THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 604

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

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

“THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR” – Number 604
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
KHARKIV, UKRAINE, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2005

——–INDEX OF ARTICLES——–
“Major International News Headlines and Articles”

1. U.S. SENATOR LUGAR PRAISES PASSAGE OF BILL THAT
REPEALS APPLICATION OF JACKSON-VANIK TO UKRAINE
Authorizes extension of permanent normal trade relations
Similar bill now has to pass the U.S. House of Representatives
Office of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar
United States Senate, Washington, D.C.
Friday, November 18, 2005

2. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION PRAISES ACTION
BY U.S. SENATE TO GRADUATE UKRAINE FROM THE
SOVIET-ERA JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
Coalition will now focus their efforts on the U.S. House of Representatives
E. Morgan Williams, Publisher & Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 2
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 21, 2005

3. UKRAINE HAILS WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
BY THE U.S. SENATE, HOPES FOR ACTION BY U.S. HOUSE
Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

4. REPEAL OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT PASSES
UNITED STATES SENATE
Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Friday, November 18, 2005

5. PRESIDENT SPEAKS ABOUT THE ORANGE REVOLUTION
IDEALS AND THE CHALLENGES FACING UKRAINE TODAY
“I am going to sign an order to celebrate Freedom Day on
November 22 to assert ideals of democracy and national dignity.”
Radio Address: President of Ukraine
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 19, 2005

6. REVOLUTIONARY ASSESSMENT: THE THREE R’S
First anniversary of the start of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine
PRESENTATION: By Lidia Wolanskyj
Writer, Journalist; Founder, Eastern Economist
Ukrainian Club, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov 17, 2005
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 6
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 21, 2005

7. UKRAINE: VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO’S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE:
A WESTERN PERSPECTIVE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Taras Kuzio, PhD
Visiting Professor, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies,
Elliott School of International Studies, George Washington University
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 7
Washington, D,C. Monday, November 21, 2005

8. UKRAINE: ONE YEAR ON, THE ORANGE UPRISING
LEAVES A BITTER AFTERTASTE
Infighting and widespread disillusionment mar anniversary of revolution
Tom Parfitt in Kiev, The Guardian
London, UK, Saturday November 19, 2005

9. YEAR ON, MYSTERY STILL SHROUDS POISONING OF
UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

10. FIVE “WHY’S” FOR PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: By Sergiy Soroka
Ukrayinska Pravda On-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Nov 17, 2005

11. UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO WANTS UNITY TO DEFEAT RIVALS
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 20, 2005

12. HUNDREDS OF LEFTISTS RALLY IN UKRAINE
By Mara D. Bellaby, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 20, 2005
========================================================
1
. U.S. SENATOR LUGAR PRAISES PASSAGE OF BILL THAT
REPEALS APPLICATION OF JACKSON-VANIK TO UKRAINE
Authorizes extension of permanent normal trade relations
Similar bill now has to pass the U.S. House of Representatives

Office of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar
United States Senate, Washington, D.C.
Friday, November 18, 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman Dick Lugar [R-IL] announced that his bill authorizing the
extension of permanent normal trade relations treatment to Ukraine
passed the Senate today.

Ukraine has been subject to the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which sanctions nations for
failure to comply with freedom of emigration requirements.

This bill permanently repeals the application of Jackson-Vanik
to Ukraine. Lugar and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) had written their
Senate colleagues on October 24, 2005, pressing for action before
the Senate adjourned for the session.

“Extraordinary events have occurred in Ukraine in the last year. A free
press has revolted against government intimidation and reasserted itself.
An emerging middle class has found its political footing. A new
generation has embraced democracy and openness.

A society has rebelled against the illegal activities of its government. It
is in our interest to recognize and protect these advances in Ukraine,” said
Lugar, who served as President Bush’s personal representative during the
Ukrainian run-off election in November 2004.

Since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine has demonstrated a commitment
to meet the requirements necessary for normal trade relations and has
expressed a strong desire to abide by free market principles and good
governance.

“The United States has a long record of cooperation with Ukraine
through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

Ukraine inherited the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world with the
fall of the Soviet Union and, through the Nunn-Lugar program, the United
States has assisted Ukraine in eliminating this deadly arsenal and joining
the Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state,” said Lugar.

“The passage of this bill signals the commitment of the U.S. to support
freedom and prosperity in Ukraine. The U.S. should continue to work
with Ukraine to address trade issues between the two nations and ensure
trade benefits to American businesses, farmers and ranchers.”

The Jackson-Vanik amendment was included in the 1974 Trade Act to
pressure then-communist nations to permit free emigration. Since 1992,
Ukraine has been found in compliance with freedom of emigration
requirements and has been certified annually as qualifying for a waiver
of Jackson-Vanik sanctions.

In addition, the United States and Ukraine have a bilateral trade agreement
in place. This legislation will stimulate further market reforms and
encourage Ukraine to continue its commitment to safeguarding individual
liberties.

Action by the House of Representatives is required in order for the bill
to proceed toward becoming law. -30-
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LINK: http://lugar.senate.gov/pressapp/record.cfm?id=249164
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2. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION PRAISES ACTION
BY U.S. SENATE TO GRADUATE UKRAINE FROM THE
SOVIET-ERA JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT

Coalition will now focus their efforts on the U.S. House of Representatives

E. Morgan Williams, Publisher & Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 2
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 21, 2005

KHARKIV – Leaders of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
praised the action by the U.S. Senate last Friday authorizing the
extension of permanent normal trade relations treatment to Ukraine
by graduating Ukraine from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which sanctions nations for
failure to comply with freedom of emigration requirements.

Former United States Ambassadors to Ukraine, William Miller and
Steven Pifer, Co-Chairmen of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition,
said the decision by the U.S. Senate was a major step forward for
this critical issue in U.S.-Ukraine relations. An issue which had been
stuck in the U.S. Congress, without any movement, for many years.

Ambassadors Miller and Pifer believe the Senate action will provide
the momentum necessary to raise the Jackson-Vanik graduation
issue to a much higher position on the agenda of the U.S. House of
Representatives when the House returns after a two-week Thanksgiving
break.

“We urge all the friends of Ukraine in the U.S. to immediately contact
their U.S. Congressman and urge support for Ukraine’s graduation
from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, ” the leadership of the Jackson-
Vanik Graduation Coalition said on Saturday.

The Coalition’s goal has been to have both houses of the U.S. Congress
pass a Jackson-Vanik Graduation bill for Ukraine and to have
President Bush sign the legislation before the end of year 2005.

JACKSON-VANIK COALITION EXPANDS TO OVER 30 PARTNERS

The list of Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition members has grown to
include more than 30 Ukrainian-American and Jewish-American groups,
businesses, and non-governmental organizations.

On November 2, Jackson-Vanik Coalition members attended a joint press
conference held by Congressman Curt Weldon (R-Pa) and Ukrainian
Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov in the U.S. Capitol Building.

In support of Jackson-Vanik graduation, Congressman Weldon stated that
“the U.S. must lift Ukraine out of Jackson-Vanik immediately. There is no
fathomable reason why Jackson-Vanik should continue.” The Congressman
added that “it is time to remove this Cold War dinosaur from the halls of
Congress.”

Jackson-Vanik is an outdated 1974 Amendment that imposed trade
restrictions on the Soviet Union in response to its poor human rights
policies, particularly restrictions on the emigration of religious
minorities.

However today, more than thirty years later, Ukraine has built a
strong record of allowing open emigration and has created conditions
for religious minorities to pursue their beliefs freely. Ukraine is a success
story for Jackson-Vanik and it now merits graduation from the
Amendment’s provisions.

The leadership of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition in Washington,
D.C. has included: Ambassador William Miller; Ambassador Steven
Pifer; Nadia K. McConnell, President, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; Robert
McConnell, Attorney; Mark Levin, Executive Director, National Conference
on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ); Ihor Gawdiak, President, Ukrainian American
Coordinating Council; Zenia Chernyk, Chairperson and Vera M.
Andryczyk, President, Ukrainian Federation of America; Dr. Susanne
Lotarski, President/CEO, Ukraine-U.S. Business Council; Morgan
Williams and Matthew Popadiuk, SigmaBleyzer; Ken Bossong, Ukrainian-
American Environmental Association; Jim Slattery, former Congressman
from Kansas; and many other leaders of organizations interested in the
Ukraine-U.S. relationship and in Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration
as a strong democratic country with a private market-driven economy.

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition continues to seek groups

and organizations to join the Coalition’s efforts to lift Jackson-Vanik
restrictions on Ukraine.

For more information on participating in the Coalition, please call the
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) at (202) 347-4264 or contact

Alana Malick, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Fellow, JVGC@usukraine.org.
———————————————————————————————

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3. UKRAINE HAILS WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
BY THE U.S. SENATE, HOPES FOR ACTION BY U.S. HOUSE

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

KYIV – The U.S. Senate’s decision recommending that the House of
Representatives waive the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine
highlights the United States’ support for ongoing democratic
processes in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Fylypchuk
said on Sunday.

“It is a long-awaited step that will help remove this problem,
which is a relic of the Cold War and does not reflect the spirit of the
Ukrainian-American strategic partnership,” he said.

“We hope that the U.S. House of Representatives will take rapid
moves to make a final decision on waiving the Jackson-Vanik
amendment for Ukraine,” the spokesman said. -30-
——————————————————————————————–
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4. REPEAL OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT PASSES
UNITED STATES SENATE

Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Friday, November 18, 2005

WASHINGTON – In an early evening session on Friday, November 18,
2005, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent S632, a bill
to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine and grant Ukraine
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR).

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and received bi-partisan support
from other members of the United States Senate.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter written in late October 2005, Sens. Lugar and
Barack Obama (D-IL) emphasized the need for the repeal of the Jackson-
Vanik amendment as a means to which, “the U.S. must remain committed
to assisting Ukraine in pursuing market economic reforms.

The permanent waiver of Jackson-Vanik and establishment of permanent
normal trade relations will be the foundation on which further progress in
a burgeoning economic partnership can be made.”

S632 received the support of nearly a dozen members of the United States
Senate including: Sen Sam Brownback [KS]; Sen Jim DeMint SC]; Sen
Mike DeWine [OH]; Sen Richard Durbin [IL]; Sen Lindsey Graham [SC];
Sen Frank R. Lautenberg [NJ]; Sen John McCain [AZ]; Sen Barack Obama
[IL]; Sen Rick Santorum [PA]; and Sen John E. Sununu [NH].

Commenting on the passage of S632, Sen. Lugar stated: “.this bill signals
the commitment of the U.S. to support freedom and prosperity in Ukraine.
The U.S. should continue to work with Ukraine to address trade issues
between the two nations.” Support was also expressed from the Bush
Administration for the repeal of this measure.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), and its
Washington, DC bureau – the Ukrainian National Information Service
(UNIS), were actively advocating the repeal of this measure. With letters
written from various organizations and UCCA branches to their senators,
additional support for the bill was obtained.

Michael Sawkiw, Jr., President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of
America, commented on the bill’s passage: “The repeal of the Jackson-
Vanik amendment has sent a message to Ukraine that the United States
is a true strategic partner and will assist that country in its economic
reform agenda. This archaic law of the former Soviet-era is now left
for the history books.” -30-
————————————————————————————
Serhiy Zhykharev, UNIS, Washington, (202) 547-0018
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5. PRESIDENT SPEAKS ABOUT THE ORANGE REVOLUTION
IDEALS AND THE CHALLENGES FACING UKRAINE TODAY
“I am going to sign an order to celebrate Freedom Day on

November 22 to assert ideals of democracy and national dignity.”

Radio Address: President of Ukraine
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 19, 2005

PRESIDENT’S RADIO ADDRESS

Dear fellow citizens!

Ladies and gentlemen!

A couple days before the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution, which
has been a milestone in the history of Ukraine and the whole world, I would
like to speak about the Maidan ideals and challenges that are facing us
today.

On November 22, 2004, all of us standing in squares of cities, towns and
villages of Ukraine proved that we were citizens ready to importunately
defend our major right – the right of choice.

All of us standing in squares in Kyiv or Lviv, Odessa or Donetsk will
forever preserve this feeling of unity and pride in the people and the
country.

At that time, each of us clearly understood that we were creating a new
Ukrainian history. The whole world was watching us and saw the new
country.

It is difficult to overstate the role Kyiv residents played in those events
of the orange November. Back then Kyiv was the political capital of Ukraine.
But we would never have gained our victory without other squares whichever
banners and flags they were carrying.

Donetsk patriotism, Lviv composure, Kharkiv responsibility, Sumy courage,
and Cherkassy optimism were all bricks of the foundation of our new country.

One year ago, we gained our freedom through fighting and shouting. Ukraine
had been independent for 13 years, but it became free last November.
Freedom is the greatest accomplishment of the Maidan.

As President of Ukraine, I am proud to represent this dignified,
independent, and beautiful nation. I am going to sign an order to celebrate
Freedom Day on November 22 to assert ideals of democracy and national
dignity.

One year ago, our fight for democracy did not stop. We only started this
path in the Maidan. Twelve months ago, we lived in the country with no
freedom of speech and no political competition.

We received the country with many problems and colossal diseases in various
branches. Together we can make Ukraine prosperous and democratic.

Today, we happily speak about our achievements but we also admit our
mistakes. We need time to advance. The biggest sin is disappointment and
distrust. The Maidan slogans are as topical as they were a year ago.

One of the major demands of the people was to fight corruption. This week,
I signed an order on urgent measures to fight corruption and legalize the
economy. The government has three months to formulate bills to fight
corruption and improve the procedure making state officials account for
their income and assets.

I pledged to make each state executive declare his/her income and expenses.
This demand of the Maidan will become a norm in Ukraine.

We wished to see “bandits in prisons.” As President of Ukraine, I order law
enforcement agencies to investigate resonant cases. Those involved in last
year’s large-scale electoral fraud, which made millions of people take to
streets, must be punished.

Criminals will be in prisons! I will regard any delays in the investigation
as insufficient professionalism of law enforcement agencies. Such
unprofessional people cannot hold state positions.

We shouted: “The South and the West are together!” As Head of State, I
will spare no effort to never divide our country ideologically, religiously
or lingually. I will not let any political force speculate on these subjects.

We shouted: “Freedom Cannot Be Stopped!” As President, I guarantee that
in March 2006 we will hold free democratic elections. I have established a
political council and invited all political forces to take part in its
meetings.

The council is now formulating an agreement on fair elections which we
should all sign on the first day of the election campaign.
We have free journalists, and our society expects the media to honestly
cover the campaign.

The government will not abuse its authority during the campaign. The only
argument we can use to make the people trust us is the successful
implementation of our economic, social, and humanitarian policy.

I often recollect the main slogan of the Maidan – Together we are many,
we cannot be defeated! United, we can change the country. I want the
parliamentary elections to be a competition of teams and ideas, programs
and ideologies.

I am convinced election results will help reinforce all democratic changes.
I believe each of us will be an active citizen, and in 2006 we will together
choose the future for our country. Together we will build a rich country
our ancestors dreamed about.

While visiting France this week, I laid flowers on the grave of Symon
Petlyura, the patriot that fought for Ukraine’s independence and died in
exile and whose name was concealed and reputation blackened for years.

Standing by his grave, I thought of thousands of Ukrainians that fought for
our independence and believed Ukraine would always exist.

I recollected the bitter words of Volodymyr Vynnychenko: “The dark and
ancient forces divided democracy in Kyiv (perhaps even in Ukraine) into
two groups. Every day, this division was getting greater and the fight
fiercer.

Finally we came to our senses, for the fight was too uncompromising
and too harmful for democracy.

Seriously and sincerely worried, the people stopped and looked around to
ask themselves if there were other ways to reconcile. And they found those
ways. All you have to do is to come closer to each other and peacefully
shake hands.”

I believe our generation of politicians will learn the lesson of our
prominent great grandfathers for the sake of Ukraine. I find these words of
his important: “Our strength lies within us.”

I am sure on November 22 we will gather in the Maidan. This is our day.
We proved to the whole world that we were wise Europeans capable of
peacefully defeating dictators.

I know those who ruled Ukraine for 13 years cannot accept their defeat.
They strive for revenge and spare no forces or funds to restore their
totalitarian regime.

I am sure November 22 is the best occasion to demonstrate our wisdom
and mutual understanding, forgetting all petty intrigues and uniting for the
sake of Ukraine.

Perhaps we cannot fully appreciate the importance of Freedom Day.
However, we proudly say that Ukraine has changed. The world treats us
as equals and regards us as a responsible and predictable partner. Ukraine
is becoming a regional leader.

At a Ukraine-EU summit, we hope to hear a clear signal to get a market
economy status and to liberalize visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens.

I know there are many challenges ahead. In the minutes of hardship, I
recollect the Maidan and repeat the words of Winston Churchill: “Politics
is as exciting and dangerous as war. However, war kills you once while in
politics that happens every day and one hundred times.”

Thousands of hopeful eyes that looked at me during the Orange Revolution
make me strong. Your faith inspires me. Your exploit encourages me to be
exigent to myself and my team.

I urge all of you to think Ukrainian. Be patriots! Let us be proud to be
Ukrainians! Happy Freedom Day! -30-
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LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/11_4288.html
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6. REVOLUTIONARY ASSESSMENT: THE THREE R’S
First anniversary of the start of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine

PRESENTATION: By Lidia Wolanskyj
Writer, Journalist; Founder, Eastern Economist
Ukrainian Club, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov 17, 2005
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 6
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, November 21, 2005

THE THREE R’S

November 22 is the official anniversary of the start of the Orange
Revolution that brought Viktor Yushchenko to power in Ukraine last winter.
As a writer, I’m fascinated more than anything by the language that is used
to discuss, analyze and summarize this historical event. It’s time for all
of us to consider the terms we are using and cast some lucid light on the
subject.

In English, the three R’s are reading, (w)riting and (a)rithmetic. In
Ukraine, they’ve taken on a meaning of their own-revolutsia (revolution),
rozcharuvannia (disenchantment) and repressia (political repression)-three
terms have been abused and misused by the press and political pundits alike
in describing and assessing events.

What really happened?

The events of November-December 2004 that ended up being called the

Orange Revolution were the product of four factors that happened to
coincide at the right time for the right candidate.

First, Viktor Yushchenko chose as one of his slogans, “Let’s put the crooks
behind bars!” Of his handful of slogans, this was the most concrete. For one
thing, he was a man with a clean reputation. For another, he was running for
the presidency in the hopes of replacing a highly criminal regime, one that
most Ukrainians-including millions that had no interest in Mr. Yushchenko
himself or his party-were heartily sick of. So this slogan resonated
enormously with average Ukrainians, but especially with the growing middle
class.

Secondly, Mr. Yushchenko’s opponent, then-premier Viktor Yanukovych, was
closely tied to Donetsk strongman Rinat Akhmetov and had a very spotty past.
Indeed, by law, Mr. Yanukovych should never have been allowed to run for
mayor of a hamlet in Ukraine, let alone the highest post in the land because
he had done time twice as a young man, for assault and battery. A third case
against him was dismissed, apparently when a deal was cut with the judge.
Somehow, Mr. Yanukovych was “rehabilitated” and records of his jail time
disappeared, but a copy of the original records was found in Moscow. In
short, Mr. Yushchenko was running against a man with a jail record who was
supported by Ukraine’s old thieving guard.

Thirdly, the country’s micro, small and medium-sized business owners, who
formed the core of the growing middle-class, were tired of being shaken down
at every step. For the previous couple of years, since Mr. Yanukovych and
his pals had moved to Kyiv, Donetsk mobsters and racketeers had been shaking
down everybody from Sumy to Zakarpattia. Their typical M.O. was to come to
someone’s premises, march around and “assess the place,” and make the owner
a ridiculously low offer for their business or their premises. If the owner
rejected the offer, the heat was put on. Threats, beatings, and worse. Some
businesses were shut down on trumped up charges, others were vandalized or
even burned, but the Donetsk boys eventually got it their way. Most owners
capitulated quickly, knowing they had no choice.

Take Sumy. Sumy wasn’t actually Yushchenko-friendly country, although he

is actually from there. In the last elections to the Verkhovna Rada, they had
given him the complete cold shoulder. But Sumy businesses were feeling the
choke from the southeast and they had had it. Rumor was that the Donetsk
boys were starting to squeeze out even kiosk owners at local markets. So
Sumy voted more than 70% for Mr. Yushchenko in all three rounds.

Finally, for the previous decade and a half, ever since the hunger strikes
of 1990, there was a group of hardcore Ukrainians who continued to build a
national democratic support movement. These were people with experience with
the student hunger strikes and later the unsuccessful “Kuchma-Out!” movement
in 2001. They had learned some lessons from both their successes and their
failures. They knew how to set up tent cities, how to control a crowd, how
to plan large-scale demonstrations. As one of their senior people puts it,
“We were ready for the concluding phase of Ukraine’s independence process.”

In short, these four factors created the circumstances under which the
Orange Revolution could take place.

Weeping and gnashing of terms

Now, going on a year later, there is much wringing of hands and crocodile
tears about the supposed failure of the revolution.

Let’s take the term “revolutsia.” Was this a real revolution? By historical
measures, no. There was no radical change of the status quo from top to
bottom or the introduction of a radically new system. What this really was,
was an insurrection of the middle class. Ordinary Ukrainians saw that they
were about to be defrauded of legitimate succession and to be stuck with a
president who was a gangster with a penchant for using his fists to settle
differences. It was the last straw. They stood up and said, “We’ve had it
and we aren’t going to take it any more!”

The trouble with insurrections is that they are largely spontaneous events,
with little thought beforehand (being colossally fed up does not constitute
laying the groundwork for a well-planned strategic move), and almost as
little afterwards.

What was lacking was follow-through on the part of the participants. On

the part of those who led the insurrection, this was the capacity to put
disciplined professionals in key positions and to change a corrupt system
effectively. On the part of those who joined the insurrection, this was the
capacity to change themselves to support a change in the system. When
Mr. Yushchenko was finally inaugurated on January 23, 2005, how many
Ukrainians actually made a vow to change their own behavior from then
on? To be honest, to be fair and to pay their lawful taxes?

Of course, everyone was disenchanted.

The term “rozcharuvannia” (disenchantment) has been the subject of opinion
polls probably since the second month Mr. Yushchenko was in office. Aside
from the fact that if you repeat something often enough in the press and
other media, people are likely to start to believe it, being disenchanted is
an interesting state to be in. In Ukrainian, as in English,
“dis-enchantment” has the same root as “echantment”-the state of being
altered by a charm or spell. When people talk about being in love, they
often find their beloved “enchanting,” they are “spellbound” by the other.
Yet, most of us understand that this feeling is based on illusions, on
making an idol or ideal out of the object of love-and that it is bound to
lead to disappointment (dis-enchantment). What is more, most of us

recognize it as an immature, unrealistic response in the real world.

The same can be said of those who are feeling “disenchanted” by the results
of the “Orange Insurrection” in Ukraine. Disenchantment is no more than a
good dose of reality, a dropping of the blinders, the illusions that we
ourselves invented. Once reality has been faced, there is a good chance that
a normal relationship can develop if there is some goodwill on both sides.

One of the aspects of this more realistic approach is the understanding that
putting crooks in jail is no simple matter if those crooks happened to be
running the country and had all the leverage that that entails to fix the
system to suit their needs. This brings us around to the term, “repressia,”
meaning political persecution.

Since putting crooks behind bars was one of the main promises Mr.

Yushchenko made, his law enforcement people have been working to do
so since Day One. So far, without much success. For one thing, most of
the biggest fish that need to be fried are part of the previous regime. But
big-time crooks are good at covering their tracks, even in the private sector.
It took the US years to put Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom behind bars. Ditto
any number of other high-profile crooks like Michael Milliken and the boss
of Tyco.

In Ukraine, rule of law is a nascent concept, not a tried-and-true system.
What’s more, the biggest crooks were in high office where they could not
only shred and burn incriminating evidence, but they could fix laws and
regulations to suit their needs, disappear their ill-gotten gains at will to
offshore accounts, and generally operate a chain-of-command so complex

and sweeping that there could be 100 intermediaries between those who
executed a given crime, such as a murder, and those who actually ordered it.

Still, there were some obvious and very public crimes committed in Ukraine
that surely could have been handled swiftly and firmly. But here, the newly
ordained opposition began to scream, “repression!” Last time I looked in a
dictionary, political persecution means going after someone who didn’t
necessarily do anything wrong simply because you didn’t like his politics.
This certainly doesn’t mean that every time the defendant is an opposition
politician that it’s a case of persecution (Logic 101). If there was a
crime, particularly a serious one, it’s irrelevant what the person’s
political persuasions were. If publically declaring that the region you are
governor of will no longer remit its taxes to the Treasury is a crime under
the Constitution of Ukraine, then you should go to jail, whether you were
governor of L’viv or governor of Kharkiv when you said it.

On this last one, the press and the pundits have sinned most of all. They
remind me of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, who believed that

you can make words mean whatever you want them to. “The question is,
who shall be the master?” was the Cat’s argument. No, the question is, are
you interested in communicating or obfuscating?

Sleeve-rolling time

In the interest of communicating, I’d like to sum up what I consider to be
the achievements of the October “insurrection:”
. greater flow of information, especially as regards those who govern
the country;
. less political (as opposed to bureaucratic) interference in business;
. awareness among Ukrainians that they are a people who can stand up

for what they consider important-and do so without bloodletting.

This is what I believe hasn’t been achieved yet and needs to be done if
there is to be long-term gain from all this pain:
. disciplined, professional, properly paid civil servants, including
judges and cops, who will work for the greater (public) good;
. conditions for small and medium business, which is the backbone of a
healthy economy, to work properly. This doesn’t mean no one will go
bankrupt-but it means that they will do so because of their own mistakes,
not because of tax pressures or political flak;
. grass-roots change, both at the individual (personal) level and at the
local (political) level. If you were able to stand up and be counted in the
nation’s capital, surely you can stand up and be counted in your own
neighborhood.

That should put paid to all the nonsense about revolutsia, rozcharuvannia
and repressia. -30-
——————————————————————————————
Lidia Wolanskyj, Ukraine, lidia@ln.ua.
——————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7. UKRAINE: VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO’S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE:
A WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Taras Kuzio, PhD
Visiting Professor, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies,
Elliott School of International Studies, George Washington University
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 604, Article 7

Washington, D,C. Monday, November 21, 2005

The Orange Revolution began in Ukraine after massive election fraud in
round two of the presidential elections brought hundreds of thousands of
Ukrainians on to the streets of Kyiv. After weeks of protests and a repeat
election, the pro-reform candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, was elected
president.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has become an inspiration for other oppositions
in authoritarian regimes, inspiring revolutions in Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon.
Civil society activists in Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus routinely wear
Orange symbols.

President Yushchenko told the BBC that his country has, “set a good example
for the millions of people who still cherish freedom and democracy”.

In the first year of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has made considerable
progress in fifteen areas while progress has been disappointing in seven.

To keep this relative progress going beyond the 2006 parliamentary
elections, the Orange coalition should re-unite President Viktor Yushchenko’s
People’s Union-Our Ukraine and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s
bloc.

Only through the re-unification of the Orange coalition can a pro-reform
parliamentary majority be created that will continue to promote Ukraine’s
reform and Euro-Atlantic integration.
AREAS OF PROGRESS, OR PENDING PROGRESS
FIRSTLY, human rights and democratization. As the EU has noted, Ukraine’s
Orange Revolution and election of Yushchenko has put the country back on its
democratic track which had been stalled in Leonid Kuchma’s second term.

Since the late 1990s most CIS states have evolved towards authoritarian
regimes and ‘managed democracies’. Ukraine would have entered such a path if
Viktor Yanukovych had been elected Ukraine’s president.

The Donetsk region he governed from 1997-2002 was Ukraine’s best example

of a regional ‘managed democracy’ ruled by one oligarch, one party and one
television channel. A recent EU report noted that there are no systematic
human rights violations in Ukraine.

In August 2005 a Kyiv Post editorial wrote that the Ukrainian government is
a, ‘mismatched and inefficient collection of true reformers, idealists,
ambitious operators, bunglers, and schemers, but are not sinister’.

SECONDLY, civic empowerment. The Orange Revolution represented

the largest civic action in Europe since the Velvet Revolution brought
down Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989.

Ukraine’s revolution was the third in a string of what became known as
“colored evolutions”, beginning with Serbia in 2000 and Georgia in 2003.
Following Ukraine, revolutions have taken place in Kyrgyzstan and

Lebanon.

The number of Ukrainians who took part in Orange protests is huge.
Throughout the country, one in five Ukrainians took part in protests locally
or in Kyiv. In Kyiv itself, 48 percent of its 2.5 million population took
part in the Orange Revolution.

A September 2005 poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology asked
if Ukrainians were ready to defend their civil rights? 51 per cent said ‘Yes’
(and only 22 percent ‘No’). In western and central Ukraine this was as high
as 65 percent.

One should compare this empowerment with the low level of efficacy,
despondency and pessimism found among Ukrainians in the Kuchma era. 90
percent of Ukrainians then did not feel they could exert any influence on
the central or local authorities.

Civic participation in the Orange Revolution changed Ukrainians and Ukraine.
The protests transformed the Soviet-era relationship of subjects working for
the state into citizens who demand that the state works for them.

Ukrainians, who were traditionally viewed as passive by Soviet and
post-Soviet rulers, are unlikely to remain passive. Opinion polls since the
Orange Revolution show that a large majority remain committed to defending
their civic rights if they are again threatened.

President Yushchenko said in October 2005 that, ‘The processes that have
occurred in the nation is a wholly positive process. You have become
different. The nation has become different. We have all become different.
The revolution brought freedom to Ukraine’.

THIRDLY, democratic political system. In early 2006, Ukraine will change to
a parliamentary-presidential system commonly found in central Europe and the
Baltic states. These parliamentary systems have assisted in these countries
democratic progress and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Presidential systems, that are commonly found in Russia and the CIS, have
led to authoritarian regimes and executive abuse of office. Executive abuse
of office was rife under Ukraine’s outgoing President Kuchma.

FOURTHLY, media freedom. Ukraine’s media environment has been

transformed. The Social Democratic united Party has lost control over
three television channel’s it controlled (State Channel 1, 1+1, Inter).

Other channels controlled by Viktor Pinchuk (ICTV, STB, Novyi Kanal),

have become more balanced in their coverage. The de-monopolization and
democratization of Ukrainian television should be continued.

The internet received a major boost from the 2004 elections. The Orange
Revolution has been described as the world’s first ‘Internet Revolution’.
Today, nearly 20 percent of Ukrainians use the internet regularly,
particularly young people.

International media watchdogs, such as Reporters Without Frontiers, have
recorded considerable improvement this year in Ukraine’s media freedom.
Ukraine’s ranking (112) in the 2005 Annual Worldwide Press Freedom

Index is far higher than Russia’s (138) or Belarus’ (152).

Ukrainian journalists now work in a freer environment, no longer fearful of
arrest or violence. Gone are the temnyky censorship instructions issued by
Kuchma’s administration to television stations.

Journalists and the public have increased trust in the media. Between
September 2004 and September of the following year trust increased for the
most biased and censored television stations (State Channel 1, 1+1, Inter)
controlled by the Social Democratic united Party under Kuchma.

FIFTHLY, political parties. The Socialists, allied to President Yushchenko
since the Orange Revolution, are now the leading left-wing party, rather
than the Communists whose allegiance to the Ukrainian state was always
suspect. The Communist Party will only have approximately 30 seats in the
2006 parliament, down from 120 in the 1998.

Formerly pro-Kuchma centrists are in disarray. Only one of the three large
centrist parties from the Kuchma era (Regions of Ukraine) will enter the
2006 parliament. The Social Democratic United and Labor Ukraine parties

each have ratings of 1 percent.

Social Democratic united Party leader Viktor Medvedchuk has a -60 percent
negative rating, because he headed the presidential administration during
the last two years of Kuchma’s rule.

Relations between Medvedchuk’s Social Democratic United party and Regions
of Ukraine is poor, as the Donetsk clan and Yanukovych believe
Kuchma-Medvedchuk ‘betrayed’ them during the Orange Revolution.

SIXTHLY, corruption. Ukraine under Kuchma was internationally perceived

as a highly corrupt state that flaunted its own laws as well as international
norms and sanctions.

The first year of the Yushchenko administration has seen Ukraine moving from
the virtual struggle against corruption under Kuchma to a modest attempt at
battling this problem. 4,500 regulations to register businesses, which were
a source of corruption, have been annulled.

There is now a single window to register businesses and a single window to
clear customs. Previously a new business venture had to seek permits from 34
structures, which bred corruption.

52 percent of Ukrainians believe some progress has taken place but more
needs to be undertaken. Transparency International, a think tank researching
corruption around the world, has recorded gains in Ukraine this year.

Its 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index provides evidence that policies
introduced this year to battle corruption are producing results. Ukraine’s
improved ranking, ‘resulted in an increased sense of optimism regarding
governance and corruption in Ukraine’.

The successful re-privatization of Kryvorizhstal last month for $4.8 billion
to a Dutch company, six times what was paid for it by Ukrainian oligarchs
close to Kuchma in 2004, has been internationally praised for its
transparency.

Ukraine’s oligarchs, the mainstay of the Kuchma regime, have been warned
that their days of a cozy and corrupt relationship with the executive are
over under Yushchenko.

SEVENTH, oligarchs (‘robber barons’). The time when oligarchs could earn
high rents from a corrupt and close relationship with the executive is over.
The Yushchenko administration has outlined a ‘deal’ whereby in exchange for
no further re-privatizations, oligarchs now have to evolve into law abiding
businessmen.

This means an end to corrupt business practices, moving their business
activities out of the shadow economy and increasing their tax payments.

EIGHT, social welfare. The minimum pension was increased to the same level
as the minimum wage. Wages for those employed by the state increased by 57
percent. Social welfare spending, including child support to encourage
Ukraine to move out of its demographic crisis, has grown in 2005 by 73
percent.

NINTH, national integration. Unlike former Presidents Leonid Krawchuk and
Kuchma, President Yushchenko is committed to nation building and an
evolutionary affirmative action for the Ukrainian language. The Kuchma
regime, as evidenced during the 2004 elections, played on Ukraine’s regional
divisions to encourage regional conflict between western and eastern
Ukraine.

TENTH, religious freedom. The Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholic Church has moved
its headquarters to Kyiv, a move that would have been hampered under Kuchma.
Prospects for the unification of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine are now
far greater.

Former President Kuchma talked of unifying the Orthodox Churches but never
undertook any action and, in reality, leaned towards the Russian Orthodox
Church.

ELEVENTH, divergence with Russia. In the same year (2004) that Ukraine
experienced a democratic breakthrough, Russia fell further into an
autocratic abyss.

In the aftermath of Russian fraudulent parliamentary and presidential
elections, the New York-based human rights think tank Freedom House
downgraded Russia from ‘partly free’ to ‘unfree’, the first time Russia has
been given this category since the collapse of the USSR.

Russia is undergoing a ‘crisis of liberalism’ at a time when Ukraine has a
liberal politician in power. In Russia, liberals were in power in the early
1990s but have been progressively marginalized ever since.

In Ukraine the former ‘national communists’ (Krawchuk, Kuchma), who

became centrists allied to oligarchs, were in power until 2004. The election
of Yushchenko is the first time the liberal camp has taken power in Ukraine.

The 2004 breakthrough, ‘reinvigorated and jumpstarted the democratic
political development’ of Ukraine, Freedom House concluded. Ukraine

recorded significant progress in four areas: Electoral Process, Civil Society,
Independent Media, and the Judicial Framework.

In the same year, Russia registered the greatest decline of any country in
the Nations in Transit survey. This decline was in the very same four areas
in which Ukraine registered progress.

Ukraine’s ‘Democracy Score’ (4.5) is better than Russia’s at 5.61 or Belarus’s
at 6.64, out of a range of 1-7 with 7 the worst score. But, Ukraine’s 4.5
score is also moving closer to Croatia’s at 3.75, which is a possible
candidate for EU membership in 2007 alongside Romania (3.39) and Bulgaria
(3.18).

Of the four coloured revolutions, Ukraine’s Democracy Score is the same as
Serbia’s (3.75) and improved on Georgia’s (4.96) and Kyrgyzstan’s (5.64).

TWELFTH, security forces. The Interior Ministry, under its energetic
Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, has pushed through 5,000 voluntary resignations,
2,000 have failed to pass their personal certification and 400 have been
charged. Similar clean ups are being undertaken in the Customs and Tax
services.

THIRTEENTH, foreign policy. Under Yushchenko, Ukraine’s foreign policy

will be driven by national interests and not the personal whims of the
president and his oligarch allies. For the first time, Ukraine’s foreign policy
is ideologically driven in its ‘Return to Europe’ formulation.

By the March 2006 elections, Ukraine will have achieved progress in two
areas. First, the lifting of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Second, free
market status granted by the EU and USA.

A third step, WTO membership, is likely to be achieved in 2006. In the
second half of 2006 an invitation from NATO inviting Ukraine into a
Membership Action Plan is also likely if Ukraine holds free elections.

This progress would follow upon greatly improved relations with the USA
after President Yushchenko’s visit to the USA in April 2005. Ukraine under
Yushchenko will be a real strategic partner of the USA in a wide range of
international issues, ranging from the global war on terrorism, combating
proliferation, Iraq, and democracy promotion.

[FOURTEENTH] Finally, free elections. Outgoing Prime Minister

Tymoshenko said that, ‘The Orange Revolution has changed our country.
Politicians understand that the people won’t accept fraud. Vote rigging
now is just as unrealistic as anti-corruption investigations were in the
Kuchma era’.

Elections in Ukraine, as throughout the CIS, became progressively unfree
since the late 1990s. Ukraine’s last free election was in 1994. The
culmination of this process was the 2004 presidential elections which were
denounced by the international community as not free and fair. The return to
free elections would prove to the West that Ukraine had resumed its
democratic path.
PROBLEM AREAS
FIRSTLY, market economic reform. Quarrels among senior Orange leaders
during, coupled with expensive social policies and unclear plans for
re-privatization, led to policy incoherence and government malaise. Economic
reform and privatization failed to become a government priority. Economic
growth slumped from 12% last year to only 3% this year, with August seeing
the first negative growth since 1999.

Yekhanurov will head the People’s Union-Our Ukraine bloc in the 2006
elections. This will be the first time that a Prime Minister heads an
election bloc in an election, both giving voters the chance to decide for
themselves about the achievements, or otherwise, of the government and for
the government to take responsibility for its actions in a free and fair
election.

SECOND, rule of law. The National Security and Defense Council under Petro
Poroshenko pressured the legal system and courts. Poor personnel policy led
to the continuation of Sviatoslav Piskun as Prosecutor, and Roman Zvarych as
Justice Minister.

Piskun returned to his position on December 10, 2004 two days after
parliament and president ratified the ‘compromise packet’ that allowed
Ukraine to hold a re-run on December 26. Piskun was only finally released in
October 2005 after being accused of thwarting investigations into high
ranking Kuchma officials.

Zvarych’s short period as Justice Minister was dogged by scandal. His
curriculum vitae was shot full of deception which he refused to acknowledge.
His claims to have an MA and PhD from Columbia University proved to be
false.

Zvarych also had no legal training. His replacement, Serhiy Holovatiy, is a
far better choice with a positive track record from the 1990s when he was
Justice Minister in 1995-1997.

THIRD, divisions and ‘betrayal’. The Ukrainian public finds it difficult to
accept a split in Orange ranks. As a Financial Times (October 17, 2005)
editorial wrote, ‘A Yushchenko-Yulia Tymoshenko coalition remains the best
chance for a reformist, Western-oriented government’.

After the 2006 elections, Yushchenko’s People’s Union-Our Ukraine will have
a choice of creating a parliamentary majority with either Tymoshenko or
Yanukovych. A pro-reform parliamentary majority would only be possible if
the choice was in favor of Tymoshenko, not Yanukovych.

The signing of a Memorandum between President Yushchenko and Regions

of Ukraine leader Yanukovych has led to feelings of ‘betrayal’ of the Orange
Revolution ideals. In Kyiv, 25 percent believe that Yushchenko ‘betrayed’
the Orange Revolution, while only 6 thought it was Tymoshenko.

The signing of the Memorandum with Yanukovych portrayed an image of

weakness to the opposition. The additional votes received from the signing
of the Memorandum would not have been required if the first parliamentary
vote for Yekhanurov’s candidacy had succeeded.

It failed by 3 votes because President Yushchenko had been in the USA for
four days prior to instead of taking care of business at home; that is,
ensuring parliament approved his choice for Prime Minister.

FOURTH, poor leadership. Yushchenko has traveled abroad far too much

in his first year, a factor he himself recognized only late in the year. His
hands off style of leadership is very different to that of the micro manager
Kuchma.

This has led to only sporadic interventions when crises have emerged in May
or September 2005, prior to which the president was unwilling to take tough
decisions.

Yushchenko’s lateness for meetings, often two hours or more, and even with
important VIP’s, has become legendary. Another problem has been a lack of
consistency in policies and statements. In both these cases, Yushchenko’s
support staff are partly to blame.

His press department has a poor reputation in the West and his state
secretariat under Oleksandr Zinchenko (January-September 2005) did not
function in the manner in which a president needs it to.

FIFTH, two governments. Poroshenko, as secretary of the National Security
and Defense Council, acted as a second government, obstructing and
interfering in areas beyond his remit while ignoring others in national
security which were.

The additional powers given to the National Security and Defense Council
were unconstitutional. Poroshenko has been accused of interfering in the
rule of law and media by acting as a ‘grey cardinal’, similar to Medvedchuk
as head of the presidential administration.

SIXTH, no break with the ancien regime. By the first anniversary of the
Orange Revolution no senior official from the Kuchma regime has been

charged with abuse of office, corruption, election fraud or the Georgi
Gongadze murder.

The organizers of the Gongadze murder have still to be accused. Former
Interior Minister Yuriy Krawchenko committed suicide while General Oleksiy
Pukach fled abroad.

Other senior Kuchma officials were permitted to flee to Russia or the USA.
Only the USA has arrested one of these officials, Volodymyr Shcherban, while
Russia has continued to provide protection. There has also been no progress
into the investigation into the poisoning of Yushchenko in September 2004.

SEVENTH, business allies. The businessmen surrounding Yushchenko were only
removed after accusations were made against them by Zinchenko in September
2005. These businessmen, such as Poroshenko, had played an important role in
the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution in providing resources for the
Yushchenko campaign.

Poroshenko and Andrei Derkach, two ‘mini oligarchs’, provided resources to
support the only two television outlets available for the opposition
(Channel Five and Era TV respectively).

After his election, their continued presence in Yushchenko’s entourage
became problematical as Yushchenko’s image increasingly came to resemble
that of Kuchma’s of being surrounded by ‘oligarchs’. When asked if the new
authorities were different to Kuchma, 52 percent said ‘Yes’ in March while
only 37 percent continued to agree in September 2005.

Poroshenko’s image has suffered an appreciable decline. His negative ratings
are on a par with those of Medvedchuk and Kuchma. It would be a strategic
mistake to include him on the People’s Union-Our Ukraine 2006 election list.
But, mistakes are possible.

Although not returned as Justice Minister to the Yekhanurov government,
Zvarych was promoted to head the People’s Union-Our Ukraine 2006

election campaign.
CONCLUSION
Looking back over the first year of the Orange Revolution, it would be
wrong to paint it as either fully ‘white’ or ‘black’. There have been fifteen
positive steps and seven negative. That the positive outweigh the negative
shows that there are achievements to celebrate on November 22, 2005.

Yushchenko is committed to democratization, economic reform and
Euro-Atlantic integration. Yushchenko does not possess the necessary
political will to deal with high ranking officials from the Kuchma era. The
Memorandum with Yanukovych was a major strategic miscalculation.

Tymoshenko receives greater respect for her political skills. She is also
more credible in possessing the political will to bring to trial high
ranking officials from the Kuchma era. The organizers of the Gongadze

murder are more likely to be brought to trial by Tymoshenko than
Yushchenko.

Policy incoherence in the first nine months of the Orange Revolution are not
solely the fault of the Tymoshenko government. Other factors are the
creation of a parallel government in the National Security and Defense
Council led by Poroshenko, Yushchenko’s lack of leadership and inability to
take decisive decisions except in crises. His extensive travels abroad also
negatively affected domestic policies.

Both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have positive and negative traits. If

the Orange coalition could re-unite during, or after the 2006 elections,
these traits could potentially balance against one another to promote a
reform agenda and Euro-Atlantic integration. -30-
——————————————————————————————–
Taras Kuzio, Visiting Professor, Institute for European, Russian and
Eurasian Studies George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Contact: e-mail: tkuzio@gwu.edu
——————————————————————————————–

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8. UKRAINE: ONE YEAR ON, THE ORANGE UPRISING
LEAVES A BITTER AFTERTASTE
Infighting and widespread disillusionment mar anniversary of revolution

Tom Parfitt in Kiev, The Guardian
London, UK, Saturday November 19, 2005

It was late evening one year ago when the Ukrainian opposition leader,
Viktor Yushchenko, issued his rousing call for an uprising against the
skewed election.

Andriy Chuprin, a burly 43-year-old entrepreneur, heard the rallying cry to
Kiev’s rain-lashed Independence Square on television at home in the suburbs.
“I threw on my coat and took the last metro to Maidan,” he remembers.

Only Andriy and a handful of shivering protesters kept vigil on that first
night of November 21. But within days they were joined by half a million
banner-waving Ukrainians, screaming for the presidential election that had
awarded victory to prime minister Viktor Yanukovich to be overturned.
“We wanted to live in a new democratic country without corruption and
vote fraud,” says Andriy.

For weeks the “orange revolution” dominated headlines across the world. In
the end it swept Mr Yushchenko, a pro-western reformer, to the presidency.

Yet, one year on, the euphoria of that people-power victory has been
transformed into bitter disappointment. An opinion poll this week indicated
that 57% of Ukrainians think the orange promises have been broken. “It
turned out our new leaders acted the same old way as their predecessors,”
says Andriy.

For two and a half months, he and thousands of others camped out in Kiev,
refusing to accept Mr Yanukovich’s victory after monitors reported gross
election fraud. Dressed in the orange of Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party,
they cheered speeches by his charismatic ally Yulia Timoshenko, whose
striking looks and traditional peasant braid made her the icon of the
revolution.

The protesters were caked in grime, often cold and hungry, but their leaders
buoyed them up with vows to sweep away the hardline regime of outgoing
president and Soviet throwback Leonid Kuchma. “There was a great sense of
brotherhood and hope,” Andriy recalls.

Mr Yushchenko’s victory sent his supporters home in rude spirits. But with
revolutionary fervour seeping away, economic growth soon nosedived as
arguments emerged between the orange leaders over the country’s course.

The pro-Russian south and east of the country, which supported Mr
Yanukovich, retreated from threats to secede but claims of persecution
persisted. And in September the fragile unity of Mr Yushchenko’s team was
finally exploded when his chief of staff resigned, accusing key figures of
corruption.

The allegations – all denied and none yet proven – prompted two other
high-ranking politicians to resign before the president stepped in to
dismiss his prime minister, Ms Timoshenko, and her entire government.

It emerged that she had been locked in a battle for influence with her
one-time rival for the premiership, Petro Poroshenko, the head of the
national defence and security council.

Furious, Ms Timoshenko responded to her sacking by accusing the president
of “ruining our public unity” and promising to lead her parliamentary bloc
in elections next March.

Maidan veterans have been left bewildered at the split between the stars of
the protests, whose enmities are such that they have refused to stand
together on stage during anniversary celebrations on Tuesday. Oksana
Potapenko, 25, who helped coordinate supplies to the tent city, says: “A lot
of people think Yushchenko treated Timoshenko very shabbily. He’s not a
messiah any more.”

The president angered his supporters further when he signed a controversial
memorandum – giving, among other concessions, immunity from prosecution to
local councillors – with his former arch-foe, the pro-Russian Mr Yanukovich.

“You could call that agreement many things and betrayal is one of them,”
says Andriy Bondarenko, 34, an activist who pitched the first tent on Kiev’s
central street, Khreshchatyk. “We expected the bandits who led the election
fraud would be put behind bars but that didn’t happen because of political
deals behind the scenes.”

Claims that Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky funded the orange camp were
another blow. And Mr Yushchenko was forced to apologise for calling a
journalist an “information killer” for exposing the lavish lifestyle of the
president’s 19-year-old son.

In all, the scandals have put a big dent in Mr Yushchenko’s popularity. A
poll published this week showed support for his actions have plunged to
33%, down from 48% in February.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, the former presidential aide whose resignation
triggered the government crisis, holds firm to his allegations that senior
colleagues were running slush funds and extracting bribes from businessmen.

“After the revolution we faced a huge test because we received this massive
credit of trust and basically you could come into the office and do whatever
you wanted. That was the danger. And some people did not pass that test,”
he says.

As politicians compete for the mantle of the revolution, all eyes have
turned to the March elections. Recent constitutional changes mean a new
prime minister with greatly increased powers will be chosen by parliamentary
majority, making the campaign a scramble for power.

In the wake of their split, Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc on 13.5% and
the Timoshenko bloc on 12.4% now trail Mr Yanukovich, whose Party of the
Regions leads the polls with 17.5%.

At his headquarters in central Kiev, Mr Yanukovich is no longer the morose
figure who accepted defeat on New Year’s Eve. His back is stiffened and he
carries a new air of confidence.

“It was no surprise to me,” he says of the orange leaders’ messy break-up.
“I expected conflicts would arise, I just didn’t think it would happen so
soon.”

The anniversary will be a “shameful celebration” of a putsch, not a
revolution, he says. “They have successfully destroyed a well-functioning
economy. Excellent managers have been fired for their political beliefs.
Prices have risen with high inflation. Salary growth has slowed by 30%. It’s
a huge impact on the lives of ordinary people.”

Yet in Kiev a considerable minority say life has improved since the
revolution. “Back then we had just one choice and we made the right one,”
says Bondarenko, who plans to run for parliament. “Now at least we have
he beginnings of a new democracy.”

Serhiy Leshchenko, the Ukrainskaya Pravda journalist who broke the
scandal about Mr Yushchenko’s son, agrees. “Press freedom has increased
at least 500%.”

Mr Yushchenko’s new chief of staff, Oleh Rybachuk, claims the orange
leaders are regrouping. “The emotions have cooled. These are all
responsible politicians and they clearly understand that the March elections
will be the second part of the question, ‘Yes or no to the future of
Ukraine’s development?’ So, the team is getting back together.”

But many Ukrainians remain sceptical. Max, a taxi driver, recalled the
famous phrase of former Russian premier Viktor Chernomyrdin: “We
hoped for better, but it turned out like always.” -30-
————————————————————————————————
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,15569,1646246,00.html?gusrc=rss

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9. YEAR ON, MYSTERY STILL SHROUDS POISONING OF
UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO

Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

KIEV – More than a year after Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko ingested
a massive dose of dioxin, mystery still shrouds the poisoning that covered his
movie-star handsome face with scars and blisters.

“I am a man like any other. I’d like to wake up with a different face,”
Yushchenko told reporters recently. “But I know that tomorrow and the day
after tomorrow it will be the same. Only afterwards will it change.
Psychologically, it’s not easy to live because I’m not used to it.”

The poisoning of the popular opposition leader in the middle of last year’s
presidential election campaign played a key role during the “orange
revolution” protests that he launched against the entrenched regime after it
had rigged the results of the ballot.

To his supporters, Yushchenko’s scarred and bloated face served as a
potent symbol of that regime during the protests that captured headlines
both at home and abroad.

But nearly 10 months after Yushchenko assumed power, how and by
whom he was poisoned still remains unknown.

Yushchenko fell ill a day after having dinner with a former chief of
Ukraine’s SBU security service on September 5, 2004. His condition
steadily deteriorated until five days later he was rushed in critical
condition to a clinic in Austria where he remained for nearly three weeks.

The doctors there were initially baffled at what had caused the swelling of
his liver, pancreas and intestines and only in December announced that
Yushchenko had ingested a massive dose of dioxin, a toxin that can cause
cancer and death.

Yushchenko had been comfortably leading his election rival, then prime
minister Viktor Yanukovich, when he fell sick and his absence from the
stump weeks before the first round of voting saw Yanukovich — with
the state media’s overt help — make up a double-digit gap in opinion
polls and actually pull ahead.

Well before the final diagnosis from the Vienna clinic, Yushchenko accused
the former regime of being behind the incident.

“What happened to me was linked to a political regime in Ukraine,” he told
Ukrainian lawmakers, who were visibly shocked at his changed appearance,
days after returning home from the Austrian clinic.

“I believe now more and more that what happened to me was an act of a
settling of political scores,” Yushchenko said in early December. “The aim
was to kill me.”

During and immediately after the “orange revolution” speculations regularly
appeared in the press about the poisoning, including one that Russian secret
services were behind the affair.

But although Yushchenko at first hinted that the poison had come from
abroad, he later said that the laboratory that produced it was in fact in
Ukraine.

Yushchenko and his allies blame the lack of progress in the case on the
former prosecutor general, Svyatoslav Piskun, whom the president fired in
mid-October.

“I spoke with the ex-prosecutor general on this topic many times and he
assured me that everything was done as it should have been,” Oleg
Rybachuk, Yushchenko’s chief of staff, told AFP. “He simply lied.”

Piskun has denied such charges. “That is all lies and gibberish by those
who want to remove me,” he told reporters after his firing.

Meanwhile Yushchenko, who insists that he is in excellent health, continues
to undergo regular tests in a Swiss clinic and has recently submitted fresh
samples for the criminal investigation of the poisoning.

“I hope that with the change of the prosecutor general, the group that is
looking into this will be seriously changed,” he told AFP in an interview.
“Wherever the trail leads, the prosecutors should issue their verdict.”
—————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10. FIVE “WHY’S” FOR PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: By Sergiy Soroka
Ukrayinska Pravda On-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Nov 17, 2005

It has been three months from the moment of the official break-up in the
“Orange Team” — it appears the political lighthouse, having reached its
maximum of negative amplitude, began gradually to move in the opposite
direction.

After the first few months marked by indecision and confusion, the orange
supporters commenced their decision making mechanism vis-à-vis political
preferences, but at least a third are still in the state of contemplation
and doubts.

The supporters of both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko and those who have
not made up their minds, cannot but notice that somewhere and in something
we received not the president for whom we fought and in whom we believed.

It is impossible not to notice the difference between 1) the Yushchenko on
July 4th, 2004 at the rally in honor of his nomination for presidential
candidacy, 2) the Maidan Yushchenko during the Orange Revolution, and
3) the Yushchenko of today.

Where is the alacrity, the charisma, the confidence in victory (“I believe
in victory with every part of my soul”), the ability to form a single
effective team of strong individuals?

The issue lies not in the poisoning which deformed the outer appearance of
the current president, but in the fact that some personal or perhaps world
view changes occurred.

One gets the impression that after the victory in 2004, Yushchenko came out
morally and physically exhausted, which is absolutely natural; after all,
the fight was complicated and demanding. What is unnatural – is the lengthy
time of recovery.

How ought to feel a person who became the president of a great country, a
great people, and with a thousand year history?

Yesterday, you were a simple human being, one out of many, and today you
became a historical figure largely thanks to the fact that you were elected
president.

At the very least, this event has thrown you in the pages of this country’s
history, and maybe the history of the Europe and the World.

The question is: how worthy of a place will you take amid the ranks of
Ukrainian knyazs, hetmans or world leaders?

How much change occurs or should occur in the world view, internal
moral-ethical orientation of a person who becomes the first individual of
the state?

Especially when a great responsibility is placed on you for the fate of this
country and its almost 50 million citizens, as well as, numerous tasks of
organizational work which need to be accomplished in the quickest amount
of time.

What level of this stress can our mind withstand?

One wonders: was Kuchma, when he was the president, indifferent to
how his rule will be written in the textbooks of history?

It is hard to believe that a politician of such a level does not aspire to
retire feeling that his duty to the country was fulfilled and holding the
respect of majority in population (e.g. Havel, Valensa).

Would the apathy remain, if in the textbooks was written:

“Leonid Danylovych Kuchma, Prime Minister 1993-1994, President of
Ukraine 1994-2004 Ukraine under Kuchma can be described as the time
of lost opportunities, beating around the bush as well as vague and timid
foreign policy.

Kuchma’s Ukraine was a time of absent economic reforms, stagnation and
decline of the village, widespread severe corruption on every level and
sphere in government and society, and enrichment of oligarchs at the cost of
the majority of population.

During the period from 1995 to 2005, Ukraine was able to remain the European
leader for inflation and corruption while holding one of the worst records
in pension benefits and other social services towards the end of Kuchma’s
reign.

These factors caused a highly depressed level of trust amongst Ukraine’s
population towards Kuchma and his administration. In addition, the 2004
presidential campaign marred by manipulations to install Victor Yanukovych
resulted in what is known today as the Orange Revolution.”

I cannot believe that Yushchenko does not care or wonder about his future
image as written in the textbooks of Ukraine’s history.

[1] If he is concerned, WHY is the trust of the Ukrainian people so
frivolously and carelessly spent?

[2] WHY did Yushchenko forget that it is necessary to explain to the people
his every step, his every decision especially such key decisions as
appointments or dismissals of ministers, the general prosecutor, regional
governors, the head of the National TV company, a formal agreement with
the “blue-opposition,” or approving controversial legislation.

These significant decisions should be explained to the people who fought
for their right to choose, and who elected Yushchenko their president?

[3] WHY does it appear that the interests of Yushchenko’s immediate staff
and colleagues are often given preference to the interests of the country
and his political supporters?

Having received the position of the president and having given the oath
to the Ukrainian people,

[4] WHY did not Yushchenko abandon the personal
and crony interests for those of the state and the people?

[5] WHY did not Yushchenko immediately after the inauguration gather
all of his allies and said the following:

“From this day forward as the president of Ukraine, I carry the
responsibility only before the Ukrainian people and God for their fate and
the fate of the country. Accordingly, everything that I will do, I will do
so only in the interests of Ukraine and the people.

I ask your understanding and forgiveness if some of you do not receive a
position in my government which you may have expected.

Together, we did not fight for ministerial posts in my administration; we
fought for the opportunity to build a European country devoid of corruption
and crime, a country where every Ukrainian citizen is equal before the law.

From this day forward, the government will serve its citizens, not select
groups and clans.

During the time of my presidency, I ask all to forget that I may be a
brother, cousin or a god-father to you.

From this day forward and for everyone without exception, I am the
president of Ukraine.”

Victor Yushchenko already became part of history as the leader of
the Orange Revolution.

Regardless of victories, mistakes and failures thus far, the rest of history
is still being written. What will be written in the history textbooks of
Ukraine depends largely upon the president himself.

The choice is yours, Mr. President. -30-
—————————————————————————————-
English translation by Vitaliy Voznyak
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2005/11/17/4885.htm
—————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11. UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO WANTS UNITY TO DEFEAT RIVALS

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 20, 2005

KIEV: Politicians who spearheaded last year’s “Orange Revolution” in
Ukraine must unite to bar an election comeback by the administration they
ousted, sacked prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said yesterday.

Three days before Ukraine marks the anniversary of the mass protests,
Tymoshenko and officials of a party backing President Viktor Yushchenko
have pledged to mend a debilitating split which shattered public confidence
in the revolution’s leaders.

“I think we can unite before the elections or perhaps after them. I will
make every effort to unite our forces,” a beaming Tymoshenko told a
packed news conference. Ukrainians will vote in parliamentary elections
in March 2006.

“Revenge headed by (Viktor) Yanukovich as a possible candidate for prime
minister is very real. We must not let down our guard.”

Yanukovich, then prime minister and backed by Russia, was initially declared
the winner of the presidential election over the pro-Western Yushchenko. But
weeks of protests led to a Supreme Court decision annulling the vote on
grounds of mass fraud and Yushchenko won a re-run.

Tymoshenko was Yushchenko’s main ally, rousing crowds in Kiev’s
Independence Square, and was made premier in January.

Yushchenko fired her in September after months of in-fighting which split
the administration into two camps, each accusing the other of corruption.

Tymoshenko proclaimed herself a victim of intrigues and vowed to get
her job back by beating the president’s allies in poll next March. The
split badly dented the standing of both leaders.

Opinion surveys credit Yanukovich’s Regions Party, strongest in
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, with 20% support.

Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party enjoys 15-17% while Our Ukraine, linked
to the president, trails with 10-12%. Both derive much support from
nationalist western regions and the liberal stronghold of Kiev.

Our Ukraine voted on Friday to start talks on an electoral pact with
Tymoshenko’s camp.

“I think today we will meet and discuss the best way to pool our efforts,”
Tymoshenko said. “The election will not be easy. We will have two poles
again. But for us it is more difficult this time. We are not united and many
voters are disappointed.”

As politicians gear up for the anniversary festivities, voters who trudged
through snowy streets to the protests now express disillusion.

Prices of staples are on the rise and consumers have faced fuel and meat
shortages. Months of rows culminated in a slanging match in September
between top aides over alleged corruption.

Tymoshenko said unity could restore voters’ confidence.

“The revolution was not in vain. I believe it created a new country, a
new nation. We are ready for a political fight. And we are ready to win,”
Tymoshenko said, pledging to stand alongside Yushchenko at the
festivities. “I am sure the square will become another launching pad
for victory.” -30-
—————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
12. HUNDREDS OF LEFTISTS RALLY IN UKRAINE

By Mara D. Bellaby, Associated Press Writer
AP, Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, November 20, 2005

KIEV, Ukraine — Hundreds of leftists waving Russian flags rallied in
Ukraine’s capital Sunday to condemn the country’s plans to celebrate
the anniversary of last year’s Orange Revolution.

“There is nothing to be proud of, we sold out our country,” Viktoriya
Vasilenko, 20, said as she shook wet snowflakes off her hat. She added
that President Viktor Yushchenko “is a traitor.”

The rally’s organizer, the radical Progressive Socialist Party, supports
warm ties with Russia and is wary of closer relations with the West.

Sunday’s protest came two days ahead of Ukraine’s official celebrations
marking the beginning of last year’s Orange Revolution mass protests,
which helped usher the pro-Western Yushchenko into power. Yushchenko
said Saturday he hopes to make Nov. 22 an annual holiday called Freedom
Day.

“Yushchenko out!” shouted hundreds of protesters, some carrying portraits
of Russian czars and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Representatives of losing
presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych handed out leaflets condemning
the holiday plan.

Vasilenko and her grandmother, Margarita, said they came to Sunday’s
protest because of their anger over last month’s sale of a Ukrainian steel
mill to the world’s largest steel producer, Mittal Steel. Mittal, a multinational
firm, bought the Kryvorizhstal mill for $4.8 billion in an open auction that
Yushchenko hailed as one of the biggest economic successes of his first
year in office.

“Why should we be selling our birthright to foreigners,” the grandmother
said. The Progressive Socialists had promised that Sunday’s rally would
attract some 25,000 people, but at its peak only a couple of thousand
gathered. -30-
—————————————————————————————
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
CORRECTION: The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) number 603,
published an article by Olena Geissbühler-Moyseyenko, Dr. Med.
on Sunday, November 20, 2005. The article number was number 5
and was titled Stalin’s Hidden Genocide. We listed a wrong e-mail
address for Olena. It should be egeissbuehler@freesurf.ch and not
egeissbudler@freesurf.ch. EDITOR
========================================================
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