Monthly Archives: November 2005


An International Newsletter
The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis, and Commentary

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

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor

“Major International News Headlines and Articles”

By Maria Danilova, The Associated Press
AP, Moscow, Russia, Monday, November 28, 2005

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 26, 2005

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, November 24, 2005

By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, UK, Thursday, November 24 2005

BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, Nov 28, 2005

Journal Staff Report, Ukrainian Journal
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2005

MOLDOVA WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED Chisinau, Moldova, Sat, Nov 26, 2005

Land for plants obtained in Zhitomir and Sumy Oblasts
APK-Inform, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, Fri, Nov 25, 2005

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, November 23, 2005

Associated Press, New York, NY, Friday November 25, 2005

Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Sat Nov 26, 2005

Will make Russian the second official language in Ukraine
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 26 Nov 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Sat, Nov 26, 2005

Daryna Krasnoslutska in Kiev, Bloomberg
Moscow, Russia, Sunday, November 27, 2005

By Mara D. Bellaby, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 28, 2005

Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

Cynicism has befallen Ukraine, as many who hoped for so much
begin to feel that their ideals have been taken for granted
COMMENTARY: By Yulia Tymoshenko
Taipei Times, Taiwan, Friday, Nov 25, 2005,Page 9

ANALYSIS: Kostis Geropoulos, Senior Reporter, New Europe
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, November 28, 2005

Here’s one solution. Draft Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko,
a real democrat, to stand in for the Kremlin boss next year until
Russia proves itself worthy of this honor.
REVIEW & OUTLOOK: The Wall Street Journal
New York, NY, Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ukrainian woman trying to work in Ireland had two legs amputated
Irish Times, Ireland, Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

Foreign Minister Ungureanu asked Ukraine to respect Danube Delta
By Alecs Iancu, Bucharest Daily News
Bucharest, Romania, Monday, November 28, 2005

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat, November 26, 2005

A most devastating weapon of mass destruction and social subjection
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, November 28, 2005

By Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, November 26, 2005

By Maria Danilova, The Associated Press
AP, Moscow, Russia, Monday, November 28, 2005

Russia said Friday that it would stop supplying subsidized energy to some
former Soviet republics and charge them at world rates, putting further
strain on the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Russia — whose role as the region’s main energy provider gives it
considerable clout — has hinted it is trying to devise a new model for
dealing with ex-Soviet republics following mass upheavals that swept new
pro-Western leaders into power in some countries.

“We need to move away from gray, unclear barter payments and switch to
civilized payments, to world prices,” Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said in
response to a question about Russia’s energy supplies to Ukraine, speaking
after a top-level CIS meeting.

Georgia, meanwhile, criticized Russia’s plans to nearly double its gas
prices, saying the move was politically motivated. And Ukraine has argued
over Moscow’s demands that it pay West European prices for its gas while
Moldova also faces higher gas rates. All three countries have leaders who
have worked to distance their countries from Russia.

However, Belarus, whose autocratic leader Alexander Lukashenko is on good
terms with Moscow, also enjoys subsidized gas rates, but these are not being

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli, in Moscow for the CIS summit,
lamented Russia’s intention to raise gas prices to $110 per 1,000 cubic
meters from the current price of $60. He said the market price for the South
Caucasus region was $65 to $70 per 1,000 cubic meters. “We understand that
it is a political decision,” Nogaideli told reporters.

The summit participants signed a number of agreements, including on
economic, energy and humanitarian cooperation, Fradkov said. They also
agreed to work out a new scheme of contributions to the organization’s

The group’s next summit takes place in May in the capital of Tajikistan,
Dushanbe, Fradkov said. The CIS was created after the 1991 Soviet collapse
to maintain close ties between the newly independent countries.

But its usefulness has increasingly been questioned after the rise to power
of pro-Western opposition leaders in Georgia and Ukraine, and after the
communist government in Moldova turned away from Moscow.

Ukraine and Moldova sent lower-ranking representatives to the summit, which
was attended by the prime ministers of all other member states. Georgian
leaders are facing increasing calls from lawmakers to withdraw from the
group, but Nogaideli denied on Friday that Tbilisi had such plans.

“My very presence at the summit of prime ministers of CIS members removes
that question,” Nogaideli told a news conference. He added, however, that
the organization needed to increase its effectiveness. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 26, 2005

KYIV – Ukraine is prepared to offer Russia military equipment worth over
$1 billion in exchange for additional gas shipments, said Ukrainian national
oil and gas provider Naftogaz Ukraine’s chief Oleksiy Ivchenko.

The Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries, on the one hand, and Naftogaz
Ukraine and Gazprom, on the other, have been negotiating a new deal in the
past three months aiming to exchange Ukrainian weapons and military hardware
for Russian gas, Ivchenko said. Ivchenko did not elaborate on the military
hardware Ukraine could offer Russia.

“This is an absolutely new project, it has no relation to current gas
deliveries,” Ivchenko told journalists in Kyiv on Saturday after he was
asked by Interfax about prospects in Ukrainian-Russian relations in the gas

“This is a new project we started at the level of cabinet ministers and
Naftogaz Ukraine. We have set up a task force, and it is currently pursuing
this project. It involves weapons that are produced in Ukraine but are not
actually needed. But Russia needs them,” he said. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, November 24, 2005

KIEV – Ukraine said Thursday that it was ready to compromise to settle the
latest natural gas dispute with Russia, a disagreement that could
potentially threaten supplies to western European customers. But a senior
Ukrainian gas official warned Moscow not to try to dictate the terms of the

“We own the gas pipeline, we provide the transit service and it is us who
will say on what conditions we will offer this service,” Oleksiy Ivchenko,
head of the state-owned Naftogaz gas company, told reporters.

Under the current agreement, still valid through 2013, Russia pumps natural
gas to its European customers through Ukrainian pipes, and Ukraine, in turn,
gets a heavy discount on gas it purchases for its own needs.

Ukraine currently pays $50 for 1,000 cubic meters. But Russia proposed doing
away with the discount and paying Ukraine a transit fee instead, starting
2006. That could jack up prices for Ukraine to about $150, the same as
Moscow’s European buyers pay.

Ivchenko called Russia’s proposal unacceptable and complained that the
Russian demands looked like an ultimatum. “Russia need our transport service
as much as we need its gas,” said Ivchenko. “More than 80% of Russia’s gas
exports go through Ukraine’s territory.”

The dispute led to the abrupt postponement Tuesday of the planned visit by
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

Ivchenko said Russia demanded that Ukraine accept their conditions so they
could sign the agreement when Fradkov was here, but he said it was
impossible because Kiev needed time to consider it.

Also Thursday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said he was
confident that Ukraine and Russia would find a compromise.

“We plan to complete negotiations … I think we will be able to announce
the decisions,” he said while on a visit to Slovakia, according to his

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest energy importers and is heavily
dependent on Russia and the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan for gas
supplies. Both Russia and Turkmenistan have increasingly taken a harder line
in negotiations with Kiev. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, UK, Thursday, November 24 2005

Supplies of natural gas to Europe could be threatened by a stand-off between
Russia and Ukraine over the use of Ukraine’s gas pipelines, the Russian
government has warned.

Viktor Khristenko, Russia’s deputy prime minister for energy and industry,
said on Tuesday that Russia was ready to take “resolute measures” to
convince Ukraine to renegotiate a contract according to which Russia
supplies Ukraine with gas in return for use of Ukraine’s transit pipelines.
These carry about 20 per cent of the European Union’s gas supplies and 80
per cent of Russia’s gas exports.

Although Mr Khristenko did not say what measures might be taken, he
implied that Russia was considering the drastic step of reducing supplies
to Ukraine, which would have the effect of reducing supplies to the EU.

He said the lack of an agreement with Ukraine “could create risks not only
to the supply of gas to Ukraine, but in principle also to the supply of gas
to Europe”.

European diplomats in Kiev said they were confident Russia would not
actually reduce supplies, as that would undermine Russia’s reputation as a
reliable supplier. But the gas dispute was being watched “very closely”, one
diplomat said.

Mikhail Fradkov, Russia’s prime minister, cancelled a visit to Kiev
yesterday. Moscow said Mr Fradkov would not go until there was an
agreement on gas supplies and transit.

The current dispute is over prices. Since 2002, Russia’s Gazprom has
paidNaftogaz of Ukraine a volume of gas equal to 2.2 per cent of the gas
that crosses Ukraine for every 100km of transit, or about 23bn cubic metres
a year, in return for transit of about 115bn cu metres to the EU, Moldova
and Romania.

That means that as gas prices have shot up in recent years, Russia has
effectively been paying a much bigger bill for transit across Ukraine in
cash-value terms.

However, analysts in Ukraine also see politics in the dispute, as Gazprom
did not raise the price issue until after Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-western
liberal, became Ukraine’s president in January. Ukraine gets about 30 per
cent of its gas from the barter deal with Russia and imports another 45 per
cent via Russia from central Asia. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, Nov 28, 2005

MOSCOW – On 22 November state-owned Channel One’s evening news
reported that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had cancelled a trip
to Kiev in connection with the ongoing dispute over gas deliveries to Ukraine.

Interviewed on the same bulletin, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor
Khristenko said the visit was cancelled because “unfortunately, no specific
agreement has been achieved on the new forms of collaboration in the gas

As privately owned Ren TV noted the same evening, Ukraine currently pays 50
dollars per 1000 cu m. of Russian gas, while Russia is insisting on charging
the average European price of 150 dollars a barrel. The current gas deal
runs out on 1 January.

Pundits on Channel One and Moscow-government-owned Centre TV have
consistently attacked Kiev over its stance on the gas dispute, while
pointing out Ukraine’s dependence on Russian energy supplies. They have
been particularly angered by a statement by the head of the Ukrainian state
energy company Naftohaz that if a new agreement is not reached by 1
January, Naftohaz will resort to a “technical removal” of gas from the
transit pipeline supplying gas to Europe.

Mikhail Leontyev used his Odnako opinion slot on 22 November to spell
out the consequences of Ukraine’s policy. “If the revolutionaries carry out
their promise to steal transit gas, that is, someone else’s gas, then it may
be supposed that Russia will stop supplying gas through the Ukrainian
pipeline. And the whole responsibility for the collapse of the Ukrainian
economy and an energy crisis in Europe will lie with our Ukrainian
comrades,” the pro-Kremlin commentator remarked.

In an earlier edition of Odnako on 10 November Leontyev had ridiculed
Ukrainian plans to supply its gas shortfall with deliveries from
Turkmenistan. Apart from being odd from the geo-strategic point of view, the
plan will not work because all the gas in question is contracted to Gazprom
from 2007, Leontyev pointed out. “There is no free gas in Turkmenistan for
Ukraine,” the pundit stressed, facetiously suggesting that Yushchenko try
Africa instead.

Leontyev continued in ironic vein to point out the logic of Russia asking
European prices for its gas after the Orange regime had so clearly steered a
course for Europe and the West. This aspect of the issue was highlighted on
Centre TV’s Postscript on 12 November, which accused Kiev of hypocrisy
in its dealings with Moscow.

“All the talk of fraternal relations with Russia does not stop the
Ukrainians from intensifying negotiations with the USA about entry to NATO
and from joining Georgia in support for Orange Revolutions,” the programme

Indeed, pro-Kremlin spin-doctor Gleb Pavlovskiy suggested there is a direct
link between Ukraine’s desire for cheap gas and its NATO aspirations.
“Fradkov has refused to allow Russian money to be used to pay Ukraine’s
debt of honour,” Pavlovskiy said.

He explained that Ukraine had secretly promised to join NATO on terms which
require it to spend 90bn dollars on modernizing or converting its armed
forces, money it does not have and needs to recoup from cheap gas supplies.
“If Ukraine does not change its position, it will result in a real gas war,”
Pavlovskiy warned.

Russia’s long-term plan for dealing with the gas transit issue was outlined
by state channel Rossiya (RTV) in its coverage on 17 November of ceremonies
in Turkey to mark the official opening of the Blue Stream pipeline that
transports Russian gas under the Black Sea.

The Blue Stream and the projected North European gas pipeline, which is to
carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, form a two-pronged
strategy, RTV explained. “Both these routes allow Russia to obviate the
problematic transit through Ukraine, which has effectively refused to enter
into a gas-transit consortium with Russia, with a view to repairing
ramshackle pipes,” the correspondent noted.

Channel One said that bypassing Ukraine means having “stability and
predictability in gas deliveries”.

Ren TV highlighted the geopolitical aspects to gas dealings in the Caucasus.
A report on 17 November stressed that the Blue Stream pipeline is primarily
a political project intended to counter the effects of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

While the late-night bulletin on 22 November suggested that a dispute over
gas prices was behind a resolution in the Georgian parliament for Tbilisi to
withdraw from the CIS. “It is likely that clouds gathered over Georgia’s
membership of the post-Soviet organization after Russia announced an
increase in the price of gas,” presenter Olga Romanova noted.

In the same bulletin, Romanova interviewed Georgian State Minister for
Economic Reforms Minister Kakha Bendukidze about the gas issue. She
asked him if Tbilisi was really threatening to convert to Azerbaijani gas
supplies, which would effectively cut off Russian gas from Armenia.

Bendukidze replied that this was not a threat, but simply one of the
possible consequences of gas dealings. He insisted that it is just a
“question of economics”.

Ren TV returned to the gas issue in its Nedelya current affairs programme on
26 November. Presenter Marianna Maksimovskaya said that gas disputes
could lead Ukraine and Georgia to form a “union with the Baltic States in
united opposition against Russia”. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Journal Staff Report, Ukrainian Journal
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, November 24, 2005

KIEV – Ukraine on Thursday sought to secure support from Poland and
Slovakia for a project that would enable imports of Caspian Sea crude oil to
Europe via Ukrainian territory.

President Viktor Yushchenko, following talks with his Polish counterpart
Alexander Kwasniewski, said both countries agreed to go ahead with
building a Brody-Plock pipeline to handle the imports.

Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, on a visit to Slovakia, sought Slovakian
investments for the same pipeline, but also for building a new oil refinery
in Ukraine.

Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and possibly Ukraine, all currently
relying on Russian oil imports, may become immediate consumers of
Caspian oil that will moved via Odessa-Brody oil pipeline.

The talks with Poland and Slovakia come a week after Ukraine had conducted
negotiations with Kazakhstan, a major producer of Caspian oil, highlighting
Ukraine’s efforts to match demand with supply.

The efforts also underscore Ukraine’s determination to launch supplies of
Caspian oil via Odessa-Brody in order to cut dependence on Russian oil,
which accounts for 80% of its annual demand.

“Today we can say that political part of negotiations is completed,”
Yushchenko said at a press conference after the talks with Kwasniewski.
“The project is given a green light.”

Odessa-Brody, capable of moving 12 million metric tons of oil annually, was
completed in August 2001, but stayed idle for almost three years as Ukraine
then had failed to match demand with supply.

This and other reasons, including political pressure from Russia, forced
Ukraine to start moving Russian oil via Brody-to-Odessa route in October
2004 for exports by oil tankers via the Black Sea.

But Yushchenko, a pro-Western politician, sworn in as the president in
January, pledged to turn Ukraine’s policy toward greater integration with
the European Union and arranging Caspian oil deliveries is seen a step in
this direction.

Odessa-Brody has to supply at least 5 mln metric tons of oil annually in
order to make profits, but potential supplies have so far been limited at 4
mln tons, including 2 mln from Azerbaijan and 2 mln from Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who faces re-election next month,
visited Ukraine last week to reassure Yushchenko that Kazakhstan was much
interested in the project.

Meanwhile, the demand part was limited by a lack of pipeline that would
carry Caspian oil to Poland, which means such supplies could be handled by
railroad tanks from Brody to several Polish refineries.

About 4 mln tons of oil could be diverted from Brody to Slovakia and the
Czech Republic via Druzhba oil pipeline, but such deliveries run risk of
mixing supplies of Russian and Caspian crude within Druzhba.

In order to boost demand, Ukraine has last month announced plans of
building a $3 bln oil refinery in Brody, near the border with Poland, that
would be capable of refining 8 million tons annually. The refinery would
on Caspian oil and would export much of the produced gasoline to the
European Union, government officials said.

Yushchenko said: “Other things are being done to make sure that this oil
project takes off in the near future. I believe this is a continental
project.” (tl/ez) -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
MOLDOVA WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED Chisinau, Moldova, Sat, Nov 26, 2005

Ukraine will continue to supply Moldova with electric power at the current
price of 2.35 cents per kWh, as agreed by Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile
Tarlev and Ukraine’s Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov at a meeting in Piestany,
Slovakia, town that hosts the summit of the Central European Initiative.

The officials discussed the prospect of ensuring the electrical energy
security of Moldova and of Ukraine’s Odessa region after the Cuciurgan Power
Plant stopped supplying the right bank of the Dniester with electric power.

Ivan Plachkov said Ukraine is ready to redistribute the energy resources and
supply Moldova with the necessary amount of electric power in the cold
season of the year.

As to the more efficient interaction between the energy systems of Moldova
and Ukraine, the sides agreed to solve this problem in future, in common
with Romania and the European Union.

Moldova needs now about 400 megawatts of power more to ensure the
country’s electrical energy security. Some 33 percent of the internal power
consumption is covered at present from own resources.

Moldovan and Romania have recently signed a contract for the supply of 200
megawatts of power to Moldova if need be. The power will be supplied
through the three 110 kV lines existing between the two countries.

Besides, a project for the construction of the electric power lines
Balti-Suceava and Falciu-Cantemir- Gotesti is to be implemented by
October 1, 2006. -30-
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Land for plants obtained in Zhitomir and Sumy Oblasts

APK-Inform, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, Fri, Nov 25, 2005

KYIV – Agrarian Policy Ministry of Ukraine hopes that construction of two
biodiesel production plants with 100,000 tonnes of annual capacity each will
be started in the first quarter of 2006, the Minister Olexandr Baranisvsky
said to a news conference Friday.

“We will be doing our best so that the construction be started in the first
quarter of 2006,” he said. He said that the land for the construction of
both plants had been already allocated in Zhitomir and Sumy Oblasts. The
project is going to be financed both from budgetary and private investment

He said that cost of each of the plants was approximately $35 million. The
construction is going to last about one year. -30-
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Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, November 23, 2005

KIEV – Ukraine’s government asked lawmakers Wednesday to approve a
long-delayed privatization of the country’s largest telecommunications
company, Ukrtelekom.

The government sent to parliament a bill envisaging the sale of Ukrtelekom
at an open auction similar to the recent privatization auction of flagship
steel plant Kryvorizhstal.

Ukrtelekom’s privatization has been repeatedly postponed since President
Viktor Yushchenko came into power in January, as well as under his
predecessor Leonid Kuchma.

A transparent tender is likely to draw significant foreign interest and a
high price, but the risk is that a foreign owner might raise tariffs at the
telephone monopoly and anger consumers.

In October, the world’s largest steel producer, Dutch-listed Mittal Steel
(MT), snapped up Kryvorizhstal for 24.2 billion hryvnas ($4.8 billion),
more than double the starting price in the biggest and most profitable
privatization auction this ex-Soviet republic has held.

The plant was originally bought last year by Kuchma’s son-in-law Viktor
Pinchuk and another tycoon for $850 million, but the new government
assumed control of the giant steel mill and put it back on sale.

Yushchenko has sought to undo some of the privatization deals that saw
many of Ukraine’s industrial gems sold off for a pittance during the
decade-long rule of Kuchma. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Associated Press, New York, NY, Friday November 25, 2005

NEW YORK – Mittal Steel Co. NV. said on Friday it completed its $4.84
billion acquisition of Ukraine’s Kryvorizhstal steel plant.

As part of the agreement, the Rotterdam, Netherlands-based steel producer
has acquired 93.02 percent of the interest of Kryvorizhstal for roughly 3.59
billion shares of Mittal Steel. The transaction was financed through
Mittal’s cash and credit.

Mittal said it has identified $200 million in synergies with the
Kryvorizhstal plant, some of which may be realized by the end of 2006. The
company said that it has taken control of the Ukraine plant, and has named
Narendra Chaudhary as chief executive of Kryvorizhstal.

Shares of Mittal, which have traded between $22.11 and $43.86 over the last
year, closed down by 27 cents at $27.19 on the New York Stock
Exchange. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Sat Nov 26, 2005

KIEV – Ukraine has kicked off a campaign for a key parliamentary election
next March, which forces supporting President Viktor Yushchenko will
need to win in order for the president to continue with the pro-Western
course he has avowed for the ex-Soviet nation.

Ukraine’s central election commission had decreed Saturday the official
start of campaigning for the March 26 election, during which voters will
choose a new parliament, regional councils and city chiefs.

Because of constitutional changes that enter into force on January 1, 2006,
the party that wins a majority of seats or is able to form a viable
coalition in the 450-seat Upper Rada legislature will name the prime
minister and form the government, powers currently held by the president.

Unlike previous years, all of the parliamentary seats will be elected by
proportional representation, meaning voters will be casting ballots for
parties which will need to get at least three percent of the national vote
in order to enter the legislature. -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Will make Russian the second official language in Ukraine

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

KRASNOYARSK – Viktor Yanukovich, ex-prime minister of Ukraine and leader
of the Party of Regions, began his electoral campaign in Krasnoyarsk on
Saturday. He made a report at the sixth congress of the United Russia Party,
which is under way here, and spoke mostly about the relations between Russia
and Ukraine.

Yanukovich promised that if his party won the parliamentary elections, he
would radically improve the relations between our two countries and would
complete the formation of the Common Economic Space, made up of Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

He repeated the promise, made during the 2005 presidential campaign, to make
Russian the second official language in Ukraine. Yanukovich expressed
confidence that United Russia would be his partner in tackling those

Responding to questions of journalists, Yanukovich rejected the idea of
cooperation with Yulia Timoshenko. He said political cooperation with one of
the Ukrainian opposition leaders was out of the question. “Ex-Prime Minister
Timoshenko brought the Ukrainian economy down to the lowest possible level.
It is impossible to cooperate with her,” he said.

An electoral campaign before the elections to the Supreme Rada (parliament),
scheduled for March 26, 2006, began in Ukraine on Saturday. Yanukovich is
attending the congress of the United Russia Party as a guest. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 26 Nov 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Sat, Nov 26, 2005

[Presenter] Gas relations that are beneficial for Ukraine are under a big
question mark, a congress of the One Russia progovernment party has
confirmed. The neighbours want to sell us gas at world prices and want
barter payments stopped immediately.

The political congress of the One Russia party was held in Krasnoyarsk
today. The gas issue was not on the agenda, but Russian officials were
fairly categorical in their interviews. Ruslan Kukharchuk has the details.

[Correspondent] The bears, which is the name of the progovernment One
Russia party, held their first congress in Russia’ geographical centre, the
Krasnoyarsk Territory. [Passage omitted: A description of the Soviet-style

[Correspondent] [Ukrainian opposition leader] Viktor Yanukovych attended the
congress too. But he did not come for a party membership card. The head of
the Party of Regions decided to announce from Russia that his party had
begun the election campaign. Speaking at the congress, he criticized the
actions of the current Ukrainian authorities.

The head of the Party of Regions said that the main reason for current
economic problems is poor relations with Ukraine’s northern neighbour
[i.e.Russia]. He is confident that both sides should come to an agreement on
gas supplies rather than put ultimatums.

[Yanukovych, in Russian] We understand Russia. However, we believe that
gas is the key issue for Ukraine. When taking decisions, one should take
everything into account. We should move to cash payments for gas. There is
no doubt about that. As regards prices, I think there should be no rapid

[Correspondent] But the number of radical Russians who want to raise the
price of gas is not getting smaller. Gas should be sold to Ukraine at world
prices and no concessions should be made, they say.

[Russian Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoygu, in Russian] Speaking about gas
and our relations with Ukraine, my position completely coincides with a more
radical view.

[Vladimir Vasilyev, head of the State Duma security committee, in Russian]
First and foremost, Russia is protecting its own interests and the interest
of its people. Of course, we will proceed from this. We cannot build
relations with other countries and nations to our people’s detriment.

[Correspondent] Russia is now threatening Ukraine with 160 dollars per 1,000
cu.m. of gas. In addition, it also suggests that no barter payment is used
in the future. This is far from being beneficial for Ukraine, which imports
a third of the gas it consumes from Russia.

Uncertainty about the terms of gas supplies during the heating season could
cause a serious crisis. So, a Ukrainian party that will manage to
effectively promote Ukraine’s gas interests will manage to significantly
boost its rating in the parliamentary election next year. -30-
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Daryna Krasnoslutska in Kiev, Bloomberg
Moscow, Russia, Sunday, November 27, 2005

KIEV – A popular uprising known as the Orange Revolution swept Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko to power a year ago. A similar victory is
unlikely for his party in parliamentary elections in March.

Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Party has the backing of 12.4 percent of the
voters, according to a Nov. 3-13 survey of 1,993 people by the Kiev-based
Razumkov Center. The poll had a margin of error of 2.3 percent. Yushchenko
is lagging behind the Regions Party and a group led by former Prime Minister
Yulia Timoshenko.

“Expectations were very high, and I’m not just talking here about money,”
said Yuriy Ohulshanskyi, 73, a Kiev retiree who attended a Nov. 23 rally.
“Our leaders made a mistake when they failed to sustain the revolutionary
enthusiasm. They should have told us that even harder work was ahead of us.
Instead, they told us to expect immediate paradise.”

Since Yushchenko’s victory in a re-run election in December, growth in
Ukraine’s $65 billion economy has faltered and citizens say corruption
remains as rife as in the days of his predecessor Leonid Kuchma, who was
criticized for stifling free speech and fixing asset sales.

Millions poured onto the streets of Kiev last November after Kuchma’s
preferred successor was declared the winner of rigged presidential
elections. Yushchenko promised more democracy, closer ties to the European
Union, and rising living standards.

Campaigning for the March 26 parliamentary elections began on Nov. 26. The
head of the winning party will become prime minister, whose powers will be
expanded for the first time to include some responsibilities now held by the
president, including the right to appoint the cabinet. Parties have until
Dec. 25 to pick candidates.
The Regions Party, led by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Kuchma’s
candidate who ran against Yushchenko for the presidency last year, ranked
first with 17.4 percent support, according to the Razumkov Center survey.
Timoshenko’s alliance, which she has cobbled together since her dismissal on
Sept. 8, placed second with 12.8 percent.

“Such diverse political groups were united under the Orange banner that they
were bound to split after they won, simply because the political ambitions
of each of the groups’ leaders were too high,” said Oleksandr Lytvynenko, a
researcher at the Kiev-based Center for Political and Economic Studies. “On
top of that, the president didn’t have enough political will to push through
economic and political changes.”

Yanukovych’s victory sparked the revolution when U.S. and EU observers
ruled the balloting was rife with fraud. The results were voided after
millions of people, many wearing the orange color of Yushchenko’s party,
demonstrated on Independence Square and across the former Soviet republic.

Yushchenko won the re-run election Dec. 26 and was sworn into office Jan.
“There is disappointment,” said Olha Hnotovska, a 45-year-old university
employee who took part in the street protests last year that brought
Yushchenko, 51, to power. She spoke after the Nov. 23 rally on Kiev’s
Independence Square. “The revolution wasn’t about personalities. We were
defending the freedom to choose.”

Yushchenko dismissed his cabinet on Sept. 8 amid accusations of graft and
accepted the resignation of his head of national security, Petro Poroshenko.

Timoshenko, who stood at Yushchenko’s side during the revolution, was
fired after Yushchenko said he lost confidence in her ability to improve the
economy and fight corruption.
The economy may expand 4 percent this year, one-third the pace of 2004,
after companies deferred investments following government seizures of
properties that were sold by Kuchma at discount prices.

The annual inflation rate will probably top 10 percent this year, Yushchenko
said Nov. 22, higher than the 8 percent he forecast on June 16. The trade
deficit by September ballooned to $748 million from a surplus in July, as
exports waned. The average monthly wage of $133 a month is still a fraction
of Germany’s $4,500 a month.

“The economy can’t get much worse; it will improve, because there is a new,
competent, government in place now,” said Marianna Kozintseva, New-York
based emerging market strategist at Bear Stearns Cos. “Growth slowed
because of major mistakes by Timoshenko’s government.”

Lawmakers have yet to approve changes that would harmonize Ukrainian laws
with those of the World Trade Organization’s members. Ukraine, which has
been trying to join the WTO since 1997, may enter the organization next
year, after missing a 2005 deadline, Yushchenko said on Nov. 22.
Since her dismissal, Timoshenko has criticized Yushchenko, saying the
administration of her successor, Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, is too
closely allied with the nation’s richest businessmen.

She said on Nov. 22 that the two political leaders should patch up their
differences and work together during the campaign to ensure Yanukovych
doesn’t take power.

“If we don’t stick together, Yanukovych will have his revenge,” Timoshenko
said in a Nov. 22 speech. “This isn’t just a possibility. There is a 100
percent chance of this happening.”

Lytvynenko at the Center for Political and Economic Studies, didn’t rule out
a coalition of Yushchenko, Timoshenko and Yanukovych. “The majority will
be formed by this troika, as none of them will be able to form a majority
all by themselves,” he said. -30-
To contact the reporters on this story: Daryna Krasnoslutska in
Kiev, through the Moscow newsroom at
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Mara D. Bellaby, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 28, 2005

KIEV, Ukraine — Former President Clinton on Sunday praised Ukraine’s
reforms since last year’s Orange Revolution but counseled Ukrainians to
have patience.

“It takes time to build the kind of vibrant, progressive, forward-moving
nation that you are all working to build,” Clinton said at a news conference
with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

Many Ukrainians have expressed disappointment at their nation’s failure
to improve living standards and battle corruption since last year’s mass
protests against election fraud.

There have been no demonstrable improvements in poverty rates, and
Yushchenko’s approval ratings have plunged after a split with his Orange
Revolution partners and allegations of corruption against some of his
closest aides.

Clinton came to Ukraine to offer his foundation’s help to this ex-Soviet
republic in its struggle against HIV and AIDS and to hold brief talks with

The United States played an important role in condemning the fraud-marred
vote and calling for a revote, which Ukraine’s Supreme Court ordered and
Yushchenko won.

“I see a more vibrant democracy, freedom of speech, a more aggressive, free
press and freedom of political assembly and the kind of disagreements that
characterize any modern democracy,” Clinton said.

Yushchenko’s party faces a tough challenge in March as Ukrainians elect a
new parliament. Yushchenko repeated a call for the country’s democratic
forces to unite. “Solidarity and unity is the most original concept for
bringing victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections,” he said.

Under a deal signed Sunday, the Clinton Foundation will provide training for
medical professionals who deal with HIV patients and will help Ukrainians
get access to HIV medications at discounted prices.

Ukraine has one of the fastest-growing HIV rates in the world, with some
experts suggesting that as many as 500,000 people – 1 percent of the
population – are infected. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

Ukrainians had high hopes after the Orange Revolution, but a year later
progress has been slow, writes Chris Stephen from Kiev
The first time I met teacher Svetlana Simonova and her daughter Valery, on a
cold November day at the start of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, I thought it
might be the last.

Observers had just announced that the government had rigged a presidential
election and democracy appeared about to be snuffed out.

These were the early days, before Kiev was swamped with crowds
half-a-million strong. Just a few thousand gathered on the city’s main
Kreschatik boulevard with no clear idea what to do if the tanks arrived.

“I have come here to make sure that my daughter has a future,” said Svetlana
(50). “I am not frightened of the tanks. The boys who drive them have
mothers and families just like us.” It was a brave statement, but when I
left them, huddled like penguins against the snow flurries, I wondered if I
would ever see them again.

Now, one year later, we are back at the exact same spot on the boulevard –
with the same freezing weather. And now there are smiles on faces once
etched with anxiety.

“You need to understand our history,” says Valery (26). “For 300 years we
had no freedom. Maybe we are not exactly free yet, but we have made a first
step.” It is, she admits, a small step. Ukraine may have democracy, but it
also has chaos.
The revolution ended with high hopes when opposition champion Viktor
Yushchenko, his face disfigured by a poisoning attack, was elected

In office, Yushchenko launched many reforms, but most have run into the
ground. The media, now free, happily charts the infighting at the top of the
administration and its failure to sort out the economy, end corruption or
even find out who poisoned the president.

Although Yushchenko is not tainted by corruption, the media has focused on
the high living and fast cars of his 19-year-old son, and his bizarre
attempt to patent the slogan of the revolution, which was “Tak” or “Yes”.

In September Yushchenko sacked his prime minister, the glamorous Julia
Tymoshenko. In the revolution they had been a fine double-act but in office
they fought, and now the “orange vote” is split between the two of them
ahead of parliamentary elections next March.

Meanwhile the leader of the former government, Viktor Yanukovich, blamed
by many for rigging the elections, has stayed out of trouble and held onto his
support among ethnic Russians.

Despite all this, the Simonovas are optimistic. “We won the right to have
elections,” says Svetlana simply.

The women reveal an extra reason for their decision to risk their lives on
the barricades: Just before the rigged election, Svetlana’s husband
Anatolie, a doctor, had died after a long illness. He had been a lifelong
campaigner for Ukraine’s independence, and they felt their presence was in
part to honour his memory.

The year has been a rocky one for them. Valery lost her job in March when
the travel agency she worked for went out of business. The agency was
connected to the old regime, and lost out in the blizzard of reforms.

BUT TYMOSHENKO’S CAMPAIGN against corruption in the customs
service has opened a new door, enabling Valery to set herself up as a
one-woman export business, selling carved wooden horses and other folk
art to France and Germany.

“After the Orange revolution I realised that I have to make my own
decisions,” she explains. “I have many problems but I know I can solve

Further up Khreschatik I meet Maxim Kukovsky, who I last saw as the burly
tough-talking head of security of Pora, the most radical of the opposition
groups. By the time I met him, the revolution was in full swing and his big
worry was that the camp would be infiltrated by fifth columnists, hence his
demand to see my passport and press pass.

TODAY I MEET a very different Maxim, all affable smiles and self-deprecating
jokes. The 34-year-old businessman with a soft round face shows me a tree, a
few feet from where we stood back then, which he says marks the saddest
memory of his four-weeks in Tent City.

Around this tree he poured four litres of Jameson which some kind soul had
donated amid the mountain of food, clothing and firewood. “We had a strict
no-alcohol policy so it had to go,” he explains. “This is the richest soil
in all of Kiev,” he says wistfully.

Like Valery, Maxim (34) has had a rocky year. Orders for his small computer
business fell during his four weeks as a revolutionary, then suffered again
amid the turmoil of reform.

Yet he too insists the revolution was a success – not because of the
government it ushered in, but because democracy itself was entrenched.

“The big difference is that now, for the new elections in March, people can
choose. For the last elections, they could not choose. So now they have
hope,” he says. “Life is difficult, yes, but when was it ever easy?” A year
ago academic Dr Olexy Haran worried about civil war.

The country was split between the majority Ukrainian speakers, who backed
the opposition, in the west and the minority Russian-speakers, who backed
Yanukovich, in the east. Those in the west wanted to join the European
Union, those in the east a union with Russia. With Ukraine now heading down
a long road to the EU, the split remains but talk of war has fizzled out.

“Do I think the Orange Revolution was positive?” says Dr Haran. “The answer
is yes, and in capital letters. The most important thing is that nobody can
use administrative resources the way they were used before.” Yanukovich
supporters are thin on the ground in Kiev.

One middle-aged woman, Nadya, who did not give her second name, said she
supports Yanukovich because Yushchenko broke his promises. An ethnic
Russian, she also has a more practical worry. Ukrainian remains the
country’s only official language, to the fury of the ethnic Russians. While
their language is denied official status, Yanukovich can be certain of their

Despite its beauty, with dozens of golden-domed churches looking out from
high bluffs over the slow-flowing Dnipre, Kiev has yet to see its recent
fame translate into a tourist boom.

But long-time resident Desmond Reid, manager of the Irish pub O’Briens,
thinks it will happen. He plans to open two new pubs, sure that democracy is
now entrenched and prosperity will follow.

“The revolution was a success for people power,” he tells me. “They did it
once and they know they can go out and do it again.” -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Cynicism has befallen Ukraine, as many who hoped for so much
begin to feel that their ideals have been taken for granted

COMMENTARY: By Yulia Tymoshenko
Taipei Times, Taiwan, Friday, Nov 25, 2005,Page 9

One year after our Orange Revolution, many Ukrainians see its ideals as
betrayed. Belief in a government answerable to the people and in a
transparent market purged of insider dealing no longer guides government
policy. Instead, the ideals for which we struggled appear as slogans invoked
by those who want to protect their vested interests.

Cynics explain this by saying that our “Orange” ideals were never anything
but the rationalizations of one set of oligarchs struggling to overthrow
another. Once masters of the situation, it is said, the zeal of those who
promised reform mutated into a zeal to preserve their private wealth and
that of their friends.

How did Ukraine reach this state of cynicism? A year ago, everyone gathered
in the streets of Kiev knew what we were standing up against: a corrupt
government that sought to command life and labor, and to dispose of state
property, at its will.

In so far as formal legal rights existed, no court could be relied upon to
enforce those rights when our rulers saw their interests as challenged.
`[W]hen people do not believe that their government adheres to this higher
spirit of law, no Constitution is worth the paper it is written on.’

In evicting that regime, we believed that this form of absolutism was ended.
Instead, those who benefited from the regime’s corruptions insisted that
their rights to the property they had stolen were inviolate. These crony
capitalists argue that, if they were left alone to develop their assets,
they would make the country prosperous. Tamper with property, no matter
how ill-gotten, and no investor will have confidence, they claim.

That is the oldest excuse to justify wrongdoing: The end justifies the
means. But power — be it political or economic — without legitimate
origins is arbitrary. An economy that appears arbitrary and illegitimate in
the eyes of the majority of people may, for a time, run on the false
confidence of easy profits.

Corruption, however, is inevitable because the rule of law, which is the
market’s ultimate guarantor, depends on the consent of all its participants
and their belief in its core fairness.

A radical lawlessness was at the heart of Ukraine’s privatization process.
So we must not be tricked by the fact that those who gained economic power
by looting state assets now employ lawyers, invoke free market nostrums, and
claim to follow the letter of the law.

For there is such a thing as a lawless legality. It is found when
governments deny that in making or interpreting laws, they are bound by the
spirit of the law.

In this respect, the oligarchs and their political placemen who insist that
their right to stolen property is sacred make the same crude claim as the
regime that we overthrew: that they have an indefeasible right to the
exercise of power. They reject the principle that there is a law which is
superior to presidents, magnates, majorities, or mobs.

If their claim is upheld, then the cynics are right: Our revolution was
merely about whether one class or another, one person or another, would
obtain the power to work his or her will.

Endorsing the claim to arbitrary power is the cardinal heresy of those who
say we should certify property stolen from the state as rightfully owned. I
call this a heresy because it rejects the supremacy of equality under law
and proclaims the supremacy of particular men. This is alien to any and all
concepts of liberty. It is the legalism of the barbarian, and the nihilist
philosophy that everyone has in reaction against the coming of political and
economic liberty to Ukraine.

Legal primitives are not alone in embracing this stance. Many economists
also believe that ownership of stolen goods must be recognized. They liken
the transition from communism to the state of nature described by John

So they imagine the property rights acquired through cronyism, nepotism and
backroom dealing as somehow emerging from a Lockean realm of freedom.
When my government questioned this assumption, they cried out that this was
interference by the state with legitimate property rights.

Another group also succumbed to this delusion. Some who a year ago displayed
great public spirit came to feel, when in government, that they could not
vindicate the supremacy of law without curtailing economic growth.

Because the grind of government can obscure enduring principle, people
inspired by the best motives now find themselves on the same side as their
criminal adversaries. They have, I believe, lost their way and taken a path
that can only lead back to the supremacy of arbitrary power.

Indeed, the denial that men may be arbitrary is the higher law by which we
must govern. Without this conviction the letter of the law is nothing but a
mask for bureaucratic caprice and authoritarian will. For when people do not
believe that their government adheres to this higher spirit of law, no
Constitution is worth the paper it is written on; no business transaction is

For maintaining a constitutional order and viable free market requires an
intuitive dislike of arbitrariness, a sensitivity to its manifestations, and
spontaneous resistance.

This was why my government sought to recover stolen state property. By doing
so, and then auctioning that property in a transparent manner, Ukrainians
saw that arbitrary action could be redressed, that the rule of law applied
to the powerful as well as the weak.

The lesson is clear: If a president may not act willfully, arbitrarily, by
personal prerogative, then no one may. Ministers may not. Parliament may
not. Majorities may not. Individuals may not. Crowds may not. Only by
adhering to this higher law will Ukraine develop the consciousness of law
that true liberty demands.

By identifying the law with their vested rights, the oligarchs who have [for
now] derailed the ideals of the Orange Revolution sought to shield their own
interests from challenge. But because men pervert a truth, there is no
reason to abandon it.

If, as we were taught by Marx, belief in a higher law is a mixture of
sentimentality, superstition and unconscious rationalizations, then the
predations that incited the Orange Revolution are in reality the only
possible conditions in which we can live.

We must give up the hope of liberty within an ordered society and market and
resign ourselves to that interminable war of all against all of which Hobbes

Indeed, the policies now being offered seem hostile to the ideals of our
Orange Revolution. We are asked to choose between social solidarity and
economic growth. To escape from want we are told, we must embrace
illegality. To promote truth, we are told that old crimes must not be

These choices are as false as they are intolerable. Yet these are the
choices offered by our influential doctrinaires. But to see these as
Ukraine’s only options is to mistake weariness for wisdom, and to be
discouraged rather than to understand.

For the search for law has an irresistible energy. No human obstruction can
long withstand it. Though we may take a step back now and then, only by
adhering to this higher law can Ukraine achieve freedom and prosperity for
all. Achieve it we will. -30-
Yulia Tymoshenko was prime minister of Ukraine from February to
September, 2005
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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ANALYSIS: Kostis Geropoulos, Senior Reporter, New Europe
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, November 28, 2005

Ukraine, which marked the first anniversary of its “Orange Revolution” last
Tuesday, is a different place. There is a fundamental change of approach in
politics and economics, the government is slowly doing away with bureaucracy
and corruption and the country is gradually moving on its pro-European
course. But, at the same time, the “orange” dream team has split amid
infighting, economic growth has slowed, and the climate ahead of the
country’s parliamentary elections in March 2006 is uncertain as ever.

Last Tuesday, tens of thousands flooded Kiev’s main square, many hoping for
reconciliation between President Viktor Yushchenko and former prime minister
Yulia Timoshenko on the anniversary of the revolution that ushered the
one-time allies to power.

Yushchenko was initially defeated by Viktor Yanukovich in a run-off vote
that was considered to be fraudulent, leading to the massive protests and an
eventual ruling by Ukraine’s highest court nullifying the outcome.
Yushchenko prevailed in a new election on December 26, 2004.

In September 2005, Yushchenko, a moderate politician supporting free
markets, sacked the hard-line Timoshenko, replacing her with pragmatic Yuri

Yushchenko criticised Timoshenko’s policies, which he said brought this
former Soviet republic to the brink of economic collapse. Former
presidential candidate Yanukovich seeks to take advantage of the split.

All eyes are now upon the March 2006 election when Ukrainians will be called
upon to elect a new parliament and one-time prime minister and no one knows
who will win.

Experts agree Ukraine’s next election will be fair and peaceful. “There are
a lot of problems but Ukrainians are trying to solve the problems in a
peaceful way and they’ve got a real political fight going on and this is
natural,” analyst Lilya Shevtsova of the Carnegie Endowment think tank in
Moscow told New Europe.

“Despite of the fact that economic growth has decreased and there is a lot
of disappointment, the most important thing is Ukrainians are ready to solve
their problems on the basis of consensus, political struggle, compromise
without using military might and there is a consensus that Ukraine has to be
part of Europe and this is optimistic,” Shevtsova said.

“The fact that thousands of the people despite of this frustration came to
the Maidan (Independence) Square and still celebrated the first anniversary
of revolution is also very telling. It says that still population of Ukraine
is together with its political regime,” she added.

“Ukraine is going in the right direction. It’s just a rough ride at the
moment,” Martin Nunn, the director of White’s International, a public
relations firm in Kiev, told New Europe. “The only good advice I would give
to any investor at the moment is literally ‘watch this space’ because the
potential of this country is … China at Europe’s doorstep. It may be a
difficult place to do business but it’s worth it if you can.”

The government is trying to improve the investment climate in Ukraine. “The
international business community and top Ukrainian industry are working
together with the office of the president through the Foreign Investment
Advisors Council to come back with country changes that need to be put into
place in order to make a more attractive investment environment. Basically
trying to undo the damage Mrs. Timoshenko managed to achieve,” Nunn said
telephonically from Kiev.

When she was prime minister, Timoshenko’s calls to revisit thousands of
privatisation deals of state assets scared off foreign investors and the
dramatic increase of social payments stoked inflation. During Timoshenko’s
tenure in office, Ukraine’s GDP annual growth fell from 12 percent to four

Nevertheless, she remains very popular among Ukrainians. “Mrs. Timoshenko has
a very well-oiled marketing and public relations machine which she uses very
effectively,” said Nunn, who is a public relations expert. “The presidential
public relations and marketing machine is more honest but less effective.
She is certainly popular because she’s making populist promises, which is
highly unlikely she will ever be able to deliver,” Nunn opined. Expectations
were set too high after the “Orange Revolution.”

Nunn said the government has done rather well. “There is a lot achieved in
this country but people expected a lot more. They expected that after they
had a revolution, everything would change. The revolution achieved a
fundamental change of approach and it’s taking time to actually to filter

The sad part about it is people are actually worse off that they were before
the ‘Orange Revolution’ but they also recognise that as a result of the
revolution there is now and there will be in the future a more equal
distribution of all the national wealth,” he said.

Many Ukrainians, who expected the country to make a dramatic turnaround out
of poverty and corruption, were also disappointed. “The problem now is that
the real levels of corruption are becoming visible. So people think there is
an increase in corruption. I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe there
is an increase in the visibility of corruption. Unfortunately they are the
people that are in power in the bureaucracies who are making the most out of
corruption and that filters down the system,” Nunn explained.

On the positive side, laws give Ukrainians more individual power. “Now one
of the things they very strongly consider is the legal ability in the system
to do away with something like 2000 stupid regulations. That in itself is
going to have a flying impact because it will simplify lots of the processes
and thereby take away the possibility for corrupt practises,” Nunn said.

Doing away with corruption is expected to be a major issue at the upcoming
parliamentary elections, which are likely to be dominated by party politics
rather than industrial functions since the qualifications for political
parties have been raised.

Were elections to be held last week, seven Ukrainian political parties would
be likely to pass the three percent barrier needed to sit in parliament,
according to a poll conducted by the Image Control pollster from November 17
to 22, in which 2,000 respondents across Ukraine were questioned.

The poll shows that 20.2 percent of respondents would vote for the Party of
the Regions led by Yanukovich, 17.8 percent would cast their ballots for the
People’s Union Our Ukraine with Yushchenko as honorary president and 15.7
percent would vote for Batkyvshchyna, led by Timoshenko.

Eight percent of those polled would cast their ballots for the People’s
Party led by Parliament speaker Volodymyr Litvin, 6.3 percent for the
Socialist Party led by Alexander Moroz, six percent for the Communist Party
led by Petro Symonenko and 3.7 percent for the Progressive-Socialist Party
led by Natalia Vitrenko.

Whether another alliance between Yushchenko and Timoshenko is in the cards
after the March 2006 election is unclear. “Mrs Timoshenko is playing games
here and what she did systematically through the whole of her prime
ministership was try to out position and outmanoeuvre the president and that
to me is totally unacceptable for a prime minister,” Nunn opined.

Timoshenko told the crowd gathered on the Maidan last Tuesday: “I want to
dismiss all the rumours that it is Timoshenko versus Yushchenko. This cannot
be so because this is the president that you and I helped bring to power. We
did it together.” -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Here’s one solution. Draft Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko,
a real democrat, to stand in for the Kremlin boss next year until
Russia proves itself worthy of this honor.

REVIEW & OUTLOOK: The Wall Street Journal
New York, NY, Thursday, November 24, 2005

In just over a month, Vladimir Putin takes the rotating presidency of the
G8, the elite club of industrialized democracies. We can thank the Duma for
a timely and damning update on the state of democracy in Russia itself.

By a margin of 370 to 18, the legislature yesterday took the first step
toward severely curbing foreign and, though less widely reported, domestic
non-governmental organizations. After Mr. Putin’s previously successful
efforts to rein in opposition parties, his United Russia bloc controls the
Duma, and will likely rubber stamp this bill into law in the next two
readings, unless the Kremlin backs off. A chorus of protest might help
concentrate minds there.

The attack on the NGOs, among the last independent institutions left, comes
as no surprise, of course. Mr. Putin has virtually destroyed the other
pillars of civil society. After his elevation to the presidency by Boris
Yeltsin in 2000, the former KGB officer neutered the media. Next came the
purge of billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who dared support dissident
voices and ended up in a Siberian Gulag. Last year, Mr. Putin cancelled
direct elections for local government.

George Bush has been tough on his “friend Vlad” for Russia’s steady slide
toward authoritarianism — in a welcome change in tone, dating to last year,
that makes America one of the last pressure groups for democracy left in
Russia. But Mr. Putin, enjoying support from Europe, gives no sign of

The latest law would require Russia’s 400,000 noncommercial associations to
reregister with the state within a year — in other words, before the next
Duma elections in 2007. The government would then approve or reject them.
Considering the Gogolesque state of Russian bureaucracy, one can easily
surmise that the intention is to put any groups unfriendly to Mr. Putin &
Co. out of business. The law also makes it near impossible for foreign
NGOs — like Human Rights Watch and the Carnegie Endowment — to stay in

Which, naturally, is the whole point. The Duma’s vote yesterday coincides
with the one-year anniversary of the start of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.
Ever since then, the Putin establishment has lived in fear of a similar
spontaneous outbreak of democracy at home. By this conspiracy theory,
foreign-backed NGOs planted the seeds of the collapse of the discredited
regimes in Milosevic’s Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and, earlier this year,

Next door in Belarus, Europe’s last fully-fledged tyrant Alexander
Lukashenko years ago shut down the NGOs. The Polish dailies Gazeta
Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita yesterday published partly blacked-out
front pages. Under the black, the papers observed: “This is what freedom
of speech looks like in Belarus.” With Mr. Putin following the Lukashenko
model, similar protests may soon be directed at Russia.

The G8 finds itself in a pickle, handing the reins to Mr. Putin just as he
further banishes democracy at home. Here’s one solution.

Draft Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko, a real democrat, to stand in
for the Kremlin boss next year until Russia proves itself worthy of this
honor. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian woman trying to work in Ireland had two legs amputated

Irish Times, Ireland, Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

Last New Year’s Day, a homeless Ukrainian woman in Co Antrim had two
severely frostbitten legs amputated – now Oksana Sukhanova has a job, an
apartment and is walking again, reports Susan McKay

This time last year, Oksana Sukhanova was desperately seeking work in shops
and factories around the north-western towns of Ballymoney in Co Antrim and
Coleraine in Co Derry. “They all said, ‘No vacancies – try again after
Christmas’,” she recalls. But by Christmas, the 28-year-old Ukrainian woman
was homeless and on the streets.

On New Year’s Day, 2005, she was rushed to hospital where she was found to
have such severe frostbite that surgeons had to amputate both of her legs
below the knees. She has come a long way since then. She’s working. She’s
walking. She’s smiling.

“I left the wheelchair at the nursing home,” she says. “I prefer to walk.”
In her jeans and runners, it would be impossible to tell that she has
prosthetic legs if you didn’t know. She moves slowly but gracefully, though
friends worry that she has perhaps pushed herself too far, too quickly. “I’m
fine,” she says, with her big, radiant smile.

She understands a lot of English but is not yet a fluent speaker, and
replies in Russian. Anna, a Russian woman who works for the local health and
social services trust while studying to be a social worker, translates. Anna
is married to a local man and is Oksana’s friend now.

Oksana is from Sebastopol, on the Black Sea. She went to university and got
a degree in accounting and finance. She worked in business and as a
secretary. It was after her marriage broke up that she decided to leave
Ukraine. “I went to an agency and they suggested Ireland. It was an
expensive deal – I had to borrow the equivalent of a few years’ salary from
my friends and relations.”

When she got here, she was told she had a job in McKeown’s poultry factory
in the village of Rasharkin in Co Antrim, near Ballymoney. She paid a
deposit and rent for a room in a company house in Ballymoney, sharing with
two other women from Ukraine and three from Latvia.

Plucking turkeys wasn’t exciting work, and she had the skills and
qualifications for better, but she was happy enough. “We only got the
minimum wage of GBP4.50 (6.60) an hour, but it was okay because I
worked a lot of overtime.”

A few months later, one of the other migrant women workers was sacked.
“She called the agency but they just told her to go away, it wasn’t their
problem. They told her if she didn’t want to be deported she should just
leave the house and disappear.”

Then, in September 2004, Oksana was sacked. “I’d been told by the agency
that because I had a permit for a year I’d be safe. But the supervisor just
told me I wasn’t following the rules of hygiene and I was to leave.”

SHE IS STILL very angry about what happened. “I wasn’t given a chance to
say anything. There was no trade union or anything like that. The other workers
were shocked. They knew I was a good worker. There had been no problem
before that. But they were afraid to say anything. It was really terrible.
It was two months before I got holiday money they owed me.”

The company said she left “by mutual agreement”, that it offered to organise
her return to Ukraine and that it provides support for its migrant staff,
including information in their own languages. It wished her well.

Oksana moved in with some Polish men she knew who were also working in the
area. No vacancies came up. She was not eligible to seek other work, but she
didn’t know this. Her savings were dwindling. She was getting depressed.

Then, coming up to Christmas, the Poles returned to Poland. “I was left on
the street. I stayed in a cheap hotel for a few nights, but then I had no
more money,” she says. “After that, I was just sitting outside. I slept on
the streets. I didn’t eat.”

Her eyes fill, and then she cries hard for a few moments, her long hair
falling like a curtain to cover her face. “It is better not to have had this
experience,” she says bleakly.

In the rush and excitement of the days before Christmas, no one seems to
have noticed the lovely young woman with nowhere to go, or if they did they
didn’t ask any questions. It was very cold. She doesn’t remember those days
and nights in any detail. She didn’t know she’d spent New Year’s Eve on the

She did know, eventually, that she was very ill. “I made my way to the house
I’d lived in when I worked at the factory, and I asked them to call an
ambulance,” she says. One of the women who was at the house when Oksana
arrived said she looked “very awful.” She was brought to the Causeway
Hospital in Coleraine, but was then transferred to the City Hospital in
Belfast, where she was operated on within days. A surgeon said it was the
worst case of frostbite he had ever seen. She was lucky to survive.

OKSANA BECAME AWARE that her plight had been described in newspapers
and on television when gifts and cards began to arrive at the hospital. “I was
very grateful. I even got cards from people saying I could come and live with
them,” she says. An Irish friend brought her books in Russian. “Classics,”
she says. “I read Tolstoy’s War and Peace.”

She was in hospital for five months. “I was also given a chance to go on a
scheme the Causeway Trust runs for disabled people who want to go back to
work. It was good. I made candles and had some English classes.”

“My parents wanted to come and get me and bring me home,” she says. “I told
them I wouldn’t ever go back. Able-bodied people can hardly survive in
Ukraine. Disabled people just die. My parents’ friends have a son who fell
off a roof and broke his spine. He is completely paralysed. To survive, his
parents had to sell their flat and look after him,” she says. “I can hope
for a much higher standard of living here.”

She has permission to stay in Northern Ireland for three years now, and is
working again, using a microscope at MFL, a small computer parts factory in
Coleraine. “They are very nice. I hope I can stay there,” she says. She has
to go to work by taxi at present. “I need a car. I’m not really mobile at
the moment,” she says. “I’m doing my test in Londonderry later this month.”

The flat the Simon Community has made available to her near the River Bann
in the centre of Coleraine is spacious, modern and accessible. She moved
into it in June and can stay until next June. She spends a lot of time there
on her own, watching soaps in English on a big television.

Her friend still brings her the Russian classics. “I’m reading Michail
Sholokhov at the moment,” she says. Her only sibling, her younger brother,
Vitaliy, has just gone home after visiting her for two weeks. “I miss my
family very much,” she admits. “My brother is a welder. He loved it here and
would love to come back and stay but he would have to go through the agency
and raise that horrendous amount of money.”

Vitaliy was able to visit with the help of money from the trust fund set up
for Oksana by local SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat, along with the St
Vincent de Paul Society, soon after her terrible story was publicised last
January. The SVDP organised a sponsored walk. Local Orangemen organised a
sponsored burger-eating session. There was a benefit in a pub.

Bernadette McAliskey, who runs the South Tyrone Empowerment Project (Step)
in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, says Oksana’s case highlights scandalously poor
provision for migrant workers across the North. The Step centre largely
caters for the substantial Portuguese-speaking community in mid-Ulster.

“The Northern Ireland administration needs to recruit and train qualified
and bilingual people from the migrant community to give people advice on
their rights, in their own language,” she says. In the new year, Step will
be employing two international immigration advice lawyers. “Section 75 of
the Good Friday Agreement puts the onus on the State to ensure that people’s
rights are vindicated,” says McAliskey.

DALLAT AND HIS wife Ann and their children have become friends with
Oksana. “She is proud and very self-sufficient but her needs are considerable
and they are long-term,” Dallat says. “She needs a car and a decent place of
her own in a safe area. She needs a lot of support and she needs people to
be generous. Long-term she will need skills training. She’s an extremely
courageous young woman, but the battle she is fighting is too big for her to
win on her own.”

This Christmas, Oksana says she’ll probably just watch television in the
apartment. It will be heaven compared with last year. “I was very
unfortunate, but my life is fine now,” she says. “People have been very
kind, helping me, and I thank them all. I think everything is very good
now.” Then she smiles and repeats in English: “Very good. Very good.”

Oksana Sukhanova’s trust fund is with Cater Allen Private Bank, sort code
165710, account number 54139077. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
Foreign Minister Ungureanu asked Ukraine to respect Danube Delta

By Alecs Iancu, Bucharest Daily News
Bucharest, Romania, Monday, November 28, 2005

BUCHAREST – A Ukrainian commission has established that the Bastroe
Canal, feared to have a severe negative impact on the Danube Delta biosphere,
will not present any risk to the environment.

“We ask our neighbors to respect the long chain of international conventions
Ukraine has signed and to stop this devastation of the north-eastern Danube
Delta,” said Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, expressing his
disappointment over the conclusions of a Kiev commission on Bastroe.

A team appointed by the Ukrainian government concluded that construction of
the Bastroe Canal in the Delta would not endanger the environment, although
the project has been widely criticized by several non-governmental
organizations and environmentalists as very dangerous to the Delta’s

The Bastroe Canal, inaugurated on August 26 last year, would allow Ukraine
direct access to the Black Sea. The construction was halted after an EU
investigation commission asked Kiev to stop all works until a thorough
impact study is made available.

According to Ungureanu, the commission’s decision means that the Ukrainian
government will resume the pursuit of its economic interests and continue
with the construction of the canal.

Ungureanu also referred to the commission’s conclusions as “paradoxical,”
as they contradict the observations made by international environmental
organizations and the Romanian authorities involved in the case.

“We are forced to remind our Ukrainian friends that any administrative
decision to continue work on the canal would severely affect the Delta,”
said the minister, asking the Kiev authorities to take into consideration
all the inquiries run by international independent commissions, which
concluded that the project would indeed be harmful.

“We are very firm, we believe this is an issue of great political importance
and I don’t think we have anything to negotiate. It’s about preserving an
environment that is unique in Romania,” concluded Ungureanu.

The Danube Delta, which has been part of the UNESCO world heritage since
1991, currently hosts about 90 species of fish and 300 species of birds, of
which many are extremely rare or about to become extinct. Specialists say
the construction of the canal could seriously disturb the ecological and
hydrological balance in the area and gradually affect the whole Danube

Romania, which shares ownership over the Delta with Ukraine, has repeatedly
tried to convince Ukraine to give up the project, but has so far failed. The
project further increased tension in relations between the two countries, as
Kiev did not inform Romania when it began construction and also failed to
provide an impact study.

In spite of the numerous requests made by the government and the criticism
expressed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe, several EU
member states, and the U.S. State Department, Ukraine continued to refuse to
stop the work.

Non-governmental organizations concerned with the preservation of world
heritage and the environment have repeatedly protested against the Ukrainian
authorities’ decision, without result.

Ukraine finally agreed to halt the project until an international experts’
commission had assessed the effects the canal will have on the Delta’s
environment. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat, November 26, 2005

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has conferred the Yaroslav the Wise
Order II on American researcher and public figure James Mace posthumously.
Ukrainian News learned this from decree No. 1655 of November 26.

The order is bestowed for personal merits to the Ukrainian nation in
revealing the truth to the world community about the 1932-1933 Great
Famine in Ukraine, for fruitful research work and public activities.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine commemorates the victims
of great famines and political repressions on November 26. According to
different estimates, from three to seven million people died of famine in
Ukraine in 1932-1933. -30-
FOOTNOTE: For those of us who knew and worked with Jim Mace
we are certainly pleased about this award from President Yushchenko.
We thank the President for awarding this honor to Dr. James Mace.
I visited with Jim’s wife, Natalia, over the weekend in Kyiv and of
course she is very proud of this honor for her late husband. It still
does not seem right to come to Kyiv and for Jim not be here. EDITOR
NOTE: The new book, “Day and Eternity of James Mace”
published by The Day in Kyiv, in English or in Ukrainian, is available
from the Information Service. If you are
interesting in finding out how to order the new book please send an
e-mail to EDITOR
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
A most devastating weapon of mass destruction and social subjection

New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, November 28, 2005

KIEV – On November 26 Ukraine marked the Day of Commemoration for the
victims of the Ukrainian famine. The first mass famine that had started just
after the civil war and suppression of Ukrainian revolution seized a
considerable part of Ukraine Zaporizhiya, Donetsk, Katerynoslav, Mykolaiv,
Odessa provinces.

There were to some extent objective reasons behind it – the 1921 drought,
economic consequences of WWI and of the civil war.

But the main reasons for famine were the collapse of the agricultural policy
of the regime of that time, reduction of areas under corps in once fertile
in grain territories as a consequence of ‘war communism’ policy, directive
methods of management of communist leadership of the country, which
reallocated resources primarily to industrial centres, predominantly outside

In 1932-1933 the Famine re-grasped the same regions of Ukraine, but this
time it was caused predominantly by political reasons.

The Famine of 1932-1933 was by no means an accident. Quite opposite,
it was the result of systemic totalitarian state terror by starvation – in other
words, the result of genocide.

The mass physical extermination of Ukrainian farmers by artificially caused
starvation to death was a deliberate act of political system against
innocent civilians, according to a press statement released last Friday.

The deep scar left in the history of Ukraine by the Famine in 1932-1933 is
intertwined with other tragedies experienced by Ukrainian people in XX
century – WWI, civil war of 1917-1920, famine of 1921-1923, political purges
of 1937-1939, WWII in 1939-1945 that brought occupation and Holocaust,
yet another famine of 1946-1947.

But the humanitarian consequences of the Famine are still incomparable.
Given the anti-Ukrainian focus and its scale, the Famine of 1932-1933 proved
to be the most devastating weapon of mass destruction and social subjection
of peasants used by totalitarian regime in Ukraine. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, November 26, 2005

KIEV, Ukraine — Olena Tuz was 6 years old when she saw a neighbor throw
the body of a naked woman into a pit on the edge of a remote forest in 1932.
Flesh had been cut from the body.

“People ate people, mothers ate their own children. They didn’t realize what
they were doing, they just were hungry,” said Tuz, standing at a
thousand-strong rally in the capital Kiev to commemorate victims of the
Soviet-era forced famine that killed up to 10 million Ukrainians.

On Saturday, relatives and survivors lit 33,000 candles in Kiev —
representing the number of people who were dying daily at the famine’s

The Soviet dictator Josef Stalin provoked what the Ukrainians called the
Great Famine in 1932-1933 as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian
peasants to give up their land and join collective farms. During the height
of the famine, which was enforced by methodical confiscation of all food
by the Soviet secret police, cannibalism was widespread.

Those who resisted the confiscation were sent to Siberia; a person taking a
wheat ear from a field was to shot on the spot.

“The state system that made possible such crimes should be punished by the
court of history,” Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko told the crowd.

Hanna Kucherenko, from the village of Kryvonosivka in the northern Chernihiv
region, said her grandfather was among those who died in the famine. “Many
years later, I was hiding bread in my pockets, and I still cannot throw out
a piece of bread,” she said.

The famine was kept secret by the Soviet authorities. Only in 2003 did
Ukraine declassify more than 1,000 files documenting it.

On Friday, the Pulitzer Prize Board said it would not revoke a prize awarded
in 1932 to Walter Duranty, a reporter for The New York Times who was
accused of ignoring the famine in Ukraine to preserve his access to Stalin.
The board said there was not clear evidence of deliberate deception. -30-
NOTE: The Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA) will be assisting
in the famine/holodomor/genocide commemorations in Ukraine during
November of this year and through the 75th anniversary commemoration

in 2008. Contributions can be sent to the Federation at 930 Henrietta
Avenue, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006. Please designate your donation
for the Dr. James Mace Memorial Holodomor Fund. EDITOR
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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