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

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

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Washington, D.C., WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2005

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

1.                                 KNIGHT OF FREEDOM
    Dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of UPA artist Nil Khasevych
   Outstanding Ukrainian graphic artist, fighter for an independent Ukraine
By Serhiy Tupelo, Diverts, Volyn oblast
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

   Russia proposed more than tripling the price charged Ukraine for gas
Associated Press (AP), Moscow, Russia, Tue, December 13, 2005

    Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam say concession demands delay their entry

By Gregory L. White in Moscow & James Hook in Hanoi
Staff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal
New York, NY, Wednesday, December 14, 2005; Page A17

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, Dec 13, 2005

            Ukraine today is incomparably more democratic than Russia.
        Ukraine isn’t tiny Liechtenstein and you can defend your interests.
INTERVIEW: with Zbigniew Brzezinski
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ANALYSIS: By Peter Lavelle
Moscow-based analyst who writes for RIA Novosti
United Press International, Moscow, Russia, Mon, Dec 12, 2005


Published with the kind permission of the Razumkov Centre
The article is from the forthcoming publication of
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 618, Article 7
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM), Vol. 2, Issues 232
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C., Wed, Dec 14, 2005

9.                          KREMLIN HAS UPPER HAND IN

                       GAS NEGOTIATIONS WITH UKRAINE
            Gazprom says Ukraine is playing a very dangerous game
Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM), Vol. 2, Issue 230
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Mon, Dec 12, 2005

                                      FOR GAS SUPPLIES?
                    …but does Kyiv have a counter in reserve?
Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM), Vol 2, Issues 230
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C., Mon, Dec 12, 2005


                                YUSHCHENKO’S ACTIONS
Regnum Russian Federal News Agency
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, December 8, 2005

12.                              CONDOLEEZZA’S SMILE
                  US Secretary of State promises to support Ukraine
                         on condition that it defends democracy
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

                       U.S. Congressman Diaz-Balart leads delegation
Press Secretary for Congressman Diaz-Balart 
Children of Chornobyl Relief & Development Fund

Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 12, 2005

        The Reverend Andriy Valence shares his impressions of Chernihiv,
                        an ancient Ukrainian city, once a rival of Kyiv.
By Reverend Andriy Vloasenko
Welcome to Ukraine magazine, Pages 28-34
Kyiv, Ukraine, 4 (35), November 2005

         “THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR” – Number 618
                           WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2005
                                   KNIGHT OF FREEDOM
     Dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of UPA artist Nil Khasevych
    Outstanding Ukrainian graphic artist, fighter for an independent Ukraine

By Serhiy Hupalo, Kivertsi, Volyn oblast
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The name of Nil Antonovych Khasevych was restored to art lovers after
Ukraine won its independence. Works that the artist created when he was in
the Ukrainian underground began emerging from KGB archives. “Bei,” “Zot,”
“333,” and “Staryi” were the code names of Khasevych, who was the only
representative of Rivne oblast in the Ukrainian parliament – the Supreme
Ukrainian Liberation Council – and the propaganda leader of the OUN
[Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists] security service in Volyn.

During World War II, Khasevych painted a portrait of Klym Savur, the
commander of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) detachments in Volyn, who

was buried near Diuksyn, the artist’s native village. It was not until 1950-1952
that albums of Khasevych’s works were compiled and published overseas.
Entitled “Volyn u borotbi: [Volyn in Struggle] and “Hrafika v bunkerakh UPA”
[Graphics in UPA Bunkers], the albums astonished the world. They were
circulated among various embassies and during sessions of the UN General
Assembly. Not surprisingly, the State Security Ministry (MGB) launched an
active search for the artist whose works condemned the Soviet totalitarian

Aside from creating a series of psychological portraits of UPA fighters,
Khasevych produced sketches of many UPA decorations, in particular the
“Combat Merit Cross,” the “Cross of Merit,” and the “Medal for Fighting in
Especially Difficult Conditions.” Khasevych created the design for the
so-called bofony – bonds for the UPA combat fund. He also executed a

large number of illustrations for leaflets, including mocking caricatures of
Soviet leaders.

“Until the last drop of my blood I will fight against the enemies of my
people. I cannot fight them with weapons, but I fight with a cutter and
chisel. Disabled, I am fighting at a time when many strong and healthy
people in the world do not even believe that such a struggle is at all
possible. I want the world to know that the liberation struggle continues,
and Ukrainians are fighting. This is my opinion, the opinion of a
rank-and-file member of the underground. Glory to Ukraine!”

Nil Khasevych wrote these words in 1951, when Stalin’s minions were hot on
his trail. At the time the MGB in Volyn oblast had dozens of drawings that
were found in 1947 in the possession of Khasevych’s female courier, who

was killed while trying to reach Lutsk. By sheer accident the secret police
failed to identify their creator as Khasevych, who had already made a name
for himself in Volyn before the war.

The secret police tracked down “Zot’s” bunker after intercepting encrypted
documents of the resistance fighters. The secret papers revealed the
whereabouts of those for “whom five kilograms of paper and cherry tree

wood needed for engravings were being stored.” This had to be the artist’s
hideout. On March 4, 1952, MGB forces surrounded the hamlet of Sukhivtsi,
located a short distance from Klevan, a former raion center in Rivne oblast.
Outnumbered, Khasevych and his brothers in arms Anton Melnychuk and
Viacheslav Antoniuk were killed. The grenades were thrown into the bunker
with the fighters trapped inside. The heroes’ bodies were left lying in
Klevan for several days to intimidate the local population. To this day no
one knows where Khasevych is buried.


Nil Khasevych was not only an artist of the Ukrainian patriotic underground.
He had already made a name for himself in the artistic world in the 1930s.
His works were displayed in Rivne, Lutsk, and Lviv as well as Prague,
Berlin, Warsaw, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Khasevych’s

name was ranked alongside such prominent Ukrainian graphic artists as Yuriy
Narbut, Petro Kholodny, Olena Kulchytska, and Vasyl Krychevsky. However,
after the war Nil Khasevych was “forgotten” for nearly half a century.

The great artist was born on Nov. 25, 1905, in the village of Diuksyn in
Kostopil raion, Rivne oblast. In 1918 Khasevych and his mother were in a
train accident. His mother was killed and Nil lost his left leg. But this
did not stop him from learning. Personal determination and the support of
his father helped him obtain a good education. A highly-respected man in the
village, his father raised three sons, all of whom became patriots of
Ukraine. He himself was killed in 1943 during a Nazi roundup.

The events of the revolution interrupted Khasevych’s plans to graduate from
an ecclesiastical seminary in Zhytomyr. Nevertheless, being a devout
Christian, Khasevych started to paint icons after studying with some
Rivne-based artists. Before the war Khasevych painted numerous icons for

the town of Diuksyn.

In 1926 the artist went to Warsaw to continue his education. At first he
attended the Academy of Arts as an independent student and became a
full-fledged student only in 1930, after passing external examinations for a
high school certificate. He received artistic training from Professors
Milosz and Mieczyslaw Kotarbinski and graphics instruction from Professor
Wladyslaw Skoczylas. Khasevych chose graphics and weaving as his specialty.

He focused especially on weaving, which was taught to him by Professor
Chaikovsky, and dreamed of practicing this craft in his native Volyn.
However, his early success was in painting. In February 1933 Khasevych wrote
in his research paper: “Painting is absolute truth, and the language of
truth should be learned everywhere and always. I would make painting the
basis of education in all schools. This is the only language with which you
can express everything.”

Khasevych was a member of the popular artists’ group “Spokiy” [Calm]. Out

of the 31 members, 14 were natives of Volyn. While still a student, he won the
Vaticana award for his painting “Prachky” [Women doing laundry] and his
portrait of Hetman Mazepa.

Recently I chanced upon the place in Diuksyn where the artist had painted
his female neighbors doing the laundry, who were immortalized in his
award-winning painting. Unfortunately, the ancestral home of the Khasevych
family no longer exists. It once stood in a picturesque location next to
natural springs in the heart of the village. Still unknown to the public is
his painting “Pastushka” [Shepherdess], a photo of which I discovered in

the State Archive of Volyn Oblast in the newspaper Volyn (No. 4, 1938).

The exhibit of Khasevych’s works at the Volyn Ethnographic Museum is
dedicated to the centennial of the great artist and features “Prachky” and
reproductions (photocopies) of previously unknown linotype and wood
engravings, including a linotype engraving entitled “Holova” [Head], which
may be a self-portrait of the young Khasevych. These works were published

in 1935 in the distinguished Polish journal, Znicz.

For a long time Khasevych was considered an illustrator. However, aside

from his numerous ex-librises and illustrations for printed works, he created
a considerable number of paintings. At the beginning of the German
occupation he worked at the newspaper Volyn together with Ulas Samchuk.

In 1941 he served as a justice of the peace in the village of Derazhne,
several kilometers from his native Diuksyn, where he saved many of his
fellow countrymen from persecution by the German occupiers. Today one
building in Derezhne bears a memorial plaque that attests to Nil Khasevych,
justice of the peace.

Before the war Khasevych’s credo contained the following theses: “Everything
that surrounds us should be beautiful” and “Art should be popular not only
in substance but also in form, which should be harmonious with the entire
historical culture of Ukraine.”

In 1935 the journal Znicz, which enjoyed great popularity in the artistic
community, wrote, “Humbly and slowly, but confidently, Nil Khasevych has
been progressing in his creative work and has now earned recognition not
only among the artists of Warsaw, where he studied and exhibited his works;
he has also earned favor and acknowledgement among artists abroad,
especially French.”

The centennial of the great artist will be marked during special events in
Kostopil. Commemorative events will be held on a smaller scale in

Khasevych’s native village of Diuksyn, perhaps because the kilometers of
impassable roads make it nearly impossible to get there. The village is special
in that a loudspeaker is set up in the center, which broadcasts non-stop,
the way it did before and after the war. Diuksyn residents say that the radio
broadcasts do not bother anybody, or perhaps the villagers have simply
grown accustomed to them.

The locals quickly noticed that I was not from these parts and asked me in
the bizarre local vernacular: “Otkul ty?” [Where are you from?] They still
remember Nil Khasevych. The local school is especially proud of its famous
former resident. A group of 18 schoolchildren recently embarked on a two-day
hike to Sukhivtsi, where Khasevych died. The school held exhibits entitled
“To gain victory or perish” and “From oblivion to eternity” dedicated to the
artist’s centennial. The school organized an essay contest and held a
commemorative evening.

Father Oleksandr from the church in Starozhukiv and Father Vasyliy, the
prior of the Diuksyn church, said prayers for their glorious landsman. The
idea to name the school in Khasevych’s honor is long overdue, and the

school administration has submitted requests to the appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, Kostopil, where the artist was commemorated at the all-raion
level, has published a collection of essays, articles, and reminiscences
about Khasevych entitled “Lytsar svobody” [The Knight of Freedom]
(author and compiler Anatoliy Karpyuk).

Nil Khasevych has returned to his native Diuksyn in an aureole of glory. He
is the pride of the local community, where a street bears his name, and a
monument has been erected opposite the school. It bears the inscription:
“Outstanding Ukrainian graphic artist, fighter for an independent Ukraine,
native of Diuksyn.”  -30-
LINK with photos:

FOOTNOTE: One of the books in my library that I prize the most is
one entitled, “Ukrainian Underground Art, Album of the Woodcuts
Made In Ukraine, in 1947-1950 by Artist of the Ukrainian Underground
Nil Khasevych- “BEY-ZOT” and His Disciples” published by
“PROLOG” in Philadelphia, PA in 1952.  The book shows many
of the outstanding, ‘anti-Soviet political graphic’ woodcuts by
Nil Khasevych.
A few years ago Chrystia Sonevytsky told me I just had to visit
the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford, Connecticut to
see the museum and to meet an outstanding Ukrainian-American,
Lubow Wolynetz, who was in charge of the library and also was
the chief curator of the museum collection. 
Chrystia and I then drove to Stamford and spent a day looking
at the outstanding collection of items related to Ukrainian history.
While there Lubow Wolynetz noticed my special interest in
art and graphics related to political repressions, such as the 1932-
1933 genocidal famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine, that she graciously
presented me with a wonderful gift, a copy of the prize Khasevych
book, which I have in front of me now as I prepare this edition of
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR).
I was so impressed with the artist and his works that I posted
the entire book so everyone could see it, including the text and the
graphics, on my personal website, take a look. An amazing artist,
a fearless ‘knight of freedom’ as described in the article above,
who created dramatic, hard-hitting political graphics, during one
of the most devastating periods in Ukrainian history. Click on the
LINK: -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Russia proposed more than tripling the price charged Ukraine for gas

Associated Press (AP), Moscow, Russia, Tue, December 13, 2005

MOSCOW – Russia will cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine if no
compromise is reached by Jan. 1, officials with Russia’s state-run gas
monopoly said Tuesday, markedly raising the stakes in an increasingly
acrimonious dispute.

The threat came as gas giant Gazprom gave a tough rebuttal to Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko’s proposal that price hikes for Russian gas
supplies be gradually implemented. Moscow has proposed tripling its gas
prices immediately.

In an interview with the Kremlin-backed satellite TV channel Russia Today,
Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller said that time was running out
for reaching a new contract with Kiev.

“If no compromise over Russian gas supplies to Ukraine is found before the
New Year, the supplies will be stopped,” Miller said, according to Russia
Today. About 80% of the natural gas Russia exports to Europe passes through
Ukraine, which gets almost half of its gas imports from Russia.

“If we don’t have a contract (with Ukraine) then all the gas in the pipe
goes to European consumers,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kuprianov said in
comments on Ekho Moskvy radio. “We want to avoid this situation but we are
preparing for a negative development,” Kuprianov said.

Ukraine’s state-run gas company Naftogaz Ukraina refused comment. Ukraine’s
Fuel and Energy Minister Eduard Zanyuk was traveling in the gas-rich Central
Asian nation of Turkmenistan and could not located for comment.

Russia has proposed more than tripling the price it charges Ukraine for gas
from the current US$50 per 1,000 cubic meters. Ukraine has rejected the
proposal, saying it would undermine the nation’s industry.

On Monday, Yushchenko promised that his country would guarantee Russian
natural gas deliveries to Europe and proposed an agreement whereby Ukraine
would shift gradually to paying market prices for Russian gas.

Kuprianov, however, said in comments on state-run television that the
proposal was “absolutely unacceptable.” Such an arrangement could stretch
the process over several years, he said. Negotiations that stretched late
into the night Monday ended unsuccessfully, he said: “The talks ended with

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week struck a hard line, saying that
Ukraine’s economy had seen fast growth this year and the government in Kiev
had received substantial privatization revenues and Western loans.

Against the backdrop of its disagreements with Kiev, Russia has also pushed
for alternate pipeline routes to supply gas to Europe.

Last week, Russian and Germany dignitaries marked the symbolic beginning

for a pipeline that will stretch along the Baltic seabed to Germany, allowing
Russia to bypass the Ukrainian pipeline routes, as well as another that goes
through Poland and Belarus.  -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
      Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
      Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam say concession demands delay their entry

By Gregory L. White in Moscow & James Hookway in Hanoi
Staff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal
New York, NY, Wednesday, December 14, 2005; Page A17

Some of the biggest countries seeking entry into the World Trade
Organization are growing increasingly frustrated with the drawn-out
accession process, charging member nations with demanding ever-deeper
concessions in return for membership.

After more than a decade of talks, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam all had hoped
to be ready to join at this week’s ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. All
three now have pushed back their targets to next year at the earliest, and
anger is building at what many of the candidates feel are unfair demands.

“Today, we’ve done about everything we can,” said a senior Russian official.
“We can’t make any more concessions.”

Ukraine also had high hopes for quick accession after last year’s popular
uprising brought a pro-Western government to power, but talks have stalled.
When the WTO’s top official said in November that accession this year no
longer was in the cards, a top Ukrainian official said the comments were
unhelpful and could further slow momentum.

In Vietnam, the finger is pointed at the neighbor to the north. “China got
the best benefit from the WTO process, and now they have flooded the market
with their products,” says Hoang Van Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnam
Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hanoi. “When we came along later, all
sorts of new conditions were attached to our membership.”

Joining the 149-member WTO is always a long process, requiring negotiations
of highly detailed individual trade deals with certain members followed by
multilateral talks in Geneva. Once accepted, members enjoy reduced trade
restrictions, elaborate systems for resolving disputes and the chance to
influence new WTO rules. Joining the WTO also can boost economic
liberalization at home.

Chinese leaders, their economy dependent on exports for growth, pushed

hard for membership, ramming through often-drastic overhauls to economic

China joined the WTO at the end of 2001. As part of the deal, Beijing
promised to combat the theft of intellectual property, particularly pirated
CDs and DVDs. Critics from the entertainment industry, primarily in the
U.S., now say China hasn’t done enough.

That experience has heightened attention to the intellectual-property issue
in talks with WTO candidates, according to Western officials familiar with
the talks. That often leads to tough demands.

Still, U.S. and European officials insist that since the heart of the WTO is
the organization’s elaborate system of rules for how countries can and can’t
regulate trade, existing members want to make sure that newcomers will
follow through on what they pledge.

“When you come into the WTO from the outside, you will always perceive it

as an unequal negotiation,” says a European Union trade official. But the
WTO is “quite objective as to what it requires.”

Indeed, Vietnam hasn’t always delivered on financial-sector and business
reforms. A new law providing a common set of regulations for both local and
foreign investors will take effect in the middle of 2006 after going through
18 drafts. The law will guarantee investment incentives and allow
arbitration overseas to resolve disputes between Vietnamese and foreign

Fred Burke, managing partner at law firm Baker & McKenzie in Ho Chi Minh
City, says Vietnam also has been slow to fully implement a 2001 bilateral
trade agreement with the U.S. designed to allow foreign businesses to set up
import and distribution operations in Vietnam. “That hasn’t sat well with
the international business constituencies who are needed to lobby in favor
of Vietnam’s accession,” he says.

Russia’s drawn-out negotiations, meanwhile, have given partners a chance to
test Moscow’s pledges. In some cases, the results have been disappointing,
trading partners say.

In negotiating a bilateral deal with the European Union in 2004, considered
a key step in Russia’s WTO accession, Russia agreed to remove by 2013

costly fees charged to European airlines for the right to fly over Siberia.
European officials say the charges, which originated in the Soviet period
when the country’s airspace was closed, amount to a direct subsidy to
Russia’s Aeroflot.

After more than a year of talks, the two sides still are haggling over the
details — and Moscow continues to demand the fees at current levels, which
amount to about Euro 330 million ($394 million) a year.

Russian officials say civil-aviation issues aren’t covered by the WTO, but
Brussels says the fundamental principles of the WTO are at stake. For EU
airlines, which have faced decades of what they consider extortion by
Aeroflot and the Russian government, the lesson is that any agreement with
Russia must be completely bulletproof.

Similarly, European and U.S. officials continue to complain about what they
view as Moscow’s arbitrary use of sanitary and veterinary problems to cut
off lucrative farm imports from EU members. “Any time we turn around and
think we’ve solved the problem, it’s come back,” said a U.S. trade official.

Agricultural issues are one of a handful that remain unresolved in Russia’s
negotiations with the U.S., the last major country with which Moscow doesn’t
yet have a WTO deal. Russian officials had hoped to reach that agreement by
the end of this year, paving the way to WTO membership sometime next

But last week, the senior Russian official warned that a deal might not
come, potentially delaying WTO accession for as long as a year.

Intellectual property is a major sticking point, as U.S. officials try to
assess whether a recent Russian crackdown on piracy is going to deliver
lasting results, unlike previous efforts. “It really goes to the broader and
deeper sense of commitment and determination of the Russians to adhere to
the rules,” the U.S. official says.

Washington also is pushing for greater access to Russia for foreign banks
and insurers, as well as lower tariffs on imported airliners. The U.S.
official said that even if Moscow and Washington agree, months of tough
talks remain ahead in the final, multilateral part of the accession process
in Geneva.

Russian officials say they are committed to meeting WTO standards, in part
because joining the trade body will help restart stalled economic

But for some of Moscow’s trading partners, that is just the problem. “The
general feeling of a lot of people is that the negotiations are much slower
than they needed to be, and this reflects a lack of consensus within the
government on the priority of entry,” says a European official close to the
talks. (Daniel Michaels contributed to this article) -30-
Write to Gregory L. White at and James Hookway

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Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, Dec 13, 2005

KIEV – Ukraine’s top emergency official said Tuesday that $420 million is
still needed to pay for a new protective shelter over Chernobyl’s destroyed
nuclear reactor.

Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloga told lawmakers that a

contractor to build the shelter would be chosen by the end of the year. The
new shelter, which could cost $1 billion, is scheduled to be complete by

Baloga was speaking at a special parliamentary session coinciding with the
fifth anniversary of Chernobyl’s complete shutdown.

The 1986 explosion and fire at Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4 spewed radiation
over much of northern Europe. Engineers hastily erected a shelter over the
damaged reactor, while the rest of the plant continued to operate until

Experts say the shelter over Reactor No. 4 is now crumbling, and needs to

be replaced.The Group of Eight, the European Union, Ukraine and other
countries have already pledged funding for the project.

Officials say the proposed structure – a 100-meter-high steel arch spanning
some 260 meters – could be the largest moveable structure ever built. The
structure is designed to last 100 years.  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
            Ukraine today is incomparably more democratic than Russia.
        Ukraine isn’t tiny Liechtenstein and you can defend your interests

INTERVIEW: with Zbigniew Brzezinski
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the distinguished expert on geopolitics, recently made
another visit to Kyiv. His visit was brief but packed with meetings with
journalists and Ukrainian politicians. The former US National Security
Advisor and adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Dr. Brzezinski is a professor of international relations at John Hopkins

He was in Ukraine at the invitation of the International Republican
Institute. While he was in Kyiv, he took part in a forum organized by the
“Democratic Choice Community” held at the end of last week.

I began my interview with Dr. Brzezinski by discussing the latest, more than
fantastic, rumors that his visit was aimed at reconciling Yulia Tymoshenko
and Viktor Yushchenko. Is this true? His reply was that his visit had to do
with the forum.

Was there also an unofficial purpose? “I have many goals in my life.
However, the purpose of this visit is to participate in the conference,”
Brzezinski said. He was more forthcoming in answering subsequent
[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] A year has elapsed since the revolution. What is
your assessment of the events that have taken place in the postrevolutionary
period in Ukraine?

Z.B.: There has been significant progress in Ukraine, a lot has been
achieved, and we must not ignore any of this. In the first place, Ukraine
is considerably more important internationally than a year ago.

It is being treated with more respect in the international arena, it has
become more attractive to foreign capital; this country is valued more for
its dedication to democracy; it is respected for its political culture
demonstrated by the peaceful revolution on the Maidan.

These are very positive and important accomplishments. Ukraine today is
incomparably more democratic than Russia. At the same time there are
obvious shortcomings.

The campaign against corruption is not being conducted as quickly and on

the scale that many expected. Investigations into criminal cases were not as
successful as many people wanted. There is a definite feeling of political
disillusionment among the “foot soldiers” of the Orange Revolution because
of the differences between their leaders Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

There is uncertainty about the results of the upcoming elections because of
social despair, and to a degree, because of loss of public hope.

So there is a mixed picture. But, the whole picture can be clear and
understandable only in two places: in heaven, where everything is wonderful,
and in hell, where everything is extraordinarily bad. Ukraine is neither
heaven nor hell.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] This picture was also very mixed when Leonid
Kuchma came to power in 1994. At first they spoke of him in the West only

as a reformer, but over the years the attitude to official Kyiv changed
radically. Some experts are saying that no revolution has taken place in
Ukraine in the sense that there are still negative phenomena that existed
under the previous regime.

Z.B.: Ukraine has experienced three presidential elections. During these
elections you didn’t know who would win the campaign. This is a significant
democratic achievement. Kuchma, therefore, has earned some credit because
of this element of a renewal of power.

At the same time there is no doubt that he became increasingly opportunistic
over time and there were people, including those who were very close to him,
who received advantages from political power for their self-enrichment.

Therefore, the words that were spoken during the revolution – that this
state of affairs must be completely stopped and in a manner visible to the
people, a manner that the people would trust – were extremely important.

By no means am I proposing that a Roman circus be staged, but since the time
those statements were made before the Orange Revolution, when corruption was
rampant on the highest level, it has been apparent that public influence and
punishment for such manifestations of corruption must be stronger.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] During your speech in Kyiv, you said that Ukraine
is facing a critical choice between being ruled by a coalition that will
lead this country to a better future or a coalition that will lead it to the
past. Who should be in the coalition that will lead this country into the

Z.B.: I actually said that Ukraine will have to choose between a coalition
that will shape its future, or a coalition that will continue the past. Who
should be part of this coalition? I didn’t come here to get involved in the
election campaign. I simply outlined the paths that I believe Ukraine is
facing, which will influence its place in the world.

Ukraine has a very intelligent population and this was demonstrated by its
true political maturity and political common sense. I believe that Ukraine
knows the difference between a coalition that shapes the future and one that
continues the past.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] Russia was very disappointed by last year’s
events in Kyiv. Since then Ukrainian-Russian relations have been
experiencing difficulties. Who is more to blame for creating this atmosphere

of problems?

Z.B.: I think difficulties are unavoidable consequences in a transformation
of historical relations. Many years ago the Russians accepted – at first
reluctantly – the reality of Poland’s complete independence. That was a hard
process for them.

I guess it’s hard for them to accept the reality of Ukraine’s complete
independence. In a sense it’s even harder than in Poland’s case.

A lot of Russians regard Ukrainians as their younger brothers. One day they
learned that Ukrainians aren’t their younger brothers and that they’re
getting up on their feet. They realized that Ukrainians have a political
culture that’s more advanced than the Russian one; you can figure out your
problems in a democratic manner; you can preserve democracy while solving

For Russians it has turned out to be more difficult to solve political
problems without violence. It has turned out to be more difficult to
visualize political stability without authoritarianism. You didn’t turn the
Crimean problem into a Ukrainian Chechnya.

You are solving language problems by using a subtle and clever approach.
You lived through a political revolution without a single person being
killed or imprisoned.

I think that the Russians find it hard to reconcile themselves with the idea
of Ukraine as a mature and independent European country, not a province.

But changes will take place, just like they happened between Russia and
Poland. I believe that Russia and Ukraine should have good relations. They
are very close and interconnected, yet these relations must be based on
respect and recognition of mutual independence. All this will happen. I’m
convinced that Russia will also change.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] But perhaps in the more distant future?

Z.B.: Yes. But we’re living in an age when time moves faster.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] Meanwhile, Ukraine may find it difficult to
solve its problems with Russia. Can Ukraine count on support from
the West?

Z.B.: You mean the energy issue?

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] That’s just one question.
Z.B.: If the Russians don’t honor the agreements that they have concluded
with you, what can they do? Stop all energy supplies? Can they do this? If
they do, they’ll cut off gas supplies to all of Europe. There must be
serious talks between Ukraine and Russia.

If Russia wants to change the contract, there are the usual negotiating
procedures, but not based on threats, especially if these threats are a
danger for Russia and Europe. Ukraine is not a baby. It’s a serious country
that is seriously protecting its interests.

Ukraine isn’t tiny Liechtenstein and you can defend your interests. If you
make it perfectly clear that you’re protecting your interests, then those
who treat them disdainfully will have to figure out how much it will cost
them. You are a big enough country to convince them that it will cost
expensive even to a country like Russia.

The Russians know from their own experience that dictates are a fine way to
convince historical enemies. That is why they are doing this. The Russians
are doing this to the Muslims, including Muslims who are Russian citizens.
Russia is creating a problem for itself that will last for years.

I do not support an anti-Russian policy in Ukraine, far from it. However,
yours is an important country, you have your own interests. The Russians
are not prepared for talks on the energy situation. In the end, they will
realize that a confrontation with Ukraine will have very negative results in
their commercial and financial relations with Europe.

Ukraine cannot be cut off from gas supplies without cutting off Europe.
The Russians are very clever and they don’t like weak people.

[Serhiy Solodky, The Day] After the Orange Revolution you talked about the
so-called domino effect, the spread of revolutionary changes to other post-
Soviet countries. Among those countries you mentioned Russia and Belarus.
Do you still think that revolutions can happen there using the Georgian or
Ukrainian scenarios?

Z.B.: With time, yes. But it’s not an automatic process. It takes time.
Without a doubt an effective, stable, and democratic Ukraine will influence
Russia and Belarus through their close historical ties.

If your country shows a high living standard and if it opens the door to
Europe, an increasing number of Belarusians and Russians will say that

this is a better life. Authoritarianism can be attractive if the alternative is
worse.  -30-
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                 Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

ANALYSIS: By Peter Lavelle
Moscow-based analyst who writes for RIA Novosti
United Press International, Moscow, Russia, Mon, Dec 12, 2005

MOSCOW — Ukraine’s March 2006 parliamentary election campaign is
underway with the orange camp divided and the political party leading in the
polls, headed by ex-prime minister and former presidential candidate Viktor
Yanukovych, positioned to become the country’s political powerbroker.

Polls report that Yanukovych’s Party of Regions enjoys the support of around
25 percent of the electorate, which would translate into 165 mandates in the
450-seat Verkhovna Rada (federal parliament). The pro-presidential Our
Ukraine People’s Union (NSNU) is in the process of creating an election
coalition called the Our Ukraine Yushchenko Bloc with five other parties.

NSNU’s current standing in the polls has the support of 13 percent of
voters — possibly winning 93 parliamentary mandates. The Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc, headed by the former prime minister and Yushchenko’s
orange revolutionary-in-arms, has 12 percent support and could win 88 seats.

Watching the poll numbers has never been as important in Ukrainian politics.
As part of the compromise to resolve the political upheaval after repeated
vote fraud in the 2004 presidential election, then candidate Viktor
Yushchenko agreed to political reforms — to come into effect at the start
of next year — that will transform Ukraine from a presidential republic to
parliamentary republic.

At the time, this compromise did not foresee that the leading personalities
of the Orange Revolution would soon become political rivals. This same
compromise could possibly see Yanukovych become prime minister with
powers, in many ways, greater than the president’s.

Yanukovych has good reason to feel confident. Not only has the Orange
Revolution turned against itself after Yushchenko fired Tymoshenko’s
government in September, but the issue the “orangists” won with last year is
no longer theirs — the crusade to end corruption.

The public’s perception of Yanukovych has not really changed since his
ill-fated presidential bid, nor has Yanukovych’s campaign platform —
pro-business and pro-Russia.

What Yanukovych is banking on is the continued political change on the
ground and rivalry among his two main competitors. Both of whom, it would
appear, will eventually see his party garner the most votes and make the
Party of Regions the center partner to build a coalition with either
Yushchenko or Tymoshenko.

Yanukovych’s political math, at this point, adds up to electoral victory.
During the contested presidential election last year, Yanukovych’s negatives
exceeded his positives — and he still won almost half the votes.
Approaching the March parliamentary election, Yanukovych’s appeal is
virtually unchanged.

To his advantage, his chief rivals are in the same situation. Both
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, to be sure, remain popular with their
respective core supporters, but both cores have shrunk significantly since
the Orange Revolution.

 Public opinion polls also suggest the average Ukrainian is disillusioned
with elections, but still values some of the benefits of the Orange
Revolution such as greater media freedom. Based on historical data, voters
believe that the March vote will be unfair and no different from past

This could be explained as political attitudes and belief in state
institutions change slowly in every political culture, but the lack of
significant economic and political successes since the Orange Revolution
also appears to be in play.

A review of each party’s electoral list may explain mainstream
disillusionment with the political elite. Yanukovych’s party list includes,
beside himself, Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rynat Akhmetov, twelve managers
of companies united in Akhmetov’s corporation, Capital System Management,
four candidates associated with the Shakhtar Donetsk soccer club owned by
Akhmetov, Yanukovych’s son, his lawyer and press secretary.

The pro-Yushchenko NSNU party list also raises some eyebrows. A month
ago, Yushchenko asked the NSNU to remove from the electoral list some of
his Orange Revolution companions who have been accused of corruption
and then fired from government posts in September.

This party, which hopes to have Yushchenko head its list, ignored the
president’s plea. When the party list was finalized on Dec. 3, some of those
same individuals, with opaque links to big business like Petro Poroshenko,
were placed on the NSNU election list in positions guaranteeing their

 The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc has yet to finalize its electoral list. This is
not surprising. Tymoshenko can count the support of some of the biggest
names in Ukrainian politics and the contentious infighting as to who will be
slated to occupy the top positions continues behind closed doors.

Tymoshenko’s cadre includes long time ally and former Security Services head
Oleksandr Turchinov, Mykola Tomenko, the former Vice Prime Minister and
current deputy head of the Reforms and Order party, and Oleksandr Zinchenko,
Yushchenko’s former chief of staff and the person who first publicly accused
Yushchenko’s closest advisors of corruption, which precipitated the sacking
of Tymoshenko government.

All have big names, but are also ambitious and have the reputation of being
staunchly independent. This bloc will be difficult to manage, even for the
amazingly resourceful Tymoshenko.

 For the average voter, the three major parties are set to appeal to the
hearts and minds of the electorate as if it were business as usual. This is
what disappoints voters most. After a people’s revolution, politics should
not be about business as usual. It is not surprising that many Ukrainians
have lost faith in the Orange Revolution.

President Yushchenko is perceived as incapable and indecisive, Tymoshenko
was deemed an incompetent economic manager while prime minister and
quick to play the nationalist card, and Yanukovych treads water as his
opponents undercut each other.

 Even more disappointing is the sad fact that all three electoral blocs
cannot shake continued allegations of corruption. Yushchenko is unwilling or
unable to separate himself from individuals close to him who have dubious
business reputations.

Tymoshenko has never explained why her personal net worth could be in the
billions of American dollars when serving as a public servant, and
Yanukovych, just as tainted as his opponents, has no problem with having the
country’s wealthiest on his party list.

 It is ironic that Yanukovych has probably understood Ukraine’s electorate
much better than his Orange rivals. His message is quite clear — Remember
me? Of course you do. I haven’t changed and remember how the economy
grew when I was prime minister? During Tymoshenko’s time in office,
Ukraine’s GDP growth dropped to 4 percent after being 12 percent under
my watch.

 He can easily claim that he isn’t any worse than his opponents when it
comes to business as usual. Yanukovych has the added advantage of asking
the question — Who are Yushchenko and Tymoshenko? Are they the people
you thought they were a year ago?

 Yanukovych is angling that the electorate will do the political math and
will conclude that he may have not been right a year ago, but in the present
he is.  -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Published with the kind permission of the Razumkov Centre
The article is from the forthcoming publication of
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Issue 618, Article 7
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Not everything has changed since the author wrote an article with this
title for National Security and Defence 18 months ago. In 2006 as in 2004,
Ukraine’s elections will almost certainly have international consequences.

To be sure, the consequences of these parliamentary elections are bound to
be far less dramatic than those that followed the election of President
Yushchenko-and whatever happens in these elections, it is President
Yushchenko who will retain ultimate authority, and real levers of power,
over Ukraine’s foreign and security policy.

Nevertheless, the parliamentary elections are likely to have a profound
bearing on the country’s internal course, and it is Ukraine’s internal
course which   remains the principal determinant of its external
possibilities.  On this point, NATO and the EU are explicit, and Russia
could hardly dissent.

Second, we will once again have to distinguish between the interests of
external powers, which are considerable, and the interference of these
powers, which is more problematic.  Barring a return of the hated
‘administrative resources’ (and their allies, politically sanctioned
thuggery and civil strife), Western governments will not interfere, and that
is that.

They remain ‘handicapped by everything that the West is and everything that
it represents’-beginning with attachment to a free and fair electoral

Even unofficial Western entities will comment and meddle at their peril,
because ‘the West is visibly foreign in Ukraine, and it is almost always
visible’. Russia, however, is not.  What was said in 2004 bears restating
now:  ‘through its economic ties and the interpenetration of elites, Russia
and Russian interests are.part of the domestic political process of

For this reason, Russia can intrude into the process without appearing to,
and this could remain the case even if we live to see the happy day when
Russia has no wish to intrude at all.

Yet, these fundamental similarities aside, the relationship between internal
and external factors is proving to be vastly different from what it was such
a short time ago.  For the West, everything was clear in 2004. Today,
everything is confused.  In her interview with Vysokyy Zamok on 29

September on the consequences of the Yushchenko-Yanukovych
memorandum, Yulia Tymoshenko put the point perfectly:

I myself feel surrealistic.  I cannot believe that this is reality..[Under]
Kuchma, it was clear who the political enemy was and who was destroying
Ukraine.  It was clear how to fight and how to build a strategy.  Now that
the new team has merged with the old one, the question is:  whom should we
fight against?

Today, many of Ukraine’s staunchest friends in the West ‘feel surrealistic’.
Without doubt, the policies and the unflamboyant professionalism of Yuriy
Yekhanurov are broadly welcomed and, less broadly-because he is less widely
known-so is the change in the RNBO since Anatoliy Kinakh took the helm.

Moreover, the transformation in the ambience and substance of the
NATO-Ukraine relationship has, in the opinion of many NATO allies, put

MAP and even membership on the fast track.  But will Ukraine stay on track?

In the opinion of everyone, Foreign Minister Tarasyuk remains a lodestar of
reassurance.  But is he reassured?  Who in the West still sees President
Yushchenko as a lodestar of reassurance?  For how many has he now

become a source of uneasiness and concern?

Was his accommodation with Viktor Yanukovych a disagreeable but tactically
sound manoeuvre in the  service of an impeccably  sound goal: Yekhanurov’s
confirmation as Prime Minister; or was it a colossal strategic misjudgement
that will end up resurrecting the unthinkable:  Prime Minister Yanukovych?

Today, all of these questions are being pondered, few are being answered,
and none are being answered with confidence.  In sum, those in the West who
demonstrated certainty and unity in 2004 are now profoundly uncertain and
often at odds.

After the events on the Maidan, it was Russia that was disorientated.  Today
Russia is reorienting itself along classic coordinates.  That reorientation
is likely to claim two casualties:  Russia and Ukraine.  Russia will suffer
because confirmation of the ephemera of the Orange Revolution will retard,
if not halt a crucial if limited re-examination of the premises upon which
Russia’s relationship with Ukraine had been constructed.

In the wake of Yushchenko’s victory, a portion of Russia’s analytical
community had the temerity to question the wisdom of Russia’s traditional
orientation ‘towards power’, its skilfulness in ‘building relations with the
authorities, supporting the ruling regimes’ as opposed to appealing, as the
West had done, to civil society.[2]  With greater temerity still, some
asserted ‘that Ukraine is advantageous to Russia not as a sanitary corridor,
but as a bridge to Europe’.[3]

At the time, of course, this analytical community had next to no influence
on President Putin, who, where Ukraine was concerned, behaved like someone
who had been defeated rather than mistaken-and defeated by a Western
‘special operation’ just as determined and vastly  less crude than his own.

The notion that his strategy was defeated by Ukrainians-that Ukrainians
could bring about and sustain real changes samostoyatel’no, without Russia,
was as alien to Putin’s thinking after his defeat as it was before it.

But if the Orange Revolution had fulfilled its promise during the past ten
months, for how long would this be so?  Today the questions are very
different:  will President Putin and his entourage feel vindicated? what
they will with this vindication?  what Ukrainians will do with it?
                                  THE RUSH TO MOSCOW
In his interview with Kommersant-Ukraina  on 30 September, Oleh Rybachuk
made a particularly telling comment:  ‘We have an election campaign under
way.  Various political forces are coming to Moscow.  That is normal
competition.’  Is it?

During the recent negotiations over Germany’s coalition government, who
waged political competition in Paris?  As Prime Minister Blair finds himself
increasingly at odds with his own party, who in Britain is seeking solace in

The questions answer themselves.  Why do Ukrainian politicians compete for
Moscow’s attention?  Why do they do so particularly at a time of Ukraine’s
weakness?  These questions also answer themselves.  Ukraine’s politicians
still lack the instincts of independence-and Russia, for the reasons we have
cited, is ? structural component of Ukrain?’s domestic politics.

As for his own visit to Moscow, Rybachuk has nothing to apologise for and
nothing to explain.  What needs to be explained, as he freely admits, is the
fact that he has only been there once before.  He has been an exception to
the rule, and the Russians know it.

If as a newly appointed head of the presidential secretariat, he remained
the exception, his aloofness would have been taken for a snub, and state
interests, rather than party interests, might have suffered.

For state reasons, Prime Minister Yekhanurov and Anatoliy Kinakh also have
nothing to explain.  It  is the Russians who should explain why their sober
and solid positions on the WTO  and YeEP (Single Economic
Space)-consultation rather than coordination, free trade rather than customs
union-were distorted in the rumour mill and presented as retreats from
previous policy, damaging to Ukraine’s interests.

For an obvious but entirely different set of reasons, Viktor Yanukovych has
nothing to explain either.  He was, despite all the subterranean conflicts
and strains in the relationship, ‘the Russian candidate’, and he remains the
putative ‘unifier’ of Russophile forces in Ukraine.

The Russian connections of Volodymyr Lytvyn and, to a far lesser extent,
Oleksandr Moroz, might prove more problematic during and after this critical
parliamentary contest, but it should surprise no one if they turn out to be
entirely irrelevant.

Now as in the past, it is Viktor Medvedchuk who can be expected to act on
the basis of ‘complete understanding’ with the former Head of the Russian
President’s Administration (and now First Deputy Prime Minister), Dmitri
Medvedev, but in view of the marked decline of the SDPUo, the more pertinent
question is what forces in the Rada he will be able to play with and by what

In this murky matrix, the fresh ingredient has been provided by Yulia
Tymoshenko, who visited Moscow on 24 September and whose status on the
international wanted list was annulled by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s
Office the following day.  What is the relationship between the two events,
and what explains their timing?

In response to very tough questions about her motives, Tymoshenko has a
clear answer:  ‘to show people in Ukraine that everything they had said
about me having problems with Russia.was simply not true’.[4]  In other
words, if we connect the dots, her motives are obvious and transparent.

She and her bloc wish to do as well as possible-in eastern Ukraine as well
as in the rest of the country-and it is not in her interest that the spectre
of Russian hostility diminish her share of the vote.

But is that all there is to it?  To deduce the answer to that question, it
would be better to ask what Russia’s motives are in annulling the charges
against her.  The comforting answer is that somebody has finally been
enlightened enough to do what he was too unenlightened to do before:
eliminate the obstacles to a constructive relationship with a key Ukrainian
political figure, potential power broker and, possibly, future Prime

But the uncomfortable answer is that someone believes Tymoshenko has the
potential to play the spoiler, deny support to Yekhanurov after the election
and, by design or inadvertence, hold the stirrup for Yanukovych’s return to
power.  Today the question is unanswerable, but tomorrow it could well be

The Russian factor in Ukraine’s elections will remain murky, and its real
significance is unlikely to be known until the elections are over and a new
government is formed by parliament.  The uncertainties demonstrate that if
Russia has not learnt the ‘right’ lessons from the Orange Revolution, it has
learnt lessons:  not to parade its preferences, not to flex its muscles and
not to show its hand.

How can the West demonstrate that liberal-democratic forces in Ukraine have
something to play for and something to gain?  This will prove extremely
difficult for two reasons.

First, as cited, the culture of non-interference is deeply entrenched.  As
long as the Euro-Atlantic/OSCE norms are observed, the West will keep its
preferences to itself, it will not act as an honest broker between the
estranged wings of the Orange Revolution, and it will endeavour, graciously,
to accommodate to whatever outcome emerges.

Second, the Western institution best placed to provide positive incentives,
the European Union, is structurally and temperamentally incapable of
adjusting its timing and requirements to suit the imperatives of the
political moment.  Inflexibility of method and ineptness at communication
disguise the enormous stakes that the EU now sees in Ukraine’s development
and the enormous importance it attaches to Ukraine’s success.  Yet ‘we have
what we have’.

Despite these limitations, the timing of the next EU-Ukraine summit,
December 2005, is positive.  The decision to grant Ukraine market-economy
status is positive.  The launch of visa facilitation negotiations is also
positive.  But to assume that these limited steps will register in the minds
of Ukrainian voters is to assume a very great deal indeed.

How can the West demonstrate that Ukraine might have something to lose?
This too is difficult, yet it is very important that the risks be
understood.  For the West, the Orange Revolution demonstrated that Ukraine
had conclusively defined its vision of itself and its future role in Europe.

It was primarily for this reason (and only secondarily because of progress
in defence reform) that NATO established an Intensified Dialogue with
Ukraine and began to speak actively and concretely about MAP and


This, too, was the basis for the (admittedly less obvious) desire of the EU
to transform its relationship with Ukraine. Should the West conclude after
March that ‘the Orange Revolution is over’, two consequences will follow.

First, those members who have always been limited in their imagination,
sceptical about Ukraine, inwardly focused and Russo-centric will block
future progress and do so with some conviction.

Second, the attitude of Western electorates (today, incidentally, far better
disposed to Ukrainian than Turkish membership of the EU) will change

Will the West be able to influence Ukraine’s elections?  Probably not.  Will
the outcome of these elections influence the West?  Most certainly.
*The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily those of the
British Ministry of Defence]
[1] James Sherr,  ‘Ukraine’s Elections:  The External Factor’, National
Security and Defence, xxx 2004.
[2] Fyodor Lukyanov, interview on ‘Special Opinion’ programme on Radio
Russia, 25 November 2004, cited in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

(‘Russian pundit hopes for political compromise in Ukraine’)
[3] Lilia Shevtsova, ‘Ukraine’s Ordeal:  Will Putin and His Regime Endure
It?’ [Ispiytanie Ukrainiy.  Viyderzhit li ego putin i sozdanniy im rezhim?]
(, 6 December 2004)
[4] Interview on One Plus One TV, 26 September, published by BBC
Summary of World Broadcasts.
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol. 2, Issues 232
The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The youth group Pora (Its Time), which played an important role in Ukraine’s
Orange Revolution in November-December 2004, is set to contest the March
2006 parliamentary elections in an alliance with the Reforms and Order (RiP)
party. Both political parties held their congresses over the weekend

The once united Orange coalition is therefore set to contest the elections
in five blocs and parties. These include President Viktor Yushchenko’s
Peoples Union-Our Ukraine (NS-NU), the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc,

Pora-RiP, the Yuriy Kostenko bloc and the Socialist Party (SPU). It
remains to be seen whether contesting the elections through five political
forces will bring additional votes or divide Orange voters.

The hard-line opposition are primarily united around defeated presidential
candidate Viktor Yanukovych’s Regions of Ukraine, which is leading in
opinion polls. The only other hard-line opposition force set to enter
parliament will be the Communist Party (KPU) which is, for the first time,
set to have a similar number of seats as the SPU in the 2006 parliament.

The Orange coalition entering the 2006 election in five blocs and parties is
undoubtedly a failure for President Yushchenko’s attempts at maintaining
Orange unity through a strong pro-presidential party. Only two small
parties, Solidarity and the Youth Party, opted to merge with NS-NU. One

wing of Rukh joined the NS-NU bloc while another created its own bloc.

Opinion polls consistently show that only six blocs will definitely enter the
2006 parliament: NS-NO, Tymoshenko, SPU, CUP, Regions and the Volodymyr
Lytvyn bloc. Two potential outsiders that could make it over the low 3%
threshold are the newly created Pora-Rip bloc and the Natalia Vitrenko bloc
(composed of the extreme left Progressive Socialist Party and the Soyuz

Pora-Rip will target two groups of voters. First, Pora-Rip will compete with
the Tymoshenko bloc for disgruntled Orange voters.
Second, young people who were especially active and came of age during the
2004 elections and the Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, a word of caution is
in order.

In the 1998 elections the Green Party successfully targeted young people and
entered parliament with 5.43%, even though it was financed by oligarchs who
are now backing the Tymoshenko bloc in the 2006 elections. In the 2002
elections the Winter Crop Generation party (KOP), modelled on Russia’s Union
of Right Forces, failed to enter parliament after obtaining only 2.02%.

Pora-Rip could obtain support in the same region as the Greens in 1998 or
the Lytvyn bloc next year, that is 5-7%. Pora has a well established network
based on its NGO during the 2004 elections.

Rip is a long established party that grew out of Rukh in the 1990s. Its
leader, Viktor Pynzenyk, is the well known and respected Finance Minister.
Pynzenyk refused to resign from the Yuriy Yekhanurov government in exchange
for Rip being permitted to join the Tymoshenko bloc. By joining Pora in an
election bloc, Rip has not followed the Republican Party ‘Sobor’ which is
divided between NS-NO and the Tymoshenko bloc.

The Pora-Rip bloc has a number of well known and respected individuals in
its top ten that should ensure its popularity.

Volodymyr Filenko and  Taras Stetskiv were the intermediaries between
Yushchenko’s election headquarters and the organizers of the street protests
and tent city on the Maidan. Popular Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko,
another NS-NO-Maidan intermediary, was tempted to join the Pora-Rip bloc

but has opted to remain on the SPU ticket.

Serhiy Tartan, head of the Reporters without Frontiers Kyiv office, Pora
leaders Vladyslav Kaki and Yevhen Solitaries are other well known leaders.
These Pora leaders belong to the wing of Pora commonly referred to as
‘yellow’ because of their symbols.

The ‘black’ Pora NGO condemned the creation of a Pora political party by the
‘yellow’ wing. They pointed to Serbia’s Outpour (Resistance) which, after it
established a party, failed to enter the Serbian parliament.

The head of the Pora-Rip list is the internationally known boxer Vitaliy
Kleczka. Kleczka outlined his motives as assisting young people to enter
parliament, ‘who never figured in corruption scandals’ (Ukrayinska Pravda,
December 13). This was a clear reference to the September accusations
against Yushchenko’s entourage. ‘It is pleasant to stand together with
people who have clean hands’, Kleczka said.

In the  2004 Ukrainian elections, as in earlier democratic revolutions,
youth grouped in Outpour, Kara and Pora sought to pressure their elders to
unite the opposition in order to successfully oppose the regime. The
Pora-Rip bloc also seeks to be a force to re-unite the Orange coalition into
a new pro-Yushchenko parliamentary majority in the 2006 parliament.

This arises out of two fears.

First, as Filenko warned, ‘Our aim is also to slap on the wrists those who
are thinking about blocking with Yanukovych, and these thoughts exist in the
minds of some’ (Ukrayinska Pravda, December 12). This threat arises from the
September memorandum signed by Yushchenko with Yanukovych as well as
opposition within the Yushchenko camp to Tymoshenko becoming again prime

Second, the threat posed by the ‘revenge’ of the Kuchma regime through a
victory by Regions of Ukraine. The threat of  ‘revenge’ was outlined in
alarmist tones by Ihor Zhao, first deputy head of the central executive
committee of NS-NO (Ukrayinska Pravda, December 8).

Zhao called for unity of the Orange camp to fight off the threat posed by
Regions of Ukraine. What Zhao fails to admit is that the threat exists
because Yushchenko has failed to honor his repeated pledge made during the
2004 elections and Orange Revolution that ‘bandits would sit in prison’.

A Pora leaflet distributed at its weekend congress pointedly asked, ‘Why are
they not sitting (in prison)?’ with portraits of Yanukovych and other senior
Kuchma officials. The Tymoshenko bloc will therefore not have a monopoly

on drawing support from the radical wing of the Orange camp.

All of the senior Leonid Kuchma era officials who participated in abuse of
office and election fraud are included in the Regions of Ukraine 2006 list
as none of them have been charged. This means they will obtain immunity
after Regions of Ukraine enters next years parliament.

As Zhao pointed out, the 2006 elections should, in reality, be seen as
the fourth round of the 2004 elections. The Orange Revolution will succeed
or fail depending on its outcome. Pora is called upon again to play a
central role.  -30-
Taras Kuzio, is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for European, Russian
and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University, Washington, DC; LINK:
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                 Gazprom says Ukraine is playing a very dangerous game

Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM), Vol. 2, Issue 230
The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C. Monday, December 12, 2005

President Vladimir Putin’s December 8 televised argument for tripling the
price of Russian gas to Ukraine, in cash only, as of 2006 (see EDM,

December 9) in effect rejected President Viktor Yushchenko’s plea by to
telephone the previous day for moving slowly to market terms over several

On the same day he took Yushchenko’s call, December 7, Putin called

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. Presumably, Putin and Niyazov
coordinated positions on the gas trade with Ukraine, to which Turkmenistan
is the primary supplier. Turkmen gas can only reach Ukraine through
Gazprom’s pipelines in Russia.

Thus far, Turkmenistan has declined to confirm the implementation of its gas
supply agreement with Ukraine for 2006, citing Kyiv’s debts for the Turkmen
gas delivered in 2005.

Triggering that round of presidential telephone calls was the breakdown of
negotiations on Russian gas supply to Ukraine and gas transit via Ukraine to
European Union countries. On December 5-6 in Moscow, Naftohaz Ukrainy
chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko and Gazprom’s management took irreconcilable
positions on the supply and transit agreements for 2006.

Without a Russia-Ukraine transit agreement taking effect on January 1, 2006,
it is not clear how or on what terms Russian gas can reach the European

In a remarkably vituperative press statement, Gazprom charged that the
Ukrainian side was being “totally unconstructive, playing a very dangerous
game, holding the Ukrainian people hostage [and] endangering the energy
security of European consumers of Russian gas” (Interfax, December 6).

With the January 1 deadline fast approaching, Moscow expects the EU to

lean on Kyiv. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, in Brussels for a
joint meeting of the European Commission and the Russian government,
complained about Ukraine and warned the EU of “possible delays in
Russian gas deliveries to Europe” because of Kyiv’s position. He asked
the EU to use its “convincing arguments in advising Ukraine to ensure
unimpeded transit of gas to Europe” (Interfax, December 7).

Ukraine may face national bankruptcy if the Russian price hikes and
cash-only payments take effect overnight, as Moscow now demands.

Ukraine’s gas bill to Russia would in that case rise from some $1.25
billion to an estimated $4.5 billion annually.

Moreover, Ukraine’s metallurgical and chemical sectors — the main
industrial consumers of gas — could be forced out of operation, warns

Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs chairman Anatoly Kinakh,
currently Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

According to Kinakh, the chemical industry overall would operate at a loss
if the price of gas exceeds $95 per 1,000 cubic meters, and the
metallurgical sector overall would become loss-making if the gas costs
more than $103 per 1,000 cubic meters.

These two sectors jointly account for 30% of Ukraine’s annual GDP and
45% of the country’s export revenue, according to Kinakh’s estimates
(Interfax-Ukraine, December 9). Moscow at this point demands $160 per
1,000 cubic meters of gas.

However, rather than bankrupting Ukraine, Gazprom may well be aiming for
a deal to acquire part-ownership of Ukraine’s transit pipeline system, in
return for conceding soft terms on gas supply to Ukraine. The Kremlin

could score a major net strategic gain in this event.  -30-
(Ukrayinska pravda, December 6; Interfax-Ukraine, Ukrainian TV Channel
One, December 8-10; Defense-Express [Kyiv], November 28; see EDM,
June 21, 22, 27, July 5, 19, 27, September 9, 28, October 5, 24)
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                      FOR GAS SUPPLIES?
                     …but does Kyiv have a counter in reserve?

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol 2, Issues 230
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C., Mon, Dec 12, 2005

As tensions increase on all sides of the Ukrainian gas delivery dispute,
each player must review its strategic assets. Kyiv may have at least three
forms of counter-leverage at its disposal to prevent bankruptcy or the need
to surrender partial control of its transit pipeline system. However, the
possible forms of counter-leverage entail serious risks as well.
Kyiv has successfully insisted on negotiating in a single package the price
of Russian gas to be supplied to Ukraine and the Ukrainian transit charges
on Russian gas bound for Europe. Moscow wanted to complete the
contract on transit to Europe first, and only then negotiate the sale-and-
purchase contract with Ukraine.

Such a sequence would have deprived Kyiv of the possibility to use transit
fees on its territory as a means to limit Gazprom’s ability to raise the
price on gas for Ukraine.

Thus, Naftohaz Ukrainy warns that it would more than triple the transit fees
on Europe-bound Russian gas, from the current $1.09 to $3.5 per 1,000 cubic
meters per 100 kilometers, if Gazprom carries out its stated intention to
more than triple the price of its gas sold to Ukraine, from $50 to $160 per
1,000 cubic meters.

For its part, Gazprom has offered to raise the transit fees paid to Ukraine
to $1.75 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. But, responding to
Kyiv’s threat to triple those charges, Gazprom warns that it would similarly
increase the transit fees for Turkmen gas bound for Ukraine through Russia’s
territory, in which case Ukraine would have to pay the differential.

In essence, Ukraine is trying to use its quasi-monopoly as a transit country
(its pipelines handle nearly 80% of Gazprom’s deliveries to Europe) to
offset Russia’s quasi-monopoly as a supplier country. However, Moscow

may gain the upper hand by bringing Turkmenistan into the argument
on Russia’s side.
                                      2. GAS SIPHONING.
Some Ukrainian officials are occasionally hinting that they might again
resort to siphoning Russian gas from the transit pipelines, if Gazprom
imposes unfair prices on Ukraine. That practice can inflict losses on
Gazprom in the short term.

However, such siphoning would cut into the volumes of Russian gas
contracted with European countries and could seriously complicate Kyiv’s
relations with the European Union. Moscow is complaining preemptively
in Brussels and elsewhere in Western Europe against Ukraine’s alleged
siphoning intentions.

Gaze (Gazprom’s export arm) General-Director Alexander Medvedev
warned, “The international community will not permit Ukraine to revert to
siphoning gas illicitly.”

Ukraine notoriously used that practice during the mid-and late 1990s,
initially at Gazprom’s expense; but ultimately the siphoning was factored
into Kyiv’s financial debts to Moscow. Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia
Tymoshenko put an end to siphoning in 2001 while serving as prime minister
and deputy prime minister overseeing the energy sector, respectively.

However, siphoning apparently resumed in 2004, leading to the accumulation
of 7 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in Ukrainian storage sites by 2005,
which Moscow suddenly “discovered” in mid-year. Russian President
Vladimir Putin personally aired this issue to embarrass the Orange

Kyiv was counting on using that volume in this heating season. Ukraine can
hardly risk its reputation with the EU by siphoning gas destined for EU

On December 9, Anatoly Matviyenko, deputy chief of President Viktor
Yushchenko’s Secretariat, told journalists in Kyiv that Ukraine might
increase rental charges on the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Crimean bases, so
as to offset the price hike on Russian gas.

Matviyenko, a founding member of the Orange team, nevertheless mixed that
warning with a past-oriented sentimental appeal: “Ukraine and Russia have
old ties, we should not resort to a practical-mechanical approach that
ignores those ties” (Interfax-Ukraine, December 9).

Unmoved, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Ivan and the Ambassador to
Ukraine, Viktor Chernomyrdin, rebuffed Matviyenko’s statement within hours,
with Ivan terming it a “knee-jerk reaction” (RIA-Novosti, December 9).
Under the 20-year agreements signed in 1997, Russia pays an estimated $100
million annually to Ukraine for land and anchorages used by its fleet in the

In recent years, those rental payments have been deducted from Ukraine’s
energy bill to Russia, but they only make a small dent into that annual
bill. That dent could deepen if Ukraine were to increase the rent charged to
the Russian military for using the Mukachevo and Sevastopol radars, as some

For his part, Naftohaz Ukrainy chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko has proposed a new
type of barter arrangement: Naftohaz would supply Ukrainian-made weapons
systems worth more than $1 billion annually to Gazprom for gas, and Gazprom
would resell the weaponry to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Gazprom quickly rejected Ivchenko’s proposal, citing Gazprom’s need of cash
for its investment program in Russia. Sergei Ivan also turned down the
idea on the grounds that the Russian military buys only weapons components
from Ukraine, preferring to produce the weapons systems in Russia.

Both Gazprom’s spokesman and Ivan commented sarcastically on Kyiv’s
apparent preference for barter instead of cash-based market arrangements.

Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko
disavowed Ivchenko’s offer; and on December 10, Yushchenko dismissed his
political ally Ivchenko from his executive post after the breakdown of the
negotiations in Moscow.

Yushchenko continues his efforts to bring Putin on a visit to Ukraine, most
recently for the December 1-2 summit of the Community of Democratic
Choice. Putin has declined all invitations thus far. -30-
(Ukrayinska pravda, December 6; Interfax-Ukraine, Ukrainian TV Channel

One, December 8-10; Defense-Express [Kyiv], November 28; see EDM,
June 21, 22, 27, July 5, 19, 27, September 9, 28, October 5, 24)
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                   YUSHCHENKO’S ACTIONS

Regnum Russian Federal News Agency
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, December 8, 2005

MOSCOW – Ukrainian MP Taras Chornovil stated that with the current

regime Ukraine is practically in a dead end, and there is no way out.

“Gas prices and other corresponding things became clear when Ivchenko
(Alexis Ivchenko is a chairman of ‘Nestea’s Ukraine’ – REGNUM), who is
well-known as an irresponsible and ignorant person, has been appointed
as Head of state Oil and Gas company. And what awaited Boris Tarasyuk
(Ukrainian Foreign Minister – REGNUM) after his statement? It’s a
purposeful policy,” thinks Chornovil.

According to Chornovil, Leader of Party of Ukraine Regions Viktor
Yanukovich repeatedly stated during to his visit to Odessa and Nikolayev
that he had information on the possibility of such a situation. “And what
was the reaction in mass media?

Yanukovich scares, but we’re not scared. Moreover, we will make Russian
kneel, by raising gas transit price. But Russia already decided that it will
start the gas trade with Europe not on Ukraine-Slovakia or Ukraine-Poland
borders, but on Russia-Ukraine border. So, will we make Europe kneel now?

Yushchenko knows it well, when he lies to Ukrainians. I’m sorry, but idiots
can’t call themselves patriots”, said Chornovil.

“To return suitable prices for the Ukrainian economy, we must suffer

heavy political losses. We will have to sign all that we previously
contradicted – common free market zone with the political superstructure
and other alliances with Russia and Byelorussia etc.

This is the result of incompetent and ignorant people’s work,” says
Chornovil. “If the gas price rises higher than $130 per thousand cubic
meters of gas, it means the stop of all chemistry industry, metallurgy that
provides 45% of our export.

I understand that there will be no final collapse, but Ukraine will have to
kneel and crawl to Russia. That is the result of Yushchenko’s actions”,
concluded Chornovil.  -30-
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12.                              CONDOLEEZZA’S SMILE
                  US Secretary of State promises to support Ukraine
                          on condition that it defends democracy

By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #40
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Condoleezza Rice last visited Ukraine four years ago. Since then much has
changed in the lives of Ukrainians and in the life of the American guest
herself. In 2001 she visited Kyiv as the president’s national security
adviser and last week in the capacity of US Secretary of State.

However, it is not her post that matters most. What does is the fact that
Ukraine has played host to one of the most influential politicians in the
current American administration. The climate of relations between Kyiv and
Washington has also much improved.

Most importantly, the former personal distrust between the leaders of the
two nations is gone. This was evident in the distinguished guest’s mood.
Four years ago she had a harsh, penetrating look. At the time the US was
concerned over Ukraine’s sale of weapons to Macedonia, which was caught
up in a military conflict with Albanians.

During her visit on Dec. 7, 2005, she greeted everybody with her magical
smile. The US Secretary of State’s smile is even more valuable if you
consider her European tour. Recent reports that the CIA has secret prisons
for terrorism suspects in Eastern Europe have caused an international stir.

Understandably, the changes in recent years are reflected in the speech of
the foremost American diplomat. Her main message boils down to the fact
that Ukraine, which has proclaimed itself a country capable of democratic
development, must make greater efforts to defend democratic values.

During her speech to the students of Taras Shevchenko National University
she emphasized that the Orange Revolution was not just a triumph for the
Ukrainian nation alone, but a triumph of democracy in general.

“You spoke for voiceless individuals everywhere”, Rice stressed. “And while
we can do whatever we can to encourage democracy here, to encourage
non-governmental organizations to work to support democratic processes
here, to provide election observers if that’s necessary and so forth, it
really is more now up to you,” she said.

“And yet people stood their ground and they insisted on a democratic
resolution of the issue. And you got one. But now, you have to defend it.
And that means you have to vote when you have the chance. It means you
have to work for candidates when you have the chance.

It means you have to ask tough questions of the candidates so that you know
who you’re voting for,” Rice said. Summing up her hour-long speech, she
said, “And so, we can help, but only Ukrainians now can secure their own

The democratic idea dominated Rice’s speech. “The voice of Ukraine
resounded loudly,” she pointed out. She also mentioned the challenges that
Ukraine now faces, in particular the need to combat corruption and establish
rule of law. On behalf of the US she promised to support Kyiv in its
progress toward the WTO, the EU, and NATO, “if you decide that

your future lies within  NATO.”

Her speech is proof that the US is really interested in Ukraine’s
development. Condoleezza Rice was directly involved in developing US
strategy to democratize the countries of the world.

Early this year the American leadership mentioned Ukraine along with Lebanon
and Iraq while speaking about democratic transformations. Her remarks
displeased many Ukrainian experts, who consider this comparison somewhat
inappropriate. Now Ukraine matches the pattern of the American
administration’s foreign policy concepts. We may argue with these concepts
and try to argue our exceptional nature.

The fact remains, however, that the US would like Ukraine to prove the
effectiveness of its democratic development by achieving economic growth
and high living standards. Apparently, that is when Ukraine will be
mentioned in the group of other countries.

A number of stereotypes about Rice linger in connection with her educational
background as a Sovietologist. The Russian leanings of Washington’s policies
in the post-Soviet space were especially discernible during President Bush’s
first term in office.

It appears that Rice has revised her attitude toward Moscow somewhat. (She
is still nostalgic about her conscious choice to study the Russian language
and Soviet). On Dec. 7 she voiced concern over the bill on NGOs that
the Russian Duma passed in the first reading.

Rice expressed the hope that democratic principles will eventually take the
upper hand. Her position is especially important against the background of
another message from Russia. Last week President Putin called the last year
in Russian-Ukrainian relations a “year of lost opportunities,” and
complained that “unfortunately, Ukrainian politicians have not been
appearing in Moscow too often lately, which is something we regret.”

He probably forgot that his own visit to Kyiv was postponed in October,
which was followed by another postponed visit at the prime-ministerial
level. In any case, Rice’s criticism of Moscow does not mean that the US can
somehow facilitate a normalization of Russian-Ukrainian relations. Western
politicians have repeatedly hinted that they will not intervene to resolve
problems between the two countries.

President Bush has not visited Ukraine yet, although he promised to do so
by the end of this year. This visit will probably take place only after the
2006 parliamentary elections. Ukrainian journalists and experts joke that
even though the current occupant of the White House has not visited Kyiv,
at least the future one has, implying Rice’s possible participation in the
2008 US presidential race.

However, the Secretary of State dismissed such speculations. “…it takes a
special person to run for office or to run for any kind of office in the
United States or any place else and I’ve just never seen myself as somebody
who wanted to run for office,” she said. Perhaps her attitude will change
over time.

The Secretary of State spoke very favorably of Ukraine. However, when she
was fielding questions from the students, she gave the impression that she
has only superficial knowledge of the state’s development. It appeared that
she discovered Ukraine only after the Orange Revolution.

“So when I think about Ukraine, I now think about that [the Orange
Revolution],” the American guest admitted. Still, her key message was about
the upcoming parliamentary elections. She said that the US is ready to help
form a team of observers for the elections, at the same time emphasizing
that Washington cannot be directly involved in the political process.

“But we won’t be involved in the political process here because it’s not the
job of the United States to choose the leaders of Ukraine; that’s the job of
the Ukrainian people,” Rice said in response to a question about
political preferences.

She voiced her hope that the US will grant Ukraine market economy status in
the nearest future. Kyiv received a similar political gift from the European
Union the week before last. Rice reminded her listeners that the US
Department of Commerce has certain procedures that have to be completed
before Ukraine can be granted this status.

“Now, the WTO has certain rules that you have to be able to meet, certain
steps that you have to be able to take. And we can’t accelerate Ukraine
beyond what it is capable of doing, but we want very much Ukraine to be a
part of the WTO, so we’re working very hard,” she said.

Rice also said that the US supports Ukraine’s aspirations to join the WTO.
President Yushchenko said last week that Ukraine is waiting for a positive
statement from the WTO summit in Hong Kong.

In recent days Ukraine has received a sufficient amount of understandable
and clear signals. The main one boils down to the classic saying: it is up
to drowning men to save themselves. There is willingness to support Ukraine,
but only on condition that Kyiv is ready not only to accept but also act on
this support.

Everything now depends on whether Ukrainian politicians can correctly
“decode” the signals they have been given and convert them into the

required results.   -30-
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                Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
                        U.S. Congressman Diaz-Balart leads delegation
Press Secretary for Congressman Diaz-Balart 
Children of Chornobyl Relief & Development Fund
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 12, 2005

KYIV – On December 1st and 2d, a delegation representing the Cuban-

American community traveled to Ukraine to meet with government officials
and medical experts to offer their support for children stricken with cancer
and other illnesses linked to the Chornobyl nuclear disaster.

The delegation was headed by Undersecretary of State Dr. Paula Dobriansky
and Florida Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a prominent leader in the
Cuban-American community whose family left Cuba when he was 3 years

old following the Marxist revolution led by Fidel Castro.

Other leaders included Miami businesswoman and human rights activist Sylvia
Irion, Steven E. Lip, M.D., the Chairman of Pediatrics at the Miller
School of Medicine at the University of Miami, and Dianne M. Kobe, the Chief
Administrative Officer of the Community Oncology Alliance in Washington,

The delegation met with President Viktor Yushchenko and First Lady Kateryna
Chumachenko-Yushchenko at the offices of Mrs. Yushchenko’s Foundation,
Ukraine 3000.   They also attended an official briefing by Ambassador John
E. Herbst and his staff at the United States Embassy in Kyiv.

Following the briefing, the delegates visited Kyiv’s primary children’s
medical center, the so-called “Okhmatdyt” which is the leading hospital for
the treatment of children’s leukemia.  Here they met with the General
Director, Dr. Yuriy Glades and the chairman of the pediatric hematology
department, Dr. Svitlana Dunks.

Dr. Lip and Dr. Kobe discussed a variety of strategies for helping the
hospital improve its recovery and remission rates for childhood leukemia,
including the development of an effective bone marrow transplant program.

Currently, some 300 Ukrainian children require bone marrow transplants each
year, and very few are able to find appropriate donors or to travel outside
the country for treatment.  Dr. Dunks expressed her hope that in the near
future, the Ukrainian government and private donors would be able to provide
adequate funding to meet this need within Ukraine.

Dr. Lip expressed admiration for Dr. Dunks and her staff who have
been able to improve their patients’ survival rates and to develop effective
treatment protocols despite shortages of medication and medical technology.

In addition to the obvious need for more diagnostic equipment, he urged that
the Okhmatdyt and other Ukrainian cancer centers to join with international
cancer specialists in “cooperative working groups” that can share the latest
advances and provide insights into particularly difficult challenges facing
their patients.  “Ukraine cannot remain isolated from the worldwide
community of knowledge.”

Mrs. Yushchenko strongly endorsed Dr. Lip proposals and secured his
commitment to provide training for Ukrainian doctors through his Medical

During his visit to the Oncology Ward, Congressman Diaz-Balart distributed
gifts of toys to the children in the oncology ward and promised to bring the
children to Disney World in Orlando in the near future.

He also pledged his support for the Hospital-to-Hospital Partnership program
launched by Ukraine 3000 and praised the U.S.-based Children of Chornobyl
Relief & Development Fund (CARD) that has shipped over $53 million dollars’
worth of medical technology and humanitarian aid to Ukrainian hospitals and

Dr. Paula Dobriansky also thanked the co-founders of CARD, Dr. and Mrs.
Zeon and Nadia Murkowski for their pioneering role in bringing aid to
Ukraine and for their advance work to facilitate the Cuban-American
delegation’s trip to Kyiv.  The US State Department invited CARD to serve
as a special consultant on the delegation’s three-day tour of the Ukrainian

Members of the delegation also visited the Amoco Cardiac Surgery Institute,
the National Oncology Institute and the National Chornobyl Museum in the
Podil District of Kyiv where they heard extensive presentations on the
continuing aftermath of the nuclear disaster.

In recent weeks, President Yushchenko has pledged a national commitment to
combat AIDS, cancer and heart disease and to dramatically reduce infant
mortality.  “We are on the threshold of an epidemic and we must address our
health crisis now,” he told the US delegation.

The First Lady and Ukraine 3000 have selected 24 children’s hospitals that
will be the first recipients of private funds and foundation grants to
create model programs and overhaul health care management with the help of
leading Western medical institutions.

In his meeting with President Yushchenko, Congressman Diaz-Balart recalled
how inspired he was to hear the President’s speech to the Joint Session of
Congress during his first state visit to Washington, DC last April.  “That
was one of the most inspiring moments in my life,” said the Congressman.

He also extended a special greeting to the Ukrainian President from Cuban
political prisoners, including a leading physician who has been languishing
in solitary confinement.  “You have no idea how much the Orange Revolution
has meant to my countrymen who dream of the day when true democracy and
freedom will arrive for Cuba.”

Diaz-Balart and other members of the delegation promised they would not
forget the plight of Chornobyl children and the crucial need for aid to the
institutions they visited in Kyiv.

For more information on the Cuban-American goodwill mission, please

contact the Children of Chornobyl Relief & Development Fund at (973)
376-5140, or contact Ana Carbon, Chief of Staff for Congressman
Diaz-Balart at (202) 225-4211.   -30-
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       The Reverend Andriy Valence shares his impressions of Chernihiv,
                        an ancient Ukrainian city, once a rival of Kyiv.

By Reverend Andriy Vloasenko
Welcome to Ukraine magazine, Pages 28-34
Kyiv, Ukraine, 4 (35), November 2005

Probably, every great city has a sort of a shadow, a town that at some time
in history was either a rival or a pretender to the same status. We can say
that Ravenna was a shadow of Rome, Vladimir was a shadow of Moscow,
and Chernihiv was a shadow of Kyiv.

But woe to the vanquished! The chroniclers stop writing about them, their
inhabitants forget the long-gone moments of glory, and they, these towns,
seem to freeze in time, and if they do develop, this development is
painfully slow. But it is in these towns, languishing in the past, that
history is more acutely felt.

Chernihiv used to be a powerful rival of Kyiv. It has retained some of its
ancient traditions and some of its ancient culture. The first written
mention of Chernihiv dates to 907, but conclusive archaeological evidence
points to much earlier date of its foundation. Chorna Mohyla, the tomb of
the legendary founder of the city of Chernihiv, Prince Corny, right in the
centre of town is a visual reminder of the antique roots of Chernihiv.

It would be difficult to say now with any precision when Kyiv got the upper
hand and established itself as an unchallenged capital city but Chernihiv
finally did lose the race for supremacy with Kyiv and slipped into a
subordinate position.

They say that the impenetrable forests that used to surround the city of
Chernihiv in the times of old, made it impregnable, but what if these
forests that protected it from foes also prevented it from being accessible
to friends and thwarted its development?

Chernihiv has several distinct features that make it easily distinguishable
from any other Ukrainian town. Severely looking but gentle at heart locals
and ancient Orthodox churches are two of such features. These old churches
are like palimpsests in which the original is almost indiscernible.

Some art and architecture historians claim that the sweeping reconstructions
of the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries, which drastically changed the
appearance of the churches built in the eleventh-twelfth centuries,
disfigured the originals, robbing them of the purity of line, and investing
them with excessive Baroque lavishness, so uncharacteristic of early
Rus-Ukrainian church architecture.

But in Chernihiv you can see churches which have been stripped of their
Baroque decorations to reveal their original purity – and to please those
aesthetes who are such enthusiasts of purity of form. In Chernihiv, you will
find almost all architectural styles of the past thousand years represented,
from Byzantine to Bauhaus.

After the death of Grand Prince Volodymyr in 1015, the struggle for
supremacy began between Yaroslav of Novgorod and later of Kyiv (the one
who was later called “The Wise”) and Mstyslav of Tmutarakan and of
Chernihiv (the one who was later called “The Brave”).

This struggle turned into a strife of major proportions by the then
standards, and in 1024 it ended with the lands of Rus-Ukraine being divided
between Yaroslav and Mstyslav, the latter proving himself a better warrior.

Mstyslav was not only a superior war lord – he was also ahead of Yaroslav in
starting the construction of stone churches. These magnificent architectural
creations asserted the power and might of his Chernihiv Principality.

In 1033, right in the centre of the Détentes (fortified part of town) on a
hill above the Deans River, Mstyslav began building a church, Speaks
(Savior’s), which at the time of his death three years later, in the words
of a chronicler, “stood as high as the head of a rider astride a horse.”

When finished, the Spa Sobor (later, it was renamed Spas-Preobrazhensky,
or The Transfiguration of the Savior’s Cathedral), became an architectural
landmark, and now it is the oldest church among those that have been
preserved to our days from the eleventh century in the lands of Rus-Ukraine
(there were several other churches built earlier but they were all destroyed
in wars or by vandalism).

It was the first church in Eastern Europe to be devoted to the Saviour. The
iconostasis to be seen in the church is of much later times and dates from
the eighteenth century (Yaroslav, Grand Prince of Kyiv began building a
major church, Holy Sophia, in Kyiv later, in 1037 to commemorate his victory
over the pernicious nomads, the Parcheesi).

The three underground churches to be found in the Lipinski (Elijah’s)
Monastery which is situated on the slope of Boleyn Horry, also date from the
eleventh century. The monastery was founded in 1069 by St Antony, the same
monk who founded a cave monastery in Kyiv, the one that came to be known as
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery.

St Antony chose natural caves to start the two monasteries, both in Kyiv and
in Chernihiv; in fact, he was the monk who laid the foundation of
monasticism in Rus-Ukraine. The caves in the Lipinski Monastery in Chernihiv
were widened and linked with a system of underground passages; the three
underground churches in the caves are the biggest of their kind in Ukraine.

They have a unique feature too – the acoustics inside them are such that the
sounds reverberate for several seconds before dying. So far it has not been
established how this acoustical effect was created by the ancient builders
of the underground churches.

There are five churches in Chernihiv that date from the “pre-Mongolian
times,” that is from the centuries before the thirteenth when the Mongols
invaded Rus-Ukraine and laid waste to its lands. This alone makes Chernihiv
unique among other cities situated in the area devastated by the invaders
(the twentieth century saw another “scourge of the human race”-the atheistic
Bolshevik regime that vandalized or pulled down many an ancient church).

Construction of churches and secular buildings flourished in the Land of
Chernihivshchyna in the twelfth century. The Borysohlibsky (St. Borys and St
Help’s) Church of the twelfth century is famous for its “white stone”
decorations made in the style known as “animalistic.”

The church treasures “the Czar Gate” (central gate) to the iconostasis which
was made with the money donated by Hetman Mazepa (late seventeenth-early
eighteenth century) from the silver idol of pagan times that had been
discovered in the vicinity of the church.

The Pyatnytska Church in the Détentes, a small one-dome building, set the
model for construction of similar churches in Novgorod and in Moscow in
Russia. The Borysohlibsky and the Pyatnytska Churches were badly damaged
during the Second World War but recently they were carefully and completely

The Eyelets Monastery of the twelfth century is located opposite the Chorna
Mohyla Tomb. It stands at the place where St Antony Pechersky saw an icon of
the Virgin that miraculously appeared in front of him. It must have been an
event that greatly impressed the people of Chernihiv, and the church of the
monastery reflects the religious zeal that must have been inspired among the
inhabitants of Chernihiv by the heavenly apparition.

The white church of exquisitely balanced proportions looked as though it was
about to soar heavenward, but in the late sixteenth century the exterior of
the church was redone in the nascent Ukrainian Baroque style which
completely changed the appearance of the church but luckily did not
disfigure it.

There are quite a few churches and buildings of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries to be found in Chernihiv. Among the more impressive
ones are the majestic Tryouts Sobor (Holy Trinity Cathedral) with
wonderful frescos of the eighteenth century; the Voskresenska (Resurrection)
Church which was designed by the Ukrainian architect of a great artistic
talent Ivan Hryhorovych-Barky, and the House of Colonel Lyzohub, a rare
landmark of secular architecture of the seventeenth century.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Cherniviv remained a major
cultural centre, with an extensive artistic production and its own printing
shop that printed books on various subjects in considerable number of

One of the prominent figures in Chernihiv’s history, Colonel Vasyl
Dunlin-Brodsky, a philanthropist and patron of art and of the church of the
17th century was buried in the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral. His portrait
hung on the wall of the church close to the tomb for about 150 years and
then was removed.

In the picture one could also see the icon of the Virgin Mary that was
revealed to St Antony. The colonel was said to be particularly fond of this
icon and donated money for an expensive frame to be made for it. But in the
local lore the colonel was known as a vampire, a sort of Chernihiv variation
of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story.

Another portrait of him, in which the colonel was presented as an evil
creature, was said to have hung side by side with the other, “magisterial”
portrait of the man. A historian of later times, Mykola Markey, wrote
down one of the versions of the macabre story about Vasyl Dunlin-Brodsky.

A little excerpt from it runs like this: “When this vampire died, he was
buried in a monastery. But the next day he was seen riding in a carriage
drawn by six black horses across Chevron Bridge. The driver, the position,
the lackey and three other persons in the carriage were all devils. the
carriage fell into the River Stryzhen. The tomb was opened, the coffin pried
open and the body in it looked red and blue, the eyes open. Then the body
was pierced through the heart with an aspen stick.”

One of the possible explanations is that the colonel did not die but fell
into a deep spoor which was mistaken for death. A more romantic approach
leaves some room for imagination – what if we are dealing here with a
supernatural phenomenon?

Above the River Stryzhen stands a church, St Mykhailo and St Feeder’s, which
used to belong to the local seminary. The church is designed in the
neo-Byzantine style which was popular in the mid-nineteenth century. A pupil
of the seminary, Pavlo Techno, used to sing in the choir of this church.

Later, this pupil became one of the remarkable poets of Ukraine of the
twentieth century. He was a man of a tragic destiny – a poet of a great
poetic talent, Techno was forced by the Bolshevik regime to choose between
being arrested and dying in a concentration camp or serving the regime. He
chose to live and to serve, but his early poems bear testimony to his
prodigious poetic talent.

     The river is running, splashing and playing,
     She changes seasons as though dresses.
     You are crying, your heart is breaking,
     Man is beastly.

     But don’t you worry that much, my loved ones.
     If man is beastly, than whose Love lives in your heart?
     All of you are paths to the Church overgrown and forgotten
     That meander through the holy groves.

The Museum of History and the Museum of Art in Chernihiv were established
in 1902 after the distinguished Ukrainian patron of art Vasyl Trotsky Jr.
left his collections in his will to the city of Chernihiv.

His collections contained over a hundred thousand items – old Cossack
sabers, maces, utensils and tools, icons, seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century portraits of Cossack leaders, paintings of the twentieth
century plus a lot more – and fifty thousand books into the bargain. During
the Second World War about two thirds of these collections were destroyed
in bombing raids and artillery shelling.

Oleksandr Dovzhenko, one of the most remarkable Ukrainian movie directors
of the twentieth century, happened to be in Chernihiv in September 1944. An
entry from his diary reads: “A cellar under the museum, kept under lock and
key, was the place where the treasures of the museum – an imprisoned museum,
were kept: seventeenth- and eighteenth-century portraits of hetmans and
colonels, of metropolitans and wives of Cossack leaders, all painted by
excellent masters.

The lock with a seal – not to be broken. The portraits were being destroyed
by time and the darkness of the prison. I had a vision – all these people in
the portrait step out of the frames and talk to each other. Once in a while
someone came to check whether all the imprisoned portraits were in their

It always happened when a new curator of the museum was appointed. When
those new curators and those who appointed them came to have a look, the
portraits could hear the lofty talk about history, politics and art.

Then the doors were swung close again and the heavy eighteenth-century lock
was locked again, and the darkness and silence filled the cellar. [Hetman]
Bohdan [Khmelnytsky] kept peering at [Hetman] Ivan [Mazepa], and Ivan kept
staring at Bohdan for quite a few years, but one day they were all torn to
pieces by a German bomb and the pieces were consumed in a conflagration.

‘Let them burn,’ said the local [communist] party boss laughing with glee
and addressing his sidekicks and toadies, don’t even try to put the fire
out!’ And he burst out laughing, happy to see the priceless paintings of the
seventeenth and eighteenth century turning into smoke.”

The war ended, the semblance of normal life was restored, but it took many
more years for the soviet regime to collapse. The attitude to the national
Ukrainian cultural heritage is changing, a new mentality is being formed.
Photos by Oleksandr Sorbets, Welcome to Ukraine

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