolution.

Other chapters are written by scholars from the region. The youth NGO Pora
(Its Time) is surveyed by the head of the Bratislava office of the German
Marshall Fund of the USA (GMFUS), Pavol Demes, in a co-authored article with
the GMFUS Bratislava office Program Officer Joerg Forbrig.

The GMFUS was one of a number of Western think tanks and foundations who
provided assistance to Pora, a crucial NGO in the mobilization of young
Ukrainians during the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Youth NGO’s,
such as Serbia’s OTPOR (Resistance) and Georgia’s Kmara (Resistance),
played a key role in all democratic revolutions in post-communist
states.[iv]

Another chapter deals with the importance of the media environment during
the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Olena Prytula is one of the two
founders of the highly popular and influential Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian
Truth) web-based newspaper (www.pravda.com.ua).

Ukrayinska Pravda rose to international prominence in November 2000 when its
other co-founder, Heorhiy Gongadze, was found decapitated near Kyiv. The
ensuing scandal, known as Kuchmagate, undermined President Kuchma,
facilitated the rise of Yushchenko as a political oppositionist and paved
the way for the Orange Revolution four years later.

As Prytula points out, independent media played a crucial role in
facilitating the Orange Revolution. As a semi-authoritarian regime, Ukraine
still had a limited independent media base which is not the case in fully
authoritarian regimes such as Russia, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

Two television channels, Channels 5 and Era, funded by dissident businessmen
who backed Yushchenko, played a disproportionate role to their size. The
internet was also influential as a source of information, discussion and
blog’s and communication. Prytula suggests that the Orange Revolution should
be considered the world’s first “internet revolution”.

Two other chapters by Ukrainian and Russian authors survey the influence and
role of the West and Russia in the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution.
Russia played a disproportionate role through a heavy handed intervention in
support of the regime’s candidate, Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine twice during the first and
second rounds of the elections to give his public support to Yanukovych
while Russian “political technologists” played a central role in all manner
of dirty tricks.

Although the Orange Revolution was seen in Russia as a “US-backed
 conspiracy”, the reality, as presented by Oleksandr Sushko and Olena
Prytsayko, is that the West played a more benign role. US and West European
foundations did provide assistance to NGO’s, but this assistance was not
exclusive to Ukraine and was not directed towards creating the basis for a
democratic revolution.

The US behind the scenes and the EU in a more direct capacity played a
central role in facilitating a pacted transition through the political
crisis that engulfed Ukraine during the Orange Revolution.

The final chapter by McFaul places the Serbian, Georgian, Ukrainian and, to
a lesser extent, the Kyrgyz democratic revolutions within a comparative
context. McFaul points to seven factors that are common to these democratic
revolutions.

These include a competitive (i.e. semi) authoritarian regime, unpopular
leaders, organized oppositions, independent electoral monitoring
capabilities, independent media, an active civil society capable of
mobilizing large numbers of people and divisions within the security
forces.[v] Krushelnycky’s book is written for the popular market; hence,
it does not have an index.

The author has a long and distinguished career writing on contemporary
Ukraine, Soviet and post-Soviet affairs. A third of the book (Chapters 1-4)
is a short and informative survey of Ukrainian history in the pre-Soviet and
Soviet era’s.

Chapter 5 gives a good overview of the “Rotten Guys” who ruled Ukraine from
1991-2004, Presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma. Chapter 6 covers
the important Kuchmagate scandal in 2000-2001 when Gongadze was kidnapped
and subsequently murdered.

The Kuchmagate scandal provoked a mobilization of civil society and youth to
go on to win the 2002 and 2004 elections. The chapter is named “Beheaded”
alluding to the only book on the Gongadze murder, either in Ukraine or the
West.[vi]

Chapter 7 discusses the rise of Yushchenko from loyal government servant to
opposition leader. Until 2001, Yushchenko was Chairman of the National Bank
and Prime Minister. After being ousted from government he created the Our
Ukraine bloc of liberal and center-right political parties which came first
in the 2002 elections with 24 per cent of the vote. Two years later he won
the presidential elections with 52 per cent

Krushelnycky deals with the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution in the last
150 pages in Chapters 8-12. Here, the author provides an excellent account
of the dirty campaign unleashed by the authorities and their Russian
“political technologists”, the attempted poisoning of Yushchenko, widespread
election fraud, mobilization of millions of Ukrainians in protest and the
various ways that the crisis was defused.

Krushelnycky’s final chapter is less a full expose of the post-Orange
Revolution era than an Epilogue. Aslund and McFaul decided to not deal with
the post-Orange Revolution situation, and, in my view, rightly so.

Events after the Orange Revolution are a moving target and too close to the
present. A convenient cut off point is the election of Yushchenko and his
inauguration as President from 26 December 2004-23 January 2005.

Both Krushelnycky and Andrew Wilson published their books in 2005 and
therefore could only have covered a short period of the post-Orange
Revolution era. Krushelnycky’s final chapter (Epilogue) is already imbued
with foreboding that events are not proceeding as optimistically as what was
thought would take place when millions of Ukrainians supported the Orange
Revolution. Wilson submitted his book earlier than Krushelnycky to Yale
University Press and his book is full of optimism that today seems out of
place.

Krushelnycky is already concerned that Kuchma and other senior officials may
have been given immunity as the price to avoid bloodshed during the Orange
Revolution. No documents prove such a deal was ever made and no officials
have publicly confirmed it, including President Yushchenko. Yet, subsequent
events seem to confirm this.

Wilson’s book is a scholarly study of the Orange Revolution. Its only small
fault lies in occasional lapses into using phrases, language and humor that
would be more appropriate in a book written for the popular market. Yale
University Press also made a strategically poor choice of including a quote
on the dust jacket from British maverick scholar Anatol  Lieven, a Senior
Fellow at the Washington-based New Atlantic Foundation.

Lieven has always been a staunch critic of the Orange Revolution, other
democratic revolutions in post-communist states and US promotion of
democracy in Eurasia.[vii] The summer 2006 Ukraine crisis was welcomed by
Lieven with unrestrained and gloated glee.[viii]

Wilson’s book is not a light read as it is full of facts, names and places
that will be difficult for the non-specialist to follow. Nevertheless, it
represents an in-depth study of the events leading up to the 2004 elections
and the Orange Revolution. Chapter 1 is short and lays out the election
fraud that led to the Orange Revolution.

Chapter 2 gives a good analysis of the main players in the Ukrainian elites
who backed the two main candidates, Yushchenko and Yanukovych. Chapter
3 is a short history of Ukraine which seems to be out of place. Readers
interested in the Orange Revolution, if they are indeed interested in
seventeen century Cossacks, can find historical works on this elsewhere.

Chapter 4 investigates the Kuchmagate crisis and the 2002 elections as the
precursor events to the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Wilson
describes the Kuchmagate crisis and the 2002 elections as “two dress
rehearsals” for 2004. Without the murder of Gongadze and subsequent protests
there would have been no Orange Revolution. With no Revolution, Yushchenko
would not have been elected President.

Chapters 5-7 provides the main study of the 2004 elections and subsequent
Orange Revolution. As Wilson points out, “there were too many players on
their side, too many crooks with too many plans, and they ultimately ended
up working against one another” (p.79).

It was never clear that Kuchma really was 100 per cent behind Yanukovych’s
election campaign and he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he was a
“bandit”. “It is also true that Kuchma himself seems never to have quite
liked or trusted Yanukovych”, Wilson says (p.80).

Leaked documents, cited by Wilson, revealed that one presidential strategy
was to pit western against eastern Ukraine leading to civil conflict that
then created the environment for the authorities to cancel the elections. In
new elections to be held in 2005, Kuchma could stand again based on the
Constitutional Court ruling that he was in his “first” term.

Although western press reports exaggerated fears of a civil war (I myself
debated this with a CNN presenter convinced that Ukraine was ready to lapse
into civil war), Wilson rightly points out that, “Ukraine was never ‘on the
brink of civil war'” (p.145).

Chapter 8 lays out an optimistic setting for the “Aftermath” of the
post-Orange Revolution environment. Chapters 9 and 10 give the international
implications of the aftermath of the Orange Revolution and an optimistic
prognosis that democratic revolutions will continue to engulf other regions
of Eurasia.

Only a year has passed since all three books were published. Yet, the
optimism that pervades Wilson and the more sober optimism in Krushelnycky
are now difficult to read following the tumultuous developments that have
engulfed post-Orange Revolution Ukraine.

Krushelnycky is flabbergasted that Yushchenko signed a memorandum with
Yanukovych in September 2005 to obtain parliamentary support for his Prime
Ministerial  candidate to replace Tymoshenko One wonders what the author
would be thinking following the return of Yanukovych to head the government
in July 2006!?

By summer-fall 2006, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution was at a crossroads where
Ukraine could continue to muddle forward in reforms and integration into the
Euro-Atlantic community. Or, it could stagnate into a “Kuchma-Lite” type
regime.

Writing in early 2005, Wilson is optimistic about Yushchenko as a moral,
“charismatic” (p.153) leader ready to implement a clean up of the system and
introduce a wide range of reforms. By the summer of 2006, Yushchenko was
widely seen inside and outside Ukraine as a weak leader with no strategy who
has been unable to introduce a decisive break with the practices and
political culture of the Kuchma era. The good will earned by the holding of
free and fair elections in March 2006 was lost following the failure of the
Orange coalition to create a parliamentary majority and government because
of personal divisions.

Wilson’s prediction that the Orange coalition would sweep to power in the
2006 elections has failed to materialize as the coalition was dissolved by
President Yushchenko who removed the Tymoshenko government in September
2005. As Wilson writes, “given her popularity, the president would be
foolish to allow her so easily into opposition” (p.173). But, he did and her
bloc defeated his own Our Ukraine in the 2006 elections.

The defeated candidate’s Party of Regions came first with 32 per cent.
Wilson did note that revolutionary coalitions always eventually break up
into their ideological components, but no one could have predicted that this
would happen so soon only eight months following Yushchenko’s rise to power.

Wilson predicted that several members of the organizers of election fraud
“would – or should – end up in jail” (p.157). In fact, not a single senior
Ukrainian official has been charged and all of them have returned to
government and parliament. The only senior Ukrainian official to have been
charged was former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, but this was by the US -
not by Ukraine.[ix]

All three books provide excellent studies of the Orange Revolution and its
legacies. Krushelnycky is right  to point out that it was not Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko alone who made the Orange Revolution but “millions of
Ukrainians who did that by displaying their will in such a magnificent way”
(p.360).

Less than two years into his five year term, President Yushchenko has
seemingly forgotten the role played by the reported one in five of
Ukrainians who protested locally or in Kyiv during the Orange Revolution.
————————————————————————————————–
                                               FOOTNOTES:
[i]  See the only three articles published on the Orange Revolution: Lucan
Way, ‘Kuchma’s Failed Authoritarianism’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.2
(April 2005), pp.131-145, Taras Kuzio, ‘Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. The
Opposition’s Road to Success’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.2 (April
2005), pp.117-130 and ‘Kuchma to Yushchenko: Ukraine’s 2004 Elections and
“Orange Revolution’, Problems of Post-Communism, vol.52, no.2 (March-April
2005), pp.29-44.
[ii] See my Guest Edited special issue of Communist and Post-Communist
Studies (vol.39, no.3, September 2006) on ‘Democratic Revolutions in
Post-Communist States’.
[iii] This argument is developed in Valerie J.Bunce and Sharon L.Wolchik,
‘International diffusion and postcommunist electoral revolutions’, Communist
and Post-Communist Studies (vol.39, no.3, September 2006), pp.283-304.
[iv] See my comparative study of Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine in ‘Civil
Society, Youth and Societal Mobilization  in Democratic Revolutions’,
Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol.39, no.3 (September 2006),
pp.365-386.
[v] A revised version of this chapter can be found at Michael McFaul,
‘Transitions from PostCommunism’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.3 (July
2005), pp.5-19.
[vi] JV Koshiw, Beheaded. The killing of a journalist (Reading: Artemia
Press, 2003). The book has also been published in Ukraine and Russian in
Ukrainian and Russian respectively. Koshiw is a Woodrow Wilson Center
Fellow in 2006-2007.
[vii] A. Lieven, “Where Have all the Revolutions Gone?”, International
Herald and Tribune, 29 October 2005 and “The West’s Ukraine Illusion”,
International Herald and Tribune, 8 January 2006.
[viii] A.Lieven, “Failure of Orange Revolution is Historic Opportunity”,
Financial Times, 24 July 2006.
[ix] T.Kuzio, ‘Only the US tries and convicts’, Kyiv Post, 7 September 2006.
 nt: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:04 AM
—————————————————————————————————–
Taras Kuzio, Visiting  Professor, Institute for European, Russian and
Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George
Washington University. Washington, tkuzio@gwu.edu,
—————————————————————————————————–
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AUR#848 May 27 Election Date Set, Three Leaders Sign Joint Statement For Sep 30; Good Intentions?; Constitutional Crisis & Legal Chaos In Ukraine

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World     

 
       THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT
          Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada
          Speaker and the Prime Minister on Urgent Measures Aimed at
          Resolving the Political Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections
                                                  (Article One)
  
                                                                              
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 848
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.           THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007 (unofficial translation)

2.                     TENSE UKRAINE SETS ELECTION DATE
REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday May 27, 2007

3. UKRAINE PRESIDENT DECLARES POLITICAL CRISIS ‘FINISHED’
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

4.            UKRAINE’S THREE TOP LEADERS DEFUSE A CRISIS

By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer (AP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

5UKRAINE SETS ELECTIONS SEP 30, DEFUSING TWO-MONTH CRISIS
Julian Nundy in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, May 27, 2007

6.                                    “GOOD INTENTIONS?”
                Ukrainian president’s actions may be justified in the long run
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 26 May 07; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, May 26, 2007

7.                           NEW ELECTIONS FOR UKRAINE
COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007
 
8.                      THE EDGE OF ANARCHY IN UKRAINE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch, Senior Fellow
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, May 25, 2007

9.        CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS & LEGAL CHAOS IN UKRAINE
COMMENTS: by Judge Bohdan A. Futey
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Kyiv, Ukraine in Ukrainian, Sat, May 26, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 9, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

10.   PLIUSCH SEES MAIN CAUSE OF ESCALATION OF POLITICAL
 CRISIS IN CABINET’S  DISINCLINATION FOR DIALOGUE WITH PRES

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26, 2007

11. FROM A BOG OF LIES THERE’S NO COMING UP SMELLING OF ROSES
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007
 
12.                               THESE NEW HUDDLED MASSES
COMMENTARY: By Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Managing Editor
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 25, 2007

13.    NO ROSE-COLORED GLASSES FOR FM ARSENII YATSENIUK
                  Minister discusses pragmatism in Ukraine’s foreign policy
Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 22, 2007

14.                MOVIES: UKRAINE’S WINTER OF DISCONTENT
                    Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter”
REVIEW: By Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun
New York, NY, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

15.     UKRAINE’S ORANGE REVOLUTION: RUSH TO JUDGEMENT?
                             Review of Three Orange Revolution Books
BOOK REVIEW: By Taras Kuzio
Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics,
London, UK, Vol.23, no.2 (June 2007), pp.320-326.
========================================================
1
   THREE UKRAINE LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007 (unofficial translation)

Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada Speaker
and the Prime Minister on Urgent Measures Aimed at Resolving the Political
Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections

May 27, 2007

Being fully aware of the responsibility for the country’s social, political
and economic situation, guaranteeing that there will be no escalation of the
political crisis, seeking to immediately resolve it through exceptionally
nonviolent means and dialogue involving leading political forces, guided by
the Constitution of Ukraine and wanting to uphold the nation’s interests and
preserve the country’s unity, the sides have agreed to:

1. ensure that there are no attempts to aggravate the conflict in society
and prevent all possible actions provoking ‘force’ scenarios;

2. hold an early parliamentary election on [Sunday] September 30, 2007;

3. accept that this election will be held in accordance with the President’s
decree based on paragraph 2 of article 82 of the Constitution of Ukraine;

4. hold plenary sessions of the Verkhovna Rada on May 29-30 to adopt and
enact the bills for conducting fair, transparent and democratic elections,
particularly:

     [a] pass and enact the draft laws worked out by the authorized
     representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers,
     the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition;
     [b] readopt the laws passed between April 2 and May 29, 2007;
     [c] pass and enact the necessary WTO laws and other legal acts on
     economic issues.

5. ensure that the Cabinet of Ministers and the Central Election Commission
oversee the  implementation of the Law on the State Voting Register;

6. appoint new members of the Central Election Commission on the basis of
the agreements reached by  the authorized representatives of the President
of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the
parliamentary opposition to hold fair, transparent and democratic elections.

7. not to interfere in the work of the judicial branch and law enforcement
bodies.

President of Ukraine V.A. Yushchenko
Verkhovna Rada Speaker O.O. Moroz
Prime Minister of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_16143.html
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.                   TENSE UKRAINE SETS ELECTION DATE

REUTERS, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine is to hold a parliamentary election on September 30,
President Viktor Yushchenko said on Sunday after late-night talks forged a
compromise to end weeks of tense confrontation with his prime minister.

Yushchenko, who issued two decrees last month dissolving parliament and
calling a snap election, announced the date after negotiations with his
rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, that extended into the early hours
of the morning.

The pro-Western president, swept to power after defeating Yanukovich in the
aftermath of weeks of “Orange Revolution” street rallies in 2004, said
parliament would this week consider legislation required to hold the poll.

A struggle between Yushchenko and Yanukovich, closer to Moscow in outlook,
over a division of powers had plunged the ex-Soviet state into a prolonged
political crisis.

“We have produced an agreement that in order to resolve the political crisis
an early parliamentary election is to be held on September 30,” Yushchenko
said.

“Ukraine emerges much stronger from this crisis than it was before
April…It is very gratifying for me to see that by this Ukraine is
demonstrating the development of its democracy. This is truly a wonderful
result.”

Yanukovich said the agreement reflected a will on all sides to hold an
honest and fair election, respect the law and keep from interfering in the
judicial process.

“I believe the experience we have acquired from this crisis shows that we
have learned certain lessons,” he said.

The president then thanked Yanukovich and Parliament Speaker Oleksander
Moroz for a successful conclusion to the talks and the three joined hands.
                                   TENSE TUG-OF-WAR
Yushchenko and Yanukovich had been in talks since the president issued

the first of his decrees on April 2. The president dissolved the chamber,
accusing Yanukovich of poaching his allies in parliament to expand the
ruling coalition and enable the premier to change the constitution.

Yanukovich initially resisted the dissolution order but later agreed to an
election. They remained at odds over a date, with the president seeking an
election as quickly as possible and the prime minister saying none could be
held before autumn.

Weeks of turmoil boiled over on Friday when the head of state said he was
taking control of the Interior Ministry troops, a move denounced by
Yanukovich as dangerous and unconstitutional.

The president ordered the dispatch of interior troops to Kiev on Saturday,
though most remained blocked outside the city.

Moroz told reporters he still opposed an early election, but was agreed with
the date to pull the country out of crisis.

Yanukovich made a comeback from his defeat in 2004 and was named prime
minister after his Regions Party took first place in the last parliamentary
poll a year ago and the president’s allies proved unable to form a
government.

Recent opinion polls show parties backing the two rivals in a virtual dead
head, each with about 40 percent support.                 -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. UKRAINE PRESIDENT DECLARES POLITICAL CRISIS ‘FINISHED’

By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Sunday declared a crisis
with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych “finished” after the two agreed to
hold early parliamentary elections in September.

“The political crisis in Ukraine is finished. We have come to a decision
that represents a compromise,” Yushchenko said at a joint press briefing
with Yanukovych after seven hours of talks between the two leaders in Kiev.
“Early elections will be held on September 30,” Yushchenko said.

Yanukovych signed a joint statement with Yushchenko sealing the deal, which
signals a major step towards resolution of a crisis in this ex-Soviet
republic that has sparked international concern.

“We remember everything, we will draw conclusions. We will do everything

so that this is not repeated, so that there are no more mistakes, no more
emotions,” Yanukovych told reporters.

In the joint statement, published on the website of the president’s office,
the two sides also agreed not to allow the use of force, following recent
wrangling over control of the security services.

The deal hinges on votes due to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday in the
country’s parliament, which is dominated by a Yanukovych-led coalition that
is bitterly opposed to Yushchenko.

“The date is only the beginning of the end of the crisis and the vote in
parliament will be its final point,” Vadim Karasyov, head of the Institute
for Global Strategies in Kiev, told AFP ahead of the agreement.

The stand-off began on April 2, when the pro-Russian Yanukovych defied
orders from his pro-Western rival Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and

hold early elections, calling the move “unconstitutional.”

In recent days, Yushchenko and Yanukovych sparred for control of the
security forces in Ukraine, prompting concern and calls for restraint from
neighbouring Russia, the European Union and the United States.

Yushchenko issued orders on Friday to take control of 30,000 interior
ministry troops away from the government led by Yanukovych, a move

denounced by Yanukovych allies as a “coup attempt.”

The president’s orders came after scuffles broke out on Thursday between
elite interior ministry troops loyal to the prime minister and a
presidential security service outside the prosecutor general’s office in
Kiev.

On Saturday, Yushchenko ordered convoys of interior ministry forces
estimated by officials at some 3,600 men to head to the capital Kiev in
order to guard state buildings and defend public order.

The forces, which were not armed but carried riot gear, were blocked at
checkpoints around the country by police loyal to Yanukovych under
counter-orders from the interior ministry banning troop movements.

“The interior minister has given an order forbidding the movement of
internal troops towards Kiev so that they do not upset public order,”
Kostyantin Stogny, a ministry spokesman, told AFP earlier.

Ukrainian analysts had played down the threat of violent clashes. “Despite
the whole drama of the situation, it doesn’t affect the masses, it’s just a
struggle between elites,” said Karasyov, adding: “We are not headed for a
civil war.”

Earlier on Saturday, the interior ministry reported that hundreds of
interior ministry soldiers had been stopped at traffic police checkpoints on
highways leading to Kiev.

Hundreds of protestors had also rallied outside government buildings in Kiev
in rival demonstrations favouring and opposing the president, as part of
ongoing protests that began last month.

Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko had appealed for calm, asking “politicians
to be more restrained” and saying: “It’s necessary to calm down. There

won’t be any use of force. We won’t storm anything.”

Control over interior ministry forces was crucial in the Orange Revolution
of 2004, when mass street protests helped bring Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Yanukovych. -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
4.   UKRAINE’S THREE TOP LEADERS DEFUSE A CRISIS
 
By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer (AP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s feuding president and prime minister agreed early
Sunday to hold an early parliamentary election on Sept. 30, defusing a
crisis that threatened to escalate into violence when the president sent
troops streaming toward the capital.

“We found a decision, which is a compromise,” President Viktor Yushchenko
said after emerging from eight hours of tense talks. “Now we can say that
the political crisis in Ukraine is over.”

Tensions had been growing since April, when Yushchenko ordered the
dissolution of parliament, where Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych leads the
majority coalition. The president claimed the premier and his supporters
were trying to usurp presidential power. Parliament defied the order,
calling it unconstitutional.

The president summoned thousands of troops to Ukraine’s capital Saturday,
but forces loyal to the nation’s prime minister stopped them outside Kiev.

Analysts said Yushchenko’s move was an attempt to pressure Yanukovych to
agree on an early date for new parliamentary elections, rather than a sign
he was preparing for violent confrontation.

In the hours-long talks, Yushchenko had sought new elections as early as
possible, demanding them held first in May, then in June. Yanukovych wanted
them no earlier than the fall.

Yushchenko took control earlier in the week of the 32,000 troops who answer
to the interior minister, a Yanukovych loyalist. A statement on the
presidential Web site said that Yushchenko ordered the troops to Kiev in a
move “necessary to guarantee a calm life for the city, to prevent
provocations.”

The statement did not specify how many troops were sent. Nikolai Mishakin,
their deputy commander, said on Ukrainian television that nearly 3,500 were
prevented from entering Kiev. He promised his troops would not turn back,
but vowed they would not resort to violence since none had firearms.

Yushchenko, however, denied that he had sent additional interior troops to
the capital, calling such reports “great stupidity” and “misinformation.”
Yushchenko said he had only ordered 2,000 troops to Kiev to maintain order
during weekend festivities, a move he described as routine.

Kiev residents are celebrating the capital’s anniversary this weekend and a
major soccer game is planned for Sunday.

Several hundred flag-waving supporters of both leaders held competing
rallies in front of the presidential office where Yushchenko and Yanukovych
were meeting. A thin line of police separated the two camps of protesters.

Yanukovych said he, Yushchenko and other senior officials and politicians
who took part in the negotiations agreed that the country cannot be allowed
to slide into violence. “We will do everything so that this doesn’t happen
again,” Yanukovych said.

Yushchenko came to office in 2005 after the popular uprising known as the
Orange Revolution broke out in reaction to Yanukovych being counted as
winner of a fraud-plagued presidential ballot. The Supreme Court annulled
that vote and Yushchenko won a rerun.

Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin, which badly scarred his face, in the
course of the race, and the mystery of who might have done it, and why, has
never been solved.

He has sought to lead Ukraine into the European Union and NATO but his
agenda has since been complicated by chronic political turmoil, including
fighting among his supporters and the ongoing disputes with Yanukovych,

who wants to preserve the country’s close ties with Moscow.

Yanukovych staged a remarkable political comeback. In last year’s
parliamentary elections, his party won the largest share of seats,
apparently benefiting from wide voter dissatisfaction with the country’s
stalled reforms and internecine political sparring.

On Thursday, Yushchenko fired longtime foe Prosecutor General Svyatoslav
Piskun – a Yanukovych ally – saying Piskun could not serve as the country’s
chief prosecutor while acting as a member of parliament.

Security officers were sent to oust Piskun, but riot police loyal to
Yanukovych immediately moved to protect him, standing guard outside his
office.

“I think these maneuvers with security forces are meant to give the
president a chance to maneuver at talks,” said Vadim Karasyov, head of the
Kiev-based Institute on Global Strategies.                     -30-

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5.              UKRAINE SETS ELECTIONS SEPTEMBER 30,
                             DEFUSING TWO-MONTH CRISIS

Julian Nundy in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, May 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych set parliamentary elections for Sept. 30, defusing a political
standoff that has lasted almost two months, Yushchenko’s office said.

The two leaders and parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz agreed on the
election date at talks at the presidency in Kiev that ended shortly after 4
a.m. today, the presidency said on its Web site. The agreement showed that
Ukraine has become “an adult democracy,” Yushchenko told reporters.

“Our main concern was to find conditions for elections on a legal basis,”
Unian news service cited Yanukovych as saying. “We have finally come to
that decision.”

In a joint statement, the three politicians said the single-chamber
parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, will meet to approve the election date on
May 29, after the Whitsun weekend.

Yushchenko, 53, ordered the dissolution of parliament, where Yanukovych’s
coalition has a majority, on April 2, starting the crisis that has paralyzed
Ukraine’s institutions.

Yushchenko attempted to dissolve parliament and call new elections after
Yanukovych’s supporters passed a series of measures whittling away
presidential powers. Yanukovych contested the need for a new ballot.

Yesterday, Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko raised the prospect that force
could be used when he said internal security troops loyal to Yushchenko were
heading for Kiev. Television footage showed police vehicles blocking at
least one road into the Ukrainian capital to head off the threat of force.

INTERIOR TROOPS
Unian said today that, of a potential 35,000 internal security forces, only
2,050 of the lightly armed troops had in fact left their bases to reinforce
the security of public buildings in Kiev.

On May 24, Yushchenko, who has taken personal control of most of Ukraine’s
security apparatus over the past two months, triggered a new phase in the
crisis by firing state Prosecutor- General Svyatoslav Piskun, arguing that
Piskun’s refusal to stand down as a member of parliament broke the law.

Interior Ministry troops loyal to Yanukovych, 56, then prevented the new
acting prosecutor from entering his office, prompting Yushchenko to add the
security troops to the forces under his direct command.

Yushchenko was elected in a re-run of presidential elections ordered by
Ukraine’s Supreme Court in December 2004 after the pro-Russian Yanukovych,
who had won the vote a month earlier, was disqualified on charges of
widespread election fraud.

Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Regions Party is the main component of a governing
coalition that was put together last July after the three parties that made
up the 2004 “Orange Revolution” bloc failed to agree on a new government
following parliamentary elections four months earlier.

Yushchenko, himself a former prime minister and central bank governor, was
disfigured when he was poisoned in September 2004 by what Austrian doctors
who treated him said was a normally lethal dose of dioxin. His poisoners
have not so far been identified.

Moroz’s Socialist Party gave Yanukovych a majority in July by withdrawing
its support for Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party and former Prime Minister
Yulia Timoshenko’s legislative bloc and entering a coalition with
Yanukovych.

Yanukovych’s support comes mostly from the industrial and Russian-speaking
east of the former Soviet republic of 48 million people. He favors closer
ties with Moscow.

Yushchenko and his allies draw their support from the Ukrainian-speaking
west and center of the country. They seek membership in the European Union
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.                     -30-
—————————————————————————————————

Contact: Julian Nundy in Kiev at jnundy@bloomberg.net
—————————————————————————————————
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aD1aa6AjMEzw&refer=europe
————————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.                             “GOOD INTENTIONS?”
                   Ukrainian president’s actions may be justified in the long run

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 26 May 07; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, May 26, 2007

While Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko clearly overstepped the law in
subordinating the country’s interior troops to his command, his actions may
prove justified in the long term, an influential weekly has opined.

The author said Yushchenko is probably counteracting the threat to national
security which arose when Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko used the troops to
“storm” the Prosecutor-General’s Office in Kiev.

The author said Yushchenko’s response to summon the National Security and
Defence Council and his decree taking control of the troops appear to be a
move meant to bring order to the situation in the country.

The following is the text of the article by Serhiy Rakhmanin, entitled “Good
intentions?”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli in Russian
on 26 May; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
                                 THREATS TO THE STATE
Under conditions of a sharp escalation in the political crisis, Viktor
Yushchenko is quite predictably trying to make maximum use of the abilities
of the National Security and Defence Council [NSDC]. The NSDC has
essentially become the last executive body which is under his control.

Article 3 of the law regulating the activity of this structure reads that
the NSDC’s authorities include “coordinating and carrying out control over
the activity of the executive bodies of power in the sphere of national
security and defence in conditions of military of emergency situations, and
also in crises which threaten Ukraine’s national security”.

There is no doubt the current crisis does in fact contain serious threats to
the security of the state. Such conclusions can be drawn not only from the
rules of formal logic, but in the letter of the “related” law “On the bases
of the security of Ukraine”.

Within a fairly long list of threats to national security given in

Article 7 of this law, the following are noted:
[1] increasing corruption in bodies of state power, organized crime and the
intertwining of business and corruption;
[2] attempts to make use of the activities of military formations and law
enforcement agencies in the interests of individual persons;
[3] violations by state bodies of power and local bodies of self-government
of the constitution and laws of Ukraine, the rights and freedoms of people
and citizens, including during election campaigns, and insufficient control
over adherence to the norms of the constitution and fulfilling the laws of
Ukraine.

And so as one can see, as head of the NSDC, the president has reason to
forward the issue of activating the NSDC. Many reasons for this have cropped
up recently.

The following can be placed foremost among them:
[1] statements by the head of the government and a group of MPs on facts

of buying MPs in the Supreme Council [parliament];
[2] information from the acting head of the Security Services of Ukraine
[SBU], giving reason to suspect judges on the Constitutional Court of
corruption;
[3] similar allegations voiced by a number of influential politicians and
bureaucrats against the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office and
representatives of the body of judges;
[4] publications by the presidential secretariat on the possible link
between organized criminal gangs and representatives of the authorities and
also on alleged threats to the lives of state officials;
[5] presidential decrees being ignored by a large number of state bodies
and officials;
[6] illegal use of Berkut [interior police troops] in the conflict at the
Prosecutor-General’s Office.
                                 MINISTER’S MISTAKE
We take it upon ourselves to say that in sending special police units to
Riznytska [the address of the Prosecutor-General's Office in Kiev, on 24
May], [Interior] Minister [Vasyl] Tsushko crossed the line of what is
admissible.

That decision not only contradicted common sense, it was dangerous from a
political point of view and inadmissible from the point of view of the law.

Article 11 of the law “On the police” gives employees in the institution –
in fulfilling their professional duties – the right to enter unimpeded at
any time of day onto the territory of any enterprise, institution or
organization. Should they encounter force, they have the right to use
methods envisioned in the law.

The same law obliges a policeman to give aid to MPs in carrying out their
legal activities, if they encounter opposition or a threat to their safety
from the side of those breaking the law.

However, the Prosecutor-General’s Office is a regime site, one containing
secret materials. Access to the site is under special regulation. Using
Berkut, whose function is to fight organized crime, would be justified if
[Prosecutor-General] Svyatoslav Piskun was taken hostage for example.

In a case like that, the appearance of interior ministry troops at the
prosecutors’ offices and even storming the building with special troops
would be considered a fair and legal act. But the offended Mr Piskun freely
and unimpeded left the premises and then returned with a group of support.

Tsushko, who gave the direct and unfounded order, created a dangerous
precedent. Until now, the sides had refrained from using brute force. After
the events of Thursday [24 May], the “hawks” hands are untied.

We do not know for certain what prompted the minister to take part
personally in violating the law – lack of knowledge of the law or a fear
that in 24 hours he would lose his office on Bohomolets Street. Whatever the
case, it is hard to find justification for the step.

This and many other facts and suppositions both directly and obliquely show
that a real threat to the security of the state has arisen. And without
question, that should prompt the NSDC to take immediate and decisive action.

But the question is that the logic of the constitution and legislation
envisions a united power and a joint fight by bodies of the state against
internal and external threats.

What should happen when the threat arises as a result of a conflict between
various institutions of power and if all branches of power are drawn into
the conflict? Is there a purely legal way out of such a situation? It is not
easy to answer that question.

Here we remind ourselves that the situation is made all the more complicated
by the practical paralysis of the Constitutional Court and also by the sides
using various government bodies of power against each other.

Hypothetically, one cannot rule out the possibility that troops in units
legally bound to one and the same institution will not come face to face.

A theoretically possible meeting of Interior Ministry Berkut troops and
Omega internal troops appears not only undesirable, but thankfully, unlikely
for now. But tell me who could predict a practical storm of the
Prosecutor-General’s Office headed personally by Minister Tsushko?

Who could predict the present collapse of legalized illegalities organized
together by the Cabinet of Ministers, parliament, the presidential
secretariat and a myriad of all kinds of courts?

The constitution and legislation envision steps capable of protecting power
from being usurped. But no lawmaker could envision what is going on today.
Two centres of political influence harmoniously accuse each other of
usurping power. There are no legitimate referees recognized by all sides as
able to put things in order.
                       TRYING TO BRING BACK ORDER
What to do? We did not call the NSDC a structure under the president’s
control for nothing. The philosophy of the constitution supposes that this
structure should not be under the influence of any specific branch of power,
state institute or even less under a specific person.

But the same constitution views the NSDC also as a mechanism by virtue of
which the head of state may use his functions as guarantor of the
constitution.

We shall be bold enough here to suggest this: in conditions in which both
sides believe they are right, but at the same time both freely make use of
laws without being ashamed of showing they are incorrect, the president has
a few more rights. As long as he is the first person in the state and
guarantor of the constitution.

So far, Viktor Yushchenko has not given many reasons to suspect him of
conscientiously fulfilling his functions as guarantor. His behaviour in the
course of the conflict has been far from always inscrutable.

Well, now he has a chance to show how well he understands the constitution.
And how fully he recognizes his responsibility for what is going on.

The sum of his functions as head of state, leader of the NSDC,
commander-in-chief and guarantor gives him the moral right to take upon
himself responsibility for the situation and bring the situation under
control, choosing the single correct political-legal decision.
   YUSHCHENKO HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE FIRST STEP
Yushchenko has already taken the first step in bringing the interior troops
under his command and giving them the authority to protect a number of state
sites. By the way, such activities are mentioned in Article 2 of the law on
the interior troops’ authorities.

However, pursuant to Article 6 of the same law “On interior troops of the
Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs”, these troops are subordinate to the
head of the Interior Ministry.

The president did not have the formal right to subordinate them to himself
in his decree, and one which was not even based on a decision by the NSDC.
The decision does not stand up to any legal criticism.

But it can be called intelligent from the political point of view. The
minister of internal affairs had already decided to use force, crudely
violated the law and consciously exacerbated the situation. There is no
guarantee he will not attract the more numerous interior troops (armoured,
by the way) into the conflict.

Besides, according to some accounts, Tsushko intended to place the interior
troops under the command of one of his deputies who belongs to the war
party. Perhaps making active use of interior troops would have led to
irreversible consequences.

In order to avoid such complications, immediate and tough measures were
needed. One of them was the decree on changing the subordination of the
interior troops.

Many may say it is demagoguery to justify violating the letter of the law if
doing so is in complete harmony with the spirit of the constitution. Under
conditions of the unquestionable supremacy of the law, that is impossible.
But let us not jump to conclusions.

A strong-arm phase of the political conflict would unavoidably result in
limitations on and violations of many rights and freedoms enshrined in the
main law.

If the president acted as guarantor of these rights and freedoms and if he
issued the decree on the interior troops with the intention of protecting
the country from these violations, his actions can not only be explained
today, they could possibly be justified tomorrow.

We can only guess what his real intentions are. We can only hope that in
taking personal control of the interior troops as well as having control of
the armed forces, he is not forcing preparations for a violent scenario, but
rather trying to do everything he can to thwart it. And it is exactly that,
apart from everything else, which defines his function as guarantor of the
constitution.

But in taking upon himself the burden of using laws, Viktor Yushchenko was
obliged to have weighed all the pros and cons and obliged to recognize the
entire measure of responsibility he has taken upon himself. Because a change
in the “share of power” can play either a peacekeeping function or the role
of a serious irritation.
                           THE PRESIDENT’S SECOND STEP
All of the above relates to the president’s second step – increasing the
NSDC to include the governors [chairs of regional administrations]. There is
no legal ground for such a move, but the political reasons are clear.

The NSDC is the only instrument the president has to influence the situation
and the heads of regional administrations are the only mechanism he has to
carry out the decisions of the NSDC in the regions.

We will know very soon how justified Yushchenko’s last move was. We only
have hope left that the president’s intentions are good, that his rivals are
adequate [to the task] and that there is common sense on both sides in this
seemingly unending conflict.                          -30-
————————————————————————————————
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7.               NEW ELECTIONS FOR UKRAINE

COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ukraine entered its fifth crisis recently after President Viktor Yushchenko
disbanded parliament and called early elections.

Premier Viktor Yanukovich has used the crisis to portray an alleged new
democratic image by staking out a claim that he is pro-Western and holds
democratic values. Such an image is fundamentally flawed by Ukraine’s
domestic realities.

Mr. Yanukovich has never reconciled himself to his defeat during the hotly
contested 2004 Ukrainian elections. He has never acknowledged his widespread
use of election fraud that the Supreme Court condemned and used to justify
overturning his election.

Indeed, Mr. Yanukovich blocked attempts at punishing his allies who
organized of massive election fraud and the poisoning of his opponent.

In fact, discredited Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC)
Sergei Kivalov, intimately involved in organizing election fraud at the
time, was elected to parliament in Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions.

Mr. Yanukovich’s election allies have reinstated Mr. Kivalov as CEC chairman
in what can only be seen as a slap in the face to the millions of Ukrainians
who braved the cold weather to stand on the streets of Kiev during the
Orange Revolution in 2004.

Mr. Yanukovich’s government was formed eight months ago in a coalition
with the Stalinist communists and anti-reform Socialists. His nondemocratic
instincts have repeatedly come to the fore in his penchant to upset the
balance of power put in place by constitutional reforms.

Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition and government have further damaged their claim
to uphold democratic values by refusing to recognize the fundamental basis
of any democracy.

Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition has bribed opposition parliamentarians with the
aim of creating a super-constitutional majority that could ignore
presidential vetoes, and has refused to adopt a law giving rights to the
opposition.

Ukraine’s constitutional crisis has been brought about by Mr. Yanukovich’s
greed for power and his desire for revenge for his 2004 defeat. Two years
ago, the Council of Europe ruled that the constitutional reforms were
adopted illegally by the Ukrainian parliament.

A recent resolution by the Council concluded that the current crisis is due
to the hasty and incomplete constitutional and political reform of 2004,
under which a number of changes have been introduced to the Constitution of
Ukraine without taking into account the reservations of the Venice
Commission and without holding a comprehensive public debate in the country.

The Council further criticized the government as having ignored repeated
calls on the Ukrainian authorities to address these issues as a matter of
urgency, in order to secure the legitimacy of the constitutional changes of
2004 and their compliance with European standards.

Premier Yanukovich’s Party of Regions paralyzed the constitutional court by
blocking the allocation of judges by parliament. His coalition has refused
to join the president’s constitutional commission to overcome major
shortcomings in the constitutional reforms and instead has sought to change
the constitution toward a full parliamentary republic.

Mr. Yushchenko is not a radical by nature — but he was forced into an
impossible position where he could (1) do nothing and see an authoritarian
parliamentary republic emerge led by Mr. Yanukovich or (2) disband
parliament to re-establish the constitutional balance of power and hold
fresh elections.

New elections remain the only peaceful manner for voters in a democratic
society to express their opinion. As the Council of Europe’s recent
resolution stated, early elections are a normal practice in all democratic
countries of the Council of Europe and as such could be accepted as a key
building block of the political compromise.

The crisis should be resolved by the Ukrainians — without international
mediators. A long-lasting resolution should include early elections and a
compromise that annuls the unconstitutional steps undertaken by Mr.
Yanukovich’s coalition allies. Without these steps, Ukraine will plunge into
another crisis in the near future.

The United States and the trans-Atlantic community should continue to
support strongly Orange democratic values during the current crisis in
Ukraine.

Only President Yushchenko and Mr. Tymoshenko, the opposition leader,
remain committed to the values enshrined by the Orange Revolution, and
only they remain Ukraine’s true pro-Western leaders.        -30-
————————————————————————————————
Taras Kuzio is an assistant professorial lecturer at the Institute for
European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International
Affairs, George Washington University.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/20070526-091735-6951r.htm
————————————————————————————————

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8.       THE EDGE OF ANARCHY IN UKRAINE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch, Senior Fellow
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, May 25, 2007

Actions in Ukraine suggest the breakdown of the leadership hierarchy,
bringing the country closer to violent clashes between rival troops then
ever since its independence.   A quick election, free of administrative
interference, appears now the only way to solve this current crisis.

On May 24, 2007, Interior Ministry troops subordinate to the government of
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych seized control of the offices of the
Prosecutor General.

Troops loyal to Yanukovych and Socialist Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko
physically broke through a locked outer door and forced their way past
building security guards to the 4th floor. There they smashed through the
door to the Prosecutor’s main office and took control.

The action came hours after the announcement from President Viktor
Yushchenko that he had dismissed Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun.

The constitutionality of the President’s decree is questionable.  However,
all decrees are considered valid in Ukraine until overturned by the court.
Ukraine’s legal system does provide an appeals process, but the Interior
Minister instead chose to rely on his troops.

The actions of the Interior Minister suggest the breakdown of the leadership
hierarchy, and push the country closer to violent clashes between rival
troops than ever previously.

So far, the President has shown restraint, choosing not to use the military
troops at his disposal to remove Interior Ministry troops from the
Prosecutor General’s offices.  It is notable that Interior Ministry troops
were armed only with batons.

The scope of the actions by the Interior Minister are surprising, but not
the actions themselves.  Since taking control of the government (the
President controls the military and foreign policy) in August 2006, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych has ignored, or perhaps supported, clear signals
pointing to the breakdown of law and order in the country.

State tactics used during the regime of discredited former President Leonid
Kuchma returned;

     [1] arbitrary “investigations” of political opponents,
     [2] questionable accounting practicing regarding tax and VAT payments,
     [3] closure of political debate programs on state television,
     [4] pressure on regional media outlets and journalists,
     [5] the use of civil lawsuits against opponents, and
     [6] arbitrary “raids” on small and medium businesses by plain clothes
          groups of men

have caused serious concern for the country’s transition to democracy.

The use of Interior Ministry forces is also concerning since they were
feared during the regime of President Kuchma.  Three Ministry soldiers
confessed last year in court to following an order to kidnap and murder
journalist Georgiy Gongadze.  Tsushko was not involved in the Interior
Ministry or the government at that time.

President Yushchenko’s attempts to dissolve the parliament, beginning on
April 2, in response to these returning tendencies, led to protracted
negotiations to set an election date.

Despite significant electoral support in the East of the country and the
likelihood of winning a plurality of votes in a new election, Yanukovych has
been reluctant to move forward with the idea.

This reluctance may stem primarily from the potential loss of private
revenue streams created by murky energy deals that are said to profit high
ranking members of the government, should Yushchenko’s allies form a new
coalition government following the election.

The revenue streams have in the past reportedly profited not only the allies
of former President Kuchma and Prime Minister Yanukovych, but also the
allies of President Yushchenko.

It is likely these revenue streams that are causing the almost desperate
fight to control the premises of the prosecutor — where files with
significant, compromising material are kept.

It is unlikely that the current situation will escalate into full armed
clashes, given the peaceful nature of most Ukrainians, the deliberate nature
of the president and the fact that both sides have more to lose than to gain
should violence occur.  For the first time, however, its government has
created the possibility that it could.

There is little doubt that Yanukovych and Yushchenko can no longer govern
together.  A quick election, free of administrative interference, appears
now the only way to solve this current crisis.
————————————————————————————————
CONTACT:  Tammy Lynch, tammymlynch@hotmail.com

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.  CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS & LEGAL CHAOS IN UKRAINE

COMMENTS: by Judge Bohdan A. Futey
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Kyiv, Ukraine in Ukrainian, Sat, May 26, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 9, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

About a month ago, a number of us met in this same room to discuss the legal
and political ramifications of the political reform in Ukraine.  Back then,
and even as early as January, I said that there is legal chaos in Ukraine.
Not much has changed in the past few months, and the chaos has in fact
deepened.

The problems began following the fraudulent presidential run-off election in
2004, which sparked the Orange Revolution.  At that time, the Verkhovna Rada
(Parliament) passed several amendments to the Constitution on December 8,
2004, known as the political reform which became effective January 1, 2006.

Although the political reform resolved the 2004 presidential election
crisis, it was hastily adopted and not thoroughly thought out.  In addition,
because the reform was passed as a package, the Rada deputies were either
unable or unwilling to examine the effect individual provisions would have
on the operation of the government.

This was all evidenced by the considerable confusion surrounding the
formation of the majority coalition and new government following the March
2006 parliamentary election.  In addition, the President’s decree dissolving
Parliament on April 2, 2007 brought Ukraine to an even deeper constitutional
crisis.

The status of the political reform still remains in question.  In a decision
handed down by the Constitutional Court on October 5, 2005, just prior to
the expiration of the nine year term for most of the Judges, the majority of
the Court stated that any change in the political system of Ukraine should
be submitted to and approved by a national referendum. [1]  No such
referendum was ever put forward.

Many critics of the reform, including myself, [2] believe that the political
reform is a change in the political system because it converts Ukraine from
a Presidential system to a Parliamentary system and is, therefore,
unconstitutional unless submitted to a national referendum, regardless of
any other irregularities.

The political reform and its aftermath have created legal chaos and
constitutional crisis, thus forcing the current political confrontation.  In
addition, the Council of Europe criticized the reform and considers it void
ab initio and the Venice Commission called the reform a step backwards for
Ukraine.

Most recently, on December 8, 2006, at an international forum “Law and
Democracy For Ukraine”, held in Kyiv, a leading group of Ukrainian lawyers
and legal scholars adopted a resolution condemning the political reform and
questioning its legality. [3]

President Yushchenko has filed a number of cases with the Constitutional
Court in order to settle on what powers remain with the President and which
have now been transferred to the Cabinet of Ministers.  Yushchenko has asked
the Court to determine the legality of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers
and to resolve the issue of who has the authority to appoint regional
administrators.

The Cabinet of Ministers has similarly filed petitions on these topics.  The
Constitutional Court, however, is overwhelmed with cases at this point and
its docket is overcrowded.

It is, therefore, difficult to know when it will be able to open and hear
these cases.  In the mean time, while the bickering between the President
and the Cabinet of Ministers continues and is escalating, the chaos
persists.

All of these issues came to a head on April 2 when the President signed a
decree to dissolve parliament, which he re-issued on April 26 with a new
date for elections.  Both decrees are currently before the Constitutional
Court for consideration.

After the political reform came into effect and Yanukovych was elected Prime
Minister following the March 2006 elections, President Yushchenko had three
options open to him to resolve constitutional issues.

Soon after the elections, Yushchenko called for a roundtable discussion with
the Parliamentary leaders in order to reach an agreement on the ultimate
intention of the political reform in order to determine its proper meaning.

This seemed at least possible at the beginning of the Rada’s term when the
heads of the leading parties, including Yanukovych, held discussions with
the President and signed the declaration of national unity “in order to bind
president and government to a common platform setting out coherent and
realizable goals in line with the aspirations of the Ukrainian people.” [4]

Yanukovych and the Cabinet of Ministers, however, did not abide by the
declaration of national unity and instead repeatedly attempted to usurp the
President’s power.  These actions as well as Yanukovych’s underhanded
efforts to recruit deputies away from their political factions in
contravention of the constitution, made a political solution to the
constitutional issues impossible.

The next alternative open to the President, and one he actively pursued, was
appealing to the Constitutional Court.  First the Court would have had to
consider whether the law preventing the reform from being reviewed by the
Constitutional Court, as adopted by the Rada on August 4, 2006, is
constitutional.

This issue is currently before the Court, but, as with a number of other
matters, the Court has not begun any sort of deliberations on the issues.

Because the Court seems to be at a standstill, it is not in a position to
review and determine the constitutionality of the political reform.[5]  Nor
has the court begun reviewing the constitutionality of the laws passed on
the Cabinet of Ministers decreasing the power of the President.

With the Constitutional Court dragging its feet, this option was no longer
viable for Yushchenko because it is clear that the Court could not or would
not present the swift resolution necessary to resolve the growing crisis.

Yushchenko’s final option was to allow the people to decide, so he issued a
decree dismissing the Rada early, before its five year term expired.
Because of Yanukovych’s and the Cabinet of Ministers’ actions and the
Constitutional Court’s inability to render a decision on the extremely
pressing constitutional issues, this practically became the President’s only
option.

Yushchenko was faced with a Cabinet of Minister passing laws that vastly
diminished the President’s powers and Yanukovych threatening to gain a
supermajority of 300 votes in the Rada (which would allow him to override
presidential vetoes), both  accomplished by unconstitutional means.

Particularly troubling was Yanukovych creating a supermajority in the Rada
by recruiting individual deputies from other factions because Article 83(6)
of the constitution specifically states that a coalition may only be formed
by joining political parties or blocs.

Quite simply, it appeared that the Cabinet’s and Rada’s aims were to curtail
the powers of the Presidency and change or ignore the Constitution when it
was not to their liking.

Therefore, Yushchenko chose to, as he said in an open letter to the
Ukrainian people, “call[] on the nation to make a responsible, conscious and
fair choice which will help end political arguments and open a new stage for
Ukraine” [6] through new elections.

Yushchenko also stated in his open letter that Yanukovych’s attempts to
expand the parliamentary coalition “is a revision of the will of the
 nation.” [7]

Before the political reform came into effect, reforming the judiciary was a
top priority for President Yushchenko.  During his inaugural address on
January 23, 2005, Yushchenko issued a mandate that Ukraine must establish an
independent judiciary and a civil society based on the rule of law.

Parliament thwarted these goals quickly, however, when it refused to swear
in the President’s and the Council of Judges’ Constitutional Court
appointees and avoided electing its share of justices. [8]  This left the
Constitutional Court without a quorum for ten months, and rendered it unable
to consider the constitutionality of the rest of the political reform before
January 1, 2006, the reform’s effective date.

On March 22, 2006, just days before the Parliamentary elections, the
National Committee to Strengthen Democracy and the Rule of Law in Ukraine
adopted a new Concept Paper for the judiciary in Ukraine. [9]

Yushchenko, however, has been unable to pursue any of his ideas for
reforming the judiciary or implement any of the suggestions contained in the
Concept paper because since the political reform took effect more than a
year ago, he has had to deal with one political or legal crisis after
another.

Following the March 2006 parliamentary elections, it at least appeared
possible that the various factions could work together to pursue certain
goals that were generally in the national interest.  This quickly started to
unravel, however, because with every step forward, there seemed to be two
steps back.

From a legal standpoint, this was particularly obvious because immediately
after finally electing its justices and swearing in the President’s and
Council of Judges’ nominees, Parliament unconstitutionally limited the
Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction.

On August 4, 2006, Parliament passed a bill prohibiting the Constitutional
Court from deciding on the amendments to the Constitution passed as part of
the political reform.  President Yushchenko, for one reason or another,
signed the bill into law the same day.

This is clearly an attempt to prohibit the Constitutional Court from
considering the constitutionality of the political reform now that a quorum
exists.  This law is obviously unconstitutional itself. [10]  As I said over
a year ago “it is inconceivable that reforms of such magnitude would be
“immune” from constitutional scrutiny.” [11]

I am surprised that in order to solve the political crisis, the leadership
chose to reverse the progress of a rule of law system by passing this
legislation.

Many had hoped that there would be at least forty five deputies to challenge
the law as well as the political reform, but, although the Constitutional
Court is currently deliberating on the law, no petition has been filed
challenging the political reform in its totality.[12]

Although the law is currently “preventing” the judges of the Constitutional
Court from considering the political reform, this is not the only barrier to
the Constitutional Court playing its proper role in the current
constitutional crisis.

Instead of deciding on the issues, the judges seem to be avoiding taking
action right now and are waiting for the political situation to clear up
before making any moves.

This is an enormous mistake on their part because it marginalizes the role
of the entire judiciary in Ukraine, where the rule of law and democracy are
just barely holding on at this point.  Judicial independence is desperately
needed right now, and the judges must start performing their jobs.

Judicial independence does not mean the judges do as they choose, of course,
but do as they must in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the
country.  This all will depend largely on the conscience and courage of the
judges themselves.

Currently, the public has a low opinion of the Ukrainian courts.[13]  This
is only exacerbated by the fact that no one in the government is respecting
the judiciary.  This, however, is a symptom of the fact that the judiciary
is not stepping forward in this time of crisis.  Judges will not be
respected until they respect themselves.

There are two aspects in which judges must be independent.

[1] First, they must be honest-brokers, in that they are independent from

and neutral among the parties that appear before them.  Judges must decide
matters before them impartially, on the basis of the facts and the law,
without any restrictions, improper influences, inducements, or threats,
direct or indirect, from any party or institution or for any reason.

A judge’s moral commitment to this form of independence eliminates
favoritism and corruption from the nation’s judicial system.  If judges fail
in this duty the public will lose confidence in the basic equity of its
society, generating cynicism, anger and instability.

[2] Second, the judiciary, and hence each individual judge, must act as

co-equal and independent of the other branches of government.  Judges
are independent in this sense if they are not beholden to any other branch
of government or political party.  Right now, however, the Executive [14]
and Legislative branches are attempting to influence the judiciary.

This is dangerous because it is vital that courts have jurisdiction and the
power to restrain the legislature or executive by declaring laws and
official acts unconstitutional when they abridge the rights of citizens.
Further, for judicial independence to have practical effect, the courts’
interpretation must be accepted and enforced by the legislative and
executive branches of government.

As there cannot be a market economy without private ownership of property,
there cannot be a system based on the rule of law without judicial
independence.

In addition, the judiciary needs to have its own constituency, primarily the
legal profession and strong bar associations.  These will be responsible to
expose unethical practices of the judges, and/or coercive tactics upon
judges and enlist the press on their side.

In the United States the major defenders or critics of the judiciary are
members of the legal profession themselves (ABA), law school professors, as
well as the media.  It would be refreshing and welcome news if professors of
law schools in Ukraine would start to speak out, as well as the association
of lawyers, jurists, the Ukrainian Bar Association, and hopefully the World
Congress of Ukrainian Jurists.

What is needed is to strengthen the checks and balances – not control over
the judiciary by the executive.  Provide adequate salaries for judges,
insuring appropriate funding and assistance for the courts, prompt
publication and availability for judicial decisions, transparency in
decision making, enforcement of judicial decisions are ways to eliminate
corruption among the judiciary.

Nevertheless, greater access of citizens to judges should not mean or
indicate ex parte communications behind closed doors.  This practice should
be eliminated completely.  Furthermore, in order to ensure that individuals
selected to serve on the bench are qualified, it may be beneficial to
consider employing a system of uniform testing similar to that used in
Georgia.

The ABA-CEELI evaluated the Ukrainian judiciary and issued a report finding
that it did not meet the standards necessary for a democratic nation
following the rule of law.

This report, the Judicial Reform Index for Ukraine, assesses how the
conditions related to judicial reform and judicial independence in Ukraine
correlate with fundamental international standards in this area.

The judiciary is analyzed through a prism of 30 factors covering areas such
as judicial qualification and education, judicial powers, financial
resources, structural safeguards, accountability and transparency, and
efficiency of the judicial system.  Unfortunately, the results illustrate
that Ukraine scored positively only on four of these factors.

On the other hand, 15 factors received a negative correlation, including
most factors related to lack of independence in the judicial decision-making
and external interference in other aspects of the work of the judiciary,
dire financial conditions of the courts, and lack of transparency of court
proceedings and documents.[15]

There are any number of questions facing Ukraine’s government that could be
resolved by a strong, independent judiciary.  For example, the imperative
mandate and the election of deputies are very pressing issues because of
Yushchenko’s dissolution of Parliament.

The imperative mandate is articulated in Article 81 of the constitution
which states that a deputy must remain in his or her party in order to
retain his or her seat in parliament.

The constitutionality of this has been debated, but, there is an argument
that the people vote for the parties and their programs but not individuals.
Therefore, even if a deputy is terminated for leaving a party, it is the
will of the people that the party governs in the way it sees fit.

In addition, there is a safety valve available to the deputies because the
law does state that a deputy can vote his or her conscience even if it is
not in line with the party’s vote.

The imperative mandate, however, is not uncontroversial.  Some have argued
that it may contravene democratic principles and is not totally in line with
European standards as laid out by the Council of Europe.

In addition, critics point to Article 81 of the constitution that compels
the deputies to serve the needs of their parties over those of the Ukrainian
people, which conflicts with the deputies’ oath under Article 79. [16]

Each deputy swears to “provide for the good of the Ukrainian people” and to
carry out his or her “duties in the interest of all compatriots.”

Those who oppose the imperative mandate have also expressed concern that
there may be a situation where a deputy does not believe that serving his or
her party’s needs is in the interest of the people, but could lose his or
her seat in the Rada for leaving the party.

This is yet another issue that should be considered by the Constitutional
Court and is need of a decisive action in light of the upcoming elections.

When, and if, Ukrainians go to the polls again this year to elect new
deputies, many of the issues faced in the last election will still exist.
As of now, only the first five names on a party list are available to voters
when they go to vote, known as a closed list.

It would be preferable for all the names on a party list, known as an open
list, to be available to voters so that they can make a more educated
choice.  This would certainly present certain administrative headaches, but
it would bring Ukraine more in line with European democratic principles.

Finally, it is apparent that something needs to be done to clarify

and strengthen the Constitution. 
 
[1] One option is for the Constitutional Court to consider the political
reform and decide which amendments are constitutional and which need
to be changed, or even strike the entire political reform.

As I said earlier, however, this seems unlikely because the Constitutional
Court is unwilling or unable to proceed because of the political climate.

[2] Another option would be for the President and Parliament to agree to
eliminate the political reform, return to the original constitution, and
work together to amend the constitution properly.  The final option is to
start from scratch and completely re-write the constitution.

The second option is the most desirable because the constitution, as it was
originally adopted, was widely praised for its protections of human rights,
including commendations from the Council of Europe and the Venice
Commission.

It seems to me that the fault of the original constitution lay more with the
lack of implementation of its provisions and not with the concepts expressed
in the text itself.

The question remains whether democracy will survive in Ukraine.  Ideally,
the Constitutional Court would perform its duties faithfully and without
outside influence, solve the constitutional and legal crisis, and the other
branches of the government would respect and adhere to any decisions of the
Constitutional Court.

We are far from an ideal situation, however, and, although I have hope that
the rule of law will persevere in Ukraine, it at least appears that the
leadership on all sides has attempted to exert political pressure on the
judiciary[17] that may threaten the country’s democratic future. [18]

Furthermore, the current political crisis has ruined many of Ukraine’s
governmental institutions, including the Constitutional Court.

Unfortunately, I have to concur with the many critics that have stated that
the Constitutional Court has been discredited and that the legal and
constitutional systems are being destroyed.[19]

At this point, I cannot honestly and truthfully say that any decision by the
Constitutional Court pertaining to the current political and legal crisis
will be reasonable and objective.  Major changes will need to be made,
therefore, in order for the crisis to be resolved and for democracy to take
hold in Ukraine.

In order for democracy and the rule of law to continue the Constitution and
the checks and balances contained therein must remain in full effect.

Ukraine continues to sink deeper into legal chaos and democracy is in
serious danger in Ukraine right now.  It will take a great deal of work and
mutual respect between every branch of government, in order for Ukraine to
remain democratic.

[On May 4, President Yushchenko and Prime Minster Yanukovych met to discuss
early elections.  They agreed to definitely hold early elections in
accordance with the President's decree but left the details to a working
group.  Although a specific date has not yet been set, there are reports
that elections will be held before October 2007.]
————————————————————————————————-
Bohdan A. Futey is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in
Washington, DC, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in May 1987. 

Judge Futey has been active in various Rule of Law and Democratization
Programs in Ukraine since 1991.  He served as an advisor to the Working
Group on Ukraine’s Constitution, adopted June 28, 1996.
————————————————————————————————-
[1] People’s Authority to Amend Constitution, decision by the Constitutional
Court, October 5, 2005.
[2] Bohdan A. Futey, “Crisis in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine:  A
Court Without Judges?” August 18, 2005.
[3] Program of International Forum “Law and Democracy For Ukraine”, Kyiv,
Ukraine, December 8, 2006.
[4] Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s Crisis Need A Firm Response, Financial
Times, April 4, 2007.
[5] Under Article 150 of the Constitution, the President or no less than
forty-five Rada deputies may file an appeal with the Constitutional Court.
[6] President Dissolves Parliament, Official Website of President of
Ukraine, http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_14702.html.
[7] Id.
[8] Article 46 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that the
initiation of proceedings on a constitutional appeal or constitutional
petition shall be approved by either the Constitutional Court itself or the
Collegia of Judges of the Constitutional Court (Collegia), which is
established especially for this purpose by Article 47.  The provisions
governing the initiation of proceedings provide, in pertinent part, that
either of the above-mentioned entities may vote in favor or against
exercising jurisdiction over the case.  Under Article 50 of the law, a
meeting of the Constitutional Court pertaining to acceptance of a case is
considered valid, i.e., a quorum exists, if no fewer than eleven judges
participate in the meeting.  In order to initiate proceedings on a case, at
least six of the eleven judges must vote in favor of such a decision.
[9] In my opinion, this Concept is a valiant effort to strengthen some
aspects of court proceedings and guarantee citizens access to the courts,
but as a whole it seems to me that it fails to address the problem of
reforming the judiciary in-depth, and provides for additional ways to
exercise control over the judiciary.  Furthermore, it may be in conflict
with the Constitution as enacted on June 28, 1996, it violates the principal
of separation of powers (Article 6), and the rule of law commitment (Article
8).  The idea of having government inspectors for the judiciary is not an
encouraging practice (guarantee) for judicial independence.  Inspectors
looking over judge’s shoulders certainly will not allow the judges to act
freely.  Also, it fails to address many aspects of the present law on the
judiciary and it undertakes to provide solutions that are not very
democratic.  It barely touches on aspects of education at law schools and
the role of legal/professional organizations (like the American Bar
Association in the US).
[10] The law violates Article 8 of the Constitution, in my opinion, which
guarantees individuals the right to appeal issues of constitutional rights
and freedoms, and Article 147, which gives the Constitutional Court
jurisdiction over all “issues of conformity of laws” with the Constitution.
This law is also unconstitutional because it abridges the Rada deputies’
right to bring an appeal challenging the political reform in violation of
Article 150.  Even if the Rada would have attempted to pass the law as a
constitutional amendment, such an amendment would not have passed muster
under Article 157, which prohibits the constitution from being amended in
such a way that it takes away rights of the people.
[11] Futey, “Crisis in the Constitutional Court”
[12] Yulia Tymoshenko has stated that her bloc would challenge the reform in
the Constitutional Court.
[13] Many feel that judges can not be trusted.  For example, judges accused
of improprieties continue to hear cases because there is no mechanism for
them to step down or be suspended from their duties.  Judges need to be free
from suspicions of corruption in order to maintain public confidence,
therefore, a procedure should be put in place for judges to cease hearing
cases if while they are under investigation.
[14] Recently, President Yushchenko dismissed three members of the
Constitutional Court, even though it may be questionable whether he has such
powers under the Constitution.  Under Article 106(22) of the Constitution,
the President may appoint and dismiss six or one-third of the judges of the
Constitutional Court.  A judge may be dismissed if he or she violates the
oath office under Article 126(5).  The President’s right to dismiss
Constitutional Court judges has not yet been tested.  (As for the oath for
all the judges of the Constitutional Court before the Rada, I do not believe
it is constitutional because it violates principles of the separation of
powers.)  Nevertheless, on May 16, Chief Judge Dombrovsky resigned his post
of Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court and was replaced by one of the
judges dismissed by the President.  The President’s Secretariat subsequently
issued a statement that any decisions made by the Constitutional Court with
the participation of the judges fired by the President will not be
legitimate.
[15] Both Ukraine’s judges and journalists concur with these finding and
believe that the judiciary should be reformed.  For example, 84% of
journalists surveyed and 77% of judges believe that reform should be a top
priority.  See Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, The Baseline
Survey of Ukraine Rule of Law Project, March 2007; USAID Ukraine Rule of Law
Project, ‘Judicial Reform and Journalism’ Presentation of the Result of the
Sociological Survey of Journalists; March 2007.
[16] Article 79 reads: “I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with
all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to
provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian
people. I swear to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of
Ukraine, to carry out my duties in the interests of all compatriots.”
[17] Members of the Rada have made threats against judges of Pechersk
Regional Court that they will be dismissed for declaring that the attempt to
bring back the old 2004 CEC membership was illegal.  In addition, on May 8,
some Rada deputies introduced a bill attempting to dismiss five judges of
the Constitutional Court.
[18] On April 10, 2007 Justice Petro Stesyuk stated during a press
conference that five members of the Constitutional Court feel that they are
under political pressure to resolve this case without procedural safeguards
and that they “threaten to affect an independent conduct by the Court of its
constitutional duties, democracy in Ukraine and constitutional rights and
freedoms of citizens.”  Open Letter from Justices Lilak, Kampo, Stetsyuk,
Shyshkin, and Machuzhak to the Ukrainian people, President of Ukraine, Rada
deputies, and Judges of Ukraine, April 10, 2007.  On May 10, Chief Judge
Dombrovsky, made another statement condemning the dismissal of the Judges by
Yushchenko and expressing that various persons are trying to influence the
judges.  It is, therefore, questionable whether the Constitutional Court
will be able to act at all.  The Constitutional Court may also choose not to
decide on this case if it finds that the effectiveness of the decree is a
political question.  See Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).
[19] See Volodomyr Fecenko, Interview with BBC, May 17, 2007; Havrysh
Considers Court Unconstitutional, Ukrayinska Pravda, May 15, 2007.
Furthermore, Mykola Onishchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Lawyer’s Union
stated that the Constitutional Court must be dismissed.  See Ukrayinska
Pravda, May 17, 2008.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10.  PLIUSCH SEES  MAIN CAUSE OF ESCALATION OF POLITICAL
CRISIS IN CABINET’S  DISINCLINATION FOR DIALOGUE WITH PRES
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26, 2007
KYIV – National Security and Defense Council Secretary Ivan Pliusch sees
the main cause of the escalation of the political crisis in the disinclination of
the Cabinet of Ministers for a dialogue with President Viktor Yuschenko.
Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the President.

He said all problems could be resolved with an open and honest dialogue
between the branches of power.

However, according to Pliusch, the approaches of the President and the
Cabinet of Ministers to the issue are radically different.

“Nobody can blame the President with the avoiding the dialogue and with
unlawful demands concerning the relations between the bodies of power.
However, the Cabinet of Ministers shows insularity, incapability or
unwillingness to keep a word, barriers for the realization of rights of
common people,” Pliusch said.

He said the coalition demonstrated what kind of a country the coalition
intended to build by its actions at the Prosecutor General’s Office.

“If President Viktor Yuschenko had not issued the decree dissolving the
parliament, the law would be completely replaced by [the code of
criminals],” Pliusch said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Security Service of Ukraine is
investigating two criminal cases following the seizure of the building of
the Prosecutor General’s Office and the power abuse by officers of the
Ministry of Interior Affairs.

On May 24, the coalition MPs used force to remove officers of the State
Guard Department from the Prosecutor General’s Office after the dismissal

of Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun.                    -30-
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
==========================================================
11.      FROM A BOG OF LIES THERE’S NO COMING UP
                                     SMELLING OF ROSES

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #848, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Sunday, May 27, 2007

One of the sad things about democracy in a consumer society is how
fundamental principles turn into, at best, advertising slogans, at worst,
glossy packaging for questionable goods, or, in this case, people.

An article published recently in the Wall Street Journal (In Ukraine, a
Friend of Russia Stages Sweeping Political Makeover, by Marc Champion)
painted a picture of Viktor Yanukovych as the ultimate Ukrainian phoenix, a
political success story extraordinaire.

It was presented as the leap from presidential candidate whose rigged ballot
box “success” may have convinced Putin, but left the Ukrainian people cold
(quite literally) to Prime Minister espousing democratic values.

One might humbly suggest that a lion’s share of the credit can be taken by
Manafort and his mates – the American PR specialists who took over from
thoroughly discredited Russian political technologists.

A lot could be said on this subject. Suffice it to say that the reality in
Ukraine makes the packaging presented in the above-mentioned article ask a
question or two about the newspaper’s source of information.

For almost two months now, Yanukovych and his Verkhovna Rada coalition

have been fighting hard. If you read their statements, they have been defending
democracy, stability and the rule of law in Ukraine.

When the price is high, however, it is wise to look beyond the shiny
wrappers.

   FIGHTING AGAINST EARLY DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS                   
Yanukovych & Co. are fighting against early democratic elections. I stress
the word democratic for two reasons.

[1] One is that the methods used by the coalition to gain new members and
their attempts to thus achieve a constitutional majority able to overturn
Presidential vetoes and introduce changes to the Constitution had precious
little to do with democracy.

They certainly flew in the face of the wishes expressed by Ukrainian voters
only one year ago.

[2] Secondly, Yanukovych had not long before that stated in an interview
that the next “President” might be voted in by the Verkhovna Rada.

Psychologically understandable – the man felt aggrieved that the people didn’t
choose him, and parliamentarians were proving far more malleable.  It is
possible that Manafort and mates understood the flawed wrapping in this
case, and Yanukovych backtracked a day or two later.

The American PR experts are, however, fighting against the odds. If we take
just a few examples:

At an emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada following the President’s
Decree dissolving parliament, not only did the (dissolved!) Verkhovna Rada
contravene the Constitution by refusing to comply with the President’s
Decree, but they also reinstated the old makeup of the Central Election
Commission under their good friend and now Party of the Regions colleague

in parliament Kivalov.

He, should anyone have forgotten, approved the election “victory” of
Yanukovych, later overturned by the Supreme Court.

A lot of the 2004 “techniques” were reinstated, incidentally, including the
“mass rallies” of supposedly enraged coalition supporters.

These included children taken from schools to take part in the rallies on
Maidan, and whole coach or trainloads of “supporters”, paid to be the bodies
on these mass stunts.

The cries from various members of the coalition to have the President
impeached at least remain within a legal framework which cannot be said of
many of the hysterical outbursts heard from that quarter over the last two
months.

                       ATTEMPTS TO FRIGHTEN PEOPLE
Particularly disturbing have been the attempts to frighten people and
exacerbate the situation by speaking of armed forces in Kyiv, plans to
arrest members of the coalition, etc.  Disturbing because they show that the
Deputies involved are guided by anything but the needs of their voters and
of Ukraine.

The events of the last two days have demonstrated clearly how very much
these people are prepared to sacrifice for their own aims. A grotesque
spectacle with potentially catastrophic results was played out yesterday (24
May) in Kyiv following the dismissal by the President of the Prosecutor
General Sviatoslav Piskun.

The President’s justification was that Piskun had remained a National
Deputy, thus contravening the Constitution and leading to a clear conflict
of interests.  The political background and argumentation can and doubtless
will be argued.  Any such arguments cannot possibly justify the events which
ensued.

These involved the Minister of Internal Affairs personally arriving with
members of a specially trained unit (Berkut) at the Prosecutor General’s
Office and helping Piskun force his way into his former offices.

This monstrous distortion of the role of the law enforcement agencies
committed by those entrusted with our safety was then repeated in the
evening.

Yanukovych and his coalition cronies have learned nothing about democracy.
They have unfortunately failed to understand that the Ukrainian people are
not simply, as Yanukovych stated in 2004, “kozly” [stupid idiots - a term
used by criminals] who get in our way”.

They must be made to learn – peacefully, via the ballot box, and this time,
let’s hope, once and for all.                               -30-
———————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
12.             THESE NEW HUDDLED MASSES

COMMENTARY: By Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Managing Editor
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 25, 2007

It was a coincidence, but an appropriate one, that last weekend’s annual
Ukrainian street festival in New York’s East Village began the day after
Senate negotiators announced an ungainly compromise on immigration.

Attacked by critics on the right as being too soft, and by critics on the
left as being too harsh, the proposed legislation is an apt representation
of America’s broader ambivalence towards immigration.

One of the sore points was embodied by the Ukrainian dancers and food
vendors who took over East 7th Street the next day.

Although they didn’t exactly arrive on the Mayflower, by New York standards,
Ukrainians have been in the neighbourhood a long time they celebrated their
first Ukrainian rite liturgy on Avenue C in 1890. And ethnic street fairs of
all stripes are a ubiquitous feature of Gotham life.

Even so, in America as a whole, the exuberant celebration of non-Anglo
culture, community and language that they represent is sometimes viewed

with hostility.

I spotted a snarling example at Washington’s Reagan National Airport the
other day a souvenir T-shirt on sale whose logo read: “Welcome to America:
Now Speak English.”

Samuel Huntington voices the more genteel version of this anxiety in Who Are
We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity.

The Harvard professor warns that immigration is now tearing America apart:
“The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United
States into two people, two cultures, two languages.”

In Immigrants Your Country Needs Them, a spirited counterpoint published
last year, Philippe LeGrain challenges many of Prof Huntington’s arguments.

He points to statistics showing that Latino immigrants, like those who came
before them, do learn English: by the third generation 78 per cent speak
predominantly English and 22 per cent are bilingual.

He also cites research by Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute, a
think-tank, showing that what may seem like immigrant waves of unprecedented
force are actually smaller, relative to the existing population, than the
great inflows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which so profoundly
shaped America.

Thus, according to Griswold, approximately 1.5 Mexican immigrants (both
legal and illegal) per 1,000 US residents now enter the country each year.

But in the 1840s and 1850s, the US absorbed an annual average of 3.6 Irish
immigrants per 1,000. Between 1901 and 1910 Russian, Italian and
Austro-Hungarians all arrived at a swifter pace than the Mexicans today.

So, partly, we are suffering from the usual historical amnesia. But
globalisation and technology have also changed the nature of the immigrant
experience, sometimes in ways that can be unsettling for the native-born.

Mobile phones, the internet and cheap air travel mean that immigration no
longer requires the near-absolute severing of ties with the home country
that it did in the days of Ellis Island.

Consider June Arunga, a Kenyan filmmaker born in 1981, who now lives in New
York. Arunga says she and other Kenyans benefit from new ways of staying in
touch with home: “The cell phone has changed everything. Your grandmother,
who basically lives in the Middle Ages in the countryside now you can call
her from New York It is almost like the person is not so far away.”

Cheap flights matter, too. Where once Kenyans could afford to visit their
homeland every 10 years, now, she says, many go back annually.

This continuous connection is the stuff of nightmare for some critics of
immigration. But at a time when even the ebullient Bush lieutenant Karen
Hughes is struggling at the State Department to burnish America’s tattered
reputation abroad, these shuttling immigrants may be their new land’s best
ambassadors.

“Even though there is disagreement about US foreign policy, the feedback
people get from their relatives is that I went there and I made something of
myself,” Arunga says. “It makes non-Americans love America.”

And what about the community ties immigrants may hold on to back in America?
For Arunga, they are mostly about personal well-being, the new American’s
equivalent of yoga or the Chicken Soup for the Soul books: “Everyone from
time to time takes comfort in listening to their own music, eating their own
food, telling their own jokes.”

That has certainly been my own experience. Living in a wonderful but foreign
city, it is fortifying to be able to slip into familiar Ukrainian community
rituals, and to be welcomed from the first sentence my daughters speak in
Ukrainian.

Nowadays, with fresh waves of smart, tough, young Ukrainians coming west,
remaining Ukrainian has an additional benefit. We worry a lot about ethnic
ghettos, but, in my experience of America in this age of growing income
inequality, the more powerful dividing lines are economic. The Ukrainian
community, for me, is a rare place that erases them.

These latest Ukrainian-Americans are part of a new twist on cultural
identity that I have started to observe in the parks of New York.

As I play with my girls in Ukrainian, young children who are talking to
their own parents in English occasionally approach us with fond interest.
They turn out to be the charges of Ukrainian babysitters. Could this be a
new category of hyphenated Americans ethnicity via nanny?        -30-
———————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Chrystia Freeland is the FT’s US managing editor
chrystia.freeland@ft.com; More columns at www.ft.com/freeland
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13. NO ROSE-COLORED GLASSES FOR FM ARSENII YATSENIUK
                Minister discusses pragmatism in Ukraine’s foreign policy

Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 22, 2007

Arsenii Yatseniuk has been Ukraine’s foreign minister for more than two
months. Ukrainians would naturally like to know about the style, intentions,
and logic behind the actions of their country’s topmost diplomat, all the
more so as this is the first time that the foreign ministry is headed by a
person who has never been a career diplomat.

Yatseniuk partly showed his cards when he spoke with some print journalists.
He noted that he is not inclined to alter Ukraine’s foreign policy and is
generally very skeptical about the necessity of introducing any radical
changes.

He emphasized, however, that as foreign minister he will be trying to impart
more realism and pragmatism to Ukraine’s aspirations to integrate with such
organizations as the EU.

“Rose-colored glasses are absolutely out of place in this connection. First
and foremost, we should tell the people that there will be no European Union
either today or tomorrow. Early EU membership is very doubtful.

Even if Ukraine brilliantly fulfills the Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement with the EU and carries out all the reforms very quickly, EU
enlargement will still be a problem,” the minister admitted.
      YOUNG PEOPLE AS A MEANS OF EU INTEGRATION
The minister reminded his listeners that the European Union has quite a few
problems to deal with, so Ukraine is not exactly a priority issue for
Brussels.

On the other hand, there are numerous objections concerning Ukraine,
including its political maturity, which is indispensable for joining any
kind of union.

Secondly, there is a long list of unresolved problems with our neighbors,
including the Russian Federation. “The EU does not need a country that has a
‘vague’ relationship with Russia,” Yatseniuk said. Thirdly, there is a
problem of national unity.

Another important factor is that reforms should not be a purely declarative
issue. “We must say clearly what kind of state we want to build. Are we
building a classic market-economy country or a market-economy country with
some elements of socialism?” he noted.

The minister is thoroughly convinced that you do not promote Ukraine’s
integration and bilateral relations through bureaucratic announcements.
Above all, it is people – in our case, young people – who are envoys of
integration.

Therefore, this requires the right educational programs and free movement.
This is in fact what the minister was doing on his visits to the EU, the US,
and Canada, where he asked the leaders of those countries to update
educational exchange programs with Ukraine.
                   NO SPIN IN OUR RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA
Ukraine’s foreign minister believes that our country should build its
relations with Russia on the principles of pragmatism and mutual advantage.
At the same time he opposes Ukrainian-Russian diplomatic relations being
formed on the pages of newspapers.

“The whole cartload of current Ukrainian-Russian problems must be resolved
in closed rooms. What we will be saying to each other in those closed rooms
is a different question. What matters for Ukraine is the result. We don’t
need spin today,” Yatseniuk emphasized.

Ukraine would also not like to be a tool in someone else’s hands as far as
Ukrainian-Russian relations are concerned. “We are worthy of pursuing our
own policy toward Russia because there is interdependence in our relations
with Russia.

And it cannot be said that Russia has a decisive impact on Ukraine. This may
have been the case 20 or 10 years ago,” the foreign minister said.

Broaching the resolution of problems that exist in Ukrainian-Russian
relations, Yatseniuk offered his own approach to solving them.

[1] First, Ukrainian-Russian relations should reject any kind of radicalism.
[2] Second, there is a great degree of convergence, and even more
interdependence between the two countries.
[3] Third, economic interests must prevail over political declarations.
[4] Fourth, relations should be clearly spelled out in legal terms and be
based on appropriate treaties and laws.

According to the minister, Kyiv should now enter into negotiations with
Russia about signing 17 agreements pursuant to the 1997 Comprehensive
Treaty. To a large extent this will help clarify certain clauses in this
treaty.

Yatseniuk also stressed that Ukrainian-Russian bilateral relations will
uphold the principle of reciprocity. “We will be supporting their ethnic
minorities in exchange for them supporting Ukrainians in Russia,” he noted.
                   RELATIONS WITH SAME-LINE PLAYERS
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is well aware that Ukraine cannot play its
own geopolitical game and stand on a par with the US, Russia, and the EU.
Nevertheless, Yatseniuk thinks that our country can be a second-line player
and should therefore orient itself toward countries of comparable size.

In his opinion, GUAM is not a bad option in principle. Ukraine would like
very much to be heard in big-time politics via this regional organization.
But the problem is to fill GUAM with a concrete economic component.

“If GUAM were to take a common stand on a number of foreign political
issues, have true economic interdependence and an impact on other related
markets, this organization would be a player too,” said Yatseniuk. He thinks
that Ukraine should focus its attention on some countries in the East,
Africa, and Latin America, which are risky but attractive at the same time.

“These are markets that we can enter. Moreover, these are countries that
need political support not only from the G8 but also from countries like
Ukraine. We are very carefully considering the question of cooperating with
these countries,” the minister said.
                              THE TRANSIT TRUMP CARD
It is too early to say that the doctrine of economy-based foreign relations,
revived by Yatseniuk, is bearing fruit. At the same time sources in
Ukraine’s foreign ministry sources do not think that we suffered a defeat at the
Cracow summit.

At the time there was a summit taking place in Turkmenistan, where the
presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan signed a declaration to
build a gas pipeline across Russia.

A source claims that Ukraine managed to have the words “transit space”
included in the Cracow Declaration. The Ukrainian foreign ministry also
believes that the Cracow summit was a success because it triggered such a
reaction in some countries that their leaders rushed to the Polish city.

The foreign ministry is actively pursuing the policy of transit space,
capitalizing on Ukraine’s monopoly on transit. Kyiv will thus try to dictate
its own rules until a single energy space, one that would include the EU, is
established.

“We should be the promoters of this venture because 80 percent of gas is
being exported to Europe through our pipelines. With all due respect for
consumers, we still have a transit system of our own. Not to use this
opportunity today means losing all our chances tomorrow,” the ministry
source said.
                                 AT A LOSS FOR WORDS
All countries know that domestic policy influences foreign policy. Ukraine
is no exception, and the new foreign minister is perfectly aware of this. As
he confessed, his mission in the past two months has been to travel around
the world explaining that what is going on in Ukraine is normal.

“But I will say frankly that I began to feel at a loss for words. It is
impossible to have a stable and easy-to-grasp foreign policy if things are
in disarray inside the country. What is going on inside cannot be an
unending story. We have brawled a little, become somewhat democratic, but
now it’s time to reach a common denominator.

In the short term there are no negative consequences. But there will surely
be questions to Ukraine in the medium term. It’s OK if this lasts for a
month or two, but if the conflict drags on, nobody will take us seriously,”
the minister emphasized.
                      A WHIFF OF SMOLENSKAIA SQUARE
Yatseniuk believes that in the 15 years of independence the foreign ministry
has failed to become an absolutely normal, healthy, and full- fledged
ministry of independent Ukraine. “There is still a whiff coming from
Smolenskaia Square (Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Ed.),” he said.

The Ukrainian foreign minister thinks the world has changed radically over
the past 10 years. “But we are still living by the standards of the old,
understaffed ministry that is unable to perform the required functions.

For the ministry to be European, we should clean up the ‘stables.’ The
ministry needs funds to pay salaries, offset capital expenses, increase and
reformat the network,” Yatseniuk noted.                     -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/181832/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.      MOVIES: UKRAINE’S WINTER OF DISCONTENT
                Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter”

REVIEW: By Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun
New York, NY, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RE:  Andrei Zagdansky’s Documentary “ORANGE WINTER”

On November 21, 2004, Ukrainian citizens went to the polls to cast their
ballots in a run-off election for a new president, a right they had only
enjoyed for eight years since their nation’s constitution came into being.
Ukraine has a long history of political upheaval and conflict dating back to
the tsars.

True to historical form, the 2004 campaign had been both a close one and a
dirty one. Challenger Viktor Yushchenko, a former prime minister and leader
of the Our Ukraine Party, had suffered a near fatal dose of dioxin
poisoning.

This was not only barbaric it was ironic – Mr. Yuschenko’s followers rallied
behind bright orange banners, and stateside Dioxin is known as Agent Orange.

His opponent, the incumbent Viktor Yanukovych, was long rumored to have ties
to organized crime, and Orange Party loyalists naturally assumed that Mr.
Yanukovych’s followers had something to do with the chemical assassination
attempt.

In Andrei Zagdansky’s new documentary “Orange Winter,” which opens today
at the Pioneer Theater, the events that followed the run-off election were
even more bizarre.

“Power, the people, chance or fate, providence – the interplay of these
forces is what makes history,” the film’s narrator says. Mr. Zagdansky
shuffles a deck of images and footage showing history being made fast – both
in the halls of government and in the street. And while he misdeals a few of
his cards here and there, “Orange Winter” is a candid and exciting
nonfiction account of a fascinating contemporary popular struggle.

The election that had forced the run-off had been roundly criticized for
favoring the sitting government. It hadn’t helped the credibility of Mr.
Yanukovych’s candidacy that goon squads, believed to be plain-clothes
members of his government’s “Special Purpose Police Unit,” harassed
Orange Party campaigners and voters on numerous occasions.

Ukrainian citizens and international election monitors cast a dubious eye on
the November 21 vote count as well. Exit polls indicated that Mr. Yushchenko
was the winner by a small but legal margin.

So when state-run television declared Mr. Yanukovych the winner, the native
population of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev (a city split between Russian
and Ukrainian speakers and loyalists) took to the streets.

In Mr. Zagdansky’s footage, thousands of protestors pour into Maidan
Nezalezhnosti, Kiev’s central Independence Square, as the government
declares the election over.

But even as TV newsreaders urge the people to go back to work and get on
with their lives, a simultaneous onscreen sign language translator,
discreetly wearing an orange scarf on her wrist, contradicts the official
story.

“I find it very distressing that I’ve had to translate falsehoods,” she
tells sign language fluent viewers from her box on the lower right corner of
their TV screens. “I won’t do that anymore. I don’t know if we will see each
other again.”

Days go by and the mass protest becomes a tent city. Sympathetic retailers
put orange sweaters on sale. Sporting goods stores sell out of fishing rods,
the most practical hardware with which to hold up and control massive orange
banners springing up all over the Maidan.

Mr. Zagdansky’s camera captures an ad hoc community’s growth and life with
an eye for both egalitarian gesture and a pretty face.

The homeless get fed. Blond girls smile. An expressionless member of the
Special Purpose Police in riot gear works his way down a row of his
comrades, brushing the snow off of their body armor and helmets as he goes.
Couples make-out and marry. Christmas arrives and orange Christmas trees go
up.

Mr. Zagdansky also adds a performance of Mussorgsky’s opera ” Boris
Gudonov” and clips from Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s brilliant 1930 Ukraine-set
Soviet propaganda film “Earth” to the mix.

Though the music and images are lovely, the metaphoric point they make is a
simple one. As the real news events build to their January 2005 conclusion,
both opera and film excerpts pale in intensity alongside what actually
happened.

Mr. Zagdansky’s timeline is occasionally less sure-footed than it could be,
and his narrator, the print journalist Matthew Gurewitsch (sounding like a
cross between Ben Stein and Mr. Rodgers), fails to sustain a connection with
the images he describes and the words he reads.

But “Orange Winter” is nevertheless inspiring, and a viewer’s patience with
a filmmaker eagerly trying to fit two months that shook Ukraine into 72
minutes will be rewarded.

Through June 3 (155 E. 3rd St., between avenues A and B, 212-591-0434).
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.nysun.com/article/55044

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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15. UKRAINE’S ORANGE REVOLUTION: RUSH TO JUDGEMENT?
                             Review of Three Orange Revolution Books

BOOK REVIEW: By Taras Kuzio
Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
London, UK, Vol.23, no.2 (June 2007), pp.320-326.

Anders Aslund and Michael McFaul eds., Revolution in Orange. The Origins of
Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough  (Washington DC; Carnegie Endowment,
2006).

Askold Krushelnycky, An Orange Revolution. A Personal Journey Through
Ukrainian History (London: Harvill Secker, 2006). ISBN 978 0436 206 234

Andrew Wilson, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press).

There has been a flood of books published in Ukraine, coupled with a large
number of photo albums, following the Orange Revolution. In the
English-speaking West, only three books have appeared, two of which are
authored and a third an edited collection. All three books are reviewed
here.

The Orange Revolution took place following the second round of the 2004
Ukrainian presidential elections.[i] These elections proved to be the
dirtiest in Ukraine’s twelve year history with two assassination attempts
against the pro-reform candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has often been placed within a comparative
context of earlier democratic or people power revolutions in Serbia (2000)
and Georgian Rose Revolution (2003) and a year later in Lebanon (Cedar
Revolution) and, more controversially, in Kyrgyzstan (Tulip Revolution).[ii]
Other central European specialists argue that Croatia and Slovakia in 1997
and 1998 were the first to experience democratic, people-power
revolutions.[iii]

The Carnegie volume is, perhaps surprising, considering the attention the
Orange Revolution received in Washington DC, the only one published on the
subject by a Washington-based think tank.

The two editors, Anders Aslund and Michael McFaul, fulfill an excellent task
of bringing together leading specialists on contemporary Ukraine who closely
followed the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections and Orange Revolution.

The edited collection includes chapters by Aslund on President Leonid
Kuchma’s relationship with the oligarchs, former Freedom House adviser
Adrian Karatnycky on earlier elections and political parties, National Endowment
for Democracy Nadia Diuk on civil society and my own chapter on developments
within Ukrainian society that led to the basis for a democratic revolution.

Other chapters are written by scholars from the region. The youth NGO Pora
(Its Time) is surveyed by the head of the Bratislava office of the German
Marshall Fund of the USA (GMFUS), Pavol Demes, in a co-authored article with
the GMFUS Bratislava office Program Officer Joerg Forbrig.

The GMFUS was one of a number of Western think tanks and foundations who
provided assistance to Pora, a crucial NGO in the mobilization of young
Ukrainians during the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Youth NGO’s,
such as Serbia’s OTPOR (Resistance) and Georgia’s Kmara (Resistance),
played a key role in all democratic revolutions in post-communist
states.[iv]

Another chapter deals with the importance of the media environment during
the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Olena Prytula is one of the two
founders of the highly popular and influential Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian
Truth) web-based newspaper (www.pravda.com.ua).

Ukrayinska Pravda rose to international prominence in November 2000 when its
other co-founder, Heorhiy Gongadze, was found decapitated near Kyiv. The
ensuing scandal, known as Kuchmagate, undermined President Kuchma,
facilitated the rise of Yushchenko as a political oppositionist and paved
the way for the Orange Revolution four years later.

As Prytula points out, independent media played a crucial role in
facilitating the Orange Revolution. As a semi-authoritarian regime, Ukraine
still had a limited independent media base which is not the case in fully
authoritarian regimes such as Russia, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

Two television channels, Channels 5 and Era, funded by dissident businessmen
who backed Yushchenko, played a disproportionate role to their size. The
internet was also influential as a source of information, discussion and
blog’s and communication. Prytula suggests that the Orange Revolution should
be considered the world’s first “internet revolution”.

Two other chapters by Ukrainian and Russian authors survey the influence and
role of the West and Russia in the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution.
Russia played a disproportionate role through a heavy handed intervention in
support of the regime’s candidate, Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine twice during the first and
second rounds of the elections to give his public support to Yanukovych
while Russian “political technologists” played a central role in all manner
of dirty tricks.

Although the Orange Revolution was seen in Russia as a “US-backed
 conspiracy”, the reality, as presented by Oleksandr Sushko and Olena
Prytsayko, is that the West played a more benign role. US and West European
foundations did provide assistance to NGO’s, but this assistance was not
exclusive to Ukraine and was not directed towards creating the basis for a
democratic revolution.

The US behind the scenes and the EU in a more direct capacity played a
central role in facilitating a pacted transition through the political
crisis that engulfed Ukraine during the Orange Revolution.

The final chapter by McFaul places the Serbian, Georgian, Ukrainian and, to
a lesser extent, the Kyrgyz democratic revolutions within a comparative
context. McFaul points to seven factors that are common to these democratic
revolutions.

These include a competitive (i.e. semi) authoritarian regime, unpopular
leaders, organized oppositions, independent electoral monitoring
capabilities, independent media, an active civil society capable of
mobilizing large numbers of people and divisions within the security
forces.[v] Krushelnycky’s book is written for the popular market; hence,
it does not have an index.

The author has a long and distinguished career writing on contemporary
Ukraine, Soviet and post-Soviet affairs. A third of the book (Chapters 1-4)
is a short and informative survey of Ukrainian history in the pre-Soviet and
Soviet era’s.

Chapter 5 gives a good overview of the “Rotten Guys” who ruled Ukraine from
1991-2004, Presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma. Chapter 6 covers
the important Kuchmagate scandal in 2000-2001 when Gongadze was kidnapped
and subsequently murdered.

The Kuchmagate scandal provoked a mobilization of civil society and youth to
go on to win the 2002 and 2004 elections. The chapter is named “Beheaded”
alluding to the only book on the Gongadze murder, either in Ukraine or the
West.[vi]

Chapter 7 discusses the rise of Yushchenko from loyal government servant to
opposition leader. Until 2001, Yushchenko was Chairman of the National Bank
and Prime Minister. After being ousted from government he created the Our
Ukraine bloc of liberal and center-right political parties which came first
in the 2002 elections with 24 per cent of the vote. Two years later he won
the presidential elections with 52 per cent

Krushelnycky deals with the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution in the last
150 pages in Chapters 8-12. Here, the author provides an excellent account
of the dirty campaign unleashed by the authorities and their Russian
“political technologists”, the attempted poisoning of Yushchenko, widespread
election fraud, mobilization of millions of Ukrainians in protest and the
various ways that the crisis was defused.

Krushelnycky’s final chapter is less a full expose of the post-Orange
Revolution era than an Epilogue. Aslund and McFaul decided to not deal with
the post-Orange Revolution situation, and, in my view, rightly so.

Events after the Orange Revolution are a moving target and too close to the
present. A convenient cut off point is the election of Yushchenko and his
inauguration as President from 26 December 2004-23 January 2005.

Both Krushelnycky and Andrew Wilson published their books in 2005 and
therefore could only have covered a short period of the post-Orange
Revolution era. Krushelnycky’s final chapter (Epilogue) is already imbued
with foreboding that events are not proceeding as optimistically as what was
thought would take place when millions of Ukrainians supported the Orange
Revolution. Wilson submitted his book earlier than Krushelnycky to Yale
University Press and his book is full of optimism that today seems out of
place.

Krushelnycky is already concerned that Kuchma and other senior officials may
have been given immunity as the price to avoid bloodshed during the Orange
Revolution. No documents prove such a deal was ever made and no officials
have publicly confirmed it, including President Yushchenko. Yet, subsequent
events seem to confirm this.

Wilson’s book is a scholarly study of the Orange Revolution. Its only small
fault lies in occasional lapses into using phrases, language and humor that
would be more appropriate in a book written for the popular market. Yale
University Press also made a strategically poor choice of including a quote
on the dust jacket from British maverick scholar Anatol  Lieven, a Senior
Fellow at the Washington-based New Atlantic Foundation.

Lieven has always been a staunch critic of the Orange Revolution, other
democratic revolutions in post-communist states and US promotion of
democracy in Eurasia.[vii] The summer 2006 Ukraine crisis was welcomed by
Lieven with unrestrained and gloated glee.[viii]

Wilson’s book is not a light read as it is full of facts, names and places
that will be difficult for the non-specialist to follow. Nevertheless, it
represents an in-depth study of the events leading up to the 2004 elections
and the Orange Revolution. Chapter 1 is short and lays out the election
fraud that led to the Orange Revolution.

Chapter 2 gives a good analysis of the main players in the Ukrainian elites
who backed the two main candidates, Yushchenko and Yanukovych. Chapter
3 is a short history of Ukraine which seems to be out of place. Readers
interested in the Orange Revolution, if they are indeed interested in
seventeen century Cossacks, can find historical works on this elsewhere.

Chapter 4 investigates the Kuchmagate crisis and the 2002 elections as the
precursor events to the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Wilson
describes the Kuchmagate crisis and the 2002 elections as “two dress
rehearsals” for 2004. Without the murder of Gongadze and subsequent protests
there would have been no Orange Revolution. With no Revolution, Yushchenko
would not have been elected President.

Chapters 5-7 provides the main study of the 2004 elections and subsequent
Orange Revolution. As Wilson points out, “there were too many players on
their side, too many crooks with too many plans, and they ultimately ended
up working against one another” (p.79).

It was never clear that Kuchma really was 100 per cent behind Yanukovych’s
election campaign and he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he was a
“bandit”. “It is also true that Kuchma himself seems never to have quite
liked or trusted Yanukovych”, Wilson says (p.80).

Leaked documents, cited by Wilson, revealed that one presidential strategy
was to pit western against eastern Ukraine leading to civil conflict that
then created the environment for the authorities to cancel the elections. In
new elections to be held in 2005, Kuchma could stand again based on the
Constitutional Court ruling that he was in his “first” term.

Although western press reports exaggerated fears of a civil war (I myself
debated this with a CNN presenter convinced that Ukraine was ready to lapse
into civil war), Wilson rightly points out that, “Ukraine was never ‘on the
brink of civil war'” (p.145).

Chapter 8 lays out an optimistic setting for the “Aftermath” of the
post-Orange Revolution environment. Chapters 9 and 10 give the international
implications of the aftermath of the Orange Revolution and an optimistic
prognosis that democratic revolutions will continue to engulf other regions
of Eurasia.

Only a year has passed since all three books were published. Yet, the
optimism that pervades Wilson and the more sober optimism in Krushelnycky
are now difficult to read following the tumultuous developments that have
engulfed post-Orange Revolution Ukraine.

Krushelnycky is flabbergasted that Yushchenko signed a memorandum with
Yanukovych in September 2005 to obtain parliamentary support for his Prime
Ministerial  candidate to replace Tymoshenko One wonders what the author
would be thinking following the return of Yanukovych to head the government
in July 2006!?

By summer-fall 2006, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution was at a crossroads where
Ukraine could continue to muddle forward in reforms and integration into the
Euro-Atlantic community. Or, it could stagnate into a “Kuchma-Lite” type
regime.

Writing in early 2005, Wilson is optimistic about Yushchenko as a moral,
“charismatic” (p.153) leader ready to implement a clean up of the system and
introduce a wide range of reforms. By the summer of 2006, Yushchenko was
widely seen inside and outside Ukraine as a weak leader with no strategy who
has been unable to introduce a decisive break with the practices and
political culture of the Kuchma era. The good will earned by the holding of
free and fair elections in March 2006 was lost following the failure of the
Orange coalition to create a parliamentary majority and government because
of personal divisions.

Wilson’s prediction that the Orange coalition would sweep to power in the
2006 elections has failed to materialize as the coalition was dissolved by
President Yushchenko who removed the Tymoshenko government in September
2005. As Wilson writes, “given her popularity, the president would be
foolish to allow her so easily into opposition” (p.173). But, he did and her
bloc defeated his own Our Ukraine in the 2006 elections.

The defeated candidate’s Party of Regions came first with 32 per cent.
Wilson did note that revolutionary coalitions always eventually break up
into their ideological components, but no one could have predicted that this
would happen so soon only eight months following Yushchenko’s rise to power.

Wilson predicted that several members of the organizers of election fraud
“would – or should – end up in jail” (p.157). In fact, not a single senior
Ukrainian official has been charged and all of them have returned to
government and parliament. The only senior Ukrainian official to have been
charged was former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, but this was by the US -
not by Ukraine.[ix]

All three books provide excellent studies of the Orange Revolution and its
legacies. Krushelnycky is right  to point out that it was not Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko alone who made the Orange Revolution but “millions of
Ukrainians who did that by displaying their will in such a magnificent way”
(p.360).

Less than two years into his five year term, President Yushchenko has
seemingly forgotten the role played by the reported one in five of
Ukrainians who protested locally or in Kyiv during the Orange Revolution.
————————————————————————————————–
                                               FOOTNOTES:
[i]  See the only three articles published on the Orange Revolution: Lucan
Way, ‘Kuchma’s Failed Authoritarianism’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.2
(April 2005), pp.131-145, Taras Kuzio, ‘Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. The
Opposition’s Road to Success’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.2 (April
2005), pp.117-130 and ‘Kuchma to Yushchenko: Ukraine’s 2004 Elections and
“Orange Revolution’, Problems of Post-Communism, vol.52, no.2 (March-April
2005), pp.29-44.
[ii] See my Guest Edited special issue of Communist and Post-Communist
Studies (vol.39, no.3, September 2006) on ‘Democratic Revolutions in
Post-Communist States’.
[iii] This argument is developed in Valerie J.Bunce and Sharon L.Wolchik,
‘International diffusion and postcommunist electoral revolutions’, Communist
and Post-Communist Studies (vol.39, no.3, September 2006), pp.283-304.
[iv] See my comparative study of Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine in ‘Civil
Society, Youth and Societal Mobilization  in Democratic Revolutions’,
Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol.39, no.3 (September 2006),
pp.365-386.
[v] A revised version of this chapter can be found at Michael McFaul,
‘Transitions from PostCommunism’, Journal of Democracy, vol.16, no.3 (July
2005), pp.5-19.
[vi] JV Koshiw, Beheaded. The killing of a journalist (Reading: Artemia
Press, 2003). The book has also been published in Ukraine and Russian in
Ukrainian and Russian respectively. Koshiw is a Woodrow Wilson Center
Fellow in 2006-2007.
[vii] A. Lieven, “Where Have all the Revolutions Gone?”, International
Herald and Tribune, 29 October 2005 and “The West’s Ukraine Illusion”,
International Herald and Tribune, 8 January 2006.
[viii] A.Lieven, “Failure of Orange Revolution is Historic Opportunity”,
Financial Times, 24 July 2006.
[ix] T.Kuzio, ‘Only the US tries and convicts’, Kyiv Post, 7 September 2006.
 nt: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:04 AM
—————————————————————————————————–
Taras Kuzio, Visiting  Professor, Institute for European, Russian and
Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George
Washington University. Washington, tkuzio@gwu.edu,
—————————————————————————————————–
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AUR#847 May 25 More Turmoil, Prosecutor General Out; Struggle About Ukraine’s Future; Political Noise Will Not Derail Economy; No Returning To Past

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

 
                POLITICAL NOISE WILL NOT
                     DERAIL THE ECONOMY 
                                                 (Article Eight)
                        
     THERE IS NO RETURNING TO THE PAST
             “They do not realize that there is no returning to the past and that
                       it is a long way to the future embodied by Europe.”
                                          (Article Twenty-Seven)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 847
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2007 

               -——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1.         UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FIRES PROSECUTOR GENERAL
By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 24, 2007
 
2.   SCUFFLES AS YUSHCHENKO SACKS CENTRAL PROSECUTOR
By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24 2007

3.      UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GOVERNING COALITION
                               OF NEGOTIATING IN BAD FAITH 

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

4. UKRAINIAN PRES REFUSES TO NAME DATE FOR SNAP ELECTION 

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, May 24, 2007

5.            UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WARNS INTERIOR MINISTER

                                   OVER USE OF RIOT POLICE 
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1505 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

6.      UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER VOWS NOT TO ALLOW “CIVIL
                           WAR” IN TV ADDRESS TO THE NATION 

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1815 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

7.    JAMES SHERR: THIS STRUGGLE IS NOT ABOUT YUSHCHENKO.
                               IT IS ABOUT UKRAINE’S FUTURE
INTERVIEW: With James Sherr, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

8 UKRAINE: POLITICAL NOISE WILL NOT DERAIL THE ECONOMY
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: By Lars Rasmussen, Analyst
Danske Research, Danske Bank, Denmark, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

9.    DENMARK COMPANY TO BUILD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 
                           PLANT IN UKRAINE FOR $145 MILLION
Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 24, 2007

10.        ROMANIAN COMPANIES EXPAND TO EASTERN EUROPE
                 Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine & Moldova – The Main Attractions.
By Andrada Cristea, Nine O’Clock, Bucharest, Romania, Wed, May 23, 2007

11HUNGARIAN FIRM TO EXPAND GAS PIPELINE TOWARDS UKRAINE
Portfolio Online Financial Journal, Budapest, Hungary, Wed, 23, May 2007

12.   POLISH PRES KACZYNSKI DISCUSSES ENERGY COOPERATION
                 WITH UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK
Interfax, Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

13. OSCE: UKRAINE, BELARUS, MOLDOVA CHOKING ON TOXIC WASTE
Agence France Presse (AFP), Prague, Czech Republic, May 24, 2007

14.       UKRAINE: LAND PRIVATIZATION TO BE COMPLETED SOON 

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

15BOARD OF UKRAINE OPPORTUNITY TRUST OUSTED IN LONDON
By Daniel Thomas, Financial Times, London, UK, Thursday, May 24 2007

16TOSHIBA EXPANDS NOTEBOOK PC DISTRIBUTION TO UKRAINE
PRWEB, Limassol, Cyprus, Thursday, May 24, 2007

17.              UKRAINE-NORTH AMERICAN INVESTMENT FORUM:
                        Investing in Eastern Europe’s Fastest-Growing Market
                 The New York Marriott Marquis Times Square, New York, NY
                            Monday June 4, 2007 – Wednesday June 6, 2007
Ukraine-North America Investment Forum website
New York, New York, May 2007

18UN: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION INCREASES IN UKRAINE DESPITE
        INTIMIDATION FROM INDIVIDUALS LINKED TO AUTHORITIES
United Nations, Scoop Independent News, New Zealand, Thu, 24 May 2007

19.        UKRAINE’S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UNDER PRESSURE
                          More judges devoured by Ukrainian political crisis
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavel Korduban
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 100
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Tue, May 22, 2007

20“POLITICAL TOURISM” & MANAGED CIVIL SOCIETY IN UKRAINE
                         Yanukovych camp secretly paying demonstrators
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio 
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 100
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Tue, May 22, 2007

 
21. “UKRAINE ON THE EVE OF AN ELECTION: WHAT IS HAPPENING
                            ON THE SPIN-DOCTOR MARKET?”
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavlo Bulhak
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Russian 22 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service,United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007
 
22 ORTHODOX CHURCH WANTS CHURCH, SEMINARY IN PRAGUE
    Church mainly tries to help Ukrainian workers in spiritual sphere, and also by
  offering them protection from the mafia and in securing labour permits for them.
Czech News Agency (CTK), Prague, Czech Republic, May 24, 2007
 
23PRAGUE ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP DENIES HE WAS StB AGENT 
Czech News Agency (CTK), Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 24, 2007
 
 
25.               FOR ESTONIA AND NATO, A NEW KIND OF WAR
By Anne Applebaum, Columnist, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 22, 2007; Page A15
 
 
                                       IN UKRAINIAN SOCIETY?
    Graves turned out to contain the remains of victims of purges before WW II.
By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor, Historian, Scholar
The Day Weekly Digest, #14, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 22 May 2007

========================================================
1
 UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FIRES PROSECUTOR GENERAL

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 24, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – The president fired Ukraine’s top prosecutor Thursday and
the interior minister appeared to defy the order, sending dozens of police
to surround the prosecutor’s building and dramatically raising the stakes in
the political chaos in the former Soviet republic.

Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun, who has long sparred with President
Viktor Yushchenko, initially pledged to defy the order but later appeared to
soften his stance.

Still, the dismissal prompted Yushchenko’s longtime rival, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych, to cut short a trip to the Black Sea Crimean peninsula,
returning home to Kiev for an urgent meeting with his government.

The former Soviet republic has been mired in political crisis since
Yushchenko last month ordered parliament dissolved and called for new
elections – a move he said was necessary to prevent Yanukovych from

usurping power.

Dozens of police dispatched by Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko – a
Yanukovych ally – linked arms and formed a chain around the prosecutor’s
building in downtown Kiev, and dozens of pro-Yanukovych protesters

carrying blue-and-yellow flags rallied outside. Piskun remained in his office.

Inside, security agents, lawmakers and others scuffled in the hallways, as
lawmakers supporting Piskun tried to enter his office. Interior Ministry
spokesman Konstantin Stogniy said Thursday evening that police officers
continued to secure the building at the request of Piskun.

Yushchenko convened an emergency meeting of the heads of enforcement

bodies, the presidential office said.

Piskun told reporters that he would heed the order once it was published in
the presidential register Friday and officially came into effect. He also
said parliament must give its approval for the dismissal.

“The president’s order must be published officially. I will fulfill it but I
will appeal against it to the court,” he said.

Yushchenko later told reporters that the decision to fire Piskun was legal
and did not need parliament’s approval. He also accused Piskun of being
politically involved and of not fulfilling his duties.

“It was not the president’s right (to fire Piskun), it was the president’s
obligation,” he said, speaking of himself in the third person.

In a nationally televised address late Thursday, Yanukovych urged the army
to stay out of the crisis, and called Yushchenko a dictator. “The government
will not allow anarchy, civil war,” he said.

Yushchenko has sparred with Piskun for years. Yushchenko, who was

disfigured by a 2004 dioxin poisoning, dismissed Piskun two years ago,
complaining about the slow pace of the investigation into the attack.

Piskun appealed the dismissal and a court in December ordered him
reinstated. Yushchenko last month acceded to that order and reappointed
Piskun.

But on Thursday, Yushchenko reversed course and fired Piskun a second time,
saying that it was illegal for him to be simultaneously both prosecutor-general

and a member of parliament. Piskun became a lawmaker last year as a member
of the party of Yushchenko’s rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Despite the order, its legal basis was uncertain because Yushchenko
dissolved parliament in early April, several weeks before he reappointed
Piskun.

Meanwhile, the constitutionality of Yushchenko’s order dissolving parliament
is being considered by the Constitutional Court, leaving a doubt whether the
old parliament still legally exists.                          -30-
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2.  SCUFFLES AS YUSHCHENKO SACKS CENTRAL PROSECUTOR

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24 2007

KIEV – Fighting broke out at the central prosecutor’s office in Kiev on
Thursday after President Viktor Yushchenko sacked Svyatoslav Piskun the
general prosecutor, in a move which increased the political conflict
gripping Ukraine.

Security guards controlled by the president scuffled with Interior Ministry
police troops loyal to his bitter rival, Viktor Yanukovich, the prime
minister, who were sent to protect the prosecutor, a member of the premier’s
Regions party.

Mr Yushchenko dismissed Mr Piskun for refusing to relinquish his seat in
parliament under legislation that forbids state officials from holding two
jobs. But the move was widely seen as the latest move in the president’s
political battle with Mr Yanukovich.

Political worries spread to the markets where Ukraine’s currency, the
hryvnia, hit a six-week low against the dollar and Ukrainian dollar-
denominated bond spreads and credit default swaps widened.

Tensions are now at their highest since the 2004 Orange Revolution when the
pro-west Mr Yushchenko defeated the Russia-oriented Mr Yanukovich.

Mr Yanukovich staged a comeback by winning the March 2006 parliamentary
elections, became prime minister, and renewed a power struggle with Mr
Yushchenko.

The conflict became a full-blown crisis on April 2 this year, when Mr
Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called early elections. Mr Yanukovich
refuses to recognise the legality of the call, and constitutional court
judges are split along party lines, leaving them unable to rule.

On Thursday, Mr Piskun left his office when confronted by Mr Yushchenko’s
official but returned later under the protection of elite Interior Ministry
police, who clashed with security guards responsible for protecting state
buildings.

Vasyl Tsushko, interior minister, a Yanukovich ally, positioned elite police
troops around the prosecutor’s building and vowed to protect Mr Piskun
against what he described as a presidential coup d’état.

In a televised press conference, Mr Yushchenko denied he was plotting to
impose presidential rule.

Mr Yanukovich’s allies have accused Mr Yushchenko of plotting a forceful
overthrow of government with the intention of imposing presidential rule. Mr
Yushchenko has repeatedly denied such plans while calling for a compromise
deal.

The president said his sacking of the general prosecutor was necessary to
prevent Mr Yanukovich’s coalition from usurping power.         -30-

————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
3.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES GOVERNING COALITION
                               OF NEGOTIATING IN BAD FAITH 

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko has accused the governing coalition

of negotiating in bad faith on conditions for holding a snap parliamentary
election in line with his two decrees dissolving parliament.

Speaking at a news conference on 24 May, Yushchenko said, “I got the
impression that the governing majority view the talks that have been going
on for 52 days since the day of publication of the first decree as a
fiction, as a means to drag out time, to apply pressure on court bodies,
demobilize the work of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, and to give signals
to society that the authorities are incapable of holding an election.”

Yushchenko also said that at his meeting with Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych on 23 May, he believed that they had reached an understanding on
choosing a date for the election. “This date was named. The decision was
confirmed.

There was an agreement that by evening a protocol would be on the table that
would be signed by the working group members, the joint coordinators,
[National Security and Defence Council Secretary] Ivan Plyushch and [First
Deputy Prime Minister] Mykola Azarov, and five party leaders or the leaders
who wished to sign it.

We were talking about a confirmed position. The language was specific. But
unfortunately this protocol did not appear.”                    -30-
————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
4. UKRAINIAN PRES REFUSES TO NAME DATE FOR SNAP ELECTION 
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, May 24, 2007

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko has refused to name the date for a snap
parliamentary election which he suggested had been agreed with Prime
Minister Viktor Yushchenko on 23 May.

Speaking at a news conference on 24 May, which was broadcast live on 5

Kanal TV, Yushchenko said, “I could name [a date], but you understand –
this date is a working option.

If it has not been approved, if we agreed it with the prime minister, and
now it is not announced or signed on paper, what date should I name – the
one that was not approved?”

Earlier in the news conference, Yushchenko said that at his meeting with
Yanukovych on 23 May, they had seemed to reach an understanding on

choosing a date for the election. “This date was named. The decision was
confirmed.” However, a document fixing the date was not approved. -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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5.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WARNS INTERIOR MINISTER
                                OVER USE OF RIOT POLICE 

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1505 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has issued a strongly-worded
warning to Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko for involving Berkut
special-purpose police units in incidents at the Prosecutor-General’s Office
today.

Speaking at a news conference broadcast live by Ukraine’s 5 Kanal television
after a meeting with heads of uniformed agencies on 24 June, Yushchenko said
Tsushko broke the law when he ordered special-purpose police to enter the
Prosecutor-General’s Office to guard Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun,
whom Yushchenko had sacked earlier today but who had stormed into the top
prosecutor’s office with the help of coalition MPs.

“What Minister Tsushko did today is a crime. The people who carried out the
order committed a crime. I warn that this should be the last instance of
force methods being used in settling a political conflict. The best response
from units armed with weapons, well-organized and well-trained, is stay away
from illegal actions in settling the crisis.

I call on all uniformed structures to pull back to square one and not to
stand in the way of politicians, in this case, formulating legal decisions
in line with the law and the constitution,” Yushchenko said.

He slammed Tsushko for making politically charged statements. Tsushko
had said that “a coup d’etat” was taking place in Ukraine.

“I have given guarantees to the nation that uniformed structures will not be
dragged into solving the political conflict.

Therefore, today I ordered the newly appointed prosecutor-general [Viktor
Shemchuk], the man who is carrying out the duties of the prosecutor-general,
and the Security Service to sort out the situation that happened with Berkut
units entering the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Now they have been withdrawn, but the question remains – who issued this
criminal order and who will bear criminal responsibility for using force in
solving a political conflict. This is no joke. I would like the minister of
internal affairs not to comment on presidential decree. This is none of his
business – if he is still the minister,” Yushchenko said.

Yushchenko once again strongly rejected the use of force in resolving the
political crisis and urged all uniformed agencies to stay out of politics.  -30-

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========================================================      
6.  UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER VOWS NOT TO ALLOW
           “CIVIL WAR” IN TV ADDRESS TO THE NATION 
UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1815 gmt 24 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has said in a TV address to

the nation that his government will use all power at its disposal not to allow
civil war. He said President Viktor Yushchenko’s decree sacking
Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun was illegal.

He added that the president was either misinformed or deliberately selective
in applying the law to his opponents and friends.

Yanukovych said such selectiveness reminded him of Spanish dictator
Francisco Franco. Yanukovych also accused the presidential inner circle of
forcing law-enforcement agencies to carry out political orders from the
opposition.

The following is the text of the address by Yanukovych carried by the
Ukrainian state-owned television UT1 on 24 May:

Dear compatriots. The events taking place in Ukraine today once again
confirm how immature and fragile the achievements of democracy are here,

how easy it is to ruin them and to provoke a return to an authoritarian regime.

We have seen for ourselves that the irresponsible, unlawful actions to which
officials from the president’s inner circle have resorted in trying to
remove the Ukrainian prosecutor-general became the spark that ignited
confrontation and conflict. Such acts of provocation may lead to
extraordinary events. It is our duty to do our best to prevent this.

It is a pity and shame that at the time when Ukraine is hosting events that
are crucial to its future, such as a summit of CIS heads of state where lots
of vital issues can be addressed – we are forced instead to focus our
efforts on correcting the violations of the law committed by officials from
the presidential secretariat, who are trying to get law-enforcement bodies
not to defend the law and the constitution, but to carry out orders from
opposition parties.

I am deeply upset by the fact that the president is in effect being deceived
and cut off from comprehensive information. But the president must know that
the secretariat of the Supreme Council back on 14 May registered a statement
by Svyatoslav Piskun asking to be relieved of his parliamentary mandate.

If the president knew about this and signed the illegal decree on the
prosecutor-general’s dismissal and his official resorted to a force option,
bypassing procedures and attempting to block the work of the legitimate
prosecutor-general, then one needs to be held accountable for this in
accordance with the law.

Also, the president cannot but know that a deputy head of his secretariat,
Roman Bezsmertnyy, has been working in the presidential chancellery for
several months while remaining a member of parliament. Why hasn’t he been
sacked yet?

Why is the president so selective in applying the law? Why does the
guarantor of the constitution use the power of the law against some people
and turn a blind eye to lawlessness by others?

Does Viktor Andriyovych live according to the principles of dictator Franco?
Everything for friends, the law for enemies.

Maybe the president is simply unaware of many nuances and this is what can
explain some of his illogical steps. But an ordinary citizen could be
excused for such lack of awareness, explaining it by some character trait or
lack of experience. When we talk of a state figure whose decisions affect
the lives of millions, this is simply dangerous.

Does the president know that at this very moment unknown individuals have
seized the session hall of the Constitutional Court? Do his officials, who
never stop settling scores with each other, ever inform the president of the
orders being issued on his behalf?

Problems with infighting between various groups in the president’s entourage
have repeatedly caused misunderstandings and sharp confrontations. This is a
very dangerous process.

This cannot be taken lightly. Order should be restored. The normal
functioning of all branches of power should be renewed. The uninterrupted
and independent operation of courts should be ensured.

All law enforcement agencies should be kept within the bounds of the law,
not allowing the army to be provoked into illegal action. This is very
dangerous.

The turmoil that irresponsible political failures have stirred up may lead
to disaster in Ukraine. The government has no right to allow this. It is our
duty to finally protect citizens from upheavals, clashes and stress, which
are staged by some officials – before each great holiday, unfortunately.

I call on all responsible forces in this state to do their utmost to restore
peace and stability in this country.

We should concentrate our efforts on making sure that law-enforcement bodies
exclusively uphold the law instead of carrying out political orders from the
opposition.

We should act in such a way as to help calm, common sense and statist

wisdom get the upper hand.

I assure you, dear compatriots, that the government will not allow anarchy
in Ukraine. It will not allow civil war.

Our country will live in stability and prosperity. We have enough strength
and power to ensure peaceful and prosperous life for the people.  -30-

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7. JAMES SHERR: THIS STRUGGLE IS NOT ABOUT YUSHCHENKO.
                               IT IS ABOUT UKRAINE’S FUTURE

INTERVIEW: With James Sherr, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One knows well Senior Associate worker of the Conflict Research Center of
the Institute of Defense of Great Britain James Sherr in Ukrainian political
and expert circles.

It is worth taking into consideration the opinion of the British analyst,
who specializes in the questions of Ukraine’s foreign and security policy at
least because, unlike western diplomats and NATO state officials, he is
capable of expressing the western thoughts concerning the processes that
are taking place in Ukraine.

Previously, in the interview to Den/The Day, he expressed his doubts that
the Act of National Unity, signed by the leading political parties of
Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and the president of Ukraine
would guarantee the goals, put in it.

He also admitted that the Coalition of People’s Unity is the latest
manifestation of the county’s disunity. What results will have the latest
rearrangements within the RNBO for Ukrainian security?

Why is the Ukrainian president incapable of selecting effective managers for
the leading posts in the Secretariat and the RNBO? Can the West act as an
intermediary for solving the conflict between the president and the
prime-minister?

What consequences will have the signing of Declaration on Building the
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline by Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan for
Europe, and Ukraine, in particular.

On this in the exclusive interview to The Day by the British analyst James
SHERR.

[The Day] What consequences can the latest appointments in the National
Security and Defense Council (RNBO), especially the replacement of Haiduk

by Pliushch, have for Ukraine?

[James Sherr] Until this decision was made, it is important to say that from
the time of the second presidential decree on the dismissal of parliament
the president and his people behaved with good judgment and skill.

The legality of what they did is very much in question, but the legitimacy
is not in question because in any properly democratic system a defection of
parliamentarians on such a scale would immediately force an election.

So it is of absolutely vital interest that the electors of Ukraine decide
whether the traitors are to be rewarded or punished. But now we have this
sudden decision that I fear may again snatch defeat from the jaws of
victory. It is a serious, strategic misjudgement.

[1] First, about the political misjudgement. It is vital for Ukraine that
all influential forces and all regions be properly represented. Vitalii
Haiduk and the Industrial Union of Donbas added a vital eastern Ukrainian
element to the president’s camp and in support of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic
course. They are exceptionally pragmatic people.

Of course, they have brought their own interests that have made the
president’s side a broad coalition, which is what it should be, and not
narrow interests and a narrow clique of “dear friends.”

He has now lost this strength and fallen back on a narrow clique of people -
the “dear friends” or some who are worse – and they are a source of
weakness. The president seems to have forgotten a basic truth about his own
position in this country.

He is strong when he is a representative of all dissatisfied and
democratically minded forces in the country. He is weak when he represents
only himself, his own immediately circle of people, and Our Ukraine.

This struggle is not about Yushchenko. It is about Ukraine’s future.

[2] Second, he has made a great error institutionally because the RNBO

must function as a state institution and not as a political institution. Its
professional staffers constantly work on issues of considerable state
importance: the coordination of defense and security sector reforms,
negotiations of borders with Russia and Romania, the problem of
Transdnistria, the issue of energy security.

This corps of people cannot be distracted, and this important work cannot

be compromised by political battles, particularly at a time when the country
distrusts all institutions, even the Constitutional Court.

No one in power in Ukraine today seems to understand the importance of
institutions as institutions. In a mature and stable democracy the character
of institutions is deemed more important than the character of politicians.

[3] And the third, by losing Haiduk the president and the country have

lost one of the few people with the will and competence to advance the
energy security of Ukraine. And this issue affects the whole future of
Ukraine’s economy, its political course, and its independence.

[The Day] In this context, how should Skypalsky’s appointment as the
deputy head of the SBU be regarded? What does it mean?

[James Sherr] This looks like a sound decision. The SBU is still a divided,
even a vulnerable, institution. Whenever it is weak, outside forces play
with it and are able to work inside it, including the special services of
neighbors who still have the common language and share the post-Soviet
security culture.

And this risk is most acute where the territorial integrity and sovereignty
of the country are most at risk, namely in the Crimea. It is vital for the
SBU in the Crimea to function as the SBU of Ukraine and not as a law unto
itself or a servant of outside interests.

I believe that Skypalsky understands this, and I hope he will be able to
restore vertical authority and coherence to this organization, which is
again a casualty of political struggle in Ukraine.

[The Day] You know Stalin’s famous slogan: “Cadres decide everything.”
Why does the Ukrainian president not understand this? Why doesn’t he
choose proper people and effective managers for his camp?

[James Sherr] Excuse me, this is a Stalinist maxim and it is turned upside
down. The country needs legitimate, effective laws and institutions – people
cannot decide everything.

[The Day] Do you think that the election will change anything in Ukraine?

[James Sherr] The country needs elections! But the question now is how
much legitimacy they will have and whether the result will be accepted by
the losing side. Today the country expects attempts at falsification on all
sides. This is a very unhealthy situation.

[The Day] Yanukovych recently said that he prefers to have a mediator in the
negotiations with Yushchenko. Do you think mediators will help resolve the
crisis in Ukraine?

[James Sherr] I do not think the West will mediate. Europe does not know
what to do with Ukraine. Many have given up. This is very upsetting in
Europe because everyone understands Ukraine’s importance.

But who in Ukraine has the combination of principle and competence to
move this country in a productive direction? Who is able to act as an
effective partner? Do you see anyone?

[The Day] What consequences can the recent signing by Russia, Kazakhstan,
and Turkmenistan of the Declaration on building the Trans-Caspian gas
pipeline through Russian territory have for Europe’s energy policy?

[James Sherr] It shows again that energy is about politics and geopolitics,
not just economics. Is it in the economic interests of Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan to sell oil and gas to Russia for well below the price that they

will get on the oil market? Do they doubt that the Trans-Caspian pipeline
would be built if they became partners in this project?

It is political issues that have pushed these economic issues to the
background.

[1] First, to this day the Kazakh elite is apprehensive about those in
Russia who believe that the natural border of Kazakhstan runs to the south
of northern Kazakhstan and not to the north of northern Kazakhstan. They
never want Russia to have an opportunity to undermine their sovereignty.
This is the first factor.

[2] Second, the overwhelming priority for both Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan
is internal, governmental, and regional security. The democracy agenda of
the US and the EU have made them very apprehensive.

The Western reaction to the events in Andijan in 2005 was a shock to all the
countries in Central Asia, who were becoming closer to the West. Only Russia
can guarantee the regime security of the Central Asian states.

[3] The third issue concerns President Nazarbaev: the EU’s energy policy.
He sees that the EU has a tough energy strategy on paper but does nothing to
implement it. So why should the Russians when even the EU is too preoccupied
to do so?

[The Day] What can this new pipeline mean for Ukraine?

[James Sherr] If President Nazarbaev asks these questions and answers them
in this way, then it is very clear how difficult it will be for Ukraine to
behave differently.                                         -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/181826/
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8.    POLITICAL NOISE WILL NOT DERAIL THE ECONOMY

RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: By Lars Rasmussen, Analyst
Danske Research, Danske Bank, Denmark, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

[1] On April 2, 2007, President Viktor Yushchenko decided to dissolve the
parliament and sign a presidential decree ordering early parliamentary
elections to be held on May 27, 2007.

[2] Early elections will clear the air, but it will not really change the
composition of the parliament as the governing coalition will retain power.

[3] We argue that the political noise in the short run will not derail the
economy and the ongoing upswing, as to a large extent it is driven by a
strong global demand for Ukrainian export goods and an undervalued
currency.

[4] We would welcome it if Orange Viktor and Blue Viktor could approach one
other and go forward with reforms putting Ukraine on track for EU and WTO
membership, as this could help unlock the long-term enormous growth
potential in Ukraine.
                                        THE DEADLOCK
                       Yushchenko’s political maneuvering
Ukraine has been caught in a political deadlock since April 2, when
President Viktor Yushchenko decided to dissolve the parliament and sign a
presidential decree ordering early parliamentary elections to be held on May
27, 2007 . Later this was postponed to June 24, 2007.

The deadlock follows a long struggle for power since the parliamentary
elections last summer between President Yushchenko and the parliament
with the pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

A bitter fight between the Coalition of National Unity, which is the name
of the governing coalition consisting of the Party of Regions, the Communist
Party, and the Socialist Party, and the opposition, consisting of Yulia
Tymoshenko’s Electoral Bloc and Yushchenko’s own Our Ukraine party,
and the Civil Movement “People’s Self-Defence,” often resulted in the
opposition boycotting the parliament’s sessions.

The parliament and cabinet of ministers appealed to Ukraine’s Constitutional
Court (CC) that Yushchenko’s decree was unconstitutional and that it should
be annulled. The CC has decided to spot any considerations on the legality
of Yushchenko’s decree. The president subsequently cancelled the decree and
the parliament might be reassembled as early as tomorrow.

Yesterday President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovych had a long
meeting trying to sort out the stalemate between the presidency and the
government. After five hours of talks we did not receive any statements from
either party, but we got some indication from the Tymoshenko bloc that an
election might be postponed further to September.
                                     WHERE ARE WE NOW?
The impasse will probably continue until the parliamentary elections are
held . and then nothing will change as polls show that the Coalition of
National Unity will most likely retain its majority in the parliament.

We would welcome either party approaching the other and together go forward
with continued reforms, a democratisation process, a reduction of corruption
and red tape barriers and an improvement of private property rights as this
would move Ukraine closer towards WTO and EU.
                 ECONOMIC BOOM FIRMLY ENTRENCHED
                      Political noise will not derail the economy
The Ukrainian economy is currently in good shape, growing 7-8% y/y spurred
by healthy demand and high and rising prices for its export goods . the
most important export sectors in Ukraine are the agricultural and metal
sectors . and cheap import prices on gas from Russia (roughly half of the
market price).

Public finances are fairly healthy (low public debt) and consumer spending
is very strong. The risks to the economy look more to be overheating rather
than a slowdown due to the political noise. Heavy borrowing and rising
consumer spending has lead to rising inflation, which now is above 10% y/y .
this calls for some monetary tightening.

Remember that the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) is pegged to the USD and that
it currently is somewhat undervalued due to the weak dollar and rising
productivity.

In fact looking at the pegged currencies in Central and Eastern Europe,
they all show signs of rising inflation, as the monetary tightening coming
through appreciation in floating currencies is not allowed.

We therefore welcome recent indications from the Ukrainian central bank that
it (from 2010) could allow more flexibility in the UAH. Note that the NBU is
still concerned about the political jitters, and it will only gradually
loosen its grip on the currency to avoid speculative attacks and financial
turmoil.
                                       SUMMING UP:
The economy is moving in the right direction and Ukraine has enormous
growth potential in the longer run – if the politicians manage to unlock it.
Politically we are not really moving in these days.

 
         WE NEED REFORM, REFORM, AND REFORM                         
The deadlock will not really be resolved by parliamentary elections, but we
do not think that the political noise can derail the economic upswing, which
right now seems firmly entrenched. Of course in the longer run we need
political stability and we need reform, reform, and reform.       -30-
————————————————————————————————–
NOTE: This report has been prepared by Danske Research, which is part
of Danske Markets, a division of Danske Bank. Danske Bank is under
supervision by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
Lars Rasmussen, laras@danskebank.dk
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http://mediaserver.fxstreet.com/Reports/a61c7417-1c76-4d4d-bcd5-64906de44414/5eb60dc7-cd88-4327-a2a5-147a76d7dd52.pdf
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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9.  DENMARK COMPANY TO BUILD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 
                         PLANT IN UKRAINE FOR $145 MILLION

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 24, 2007

KYIV – Denmark’s Rockwool International A/S plans to build a plant in
Ukraine to produce insulation materials with a capacity of 110,000 tonnes
of products per year.

According  to  the  company’s quarterly report, the cost of the new
plant is estimated at 800 Danish kroner (about $145 million). The plant
is to be launched in the first half of 2010.

Rockwool  is  the largest producer of mineral wool in the world and
has 23 companies in Europe, North America and Asia, employing over 7,400
people.

Rockwool sales in 2006 reached 1.5 billion euros, up 12% from 2005.
Poland,  Ukraine  and  Belarus accounted for 7% of the company’s overall
sales last year.

This  year  Rockwool  Ukraine  expects  growth in sales of 10%-20%,
compared with 11.9% last year.

In  total,  according  to  company  estimates,  sales of insulation
materials  in Ukraine in 2006 will amount to 6 million – 8 million cubic
meters.                                                      -30-
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10. ROMANIAN COMPANIES EXPAND TO EASTERN EUROPE
                 Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine & Moldova – The Main Attractions.

By Andrada Cristea, Nine O’Clock, Bucharest, Romania, Wed, May 23, 2007

BUCHAREST – Romanian businessmen have ever more daring expansion plans.
The companies do not hesitate to allot millions of EUR in order to tap the
markets from Eastern Europe which have a very big development potential, as
it arises from an analysis of the daily ‘Adevarul.’

The western market attracted brands locally recognized such as Rompetrol in
France and Jolidon in Italy. Thus, Jolidon began its expansion in 2000 by
opening a representation in Budapest, which continued with a new
inauguration in 2001 in Milan.

Presently, the group has 55 shops in the main cities and commercial centers
from our country, three in Budapest and 35 in Italy.

In the domain of electronic and electrical household appliances, the firms
want to develop, because the Romanian market is stagnating.

The company Flamingo already has 27 shops in countries like Bulgaria,
Croatia, The Netherlands, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and
Montenegro. But the people from Flamingo want to continue their
development in Romania.

Domo, the third retailer in this domain on the Romanian market, expands in
the cities along the Danube. Domo has already shops in Sofia, Ruse, Varna,
Plovdiv, Haskovo, Sliven, Sumen, Jambol.

The target for the present year is to have 12 shops in this area. Although
the leader of this market with a quota of 26 per cent, Altex is only a local
brand that has not yet crossed the border.

Shifting to another sector, Serbia and Bulgaria are the first two countries
in which the group Mobexpert has chosen to develop, the first reason being
the proximity.

“The specific of these markets is very close to that of Romania, and thus we
can capitalize some of the experiences that we had here,” declared Dan Sucu,
chairman of the group.

The latter says that the level of investments in shops is around EUR 7 M, of
which five for the hypermarket from Sofia and EUR 2 M for the two shops
Mobexpert Office from Sofia and Belgrade. Sucu announced that he wants
also to expand to Ukraine and Moldova.

In its turn, Romstal wants to impose itself on the relevant market from
Eastern Europe, an objective for which it has budgeted tens of millions of
Euro.

“In 2007, the development plans of Romstal will focus on the expansion to
two new highly competitive markets: Bulgaria and Serbia,” declared Ovidiu
Henter, Executive General Manager Romstal.

Presently, the retail network of the company has 157 selling points, of
which 120 in Romania, 19 in Ukraine, 17 in the Republic of Moldova, and one
in Italy, with a total surface of 70,000 sq m.

The new owner of the company ‘La Fantana,’ the investment fund Innova
Capital, announced that the plans for 2008 include the listing on the
markets neighbouring Romania and the listing with BVB.

“In 2007 we intend to prospect the markets from Ukraine, Hungary and
 Greece,” declared Cristian Amza, founder and General Manager of the group
‘La Fantana.’                                       -30-
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http://www.nineoclock.ro/index.php?page=detalii&categorie=business&id=20070522-509943
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