Daily Archives: December 9, 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”

                        LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW!!!
                                    [Articles ten and eleven] 
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Washington, D.C., & Kyiv, Ukraine, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2005
                        ——–INDEX OF ARTICLES——–
                “Major International News Headlines and Articles”

                                 INSTILLING NEW HOPES
    Ukraine hosts most successful summit with EU, say meeting participants
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Roman Bryl, Ukraine Analyst
IntelliNews-Ukraine This Week, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Dec 2, 2005

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005


                                   Best Investment Strategy
                  For 2004/2005 In Ukraine And CIS Countries 
European Marketing Research Center (EMRC)
Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, December 7, 2005

            Ukraine is continuing talks on WTO with seven countries
    United States, Australia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Panama, Taiwan.
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

          Slain journalist’s wife says promises in Ukraine will remain empty
                 until there is a full accounting of her husband’s death
           Receives an award sponsored by Canadian Friends of Ukraine
By Estanislao Oziewicz, The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thu, December 8, 2005 Page A25


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

                         PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

NEWS RELEASE: Ukraine-United States Business Council
Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 8, 2005

UPDATE: Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Friday, December 9, 2005

         Party of Regions vows to grant state status to Russian language
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005


                                TO JOIN IN THREE YEARS 
Associated Press, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, December 8, 2005 

NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2000 gmt 8 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thu, Dec 08, 2005


Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, December 8, 2005

THE ISCIP ANALYST, Volume XI, Number 3
Formerly The NIS Observed, An Analytical Review
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy
Boston University, Boston, MA, 17 November 2005

17.                     “REMEMBERING THE HOLODOMOR”
OP-ED: Lubomyr Luciuk, National Post
Toronto, Ont, Canada, Thursday, December 08, 2005

In Ukraine’s collective memory, those years are known as the “Great Famine”
By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
IHT published by The New York Times
Europe, Thursday, December 8, 2005

COMMENTARY: David R. Marples
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
                                 INSTILLING NEW HOPES
    Ukraine hosts most successful summit with EU, say meeting participants

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Roman Bryl, Ukraine Analyst
IntelliNews-Ukraine This Week, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Dec 2, 2005

The 9th EU-Ukraine summit and first such representative meeting between
European and Ukrainian leaders after the “orange revolution” took place in
Kyiv on Dec 1. All participants of the meeting underlined that it was the
most successful and fruitful summit ever held.

British PM Tony Blair confirmed in Kyiv that in spite of the summit’s
success it initiated a new stage in EU-Ukraine relations. Prospects for
Ukraine are very clear and consist of two parts: democratic progress and
economic development, Blair specified. Regarding economic prospects,
the PM claimed that granting Ukraine market economy status would be
enough to spur its economic growth.

EU officially grants market economy status to Ukraine —

The Ukrainian side considers receiving the status the major achievement of
the summit. President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso
officially announced the decision during the summit, adding that it would
take some time to ratify it.

According to PM Yuri Yekhanurov, the ratification period would be over in
Jan 2006. He also insured that Ukraine would be granted a similar status by
the US early next year.

Ukrainian authorities in the beginning of this year stated that receiving
the status from EU and USA was one of the key political goals. The status
gives not only political benefits (i.e. recognition of Ukraine as an equal
partner), but spurs economic development.

It can speed up WTO accession —

FIRST, the status is regarded as an obligatory step toward WTO accession.
State authorities have stopped declaring that Ukraine will join WTO in 2005.

The entrance is postponed until 2006. Parliament should approve the last
several laws needed. On one hand, the market economy status can encourage
parliament to pass the laws.

On the other, Ukraine has time to approve them after the election scheduled
for March 2006. That could be done by the new convocation of parliament.
Resolving the issue, on Dec 1 Rada passed another law necessary for joining
WTO. The law concerns technical standards.

Also, it can help Ukraine avoid anti-dumping prosecution —

SECOND, the status gives Ukraine opportunities to avoid many anti-dumping
duties put up by EU at present. Due to obvious reasons (cheaper labor costs,
raw materials and etc.) many Ukrainian goods exported to EU cost less the
rivaling European ones.

The price difference was regarded as dumping attempts that gave EU grounds
to apply fines. As Ukraine did not have a market economy status, EU simply
compared prices. This way, EU did not take into consideration real
conditions of producing these goods in Ukraine. Now, EU would revise all
duties and eliminate those that are considered as unfair.

EU, Ukraine to concentrate on cooperation in energy projects —

Several other agreements were signed during the summit, including a
memorandum on cooperation in the energy sector, especially in fuel resource
transportation. In particular, EU promised to extend EUR 2bn for updating
the Ukrainian gas transportation network. The sided agreed to outline
specific energy projects in the forthcoming future.

An agreement was signed on common research, exploration, producing,
marketing and trading of hydrocarbons between state oil and gas monopolist
Naftogaz Ukrainy and Shell Exploration and Production B.V. This document
became the next step of cooperation between the two companies after in May
2005 they agreed on common exploration of Dniprovsk-Donetsk oil and gas

The latest arrangement stipulates Shell will lease 10 exploration licenses
of Naftogaz. Shell plans to invest about USD 100mn in the project at the
first stage. The exploration will start in 2006.

Ukraine joins Galileo space project —

The next document involves cooperation in the USD 3.1bn navigation project
Galileo. The agreement supposes that Ukraine will became a full member of
the first European space project, that should start in late 2005. Thus,
Ukraine becomes the 3rd non-EU member.

The other two are Israel and China. Earlier, EC named Ukraine one of the 8
states that achieved significant progress in the aerospace industry. On Jun
3, EU council on transport, telecommunications and energy signed a
framework agreement with Ukraine on participating in the Galileo project.

EU, Ukraine aim to set up common  air space —

Also, an agreement on cooperation in air transport between EU and Ukraine
was signed. The document targets creating common air space. At the first
stage, the sides should develop a project on expanding cooperation.
President Victor Yuschenko from the Ukrainian side and president Barroso
from the EU side signed the document.

Ukraine hopes to simplify visa regime with EU until mid-2006 —

Besides the documents were signed, EU representatives underlined the
positive role Ukraine plays in solving the Transdnistria conflict. On Nov
30, EU mission on Ukrainian-Moldovan border including part of the
Transdnistria border started its work.

EU confirmed its intention to finance projects concerning immigration
issues. To receive technical assistance support, Ukraine should first sign
an agreement on readmission with EU. Discussion on the agreement was held
simultaneously with negotiations on easing the visa regime between EU and
Ukraine. The first round of the talks took place in mid-November.

Ukraine hopes to create common rules of receiving visas for its citizens
traveling to EU member countries, to simplify the visa procedure, and to
reduce the list of documents needed for receiving a visa. It is supposed
that visa talks will be finished in mid-2006, although EU itself does not
set the date of finishing the negotiations.

Summit gives Ukraine hope regarding new broad agreement with EU —

The main conclusion is that Ukraine has made significant progress in filling
the next EU-Ukraine cooperation agreement with concrete content. To remind
you, in 2007 the bilateral agreement on partnership and cooperation that
stepped in effect in 1997 will expire.

Ukraine hopes the new agreement will outline clear prospects of its future
membership in EU. The summit showed Ukraine has reasons to expect that
such ambitious targets will be included.

The EU no doubt would be very cautious, but seems quite positive toward
Ukraine’s new leadership. That is especially obvious, knowing Ukraine’s
dismal economic performance and loud political scandals and rifts after the
“orange revolution”.

At the summit EU representatives declared that the sides should immediately
start coordinating the content of the agreement. Time will tell whether
local politicians’ aspirations are realistic.  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KYIV – Poland considers extension of the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline to the
Polish city of Gdansk as one of its economic priorities. Polish Ambassador
to Ukraine Jacek Kluczkowski told this to journalists.

“Poland’s position has not changed, and our participation in the project
involving extension of the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline to Gdansk remains one

of the Polish government’s priorities,” Kluczkowski said.

According to him, the launch of the pipeline in its intended direction will
ensure not only Poland’s energy security, but also that of the whole
European Union.

Apart from this, Kluczkowski said that realization of this project in future
will give a chance to supply crude to Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic,
and will also allow using both countries’ oil transportation potentials to
the full.

As Ukrainian News reported, a consortium consisting of SWECO PIC

(Finland), ILF GmbH (Germany) and KANTOR (Greece) will present a
feasibility study for the project involving extension of the Odesa-Brody
oil pipeline to the Polish city of Plock by December 20.

Sarmatiya was founded by Ukrainian and Polish national oil transportation
companies in 2004 to implement the project of the Eurasian oil
transportation corridor on the basis of the Odesa-Brody-Plock route.

President Viktor Yuschenko announced in late November that Ukraine was ready
to start extending the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline from Brody to the Polish
border in 2006.

Poland’s new Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz promised in early last
November to resolve the issue of extension of the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline
to Plock. The Odesa-Brody oil pipeline was put into operation on May 19,
2002.  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 6, 2005

KYIV – In the ancient West Ukrainian city of Lviv a solemn ceremony was

held to open a new 14,000 sq. m. supermarket of the German company Metro
Cash & Carry, which offers over 20,000 food products and manufactured
goods at very attractive prices. Importantly, the new supermarket has
provided jobs for 260 Lviv residents.

The Metro Cash & Carry is a leader in operating supermarkets, Axel Luchi,
the company’s director, noted. The company runs over 500 supermarkets in

28 nations and employs about 90,000 personnel.

The bulk of products, which are sold in Ukraine (90 percent of the total)
are bought from Ukrainian producers, he said.

The supermarket in Lviv is the German company’s pilot project in West
Ukraine. The Metro Cash & Carry has come to Ukraine as a reliable partner,
interested in close cooperation with Ukrainian producers and distributors.
The company is assisting them in application of state-of-the-art
technologies of reprocessing, packaging and distribution.

The Metro Cash & Carry is continuously extending its chain of supermarkets,
currently operational in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Donetsk.
Within the past two years and a half the Metro Cash & Carry has invested
over 200 M. USD in the Ukrainian economy, having created over 3,000 new
jobs.  -30-

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                                    Best Investment Strategy
                     For 2004/2005 In Ukraine and CIS Countries

European Marketing Research Center (EMRC)
Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, December 7, 2005

BRUSSELS – SigmaBleyzer and its founder, Michael Bleyzer have been

nominated as winner of the 2005 EuroMarket Award for contribution to
the development of successful investment strategy within Ukraine and
transition economies.

The award ceremony will take place on the evening of [Thursday] December
15th during the EuroMarket Forum 2005 in Brussels, organised by EMRC,

in association with European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
(EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with
the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) and Asian Development Bank
(ADB) among others.

The European Marketing Research Center (EMRC) EuroMarket Award

acknowledges outstanding dynamic corporations, institutes, governmental
organizations and individuals worldwide for their outstanding performance,
creativity and tenacity in promoting development of economic & business
collaboration between enterprises & entrepreneurs within and outside the
European Union.

Michael Bleyzer, President and CEO of SigmaBleyzer will accept the award
from Viscount Etienne Davignon, President of the IRRI, (Royal Institute for
Int’l Relations) Vice-President of Group Suez-Tractabel & former Vice
President of the European Commission.

The nomination of Sigma Bleyzer investment fund as this year’s EuroMarket
Award prize-winner is consistent with EMRC mission to promote global
integration and diminish economic gaps between developed and developing
countries through equity investments, strategic partnerships, mergers and
acquisitions, and by encouraging local entrepreneurs, such as the founder of
SigmaBleyzer, Mr. Michael Bleyzer, as an example to world-class efficiency
and strong business leadership.

SigmaBleyzer, and its founder Michael Bleyzer, represent a successful
example to other groups and business actors from developed & developing
countries, motivating them to forge new challenges & opportunities.

EuroMarket Forum (Brussels International Airport Sheraton, 14 -16 Dec.

2005) will gather delegations from over 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe
and Latin America for debates, round tables and workshops in order to
develop similar initiatives and increase share of developing countries
globally trade.  -30-
About SigmaBleyzer: Operating in the region since 1993, SigmaBleyzer is one
of the largest and most experienced equity investors in Eastern Europe. With
the strength of the company’s local infrastructure, western-style management
and knowledge of local market conditions, SigmaBleyzer has created one of
the best investment banking organizations in the region.

As a manager of a family of private equity funds currently investing in
Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, it utilizes a hybrid investment approach
developed specifically for emerging markets and focused on simultaneous
value creation at the micro/enterprise level and at the macro level.

Because of this unique approach and strong on-the-ground presence in a
region where most of SigmaBleyzer’s clients could not have invested
directly, the company brings one of the most attractive pipelines of
investment opportunities found anywhere to its client base.

More importantly, SigmaBleyzer has the experience, the skills and the

people in the region to ensure the highest levels of integrity and
professionalism in taking advantage of these opportunities.
Press Contact: Mark Rudkin, Head of Marketing and PR – SigmaBleyzer
About EMRC: EMRC is an international non-profit association established
in Brussels since 1992 by Belgian Royal Decree, aimed at promoting and
encouraging the trade and commercial relations between entrepreneurs from
around the world, and more specifically between developed countries and
emerging markets. Until today EMRC has organised dozens of international
business forums and events around Europe and elsewhere.

We have yearly 3 main forums in Brussels and 2 to 3 Business Forums in
locations outside the European Union, such as Moscow, Kiev, Tel Aviv or
Zagreb. Our participants come from some 98 countries spanned over 4
continents and count more than 10,000 senior executives, consultants and
policy makers. For further information about our activities, and us please
visit us on www.emrc.be.  -30-
EMRC Contacts: Arie Taitler, Business Development Manager
Email : Arie.Taitler@emrc.be
Idit Miller, VP & Managing Director: Email: idit.miller@emrc.be

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
            Ukraine is continuing talks on WTO with seven countries
    United States, Australia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Panama, Taiwan

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KYIV – On November 7, Ukraine and Peru have signed a bilateral protocol

on mutual access to markets of goods and services within Ukraine’s
accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Foreign Ministry’s
press service reported this to Ukrainian News.

On behalf of Ukraine, the protocol was signed by Ukraine’s permanent
representative under the department of the UN and other international
organizations in Geneva Yevhen Bersheda.

Thus, Ukraine has completed bilateral talks on access to markets of goods
and services with 41 WTO member countries that are members of the

working group on consideration of Ukraine’s application for the WTO.

Ukraine is continuing talks on WTO with seven countries: the United States,
Australia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Panama, and Taiwan.

As Ukrainian News reported earlier, on December 5, the Economy Ministry

put the task to complete until the end of 2005 bilateral talks with member
countries of the World Trade Organization on Ukraine’s accession to the

Ukraine earlier expected to join the WTO before 2006. It expected such
decision to be made during a ministerial conference in Hong Kong

December 13-18. The Economy Ministry forecasts that Ukraine will join
the World Trade Organization before July 2006.  -30-
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KYIV – XXI Century investment company is going to begin public offering of
its shares on the London Stock Exchange on December 16. Ukrainian News has
obtained a copy of the company’s statement with this information.

The flotation is expected to raise around USD 138 million for projects
involving residential and commercial real estate in Kyiv.

ING Bank N. V. will be the lead manager, DTZ Kiev B. V. will appraise
assets, Baker Tilly Proios will be the auditor, and Baker McKenzie will do
legal business for the company.

XXI Century said the Kyiv real estate market has the best prospects of all
markets in Europe. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, XXI Century was
founded in 1995 as a closed joint-stock company to make direct investments
in real estate projects.

XXI Century includes the Kvadrat Ukraina company (which specializes in
trading in real estate), Housing XXI Century (which manages residential real
estate), and the Shvydko fast-food restaurant chain.

According to information from the Agency for Development of the Stock
Market’s Infrastructure, Twenty First Century Holding (Overseas) Limited of
Cyprus owned 99.99% of the shares in XXI Century as of 2004. -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
          Slain journalist’s wife says promises in Ukraine will remain empty
                 until there is a full accounting of her husband’s death
           Receives an award sponsored by Canadian Friends of Ukraine

By Estanislao Oziewicz, The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thu, December 8, 2005 Page A25

TORONTO – Much has changed in Ukraine since last year’s Orange

Revolution, but some important unfinished business remains: A full
accounting of the death of crusading journalist Georgiy Gongadze.
Until that happens, his widow says, the revolution can never bear
lasting democratic fruit.

“For a nation, it’s important not only to know what happened, but also to
bring to justice those responsible,” Myroslava Gongadze said. “If this is
not resolved, it means that the Orange Revolution was not real, because a
real revolution means a cleaning up and starting from a new point.”

Her husband’s abduction and beheading in 2000 became a catalyst for last
December’s wave of protests against electoral fraud and the ouster of then
president Leonid Kuchma, whose pro-Russian government was roiling in

Mr. Gongadze, then 31, had been writing articles on his news website,
Ukrainska Pravda, critical of the Kuchma regime, when he disappeared in
September of 2000. His headless body was found two months later, but

the Kuchma government did little to investigate.

But one of Mr. Kuchma’s bodyguards later revealed tapes he secretly

recorded that appeared to show that the then president and some of his
senior aides wanted to have the meddling journalist “sorted out.” Mr.
Kuchma and the officials have denied the allegations and cast doubt on
the authenticity of the tapes.

Viktor Yushchenko, who took office on the back of the Orange

Revolution, pledged to solve the Gongadze case. Three police officers
have been charged, and a fourth is being sought on an international

But no trial date has been set and, more important, according to the
Gongadze family and their supporters, the masterminds of Mr. Gongadze’s
killing have not been pursued vigorously enough. Former interior minister
Yuriy Kravchenko committed suicide last March, just before he was to be
questioned about the slaying.

“For me, it is important to get not only the perpetrators, but the
instigators,” Ms. Gongadze said. “The militia officers had no motive to do
this, they were receiving orders to do so. It’s most important to get the
people who gave those orders.”

She was in Toronto recently to receive an award sponsored by Canadian
Friends of Ukraine, devoted to “promoting democracy, institutional
transparency and Canada-Ukraine co-operation.”

Following the death of her husband, Ms. Gongadze, 33, fled with her twin
children to Washington, where she now works as a correspondent for Voice

of America. She is also a visiting scholar at George Washington University.

She vows not to return to Ukraine until authorities have resolved her
husband’s case, which has been mired in disputes over the authenticity of
the tapes. “I would like to see results and like to see him [Mr. Yushchenko]
fulfill his promises.”

Ms. Gongadze’s campaign got a boost last month when the European Court

of Human Rights awarded her Euro 100,000 in damages. The court ruled that
Ukrainian authorities had not done enough to protect her husband’s life or
to investigate his death.

The court said that Ms. Gongadze had been subjected to degrading treatment
by being deprived of information for years — including confirmation that
the headless torso was her husband’s — and access to his file.

It also said that events “revealing the possible involvement of state
officials” in her husband’s disappearance and death were “neglected or
simply denied without proper investigation for a considerable period of

Mykola Melnichenko, the former Kuchma bodyguard who made the tape

recordings implicating his boss and other officials, returned to Kiev last
week after fleeing Ukraine five years ago. Ukrainian media report that
prosecutors interviewed him this week.  -30-
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KYIV – Ex-major of the presidential guards service Mykola Melnychenko

has said that one of the reasons for his return to Ukraine was the start of
court proceedings on the case of murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.
Melnychenko made the statement on Channel 5 on December 7 live.

“We [Melnychenko and former MP Oleksandr Yeliashkevych] made the

decision to return to Ukraine for several reasons, one of which was court
proceedings on Gongadze case,” Melnychenko said.

According to him, their arrival is not connected with the parliamentary
election 2006. “It has nothing to do with elections,” Melnychenko stressed.

He explained that he flew from the U.S. with transfer in Russia because
there in Moscow he settled the issue of providing him with state guard.
Melnychenko said he departed for Ukraine only after he was reported that his
security will be granted.

As Ukrainian News reported earlier, on November 23 the Prosecutor General’s
Office has sent for trial a criminal proceedings on the murder of journalist
Georgy Gongadze to the Supreme Court.

According to the press service, the criminal case was transferred for
establishing the cognizance of three people in committing crimes specified
in Part 3, Article 166 (excess of power or service duties), the current
Criminal Code and Point 1, Article 93 (deliberate murder committed on a
previous concert of a group of people) of the Criminal Code dated 1960.

Gongadze disappeared on September 16, 2000, and later his headless body

was found outside Kyiv.

With the disappearance of Gongadze, a political scandal sparked off around a
possible involvement in the crime of the then-President Leonid Kuchma,
ex-head of the Presidential Administration and current Verkhovna Rada
Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn, former chair of the Security Service of Ukraine
and now MP Leonid Derkach and the deceased former Internal Affairs Minister
Yurii Kravchenko.

Melnychenko, whose first recordings were made public in late 2000, accused
former President Leonid Kuchma and a number of government officials of
corruption and other grave crimes, including the murder of journalist Georgy
Gongadze. Melnychenko has been living in the United States since May 2001.
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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                           PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KIEV – Ukrainian prosecutors said Thursday new tests on blood samples

taken from President Viktor Yushchenko confirm a high level of dioxin

The tests, carried out in laboratories in Belgium, Germany and the U.K.,
were needed to justify Ukrainian legal requirements in the case of any

The latest tests confirm the dioxin level in Yushchenko’s blood was 1,000
times what is considered acceptable, said Oleksiy Bebel, spokesman for the
General Prosecutor’s Office.

Yushchenko fell severely ill last year during the presidential election
campaign, and after treatment in Austria was diagnosed as having suffered
massive dioxin poisoning. It knocked him off the campaign trail for weeks,
and left his face severely pockmarked. The scars still remain more than a
year later.

Ukrainian authorities have called it an assassination attempt. No-one has
been charged, although Yushchenko says the investigation is continuing.

In September, former Security Service head Oleksandr Turchinov charged
Yushchenko’s poisoning hadn’t been proven because the president kept

putting off tests in Ukraine.

Under Ukrainian law, tests must be conducted in Ukraine, or be overseen by
Ukrainian investigators to be considered valid, making necessary the new
analyses. Local laboratories were incapable of conducting the examinations,
so investigators asked foreign laboratories for help.  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

NEWS RELEASE: Ukraine-United States Business Council
Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 8, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Ukraine-United States Business Council today
released the text of its letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman
Bill Thomas urging his leadership to pass in the House of Representatives
legislation ending application of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to Ukraine
and extending permanent normal trade relations treatment to products of

Council President, Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, emphasized in her letter that
Ukraine fully meets the criteria established by the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment for extension of permanent normal trade relations.

She noted that, as active traders and investors in the Ukrainian market, the
members of the Ukraine-United States Business Council see this as a no
cost way to remove an irritant in bilateral commercial relations and send a
message of hope and support for Ukraine’s efforts to secure democracy,
build a vibrant market economy, and integrate into the Euro-Atlantic
community of nations.

December 7, 2005

Honorable Bill Thomas, Chairman
Ways and Means Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC

Dear Chairman Thomas,

The Ukraine-United States Business Council, founded in 1995, requests
your leadership in passing legislation in the House of Representatives

now to terminate application of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 (the
Jackson-Vanik Amendment) with respect to Ukraine, and to extend
permanent normal trade relations treatment to products of Ukraine.

Ukraine fully meets the criteria established by the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment for extension of permanent normal trading relations.
Ukraine has a well-established record of open emigration, recognized
by U.S. Presidents of both parties, and has created conditions in
which religious minorities can freely practice their faith.

A year ago, the people of Ukraine showed great courage and withstood
many hardships to advance democracy in their country. They still face
many difficulties to secure their democracy, build a vibrant market
economy, and integrate into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. On
this first anniversary of the Orange Revolution, we can send them an
important message of hope and support by graduating Ukraine from
Jackson-Vanik and extending PNTR.

With the Senate having passed S. 632, House passage of similar legislation
would enable President Bush to graduate Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik and
fulfill one of the key U.S. commitments from his April 4 Joint Statement
with President Yushchenko.

As active traders and investors in the Ukrainian market, the members of the
Ukraine-United States Business Council fully support graduating Ukraine
from Jackson-Vanik and extending permanent normal trading relations to
Ukraine. Doing so will remove a symbolic irritant in the bilateral
commercial relationship, with no economic or other costs to the United

We urge your support for early enactment of such legislation.


Susanne S. Lotarski

                        Jackson – Vanik Graduation Coalition
NOTE:  The Ukraine – United States Business Council and a
considerable number of its individual member companies are 
members of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition. Ambassador
Steven Pifer and Ambassador William Miller are co-chairs of the
Coalition.  To join the Coalition and support Ukraine’s graduation
from Jackson-Vanik,, e-mail JVGC@usukraine.org or call 202-347-
4264. For more information on the Coalitions efforts and the history
of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment visit the Coalition’s website at
        Ukraine – United States Business Council, Washington, D.C.
President: Susanne S. Lotarski, Ph.D.
Executive Committee: Chairman, Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer;
Andrew E. Bej, ALICO; Shannon S. S. Herzfeld, Archer Daniels
Midland (ADM); Michael Kirst, Westinghouse Electric Company;
John W. Rauber, Jr., Deere & Company; Van Yeutter, Cargill.
Secretary/Treasurer: John C. Stephens, Cape Point Capital.
General Counsel: Jack I. Heller, Esq., Heller & Rosenblatt.
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UPDATE: Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Friday, December 9, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)

has been diligently working on the Jackson-Vanik issue for over four years. 
Our efforts have finally borne fruit…in wake of the recent successful repeal
of the Jackson-Vanik amendment in the Senate, the House of Representatives
is seeking passage of their bill.

UNIS is actively coordinating its efforts with the Congressional Ukrainian
Caucus to support HR1053, introduced by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA). 

Thanks to our efforts, as of December 7, 2005, twenty-three (23)
congressional co-sponsors have signed onto the bill (sponsors listed


Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1]; Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6]; Rep Boehlert,
Sherwood [NY-24]; Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5]; Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7]; Rep
Dent, Charles W. [PA-15]; Rep Diaz-Balart, Lincoln [FL-21]; Rep English,
Phil [PA-3]; Rep Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [PA-8]; Rep Harman, Jane [CA-36];
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9]; Rep Kennedy, Mark R. [MN-6]; Rep Langevin, James
R. [RI-2]; Rep McNulty, Michael R. [NY-21]; Rep Peterson, John E. [PA-5];
Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16]; Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19]; Rep Schwarz,
John J.H. “Joe” [MI-7]; Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9]; Rep Smith, Christopher H.
[NJ-4]; Rep Snyder, Vic [AR-2]; Rep Weldon, Curt [PA-7]; Rep Wexler, Robert

We are in the homestretch, therefore, UNIS urges you to send letters to your
respective Members of Congress requesting their support for HR1053 !!!


ACTION ITEM: Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 1, 2005

WASHINGTON – The recent “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine has

transformed the political landscape in that country.  Calls for a re-
examination of U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral relations is necessary, and

One of the more immediate issues is the revocation of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the 1974 Trade Act, which limits trade with countries that

do not allow free emigration of its citizens.  Ukraine “inherited” the
amendment when it re-established its independence in 1991.

In early April 2005 in an address to a Joint Session of the United States
Congress, President Yushchenko reiterated the need to repeal the
Jackson-Vanik amendment and bring that chapter of Ukraine’s history to

a close.

Recent passage of a bill in the United States Senate (S632) has prompted
efforts in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) to
“graduate” Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

The Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS) requests all Ukrainian
Americans and friends of Ukraine to contact their U.S. representatives and
urge them to support Rep. Gerlach’s bill HR1053.

Attached, please find a sample letter to send to your U.S. representative.
Sample letters may be e-mailed directly to your representative at
http://www.house.gov/writerep/.  Should you have any questions, please feel
free to contact the UNIS office by phone at (202) 547-0018 or via email at


The Honorable (Name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative (Name):

As a Ukrainian American residing in your district, I urge you to support
HR1053, a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Gerlach to “graduate” Ukraine from

the Jackson-Vanik amendment of the 1974 Trade Act.  This amendment is
a relic of Cold War-era politics.

Each Administration since 1992 has certified that Ukraine has met all
requirements stipulated in the law. Furthermore, as recent as November 18,
2005, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent S632 to repeal
the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine.

In the last few months, the world has witnessed Ukraine make a firm
commitment to a democratic future and integration into the Euro-Atlantic
community.  It is essential that the U.S. Congress support the goodwill of
the Ukrainian people and attest in providing greater bilateral relations.

Repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment, as was accomplished in the United
States Senate, is a critical step that will demonstrate to the Ukrainian
government that the United States welcomes the changes they implemented

and trusts in the future of Ukraine. I urge you to support HR1053 and thus
to facilitate the democratic and economic development of Ukraine.


Michael Sawkiw, Jr., President, Ukrainian Congress Committee
of America (UCCA), Washington Office: Ukrainian National
Information Service, 311 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002, tel:  (202) 547-0018, fax:  (202) 543-5502
e-mail:  unis@ucca.org, Web at:  http://www.ucca.org 
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Party of Regions vows to grant state status to Russian language

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 8, 2005

KYIV – The Party of Regions vows to introduce a federal form of

government in Ukraine and grant state status to the Russian language if
it wins the parliamentary elections. Ukrainian News learned this from a
copy of the party’s election platform it has obtained.

“Our slogan is ‘Two Languages – One Nation!'” the party declared in

the platform.

The party promises to conduct territorial administrative reform based on

a federal state system, demand non-block status for Ukraine, and hold a
referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

Party of Regions deputies and government members the party will appoint
undertake to implement the tasks of the election platform within three
years, or resign if they do not keep their promise.

The party declared that every working Ukrainian will have a job and a wage
and will be able to save, and every entrepreneur will be free to make
initiatives while tax rates are stable and his property rights are safe.

The party will support all national languages and cultures in Ukraine.

As to economy, it promises to reduce taxes, impose a two-year moratorium

on tax legislation revision; double government investments into agriculture,
increase funding for education loans and home mortgages for young people
and make student grants the size of subsistence minimum in three years; and
eliminate the deficit in pension funding in two years.

The party is ready to make the army highly professional, equip it with
homemade products, and ensure social protection of servicemen and their

In the area of foreign policy, the Party of Regions will normalize relations
with Russia and complete creation of the Common Economic Area.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Party of Regions adopted its
election platform entitled “Welfare – to People! Power – to Regions!” at a
December 3 congress. Elections to the Verkhovna Rada are scheduled for

March 26, 2006.   -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
                                TO JOIN IN THREE YEARS 

Associated Press, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, December 8, 2005 

BRUSSELS – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk told NATO on

Thursday that his country could be ready for membership of the western
alliance within three years, but he acknowledged there was no agreement
among the allies for such a move.

“We can’t say there is a consensus about Ukraine joining NATO within the
near future,” Tarasyuk said after talks with his NATO counterparts. He told
reporters Ukraine could push through the political and military reforms
demanded by NATO in three years.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer restated NATO’s position of
keeping a door open for new members, but refusing to discuss possible entry
dates. The alliance has scheduled a summit meeting in 2008 to discuss
possible expansion.

“It is clear there will be more NATO enlargements,” de Hoop Scheffer said.
Besides Ukraine, several Balkan nations are seeking membership.

Ukraine’s pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko has made membership of
NATO a key goal since he came to power in last year’s “Orange Revolution.”
NATO in principle supports that aspiration, but it says Ukraine must first
firm up its democracy, fight corruption and reform its bloated, post-Soviet

The alliance is also wary of over-expansion following the entry of seven new
members from eastern Europe last year and is anxious not to annoy Russia
which is unhappy with the prospect of its former satellite joining NATO.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked about Ukraine’s ambitions
after his own meeting with NATO earlier Thursday. “It’s a sovereign right of
every country to chose which partners it wants,” Lavrov told reporters. “But
there will be some consequences in terms of our NATO-Russian relations.”
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
        Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2000 gmt 8 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thu, Dec 08, 2005

KIEV – [Presenter] [President] Viktor Yushchenko visited Chernobyl today

for the first time in his capacity as the president. The ill-famed power plant
was shut down five years ago. The president was shown the nuclear waste
storage facility. Yushchenko symbolically managed the unloading of nuclear
fuel and talked a lot with residents in the exclusion zone [around

The president promised that all of its residents would receive homes from
the state. He said that a shelter facility [over the damaged Chernobyl
reactor] should be built by 2010.

Furthermore, Yushchenko said that Ukraine can store nuclear waste from other
countries but that the public consent is needed for this. Darka Olifer has
returned from the Chernobyl exclusion zone. [Passage omitted: Yushchenko
visits a local church, attends the plant, meets plant managers.]

[Correspondent] Yushchenko has got a lot of impressions from his visit to
the Chernobyl exclusion zone. One of them is processing of liquid and
contaminated waste. There is a clear timetable for this.

[Yushchenko] If we speak about the construction of a plant to process liquid
nuclear waste, it is 97-per-cent ready, and there is big hope that the first
container with waste of this kind will be processed by 26 April of this year
[as heard].

[Correspondent] But Yushchenko paid much more attention to humanitarian
aspects of the Chernobyl problem.

[Yushchenko] We should not only talk about a man-made catastrophe. We

should not only talk about the safety measures that should be taken at four
or five facilities at the Chernobyl plant.

I think it should be admitted at present that it was a humanitarian
catastrophe for Ukraine, when a whole layer of culture, the culture of
Polissya, which is probably best identified as a national culture, was
virtually destroyed.

Houses were left after fires. What should be done next with this part of the
Chernobyl problem? At present 301 Ukrainians live here. How do they live?
What educational, social, cultural or everyday life do they live?

[Correspondent] Yushchenko believes that some part of the Chernobyl

zone can already live a normal life.

[Yushchenko] It is obvious that the land, particularly that located in the
southern part of the Chernobyl zone, can be involved, by using a special
technology, in economic projects for generating alternative types of fuel or
producing wood that grows here.

[Correspondent] As for the possibility of storing nuclear waste from other
countries in Ukraine, Yushchenko said that everything should be in line with
the national interests.

[Yushchenko] This should be studied politically. This can certainly have
economic expediency. The grounds that we have here have most probably been
withdrawn from traditional use for hundreds of years to come. For this
reason, a great deal of thinking should be done before taking any political
decision. [Passage omitted: Yushchenko meets local residents.]

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, December 8, 2005

Leader of the party “Batkivshchyna” Yuliya Tymoshenko declares that the
parliamentary elections will be more important than the presidential ones
held in 2004.

She stated that during the interview for German newspaper “Die Welt”, the
translation of which is given by www.inosmi.ru.

“These elections will be more important than the presidential ones.
Constitutional reform that comes into force in January will transform
Ukraine from the presidential into the parliamentary republic with the
election right based on the principle of proportional equality”, – she said.

According to her words, in such a way people “in fact for the first time
will determine the head of government, even if they have not realized that
to the full extent”.

“Two forces will stand against each other: Yanukovych’s party and we. We
will not compete with Yushchenko’s “Nasha Ukrayina”, as he has been elected
as a president. If our ‘orange’ forces demonstrate prudence, we should be
together like I was earlier standing with Yushchenko. But his surrounding is
egoistic. We will have to go, most probably, apart, but will not fight
against each other”, – stressed Tymoshenko.

Answering to the question, that Partiya Regioniv occupies the leading
positions by rating, Tymoshenko said: “The problem is that a lot of
important mass media stay in the hands of old forces”.

She also announced that ‘in any case’ she would not develop a coalition with
a leader of Partiya Regioniv, if his force won the elections. “We would
better go into opposition. We have different values and aim”, – she

Answering to the question, which of the mistakes Tymoshenko supposes the
most serious, she answered: “My mistake was a wish to clean radically this
stable too quickly. I hurried a bit over this when bypassed the whole civil

“In such corrupted countries, as Ukraine was, carcinoma metastases afflict a
lot of people including high-ranking officials. The surrounding of the
former president did not want to lose their privileges. When you touch that
system, it bites! I have lost my office, but not my principles. It is better
than vice versa”, – she said.

At the same time Tymoshenko stressed that “there were nothing bad” in
breaking up of ‘orange’ command. “That is to say I do not feel sorry about
anything: I want to follow my way and not to pull a punch. It is clear I
have done everything to save the unity before a rift”, – she said. -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
          Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

THE ISCIP ANALYST, Volume XI, Number 3
Formerly The NIS Observed, An Analytical Review
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy
Boston University, Boston, MA, 17 November 2005

In slightly over one week, the political campaign officially begins for
Ukraine’s parliamentary elections to be held on 26 March 2006.  In
preparation, all major parties are completing negotiations to form
campaign coalitions and blocs, as they attempt to increase their
potential success.  A strong showing by parties in this election is
more important than ever, since it is the first election when all MPs
will be chosen from party lists, following the elimination of
individual mandates.

Further, on 1 January 2006, constitutional changes will come into
effect altering the country from a (semi) presidential to a
parliamentary-presidential system.  As a result, the parliament will
have far greater input into the formation of the government – in
particular, the choice of prime minister.  The parliament also may be
able to force the president to relinquish many of the powers that have
gradually been absorbed by his office throughout the years, even
though they are legally vested in the parliament or prime minister.

Current polls suggest that six parties have a good chance to enter
parliament, while several others are on the cusp of the 3 percent
threshold.  The top three contenders generally are separated by about 5
percentage points, but the party finishing first will have the mandate
to lead the formation of a majority coalition and the government.

Depending on how a  majority is created, it may also have a large voice
in determining how many important questions facing Ukraine in 2006
will be answered – from the pace and form of Western integration, to
domestic reform of the judiciary and economic fields, to Ukraine’s
status as a regional peacemaker, and to the level of its cooperation
with Russia.

The most recent reliable poll results came from the Socio-Vymir Center
for Sociological and Political Studies, which surveyed 2,400
respondents from 15-25 October in all regions of Ukraine.  The Center
provided both a national and regional breakdown of results. (1)

If the election were held today, the “Bloc of Viktor Yanukovich,” which
is now in the process of being formed, would receive 20.7 percent.  The
“Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko” (BYuT) comes in at 17.7 percent, while the
“Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko” would receive 17.2 percent.  The “Bloc of
[Parliamentary Speaker] Volodymyr Lytvyn” (6.7 percent), the Communist
Party (4.4 percent) and the Socialist Party (4.3 percent) round out the
forces that would enter parliament.

A note should be made, however, about the inclusion of the “Bloc of
Viktor Yushchenko” in the survey since it does not exist (at least
currently).  Today, Viktor Yushchenko is honorary chairman of the
People’s Union Our Ukraine (NSOU) party, an earlier incarnation of
which he founded and represented in parliament from 2002-2004.  NSOU,
in surveys without the benefit of Yushchenko’s name, has polled from
7-15 percent, depending on date and survey.  NSOU leaders clearly are
striving to attach Yushchenko’s name to their party, but the number of
pitfalls associated with such a move has made the president reluctant
to agree.

It is the status and potential success or failure of the NSOU that is
the biggest wildcard in the parliamentary elections.   The party has so
far been unable to define itself, and unable to find the allies it

A preliminary agreement for a bloc that would include the NSOU, the
Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the People’s Rukh of Ukraine, and
the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (PPPU) was signed on 9
November, but these parties provide limited votes, and the first three
have long been associated with Our Ukraine. (2) The PPPU, meanwhile,
has  proven to be a spotty ally at best, and finds little electoral

The party, therefore, continues to search for its direction just days
before the official start of the campaign, while the blocs of
Tymoshenko and Yanukovich appear to be well situated to begin the

A more detailed look at each of these three forces follows.
                                WHAT TO DO WITH NSOU?
On 12 November, the People’s Union Our Ukraine (NSOU) party, with its
honorary chairman President Viktor Yushchenko, held a party congress
that had been designed to announce the makeup of the party’s election
bloc, discuss its electoral list and confirm the members of the party’s
ruling political council.  Viktor Yushchenko also was expected to
announce whether he would agree to the party’s request that he lead the
electoral list – thus making him a candidate for parliament and
providing the party with the benefit of his shrinking but still
significant popularity.

As usual for politics in Ukraine, nothing went as planned.  Yushchenko
did not announce his decision, although he implied that he would not
lead the party’s list, the list itself was not finalized, nor were any
election coalitions or blocs, and the confirmation of the party’s
political council resulted in a portion of the congress’ members
chanting “shame!” after the vote.   Following the debacle, the
Ukrainian online daily Ukrayinska Pravda wrote, with considerable
understatement, “Saturday’s events have not in any way improved the
perception of [People’s Union] ‘Our Ukraine’ among Ukrainians.” (3)

Clearly, going into the party’s congress, Yushchenko had hoped to give
his party a rhetorical shove that would create some momentum for the
campaign.  His speech to open the congress was typical Yushchenko, long
on hopes and dreams, and filled promises of openness, honesty and
justice for all.

In particular, the president seemed to suggest the need to remove
several members of the party leadership who have been accused of using
their positions in government to enrich themselves.  “If there is a
problem in the [political] council of the party,” Yushchenko said, “[we
must] bring this question to the attention of the congress, vote and
inform the media that in the party there was a problem, but it was
immediately solved.”   Further, “Now is the moment of truth.  We should
be fair and frank, and speak about the problems that exist in the
party. . We shall vote and finish.”  (4)

As Yushchenko left the congress after his speech, most observers said
it appeared that the congress would then vote to eliminate six members
from the ranks of the technically supervisory political council:
former National Security and Defense Council head Petro Poroshenko,
former Emergencies Minister David Zhvania, former presidential aide
Oleksandr Tretiakov, former Transportation Minister Yevhen Chervonenko,
NSOU parliamentary faction head Mykola Martynenko, and former Justice
Minister Roman Zvarich.  A report by RIA Novosti suggested that “some
party members” at the congress privately called these men “a disgrace
to the party’s reputation.” (5)

The first five have been accused of varying levels of corruption, which
are being examined by a special parliamentary commission.  Zvarich was
accused in March of falsifying his resume, but more likely was targeted
because of his position as Poroshenko’s attorney.

All six have significant negative ratings in public opinion polls, with
Poroshenko being consistently ranked as the least trusted active
politician in the country (when surveys are expanded to include
“retired” politicians, former President Kuchma overtakes Poroshenko for
this title).  Understanding that removing the six from NSOU’s political
council would improve the image of the party, Prime Minister Yuriy
Yekhanurov, along with the NSOU campaign head and the campaign
manager, were said to support the move.

But Petro Poroshenko, who has been one of the party’s biggest financial
supporters, would not go quietly.  “I am ready to leave all supervisory
posts,” he declared, “but I will not leave the party.  I always will be
with the president!” He reminded his fellow party members that without
his participation on the political council, the party could be doomed.
“Do not destroy the party,” he implored.  “Do not destroy our unity.”

Later, Poroshenko and several party leaders gathered in a closed room.
Minutes later, a decision had been made; there would be no votes for
individual members.  The council would be voted upon in one group, and
would consist of 177 persons chosen behind closed doors, including the
infamous six.  The council was approved shortly thereafter, to chants
of “shame” from some members.

From this vote, it became clear that the NSOU party was not under the
control of President Yushchenko or Prime Minister Yekhanurov, or
managers Roman Bezsmertniy and Mykola Katerinchuk – all of whom
privately had stated their support for a “cleansing” of the council of
the party.  The very long political council list is heavily weighted in
favor of business interests and potential financial backers.  It also
includes a number of regional governors and mayors, as well as the
president’s brother and nephew (who is Deputy Governor of the Kharkiv
region). (6)

Given the public perception that NSOU as a party of special interests,
this list will provide significant fodder for the party’s opponents.
The activities at the congress unfortunately will highlight also the
seeming inability of the president to affect or mediate the actions of
Poroshenko and company.  It is clear from the president’s speech that
he believed, and perhaps had instructed, that the political council of
the party would change.  As he left, a vote was being prepared to do
just that.  Minutes later, the agenda was altered.

Unfortunately for Poroshenko, by not stepping down off the council, by
clinging stubbornly to a title, by possibly forcing Yushchenko to hold
the stigmatized party at arm’s length, he may have removed any chance
his party had for victory in March.

The party will examine the situation again on 18 November, when its
management “renews” the members of the council’s Presidium.  It is
these 13-19 members who will have the most input into party decisions,
and Poroshenko, as well as the five others involved in the party
congress’ debate, are currently on the Presidium.  Prime Minister
Yekhanurov stated clearly on 16 November that these individuals should
be removed. (7) Should that happen, the party will receive a clear

The party also will have access to significant media time, thanks to
the regular attention given to the prime minister and president.
Additionally, although centralized use of “administrative resources” is
unlikely on any large scale, in true Soviet and post-Soviet tradition,
the party may be afforded special “privileges” by regional and local
bureaucrats eager to prove their loyalty.  This is especially true
given the high number of governors on the party’s political council.
                          IS BYUT RISING OR FALLING?
One of the most difficult items to measure in Ukraine appears to be the
support for the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko.  While there is a general
sense that her bloc is running close to the Bloc of Viktor Yanukovich,
large discrepancies exist among polls measuring support for BYuT.
Findings generally range between 13 and 19 percent.  All, however,
place her ahead of NSOU.

This difficulty is historical – most polls suggested that Tymoshenko’s
bloc would not pass, or only barely pass, the threshold to enter
parliament in 2002, but it ended the race with over 7 percent of the

Regardless, Tymoshenko seems to have a solid leadership team in place,
strong support in Kyiv and Lviv, and a well-defined message.  Although
her regional party branches are only forming now (and management of
these branches has been a problem in the past), her local supporters
have generally been eager and energetic, and she will likely receive
grassroots backing from numerous civic groups that participated in the
revolution’s protests.

While NSOU continues to bicker over true leadership of their party,
BYuT (based primarily on Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchina party) has a clear
structure; Yulia Tymoshenko is the leader, former Security Services
head and longtime Tymoshenko ally Oleksandr Turchinov will serve as
campaign manager.  Mykola Tomenko, the former Vice Prime Minister and
current deputy head of the Reforms and Order party (previously an Our
Ukraine member) will advise and serve as an alternative spokesperson.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Yushchenko’s former chief of staff and the man
who first publicly accused Poroshenko of corruption, will also advise and
handle logistics related to regional offices.  His new position as head
of the Patriotic Party may also provide access to the party’s members –
retired and/or reservist military, even if their number is relatively

The leadership is a very capable and potentially contentious group.
The bloc must accommodate each of the above individuals – all of whom
are already well-known and most of whom are ambitious and independent.
When several additional members of Reforms and Order are added to the
mix, it looks to be an interesting campaign.  It is not an entirely
unique position for Tymoshenko, however, whose bloc has always
accommodated nationalist groupings led by well-known personalities.

All of the above individuals seem to be united in their goals for the
country, and in the types of reforms they want to implement.  There
appear to be few differences on policy.  Tymoshenko continues to push
for reprivatization of what she considers to be assets stolen during
the Kuchma administration.  All other major parties, including NSOU,
oppose this idea, and it looks to be one of Tymoshenko’s most important
campaign points.

Since the NSOU and Yanukovich parties are now both painted with
accusations of corruption, Tymoshenko also will key in on this point.
Should Yushchenko actively support NSOU, he risks receiving collateral
damage from this issue.  (Tymoshenko herself, of course, must continue
to contend with long-standing questions about her actions as the former
head of Ukraine’s United Energy Systems).

The former prime minister also may benefit from a backlash
against the president’s decision to dismiss her from her job as prime
minister – a decision she repeatedly has blamed on Poroshenko and other
members of NSOU.

BYuT also will continue to support publicly entry into Western
structures, but tends toward higher regulation of the economy than
these structures would like.

What Tymoshenko does not have is the support (whether moral or
otherwise) provided to Yushchenko by Western officials and businesses.
These officials are frightened by Tymoshenko’s often-uncompromising
rhetoric, and many of them publicly called for her dismissal as prime
minister almost from the day she was nominated.  Should Westerners
provide significant assistance to NSOU on behalf of Yushchenko, but
provide no assistance to Tymoshenko, she likely will not hesitate to
attack the supposed negative influence of “Western billionaires.”

Should the revolutionary, ultra-reform sentiment continue to prevail in
March, these policies should do well for BYuT.  But should the public
be looking for simple stability and gradual change, and should voters
negatively assess her months as prime minister, Tymoshenko and her
allies likely will have to settle for second place.
                                 CAN YANUKOVICH WIN?
In a word, yes, and it is a distinct possibility.  With Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko fighting, former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich sits
unbothered and unquestioned, slowly building his support as the leader
of the Regions of Ukraine party.

Yanukovich, who as prime minister supported former President Leonid
Kuchma’s attempts to bring Ukraine into NATO, now opposes the idea.  He
also opposes the country’s entry into the EU and the WTO, preferring
instead closer ties to Russia through the Common Economic Space.

After months of near pariah status, Yanukovich was rehabilitated by the
dismissal of the Tymoshenko government, which he said proved that the
leaders of the Orange Revolution were incapable of running the country.

Additionally, in one of the greatest ironies possible, he accused both
Tymoshenko and Yushchenko of running a lawless government. His
September “Memorandum of Understanding” with Yushchenko provided
him  with a further platform, even as it simultaneous caused a backlash
against Yushchenko.  The trajectory of support for his party, as well
as for him personally, has gone only upward since then.

The former prime minister, and the man accused of complicity in the
massive vote rigging of 2004 has said that he would like to form a bloc
in his name, and has joined forces with the small New Democracy party
led by former Kharkiv Governor Yevhen Kushnarov.  This coalition
should be useful in politically divided Kharkiv, especially given the high
number of NSOU members working within the local administration.

However, it is unclear what significance a coalition really would have
for Yanukovich, whose party has a strong and stable base of between 20
and 25 percent of the electorate.   Nevertheless, unlike NSOU and BYuT,
Yanukovich faces a ceiling on potential support, and it is unlikely
that over 25 percent of Ukraine’s electorate would vote for his party.

If NSOU and BYuT concentrate on each other, it is distinctly possible
that Yanukovich could slip past both parties into first place.  Should
this happen, the West may be dealing with a very different Ukrainian
government in 2006.
                              THE GRAND COALITION
In order to avoid a Yanukovich-led government, even if his party places
first, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko would need to put aside their
differences and form a coalition after the election.  Even doing so,
given current polls, they could be unable to form a coalition alone.
However, the rest of the parliament would be fragmented, thus placing
their coalition in control.

Tymoshenko has said she is ready to do this, but demands that she be
given the prime minister’s chair again in exchange.  At this point, the
concession seems unlikely to be made; nevertheless, Tymoshenko is
famous for fulfilling difficult personal goals.  It will be important
for both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko to maintain a level of civility
during the campaign that will allow them the possibility to govern
together in April, should the need present itself.  -30-
(1) “None of the political forces have become an all-national party –
poll,” UNIAN News Agency, 1540 CET, 31 Oct 05.
(2) Ukrainian News Agency, 1254 CET, 11 Nov 05, and “Our Ukraine
hopes  to complete talks on election bloc by Nov 20,” ITAR-TASS,
12 Nov 05 via  Lexis-Nexis.
(3) “Scandal in Yushchenko’s Party: The congress has not eaten
Poroshenko and friends,” Ukrayinska Pravda, 13:24 CET, 14 Nov 05.
(4) Ibid.
(5) “People’s Union Our Ukraine urges changes in political council,”
RIA Novosti, 1539 CET, 12 Nov 05.
(6) For the list, see Ukrainian News Agency, 13 November 05.
  (7) “Ukraine PM calls for renewal of pro-president party presidium,”
ITAR-TASS, 0648 EST, 16 Nov 05; via Lexis-Nexis.
Contact: Tammy Lynch (tammymlynch@yahoo.com)

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
17.                     “REMEMBERING THE HOLODOMOR”

OP-ED: Lubomyr Luciuk, National Post
Toronto, Ont, Canada, Thursday, December 08, 2005

We’ve not been deprived of news about Ukrainians lately. Since protesters
marched against Michael Ignatieff on Nov. 27, there’s been controversy over
what the star Liberal Party candidate meant when writing about post-Soviet
Ukraine in his 1993 book Blood and Belonging.

Yet this scuffle erupted on the very weekend when the thoughts of Canadians
should have focused elsewhere, even if briefly. Ukraine has designated the
fourth Saturday of every November, which this year fell on Nov. 26, as an
official day of remembrance for victims of Holodomor, the famine-genocide
that took place in 1932 and 1933. Though this atrocity eclipsed most of the
horrors of the 20th, it has been all but forgotten — even in this country,
apparently, where over one million citizens are of Ukrainian heritage.

We never would have so easily neglected, for example, the Holocaust, which
took the lives of six million Jews. But who remembers the Ukrainians?

The precise number of victims in the Holodomor is a subject of scholarly
debate. It will never be settled because the men who gathered data for the
1937 Soviet census, then produced detailed reports demonstrating a
significant decrease in the USSR’s population since 1927, were murdered,
their findings suppressed. Stalin’s regime was not about to admit that a
fertile land once known as “the breadbasket of Europe” had been transformed
into a Golgotha, a place of skulls.

Moscow’s men, and their minions in the West, publicly denied there was any
famine. Relief supplies were refused. The few truthful accounts of what was
happening, by courageous reporters such as Malcolm Muggeridge and Gareth
Jones, were denounced as propaganda. Tellingly, the Soviet government
continued to export grain even as people starved.

The scale of the atrocity is perhaps best conveyed by quoting the dean of
the famine-deniers, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty. Speaking
privately to British Embassy officials in Moscow, in September, 1933,
Duranty confided that as many as 10 million people had died directly or
indirectly of famine conditions in the USSR during the previous year. As
the distinguished historian Robert Conquest observed in Harvest of Sorrow:
Soviet Collectivization and The Terror-Famine, “the number dying in
Stalin’s war against the peasants was higher than the total deaths for all
countries in World War One.”

Some scholars dispute that. But even if one takes lower estimates — the
University of Melbourne’s Stephen Wheatcroft, for instance, has concluded,
that only 4.5 million died from famine — it was a tragedy at least as vast
as those perpetrated against others in 20th Century Europe. And yet it
still has not registered in the public consciousness.

Notwithstanding what some apologists once argued, the famine was certainly
an intentional act of genocide. A recently discovered 1933 telegram,
originally sent from Moscow to Kharkiv, then the capital of Soviet Ukraine,
and copied to the administrative centres of Russian-populated territories
bordering Ukraine, is revealing. Signed by Joseph Stalin on behalf of the
Communist Party, and by Vyacheslav Molotov, as prime minister of the
USSR, it refers to a “massive departure of peasants” from Ukraine into
adjacent Russian lands, “in search of bread.”

It next orders party officials and the OGPU (political police) to prevent
this exodus. As for those who somehow managed to exit Ukraine and
Ukrainian-populated areas in the North Caucasus, they were to be arrested,
and, after “anti-Soviet elements” were weeded out, returned whence they
came. And so starving people were deliberately sent where food could
not be found.

Olena Tuz, then a six-year-old living in the Zhytomir region, recalls with
horror: “People ate people, mothers ate their own children. They didn’t
realize what they were doing, they just were hungry.”

On Nov. 26, Ms. Tuz attended a Kyiv rally hallowing the memory of
Holodomor victims. Relatives and survivors lit 33,000 candles, symbolically
representing the number who died every day, in the spring of 1933, at the
height of the famine. They heard Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko call
upon the world to recognize that the event, which killed a quarter of the
population of Soviet Ukraine, was a Soviet-sponsored genocide.

That is not likely to happen, largely because of Ukraine’s own omissions.
While this year’s official memorial service was reportedly the most moving
and well-attended so far, a proposed Institute of National Memory has not
been established. Scholarly work on the crimes of Communism in Ukraine
remains unco-ordinated and unsupported. By and large, contemporary
Ukrainian society remains uneducated about what happened.

Furthermore, presidential statements about the causes of this catastrophe,
while accurately focusing responsibility on Stalin, avoid calling for the
prosecution of those who served the Man of Steel. More than a few of those
enablers are still alive, drawing pensions, living cheek by jowl with their
former victims in Ukraine and Russia, even in Canada. Those who
orchestrated one of the greatest acts of genocide to befoul 20th-century
European history are not being identified, much less brought to justice.

Before age takes away the last of these murderers, and those who survived
them and can still bear witness, Ukraine must establish a commission of
inquiry into Soviet crimes against humanity and war crimes. Otherwise, the
rest of the world will never understand what the Holodomor was.

Traditionally, Justice is depicted as a woman who carries scales, to weigh
the evidence, and a sword, to punish the guilty. She is blind but she is
not deaf. Today’s Ukraine is both.   -30-

Dr Lubomyr Luciuk is Director of Research, Ukrainian Canadian
Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA), web: www.uccla.ca.
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In Ukraine’s collective memory, those years are known as the “Great Famine”

By Judy Dempsey International Herald Tribune
IHT published by The New York Times
Europe, Thursday, December 8, 2005

KIEV – Outside the walls of Kiev’s stunning Mikhailov cathedral and
monastery, history is being revisited through an exhibition of large
black-and-white photographs.

They show dead animals and corpses rotting in the fields and people, barely
able to stand, dressed in ragged clothes. The pictures are from 1932-1933.

[I have seen these posters many times. The photographs are actually from
the Russian famine of 1921-22 along the Volga River. Such photographs
were not allowed in 1932-1933 by the Soviets and thus very, very few
photographs actually exist that can be proven to be from the Ukrainian
Genocide-Holodomor(terror-famine). EDITOR]
In Ukraine’s collective memory, those years are known as the “Great Famine”
when the Soviet Communist Party under Stalin forced Ukrainian peasants to
give up their land and join collectivized farms by confiscating all food.
Anyone caught saving food or taking even a grain of corn was sent to Siberia
or shot.

Historians estimate that 7 million to 10 million Ukrainians died as a result
of Stalin’s policies, which were implemented with the help of the Ukrainian
Communist Party.

Ukraine quietly started commemorating the famine a few years ago. But the
authorities refrained from criticizing the former Soviet Communists, or
Ukraine’s Communists, for executing such policies. Igor Plaschkin, a
political analyst at the Kiev offices of the conservative Konrad Adenauer
Foundation, said it had been impossible to do so because Communists still
dominated the Parliament and other state institutions.

Since it gained its independence from Moscow in the early 1990s, Ukraine has
been slow to deal with its past. This is in contrast to other former
Communist countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where several
governments – after a first rush of historical re-evaluation in the 1990s –
have recently started taking bolder steps to understand how the Soviet Union
ruled its satellites.

The new conservative government in Poland started opening Warsaw Pact files
last month. Radek Sikorski, the defense minister, showed how in 1979 the
Kremlin was prepared to use Poland as its own cordon sanitaire in the event
of a nuclear war with Western Europe.

Relations were tense at the time because of the election of a Polish pope, a
standoff between Moscow and Washington over deploying nuclear missiles in
Germany and the increasing influence of the Polish underground trade union

In Prague, Czech senators last week proposed a bill establishing a National
Memory Institute that would examine and disclose crimes of the former
Communist regime, including its security forces and functionaries. The
senators said the new institute should give access to documents from 1948,
when the Communists seized power, to 1989, when Communist rule collapsed.

Hungary has already opened its archives as historians in these countries try
to understand how the Kremlin exercised power throughout the Communist


But it was only two weeks ago that the Ukrainian president, Viktor
Yushchenko, adopted a completely different tone toward the famine, and
Ukraine’s past.

In a ceremony at Mikhailov Square, he said the famine had been “a crime
against humanity that had perpetrators.” But, he added, “From the legal
standpoint, no guilty parties have been found.”

Yushchenko, catapulted into power after the Orange Revolution last year in
which hundreds of thousands of demonstrators called for a free press, an end
to corruption and fair elections, continued in this open manner.

“A murderer may be found responsible for killing one person, but for the
destruction of millions no one is held responsible. Perhaps this is why we
in Ukraine have such difficulty today restoring the rule of law, good and
social justice.”

Unlike previous commemorations, which never pinpointed blame for the
famine, Yushchenko directly criticized the Communists for not apologizing,
saying that such a failure explained further misfortunes.

“Perhaps this is why we encourage such difficulty in changing our
consciousness, haunted by fear and ideological slavery,” he said.

Yushchenko added that it was time to “immortalize a memorial on the victims
of repression and famine in Ukraine.” He said that the government would also
establish a Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

The point of the commemoration, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said, was
to allow Ukraine to deal with its history and identity. “So many Ukrainians
suffered,” he said in an interview. “Only 6 of the 13 children in the family
of my father survived.”

Tarasyuk said it was hardly surprising that the Communists in Ukraine had
protested the style of the commemorations. “They understand rightly that it
is their own crime, their own ideology,” he said. “That is why they are the
only political force in Ukraine who are refusing to recognize this very
fact. The Communist tyrants did it.

“Today,” he continued, “the official Russian version is that Russia had
nothing to do with the famine in Ukraine, that it was the policy of the
Bolshevik authorities.”

In Russia, foreign policy experts are critical over how Ukraine and other
former Communist countries have been dealing with history, saying that this
is feeding anti-Russian sentiment.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, responding to the Ukraine commemorations,
issued a sharply worded statement. “Attempts to use the tragic facts of our
common history in present-day Russian-Ukrainian relations are
counterproductive, politically motivated and even harmful,” it said, adding:
“One can hardly say who suffered more from the totalitarian regime or who
suffered less. Everyone suffered.”

Other Russians say the past is increasingly being used by nationalists in
Ukraine and Eastern Europe to criticize today’s Russia.

“All the troubles and bloody events in the past are considered through the
lens of anti-Russian intentions,” said Nikolai Petrov, an expert on Russian
domestic policy at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “There are a lot of very
complicated things in the Soviet past. But they were not ethnically based.
There was starvation in other regions.

“Besides,” he continued, “it was Georgians and Ukrainians who were
leading the country, not Russians.” Stalin was from Georgia.

Petrov says he can understand why former Soviet-bloc countries use the
past to promote national consolidation.

“But it becomes very difficult to create a national identity because it is
sometimes ‘us’ versus ‘them,”‘ he said. “There is a temptation among East
Europeans in particular and other post-Soviet states to look at all bad
things of their past as coming from outside. Russia is blamed for all of

Hryhoriy Nemyria, director of the Center for European and International
Studies in Ukraine, denies that the commemorations have been motivated

by anti-Russian sentiment. “The commemorations are linked to Ukraine’s
national identity,” he said. “It is very important for the nation’s identity. It
is about saying goodbye to the Soviet Union.”  -30-
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/12/08/news/famine.php
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
19.                  THE GREAT FAMINE DEBATE GOES ON

COMMENTARY: David R. Marples
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two contrasting comments caught the eye this week.

On November 28, Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko called for the
international community to recognize the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine as an
“act of genocide” against the Ukrainian people.

In an on-line review of a new book by R.W. Davies and Stephen G.
Wheatcroft, called The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933,
Mark B. Tauger, associate professor of history at the University of West
Virginia, writes that the perspective of the famine as genocide: “is wrong.

The famine.was not limited to Ukraine or even to the rural areas of the
USSR.and it was far from the intention of Stalin and others in the Soviet
leadership to create such a disaster.”

Neither Davies nor Wheatcroft, both senior British economic historians
(Davies is now retired; Wheatcroft teaches in Melbourne, Australia),
believe that the Ukraine Famine was genocide.

In July, at the International Congress of Central and East European Studies
in Berlin, Wheatcroft elaborated his views at a panel chaired by Michael
Ellman. Ellman had also found other factors to explain the Famine in an
article in the reputable British journal Europe-Asia Studies in September
2005. When Professor Roman Serbyn of the Universite de Montreal raised
a question about the Ukrainian perspective, he was pointedly ignored by

In an article in the on-line Ukrainian newspaper Den’, the contrasting
views are discussed by Stanislav Kulchytsky, deputy director of the
Institute of History at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kyiv, and one
of the leading authorities on the Famine. Kulchytsky cites University of
Toronto’s Lynne Viola as another leading historian who does not ascribe to
the view of the Famine as genocide.

All these scholars have worked extensively in Russian and/or Ukrainian
archives so their claims cannot be dismissed lightly. Their views clash
with those of the various world governments that have already recognized
the Famine as genocide, including a motion accepted in the Canadian
Senate two years ago and another by the US House of Representatives.

Thus the debate continues despite the testimony of thousands of
eyewitnesses as to what they experienced 72 years ago, and in spite of
factors such as the closure of borders, and V.M. Molotov’s decree
stipulating that if no grain remained in the Ukrainian villages, then his
“enforcers” must confiscate vegetables, beets, potatoes and anything else
they found growing.

The biggest puzzle might be what is motivating this debate and what Tauger
calls “revisionism” on the Ukraine Famine. Almost a quarter of a century
has passed since Robert Conquest, a historian at the Hoover Institution,
was commissioned to write a book on the Famine, which appeared in 1986
under the title Harvest of Sorrow. Much of the research was conducted by
his assistant James E. Mace, then a new Michigan PhD who was working at

Mace’s own career is instructive. For four years he headed the US
Commission on the Ukraine Famine, which produced a volume of analysis
and three volumes of testimonies, before concluding that the Famine must be
considered an act of genocide. According to Kulchytsky, because of his
strong views, Mace was barred from an academic career in the United States
and obliged to migrate to Ukraine, where he died prematurely in May 2004 at
the age of 52. Whatever the factors behind Mace’s departure, his outlook
proved much more similar to academicians in Ukraine than to those of his

With Mace’s death, to my knowledge, there are no English-speaking
historians working exclusively on Ukrainian aspects of the Famine. Indeed
the leading authority, in terms of output, appears to be Tauger. And Tauger
subscribes to what he calls the “environmental school,” i.e. that climatic
conditions resulted in famine, and the Stalin government took some steps to
alleviate it.

Those who perceive more sinister aims are faced with the continuing retort
that the ‘environmentalists’ have consulted the archives and base their
conclusions on painstaking research. That they could choose to ignore the
fact that a national republic lost a quarter of its population through the
deliberate confiscations of Soviet grain procurement commissions is nothing
short of extraordinary.

However, and it is a large “however,” one has to make some reluctant
conclusions. First of all, Conquest’s book, written before Soviet archives
opened, is inadequate. At the very least, some of the advanced research in
Ukraine should be translated into English; particularly that of historians
like Kulchytsky and Yuri Shapoval.

Second, if this atrocityand to call it anything other than a atrocity is
unconscionableis to receive the attention it deserves, then it is essential
that Conquest’s work be superseded by a thorough study based on
archives and villages of Ukraine; one that in contrast to the studies by
Tauger, Davies, Wheatcroft, Viola, and others, pays more attention to
the national republics of the former USSR and Stalin’s obsession with
disloyalty among his non-Russian subjects.  -30-
Dr. David R. Marples, a professor of history at the University of
Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was recently awarded a Killam
Annual Professorship for 2005-06. David.Marples@ualberta.ca
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