AUR#920 Dec 19 Microsoft Is Number 100; Magisters; Horizon Capital; EPAM Systems; Currency Freefall; Economic Meltdown; Pinchuk & Clinton;

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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
MICROSOFT IS NUMBER 100
 
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 920
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  MICROSOFT BECOMES 100th MEMBER OF U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., Thu, Dec 18, 2008
 
The Lawyer.com, London, United Kingdom, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
Horizon Capital, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 3, 2008
 
EPAM Systems, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Wednesday, December 3, 2008
 
5UKRAINE: NEW DEMOCRATIC COALITION AGREEMENT SIGNED
Unblocked Parliament Passes Anti-crisis Measures
BYuT Newsletter Inform, Issue 97, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, December 18, 2008
 
6UKRAINE’S CURRENCY MAY FALL 24% MORE AS IMF LIMITS INTERVENTION
By Michael Patterson and Laura Cochrane, Bloomberg, Friday, December 19, 2008
 
By Timothy Ash, Head of CEEMEA research, Royal Bank of Scotland
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, December 18 2008
 
The Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, December 18, 2008
 
9UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER DEMANDS CHIEF BANKER’S DISMISSAL OVER CURRENCY CRISIS 
UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 1410 gmt 18 Dec 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thursday, December 18, 2008 
 
Inter TV, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 1800 gmt 18 Dec 08 
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Thursday, December 18, 2008  
 
11 UKRAINE’S ECONOMY CAN START GROWING AGAIN NO EARLIER THAN IN 2010
Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12WEBSITE PUBLISHES UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT’S REPORT ON ECONOMIC SITUATION
“Crisis Through the Eyes of Bankova, Classified Materials”

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 15 Dec 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Monday, December 15, 2008
 
IMF Press Release No. 08/271, Washington, D.C. Wed, November 5, 2008
Ukrainian banking sector hit hard by financial crisis
Commentary & Analysis: By Pavel Korduban, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol 5, Issue 240
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, December 17, 2008 
 
Associated Press (AP), Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 18, 2008
 
Holodomor is a Ukrainian invention
By Conor Sweeney, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec 19, 2008
By Maria Kulczycky, Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, December 6, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Washington, D.C., Friday, December 19, 2008
By Zoreslaw Bayduk, Voice of America (VOA), in Ukrainian, Wash, D.C.,  Tue, Dec 2, 2008 
English translation by Borys Potapenko, Detroit, Michigan, AUR, Wash, D.C., Dec 18, 2008
 
HOLODOMOR OF 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE “MY PEOPLE WILL LIVE FOREVER”
Address by H. E. Valdus Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania
International Forum to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor, Kyiv, Ukraine
President of Lithuania Website, Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, November 22, 2008  
Review & Outlook Editorial: Wall Street Journal Europe, NY, NY, Tue, Nov 25, 2008
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1
 MICROSOFT BECOMES 100th MEMBER OF U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 18, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions, has been approved as the 100th member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), according to its executive committee, in an announcement on behalf of the entire USUBC membership, issued at the USUBC annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.  USUBC celebrates the opportunity to name one of the world’s best known corporations, Microsoft, as the 100th member.   

 
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) provides software, services and solutions around the globe that help people and businesses realize their full potential.   Microsoft has 94,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA.
 
Dorothy Dwoskin, Senior Director, Global Trade Policy and Strategy, Microsoft, Washington, D.C., spoke on behalf of Microsoft at the USUBC annual meeting. She said, “Microsoft is very pleased to join USUBC as the 100th member and looks forward to working with USUBC for the advancement of the Ukrainian business community.  Microsoft is very committed to the Ukrainian market and continues to expand its program in Ukraine.”
 
MICROSOFT SET UP UKRAINIAN SUBSIDIARY IN 2003

Microsoft established its Ukrainian subsidiary in 2003. Since then, the local office grew from 5 to 150 employees developing a local partner ecosystem and raising awareness of Microsoft products in Ukraine.   A recent study by IDC found that for every dollar of revenue that Microsoft earns in Ukraine, local IT companies earn an average of US $26.33.  Microsoft Ukraine has been named one of Ukraine’s best employers in 2007.
Microsoft is an active member of the Ukrainian society. It actively engages with the education and business communities to foster local innovation, to use technology to improve education in schools, and to educate teachers, parents and students about child safety online.
 
MICROSOFT A SUCCESS STORY FOR AMERICAN-UKRAINIAN BUSINESS RELATIONS

“Microsoft is a success story for American-Ukrainian business relations. We work closely with the emerging private sector in Ukraine as well as the Ukrainian government on a variety of issues, from software legalization to e-government.   Membership in USUBC is a key to building these relationships.”
said Eric Franke, General Manager of Microsoft Ukraine.
 
Franke continued stating, “Working together with USUBC, Microsoft will continue to help build Ukraine’s  local software economy and looks forward to advancing intellectual property rights protection in Ukraine.” 
 
Mr. Franke has headed the Ukrainian subsidiary of Microsoft since December 2007. Prior to joining Microsoft, he ran several telecommunications companies in Ukraine in Russia, including UMC (now MTS Ukraine), Komstar and GTS.  Additional information about Microsoft can be found on its website: http://www.microsoft.com.
 
PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO CONGRATULATES MICROSOFT & USUBC 
 
USUBC received several letters of congratulations about USUBC’s rapid membership growth the last two years and about Microsoft being named the 100th member from leaders in Ukraine and the United States. 
 
Letters were read at the USUBC annual meeting from Ukrainian leaders Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine; First Lady of Ukraine Kateryna Yushchenko; Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko; First Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasiunyk; Minister of Economy Bohdan Danylyshyn, and Oleh Shamshur, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States.  From the U.S. side letters were received from the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor and from U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Carlos M. Gutierrez. 
 
Oleh Shamshur, Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S., read the letter from President Victor Yushchenko to those who attended the USUBC annual meeting in Washington.  President Yushchenko said in his letter to USUBC President Morgan Williams, “Let me congratulate the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council [USUBC] and you personally on the occasion of 100th member joining USUBC, the Microsoft Corporation. 

“I would like to stress that the active efforts taken by USUBC fill with real substance the strategic partnership between our countries. Effective work in the trade and investment sector of a number of organizations, USUBC included, has contributed to a significant growth in U.S.-Ukraine trade.
“I hope that, assisted by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukrainian and American businesses will expand.”
Sincerely yours, Victor Yushchenko
 
LETTER FROM UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER YULIYA TYMOSHENKO 
 
“Thank you for your commitment to investment in Ukraine.  Your perseverance in working in our country, in some cases over many years, is critical to Ukraine’s economic and commercial development.  The engagement of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) promotes the right business practices, and indeed, along with the European Business Association and the US Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, has been instrumental in the design and implementation of BYuT’s “Contract with Investors,” Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko wrote in her letter to USUBC of December 16, 2008.
 
“While the road toward transparency and rule of law that supports sustainable investment is a difficult one, especially in a global environment with such grave challenges, you have my commitment to continue to work to this end.  Our work in government is to create the framework so that all foreign and domestic investors can operate in confidence. 
 
“Despite the political and financial turmoil, we have accomplished significant gains in refunding long overdue VAT refunds, progressed in our efforts to adopt a Joint Company Stock Law and we expect that the OPIC dispute will be resolved in the coming days.  But we have much more work to do.
 
“I would ask that each and every one of you work in a transparent manner that conforms to Ukrainian and U.S. law, and in accordance with the best practices of the American business culture.  Ukraine can gain much from your engagement; as American business has so often done globally.  I ask you to lead by example in your business practices.
 
“Again, my compliments to USUBC on its growth and my wishes for its continued success.”
UKRAINE’S FIRST LADY KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO 
 
Ukraine’s First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko wrote in her letter to USUBC, “I am delighted to hear that Microsoft has become the 100th member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.  Your dynamic and dedicated leadership has more than quadrupled membership in the Council over the past two years.
 
We are proud that many prominent American businesses who have been active on the Ukrainian market are now expanding their work and that others are
entering Ukraine’s economy at such a fast pace.
 
U.S. companies have been in the forefront not only in investment in Ukraine, but have also served as excellent examples of corporate responsibility. We are grateful for their extensive involvement in so many different areas of Ukraine’s development, and their commitment to improving the lives of Ukrainian citizens. 
 
We encourage all the USUBC members to continue to invest in Ukraine’s future by supporting our health, education, cultural and arts organizations.  This is particularly necessary now, as the less fortunate sectors of our society particularly feel the brunt of the world and national financial crisis.” Respectively, Kateryna Yushchenko
 
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IVAN VASIUNYK
 
“On behalf of the Government of Ukraine I would like to congratulate the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and its President Mr. Morgan Williams on admitting the 100th members into its ranks.  Since its inception thirteen years ago USUBC emerged as one of the most active and consistent promoters of closer business ties and trade relations between Ukraine and the U.S., ” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasiunyk wrote in a letter to USUBC dated December 17. 
 
“The recent substantial growth in its membership is a sign of the Council’s recognition within the U.S. business community as an effective advocate of its interests. USUBC also plays an instrumental role in facilitating contacts between the U.S. businesses and Ukrainian government officials.  This allows to identify and realize key investments and trade opportunities benefiting both the U.S. and Ukraine.
 
“Currently Ukraine is embarking on a major modernization project in order to prepare its major cities to host the soccer games of Euro Cup in 2012.  This requires active involvement of private investors willing to help the Government of Ukraine build new infrastructure objects, including airport terminals, roads and hotels.  USUBC can play its part by informing its members about the Government’s business plans for EURO-2012 and by engaging
major businesses into their implementation.” 
 
“I would like to wish USUBC and all of its members further success in your activities and hope that you will sieze on all of the new lucrative opportunities Ukraine has to offer.”   Sincerely, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Ivan Vasiunyk  
 
MINISTER OF ECONOMY OF UKRAINE BOHDAN DANYLYSHYN
“On behalf of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and on my own behalf let me congratulate the USUBC [U.S.-Ukraine Business Council] on the occasion of its 100th member, Microsoft,” the Minister of Economy of Ukraine, Bohdan Danylyshyn, wrote in his letter to USUBC on December 17, 2008. “Being an active player in the international business life, USUBC has successfully enrolled for cooperation a large number of world-famous companies.”
Minister Danylyshyn continued, “I would especially like to emphasize the role of the USUBC in organizing of the 1st Bilateral Business Forum held within the framework of the founding session of the Ukraine-U.S. Council on Trade and Investment in October 2008 in Kyiv [Ministry of Economy and USTR]. We note with pleasure that close ties are being formed between the business circles and governments of our countries that open new avenues for investment and trade. 
 
“I hope that USUBC’s extensive experience in developing cooperation between government institutions will be handy in the run-up to the Council’s 2nd session due in 2009 in Washington.
 
“Such cooperation is ample evidence of the soundness of the initiative launched by the Ministry of Economy aimed to attract U.S. companies’ representatives for cooperation with government interagency commissions and work groups responsible for decision-making in the area of entrepreneurship and business environment improvement. 

“I am convinced that mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukrainian and American financial and business circles will deepen the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States, expand investment both by a broader presence of US businesses on Ukrainian markets and of Ukrainian businesses on the U.S. markets.

Let me express my deep gratitude to all USUBC members and you personally for your support and wish you every success in strengthening the friendly ties between our countries.”  Respectfully yours, Bohdan Danylyshyn, Minister of Economy of Ukraine
 
AMBASSADOR OF UKRAINE TO THE U.S. OLEH SHAMSHUR
 
The Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S., Oleh Shamshur, wrote on December 12 to USUBC, “I am pleased to congratulate you on this important occasion — announcement of Microsoft as 100th member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council [USUBC].  This certainly shows the effectiveness of the work that USUBC has done to promote Ukrainian-American business relations.
 
“In comparatively short time USUBC was able to increase its membership up to five times becoming by far the strongest and largest Ukraine related trade association outside Ukraine.
 
“I am confident that the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council will continue to successfully promote and strengthen U.S.-Ukraine economic cooperation.  I would like to wish you all the best, good luck in realization of new projects, creative energy, and, of course, many new members.
 
“Using this opportunity I would also like to send all  members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council my warmest wishes for a Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!”  Sincerely, Oleh Shamshur
U.S. AMBASSADOR WILLIAM B. TAYLOR 
 
U.S. Ambassador William B. Taylor wrote in his December 15 letter to USUBC, “Congratulations on welcoming Microsoft as the 100th member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.  Companies join your organization because they see real benefits – timely information on the Ukrainian business climate and effective advocacy for reform and action. 
 
“Your engagement not only helps U.S. companies achieve a real level playing field in the Ukrainian market, but the real results that your organization delivers help improve the overall business and investment climate here. 
 
The U.S. Embassy appreciates your engagement and looks forward to continuing our joint efforts on behalf of the U.S. business community in Ukraine.  Now more than ever, we need to support it.”  Sincerely, William B. Taylor, Ambassador
 

U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE CARLOS GUTIERREZ
 
Paul B. Dyck, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce attended the USUBC annual meeting and read the following letter to USUBC from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez:  “On behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council to the 2008 annual meeting.
 
“Council members represent some of American’s finest companies and play an important role in transforming Ukraine’s economy.  The Council’s success in more than tripling its membership during the past two years attests to the interests that Ukraine holds for U.S. businesses. I congratulate the Council on the addition of Microsoft as its 100th member, and I support your efforts to build trade and investment ties between the United
States and Ukraine.
 
“I wish each of your members success in Ukraine and urge your continued partnership with the Department of Commerce as we work together to strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian relations.”  Sincerely, Carlos M. Gutierrez
 
USUBC MEMBERSHIP NOW STANDS AT 100
 
“USUBC is very pleased to have an important U.S. and international company such as Microsoft as the 100th member” said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as president of USUBC.  “USUBC has grown very rapidly during the past 22 months and now has a membership base which allows USUBC to provide its members such as Microsoft with a full-time operation and a significantly expanded program of work,” according to USUBC President Williams who is director of government affairs, Washington, D.C. office, for SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group. 
Microsoft is the 50th member to join in 2008, and the 78th new member since January of 2007. USUBC membership has quadrupled in the past 24 months, going from 22 members in January of 2007 to 100 members in December of 2008.   USUBC added one new member per week in 2008. 
 
Aitken Berlin LLP law firm in Washington, D.C., along with its subsidiaries, the Homeland Security Industries Association (HSIA) and the Global Development Law & Consulting Group (Global Development), became the 99th member of USUBC. 
 
Mars Ukraine was USUBC member ninety-eight. Mars, Incorporated is a family owned company, with six industry leading business units – Chocolate, Petcare, Food,  Drinks, Symbioscience and now Wrigley Gum and Sugar. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars, Incorporated operates in more than 79 countries.
 
Pratt & Whitney-Paton (PW-P), an American-Ukrainian joint venture between the Pratt & Whitney division of the United Technologies Corporation, USA, and the E. O. Paton Electric Welding Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine, was USUBC member ninety-seven.  

The new USUBC members in 2008 include MaxWell USA, Baker and McKenzie law firm, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, Dipol Chemical International, MJA Asset Management, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, DLA Piper law firm, EPAM Systems, DHL International Ukraine, Air Tractor, Inc., Magisters law firm, Ernst & Young, Umbra LLC., US PolyTech LLC, Vision TV LLC, Crumpton Group, Standard Chartered Bank, TNK-BP Commerce LLC, Rakotis, American Councils for International Education, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, International Commerce Corporation, and IMTC-MEI.
 
Additional new USUBC members in 2008 are: Nationwide Equipment Company, First International Resources, the Doheny Global Group, Foyil Securities, KPMG, Asters law firm, Solid Team LLC, R & J Trading International, Vasil Kisil & Partners law firm, AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines, Anemone Green Capital Limited, ContourGlobal, Winner Imports LLC (Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Porsche), 3M, Edelman, CEC Government Relations RZB Finance LLC (Raiffeisen), IBM Ukraine, SoftServe Inc., The Washington Group (TWG), SE Raelin/Cajo, Inc., AnaCom, Inc., Pratt & Whitney-Paton, AGCO/Massey Ferguson, Zurich, Mars Ukraine, Aiken-Berlin LLP/HSIA and Microsoft. 
 
The complete USUBC membership list and additional information about USUBC can be found at: http://www.usubc.org.
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2.  UKRAINE’S MAGISTERS LAW FIRM MAKES BELARUS MERGER

The Lawyer.com, London, United Kingdom, Monday, December 8, 2008

LONDON – Ukrainian law firm Magisters is to launch its first office in Belarus, merging with local law firm BelJurBureau. The deal will take the
newly-combined firm past the 130-lawyer mark and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2009.

In total, 12 lawyers will join Magisters, led by partners Anna Rusetskaya and Denis Turovets in the Belarus office. Turovets will become managing
partner of ­Magisters’ Belarus office. He said the country’s underdeveloped legal market makes it ripe for new entrants to take advantage of an increase
in work. BelJurBureau’s lawyers work in practice areas such as dispute resolution, real estate, intellectual property and corporate.

“The Belarus market is one of the most attractive and financially stable in the region,” said Turovets. “The government’s recent privatisation plans
make it a lucrative emerging market for early entrants, as compared with more mature markets in the region such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.”

Magisters is familiar with the merger process and has aggressive expansion plans. In 2006 the firm merged with Pravis Reznikov Vlasenko and Partners in
Ukraine and Legas Legal Solutions in Russia. Oleg Riabokon, managing partner of Magisters, said: “We intend to replicate in Belarus the success of our
mergers in 2006.”

This year has been one of the firm’s most active. ­Magisters opened a three-lawyer office in Georgia at the start of the year and hired its first
chief operating officer, Jason Bruzdzinski, from ­US-funded research centre Mitre Corporation.

Magisters also hired two new partners for the Moscow office from Rosneft and Russin & Vecchi and brought in UniCredit board member Sergey Karaganov as senior adviser.

The legal markets of ­Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have witnessed a ­flurry of activity at the end of 2008. Austrian law firm Schönherr has
launched three new offices in the region, opening bases in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

Schönherr will take over the Prague and Warsaw offices of Herbert Smith’s German ally Gleiss Lutz in the new year, while simultaneously launching its
own office in Bratislava.

Gleiss Lutz opened its Prague and Warsaw offices in 1992 and 1998 respectively. Four of its partners partners, two from each office, will join
Schönherr as part of the transfer deal.

In Prague partners ­Martin Nedelka and ­Martin Kubánek will move over to the Austrian firm, while in Warsaw partners Pawel Siekierzynski and Przemyslaw Pietrzak will join ­Schönherr together with counsel Torsten Bogen.

Rainer Loges, managing partner of Gleiss Lutz, said: “To be successful as a law firm, you regularly have to review your strategy. We opened our offices
in Prague and Warsaw ­initially to help our clients enter these markets. Today, our clients’ demands have changed and we believe they’ll be better
served by aligning our Eastern European offices with a firm whose strategic focus is on CEE.”

Earlier this year, Linklaters decided to scrap its offices in Bratislava, Buch­arest, Budapest and Prague, ­creating spin-off firm ­Kinstellar, led by
Linklaters’ former CEE head Jason Mogg. In September, Bird & Bird made its first foray into the region, simultaneously launching a series of offices in
Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. LINK: http://www.thelawyer.com/item/135993

 
NOTE:  Magisters law firm is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), www.usubc.org.
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3.  HORIZON CAPITAL INVESTS $15 MILLION INTO UKRAINIAN FOOD RETAIL CHAIN ‘FRESH’ 

Horizon Capital, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 3, 2008

KYIV – Horizon Capital, a private equity manager focused on mid-cap investments in Ukraine, today signed an equity investment agreement to invest US$15 million in equity in Evrotek Group PLC, the holding company for a recently formed Ukrainian food retail chain operating under the trade name Fresh, alongside International Finance Corporation (IFC). This investment will enable the company to further expand its modern retail chain.

“This investment will help us expand the chain geographically and build our market share. While the sector is growing rapidly, it is still fragmented and segments of the population and geography are very underserved by modern retail formats like Fresh,” said Mikhailo Veselsky, Evrotek’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Evrotek Group PLC entered the food retail chain market in 2006 and is one of Ukraine’s newest retail store chains. “Fresh” has two standard formats: supermarket (1300 m2) and mini-hypermarket (2400 m2).

It intends to develop presence in large Ukrainian cities (population in excess of 100,000). Fresh has opened eight stores to-date, operating in Evpatoriya, Kerch, Kryviy Rih, Kherson and Rivne. The company’s expansion plan foresees a total of 58 stores and 3 logistics centers by 2010.

Mark Iwashko, Co-Managing Partner of Horizon Capital said: “This investment is an excellent opportunity not only to back an entrepreneur with a solid track record of success, but also to invest in one of the most interesting and fast growing sectors in Ukraine. Ukraine has consistently been ranked at the top of the AT Kearney Global Retail Development Index due to the size and potential of the market and the low level of modern retail penetration. ”

This investment was made on behalf of Emerging Europe Growth Fund (“EEGF”), a $132 million fund. This is a new investment in a portfolio of 11 companies, of which almost 40% are in the consumer/retail segment. Horizon Capital invested on behalf of EEGF from 2006 to 2008 focusing on the fastest growing mid-market companies in Ukraine, Moldova and the region.

ABOUT HORIZON CAPITAL: 
Horizon Capital (www.horizoncapital.com.ua) is a private equity fund manager that originates and manages investments in mid-cap companies with outstanding growth and profit potential in Ukraine and the region.

 
Currently, Horizon Capital manages three funds, Emerging Europe Growth Fund II (EEGF II), Emerging Europe Growth Fund (EEGF) and Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), with over $600 million under management.
For additional information please contact: Tetyana Bega, Investor Relations Manager, Horizon Capital, +380 44 490 5580; +380 44 490 5589
e-mail: tbega@horizoncapital.com.ua
 
NOTE:  Horizon Capital is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
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4.  EPAM SYSTEMS RANKED 5TH AMONG FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES IN NEW JERSEY

 
EPAM Systems, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Wednesday, December 3, 2008

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – EPAM Systems, Inc. was honored as the 5th within the fifty fastest growing companies ranking of New Jersey businesses by NJBIZ, the state’s weekly business journal. EPAM Systems (www.epam.com), is a leading provider of software engineering and IT Outsourcing (ITO) services with delivery centers in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

New Jersey and its vicinity is home to over 20 percent of the FORTUNE 500® company headquarters, with more than 1,100 multinational firms from over 40 nations. This region is often referred to as “the epicenter of the nation’s largest business corridor.” EPAM, founded and headquartered in Lawrenceville, has made the New Jersey’s Finest list for the 3rd consecutive year, and was honored by NJBIZ on November 17th at their annual award ceremony.

“We are proud to be among the winners of this prestigious award. EPAM’s technology expertise and global presence that help companies outsource critical IT needs in a timely and cost-effective manner — in our case, worldwide — have served us, and our clients, well. Congratulations to all the winners! We are committed to continue bringing value to our clients, while growing EPAM Systems in this difficult business environment,” stated Arkadiy Dobkin, EPAM President and CEO.

ABOUT NJBIZ
NJBIZ, New Jersey`s only weekly business journal covering the entire state, was founded in 1987. The publication has received numerous statewide and national awards including the 2006 Most Improved Award from the Alliance of Area Business Publications.  NJBIZ is owned by Journal Publications Inc., a multi title publishing and events company based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, www.njbiz.com.

ABOUT EPAM SYSTEMS 
Established in 1993, EPAM Systems, Inc. is the leading global software engineering and IT consulting provider with delivery centers throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Headquartered in the United States and serving clients worldwide, EPAM provides software development and IT related services through its more than 4,500 professionals deployed across client delivery centers in Russia, Belarus, Hungary, and Ukraine.

EPAM’s core competencies include complex software product engineering for leading global software and technology vendors, as well as development, testing, maintenance, and support of mission critical business applications and vertically oriented IT consulting services for global Fortune 2000 corporations.

EPAM is ranked among the top companies in IAOP’s “The 2008 Global Outsourcing 100” and in “2007 Top 50 Best Managed Outsourcing Vendors” by Brown-Wilson Group`s Black Book of Outsourcing. Global Services Magazine recognized EPAM in its “2008 Global Services 100” list as No.1 company in the “Emerging European Markets” and included EPAM into the global Top 10 “Best Performing IT Services Providers”.

For further information contact Alena Busko, Marketing Manager, EPAM Systems , Delivering Excellence in Software Engineering, Office phone: +1 (609) 613-4031, ext. 50474, E-mail: press@epam.com, Website: www.epam.com.
 
NOTE:  EPAM Systems is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), www.usubc.org.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.org
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
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5.  UKRAINE: NEW DEMOCRATIC COALITION AGREEMENT SIGNED
Unblocked Parliament Passes Anti-crisis Measures

BYuT Newsletter Inform, Issue 97, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, December 18, 2008

KYIV – Yesterday, representatives of the three blocs that comprise the recently announced Coalition of National Development, Stability and Order signed an official coalition agreement. This rubber stamps the formation of the democratic coalition, announced last week in the wake of Volodymyr Lytvyn’s appointment as Chairman (speaker) of Ukraine’s parliament.

The speaker appointment unblocked parliament, enabling lawmakers to pass measures to address the global financial crisis that is ravaging the country’s
economy.

The new coalition agreement was signed by Ivan Kyrylenko, the parliamentary leader of the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT), Borys Tarasyuk, deputy leader of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence (OU-PSD) bloc and Ihor Sharov, faction leader of the centrist Lytvyn bloc.

The formation of the new coalition has removed the need for BYuT and the Party of Regions to forge an alternative national unity coalition – something BYuT’s leader, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, hinted at unless the pro-presidential bloc returned to the fold.

The first hurdle in ending the deadlock was overcome when a majority of lawmakers in each bloc signed their intent to form the new coalition. A
simple majority is all that is needed to activate such an agreement. In the case of OU-PSD, 37 of its 72 lawmakers committed their bloc.

 
With BYuT and the Lytvyn bloc already backing the coalition, its birth was announced last Wednesday, only moments after Mr Lytvyn was elected speaker by 244 lawmakers in the 450-seat assembly.

The president, has been lukewarm to hostile in his reception to the coalition. It is believed that he would have preferred a grand coalition or
pre-term elections. However, speaking to the BBC, he conceded the need to end the deadlock. “I agree that the political crisis doesn’t help solve the
economic crisis. We need to find a way out of the political crisis,” said Mr Yushchenko.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was more upbeat. “I am convinced that this marks the end of the political crisis and will provide a strong platform
from which to address the effects of the severe global financial and economic downturn,” she said.

No Parliamentary Election Before Presidential Election
Under the terms of the coalition agreement the parties have agreed that there should be no parliamentary election before the presidential election,
which is slated for 2010. Yulia Tymoshenko will also stay on as prime minister. “I see no legal grounds for substantial changes in the government
and, first and foremost, the prime minister,” said Mr Lytvyn.

Yesterday, Mr Kyrylenko hinted at cabinet changes. “We agreed that we will not change the government, but there will be changes in government,” he
said. Details of a reshuffle are expected in the next few days.

Warm Response from International and Financial Communities
News of the coalition was welcomed by the international community. The European People’s Party – Europe’s largest centre-right political movement –
congratulated the president and premier.

The banking world also praised the new coalition, but tempered its enthusiasm due to the gloomy outlook for Ukraine’s economy. The country is
struggling to cope with a falling hryvnia, which is down nearly 60 percent this year against the dollar, and a slump in industrial output, down 29
percent in November.

Tim Ash, head of emerging markets research for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa for the Royal Bank of Scotland said, “The fact that a
new coalition has been formed is positive, but the new administration and Ukraine more generally still faces huge challenges.”

The restoration of a working parliament to pass legislation to satisfy International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions was a top priority for BYuT’s
leadership. Last Thursday parliament passed the required spending cuts and on Friday approved measures aimed at softening the impact of the crisis.
These included increased funding for pensions, deposit insurance and conditions that prohibit banks from unilaterally amending the conditions of
loans.

Parliament also passed the first reading of a law aimed at defending Ukraine’s domestic car industry. The legislation, which is compliant with World Trade
Organisation and EU rules, provides domestic manufacturers with local advantages without penalising foreign imports.

Despite tough conditions, the IMF suggested that Ukraine is now on course to receive its second tranche of the $16.4 billion bail-out loan announced in
October. So far, Ukraine has received its first tranche amounting to $4.5 billion. In return the government scrapped plans to increase public spending.

Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, the head of the IMF mission to Ukraine, expressed her backing for the National Bank of Ukraine’s policies to let the market
determine exchange rates and to recapitalise major banks.

We appreciate that we are in for a bumpy ride,” said Viktor Pynzenyk, Minister for Finance, “but we now have a parliament that functions and a
government that will not shirk from making the tough decisions needed to make progress.”
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6.  UKRAINE’S CURRENCY MAY FALL 24% MORE AS IMF LIMITS INTERVENTION

By Michael Patterson and Laura Cochrane, Bloomberg, Friday, December 19, 2008

NEW YORK – Ukraine’s currency, down 50 percent against the dollar since June, may weaken another 24 percent as the International Monetary Fund
restricts the former Soviet nation from halting the slide, Commerzbank AG says.

“It’s like a freefall, a falling knife,” said Michael Ganske, head of emerging markets in London for Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest bank. “The central bank has limited ammunition and ability and willingness to support the currency.”

The IMF’s $16.4 billion bailout package, agreed to last month, requires Ukraine to move toward a flexible exchange rate and prohibits reserves from
falling more than 4 percent by yearend from about $32.8 billion now. While the pact permits intervention to stem “disorderly” swings, Ganske said such
a decision “would be stupid.”

Ukraine’s central bank raised its refinancing rate to 18 percent yesterday from 17 percent to arrest the hryvnia’s decline after it fell as much as 18 percent in two days. The currency pared its decline yesterday to 9.1 per dollar from as weak as 9.78 as policymakers sold reserves and said a rate above 9 was “unacceptable.” At the start of the year, the dollar bought 5.04 hryvnia.

President Viktor Yushchenko threatened to fire central bank employees this week and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko demanded National Bank of Ukraine Governor Volodymyr Stelmakh’s dismissal. The country’s ruling coalition collapsed in September amid disagreement between Yushchenko and Timoshenko, before forming again this month.

STEEL STOCKS
Ukraine’s benchmark PFTS stock index has dropped 74 percent this year, the third-steepest retreat among 22 so-called frontier markets tracked by MSCI
Inc. Mariupolsky Metallurgical Plant, Ukraine’s largest steel company by revenue, slid 92 percent in trading in Kiev.

The extra yield investors demand to own Ukrainian government bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries has increased more than nine times this year to 25.86
percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI+ indexes. That compares with an almost three- fold increase in the main emerging-market
index to 7.09 percentage points.

“I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of the central bankers right now,” said Alexander Morozov, chief economist in Moscow for HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank. “There’s not much of a way out.”

Yushchenko’s economic aide Roman Zhukovskyi said this week that 60 percent of foreign-currency loans and mortgages may go into default because of the
decline.

DEFAULT SWAPS
Ukraine, with $105 billion of corporate and state debt, has the fourth-highest credit risk worldwide, credit-default swaps show. The cost to safeguard Ukraine’s bonds against default jumped more than 13 times this year to 31 percent of the amount of debt protected, behind Ecuador, which defaulted last week, at 59 percent, Argentina, which reneged on $95 billion of bonds in 2001, at 46 percent, and Venezuela at 33 percent, CMA Datavision figures on Bloomberg show.

Credit-default swaps, contracts conceived to protect bondholders against default, pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a company fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

Ukrainian companies need to repay as much as $4.1 billion this month as lenders refuse to refinance the debt amid the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, according to Dmitry Gourov, an economist focusing on Ukraine at UniCredit SpA in Vienna. Dollar loans made up 53 percent of credit issued by Ukrainian lenders as of Sept. 30, the central bank Web site says.

SHRINKING PRODUCTION
The economy, which relies on steel for 40 percent of exports, is weakening after production dropped 48.8 percent in November and prices tumbled.

European hot rolled coil, the benchmark steel product, fell 47 percent since August to $425 a metric ton, according to data from U.K. industry publication Metal Bulletin.

The economy, which has expanded at an average annual rate of 7 percent since 2000, may shrink 5 percent next year, Oleksandr Shlapak, the president’s
deputy chief of staff, said last month.

Industrial production shrank by a record 28.6 percent in November as steel, machine building and oil refining slumped, after a 19.8 percent decline in
October, the Ukrainian Statistics Office said last week.

“This has to be stabilized now, and the only way to stabilize the situation is probably by tweaking the IMF program with more money and changing the
conditions to reflect these new more difficult realities,” said Simon Johnson, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and former chief economist of the IMF.

IMF PROGRAM
The IMF has allocated $4.5 billion to support the country’s banks, increase deposit insurance and boost funding for unemployment benefits, according to
the last statement on the fund’s Web site, dated Nov. 5. Before the IMF deal, Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy drained $3.4 billion in November and $4.1
billion the previous month to manage the currency’s decline.

The IMF “doesn’t want to see its money wasted on defending a currency level that isn’t sustainable,” said Nick Chamie, head of emerging-market research
at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

Balazs Horvath, the IMF representative in Kiev, said in an interview yesterday that the government needs to stick to the agreement “to keep the
exchange rate from collapsing.”

The central bank will sell U.S. currency at a rate of 8.7 hryvnia per dollar today, 4.5 percent below the market exchange rate, Finance Minister Viktor
Pynzenyk said in televised remarks yesterday. Central banks intervene when they buy or sell currencies to influence exchange rates.

‘STRICTER POLICY’
“We will have a stricter monetary policy,” Stelmakh, the central bank governor, said yesterday. The central bank is calling for a law to force exporters to convert part of their revenue into hryvnia and a ban on household loans in foreign currencies, Petro Poroshenko, head of the central bank’s council, said late yesterday in Kiev.

“The central bank has asked exporters to sell their dollars, but in this situation exporters are reluctant to convert because they see a further  dip,” said Mandar Jayawant, a managing partner at Singapore-based Frontier Investment & Development Partners, which manages private-equity funds in frontier markets and doesn’t have investments in Ukraine.

“The sovereign is in a position where it shouldn’t necessarily default on its debt,” Kevin Daly, who manages about $4 billion in emerging-market bonds
at Aberdeen Asset Management in London, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television yesterday. “It clearly looks like it will continue to devalue.”

NOTE: To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Patterson in London at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net; Laura Cochrane in London at
lcochrane3@bloomberg.net. LINK: http://www.bloomberg.com:80/apps/news?pid=20601083&sid=aKk9xKdL10ts
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7.  UKRAINE STRATEGY UPDATE: CURRENCY FALLS TO A NEW LOW

 
By Timothy Ash, Head of CEEMEA research, Royal Bank of Scotland
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, December 18 2008

LONDON- The UAH remains under the cosh this morning, pushing to a new low of UAH9.5:US$1; the currency has now lost half its value since the summer. It also sets a gloomy backdrop for other “commodity” currencies in the region, including the rouble and the tenge.

President Viktor Yushchenko met with the governor of the NBU, Volodymyr Stelmakh, and the finance minister, Viktor Pynzenyk, at the airport in emergency session this morning: No they were not all getting the first flight out of town, albeit they may well have been tempted.

The NBU has announced a series of measures which it aims hopes will stabilise the situation including a hike in its refinancing rate to 12%, and offering to hold regular FX auctions, to sell US$ at UAH8.95 today and UAH8.7 tomorrow. The NBU also suggested that it plans to limit UAH liquidity to stem the flight into UAH. We doubt that the NBU’s rate hike will end there.

 
Yushchenko is also threatening to withdraw the licenses of banks that have undertaken gross violations and “currency speculation”. Eighteen banks are being investigated: note that similar pressure has been exerted on banks in both Russia and Romania lately, and reflect old habits of administered means of controlling the situation.

All this will just heap more pressure on banks, which are evidently seeing hefty outflows from their deposit base, in additional to the sizeable outflows reported by the NBU in the period to October (over 9% loss in UAH deposits in October alone). Banks will need recapitalising which overall will boost the cost of any bank bailout.

The NBU’s attempts to control the rate of depreciation of the UAH have evidently not been helped by Naftogaz’s need to cover outstanding external
liabilities to Russia; the company confirmed today that it has transferred US$800m to Russia to cover gas payments.

 
Gazprom is claiming that Ukraine will not now pay for gas delivered in November and December, and has suggested that it is unable to make direct deals with Ukraine; in effect Russia is saying that it still wants to work with intermediaries (e.g. RosUkrEnergo), its preferred option.

Yushchenko appears to be trying to take a leading role in managing the current crisis, which reflects the presidential control over the NBU, with
the governor being appointed by the president. Yushchenko has threatened personnel changes at the NBU in recent weeks, apparently aimed at Stelmakh.

 
At times like these though coordination between the central bank and the government needs to be strong, and Yushchenko has not helped matters by
threatening to re-ignite a political scrap within his own party, and with BYuT, by calling for the dismissal of those members of his own party who voted to back the coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko.

Not sure what the IMF can do from herein on in, given they already came up trumps with a new US$16.5 billion stand-by arrangement only a month or so
ago. This just goes to show that securing an IMF programme in itself is not a guarantee that a country can quickly emerge from crisis, remember Russia
in 1998, which went into a default-cum-devaluation just one month after securing a big ticket IMF programme.

Also not sure that the UAH’s demise changes the big picture story on Ukraine that much though. The currency correction will surely massively cut the
current account deficit, albeit the economy will suffer a huge contraction in 2009. The sovereign’s external liabilities falling due next year are
still modest, and should still be covered given the level of FX reserves.

 
Many corporates/banks will need to restructure some of the US$35-40bn in debt which falls due next year. Foreign banks will be asked sooner, rather than later to stump up more cash to recapitalise their local operations in Ukraine, given the likely extent of reserve draw-down underway. We assume still that they will roll the debts of their local subsidiaries in Ukraine.

NOTE FROM AUR: This material is for information only. It is not an offering document and its terms are qualified in their entirety by the final transaction documents in respect of the securities described therein. Certain transactions mentioned may give rise to substantial risks and may not be suitable for all investors.

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8.  ECONOMIC MELTDOWN PROMPTS PROTEST IN UKRAINE

 
The Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, December 18, 2008

KIEV, Ukraine: The currency has lost half of its value, tens of thousands face layoffs, residents in the capital are bundling up in winter clothes as the heat sporadically goes out and Russia is threatening to cut off gas supplies. It’s going to be a tough winter in Ukraine.

“I could understand if this were a village, but for the capital of a European country not to have heating, water and gas — how can this be?” asked Tamara Osipova, one of about 1,000 angry protesters outside the Kiev mayor’s office on Thursday.
This ex-Soviet republic has been one of hardest hit by the global financial crisis. Expert warn that the discontent visible Thursday could turn into mass opposition to a government paralyzed by political infighting. “This is all going to boil over next year,” political analyst Ivan Lozowy said. “Desperate people are capable of desperate actions.”
 
After years of robust economic growth, Ukraine has sunk into a deep recession, pressured by a drastic fall in the exports of steel, the core of the economy. A lack of confidence in the banking system, coupled with constant political turmoil under President Viktor Yushchenko has spurred a sharp devaluation in the national currency.
The hryvna has lost a half its value since the global credit crunch hit in September, and closed at trading 9.8 to the dollar Thursday, down from 4.9 in September.
Valentyna Ivanova, a 68-year-old retired engineer, said she could not survive on 700 hryvna a month — half of which she will spend on utilities after fees were raised. “When I come home I should eat something, shouldn’t I? And how will I buy food?” she asked at the protest.
Yushchenko has forecast the economy will contract up to 10 percent by the first three months of 2009.
Many Ukrainians also borrowed dollars to buy apartments and cars. Yushchenko’s economic adviser, Valentyn Zhukovsky, predicted that up to 60 percent of them may default. That will prompt some banks to confiscate property, while others may go bankrupt, experts say.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has accused the central bank of speculating on the hryvna and pocketing profits and demanded the bank’s head be fired.
Tens of thousands of workers, meanwhile, face layoffs at steel mills and other industries. Industrial output shrank nearly to 30 percent in November, from a year earlier, the sharpest drop in a decade.
A recent nationwide poll of 2,000 people found that 16 percent of respondents were ready to take to the streets if life doesn’t improve. The study by Gorshenin’s Kiev Management Problems Institute had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. Adding to the tensions are Russia’s threats to cut off natural gas supplies next year if a $2 billion debt isn’t paid by Jan. 1.
Ukraine has a fraught history with mass protests. The 2004 election that catapulted Yushchenko to the presidency saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets to protest electoral fraud in what came to be known as the Orange Revolution.
But unlike those mainly peaceful protests, experts say, the current mood is gloomier and actions could get violent. Many Ukrainians feel betrayed and blame authorities for aggravating the crisis by their infighting and corruption.
The anger is palpable on Kiev’s snow-covered streets, where activists have been rallying for weeks. Last week, several districts saw hot water and heating cut off or disrupted, bringing back memories of the bleak post-Soviet years.
Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky and his longtime foe Tymoshenko have blamed each other for the funding shortages that triggered the disruptions.
Osipova, a 69-year-old retired music teacher who survives on a 800-hryvna monthly pension, has little use for any politicians. “They are all bandits,” she said.
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9.  UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER DEMANDS CHIEF BANKER’S DISMISSAL OVER CURRENCY CRISIS 

 
UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 1410 gmt 18 Dec 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thursday, December 18, 2008 

KYIV – Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko has accused the leadership of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) of staging the collapse of the national currency hryvnya to benefit businessmen close to the presidential staff.

Speaking during a briefing broadcast live by Ukraine’s state-owned UT1 television on 18 December, she said that selected banks were making fortunes, using large monetary assistance from the central bank to buy up dollars, fuelling demand for foreign currency and bringing the hryvnya’s rate down.
“A handful of people under the protection of the president, the National Bank governor and artificial banks set up specifically for the purpose, are making fortunes worth billions,” Tymoshenko said.
“What is happening at the National Bank today is a banal crime, which should entail criminal cases,” Tymoshenko said, vowing to pass the material in her possession to prosecutors, to the parliamentary ad-hoc investigative commission and to international money-laundering watchdogs.
Tymoshenko said the plunge of the hryvnya (from 5 to 10 hryvnyas per dollar) was a result of large-scale speculation and had no economic footing: “The rate of the hryvnya demonstrated by the National Bank today has no economic reasons whatsoever behind it. None whatsoever. The maximum possible rate amid the crisis is 6.57, according to government estimates.”
DEMAND FOR CHIEF BANKER’S DISMISSAL 
Tymoshenko demanded the dismissal of the NBU governor, Volodymyr Stelmakh, saying President Viktor Yushchenko was the only person who could initiate it in accordance with the constitution.
“The president bears full responsibility for the activities of the governor of the National Bank and for the activities of the National Bank and, beyond a shadow of doubt, is able to influence, via personnel decisions, everything that happens in the National Bank. No-one but the president is capable of doing that,” she said.
She demanded that Yushchenko submit a request for parliament to sack Stelmakh: “I would like to appeal to the president of Ukraine to stop covering things up, to stop earning on such things and to draw a line under this. I also demand that the president should urgently submit a request for the dismissal of the head of the National Bank and should oust the whole board from the National Bank.”
She called on Stelmakh to put a stop to currency speculation, warning of the dire consequences of the sharp depreciation of the hryvnya. “The Ukrainian budget has become hostage to these large-scale speculative operations. It cannot be planned for next year because the hryvnya’s rate at 10 hryvnyas per dollar in essence makes it impossible to sell natural gas, which we import, on the domestic market, because the gas price cannot double.
 
“It makes it impossible to buy nuclear fuel. It makes it impossible to buy medicines for people, practically all of which are being imported. It makes it impossible for people to repay their foreign-currency loans, which they have taken out for their consumer needs, some with their flats as collateral,” Tymoshenko said.
“I would like the president and his team, if it could be called that, the National Bank governor, (presidential secretariat head Viktor) Baloha, the deputy head of the National Bank, Mr (Anatoliy) Shapovalov, who sits on all those operations, to finally stop and think about this country. I know what they are after today. They want, first, to create a situation where the worse it is the better, to make life impossible for the government and to the country, as a result, making a good profit in the process. I stand radically against such behaviour,” she said.
Tymoshenko warned she will resort to radical steps if the president fails to act on her demand for Stelmakh’s sacking: “Both the government and I personally as prime minister, as well as the faction representing our political force in parliament, will take rather radical steps against this situation.
 
“If the president fails to request the dismissal of the National Bank governor, I am convinced that we will raise this issue in the Supreme Council, we will ask the Prosecutor-General’s Office to report on these areas, and I say it once again, we will bring all the shady deals being pulled off in the National Bank of Ukraine under the president’s full protection to the attention of the global bank community.”
“I hope that the YTB (Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc) faction in the Supreme Council won’t allow any issues to be considered in the Supreme Council until the governor of the National Bank delivers a report and until the president requests the dismissal of the National Bank governor. From this moment all the compromises are over and we will act in an absolutely legal, open and public way.”
Tymoshenko expressed indignation at alleged threats from the National Bank to deprive the government of any funds at all if she went ahead with her criticism of the bank governors.
ATTACK ON TYCOON FIRTASH 
Tymoshenko spoke at length on what she described as large-scale speculative operations by commercial banks under the cover of the presidential secretariat. She launched a particularly scathing attack on the co-owner of the Swiss-registered gas intermediary RosUkrEnergo, Dmytro Firtash, and the Nadra bank, which his financial group recently purchased.
“All the refinancing, in essence, the redistribution of all the 40bn hryvnyas among Ukraine’s commercial banks, happened in such a way that the main financial flows were focused on individual banks which were part of a system of large-scale speculative operations with the hryvnya rate. I could name several banks, but I would like to dwell on just one. The thing is that the 40bn hryvnyas, or to be more exact 40,275m, was meant to support, among other things, the real sector of the economy.
 
“But nearly one-fifth of the money was channelled to a bankrupt bank, which was bought for peanuts; 7.1bn hryvnyas was channelled to the Nadra bank, where the money was accumulated and then, at the rate of the National Bank, which was always 1-1.5 hryvnyas lower than the market rate, that bank was buying up foreign currency.
 
“There are several more banks involved in the same operations. In effect, a bank that was bought for approximately 60m dollars, got financial resources issued by the Nati! onal Bank to an amount of 7.1bn. This is a scandal for the bank system. This is a scandal for the National Bank,” Tymoshenko said.
“In order for banks like Nadra, behind which is the notorious Mr Firtash, who is also behind RosUkrEnergo, which has ruined this country’s gas market – in order for them to make as much money as possible, it is now necessary to collapse the rate of the dollar. So such special banks as Nadra, among others, are now keeping almost 1bn dollars, waiting for the time when the hryvnya collapses and becomes the cheapest possible.
 
“As soon as the hryvnya hits bottom, such banks will pour their foreign currency onto the market and will buy hryvnyas. A strengthening of the hryvnya is planned then, after they have bought up dollars. One such operation by Nadra bank alone, behind which is the presidential administration as well, by the way, will fetch half a billion dollars. These are frightful operations, and these profits are in effect made on Ukraine’s sorrow and crisis.”
Tymoshenko said that she had heard from bankers that “the kickbacks” allegedly received for refinancing assistance from the central bank ranged between 3 and 7 per cent.
She said she would not tolerate any more currency speculation: “I would like to ask the Audit Chamber and the prosecutor-general to urgently check everything that is going on in the Nadra bank and the other banks listed on this sheet, which are speculatively ruining the hryvnya’s rate. Not a single country would tolerate this.
 
“Unfortunately, in Ukraine both politicians and people and the bank system for some reason intend to put up with this. I won’t tolerate this as prime minister. One month is enough to reach an understanding and wind up all these shady deals.” Tymoshenko gave assurances that the government would find ways with the present currency and economic crisis.
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10.  CHIEF BANKER ACCUSES UKRAINIAN PM OF SHIFTING BLAME FOR ECONOMIC CRISIS

 
Inter TV, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 1800 gmt 18 Dec 08 
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Thursday, December 18, 2008  

KYIV – [Presenter] Volodymyr Stelmakh [governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, NBU] has rejected all accusations from [Prime Minister] Yuliya Tymoshenko [who today accused Stelmakh of aiding and abetting currency speculation, which saw the rate of the dollar increase from five to 10 hryvnyas over a few weeks].

 
He believes that the Cabinet of Ministers is trying to shift the blame for this crisis in the Ukrainian economy onto the bank system. The NBU board asks all officials, politicians and journalists to be maximally responsible about spreading untrue information, which provokes panic among the population. The board recalls that this is punishable under criminal law.
[Stelmakh, in Ukrainian] I could cite the example that right after that statement the rate of the dollar increased, that is, the currency’s value halved. Now they are talking about rates of 14 or more hryvnyas per dollar. A very difficult situation has now taken shape in the Ukrainian economy. The incompetent performance of the government in managing the economy has led to the situation that as early as this December this country may find itself facing internal default.
 
At the present time the government has no funds to pay salaries, pensions, social allowances, or to honour external and internal obligations. The board of the NBU is alarmed by the present-day situation where the prime minister has overstepped the line that no one had ever overstepped before. It is an especially cynical fact that ordinary people may become a weapon in the hands of the government in its political wars. It is they who bear the brunt of the destabilization of the bank system.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) www.usubc.org.
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
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11.  UKRAINE’S ECONOMY CAN START GROWING AGAIN NO EARLIER THAN IN 2010
 
Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 16, 2008

KYIV – Ukraine’s economic growth could restart no earlier than 2010,according to experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
According to a press release of Kyiv-based Dragon Capital Investment Company, which refers to the participants of a phone conference organized by
the company, IMF and World Bank experts are considering two scenarios of development for the macro-economic situation in Ukraine.

According to the IMF forecast that was taken as the basis for its credit program for Ukraine,the development of the global recession in 2009 will cause a considerable worsening of trade conditions for Ukraine and a further cut in the share of loans in the private sector of the country.

“The fund expects a 3% fall in real GDP next year,mainly, due to the worsening of exports. Inflation will fall slightly due to the rise in the price of imported gas and the weakening of the hryvnia,” reads the release, citing IMF Mission Head Ceyla Pazarbasioglu.

The fund’s experts said that by late 2009,inflation will fall to 17% from the 25% expected in late 2008. In addition,the deficit of the current account of the country will considerably decline next year,partially due to the adaptation of the economy to new conditions. They said that the worsening in indicators of the financial account would be a restricting factor for the balance of the current account.

IMF does not rule out that the situation with the international economy will improve in Q2,2009 and in 2010 the global economy and the Ukrainian economy may show growth.

“Starting from 2011,the pace of growth in the Ukrainian economy may return to its potential level of 5.5-6%,and inflation will fall to 5-7%. A decline
in the pace of inflation will be a key conditions for provision of the real weakening of the hryvnia,” the fund experts said.

They also did not rule out that in 2010 the deficit of the current account would be small,partially due to the weakness of the economy and the restricted foreign financing,and will be moderate later,which would allow the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to boost reserves in this period.

“The fund’s program plays a very important role in the Ukrainian economy,although other international finance organizations should apply a lot of efforts [as well]. I’m glad to say that they’re doing this,in particular,the Word Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In addition,the private sector should play an important role,that is companies and banks,” reads the release, citing IMF Permanent Representative in Ukraine.

 
He said that IMF representative during meetings with representatives of the Ukrainian private sector received encouraging news on the readiness of the
foreign financial institutions that own Ukrainian banks to prolong the commitments of their daughter structures that are to be fulfilled in 2009.
Pazarbasioglu said that Ukrainian authorities are ready to actively cooperate with the IMF.

The World Bank lead economist for Ukraine Martin Raiser said that the bank shares the IMF’s views on the macro-economic situation in Ukraine. “We have own independent macro-economic model,but I’m glad to say that we have very similar forecasts on the scenarios of development in Ukraine to those of the IMF,” he said.

He said that the key task of the World Bank in Ukraine is provision of financial aid to the budget if there is a rise in the cost of borrowing on the global and domestic capital markets,as funds will be needed to refinance payments on the foreign debts of the Ukrainian government.
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12.  WEBSITE PUBLISHES UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT’S REPORT ON ECONOMIC SITUATION
“Crisis Through the Eyes of Bankova, Classified Materials”

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 15 Dec 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Monday, December 15, 2008

KYIV – A Ukrainian website has published an unattributed report which quotes President Viktor Yushchenko’s report on the economic situation in Ukraine.

According to the website, the report was prepared by the presidential secretariat for Yushchenko’s 11 December meeting with the parliamentary faction of the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence bloc which took place behind closed doors. The report predicts that Ukraine will soon deplete its gold and currency reserves, which will lead to the country’s default in 2009.

The following is the text of the report entitled “Crisis through the eyes of Bankova. Classified materials”, posted on the news and analysis Ukrayinska
Pravda website on 15 December; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

President’s office believes economy to get much worse soon Our editorial board has obtained [President] Viktor Yushchenko’s presentation for Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence [propresidential faction OUPSD]. Statements that the Ukrainian economy really has been affected by the crisis are not an invention of politicians. In the near future the economy will face an even deeper recession than the one for which Ukrainians had been prepared by the government.

Ekonomichna Pravda’s editorial board has obtained Viktor Yushchenko’s presentation, which he gave to the OUPSD faction during a meeting on
Thursday, 11 December. Statements that Ukrainian economy has been actully affected by the crisis are not an invention of politicians.

According to economists from the [presidential] secretariat, in the near future the economy will face an even deeper recession than the one for which
Ukrainians had been prepared by the government.  First, the head of state presented the figures which have been on everybody’s lips not for some time
now.

Decline began in August, with industry suffering most
According to the president, the real decline in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) began in August. Aggregate production in September saw a
decline from 10.9 per cent (August on August 2007) to 5.5 per cent (compared to September 2007). In October, for the first time since 2000, the State
Statistics Committee registered a 2.1-per-cent fall in GDP compared with the same month in the previous year.

By way of comparison, it saw a rise of 2.2 per cent in October 2005, which was the worst year of the recent period. Indices in 2006 and 2007 were 9 per
cent and 7 per cent.

Industry was affected most of all. It moved into the “red” back in August: the decline was 0.5 per cent. It equaled already 4.5 per cent in September
and dropped to 19.8 per cent in October. This is exactly why industry was the first to announce large-scale redundancies and review of employees
salaries.You can read about the current situation at the country’s largest enterprises in the series of materials called “Oligarchs during the crisis”
on Ekonomichna Pravda.

It is not difficult to guess that the decline will continue. According to the president’s forecasts, real GDP will decline in the first quarter from 7 per cent to 10 per cent. Obviously, GDP in monetary equivalent can even not drop, but rise as a result of inflation. But this is no consolation. Prices are growing and the physical volume of goods and services produced is already much lower.

Unfortunately, these forecasts seem to be more realistic than those announced by the government: 2 per cent in annual terms.

Budget will continue to suffer revenue shortfall which began in November

According to president’s economists, planned revenues of the state budget’s general fund will also be exceeded by the end of the year, anyway. Despite the shortfall of almost 7bn hryvnyas [as of 16 December the official exchange rate was 7.6538 hryvnyas per US dollar], the budget will be exceeded by 10.68bn hryvnyas by the end of the year due to the revenues of the first 10 months.

According to Viktor Yushchenko’s estimates, the “shortfall” was 2.1bn hryvnyas in November and will reach 4.9bn hryvnyas in December. There is likely to be another figure in the red due to revenues of the special budgetary fund.

The revenues brought in by the customs service has seen a drastic fall. Of course, it has already exceeded the annual plan for collecting money by 11.3
per cent in the first months of the current year, when people actively purchased cars and imported goods, and gas and oil products were delivered to Ukraine. But this phenomenon was very unhealthy: a country cannot live at the expense of the customs service.

With tax revenues falling, budget cuts will have to be made

This unreasonable “distortion” has already disappeared, but it is not overlaid by revenues collected by the tax authorities: as of 8 December, the
shortfall in the tax collection plan was 8.6 per cent.

Imports, export prices and the country’s economic turnover have all fallen and sums collected in VAT have fallen. One can completely forget about corporate tax for the next two years. Therefore, despite the possible optimism of the 2009 budget, it will be most likely necessary to sequester it – to cut.

Yushchenko forecasts the growth of the budget at the level of 29.4bn hryvnyas instead of the planned 17.9bn due to the “whole” that appeared in
the State Pension Fund.

There are many people who will receive smaller budget allocations even this year. As of the end of November, the negative balance of the state budget
stood at 17.9bn hryvnyas. There are no funds to cover this deficit: the National Bank cannot endlessly buy Finance Ministry’s bonds. There is no
privatization this year, just like there probably will be no privatization next year. Therefore, the only way of balancing revenue and expenditure is
by sequestering the budget as early as this year.

There is one more incentive for not spending budget funds: they will be necessary for “filling in gaps” in the Pension Fund. As of the end of
November it was in the “red” by the tune of 15.8bn hryvnyas. But the Pension Fund gets a share of its funds from the state, and so the real “shortfall”
comes to 29.4bn. This gap is unlikely to be reduced in 2009.

Budgeting spending rising as local budgets struggle to fill coffers
But, according to Ekonomichna Pravda’s sources, absolutely conflicting things are taking place at the present time. Everything is being done to spend as much budgetary funds as possible: in particular, the state procurement procedure has been drastically simplified: there is no need now to hold tenders.

Apart from the state budget, local ones have been substantially affected by the crisis. While the average number of unfulfilled budgets used to be not
much more than 50, the number of unfulfilled local budgets could reach 598 out of 691, or see an 85.1-per-cent growth by the end of this year.

The secretariat forecasts an even more misbalanced budget in early 2009. Secured items of expenses alone come to 41.7bn dollars in the first quarter,
while the level of forecast revenues is 36.2bn. So, even without taking unsecured items of budget into account, the deficit will come to at least 21bn hryvnyas.

Therefore, there is a great problem of a double deficit, even if the funds are spent for secured items only, or to put it conveniently, for “social
purposes”. Any support for the economy is even out of the question.

IMF loan too small to cover deficit, but other sources very limited
The total forecast level of the shortfall in state funds is at the level of at least 82.5bn hryvnyas. According to the new dollar rate, this is just over 10bn dollars: this means that only two thirds of the IMF loan will be enough to cover it. Where should funding for these gaps come from? There are only three sources.
 
[1] The first one is privatization. This issue is a very “delicate” one, as all investors will understand that Ukraine faces a shortage of funds. In view of these conditions, no-one will pay a higher price for the Odessa Port Plant or [telecommunications company] Ukrtelekom. Therefore, it is better to sell nothing at all.
 
[2] The second source is borrowing. But no-one will grant more external borrowing than have already been granted. No-one will grant domestic ones either because the banks buying domestic bonds in a banal manner have no money.

[3] Thus, a third source remains: emissions by the NBU [National Bank of Ukraine]. This is banned by legislation, indeed, but there is an easy scheme
for avoiding bans.

To be completely honest, the only source remaining if those three are not used is tightening of belts and the budget not supporting any individuals except for the ordinary population. But this is impossible, as government officials only wish to steal and also to provide funding for purchasing electricity, heat, water and consequently, people’s labour as well. So, it is necessary to seek funds.

Country’s reserves could vanish in 2009
The work of the president’s economists also tackled the issue of the national currency’s devaluation. The hryvnya is among world leaders in this respect. According to this parameter, Ukraine is ahead of countries “more affected by the crisis” like Chile and Indonesia.

Any strengthening of the hryvnya’s exchange rate in such conditions is out of the question. The president’s forecast: the National Bank’s reserves will shrink before one’s very eyes every month. According to the scenario of the head of state, reserves could vanish as such in 2009.

It could be so if all planned debt obligations are returned, and namely, 16.8bn dollars of bank debts, 3.1bn of state debts and 9.8bn of debt those belonging to enterprises and individuals.

The most negative scenario admits that the reserves will be retained above the margin approved in accordance with the memorandum with the IMF: around
30bn dollars will remain as of the end of 2008. But if the loan from the fund is not taken into account, reserves will come to almost 17bn dollars in the “red” as of the end of December 2009. In this case, the NBU’s own hard currency will end in July. The IMF loan of exactly 16.8bn will help to further maintain the zero level. This is the origin of this figure.

Devaluation, default and bankruptcy possible
This means that hopes to spend the IMF money for funding the state’s budget deficit will be buried. But this is also the burial of National Bank’s stories about the appreciation of the hryvnya. According to economic classics, the NBU will have to drastically devalue the national currency as early as in spring.

This will inevitably cause a default of external liabilities, along with the bankruptcy of many banks and enterprises. But this will be the price of
retaining reserves and further price stability in the country.

Obviously, all of this will happen in the worst case scenario: when everyone rushes to get back debts. But judging from the president’s slides, it is realistic. Of course, the state and business will try to restructure debts so as to reduce the outflow of currency. This will mean the mass default of Ukrainian companies and banks.

But there are no doubts that absolutely everyone will be unable to do this. So, a fall in NBU reserves, and quite a substantial one, will take place
anyway. And this will mean greater demand for dollars throughout the whole year. In such conditions the rate will not appreciate.

Pessimistic scenario caused partly by lack of decisive steps
According to the pessimistic scenario of events, Ukraine will face huge state budget and Pension Fund deficits in 2009. The National Bank is also very likely to spend its currency reserves and the funds borrowed from the IMF, and the hryvnya will experience substantial devaluation.

This scenario is not fantastic, but quite realistic. The government and parliament have not taken decisive steps to resolve the major economic problems and have not yet indicated the sources of filling the budget with money.

Therefore, Ukraine is approaching 2009 in an uncertain state and the prospect of total collapse. Of course, reality will to some extent be milder, but at the present time it is hard to say to exactly what extent.

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13.  IMF APPROVES US$16.4 BILLION STAND-BY ARRANGEMENT FOR UKRAINE 

IMF Press Release No. 08/271, Washington, D.C. Wed, November 5, 2008
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for SDR 11 billion (about US$16.4 billion) to help the authorities restore financial and economic stability and strengthen confidence.
 
The SBA request entails exceptional access to IMF resources equivalent to 802 percent of Ukraine’s quota in the Fund, and was approved under the Fund’s fast-track Emergency Financing Mechanism. Today’s approval enables the immediate disbursement of SDR 3 billion (about US$4.5 billion).
The authorities’ program is designed to help stabilize the domestic financial system against a backdrop of global deleveraging and a domestic crisis of confidence, and to facilitate adjustment of the economy to a large terms-of-trade shock. The authorities’ plan incorporates monetary and exchange rate policy shifts, banking recapitalization, and fiscal and incomes policy adjustments.
Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:
“The Ukrainian economy, especially the banking system, is experiencing considerable stress. Falling prices for Ukraine’s major export, steel, have led to a substantial deterioration in Ukraine’s current account outlook.
 
“This terms-of-trade shock, along with existing vulnerabilities—high inflation, relatively low foreign exchange reserves compared with short-term external debt, significant exposure of banks to foreign funding, balance sheet mismatches, and a weak underlying fiscal position—interacted with the drying up of liquidity caused by the international financial crisis and led to a significant slowdown in capital inflows.
“The authorities’ program, supported by the two-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF, aims to restore financial and macroeconomic stability by adopting a flexible exchange rate regime with targeted intervention, a pre-emptive recapitalization of banks, and a prudent fiscal policy coupled with tighter monetary policy. Resolute implementation of the program should help reduce inflation to single digits by the end of the program.
“The flexible exchange rate regime, backed by an appropriate monetary policy and foreign exchange intervention, will help absorb external shocks and avoid disorderly exchange market developments. The recent unification of official and market exchange rates should increase clarity about the regime.
 
Recently imposed exchange controls will be phased out as confidence rebuilds. Plans to accelerate progress towards inflation targeting and enhance the independence of the National Bank of Ukraine are important to provide the nominal anchor under the flexible exchange rate regime over the medium term. In the near term, as liquidity pressures diminish, tighter monetary policy will be necessary to guard against inflation.
“A pre-emptive bank recapitalization will alleviate a potential credit crunch that could prolong and deepen the downturn in economic activity. Decisive measures that have been taken to allocate public funds to recapitalize banks and to facilitate bank resolution processes will ensure that problems can be dealt with promptly.
 
“Increased oversight, more targeted on- and off-site inspections, and improved cross-border supervisory cooperation will help to strengthen the financial system. A proactive strategy to resolve corporate and household debt problems will also be essential to reduce banking sector vulnerabilities.
“A prudent fiscal stance is planned, consistent with both the financing constraint and the need for recession-related social spending. The target of a balanced budget in 2009 will be kept under review in light of the macroeconomic, financing, and revenue outlooks.
 
“The targets would be achieved in part by expenditure restraint, and by a phased increase in energy tariffs. Ukraine’s extensive safety net provides a backstop to protect vulnerable groups, and the program also allows higher funding for unemployment insurance and targeted income support.
“The authorities have developed a strong and comprehensive package of measures to address the challenges Ukraine is facing and the Fund has provided commensurate financial assistance. Decisive measures have already been implemented by the authorities, including the passage of anti-crisis legislation.
 
Moreover, the authorities’ policy framework is sufficiently robust to adapt to evolving circumstances. The commitment of leaders of the main political parties to the core elements of the program increases the prospects for successful program implementation. All these elements give confidence that the program will succeed in stabilizing economic and financial conditions,” Mr. Portugal said.

ANNEX:

RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS 
Ukraine’s economy has grown very rapidly since 2000, expanding by more than 7 percent on average. Initially, this reflected the utilization of large excess capacity and increased productivity supported by a series of structural reforms. Since 2005, growth has been propelled by real domestic demand, namely a credit boom driven by strong capital inflows as well as incomes policies that redistributed large terms-of-trade gains to the population.
By mid-2008, the economy was overheating. Credit growth exceeded 70 percent, CPI inflation exceeded 30 percent, wage growth settled in the 30-40 percent range, a buoyant property market pushed valuations to high levels, and imports surged at an annual rate of 50-60 percent. The current account deficit reached 7 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2008.
The Ukrainian economy also became vulnerable along other dimensions, including high short-term external debt relative to reserves, high exposure of banks to foreign funding, balance sheet mismatches, and a weak underlying fiscal position. Problems came to the fore as commodity prices plunged and the global financial turmoil deepened. These developments have had a considerable impact on the real sector as reflected in the sharp 5-percent contraction of the manufacturing sector in September.
At the same time, a sharp slowdown of external capital flows raised concerns about the ability of banks and corporates to roll over existing credit lines. When the sixth largest bank, Prominvest Bank, was put under receivership, a widespread deposit outflow began with at least US$3 billion—4 percent of deposits—withdrawn during the first three weeks of October.
 
Confidence in the country’s banking system and currency weakened. Intervention by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) mounted in October, reducing reserves from US$38 billion to US$32 billion. In addition to providing liquidity, the authorities also imposed a set of exchange controls to stem outflows.
The combination of weaker demand from Ukraine’s trading partners, falling export prices, rising import prices, and reduced access to international financial markets are expected to weaken growth prospects. Taking these developments into account, Ukraine’s overall financing needs for the next two years are large.
PROGRAM SUMMARY 
The authorities’ program aims at restoring confidence in Ukraine’s macroeconomic and financial stability by addressing the financial sector problems, facilitating adjustment to potentially large external shocks, and reducing inflation. The program is designed to respond flexibly to economic developments.
The program is based on projections that assume a global recession and continued deleveraging in international credit markets in 2009, implying a recession in Ukraine with deteriorating exports, limited external financing and a credit crunch. The projected impact on output—a 3 percent decline—is consistent with Ukraine’s experience under similar circumstances in 2004-05.
 
Under the program, inflation is expected to decrease to 17 percent by end-2009 from the projected 25.5 percent this year. The current account would compress to a deficit level of about 2 percent of GDP from the mid-2008 level of 7 percent.
Assuming a global recovery in the second half of 2009, the Ukrainian economy could be back at its estimated potential growth rate of 5-6 percent by 2011 with inflation at 5-7 percent by late 2011.Current account deficits are projected to remain small in 2010, in light of the weak economy, and to be moderate thereafter, allowing reserves to rise.
The key measures to achieve the objectives of the program focus on the following areas:
 
MONETARY AND EXCHANGE RATE POLICY 
The program supports the implementation of a flexible exchange rate regime to help Ukraine better absorb the external shocks it now faces. Base money will be the near-term anchor for monetary policy until an inflation targeting regime can be implemented. The independence of the NBU will be strengthened, and in the near term, monetary policy will be tightened to help achieve the 2009 inflation objective of 17 percent.
 
The program envisages eliminating exchange rate controls as soon as possible, and measures to improve the operation of the foreign exchange market, including cancellation of the foreign exchange transactions tax and a more transparent intervention policy.
FINANCIAL SECTOR POLICY 
The authorities intend to prepare a comprehensive bank resolution strategy that will include the resolution of problem banks and the recapitalization of viable banks to cushion the real economy from a potential credit crunch. The authorities have already resolved the sixth largest bank, Prominvest Bank, through a sale to a strategic investor.
The program further proposes to ensure that viable banks have access to liquidity; increase deposit insurance coverage to Hrv150,000 (about €20,000) from the current Hrv50,000, which will cover 99 percent of individual accounts; and strengthen the monitoring of banks, including through enhanced cross-border supervisory cooperation.
FISCAL POLICY 
The authorities will adopt a prudent fiscal stance while accounting for the need for recession-related social expenditures, including higher funding for unemployment insurance and targeted income support. Under the program, the deficit would not exceed 1 percent of GDP in 2008, and in 2009, the general government budget would be balanced (excluding bank recapitalization costs).
 
Even with the substantial increase of 0.8 percent of GDP social spending during the recession, these fiscal targets are deemed attainable. However, given the uncertainties on economic prospects and the availability of financing, the authorities are prepared to adjust the targets as needed.
 
To achieve their fiscal targets, the authorities are determined to correct the pricing policies in the energy sector and pursue a more balanced incomes policy by adjusting the minimum wage, pension, and social transfer increases in line with the projected inflation in 2009. These measures will help guard against higher inflation and depreciation.
 
Ukraine has an adequate social safety net in place to protect the vulnerable against adjustment policies, which the authorities are prepared to expand should the need arise. Ukraine joined the IMF as a member on September 3, 1992. Its quota is SDR 1,372 million (about US$2,049 million).
 
LINK: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2008/pr08271.htm
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14.  HARD TIMES FOR UKRAINIAN BANKS, CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN UNDER FIRE

Ukrainian banking sector hit hard by financial crisis
 
Commentary & Analysis: By Pavel Korduban, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol 5, Issue 240
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, December 17, 2008 

Ukraine’s banking system is teetering on the brink of disaster. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $16.4-billion loan (see EDM, November 12) has probably come too late either to restore trust in banks or to prevent the national currency, the hryvnya, from a free fall.

 
Most banks are in serious trouble, and several may soon change hands or collapse. Meanwhile, the chair is shaky under Volodymyr Stelmakh, the chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU, Ukraine’s central bank).

Ukraine’s ailing banks have been using the funds they are receiving from the NBU to buy foreign currency with hryvnyas. The demand for Ukraine’s main export commodity, metals, has fallen dramatically on the world market, so less hard currency is coming into Ukraine.

 
In addition, the Naftohaz Ukrainy national oil and gas company has been buying dollars on the domestic market in order to pay its debt to Russia (see EDM, December 3). All these factors have contributed to a 65 percent devaluation of the hryvnya against the dollar since August.

Ukraine has been among the countries worst hit by the global financial crisis. Key industries such as metallurgy and machine building are laying off workers, and real wages have started to fall for the first time in a decade. This makes it hard for Ukrainians to make payments on loans, many of which, especially mortgages, were issued in dollars.

 
Since most people are paid in hryvnyas, they have to buy dollars with the weak hryvnya and are paying back much more on the loans than they had expected. The share of problem loans in bank portfolios grew to 10.3 percent by December 11 and is continuing to grow (Kommersant-Ukraine, December 16).

Banks have all but stopped issuing loans, and their clients have hurried to withdraw deposits. In October the NBU introduced a moratorium on withdrawals ahead of schedule, which further undermined trust in banks.

 
Some 70 percent of Ukrainians would prefer to withdraw their deposits from banks, and 67.7 percent of them do not trust banks at all, according to a public opinion poll conducted across Ukraine at the end of November by the Kyiv-based Research and Branding Group (Ukrainski Novyny, December 8).

The Ukrainian version of a Russian business daily quoted a source at the NBU as forecasting that over 40 banks may soon collapse (Kommersant-Ukraine, December 16). Two banks, Nadra and Prominvestbank, have apparently been the hardest hit by the crisis.

Nadra reportedly borrowed more from the NBU than any other bank over the past few months (Zerkalo Nedeli, December 13). Although Nadra was taken over in November by RosUkrEnergo gas intermediary co-owner Dmytro Firtash (www.korrespondent.net, November 7), Nadra’s cash machines are empty most of the time, and it has stopped paying depositors money from their accounts.

 
Nadra, which is Ukraine’s seventh largest bank, is among the top five leaders of the mortgage loan market, which is a serious drawback in the current situation (Delo, December 15).

Ukraine’s sixth largest bank, Prominvestbank, was the first to admit to being in trouble. The NBU has been managing it and trying to find buyers for the bank since October 7. It was announced in early November that the Klyuyev brothers, businessmen and deputies from the Donetsk-based Party of Regions, had agreed to buy a controlling stake in Prominvestbank; but they apparently failed to come up with the necessary $120 million. Russian multibillionaire Alisher Usmanov, who had reportedly been interested in the bank, said he would not buy into it (Interfax-Ukraine, December 10).

The NBU reportedly offered stakes in Prominvestbank to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation. A majority stake will most probably be nationalized (Ekonomicheskie Izvestia, December 12; Delo, December 16). The Ukrainian presidential office has urged Prominvestbank’s prompt nationalization, as the bank’s stabilization is one of the IMF’s main conditions (Interfax-Ukraine, December 16).

The new parliamentary coalition, established on December 16 by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, the majority of President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense (NUNS), and the bloc of Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, threatens to remove Stelmakh. On December 8 two NUNS deputies formed a parliamentary investigative commission to examine how the NBU managed its foreign exchange reserve (Zerkalo Nedeli, December 13).

 
Addressing the nation on TV a week ago, Tymoshenko blamed the NBU leadership for the situation on the currency market (Inter TV, December 10). Lytvyn is also in favor of replacing Stelmakh (UNIAN, December 13).

Stelmakh was deputy chairman when Yushchenko chaired the NBU in the 1990s, and the president is now his only supporter. Yushchenko met Lytvyn after his election as speaker on December 9 and warned him against being hasty in ousting Stelmakh, but even Yushchenko’s own trust in Stelmakh is waning.

 
On December 1 Yushchenko’s spokeswoman Iryna Vannykova warned that “the president will have to make difficult personnel decisions” if the NBU failed to stabilize the hryvnya (Zerkalo Nedeli, December 13). According to the Ukrainian constitution, even if the president decides to dismiss the NBU head, the final decision is up to parliament.   LINK: http://www.jamestown.org
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15.  UKRAINE’S VICTOR PINCHUK GAVE UP TO $5 MILLION TO BILL CLINTON’S FOUNDATION

 
Associated Press (AP), Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 18, 2008
  
WASHINGTON – Ukraine’s second-richest billionaire, Victor Pinchuk, gave up to $5 million to former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s foundation. Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, is listed as among the major contributors to Clinton’s charitable foundation. Clinton spoke in 2007 at an annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy, a group Pinchuk founded to promote Ukraine joining the European Union.

Clinton laid out a list of big-ticket donors to his foundation Thursday that is heavy with foreign governments and business interests sure to have a stake in the policies that Hillary Rodham Clinton carries out as secretary of state.

Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments gave at least $46 million, while corporate donors included the Blackwater security firm that protects U.S. diplomats in Iraq.
The contributions went to the William J. Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit created by the former president to finance his library in Little Rock, Ark., and charitable efforts to reduce poverty and treat AIDS. President-elect Barack Obama made Hillary Clinton’s nomination as secretary of state contingent on her husband revealing the foundation’s contributors, to avoid questions about potential conflicts of interest.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation, and other government donors included Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica. The Dutch national lottery gave $5 million to $10 million.
The Blackwater Training Center donated $10,001 to $25,000. The State Department will have to decide next year whether to renew Blackwater Worldwide’s contract to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. Five Blackwater guards have been indicted by a U.S. grand jury on manslaughter and weapons charges stemming from a September 2007 firefight in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square in which 17 Iraqis died.
The foundation disclosed the names of its 205,000 donors on a Web site Thursday, ending a decade of resistance to identifying the sources of its money. While the list is loaded with international business leaders and billionaires, some 12,000 donors gave $10 or less.
Clinton agreed to release the information after concerns emerged that his extensive international fundraising and business deals could conflict with America’s interests if his wife became the nation’s top diplomat. The foundation has insisted for years that it was under no legal obligation to identify its contributors, contending that many expected confidentiality when they donated.
The list also underscores ties between the Clintons and India, a connection that could complicate diplomatic perceptions of whether Hillary Clinton can be a neutral broker between India and neighboring Pakistan in a region where Obama will face an early test of his foreign policy leadership. The former president did not release specific totals for each donor, providing only ranges of giving. Nor did he identify individual contributors’ occupations or countries of residence.
Donors gave Clinton’s foundation at least $492 million from its inception in 1997 through last year, according to the most recent figures available.
After negotiations with Obama’s transition team, Clinton promised to reveal the contributors, submit future foundation activities and paid speeches to an ethics review, step away from the day-to-day operation of his annual charitable conference and inform the State Department about new sources of income and speeches.
Representatives of the foundation, including CEO Bruce Lindsay and attorney Cheryl Mills, and aides to Hillary Clinton met privately Wednesday with staff of incoming Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts and ranking Republican Dick Lugar of Indiana to discuss the foundation’s activities and review a memorandum of understanding drawn up by the Clinton and Obama teams.
The Foreign Relations Committee will hold hearings and vote on Hillary Clinton’s nomination before sending it to the full Senate. Shortly after Obama tapped Clinton, Lugar said he would support her, though he said there would still be “legitimate questions” raised about the former president’s extensive international involvement.
“I don’t know how, given all of our ethics standards now, anyone quite measures up to this — who has such cosmic ties,” Lugar said.
Some of the donors have extensive ties to Indian interests that could prove troubling to Pakistan. Tensions between the two nuclear nations are high since last month’s deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Amar Singh, a donor in the $1 million to $5 million category, is an Indian politician who played host to Bill Clinton on a visit to India in 2005 and met Hillary Clinton in New York in September to discuss an India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement.
Also in that giving category was Suzlon Energy Ltd. of Amsterdam, a leading supplier of wind turbines. Its chairman is Tulsi R. Tanti, one of India’s wealthiest executives. Tanti announced plans at Clinton’s Global Initiative meeting earlier this year for a $5 billion project to develop environmentally friendly power generation in India and China.
Two other Indian interests gave between $500,000 and $1 million each:
_The Confederation of Indian Industry, an industrial trade association.
_Dave Katragadda, an Indian capital manager with holdings in media and entertainment, technology, health care and financial services.
Other foreign governments also contributed heavily to the foundation.
_AUSAID, the Australian government’s overseas aid program, and COPRESIDA-Secretariado Tecnico, a Dominican Republic government agency formed to fight AIDS, each gave $10 million to $25 million.
_Norway gave $5 million to $10 million.
_Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei and Oman gave $1 million to $5 million each.
_The government of Jamaica and Italy’s Ministry for Environment and Territory each gave $50,000 to $100,000.
_The biggest donations — more than $25 million each — came from two donors.
They are the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a London-based philanthropic organization founded by hedge fund manager Chris Hohn and his wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn and dedicated to helping children, primarily in Africa and India; and UNITAID, an international drug purchasing organization formed by Brazil, France, Chile, Norway and Britain to help provide care for HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis patients in countries with high disease rates.
The foundation’s donor list includes numerous overseas business interests.
_Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid gave $1 million to $5 million.
_Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation each gave $1 million to $5 million, as did the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office.
_The Swedish Postcode Lottery gave $500,000 to $1 million.
_China Overseas Real Estate Development and the U.S. Islamic World Conference each gave $250,000 to $500,000.
_The No. 4 person on the Forbes billionaire list, Lakshmi Mittal, the chief executive of international steel company ArcelorMittal, gave $1 million to $5 million. Mittal is a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, Goldman Sachs’ board of directors and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, according to the biography on his corporate Web site.
Pinchuk, with an estimated net worth of more than $5 billion, is listed among $1 million to $5 million donors, including:
_Harold Snyder, director for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the largest drug company in Israel. His son, Jay T. Snyder, serves on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which oversees State Department activities, and served as a senior U.S. adviser to the United Nations, where he worked on international trade and poverty. Jay Snyder donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the foundation.
_No. 97 on the Forbes billionaire list, Ethiopian-Saudi business tycoon Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi.
_Issam Fares, a former deputy prime minister of Lebanon.
_Mala Gaonkar Haarman, a partner and managing director at the private investment partnership Lone Pine Capital.
_Lukas Lundin, chairman of oil, gas and mining businesses including Tanganyika Oil Company Ltd., an international oil and gas exploration and production company with interests in Syria, and Vostok Nafta Investment Ltd., an investment company that focuses on Russia and other former Soviet republics.
The top ranks of Clinton’s donor list include lots of longtime Democratic givers, including some notable for their staunch support of Israel.
_TV producer Haim Saban and his family foundation, who donated between $5 million and $10 million, splits his time between homes in Israel and California. “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” he told The New York Times in 2004.
_Slim-Fast diet foods tycoon S. Daniel Abraham, a donor of between $1 million and $5 million, has been a board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which promotes Israel’s interests before the U.S. government.
_The American Jewish Committee and the United Nations Foundation donated $100,000 to $250,000.
Clinton thanked his donors in a statement for being “steadfast partners in our work to impact the lives of so many around the world in measurable and meaningful ways.”
According to the memorandum negotiated by the foundation and top Obama advisers, Bill Clinton agreed to publish the names of all past and future contributors to his foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
The former president also agreed to step away from direct involvement in the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual charitable conference where businesses and many foreign governments pledge donations to help ameliorate AIDS, poverty and other social ills. He will continue serving as CGI’s founding chairman but will not solicit money or sponsorships.
 
The CGI will cease accepting foreign contributions and will not host events outside the United States. Clinton started raising money for his library before leaving the White House. Over the years, the Clintons repeatedly refused to identify all the foundation donors, and continued to do so during Hillary Clinton’s 2007-08 presidential campaign.
Names surfaced nonetheless. Several news organizations unearthed foreign-government donors, and in 2001, Bill Clinton gave a list of 150 top foundation donors to a House committee investigating his pardon of fugitive businessman Marc Rich, whose ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave the library foundation at least $450,000. 
On the Net: Clinton Foundation contributors: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors
NOTE: Beth Fouhy reported from New York. Associated Press writers Ted Bridis, Jim Drinkard and David Pace in Washington contributed to this story.
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16.  RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE GENERAL DENIES HOLODOMOR 

Says Holodomor is a Ukrainian invention
By Conor Sweeney, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec 19, 2008
 
MOSCOW – A Federal Security Service general on Thursday dismissed as an “invention” a 1930s famine that Ukraine has asked Russia to recognize as genocide after Kiev urged the Kremlin to join in commemorations for millions of dead.

The dispute over the Holodomor, or mass famine, of the 1930s, in which historians believe 7.5 million died, is one of many pitting the Kremlin against Kiev’s pro-Western leaders.

President Dmitry Medvedev stayed away from ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the calamity last month and accused Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko of distorting history for political gain.

“The Holodomor is a Ukrainian invention,” General Vasily Khristoforov, head of the registration and archives department at the Federal Security Service, or FSB, told Interfax. “Ukraine is trying to prove that the 1930s famine was an act of genocide that the Stalinist leadership committed against Ukrainians.

“Archive documents show undeniably that there was no deliberate genocide against the Ukrainian people. We have not found a single directive that would have even hinted about deliberate genocide against the Ukrainian people.”

Researchers, Khristoforov told Interfax, had proven beyond all doubt that a famine in the late 1920s and 1930s did grip various southern Soviet regions.
“Yes, it did, but not only in Ukraine,” he said.

About a dozen countries have recognized the Holodomor, one of three famines to hit Ukraine last century, as genocide. Addressing a gathering last month at the opening of a monument to the famine, Yushchenko denied any suggestion Russia was to blame for the famine. But he called on Moscow to denounce Stalinism and join in commemorations for the dead.

Millions were left to starve in their homes throughout Ukraine as Soviet authorities trying to bring independent farmers to their knees imposed impossible harvest quotas and requisitioned grain and livestock. Soviet authorities denied for decades that the famine had even occurred.

 
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17.  CHICAGO UKRAINIANS CONCLUDE HOLODOMOR 75TH COMMEMORATION
WITH SOLEMN ECUMENICAL GRAND REQUIEM IN CITY CENTER
By Maria Kulczycky, Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, December 6, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Washington, D.C., Friday, December 19, 2008
CHICAGO – Chicago’s legendary wind whipped brisk and cold as bundled groups formed in Washington Park, the historical site for public debate and eloquent discourse that faces Newberry Library, a storied genealogical research center.   People held on to flags, banners, signs and emblems as the wind bent and unfurled them.
 
For weeks, radio stations, leaflets, church bulletins, posters, email postings and other information channels had been inviting, encouraging, and exhorting Ukrainians all over the city and suburbs to come to the city center on Saturday morning, November 15, to join the procession down Chicago’s central avenues heading for Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the vast Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. 
 
The community had planned  a Solemn Ecumenical Requiem to mark the end of the its year-long commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor.
The Soviet-organized and meticulously executed genocide was launched to crush Ukrainian political aspirations and maintain the integrity of the Soviet Union, a strategy that has resonance in current events. 
 
Decades-long secrecy about the tragedy was enforced on victims and reinforced with a blockade on travel and a muzzling of the press, making it the largest unknown genocide of the 20th century.  The anniversary milestone was a link in an international campaign to bring attention to the horrific event and to acknowledge it as a genocide.
As yellow buses disgorged their occupants, many traveling from distant suburbs, the park filled.  Monitors nudged and shaped the crowd into groups by affiliation—parishes, youth groups, civic organizations, Ukrainian schools, the Ukrainian consular staff, and the general public of seniors, parents holding the hands of small children, families with strollers.  Uniforms and embroidery, as well as black ribbons, adorned many participants.
The procession stepped from the part and  into the wide street cordoned by police patrol cars.  It moved slowly along the route to the cathedral.  In the lead were young men and women in Ukrainian folk ensembles carrying a birch cross festooned in black ribbon.  Three thorn wreaths came next, then a 10-foot blue and yellow banner, followed by a coffin, draped in black with a large, stark lettering “10,000,000 VICTIMS.” 
A large group of clergy from Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox parishes followed the coffin.  Then came Ukrainian and American flags carried by veterans.  The procession of orderly, somber participants stretched for city blocks as the park emptied. 
 
The mood grew exuberant  as the marchers looked forward and back and realized what had happened!  They saw friends, colleagues, and neighbors, but also at faces they didn’t recognize.  They were all united, making a statement with their large ranks, their number calling attention of passersby:  We ask the world to recognize our genocide, our national tragedy.
As the procession crossed State Street and moved to the stairs of the cathedral, the massive central doors stood closed, cold, forbidding.  Then the bells began to intone a rhythmic, grim chant, a funereal peal.  The procession stopped, stood for interminable minutes, buses and traffic piling up on either side.
Suddenly the great doors were flung open, and within, four hierarchs stood in full religious raiment, inviting the marchers inside.  The cross, wreaths, coffin, flags and clergy entered and proceeded down the main aisle as the marchers, 2,000 by some counts, silently streamed into the cavernous sanctuary.
Nestor Popowych, chairman of the 75th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, welcomed the assembled crowd and introduced Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, for whom Holy Name Cathedral is the home parish.  This was the first public event at the cathedral since a long renovation had kept the main sanctuary shut to services.
The cardinal came to the lectern and cited St. Paul, remarking on the ecumenical nature of the service.  He inveighed against all totalitarian regimes, particularly the communist terror that destroyed millions. Next, the new bishop of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bishop Daniel (Zelinsky) addressed the crowd. 
 
An impassioned speaker, he quoted Shevchenko’s poem, “The Plague,” noting how it foreshadowed the horror and suffering of Holodomor of 1932-33.  His shout, “10 million!” rang out through the cathedral, to the 65-foot rafters.  “We have to teach our succeeding generations.  And we can never forget!” he charged.
Archbishop Alexandr (Bykovetz) of Detroit, a survivor of Holodomor, spoke in Ukrainian about the loss of future generations, both in numbers and in potential, “the Sheptytskys, Mazeppas, Vyhovskis, Petluras, and Bandery,” as well as the artists, musicians, writers, and other lights of the community that were extinguished before they could be born.
The hierachs returned to the altar and the requiem service began: lyrical, melodic incantations in the Kyivan style of the Panakhyda (requiem) sung by a choir collected from the best voices of the numerous Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic parishes throughout the region. 
 
It was conducted by Dr. Vasyl Truchly, noted for his deep and comprehensive study and propagation of knowledge about Ukrainian liturgical music, assisted by Michael Holian, a conductor, musician and teacher.  The music resonated through the sanctuary, supported by the responses of the bishops and the 20 priests surrounding them, and melding the spirits of the assembled crowd.
Photographers, reporters, and cameramen from the local NBC and ABC affiliates and Ukrainian media wandered through the cathedral, capturing the uplifted faces, the rows of Holodomor survivors in the front pews, the youth organizations in uniforms, and the sleeping baby in a mother’s lap.
Bishop Richard (Seminack), head of the Western Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy and pastor of St. Nicholas Cathedral, concluded the service with a moving recollection of the ritual of baking bread that his grandmother practiced, “blessing and praying at each step, picking up a crumb that fell to the floor and kissing it,” he recalled.  Bread is holy to Ukrainians, and this bread, the basis of their diet, was taken away from them, he noted.  Their resulting starvation created a wound that hasn’t healed through succeeding generations.
Bishop Richard thanked all the participants who so massively participated in the solemn ceremony, concluding right at high noon. The crowd filed out, a little more noisily now.  All had been visibly inspired by an event that will rank among the most memorable and affirming expressions of a community message in the city’s history.

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18.  SITE OF FUTURE MONUMENT TO VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR BLESSED IN WASHINGTON  
 
By Zoreslaw Bayduk, Voice of America, in Ukrainian, Washington, D.C.,  Tue, Dec 2, 2008 
English translation by Borys Potapenko, Detroit, Michigan, AUR, Wash, D.C., Dec 18, 2008
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A ceremony took place in Washington, D.C. to bless the site of the future monument to the victims of the Ukrainian Holodomor. Permission to erect the future monument was signed by President George Bush. Participating in the ceremony was the First Lady of Ukraine, Katerina Yushchenko.
 
The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches blessed the site in the center of the American capital where the monument to the victims of the Ukrainian tragedy will stand.
 
The ceremony was the culmination of a host of programs and projects of the Ukrainian community to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. The yet to be completed monument project began many years ago. The President of the UCCA, Tamara Gallo noted that the Ukrainian community has been working on this for over 15 years.
 
Efforts to secure permission to erect the Ukrainian monument in the center of the American capital were aided by Congressman Sandy Levin from the State of Michigan. He was the sponsor of the necessary resolution that was signed by President Bush: “We have gathered to tell the world that this blessed site will become a symbol not only for Ukrainians or Americans but for the whole world.”
 
The First Lady of Ukraine, Katerina Yushchenko, for whom the question of the Holodomor is personal, as her whole family suffered the tragedy, also thanked Levin, who is a long time close friend of the Ukrainian community:
 
“I am very grateful to all, who participated in this, especially Congressman Levin, as well as my gratitude goes out to the community for the many years of work to secure this beautiful site.”
 
Participating in the ceremony blessing the site for the future monument were Ukrainian and American diplomats, survivors of the Holodomor and those who came to Washington from various corners of America. Borys Potapenko came from Detroit: “Praise God that on this land in Washington, D.C. will stand a monument. Now, no professor will dispute that my family suffered, that the whole Ukrainian nation suffered.”
 
Soon a competition will be announced in Ukraine that will end with the government of Ukraine erecting in Washington, D.C. a monument that will remind the world about the little known tragedy.
 
LINK: http://www.voanews.com/ukrainian/2008-12-02-voa4.cfm
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19.  SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF LITHUANIA VALDAS ADAMKUS IN KYIV AT THE

INTERNATIONAL FORUM TO COMMEMORATE THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
HOLODOMOR OF 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE “MY PEOPLE WILL LIVE FOREVER”

Address by H. E. Valdus Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania
International Forum to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor, Kyiv, Ukraine
President of Lithuania Website, Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, November 22, 2008  
 
AUR EDITOR’S NOTE: Five heads of state spoke at the International Forum to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Holodmor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, “MY PEOPLE WILL LIVE FOR EVER” held in Kyiv on November 22, 2008. The Presidents of Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, Lithuania and Latvia all made presentations that were powerful, very strongly supported Ukraine and spoke out clearly and forcefully against the evils of totalitarian regimes, brutal Soviet policies, and the many Stalinist and Soviet crimes against humanity. Below you will find the speech by the President of Lithuania, Valdus Adamkus, who spent many years in the United States while the Soviets occupied his country, http://www.president.lt/family/biografija.
KYIV, UKRAINE – Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Dear People of Ukraine,

Today as we remember the suffering and the tragic fate of millions of people in Ukraine, we bear witness to the power of human and national memory. This memory does not allow to conceal, distort or forget the cruel actions and policies of totalitarian regimes and their crimes against humanity.

We will never forget the genocide that killed tens of millions of people in Europe and worldwide: the brutal Soviet policy that doomed hard working Ukrainians to famine seventy five years ago, and Communist repressions against the peaceful inhabitants of the Baltic States, Hungary, Poland, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Russia, and many other countries.

Historical truth always finds its way in defiance of hindrances and prohibitions. The Stalinist and Soviet crimes against humanity concealed for long decades are now well known and deplored by many nations.

In 2003, representatives from different parts of the world issued a joint declaration at the United Nations remembering the victims of the Holodomor. In 2005, the Seimas of Lithuania condemned the genocide in Ukraine.

 
Last year, UNESCO adopted a resolution on the Holodomor and its horrific consequences, and this year the European Parliament paid tribute to those who were starved to death by the Great Famine.

The people of Lithuania identify themselves with the people of Ukraine in their painful memories of Soviet totalitarian crimes. We too experienced Soviet repressions and brutality: mass deportations and the killing of innocent people that decimated one fourth of Lithuania’s population.

 
Next year we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the shameful Nazi-Soviet deal: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols.

After the two totalitarian regimes partitioned Europe, Lithuania – like many other European countries – was invaded and occupied.

 
However, despite long decades of deception and Soviet propaganda, the memory of the Lithuanian nation – passed on from generation to generation – had kept our love of freedom and spirit of independence alive throughout the entire period of occupation.
 
After long years of oppression we restored independence and made a free choice for Euro-Atlantic integration.

Today we strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the resolve of its people to build their future in the family of democratic nations.

 
Today we say with strong commitment: “Nobody can take away the right of an independent European state to choose its path of freedom and security.”

We are ready to share the historical memory of our nations with the world: the memory of Ukraine’s deep cultural roots in Europe, the sacred memory of Ukrainian freedom fighters, and the painful memory of Stalinist atrocities to suppress freedom and liberty. 

The contemplation and spread of historical truth is not directed against a specific nation or country. Saying the truth means identifying and condemning the crimes of totalitarian regimes.

 
Therefore, I believe that a time will come when nobody will ever attempt to deny the cruelties of the Soviet regime unleashed in Ukraine and claim that 25 thousand people were starved to death per day by a mismanaged economy or poor harvest.

The Nazi and Soviet-committed crimes against humanity, casting a long and deep shadow on the history of the 20th century Europe, will be equally condemned and their victims remembered and commemorated.

 
It is the last indispensable precondition for Europe’s moral and spiritual unity on the road towards mutual openness and genuine solidarity among the nations.

In the name of our fallen parents, brothers and sisters, in the name of those who fought for the independence of our countries, in the name of our future and the future of our children, we have to preserve and spread that memory of our shared past.

We must raise our own and global awareness, deepen respect for human life and dignity. It is the only way that we will stop the spread of totalitarian ideologies and prevent such experiments with nations and people like the Holodomor from ever happening again.

LINK: http://www.president.lt/en/news.full/9878

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20.  A EUROPEAN GENOCIDE

 
REVIEW & OUTLOOK EDITORIAL: Wall Street Journal Europe, NY, NY, Tue, Nov 25, 2008
 
Among the past century’s horrors, the Great Famine in Ukraine manages to stand out. First, for the scale of the mass starvation inflicted by Stalin on millions of people in Europe’s agricultural breadbasket. Second, for how little the world knows about this genocide. A now-free Ukraine wants to change that and just marked the 75th anniversary of the 1932-33 “terror famine,” or Holodomor.
Starting in the late 1920s, Stalin set out to collectivize and hobble the Soviet peasantry. His aim was to crush “the peasantry of the U.S.S.R. as a whole, and the Ukrainian nation,” wrote Robert Conquest in his groundbreaking book, “The Harvest of Sorrow.” An estimated 14.5 million people starved to death in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus when farmland was collectivized and harvests requisitioned. The submission of Ukraine to Moscow helped prolong the Soviet Union’s life for another 60 years.
The Stalinist regime and its ideological soulmates denied the famine at the time and later. Walter Duranty, the New York Times’s longtime Moscow correspondent, was Stalin’s chief apologist, sending false dispatches from Ukraine; he won a Pulitzer Prize. The left-leaning academy condemned Mr. Conquest and the late James Mace, the leading researcher of the famine, when their work appeared in the 1980s. The Berlin Wall’s collapse shamed some of the denialists. “I want to express my deepest appreciation to all who refused to be silent,” President Viktor Yushchenko said Friday.
The exception is the current Russian leadership. Ahead of the official commemoration this past weekend, President Dmitry Medvedev accused Ukraine of seeking to achieve “opportunistic political goals” based on “manipulations and distortions, falsification of facts about the number of dead.” As in Stalin’s day, Ukraine’s independent identity and nationhood stands in the way of a resurgent Russian imperium. By remembering the Holodomor, Ukrainians say — Never again.
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AUR#919 Dec 8 Ukraine Macroeconomic Situation; IMF; Inflation; Currency Falls; Mars, EPAM, European Gas & Ukrainian Reality

 
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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 919
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
Monthly Analytical Report: By Olga Pogarska, Edilberto L. Segura
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group,
The Bleyzer Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
2 DEFAULTING COUNTRIES REACH OUT TO IMF AND FINANCIAL FIXERS
In the hangover of the credit crisis where neither Baugar nor Budapest are safe – the rescue business is seeing a comeback.
By Helia Ebrahimi, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, 08 Dec 2008
 
3.  UKRAINE SEEKS ADVISER IN CASE OF EARLY DEBT PAYMENT
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 3 2008
 
By Kateryna Choursina, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
By Daryna Krasnolutska, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, December 7, 2008
 
6UKRAINE GOVERNMENT WORSENS ECONOMIC PREDICTIONS
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008
Ukraine’s hryvnia has lost more than 60% from a peak of 4.50 to the U.S. dollar in the spring.
By Geoffrey Smith, The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, Wed, Dec 3, 2008
 
By Serhij Lyamets, The Ekonomichna Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
 
9UKRAINE’S CENTRAL BANK HELPS MAKE $23-BILLION DENT IN POCKETS OF UKRAINIANS
Commentary & Analysis: By Volodymyr Hrytsutenko
Professor of Current Ukrainian History, Lviv Franko University, Lviv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
Commentary & Analysis, By Volodymyr Lanovy
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, Dec 03, 2008
 
Confectionery, food, beverage, health & nutrition, pet care products company. USUBC member 98.
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., Tue, Dec 2, 2008
IMB Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 12, 2008
 
Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL, Monday, December 1, 2008
By Edward Chow and Jonathan Elkind, The Washington Quarterly, pp. 77 – 93
Journal of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C., January, 2009
===================================================
1
 UKRAINE MACROECONOMIC SITUATION REPORT, NOVEMBER 2008

Monthly Analytical Report: By Olga Pogarska, Edilberto L. Segura
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group,
The Bleyzer Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 8, 2008

SUMMARY:

• Ukraine’s real economy has continued to perform well with a real rate of GDP growth of 6.9% yoy in January-September 2008. However, Ukraine’s
near term outlook has worsened substantially, although medium-term prospects remain good.

• Over the first nine months of 2008, the consolidated budget was in surplus of UAH 11.8 billion ($2.3 billion) or 1.6% of period GDP, backed by
above-target revenues and tight control over expenditures. With weak prospects of fully covering the planned financing gap and the likely shortfall in revenues through the rest of the year, the government started to revise their expenditure plans. As a result, the fiscal deficit is likely to be significantly below target.

• Following two months of inflation relief, consumer prices returned to growth, advancing by 1.1% month-over-month in September. Though inflation continued to decelerate in annual terms, government plans to adjust a number of service tariffs will notably hinder this process in the coming months.

• With rapidly widening trade and current account deficits, large external debt financing needs and high banking system exposure to credit and foreign
currency risks, Ukraine was and remains extremely vulnerable to adverse external shocks. On the back of heightened global financial instability since September, falling world steel prices and a weakening global economy, these risks started to materialize during September-October.

• Reflecting growing stress to the Ukrainian economy, major international rating agencies downgraded Ukraine’s sovereign rating.

• Despite the recent turbulences, the prompt government and monetary authorities’ response as well as gained support from international financial
institutions increases the chances that Ukraine may be able to weather the storm with relatively moderate pain.

ECONOMIC GROWTH 

Buoyed by outstanding performance in agriculture, real GDP growth picked up to an impressive 10.4% yoy in August, bringing cumulative growth to 7.1% yoy. At the same time, the Ukrainian economy is likely to lose steam through the rest of this year and also 2009, courtesy of both external and domestic factors.

Resilient so far, Ukraine’s heavily export-oriented and external-financing-dependent economy looks increasingly vulnerable to the recent financial crisis. Weakening external demand has already manifested through plunging world commodity prices, while foreign investors’ flight-to-quality and risk aversion may dry up foreign capital inflows to emerging markets.

On the domestic front, lingering inflationary pressures and political instability, weaknesses in the domestic banking system, a rapidly widening trade deficit
and large private sector indebtedness subdue Ukraine’s economic outlook in the near future.

Already in September, real GDP growth slowed to 5.5% yoy on the back of weaker industry, domestic trade and construction. Cumulatively, however,
economic growth decelerated only marginally to 6.9% yoy, supported by strong value added growth in agricultural and the transportation and communication sectors.

Thanks to a 15-year record grain harvest, agriculture expanded by 15.7% yoy over the first nine months of the year. At the same time, due to unfavorable weather conditions in September, the harvest of corn, sugar beets and some other crops and vegetables turned out to be less successful than previously expected. This explains value added growth deceleration in January-September compared to an explosive 24.4% yoy increase in January-August.

Transportation and communication kept expanding at a robust 10.4% yoy over January-September, virtually the same rate as in 1H 2008, according to the revised State Statistics Committee data.

On the other hand, construction plunged by 10.3% yoy over the first nine months of the year, affected by tight access to credit. The industrial sector also
continued to decelerate and grew by only 5% yoy due to weaknesses in the global demand for iron, steel and chemical products. In particular, following
several months of deceleration, metallurgical production has been contracting in annual terms since August, in line with the sharp decline in world steel prices.

In September, output in industry fell by 17% yoy, driving cumulative growth below zero. October is likely to see another major decline in industry as a number of metallurgical producers announced production and employment cuts.

The depression in the metallurgical sector will exact a significant toll on the whole Ukrainian economy as the sector accounts for more than 45% of total
export revenues and about 25% of total industrial production. In addition, poor metallurgical performance will also affect a number of other industries
and sectors, including the extractive industry, machine-building, construction, and transportation.

Expectations that the new harvest will improve food processing performance did not materialize. Industrial production grew by a modest 2.2% yoy over the first nine months of the year, decelerating from about 10% yoy at the beginning of the year. Weak external demand was among the main reasons of worsening chemical industry performance.

Over the nine months, output growth in export-oriented chemical production slimmed down to 2.9% yoy compared to 9% yoy growth at the
beginning of the year.

After all, warning signs of economic weakness were already evident in the second quarter of 2008. In particular, investments advanced by only 6.3% yoy as tighter monetary policy limited access to banks’ credit. Private consumption growth decelerated to 13.3% yoy, down from almost 18% yoy in the previous quarter. A domestic trade slowdown to 9.4% yoy in January-September from 13% yoy in 1H 2008 foretells further weakening of domestic
consumption in 3Q 2008.

Moreover, while exports rebounded at a strong 9% yoy (up from less than 1% yoy in 1Q 2008), imports continued to outpace exports, expanding by a record high 25.6% yoy in 2Q 2008. Ukraine’s deteriorating current account balance puts pressure on economic growth and increases the country’s dependence on external capital flows.

On the back of easing steel prices, tight external and domestic credit markets amid large external financing needs, a cooling world economy and recent
turbulence on the domestic financial market (which is likely to cause a further credit squeeze and aggravate domestic banking sector weaknesses),
Ukraine’s near-term outlook has worsened substantially. Economic growth is forecasted to decelerate to 6.3% yoy in 2008 and enter a downturn in 2009.

At the same time, the country maintains a good medium-term outlook, supported by a large domestic market, great agricultural potential, a cheap and skilled labor force, good prospects for signing a free trade agreement with the EU and greater chances of reform acceleration (in part thanks to recently applying to the IMF financing).

FISCAL POLICY 

Ukraine’s public finances remained in a good shape as the country ran a consolidated budget surplus of UAH 11.8 billion ($2.3 billion) though the end of
September, which is equivalent to 1.6% of period GDP. Public spending rose by a nominal 41% yoy over the first nine months of the year, underpinned
by higher spending on public wages and social transfers.

In particular, remuneration to public sector employees grew by a nominal 38.1% yoy, while current transfers to the population advanced by 48% yoy. Despite strong growth, fiscal expenditures were still below target mainly due to under-execution of capital spending. The government refrained from tightening social expenditures in view of the turbulent political environment and looming presidential elections (scheduled for early 2010).

At the same time, though expenditures notably increased, they were still below the targeted amount. According to the State Treasury, expenditures from the general fund of the state budget were under-executed by about 3%. Together with above-planned revenues, this secured a budget surplus for the period.

During January-September, consolidated budget revenues grew by 43.7% yoy in nominal terms over the first nine months of the year backed by a 53% yoy increase in tax receipts. As in the previous periods, value added tax proceeds, advancing by almost 70% yoy in nominal terms, were the main contributor to tax revenue growth over the period.  Defined usually as the tax on consumption, impressive growth in VAT receipts this year is explained by high inflation,  robust imports, and improved tax administration.

In parallel, however, the authorities started to accumulate VAT refund arrears, as it became clear in the middle of the year that the targeted amount for

VAT refunds, envisaged in the 2008 budget law, was significantly underestimated. In January-September, VAT reimbursement was 43% above the planned amount. According to expert estimates, VAT refund arrears amounted to UAH 11 billion (about $2 billion) at the end of September, up from about UAH 8 billion in the middle of the year.

However, the situation is unlikely to improve until the end of the year, as a reduction in arrears will require a budget revision, the likelihood of which looks quite low. At the same time, the accumulation of further arrears may lose speed substantially through the rest of the year given notable export weakening.

Execution of other taxes, particularly corporate and personal income taxes, has been good in January-September, as proceeds from these taxes picked up by a nominal 57% yoy and 38% yoy respectively. Despite current favorable budget performance, successful budget exercise through the rest of the year looks quite worrisome.

First, due to further projected worsening of economic performance through the rest of the year and government initiatives to introduce tax benefits for a number of industries affected by a sharp deterioration in the external environment, budget revenues risk being substantially under-executed.

However, above-target revenues and strict control over expenditures allowed the government to accumulate significant cash balances on its Treasury account (about UAH 16 billion at the end of September).

Second, the financing gap, targeted at about UAH 19 billion, or 1.8% of expected 2008 GDP, looks insurmountable. The budget deficit was planned to be financed by new government borrowings (both external and internal) and privatization proceeds.

Despite the greater reliance on domestic debt financing this year, Ukraine’s fiscal authorities still planned to raise UAH 8.1 billion ($1.6 billion) in foreign borrowing, including about $1 billion by placing Eurobonds, for which a road-show was conducted in June.

However, on the back of tight external credit markets and investors’ flight to safety, the government decided to shelve the bond issuance. At the same time, reliance on domestic debt issuance also was not very successful. Given frankly unattractive yields amid high domestic inflation, the authorities raised only UAH 1.4 billion into state coffers in January-September, or less than 20% of the targeted amount for this year.

And finally, government plans to receive UAH 8.8 billion ($1.5 billion) in the form of privatization receipts this year will not materialize. At the end of September, the accumulated privatization proceeds amounted to less than 4.5% of the annual target.

With the deteriorating prospects for an already slowing economy and the lack of targeted fiscal deficit financing, the government started to revise their expenditure plans. In particular, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers issued a number of Decrees, envisaging expenditure cuts on public administration.

Moreover, the government is likely to continue to tightly control expenditures through the rest of the year. This would mean moderate expenditure
loosening in the last couple of months. However, the year-end fiscal deficit may turn out to be significantly lower than previously expected.

Presented in September, the draft Budget Law for 2009 is likely to be recalled or significantly amended, as it was developed prior to financial stresses on both the external and domestic markets and deteriorated prospects for the next year. Moreover, the targeted deficit of UAH 17.4 billion ($3 billion), or 1.4% of GDP, is not in accordance with the government’s commitment to the IMF to maintain a balanced budget in 2009.

A prudent fiscal stance is considered the most effective measure to cool aggregate demand, tackle inflation and narrow the foreign trade deficit. Given the turbulent political environment, it looks like the 2009 budget law will be approved next year.

MONETARY POLICY 

Monetary policy tightening, appreciation of the national currency in May, and a record harvest caused prices to fall during July-August. As a result, annual inflation continued to decelerate, reaching 26% yoy in August, down from its peak of 31.1% yoy in May. However, two-month deflation was a temporary relief as in September, monthly inflation advanced by 1.1%.

However, inflation kept slowing in annual terms to 24.6% due to a high statistical base. A rise in monthly inflation reflects a 3.8% mom increase in utility tariffs (starting September, natural gas prices for the population were increased by 13–14%), 21.2% mom growth in the cost of education services and 1.2% mom more expensive services in restaurants and hotels and higher excises on tobacco.

Some relief was brought by declining gasoline prices (down by 6% mom in September) consistent with falling world crude oil prices.While inflation is expected to decelerate further through the end of the year, its pace will be much slower.

First, easing inflation provided the government authorities with some room to adjust a number of regulated prices and tariffs. A 20% rise in communication tariffs since the beginning of October, another 35% increase in natural gas tariffs for households since the beginning of December, and multi-fold increases
in utility tariffs for legal entities and transportation tariffs in Kyiv, the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, were already announced.

Second, the recent sharp depreciation of the national currency may spill-over into domestic inflation as it will make imported goods more expensive. Although the substitution effect will be present, it may be quite limited for a number of inelastic goods such as medicines, energy, etc. Annual inflation
is expected to slow moderately to about 22% yoy in 2008.

Unfavorable sentiments formed amid recent intensification of global financial turmoil and Ukraine’s deteriorating fundamentals prompted foreign investors
to more actively withdraw capital from the country. A combination of falling world steel prices and weakening external demand, a large current account deficit and sizable payments due on private sector external liabilities, weaknesses in the banking system (high exposure to credit and foreign exchange risks) as well a new wave of political instability since September tilted the balance towards sharp Hryvnia depreciation.

The NBU refrained from active support of the exchange rate, allowing it to depreciate, which was consistent with May’s decision to switch towards a managed float regime. The NBU, however, wanted a smooth exchange rate adjustment to its market clearing level by selling limited amounts of foreign currency on the interbank foreign exchange market.

This strategy resulted in a loss of $4.5 billion in the NBU’s foreign exchange reserve during September-October and in a depreciation of the Hryvnia by about 27% of its value against the US dollar over the period (to UAH/USD 5.95 on average on the interbank market at the end of October).

Devaluation may also intensify stress on the banking sector due to existing currency mismatches of banks’ assets and liabilities. Although the level of
indebtedness of the Ukrainian private sector is far below that of developed countries, more than half of all loans issued by commercial banks are denominated in foreign currencies.

This means that local borrowers are particularly exposed to currency risks. On top of that, the sixth largest Ukrainian bank suffered a bank-run by depositors in September. Although the National Bank of Ukraine responded quickly by providing UAH 5 billion (about $1 billion) of emergency refinancing and later took control of this bank, this occurrence undermined confidence in the banking system.

To minimize counterparty risks in the banking sector, commercial banks cut or closed their bilateral credit limits, restraining commercial bank access to
domestic finances. In addition, the population rushed to withdraw funds from their deposit accounts. The NBU’s active support of a number of
commercial banks with liquidity through its refinancing operations calmed these fears. In October, it provided UAH 29.3 billion (about $5 billion).

To avoid bank-runs, the NBU has imposed a six-month freeze on the early withdrawal of savings deposits from commercial banks. Simultaneously,
an increase in the deposit guarantee was suggested to UAH 150,000 (about $25,800), tripling from the previous level. The NBU has also imposed tight limitations on the capacity of the commercial banks to expand their credit portfolio.

Although the NBU softened this restriction a few days later, trying to avert a local credit crunch, the ban on foreign currency loans to borrowers without
foreign currency income was left intact. The NBU strengthened its monitoring capacity of external private sector debt. In particular, it required commercial
banks to report data on their and their clients’ external liabilities maturing each quarter over the next 12 months.

Government officials have also considered the establishment of a stabilization fund, which would work with a government-owned Asset Recovery Company to buy and resolve some of the distressed assets of the banks.

Ukrainian authorities applied for IMF financing support and on October 26th, an agreement was reached on a two-year $16.5 billion stand-by IMF loan. Given the above measures and support from the international financial institutions, Ukraine may still weather the storm with relatively moderate pain.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND CAPITAL 

Ukraine’s foreign trade data, released by the State Statistics Committee for January-August, still demonstrate a rather favorable picture. Exports kept increasing fast, advancing by an impressive 48.5% yoy over the first eight months of the year. An outstanding harvest triggered a surge in grain exports,
which expanded by 120% yoy over the period.

High world iron ore, coal and energy prices over the period underpinned an almost 70% yoy increase in mineral products exports, whose share grew to 10.4% of total merchandise exports, up from 9% in the respective period last year.

Weakening of world steel prices, which was observed since July, had a minor impact on Ukraine’s exports of metallurgical products in August. Export of the weightiest group of commodities surged by 60.6% yoy, bringing cumulative growth to 54.5% yoy.

Robust economic growth in Ukraine’s main trading partner countries supported a 40.5% yoy increase in exports of machinery and transport equipment. At the same time, export growth started to decelerate in August as exports in value terms were by about $1 billion lower compared to the previous month.

Although a decline in world iron ore, steel and energy prices, tighter domestic credit conditions and slower growth in real households’ income contributed
to a deceleration in imports in August, rates of growth remained at an impressive 63% yoy that month (down from almost 70% yoy in July) and 58.3% yoy to date.

As imports continued to notably outpace exports, the FOB/CIF merchandise trade deficit widened to $12.5 billion over the first nine months of this year. A deteriorating foreign trade balance is the main cause of the widening current account gap. According to preliminary estimates of the NBU, the CA gap widened to $7.5 billion in January-August, representing 6% of period GDP.

Over the period under review, this amount was fully covered by foreign direct investments, estimated at $8.1 billion over the period. However, the
current account gap is expected to reach $12–13 billion, or about 7% of GDP, in 2008.

In addition to this, Ukraine will need to serve significant foreign short term debt. As of June 2008, out of total external debt outstanding of $100 billion,
about $28.2 billion was due up to one year. At the same time, the NBU registers external debt by original maturity.

This means that if the short-term portion of the long term debt is included, the total amount of external debt refinancing may be as high as $40–45 billion. Although a portion of this sum is either due by subsidiaries to parent companies or represents more stable trade credits, the net external financing requirements still remain at a substantial $25–30 billion.

While this amount looks manageable, amid a turbulent global environment marked by risk aversion and worsening macroeconomic fundamentals, raising it may be very difficult, which points to rising stress on Ukraine’s balance of payments.

Although official data is not available yet, very high risk premiums on Ukraine’s securities, a decline in portfolio investments, partly as a result of which the country’s stock exchange (PFTS) index has declined by more than 80% year-to-date, and finally sharp currency depreciation during September-October show that the above risks have started to materialize.

On a positive note, declining world crude oil prices increase chances that the natural gas price increase on imported gas in 2009 may be significantly lower than in was previously anticipated. Coupled with the implementation of a government program developed in close cooperation with the IMF to restore financial and macroeconomic stability, current account pressures will ease substantially. The current account gap is now forecasted to decline to
about 3% of GDP in 2009.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AFFECTING INVESTMENT CLIMATE 

Following rapid deterioration of macroeconomic fundamentals, currency pressures and increased worries over banking sector health, international
rating agencies downgraded Ukraine’s sovereign ratings as well as individual ratings of a number of private companies and commercial banks.

For the same reasons, the Ukrainian authorities applied for IMF financial support at the beginning of October. On October 26th, a tentative agreement
was reached on a two-year $16.5 billion stand-by agreement. The final decision was conditioned on the parliament’s approval of a number of legislative
initiatives, including approval of a bank recapitalization program and a firm commitment to prudent fiscal policy coupled with tighter monetary policy.

Despite a turbulent political environment, the government authorities promptly developed the “stabilization” package, which was approved by the parliament at the end of October. For the Parliament vote to be legitimate, the President has suspended the dissolution order of the Rada. Moreover, early
parliamentary elections called by the President at the end of September are likely to be delayed until spring of next year.

Although the approval of the IMF financial support package is not a panacea, it sends positive signals about the possibility that Ukraine may weather the storm with relatively moderate pain.

The IMF support also opens other alternative external sources of financial assistance to Ukraine. In particular, the World Bank has already announced it is
revising its program of cooperation with Ukraine to provide rapid assistance in hot areas, such as restructuring and recapitalization of the banking sector, improving support to the poor, deepening of structural reforms to restore Ukraine rapidly to sustainable economic growth, etc.

UKRAINE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA, & KAZAKHSTAN MACROECONOMIC REPORTS —–

NOTE: To read the entire SigmaBleyzer/The Bleyzer Foundation Ukraine Macroeconomic Situation update report for November 2008 in a PDF format, including color charts and graphics click on the attachment to this e-mail or go to the following link, and click on Ukraine November 2008,
http://www.sigmableyzer.com/publications/monthly_reports. SigmaBleyzer/The Bleyzer Foundation also publishes monthly Macroeconomic Situation reports for Bulgaria, Romania and Kazakhstan. The present and past reports, including those for Ukraine can be found at http://www.sigmableyzer.com/en/page/532.

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2.  DEFAULTING COUNTRIES REACH OUT TO IMF AND FINANCIAL FIXERS
In the hangover of the credit crisis where neither Baugar nor Budapest are safe – the rescue business is seeing a comeback.

By Helia Ebrahimi, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, 08 Dec 2008

LONDON – Exactly one year on from having its resources slashed and it relevance questioned, the International Monetary Fund has put record amounts of
emergency loans to work.

A staggering $41.8bn (pounds28.6bn) of cash was carved up in November alone between Iceland, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine and Pakistan, with a further $10bn bail-out being finessed this weekend to pull Turkey back from possible default.

But the IMF is not the only one saving sovereign states.

The buccaneers of restructuring, already busy breathing oxygen into the lungs of debt-choked companies, like retailer Baugar, are parleying what they do for corporates, multi-nationals and financial institutions into a tool kit to help them fix the breakdown of entire finance ministries and the economies they run.

One restructuring boss who has been advising several governments said: “The game has moved on. Now it is not just companies, it is entire countries that
need our services. They need to be restructured and that will mean outside help.”

But some of the crews manning the lifeboats will include firms that prospered greatly in the days before the storm clouds had gathered and have themselves been partly blamed for causing the tempest.

Names such as Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Deloitte who earned billions of pounds in the deal and debt frenzy are now at the
forefront of clearing up its aftermath.

Kari Hale, strategy partner at Deloitte’s, says that good advice could mean the difference between survival and going bust. Mr Hale was on the Anderson
team that along with McKinsey and Credit Suisse rode in to repair the systemic failure of the Swedish banking system in 1991.

Along with his boss at the time, Mark Carawan, who is now head of internal audit at Barclays, 70 senior partners at the three advisory powerhouses
spent 180 days tearing apart the financial structures of the Scandinavian state and rebuilding the entire system with a mandate for change and a
unified strategy.

The good bank/bad bank format they used in Sweden – like the current American TARP fund where the toxic debt of the likes of AIG and Lehman have
been dumped – became the template exported to other places where the IMF also lent money to, including Korea, Venezuela and Thailand.

But as the world economy grew and defaulting countries became a distant memory, the celebrated engineers of state administrations became redundant
and teams were closed down and the professionals moved to other more common place projects.

Now, the call has again been sounded and re-cast corporate fanciers, private equity principles and auditors are, with a gleam in their eyes, again making
up the rank and file of the restructuring world.

Blackstone, which advised Northern Rock in the run up to its nationalisation, was drafted into Iceland, where KPMG is also doing some work. Goldman Sachs advised the Treasury as it took over the ailing bank.

Amongst other European projects, the American private equity firm is working in the Ukraine alongside Credit Suisse, which has also seen its client list
grow with Government mandates such as Kazakhstan, Belgium and project based  work for the UK Treasury on RBS, Lloyds and HBOS.

Experts predict countries in freefall calling in the financial fixers or making deals with the IMF could include Latvia, Bulgaria, even Ireland, Greece and Italy.

At its inception in the 1940’s, the IMF was created up to help countries with bombed out balance sheets amidst the post-war yearning for a global
economic security. Representatives from 45 countries met in the town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in the United States and agreed on a framework for international co-operation to be set up after the Second World War.

Over the years it developed a special trust fund for low income countries lent money at 0.5pc interest rates to help reduce poverty and foster global
market stability.

But essentially, the IMF acts as a safety-net and insurance policy for its 185 member states. The members pay a subscription and at times of financial
crisis the IMF can offer medium term debt until a commercial solution can be arranged. It also sends out its economists to spot problems and early
warning signs of systemic economic failure.

 
The oil shock of the 1970s and South American inspired debt crisis of the 1980s led to sharp increases in IMF lending – including its biggest at the
time – a $3.9bn loan in 1976 to Jim Callaghan’s cash-strapped UK Government.

But in a world awash with cheap debt and exuberant trade surpluses, the Fund slipped from the forefront of the world stage and became regarded as at best
diminished and at worst irrelevant.

Only a year ago the IMF’s managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister in the French government and also a one-time presidential
candidate announced the fund had to cut up to 15 per cent of its workforce in a desperate attempt to sort out its finances as demand for its loans continued to weaken.

But now, thanks to a recent $100bn commitment from Japan, the Fund is sitting on more than $300bn ready to help rescue a dozen more countries that
could face default within the next few months.

There is increasing pressure on Middle Eastern countries to follow Japan’s example which has helped create a brand new short term liquidity facility.
Before this, the IMFs loans lasted five years. But the new product allows countries that are still fundamentally financially healthy but need quick access to cash to take out a three month loans at market rates. No money has been drawn from this facility yet but Turkey could be the
first.

Caroline Atkinson, an IMF director and part of the 24-strong management team of the institution, says the Fund has geared up at this time of
unprecedented financial crisis and could again start re-hiring, this time from the financial sector.

‘We are able to disburse money to applicant countries in just a matter of weeks if needed,’ says Atkinson. ‘We run very lean three to six person teams
that get into the crisis countries and negotiate funding packages directly with the government in very quick turn-around times,’ she said.

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s former colleague Simon Johnson – who a year ago was the IMFs chief economist, says: “There will be many many more countries out
there who will be calling on the IMF.

“They didn’t know it then but the world had drunk Kool-Aid. They believed the story that things would always be good and could only get better.”
Mr Johnson, now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and professor at MIT’s Sloane school of Management said: “There is a systemic shift in the
action the global economy needs,” he said. “And the IMF is best placed to deliver what is needed.”

 
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3.  UKRAINE SEEKS ADVISER IN CASE OF EARLY DEBT PAYMENT

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 3 2008

KIEV – Ukraine’s government wants to hire asset manager and equity fund Blackstone Group as a financial adviser particularly for talks on early repayment of state company debts, a senior official said on Wednesday.
“This is to do with issues such as servicing external debt, cabinet activity during the financial crisis, meaning financial policy, including consultations on talks with creditors, which want early repayment…,” First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksander Turchynov said after a cabinet meeting.
He said there was no issue over the government’s sovereign debt, but “unfortunately, state monopolies and state enterprises have such creditors”. He did not name which companies have been asked for early repayment, nor specified any amounts.
Ukrainian media reported last month that the state motorway firm Ukravtodor had been asked to pay off its debt early, but the company itself did not name a creditor nor an amount.
The state energy firm, Naftogaz, avoided default and possible early repayment of its $500 million Eurobond last month, when bondholders extended a deadline for receiving the company’s 2007 audited accounts to the end of the year.
Analysts have said that should Naftogaz default, clauses in its other debt agreements would force it to repay about $2.5 billion early. According to central bank data, Ukraine’s external debt as of July 1 stood at $42.7 billion, of which $38.5 billion was corporate debt. (Editing by Ron Askew) (Reporting by Natalya Zinets; writing by Sabina Zawadzki)
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4.  UKRAINE RESTRICTS BANK WITHDRAWALS TO AVERT LIQUIDITY CRISIS

By Kateryna Choursina, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Monday, December 8, 2008
KIEV – Ukraine’s central bank restricted withdrawals from banks before the maturity date of individual contracts to avert a liquidity crisis.
The Kiev-based Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy said in a letter to commercial lenders on Dec. 6 that early withdrawals of deposits “leaves liquidity of some banks under threat,” according to a statement on the bank’s Web site.
The central bank introduced a six-month moratorium for domestic lenders to return deposits to clients before contracts with banks that ended on Oct. 13 after depositors started withdrawing their money. Ukrainians were withdrawing as much as 2 billion hryvnia ($100 million) a day in the first days of October, First Deputy central bank Governor Anatoliy Shapovalov said on Oct. 24. The regulator also recommended that banks reduce foreign- currency interest rates, according to a statement on its Web site also dated Dec. 6.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.org
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
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5.  UKRAINE INFLATION, EUROPE’S FASTEST, SLOWS TO 22.3% IN NOVEMBER

 
By Daryna Krasnolutska, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Sunday, December 7, 2008
KIEV – Ukraine’s inflation rate, the highest in Europe, fell in November for a sixth month, on slowing growth in food costs.  The annual rate dropped to 22.3 percent from 23.2 percent in the previous month, the state statistics committee in the capital Kiev said in a release on its Web site dated yesterday.
 
The median forecast of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey had been for a 22.6 percent rate. In the month, prices rose 1.5 percent, compared with 1.7 percent in October.
The government has to curb inflation to stabilize the economy and fulfill a pledge to the International Monetary Fund. The Washington-based lender agreed last month to provide $16.4 billion to the former Soviet republic to support its financial system, which has been battered by the global financial crisis, on condition it slows inflation to at least 17 percent next year.
The government raised its inflation forecast to “around 21” percent, compared with 15.9 percent initially expected for this year on Dec. 3. The government has failed to keep inflation below 10 percent since 2003.
Producer prices increased an annual 27.4 percent in November as compared with 37.7 percent in October. In the month, producer prices declined 6.5 percent as compared with a fall of 1.4 percent. Food prices rose an annual 26.7 percent in November, slowing from 29.4 percent in October.
 
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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6.  UKRAINE GOVERNMENT WORSENS ECONOMIC PREDICTIONS

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008

KIEV – The Ukrainian government worsened official predictions for the economy on Wednesday, halving expected annual GDP growth for 2009 to between 3 and 4 per cent.

The former Soviet republic’s economy already has moved into a full recession, with GDP contracting 2 per cent during December alone, and annual
inflation standing at 21 per cent, a Ministry of Economy official said.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy as recently as June had been estimating that the country would over the course of 2008 see 7 per cent annual GDP growth,
and 15 per cent inflation.

Falling government revenues due to lower GDP growth had placed Ukraine’s 2009 state budget in jeopardy, and a budget review was ‘critical’ said Serhy
Romaniuk, Vice Economics Minister, at a Kiev press conference.

Ukraine’s pro-Europe government had for more than a month dragged its feet on even admitting the economy was teetering, with officials claiming
international economic weakness would leave Ukraine’s GDP growth and inflation numbers practically unchanged.

Political chaos making Ukraine’s leaders unable to deal with the crisis effectively was a key cause for the Kiev government’s unwillingness to admit
the economy was in trouble, observers said.

Ukraine’s parliament has been without a ruling coalition since September. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko called for new elections to be held
December 15, but in-fighting between political factions and a state cash shortage has prevented Yushchenko’s administration from preparing for the
vote, and placed the poll in doubt.

Rewriting the national budget to take into account worsened economic performance was impossible, Romaniuk conceded, because the hung parliament
would be unable to consider new legislation, and due to the rapid weakening of the national currency, the hryvna.

Independent observers have for some time been pessimistic on the Ukrainian economy, with Fitch Ratings predicting Ukrainian 2008 GDP growth of 4.5 per cent, and inflation in excess of 25 per cent, according to an Interfax news agency report.
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7.  CURRENCY FALL REFLECTS UKRAINE’S WOES
Ukraine’s hryvnia has lost more than 60% from a peak of 4.50 to the U.S. dollar in the spring.

By Geoffrey Smith, The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, Wed, Dec 3, 2008

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s currency spiraled to a new low Wednesday as data showed the country’s population ditching the hryvnia in favor of the dollar
faster than ever.

The former Soviet republic is entering a full-blown economic and financial crisis as global demand for steel, its main export, collapses, while Russia
continues to threaten it with an ever-higher bill for its gas imports. Confidence in the politically divided government’s crisis plan, which is backed by a $16.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, is fading.

November data released by the National Bank of Ukraine showed it had already hemorrhaged almost 80% of the first part of the emergency IMF loan within a month of receiving it. The National Bank’s gross foreign reserves rose by only $820 million in the month to $32.74 billion, despite its receiving $4.5 billion from the IMF through a hastily arranged stand-by arrangement.

The central bank also said it spent $3.4 billion in foreign-exchange interventions in the course of the month to prop up the currency. From a peak of 4.50 to the U.S. dollar this spring, the hryvnia has lost more than 60%. The dollar surged to 7.51 hryvnia on the interbank market Wednesday, above the central bank’s official rate of 7.23.

The atmosphere at the country’s exchange booths has become increasingly tense in recent weeks, with many running out of foreign currency, first due
to the refusal of banks to comply with new central-bank regulations and then due to the sheer weight of demand. Net purchases of dollars by the
population more than doubled last month to $2.3 billion from $930 million in October.

Panic was further stoked by media reports earlier this week that President Viktor Yushchenko, onetime hero of the 2004 Orange Revolution, was preparing
a decree ordering the forced conversion of the population’s dollar deposits into hryvnia. Mr. Yushchenko denied the reports as “nonsense” Wednesday,
vowing he wouldn’t intervene in the central bank’s monetary policy.

However, his spokeswoman, Irina Vannikova, had told a briefing earlier this week that Mr. Yushchenko would take “extreme measures” against the NBU if it failed to bring the currency crisis under control. Her comments were widely taken at the time as a veiled threat to sack the central-bank’s chairman,
Volodymyr Stelmakh. (Write to Geoffrey Smith at geoffrey.smith@dowjones.com)\

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8.  NATIONAL BANK OF UKRAINE: STELMAKH COVERS UP BULLS AND BEARS  
 
By Serhij Lyamets, The Ekonomichna Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
It is the National Bank of Ukraine that provokes panic among Ukrainians and the crisis on the currency market by its actions, or rather the lack of actions.
Every week I get phone calls from the NBU. The central bank’s officials accuse me of destabilizing the banking system, notably, the currency market. “If the press wouldn’t give so much ink to the crisis, everything would be OK,” they tell me. 
Similar Statements emanate from many key banking system officials board, including the NBU board  chairman Petro Poroshenko and board member Vasyl Horbal. But now I know where the smoking gun is. 
In late October, I kept mum – not a single article on currency markets in the whole week. I really wanted to give the NBU a chance to put its business in order.
However, instead of harnessing the hryvnia-dollar exchange rate, NBU let it balloon to hryvnia 7.2 per 1 dollar, sending shock waves among Ukrainians.
Following this, let me tackle the issue from a different angle. Yes, the media write about the currency market problems, and this electrifies the populace. But, in the meantime, what are the actions of the NBU? What signals does it send to Ukrainians?
My answer is this: it is the National Bank of Ukraine that provokes panic among Ukrainians and the crisis on the currency market by its actions, or rather the lack of actions. The NBU appeals to Ukrainians not to buy greenbacks while pushing up daily the dollar exchange rate. How the NBU is doing this has been described many times. 
Let’s ask ourselves: “Why is the central bank doing this?” The NBU answer comes quick: “Because this is the market.”
Does it mean that we will put the blame for any lack of action on the market?
Question 2: “Who cashes in on the crisis?” According to NBU Governor Volodymyr Stelmakh, it is bears and bulls. “Who are these speculators? If they are owners of street exchange kiosks and underground centers for laundering money, where do they get the money from?”
It follows that the banks are the beneficiaries. And this is no mere rhetoric to smear the reputation of president’s buddy Volodymyr Stelmakh. 
It is the banks that sell dollars to exchange kiosks. It is the banks that tell their clients they are short of currency even to repay foreign loans. At the same time, it is the banks that keep foreign currency in their non-cash correspondence accounts. It is the banks that funnel heaps of greenbacks and euros to their cash desks. 
Hence, totally different questions come to mind. This one is for Mr Horbal: “Why did Ukrhazbank start selling dollars last week at 7.5 hryvnia? Is it your way to stabilize the currency market?
“Mr Poroshenko, why are you keeping mum about the list of banks that are the biggest buyers of dollars from the NBU?”
You have pledged publicly that you will get this information from the NBU board. Did you fail? Is everything ok and is there any graft on your turf ? If everything at the NBU is in top-notch order, how will you explain sudden interventions and restrictions imposed by the NBU on the sales of currency via auctions?
I also appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Vekhovna Rada and the cabinet. Why did none of these structures lift their finger to check the validity of NBU board operations, and I mean to check the board activities, not to ask Stelmakh to explain the situation?
No one seems to care that the dollar costs 7.5 hryvnias, businesses are going bankrupt, and the number of bad credits is piling up.
Of course, most of my questions are for the NBU governor. “Mr Stelmakh, if you know who the bears and bulls are, why are you sitting on your hands? Or, probably, you intend to keep the status quo until 2010 [the year of the next presidential election]. Otherwise, Ukrainians will realize once again that they have been taken for a ride by the regime.”
Most importantly, Mr Stelmakh, why don’t your words tally with what is happening? Why does your deputy Oleksandr Savchenko make statements which are not implemented?
Let me now present my vision: judging by their declarations, NBU officials are after stability. In reality, however, their assurances of fighting the crisis are a smokescreen to hide a mechanism of bleeding the NBU of billions of dollars, with a specific group of individuals lining their pockets.
I would like to hear your comments, Mr. Governor.
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9.  UKRAINE’S CENTRAL BANK HELPS MAKE $23-BILLION DENT IN POCKETS OF UKRAINIANS

 
COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Volodymyr Hrytsutenko
Professor of Current Ukrainian History, Lviv Franko University, Lviv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 8, 2008
 
In early October, when the talk about the looming financial crisis was becoming loud in Ukraine, we heard soothing comments from National Bank of Ukraine officials and the finance minister. Strangely enough, while the dollar sank in the world, it surged in value in Ukraine. The officials said the rise of the dollar was only temporarily and the NBU would soon stabilize and strengthen the hryvnia.
It cannot be denied that, in part, the hryvnia devalued due to a severe political crisis, with the president and premier engaged in a cat-and-dog fight and the balkanized and stalled legislature bickering about the coalition. Becoming a weighty negative factor, such political goings-on contributed to fuelling domestic inflation and panic buying of hard currency by Ukrainians. 
Nonetheless, the NBU cited the ongoing financial crisis in the West as the basic cause of the hryvnia downfall. Not a word was spoken about the NBU share of the blame.
To explain the dollar surge, NBU governor’s chief advisor, Valery Lytvytsky, went on the air, saying the NBU is not guilty and the hryvnia rate of 7.3 to one dollar was too low. He said the fair exchange rate was Hr. 5.5-5.6 per $1.
He failed to explain, though, who or what stopped the NBU from selling dollars at this rate or why the rate was too low.
 
TRUE CAUSES OF HRYVNIA DOWNFALL
Meanwhile, the causes of the high dollar value can be seen with a naked eye.
The NBU did not sell dollars to all banks that asked for it, selling greenbacks only to the chosen few. It led commercial banks to buy the hard currency from other banks. Currently, the NBU provides credits to commercial banks at 8-12% interest rate. The banks, in their turn, give credits to legal entities at a staggering 25-30%, a killing rate for businesses. 
To shield itself from accusations, the NBU started sales of American currency: for example, while the banks applied for $433 million on Dec. 3, the NBU sold merely $93 million. On some days the NBU did not sell dollars at all, whipping up demand and panic even higher.  
The hryvnia downfall has been also caused by the large negative trade balance of Ukraine. Now that the national currency has devalued by almost 50%, many importers will be forced to stop to buy foreign goods and move into other areas of business. (There’s a silver lining, the low hryvnia will make Ukrainian exports more competitive.)
Even if Ukraine’s trade balance improves, it does not mean that the economy will recover. That is why financial experts predict a high exchange rate of 7.5 for $1 for the hryvnia (or even 8 according to the IMF forecast for 2009). Striking a pessimistic note, many bankers say it may take the hryvnia 3-5 years to recover to the 5.5 exchange rate.
As the demand for dollars dramatically exceeded the supply, the dollar value ballooned.
NBU AND YUSHCHENKO MUST TAKE THE BLAME
Many experts maintain that there were no real causes for the hryvnia downfall. The blame for it must be taken by the NBU and Pres Yushchenko as well as the cabinet for failing to react adequately to what the first two were doing.
 
When the dollar craze began in Ukraine, the country’s trade balance was the same as Armenia’s, Georgia’s, Moldova’s and Tadjikistan’s. Although some of these countries have even a worse trade balance, their national currencies were sinking by a mere 1.5-2% in a month.
 
A simple assumption can be made: by fanning inflation and forcing companies to go bankrupt, Ukrainian and other tycoons will soon be able to buy them up for a song. In what appears to be a well-orchestrated scenario, NBU Governor Stelmakh and NBU board members (P.Poroshenko, A. Kliuyev and others) handed out millions of hryvnias to their insider banks that launched a massive attack on the hryvnia.
In a telling example, the Ukrhazbank owned by Mr. Horbal, one of NBU board members, was selling dollars last week at a highly speculative rate of 7.5 hryvnia. Was it Mr Horbal’s way to stabilize the currency market?
HYPOCRITICAL MOVES BY PRESIDENT
The NBU has a lot of levers to rectify the situation but, strangely, it has not used them.  On Dec. 1, Viktor Yushchenko gave a stern warning to NBU Governor Stelmakh, saying he would fire him unless the hryvnia stabilized. The incumbent even specified the exchange rate of 5.8 to 5.9 per $1 he wants for the hryvnia. Nothing has happened ever since, neither the first nor the second. Result: Stelmakh is still NBU governor.
 
Now, as many new facts have surfaced, we see that the NBU cashed in on the financial slump, playing its own sinister role. The central bank wouldn’t have dared to behave so blatantly without a blessing from the highest office.
In a quite hypocritical move, Pres Yushchenko stated on Dec. 2 that there are no economic or financial grounds for the hryvnia devaluation. 
Commenting on the panic buying of dollars, he pinned the blame on the “psychological factor”, accusing the NBU and cabinet of being unable to cope with the panic among Ukrainians. 
Faced with a barrage of presidential criticism, Premier Yulia Tymoshenko dismissed accusations of inadequate reaction, stressing that, first, the NBU is not accountable to the cabinet under the Constitution, and, second, that Stelmakh is a close associate of Yushchenko and bringing him to heel was easy for the incumbent. 
 
LAWMAKERS THREATEN PROBE INTO NBU OPERATIONS
Meanwhile, Rada lawmakers have threatened to bring Stelmakh to account. Dec. 2, Anatoly Hrytsenko, head of VR committee on defense and security, proposed opening a criminal investigation into Volodymyr Stelmakh’s track record as NBU governor.  
In a related move, Regions lawmaker Mykola Azarov has publicly lashed out at the NBU and tabled a motion to create an investigation commission in parliament to examine the NBU activities. Given a negative assessment by the commission of his work, Stelmakh can be fired by the Rada without Yushchenko’s consent. 
“When NBU operations began to threaten hryvnia stability and the country’s financial system, lawmakers set up a work group to examine the NBU activities since the start of 2008. The group has reached a conclusion that there were not only blunders but also corrupt dealings and law violations,” Azarov stressed. 
 
It is becoming common knowledge in Ukraine that all personnel appointments by the president seem to have their concrete monetary dimension – in terms of kickbacks. A group of people have lined their pockets as a result of the hryvnia fluctuations. If the group’s profits were low, Stelmakh wouldn’t be governor of NBU.
 
This is the bottom line of what is happening around the Ukrainian currency. No doubt, like in the similar past hryvnia downfalls, in a couple of weeks the hryvnia will be stabilized, but the wallets of ordinary Ukrainians have already been made lighter by 160 billion hryvnia ($23 billion), Yury Kostenko said (incidentally, a loyal Yushchenko supporter), putting forward his Ukrainian People’s party demand to the incumbent to fire Stelmakh).   
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10.  TOUGH MEDICINE NEEDED FOR UKRAINE’S ECONOMIC WOES
 
COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Volodymyr Lanovy
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, Dec 03, 2008
 
The economic crisis in Ukraine has become a reality: enterprises are halting production, bank branches are going into liquidation, employees are being laid off. It is hard to remember that as recently as three months ago economic-development indicators were steadily rising. One has the impression the country has been swept up in an unexpected tsunami.

The metaphor is apt, even though to a considerable extent the crisis crept into the homes of average Ukrainians bit by bit. In the first half of this year, interest rates soared and the hitherto stable value of the hryvnya was shaken. Investments in the economy dried up, and the construction sector slowed down.

But an economic tsunami did roll over us from the outside. And its effects were hard felt in Ukraine, a country that is neither among the high-technology countries of the West nor among the oil-and-gas giants of the East. Like most countries in the world, Ukraine is between the former and the latter and seems to have been hit from both sides.

First, Ukraine — like all the other countries of the world — has become an unwilling financial donor to a void that opened up in the United States. The outflow of capital from our country has resulted in a catastrophic plunge of the stock-market indexes and an abrupt decapitalization of Ukrainian enterprises. By contrast, the U.S. markets have seemed virtually stable.

Second, Ukraine — like many Western countries — was vulnerable because the economy had been weakened by inflated global prices for oil and gas. Before the crisis struck, Ukraine was de facto a major contributor to the Stabilization Fund in Russia. Kyiv had no opportunity to build up its own reserves like Russia, many Persian Gulf energy producers, China, and other countries were able to do. Now those countries have funds to provide assistance to their own banks and companies and even to offer credit to Western countries. Ukraine is left to compete with other countries for help from the International Monetary Fund or to cope on its own.

Third, Ukraine’s economy was relatively weak even before the crisis struck. It is already in its second year of a rapidly rising trade deficit and a negative hard-currency-payments balance. This situation meant that the halt of foreign-capital inflows brought on by the crisis has struck the national currency hard, producing a sharp decline in production and consumption.

Fourth, the slowdown of commodities markets abroad means a decrease in orders for Ukrainian industrial and agricultural products, decreases in the prices for key exports, and sharp losses for major enterprises.

MAJOR REFORM NEEDED 

Clearly, Ukraine’s recovery plan must extend beyond merely addressing the immediate effects of the crisis. Ukraine must not only cover financial deficits and credits, but it must also recover the position of its enterprises on global markets and ensure that production is sufficient for domestic demand.
 
A recovery program should include both immediate, extraordinary measures to counter various financial implosions and a complex of structural and institutional reforms, without which we will be unable to compete in today’s globalized and pitiless world.

Over the long term, global economics will come down to a struggle among countries for a share in the global investment flow. Therefore, it is essential that our national anticrisis program include reforms that will make Ukraine a worthy competitor in this struggle.

Ukraine must improve its hard-currency, credit, and investment markets. They must be deregulated, transparent, accessible to everyone globally, and protected against administrative interventions.

It must implement far-reaching tax reform to reduce corporate and individual taxes, while also introducing mandatory contributions to the state’s pension, insurance, and environmental funds. It should impose taxes on real estate and the consumption of energy and natural resources.

Kyiv must reform the stock exchange to protect the rights of minority shareholders, mandate transparency in corporate accounting and reporting, and introduce online trading. It must create investment banks and encourage public share offerings. It must adopt a broad program of demonopolization and credible antimonopoly regulation.

It must introduce market-oriented reforms of key sectors that remain under state control: the fuel and energy complex, agriculture, machine building, transport, road management, telecommunications, housing and utilities, and others. The country must also face the fact that its management system is shortsighted, cumbersome, onerous, and inefficient.

Yes, there is work to be done.

NOTE: Volodymyr Lanovy was Ukraine’s economy minister and first deputy prime minister in 1992 and head of the State Property Fund in 1997-98. The views expressed in this commentary are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.

 
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) www.usubc.org.
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
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11.  MARS UKRAINE JOINS U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)

Confectionery, food, beverage, health & nutrition, pet care products company. USUBC member 98.
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., Tue, Dec 2, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mars Ukraine has been approved for USUBC membership, according to the USUBC executive committee, in an announcement on behalf of the entire USUBC membership. Mars Ukraine is USUBC member ninety-eight. 
 
Mars, Incorporated is a family owned company, with six industry leading business units – Chocolate, Petcare, Food,  Drinks, Symbioscience and now Wrigley Gum and Sugar. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars, Incorporated operates in more than 79 countries.

 
With the addition of Wrigley, a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate, Mars has grown from approximately 50,000 to 65,000 associates worldwide and from $22 billion to $28 billion in annual
revenue.
The combination of Mars and Wrigley brings together two strong, international businesses and creates one of the world’s leading confectionery companies. The portfolio spans a variety of categories such as confectionary items, main meals, side dishes, beverages, snack foods, frozen snacks, organic foods, pet foods, and now also includes Wrigley’s vast portfolio of gum brands and sugar items.
 
Founded in 1911, Mars manufactures and markets a variety of products under many of the world’s most recognizable trademarks, including DOVE®, MILKY WAY®, M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, MARS®, UNCLE BEN’S® Rice, ROYAL CANIN®, PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS® pet care products, STARBURST®, SKITTLES®.
DENIS YAROTSKY, GENERAL MANAGER, MARS UKRAINE
Denis has started his successful career with Mars back in 2001 as Marketing Manager. His last position before coming to Ukraine was the CIS Snackfood Marketing Director, member of Management Team, in Moscow. Denis started as General Manager of Mars Ukraine in March 2008 when his predecessor Robert John Woodcraft retired. Denis will represent Mars Ukraine on the USUBC board of directors.
 
Mars started operations in Ukraine 14 years ago. It was a representative office until year 2004 when full fledged business operations were established. Since that time Mars Ukraine has become one of the fastest growing FMCG companies in the country. Today Mars Ukraine is undisputed leader in both categories where it competes: Chocolate Bars and Pet Care. In Ukraine Mars is present with its global brands M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®.
Mars Ukraine plans to build a large pet food plant in Ukraine.  However various legislation issues in Ukraine have made it difficult for businesses to pursue these plans.
 
PURCHASES WM. WRIGLEY JR. COMPANY
Mars, Incorporated (“Mars”) announced recently it has successfully completed its acquisition of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (“Wrigley”), following approval of the transaction by Wrigley stockholders on September 25, 2008 and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate. The company distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries.
 
Three of these brands – Wrigley’s Spearmint®, Juicy Fruit®, and Altoids® – have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Doublemint®, Life Savers®, Big Red®, Boomer®, Pim Pom®, Winterfresh®, Extra®, Freedent®, Hubba Bubba®, Orbit®, Excel®, Creme Savers®, Eclipse®, Airwaves®, Solano®, Sugus®, P.K.®, Cool Air® and 5™.
For additional information about Mars please visit their website: www.mars.com
 
“USUBC is very pleased to have Mars Ukraine, as a new member” said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as president of USUBC.  “USUBC has grown very rapidly during the past 22 months and now has a membership base which allows USUBC to provide its members such as Mars Ukraine with a full-time operation and a significantly expanded program of work,” according to president Williams.
 
USUBC MEMBERSHIP WILL TOP 100 IN 2008
Mars Ukraine is the 48th new member for 2008, and the 78th new member since January of 2007. USUBC membership has quadrupled in the past 24 months, going from 22 members in January of 2007 to 98 members in December of 2008. Membership is expected to top 100 this year.
 
The new USUBC members in 2008 include MaxWell USA, Baker and McKenzie law firm, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, Dipol Chemical International, MJA Asset Management, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, DLA Piper law firm, EPAM Systems, DHL International Ukraine, Air Tractor, Inc., Magisters law firm, Ernst & Young, Umbra LLC., US PolyTech LLC, Vision TV LLC, Crumpton Group, Standard Chartered Bank, TNK-BP Commerce LLC, Rakotis, American Councils for International Education, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, International Commerce Corporation, and IMTC-MEI.
 
Additional new USUBC members in 2008 are: Nationwide Equipment Company, First International Resources, the Doheny Global Group, Foyil Securities, KPMG, Asters law firm, Solid Team LLC, R & J Trading International, Vasil Kisil & Partners law firm, AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines, Anemone Green Capital Limited, ContourGlobal, Winner Imports LLC (Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Porsche), 3M, Edelman, CEC Government Relations RZB Finance LLC (Raiffeisen), IBM Ukraine, SoftServe Inc., The Washington Group (TWG), SE Raelin/Cajo, Inc., AnaCom, Inc., Pratt & Whitney – Paton and
Mars Ukraine.
 
The complete USUBC membership list and additional information about USUBC can be found at: http://www.usubc.org.
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12.  UKRAINE: IMB GROUP BEING REBRANDED, ALLOCATES $100 MILLION
FOR ACQUISITION OF UKRAINIAN BANKS WITH WORLD BANK’S SUPPORT
 
IMB Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 12, 2008

KYIV – IMB Group (Public) Limited, a parent company of International Mortgage Bank and Family Credit ™, a leader of the Ukrainian consumer loan market, last week made the decision to update its strategy.

 
The key elements of a new strategy will include a rapid growth in short-term retail loans, including consumer (installment) loans, cash loans and credit cards, attraction of deposits and discontinuance of mortgage lending. As a part of the new strategy, the company also plans to deal with consolidation of the Ukrainian banking sector.
 
To achieve these goals, the company will allocate a total of $100 million both in its own capital and in credit lines from the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. To implement the new strategy, the IMB Group (Public) Limited companies will be incorporated under new brands: PLATINUM BANK (previously – International Mortgage Bank and Family Credit™) and PLATINUM HOLDING (previously – IMB Group).
Greg Krasnov, CEO of PLATINUM HOLDING, said: “Today, our bank is the most highly capitalized and liquid bank in Ukraine. This excessive liquidity can be used to support the Ukrainian banking sector. At the same time, we can speed up implementation of the new strategy through acquisition of banks that experience problems with liquidity. Such use of the long-term debt is going to be more efficient than further development of the mortgage business, whose investment attractiveness has declined substantially due to the financial crisis.
 
“The consolidation rationale is also supported by the fact that our international management team has a strong know-how in the banking industry, including the crisis management and integration areas. We are pleased that our shareholders, including World Bank, support the new strategy and are ready to provide additional capital for its implementation.”
The company plans to implement rebranding during the 1st quarter of 2009. When screening banks for acquisition, in the first place, the company will assess the potential of the existing retail network of the banks under consideration, including the existing retail deposit base. The consolidation strategy will be primarily focused on medium banks with a deposit base of UAH250 million to UAH1 billion.
NOTE: Platinum Holding (previously – IMB Group) is a 100% parent company of Platinum Bank (which was previously known as International Mortgage Bank and operated under the Family Credit trade mark), a leader of the Ukrainian retail loan market. Platinum Bank offers consumer loans, cash loans, credit cards and deposits through a broad network of branches and customer service points throughout the country.
 
As of September 30, 2008, consolidated assets of Platinum Holding amounted to UAH1.142 billion, while its equity capital was UAH736 million and its long-term credit lines were UAH363 million. In terms of the consolidated equity capital, Platinum Holding ranks 10th in the rating of Ukrainian banks.
 
Major shareholders of Platinum Holding include international private equity funds such as Horizon Capital, Warburg Pincus, East Capital, Goldman Sachs, as well as the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) and the management. The company’s partners in long-term debt funding include Western government agencies such as the International Finance Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (USA), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and FMO (the Netherlands.)
 
NOTE:  Horizon Capital is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., www.usubc.org.

LINK: http://www.horizoncapital.com.ua/files/press_2008/press_release/Press%20Release_IMB%20Group_Eng.pdf

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13.  EPAM SYSTEMS ADVANCES TO 190TH PLACE WITHIN THE LIST
OF WORLD’S 500 LARGEST SOFTWARE AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

EPAM Systems, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Monday, December 1, 2008

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – EPAM Systems, Inc. , the leading software engineering and IT Outsourcing (ITO) provider with delivery centers in Central and
Eastern Europe (CEE), announced today that it has advanced to the 190th place on Software Magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s 500 largest
software and service providers — The Software 500.

EPAM is proud to be named on the prestigious The Software 500 list along with 29 of its ISV (Independent Software Vendors) clients, ranging from
promising start-ups to global software leaders including three of the Top 10 honorees on the list.

Since its inception in 1993, EPAM has enabled ISVs and other technology focused organizations to build, maintain and support world-class software
products.

Today, utilizing the talent and experience of thousands of engineers located in advanced development centers across Central and Eastern Europe, EPAM
covers the complete software development lifecycle from research to prototyping and development, testing, deployment, maintenance and support for variety of products including world’s leading ERP and eCommerce applications as well as specialized embedded software that controls some of the most sophisticated electronic devices.

In addition EPAM offers its unique ability to deliver complex distributed professional services including architecture level consulting, product
customization, porting and cross-platform migration, as well as deployment of mission critical enterprise level highly customized solutions built on
top of the standard product functionality.

“We would like to congratulate our 29 ISV clients who made this year’s list. We extend our thanks for the opportunity we have enjoyed to grow together
and to leverage each other’s strengths,” commented Arkadiy Dobkin, EPAM’s President and CEO, noting: “We are also confident that many of our younger,
but nevertheless innovative and fast growing clients will make the list in coming years.”

ABOUT DIGITAL SOFTWARE MAGAZINE, THE SOFTWARE

DECISION JOURNAL AND SOFTWAREMAG.COM
The Software 500 is a revenue-based ranking of the world’s largest software and services suppliers targeting medium to large enterprises, their IT
professionals, software developers and business managers involved in software and services purchasing.

According to the results of the survey, the software industry continues to grow in total revenue, representing growth of 14.7% from the previous year,
while the total employee growth rate of 1.3% shows modest increase compared to 2007. “The Software 500 helps CIOs, senior IT managers and IT staff
research and create the short list of business partners,” said John P. Desmond, Editor of Software Magazine and softwaremag.com.

Digital Software Magazine, the Software Decision Journal, has been a brand name in the high-tech industry for 30 years. Softwaremag.com, its Web
counterpart, is the online catalog to enterprise software and the home of the Software 500 ranking of the world’s largest software and services companies, now in its 26th year. Software Magazine and Softwaremag.com are owned and operated by King Content Co., www.softwaremag.com.

ABOUT EPAM SYSTEMS
Established in 1993, EPAM Systems, Inc. is the leading global software engineering and IT consulting provider with delivery centers throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Headquartered in the United States and serving clients worldwide, EPAM provides software development and IT related
services through its more than 4,500 professionals deployed across client delivery centers in Russia, Belarus, Hungary, and Ukraine.

EPAM’s core competencies include complex software product engineering for leading global software and technology vendors, as well as development,
testing, maintenance, and support of mission critical business applications and vertically oriented IT consulting services for global Fortune 2000
corporations.

EPAM is ranked among the top companies in IAOP’s “The 2008 Global Outsourcing 100” and in “2007 Top 50 Best Managed Outsourcing Vendors” by
Brown-Wilson Group’s Black Book of Outsourcing. Global Services Magazine recognized EPAM in its “2008 Global Services 100” list as the No.1 company in the “Emerging European Markets” and included EPAM into the global Top 10
“Best Performing IT Services Providers” .

For more information on EPAM Systems, Inc., please visit www.epam.com. For further information contact Alena Busko, Marketing Manager
EPAM Systems, Delivering Excellence in Software Engineering, Office phone: +1 (609) 613-4031, ext. 50474, E-mail: press@epam.com.

NOTE:  EPAM Systems is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., www.usubc.org.
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14.  UKRAINE’S THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAM SUPPORTED BY U.S.
NOW SUPPORTED BY $37 MILLION SUB-CONTRACT FROM BLACK
& VEATCH TO SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
 
Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, Monday, December 1, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  – Southern Research Institute, a not-for-profit scientific organization that conducts basic and applied research in the areas of preclinical drug discovery and development, advanced engineering, environmental and energy production, today announced that it has been awarded a subcontract from Black & Veatch [Kansas City, MO, USA] to support the U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) in Ukraine.
The award is expected to generate up to $37 million in revenues for Southern Research over the next five years. “We are honored that Black & Veatch has selected our Southern Research team to provide support for such an important global program,” said John A. “Jack” Secrist III, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research Institute.
 
“Working with Black & Veatch on the Ukraine task order will allow Southern Research to not only contribute to the safety and well-being of the United States, but to use our knowledge and expertise for global safety as well.”
As the prime integrating contractor, Black & Veatch will design, engineer and deploy systems, processes and technologies to further strengthen reporting, detection and response capabilities. Southern Research will provide a wide range of scientific consulting in the design and implementation of modern diagnostic laboratories throughout the Ukraine.
Additionally, Southern Research will facilitate collaborative research projects conducted by US-Ukraine interdisciplinary teams. The Southern Research biological threat reduction program will be managed by Mary Guttieri, Ph.D., based in Washington DC, in conjunction with William Severson, Ph.D. and Colleen B. Jonsson Ph.D. based in Birmingham, Ala.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the BTRP’s implementer, awarded Black & Veatch, a leading global engineering consulting and construction company, one of the agency’s major Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contracts (BTRIC), with a collective ceiling of $4 billion over 10 years among the five selected contractors.
 
As part of the BTRIC, Black & Veatch was selected and awarded the first task order in Ukraine valued at more than $175 million during an initial five-year timeframe to include options.
The task order includes enhancing the Ukraine’s existing network of human and veterinary diagnostic laboratories that handle especially dangerous pathogens.
 
It also involves strengthening biosafety and biosecurity measures to combat bioterrorism and prevent the proliferation of biological weapons-related technology, pathogens, and expertise while enhancing the government’s existing disease surveillance systems to detect and report bioterrorism attacks, epidemics and potential pandemics.
ABOUT DTRA 
DTRA safeguards the United States and its allies from weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high explosives) by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the threat and mitigate its effects. This combat support agency serves as the intellectual, technical, and operational leader for the Department of Defense in the national effort to combat weapons of mass destruction. Established in 1998, this year DTRA celebrates 10 years of creative solutions through teamwork.
ABOUT BLACK & VEATCH 
Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, and management consulting, federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients’ needs and provide sustainable benefits.
Solutions are provided from the broad line of service expertise available within Black & Veatch, including conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, program management, construction management, environmental, security design and consulting, management consulting and infrastructure planning. With $3.2 billion in annual revenue, the employee-owned company has more than 100 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries on six continents. The company’s Web site address is www.bv.com.
 
ABOUT SOUTHERN RESEARCH 
Southern Research Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) scientific research organization that conducts basic research in drug discovery for cancer, emerging infectious diseases, and diseases of the central nervous system; contract preclinical drug and vaccine development, and advanced engineering research in materials, systems development, environment and energy.
Our more than 600 scientific and engineering team members support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Southern Research is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with facilities also located in Wilsonville, Ala., Anniston, Ala., Frederick, Md., Durham, NC, and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
 
For more information about Southern Research and its capabilities and accomplishments, visit www.SouthernResearch.org
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15.  WHERE EAST MEETS WEST: EUROPEAN GAS AND UKRAINIAN REALITY 

 

By Edward Chow and Jonathan Elkind, The Washington Quarterly, pp. 77 – 93
Journal of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C., January, 2009
 
NOTE: Edward Chow and Jonathan Elkind have written an article in the January 2009 issue of The Washington Quarterly.  The article, entitled “Where East Meets West: European Gas and Ukrainian Reality,” explains how Ukraine is caught between the old, post-Soviet world and the new, European one that it desperately wants to join. By focusing on Ukraine’s natural gas industry, the authors have highlighted the dilemmas facing Ukraine and Europe, as it reconsiders Ukraine’s bid to join the European security community. 
 
Edward Chow is a senior fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security program and a former international oil industry executive. He can be reached at EChow@csis.org. Jonathan Elkind is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and previously served on the staff at the National Security Council. He can be reached at jelkind@brookings.edu.
 
WHERE EAST MEETS WEST: EUROPEAN GAS AND UKRAINIAN REALITY
Ukraine is caught between the old post-Soviet world and the new, European one
 
On January 11, 2008, on the eve of the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest, the Ukrainian president, prime minister, and parliamentary speaker wrote to Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, asking that Ukraine be invited to begin a Membership Action Plan (MAP) leading to membership in the Alliance. (1) In April, the NATO heads of state deferred the issue of MAP for Ukraine, and fellow aspirant Georgia, saying that progress should be assessed at the December 2008 NATO ministerial. (2)  In that same month, after a tumultuous year of political recriminations and policy deadlock within the ruling coalition, Ukraine is also scheduled, to have its third pre-term parliamentary election in three years.
These events shine a harsh spotlight on the current policymaking environment in Kyiv, and also on the country’s longstanding aspiration to join the Euro-
Atlantic community. At present, Ukraine is caught between the old, post-Soviet world and the new, European one that it says it wants to join. Nowhere is this clearer and more consequential, both for Ukraine and for the Euro-Atlantic community, than in Ukraine’s natural gas industry.
 
While Ukraine plays a critical role as the key transit connection between gas producers in Russia as well as Central Asia and gas consumers in the EU, its incomplete market economic transition and culture of corruption weaken its own energy security, destabilize its economy, destroy public trust in its politics, and undermine the interests of its European neighbors as well.
Worse yet, Ukraine’s leverage in the energy marketplace is eroding rapidly. A Ukraine that modernizes the practices in its energy sector can contribute significantly to European security, stability, and economic prosperity. Yet, this is not the role that Ukraine has played since 1991 and, even most disappointingly, not the role the country has played since the dramatic Orange Revolution brought new leaders to power in 2005.
 
Western leaders who have encouraged Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations would be well-advised to examine critically the current state of Ukraine’s gas sector, its implications for the country’s democratic development, and risks for European security as it considers Ukraine’s bid to join the trans-Atlantic community in 2009 and beyond.
UKRAINE’S ABUNDANT ENERGY POTENTIAL 
Ukraine’s corruption and incomplete economic transition weaken its own energy security – and Europe’s
Ukraine’s energy situation is much more complicated and perilous than it should be. The country has a generous endowment of hydrocarbon resources both
onshore and offshore in the Black Sea. It has a capable energy workforce, and long experience in the exploration, production, transportation, and refining of
oil and gas. Most prominently, it is strategically located and has large-scale infrastructure.
Today, roughly 80 percent of the gas being exported from Russia to Europe crosses Ukrainian territory, roughly 120 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year.
This gas originates variously in Russia and Central Asia, and it passes Ukraine en route to European clients who are the best-paying customers of the Russian gas titan, OAO Gazprom.
 
In fact, two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses Ukraine, which in turn represents more than 20 percent of growing European gas demand. Moreover, Ukrainian gas throughput can be increased by 25 percent, to roughly 150 bcm per year, on a cost-effective basis, with comparatively modest capital investment relative to all other alternatives.
 
Ukraine also has strategic strength in the form of other energy transportation infrastructure. Its oil pipeline network can transmit roughly one million barrels  of oil per day (nearly 7 percent of total EU demand) to central and eastern European destinations. It also has immense gas storage capacity. The country can store up to 35 bcm of gas (roughly 40 percent of Germany’s annual demand) in underground gas storage systems, which are mainly located in the west of the country – an ideal location for serving European gas customers. Gas storage is a particularly valuable asset because it allows one to match supply, which is basically constant year-round, and demand, which often varies widely due to seasonal changes or other commercial or even strategic factors.
As for its domestic energy production, Ukraine has several hydrocarbon producing provinces onshore and has vast geological potential both on and
offshore. Peak historical gas production was 68.7 bcm in 1975 (more than the total consumption of Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom  at that time), compared to the current production level of 20 bcm.
 
Today there are opportunities for enhanced oil and gas recovery from Soviet-era fields plus previously untapped ”greenfield” opportunities, especially in deeper producing zones and in the Black Sea. Industry experts, both inside and outside Ukraine, commonly believe that with improvements in the overall investment climate and with the right changes to the legal and regulatory environment, Ukraine could double its gas production within a decade.
ENDURING ENERGY INSECURITY 
Ukraine’s gas sector presents risks for European security.
Roughly 80 percent of gas exported from Russia to Europe crosses Ukrainian territory.

Despite this resource potential, strategic location, and existing infrastructure, the country struggles with energy security. The reasons are an incomplete transition to market economics, chronic underinvestment, and profound opaqueness of policymaking, which fuels corruption.
Seventeen years after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the energy economy of independent Ukraine is still frozen in seemingly permanent transition. The
structure of the energy sector, particularly of the oil and gas industry, is a cross between a Soviet branch ministry and private interest groups. The state-owned company, NAK Naftohaz Ukrainy, contains many able and knowledgeable professionals but is overly politicized in leadership, overstaffed, mismanaged, impoverished, and operates under numerous fundamental conflicts of interest.
For example, one of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, UkrTransNafta, operates the country’s oil pipelines and is responsible for determining the  terms on which domestic crude oil is accepted into the system for transportation, including from private oil companies that have invested in exploration and
production (E&P) activities. At the same time, other Naftohaz subsidiaries, some of which have controlling private owners despite being predominantly
state-owned, are also in the business of extracting crude oil. Naftohaz’s subsidiary UkrTransNafta, therefore, is determining pipeline access for private E&P investors even as they compete with other Naftohaz subsidiaries.
Price signals, the most fundamental element of a functioning market, are also profoundly confused and obscured in the Ukrainian energy sector. For example, in its current form, the gas industry employs multi-tier pricing that reduces incentives to conserve a precious resource and enables flourishing graymarket trading.
 
In other words, gas from domestic Ukrainian production is theoretically earmarked for use by residential customers and government-funded organizations at a subsidized price, while higher priced imported gas is meant to be used for industrial consumption. Not surprisingly, this schema is not honored in reality. Politically well-connected individuals and companies use barter arrangements and re-export schemes to profit handsomely while injuring the national welfare. Meanwhile, domestic gas production is depressed by artificially low prices.
Non-transparency reaches its peak in international natural gas trade and transit, where the poster child is the shady middleman, RosUkrEnergo (RUE). The company’s role is a political bone of contention in that an entity with no assets, no track record, and no transparency was placed at the very center of the
Ukrainian gas economy.
 
Moreover, RUE did not even have to compete for this very lucrative position. It is also important to note that RUE was not the first mysterious middleman to operate in the Ukrainian gas sector. One therefore wonders: if RUE is thrown out, as the most senior Ukrainian officials have said they would like to do, would RUE simply be replaced by another nontransparent entity despite all declared policy to the contrary for supply contracts with Gazprom and Central Asian gas producers?
Similar to its predecessors Itera and EuralTransGaz (ETG), RUE makes a fortune by re-selling gas in Ukraine and in neighboring central European
countries which has been imported from, or transported across, Russian territory. Under the January 2006 gas agreement, Ukraine pays RUE in kind by giving it more than 20 percent of the total delivered gas, which is 15 bcm of the 73 bcm that were nominally contracted for 2007.
 
The value of the in-kind gas in late 2007 was $4.35 billion, assuming a gas price of $290 per thousand cubic meters which was a representative price in central and eastern Europe at the time. Today, the value of this gas would be substantially higher, based on prevailing prices for gas. According to numerous press reports and industry rumors, RUE’s ample profits flow into the pockets of well-placed officials in the Russian and Ukrainian gas industries and governmental structures.
The Ukrainian oil and gas sector is dominated, some would say strangled, by parties that control investment decisions and cash flows, but who are not subject to the responsibility of ownership. Typically, company owners must comply with transparent government regulation and must exercise discipline in their operations to deliver financial performance for fear of being rejected by the capital markets on which the company depends. Instead, the parties who control the Ukrainian oil and gas sector use their positions to block development, to extract economic rent, and to pick commercial winners and losers for their personal convenience.
 
For example, only some projects get governmental approvals; only some companies get sought after contracts. Consequently, control over the sector is a major prize in political contests. When one political bloc is uppermost in national politics, no project proceeds without the blessing of, and benefits for, people connected with that bloc. When that group loses the political upper hand, deals are often subject to renegotiation. At the same time, it becomes the job of each successive political opposition to block all policy proposals, even the sensible ones, because the opposition is not profiting. As a result, few major long-term policy initiatives have been enacted or implemented.
One of the most damaging results of this pattern is chronic underinvestment in the oil and gas sector. Opportunities to raise production, increase efficiency,
and improve reliability are lost because short investment horizons dominate. In infrastructure-dependent, capital-intensive, long lead-time industries like oil and gas, such actions severely damage the prospects for progress and development. Consequently, the condition of Ukraine’s oil and gas industry continues to deteriorate.
 
In May 2007, for example, one of the main gas transmission lines near Kyiv experienced a failure and exploded. Had the accident occurred in the winter, when cold temperatures hike demand and when all gas pipelines operate  at peak levels, the incident could have had a major humanitarian impact. Instead, it only signaled the risks of underinvestment in operations, maintenance, and upgrades.
Ukraine consumes between approximately 60 and 75 bcm annually, which makes it the sixth largest gas consumer in the world, with consumption levels
that are completely out of proportion to the size of its economy. (3)  Its consumption equals that of all the Visegrad countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – combined. Its energy intensity is not only higher than Western European countries, but it is twice as high, or twice as
inefficient, as neighboring Poland. Ukrainian officials and lawmakers make ritualistic comments about the need to reduce energy intensity, but the extent of
real action is very limited.
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES 
Three years after the Orange Revolution, the gas sector is no more transparent that it was.

In the wake of the 2005 Orange Revolution, President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko declared high ambitions for energy sector
reform, increasing public expectations. Three years later, none of the stated intentions and expectations has been met. Most conspicuously, the gas sector
remains as convoluted and impenetrable as ever. In March 2005, Yushchenko declared that gas trade with Russia would be conducted on a cash basis rather than through non-transparent in-kind payments.
 
Yet, no proper negotiation process followed. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2005, tensions over the gas issue grew, and both Russia and Ukraine resorted to the gas equivalent of saberrattling. The Russians’ version of this high-stakes brinksmanship was to threaten to cut off gas supply to Ukraine. The Ukrainian version was to threaten to stop gas transit to Europe.
On January 1, 2006, Russia’s Gazprom reduced gas through put to Ukraine by an amount roughly equivalent to what Ukraine would have been entitled to
extract if a contract were in place. In the midst of a bitterly cold winter throughout Europe, Ukraine apparently retaliated by taking unsanctioned gas from the pipeline system. Foreign governments, especially in Europe and the United States, reacted quickly, criticizing the Russian cut-off and calling for the
two sides to reach a negotiated settlement. Early on January 3, Russia returned the gas pipelines to normal operations, appearing to concede that it had lost the battle for international public opinion.
On January 4, Naftohaz Chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko and Ukrainian Minister of Fuels and Energy Ivan Plachkov announced a new gas agreement with
Gazprom and RUE. To those who had been monitoring the mounting crisis, the agreement was as incomprehensible in its logic as it was unprofessional in its form. Regrettably, it also established the pattern for two subsequent years of negotiations. The result of the early 2006 negotiations was unfavorable to
Ukraine inasmuch as it gave away the previously-agreed nominal gas price of $50 per thousand cubic meters and accepted a nominal price of $95.
 
In exchange for this concession, Ukraine did not receive an agreed pricing formula for future years, which would have removed the opportunity for politically-charged eleventh-hour negotiations. Nor did Ukraine receive agreement on a period for transition to higher prices or a long-term, ship-or-pay volume guarantee from the Russian side, nor any other enforceable contract provisions. Instead, the RUE import monopoly was expanded, and its non-transparent in-kind payment further entrenched.
Late in 2006, under a new government led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich of the Party of Regions, Ukraine accepted a nominal price of $130 per thousand cubic meters for 2007. Late in 2008, the nominal price rose to $179.50, again without normal international contract protections. During the
same period, both Belarus and Bulgaria successfully negotiated multi-year gas supply agreements with pricing mechanisms and multi-year periods for transition to ”European” pricing levels with Russia.
 
Neither of these countries has negotiating leverage comparable to Ukraine’s, leverage which reflects the fact that 120 bcm of gas transit Ukraine annually from Russia to European consumers. For reasons that are inexplicable as a matter of basic negotiating leverage, Ukraine failed to secure self-protection that less powerful neighbors managed to secure with Gazprom.
Ukraine claims to receive gas, while Russia claims to sell gas, at nominal prices that do not correspond with reality. These nominal prices have deceived
the Ukrainian public into thinking they were getting a better deal than they are, and have created a disincentive to engage in gas sector modernization, a faulty logic that is based on the fear that Ukraine could not survive economically if it were required to pay European gas prices. False prices and faulty contract compliance also allowed the Russian side to accumulate debt obligations from Ukrainian entities, thus setting the stage for predatory buy-outs by entities with the right connections (whether Russian, Ukrainian, or other).
The mechanism used to mask these false prices is simple. According to the terms of the January 2006 agreement, Ukraine pays a stated price (initially $95 per thousand cubic meters, then $130 for 2007, and $179.50 for 2008) to import up to 58 bcm of gas per year (roughly three-quarters of Ukrainian
demand). To receive that volume of gas for domestic use, Ukraine must actually buy 73 bcm of gas, out of which 15 bcm is transferred to RUE for the ”service” of delivering the total volume of gas to Ukraine. As a result, the actual price paid  by Ukraine is significantly higher than the nominal price, since approximately one of every five cubic meters that Ukraine purchased (15 of 73 bcm) is actually being turned over to RUE, with its beneficial owners pocketing the handsome profits.
In 2007, gas was selling in several central and Western European countries for around $290 per thousand cubic meters on a delivered basis.4 In that same year, Ukraine paid the nominal price of $130 per thousand cubic meters for 56 bcm of gas that was said to be sourced from Central Asia, and Ukraine paid $230 for a further 17 bcm that was said to be sourced from Russia. In aggregate, Ukraine paid $11.19 billion for 73 bcm in 2007.  
 
In exchange for that aggregate sum, Ukraine actually received only 56 bcm of gas for its own consumption, making the price Ukraine effectively paid in 2007 for each thousand cubic meter of the usable gas $192.93, not $130. Similarly, the real price in 2008 that corresponds to the nominal price of $179.50 is roughly $240 per thousand cubic meters. For RUE, this arrangement has been exceptionally lucrative. RUE has been able to re-sell at European market value the gas it receives as an in-kind transfer.
 
Certain Ukrainian industrial and export customers are willing to pay close to full value, which means that RUE can pocket literally billions of dollars per year.5 The reason behind RUE’s preferential place in the Eurasian gas trade has never been explained in comprehensible terms. Gazprom and Russian government officials have always blamed the Ukrainians while the Ukrainians have always blamed the Russians.
 
Nonetheless, the simple fact is that Gazprom allowed billions of dollars of value to flow into the pockets of a group of middlemen without demonstrable industry expertise and without compensating Gazprom’s shareholders, or Russian taxpayers, in any commensurate way. And the Ukrainian government and Naftohaz allowed RUE to occupy an absolutely central place in the Ukrainian economy, earning billions from the role, without ever having had to compete for the role or prove its capabilities in any way.
From time to time since 2005, Ukrainian officials have proudly asserted that they have extemporized skillfully, allowing their country to buy time and adjust gradually to higher gas prices. Unfortunately, such claims ring hollow. Three years after the arrival of Yushchenko and the Orange forces, the gas sector is no more transparent than it was in 2004, when RUE’s role was more limited. As of 2008, Ukraine still lacks the stability and predictability that would come from long-term gas contracts.
 
Ukraine also lacks the protections that would come from an international-style agreement that includes all the standard provisions that Gazprom routinely negotiates and concludes with its German, French, or central European counterparties -provisions such as take-or-pay obligations for gas buyers, ship-or-pay obligations for shippers, price adjustment mechanisms, clear arbitration provisions, and many more.
Over the past three years, Ukraine’s negotiating leverage has eroded greatly.
Gazprom is three years closer to its objective of commissioning bypass pipelines that will allow it to transport more of its gas to Europe without having to cross Ukraine. Blue Stream, which passes under the Black Sea to Turkey, is operating at capacity while Nord Stream, which is meant to cross the Baltic to Germany, is proceeding, though not without a number of headaches. And South Stream, which is planned to pass under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, is now under development. All three of these routes will bypass Ukraine entirely.
 
Even without these pipelines being completed, Ukraine’s leverage is rapidly eroding. Naftogaz’s chronic and massive indebtedness – it is currently in
technical default of its international bond obligations – makes Gazprom the only potential purchaser of its remaining valuable assets, namely the trunk gas
pipeline and storage facilities. Gazprom’s dominant position gives Russia the possibility of taking over Ukraine’s decaying infrastructure and strengthening its control over gas exports to Europe, including those from Central Asia, even without having to construct all the bypass pipelines it is planning.
Although gas trade and transit carries the greatest international impact, they are not the only parts of the Ukrainian energy sector that remain distorted and
dysfunctional. Domestic production is stagnant to declining at the time when it should be booming. Investment in exploration and production of Ukraine’s oil and gas resources, which could have been substantial at a time of historically high international prices and constrained access to new prospects, has amounted to a trickle at best.
The sole international competitive bidding for new development that occurred in this entire period, for the Prikerchenskiy offshore block in the Black Sea, has been a classic case of non-transparency, rent-seeking, and professional incompetence. First, in 2005, Ukrainian officials deliberately chose not to employ standard marketing techniques that are universally recognized as proven approaches to increase industry awareness of new prospects, and thus
increase potential bids from competing companies. Then in 2006, with the country experiencing political turmoil associated with imminent parliamentary
elections, bids were collected under an ill-conceived process, and a small independent American oil company with modest experience in offshore west
Africa, Vanco, was announced the tender winner.
In late 2007, with yet another new Ukrainian government about to arrive, the terms of the production sharing agreement (PSA) were concluded and
formalized by the outgoing government. The timing struck knowledgeable industry observers as unusual, a long-term deal concluded in haste by a lameduck
government just before its departure. Most observers assumed the deal would be overturned by an incoming government, and unfortunately they were
proven right.
 
In May 2008, it was officially revealed that Vanco’s Pricherchenskiy investor group includes the Ukrainian firm Donbass Fuel and Energy
Complex (DTEK), which is owned by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, the force behind the now-out-of-power Regions Party of Ukraine, as well as
other mysterious entities whose ownership and expertise have never been revealed.
 
The second Tymoshenko government, in turn, cancelled Vanco’s license, allegedly due to problems in the fairness and adequacy of the tender process and  license terms, which then led to an open disagreement between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. In the summer of 2008, Vanco announced it would take the matter to international arbitration. The deputy head of the presidential secretariat stated to the press: ”We do not have the right to revoke the license unilaterally.” (6)
 
This entire experience calls into question Ukraine’s interest in attracting transparent foreign investment into its upstream oil and gas industry. Despite
numerous efforts, no major foreign investor has been able to achieve any success in Ukraine’s upstream oil and gas sector, including Royal Dutch Shell and
Marathon.
 
The nature of the current investment climate should ring alarm bells in the ears of Ukrainian policymakers along with the leaders of the Euro-
Atlantic community. If developing the country’s domestic hydrocarbon resources is a priority for Ukraine, as it should be, and if foreign investment is
essential to the country’s ability to develop those resources in a timely manner, and it is, then it is important to acknowledge that, at present, the investment
climate of Ukraine is highly unattractive.
IMPROVING UKRAINE’S OIL AND GAS SECTOR
In the long run, energy production, transportation, and distribution need to be unbundled.
 
Currently, Ukraine’s oil and gas sector is being operated in a completely dysfunctional manner. Yet, there are several beneficiaries, well-positioned
individuals and key political forces, milking the energy sector, particularly the oil and gas industry, for personal enrichment and as sources for  political funds. The present state of affairs underscores the most essential prerequisite for change in Ukraine’s oil and gas sector: political will. The needs of the nation, for today and tomorrow, are consistently overridden by short-term political expediency and personal gain, creating a corrosive effect on the entire political system, as it contributes to a broad loss of faith in the political process among the Ukrainian public.
 
The open and free press that has exposed the corruption underlying the oil and gas industry, however, is one of the truly important and hopefully lasting changes after the Orange Revolution. Today’s energy policy, which serves the interests of certain political elites rather than the country, poses imminent danger to the nation, yet it is not being addressed with any sense of urgency. To date, no political faction has demonstrated a willingness to put aside parochial interests for the good of the nation, a reality that must be changed if Ukraine is to pursue membership in the Euro-Atlantic community.
As experience around the globe will attest, sound energy policymaking is a difficult task. The United States, and many other political cultures that are far
more settled than Ukraine, struggle to make good choices in energy policy. Effective energy policy requires political leadership, economic analysis, public
dialogue, consensus building, commercial awareness, planning, and professional execution, not the enunciation of lofty goals.
 
Energy policy should be based on sound priorities, action plans, intermediate objectives, and realistic timetables. At present, Ukrainian officials betray a lack of seriousness on energy strategy, which undercuts the ability of commercial and public decision makers to plan energy-related aspects of their future, and reinforces already high public cynicism about the mishandling of the energy sector.
Gas supply and transit, which have been the source of so much controversy and intrigue since Ukrainian independence, must form the core of a sound
Ukrainian energy strategy. Ukraine could credibly set the goal of reducing its reliance on imported gas from the current level of approximately 75 percent to
50 percent within the next five to seven years. Achieving this objective would require a range of efforts, some related to domestic supply and some to demand.
 
On the demand side, there is great scope for helping Ukrainians, particularly those living in multi-family apartment buildings, to simultaneously reduce their gas consumption and improve their comfort as well as quality of life by investing in energy efficiency. Another essential aspect of this initiative would be to reduce gas consumption by allowing gas prices to increase to full-cost recovery levels and by enforcing payment discipline. This is important because allowing the accumulation of gas debts only makes Ukraine vulnerable to highly disadvantageous debt-equity swaps.
In addition to reducing gas consumption, Ukraine could increase its domestic gas production. Eliminating multi-tiered pricing would encourage new domestic production, because domestic production is currently designated for sale to residential and budgetary-institution consumers, but at only a fraction of the true market value. The current practice discourages domestic production and subsidizes higher-priced imports.
For gas transit, Ukraine’s goal should focus on stabilizing its contractual relationship with Russia. At present, Ukrainian officials constantly declare that
their country is a reliable transit partner, but a short conversation with virtually any European gas industry executive will reveal that this self-perception does not correspond to the understanding of industry experts outside Ukraine. Nearly seventeen years of post-Soviet experience have taught Europeans that Ukraine is the part of the supply chain that often leads to disputes, mutual recriminations, and endless charges and counters charges. It is the weak link.
 
It is hardly surprising that many Europeans conclude that it is better to pay lip-service to the idea of closer gas-related engagement with Ukraine rather than formulate policies that would lead to such engagement. At present, because of the legacy of Soviet-style gas contracts, Ukraine is Russia’s problem to  manage. And Europe does not appear to object to this reality.
Ukraine can transform its reputation by developing policies that aim to improve its reliability as a transit partner. A first step would be to engage in a
systematic internationally-sanctioned assessment of the condition and investment requirements of the Ukrainian international gas transit system (IGTS).
The assessment could identify opportunities to increase operating efficiency and reduce bottlenecks, serving as the basis for increasing Ukraine’s transit revenue by increasing throughput volume, and not by extorting higher transit tariffs as is often proposed by Ukrainian officials. Such a technical audit would be welcome and possibly funded by the donor community. Needed capital improvements can be financed by international credit according to modern business standards.
 
Ukrainian officials often complain that transit across their country is substantially less expensive than across many other European countries which occupy a far less strategic position in the supply chain, a fact borne out by analysis conducted by the Energy Charter Secretariat, among others. Transit across Ukraine, however, comes with an uncertainty premium that the market is no longer willing to bear. Ukraine would be better advised to build market confidence and increase its transit revenues by increasing volume first and only later by increasing transit fees if such increases can be justified by investments to improve reliability and increase capacity in the Ukrainian IGTS.
FIVE STEPS TO ENERGY SECTOR STABILITY 
The essential prerequisite for change in Ukraine’s oil and gas sector is political will.
To achieve the priorities outlined above, Kyiv can take five steps that will help stabilize Ukraine’s energy sector.
 
[1] First, Ukraine should seriously and professionally negotiate with Russia to reach new long-term agreements on gas supply and transit. At this writing, representatives of Naftohaz and the Government of Ukraine continue to negotiate with Russian officials and Gazprom over a future,  multi-year gas agreement and a gas price for 2009. Senior officials from the presidential secretariat and the Tymoshenko government continue to use the gas issue as a cudgel to attack each other in hopes of scoring political points.
 
This is not only unproductive for the country but is also damaging efforts that aim to improve Ukraine’s reputation as a serious and reliable transit country. It is not clear from press reports whether Ukrainian representatives are pursuing a clear negotiating strategy that is informed by expert analysis and supported by duly experienced professionals in fields such as international business practice, law, and finance, or are simply building on old and inefficient policies and practices. In any case, it is hard to imagine why Russia would agree to a firm contract prior to the upcoming, pre-term parliamentary election in Ukraine. Yet, Ukraine’s winter gas supply and Europe’s gas imports depend on agreements that expire on December 31, 2008.
[2] Second, Ukraine needs to transform the state-owned company Naftohaz into a functioning commercial concern. Naftohaz dominates the Ukrainian oil and gas industry in the style of a Soviet branch ministry, and consequently simply hemorrhages money. The fact that Naftohaz remains dominant, despite its
consistent financial losses, reflects a conscious dual choice on the part of successive rounds of Ukrainian legislators, cabinets, prime ministers, and
presidents: first, the choice not to address the utter insolvency of the oil and gas sector and, second, the choice to engage in asset-stripping and rent-seeking.
Naftohaz is on the brink of bankruptcy due to the absence of necessary and crucial reforms in areas like gas pricing. The company is responsible for buying gas for the needs of Ukraine’s population, governments, and some industry, but is unable to collect payment from consumers in amounts sufficient to replace the consumed gas and operate the delivery system. As a result, Naftohaz’s finances have reached the breaking point. It borrows expensively in the debt markets, paying a high premium because of its non-transparent business practices and precarious financial position, and uses the funds for current operations instead of capital improvements.
 
The cycle repeats until Naftohaz is declared to be on the verge of bankruptcy, at which point the government finally steps in and bails out the company, declaring it to be too important to fail. The government then changes absolutely nothing in the way Naftohaz operates, and the whole corrupted process starts over again. Naftohaz received a bailout in early 2008 as the current government entered office but went right back to losing money hand over fist. By summer, a new bailout was already under discussion, and by early October, a new bailout priced at $1.7 billion was announced. (7) Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that the pattern will not repeat itself yet again.
To end this vicious cycle, Naftohaz must be subjected to fiscal discipline. It needs to be able to charge its customers nothing less than the actual cost of the
delivered fuel. In addition, Naftohaz and all its lenders must be informed that there will be no further government bailouts of the company. Naftohaz’s
operations must be rid of non-core functions, and inherent conflicts among the various Naftohaz functions must be resolved once and for all. In the long run, the essential functions of energy production, transportation, and distribution will need to be unbundled, consistent with European reform efforts, and with
creating a competitive market. In short, Naftohaz must be transformed so that it is no longer a big black hole.
[3] Third, RUE and other middleman firms must be removed. These firms impose a hidden cost not only on Ukraine but also on Russian taxpayers and Gazprom shareholders. RUE also introduces serious risks and instability into the European  gas supply chain. In late April 2008, press reports about a possible new Ukrainian-Russian gas deal indicated that RUE was to be removed, with all wholesale gas to be purchased by Naftohaz while independent gas traders would serve the intermediary function between Naftohaz and end users. Depending on In the long run, energy production, transportation, and
distribution need to be unbundled. implementation, this arrangement could open opportunities for new intermediary companies to establish themselves in the same way as RUE and others did, with all the attendant risks that are discussed above.
[4] Fourth, Ukraine should promote efficiency by reforming pricing and helping consumers use less gas. The danger in multi-tier wholesale gas pricing
is that domestically-produced gas, which is nominally designated for public and household consumption, may get sold on the gray market to domestic industrial users or export buyers who are willing to pay European prices. These illicit sales fuel corruption and muffle the market signal that would otherwise promote increased domestic production and decreased consumption. Serious pricing reform is required – based on a sensible, transparent, and easily understandable rate methodology that allows gas producers or sellers to recoup their costs plus a reasonable rate of return.
Price formation will require capable and independent regulators to operate in a publicly transparent fashion so that the interests of producers and consumers are adequately balanced and duly protected. Price reform will mean higher prices all across the Ukrainian economy, which means the potential for negative impacts on the poor, namely those least able to pay higher prices. In order to lessen the impact on the poor, Ukraine should follow the example of other eastern and central European countries that have already undergone price reform.
 
Energy efficiency programs can help reduce the energy consumption of residential and institutional buildings as a first priority. Lending programs can be created, expanded, or strengthened to allow Ukrainian industry to borrow money in order to invest in upgrades for plants and equipment. And targeted assistance can be introduced to alleviate the burden on those legitimately unable to pay. The current system unfortunately operates in the interest of well-connected gas consumers and penalizes the poor who suffer shortages – making reform a necessity.
[5] Finally, Ukraine needs to improve its investment climate for exploration and production of hydrocarbons. If natural resource endowments were the only relevant factor, Ukraine would be able to produce significantly greater quantities of oil and gas than it does today. Significant improvement to the business climate, however, is required to attract the investment of billions of dollars needed for serious upstream development. Ukrainian energy legislation and regulation will need to be updated to correspond with norms found elsewhere around the globe.
 
The updated system will need to provide for fair access to geologic data, transparent decision making processes, longer licensing periods, use of model contracts, and truly competitive tenders. In other words, almost all of today’s standard practices, which are optimized for insiders and those paying for inside access, would need to be replaced. This will take time. Meanwhile, Ukraine will need a success story or a demonstration case that can prove the country’s new political will to encourage upstream investment.
THE KEY TO EURO-ATLANTIC ASPIRATIONS 
 
Ukraine is a country generously endowed with many assets. Its well-educated population of 46 million, industrial and technological prowess, huge agricultural potential, and cultural wealth all make it a natural candidate for the Euro-Atlantic community, if that is the wish of its people. The current form of the country’s energy sector, however, needs to be seen for what it is, a major threat to itself and to its neighbors. If Ukraine fails to modernize its energy sector practices, the sector will continue to undermine Ukrainian politics, economy, and energy security. Most importantly, it will threaten Europe’s own  energy security.
Ukraine has the potential to change this story line. Friendly governments and international institutions can help with capacity building for effective policy
execution, but only after the political will for energy reform is in place. Serious energy sector reform would not only help Ukraine but would also stabilize the economic undergirding of all European gas importing countries.
 
In this sense, serious energy reform would arguably be Ukraine’s single most important contribution to improve the security of the trans-Atlantic community. On the other hand, continuing failure to engage in energy reform, when the high stakes are so obvious to all, would be a clear signal that Ukraine is not ready to pursue its stated desire of becoming a more integral part of the Euro-Atlantic community.
 
NOTES:
1. Press Office of President Viktor Yushchenko, ”Joint Address to NATO Secretary General”, January 11, 2008, http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/8645.html.
2. Bucharest Summit Declaration, April 3, 2008, http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2008/p08-049e.html.
3. Gas consumption figures drawn from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2008, available at http://www.bp.com/productlanding.do?categoryId6929&contentId7044622. GDP figures are purchasing power parity estimates, drawn from CIA’s World Factbook, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
4. To compare (in a rough manner) the price of gas delivered to a given European country X and the price of gas delivered to Ukraine, one needs to subtract from the gas price in country X the price of transit from Ukraine’s eastern border to country X. For example, in January 2007 Russian gas delivered to France cost on the order of $295 per thousand cubic meters. If one deducts gas costs of transit between Russia and France, the comparable price in Ukraine would have been roughly $230. This is only an indicative comparison and should not be interpreted as implying that there is a standard or an ”accepted” gas price in Europe. Gas prices under a given contract reflect the full range of factors from competitive gas supply to quantity of demand, and from available alternative fuels to skill of the commercial negotiators.
5. Since Ukrainian regulators never based their rate-making calculations on the actual price of gas (rather, they used the nominal price for their calculations) Ukrainian customers never paid the actual replacement cost of the gas they consumed. This fact allowed debt to pile up, which then provided the basis for more non-transparent deals.
6. ”Ukraine president suspends cabinet’s decision to control top state companies,” BBC Monitoring Kiev Unit, May 20, 2008.
7. Alexander Bor, ”Ukraine Orders $1.7 billion Naftogaz Bailout,” Platts Oilgram News 86, no. 198 (October 7, 2008): 7.
 
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AUR#917 Nov 22 Ukraine Remembers, The World Recognizes, Holodomor 1932-1933, 75th Commemoration; Russian Pres Refuses To Attend

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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World    
 
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER, 22, 2008, 75TH COMMEMORATION
 
“I call upon all who are not indifferent to the feelings of mercy,
compassion and justice, who crave the victory of good over evil,
to light up their own candles of remembrance and to join us in
honoring the victims of the Holodomor.” President Yushchenko
                   
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 917
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
KYIV, UKRAINE, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Official Website, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Nov 21, 2008
 
Aegis Trust, Laxton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
 
4OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR BUKOVSKY SHOOTS FILM “THE ALIVE” ABOUT HOLODOMOR 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
 
Private Showing on Sunday, November 23, at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv
Action Ukraine Report, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

7BOOK ON HOLODOMOR IN EARLY 1930S PUBLISHED WITH PARTICIPATION

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
 
Oleh Oliynyk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008 
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
 
By Oleksandr Skrypnyk, spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service
The Day Weekly Digest in English #35, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 11, 2008

12CONTACT: MOSCOW HOSTS MEETING OF UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN COMMISSION

By Dr. Yuri Shapoval, Ph.D. (History), The Day Weekly Digest in English #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 
 
13RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV WROTE TO THE PRESIDENT
OF UKRAINE VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO ABOUT HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION
Will not participate in activities surrounding 75th commemoration of Holodomor
President of Russia, Official Web Portal, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008
14“WRETCHED VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR WHOSE MEMORY IS BEING BURIED IN THE
LIES OF SOME AND THE POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY OF OTHERS”, RUSSIAN RADIO
Matvey Ganapolskiy, Political Commentator, Ekho Moskvy
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, Russia, in Russian, Friday, 14 Nov 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Friday, November 14, 2008 
 
Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008
 
 
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 20, 2008
 
19RUSSIAN PRESIDENT COULD AT LEAST BOW HIS HEAD RESPECTFULLY
UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, November 19, 2008 
Russian government pays little attention to the 1930s famine & Soviet political repressions in general,
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008
 
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
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1
 PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE ADDRESSES UKRAINIANS AROUND THE WORLD
AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON THE OCCASION OF THE 75TH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933
 
Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Official Website, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
KYIV – I address you with regard to the 75th Anniversary of the most tragic incident in the history of the Ukrainian nation – the Holodomor of 1932-33.
It took decades for the truth about this genocide deliberately perpetrated by Stalin’s regime on fertile Ukrainian land to make its way to the public.
I want to express my deepest appreciation to all who refused to be silent during these years when fear bound down Ukraine under Soviet regime, when the rest of the world preferred to remain complacently ignorant about one of the gravest crimes against humanity.
Only after cutting the fetters of the communist totalitarianism, independent Ukraine was able to claim out loud that in the far 1930s an attempt was made on the life of the entire nation.
Nowadays, the truth about the Holodomor has been made public. It is no longer possible to hush it up. The gloom of 1932-33 Stalin’s night is fading away.
The Holodomor has been already recognized as crime and condemned by many countries and international organizations, regional governments and parliaments, municipal councils all over the world.
I extend my deep respect and gratitude for this manifestation of humanism and solidarity with millions of innocent victims of genocide.
International support sustains our belief that historical justice will be restored, and it strengthens our will to ensure its full assertion. The global community ought to be aware that it will be impossible to prevent future crimes against humanity unless past crimes are condemned.
We do not talk about what could have been done 75 years ago if the world had known the entire truth. We raise our voice about what ought to be done today in order to honor those who perished and those who managed to survive in the hell of the Holodomor.
Millions of candles lighted by Ukrainians on November 22 in Kyiv in memory of fellow countrymen tortured with hunger will merge with the flame of the “Holodomor Torch” that traveled 33 countries and all Ukrainian regions absorbing the fire of many human hearts from different countries and peoples.
I call upon all who are not indifferent to the feelings of mercy, compassion and justice, who crave the victory of good over evil, to light up their own candles of remembrance and to join us in honoring the victims of the Holodomor.
Ukraine remembers ! The World acknowledges !
Victor YUSHCHENKO
 
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2.  AEGIS TRUST PUBLIC STATEMENT TO MARK 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR

 
Aegis Trust, Laxton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
UNITED KINGDOM – Today is the official day of remembrance marking the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, the Soviet-made famine which caused the deaths of an estimated four to six million Ukrainians in the period 1932-1933.   The Aegis Trust joins with the survivors and the people of Ukraine in mourning the men, women and children whose lives were cruelly taken from them.

The Holodomor involved Soviet confiscation of grain and other foodstuffs from most of rural Ukraine, combined with border closures which prevented the starving from fleeing to find food and stopped international aid from reaching them.

In 1933, the lawyer Raphael Lemkin urged the League of Nations to recognize such mass atrocities against a particular group as an international crime. He was ignored. A few years later, the Nazi regime murdered six million Jews, including Lemkin’s own family.

In 1943, Lemkin created a new word to describe such mass killing. He combined the Greek and Latin words, ‘geno’ (race or tribe) and ‘cide’ (killing). He proposed the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, approved in 1948.

According to the Convention:

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The first draft of the Convention included political groups as well as those defined by nationality, ethnicity, race or religion, but following objections from the Soviet Union and several other countries, political groups were left out.

It is argued that motivation for Soviet policy to bring about mass starvation in the Ukraine was the destruction of Ukrainian nationalism. However, whatever the motivation in targeting them, the victims were defined by their Ukrainian ethnic identity.  The Soviet regime succeeded in its intention to inflict on the group conditions calculated to bring about massive physical destruction. This falls within the definition of genocide provided by the UN Genocide Convention.

Lemkin himself described the Holodomor as “perhaps the classic example of Soviet genocide, its longest and broadest experiment in Russification – the destruction of the Ukrainian nation.”

Regrettably, the debate over whether or not the Holodomor constitutes genocide often becomes overlaid with political considerations and continues to distract governments and policy makers around the world from simply honouring the memory of its victims – and from reflecting on the lessons it holds for a world in which genocide continues.

NOTE: The Aegis Trust is the leading UK-based international genocide prevention organization. Based at the UK Holocaust Centre, it coordinates the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Genocide Prevention and is responsible for the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda. Aegis is at the forefront of the international campaign to end the Darfur crisis. For more information, contact David Brown in the media office at the Aegis Trust on +44 (0)7921 471985, email: david.brown@aegistrust.org, link: www.aegistrust.org.
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3.  YUSHCHENKO TO OPEN FIRST STAGE OF MEMORIAL TO FAMINES VICTIMS IN KYIV

 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 
 
KYIV – On Saturday, November 22, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko will open the first stage of the memorial complex to victims of famines in Kyiv in 15A Ivan Mazepa Street, presidential press service informed.
In particular, at 2:55 p.m., Yuschenko together with the invited heads of foreign states will take part in the ceremony of planting bushes of arrowwood, then they will participate in consecration of the memorial and the ceremony of laying candles to the memorial sign on the 75th anniversary of 1932-33 Holodomor.
On Friday Vice Prime Minister for Humanitarian Issues Ivan Vasiunyk has introduced the memorial to journalists. In his words, UAH 133 million were disbursed from the national budget for construction of the memorial first stage. “Works in this first part [of the memorial complex] cost a bit more than UAH 133 million,” he said.
 
Preparatory work is being finished at the memorial now. The main element of the monument is a candle-like column with a hall of memory in the base.
Slabs (“black boards”) are mounted on the Dnieper hillsides in front of the symbolic candle.
As to Vasiunyk, names of some 14,000 settlements in Ukraine, who suffered from the 1932-33 hunger, are carved on these slabs. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine is marking the 75th anniversary of 1932-33 Holodomor. Six presidents are expected to arrive to Ukraine for commemorating the Holodomor anniversary.
The Cabinet of Ministers allocated in October UAH 60 million to the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory to complete the construction of the first stage of the memorial to victims of famines.
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4.  OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR BUKOVSKY SHOOTS FILM “THE ALIVE” ABOUT HOLODMOR 

 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 

KYIV – An outstanding film director, Serhiy Bukovsky, who shot around 50 documentaries and television films over 25 years, presented the premiere of his new historical and documentary film entitled “The Alive,” at Cinema House in Kyiv on Friday, ahead of the day of commemoration for the victims of the Famine of 1932-1933.

Bukovsky said that he had worked on the film for nearly a year. Before shooting the film, he carried out a substantial research work during which he polled several hundred witnesses of the Holodomor in various regions in Ukraine. Apart from the search of famine witnesses, a film crew conducted a great deal of work in the archives of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Italy, and Wales.
 
NOTE:  Your AUR editor attended the premiere of “The Alive” on Friday evening at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv. This is a major, important and outstanding film you will want to see.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.org
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
==============================================================
5.  UKRAINE FORUM TO SHOW WORLD UNITY IN COMMEMORATION OF FAMINE VICTIMS
 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – Up to 40 official delegations that will take part in an international forum in Ukraine on November 22 will demonstrate that the whole of the world community is ready to pay homage to the victims of the Great Famine of 1932-33, Ukraine’s acting First Deputy Foreign Minister Yuriy Kostenko told a briefing on Friday.

It is crucial that “friend-countries that realize the importance of this event” will be with Ukraine as it pays its respects to the victims of the Holodomor, he said. “We will pay homage to millions of Ukrainians. We will address the coming generation. We will say that such crimes must not be committed on this planet,” Kostenko said.
Delegations from various countries will spend more than one day in Ukraine, the acting first deputy foreign minister said. They will also attend an unveiling ceremony for a monument commemorating Holodomor victims and take part in a forum, during which a declaration will be made public calling on people across the globe to pay their respects to the victims of the 1932-33 Holodomor.
“It will demonstrate countries’ respect and their understanding of the nature of the Holodomor. It will also draw everyone’s attention to the fact that such crimes must never take place,” Kostenko said. “We are expecting nearly 200 people,” he added.
 
NOTE:  Your AUR editor will attend the international forum on Saturday in Kyiv as a representative of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
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6.  “HOLODOMOR: THROUGH THE EYES OF UKRAINIAN ARTISTS” EXHIBITION
Private Showing on Sunday, November 23, at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv
 
Action Ukraine Report, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – On behalf of the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor: induced starvation, death for millions, genocide, 1932-1933, the Exhibition

subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) invites you to attend a private showing of the
‘HOLODOMOR: THROUGH THE EYES OF UKRAINIAN ARTISTS” EXHIBITION at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday, November 23rd
Third Floor, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv consists of over 250 original artworks by outstanding Ukrainian artists which show in a very moving, compelling and visual way all aspects of this tragedy against the Ukrainian people. Several of the artists will be at the private showing on Sunday. 

 
The exhibition consists of artworks assembled in a collection over the past 12 years in Ukraine and is the largest exhibition of artworks ever held about the Holodomor.  The collection was founded in 1997 by Morgan Williams who now serves as trustee. The artists exhibition opened in the Ukrainian House on Tuesday, November 18th and will close on Sunday, November 30th. 

There are several other Holodomor historical, informational and dramatic exhibitions now at the Ukrainian House including those from the Ukrainian Institute of Memory, Ukraine 3000 Foundation, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ukrainian State Archives, and the Ministry of Culture.  All of the exhibitions together comprise the largest exhibition ever held to commemorate the millions of victims of the Holodomor and to remind one about the political system and the government leaders that caused millions to die….and nobody wanted to die.

The Exhibition Subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) issues you this special invitation to attend the private showing of the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes Of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian House, Third Floor, 2 Khreshchatyk, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday, November 23rd, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please come and participate in the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor, 1932-1933.

Donors to the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” Collection and Exhibitions program since year 2000 have included the Bahriany Foundation, Michael and Natasha Bleyzer, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, Dr. Zenia Chernyk, DAAR Foundation, Eugenia Dallas, Orest Deychakiwsky, Yuri Deychakiwsky, David Holpert, Kyiv-Atlantic Ukraine, ODUM-Minneapolis, Michael Sarkesian, SigmaBleyzer, David and Tamara Sweere, John Swift, Swift Foundation, Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Bohdan Vitvitsky, Morgan Williams, WJ Agricultural Group, Alex and Helen Woskob, and The Woskob Foundation.
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7.  BOOK ON HOLODOMOR IN EARLY 1930S PUBLISHED WITH

PARTICIPATION OF UKRAINIAN AND POLISH AGENCIES
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Polish Institute of National Remembrance have presented a book of archive documents on the Holodomor Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, according to the head of the SBU Special State Archive Department, Volodymyr Viatrovych.

The book includes more than 200 documents from the SBU state archive, and also the central military archive in Warsaw, the regional archives of Soviet security organs, the Polish intelligence service, and materials from Japanese and Italian diplomats, the police and local administrations.
The book is the seventh volume of a joint Ukrainian-Polish project entitled: “Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s of the 20th century. Unknown documents from the archives of the special services.”
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8.  POLISH HISTORIAN PUBLISHES DOCUMENTS ON UKRAINIAN FAMINE OF 1930S
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008

KYIV – Polish historian Jan Jacek Bruski has published records by Polish diplomats and Polish Intelligence Service on the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, which were found at the Central Military Archive in Krakow. The book entitled “The Holodomor of 1932-1933” will be soon on sale in Ukraine.
“The Polish documents have remained unstudied by historians for a long time.

 
However, they contain more information about the famine in Ukraine, than documents found in the West. The Polish intelligence service and Rzeczpospolita thoroughly monitored events that happened in Ukraine in the 1930s,” the historian said while presenting his book on Thursday.
Bruski said that two consulates in Kharkiv and Kyiv had monitored the famine. “Polish diplomats regularly sent their reports on the situation in Ukraine to Poland. They obtained most records during their trips across Ukraine, which they made under various pretexts. The book includes 236 yet unknown documents brightly illustrating the famine and its consequences,” he said.
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9.  IN 1930S UKRAINIAN POPULATION WAS SUPPOSED TO GO THROUGH
HOLODOMOR’S GHETTO SAYS DIRECTOR OF SBU SPECIAL ARCHIVE 
 
Oleh Oliynyk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008 

KYIV – In the early 30s of the 20th century Ukrainian population was supposed to go through some kind of Holodomor’s ghetto, director of special archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Serhiy Kokin told a press-conference.

He noted that the SBU was involved in inventory of documentary sources about this tragedy. According to Kokin, there are some documents proving premeditation of such situation and a particular system of measures which may be observed.
 
In particular, blocking of the Ukrainian territory – “we did not see similar documents regarding other republics”. “Why was Crimea supposed to be closed from Ukraine starting from February 1932.  We know what system of measures was adopted for closing borders with Poland and Romania in the west,” director of the special archives underscored.
S. Kokin noted that starting from 1920s suppression of powerful rebel movement, suppression of peasantry as a basis of the national-liberation movement in Ukraine took place. In parallel, repressions against the Ukrainian intellectuals were held starting from figures of the Ukrainian Central Rada.
 
In 1926-1928, repressions were held both in cities against the Ukrainian intellectuals that represented interests of the Ukrainian peasantry and in the villages by dispossession of kulaks (prosperous peasants), collectivization of individual farms, state grain procurements.
However, according to Kokin, political repressions were efficient to some extent only. “After that the total repression against all people had to be implemented and then Stalin knowingly made repressions through Holodomor. The documents prove it,” director of the SBU special archives summarized.
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10.  BRITISH POLITICIANS EXPRESS SYMPATHY WITH
UKRAINIAN PEOPLE OVER FAMINE OF 1930S
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008
 
KYIV – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed deep sympathy with the Ukrainian people in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 and said he hopes that memorial events around the world will be a worthy tribute to the victims of this tragedy, the Ukrainian Service of the BBC reported on Friday.
He expressed hope that memorial events would help avoid similar events in the future. The statement reads that the United Kingdom will continue to work top increase awareness about this terrible human tragedy.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in turn, said that the Holodomor was a terrible tragedy for humanity, which cruelly killed millions of innocent victims in Ukraine and abroad. Events dedicated to the famine will be held at the UK Parliament in London on November 22. A memorial service will also be held at Westminster Abbey.
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11.  UKRAINIAN NATIONAL REPUBLIC (UNR) INTELLIGENCE
SERVICE WAS AGAINST HOLODOMOR
 
By Oleksandr SKRYPNYK, is spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service
The Day Weekly Digest in English #35, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 11, 2008

After searching for and studying documents of this country’s historical and cultural heritage, the departmental archive of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) has just declassified materials that make it possible to open another, hitherto unknown, page about the 1932-1933 manmade famine in Ukraine.

 
These documents are part of a multivolume archival folder titled UNR Materials for 1932-1933, which gives a detailed account of the structure, objectives, forms and methods of operation, and top executives of the Ukrainian National Republic’s State Center in exile, including the intelligence service.
 
Of special importance are notes on the attempts of UNR intelligence agents to gather information on the famine in Ukraine in order to put this across to the European public and resist in some way the negative tendencies in their fatherland.
 
Although the found and declassified documents do not make a complete picture, they are new ample proof of this large-scale tragedy that struck the Ukrainian people. And the destiny of some patriotically-minded representatives of the diaspora, who tried hard to find the truth and were persecuted for this by the Soviet totalitarian system, is worthy of thorough research, reconsideration and honoring today.
AT THE HEAD OF THE UNR INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
The yellowish archival pages are full of secret information and reports on the arrests by Soviet counterintelligence of the emissaries who headed for Ukraine from Poland, Rumania and other countries on an intelligence mission as well as on the planting of Soviet agents and operatives in foreign emigre centers. Naturally, in the Soviet era some were considered spies, i.e., negative characters, and others were positive.
A today’s unbiased look at these matters makes us admit that the history of any intelligence service of those times should not be painted in black and white colors alone.
 
What can prove this is an almost 20-year-long history of the UNR intelligence which comprises romantic and utopian plans, as well as intentions to bring down the Soviet government and establish an independent Ukraine, the tragic and pessimistic realities caused by the necessity to be on the payroll of foreign secret services, obey their rules of the game and have to overcome internal disputes and contradictions.
The archival materials emphasize that, after the assassination of the chief otaman Symon Petliura in 1926, the UNR secret services were essentially reorganized. The key role was now played by Section 2, in charge of tactical, intelligence and counterintelligence activities of the UNR State Center(SC) in exile. The analytical document of Soviet Ukraine’s secret police “On the Structure, Activities and Top Executives of the ‘UNR Chief Staff'” gives a detailed account of this section’s organizational structure and operational areas.
It consisted of three components. The intelligence sector Nastup (Offensive) was in charge of gathering information on the overall situation in Ukraine; selection, training and planting agents, station chiefs and messengers. The counterintelligence sector, known as Oborona (Defense), dealt with preventing “communist agents” from penetrating into UNR organizations as well as with doing certain work inside the other émigré organizations, especially those whose political stand was diametrically opposed to that of the UNR.
 
The third sector, Studii (Studies), analyzed, studied and summed up information on the situation in the industry, agriculture, the financial and military fields, the Communist Party and executive bodies of Soviet Ukraine. This kind of analysis was made on the basis of open printed sources and the information gained by first sector operatives.
 
This was in turn the basis for reports to the General Staff of the UNR SC Ministry of War, leaflets and other propaganda literature which was illegally shipped to the Ukrainian SSR and spread among Ukrainian émigrés and at international forums.
The intelligence and counterintelligence service was especially effective when it was run by Ensign-General Vsevolod Zmienko (on photo). His name is mentioned in many documents — and deservedly so. In 1924, still in the period of the national liberation struggle, Zmienko, as an active resistant to Soviet power, was put on a list of political criminals wanted by the GPU (State Political Directorate, i.e., Soviet secret police).
The figure of Zmienko deserves a special scrutiny if we are to understand why he took so much to heart all the woes that befell his fatherland, especially a large-scale famine.
Vsevolod Zmienko was born in Odesa on Oct. 16, 1886. He graduated from the Kyiv Sergeant School and Nicholas General Staff Academy. He saw service in the Russian tsarist army during the First World War. Was awarded orders of St. Anna, St. Stanislav and St. Prince Vladimir, and St. George’s Weapon of Honor.
 
In the Central Rada and UNR Directory period, he held such offices in the Ukrainian Army as chief of staff of the 83rd Infantry Division, the Odesa Haidamaky Division and the 1st Division of Sich Riflemen, military commissar of Odesa, commanding officer of a number of large units of the South-Eastern Front, and many others. Zmienko was also on the UNR Army’s General Staff, where he was closely involved in intelligence.
As the UNR Army units were retreating to Poland, he found himself in an internment camp. He soon received a letter from a close fellow serviceman in his native Odesa. All his kinsfolk still stayed there: he had failed even to say goodbye to and had no news from them because they were also unaware of where to look for him.
 
He read that letter over and over again with a feeling of sorrow and desperation. His comrade wrote that his mother, wife and almost all the relatives had died of typhus in January 1922. Only three children survived: the four-year-old Halyna, the seven-year-old Oleh, and the 10-year-old Vsevolod. Zmienko knew only too well what typhus was, for he himself had contracted it in 1919.
The children were being brought up by Maria Riabinina-Sklarevska, his wife’s sister, whose husband, a general, had held various posts in the Ukrainian army in 1918-1920. They soon found an opportunity to send his daughter to him, but failed to do so in the last minute. Zmienko was then in dire straits: he was looking for a job, offering himself as a journalist or a teacher. They thought that it would be very hard for a little girl to live in such conditions.
 
The internment camp in Oleksandriv-Kuyavsky, in which there had been 1,500 soldiers of the White Army Gen. Nikolai Bredov, then hosted 2,500 Cossacks and almost 1,000 sergeants of the 6th Sich Division. A little later the camp received the Cossacks and sergeants of Yurko Tiutiunnyk’s 4th Kyiv Division and Oleksandr Udovychenko’s 3rd Iron Division. They quickly saw what it is to live in a crammed camp unsuited for winter.
After some time Polish repatriates helped smuggle his sons from the Soviet Union. The former managed to persuade Soviet bureaucrats that they were the boys’ relatives. After a long-awaited and emotional reunion, the father and the sons plunged into everyday hardships and frantic search for daily bread. It was not until some time later that Zmienko could live a more or less trouble-free life. All through his remaining lifetime, until his death in 1938, he was doing his utmost to help his impoverished compatriots.
INFORMATION COLLECTED GRAIN BY GRAIN
It follows from the Soviet intelligence documents that in 1932-1933 the UNR government was aware of the famine in Ukraine, but there was no sufficient information about its extent and causes. It was therefore decided to gather as much information as possible on the situation in Ukraine.
 
The task was to activate spy networks, organize the dispatch of messengers across the border, and, what is more, find documentary evidence of the real state of affairs. This was necessary to draw the attention of the world public to the events in Ukraine and thus affect the USSR top party leadership.
One of the ways to do this was participation of the UNR intelligence in preparing the All-Ukrainian Congress. A special report of the USSR OGPU Foreign Department, dated Sept. 25, 1933, and titled “On the Projected Convocation of an All-Ukrainian Congress,” pointed out, “The idea of convening an All-Ukrainian Congress, put forward by the League of Ukrainian Journalists and Writers in Exile, continues to be heavily debated upon in Ukrainian imigre circles.
 
Supposedly, the congress will be widely discussing the question of ‘famine’ in Ukraine and of aiding the famine-stricken.” Another document cites plans to set up the so-called Lesser Bureau of Fast Information on Ukraine: “It is intended for this purpose to organize a group of field correspondents out of ethnic Ukrainians and Poles, who could make trips, both legal and illegal, to Ukraine.”
That the UNR intelligence used journalists as a disguise is proved by an excerpt from another document: “Zmienko was instructed to train two UNR intelligence agents who are supposed to make a journey to the USSR as part of a delegation of Polish journalists.” There were very few journeys of this kind in 1932-1933.
 
But when the British newspaper Manchester Guardian published a number of articles by its correspondent Malcolm Muggeridge on the famine in Ukraine, the VKP (b) Central Committee passed a resolution, “On the Trips of Foreign Correspondents across the USSR,” on February 23, 1933, which forbade journalists to visit certain territories.
Given this kind of restrictions and a strict cross-border and counterintelligence regime, the UNR intelligence service was forced to seek new ways of gathering information on the real state of affairs in Ukraine. A declassified reference note, “Operations of Foreign Ukrainian Intelligence and Insurgency Centers,” from a 1933 folder notes, “Zmienko has divided Ukraine into areas that roughly correspond to the old povits. There is a code for each area, as well as an encoded description of public, cooperative and other institutions and organizations.”
 
Judging by the below-quoted document which the Soviet security service must have seized from a courier who had arrived from abroad, the UNR intelligence drew up a set of certain questions that were sent to its agents. The answers to them were recorded in what may be called area passports. The document is titled “What the UNR Intelligence Is Interested In.”
 
Here are some of its items.
 
“1. Find out the way grain is being consigned, how much is being taken from a collective farm and from an private farmer, who takes over the grain, where it is stored, what measures are being taken with respect to the farmers who fail to consign grain, who issues receipts for the consigned grain, at what price it is being taken over, what is the percentage of grain consignment non-fulfillment in 1932.
2. On taxes. How much does a collective and a private farmer pay?
3. How is the autumnal sowing campaign going on? What and how much have the collective farms and private farmers sown, to what extent is the soil prepared for sowing?
4. How did the harvesting campaign come off? How much has been and is still to be threshed?
9. On cooperative trade. Prices of consumer goods and bread.
13. What kind of bread are collective and private farmers eating now? Get some samples of this bread.
14. Find out how many people have died of or otherwise suffered from starvation as of today.
15. The current mood of the populace. What is the attitude of Ukrainians to the Soviet power?”
If the results of that “sociological survey” were still available today, this would make it possible to give a much more detailed account of the situation in the Ukraine of that day. But this information must have been lost somewhere abroad. On the other hand, as far as Soviet archives are concerned, it was not the practice of those days to preserve any documents that confirmed the Holodomor.
 
On the contrary, every effort was made to conceal the truth. Therefore, the archival documents that have survived and are kept in the Departmental Archive of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service can spotlight just a few trends in the Communist Party’s rural policy at the time.
It follows from the documents that it was not easy even to gather open information in Ukraine. It even occurred that UNR intelligence agents could not get to some populated areas because these were blocked by police and security units. One could only guess about what was going on there. Also on the rise were instances when agents were apprehended because they had not been thoroughly trained to accomplish missions. So it was necessary to look for new people and new, unconventional, ways to penetrated into the territory of Ukraine.
It was especially difficult to work after the trial of Ukraine Liberation League members. Before that, agents had mostly used written communication, codes and cryptograms. Every station chief had his own recipe for making invisible ink. But then they had to abandon this form of communication because this was no longer a secret for Cheka operatives. Emphasis was now put on messengers and on recruiting Ukrainian re-emigrants who were returning, for some reason, to Ukraine.
SOLOVKY ESCAPEES
Among the declassified documents are copies of the minutes of interrogations of Hryhorii Mam­chiy, which were held in 1932-1933 as part of the criminal proceedings instituted against him by the Soviet secret police. He was one of those whom the UNR intelligence tried to use as a collector of information about the situation in Ukraine.
 
Mamchiy arrived in Warsaw from Finland together with two Ukrainian comrades. They had all escaped from the Solovky prison camp. They met leaders of the UNR government and intelligence service, who asked them in detail about the circumstances of their trial, serving the sentence in the camp and escape, and helped them financially.
Mamchiy said that he had been sentenced in 1929 to four years’ imprisonment for some abuse of office, but he thinks it was a frame-up. He comes from the village of Khrystynivka, Cherkasy oblast, where his family still resides. He does not know what has happened to them. He heard that region is now famine-stricken.
 
Yet it is hard for him to imagine that a famine can strike the countryside, where the soil is so fertile and people are so industrious. During one of these conversations he said his friends and he were ready to offer their services for clandestine operations.
Some time later they were sent to the internment camp in Kalish. UNR intelligence officers provided them with normal living conditions there and began to train them for a special intelligence mission on the Soviet territory.
 
After the training, Hryhorii was sent to the place where the Kamianets-Podilsky border security unit was stationed. In July 1932 he crossed the border without any problems and headed for Uman, where he was to gather information on the situation in the Uman-Cherkasy-Mliiv area and, at the same time, to secretly see his family.
 
He carried 1,000 rubles, 2,000 leaflets, a revolver with cartridges, forged documents, and the address to send the information to. As it follows from the interrogation minutes, he had been instructed to write that the crop was good, while in fact it was bad, that the public mood was good, while in reality it was bad, that mushrooms are growing after the rain, which means that the soil is good and some insurgency cells have been organized, etc.
In Khrystynivka, Mamchiy met his old friends and acquaintances whom he could take into his confidence. We can read about one of such meetings with his fellow countryman in the interrogation minutes of Dec. 9, 1932.
 
He “painted the situation in the countryside in black colors, said that peasants were starving and there were even instances of famine-induced death. Taxes and grain consignment targets were too high, and all this has brought about a situation when peasants are almost openly showing hostility to the Soviet power.”
Finally, we can learn from other materials of this case that Mamchiy was arrested in the village of Yanove, when he was heading for Korosten, and then he and two more individuals involved in the Pryshelets (alien) “insurgency plot” were eliminated by Soviet secret police. That was the way the Soviet totalitarian systems suppressed those who tried to gather and put through the “iron curtain” the true information on the Ukraine famine.
Warsaw came to know about his destiny much later. Zmienko agonized over every loss of his men. He was very well aware that Soviet intelligence and counterintelligence units looked far stronger, more organized and all-embracing in this face-off.
 
He also knew that there were a lot of problems and drawbacks in the UNR intelligence service: for example, he took a dim view of some points related to the status and funding of the secret service. But he was doing his utmost so that, under any circumstances, the UNR intelligence could only deal with top-priority matters in line with the problems and interests of the Ukrainian nation.
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/256757/
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12.  CONTACT: MOSCOW HOSTS MEETING OF UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN COMMISSION

 
By Dr. Yuri SHAPOVAL, Ph.D. (History), The Day Weekly Digest in English #35
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 
 
HISTORY OF UKRAINE, OUTLINE OF RUSSIAN HISTORY

As promised, here is my story for The Day about the meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian historical commission. It took place on the Leninskie Gory (Lenin Hills), in the Institute of General History which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Aleksandr Chubarian, a member of this academy and the head of the Russian delegation to our joint commission, said in his opening address that apart from its scholarly value, our work is also a contribution to understanding between our peoples.

 
The Russian president’s special representative Mikhail Shvydkoi concurred, adding that “A real future can be built only on the basis of the real past. The more responsible our approach to the history of our countries will be, the quicker we will reach understanding.”
In fact, an indicator of this approach was work on two books: Ocherki istorii Rossii (Outline of Russian History) written by our Russian colleagues and Narys istorii Ukrainy (Outline of Ukrainian History) penned by Ukrainian historians who belong to the joint commission.
 
The books were presented by Chubarian and Valerii Smolii, an academician of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences (NAN) and the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the joint commission. The Russian-language Outline was translated into Ukrainian and published by the Nika Center Publishing House in Kyiv in 2007. The Ukrainian-language Outline was translated into Russian and recently published by OLMA Media Group in Moscow.
What one notices immediately is the difference in size: the Russian book has 799 pages while the Ukrainian one, 1,069. Smolii drew the commission’s attention to the fact. One of the Russian historians offered a tongue-in-cheek explanation: this is probably because “Ukraine is such a big country.” In reality, the explanation is simple. Initially, our Russian colleagues were reluctant to cover events after August 1991, i.e., what happened in Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed. Aleksei K. Tolstoy once fittingly wrote in his rhymed history of the Russian state:
Sometimes stepping on slippery stones
Is a risky business,
So it’s best to keep silent
About what’s close to us …
However, it did not work — at one of the previous meetings in Kyiv there was a heated debate about the Russian historians’ maneuver and our colleagues promised to bring the text up to date. They did, although their [final] version has turned out to be rather sketchy (thus, only 2.5 pages are dedicated to Vladimir Putin’s presidency and the development of the Russian Federation since 1992 is squeezed into 18 pages). By way of comparison, the Ukrainian Outline covers the 1991-2008 period on 166 pages.
“It is very important to understand each other, maintain discussion, and compare each other’s views,” said Smolii. This is precisely what we did for two days. It was a professional debate dealing with various historical periods. In the end everyone agreed that we had created a good foundation for subsequent academic dialog. Dr. Aleksandr Shubin of Russia stressed: “The main thing is that neither book attempts to give rise to national animosity.”
 
Prof. Efim Pivovar, the rector of Russian Humanitarian University, recalled the first time he and his colleagues came to Kyiv to discuss Russian and Ukrainian [history] textbooks: “Many Moscow-based historians simply didn’t want any part of it. Now the situation is totally different, as is the atmosphere. I showed the Ukrainian [book] to my friends and fellow researchers. The overall response was positive and we are prepared to hold reading conferences for both publications.”
Viktor Mironenko, the head of the Ukrainian Research Center at the Russian Academy’s Institute of Europe and the editor in chief of the journal Sovremennaia Evropa, admits: “I have felt skeptical, but after the publication of these two books I highly value the works and cooperation of Russian and Ukrainian historians.”
Prof. Tatiana Tairova-Yakov­leva of St. Petersburg University, the author of a book about Ivan Mazepa published in the Russian series Zhyzn zamechatelnykh liudei (The Lives of Remarkable People), stressed the importance of the Outline written by Ukrainian historians and said that in Russia there is practically no literature on Ukraine: “An average Russian college student does not have knowledge of Ukraine, so for him — and for Russian teachers — this publication is an important event.”
Dr. Ivan Danilevsky, one of leaders of the Russian delegation to the joint commission, noted that “both books are in front of us and we can hear each other.” This aspect was also stressed by my colleagues from Kyiv, namely Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky, Dr. Oleksandr Lysen­ko, Dr. Ruslan Pyrih, Dr. Vladyslav Verstiuk, and Dr. Olek­sandr Udod. We agreed with our Russian colleagues in that both publications provide impetus for further intensive debate, rather than mark the end of the scholarly quest.
For me, the most important thing was to realize that our work had been read (finally!) by authoritative Russian experts. It is very important to have your paper read and understood by your colleagues and make sure they are familiar with your standpoint (even if they disagree with it).
 
One of the Russian colleagues frankly admitted that he had been unaware of Ukraine’s own systematic approach to the distant and recent past, although he complained that the Ukrainian book exhibited “nationalization” of history and a noticeable degree of “ethnocentrism.” Anyway, for me it was further proof that our research efforts and our discussions badly need to be brought to the attention of our colleagues (in this case, in Russia) and effectively circulated outside Ukraine.
At a certain point during our debate I allowed myself to bring it closer to the ground, so to speak, and drew the audience’s attention to the fact that not everything in these books is nice and dandy, or accurate. Thus, we write about the Ukrainian Central Rada and Ukrainian revolution in detail, while the Russians mention the Rada just once, in the chapter entitled “Period of Half-Disin­teg­ra­tion.”
Russian historians emphasize that the famine in the early 1930s was not purposefully targeted against Ukraine: “Some resear­chers have suggested that Stalin consciously organized this famine to deal a blow to the Ukrainian peasantry, overcome its resistance to collectivization, or retaliate for its resistance during the civil war.
 
However, this thesis lacks evidence… Peasants of various nationalities suffered from starvation — the Stalinist regime pursued social goals.” I was surprised to learn that some 1,500,000 peopled died in Ukraine (contrary to statistics recognized by prestigious Russian historians), while two million perished in Kazakhstan.
In describing the Second World War (which Russian historians, of course, term “the Great Patriotic War”) and trying to be “political correct,” they go as far as avoiding any references to the Ukrainian na­tio­nal liberation movement, al­though they mention Andrey Vla­sov’s army.
Another amazing thing is the manner in which they describe the April 1986 Chornobyl tragedy. There is been so much written about its environmental and political consequences and the fact that it gave a strong impetus to the Ukrainian independence movement. However, the Russian Outline doesn’t mention any of this. Instead, the book says that in the conditions of Mik­hail Gorbachev’s “acceleration,” they encouraged “bold experiments.”
 
“One of them led to the disaster,” says the document, implying that Gorbachev and his liberalization were to blame. [Our Russian colleagues] seem to forget that the nuclear power station was built with violations of safety regulations which served as a prologue to the tragedy and was, essentially, a crime.
Speaking about the collapse of the USSR, the Russian historians insist that “the nationalistically minded intelligentsia gained control of mass media which resulted in massive pressure on the population in favor of withdrawing from the USSR.” And then they cite just one example: “On Dec. 1, 1991, during a referendum, 90 percent of Ukraine’s residents voted for secession from the USSR.” Apparently Ukraine is at fault here again, as if there had not been any separatist movements in the other former Soviet republics.
I could go on, but I guess you can already understand that we have quite a few things to debate with our Russian colleagues. In fact, we have worked out a plan for the debates. I hope that they will yield good results.
After the meeting in Moscow was over, I asked Dr. Stanislav Kulchytsky what stood out for him as the key point in this meeting. His reply was brief: “Contact.” I agreed. Contact is much better than another word that begins with a C-I mean confrontation.
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13.  RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV WROTE TO THE PRESIDENT
OF UKRAINE VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO ABOUT HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION
Will not participate in activities surrounding 75th commemoration of Holodomor


President of Russia, Official Web Portal, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Viktor Andreyevich,

In response to your messages concerning the so-called Holodomor as well as the steps taken by the Ukrainian leadership on the issue, I consider it necessary to elaborate on our views of and approaches to the issues at hand.

I would immediately note the following. We clearly see that in recent years this topic combined with persistent attempts to receive a NATO «membership action plan», have become a central element of Ukrainian foreign policy. We also note the intention of the political elite and leadership of Ukraine to use this issue as a “test for patriotism and loyalty”.

In your messages, you call for “removing the ideological layers from history”. Naturally, I share this approach. But at the same time I propose that we be absolutely consistent and guided by the principle of fair, honest and non-partisan treatment of historical heritage.

In connection with this, I am forced to point out that, in our opinion, the tragic events of the early 1930s in Ukraine are being used to achieve immediate short-term political goals. In this regard, the thesis on the “centrally planned genocidal famine of Ukrainians” is being gravely manipulated. As a result, including thanks to your personal efforts, this interpretation has even received legislative support. In particular, I am referring to the law passed on 28 November 2006 by the Verkhovnaya Rada [Ukrainian parliament] that you signed, which states that “the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine was a genocide
against the Ukrainian people”.

I would also mention your initiative to criminalize the denial of the events of the period as they are outlined in the law. Therefore without waiting for the results of a comprehensive study of the issue by competent experts, you imposed a single interpretation on this history. And dissenters are threatened with prosecution – just as they were in the totalitarian past. To put it mildly, according to this “one-sided logic” any citizen of Ukraine that claims that in addition to Ukrainians, Russians, Kazakhs and Belarusians died of starvation in the same period is, in your opinion, a criminal.

It is unlikely that such steps can be explained by the desire to restore historical justice or to honour the memory of the victims. These efforts rather seek to divide our peoples as much as possible, peoples united by many centuries of historical, cultural and spiritual ties, by special feelings of friendship and mutual trust.

The most difficult pages of our common history undoubtedly need to be fully explained. But this is only possible on the basis of objective professional studies. However, we see that those who push through the thesis of «Holodomor-genocide» are not in the least interested in historical accuracy. Various manipulations and distortions are occurring, data on the actual number of deaths are being falsified. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities are making public statements that contribute to distorting the picture.

Thus in an interview in November 2007 you refer to census data from 1929 and 1979 to argue that Ukrainians were the only nation whose population was halved during this period, and declined from 81 million to 42 million. Yet according to the All-Union census which, incidentally, was not held in 1929 but in 1926, the total number of Ukrainians in the USSR, including residents of the western areas, was about 30 million.

We are open for discussion and don’t want academics to take on political “attitudes”. In our country the theme of the famine of 1932-1933 – as well as other difficult historical questions – can be discussed freely, without fear of becoming an “enemy of the nation”. Russia has long ago destroyed the “Iron Curtain of silence” about which you write.

The famine in the Soviet Union in 1932-1933 was not aimed at the destruction of any one nation. It was the result of a drought, forced collectivization and de-kulakization [campaign of political repressions of the better-off peasants and their families] and affected the entire country, not only Ukraine. Millions of people in the middle and lower Volga regions, northern Caucasus, central Russia, southern Urals, western Siberia, Kazakhstan and Belarus died.

We do not condone the repression carried out by the Stalinist regime against the entire Soviet people. But to say that it was aimed at the destruction of Ukrainians means going against the facts and trying to give a nationalist subtext to a common tragedy. As to referring to “qualitative differences” between the famine in Ukraine and that in Russia and other regions of the USSR, it is, in our view, merely cynical and immoral.

I would note that the decisions taken about collectivization were made by the multinational leadership of the Soviet Union and the Soviet republics, while the policy of enforced food requisition was carried out in the Ukrainian Republic by predominantly Ukrainian personnel. The latter both zealously acting on instructions from the centre as well as often making “counterplans”, including reprisals against their brothers, Ukrainians themselves.

Historical truth demands that we adopt a responsible approach. But attempts to resort to the “national factor” are unfair to the memory of the victims, not to mention the questionable legal basis of such claims.

With regard to steps taken by the Ukrainian side in international organizations to “ascertain the nature and ensure the condemnation of such crimes” I would note that the UN and UNESCO have already expressed themselves on this subject. The 2007 UNESCO General Conference paid tribute to the millions of deaths from starvation in the 1930s regardless of the victims’ nationality and refused to recognize this tragedy as a “genocide of the Ukrainian people”.

And at the 58th UN General Assembly most of the CIS member states including Russia, Ukraine and many other nations issued a joint statement in which they expressed their deepest sympathy to millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs and representatives of other nations, victims of starvation in USSR.

The statement refers to the events of the 1930s as a “tragedy”. I believe that further discussion of this topic in international organisations would not be beneficial and will not produce any results.

Therefore, as I have already said, we should focus on correcting a dangerous disparity which has arisen, whereby the slogan “condemnation of the genocide of Ukrainians” belittles the tragedy of other affected peoples of the former Soviet Union. I propose to begin work on a joint approach to these events. In doing so, it would be useful to involve experts from Kazakhstan, Belarus and other interested CIS countries.

Meanwhile, in the light of the above, I do not consider it possible to participate in the activities surrounding the 75th anniversary of the “Holodomor” in Ukraine.

For my part I would like to confirm my sincere desire to build a positive atmosphere of cooperation in the cultural and educational spheres, and to substantiate this cooperation with concrete actions that are understandable to our citizens and benefit the traditionally friendly relations between our countries and peoples.

Sincerely, Dmitry Medvedev.

LINK: http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/text/docs/209178.shtml

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14.  “WRETCHED VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR WHOSE MEMORY IS BEING BURIED
IN THE LIES OF SOME AND THE POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY OF OTHERS”, RUSSIAN RADIO

Matvey Ganapolskiy, Political Commentator, Ekho Moskvy
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, Russia, in Russian, Friday, 14 Nov 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, In English, Friday, November 14, 2008 

In his commentary on the Russian president’s decision not to attend the events in Kiev dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the famine of 1932-1933, Matvey Ganapolskiy, political commentator of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, said:

“Yushchenko and Medvedev are worth each other. The first wants the victims of bloody maniac Stalin to be exclusively Ukrainians. In other words, he does not care a damn about the fact that everyone was dying from famine and that the very essence of the famine mechanism was not to eliminate someone but to eliminate all for the sake of the bright idea of world communism.

This has been proven a thousand times, but we know that any president for the benefit of his own country would not even stop at deceiving his own people. And since the benefit in question is immediate accession to NATO, the fairy-tale about exclusive Ukrainians still goes on.

“But Yushchenko has a spitting image. His name is Dmitriy Medvedev. He does not want to stand next to nationalist Yushchenko, so he writes a letter to him in which he explains how everything should be interpreted and understood. He does not go to the remembrance ceremony but teaches how the event should be remembered. It is reminiscent of his speech on the eve of Obama’s victory. The latter had not yet won the election but Moscow had already issued instructions.

“Anyway, Medvedev could have attended the ceremony in Kiev and the two countries may have reconciled. But the Putin-Medvedev duet is hiding in the bushes, waiting for these devil incarnates – Yushchenko and [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili – to disappear. And now they will be waiting not for eight but 12 years.

“As we can see everyone plays their own game. And in this game everything is important, except the main thing, the wretched victims of Holodomor, whose memory is being buried in the lies of some and the political expediency of others.”

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15.  RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV CONDEMNS UKRAINE
OVER STALIN-ERA FAMINE COMMEMORATION

REUTERS, Moscow, Russia, Friday, November 14, 2008

MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Ukraine’s pro-Western leader yesterday of distorting history for political gain by commemorating a famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The dispute over next week’s anniversary of the 1932-33 famine is part of a long series of rows between the ex-Soviet neighbours over Kiev’s shift towards the West which includes seeking membership of NATO and the European Union.  Historians say about 7.5 million people died in the famine, intended to break the spirit of Ukraine’s independent farmers.

Ukrainian authorities, led by President Viktor Yushchenko, have sought to have the famine declared internationally a “genocide”. Russia denounces such an interpretation, saying the events at that time hit many ethnic groups in the Soviet Union.

“We clearly see that this theme, along with persistent attempts to secure an invitation to NATO’s ‘prep classes’ has in recent years all but become the main element of Ukrainian foreign policy,” Medvedev told the Ukrainian leader in a letter.

“Such steps can hardly be explained by a bid to restore historical justice or to honour the victims’ memory. They are more likely aimed at dividing our peoples as much as possible.”

Medvedev said the famine was “the consequence of drought and forced collectivisation…To suggest that the main aim was to destroy Ukrainians is to fly in the face of the facts and paint a general tragedy in nationalist tones.”

Russia has repeatedly been at odds with the pro-Western leaders swept to power by the 2004 “Orange Revolution” mass protests against election fraud.
Moscow is highly critical of moves by Ukraine and pro-Western Georgia to join NATO and said on Friday it would pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty if the two ex-Soviet states were placed on the path to membership.

The Kremlin was deeply angered by Yushchenko’s support for Georgia in the brief war pitting it against Russia in August. The foreign ministry in Moscow this week denounced a decision by Ukraine to halt the screening of a Russian film on the conflict.

Border demarcation disputes further divide the neighbours as does Ukraine’s intention to end in 2017 the presence of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea peninsula. Several days of commemorations next week include a conference to be attended by regional leaders, the unveiling of a monument and a solemn procession to honour victims.

The famine, one of three to strike Ukraine last century, is particularly sensitive as it touched many regions in a country usually divided into a nationalist west and Russian-speaking east. Soviet authorities denied for years that it had occurred.

It was created by authorities setting impossibly high harvest quotas and requisitioning crops and livestock. Farmers were left to die in their own homes.
At its height, 25,000 people perished every day. Soldiers dumped bodies into pits and cannibalism became rife.  

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16.  RADICAL UKRAINIAN COMMUNIST HRACH SUPPORTS RUSSIAN PRESIDENT’S
REFUSAL TO PARTICIPATE IN “SABBATH” OF MEMORY OF HOLODOMOR 1932-1933

UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 14, 2008

KYIV – The leader of the Crimean Communists, radical and deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament Leonid Hrach supported Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s position who officially refused today from an invitation from Kyiv to participate in the events to perpetuate the memory of the Holodomor victims of 1932-33.

Hrach had repeatedly accused President Viktor Yushchenko of “falsification of historical facts of the Soviet period” and in a “cynically-refined Russophobian policy”.

The Parliamentary deputy from the CPU faction called memorial events on the Holodomor in Ukraine as a “Sabbath”. “Medvedev’s refusal is a signal to the Ukrainian society so that it looked attentively at its leaders, who lead it apparently not to right side, lead it to confrontation with Russia actually in all the spheres, turning it into a state ideology”, Hrach said.

As UKRINFORM earlier reported, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in an address to President Viktor Yushchenko that the famine in Ukraine in the early 1930ies has been used for reaching short-term political aims.  According to the Russian President, the Holodomor, alongside with the course towards NATO, is a part of Ukraine’s foreign policy.

Dmitry Medvedev once again confirmed the Russian position that rejects availability of genocide during the famine of 1932-1933.

Large-scale memorable events will take place in Ukraine on November 18-22, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor 1932-1933, recognized by about 15 countries as genocide, participation of thirty foreign delegations is expected, including at the highest level.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of the Moscow Patriarchy) recognized the Holodomor of 1932-33 as act of genocide at the Holy Synod over these days.
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17.  NEW YORK CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: WHY WAS STALIN
BANNER REMOVED FROM SCHOOL? 

By Marcus Franklin, Associated Press (AP), New York, NY, Friday,  November 14, 2008

NEW YORK – The New York Civil Liberties Union has demanded that city officials explain why they ordered a private art school to remove a banner displaying an image of Josef Stalin.

In a letter Thursday to the Department of Buildings, NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman expressed concern that the banner was taken down from The Cooper Union after some residents of the local Ukrainian community complained that it “seemed to promote” the Soviet dictator on the 75th anniversary of a famine he imposed. The famine, called the Holodomor, killed millions of Ukrainians.

The banner was part of an art exhibit, “Stalin by Picasso, or Portrait of Woman with Mustache.” Lene Berg, the artist who created the banner, said it was intended to provoke discussion about the relationship between art and politics.

The 52-foot-by-36-foot banner features a reproduction of a 1953 Pablo Picasso portrait of Stalin. At the time, the image was viewed as a critique of the Soviet leader.

But the Ukrainian community found it offensive, said Tamara Olexy, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. “It’s like hanging a portrait of Hitler in a synagogue or in a Jewish community,” she said.

After receiving several complaints, the Department of Buildings investigated the banner’s legality and determined it violated construction and zoning regulations, the agency said Friday.

“We determined the sign was too high, too large, lacked a permit and blocked the building’s windows,” buildings spokeswoman Kate Lindquist wrote in an e-mail. “The department does not regulate sign content.”

But Lieberman said the NYCLU’s understanding was that the complaints were about the banner’s content, not its size. “The question remains as to whether the building code was enforced because of objections to the content. If so, that raises questions about censorship,” Lieberman said in a statement.

In a Nov. 13 letter to buildings department community affairs director Donald Ranshte, Lieberman said the banner’s removal would raise First Amendment concerns if regulations had been selectively enforced based on complaints about its content.

Buildings officials told the school Oct. 31 to remove the banner because it didn’t have a permit, Cooper Union spokeswoman Jolene Travis said Friday. The school immediately took down the banner, which had been put up on Oct. 26.

Cooper Union initially planned to apply for a permit to display the banner again, but not until after Nov. 15, when the Ukrainian community in the nearby East Village plans to hold events commemorating the famine, Travis said. But the school abandoned the effort after being told by buildings officials that banners can’t block windows because of fire hazards.

The banner controversy comes less than six months after a Roman Catholic watchdog group protested a Cooper Union student art exhibition that included what the group considered vulgar depictions of religious symbols such as a crucifix and a rosary. 

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18.  YUSHCHENKO BELIEVES RUSSIAN PRESIDENT HUMILIATED
MILLIONS OF UKRAINIAN MURDER VICTIMS
 
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 20, 2008
 
KYIV – The President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko calls the refusal of Russian President to attend events on commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian great famine a humiliation for millions of Ukrainian murder victims. According to the President`s press-office, he said this in an interview with El Pais newspaper (Spain).
Victor Yushchenko claimed he “does not have any big desire to comment” on the statement of his Russian counterpart, who shows “an inadequate attitude to the tragedy of the Ukrainian nation”, which could have been explained “with a historical misunderstanding”.
At the same time, the President of Ukraine stressed: “The President of Russia humiliates millions of people, who are dead as of today, those innocent murder victims, who did not hurt anybody”.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on November 14, D.Medvedev claimed that the Ukraine’s famine of 30s is used to achieve an immediate political aim, and refused to attend the events on commemoration of the Holodomor 75th anniversary.
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19.  RUSSIAN PRESIDENT COULD AT LEAST BOW HIS HEAD RESPECTFULLY
 
UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, November 19, 2008 
 
KYIV – Leading representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia disagree with the position of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev on Holodomor in Ukraine.
According to an UNIAN correspondent, Mykola Zhulynskiy, director of the Institute for Literature at the National Shevchenko University, claimed this to a press conference in UNIAN.
“Tomorrow the Ukrainian intelligentia will publicize its statement, in which we will express a categorical position, a categorical disagreement with the position voiced by Dmitriy Medvedev”, he said.
At the same time, M. Zhulynskiy stressed that, in his opinion, “the Russian President, as Russia considers itself the successor of USSR, could at least bow his head respectfully before memory of Holodomor victims, because they were citizens of USSR, and, by doing so, to show his friendly attitude to us”.
M. Zhulynskiy stressed that, among representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, who will sign the statement to D.Medvedev, will be Ukrainian Intelligentsia Congress chairman Ivan Drach, academician Ivan Dzyuba, Borys Oliynyk, Nina Matviyenko, and others. M.Zhulynskiy invited other Ukrainian intellectuals to join the move.
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20.  FAMINE IN SOVIET UNION WAS NOT A GENOCIDE SAYS RUSSIAN OMBUDSMAN 

Russian government pays little attention to the 1930s famine & Soviet political repressions in general
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MOSCOW – The attempts to portray the 1930s famine in the Soviet Union as genocide against the Ukrainian people are a gross distortion of historical facts and a ‘crime’, Russian ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told Interfax on Wednesday.

“The desire of Ukrainian nationalists to prove that Russians were killing Ukrainians is false. Clearly, this is an attempt to create some national buzz at the expense of the fraternal neighbor who also suffered from the Stalinist regime,” Lukin said.
“The 1930s famine was a grave crime by the Soviet authorities against their own Soviet people, not just Ukrainians. Talking like this and turning all these events inside out is also a crime,” the Russian ombudsman said. The famine of the 1930s affected Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other parts of the Soviet Union, he said.
“Arguing with Ukrainian nationalists whether the famine did happen is terrible. Of course, it did. The totalitarian Soviet regime deliberately caused mass famine during peace, particularly, in the most developed agricultural areas. This is one of the most horrendous crimes of the Stalinist regime,” said the Russian ombudsman.
There is a lot of evidence from the Soviet period showing that, “this crime was not genocide or aimed against a particular ethnicity,” he said. “Among those who killed and those who were killed were Ukrainians, and Russians, and the people of other Soviet ethnicities,” Lukin said,
When asked why the Russian leaders are not going to attend the mourning ceremony in Ukraine on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, Lukin said: “I would have commemorated this horrible famine with Ukrainian friends, were it not for this terrible political context.”
The Russian government is paying little attention to the 1930s famine and Soviet political repressions in general, he said. “There can be no positive progress without considering lessons from the past, and not just those that we like,” Lukin said.
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21.  HOLODOMOR THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD: THE FAMINE REMEMBERED
 
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
 
CHICAGO – The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art respectfully invites you to the opening of the next exhibition: Holodomor Through the Eyes of a Child:
The Famine Remembered on Sunday, November 23rd from 12 to 4 p.m. A children’s program of music, readings and poetry to begin at 2:00 pm.

This exhibition reflects the FAMINE as interpreted through the heart and hand of over 300 young Ukrainian students. For more information please contact Luba Markewycz: luba@uima-chicago.org.

 
THE UKRAINIAN FAMINE THROUGH THE EYES OF CHILDREN 
 
By Luba Markewycz, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois, Sat, Nov 22, 2008
 
Holodomor – death by hunger, death by starvation.  A most frightening concept.  Yet we assigned to schoolchildren the task of interpreting their
understanding of this horrendous period in our nation’s history.

It is difficult for me to write an introduction to this exhibit, not only because is it an exhibit of children’s art, but also because it was an experience and a journey, both for the children involved in the project – and for me.

This project was the result of efforts to find a unique way to commemorate Holodomor – the Famine of l932-1933. One of the best ways to honor the memory of all the lives lost and to keep it alive for generations to come is to show our children what happened, and what caused this genocide.

 
Children, students and young people speaking to each other and with their teachers about Holodomor learned about the past, so they could teach future generations and make certain that such an event would never again occur. Thus the journey began.

The journey took me to nine cities throughout Ukraine, to over twenty schools, which also included regional centers. I spoke to and met with hundreds of students, their teachers and school administrators. I asked children from grades seven through eleven to visualize and interpret their understanding of Holodomor.
 
What made the experience unique was that I, as a teacher, a Ukrainian from America, was asking teachers in Ukraine to work with their students on art work whose theme was the Ukrainian Holodomor. Teachers in schools willingly accepted the idea and promised that they would prepare lessons for their students, so that they could learn about and understand that part of history and begin the process of visualizing the event and recording their interpretation of it on paper. 
 
There were cities where juried children’s art shows where held with Holodomor as their theme. As the projects developed across Ukraine, students and teacher began to discover and delve deeper into the history of this most tragic aspect of Ukraine’s history and this event of worldwide significance. For them this was an enormous learning experience.

This exhibit is the culmination of this tremendous project, a testimonial to their ancestors who died during the tragedy of Holodomor by the children of the first generation born in Ukraine since its independence seventeen years ago.
 
In these works of art you can see the deep involvement of the students as they created their art and interpreted their understanding of the atrocities of death by hunger. They poured their minds, hearts and souls into each depiction of the tragedy as they understood it.

I bow my head with deep respect to all the teachers who prepared their students to achieve this body of work. I thank all the students for their efforts, which have met with great success. I fervently hope that the lessons they learned will be remembered by future generations.

Hospody pomylui.

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22.  COLLECTION OF WORKS BY AMERICAN RESEARCHER OF HOLODOMOR
JAMES MACE PUBLISHED IN UKRAINE, “YOUR DEAD HAVE CHOSEN ME..”
 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, November 21, 2008 

KYIV – A collection of works by well-known American researcher of the Holodomor 1932-1933 James Mace “Your Dead Have Chosen Me…” has been  published in Ukraine. The book presentation took place within the frames of the events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

The name to this book was taken from one of the most emotional articles by the historian and journalist who was the first among western researchers to seriously prove and publicly state that the Holodomor 1932-1933 was an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.
 
A collection of Mace’s little known works have been gathered for the first time, where the reasons and trends have been analyzed that brought to this tragedy. Articles “Political Reasons of Holodomor in Ukraine (1932-1933), “Ukraine as Post-Genocide State”, “Wild Spirit of Shot down Renaissance”, “Great Experiment (about History of National Communism in Ukraine)” and others reveal political reasons of the Holodomor.
James Mace is a historian, political scientist and researcher of the Holodomor in Ukraine. In 1982, he stated at the international conference that the Holodomor has been organized by Stalin to exterminate the Ukrainians as a nation and Ukraine as a state and consequently is genocide of the Ukrainian people.
In 1986-1987, Mace headed a commission of researchers under the U.S. Congress that studied archive documents and collected testimonies of the people about the Holodomor. In 1993, Mace moved from the USA to Ukraine, lived and worked in Kyiv, lectured at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, married the Ukrainian. He died on May 3, 2004, and was buried in Kyiv.
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Invitation: Exhibition in Kyiv, Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists, Sun, Nov 23

ON BEHALF OF THE 75TH COMMEMORATION OF THE HOLODOMOR
                Induced Starvation, Death for Millions, Genocide, 1932-1933
 
   The Exhibition Subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC)
                                  Of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
            INVITES YOU TO ATTEND A PRIVATE SHOWING OF THE
 
    “HOLODOMOR: THROUGH THE EYES OF UKRAINIAN ARTISTS”
                                                     EXHIBITION
             at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday, November 23rd
                                Third Floor, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
 
The “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian
House in Kyiv consists of over 250 original artworks by outstanding Ukrainian artists
which show in a very moving, compelling and visual way all aspects of this tragedy
against the Ukrainian people. Several of the artists will be at the private showing on
Sunday.  The exhibition consists of artworks assembled over the past 12 years in
Ukraine and is the largest exhibition of artworks ever held about the Holodomor. 
The exhibition opened on Tuesday, Nov 18th and will close on Sunday, Nov 30th. 
 
There are several other Holodomor historical, informational and dramatic exhibitions
now at the Ukrainian House including those from the Ukrainian Institute of Memory,
Ukraine 3000 Foundation, SBU, Ukrainian State Archives, and the Ministry of Culture. 
All of the exhibitions together comprise the largest exhibition ever held to commemorate
the millions of victims of the Holodomor and to remind one about the political system
and the government leaders that caused millions to die….and nobody wanted to die.
 
The Exhibition Subcommittee of the International Holodomor Committee (IHC) issues
you this special invitation to attend the private showing of the “Holodomor: Through
The Eyes Of Ukrainian Artists” exhibition at the Ukrainian House, Third Floor, 2
Khreshchatyk, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday, November 23rd, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. 
Please come and participate in the 75th Commemoration of the Holodomor, 1932-1933.
 
Year_1933_336x112_IMG_2849_col_print.jpgYear_1933_336x112_IMG_2849_col_ua_print.jpg
 
Donors to the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” Collection and Exhibitions
since year 2000 have included the Bahriany Foundation, Michael and Natasha Bleyzer, Lydia
Bodnar-Balahutrak, Dr. Zenia Chernyk, DAAR Foundation, Eugenia Dallas, Orest Deychakiwsky,
Yuri Deychakiwsky, David Holpert, Kyiv-Atlantic, ODUM-Minneapolis, Michael Sarkesian,
SigmaBleyzer, David and Tamara Sweere, John Swift, Swift Foundation, Ukrainian Federation
of America (UFA), Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA,
Bohdan Vitvitsky, Morgan Williams, WJ Agricultural Group, Alex and Helen Woskob, and The
Woskob Foundation.
==============================================
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director
Government Affairs, Washington Office
SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group
President/CEO, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Publisher & Editor, Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Trustee: “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists”
Member: International Holodomor Committee (IHC)
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 903, Washington, D.C. 20006
Mobile in Kyiv: 380 50 689 2874
mwilliams@sigmableyzer.com; mwilliams@usubc.org
www.sigmableyzer.com; www.usubc.org

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AUR#917 Nov 9 Nobody Wanted to Die, But Millions Did; New Holodomor Monument in Kyiv

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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
“…..AND NOBODY WANTED TO DIE”
But millions did, starved to death by Soviets
 
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 917
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
“Candle of Memory,” a new monument, but no historical center, research facilities, library, or museum yet
By Svitlana Korenovska and Morgan Williams, for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Action Ukraine Report, Washington, D.C., Sunday, November 9, 2008 
 
The Ukrayinska Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), in English, Sunday, November 9, 2008
 
3.  UKRAINE: THE SYMBOLS WE CHOOSE 
Is the Holodomor Memorial a new experiment on the historical image of Ukraine’s capital?
By Oleh Hrechukh, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 2, 2008
 
Studying it takes a cultured and tactful approach, New Documentary: Landscape After The Famine
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Nov 4, 2008
 
Kyiv urges the EU to back its efforts to persuade the UN to recognise the famine of 1932-33 as a crime against humanity
By Rikard Jozwiak, European Voice, Brussels, Belgium, Mon, Nov 3, 2008 
 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
 
Speech by Hayrettin Gülecyüz, Former Senior Editor of Radio Liberty, Tatar-Bashkir Language Service
English translation, Dr.med. Mehmet Fatih Gülecyüz
Given at Kolping Academy, Munich, Germany, November 2007
 
Richard Rousseau, The Georgian Times, Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, November 3, 2008 
 
Commemorative personalised stamp and souvenir envelope, 75th Holodomor Anniversary
George Fedyk, Ukrainian Collectibles Society of Australia, Woodville SA, Australia, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
 
10CHICAGO HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION ENGAGED, INFORMED DIVERSE AUDIENCES
“Breaking The Silence On the Unknown Genocide”
By Maria Kulczycky, 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee
Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday, September 17, 2008
 
Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 27, 2008
12HOLODOMOR ARCHIVES: SHEVCHENKO SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY NEW YORK
Walter Vasilaky, Chair Information Technology Committee
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, New York, Wed, November 5, 2008
 
The Culminating Event in Australia, Saturday, November 29, 2008
Ukraine Remembers – The World Acknowledges
Stefan Romaniw, The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations
North Melbourne, Australia, Friday, November 7, 2008
Tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, Washington, D.C.
Roksolyana Horbova, UMANA-DC, Wash, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008
 
15 USA: NATIONAL OBSERVANCE TO COMMEMORATE UKRAINE’S GENOCIDE OF 1932-1933
Saturday, November 15, 2008, New York City, Food Drive and Commemoration Service
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), New York, NY, Fri, Nov 7, 2008
 
Concert commemorated 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian famine-genocide…”HOLODOMOR”.
By John Pidkowich, Montreal, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
 
Saturday, Nov 22 at 3 pm at the Shirlington Library, Arlington, VA
By Chrystia Sonevytsky, Arlington, Virginia, Friday, November 7, 2008  
 
18HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Sunday, November 9, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Penn State Campus
Michael M. Naydan, Penn State, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
 
Bobby Leigh, Director, Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 8, 2008

20 HOW MANY PERISHED IN THE FAMINE AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Untruths tarnish Holodomor tragedy in Ukraine
Commentary and Analysis: By John-Paul Himka
BRAMA (USA), UNIAN and Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2008
 
21. CLEARING THE WAY FOR MASS MURDER
Analysis & Commentary: David Mittell, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, July 16, 2008
===================================================
1
 UKRAINE’S NEW HOLODOMOR MONUMENT “THE CANDLE OF MEMORY” 
TO BE OPENED & DEDICATED ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22
“Candle of Memory,” a new monument, but no historical center, research facilities, library, museum yet
By Svitlana Korenovska and Morgan Williams, for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Action Ukraine Report, Washington, D.C., Sunday, November 9, 2008 
 
KYIV – The year 2008 has been recognized by the government of Ukraine as the “Holodomor Victims’ Remembrance Year,” and marks the 75th commemoration of the nation’s great tragedy in 1932-1933 when Ukrainians suffered under a massive Soviet induced deliberate starvation, in which millions died in a genocide against the Ukrainian people. 
 
The long awaited Holodomor project, announced many times over the past several years ago by Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko to build a world-class Holodomor Memorial Historical Complex in Kyiv, is finally beginning with the construction of a metal, glass, granite and concrete monument on the slopes of the Dnieper River not far from the world famous, UNESCO world heritage site – Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.
 
The commemorative monument, the “Candle of Memory,” dedicated to the victims of the tragedy, is to be opened on Saturday, November 22. Ironically, in building the memorial to the victims of the Soviet artificially made famine, the creators of the monument cannot be rid of the infamous Soviet legacy of building grandeur structures “to the date”.
 
The construction work started way behind a normal schedule and now barely stops these days, going on around the clock. The construction site of the monument, now filled with bricks, wood, trucks and concrete, had barely finished the foundation of the monument when we visited it three weeks ago.
 
THE AMBITIOUS HOLODOMOR PROJECT 
The whole memorial project was envisioned to be done in two stages. After much debate about which stage should come first (1) the “Candle of Memory” monument and its adjacent area is now under construction as has been stated.
 
(2) The second stage of construction foresees the creation of the world-class historical complex including a large museum, research center for scholars, library, archival space, office space, exhibition space and electronic databases attesting to the tragedy of the Ukrainian nation. 
 
Many Ukrainian and international leaders strongly urged the government to build the historical complex first and the new monument second. These leaders felt the historical complex was needed most at this time.  A new monument could wait till later.  But their urgent pleas over several years to the leaders of the Ukrainian government fell on some deaf ears.
 
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MEMORY
The Ukrainian National Institute of Memory has announced another international contest for the best project draft of the future museum and historical complex. The completion of the complex, which now does not exist even on the blueprints, will be the final touch of the ambitious construction project of the Holodomor memorial. 
 
The realization of the project is managed by the Institute of National Memory that is not only distributing budget funds but also envisioning the idea behind the whole memorial complex. “The role of the institute is more ideological,” says Oleksander Ivankiv, first deputy head of the Institute of National Memory, “we are forming the vision of how the memorial should look like.”
           
CREATIVE TEAM HEADED BY ANATOLIY HAIDAMAKA
The creative team headed by the artist Anatoliy Haidamaka, whose design for the Memorial won a national competition, and the chief architect of the monument Yuriy Kovalev are in charge of the monuments appearance.
 
Representatives of the presidential administration and Kyiv municipal administration are taking part in project discussions. The creative and construction team has been working 24/7 during the last four months in order to finish the monument by the opening date of Saturday, November 22.
 
The creators and ideologists of the memorial face not only time constraints but also lack of money. The initial allocation for the project of 80 million UAH  budget money are running out and the current estimate for the completion of the project comes to near 133 million UAH. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the estimate but the new budget has approval has not yet been passed.
 
“We came to the edge when the funds are almost exhausted and we have to find the solution,” says Mr. Ivankiv, “The ideas [for a monument] are very ambitious, and when we explain to the foreigners what we want to do and in what time limits, nobody believes it is possible. But Ukrainians are that kind of people who can surpass themselves.”
 
THE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE MONUMENT
 
The initial concept of the whole memorial complex foresaw the building of a 26-metres bell tower and black granite road down the hill that was going to lead to the man-made lake and the historical complex dedicated to the victims of Holodomor.
 
During the initial discussions and project evaluations, the bell-tower as the central element of the structure was rejected in favor of the candle-like monument. “A  bell tower is connected to the idea of the Christ, but the Holodomor took the lives of many people, not only Christians,” says Igor Yukhnovsky, acting as the Head of the Institute of National Memory.
 
The finally approved monument design, an artistically stylized candle-like structure, will still visually remind one of a bell tower but instead of the cross there will be a candle “flame” at the top.
A sculpture composition of kneeling angels will be placed on both sides of the passage way going up to the memorial from Mazepa Street (former Sichnevogo Povstannya Street), and the passage way itself will be paved in black granite. The passage way will lead to the square, on which a sculptural composition representing the wheels of history will be placed, and to the Candle of Memory monument itself.
 
Behind the monument there will be the symbolical wall, a sculptural composition representing the black wooden planks with the carved names of the villages suffered from the Holodomor and quotes from the survivor’s recollections about the tragedy.
 
WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO CAUSED THE TRAGEDY..ABOUT SOVIET LEADERS & GOVERNMENT?
Many Ukrainian and international leaders strongly urged the Ukrainian government to design the new Holodomor monument to depict two main elements:
(1) the honor and remember the millions who died, the victims who were starved to death, and also
 
(2) make a strong statement against those who caused the tragedy, about the political leaders who were out of control and the Soviet political and governmental system that together caused millions to die such an inhuman and unnecessary death.  The best monuments in the world about such tragedies do both, they do not leave out a statement about those who caused of the crime.
 
But once again the strong request by many international leaders, over the past few years, fell on some strangely deaf ears within the Ukrainian leadership.  Holodomor monuments and commemorations in the past, especially in Ukraine, have focused mainly on the millions of victims and not also on the Soviet leaders and the Soviet style government that caused the deaths. 
 
Many leaders and other citizens in Ukraine have been very hesitant to make statements about those who caused the crime, about the system that caused the crime, hesitate to speak out, to tell the truth.  From what can been seen so far in the design of the new monument it will focus mainly on the victims, not on the cause.
 
Once again it seems some elements in the Ukraine government have prevailed and Ukraine is not building a monument that stands clearly as a strong and enduring symbol against the leaders and government that caused one of major tragedies of history. 
 
The new Holodomor monument, at least what can been seen at this time from the photographs, does not appear to be one that will make one remember, with strong feelings, the millions who died, and also make one remember, with the appropriate opposite feelings, the people and government that murdered by starvation millions of Ukrainians.
 
Only time and people’s response will tell whether the new monument has the potential to be recognized on a world-class scale with the best such monuments around the world that depict the worst crimes against humanity.
CONTROVERSY OF THE LOCATION  
The monument commemorating the victims of Holodomor is being built not far from Kyiv Pechersk Lavra near Park Slavy. There is still some controversy about the height of the monument. From the initially mentioned 26 meters, the monument will rise to about 35 meters tall. This means the monument will be higher than the height of the nearby monument of Glory, a 27-metre stele in Park Slavy, dedicated to the eternal glory of the World War II soldiers.
The place was chosen deliberately because of its large size, otherwise difficult to find in the central part of the city, and the closeness the Park Slavy where Kyivans commemorate the veterans and the fallen in the World War II, another tragedy that took lives of tens millions of Ukrainians. 
 
However the placement of the memorial in the park zone not far from the Lavra immediately raised the wave of questions and concerned about the effect on the existing landscape and especially the famous cityscape views with the golden domed monasteries seen from the left bank of the Dnieper River and admired by the locals and visitors alike.
 
The creators of the monument claim that the natural beauty of the hills will only gain from the current reconstruction of the area and the park zone beloved by Kyivans will not be harmed. There is still a widespread concern that the monument’s height might block views of the Lavra but officials say that the height of the monument cannot be higher that the Lavra churches’ domes. 
 
HALL OF MEMORY  
One of the initiatives of the Institute of National Memory was the creation of the so called “Hall of Memory”, a hall beneath the monument. Until the actual historical complex is built, the hall will provide visitors with the information about the Holodomor. 
 
To the opening ceremony the Institute of Memory plans to create 5-15 minutes documentary that will be projected on the walls of the hall. After the museum completion, the hall will host an electronic database, where every visitor will be able to find information on Ukrainians who perished in the Holodomor. 
 
Oleksander Ivankiv underlines that the new monument will not compete with the existing modest sculpture that has already become the symbol of the nation’s tragedy and located near the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral
 
“This idea is more monumental,” says Mr. Ivankiv, “But it is not the “wall of tears”. Through the commemoration of the innocently perished, we also want to show the immortality of the nation. The fact that despite all tortures and tragedies, the nation had survived and now has its own State.”
 
PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: the monument to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv. [Photograph at http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: (inside view) with names of the Holodomor victims inscribed on the walls. [Photograph at
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]
——————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
===================================================
2.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO’S MEGA PROJECT: MEMORIAL COMPLEX

TO COMMEMORATE THE HOLODOMOR VICTIMS IN UKRAINE
 
The Ukrayinska Pravda, in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), in English, Sunday, November 9, 2008

KYIV – The Holodomor issue became a top priority one during President Yushchenko’s first term in office. Unfortunately, the noble goal of commemorating the victims of the horrendous famine who died 75 years ago very often outweighed for the president the concern for living Ukrainians.

The commitment demonstrated by the president in making his case for the 1932-1933 Holodomor recognition, if applied to Ukraine’s modern problems,
could have gotten off the ground the reforms promised by Yushchenko in 2004.

However, setting priorities on his agenda was Yushchenko’s own decision.

To complete his Holodomor awareness campaign, he initiated construction in Kyiv of a large memorial to remember the victims of the tragedy of the
Holodomor. It was clear from the start that the size of the memorial will be grandiose. However, its true dimensions are beginning to sink in only now.

The Ukrayinska Pravda laid its hands on a positive project evaluation report by a state agency. The evaluation report concerns merely the design of the
“Memorial Complex to Commemorate the Holodomor Victims in Ukraine.”

PROJECTS TOTAL ESTIMATED COST $160 MILLION
The report contains the project’s total estimated cost – 748.853 million hryvnia or $160 million.  This amount is needed to build a monument to the
Holodomor victims and a museum.

Positive project evaluation report by the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine. [Below: translation of this document’s major
items][Copy of document at: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]
===================================
MINISTRY OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION OF UKRAINE
KYIVDERZHBUDEKSPERTIZA
July 14, 2008
POSITIVE EVALUATION
by the state evaluation agency of the design project “Memorial Complex to Holodomors Victims in Ukraine in the area of the Dniprovsky Uzvoz St., Park
Way, Eternal Glory park and walls of the National Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery in the Pechersk rayon of Kyiv located in 15-A Ivan Mazepa St.

Following the examination of design materials and the cost sheet amounting to 748,853,000 hryvnia, the agency considers that the project materials
comply with the law and can be recommended for coordination with other agencies. The project basic technical and economic characteristics include:

Land site area                                          6 hectares
Area size                                                 6,156 square
meters
Amount of construction works             101,774 cubic meters
Area to be covered with asphalt              5,650 square meters
Area to be cobbled                                11,200 square meters
Area to be covered with lawn               32,640 square meters
Open-air parking lot for 80 cars
Open-air parking lot for 15 busses
Number of new jobs created                        60
======================================
There is no doubt that the capital of Ukraine must have a worthy memorial. However, many doubts are raised by how the project is to be implemented.
749 million hryvnia is over $150 million, a sufficient amount to build a project of European significance.

 
CONSTRUCTION OF YET ANOTHER PROVINCIAL MEMORIAL
However, in line with the Ukrainian tradition, the project may end in the construction of yet another provincial memorial.

The notice on the fence circling the site specifying details of the memorial construction: deadlines, location, contractor, sources of funding.
[Photograph at http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

As evidenced by similar museums abroad, there is no need to build a pompous and very costly museum to commemorate the tragic pages of history. On the
contrary, such museums should best mirror the setting of the period.

One of Berlin’s most popular museums is the Checkpoint Charlie museum featuring Berlin divided in two parts by the Berlin wall. The museum was
originally located in an apartment close to the former border checkpoint between the Soviet and US sectors of the city.

On the other hand, to grab the attention, a memorial commemorating a tragedy may have an unorthodox look in the architectural sense.

In 2001, the Jewish Museum to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust was opened. It was designed by the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Costing about $54 million, the museum became a landmark architectural site of Berlin. Yet, the Jewish Museum is three times cheaper than the projected
memorial to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv.

JEWISH MUSEUM IN BERLIN [Photograph at http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

The Kyiv’s analog in Jerusalem, the memorial to the Holocaust victims, was also built at a lesser cost, with the state of Israel allocating only $20
million to the final cost of $100 million of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. The remainder was covered by
private donations, with Ukraine’s tycoons Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomojsky, and Hennadij Boholiubov being among its donors.

Other than being a museum, the Kyiv memorial can become an architectural attraction. The modern world knows many examples when a productive idea led to amazing results that changed the image a whole city, not only the adjacent area of its specific location

A vivid example is the construction of the Gugenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.The Basque government allocated 100 million euro for the project. Despite protests from the nationalist organizations, the project was implemented.
.
GUGENHEIM MUSEUM IN BILBAO [Photograph at http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

This architectural masterpiece by Frank Gehry made headlines worldwide. Incidentally, the museum was built in the area formerly occupied by industrial companies and docks. Now this area has become a hotbed of modern architecture with a 1-km long embankment, modern buildings, new bridges and roads.

The Bilbao museum caused the so-called Gugenheim effect when the construction of a certain building sparked off massive construction in the adjacent area.

ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE COULD HAVE BEEN IN KYIV ALSO
This is what an architectural masterpiece could have been done in Kyiv, too. The $160 million that the Kyiv Holodomor memorial will cost is enough to hire a world renowned architect and to build an unorthodox memorial complex.
 
Sadly, there’s no one who can make this case in Ukraine. For the authorities, it is easier to go with the presidential flow.

The authors of the project selected a well-developed area of Kyiv on the Pechersk hills between the Alley of Honor and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
Monastery. Meanwhile, there are lots of sites in the capital where the construction of the memorial could give a boost to the development of adjacent territory.

MEMORIAL TO BE BUILT IN TWO STAGES —-
The memorial is to be built in two stages. The first stage is the memorial monument, the second is the museum located down the hill below the monument.
A large share of funding will be spent to reinforce the land to prevent sliding.

The construction of the Holodomor monument is in its final stage. The monument will be in the shape of a candle positioned next to the monument to
the Unknown Soldier. All the area has a traditional look, adding up to what may be described as Ukrainian post Soviet monumentalism.

PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: the monument to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv. [Photograph at http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

PHOTOGRAPH: Stage one of the project: (inside view) with names of the Holodomor victims inscribed on the walls. [Photograph at
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm]

The monument’s author is Anatolij Hajdamaka. He admitted, though that, if the project had been designed by a world-known architect, the authorities
wouldn’t have been able to dictate the details of the monument design, as was the case with him.

“I do not know how much of my original design is left in the project, probably, 30 percent,” says Hajdamaka who was Yushchenko’s adviser and now
sits on the pro-Yushchenko Our Ukraine party board.

 “I won’t claim I’m the author of the Holodomor monument. Perhaps, my share in it is a mere 30 percent. The project is a mish-mash of various ideas
whose authors are unknown. The president also expressed his ideas,” Hajdamaka admitted in the interview with The Ukrayinska Pravda.

Hajdamaka stressed he refused to get paid for the project.

In contrast, the architect recalled his work building a memorial in Alushta, Crimea to those who sank in the sea. The project was funded by Russian Duma
deputy Aleksandr Lebedev. “It was strange that the client didn’t offer any changes in the monument,” Hajdamaka said in surprise. “I had his complete
trust. Never before had I been trusted so much.”

Link to article: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2008/9/22/81639.htm
——————————————————————————–

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
===================================================
3.  UKRAINE: THE SYMBOLS WE CHOOSE 
Is the Holodomor Memorial a new experiment on the historical image of Ukraine’s capital?

By Oleh Hrechukh, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 2, 2008

The tragedy of the Holodomor has been the subject of long-standing and broad discussions in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government declared 2008 the Holodomor Victims’ Remembrance Year. Clearly, every tragedy that has befallen humankind needs to be understood by succeeding generations.

 
That is why people construct memorial complexes and establish research centers and museums. These institutions should not only host exhibits that attest to horrific times; the buildings themselves need to make a fitting aesthetic impression on visitors with their unique imagery and spatial and structural organization.

This article is not about establishing new aspects of historical truth. Rather, it deals with a project that was scheduled to be completed this fall, but for various reasons is being delayed.

 
The December 2002 order of the President of Ukraine and two of his edicts issued in Novembers 2005 and October 2006 envisaged the construction in Kyiv of a memorial complex to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor. The first stage of the project requires financing to the tune of at least 80 million hryvnias.
MEMORIALS DEDICATED TO HORRIFIC EVENTS
At this juncture, it would not be remiss to look at a couple of examples of recently inaugurated memorials dedicated to horrific events that took place during the 20th century: Peter Eisenman’s Berlin Holocaust Memorial and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin.

The Holocaust Memorial in downtown Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, occupies over two hectares of land. After 17 years of debates it was finally opened on May 10, 2005. The architectural design was selected from more than 500 proposals submitted from all over the world.

 
The final design is an almost square 150 x 150-meter area divided into 2,711 gray concrete parallelepipeds of different heights without inscriptions; a proposal to inscribe the names of the six million victims was turned down. Between these concrete blocks in the shape of a square net are aisles for visitors. The ground slopes from the edges towards the center, while the blocks rise in height so that visitors no longer see a way out-they are disoriented by the uniform slabs of concrete.

During the construction it was revealed that the supplier of the anti-vandal coating also produced Zyklon B, a gas used by the Nazis for the gas chambers, and company’s services were rejected. The location of the memorial itself has a dark past: the Nazi propaganda department headed by Goebbels was located here in 1937, and Hitler’s bunker, where he shot himself, was nearby.

The proposal to build an underground information center under the memorial was also rejected. The monument was criticized by those who believed it should also be dedicated to other victims of the Nazis. Some critics said that this kind of minimalism could not adequately convey all the horror of the Holocaust.

“I DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO LEAVE THIS PLACE WITH A CLEAN CONSCIENCE”
“I don’t want people to leave this place with a clean conscience,” said architect Peter Eisenman. At the opening ceremony he declared: “We have not solved all the problems — architecture is not a panacea against evil. We know that not everyone who is present here will be pleased, but this was not our goal.” Every day the memorial receives over 2,000 visitors.

The Germans and the Dutch have different approaches to building Holocaust museums. In Germany they erect gigantic structures made of concrete and steel in order to convey the idea of countless victims and to impress visitors. Dutch architects prefer glossy marble and glass surfaces in contrast to the smooth gray concrete used by the Germans.

Twelve years after the first competition the Jewish Museum was opened in Berlin.

Daniel Libeskind’s design for the museum was effective, and the facade made of nothing but steel was well received by the public. The museum does not have any right angles. In order to view the exhibition, visitors have to walk back and forth along the hallway several times, which leaves them with the impression of confusion and psychological and physical fatigue.

For two years the museum did not host any exhibits, but every year its attractive structure was a drawing card for 350,000 tourists who visited its empty rooms. The internal structure of the museum, according to many critics, is not suited to traditional exhibitions: it disorients visitors.

 
This is more of an architectural memorial than a museum. The museum has several small, closed inner courts lit only from above. In one of them, called Fallen Leaves, iron masks of agony lie scattered on the floor. When visitors step on them, a terrible noise of rusty iron is created, which evokes associations with the cries of victims.

The unique forms of these two constructions, the materials with which they were constructed, and the absence of pomp all contribute to the symbolic expression of tragedy by capturing eternal unrest and the feeling of hopelessness. These visual symbols are examples of ultramodern architecture based on 3D computer design. Each visitor can clearly identify the era in which these two museums were built.

 
Two extremely difficult tasks were solved here: an innovative approach to design and the discovery of a clear and understandable image of the tragedy. This was achieved through regularly-held international competitions and the systematic processing of the results by architects, artists, museum curators, and other professionals.
MEANWHILE, WHAT IS HAPPENING IN UKRAINE?
Meanwhile, what is happening in Ukraine? The memorial was scheduled to open in 2003, the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor. The Verkhovna Rada ruled that it should be located in the Pechersk district near the Arsenalna metro station, and next to a building housing the commandant’s office. Unfortunately, the competition did not produce any results. Instead, an infamous high-rise was erected on that site.

The next all-Ukrainian open competition for the design of the State Historical Memorial Complex dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor, political repressions, and forced deportations was announced in 2003. The future memorial was moved to one bank of the Dnipro River, between the monument to the founders of Kyiv and Paton Bridge. No winners were announced.

 
The best designers were invited to take part in the next round of the competition, but the location shifted once again-this time to the park near St. Nicholas’s Golden-Domed Cathedral, on Volodymyr Hill, close to the monument to St. Volodymyr. In early 2005 two brothers, Roman and Dmytro Seliuk, were declared the winners of the competition, and the main financial rewards plus bonuses were awarded.

However, articles criticizing the monument’s impact on the Kyiv landscape sparked a furor, this being one of the reasons why the monument was never built. In the spring of 2006 a new competition was launched (http://uazakon.com/document/fpart20/idx20320.html) and the monument’s projected location was moved-again. This time, the Memorial of Sorrow was slated to rise on the slopes of the Dnipro River near Slava Park and Kalynovy Hai, the latter of which was opened by President Yushchenko.

Fourteen teams participated in the new competition. Their designs were displayed at the Artists’ Union of Ukraine and are posted on the private Web site

After the lengthy rigmarole to choose the best design, the winner was finally announced. This was the team headed by People’s Artist of Ukraine Anatolii Haidamaka, who is known for his design of Kalynovy Hai near the Dnipro River and the Holodomor Memorial in the village of Khoruzhivka. The award-winning design was divided into two structures: a memorial and a museum.

According to the latest information, an international competition has been announced for the design of the Holodomor mu­seum, and the results will be announced on Nov. 25, the same day that the first stage of the construction will be launched and the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor will be marked.

 
However, this writer has failed to find any information on the Holodomor Mu­seum in Ukraine on leading foreign sites that disseminate in­formation on architectural events worldwide. Information on the conditions and terms of this competition is not accessible in Ukraine either.

The first stage of the construction will comprise the above-ground building of the memorial, the entrance square with a memorial block, a sculpture featuring several angels, the main alley, a square with the wheels of history, a sculpture of a girl clutching some ears of grain, the underground Hall of Memory with additional rooms, and a parking lot for 35 cars carved out of the park’s sidewalk along Ivan Mazepa Street, across from the entrance to the memorial.

 
CONSTRUCTION NOW PROCEEDING
For a number of organizational reasons, the construction was significantly delayed and is now proceeding in the all-hands-on-deck fashion at the site located between the 12th-century Savior’s Church in Berest and the Unknown Soldier Memorial, next to a bastion of a citadel that is part of a 13th-century Kyivan fortress.

The site undoubtedly has exceptional municipal, historical, architectural, archeological, and landscape-recreational value. The uniquely beautiful Slava Park, designed by the architect Avraam Miletsky in the 1970s, attracts thousands of Kyivites and guests of Ukraine’s capital every day. Official delegations come here to lay flowers on special days, and newlyweds come here to be photographed.

Although the Holodomor Memorial was evaluated by specialists on many occasions, some fundamental decisions with regard to the project raise doubts-in particular, its location in Kyiv.

 
Even now the pile-driving machines are projecting upward on the construction site located in the protected area of the park, an outstanding specimen of landscape architecture. They are 31 meters high, about as high as the memorial itself, and they partially block the best view of the Kyivan Cave Monastery.

Leased by the Kyiv City Council to the developer in 2007, this land is a complete cityscape ensemble. It can be seen from numerous public places, squares, and promenades on both banks of the Dnipro.

 
According to UNESCO’s recommendations on the comprehensive preservation of historical monuments (the Kyivan Cave Monastery is a UNESCO world heritage site) this land was classified as a buffer zone of the architectural preserve. Placing a new structure in this area requires an extremely well thought-out decision with respect to preserving the visual characteristics of the existing cityscape ensemble.
 
INDENTIFIED WITH A CHURCH CANDLE
It is also known that the initial version of the memorial, which was declared the winner, was changed in the past two years. The current version still has its sculptural character, but is now clearly identified with a church candle, which looks like an excessively literal image of memory and sorrow.
 
If we consider its colossal size (30 meters is more than enough for a candle), we may well ask: will this building dovetail with the existing ensemble where the scale of images and proportions of the buildings are vastly different?

There is no exact information on access ways for transport and pedestrians. During visits of high-ranking officials Mazepa Street will be blocked off, but it is not clear how the underground structures will be made accessible. The Mystetsky Arsenal, a cultural, artistic, and museum complex, is rising up next to the future Holodomor Memorial. Its museum alone may require 750 parking spaces, as well as room for buses and TV broadcast vans.

 
The Mystetsky Arsenal will also feature a 1,700-seat concert hall, a museum of contemporary art, a three-cinema movie theater, a restoration center, a delivery center, art studios, an administration building, and a 270-room hotel complete with luxury suites. Altogether this will require over 1,000 parking spaces.

The design for the Holodomor Memorial was executed by Proektni Systemy, Ltd., a company indirectly linked to Andrii Myrhorodsky, a member of the governors’ board of the XXI Stolittia Company (http://www.archunion.com.ua/arch/a-0267.html).

 
On its official Web site (http://21.com.ua/index.php?lang_id=3&content_id=623&product_id=24) and in the Euro-2012 city preparation program the company has announced that in 2008 it will launch the construction of the Posolsky dvir hotel and cultural complex, with 300 rooms on the site of the famous Lavra gallery, near the Kyivan Cave Monastery, the Savior’s Church in Berest (where ancient frescoes are being destroyed) and 100 meters away from the future Holodomor memorial. 

Therefore, privately owned development companies are building not only the Holodomor Memorial but also public, cultural, research, commercial, and residential buildings spread over 160,000 square meters (all part of the complex Mystetsky Arsenal), as well as hotels, residential buildings, and office buildings in the buffer zone around a UNESCO world heritage monument.

 
One is naturally led to wonder: when will a comprehensive program for developing the entire territory of the buffer zone be developed and approved at the state level?

It is not clear how the future Holodomor Memorial will function in its location next to a wall of the Kyiv Fortress citadel, given such high construction density and numerous unresolved problems related to traffic routes and engineering infrastructure.

 
The vague, illusory, and subjective criteria that are being used to evaluate the impact on the surrounding landscape and historical monuments (and these are known only to the initiated) leave a lot of room for abuse.
Despite the prolonged twists and turns of the process of selecting the location for the Holodomor Museum and deciding on its outward appearance and symbolic character, a transparent and consistent discussion about this memorial has yet to take place. It appears that the tradition of dedicating newly erected monuments to landmark anniversaries has stood in the way of careful decision-making.

What is happening now on the hills of Kyiv — the rushed nature of the construction — will aggravate the problem of preserving the city’s architectural heritage and its inimitable landscapes.

 
Under these circumstances, rather than generating awareness of our people’s tragedy, the Holodomor Memorial will spark misgivings concerning the need to preserve centuries-old historical ensembles and distrust of the Ukrainian and international legislation that is supposed to protect them.
 
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/250823/ with photos.
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4.  UKRAINE: A POSTGENOCIDAL SOCIETY 

Studying it takes a cultured and tactful approach, New Documentary: Landscape After The Famine
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Nov 4, 2008
This year’s international Mo­lodist Film Festival included the hors concours program “Do­cu­mentaries on the Holodomor.” The Day’s journalists were invited to the screening of one of them, “Peizazh pislia moru (Landscape after the Famine).”
 
This documentary features the noted Ho­lo­do­mor researcher James Mace, who collaborated with this newspaper from 1997 until 2004. The invitations read that the film includes “excerpts from the diary of Professor James Mace of Harvard University.”
The narrator of the film, Bohdan Stupka, reads the most important and emotional passages from Dr. Mace’s articles that were carried by The Day and later included in the book “Day and Eternity of James Mace” (2005) and “James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me” (2008), both part of The Day’s Library Series.
Work on the Holodomor requires a tactful approach. The same is true of the launch of this production. But this approach was overlooked, as the screening of documentary, which was attended by Hanna Chmil, head of the State Cinematography Service, was preceded by a commercial that struck a discordant note.
Although the mind is normally programmed to erase memories of catastrophes of biblical scope, which claim millions of lives and threaten the existence of survivors, we, Ukrainians, should realize that we will have to make a Herculean effort to grasp what happened to our land and our forefathers (and to us and our souls) during that accursed period of 1932-33, the years of the Great Famine.
What does it mean to grasp? First of all, it means to understand the socioeconomic, psychological, and even genetic consequences of that genocidal terror by famine, which was planned and carried out by the totalitarian Stalinist regime.
 
The detailed study of these consequences will convince any unbiased individual that it was undeniably an act of genocide, a deliberate act — not the result of “poor harvest yields,” the “summing up of the class struggle,” etc.
This process of understanding what happened — and it is obvious that this will take years — shows that the potential of documentaries is not being fully realized. This is unfortunate, because artistically presented historical events, facts, and documents can produce a tangible impression on film audiences.
 
Let us hope (with a feeling of restrained optimism) that the ice has been broken here, as evidenced by “Landscape after the Famine” (dir. Yurii Teresh­chenko; script by Olha Unhurian, Taras Unhurian, and Yurii Te­reshchenko; music by Viktor Krysko) which had its premiere on Oct. 24.
The creators of this documentary note that their film is “an attempt to trace the phenomenon of a postgenocidal society by using the example of a contemporary Ukrainian village.”
 
It is largely based on the works of the outstanding scholar, historian, journalist, and civic activist James Mace, who coined the phrase “postgenocidal society.” What makes this documentary distinctive is that the filmmakers did not try to recount the Holodomor tragedy, but to show its reverberations in our time.
 
DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES ON THE VILLAGE OF VELYKA FOSNIA
The documentary focuses on Velyka Fosnia, a village in Zhytomyr oblast. The ruthlessly accurate analysis of the lives of its residents is impressive: whereas during the Holodomor its people were dying of starvation, today they are being killed by alcohol.
In 1933, 64 out of 86 village homesteads were wiped out during the Great Famine. In 2007 there were 92 deaths compared to 25 childbirths: a dozen stores and kiosks in the village sell alcohol.
 
We see a story unfolding about peasants, “masters of the land” — people who didn’t have to be told how to work their plots of land — who were physically destroyed 75 years ago. Equally horrifying is the fact that these people were educated and the bearers of Ukrainian national memory and consciousness.
The story is recounted by a resident of Mala Fosnia named Yakiv Hryshchuk, who is a civic activist and Holodomor researcher. Unfortunately, the filmmakers did not entirely succeed in overcoming the temptation to create a “mosaic” pattern, so the film occasionally displays a certain amount of confusion.
James Mace believed that Ukrainian society will not be able to evolve as long as the heavy burden of the unatoned criminal past hangs over it, because such unbelievably heinous crimes as the Holodomor penetrate the nation’s subconscious through fear. You hear these words during the documentary.
 
There is only one conclusion: the truth about the Holodomor and its consequences has to be conveyed to the people. This requires a cultured and tactful approach. The documentary “Peizazh pislia moru” is a landmark on this road.
Tereshchenko’s other film, Zhyvi (The Living) will premiere in Kyiv on Nov. 22.
COMMENTS ———-

Yevhen SVERSTIUK, public figure:
Clearly, recognition of the Holodomor as an act of genocide is the restoration of the truth that was concealed from the Ukrainians. There are many such hidden truths. In fact, the Holodomor is our most painful issue, but it is by no means an image of Ukraine’s past. In this documentary we see only alcoholics and other degraded individuals.
 
Of course, an act of genocide damages a nation at its roots, but it doesn’t destroy it. There was also a famine after the Second World War, but our nation survived. This is what we should ponder. I understand that truthful scenes are shown from the life of the Ukrainian countryside and that they are typical, in a sense. However, things that are typical are not an arithmetical average. Such scenes are characteristic of Belarus and Russia.
But what James Mace describes as a postgenocidal society has a far deeper significance. This postgenocidal motif is present in some comments in the film. There was nothing like this in the Ukrainian countryside before the revolution or after the abolition of serfdom.
 
One could describe Mace as the carrier of a consistent and honest idea. This should have been the leitmotif of the documentary. You know, I wanted my son-in-law to come from Berlin to see it, but he couldn’t. I’m not sorry he didn’t.
 
Stanislav KULCHYTSKY, deputy director of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:
In January 2008 I took part in an international conference in Warsaw about the burial sites of the victims of the Second World War and mass repressions. The European countries, unlike Ukraine, are paying serious attention to this issue.
 
Watching the documentary, I was interested to see individuals who have dedicated their lives to establishing the truth about the victims of the famine; they are researching information in the archives about people who starved to death and erecting monuments. This is moving.
 
This documentary has two interwoven lines: the first, what James accomplished by revealing the truth about the Holodomor to the international community, and the second, the efforts of local Holodomor researchers. I wouldn’t call this documentary a work of art, but it has informative value. Also, there were a lot of commercials before the screening, which run counter to the key idea of the documentary.
Natalia DZIUBENKO-MACE, writer and widow of James Mace:
I was impressed by the scenes filmed in the Ukrainian countryside. Now and then I visit my native village in Lviv oblast. Rushing past the dilapidated fences, I tell myself that the old people who live behind them will be helped by their children. But it turns out that we have a great many orphan parents, figuratively and literally.
 
According to this documentary, we won’t have a dignified old age. As for the problems raised in this film, obviously a couple of phrases about an act of genocide or postgenocidal society don’t suffice. This subject is much more complicated.
Why is Ukraine making every effort to have the Holodomor of 1932-33 recognized as an act of genocide by the international community? Because it was a deliberate act aimed at murdering an entire nation. James summed up its consequences in his concept of postgenocidal society. This postgenocidal nature is what is paralyzing our political, economic, and educational life, and ultimately -our morals and ethics.
 
The documentary Svicha Dzheimsa Meisa (James Mace’s Candle) came out last year, and I should point out that it has more to say about him than this one. Few people are aware that there are two other documentaries about James. But a penetrating philosophical documentary about him has yet to be made.
Bohdan STUPKA, artistic director of the Ivan Franko Theater:
“I never met James Mace, but since I was always a regular reader of The Day, I read every article by him with avid interest. He chose the right words to convey the pain in the hearts of Ukrainians, raising questions about the totalitarian Stalinist regime and the Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
 
The Holodomor was kept secret for many years in the former USSR. Even today a number of people who are still poisoned by Soviet propaganda refuse to grasp what is glaringly obvious and they see black as white.
Mace was among the first to raise the alarm by telling the world the truth about this horrific tragedy that swept over Ukraine like a deadly hurricane, killing millions. Reading Mace’s articles, I found myself thinking that he was compelling us, Ukrainians, to respect our history, our grandfathers, and our grandfathers, even though he was born across the ocean. He had no genetic memory of the famine. He was not a Ukrainian.
 
He was a typical American, who found out about Ukraine when he was doing his graduate work at the University of Michigan. When he began studying Soviet history, he read mountains of documents and in the process became interested in what was then the little-explored topic of the genocide in Ukraine.
I learned all this from Mace’s feature articles. I remember starting to follow everything he wrote and looking forward to reading his latest article. This foreigner was more of a Ukrainian than many of those who beat their breasts and call themselves patriots. When Yurii Tereshchenko invited me to narrate excerpts from Mace’s articles for his documentary, I agreed instantly.
 
I believe that historians as well as artists must have their say about the Holodomor. This topic must be approached very cautiously, without any flag-waving, with a great deal of respect for all those people whom the Bolshevik commissars killed by starvation for the sake of that “shining communist morrow.”
 
THE SIN OF HUNGER…ONE MAN PLAY
On Oct. 28, the Small Stage of the Ivan Franko Theater premiered the one-man play Holodnyi hrikh (The Sin of Hunger), directed by Oleksandr Bilozub and based on Vasyl Stefanyk’s short story “Novyna” (The News). I think the young actor Oleksandr Formanchuk very ably conveys the nuances of the plot while recounting those terrible times.
 
GOD’S TEAR
On Nov. 23, the Ivan Franko Theater will stage a sequel to the genocide theme by staging Bozha slioza (God’s Tear) written by Mykola (Nikolai) Kosmin, a Ukrainian playwright who lives in Moscow.
 
The play tells the story of a man and a woman who lived through the ordeal of the Holodomor. The play is directed by Valentyn Kozmenko-Delinde, who is also the set designer.
 
It stars Les Serdiuk and Liubov Kubiuk, and in the mass scenes the audience will see my third-year students at the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theater, Cinema, and Television. We dedicate both these productions to the victims of the Holodomor.”
Compiled by Tetiana POLISHCHUK and Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
 
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5.  UKRAINE WANTS EU’S HELP ON STALIN CRIME

Kyiv urges the EU to back its efforts to persuade the UN to recognise
the famine of 1932-33 as a crime against humanity
 
By Rikard Jozwiak, European Voice, Brussels, Belgium, Mon, Nov 3, 2008 
Ukraine has welcomed the European Parliament’s recognition of the Soviet-era famines as a “crime against the Ukrainian people and against humanity”, calling it “a very important act of solidarity”.
Speaking to European Voice, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodomyr Ogryzko described the man-made famine – increasingly referred to by the Ukrainian term holodomor – as “a tragedy for mankind”, not just for Ukrainians, and said that Ukraine now hopes that EU states will support Ukraine in its efforts to convince the UN General Assembly to accept that the holodomor was ‘a crime against humanity’ or a ‘genocide’.
The Ukrainian parliament decided two years ago that Josef Stalin’s enforced collectivisation of Ukraine’s farms and the resulting famine in 1932-33, which the Ukrainian government believes left 10 million people dead, amounted to ‘genocide’.

It is OK for the time being to call it crime against humanity

The European Parliament stopped short of using the term in its resolution, which it passed on 23 October, but Ogryzko believes that will change. “It is OK for the time being to call it crime against humanity. That is the first step,” he said.

 
“The second step, to call the holodomor ‘genocide’ will come in the future. With information and knowledge about the event it will become evident for everyone.”
Ukraine has twice sought to raise the issue at the UN, but its efforts were blocked on both occasions by Russia. “I don’t understand Russia’s position,” Ogryzko said. Ukraine’s effort to gain fuller recognition of the nature of the holodomor “is not against Russia. It is really against the communist regime in the Soviet Union at the time,” he said.
In Ukraine itself, the authorities have sought to raise public awareness of the episode in Soviet Ukraine’s history, by making all documents available and by collecting together eye-witness accounts.
 
It is about to step up its efforts by unveiling a new monument in Kyiv to commemorate the holodomor on 22 November, at the start of an international conference on collectivisation and the famine in the Ukrainian capital. The Ukrainian authorities have invited a number of heads of state to attend. That will be followed in a few years time by a museum dedicated to the famine.
“We want to prevent something similar to holodomor happening in the future,” Ogryzko said. “It could be repeated.”
 
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6.  UKRAINE’S COMMUNIST PARTY SHOULD APOLOGIZE
FOR FAMINE OF 1930S, SAYS EXPERT
 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

KYIV – The Communist Party of Ukraine should apologize for the totalitarian Stalinist regime that caused the Famine of 1932-1933 in the country, the head of the department for international law at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Myroslava Antonovych, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

“The Communist Party of Ukraine has by no means apologized for this crime. They [the communists] have neither apportioned nor recognized any blame. … They should condemn the crimes committed by them [the Communist Party of the Soviet Union], including the crime of the famine,” she said.
 
A number of events dedicated to marking the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 will be held in Kyiv on November 22.
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7.  THE IDEOLOGICAL FANATICISM AND ITS TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES    

Speech by Hayrettin Gülecyüz, Former Senior Editor of Radio Liberty, Tatar-Bashkir Language Service
English translation, Dr.med. Mehmet Fatih Gülecyüz
Given at Kolping Academy, Munich, Germany, November 2007
 
The date is the middle of August, 1929. The weather is very hot and sunny. The incident takes place in a vast and deserted area in the Soviet Union where the big Open-Air Congress of the Soviet Communist Party is to be held. The delegates from all of the regions of the Soviet Union wait for the party*s chief comrade Josef Vissarionovich Stalin to give them a lesson about socialism.
Finally at noon, comrade Stalin arrives and begins his lesson. He begins:  “Very honoured comrades, now I will teach you what socialism is and how you must govern the people.”
 Then Stalin orders to a man beside him: “Bring me a live chicken. Fast! “
The man immediately brings Stalin a chicken which was kept thirsty and famished. Then Stalin starts plucking hand full of feathers while the chicken squawks and flutters in pain until completely bald and bleeding.
Stalin releases the chicken. The poor creature meanders under the glistening sun for minutes in search of shade until it finds cooling spot under the vast shadow of Stalin and his greatcoat. Under the shadow of the man who ruthlessly pulled out every single feather of its body. Now, where Stalin goes, the poor chicken follows him. Some minutes pass until the chicken faints of thirst and collapses to the ground.
Stalin orders to the man beside him: “Bring me a cup of water, immediately! “
The man brings Stalin a cup of water and offers it to the thirsty chicken. The chicken drinks the water and slowly rises to its feet and it starts to run around again. Then some minutes pass again. This time the chicken is hungry because it hasn’t eaten anything for five hours.
 
This time Stalin orders to the man beside him again: “Bring me some wheat! “
The man brings Stalin immediately some wheat. Stalin offers the wheat with his hands to the chicken and the chicken eats them with big appetite.
Stalin speaks to his delegates:
“Do you understand what I am trying to point out? What does this signify?”
Nobody answers of the delegates. Then Stalin explains his actions:
“The chicken here stands for the people of the Soviet Union. The feathers of the chicken represent the belongings and goods of the people. In the Soviet Union we must first find socialism, then communism. As you all know, all people must be equal in our society. We cannot permit some people to be rich and others to be poor in our land.
 
The first step to equality is to confiscate all the belongings and goods of our people and then to monopolise them. Our first party chief comrade Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has done a lot of this in our country. He began confiscating the homes and the industry in our land, but due to his early death, the monopolisation could not be completed. Now we must continue his work. We must monopolise the whole agriculture of the Soviet Union! This represents the last few of feathers of the chicken.
With this action, we will have another advantage: to make our people become obedient to our orders. Weaken them by taking their belongings and making them dependent on us. With the monopolisation of agriculture, all the forces will be in our hands. We will be the only one to nourish them and without our help, they’ll starve.
Now all of you, very honoured comrades, go back to your native countries and confiscate the remainder of the goods from your people. Deport all the landlords to Siberia where they all shall work to death. If they shall resist your orders, you kill them all!”
All the delegates go back in their native country and carry out Stalin’s orders. That is “compulsive collectivisation”, the seizure of all belongings and goods of the people by force, especially in the agricultural area.
During the collectivisation, at least 4 million people were either killed or were deported to Siberia. After the collectivisation the kolkhozes and sovkhozes were founded in the Soviet Union. The kolkhozes are huge collective agricultural areas belonging to the municipal governments and the sovkhozes, belonging to the central government.
The compulsive collectivisation has made the agriculture of the Soviet Union unproductive. The agricultural production has decreased from year to year. Even in the first and second year of the collectivisation, a big famine has spread across in the Soviet Union. At that time, the population in the Ukraine sank to approximately 5-7 million and in Kazakhstan around 1, 5 million due to hunger.
There were a lot of reasons for the famine.
 
[1] First, the Soviet government had confiscated all agricultural products.
[2] Second, the new owners of the arable lands were unqualified in agriculture.
[3] Third, the state monopolisation of all the belongings of the people had made them “the slaves of the government “.
After this measure nobody worked voluntarily, but under the compulsion of the Soviet government. Of course, this has reduced the agricultural production very much.
 
Before the October Revolution, the Ukraine was the granary not only to Russia but also for large parts of Europe. After the compulsive collectivisation, the Ukraine itself became a land of hungry people.
Before the compulsive collectivisation the people of Kazakhstan were mostly nomads. They were especially sheep breeders and were dependent on the meat, milk and milk products. During of the collectivisation the sheep of the Kazakhs were also confiscated by the Soviet government and these nomads forced to live in the cities or villages. This leads to the death of at least 1, 5 million Kazakhs due to hunger. 
 
During the Famine of 1921/1922, 1931-1933 and the mass repression from 1937-1938, the population of Kazakhstan decreased by approximately 3 million. Over 400.000 ethnic Kazakhs were forced to leave their country. They emigrated to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia and China.[1]
 
While millions of people were fighting against starvation in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Stalin sold 1, 7 million tons of grain and hundred thousand tons of sheep meat which he confiscated from those countries, to the Western markets earning large amounts of money.[2]
 
He spent this income on the military industry and for the production of weapons. Thus the Soviet industry was built on the lives of millions of innocent people. The compulsive collectivisation was the cause of at least 12 million deaths in the Soviet Union.
After the Soviet Union, the compulsive collectivisation was also executed in other countries of the Warsaw Pact and in China. But the result was always same. Millions of people in these countries died of hunger. The main cause of these deaths was the ideological fanaticism. The humanity has suffered from the fanaticism (for example, political, ideological, racist or religious fanaticism) a lot.
The Ukranian population refers to these deaths by Stalin against Humanity and the Ukranian people as “holodomor” and emphasizes that these terrible actions shall not be forgotten and repeated.
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8.  STALIN’S FAMINE IN UKRAINE CALLED A “CRIME” 

Richard Rousseau, The Georgian Times, Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, November 3, 2008 

Between 1932 and 1933, between three and five million people died of starvation at the hands of the Soviet regime, according to Ukrainian historians. The European Parliamentarians agreed on October 22 to describe it as “an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity.”

Macabre stories circulate in Ukraine of the Great Famine that hit the country in the early 1930s: families decimated in a matter of days, peasants fleeing to the cities, killed at close range by the Red Army … That happened in the early years of the forced collectivization of the Soviet countryside when crops were poor and the available wheat was requisitioned by Soviet authorities. Throughout the USSR, farmers by millions died of hunger.

In Ukraine, the death toll reached monstrous proportions. Holodomor (famine-genocide in Ukrainian), a planned massacre of hunger, killed between three and five million people in less than two years. For contemporary Ukrainians, this is nothing less than a genocide cleverly organized and initiated by Stalin and his satraps to quell Ukrainian peasants’ nationalism and rebellion against Soviet power.

 
For Stanislav Kulchitsky, a reputed Ukrainian historian and leading expert on the Holodomor, the events of 1932-1933 are “only the tip of the iceberg of Stalin’s actions to weaken the Ukrainian nation and force it to adopt the Soviet lifestyle.” Indeed, ten years earlier Soviet authorities took upon themselves the cynical and cruel task of liquidating the Ukrainian intelligentsia, at that time struggling for independence, by dint of massive deportations.

Russian historians reject this analysis. They recall that apart from the Ukrainians, millions of Caucasians, Kazakhs and Russians themselves died of hunger in other regions of former Soviet territory. The Russian Government, which declines to use the term “genocide” to characterize the 1930s incidents, however, agrees that Ukraine was the main victim of the collectivization drive, but neither more nor less than other Soviet nations. “It is true that the Ukrainian famine is similar to other famines in Russia or Kazakhstan during the same period,” admits Kulchitsky.

 
“But in Ukraine, the policy went much further and it became a very covert and specific operation of terror by bringing famine to the people.” The Ukrainian historian claims that official documents point to Stalin’s premeditated attempt at quickly bringing to a halt Ukrainian disobedience in the winter of 1932.
 
Archives reveal that Stalin signed a special law for Ukraine, which ordered the systematic requisition of foodstuffs in nearly all Ukrainian towns and villages. Not only wheat was requisitioned, as in previous years, but a long list of fruits and vegetables… And all the foodstuffs that remained.

Since the downfall of the Soviet regime, a large segment of the Ukrainian intelligentsia fights for recognition by the international community of the 1932-33 famine as a deliberate act of genocide and an anti-Ukrainian policy. “The problem is that very quickly Holodomor has been politicized by the Ukrainian authorities,” argues Stanislav Kulchitsky.

 
“At the time of the USSR, the accusation of genocide against the Soviet Union was made by the Ukrainian diaspora in North America. Today things have changed and it is contemporary and independent Ukraine which wants to settle accounts with Russia.” Ukrainians and Russians are currently engaged in a real war of archives. “There is still a lot of work to do since many people are still not convinced that a genocide was perpetuated in 1932-3,” admits Kulchitsky. “Half of the Ukrainian population itself does not accept the internationally-recognized definition of genocide.”

However, the large collections of testimonies of survivors, the translation of some archival documents in English and, in particular, Ukrainians’ hooted activism, President Viktor Yushchenko taking the lead, have tipped the balance.

 
A month ago [date is not correct, AUR Editor], the US House of Representatives passed resolution H.R. 562 to “authorize the Government of Ukraine to establish a memorial on Federal land in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the manmade famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932-1933.” However, it stopped short of calling the famine a genocide. No doubt, many American legislators must have been influenced in their vote by the August Georgia-Russia war.

The European Parliament, after much procrastination, has also voted for a resolution on October 22 on the commemoration of the Holodomor, the artificial famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which describes that tragedy as “cynically and cruelly planned by Stalin’s regime in order to force through the Soviet Union’s policy of collectivization of agriculture against the will of the rural population in Ukraine.”

 
While one Ukrainian news headline called the resolution the “late triumph of the Holodomor’s victims,” Russian newspapers underlined that the word genocide does not appear in the text of resolution, judged too controversial by European deputies. This is one of the many “soft powers” that has the EU in its resistance to Russia’s resurgence and new assertiveness…
 
The European Parliament’s resolution on the Holodomor begs the question of whether Russia has come to terms with its bloody and inglorious past. If the answer is no, it could dramatically affect Russia’s future.
 
In the cases of Japan, Germany and Italy in World War II, by their defeat they were compelled to face directly their national complicity in bringing such tragedy to the world. The United States has gone through the process many times, as it is the nature of a free society, with free and varied sources of information, to be more openly introspective and self-critical. Slavery and the genocide of the natives are America’s greatest sins. Without facing and admitting these wrongs, America could not reaffirm its moral goals.
 
In Russia’s case, many changes under President Putin’s administration, a strong opponent of any form of acknowledgement, conspire against such an introspective return to the 20th century. As things are in Putin’s Russia, there are still dominant forces at the very core of political institutions that resist any attempt to see the truth in the mirror.
 
Maybe Russia’s greatest misfortune during the period of Communist decay under Gorbachev was not to be conquered. For it would not have been a conquest of the Russian people, but the elimination, root and branch, of the brutal Soviet Russian oppression. With such a conquest, Russians would have had no choice but to face their past, as Germany did after the fall of the Nazi regime.
 
Russian intellectuals know that truth. But the masses do not, and the leadership draws its power from that ignorance. Has Russia come to terms with its past? The answer to this heavy question is clearly ‘no.’
 
Unless Russia counters the judgment of history, there is a strong probability it will find itself last among nations for another century. It will find the true greatness of its people only after it is freed from its past. The time of introspection and grief is still before the Russian people, and this passage holds the key to a moral future.
 
As long as the Russian Government and society suppress the truth, an approach that only recognizes lies will harm Russia in its relations with its Western neighbours and the European Union and damage relations within the CIS.
 
NOTE: Richard Rousseau is Assistant Professor and Director of the Masters Programme in International Relations (richardr@kimep.kz) at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics & Strategic Research (KIMEP)
 
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9. 2008 HOLODOMOR PHILATELIC ISSUE FROM AUSTRALIA 

Commemorative personalised stamp and souvenir envelope, 75th Holodomor Anniversary
 
George Fedyk, Ukrainian Collectibles Society of Australia, Woodville SA, Australia, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
 
GREETING FRIENDS, attached to this e-mail and below is notice of an upcoming philatelic issue from Australia that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. If interested in ordering items, please advise me as soon as possible – first in, first served.
 
If you personally are not interested I would appreciate it if you could send this to people on your mailing list. Please take note of the release date and ordering details.
WOODVILLE SA, AUSTRALIA – A rare philatelic issue is being released in Australia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, the great artificial famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.
The Ukrainian Collectibles Society (UCS) Australian chapter of the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society (UPNS) and the Australian Federation of
Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), under the chairmanship of Mr Stefan Romaniw, chair of the International Holodomor Committee of the Ukrainian
World Congress, have teamed together to issue a commemorative Personalised Stamp and souvenir envelope to mark the 75th Holodomor anniversary.
The Australian release date is 17 November 2008. Orders can only be placed through the UCS. Please note that Australia Post only issues Personalised Stamps in “peel and stick” format, not gummed. The personalised label in fact forms part of the stamp giving a single unit.
 
There will be two denominations 55 cent for domestic mail and $2.05 for international mail. Each denomination has a different base stamp design. A very limited number of international stamps will be made available.
 
All prices are in Australian currency and international orders will be converted on the day of receipt of an order. The commemorative envelope is C6 size (160 mm x 115 mm) and in full colour.
ORDERS
All orders should be submitted by email or telephone to George Fedyk. It is highly recommended to place orders at the earliest opportunity due to limited stocks. Please submit your personal details, quantities and method of payment. Addressed and posted FDC are only available if ordered by 15 November 2008.
PERSONALISED STAMPS
Domestic 55-cent price per single stamp $1.50 (eg/ 4 stamps = $6.00)
price per special corner block of 3 $5.00 (limit of one per person)
price per sheet of 20 $30.00
International $2.05 price per single stamp $3.00 (limit of two per person)
 
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE COVERS
Domestic 55-cent price per FDC $2.50
International $2.05 price per FDC $4.00
(FDCs can be either posted direct to your address or sent mint in a separate envelope)
(Domestic FDC cannot be posted to overseas destinations)
 
BLANK ENVELOPES 
Blank un-serviced envelopes price per envelope $1.00
POSTAGE COSTS 
Postage and handling costs are subject to your total order and you will be notified as soon as possible. There is no charge for posting FDC direct to you. Additional postage charges only apply for mint stamps, mint FDC and blank envelopes which will be posted approximately two weeks after the release date.
PAYMENT OPTIONS 
1. Paypal transfer account: bandura@ozemail.com.au  (please include a notation with your name)
2. funds transfer (Dnister Ukrainian Credit Coop) BSB: 704-235; account: 02800283
(please include a notation with your name for identification)
3. cheque or money order payable to: Ukrainian Collectibles Society
(posted to: Ukrainian Collectibles Society, PO Box 466, Woodville SA 5011 AUSTRALIA)
ENQUIRES: George Fedyk M 0412 702 234
(UPNS Vice President) H 08 8445 9825 (international: +61 8 8445 9825)
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10.  CHICAGO HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION ENGAGED, INFORMED DIVERSE AUDIENCES
“Breaking The Silence On the Unknown Genocide”
 
By Maria Kulczycky, 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee
Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday, September 17, 2008
CHICAGO – A capacity crowd braved heavy rain and flooding to participate in a two-day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide, in Chicago on September 12 and 13.
Organized by the 75th Anniversary Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor Commemoration Committee-Chicago, an umbrella committee of the city’s Ukrainian churches, community organizations and cultural institutions, the event was one of several planned and presented this year to mark the solemn milestone of a great Ukrainian national tragedy.
Titled “Breaking the Silence on the Unknown Genocide,” the commemoration was launched with a candlelight ceremony and presentation of awards.  The next day, academics, experts and eyewitnesses participated in a full-day conference.  Both days, visitors were able to peruse an exhibition of historic materials.  And each day, participants viewed a preview screening of a full-length Hollywood documentary currently in production.
“Our varied, substantive, and engaging program was designed with our next generation and non-Ukrainian audiences in mind,” observed Nestor Popowych, chairman of the Commemoration Committee.  “We saw the need to make our case to those not familiar with the genocide, for whom it is an unknown genocide.”
 The commemoration was held at the Cervantes Institute, a cultural outreach venue funded by the government of Spain, located in the heart of Chicago.  A wide information net was cast to capture a broad audience and to raise attention of the general public to this issue.
 
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO AIRED TWO PROGRAMS
National Public Radio aired two programs about Holodomor on its respected Worldview show, just prior to the event.  The host, Jerome McDonnell, interviewed Detroit Archbishop Alexander Bykowetz, a Holodomor eyewitness and a speaker at the conference, as well as Professor Lubomyr Luciuk and film director Bobby Leigh.  The informative, engaging interviews are available for listeners in the program’s archives on the web (www.wbez.org).
The event also generated stories in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Journal.  The coverage contained lengthy descriptions of Holodomor and graphic survivor testimony, indicating the powerful hold the story can have on those who encounter it for the first time.  Chicago’s Ukrainian radio, television and newspaper media provided wide coverage, as well.
Conference speakers focused on secret materials corroborating the genocide that were released only recently from Soviet archives.  The new information, and growing international interest, warrants increased advocacy, the speakers challenged.  
 
TIME TO ASSERT THAT THE HOLODOMOR WAS A GENOCIDE
“It’s time for us to assert that the Holodomor was a genocide,” noted Luciuk, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston.  But this should be done in a widely-based, collective effort to be effective, he advised.
As an example of successful initiatives by the diaspora that made an impact, he cited the campaign to recall the Pulitzer Prize awarded to New York Times reporter Walter Duranty.
“It’s time for acknowledgement, atonement and redress,” Luciuk told the conference audience.  He praised the law passed by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to declare the Holodomor a genocide, but noted that more was warranted.   Further steps should include the demand of reparations from Russia and bringing the perpetrators to trial.   
Volodymyr Chumachenko explained that the intentional Soviet cover-up of the tragedy kept the world in the dark.  A Ukrainian-educated professor now teaching at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, he cited examples of the policies of distortion and lying from several contemporary history texts.    In addition, the central archival documents relating to that period were classified top secret and access to local archives was controlled. 
 
YOUNG WELSH JOURNALIST GARETH JONES
Nigel Colley, the grand-nephew of Gareth Jones, the young Welsh journalist who wrote eyewitness accounts of Holodomor based on his travels through Eastern Ukraine in early 1933, showed conference attendees excerpts from letters and diary entries written by Jones.  Jones’ articles were published in the U.S. by the Hearst newspapers, as well as in Wales and England.
“His stories sealed his fate and he became the man who knew too much,” said Colley.  Jones was banned from entering the Soviet Union, and evidence points to a role by Soviet agents in his untimely death a few years later (www.garethjones.org). 
The screening of a short preview of the upcoming documentary, “Holodomor-Ukraine’s Genocide 1932-33,” was followed by a discussion with the director, Bobby Leigh, and the producer, Marta Tomkiw.  They described the process for identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses, academics and government officials throughout the U.S. and Canada and in Ukraine.  The Ukrainian version of the film is scheduled to premier in Kyiv in November (www.holodomorthemovie.com). [Movie premier has now been delayed until 2009..AUR Editor]
A compelling feature of the commemoration was the poster-exhibit created by the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation which is being shown in cities around the world in conjunction with the 75th anniversary. 
 
The posters were supplemented by display cases filled with newspaper clippings, period photographs, eyewitness accounts and archival materials provided by the Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago and several individuals in the Chicagoland area.
 The conference and exhibits drew the attention of students of the Ukrainian schools in Chicago, as well.  They were actively engaged in all conference activities and visibly absorbed by the presentations.
“The central focus of the commemoration was the panel of academics and experts who provided substance and insights.  And it was enhanced by using a venue that is accessible to a larger public,” observed Vera Eliashevsky and Marta Farion, co-chairs of the commemoration. 
 
Eliashevsky heads the Chicago-Kyiv Sister Cities project and Farion heads the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation.  They organized and produced the commemoration with an 18-member Exhibition and Conference Committee, supplemented by a cadre of 15 university students and volunteers.
 
AWARDS CEREMONY
At the awards ceremony, individuals who contributed to the awareness about Holodomor over many years were recognized.   Nicholas Mischenko, Ivanna Gorchynsky and Myron Kuropas were honored for their work within the Ukrainian community.  James Mace was honored in memoriam.
Five Illinois legislators also were recognized: Governor Rod Blagojevich, State Senators Jacqueline Collins and Ira Silverstein and State Representatives John Fritchey and Paul Froehlich.  All had supported the Illinois law, passed in 2005, that requires the teaching of all genocides in secondary schools in the state, including Holodomor.  Thus far, Illinois is the only state with such a law.
The 75th Anniversary Committee was initiated by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Illinois branch and the Ukrainian Genocide-Famine Foundation, whose heads, Paul Bandriwsky and Nicholas Mischenko, respectively, served as vice-chairmen of the committee.
The commemorative event was made possible by the continued generous financial contributions of The Heritage Foundation of First Security Federal Savings Bank and Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) www.usubc.org.
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
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11.  “OUR DAILY BREAD” HOLODOMOR EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO OPEN UNTIL NOV 30

Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
 
“They put a gun to your head and made you swear you would bring in grain the next day.
Everyone cried. There was nothing left to bring!” Hanna Ikasivna Cherniuk, Holodomor survivor
 
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 27, 2008
 
CHICAGO – “Our Daily Bread”, an exhibition of artworks commemorating the Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide, opened Friday, October 24th at the Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 West Superior, in Chicago. Several hundred people attended the opening of the Holodomor exhibition.
 
“Our Daily Bread” officially opened at 6:30 PM with a program that featured a short video by Ukrainian singer Oksana Bilozir and an opening statement by the granddaughter of a Holodomor survivor, Ms. Oryna Hrushetsky-Schiffman. 
 
In 1932 and 1933, between seven and 10 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death during the “Holodomor” – or death by starvation. This genocide was masterminded by Joseph Stalin and his inner circle, and was carried out by Soviets who confiscated every last bit of food from Ukrainian peasants who were resistant to collective farming – and who represented the backbone of the Ukrainian people.
 
This year, 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, and the government of Ukraine as well as Ukrainians around the world have been organizing events in an effort to expose and publicize this crime against humanity while there are still survivors young enough to recall its horrors.
 
EXHIBITION FEATURES 38 HOLODOMOR ARTWORKS
In Chicago, the latest event commemorating the Holodomor is an exhibition at the Ukrainian National Museum which opened Friday, October 24th. “Our Daily Bread” and features 38 artworks that are part of the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” collection. 
 
The founder and trustee of the unique collection, U.S. businessman Morgan Williams, gathered the over 350 original Holodomor artworks in the collection during the last 11 years in Ukraine.  Williams is director, government affairs, Washington, D.C., for the SigmaBleyzer private equity investment group and serves as president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).

 
Most of the artworks were created after 1988, when Ukrainians were finally free to evoke the suffering and horrors of the Holodomor in the last days of the USSR, right before Ukraine declared independence in 1991. Before 1988 no one was allowed to talk about this tragedy let alone express themselves through artwork or writings.  Many Ukrainian artists may very well have only learned of the Holodomor at that time, after decades of extreme Soviet suppression of the atrocities.
 
The government of Ukraine has officially declared the Holodomor a genocide against the Ukrainian people and is asking the United Nations to do so as well. Just this past September, the United States House of Representatives passed a Resolution condemning the Holodomor and the former Soviet government’s deliberate confiscation of grain harvests, which resulted in the starvation of millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children.
 
It was a devastating chapter of Stalin’s reign of terror that wiped out one quarter of the peasantry – and later included the intelligentsia and other leaders of Ukrainian society who were shot and exiled by the hundreds of thousands in an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian nation. And it was carried out at a time when Ukraine, then officially the Ukrainian SSR, had one of the richest farmlands in the world – “the breadbasket of Europe.” 
 
The exhibition also includes a room depicting what life was like in Ukraine prior to enforced collectivization—as well as an evocative walk-through installation depicting the horrors of the Holodomor.
 
The “Our Daily Bread” Holodomor exhibition is on view through Sunday, November 30, 2008. The Museum hours are Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.  The Ukrainian National Museum is located at 2249 West Superior Street in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Call 312-421-8020 or visit the Museum’s website, www.ukrainiannationalmuseum.org for more information.
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12.  HOLODOMOR ARCHIVES: SHEVCHENKO SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY NEW YORK

Walter Vasilaky, Chair Information Technology Committee
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, New York, Wed, November 5, 2008

NEW YORK  – Dear Mr. Williams, You may be interested or perhaps others would be interested to view archives related to the Holodomor on the Shevchenko Scientific Society website.

 
To find the Holodomor archives one can to go www.shevchenko.org => Library Catalog & Archives => View Archives or go to www.shevchenko.org/holodomor.
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13.  AUSTRALIA – 75TH ANNIVERSARY – HOLODOMOR 1932-1933

The Culminating Event in Australia, Saturday, November 29, 2008
Ukraine Remembers – The World Acknowledges
 
Stefan Romaniw, The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations
North Melbourne, Australia, Friday, November 7, 2008
 
NORTH MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – You are invited to attend THE CULMINATING EVENT IN AUSTRALIA to commemorate the 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933, FAMINE IN UKRAINE sponsored by The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations and the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria.
 
The event will be held Saturday, November 29, 2008, at 12:00 P.M. in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral SS Peter and Paul, 35 Canning Street, North Melbourne.
 
(1) Ecumenical Service to Remember the 7 – 10 million people who perished, Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral SS Peter and Paul, 35 Canning Street, North Melbourne.
 
(2) A tribute to the late Steve Waldon the Age journalist who died tragically on 27.10.2008 and was a great contributor to raising awareness about the Holodomor.
 
(3) Opening of International Exhibition about the Holodomor Execution by Hunger.
 
(4) Presentation of the International Remembrance Torch on its return to Australia after visiting 34 countries.
 
(5) Exhibition of the works of students from Ukrainian Community Schools in Victoria dedicated to the millions who perished in the Holodomor.
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14.  UKRAINE IN THE GLOBAL FOOD ECONOMY
Tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, Washington, D.C., Fri, Nov 14
 
Roksolyana Horbova, UMANA-DC, Wash, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In tribute to the victims of the Holodomor, the program “Ukraine in the Global Food Economy” is being presented by the District of Columbia Chapters of the: Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA); Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America (UESA); Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA); and cosponsored by The Washington Group (TWG). (See a presentation about the event and the invite which are found in the two attachments.)

 

TIME: Friday, November 14, 2008, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., including lectures and refreshments.

LOCATION: Embassy of Ukraine, 3350 M Street N.W., Washington, DC 20007

 

PRESENTATIONS TO INCLUDE: 

(1) ‘Prosperous and Sustainable Ukrainian Agriculture’ by Glen Cauffman, Farm Operations and Facilities Management, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, University Park, PA

 

(2) ‘Agribusiness Developments in Ukraine’ by Volodymyr Konovalchuk, PhD, “Bridges” US – Ukrainian Agribusiness Consulting, Penn State University, University Park, PA, Kyiv, Ukraine

 

(3) ‘Ukraine’s Agriculture and the Environment’, Professor Christopher R. Kelley, B.A., J.D., LL.M., University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 2005 Fulbright Scholar, Kharkiv National Agrarian University & Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Kharkiv, Ukraine

  

RSVP: Oleksandr Mykhalchuk, Embassy of Ukraine to the USA, olex@ukremb.com or (202) 349-2977. 

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15. USA: NATIONAL OBSERVANCE TO COMMEMORATE UKRAINE’S GENOCIDE OF 1932-1933
Saturday, November 15, 2008, New York City, Food Drive and Commemoration Service

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), New York, NY, Fri, Nov 7, 2008

NEW YORK – In memory of the millions of Ukrainians murdered by starvation during the Holodomor of 1932-1933 the United Ukrainian Organizations of New York (UCCA Branch) is urging the Ukrainian American community to participate in our FOOD DRIVE to feed the hungry of New York City which will take place on Saturday, November 15, 2008 from 9AM until 1PM at DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), NYC.

Food donated at the Food Drive can include:  dry food, baby food, and all types of canned goods,  as long as they are all within the expiration date
and in the original packaging. A Photo Exhibit Depicting the Holodomor will also be on display at Dag Hammerskjold Plaza during the Food Drive.

At 1:00PM participants will embark on a solemn walk from 47th Street to St. Patrick’s Cathedral (5th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets) to
participate in the 2:00 PM National Observance to Commemorate Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-1933. We ask those in attendance to wear either dark clothes to signify mourning, or Ukrainian national blouses/shirts.

Contact: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), Tamara Gallo, President, ucca@ucca.org.
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16.  SOLEMN CHORAL RECOGNITION OF HOLODMOR PERFORMED IN MONTREAL

Concert commemorated 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian famine-genocide…”HOLODOMOR”.
 
By John Pidkowich, Montreal, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
 
MONTREAL – The Counterpoint Chorale, under the artistic direction of William Woloschuk, on Sunday, November 2, 2008 performed a choral repertoire of Ukrainian and other solemn and sacred music to remember the victims of the Holodomor Famine Genocide in Ukraine 1932-33.
 
As the concert highlight piece, the Chorale performed Mass for the Deceased – Requiem – by Gabriel Faure. The Requiem’s Kyrie, Offertory and Sanctus, was sung in Latin with guest soloist Inga Filippova – soprano, Tanya Navolska – mezzo-soprano, Taras Chmil – tenor, and renown Montreal opera singer, Taras Kulish – bass-baritone.
The Counterpoint Chorale is dedicated to bringing classical choral music from Canada and from around the world to entertain and educate its audiences, offering “Global  Repertoire” – performing choral pieces from different cultures, eras and languages. Counterpoint is dedicated to highlighting Canadian talent – soloists in performances, vocal performance student internships and Canadian composer commissioned works.
In an interview, chorister and Concert Committee volunteer Valentina Kuryliw stated that Counterpoint’s commemoration of the Holodomor 75th Anniversary has appeal to Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike. Several choir members are of Ukrainian heritage. 
 
The Choir’s Executive and Committee appreciated the gravity of the Holodomor and “after one rehearsal, most members stayed to watch the documentary film “Harvest of Despair” and understood the tragic lessons to be learned, not only by the members but by the Chorale’s loyal audience base of about 450 supporters”, said Kuryliw.
In addition to Requiem and to honour the lives lost in this tragic and historical event, which has been keenly felt by Counterpoint Chorale’s Artistic Director and many of the choir members of Ukrainian heritage, the choir performed a diverse selection of choral pieces that offered a mood of respect and reflection.
 
This included the following works, some of which are Ukrainian in origin: Vladyka neba i zemli by Hulak-Artemovskyj; Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber; Movement II of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers Blagoslovy dushe moju, Gospody; Crossing the Bar by Graeme Morton (conducted by Assistant Conductor Lesia Hrynash Deacon; and Concerto XXXII Skazhy my, Hospody, konchynu moju by Dmytro Bortianskyj.
The Counterpoint Chorale has six years experience performing a range of choral repertoire with relevance to many of Canada’s ethno-cultural communities. Of special interest is the Chorale’s community outreach and grounding. Counterpoint has entered into a collaborative mentorship with the Surrey Place Centre Symphonic Passion Chorus, where the Chorale has the pleasure and privilege to work with a choir of adults with developmental disabilities.
Sudbury, Ontario native and Artistic Director William Woloschuk completed his graduate studies in choral conducting at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Woloschuk had been the long-time Dean of Music for St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Montreal. He also studied under the tutelage of Maestro Volodymyr Kolesnyk of the Kyiv State Opera, Ukraine.
Counterpoint Chorale’s performance of Faure’s Requiem and other solemn music in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor Famine Genocide and remembrance of its victims took place at the St. James United Church, 463 rue Ste. Catherine ouest (Metro: McGill.) on Sunday, Nov.2, 2008 at 3 pm. (www.counterpointchorale.com)
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17.  HOLODOMOR EVENT, HARVEST OF DESPAIR, DOCUMENTARY FILM

Saturday, Nov 22 at 3 pm at the Shirlington Library, Arlington, VA
 
By Chrystia Sonevytsky, Arlington, Virginia, Friday, November 7, 2008  
 
ARLINGTON, VA – The powerful film, “Harvest of Despair” provides rare insight into one of this century’s least-known but most vicious genocides. This film documents the Ukrainian terror famine of 1932-33, which caused the deaths of 7,000,000 people.
 
Using interviews with survivors and scholars to supplement rare photographic evidence, it established that the terror famine was deliberately created by the Soviet Government as part of Stalin’s decades-long effort to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry, who resisted the forced collectivization of their lands. Since its original release, it has received many international awards (including an Academy Award nomination).   
 
There will be a post screening discussion with family members of survivors of the genocide.
The program is presented in partnership with the Arlington Sister City Association..Ivano-Frankivsk Sister City Committee. A candle lighting ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the events will take place following the program on the plaza outside the library.
 
An Exhibit about the HOLODOMOR will be on view at the Shirlington Library from Nov 3 -through Nov 30, 2008. Please visit:
www.arlingtonsistercity.org. Shirlington Library [Wi-Fi], 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA 22206, 703-228-6545
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18.  HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Sunday, November 9, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, Penn State Campus

Michael M. Naydan, Penn State, Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA – YOU ARE INVITED TO A 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF THE UKRAINIAN HOLODOMOR-FAMINE OF 1932-1933 Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy of remembrance Sunday November 9 at 1:30 PM celebrated by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia with the Prometheus Male Chorus in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus.

SPECIAL COMMEMORATION PROGRAM AT 3:00PM
Master of Ceremonies, Andrew Leskiw, President of the Penn State Ukrainian Society

Keynote Address, Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Helen Woskob

Readings from Alex Woskob’s memoirs on the famine and from Robert Conquest’s book “Harvest of Sorrow” by actor Michael P. Bernosky

Reading of poems on the famine by Visiting Fulbright scholar Mariya Tytarenko from Lviv, Ukraine and Prof. Michael Naydan, Woskob Family
Professor of Ukrainian Studies

Keynote Lecture on the famine by Prof. Alexander Motyl (Rutgers University-Newark)

Sponsored by the Penn State Ukrainian Student Association, the Byzantine Campus Ministry, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and
Literatures, and the Endowment in Ukrainian Studies at Penn State, established by the Woskob Family.

CONTACT: Dr. Michael M. Naydan, Woskob Family Professor in Ukrainian Studies Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, 404 Burrowes Bldg., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 email:  mmn3@psu.edu, phone: 814-865-1675, fax: 814-863-8882
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19.  “HOLODOMOR: UKRAINE’S GENOCIDE OF 1932-33” FILM DELAYED

Bobby Leigh, Director, Los Angeles, California, Saturday, November 8, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Dear Supporters of the film, on behalf of the entire film team of “HOLODOMOR; Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-33” in both the U.S. and Ukraine, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for having to make the very difficult decision to reschedule our Ukrainian premiere of “HOLODOMOR; Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-33”, which was originally scheduled for November 20, 2008 at Kino “Ukraina” in Kyiv, and on November 21, 2008 at the prestigious National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

While the majority of the film is complete, we have decided to incorporate newly discovered documents and information which we believe are crucial in telling the story.

We have decided that by stepping back and premiering the film at a later date, this will allow the general public to appreciate the film in the spirit with which it was intended to be viewed and absorbed.

Our film will be ready in 2009 and we will schedule firm premiere dates once our picture is locked – not only for Kyiv, but also for New York , Chicago and Hollywood quickly thereafter as well.

Our film team in the U.S. and Ukraine will be increasing the pace of operations in order to complete the film within this timeframe, and we believe that this film deserves nothing less than 100% perfection in quality and historical accuracy.

In closing, we trust that you will understand this decision and will continue to support this very important project. We will continue to keep you very closely informed – and we cannot wait to see you at the premieres very soon.  Please do take a moment to view our new 30 second trailer which will be airing in Ukraine during the Holodomor commemoration events the week of November 17th.

We truly thank you for your support for this film.

Sincerely,

Bobby Leigh, Director-“HOLODOMOR; Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-33”
bobby@HOLODOMORthemovie.com; www.HOLODOMORthemovie.com

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20.  HOW MANY PERISHED IN THE FAMINE AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Untruths tarnish Holodomor tragedy in Ukraine
Commentary and Analysis: By John-Paul Himka
BRAMA (USA), UNIAN and Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2008
Even after I had earned a PhD in history from the University of Michigan and had been working as a researcher at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies for several years, I was extremely naive about how scholars arrived at estimates for major catastrophes on the order of the Holocaust of the Jews or the Holodomor in Ukraine.
 
When I was a young man, most of what I read suggested that each of these events took about six million lives. I thought that either the murderers kept a tally of their victims or else it was a fairly simple matter of subtracting the results of one census from those of another.
I began to realize the complexity of the issue rather late, in 1980. I was working closely at that time with a scholar from Poland who was a visiting professor at CIUS, Janusz Radziejowski. He was mainly in Edmonton to help prepare the uncensored English version of his book on the Communist Party of Western Ukraine, which the Institute published in 1983.
 
But one day he said to me that he also had an interest in collectivization in Ukraine and in the great famine of 1932-33 and would like to present a paper based on his research. He wrote it all up, presented it at seminars in Edmonton and Toronto, and then published it in the Fall 1980 issue of the Journal of Ukrainian Studies.
Janusz had demographic training and was used to working with census materials. Therefore, at the end of his paper, he offered a brief estimate of the population losses from collectivization and famine. The conclusion he came to was that there was a “demographic loss of 9,263,000” Ukrainians in the USSR between 1926 and 1939. I was astounded at this high number. I never realized, I said, that the famine killed over 9 million people.
 
He patiently explained to me that a demographic loss is not the same as the number of persons killed. In addition to the latter, this number includes children not born to those killed, other children not born for other reasons connected to collectivization and famine, and Ukrainians who assimilated to Russian nationality. Given the data available at that time, he doubted that we could sort out how much of this loss was attributable to each category.
My next close encounter with these issues came in 1983-84. I was a Neporany Fellow at CIUS, and my only obligation was to work on my book about Galician villagers and the Ukrainian national movement in the nineteenth century. I would spend every day in an office in the basement of Athabasca Hall poring over my sources and writing my monograph.
 
In the room next to me was another researcher, also working on a book on the Ukrainian peasantry. This was Alex Babyonyshev, better known under his pseudonym Maksudov. He was a former human-rights activist in the USSR and interested in demographic questions, history, and politics. His book was about collectivization and the famine.
Needless to say, two researchers with a basement to themselves and working on related topics entered into intense discussions of their projects. Alex tested every one of his ideas on me and had me read and discuss everything he wrote. For me, it was like a year-long seminar on how collectivization was implemented and on how to arrive at a more accurate estimate of the population losses. I learned that these estimates were much more complex than even Janusz had taught me.
 
Alex was busy drawing up graphs of the age structure of populations (they look like Christmas trees), examining economic indicators that might help estimate the extent of out-migration from Ukraine in the 1930s, and attacking the problem from numerous other angles. His book was never published in English, but the results of his research appeared in a Russian-language book, Poteri naseleniia SSSR (1989). He estimated that the total demographic loss in Ukraine came to 4.5 million.
Later, in the mid-1990s, I began to work as a side theme on the Holocaust. My readings in this field only reinforced the lessons I had learned earlier on the difficulty of estimating the number of victims when mass murder was involved. It was often helpful to scholars when a particular German unit would report to Berlin that they had dispatched a certain number of Jews in such and such a locality, but generally the picture was extremely fuzzy.
I bring all this up to help explain why I am disturbed by blithe claims I see being made about seven or ten million Ukrainians killed in the famine. I know that President Viktor Yushchenko and his administration are also using the ten million figure. That does not make it correct, however.
It used to be that President Yushchenko relied for advice on historical issues on a professional historian, Stanislav Kulchytsky, but in the past six months or so he seems to have decided to use history as a political tool and, as the saying goes, does not want to be confused by the facts. In Ukraine politicians frequently appeal to identity politics, since symbols are easier to deliver than better health care, education, or civil service.
Dr. Kulchytsky was one of the ideological architects of Yushchenko’s campaign to have the Ukrainian famine recognized internationally as a genocide. He devoted a number of publications in 2005 precisely to explaining why the famine fit the definition. These publications appeared in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.
 
The latter were circulated electronically by The Day in Kyiv as well as by E. Morgan Williams’ Action Ukraine Report and Dominque Arel’s Ukraine List. (I have reviewed the key text in the Summer 2007 issue of Kritika: Explorations of Russian and Eurasian History.) In the texts of 2005, Kulchytsky stuck to the results of his earlier research on the demographic effects of the famine in Ukraine: that there were 3,238,000 deaths directly attributable to the Holodomor.
Kulchytsky had conducted careful research on the subject and published several works devoted to the demography of the famine, notably Demohrafichni naslidky holodmoru 1933 r. v Ukraini, which came out in 2003. What distinguishes Kulchytsky’s research from that of the earlier researchers who gave me my first lessons in famine demographics is that it draws on statistical information that was not available before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the archives.
Kulchytsky also drew heavily on recent studies by the Australian historian and demographer Stephen Wheatcroft. Wheatcroft had once produced estimates that were much too low for the losses connected with famine and collectivization, but in the past several years he has corrected his methodological errors and supplemented his sources with formerly inaccessible Soviet documentation. Wheatcroft now estimates that there were 3-3.5 million excess deaths in Ukraine (and about 6-7 million in the USSR as a whole).
Another serious attempt to estimate the losses in Ukraine was conducted by a team of French and Ukrainian demographers (Jacques Vallin, France Mesle, Serguei Adamets, and Serhii Pirozhkov). The results of their research were published in Population Studies, which is a top journal in the field of demography (November 2002).
 
Here is their conclusion: “The disasters of the decade culminated in the horrific famine of 1933. These events resulted in a dramatic fall in fertility and a rise in mortality. Our estimates suggest that total losses can be put at 4.6 million, 0.9 million of which was due to forced migration, 1 million to a deficit in births, and 2.6 million to exceptional mortality.”
So how many people were actually killed by the famine? From 2.5 to 3.5 million. Those who died disproportionately were the rural population (predominantly Ukrainians) and little children. May their memory be eternal.
And let me add: may it be unsullied by falsehood.
I find it disrespectful to the dead that people use their deaths in a ploy to gain the moral capital of victimhood. To this end, they inflate the numbers. Let me just take one symptomatic case. Marta Tomkiw and Bobby Leigh are working on a film about the famine (google holodomorthemovie to see the trailer). The trailer opens with a definition of Holodomor.
 
There follow the texts cited below:
“The Darfur, Sudan Genocide claimed the lives of 180,000 people in 4 years.
“The Armenian Genocide claimed the lives of 1-1/2 million people from 1915 to 1918.
“The Holocaust claimed the lives of 6-1/2 million people in 9 years.
“They are not forgotten.
“Unfortunately, Holodomor has exceeded these tragedies by claiming the lives of 10 million Ukrainians in only 17 months.
“History knows no other crime of such nature and magnitude.”
Here I do not want to single out this particular movie project for criticism. These are views one can easily find in many other Ukrainian representations of the famine, particularly in the North American diaspora. But the trailer formulates them clearly.
The point of these ideas is that the Holodomor is bigger than the others, particularly bigger than the Holocaust. I do not understand why others are not offended by this competition for victimhood, even if the numbers were true, which they are not. I think the discussion of tragedies like these demands a certain moral probity.
 
Disasters like these should not be taken lightly, manipulated, instrumentalized, or falsified. Moreover, these are not simply deaths, but crimes, murders, violations of the moral order. How much more careful we should be about them, how much more respectful of the truth.
Even if the Holodomor did account for 10 million victims, and even if this competition for the greatest number of victims were perfectly decent, the final claim, about this being the biggest crime in history, would still be incorrect. There was also a famine in China directly attributable to the campaign for the Great Leap Forward.
 
Again, it is difficult to estimate the number of losses, but Western and Chinese scholars estimate that from 15 to 43 million peasants starved to death in China in 1959-61. (In a forthcoming number of Kritika: Explorations of Russian and Eurasian History, the Viennese scholar Felix Wemheuer will be comparing the famines in Ukraine and China.)
Somehow a gap has opened up between scholarship in Ukrainian studies and popular diaspora notions of history. Here I have attempted to bridge that gap with information about the number of deaths actually attributable to the Holodomor. But I am also raising a moral question about how we should remember our dead.
 
Many thinkers across the world are increasingly disturbed about what happens to the memorialization of the dead in the context of the nation and the state. I will leave those debates aside. But I think it should be clear to all that the respect and honesty we owe the departed means that we should refrain from using their deaths to gain political popularity in Ukraine or to score points in interethnic rivalry in North America. Above all, we must be careful not to embed their deaths in a falsehood.
NOTE: Dr. John-Paul Himka is a professor at the University of Alberta Department of History and Classics, Alberta, Canada. His areas of expertise are Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Iconography of the Eastern Church, Memory of World War II, and the Holocaust.
 
FOOTNOTE:  The analysis and commentary article by Dr. John-Paul Himka was published by Brama, Feb 2, 2008, New York, New York,
(http://www.brama.com/news/press/2008/02/080202himka_famine.html). The article was also published with similar content in UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine,
February 5, 2008 (http://www.unian.net/eng/news/news-234576.html) and the Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 25, 2008 (http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/28966).
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21.  CLEARING THE WAY FOR MASS MURDER

Analysis & Commentary: By David Mittell, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, July 16, 2008

This is a follow up to my two-part series on the Ukrainian Holodomor, the famine of the early 1930s (Genocide? You Decide, Apr. 23 & 30, 2008). Five
pieces of evidence show that the death of an estimated 7 million was a true genocide:

1) Although at first starvation was caused by the brutal implementation of agricultural collectivization, by the end of 1931, all Soviet Ukraine was targeted as an enemy, and therefore for destruction.

2) In 1932, the distribution of food was cut off by the government. The subsequent harvest was then confiscated and destroyed.

3) When starving people began eating their dogs and cats, these animals were systematically destroyed.

4) Since no village in Ukraine had met its impossible 1931 grain quota, trade in foodstuffs was prohibited throughout the republic.

5) When starving people began wandering the country looking for food, “passportization,” confining them to their villages and condemning them to death, was decreed.

Walter Duranty (1884-1957), a native Scotsman, served as Moscow correspondent for The New York Times from 1921 to 1934. In 1931, he wrote 13
laudatory pieces about Stalin’s leadership in liberating peasants and workers from centuries of oppression under Czarist rule. For his work he won
the 1932 Pulitzer Prize. The honor has been an affront to Ukrainians for three-quarters of a century, and there has been a long campaign to pressure the Pulitzer Prizes to rescind it.

In 2003, the Pulitzer Prize board reviewed the award. The Times had no objection: its executive editor, Bill Keller, called Duranty’s work “pretty dreadful.” But on Nov. 21, 2003, the Pulitzer board declined to revoke the award.

It concluded that without actual deception shown, revoking a prize when the principals were dead and unable to respond “would be a momentous step.” It
also noted that Duranty’s prize was awarded for articles published in 1931 — before the full onset of the Holodomor, in 1932. Keep that thought.

Many in the Ukrainian diaspora have expressed strong opinions about Duranty’s prize without having read the 13 articles for which he received it. I
thought it meet to do so, but on inquiring found that, although the Pulitzer Prizes have published decades of winning entries in book form, in Duranty’s case Columbia University, which administers the prizes, honors The New York Times’s copyright. (The question of the Pulitzers’ current sincerity is not

important enough to deal with here.) But, God bless the Internet, there are copies all over the diaspora!

Eleven of Duranty’s articles appeared in The Times as “special cables” between June 14 and June 27, 1931. They were obviously written in advance and prepared to make a splash. Knowing how newspapers play for prizes today, I suppose they could have been prepared to win a Pulitzer. But that’s another relatively unimportant question.

With little documentation or specific reporting, Duranty writes of Russia as one who is in the know. He makes sweeping historical pronouncements evoking (or burlesquing) Arnold Toynbee, the grand British historian of epochs and civilizations: “The [Soviet] system on the whole seems to work more smoothly than any organization of a heterogeneous State yet devised by man” (June 26, 1931).

But Duranty’s glib style most reminds me of Dr. David Reuben’s 1969 “Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex (But were afraid to Ask),” in that
the author knew a lot more about writing a best-seller than he did about his subject matter.

So Duranty. But the word “Ukraine” only appears twice in the 13 articles. The Pulitzer board is correct that the articles for which he won the prize do not directly implicate him in covering up atrocities.

However, in 1932, British journalists Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge, who had secretly entered Ukraine, began telling the truth about the
Holodomor when its horrors were at their fullest. Their work was an unintentional trap in that it exposed Duranty’s mind: He denounced the stories and expressly denied the truth.

On March 31, 1933, Duranty denounced Jones by name in The Times, calling reports of millions threatened with death from starvation “a big scare story. from a British source.” But he reportedly later admitted to British diplomat William Stang that 10 million might have died in 1932. Duranty was Stalin’s shill. Muggeridge called him “the greatest liar I have met in journalism.”

The Pulitzer board’s “chronology defense” is misleading because the truth is darker than its 1932 predecessor having been duped by a newspaper that had
been duped by a “liar.” The atrocities in Ukraine were being repeated in Kazakhstan, southern Russia and the Volga German Republic. Stalin did everything he could to keep word of the catastrophe from being known in the Soviet Union and, particularly, in the West, with which he desperately needed to establish trade.

Duranty’s 1931 cables thus came as a gift outright. They let Stalin know he now had a free hand. It’s not that Duranty covered up a genocide, it’s that he prepared its way.

The meaning of his Pulitzer Prize is that in its cock-sure 1932 certitudes, American journalism at the highest levels cleared the way for mass murder. For those of us working today this is a profound lesson in the need for self-doubt.

FOOTNOTE: David A. Mittell Jr. is a member of The Journal’s editorial board.

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AUR#916 Nov 6 IMF Approves $16.4 Billion for Ukraine; Restore Financial & Economic Stability, Strengthen Confidence

 
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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
IMF APPROVES UKRAINE FOR $16.4 BILLION
Help authorities restore financial and economic stability and strengthen confidence.

ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 916
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  IMF APPROVES US$16.4 BILLION STAND-BY ARRANGEMENT FOR UKRAINE
News Release: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Wash, D.C., Wed, Nov 5, 2008
 
Agence France Presse, Washington, D.C, Wednesday, November 6, 2008
 
3.  SILVER LININGS
Editorial, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 6, 2008
 
By Steve Bryant, Bloomberg, New York, New York, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
 
5EXPERTS: GLOBAL CRISIS TO FORCE BADLY-NEEDED REFORMS UPON UKRAINE
Mark Rachkevych, Editor, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Nov 6, 2008
 
By Roman Olearchyk in Donetsk, Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, November 4 2008
 
White Paper, Embassy of Ukraine to the USA, Washington, D.C., November 5, 2008 
    
By Natalia Nepryakhina, The Kommersant, in Russian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Oct 31, 2008
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English, Wash, D.C. Thu, Nov 6, 2008
 
UNIAN news agency in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English, Wash, D.C. Thu, Nov 6, 2008
 
10PUTTING THE BLOCKADE IN CONTEXT: A UKRAINIAN PERSPECTIVE
INFORM, BYuT Newsletter #92, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 3, 2008
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 4, 2008
12ANACOM, INC., JOINS THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
Satellite communications equipment manufacturer in California, USUBC member 96
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Washington, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008
 

Mychailo Wynnyckyj, PhD, Director, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School, Kyiv, Ukraine

Marta Farion, President, Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, Chicago, Illinois, Nov 2008

Advanced ceramic & metallic coatings for turbine blades – USUBC member 97
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008
 
Insight, Magisters law firm, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 2008
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1
 IMF APPROVES US$16.4 BILLION STAND-BY ARRANGEMENT FOR UKRAINE

News Release: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Wash, D.C., Wed, Nov 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for SDR 11 billion (about US$16.4 billion) to help the authorities restore financial and economic stability and strengthen confidence.

The SBA request entails exceptional access to IMF resources equivalent to 802 percent of Ukraine’s quota in the Fund, and was approved under the Fund’s fast-track Emergency Financing Mechanism. Today’s approval enables the immediate disbursement of SDR 3 billion (about US$4.5 billion).

The authorities’ program is designed to help stabilize the domestic financial system against a backdrop of global deleveraging and a domestic crisis of confidence, and to facilitate adjustment of the economy to a large terms-of-trade shock. The authorities’ plan incorporates monetary and exchange rate policy shifts, banking recapitalization, and fiscal and incomes policy adjustments.

Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The Ukrainian economy, especially the banking system, is experiencing considerable stress. Falling prices for Ukraine’s major export, steel, have led to a substantial deterioration in Ukraine’s current account outlook.

“This terms-of-trade shock, along with existing vulnerabilities—high inflation, relatively low foreign exchange reserves compared with short-term external debt, significant exposure of banks to foreign funding, balance sheet mismatches, and a weak underlying fiscal position—interacted with the drying up of liquidity caused by the international financial crisis and led to a significant slowdown in capital inflows.

“The authorities’ program, supported by the two-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF, aims to restore financial and macroeconomic stability by adopting a flexible exchange rate regime with targeted intervention, a pre-emptive recapitalization of banks, and a prudent fiscal policy coupled with tighter monetary policy. Resolute implementation of the program should help reduce inflation to single digits by the end of the program.

“The flexible exchange rate regime, backed by an appropriate monetary policy and foreign exchange intervention, will help absorb external shocks and avoid disorderly exchange market developments. The recent unification of official and market exchange rates should increase clarity about the regime.

“Recently imposed exchange controls will be phased out as confidence rebuilds. Plans to accelerate progress towards inflation targeting and enhance the independence of the National Bank of Ukraine are important to provide the nominal anchor under the flexible exchange rate regime over the medium term. In the near term, as liquidity pressures diminish, tighter monetary policy will be necessary to guard against inflation.

“A pre-emptive bank recapitalization will alleviate a potential credit crunch that could prolong and deepen the downturn in economic activity. Decisive measures that have been taken to allocate public funds to recapitalize banks and to facilitate bank resolution processes will ensure that problems can be dealt with promptly.
 “Increased oversight, more targeted on- and off-site inspections, and improved cross-border supervisory cooperation will help to strengthen the financial system. A proactive strategy to resolve corporate and household debt problems will also be essential to reduce banking sector vulnerabilities.

“A prudent fiscal stance is planned, consistent with both the financing constraint and the need for recession-related social spending. The target of a balanced budget in 2009 will be kept under review in light of the macroeconomic, financing, and revenue outlooks. The targets would be achieved in part by expenditure restraint, and by a phased increase in energy tariffs.
 “Ukraine’s extensive safety net provides a backstop to protect vulnerable groups, and the program also allows higher funding for unemployment insurance and targeted income support.

“The authorities have developed a strong and comprehensive package of measures to address the challenges Ukraine is facing and the Fund has provided commensurate financial assistance. Decisive measures have already been implemented by the authorities, including the passage of anti-crisis legislation.

Moreover, the authorities’ policy framework is sufficiently robust to adapt to evolving circumstances. The commitment of leaders of the main political parties to the core elements of the program increases the prospects for successful program implementation. All these elements give confidence that the program will succeed in stabilizing economic and financial conditions,” Mr. Portugal said.

ANNEX

RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Ukraine’s economy has grown very rapidly since 2000, expanding by more than 7 percent on average. Initially, this reflected the utilization of large excess capacity and increased productivity supported by a series of structural reforms. Since 2005, growth has been propelled by real domestic demand, namely a credit boom driven by strong capital inflows as well as incomes policies that redistributed large terms-of-trade gains to the population.

By mid-2008, the economy was overheating. Credit growth exceeded 70 percent, CPI inflation exceeded 30 percent, wage growth settled in the 30-40 percent range, a buoyant property market pushed valuations to high levels, and imports surged at an annual rate of 50-60 percent. The current account deficit reached 7 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2008.

The Ukrainian economy also became vulnerable along other dimensions, including high short-term external debt relative to reserves, high exposure of banks to foreign funding, balance sheet mismatches, and a weak underlying fiscal position. Problems came to the fore as commodity prices plunged and the global financial turmoil deepened. These developments have had a considerable impact on the real sector as reflected in the sharp 5-percent contraction of the manufacturing sector in September.

At the same time, a sharp slowdown of external capital flows raised concerns about the ability of banks and corporates to roll over existing credit lines. When the sixth largest bank, Prominvest Bank, was put under receivership, a widespread deposit outflow began with at least US$3 billion—4 percent of deposits—withdrawn during the first three weeks of October.

Confidence in the country’s banking system and currency weakened. Intervention by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) mounted in October, reducing reserves from US$38 billion to US$32 billion. In addition to providing liquidity, the authorities also imposed a set of exchange controls to stem outflows.

The combination of weaker demand from Ukraine’s trading partners, falling export prices, rising import prices, and reduced access to international financial markets are expected to weaken growth prospects. Taking these developments into account, Ukraine’s overall financing needs for the next two years are large.

PROGRAM SUMMARY

The authorities’ program aims at restoring confidence in Ukraine’s macroeconomic and financial stability by addressing the financial sector problems, facilitating adjustment to potentially large external shocks, and reducing inflation. The program is designed to respond flexibly to economic developments.

The program is based on projections that assume a global recession and continued deleveraging in international credit markets in 2009, implying a recession in Ukraine with deteriorating exports, limited external financing and a credit crunch. The projected impact on output—a 3 percent decline—is consistent with Ukraine’s experience under similar circumstances in 2004-05.

Under the program, inflation is expected to decrease to 17 percent by end-2009 from the projected 25.5 percent this year. The current account would compress to a deficit level of about 2 percent of GDP from the mid-2008 level of 7 percent.

Assuming a global recovery in the second half of 2009, the Ukrainian economy could be back at its estimated potential growth rate of 5-6 percent by 2011 with inflation at 5-7 percent by late 2011.Current account deficits are projected to remain small in 2010, in light of the weak economy, and to be moderate thereafter, allowing reserves to rise.

The key measures to achieve the objectives of the program focus on the following areas:

[1] MONETARY AND EXCHANGE RATE POLICY
The program supports the implementation of a flexible exchange rate regime to help Ukraine better absorb the external shocks it now faces. Base money will be the near-term anchor for monetary policy until an inflation targeting regime can be implemented.

The independence of the NBU will be strengthened, and in the near term, monetary policy will be tightened to help achieve the 2009 inflation objective of 17 percent. The program envisages eliminating exchange rate controls as soon as possible, and measures to improve the operation of the foreign exchange market, including cancellation of the foreign exchange transactions tax and a more transparent intervention policy.

[2] FINANCIAL SECTOR POLICY
The authorities intend to prepare a comprehensive bank resolution strategy that will include the resolution of problem banks and the recapitalization of viable banks to cushion the real economy from a potential credit crunch. The authorities have already resolved the sixth largest bank, Prominvest Bank, through a sale to a strategic investor.

The program further proposes to ensure that viable banks have access to liquidity; increase deposit insurance coverage to Hrv150,000 (about euro20,000) from the current Hrv50,000, which will cover 99 percent of individual accounts; and strengthen the monitoring of banks, including through enhanced cross-border supervisory cooperation.

[3] FISCAL POLICY
The authorities will adopt a prudent fiscal stance while accounting for the need for recession-related social expenditures, including higher funding for unemployment insurance and targeted income support. Under the program, the deficit would not exceed 1 percent of GDP in 2008, and in 2009, the general government budget would be balanced (excluding bank recapitalization costs).

Even with the substantial increase of 0.8 percent of GDP social spending during the recession, these fiscal targets are deemed attainable. However, given the uncertainties on economic prospects and the availability of financing, the authorities are prepared to adjust the targets as needed.

To achieve their fiscal targets, the authorities are determined to correct the pricing policies in the energy sector and pursue a more balanced incomes policy by adjusting the minimum wage, pension, and social transfer increases in line with the projected inflation in 2009. These measures will help guard against higher inflation and depreciation.

Ukraine has an adequate social safety net in place to protect the vulnerable against adjustment policies, which the authorities are prepared to expand should the need arise.

Ukraine joined the IMF as a member on September 3, 1992. Its quota is SDR 1,372 million (about US$2,049 million).

LINK: IMF news release including statistical charts: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2008/pr08271.htm
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2.   IMF APPROVES 16.4 BILLION DOLLAR AID FOR UKRAINE 

 
Agence France Presse, Washington, D.C, Wednesday, November 6, 2008
     
WASHINGTON  – The International Monetary Fund has approved a 16.4 billion dollar (12.8 billion euro) loan aimed at rescuing Ukraine from a deepening financial crisis, officials said.
The IMF said Wednesday it hoped the two-year agreement for Ukraine would curb inflation to single digits and shore up banks that are suffering in concert with the global credit crunch.
“The Ukrainian economy, especially the banking system, is experiencing considerable stress,” said IMF deputy managing director Murilo Portugal in a statement. “Falling prices for Ukraine’s major export, steel, have led to a substantial deterioration in Ukraine’s current account outlook.”
The IMF approval, made under its “fast-track emergency financing mechanism,” means that 4.5 billion dollars will be immediately disbursed, Portugal said. Some banks have reportedly frozen customers’ accounts while untold numbers of Ukrainians have rushed to withdraw their cash, fearing the worst as job losses spread.
The banking sector has been hit hard due to its increased exposure to foreign loans since the Orange Revolution protests of 2004 brought to power a pro-Western leadership and economic reformers pressed for more European integration.
Portugal said the government plan and the IMF loan “aims to restore financial and macroeconomic stability by adopting a flexible exchange rate regime with targeted intervention.”
On Friday, Ukraine’s parliament approved legislation clearing the way for the IMF loan, and establishing a stabilization fund to help ailing banks and companies unable to service their foreign debts due to the worldwide financial crisis.
Guarantees for bank deposits will be increased so as to bolster confidence in the banking system, and the government will be able to take a stake in lenders if necessary. In addition, Ukraine’s budget will be tightened and spending cut.
Portugal said key parts of the plan include “a pre-emptive recapitalization of banks, and a prudent fiscal policy coupled with tighter monetary policy.”
“Resolute implementation of the program should help reduce inflation to single digits by the end of the program,” he added.
Ukraine has been among the countries hardest hit by global financial turmoil as a plunge in the price of steel, its main export, exacerbates a credit crunch and a sharp fall in stock prices.
At the same time, the downturn has become increasingly politicized, with the president earlier in the week blaming the government for the country’s problems.
Portugal praised the Ukrainian government’s plan, calling it “a strong and comprehensive package of measures to address the challenges Ukraine is facing and the Fund has provided commensurate financial assistance.”
Last month, Olexandre Chlapak, a senior figure with the presidential administration, said Ukraine faced bleak prospects for the coming year.
It could expect “a fall in GDP, a drop of up to 40 percent in foreign demand for Ukrainian products, and zero industrial growth, or in the best case, two to three percent.”
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3.  SILVER LININGS

Editorial, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, November 6, 2008

To survive the tough times ahead, everyone will have to adjust including the government policy

Painful as it is, the economic crisis can make Ukraine’s economy healthier and can help plant its citizens more firmly in a market economy. But it will
take better political leadership than has been on display since independence.

The easy credit of the last decade led to unsustainable growth and financial carelessness. Inflation soared and the nation’s trade deficit widened.

Meanwhile, not enough was done to end the elite’s stranglehold on competition or secure a more diverse economy, ready for the global challenges ahead.

To survive the tough times, everyone will have to adjust. Kyiv needs to seize the International Monetary Fund’s offer of a $16.5 billion loan to adopt painful, but badly needed changes. Privatization should be completed, but honestly and openly. Agricultural land should be traded, but anti-monopoly protections strengthened, so that that the oligarchs cannot create cartels in land the way they do in other sectors of the economy.

Done correctly, Ukraine can become a world agricultural powerhouse. Done badly, the elite will speculate on land and Ukraine will become a nation of
sharecroppers.

This economic crisis has shown the dangers of having an economy that relies on commodity exports and easy credit. The nation’s leaders face the choice
of moving in the Kremlin direction of a state-run economy, or more firmly adhering to the Western market-oriented model. As imperfect as life is in
the West, we hope the nation, for the sake of its own prosperity, chooses a well-regulated capitalist system.

If Ukraine’s massive bureaucratic state apparatus is trimmed down, the nation will be better off. If red tape and taxes are cut, rapid growth of small and medium businesses – the engines of most economies – can happen.

But the path will be painful as people lose their jobs. Official unemployment is expected to increase from 6.2 percent earlier this year to 7.7 percent by year’s end. Ukraine’s unregulated labor market allows employers to unceremoniously dump their workers. Job reductions should be undertaken with compassion. Employers and government should help mitigate the human toll, both out of fairness and to prevent social instability.

But politicians will have to adjust their populist rhetoric and wean the populace off the idea that the government can guarantee social benefits when
the money is lacking. The government should focus on smart, long-term investments – improving energy efficiency and independence, for instance – that will pay off handsomely in the future.

A shakeout is inevitable as the speculative excesses come to an end in such sectors as housing and consumer lending. A recession is predicted to last
through the first half of 2009. Nations and individuals who use hard times to advance long-term strategic goals can emerge stronger.

LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/30786

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4.  WORLD BANK SAYS IT’S READY TO JOIN UKRAINE ASSISTANCE PACKAGE

By Steve Bryant, Bloomberg, New York, New York, Wed, Nov 5, 2008
ANKARA – The World Bank is ready to participate in a coordinated international effort to help Ukraine deal with the impact of the world financial crisis, Shigeo Katsu, the bank’s vice president for Europe and Central Asia, said today.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said yesterday that he asked for World Bank support to supplement a $16.5 billion loan accord between his country and the International Monetary Fund that’s expected to be approved today.
The World Bank can “step in as part of an internationally coordinated program,” Katsu said in an interview in Ankara. The lender is talking with the IMF and Ukrainian authorities and will “try to do whatever we can.”
 
Ukraine joined other European countries, including Belarus and Iceland, in asking for help from the IMF and other international financial institutions to help stabilize their banking systems and support their currencies.
The World Bank contributed 1 billion euros to the 20-billion euro ($25.8-billion) support package from the IMF and the EU for Hungary that was announced on Oct. 28. Katsu declined to discuss the possible size of any World Bank assistance for Ukraine. (To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Bryant in Ankara at sbryant5@bloomberg.net.)
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.org
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
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5.  EXPERTS: GLOBAL CRISIS TO FORCE BADLY-NEEDED REFORMS UPON UKRAINE

 
Mark Rachkevych, Editor, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Nov 6, 2008
  
Short term pains should be rewarded by long term gains if right policy path is chosen

Now everyone knows how to get members of Ukraine’s parliament to do something useful: dangle a lot of money in front of their noses and spell out tough conditions they must agree upon in order to receive the cash.

At least it appeared to work for the International Monetary Fund, which was expected on Nov. 5 to consider a $16.5-billion loan designed to help brace Ukraine’s economy for the hard times ahead. The aid is coming in the nick of time, but with strings attached that will cause economic pain for average citizens.
Still, the loan is seen as an essential prop, especially with the nation’s currency sinking to all-time lows and the country facing debt payments of $100 billion – more than 70 percent of the annual gross domestic product. Nearly half of that amount is due next year.
Getting the fractious group of 450 lawmakers to pass the austerity legislation took no small amount of shouting and cajoling.
“Don’t you understand!” shouted parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk during parliament’s debate on Oct. 31. “Someone will get $16.5 billion, but it’s not going to be Ukraine if you don’t stop arguing.”
President Victor Yushchenko signed the bill into law on Nov. 3. Kyiv agreed to all IMF conditions, except for a freeze in the minimum wage, according to Oleksandr Shlapak, deputy head of the presidential secretariat. The IMF was expected to consider the 24-month standby loan on Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C.
The stabilization package, which runs to 2011, envisions the creation of a stabilization fund and increased guarantees on bank deposits to Hr 100,000, and will help recapitalize banks.
Plans are also under way for a zero-deficit 2009 budget, which is expected to mean cutbacks in social spending and financial assistance for the poor.
“While the conditions imposed by the IMF will, in some cases, have unpleasant short-term consequences, in the long-term, Ukraine should benefit from the assistance package,” said Arch Puddington, director of research at New York-based Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that promotes economic and political freedoms. “The IMF’s [initial] decision, however, suggests a measure of faith in Ukraine’s long-term economic prospects and in its long-term political future.”
The short-term pains Ukrainians will face are lower wages, 35-percent-higher heating bills starting Dec. 1, less access to credit and a weaker currency – making it difficult to repay loans denominated in other currencies. The sliding hryvnia will also make imports more expensive.
“It’s crucial that wage increases [and other social spending] stop in order to halt spiraling inflation and help stabilize the country macro-economically,” said Ricardo Giucci, leader of the German Advisory Group, a private institute that advises Ukraine’s government.
Giucci said the crisis poses a great opportunity for implementing long-overdue economic reforms. While in the past, foreign capital poured into the country, today foreign investment can only be attracted by improving the investment climate. And given the difficult economic and financial situation, reforms can be passed quicker than usual, as shown by the swift actions of the government and parliament to adopt anti-crisis measures.
In the medium term, a zero-budget deficit could help reign in inflation, said Anastasiya Golovach, an analyst at Renaissance Capital in Kyiv. Golovach said cutting social spending is positive news for the market, since the past three years have seen increases in nominal wages by an average of 30 percent annually (and by about 17 percent in real wages). This happened due to government moves in light of frequent elections, which contributed to inflation.
The newly approved stabilization fund is meant to boost liquidity, replenish bank capital and help finance public investment programs. Funding for the stabilization fund is expected to come from privatization revenues and sale of government bonds.
Infrastructure development can become the first step toward a more-balanced economy if it lays the foundation for more structural economic changes.
“Infrastructure is positive,” said Edward Hugh, a Barcelona-based economist.
 
“But it needs to form part of an ongoing process. Structural export drivers like green-field investments, assembly industries, factories, high-tech clusters, investments for tourism, whatever, need to follow, as well as a more intensive leveraging of the substantial agricultural resources Ukraine undoubtedly has. A financial-services-driven, construction-and-steel-based economy simply isn’t going to pass muster in the current global environment.”
But analysts stress that for this export-led dream to come true, relative prices need to be right, which means businesses in Ukraine need to be competitive. That means undoing all the damage done by the recent inflation and getting the exchange rate on the hryvnia right.
Experts acknowledged that Ukraine’s undiversified economy still puts the country in a very risky situation. The nation is heavily dependent on one export – steel – the value of which has plummeted this year. International demand is so low, Ukraine’s output dropped by half in October, year-on-year.
Ukraine is also heavily dependent on imports of increasingly expensive natural gas from Russia.
The final version of the package provides a boost to the agricultural sector by allowing agricultural enterprises not to pay value-added tax if they use the money to replenish their working capital or make further investments.
And the National Bank of Ukraine tightened trading rules at the interbank currency exchange to reduce the currency volatility and make its desired hryvnia rate more easily defendable.
There are a number of IMF recommendations still waiting to be approved, however. An Alfa-Bank statement said canceling the moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands as advised by the IMF will bring in foreign direct investment to the sector widely believed to be the savior of Ukraine’s still-undiversified economy. Also, strict control over consumer goods imports is required to keep the country’s balance healthy.
The IMF wants Ukraine to have “strong monetary and prudent fiscal policies,” said Ceyla Pazarbasiogan, head of the lender’s mission to Ukraine, on Oct. 29. Specific budget strictures could come after the IMF votes on the Ukraine loan expected on Nov. 5.
 
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/30792
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6.  UKRAINE FEELS THE PINCH AS STEEL PRICE DECLINES

 
By Roman Olearchyk in Donetsk, Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, November 4 2008
DONETSK – Just like his Russian counterparts, Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian steel billion-aire, is feeling the pinch of the global financial crisis.
His Metinvest holding company has been caught by the global decline in steel prices and demand.
 
Production levels in Ukraine’s vast steel industry are falling and orders are dwindling. Hundreds of thousands of blue- collar employees at factories he and other Ukrainian businessmen own are nervous about losing their jobs.
“These are difficult times,” Mr Akhmetov said during a Financial Times interview in Donetsk, the largest city in Ukraine’s eastern industrial region. Sitting in the restaurant of a luxurious hotel that he owns, he said: “The recession has already arrived.”
He is not the only billionaire to be suffering. Tomas Fiala, the director of Dragon Capital, a Kiev-based investment bank, said, “Ukraine has about a dozen billionaires”, adding that the crisis had cut their net asset value in half. They have leveraged themselves less than their Russian counterparts but have “some $10bn-$20bn in outstanding foreign debt”, he said.
A Donetsk native, Mr Akhmetov became very rich during what is seen as the crony capitalist days that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Reputedly Ukraine’s richest man, he snapped up steel mills, mines, utilities and other assets at fire-sale prices.
In Russia, most wealth is rooted in the export of gas and oil. Wealth in Ukraine is also concentrated on exports, although in its case the focus is on steel. The country ranks as a top 10 world steel exporter. In an April ranking, Dragon Capital valued Mr Akhmetov’s net worth at $31bn (euro24.6bn, pount19.6bn).
 
In a sign that Mr Akhmetov is not alone in suffering, Igor Kolomoisky, another billionaire and co-owner of three export-oriented ferro-alloy plants in Ukraine, halted production on Nov-ember 1.
In 2007, 34-year-old Kostyantin Zhevago floated his Ferrexpo ore company in London. In a gamble, he used a quarter of Ferrexpo as collateral for a loan to fund expansion plans. But its share price has plummeted this year and an investment bank exercised its option to sell the stake to a third party, reducing his stake from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.
Lenders have been more cautious in lending to Ukrainian billionaires because of the country’s relentless political turmoil. The prospect of a recession and low steel prices raises doubts over their ability to service debt. But Mr Akhmetov still has deep pockets, according to Mr Fiala.
Fearful of a recession and lay-offs, Donetsk residents hope billionaires such as Mr Akhmetov will help cushion them from serious trouble. He refused to comment in detail on the impact of the recession butpledged to avoid lay-offs at all costs.
He stressed the need for the Kiev government to bail out troubled Ukrainian banks but insisted: “I need no special treatment.” The Ukrainian government has offered bail-outs in return for equity stakes that could be sold off later.
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7.  UKRAINE’S ANTI-CRISIS LEGISLATION

 
White Paper, Embassy of Ukraine to the USA, Washington, D.C., November 5, 2008 
         
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 31, 2008 Ukraine’s parliament adopted a package of legislation intended to secure $16.5 bn standby loan from the IMF. The law was backed by 243 lawmakers in the 450-seat.
 
The parliament approved measures to recapitalize banks, increase guaranteed deposits to 150,000 hryvnias ($25,338) from 50,000 and set up a stabilization fund. All proceeds from the state assets sale and from the state’s bonds sale this year and next year will be injected into the fund. Money from the fund will be used for loans to banks and companies to help them to repay their debts to foreign investors.
The banks are also obliged to use their incomes to raise capitalization. The state will buy stakes in the troubled lenders. The law will expire when the situation is stable but no later than Jan. 1, 2011.
 
The IMF loan and related “anti-crisis legislation” is a key to preventing a financial meltdown, foremost by shoring up confidence in the country’s shaky banking sector – main task now is to overcome the first stage of the financial crisis. The Government and the National Bank of Ukraine has now, with approving this law, all the instruments and enough mechanisms to respond and take measures if the situation in the banking system escalates.
 
The Government while elaborating measures to overcome fallout from the crisis will be guided by principles of “common responsibility, effective coordination and fast response”. Immediate governmental measures are – to control spiraling inflation, reduce its trade deficit and free up its currency from a US dollar peg. 
 
The IMF loan is a key to propping up confidence in the eyes of foreign lenders. GOU and National Bank hope is that lenders will agree to refinance tens of billions of dollars in private sector debt that matures in the next 12 months.
 
The IMF loan might be not fully tapped. It is considered as “psychological credit” – to demonstrate both for local and foreign investors that National Bank of Ukraine has sufficient reserves of national currency and Bank is able to transact intervention in any point and provide local currency market with dollar’s volume as much as needed.
 
Measures to address the financial sector turmoil: The NBU actively supported banking sector liquidity through its refinancing operations. In October, it provided UAH 20 billion (about $4 billion) of liquidity support to a number of banks. To build confidence, deposit guarantees were doubled to $20,000 and are planned to increase further.
Furthermore, the NBU has imposed a six-month freeze on the early withdrawal of saving deposits from commercial banks. It introduced tough limitations on commercial banks credit portfolio growth. The foreign currency loans can be made only to borrowers that have foreign currency income. The NBU strengthened its monitoring of external private debt. In particular, it required commercial banks to supply with data on their and their clients’ external debt obligations maturing each quarter over the next 12 months.
 
The anti-inflationary program relied heavily on monetary measures by the NBU:  switching to a managed float in order to reduce forex interventions – the major source of money growth; tightening bank reserve & capital adequacy requirements; increasing the discount rate; carrying out sizable sterilization operations to slow down credit growth.
 
The Government has approved at the special sitting on October 4, 2008 the Provisional Order of using the Stabilization Fund and an Order on the state’s participation in capitalization of banks.
These are pressing top priority measures of the Government implementation of which will enable protection of the national banking system on normal operating of which the return of the citizens’ deposits and the opportunity to finance the economy depend. If Ukraine succeeds completely to stabilize the national banking system then we can say that Ukraine will return to normal living.
GOU hopes that approval of the mentioned documents will encourage aid attraction from the global financial organizations. All other decisions necessary for preventing the global financial crisis would be considered at the Government’s sitting on October 5, 2008.
National Bank of Ukraine approved unitary hryvnia’s official rate of exchange at the local forex (decree #153 dated of October 5, 2008). All state financial institutions will change over to work with unitary official rate of exchange till the end of this week.
IMF loan is needed as well because of now dozens of factories in Ukraine’s export-oriented economy have announced plans to halt production and warned of possible lay-offs. Ukraine’s economy has grown impressively in recent years due to strong demand for its main export, steel, strong investments and a credit boom that has been fuelled by heavy foreign borrowing, particularly by the country’s banks.
 
Rising consumption of imports and falling demand for steel have widened the country’s current account deficit, in turn putting pressure on the country’s currency, which lost some 20 per cent of its value in October.
 
Ukrainian stock market, with approval of anti-crisis legislation and hope for IMF loan, begins demonstrate rapid growth.
 
The additional social-oriented anti-crisis legislation package could be elaborated soon for compensation of recently approved by parliament unpopular IMF requirements, including a freeze on social expenditures.
 
Ukraine is aware that success of anti-crisis program, described in bilateral Memorandum between IMF and GOU, depends from providing the effective mechanism to control for tapping of credits from IMF and other foreign lenders.
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8.  BYUT, NUNS & LYTVYN BLOC UNITE TO PASS ANTI-CRISIS BILL

 
By Natalia Nepryakhina, The Kommersant, in Russian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Oct 31, 2008
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English, Wash, D.C. Thu, Nov 6, 2008
 
KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada passed the bill aimed to minimize the effects of the global financial crisis on the Ukrainian economy. Lawmakers approved the creation of a stabilization fund to guarantee the repayments of deposits by natural persons and banned a 2-year moratorium on the increase of the minimum wage to the subsistence level.
 
However, experts indicate that the law won’t speed up social payments with regard to inflation rate and express doubt that the stabilization fund will be filled with real money by the yearend. 
 
Following line-item debates on the amendments to the presidential draft, VR passed by 243 votes the draft No. 3309-4 “On priority measures to forestall the negative effects of financial crisis and on some amendments in the laws of Ukraine.” If Pres Yushchenko signs the bill into law, it will be valid till Jan. 1, 2011.   
 
The lawmakers approved the bills major items: the creation of a stabilization fund, banks’ recapitalization, build-up of the Natural Persons’ Deposits Guarantee Fund, and tax breaks for agriculture.
 
The following procedure was established to form the Stabilization Fund: from the sale of state-owned securities and surplus revenues from the privatization (earlier, it was proposed to pay all the revenues from the 2008 privatization). The revenues from the 2009 privatization will go into the fund in full. The distribution of money from the SF is to be done by the cabinet on coordination with VR committees on the budget as well as on finance and banking. 
 
The lawmakers also changed the banks recapitalization procedure. The present owners of banks will get a preemptive right to buy out additional emission stock, followed by investors and the Finance Ministry. The FM can participate in the formation and build-up of banks’ statutory funds by purchasing their stocks for budget money or state securities. The National Bank of Ukraine will have to buy out state securities at their nominal value for the term of the next 5 days for the money of international credits, that is, for the $16.5 billion IMF loan.
 
The lawmakers cancelled a provision whereby UkrExImBank’s capital had to be increased by 1 billion hryvnia to buy out a part of the Prominvest bank stock. 
 
It follows that the actual nationalization of the Prominvestbank will be carried out in accordance with the general procedure.
 
The Natural Persons’ Deposits Guarantee Fund will be built up using 25% of the NBU profits, but not less than 1 billion hryvnia annually. The lawmakers raised the ceiling of guarantees for deposits from 50,000 hryvnia to up to 150,000 hryvnia.
 
However, the lawmakers did not support the moratorium as of Jan. 1, 2009 through the 2010 yearend on raising the minimum wage to the subsistence level. Consequently, given the financial crisis and the need for a deficit-free 2009 budget, the cabinet will have to find 49.3 billion hryvnia for social programs, deputy head of Yushchenko’s office Oleksandr Shlapak said. The ban on the moratorium does not mean that the minimum wage will be raised on Jan. 1, 2009, as envisaged by the 2009 budget draft.
 
“When the cabinet has the funding, it can bring the minimum wage to the subsistence level because the change will affect the tariffs,” Oleksandr Zholud, International Center for Perspective Research analyst says. The Korrespondent’s source in the Finance Ministry admitted that the law does not stop the ministry from indexing wages for the rate of inflation. Premier Tymoshenko repeated the statement on Oct. 31. 
 
The creation of the Stabilization Fund does not guarantee that the fund will be able to operate in 2009. “The fund is an empty shell as in 2008 the State Property Fund earned merely 370 million against its 2008 target of 8.5 billion. Can one speak about surplus revenue from privatization?,” our source in the Finance Ministry said. The only viable source for the SF which can pay for the banks’ capitalization is part of the IMF loan as the other projected source (sales of government bonds) is out of the question in the light of recent failures to sell the bonds via auctions.
 
“That the SF won’t have any sources of funding is a positive development. Due to SF opaque procedures many corrupt schemes may emerge – we know well by whom VR committees are controlled,” says CASE-Ukrayina chief economist Volodymyr Dubrovsky. In a related move, Party of Regions lawmaker Iryna Akimova has insisted that the cabinet and NBU submit to VR a clear-cut mechanism for banks’ recapitalization.
 
The new law is called by lawmakers the first step towards stabilizing the country’s finance and banking system. The next step should be the support of real economy. Thus, Ms Akimova suggested revitalizing the bill of exchange system and raising depreciation rates for the steel-making and chemical sectors.
 
BYUT’s Natalia Korolevska agrees with this proposal as it will simplify administering of taxes and VAT rebates: “In particular, the system is good to tax goods in storage. All present supplies of goods stored are considered by the law as sold and are subject to taxation. It should be stopped.”  
 
LINK: http://www.kommersant.ua/doc.html?docId=1051828
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9.  ANTI-CRISIS LAW PASSED BY UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT 

 
UNIAN news agency in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English, Wash, D.C. Thu, Nov 6, 2008
 
KYIV – The bill outlining emergency measures to prevent the negative effects of the financial crisis was passed by Verkhovna Rada. The bill was supported by 154 lawmakers from BYUT, 69 from NUNS, 20 from the Lytvyn bloc. The Party of Regions and Communists abstained. 
The law envisages the creation of a stabilization fund from state property sell-off revenues in 2008 as well as from the targeted placement of government securities. The fund money is to be used by the government in coordination with the VR committee on finance and banking and the budget committee.  
To ensure banks liquidity, the ministry of finance will be authorized to form or increase the banks statutory funds by buying initial emission stock or additional emission stock in exchange for government bonds and/or for budgetary money. The bonds are subject to mandatory buying out by the National Bank of Ukraine. The cabinet will take its decisions on the banks capitalization on the proposals from NBU.  
In addition, the law imposes a moratorium on the distribution of a bank’s net profits earned before Jan. 1, 2011 if a bank shows, within a year for which dividends are calculated, balance losses in the 3 current months. 
Under the law, if NBU’s profits exceed its losses in a current budgetary year, the  bank is to pay its positive balance in the budget of the year following the year for which the report is prepared. 25% of the bank’s profits, but no less than 1 billion hryvnia, is to be earmarked for the “Guarantee Fund for Natural Persons Deposits,” banks capitalization purposes and the state mortgage institution, with the excess of the losses over profits being compensated from the next year’s budget. 
Under the law, natural persons will receive guarantees of repayment of their bank deposits not exceeding 150,000 hryvnia. In addition, in 2008 state guarantees for credits of international financial institutions, amounting to 10 billion hryvnia, shall be provided by the cabinet in line with the budget code.
Under the law, the UkrExImBank is to reinvest in its statutory fund its net profits earned in 2008 and undistributed net profits for the past years, but no less than 500 million hryvnia.
In line with the law, based on monthly reports on the implementation of local budgets, the Finance Ministry will extend 12-month interest-free loans from the state treasury to local authorities. The loans must be used for inter-budgetary transfers to the amount of 2008 local budgets revenue shortfalls. The repayment of medium term loans must be carried out on the results of the year balance report and under the procedure set by the cabinet.  
The law will be valid until it is cancelled by VR after reaching financial and economic stabilization but not later than 2011. 
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10.  PUTTING THE BLOCKADE IN CONTEXT: A UKRAINIAN PERSPECTIVE

 
INFORM, BYuT Newsletter #92, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 3, 2008
 
KYIV – To western eyes it appeared simple. The country was at the brink, staring into the abyss. Teetering on its edge was the president and prime minister, locked in a very public battle; two leaders more concerned about preserving their political futures than the economic well-being of the nation.
 
One demanded an election in the deluded belief he will play king maker and preserve his presidency, while the other wished to avoid an election which could unseat her as premier. Meanwhile the bronchial cough infecting Ukraine’s financial institutions was about to escalate into a fatal case of economic pneumonia. Something had to give.
 
Just when it looked like a financial meltdown was inevitable, up popped the International Monetary Fund (IMF), throwing the nation a $16.5 billion lifeline. To grab it, all the feuding couple had to do was to pass some legislation – a few laws to balance the books and curb future spending.
 
But the deadlock dragged on. It was then that lawmakers from the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) sprang into action, blockading the speaker’s podium to prevent a law from being passed that would approve $76 million to fund a December election.
 
Even the most seasoned western experts rolled their eyes at this subversion of the democratic process, which naturally attracted considerable flak. To all and sundry it looked like BYuT, the last flame bearer of the Orange Revolution, had succumbed to tricks normally associated with Party of Regions.
 
Few will forget how, in June 2006, the latter used this same stalling tactic to devastating effect. That summer an around the clock blockade bought the time needed to convince Oleksandr Moroz and his Socialist Party to cross the floor and join the Party of Regions and Communists in the Anti-Crisis coalition – paving the way for Viktor Yanukovych’s return as premier.
  
Nearly two years on, how can BYuT justify the indefensible? Perhaps it should not try to. What it should do is to provide context and explain the extraordinary circumstances that shaped this “last resort” behaviour.
 
A QUESTION OF NATIONAL PRIORITIES  
[1] Firstly, lawmakers will tell you that the primary driver for this action was to force parliament to focus exclusively on tackling the financial crisis. After all, the situation was dire – a case of all hands on the pump. Dallying with elections at this time would be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  
This view is shared by Volodymyr Lytvyn, leader of his eponymous centrist bloc, which has 20 seats in parliament. Mr Lytvyn was quoted by UNIAN as saying: “If we seriously raise the question of offering resistance to the financial crisis, we should forget about the parliamentary election. But if we nevertheless announce the election, nobody will implement the anti-crisis measures, because the whole executive power will take part in the parliamentary campaign.”
 
ALLURING ELECTIONS 
[2] Secondly, it is assumed that Ms Tymoshenko wants to cling to her premiership. This is true but not for the reasons surmised. Rivals suggest she is desperate to use her position as a springboard for the presidency in 2010. But that argument does not pass scrutiny, not least because the fallout from the economic downturn – which is far from over – will inevitably blight whoever is in office at the time. Indeed, given her strong opinion poll rating versus the president, combined with options for alliances with smaller parties, the prospect of an election appears positively alluring.
 
According to a poll for the National Institute for Strategic Studies (conducted 20-24 October), if a presidential election was held tomorrow, President Yushchenko would not even make the run-off. Only 9.7 percent of respondents said they would vote for him, while 20.7 percent favoured Viktor Yanukovych and 24.2 percent Ms Tymoshenko.
  
Similarly, a recent poll by FOM, to gauge the outcome of a parliamentary election, puts BYuT on 31.1 percent, the Party of Regions on 29 percent and the Yushchenko bloc in fourth place with 4.1 percent, behind the Communist Party with 6.6 percent.
  
Based on these figures BYuT should back elections now! But BYuT has steadfastly maintained that elections are not in the best interests of the country.
 
NEW ORDER VS. OLD ORDER
[3] There is a third factor to consider. Ms Tymoshenko knows that the longer she remains in office the harder it becomes to turn back the clock. Under her watch, huge inroads have been made into rolling back the black economy. Massive sums lost to the state through smuggling and non-payment of taxes are now being paid and the grip of shadowy middlemen on the gas industry is well and truly broken.
  
In addition to taking radical action, BYuT has taken conciliatory steps. The dropping of its legal challenge to the president’s election decree and endorsement of the president’s anti-crisis bill point to a willingness to repair bridges. Indeed, Ms Tymoshenko described the vote on the first reading of the anti-crisis bill, as “a good signal that the democratic coalition can be revived, and parliament can effectively function a lot better than it could in the previous few months.”
  
This determination to not give up on the coalition, when nearly everyone else has, was a contributory factor to the blockade. And whilst BYuT does not endorse an “end justifies the means” philosophy, the stubborn actions of a few will benefit the country. Maybe extraordinary times deserve extraordinary measures. It is at least important to put them into context, and whilst one is not necessarily proud of this last resort tactic, it has focused minds on what is really important.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) www.usubc.org.
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business & investment relations since 1995. 
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11. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT EXPECTS IMF ASSISTANCE IN TACKLING FINANCIAL CRISIS

 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, November 4, 2008
 
KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has said that he expects the country’s political forces,the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions to support measures to tackle the financial crisis. He was speaking at a meeting with IMF mission representatives on Friday,the presidential press service reported.
The effects of the global financial crisis for Ukraine and ways to dampen them were the major topic during their meeting. Yuschenko suggested making a joint evaluation of the risks of foreign and domestic economic processes on the Ukrainian market. He said that the Ukrainian economy had already faced crisis situations and managed to cope with them.
“The situation on the foreign and domestic markets is currently difficult,but I’m a total optimist and I’m sure that if we take comprehensive steps,we will find a right answer for depositors,business,and financial system,” Yuschenko said.
 
He also spoke about the consolidated plan of anti-crisis measures that are being drafted by Ukrainian institutions empowered to conduct economic and financial policies. “We currently need a very important dialogue,” Yuschenko said.
Participants in the meeting included IMF Mission Head Ceyla Pazarbasioglu,her deputy Mark Flanagan and IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine Balazs Horvath. Participating in the meeting from Ukraine were Finance Minister Viktor Pinzenyk,National Bank of Ukraine Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh,Presidential Secretariat First Deputy Head Oleksandr Shlapak and Presidential Secretariat Deputy Head Andriy Honcharuk.
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12.  ANACOM, INC., JOINS THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
Satellite communications equipment manufacturer in California, USUBC member 96
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Washington, D.C., Monday, November 3, 2008
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AnaCom, Inc. of San Jose, California, has been approved for USUBC membership, according to the USUBC executive committee, in an announcement on behalf of the entire USUBC membership. AnaCom, Inc. is USUBC member ninety-six.
 
AnaCom is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacturing of high performance C & Ku Band Transceivers, BUC’s and SSPA’s for VSAT and Satellite Communications applications with a complete satellite IP networking solution to send VoIP, video and data.  AnaCom, Inc. has addressed the Satellite Transceiver and BUC market based on the industry’s increasing need for high performance products that are extremely reliable and available at a low cost.
 
AnaCom’s headquarters resides in a technology park in San Jose, California, in the heart of “Silicon Valley, ” and has several sales offices around the world. AnaCom provides Transceiver, BUC and SSPA products that are sold worldwide to leading satellite communications systems providers, integrators and end-users.
 
AnaCom’s IP networking solution intelligently combines routing, TCP acceleration, advanced satcom modem, DAMA + SCPC capability, frequency-agile bandwidth aggregation, priority for real time applications (e.g. voice, video,) a complete VoIP solution, including a softswitch for call routing, and a complete suite of network management capabilities all in one box.
 
AnaCom’s reputation for reliability and ease of use is well known in the satellite industry, and it is the brand of choice by leading satellite professionals. Quality by design, engineering capabilities, and a strong manufacturing base allow AnaCom to maintain lower product costs. Our transceiver, BUC, and SSPA offerings cover all commercial satellite frequencies over a wide range of power levels.
 
ANGELA V. TLUSTENKO, VICE PRESIDENT
USUBC has been working with Angela V. Tlustenko, Vice President of Sales for AnaCom, Inc., who is now based in Vienna, VA.  Angela attended the USUBC financial and economic briefing in Washington on Tuesday, October 28.  She is originally from L’viv, Ukraine.

 
Angela Tlustenko participated in a Rotary International Education Program that allowed her to spend one year of high school in Overland Park, Kansas. She then returned to the U.S. for her higher education, where she graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.  Among professional highlights, Angela worked for the U.S. Department of State for several years before joining AnaCom.
 
Angela emphasized that her move to Vienna, VA was part of a larger AnaCom goal to be closer to the U.S. defense industry and to all the embassies located in Washington.  She said AnaCom is not involved directly in Ukraine at this time but wants to be active on the Ukrainian market and is very interested in developing direct contacts with companies doing business in Ukraine. Angela will represent AnaCom on the USUBC board of directors.
 
More information about AnaCom, Inc., can be found on their website at www.anacominc.com.  If you would like to be in contact with Angela Tlustenko about AnaCom, Inc. please contact USUBC. 
“USUBC is very pleased to have AnaCom, Inc. as a new member,” said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as president of USUBC.  USUBC has grown very rapidly during the past 22 months and now has a membership base which allows USUBC to provide its members such as AnaCom, Inc., with a full-time operation and a significantly expanded program of work,” according to president Williams.
 
USUBC MEMBERSHIP WILL TOP 100 IN 2008
AnaCom, Inc, 46th new member for 2008, and the 76th new member since January of 2007. USUBC membership has quadrupled in the past 22 months, going from 22 members in January of 2007 to 96 members in November of 2008. Membership is expected to top 100 in 2008.
 
The new USUBC members in 2008 include MaxWell USA, Baker and McKenzie law firm, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, Dipol Chemical International, MJA Asset Management, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, DLA Piper law firm, EPAM Systems, DHL International Ukraine, Air Tractor, Inc., Magisters law firm, Ernst & Young, Umbra LLC., US PolyTech LLC, Vision TV LLC, Crumpton Group, Standard Chartered Bank, TNK-BP Commerce LLC, Rakotis, American Councils for International Education, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, International Commerce Corporation, and IMTC-MEI.
 
Additional new USUBC members in 2008 are: Nationwide Equipment Company, First International Resources, the Doheny Global Group, Foyil Securities, KPMG, Asters law firm, Solid Team LLC, R & J Trading International, Vasil Kisil & Partners law firm, AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines, Anemone Green Capital Limited, ContourGlobal, Winner Imports LLC (Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Porsche), 3M, Edelman, CEC Government Relations RZB Finance LLC (Raiffeisen), IBM Ukraine, SoftServe Inc., The Washington Group (TWG), SE Raelin/Cajo, Inc. and AnaCom, Inc.
 
The complete USUBC membership list and additional information about USUBC can be found at: http://www.usubc.org.
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13.  UKRAINE’S FIRST PHD PROGRAM OPENS AT KYIV-MOHYLA ACADEMY

 

Mychailo Wynnyckyj, PhD, Director, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School, Kyiv, Ukraine

Marta Farion, President, Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, Chicago, Illinois, Nov 2008

Kyiv-Mohyla Academy officially opened Ukraine’s first Doctoral School on October 8, 2008,  offering the country’s first western-style PhD programs. This initiative is revolutionary for Ukraine’s higher education system, as it represents a radical departure from the legacy Soviet-era system of researcher preparation that still persists in Ukraine.
 
Unlike the traditional Soviet era “aspirantura” which is highly regulated by the Ministry of Education’s Higher Attestatation Council (“VAK”), the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School’s PhD programs represent an embodiment of the principle of university autonomy (independence from the state) which is fundamental to the western system of higher education.
 
In time, it is hoped that the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School will become a model for the enactment of fundamental reform within Ukraine’s post-graduate education system.
 
THE TRADITIONAL “ASPIRANTURA” SYSTEM 
 The fact that Ukraine’s current system of post-graduate education (the traditional “aspirantura” system which culminates in the “candidate of sciences” degree) is in dire need of reform is widely accepted. According to Ministry of Education statistics, only 7% of Ukrainian “aspirants” complete their research degree within the required three year period, and only 25% ever submit their dissertations for defense.
 
This state of affairs reflects serious systemic flaws in the structure of post-graduate training: young “aspirants” are assigned a single supervisor for their research projects, but are provided with minimal institutional support during their three year period of study.
 
Course work is not required, nor do any structures exist for the inclusion of “aspirants” into a global academic community. Upon completion of the three year period, “aspirants” are required to publicly defend their dissertations before a specialized defense committee whose members are chosen according to formal criteria (each must be a “doctor of science”) rather than their real ability to assess the quality of the “aspirants” research.
 
Such a system has led to widespread corruption (buying academic degrees), and to the overall discrediting of Ukraine’s system of post-graduate education. For this reason, many young Ukrainian students who plan to embark on academic careers (especially those returning to Ukraine after studying abroad) do not even consider enrolling in the existing “aspirantura” system.
 
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS 
Ukraine became a signatory in 2005 to the Bologna Declaration, a joint declaration of European ministers of education to reform and integrate European systems of higher education.  In so doing, Ukraine committed itself to replacing the flawed Soviet-legacy system by 2010 with a western-style 3rd cycle of education (i.e. the PhD degree) that conforms to the principles of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
 
However, in reality, implementation of EHEA-compliant PhD programs has not yet begun in Ukraine. Without creation of a working model of a Doctoral School, there exists a serious risk that in the near future, Ukraine’s Ministry of Education will attempt to superficially conform to its Bologna commitments by simply renaming the “candidate of sciences” degree into a “PhD” without reforming the substance of a system of research training.
 
UKRAINE’S FIRST PHD PROGRAM  
The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Doctoral School represents a radical departure from the existing system, and hopefully, in time, will become a real model for reform throughout the country. This year, the Doctoral School enrolled its first 16 doctoral candidates into three EHEA-compliant PhD programs: Management in Public Health (an initiative of the Kyiv-Mohyla School of Public Health); Mass Communications (a joint program of the Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism and Department of Sociology); Finance (a joint program of the Department of Finance and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School).
 
Each doctoral program was established with extensive international partner cooperation of: Norwegian, American, Spanish, and Dutch academics serving as program experts, research supervisors, and potential dissertation examiners. 
 
Kyiv-Mohyla’s Doctoral School plans to launch three additional Ph.D. programs next year: Transition Studies (joint program of the Departments of Sociology and Political Sciences), Philosophy of Literature (joint program of the Departments of Philosophy and Literature), and Membrane Technologies (joint program of the Departments of Biology and Chemistry).
 
Each program must have the required “critical mass” (including foreign partners, financing, and a sufficient number of qualified Kyiv-Mohyla academics within each field) before being approved for launch.  The university’s goal is to completely transform the current “aspirantura” system at Kyiv-Mohyla (approx. 55 students per year) into EHEA-compliant PhD programs by September 2010.
 
THE DOCTORAL CURRICULUM 
The structure of training at the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School consists of the following: during their first year of studies, in addition to commencing their individual research projects, doctoral candidates enroll in a series of methodological and skills training courses that are organized by the Doctoral School (up to 20 credits), and also partake in thematic courses and seminars organized by each Doctoral program (up to 20 credits).
 
During the second year of studies, the number of structured courses is somewhat reduced (total of 30 credits) with research becoming more central to each PhD candidate’s activities as he/she proceeds through the 4 year doctoral program.
 
A Kyiv-Mohyla doctoral candidate’s training culminates in a dissertation defense before an ‘ad hoc’ thesis committee (not a permanent “rada” whose membership is sanctioned by Ukraine’s “VAK”) organized by the Doctoral School, and composed of five well-known academics from the candidate’s research field – at least one will be from a non-Ukrainian university.
 
Successful candidates will be awarded the Kyiv-Mohyla PhD degree which (for now) is not recognized by the Ukrainian state, but (paradoxically, and in full compliance with western practice) will be recognized by the worldwide academic community as a legitimate PhD degree.
 
DOCTORAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION 
The following Kyiv Mohyla professors have been appointed to lead the new program: Mychailo Wynnyckyj (PhD in economic sociology of post-Soviet transition, Cambridge University) as Director of the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School; Dr. Wynnyckyj is currently Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School; Volodymyr Morenets (Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs, Chair of the Department of Literature) as Doctoral Program Coordinator for the Philosophy of Literature PhD program, and Tetiana Oharkova (PhD degree in comparative literature, University of Sorbonne, Paris) as Deputy Director of the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School.
 
DEPARTURE FROM PRIOR SOVIET SYSTEM 
The new model of PhD training described above represents a radical change from Ukraine’s existing “aspirantura” system. Whereas the old system was designed by Soviet-era apparatchiks as a means of limiting access for those deemed “unworthy” or “unreliable” for distinguished positions in the USSR’s academy, the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School’s system is designed to aid young Ukrainian post-graduate students to gain access to the worldwide scientific and research communities. In order to accomplish this goal, however, financing is needed.
 
At present, the Doctoral School initiative at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is limited in resources to scarce internal university funding and small grants, and the project is currently supported by an enthusiastic group of Kyiv Mohyla faculty who see an urgent need for “aspirantura” reform.  Background knowledge and training for this group was obtained through a European Union-funded Tempus project in 2006-7, and a follow-up application to Tempus was submitted for 2009-10. 
 
A grant from the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America financed organization and management training of PhD programs at U.S. universities. In addition, the PhD program in Mass Communications obtained a 560,000 hryvni start-up grant from Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for the Development of Ukraine.
 
FINANCING THE NEW DOCTORAL PROGRAM 
However, these prior grants are insufficient to implement a full-scale best-practice model of PhD education at Kyiv-Mohyla that can also become an example for wider Ukrainian reform.  Additional funds are required for the Doctoral School’s infrastructure, faculty, journals and books and stipends.
 
In particular, the Kyiv-Mohyla Doctoral School is appealing to the Ukrainian Diaspora for its support of the Philosophy of Literature PhD program – an area of research that finds little support among institutional and private donors, but is of utmost importance to the worldwide Ukrainian community.
 
For more information about the Kyiv Mohyla Academy’s Doctoral School, see: http://www.gradschool.ukma.kiev.ua.  In the United States, tax deductible donations to the new PhD program can be sent to Kyiv Mohyla Foundation, P.O. Box 46009, Chicago, IL 60646-0009. 
 
In Canada, donations can be sent to Canada Ukraine Foundation “UKMA Fund”, 203-952 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2W 3P4.  Both organizations will provide receipts for tax purposes.  For more information, see: www.kmfoundation.com.
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14.  PRATT & WHITNEY-PATON JOINS U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)

Advanced ceramic & metallic coatings for turbine blades – USUBC member 97
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., Tue, Nov 4, 2008
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Pratt & Whitney-Paton (PW-P), an American-Ukrainian joint venture between the Pratt & Whitney division of the United Technologies Corporation, USA, and the E. O. Paton Electric Welding Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been approved for USUBC membership, according to the USUBC executive committee, in an announcement on behalf of the entire USUBC membership. Pratt & Whitney-Paton (PW-P) is USUBC member ninety-seven.  
 
Pratt & Whitney-Paton (PW-P) has two factories located in Kyiv, Ukraine, with a highly skilled workforce of 165 employees. Since 1993, PW-P has been a center of excellence for coating and repair of airfoils from both aero and industrial engines. PW-P offers their customers the latest solutions in the area of Electron-Beam Physical Vapor Deposition (EB PVD) thermal barrier and metallic coatings for turbine blades and vanes. 
 
PW-P’s long list of customers includes Pratt & Whitney (USA), Siemens (Sweden), Japanese Turbine Technologies (Japan), Turbine Overhaul Services (Singapore), Uker Gas Energo Services (Ukraine) and Perm Motors (Russia). One of PW-P’s goals is working to significantly increase their work with Ukrainian companies.
 
PRATT & WHITNEY-PATON PRODUCTS
PW-Paton products include; application of advanced ceramic and metallic turbine coatings, the development and manufacturing of advanced Electron Beam Coating Equipment, repair of gas turbine components and Research & Development of advanced materials and coatings. 
 
The thermal barrier coating or TBC enables the engine to achieve a level of performance which previously was not attainable because the limits of the metallic super alloys within the turbine section.  The presence of the TBC allows the gas temperature in the turbine to operate above the melting temperature of the super alloys. 

What is novel about the TBC applied by Pratt & Whitney-Paton is that it has a unique crystal structure which allows it to survive in the hostile environment in which it operates (2800 F) and it performs its thermal insulating duty and actually stays attached to the turbine components (blades and vanes) for up to four to five years of continuous service. 
 
Through the method of EB PVD, that is; Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition, this coating is created in a vacuum chamber under highly controlled conditions using electron beam guns to generate the intense heat necessary to vaporise ceramic and metallic compounds.  .

JAY MULLOOLY IS GENERAL MANGER OF PW-P
John (Jay) Mullooly is General Manager of Pratt & Whitney-Paton in Kyiv.  Jay flew to Washington recently to attend the USUBC breakfast with Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.  Jay will represent the company on the USUBC board of directors. 

 
USUBC started working with PW-P regarding the major issues they face with the extremely bureaucratic and outdated procedures of the Ukrainian customs service.  Ludmyla Dudnyk, USUBC program director in Ukraine and Morgan Williams, USUBC president, visited the PW-P plant in October and reviewed with general manager Mullooly some of the ongoing customs issues that severely slow down and restrict PW-P’s work in Ukraine.
 
To provide their service the joint-venture has to import and export parts from their customers in Europe, USA and Asia.  They receive the parts directly from DHL Express and then process the clearance documents in parallel and have a blanket bond (promissory note) not individual as required by the current procedure. 
 
CUSTOMERS EXPECT QUICK TURN TIMES
Jay told USUBC their international customers need and expect very quick turn times.  With the current process, parts are held for customs clearance on the inbound and outbound making the process extremely arduous and lengthy.  The customs service only works 4 1/2 days per week and they have a plethora of holidays.  All of the customs issues cause unnecessary and costly delays in the turn time.
 
The same problem exists for the required promissory notes as they have to deal with both the banks and the Ukraine tax department.  USUBC is working with PW-P and DHL Express (a member of USUBC) on this issue.
 
For more information on the work of Pratt & Whitney-Paton in Ukraine please go to: http://www.pwpaton.com/.  If you would like to be in touch with Jay Mullooly about the services of Pratt & Whitney-Paton please contact USUBC.
 
“USUBC is very pleased to have Pratt & Whitney-Paton,” said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as president of USUBC.  “USUBC has grown very rapidly during the past 22 months and now has a membership base which allows USUBC to provide its members such as PW-P, with a full-time operation and a significantly expanded program of work,” according to president Williams.
 
USUBC MEMBERSHIP WILL TOP 100 IN 2008
Pratt & Whitney-Paton is the 47th new member for 2008, and the 77th new member since January of 2007. USUBC membership has quadrupled in the past 22 months, going from 22 members in January of 2007 to 97 members in November of 2008. Membership is expected to top 100 in 2008.
 
The new USUBC members in 2008 include MaxWell USA, Baker and McKenzie law firm, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, Dipol Chemical International, MJA Asset Management, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, DLA Piper law firm, EPAM Systems, DHL International Ukraine, Air Tractor, Inc., Magisters law firm, Ernst & Young, Umbra LLC., US PolyTech LLC, Vision TV LLC, Crumpton Group, Standard Chartered Bank, TNK-BP Commerce LLC, Rakotis, American Councils for International Education, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, International Commerce Corporation, and IMTC-MEI.
 
Additional new USUBC members in 2008 are: Nationwide Equipment Company, First International Resources, the Doheny Global Group, Foyil Securities, KPMG, Asters law firm, Solid Team LLC, R & J Trading International, Vasil Kisil & Partners law firm, AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines, Anemone Green Capital Limited, ContourGlobal, Winner Imports LLC (Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Porsche), 3M, Edelman, CEC Government Relations RZB Finance LLC (Raiffeisen), IBM Ukraine, SoftServe Inc., The Washington Group (TWG), SE Raelin/Cajo, Inc., AnaCom, Inc. and Pratt & Whitney-Paton.
 
The complete USUBC membership list and additional information about USUBC can be found at: http://www.usubc.org.

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15.  UKRAINE JOINS WTO: KEY IMPROVEMENTS FOR INVESTORS

 
Insight, Magisters law firm, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 2008
On May 16 of this year, Ukraine joined the WTO as its 152nd member. Although Ukraine’s economy has been booming for the past decade and foreign investment has been rapidly growing, WTO accession will bring with it a new set of standards for Ukraine, resulting in even higher levels of FDI and further integration into the world economy. WTO countries in the region have seenan approximate doubling of FDI post-accession.
 
The main terms of Ukraine’s accession are market liberalization and non-discrimination in sectors including agriculture, manufactured goods, services trade, intellectual property protection and overall reform of the country’s commercial environment, including mechanisms for dispute resolution and international enforcement procedures.
AGRICULTURE
Open access to Ukraine’s agricultural market is one of the key terms of WTO accession. For foreign investors, a major obstacle to doing business in this sector had been the recent government-imposed export quotas and restrictions on grains, including wheat and rye.
 
These quotas have now been lifted. In addition, minimum export prices have been revised, and tariff rate quotas for grains, sugar, and other agricultural products have been reformed. Finally, Ukraine must now adhere to international standards for imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, and biotech products.
MANUFACTURED/INDUSTRIAL GOODS
Ukraine has committed to a reduction of average bound tariffs on manufactured goods to 4.6%. In addition, the country joined many of the zero-tariff agreements including the Information Techonology Agreement, and those applying to civil aircraft, chemicals, agricultural equipment and parts, construction products, scientific equipment, distilled spirits, pharmaceuticals, furniture, non-ferrous metals, paper, and toys. Export duties on steel scrap and non-ferrous metals will also be reduced.
SERVICES TRADE
In the service sectors, Ukraine had, for a long time, limited foreign equity rights. With WTO accession, Ukraine’s core service sectors, including: banking, financial services (and within five years, insurance), business and professional services, telecommunications, construction and engineering, transport, education, distribution, energy, environmental, and many other services will be granted open access and 100% foreign ownership rights.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Ukraine has had a poor track record on protection of intellectual property. With WTO accession, the country has agreed to implement most WTO rules, including on intellectual property rights enforcement, customs valuation, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, trade-related investment measures, and other requirements.
REFORM OF COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT
Perhaps the singlemost important provision for foreign investors of Ukraine’s WTO accession is the country’s commitment to reform its commercial environment.
 
This provision encompasses two major tracks: 1) Reform of the country’s internal commercial regime, including improved transparency and implementation of new laws and 2) Participation in WTO dispute settlement processes and bilateral consultations. Both internal reform and increased participation in and adherence to international enforcement procedures should reassure investors that there is now a lower risk to doing business in the country. 
 
LINK: http://www.magisters.com/insight/2008-1/ukraine-joins-wto-improvements-for-investors/
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AUR#915 Nov 2 Ukraine Remembers, The World Acknowledges, Nov 2008, Genocide Against the Ukrainians

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, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
“NOVEMBER 16 – 23, 2008”
UKRAINE REMEMBERS – THE WORLD ACKNOWLEDGES
75th Commemoration of the Holodomor 1932-1933
A political system and political leaders totally out of control creates:
“Induced Starvation, Death for Millions, Genocide”
 
GENOCIDE AGAINST THE UKRAINIANS
The genocide was against the Ukrainians as a national/ethnic group
living within the whole Soviet empire over a period of years

 
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 915
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2008
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 27, 2008
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 14, 2008 
 
UkrInform – International Life, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 25, 2008  
 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0818 gmt 24 Oct 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thursday, October 24, 2008 
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 29, 2008 
 
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, October 28, 2008
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 25, 2008
 
By Yuri Shapoval, Historian, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008
 
UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 13, 2008
 
Is this going too far?
By Oksana Mykoliuk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008
 
Agence France Presse (AFP) Strasbourg, France, Thursday, October 23, 2008
 
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:46 AM
14BELATED TRIUMPH OF HOLODOMOR VICTIMS
Ukraine confronting its terrible past with Europe’s help
By Charles Tannock, Member, European Parliament, special to The Day,
The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 28, 2008
 
15THE TRUTH PREVAILS
European Parliament unanimously adopts resolution commemorating the Holodomor
By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008
 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 21, 2008 

17.  UKRAINE HOSTING FINAL STAGE OF HOLODOMOR EVERBURNING

CANDLE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN
UkrInform – International Life, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 27, 2008

18.  HOLODOMOR ACTIONS MUST CONTINUE
By Alina Popkova, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 21, 2008

 
19RUSSIA’S BLATANT ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS CONDEMNED
International Holodomor Remembrance Flame Stopped with Scare Tactics
Ukrainian World Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, October 13, 2008
20 CURTAILING HUMAN RIGHTS OF UKRAINIAN COMMUNITIES IN RUSSIA
Protest Letter: Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Essendon, Victoria, Australia, Tuesday, October 14, 2008
 
21.  THE HOLODOMOR: REFLECTIONS ON THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE
16th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Roman Serbyn
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
Orysia Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Monday, October 20, 2008
 
Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, October 25, 2008
 
Two-Day International Conference, 17-18 November 2008, Harvard, Cambridge, MA
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI), Cambridge, MA, Friday, October 31, 2008
 
75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933
Ukraine Remembers – The World Acknowledges! Nov 16 – 23, 2008
International Holodomor Committee (IHC), Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, October 27, 2008
 

Keynote address by Prof. Alexander Motyl, Sunday, November 9, 2008
Michael Naydan, Penn State University, University Park, PA, Mon, Oct 13, 2008

 
26COLUMBIA UNIV CONFERENCE TO COMMEMORATE THE HOLODOMOR-GENOCIDE
“Visualizing the Holodomor: The Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 on Film”
Yuri Shevchuk, Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University,
Columbia University, New York, NY, Wednesday, October 1, 2008
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1
 PRESIDENTS OF BALTIC COUNTRIES, POLAND, GEORGIA & AZERBAIJAN WILL
PARTICIPATE IN INTERNATIONAL HOLODOMOR FORUM IN KYIV ON NOV 22

UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 27, 2008

KYIV -The Presidents of the Baltic countries, Poland, Georgia and Azerbaijan have already confirmed their participation in the November 22 international
forum on the 75th anniversary of the 1932 – 1933 Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine.

Mykhailo Skuratovskyi, director of the Ukrainian foreign ministry’s department for cultural and humanitarian cooperation, told a news briefing Monday that on the whole 20 or 30 delegations from many countries of the world are expected to come to the forum.

Asked by the press, Skuratovskyi noted that the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Ukraine had addressed to Russia the invitation to take part in the forum, but no answer has come yet.

The MFA source reminded that on October 23 the European Parliament passed a resolution on Holodomor, calling it a crime against humanity. “Mind that
despite the absence of the ‘genocide’ term, the genocide character of the famine was recognized. The resolution of the European Parliament demonstrates that the truth about the Holodomor was heard by the European community,” Skuratovskyi says.

He noted that Ukraine has no grudges against any country in the Holodomor context. “Our position is that the world should know about the tragedy,” he
said reminding that 15 countries of the world had recognized Holodomor as an act of genocide, while others condemned it as a crime.

Vasyl Boechko, head of the foreign ministry’s department for diaspora affairs, says the Everburning Candle international event that took place in 30 foreign countries started in Ukraine Sunday.

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2.  MONTENEGROS PRESIDENT TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL
HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 CONFERENCE IN UKRAINE 
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 14, 2008 

KYIV – Montenegros President Filip Vujanovic will visit Ukraine on November 22 to attend an international conference on the 1932-1933 famine. Foreign Affairs Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko announced this after a meeting with Montenegros Foreign Affairs Minister Milan Rocen.

It is very important that the president of Montenegro will attend the international conference on November 22, Ohryzko said. According to Ohryzko, Ukraine is very grateful to Montenegro for this decision.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, President Viktor Yuschenko has thanked Montenegro for supporting Ukrainian initiatives on international recognition of the 1932-1933 famine. Ukraine and Montenegro have agreed to open embassies in each other capitals before the end of this year.
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3.  UN POSTPONES CONSIDERATION OF ISSUE ON HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE

 
UkrInform – International Life, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 25, 2008 

KYIV – A decision of the General Committee of the UN General Assembly to postpone adoption of a recommendation on including an issue about the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine into the agenda of the present UN General Assembly was taken during the days when the world community celebrates the 63rd Anniversary of the UN Foundation.

 
Ukraine, the USSR member at that time, was one of the UN founding countries. Ukraine was among the first countries to sign the UN Charter and was included into a group of its 51 founding countries.
Despite restrictions existing during the Soviet epoch, Ukraine was considered to be a sovereign state de jure and carried out active political activities at the UN, which gave it the only opportunity to realize its foreign policy at that time. Just thanks to the UN membership Ukraine actually had no difficulties with recognition in the world following declaration of its independence.
The people of Ukraine, over 90 percent of its citizens, confirmed the country’s independence at the all-Ukrainian Referendum on December 1, 1991, that was recognized by the UN and immediately following it – by many world countries
Ukraine was three times elected as non-permanent member of the Security Council (1948-1949, 1984-1985, 2000-2001), five times – as member of the Economic and Social Council. Ukrainian representatives have been elected to leading positions in the main committees of the General Assembly sessions. In 1997, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko was elected Chairman of the 52nd Session of the General Assembly that is known in the history as the “session of reforms”.
Ukraine joined the Global Anti-Terror Coalition having emphasized readiness to counter terrorism within the framework of the UN activities. The Ukrainian delegation stated a number of initiatives aimed at intensification of international cooperation in this sphere at the 56th General Assembly Session and at meetings of the UN Security Council.
Since July 1992, Ukraine is a contributor of the military units and personnel for the UN peacekeeping operations. Over a period of Ukraine’s independence, about 28 thousand of Ukrainian servicemen participated in peacekeeping operations under the UN auspices. In 1994, Ukraine became an initiator of the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel.
Presently, Ukraine is a member of such UN authorities as the Human Rights Council, Executive Committee of the World Food Program, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and others.  Today, Ukraine pays to the UN Regular Budget 0.039 percent of total expenditures of the Organization.
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4.  UKRAINE ACCUSES RUSSIA OF FORCING FAMINE ISSUE OUT OF UN AGENDA

 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0818 gmt 24 Oct 08
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thursday, October 24, 2008 

KIEV – The Russian Federation, using “pressure and blackmail”, attempts to deny Ukraine its right to submit the issue of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine [Holodomor] for consideration by the UN General Assembly.

The press service of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine told the UNIAN news agency that on 23 October 2008 the General Committee of the UN General Assembly, after a heated debate, refused to put the issue of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine on the agenda of the current session of the UN General Assembly.
“The Russian Federation, using its levers of influence as a permanent UN Security Council member, through direct pressure and blackmail, attempts to deny a country-member of the UN [Ukraine] of its right to put an important issue on the agenda of the UN, which is the most representative international organization. These actions contradict the very letter and spirit of the UN Charter and the procedure of the General Assembly,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that the counter-productive stance of Russia contradicts the approach of the world community in evaluating the famine.
“This has been reflected in the resolution on commemorating the victims of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine, unanimously adopted by the European Parliament on 23 October 2008. The resolution recognizes the famine as a ‘terrible crime against Ukrainians’ and ‘the crime against humanity’.
 
The resolution also condoles Ukrainian people who suffered from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine,” the ministry said. The work on putting the issue of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine on the UN General Assembly’s agenda continues.
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC): http://www.usubc.org
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
==============================================================
5.  RUSSIA’S PERMANENT REP TO UN CHURKIN REGARDS UKRAINE’S POSITION
ON HOLODOMOR AS STIRRING UP HOSTILITY BETWEEN UKRAINIANS & RUSSIANS
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 29, 2008 
 
KYIV – Russia’s permanent representative in the United Nations Organisation Vitaly Churkin believes that Ukraine’s position on declaring the Holodomor famine of 1932-33 as genocide against the Ukrainian nation stirs up hostility between Ukrainians and Russians. The UN News Centre has announced this in a report.
 
When speaking at a press briefing in the UN headquarters in New York City (US), Churkin said that Ukrainian authorities are trying to politicize the humanitarian and historic issue of the hunger on territory of the former Soviet Union and thus wanting to include onto the UN General Assembly agenda the item “Commemoration of the seventy fifth anniversary of Holodomor, the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine.”
Churkin marked, Ukrainian executives are trying to present the historic tragedy, linked to collectivization held throughout the Soviet Union, as genocide of the Ukrainian people, thus exciting enmity and hatred between Ukrainians and Russians. Also Churkin stressed that many states, including Kazakhstan, are against inclusion of this item onto the agenda.
Although, according to the ambassador, the General Committee of the UN General Assembly did not make any decision, as the US and UK delegations prevented its normal work. “Historians have to clear out this question. We must commemorate the famine victims and not to politicize this matter,” Churkin told.
He stressed, the collectivization policy was not targeted at ethnic groups and similar tragedies occurred in Russia (Siberia, Volga River basin) and Kazakhstan too. Churkin emphasized, Russia understands the tragedy of Ukraine but believes it inadmissible to call it genocide against Ukrainians.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on October 23, the European Parliament declared Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine as a crime against the Ukrainian people and humanity.
The Foreign Ministry accused Russia of hampering the UN to consider the resolution on recognizing Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine as genocide.
President Viktor Yuschenko declared 2008 as the year of commemoration of Holodomor of 1932-33 victims.
 
The Verkhovna Rada declared Holodomor of 1932-33 as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people in 2006. Between 3 million and 7 million people perished in the Holodomor famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine, according to various estimates.
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6.  USA TRYING TO SET UKRAINE, RUSSIA AGAINST EACH OTHER WITH

THE GREAT FAMINE ISSUE SAYS RUSSIA’S UN REPRESENTATIVE
 
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, October 28, 2008
UNITED NATIONS – The United States is trying to set people of Ukraine and Russia against each other with the Great Famine issue, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday.

He said the United States was thus “resolving the hard task of pushing Ukraine into NATO while 80% of Ukrainian citizens objected to the Ukrainian
drawing into the North Atlantic alliance.”

The U.S. and British delegations were rude and kept interrupting the chair of the UN General Assembly’s General Committee, which was considering the Assembly agenda, Churkin said. The General Committee discussed the possible attachment of the Ukrainian draft resolution on the Great Famine to the agenda.

“The Great Famine and Ukrainian genocide claims create a certain background for another mainstream ideological action of the Ukrainian administration, i.e. glorification of Ukrainian accomplices of the Nazi,” he said. “The most illustrative example of this glorification is the Hero of Ukraine title posthumously awarded by the Ukrainian president to one of the most notorious leaders of Ukrainian Nazis, Shukevich, in 2007.”

“The Babiy Yar tragedy is the most vivid symbol of Holocaust,” Churkin said. “Plenty of those who killed Jews in Babiy Yar were Ukrainian accomplices of the Nazi.”

All that “is totally discordant with the United Nations Organization, which was established amid the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition, and principles of this organization,” he said.

 
“Russia has been fighting against the phenomenon for more than three years. Each year it offers a resolution that condemns the appearance of new forms of racism and glorification of nazism, and each year the resolution gains support of the UN General Assembly. We hope that the resolution will enjoy broader support this year than in 2007 when it was approved by 130 states.”

“European nations regularly abstain in the vote on the draft Russian resolution that condemns glorification of the Nazi. Maybe, the United States, which has taken up history and has become hyperactive in the Great Famine issue, will finally support the resolution. So far, only two states ­ the U.S. and the Marshall Islands ­voted against our resolution last year for reasons I would call inexplicable,” Churkin said.

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7.  MP BORYS TARASIUK PREDICTS ENDORSEMENT OF UN RESOLUTION
RECOGNIZING UKRAINIAN HOLODOMOR FAMINE OF 1932-1933 AS ACT OF GENOCIDE 
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 25, 2008

KYIV – Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense Bloc MP Borys Tarasiuk, the former foreign minister, has predicted that the United Nations will endorse a resolution to recognize the Ukrainian Holodomor famine of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide. Ukrainian News learned this from a statement by the press service of the People’s Rukh of Ukraine.

Tarasiuk questions a statement that the UN allegedly refused to consider the draft resolution on the condemnation of the Ukrainian Holodomor. He notes this concerns a decision of the General Committee, which drafts the agenda of the UN General Assembly.
 
“I hope the General Committee will pass a decision to include the question in the agenda of the UN General Assembly,” Tarasiuk said. According to Tarasiuk, there is a guaranteed majority at the UN General Assembly to support the inclusion of the question for the consideration.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, following contentious debates, the General Committee of the UN General Assembly on October 23 postponed the endorsement of a recommendation about the inclusion of the Holodomor question in the agenda.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Russia of facilitating the postponement. The Ukrainian ministry said such actions from Russia did not meet the spirit and letter of the UN Statute and the procedure of the UN General Assembly.
President Yuschenko said he was confident that the United Nations Organization will pass a resolution in October to recognize the Holodomor in Ukraine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. Ukraine urges the world community to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor famine of 1932-1933.
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8.  WARSAW MELODY: NEW BOOK OF HOLODOMOR DOCUMENTS

 
By Yuri Shapoval, Historian, Professor, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008
 
NOTE FROM YURI SHAPOVAL: Petro Kulakov, an employee of the Branch State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine (HDA SBU), and this author recently went on a working trip to Warsaw. It was not a ceremonial visit, and its general tone was mournful rather than optimistic.
 
We traveled to the Polish capital to coordinate the text of the foreword and read the galleys of another thick volume of the joint Polish-Ukrainian series of documents entitled Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s-1940s: Unknown Do­cu­ments from Secret Police Archives.
 
This, seventh, volume will be entitled “The Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine.” We were invited to Warsaw by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the co-author and sponsor of this book, which numbers over a thousand pages.
 
ATYPICAL VOLUME
This is a truly unusual book. There is a great deal of public interest in the Holodomor in Ukraine. Poland is also interested in this subject. Polish literature on the subject is considerably smaller in scope than Ukraine’s.
 
Although Polish studies dealing with the period of collectivization in Ukraine were published even before the Second World War, owing to well-known circumstances researchers in Poland were able to begin studying the Holodomor only after 1989.
Today, we are working together on a volume of unique documents. Key among them are documents and materials written by Polish diplomats, intelligence officers, and officials in charge of voivodeships that were adjacent to Ukraine. We are also publishing interesting documents from the HDA SBU on the GPU of the Ukrainian SSR.
 
These include various instructions and data prepared by the Chekists during the tragic events of 1932-33, as well as documents relating to foreign diplomatic missions in the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR. The supplement will include entries from journals kept by several Holodomor eyewitnesses.
 
POLISH INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE
Every day we worked with our colleagues at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, primarily with the historian, Dr. Jerzy Bednarek, the head of the IPN’s department of archival studies and sources, and Marcin Majewski of the Bureau of Provision and Archivization of Documents.
 
All of us read the texts. This was a task easier said than done, as these documents paint a horrific picture of a heinous and — what is even more terrible — well-thought-out and implemented concept for the annihilation of Ukraine.
For example, a letter slipped into the Polish consulate’s mailbox in Kharkiv reads: “Reigning in the country of freedom and inviolability of the individual are executions, penal servitude, and incredible exploitation…Robbery is rife. Peasants are robbing peasants, workers are robbing workers.
 
“If a peasant has a chicken or a piglet, he has to sleep next to it at night, so that someone who is not blessed with this ‘fortune’ will not steal it during the night and eat it together with his starving family by morning. The peasants (80 percent of the population) do not have any stimulus to work on the land because they know that everything will be taken away from them anyway.”
 
POLISH CONSUL WRITES ON MAY 11, 1932
The Polish consul accredited to Kyiv writes on May 11, 1932: “I am reporting that with every passing day I am receiving increasingly more news about the famine in Right-Bank Ukraine, which is felt particularly acutely in the province. According to the latest information, cases of people who are fainting from weakness and exhaustion being collected from the streets are being recorded in such cities as Vinnytsia and Uman. The situation is supposed to be worse in the countryside, where, according to information from a reliable source, banditry and murders resulting from the famine occur every day.”
Rural areas were not the only ones that were affected. A document from the Consul General in Kharkiv on March 16, 1933, states: “We have witnessed various city workers, who bring wood, coal, ice, etc., for the Consulate General in Kharkiv, pouncing on potato peelings and other food scraps found in the consulate’s garbage, while in the last few days the workers who remove this garbage have eaten the food prepared for our dogs …” If this was happening in the capital city of Ukraine, what must the realities have been like in the countryside!
Our Polish colleagues are occasionally surprised by certain things and request more detailed explanations. We provide these, engage in dialog, and offer clarifications, and all the while we and the Poles encounter the same accursed question: Why did the world keep quiet, knowing what was really happening in Ukraine?
Some Polish diplomats stressed the particularly catastrophic situation in Ukraine, which was significantly different from that in Russia’s southern regions.
 
POLAND’S CONSUL GENERAL WROTE IN 1933
The following is an excerpt from a report prepared by Poland’s Consul General after a journey that he made from Kharkiv to Moscow in May 1933: “What struck me throughout the entire trip was the difference between Ukraine’s villages and fields and those in the neighboring TsChO [Central Chernozem Oblast of Russia], and even the unfertile vicinities of Moscow.
 
“The Ukrainian villages are in a significant state of decline, emptiness, decay, and misery waft from them, houses are half-collapsed, often with their thatched roofs torn off; no new farmsteads are visible; children and old men resemble skeletons… Later, when I arrived in the TsChO (first of all, the outskirts of Kursk and Orel), I had the impression that I had just arrived in Western Europe from the Country of Soviets …”
Aware that the secret of Bolsheviks’ successes was their total disregard of means and sacrifices, a Polish intelligence officer writes, “The realization of all this has been made possible by engaging huge numbers of freshly trained communists, who, first of all, have no connection to the local populace, or those who have been brainwashed to such a degree that they have become almost fanatics, who carry out all sorts of instructions, shutting their eyes to all consequences that will affect the population.”
A female intelligence officer, who worked as a typist at the Polish consulate, left extraordinary realistic accounts of her conversations with people with whom she was in contact, as well as an analysis of the current situation. We see a similar analysis in the reports prepared by heads of voivodeships adjacent to Soviet Ukraine. People were fleeing there to escape the famine in the “socialist paradise,” and they recounted what they had experienced.
Together with our Polish colleagues, we are publishing mainly materials that are meant for administrative use, not for the general public. This fact alone provides grounds for stating that together we are taking another step toward the establishment of a realistic, unbiased view of the Holodomor, what it really was.
In addition, our visit to Warsaw was another step toward understanding that political life is flourishing in both Ukraine and Poland. The only question is how to place it within a certain framework so as not to drown in its violent current. And all of a sudden we heard the “melody” of Lech Walesa, the ex-president of Poland, who won the Nobel Prize in 1983.
LECH WALESA
On TV we watched the official tribute to Lech Walesa, which was held at the Royal Castle in the oldest part of Warsaw, marking his 65th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his receipt of the Nobel Prize. Walesa, as people commonly say, is a remarkable figure, so I will briefly recap his biography.
He was the fourth child born into a peasant family in 1943. At a vocational school specializing in training mechanics for rural areas, he was known for his bad behavior and marked lack of talent. After finishing school, he worked as an electrical mechanic at an enterprise similar to a Soviet Machine and Tractor Station (MTS). He later served in the army and then returned to his native village. He did not obtain a higher education, and did not try to get one.
In 1966 he decided to move to Gdynia, but en route he stepped off the train in Gdansk to buy some beer, missed his train, and ended up staying in Gdansk, where he soon found a job as an electrical mechanic at the Lenin Shipyard. It is anyone’s guess what course Polish history would have taken had he not gone to buy beer.
Poland is not Ukraine, so when the Polish government boosted food prices in December 1970, the shipyard went on strike. The next 10 years marked the period of Walesa’s greatest activism. In August 1980, he headed the shipyard’s strike committee and soon became the leader of Solidarity, a federation of workers’ trade unions that was established in place of the government-controlled labor unions.
Walesa became the informal leader of the entire country, a person whose views had to be reckoned with in party-state, labor, and intellectual circles.
Solidarity provided support to strikes and protest actions until December 1981, when its activities were banned, and Walesa and other opposition activists were arrested. It was during this stormy period that Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
A new wave of strikes engulfed Poland in 1988, forcing the government to start talks with Solidarity and set the date for free parliamentary elections. In June 1989 Solidarity won the elections, and then Walesa showed his character. He refused to form a cabinet together with the communists. The government was headed by his comrade in arms Tadeusz Mazowiecki.
In October 1990 President Wojciech Jaruzelski resigned, and in December Walesa won the early presidential elections, the ultimate result of his love of electricity. As the head of state, Walesa maintained a political course aimed at market reforms and the creation of a strong presidential republic. The new president was an authoritarian leader. At the same time, he followed a conspicuously pro-Western political course.
Walesa sought to consolidate his country because a rift had appeared in Polish society. In September 1993 he helped the coalition of leftist parties gain a majority of seats in parliament and form the cabinet. He wanted to unite the left— and right-wing forces under his “patronage.” This was a fatal mistake. Walesa started being criticized by both rightists and leftists. The presidential campaign in November 1995 resulted in the election of Alexander Kwasniewski as the new head of state.
The West, however, remembered Walesa. During the Olympics in Salt Lake City he was asked to raise the flag of the Winter Games. He is also remembered in Poland, as evidenced by the official ceremony at the Royal Castle and the gala concert that was held in the evening.
 
The next day Walesa once again found himself in the limelight when a collection of documents reflecting Wa­lesa’s special relations with the secret police of communist Poland started being discussed on television. Once again people were seeing Walesa, Kwasniewski, IPN’s new head Janusz Kurtyka, and other public figures.
I watched it all and realized that the Poles remain Poles. They are not afraid to engage in public discussions of the acutest topics. As for Walesa, there is no doubt that he will not be thrown to the wolves because he was too important a figure during the toppling of the Polish communist state. However, this does not mean that people will ignore what Walesa did or keep silent even about certain unpleasant things.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how to do this yet, nor are we eager to learn how. Although we may hit out at politicians, we love them as though they are a priori devoid of any shortcomings. But they have them in spades. So, let’s not create any political idols for ourselves — no idols whatsoever — just like the Poles are not turning Walesa into one.
As always, the city of Warsaw impressed us. We have been traveling there every year since 1996, and sometimes a few times a year. We saw how life has begun to change, not without difficulty, but the main thing is that laws are working. The conviction that everyone is equal under the law has become stronger.
Do you know what struck us about Warsaw this time? It was the cleanliness and neatness. We so want there to be less dirt in our country, both political dirt and the other kind.
 
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9.  MONUMENTS TO FAMINE VICTIMS ERECTED IN LUHANSK, UKRAINE REGION 

 
UkrInform – Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 13, 2008
 
KYIV – Monuments to the victims of the Famine of 1932-1933 have been erected in the villages of Pavlenkove and Trembacheve in Luhansk region (East Ukraine).
The shooting of a documentary about the famine was considered during a meeting of the coordination council at the Luhansk regional state administration. Following the meeting, a decision was taken to form a working group on revising several episodes from the film taking into account remarks made during a draft preview of the film.
The opening of the monuments and the shooting of the film were organized in Luhansk region as part of events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine.
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10.  KYIV SCHOOLCHILDREN TO PRODUCE DRAWINGS OF THE HOLODOMOR 

Is this going too far?
By Oksana Mykoliuk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008

In November, a Holodomor drawing contest for children in grades 6 through 11 gets underway. The initiator of the contest is the Main Administration for Education and Science at the Kyiv City State Administration (KMDA).

 
The competition will consist of several stages and will be held in all schools of the Ukrainian capital. The best works will be selected for an exhibition scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Children and Youth Palace in Kyiv.
Kyiv’s Deputy Mayor Serhii Rudyk said during a session of the organizing committee tasked with preparing public events in conjunction with the anniversary of the Holodomor that the drawings will be used in public advertising. The KMDA’s Chief Advertising Directorate will add more touches to the artworks, which will then be displayed on municipal billboards and light boxes.
Another competition on the same subject will be held almost simultaneously, this one organized on the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, entitled The People’s Memory. It is aimed at encouraging children to take an interest in history by tracking down Holodomor eyewitnesses.
With all due respect to the memory of those who perished during the famine, including my own relatives, aren’t we placing too heavy a burden on our children’s shoulders? How can they be expected to make drawings about this horrific tragedy?
 
How will they illustrate children their own age who are swollen from starvation? How will they illustrate the heaps of dead bodies that were dumped in common graves, the corpses that were scattered on the roads, and the Soviet activists confiscating the peasants’ last scraps of food and ransacking their houses?
With this project we are providing grist to the mill of all those who refuse to acknowledge the Holodomor in Ukraine. They will claim that we are using our children, and traumatizing them in the process.
Olena LISHCHYNSKA, psychologist and senior research associate at the
Institute of Social and Political Psychology, Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine:
The Holodomor is a distressing experience. Pupils in grades 6 to 11 are adolescents. They are very sensitive, and they haven’t had time to shape their world views. So, for them sketching or painting scenes of the Holodomor is an extreme educational exercise.
 
Of course, the point is to instill certain qualities in our children, like patriotism and empathy, and an awareness of what people had to pay so that they can have an easier life today. This is a positive objective, but I think that this burden is too heavy to be borne by our children, and therefore not all children will be able to experience it in an adequate fashion.
Certain psychological defense mechanisms will be activated: some children may deny it; others will switch off, in other words that which leads to emotional dullness and withdrawal. Let’s ask ourselves: Do we have to make our children live through such horrible experiences? Do they have to relive the pain? Do we have the right to make them feel this pain?
Consider our current situation: the world is gripped by a financial crisis. Not everyone knows what this means, but we all understand the word “crisis.” In Ukraine we have an ambiguous political situation. Things are happening, but we aren’t sure exactly what they mean.
 
There are depressed moods and expectations. All this has an effect on children and adults. In addition, The Days are getting shorter, we’re switching the clocks. It’s cold outside, but all of us — especially our children — have to remember such horrible things.
Isn’t this going too far? As for pupils in the upper grades collecting Holodomor eyewitness accounts, I see this in an altogether different light.
 
First, these are older pupils; they’re studying history and communicating with the older generation. What happened more than 20 years ago is viewed by children as something from the incredibly distant past, simply because all this happened before they were born.
 
Therefore, communicating with these eyewitnesses, establishing an emotional link with them, helps these young people build their world views. They can see a more vivid connection between their lives and those of their grandparents.
 
Speaking to these witnesses will give them an opportunity to personally assess what these people have to say, compared to what is generally being said about the Holodomor. Interviewing eyewitnesses is a good method for generating data. So I think this project is more useful. It is not as symbolized as drawing.
Halyna TODOSOVA, Main Administration for Education and Science, KMDA:
Our children in grades 6 to 11 already know about the Holodomor. The subject is extensively discussed these days. Even first-graders discuss it with their teachers, who are familiarizing them with this tragic period of our history. I believe that our children are coping effectively with this task.
 
A creative competition dedicated to the Holodomor is underway in Kyiv, organized by the Hrinchenko Pedagogical Institute. This contest has four categories: Literary Works, Journalistic Works, Photo Reports, and School Newspaper. We are planning to publish a selection of these works, which will be entitled Ukraine: through the Holodomor to the Summits of World Civilization.
We’re also taking part in a national educational and patriotic competition dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holodomor victims. It is called “The People’s Memory,” and its goal is to collect children’s compositions as well as essays by teachers. The purpose is to collect eyewitness accounts. These can be research papers or audio and video tapes of such accounts. The main requirement is to preserve the eyewitness’ voices.
 
Even if a work is short, it will still be topical because it will be a genuine testimony. Only pupils in the upper grades will take part in the latter two competitions. We want our children not only to know what happened in the past, but also to view their future with optimism. We want them to believe that having survived so many ordeals, Ukraine is moving toward the summits of world civilization.
 
 
FOOTNOTE:  Having children in grades 6 through 11 study and create drawings/artwork about the Holodomor is certainly not placing too heavy a burden on the children’s shoulders. Children can they be expected to make drawings about this horrific tragedy. Thousands of such children around the world study
major human tragedies and create artwork about such tragedies all the time.  We do not agree that sketching or painting scenes of the Holodomor is an extreme educational exercise for such children. The educational system in Ukraine should significantly increase their educational work in this area and use artwork and drawings much more than they now do.  We respectively strongly disagree with the statements to the otherwise in the article above.  Educational administrators and teachers need to grow up.  The children already have.  AUR Editor.
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11.  JAMES MACE HELPED CREATE A NEW UKRAINIAN SOCIETY OF FREE INDIVIDUALS

Compiled by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 21, 2008

The Ukrainian version of James Mace’s book “Vashi mertvi vybraly mene… (Your Dead Chose Me)”, the latest addition to The Day’s Library Series, was
published only a few months ago, but many people have already become familiar with Mace’s ideas. The book Day and Eternity of James Mace, published in 2005, sparked reader interest in “Your Dead Chose Me” at the Lviv book fair. A substantial number of copies sold out in a few days.

The Day’s editorial office continues to receive orders for more copies of this book from various oblast and raion administrations, municipal and raion
educational and cultural departments as well as from school libraries. Below, a number of Ukrainian writers, civic activists, educators, and other
public figures reflect on what James Mace means to them.

Anatolii DIMAROV, writer:
In our country we often love the dead but do not love the living, especially when the latter are prophets, because they prevent us from enjoying a peaceful life. By publishing James Mace’s second book, The Day has accomplished a feat. I lived through the 1932-33 famine and ate pancakes made from acacia blossoms.

Now the Institute of Literature, the Institute of Ukrainian History, and other institutions and civic organizations must help promote Mace’s book all over Ukraine, including in the remotest areas. This publication is like a church bell tolling for the dead, raising the alarm, and rousing people’s conscience.

Yevhen SVERSTIUK, human rights champion and civic activist:
As far as I’m concerned, James Mace was an unbiased scholar. In other words, he was one of those scholars for whom research and exposing the truth was
standard practice. I first heard him speak in 1990, when he addressed a conference in Kyiv, where he insisted that the famine of 1932-33 was an act of genocide.

At the time, we, members of the Sixtiers movement, knew little about this concept, but we always said that the famine was a deliberately engineered act, and because we said this we all served prison terms.

James Mace and Robert Conquest were researchers swimming against the current because the political situation at the time was anything but favorable to
revealing the truth. Mace paid for this courage with his career.

As my friendship with James progressed, I realized that for him recognition of the Ukrainian Holodomor as an act of genocide was not so much a problem
of scholarly appropriateness as it was a matter of the heart. Working with the testimonies of eyewitnesses to this tragedy – the living source of history – he became a passionate defender of our truth.

His book is valuable; of that there is no doubt. I think that our society is much traumatized. It has been observed that, for the most part, the people who are most concerned about the Holodomor are those who never experienced it. I am one of them because I grew up in Volyn, which was part of Poland in the 1930s.

It is usually those people who realize the importance of memory. Other people, who were traumatized, follow the wisdom of not stirring up past troubles, which means that their families starved to death, they buried their dead, and they hope to God that nothing like this will ever happen again. But this is a primitive stand because, without understanding the truth of the past and the duty to speak about that past, there is no honorable future.

Petro KRALIUK, deputy rector for education and research, Ostroh Academy National University:
James Mace was not destined to live a long life. He could have lived a few years more. But what he accomplished during his lifetime deserves not the
Order of Yaroslav the Wise, which was conferred on him posthumously, but the Order of Hero of Ukraine at the very least.

We, Ukrainians – above all, the Ukrainian government – failed to appreciate his role during his lifetime, and we failed to do so after his death. I hope our descendants will do this. The book “James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me” is not only a tribute to this man.

This collection includes not only research on the Holodomor but also articles, notes, and reflections on contemporary Ukraine. These fluidly written

materials reveal Mace as an erudite and thinking individual, who was able to penetrate to the root of the problem. It is unfortunate that there is no James Mace in the situation that exists in Ukraine today, which is strongly reminiscent of the theater of the absurd. He would have had a lot to say and much advice to offer.

Alina PLIACHENKO, head of the civic organization Ukrainian Women’s League, Odesa:
I sent in my order for a copy of James Mace’s book by mail. I am the hostess of the program on Odesa Radio called “Shanuimo bortsiv za ukrainsku
derzhavnist” (Let’s Honor the Fighters for Ukrainian Statehood). My recent broadcasts were dedicated to Hetman Ivan Mazepa.

In November, when Ukraine marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, there will be a special broadcast dedicated to Mace, who helped create a new
Ukrainian society of free individuals. Revealing the truth about the tragedy of 1932-33 to Ukrainians and the international community is like laying the
cornerstone of a new society. Mace’s voice was so strong that he will dominate Ukrainian intellectual thought for many years to come.

Valerii KOPIIKA, archpriest of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and

parish priest at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Kyiv:
When I think about James Mace, I am reminded of the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus addressed all the people, declaring, ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled, Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.’

To this day these commandments strike many people as abstract statements. However, during Mace’s life they turned out to be vital and active, which is why he was of service to the Ukrainian people and persecuted for this. When he spoke in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, he was greeted with catcalls, like ‘Yankee, go home!’

He also overcame his physical infirmities and illnesses in order to establish the truth of his cause. He thirsted for truth! In our difficult times, of globalization and consumer mentality, Mace was able to nurture and manifest in himself the undying values of love, forgiveness, and mercy. Clearly, he was governed not by scholarly interests alone. “Your dead chose me,” he writes. That is why his journalistic works are like medicine for our society, which

Mace accurately described as a postgenocidal one.

Les SANIN, film director:
I read Mace’s book with great interest because I already knew a lot about this scholar. What was most interesting to me was the world view of this caliber of individual. A film director is always looking for real heroes. To a certain extent, this collection of his works gave me another clue to understanding the horrific 1930s because the events in the film that I’m working on take place during this time.

Mace did a great deal for Ukrainians. Clearly, it’s high time we do something for him. This book, like the earlier one, “Day and Eternity of James Mace,” is a tribute to this distinguished individual.

Yaroslav PAVLIUK, writer:
I met James Mace in 1993. I had heard a lot about him, but I had no idea of the scope of his personality. I am ashamed to admit that he opened my eyes to the truth about the Holodomor in Ukraine, although I first encountered this subject when I was visiting Vinnytsia oblast in 1989, during the festivities to commemorate Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky’s 100th anniversary. We were driving through Sharhorod raion and talking with collective farmers.

That was when I noticed that people were very reluctant to talk about the famine of 1932-33 that had taken place in their region. Some simply refused to talk about it. I think that Ukrainians are simply obliged to publish Mace’s works. These collections of articles are a living monument to him.

He did more for Ukraine than anyone beyond its borders. I recommend everyone to read “Your Dead Chose Me.” In this book one can find answers to various topical questions and much food for thought.

Serhii ARKHYPCHUK, stage director:
To me it is very important to know that James Mace was a Native American because his people are still oppressed. Within Ukraine and outside it are

forces that want to turn our country into a reservation, for example, so that in the Kyiv suburb of Pyrohove patriots will live there and resolve their linguistic and cultural problems, but the Russian-language pop culture will be dominant everywhere.

What happened during the Holodomor was truthfully assessed by an Italian diplomat, who saw the statistics on the destruction of the Ukrainian people
and arrived at the conclusion that Ukraine will be Russified and cease to exist as a state.

Volodymyr Vernadsky said that Ukraine had struggled throughout its history for a very small number of points that were important to the life of the people and the assertion of the state, namely: education, book printing, the church, and language. This was precisely what the Russian empire and the Polish and Romanian conquerors sought to deny Ukrainians. The Soviet government machine did such a thorough job of altering people’s psychology that we still see the “Soviet man” almost everywhere.

Therefore, the publication of Mace’s book is an important event in Ukraine because there are still many people who lie and refuse to recognize the
Holodomor of 1932-33 as an act of genocide even though their own families suffered.

I have reliable information that one member of the Party of Regions called his relatives, asking about the Holodomor. He wanted to know which of his
relatives had starved to death. But a few hours later he voted against the truth. So the importance of this book is difficult to overestimate.

Dr. Volodymyr PANCHENKO, professor of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy:
I am absolutely convinced that the title of this book, “Your Dead Chose Me,” best conveys its content. These words are impossible to forget. This is both a scholarly and a moral clue to everything that James Mace accomplished. Of course The Day’s readers know that Mace was among the first – perhaps the
first – to tell the world a large part of the truth about the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine.

This newest book shows that Mace was a person for whom the concepts of truth and justice were extremely important. Some people viewed him as an eccentric or a Don Quixote. He was a Don Quixote who knew what he had to do, what his mission was all about because our dead were calling him.

I remember when the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor was being marked. Mace took part in a televised broadcast, and one of his opponents was the
communist Valerii Mishura, who yelled at Mace, “Yankee, go home!” I think that this situation is significant. Ukraine still has not fully revised its
understanding of its history when such people shout “Yankee, go home!” at Mace.

Probably the knowledge of what happened to us in 1932-33 is not profound and widespread enough for our country’s political and public life to become
normalized. In this sense, The Day is doing a very important job. Starting from the time that Mace joined the paper and throughout the years since his
death, it has been systematizing and popularizing Mace’s scholarly heritage.

It is extremely important for Ukrainians to be able to hear what Mace had to say. He did his utmost to get through to the enigmatic Ukrainian soul and tell us the bitter, purifying truth, without which we do not have a chance to understand ourselves.

Mykhailo SLABOSHPYTSKY, writer:
The publication of James Mace’s work marks the beginning of the triumph of justice. I believe that we – our state, civic organizations, and the people who knew James personally – are indebted to him, in the sense that his books are not being published. The importance of both Mace books is difficult to overestimate. We are under the illusion that everyone knows the truth about the famine and that everyone has matured enough to perceive this truth. Wrong!

Mace’s works must be treated like handbooks by the establishment because they can straighten out the thinking of many people. These publications
contain arguments for our discussions, when, for example, we are trying to decide whether we will be a nation like the Jews. The Jewish nation rallied
around the idea of withstanding and surviving the challenge of the Holocaust.

Our unifying idea is also tragic: it is our knowledge about the Holodomor as an act of genocide, but it will allow us to remain a nation. I say without
exaggeration that Mace gave us the code for our nation.

Ihor PALYTSIA, Member of Parliament:
Every nation has dark pages in its history that are tragic stages in the process of self-assertion. Ukraine’s independence, its uniqueness and self-sufficiency were achieved painfully through the horrific sufferings of its people. The Holodomor of 1932-33 was not only an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people but also a phenomenon of lasting and purposeful cruelty against mankind, humanity.

The book “Your Dead Chose Me” is not just a collection of James Mace’s works that were part of his scholarly research. Each article is the result of his
personal experiences, part of his life, which he dedicated to analyzing contemporary events, striving to imbue himself with the Ukrainian national mentality.

 
The impression is that Mace was seeking a way for Ukraine’s national revival and progress, the way a person seeks self-perfection. This book encourages
readers to study and perceive the Ho-lo-domor as a tragedy of a worldwide scope.

Mace wanted to convey to the international and Ukrainian communities the facts attesting to the immense, artificially engineered famine in Ukraine, about whose existence people knew but for a long time were afraid even to think about it owing to the historical circumstances that had developed. Ukraine lost much, but it can gain a great deal by studying Mace’s works, because those who do not remember their past have no future.

LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/255509

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12.  EU PARLIAMENT SAYS UKRAINIAN 1930S FAMINE WAS SOVIET “CRIME” 

 

Agence France Presse (AFP) Strasbourg, France, Thursday, October 23, 2008

STRASBOURG – The “artificial” famine that killed millions in Soviet-era Ukraine in 1932-33 was “cynically and cruelly planned” by Moscow, a European Parliament resolution said Thursday.

The European Union’s parliament stopped short of labeling the regional outcome of the communist policy of collectivization of agriculture “genocide,” the term used by a 2006 Ukrainian parliament law.
However, its resolution said the deaths of between 4 and 10 million people, according to census and statistical estimates, were “an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity.”
The stance is likely to trigger deep irritation in Moscow, which has argued that drought was a pivotal factor. The text “strongly condemns these acts, directed against the Ukrainian peasantry, and marked by mass violations of human rights and freedoms.”
Lawmakers also called on former Soviet states to open up their archives so that “all the causes and consequences” can be studied. Other areas and their ethnic groupings, including Kazakhstan, were also badly affected by the famine.
The Holodomor – understood as “murder by hunger” in Ukrainian – has been recognized as genocide by a small number of governments around the world, with Kiev campaigning for years to have the U.N. apply the strict legal definition.
Pro-Russian Ukrainians say it resulted from ideological error, with historians divided as to all the circumstances behind it and the 2006 law in Kiev passed by only a slim majority.
The program of forced collectivization saw the produce of Ukrainian farmers confiscated with the Soviet authorities also blocking food supplies into Ukraine in what some historians have argued was an attempt to crush a drive for independence. Ukraine gained its independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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13.  THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR USING THE WRONG APPROACH ON THE UKRAINIAN

GENOCIDE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOGNISES UKRAINIAN FAMINE OF 1930’s
 
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:46 AM
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 23, 2008

The European Parliament has recognised the Ukrainian famine of 1930s as crime against humanity, according to the EP official web-site.

In a resolution on the commemoration of the Holodomor, the artificial famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, MEPs describe it as “an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity”.

According to the resolution, the Holodomor famine of 1932-1933, which caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians, “was cynically and cruelly planned by Stalin`s regime in order to force through the Soviet Union`s policy of collectivisation of agriculture against the will of the rural population in Ukraine”.

[WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! LEMKIN HAD THE RIGHT REASON: “… The Soviet plan was aimed at the farmers, the large mass of independent peasants who are the repository of the tradition, folklore and music, the national language and literature, the national spirit of Ukraine”.

& the Communist activist Prokopenko was exact when he admitted: “Starvation in Ukraine was brought about in order to reduce the number of Ukrainians, resettle in their place people from another par of the USSR, and in this way kill all thought of independence.” Roman Serbyn]

MEPs believe that “recalling crimes against humanity in European history should help to prevent similar crimes in the future” and they stress that “European integration has been based on a readiness to come to terms with the 20th century`s tragic history and that this reconciliation with a difficult history does not denote any sense of collective guilt, but forms a stable basis for the construction of a common European future founded on common values”.

 The resolution therefore makes a “declaration to the people of Ukraine and in particular to the remaining survivors of the Holodomor and the families and relatives of the victims”.

 It “recognises the Holodomor (the artificial famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine) as an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity”.

 The text then “strongly condemns these acts, directed against the Ukrainian peasantry, and marked by mass annihilation and violations of human rights and freedoms”.

 It also “expresses its sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which suffered this tragedy, and pays its respects to those who died as a consequence of the artificial famine of 1932-1933”.

 Lastly, the resolution “calls on the countries which emerged following the break-up of the Soviet Union to open up their archives on the Holodomor in Ukraine of 1932-1933 to comprehensive scrutiny so that all the causes and consequences can be revealed and fully investigated”.

 
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14.  BELATED TRIUMPH OF HOLODOMOR VICTIMS
Ukraine confronting its terrible past with Europe’s help

By Charles Tannock, Member, European Parliament, special to The Day,
The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The European Union is founded on reconciliation, the belief that we can create a better future by acknowledging our past in all its brutality. Germany has justly acknowledged and is trying to atone for the indescribable atrocities of the Nazi era and the Holocaust. Greece, Spain, and Portugal peacefully turned their back on their right-wing dictatorial regimes and met their future as democratic countries within the EU.

The newer EU member states are seeking their own paths to truth and reconciliation through a sincere and uncompromising analysis of their totalitarian pasts.

However, some countries are still trying to hide from their own histories. Despite its status as an EU candidate state, Turkey still denies the Armenian genocide that was committed under cover of the First World War. Russia has also failed to come to terms with the brutality of Stalin’s communist dictatorial regime.

Since gaining its independence in 1991, Ukraine has constantly striven to inform the world community about the famine of 1932-1933, which was
intentionally planned by Stalin and is known to us by the Ukrainian word Holodomor.

The European Parliament has now recognized the Holodomor as an immense tragedy in the history of humankind. As an old friend of Ukraine and the
co-author of the European Parliament’s resolution, I sincerely rejoice over this important and deeply symbolic event.

The goal of our resolution is to express our indignation concerning the Holodomor. The resolution reflects our determination to honor the memory of the millions of victims of the Holodomor, some of whom are still alive and can share their stories. Their testimonies are extremely important because these people will soon pass into history. It is only by reminding ourselves about such heinous crimes against humanity that we can ensure they will never happen again.

This resolution does not contain the word ‘genocide’ because other political groups – mostly communists – think that the strict definition of this term should not be applied to the Holodomor. They claim that genocide as a term was defined in international legislation only after the Second World War.

However, I suspect that their real reason is a desire to pacify modern-day Russia, which fears that compensation claims may be lodged against it.

After all, the argument over genocide is not worth risking the resolution in general. It is much more important to have serious support from all political groups. But no one should attempt to belittle the unimaginable sufferings that were inflicted upon Ukraine.

 
NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE THE ATROCITY
No word or words can properly describe the atrocity of the Holodomor. What is important is not so much the text we use but the sentiments we express –
solidarity with Ukraine on the 75th anniversary of the cruelties that were perpetrated against its people.

The lesson that we should learn from history is the importance of having solid international legislation and judicial structures if we want the perpetrators of such crimes to be punished. This process was launched in Nuremberg. The tribunal on the former Yugoslavia, which will soon consider Radovan Karadzic’s case, shows that these principles are more important than ever.

This week the European Parliament declared its resolute support for trying Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda, in the
International Criminal Court. Tyrants who resort to mass killings and destruction should have no place to hide.

The Orange Revolution led by President Viktor Yushchenko embodied Ukraine’s struggle for liberation from Russia’s influence, and it propelled Ukraine on its independent way of development based on shared European values. This resolution is the belated triumph of the Holodomor victims whose voices were
lost on the paths of history.

This is also a victory for President Yushchenko. In my opinion, many of the political misunderstandings in Ukraine can be explained by the scale of
suffering that this nation has gone through. This bloody event had an impact on Ukraine’s confidence in itself and on stability in this country, which
has been making its way in the post-Soviet world.

President Yushchenko is absolutely right in saying that Ukraine must acknowledge its past in order to build a better, stabler, and more prosperous future. By acknowledging the Holodomor, the European Parliament supports the position advocated by President Yushchenko.

 
UKRAINE HAS BORNE MUCH GRIEF
Ukraine has borne much grief throughout its history. I hope that the next stage in that history involves a sovereign and independent Ukraine rightly taking its place in the not-too-distant future as a full member of the EU. After the Georgia crisis there can be no doubts that many Russian nationalists would like to redraw the borderlines that were established after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

However, EU membership will help Ukraine protect itself against any interference with its domestic affairs on the part of its big neighbor. Russia simply needs to get accustomed to a sovereign and independent Ukraine that can independently decide on its future in the European family of nations.

FOOTNOTE: Dr. Charles Tannock (b. 1957) is a British psychiatrist. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999 and is the vice-president of the EU-Ukraine PCC delegation and a member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Tannock is the co-author of the resolution commemorating the Holodomor, the 1932-1933 man-made famine in Ukraine, and a member of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats. He is the author of numerous publications on psychiatry. Tannock was a Councilor in his local Earls Court ward in 1999-2000.

LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/255928

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15.  THE TRUTH PREVAILS
European Parliament unanimously adopts resolution commemorating the Holodomor

By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 28, 2008

With its vote this authoritative legislative body, comprising 785 parliamentarians from 27 EU member states, has joined the circle of countries and international organizations that have already recognized the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine. The joint resolution was agreed upon by members of the European People’s Party, a group of liberals, the Greens, the Union for Europe of the Nations, and the socialists.

[1] The first point of the resolution recognizes the Holodomor as an “appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity” and “strongly
condemns these acts, directed against the Ukrainian peasantry, and marked by mass annihilation and violations of human rights and freedoms.” It also
“expresses its sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which suffered this tragedy, and pays its respects to those who died as a consequence of the artificial famine of 1932-1933.”

Finally, the resolution “calls on the countries which emerged following the break-up of the Soviet Union to open up their archives on the Holodomor in
Ukraine of 1932-1933 to comprehensive scrutiny.”

[2] The second point of the resolution proposes that the President of the European Parliament send the text of the document to the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the government and parliament of Ukraine, as well as to the UN General Secretary, the OSCE General Secretary, and the General
Secretary of the Council of Europe.

On July 3, 2008, despite protests from Russia and Kazakhstan, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution on the Holodomor in Ukraine, which “strongly encourages all parliaments to adopt acts regarding recognition of the Holodomor.”

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly also “supports the initiative of Ukraine to reveal the full truth of this tragedy of Ukrainian people, in particular,
through raising public awareness of the Holodomor at international and national levels.”

On Sept. 23, 2008, the US House of Representatives condemned Stalin’s 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine and commemorated its victims in connection
with the 75th anniversary of the tragedy. “In 1932 and 1933, an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainian people perished at the will of the totalitarian Stalinist government of the former Soviet Union, which perpetrated a premeditated famine in Ukraine in an effort to break the nation’s resistance to collectivization and communist occupation,” says the document.

So far, Ukraine’s attempts to get the UN to recognize the Holodomor have not been successful. On July 11, 2008, the plenary session of the UN General
Assembly refused to put the Holodomor issue on the current session’s agenda, thereby denying the request of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to
recognize the events of the 1930s as genocide against the Ukrainian people.

The great importance of the European Parliament’s resolution is discussed in an article by one of its authors, MEP Charles Tannock. [article 14 above in the AUR]

COMMENTS: Confirming we are right

Andrii VESELOVSKY, Ukraine’s representative to the EU:

“Above all, the resolution is important for Europeans in general because Europe is our region and our Motherland. We are telling the truth about what
happened in the past, and on this foundation we can build our future. This is what our children will be raised on. If our parents, or even we, do not
agree with all this, our children need to be taught this. And these children will be totally different; they will be children with a truly European mentality.

“How much do we need this resolution right now? There are still living survivors of the Holodomor. In the afterlife they will not need either recognition or remembrance. They need these things today. They also have children and grandchildren to whom they will convey this.

“When things like this happen, when something that our society had a hard time dealing with is recognized in Europe and the entire world, this helps our society realize that the step we took at a certain point in time was difficult but the right one to take. It is a confirmation that we are right, and this helps us make the transition from a complex and obscure past to a normal and open future.

“As for the reports in the mass media that the Holodomor has not been acknowledged as genocide, I think this is a completely misguided message. For us, Ukrainians, this was genocide in the sense that we were destroyed. If, say, the Kazakh people feel that this phenomenon had the same forms and proportions and affected their nation in a similar way, let them talk about it and promote their cause. For us, this is genocide, as stated in the Verkhovna Rada ruling, and that is the main thing.

“The European resolution comes close to ours because it contains references to the Convention, which mentions genocide. However, we should not twist
these words to suit our interests. Each tragedy has its own dimension and specific features. The Holocaust was an act of genocide against the Jewish
people, and it is called the Holocaust. The Holodomor was effectively an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people, and its name is the Holodomor.

“All talk of whether we were given the word ‘genocide’ is a violation of memory and in the conditions of current political life – petty politicking. In five years from now no one will be talking about this. Everyone will have forgotten these inconsequential details. The important thing is that this black page in our history has been recognized and respect has been paid to the memory of our victims. And we are confirming that to which we are entitled.”

LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/255930

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16.  HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 EVERBURNING CANDLE
TRANSFERRED FROM RUSSIA TO ARMENIA
 

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 21, 2008 

KYIV – Within events devoted to the 75th anniversary of commemorating the victims of Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine, a ceremony of giving the Everburning Candle of memory from Russia to Armenia as well as the meeting-requiem were held in the Yerevan philharmonic. The action was initiated by the Federation of Ukrainians of Armenia under the auspices of the Ukrainian Embassy in Armenia.

Participating in the event were representatives of the Ukrainian community, other national communities of Armenia, politicians, parliament’s deputies, diplomats accredited in Armenia, in particular, US, Brazilian, Polish and Georgian ambassadors, diplomats from other countries, students of the Yerevan branch of the Ternopil National Economic University as well as staff of the Armenian presidential administration.
Ukrainian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Armenia Oleksandr Bozhko addressed his speech at the meeting. He noted the international character of the action and urged to preserve the historical memory in order to prevent from future tragedies like Holodomor.
Head of the Federation of Ukrainians of Armenia R. Yavir told the audience about tragic events in the history of Ukrainian people during Holodomor 1932-1933. Vocal ensembles of the Ukrainian community performed Ukrainian songs at the event.
The Everburning Candle is supposed to stay in Armenia till October 25, 2008. After that a solemn transfer of the candle to Georgia will be held at the Armenian-Georgian border, the Ukrainian Embassy in Armenia told UKRINFORM.
As UKRINFORM earlier reported, in 2008, on the initiative of the World Congress of Ukrainians, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor 1932-1933, Ukrainians from all over the world are holding the action Everburning Candle.
 
Its route goes through all continents and countries where Ukrainians live and everywhere it is a symbol of commemorating the innocent victims of Holodomor, a symbol of sorrow and prevention from such a tragedy in future.
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17.  UKRAINE HOSTING FINAL STAGE OF HOLODOMOR
EVERBURNING CANDLE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN

UkrInform – International Life, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 27, 2008

KYIV – A final stage of the Everburning Candle International Campaign started in Ukraine. Solemnities began in the village of Ivankiv, Boryspil district of Kyiv region with a divine service and ignition of the Everburning Candle with a torch which was passed like the baton by 32 world countries, a symbolic Candle in the memory of Holodomor, UKRINFORM correspondent reported.

The candle-torch was delivered to Ukraine by a delegation led by Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia Mykola Spys. The international baton in Georgia was
running from Tbilisi to Batumi, Poti and other cities with divine services, exhibitions, conferences, memorable meetings.

According to the diplomat “the goal which was set by initiators of the Everburning Candle is achieved and the action became a milestone in recognizing this horrible crime by the international community”.  Mykola Spys said a potential of recognizing Holodomor crimes will help prevent future possible encroachments on human main values – life, rights and freedom.

“We hope that like Holocaust, genocide of Ukrainian people – Holodomor 1932-1933 – will be recognized all over the world. This is our genetic memory. We have to remember the terrible tragedy of the Ukrainian nation and we hope that all people of the world will share this historic memory with us,” Vasyl Boyechko, Ukraine’s MFA official, said.

The Everburning Candle International Campaign has been running during 2008 with a slogan “Ukraine Remembers – World Recognizes” with the symbolic
candle-torch travelling around the world. In October-November the candle-torch along with the Candle in the memory of Holodomor will attend Ukraine’s 25 regions.

The action will end November 22 in Kyiv when the Memorial to Holodomor Victims 1932-1933 will be unveiled. Then the Candle will be delivered to the Holodomor Museum to be opened within the Memorial near Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
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18.  HOLODOMOR ACTIONS MUST CONTINUE

By Alina Popkova, The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 21, 2008

The Embassy of Ukraine in the Russian Federation recently welcomed the International Holodomor Remembrance Flame, which is traveling throughout the world in commemoration of the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor.

 
Despite the fact that preliminary consent had been given to hold the ceremony of welcoming the flame to Moscow, the Russian authorities did not allow the Remembrance Flame on Russian territory.
So the participants of the Moscow leg of this international action gathered on the territory of Ukraine, in our embassy in the Russian capital. Some of them talked to The Day and explained why Moscow rejects Kyiv’s arguments about honoring the famine victims.
Stanislav KULCHYTSKY, Holodomor researcher and deputy director of the
Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:
“This event was held at our embassy; in other words, on the territory of Ukraine. Among those present were the embassy staff and representatives of the Ukrainian community in Moscow. There were quite a few people. Comparing this event to the way it was held in the United States (Washington, New York, Philadelphia) I must say that everything looked different in the US.
 
“There were no Americans present, but it was not, in fact, intended for Americans but for Ukrainians who live in that country. The Ukrainian Americans came dressed in national costumes: for them, it was a solemn ceremony, and some of them had not seen each other in years. It was very moving.
“Since the Russian government has a different view of the Holodomor, here in Russia we were forbidden to hold a public event, although during the negotiations we emphasized that there is nothing anti-Russian about the Holodomor Remembrance Flame.
“In the final analysis, we have done much to research the Holodomor. There can be no claims against modern Russia. The Russian people were not responsible for the Holodomor because it was engineered by Stalin’s people to enable Stalin to retain power. I said this to the Russian side, and my statement was accepted with understanding, but the Russian government still banned this action on its territory. So we held it at the Ukrainian embassy, where Russia could not interfere.
“Nothing is going to change in Russia in the nearest future. Perhaps, to some extent, we are to blame for this. Some Ukrainians often say, ‘Look what the Muscovites did to us!’ No responsible political figures in Ukraine, no matter to which camp they belong, should make such extremist declarations. There is a serious political conflict in Ukraine, but the Holodomor problem has nothing to do with this.
“When he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, President Yushchenko said that we have no claims against Russia. Nevertheless, the situation remains the same. This is why other countries take Russia’s position into account.
 
” I do not think that this year we will succeed in persuading the UN to classify the Holodomor as genocide. But we should not interrupt our work, and it is academics that will have the last word. One way or another, we should publicize this subject and prove with documents what happened in reality.”
Oleh VOLOSHYN, spokesman of the Ukrainian Embassy in the Russian Federation:
“The Ukrainian Embassy in Russia hosted the Moscow stage of the International Holodomor Remembrance Flame, a global action that has taken place in dozens of countries. We invited representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora in Moscow and various cultural associations.
 
“There were also some ethnic Ukrainians, who holding high positions in Russia’s Council of the Federation and other public administration bodies. They came to honor the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor.
“Also present at the ceremony were Kostiantyn Hryshchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Russian Federation, and Yurii Kostenko, Acting First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was on a working visit in Moscow. Both Hrysh­chenko and Kostenko delivered speeches, which were followed by a minute of silence and a symbolic rite of remembrance.
Everyone in the embassy drank a symbolic 100 grams of vodka to the memory of those who perished in that most terrible famine by far. The Holo­domor Remembrance Flame is now going on to St. Petersburg.
“Naturally, this was an extremely important event for us, although we wish that it could have been held in the desired format, more openly and publicly. Many civic organizations in Russia had submitted a number of initiatives.
“Unfortunately, Moscow is not prepared to take serious steps toward compromise. Its vision of the problem differs from ours, although the Ukrainian side keeps saying that nobody is trying to put the blame for the Holodomor on today’s Russia. On the contrary, we admit that the Russians were by far the main victims of the Stalinist repressions. We hope that the Russian Federation, as a country that positions itself as a democracy, finally understands the Ukrainian standpoint.
“In general, the Moscow action was a day to honor the memory of the five to six million people who perished during the famine, although historians are still arguing over this figure. This day is a signal to humankind to prevent the emergence of regimes that place people’s lives below state interests.”
 
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19.  RUSSIA’S BLATANT ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS CONDEMNED
International Holodomor Remembrance Flame Stopped with Scare Tactics

 
Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, October 13, 2008
 
TORONTO – The Ukrainian World Congress condemns the blatant abuse of human rights by Vladimir Putin’s Russian government which has successfully stopped events planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor – famine genocide in Ukraine of 1932-33. 
 
Prior to the arrival of the International Remembrance Flame in Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy received notice on October 6 from Russia’s Foreign Ministry that commemorative events must fall in line with the Russian position on the famine or be cancelled.   Russia continues to claim that the Holodomor was not a genocide and that Ukraine’s effort to secure such recognition is “a political matter that is aimed against Russian interests.”
 
It has been confirmed that Ukrainian community activists in Orenburg, Tumen, Ufa, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar have been subjected to undue pressure and scare tactics by government officials in the region resulting in the cancellation of planned events.
 
Russia was the next scheduled stop on the itinerary of the International Remembrance Flame – a symbol which has traveled through 29 countries since April of this year.  Events in conjunction with the arrival of the Flame honour the millions of victims of Stalin’s deliberate attempt to eradicate the Ukrainian nation through starvation.  The Flame will be received in Ukraine in November for nation-wide commemorations.
 
The international Ukrainian community is appalled by Russia’s continuing disregard for basic human rights, among them freedom of speech and expression.  Ukrainians in Russia, as in every other country of the world, have every right to maintain their national identity with respect for history, culture and traditions. 
 
In 2008, the fact that such rights are so easily dismissed, is unacceptable.  Russia must understand that the global community will not tolerate such actions which clearly demonstrate that the country has not shed its past. 
 
The Congress urges every citizen of every democratic country to join the Ukrainian community in this protest.  Contact the Russian Embassy in your country. Let them know that human rights abuses in 2008 will not be tolerated.  Let them know that, this time, the world is paying attention.
For further information contact Stefan Romaniw, Chair, International Holodomor Committee.
 
Contact: UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS,  145 EVANS AVENUE, TORONTOON M8Z 5X8 CANADA • TEL. (416) 323-3020 • FAX (416) 323-3250 E-MAIL: congress@look.ca, INTERNET: www.ukrainianworldcongress.com
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20.  CURTAILING HUMAN RIGHTS OF UKRAINIAN COMMUNITIES IN RUSSIA
 

Protest Letter: Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO)
Essendon, Victoria, Australia, Tuesday, October 14, 2008
 
AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF UKRAINIAN ORGANISATIONS
Representing 22 Peak Ukrainian Organisations in Australia ‐Member of Ukrainian World Congress
3‐11 Russell Street Essendon 3040
PO Box 251, Essendon, Victoria 3040
Tel: 03 9375 1781 Fax: 03 9326 1065
Email: afuo@ozeukes.com Website: www.ozeukes.com
October 14, 2008
 
MR. ALEXANDER V. BLOKHIN
Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Australia
78, Canberra Avenue,
Griffith, ACT 2603
 
Your Excellency,
 
As you will be aware, throughout 2008, Ukraine and the Ukrainian Diaspora together with many other countries internationally, are commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor (Famine – Genocide) in Ukraine in 1932-33. As part of this commemoration, the International Remembrance Torch has now visited over 30 countries, having commenced its international journey in Canberra, Australia in April 2008.
 
You will remember your office issued a media release at the time of the Torch being in Australia, attempting to dissuade Australians from supporting this activity. The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) wrote an open letter to you in protest as the disinformation presented in the release , but to date have not received a response.
You will also remember that Members of the Commonwealth Government and Opposition, Members of State Governments and Opposition supported the Remembrance Torch activities. There were also resolutions in the Federal and State Parliaments of Australia supporting Ukraine’s proposed motion to the United Nations condemning Stalin and the communist regime for their act of Genocide. You will also remember the Fairfax papers wrote a major piece on the Holodomor and the atrocities committed by the then regime.
 
The Torch during its journey has been accepted into many parts of the world, thus further raising international awareness. Each country has shown its respect in honouring those 7-10 million people who perished in this acknowledged gross act against humanity, perpetrated by Josef Stalin and his communist regime.
I now wish to draw your attention to the current leg of the International Remembrance Torch in Russia. We have been informed that the Russian
Government has pressured Ukrainian communities to abandon any planned commemorations. It has been confirmed that Ukrainian community activities in Orenburg, Tyumen, Ufa, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar have been subjected to undue pressure and scare tactics by government officials in the region, resulting in the cancellation of planned events.
The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) together with the international Ukrainian community, is appalled by Russia’s continuing disregard for basic human rights, among them freedom of speech and expression. Ukrainians in Russia, as in every other country of the world, have every right to maintain their national identity with respect for their history, culture and traditions.
 
In contrast, Mr. Putin as well as Mr. Medvedev, have  expressed unlimited support for the rights of Russian ethnic minorities, irrespective of where they live. Why is this not being reciprocated and honoured in Russia?
The AFUO condemns in the strongest possible way, Russia’s attempts to silence or prevent the Ukrainian communities within Russia, in remembering the Holodomor and the 7-10 million souls who perished.
The AFUO calls on you to influence your Government to allow Ukrainians in Russia to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor and also calls on you to invite Russian Government officials to attend these commemorations.This is very much a human rights issue and we should not be complacent in ensuring basic rights are upheld, regardless of where the violation occurs.
I will be in Canberra meeting with Commonwealth Government officials tomorrow October 15, 2008 and would be pleased to discuss this matter with you further. If you wish to meet I maybe contacted on 0419 531 255.
 
We collectively have a responsibility to ensure that the atrocities of the past are not repeated. One of these atrocities was the Holodomor.
 
Stefan Romaniw OAM
CHAIRMAN
Cc The Hon Stephen Smith
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ambassador of Ukraine in Australia
H.E. Valentyn Adomaytis
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21.  THE HOLODOMOR: REFLECTIONS ON THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE
16th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Roman Serbyn

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, November 7, 2008
 
Orysia Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Monday, October 20, 2008

WINNIPEG – Dr. Roman Serbyn will give the 16th Annual J. B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture in Winnipeg on Friday, November 7, 2008.  The topic of the lecture will be “The Holodomor: Reflections on the Ukrainian Genocide.”

 
Dr. Serbyn is a distinguished historian who for over 30 years has been documenting and publishing books and articles on the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, the Holodomor. He also organized the first international conference on the Holodomor in 1983 at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
 
Among his published works are: “Holod 1921-1923 i ukrains’ka presa v Kanadi= The Famine of 1921-1923” and the “Ukrainian Press in Canada” (2002); and “Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933” (Co-edited with Bohdan Krawchenko, 1986).

Dr. Serbyn’s lecture will focus on the Holodomor, and the devastation that it brought to the Ukrainian nation. He will use the United Nations Convention on Genocide’s definition of genocide, to argue the case for the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide. The lecture will commemorate the 75th anniversary of this tragic event.

Date & Time of Lecture:  Friday, November 7, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Admission:  Free, with reception to follow.
Location:  Archives & Special Collections, 330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Fort Garry Campus, University of Manitoba.

Parking free; do not park in 24-hour reserved.
          
Sponsored by: The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections; the Slavic Collection, Elizabeth Dafoe Library – University of Manitoba; and The Department of German & Slavic Studies, University of Manitoba. For further information, please contact the U of M Archives & Special Collections @ 474-9681.

This year’s Rudnyckyj lecture is being held in conjunction with the Famine -Genocide (Holodomor) in Ukraine (1932-33) Symposium at the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, Oseredok (184 Alexander Avenue East, Winnipeg) on Saturday, November 8, 2008,  sponsored by Oseredok and the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies, University of Manitoba.

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22.  “OUR DAILY BREAD” HOLODOMOR EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO OPEN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30

Exhibition features thirty-eight Holodomor artworks by Ukrainian artists
 
“They put a gun to your head and made you swear you would bring in grain the next day.
Everyone cried. There was nothing left to bring!” Hanna Ikasivna Cherniuk, Holodomor survivor
 
Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 27, 2008
 
CHICAGO – “Our Daily Bread”, an exhibition of artworks commemorating the Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide, opened Friday, October 24th at the Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 West Superior, in Chicago. Several hundred people attended the opening of the Holodomor exhibition.
 
“Our Daily Bread” officially opened at 6:30 PM with a program that featured a short video by Ukrainian singer Oksana Bilozir and an opening statement by the granddaughter of a Holodomor survivor, Ms. Oryna Hrushetsky-Schiffman. 
 
In 1932 and 1933, between seven and 10 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death during the “Holodomor” – or death by starvation. This genocide was masterminded by Joseph Stalin and his inner circle, and was carried out by Soviets who confiscated every last bit of food from Ukrainian peasants who were resistant to collective farming – and who represented the backbone of the Ukrainian people.
 
This year, 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, and the government of Ukraine as well as Ukrainians around the world have been organizing events in an effort to expose and publicize this crime against humanity while there are still survivors young enough to recall its horrors.
 
EXHIBITION FEATURES 38 HOLODOMOR ARTWORKS
In Chicago, the latest event commemorating the Holodomor is an exhibition at the Ukrainian National Museum which opened Friday, October 24th. “Our Daily Bread” and features 38 artworks that are part of the “Holodomor: Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists” collection. 
 
The founder and trustee of the unique collection, U.S. businessman Morgan Williams, gathered the over 350 original Holodomor artworks in the collection during the last 11 years in Ukraine.  Williams is director, government affairs, Washington, D.C., for the SigmaBleyzer private equity investment group and serves as president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).

 
Most of the artworks were created after 1988, when Ukrainians were finally free to evoke the suffering and horrors of the Holodomor in the last days of the USSR, right before Ukraine declared independence in 1991. Before 1988 no one was allowed to talk about this tragedy let alone express themselves through artwork or writings.  Many Ukrainian artists may very well have only learned of the Holodomor at that time, after decades of extreme Soviet suppression of the atrocities.
 
The government of Ukraine has officially declared the Holodomor a genocide against the Ukrainian people and is asking the United Nations to do so as well. Just this past September, the United States House of Representatives passed a Resolution condemning the Holodomor and the former Soviet government’s deliberate confiscation of grain harvests, which resulted in the starvation of millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children.
 
It was a devastating chapter of Stalin’s reign of terror that wiped out one quarter of the peasantry – and later included the intelligentsia and other leaders of Ukrainian society who were shot and exiled by the hundreds of thousands in an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian nation. And it was carried out at a time when Ukraine, then officially the Ukrainian SSR, had one of the richest farmlands in the world – “the breadbasket of Europe.” 
 
The exhibition also includes a room depicting what life was like in Ukraine prior to enforced collectivization—as well as an evocative walk-through installation depicting the horrors of the Holodomor.
 
The “Our Daily Bread” Holodomor exhibition is on view through Sunday, November 30, 2008. The Museum hours are Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.  The Ukrainian National Museum is located at 2249 West Superior Street in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Call 312-421-8020 or visit the Museum’s website, www.ukrainiannationalmuseum.org for more information.
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23.  THE GREAT FAMINE IN UKRAINE: THE HOLODOMOR
AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, 1933 TO THE PRESENT
Two-Day International Conference, 17-18 November 2008, Harvard, Cambridge, MA
 
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI), Cambridge, MA, Friday, October 31, 2008

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The year 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-1933, now often referred to by its Ukrainian name Holodomor (extermination by hunger).  This man-made affliction ravaged, most devastatingly, Soviet Ukraine and the areas primarily settled by Ukrainians in the North Caucasus (the Kuban region) at the height of forced collectivization in the USSR.

Earlier projects at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI) pioneered studies in the history of the Great Famine.  It is the aim of this conference, however, to move beyond revisiting the background, course and analysis of the events of 1932-33.  Instead, it aims to forge forward to investigate the momentous subsequent impact of the Holodomor in Ukraine, in a framework which will examine its short-, mid-, and long-term consequences that reach, indeed, to our own day.
We are pleased to invite you to the conference which will be held at the Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy St., Cambridge.  For a full program with participants, on-line registration, travel information and information about related Famine events, please see HURI website: www.huri.harvard.edu.
 
The conference is open to the public and free of charge.  However, seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly advised.  You may register on-line or by calling HURI at 617-495-4053. Registration for the conference is still open. 

CONCERT: Premiere Performance of Selections from the Opera Red Earth (Hunger) by Virko Baley.  Monday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Swedenborg Chapel, 50 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts.
CONFERENCE VENUE: Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts
 
CONTACT: Tamara H. Nary, Programs Administrator, Ukrainian Research Institute
Harvard University, 34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA  02138; 617.495.3549 / fax 617.495.8097
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24.  INTERNATIONAL HOLODOMOR AWARENESS WEEK – CALL TO ACTION

75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933
Ukraine Remembers – The World Acknowledges! Nov 16 – 23, 2008
 
International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (IHCC), Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, October 27, 2008
 
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS: International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (IHC)
International Holodomor Awareness Week; November 16 – 23, 2008
Ukraine Remembers – The World Acknowledges !
 
On the 75th anniversary of the famine genocide in Ukraine 1932-33:
 
Seventy five years have passed since famine raged through Ukraine eradicating the lives of millions of children, women and men from one of the world’s most bountiful lands.
 
Holodomor – one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind, was the result of a deliberate political strategy masterminded by Stalin and his totalitarian communist regime.   By sheer magnitude, losses during the Holodomor surpassed those of the Ukrainian nation during the Second World War.  Ukrainians worldwide continue to suffer the consequences of this merciless act.
 
The International Holodomor Coordinating Committee, Ukrainian World Congress is launching the first International Holodomor Awareness Week on November 16-23.  The goal is to annually unite Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike in remembering the victims and raising awareness of this tragedy.
 
In cooperation with the secretariat of the President of Ukraine, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, the International Holodomor Coordinating Committee developed initiatives dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-33 guided by the motto “Ukraine remembers – the World Acknowledges.”
 
Throughout the year Ukrainians successfully engaged politicians, researchers, journalists and citizens in a discussion of this often forgotten genocide.  The International Remembrance Flame successfully toured 34 countries ending its journey in Ukraine beginning November 1.  The Holodomor was recognized as an act of genocide by 13 countries. 
 
In Ukraine, the Security Service (SBU) opened its archives and published a list of perpetrators of this crime; a National Memorial Book will include a registry of Holodomor victims and testimonies of survivors; a memorial complex and museum is being erected in the capital city of Kyiv.
 
There is, however,  a great deal of work still to be done.  We must continue working with our ministries of education to ensure that all students learn about the Holodomor. 
 
We have a moral obligation to ensure that the personal stories of our survivors are documented and preserved for future generations.  Internationally, the United Nations must recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide.
 
Let us remember together –
 
(1) On Saturday, November 22,(or in days around this date)  in solidarity with Ukraine, honour the memory of the victims with a moment of silence and light a candle of remembrance in your home.
 
(2) Participate in memorial services which will take place in your local churches
 
(3) Participate in events organized by your local community
This is the bare minimum which we, as Ukrainians should do not only for the millions of victims, but more importantly, for our descendants who must always remember the Holodomor and heighten the international community’s sensitivity to the reoccurrence of similar tragedies. 
 
Let’s reveal the truth about the Holodomor to the world!
 
On behalf of the IHCC UWC
   
Stefan Romaniw                                                                
Chairman
 
Irka Mycak
Secretary  
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25.  HOLODOMOR COMMEMORATION AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Keynote address by Prof. Alexander Motyl, Sunday, November 9, 2008
 

Michael Naydan, Penn State University, University Park, PA, Mon, Oct 13, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK – There will be a special  commemoration of the victims of the Ukrainian Holodomor-Famine at Penn State University on Sunday November 9, with Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia celebrating a divine liturgy and with the Prometheus chorus providing the responses.
 
The special commemoration mass will begin at 1:30 PM in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the University Park Campus. The event is organized by the Penn State Ukrainian Club and the Penn State Byzantine Association, with support from the Ukrainian Studies Program at Penn State.

At 3PM there will be brief keynote addresses by Alex and Helen Woskob, who established the Penn State Endowment in Ukrainian studies.

 
A keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University  entitled “The Ukrainian Famine-Holodomor and Its Consequences.” Other brief readings regarding the famine will also be presented.

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to speak with the Metropolitan Archbishop and the guest speaker at a reception following the event. The event is open to the general public as well as the university community.

CONTACT: Dr. Michael M. Naydan, Woskob Family Professor in Ukrainian Studies and Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
404 Burrowes Bldg., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
E-mail: mmn3@psu.edu
, phone: 814-865-1675, fax: 814-863-8882

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26.  COLUMBIA UNIV CONFERENCE TO COMMEMORATE THE HOLODOMOR-GENOCIDE
“Visualizing the Holodomor: The Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 on Film”

Yuri Shevchuk, Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University
Columbia University, New York, NY, Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, December 2, 2008 the international conference “Visualizing the Holodomor: the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 on Film” will be held at Columbia University in New York. This event is organized by the Ukrainian Studies Program of Columbia and co-sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Department of Slavic Languages.

Held in a string of other academic forums around the USA and Canada to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Great Famine in Ukraine, the Columbia
conference will offer a novel approach to raising awareness worldwide of this largely unknown human calamity; it will focus on film, and filmmaking
as a means to understand the consequences of this tragedy for Ukraine and the world.

Meant to appeal to the widest possible audience of scholars, students and the general public, the conference will bring together academics and filmmakers and investigate analytical and theoretic, as well as empirical, perspectives on the Holodomor.

This uniquely Columbia format became possible thanks to the fact that over the last four years, with generous community and Ukrainian Studies Fund
support, the Ukrainian Studies Program has gained international recognition as the leading center of Ukrainian film studies in North America.

The conference will consist of three panels.

(1) PANEL ONE: “What Happened in 1932-1933. Facts of the Tragedy” will feature opening remarks by Dr. Yuri Shevchuk (Department of Slavic
Languages, Columbia University), who will speak on the role of Ukrainian film in visualizing the Holodomor within Ukraine, and a presentation by Dr.
Roman Serbyn (Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Quebec at Montreal), a leading expert on the Holodomor in North America, who will
recreate the historical context and provide facts of the man-made famine.

The panel will start at 1:30 PM and will take place in Room 1512, International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th Street, New York, NY.

(1) PANEL TWO: “Unearthing the Great Famine by Filming It” will feature a short documentary Kolky by Natasha Mikhalchuk, a film student from Parson School of Design of the New School for Social Research.

Natasha, who was born and lived till her early teens in Odesa, Ukraine set out on a journey to trace the history of her father’s family. She visited his native village of Kolky in the Podillia region, south-western Ukraine.

Meeting and talking on camera with the locals, she unearthed the memories of a continuous chain of disasters visited upon Ukrainian peasants by foreign
invaders: the earliest being the Holodomor of 1932-33 and concomitant collectivization, followed by World War Two, Nazi occupation and slave work
in the Reich, and another famine after the war.

Kolky is a moving story of discovery of the Holodomor as well as other dramatic aspects of recent Ukrainian history that remain largely outside the
collective consciousness of Ukrainian society?even though their eye-witnesses are still alive.

Ms. Mikhalchuk’s deeply personal experience assumes larger dimensions of a moral imperative to make the recording and investigation of oral history of
the Great Famine and other historic events that took place in Ukraine a first priority for historians and society at large.

It is the tragic logic of human suffering that one orchestrated mass murder appears in unexpected ways connected with another. In this case the Ukrainian Holodomor which, alongside ethnic Ukrainians, also effected Jews, Germans, Russians, and other ethnicities who inhabited the Ukrainian countryside at the time, became connected with the Jewish Holocaust. This little known fact is witnessed by hundreds of those who survived both tragedies and lived to testify of them on camera.

Dr. Crispin Brooks, archivist of the Shoah Foundation Institution, University of South California in San Diego, discovered a considerable corpus of eye-witness accounts of the Holodomor in the massive documentary holdings of Jewish Holocaust survivors at his institution.

The video documents of the Visual History Archive were gathered by the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, an organization
established by film director Steven Spielberg in 1994 to preserve on videotape the accounts of surviving victims and witnesses of the Holocaust.

By 2001, the Foundation had recorded close to 52,000 testimonies in 56 countries and 32 languages. In Ukraine alone, the Shoah Foundation conducted
around 3,400 interviews over a four year period, 1995-1999, in 273 locations all over the country.

Dr. Brooks will give an overview of the archival holdings with reference to the Holodomor and bring to light new perspectives drawn from the
testimonies. His presentation will be accompanied by video footage of these eye-witness testimonies.

(3) PANEL THREE: The last conference panel will feature a new film, the feature documentary The Living (Zhyvi) by Serhiy Bukovsky from Kyiv.  Mr. Bukovsky is internationally recognized as one of the best documentary filmmakers in Ukraine today. He was awarded the Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine for his nine-part TV documentary series “War.

A Ukrainian Account” (Viina. Ukrainskyi rakhunok), 2002. In it, he makes an earnest attempt to examine what happened in Ukraine during World War II. The film deeply resonated with the Ukrainian public as it discussed, in an impartial manner, the Ukrainian national resistance, and, in particular, the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

In 2005, Bukovsky’s name was again in the press as the teacher and mentor of Mr. Ihor Strembytsky, the first Ukrainian filmmaker ever to win the
prestigious Palm d’Or du cour metrage for his short documentary Wayfarers (Podorozhni) at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Over his 25 year film career, Mr. Bukovsky has demonstrated time and again a readiness to take up the most difficult, at times unpopular, subject and
treat it in a way that brings a new light to what seemed exhausted and well known.

He also has shown civic engagement and a sense of responsibility that often put him on a collision course with the powers-that-be. His documentary
Tomorrow Was a Holiday (Zavtra bulo sviato), 1987 , a film openly critical of the Soviet system, is a celebrated classic of the perestroika era.

It was a sign of recognition that Mr. Bukovsky was invited by the Ukrainian oligarch-turned-Carnegie Viktor Pinchuk to direct Spell Your Name, (Nazvy
svoie im’ia) a feature documentary about the Holocaust in Ukraine and, in particular, the Babyn Yar tragedy.

The film was produced by Steven Spielberg, who traveled to Ukraine to attend its premier in Kyiv in October, 2006. In it, Serhiy Bukovsky tells another
largely unknown story?the story of how, during the Nazi occupation, many Ukrainians risked their lives to save their Jewish neighbors, acquaintances,
as well as strangers from sure death.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Bukovsky was approached by the International Charitable Fund Ukraine-3000 run by Kateryna Yushchenko, Ukraine’s first
lady, to direct a feature documentary on the Holodomor for its 75th anniversary.

Mr. Bukovsky put together a crew of people which include film writer, critic and historian Serhiy Trymbach, cinematographer Volodomyr Kukorenchuk, a slew of history consultants, in particular Yuri Shapoval, Ivan Dziuba, and Myroslav Popovych (Kyiv), Viktor Listov (Moscow), Oksana Pakhliovska (Rome), Andrea Graziosi (Naples) and others to produce The Living.

This new film will be presented in person by the director, Serhiy Bukovsky, and by Victoria Bondar, his wife producer, and co-author of the script, at
the Rosenthal Auditorium, Schemerhorn Hall at 7:30 PM, one of the best film screening auditoriums on Columbia’s campus.

The film authors describe their effort:

“It is equally important to stress that our film about the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 aims at finding a new approach to some very painful and sensitive
historical material. It is about not just remembering the facts but also understanding the causes and effects of the tragedy and evoking an emotional
response in the audience.

 
In a broader sense, this film is not about the Holodomor alone.

“First and foremost, it is about THE PRICE OF LIBERTY. Ukraine is an unloved but obstinate child of History. For centuries, her people fought a desperate struggle for something that other nations obtained in a much easier way: the right to be themselves, speak their own language, and be called Ukrainians.

“This conception defines our approach to selecting material for the film. Compositionally, the film will have a nonlinear structure. The events of 1932-33 serve as the basis of the plot. They are its hub – the central station where all “trains” of the plot arrive and from which they depart. It is necessary to understand (and show) the train of events that caused the tragedy of the Holodomor and its consequences.

“Tentatively, we are talking about a period spanning the year 1917 (the February Revolution in Russia, the patriotic awakening of Ukrainian
frontline units, and further events in Ukraine till 1921) and the outbreak of World War II in 1939. These events weave into the fabric of the film. The
basic intonation of the film will be free of newspaper rhetoric and TV patter. Ours is a story told in a soft, quiet voice.”

Conference attendees will have a unique opportunity not only to be the first on this side of the Atlantic to see The Living (its Ukrainian premier in
Kyiv is slated for November 22) but also to discuss the film with its makers and with history and film experts participating in the conference.

A few weeks prior to the international conference, the Ukrainian Studies Program will mount a photo exhibit of works by Volodymyr Kukorenchuk, the
cinematographer of The Living. Some forty beautiful photographs taken by him in the course of shooting in the villages where tragedy unfolded 75 years
ago will be shown in the Lehman Library of the International Affairs Building at Columbia University.

The pictures are a celebration of the beauty, poetry, and vitality of Ukraine, all of which come through with a quiet and captivating force in portraits of farmers who lived to tell about their experience of the Great Famine.

For further information about the International Conference “Visualizing the Holodomor: the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 on Film”, call the
Ukrainian Studies Program office at 212-854-4697. ADMISSION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk; sy2165@columbia.edu.

 
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Member, International Holodomor Committee (IHC)
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