Daily Archives: December 15, 2005


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

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

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Washington, D.C., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2005
                        ——–INDEX OF ARTICLES——–
                “Major International News Headlines and Articles”

Alex Nicholson, AP Business Writer, Moscow, Russia, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

      Natural gas diplomacy between Ukraine and Russia hides a much
               deeper competition between Moscow and the West.
STRATFOR, private intelligence firm, Austin, Texas, Fri, Dec 9, 2005

     “All the issues connected with Ukraine will be decided in Washington” 
Ren TV & Moscow Centre TV, Moscow, in Russian, Dec 14, 2005
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005


Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1246 gmt 14 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 14 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

                           TALKS TOWARD JOINING WTO
Svetlana Alfimova, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Dec 9, 2005


             MP Ihor Ostash interviewed at WTO meeting in Hong Kong
                   Ukraine’s status allows it no influence at the meeting
Olha Tanasiychuk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Dec 14, 2005


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, December 14, 2005 

Agricultural Marketing Project (AMP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Dec 2, 2005

10.                      UKRAINE CONFIRMS BIRD FLU
By C.J. Chivers, The New York Times, NY, NY, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

     Bush gives State Department control over reconstructing foreign countries
Barry Schweid, AP Worldstream, Wash DC, Wednesday Dec 14, 2005

By Harry Dunphy, AP Worldstream, Washington, D.C. Dec 14, 2005

13.                    “FOUR D MARKS FOR DEMOCRACY”
    Changes to Constitution of Ukraine contains loopholes and ambiguities
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 10 Dec 05; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, December 14, 2005

Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC)
New York, NY, Columbia, MD, Monday, Dec 5, 2005

      FOOTNOTE TO ARTICLE: No Jackson-Vanik Graduation in 2005

TotalCatholic.com. The Universe Catholic Newspaper
Manchester, England, UK, Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 14, 2005


                    Pora enters Ukraine’s 2006 parliamentary elections
The Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 2, Issue 232
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C., Wed, Dec 14, 2005

19.                              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

                         COSSACKS AND THEIR EXPLOITS
By Volodymyr Suprunenko for WU
Welcome to Ukraine magazine, Issue 3 (45)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2005, Pages 78-82

Alex Nicholson, AP Business Writer, Moscow, Russia, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

MOSCOW – A fight over gas prices between Russia and Ukraine turned ugly
Wednesday, as Russia’s natural gas monopoly said it would sharply increase
prices for Ukraine in 2006, accusing Kiev of dragging its feet during

Gazprom’s latest comments highlight a deepening chill in the neighbors’
relations that set in with the election last year of Ukrainian President
Viktor Yushchenko. He has pledged to bring his nation of 47 million closer
toward Europe and away from Moscow’s influence.

“The talks with Ukraine have dragged on for more than nine months and,
regrettably, no progress has been reached,” Gazprom’s deputy board chairman
Alexander Medvedev said in televised remarks.

Medvedev said that Gazprom now planned to charge Ukraine a European price

of US$220-$230 (euro185-euro193) per 1,000 cubic meters, taking into account
a Ukrainian transit fee. Kiev had been paying US$50 (euro42), and had balked
at Gazprom’s proposal to triple that price.

“Ukraine has wasted time in these talks, and now there can be no talk of
US$160,” Medvedev said. “The market situation has changed, and it’s
continuing to change.” Under the new scheme, Ukraine would be charged a
floating price for gas based on market prices for a basket of oil products,
he said.

Yushchenko suggested Wednesday that the negotiations were being used as a
form of political pressure, and said he was confident a compromise would be

The state-controlled Gazprom is also renegotiating export contracts with
other former Soviet states, including Georgia, Moldova and the Baltic
countries — all of which have sought to move out of Moscow’s orbit and
forge closer ties with the West.

While analysts see the move to market prices as making overall financial
sense, they emphasize that the dispute is minor compared to other tasks
facing Gazprom, including tackling the problem of its loss-making but
politically sensitive domestic sales.

“When it comes down to it, it is a net positive,” said Roland Nash, head of
research at the Renaissance Capital investment bank. “But there are so many
more important things.” “It is more than just coincidence that Ukraine moves
to a pro-Western government and Gazprom moves to a European pricing

system for its exports to Ukraine,” Nash said.

Russian officials insisted that the changes marked a financially justified
break with Russia’s Soviet past. “The time when we built relations by
quasi-subsidizing neighboring economies is gradually passing,” Russian
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti

news agency. “We must think about our own interests.”

Medvedev suggested caustically that, since the EU gave Yushchenko’s
government a vote of confidence by granting it market economy status in
November, Ukraine should be happy to accept the new, European-style

pricing arrangement.

The dispute has also worried the European Union since Gazprom supplies

about half of the EU’s gas and 80 percent of Gazprom’s European exports
pass through Ukraine. Yushchenko has said supplies to Europe would not
be affected.

Gazprom warned Tuesday that it could stop supplying gas to Ukraine if no
agreement was reached by the end of the year, with gas intended only for
Europe passing through the pipeline.

Ukrainian officials say Gazprom is pushing Ukraine to enter into a
consortium that would give the Russian company a management stake in
Ukraine’s existing pipelines. Russia has a similar arrangement with Belarus,
which has not seen its gas prices revisited.

“In my opinion, this can’t be discussed,” Andriy Lopushanskiy, deputy head
of Ukraine’s state-controlled gas company, Naftogaz, was quoted as saying by
Ukraine’s Unian news agency. He called Gazprom’s new price proposal “not
competitive, and for Ukraine, this is unacceptable.”

Ukraine uses almost 80 billion cubic meters of gas annually, receiving 25
billion cubic meters from Russia, and 36 billion cubic meters from
Turkmenistan, pumped via Russia. Ukraine itself produces some 18 billion
cubic meters.

The France-sized nation is heavily dependent on gas, which serves as the
primary source of heating in apartments and homes. As well, the chemical and
metal sectors are giant consumers of energy and considered very inefficient,
consuming about two-and-a-half times as much energy as Poland for every
dollar’s worth of industrial production.

But they are also major contributors to the national gross national product,
and price increases will eat away their profits. Gazprom and energy in
general have always had an economic and political role,” Nash said. “The
political role is the projection of Russian influence abroad and Ukraine has
often been a target of this influence.”  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
      Natural gas diplomacy between Ukraine and Russia hides a much
               deeper competition between Moscow and the West.

STRATFOR, private intelligence firm, Austin, Texas, Fri, Dec 9, 2005

Natural gas diplomacy between Ukraine and Russia hides a much deeper
competition between Moscow and the West.
Any decision by Russia to charge Ukraine too much for the natural gas it
imports could force Kiev to sharply increase the amount it charges the
Russian Black Sea fleet for docking at Ukrainian facilities on the Crimean
Peninsula, Anatoly Matviyenko, deputy chief of the Ukrainian presidential
secretariat, said Dec. 9.

The threat — which is not a bluff — is the latest in the now months-long
negotiations over the natural gas issue — a debate that serves to
highlight the status of the Ukrainian-Russian strategic relationship in

All of Ukraine’s natural gas imports come from Russian state energy firm
Gazprom, and Gazprom has recently taken steps to block all other regional
producers from providing Ukraine with alternative sources by buying up all
of their production itself. Gazprom’s ability to dictate a price to
Ukraine, therefore, seems ironclad.

But there are two issues at play.

FIRST, and of paramount importance for Gazprom, Ukraine is not the
end-user on Gazprom’s export network. After passing through Ukraine,
the Soviet-era infrastructure extends west throughout Central Europe and,
via a number of connections, reaches as far as France, Italy and even the
United Kingdom.

Gazprom fears — and rightly so — that should it charge too exorbitant a
price for its natural gas (by Ukrainian standards), Ukraine will simply
steal natural gas meant for paying customers further downstream. It has,
after all, happened before — most famously when Turkey suffered blackouts
due to such thefts after its 1999 earthquakes.

During such situations Ukraine may be blamed, but it is Gazprom that has
missed its deliveries, and therefore Gazprom that not only loses revenue,
but has to enter future supply contract negotiations with a much higher
risk premium — and therefore a much lower selling price. Incidents such
as these cost the firm billions of dollars.

SECOND, and of more concern to the Kremlin, is that although Ukraine has
leaned heavily toward the West since the Orange Revolution, Russia has
hardly given up hopes of reasserting influence. Few things would drive the
Ukrainians away from Russia more than tripling the cost of their primary
energy source.

After all, nothing says “it’s over” quite like charging retail. A quick
glance around the region shows that while Central European and Baltic
states — now all in nuclear-armed NATO and the tariff-protected European

Union — are being charged full Western prices, Russia’s remaining allies
such as Belarus, Armenia — and Ukraine — are still getting discounts.

And this is only part of the story. The natural gas dispute is an excellent
example of how Ukraine — inside and out — has become a fulcrum in
international relations.

It is important to remember that the Orange Revolution could not have
happened if events had been left to the Ukrainians and Russians. During the
campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin made two “nonpolitical” stops
at rallies for then-Prime Minister and presidential candidate Viktor
Yanukovich. Without staunch political and diplomatic support — and some
organizational and financial help on the tactical level — from the West,
the Orange Revolution unlikely would have gotten off the ground, much less
into government.

Although Brussels and Washington have hardly opened their checkbooks to
underwrite the new Ukrainian government, they are not looking to become
disengaged from Ukraine. Both — again rightly — view Ukraine as the
linchpin in Russia’s future. With Ukraine in Russia’s orbit, Russia has the
potential to ultimately regenerate its fortunes and reassert itself as a
major power. Without Ukraine, Russia not only cannot function as an
effective regional power, but the future of its remaining territorial
integrity would be in severe question.

Not surprisingly, then, the United States is egging on the Ukrainians. U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in fact encouraged the government of
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to take the Russians for all they are
worth when she stopped by Kiev on Dec. 8. Also not surprisingly,
Matviyenko’s threat against Russia’s only large-scale warm-water naval port
came hours later.

The position of the Europeans — being on the other end of those natural
gas export lines — is more complex. They do not want Ukraine to crash,
burn and fall back into the Russian embrace, but neither do they wish to
see their own energy supplies interrupted. As such the European position is
broadly one of tacit support for Kiev: providing words of quiet
encouragement to Ukraine, while using the broader European-Russian
relationship as a means of pressuring the Russians against treating Ukraine
too harshly. Germany, France or Italy are hardly going to flat out tell the
Ukrainians to stick it to the Russians, but the Ukrainians certainly will
interpret European action (or lack thereof) in the most empowering terms.

This of course collectively weakens one of the few reliable tools Russia
has to influence its neighbors. In order for the Kremlin to get its way on
Ukraine, it must lean extremely hard on Kiev — hard enough that it would
trigger intense criticism from both Brussels and Washington. That could
precipitate a break in Russian-Western relations.

Putin knows he has to push back if he is to preserve Russia, but he does
not yet feel that his country can afford an outright breach with the West.
He realizes the West is playing for keeps, and does not want to provide
an excuse for it to ratchet up the pressure.

And as one might imagine, if something makes the headlines for several
straight days — as the natural gas price issue has in Kiev — it begins to
reveal where the local power groups stand. Yanukovich’s position is rather

If he were in charge, Yanukovich trumpets, relations with Russia
would be warm and cozy, and the Russians would force Gazprom to give
Ukraine all the cheap natural gas it could possibly want. Needless to say,
such a populist line — particularly in Ukraine’s more Russofied east and
south — is increasing his support base.

Yushchenko’s camp, however, is split. The majority are sticking to their
president’s nationalist line: that Russia is bullying them and so Ukraine
must resist by any means available. Others are taking a more circumspect
and perhaps more realistic, approach.

Ultimately Ukraine has no options for other natural gas suppliers — all
import lines from potential Central Asian suppliers transit Russia, and
Gazprom locked those supplies down in November — and no one believes
that the Americans or Europeans are going to ride to the rescue with a
big gas tank. Rada speaker Vladimir Litvin is among the loudest voices
arguing that though Kiev should not bow to Moscow, it certainly should
not be so stupid as to goad it.

This leaves, as always, a third power uncommitted. Yulia Timoshenko, the
charismatic but ethically unfettered former prime minister, has both a
sizable public following and a grudge against both Yanukovich — who
attempted to put her in prison when he was prime minister — and
Yushchenko — who recently fired her from the prime ministry without
telling her. Her loyalty, as always, is up for sale.

With Yushchenko’s camp divided, Yanukovich’s camp growing in strength,
and Rada elections scheduled for 2006, once again it is Timoshenko who is
rapidly sliding into the role of power broker. This could well be the issue
that will allow her to re-re-re-ingratiate herself back into the corridors
of power. (www.Stratfor.com)

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
      Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
    “All the issues connected with Ukraine will be decided in Washington

Ren TV & Moscow Centre TV, Moscow, in Russian, Dec 14, 2005
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

Although Russian state TV has continued to devote considerable coverage to
the row over gas prices with Ukraine, it has not mentioned reports that Kiev
intends to use its control of missile-warning systems that form part of
Russia’s nuclear “umbrella” as leverage in the dispute.

However, this element of the story was featured in reports on privately
owned Ren TV and the Moscow-government-controlled Centre TV.

Reports that Ukraine may have a new card up its sleeve in the gas row with
Russia were reported on Ren TV’s main evening news on 12 December. “On

the eve of the latest round of gas talks, reports appeared in the Russian press
that Kiev has prepared a new and unexpected argument that could have a
significant effect on Russia’s military security,” presenter Anna Pavlova

The subsequent correspondent’s reports showed the secretary of the Ukrainian
National Security and Defence Council, Anatoliy Kinakh, announcing on
Ukrainian TV on 11 December that his country will “not take decisions under
outside economic or political pressure”.

Correspondent Aleksey Zubov commented that Kinakh was apparently referring
to two radar installations for detecting incoming missiles in the Carpathian
Mountains and near Sevastopol. His report went on to say that Kiev has
officially announced that it may grant the US military access to the
stations and pointed out that their loss to Russia would leave a hole in the
country’s southern and western nuclear defences.

Vitkor Litovkin, a military expert from the RIA Novosti news agency, then
explained that the two stations cover an arc of some 2,000-3,000 kilometres
and are responsible for guarding against strikes from the Middle East and
Atlantic regions.

Ren TV said that it is likely that the missile-defence issue was raised at a
meeting between Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice in Kiev last week. The same speculation, attributed
to Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, was mentioned on Centre TV’s
late-night news on the same evening.

The correspondent said that Rice’s “unqualified support for Ukraine’s NATO
membership” indicates that the speculation had substance. He added that Kiev
is ready to “deliver several more asymmetrical responses” in a dispute that
is “beginning to take on the symptoms of the Cold War”.

These will include a refusal to sign an agreement to maintain the Satan
missile complex, raising the question of control over the Kerch Strait and
the passage of third-country vessels to the Sea Azov, the report noted.
“There is no doubt that these measures would receive the full support of
Ukraine’s Western partners,” presenter Ilya Kolosov added.

Kolosov’s guest in the Centre TV studio was defence journalist Aleksandr
Zhilin, who stressed the “extreme levels” of Russophobia in Ukraine and
impugned the independence of the Yushchenko administration. “All the issues
connected with Ukraine will be decided in Washington,” Zhilin said.

However, he played down the significance of the loss of the missile-warning
stations, and said that Russia would be better off closing the issue quickly
by building replacement facilities on its own territory rather than waiting
for a sudden “stab in the back” in the future.

Main bulletins on state TV have not mentioned reports about the missile-

warning stations in their coverage of the gas row with Ukraine, though the
story continues to remain a central theme on main news programmes. On
13 December state broadcaster Rossiya (RTV) devoted 15 of its
17 minutes of its analytical programme Vesti Plyus to the issue, including
a brief commentary that had no other purpose than to denigrate Ukraine.

This said Ukraine was a country where corruption flourished, where there
were problems with commercial transparency, where benefits were not paid on
time and which had an army that allowed soldiers just a dollar a day and was
rated lower than some African forces.

At the same time, Vesti Plyus stressed that Russia “is rightly worried about
its reputation” as an energy supplier and is “putting its case to the

Presenter Dmitriy Kiselev said that one element in this strategy was an
interview given by Gazprom chief Aleksey Miller to the new English-language
news service Russia Today, in which he said his company will do everything
to ensure gas supplies to Europe are maintained, but warned that Ukraine
will not get any gas if it fails to sign an agreement with Russia by the end
of the year.

Another element in the strategy was a presentation by Gazprom in Germany.
Kiselev interviewed German commentator, Alexander Rar, who had just

compered the presentation. Rar told Kiselev that Gazprom’s arguments on
the gas issue “carry weight” in Germany, but implied that the company’s
explanation for why it is not treating Belarus in the same way as Ukraine
failed to convince many in the German audience. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1246 gmt 14 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

KIEV- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said the gas talks with
Russia should not be used as an instrument of political pressure.

He indicated that Ukraine was prepared to accept a higher price for the
Russian gas, but only if it is introduced in stages and in parallel with
increasing the rate Russia pays Ukraine for the transit of its gas to

Yushchenko was speaking after Russia’s Gazprom announced that it

was now seeking an even higher price rise than previously.

The following is the text of report by Interfax-Ukraine news agency:

Kiev, 14 December: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has urged the
Ukrainian and Russian sides to abstain from politicizing the gas talks. He
believes that in a few weeks’ time a mutually beneficial solution will be
found and the issue will be settled.

“The main thing is that the answers to the economic questions will be found.
It is important that the Russian and Ukrainian size should not politicize
the issue, to make sure that the formation of new market relations is not
used as a form of political pressure.

That is the main thing,” Yushchenko told journalists today. He was answering
a question about the new price offer made by Gazprom. [Gazprom has raised
its price offer from 160 dollars to 230 dollars per 1000 cu.m. Ukraine now
pays at the notional rate of 50 dollars per 1,000 cu.m.]

“I am confident that we will look at the prices and [transit] tariffs and
reach a solution that would be in our mutual economic interests. And in a
few weeks’ time this issue will be a yesterday’s problem, not as pressing as
it is now.”

The president added, however, that financial relations, including those
concerning gas, “should be clear and understandable to each side, be it the
price of gas or the gas transit tariff”.

“Until now, Ukraine has not actually bought gas from Russia. We have been
receiving 25bn cu.m. of gas as payment in kind for the transit of the
Russian gas to Europe, and that is how the price formula was reached,”
Yushchenko said.

He added that according to “that formula”, Ukraine receives gas “at the
price of 50 dollars per 1,000 cu.m., and Russia pays the rate of 1.09
dollars for the transit of 1,000 cu.m. at 100 km”.

“That was how those rates were linked together. We are now talking about
liberalizing the market, both the gas market and the gas transit market. We
are in talks with the Russian side to determine the transit rate,”
Yushchenko said.

He noted that the transit rate in Germany is 2.5 dollars per 1,000 km, and
in Poland 2 dollars. “We have a gas transit system that needs upgrading,
which needs huge investments to ensure transit of gas to Europe for the next
decades,” Yushchenko said. “That is why calculating the price of gas is

an extremely important issue for us.”

He said that the issue of the gas price “is an issue that will define the
viability of this unique gas transit system for many years to come.” “That
is why we are negotiating the gas transit rate on the one hand, and on the
other the price of gas itself.”

“The Ukrainian side proceeds from the notion that the gas price and the gas
transit rate are coupled – after all, the money received for transit will be
used to pay the new price for the Russian gas. The proceeds from the new
transit rate will be used to finance the purchase of gas from Russia,” the
president said.

“Because these two figures are coupled, we can have a common strategy

for liberalizing the market, stage by stage. This is Ukraine’s proposal to
Russia today.”  -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 14 Dec 05
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

KIEV – The Supreme Council of Ukraine [parliament] has rejected two

bills required for Ukraine’s WTO accession. The bills proposed lowering
export tariffs on ferrous metal scrap and on live cattle and leather stuff.

The bill amending the law on the export duty on ferrous metal scrap was
supported by 153 out of the 401 MPs registered in the session hall today.
Parliament refused to send this bill for a repeat second reading. This
proposal was approved by just 136 MPs.

The bill offered to lift export tariffs on goods coded 720421, 720421100,
7204219000 and 7204290000 starting from 1 January 2006.

The bill also proposed to lower export tariffs on ferrous metal scrap to 25
euros per tonne as of 1 January 2005, and 18 euros per tonne as of 1 January
2007. The tariff currently stands at 30 euros per tonne.

Parliament has also rejected the bill amending the law on the export duty on
live cattle and leather stuff. The bill was approved by 168 out of 396 MPs
today. Deputies refused to send it for a repeat second reading. This
proposal received 165 votes.

The bill proposed reducing export tariffs to 30 per cent of the goods’
customs value from 1 January 2006 and then lowering them by 15 percentage
points each year starting from 1 January 2007.  -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                 Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
                           TALKS TOWARD JOINING WTO

Svetlana Alfimova, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Dec 9, 2005

KYIV – Speaking at a roundtable into likely effects of Ukraine’s accedence
to the World Trade  Organisation on the agricultural sector, Deputy
Economics Minister Andriy Bereznyi noted that the process of Ukraine’s
negotiations with members of the Working Group (42 countries) toward
lowering importation duties and unhampered access to markets of
commodities and services has been under way since December 1993.

So far, the Working Group has held fifteen official sessions, Ukraine has
signed bipartite protocols with 38 nations, over 98 percent of points has
been adjusted with regard to Ukraine’s consolidated tariff policy.

However, determining the ceiling of state support for the agricultural
sector and tariff quotas for imports of raw cane sugar remain major
stumbling blocks in the process of negotiations, Andriy Bereznyi admitted.
Ukraine insists on 1.14 bn. USD state support for agriculture, while such
nations as Australia, the USA, some other countries demand that the sum
be scaled down to 1.08 bn. USD,

Besides, they insist on cancellation of tax privileges, which will reduce
Ukraine’s GDP by additional 265 M. USD. In the Deputy Economics
Minister’s opinion, which was supported by some experts, who
participated in the roundtable, Ukraine should seek to reach a compromise
on these disputed points, taking  into account EU nations’ experience of
dealing with the problem of diminishing subsidies to agricultural producers.

Commenting on the same sore subjects, Natalya Pogozheva, CEO of the
Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, said that Ukraine must avoid making
other nations’ mistakes. In her opinion, the agrarian sector needs primarily
investments. The State’s policy to this end must be predictable, Ms
Pogozheva noted.

Andriy Bereznyi stated imports of raw cane sugar as another major problem.
Earlier, he said, in the course of negotiations an agreement was reached on
setting annual importation quotas at 260,000 tons, with a 2 percent
importation duty levied on imported raw cane sugar.

However, the Agrarian Policy Ministry during the 14th Session of the
Working Group announced that Ukraine will not apply this tariff quota,
which statement made Ukraine’s stand rather controversial and caused
delays in talks.

Australia’s stance on this disputed point is most principled. That nation
insists on a sizeable raise in the amount of the tariff quota or a
significant reduction in the importation tariff.

In the meantime, according to the Economic Ministry’s calculations, in case
the tariffs are reduced for the entire amount of raw cane sugar imports or
even some part of these in some seasons raw cane sugar imports may prove
less protected, as compared with application of the tariff quota.

Besides, proceeding from Ukraine’s experience of application of the quota
in the past, the Ukrainian cane sugar market’s instability, application of
quotas was efficient in meeting demand for sugar on the part of Ukrainian
consumers and helped prevent major price hikes on the Ukrainian sugar

(According to the Economics Ministry’s data, in 2000 and 2002 the quota
amounted to 260,000 tons of raw cane sugar, in 2003 it stood at 560,000
tons, but was reduced to 125,000 tons in 2004. In 2002 and 2005 no quotas
were set).

Hardly anybody can deny the simple fact that Ukraine’s sugar making industry
is problem-ridden. But, as experts insist, the industry’s problems must be
solved primarily through its restructuring.

As the experts noted, major guidelines and stages of the sugar industry’s
restructuring are contained in the Program Tsukor (“Sugar”), which is
expected to be shortly adopted.

As Sergei Kasyanov, chairman of the mixed Parliamentary  – Governmental
Commission for Ukraine’s integration with the WTPO, said, the Agrarian
Policy Ministry and personally Minister Oleksandr Baranivskyi have
elaborated no meaningful strategy of developing Ukraine’s agroindustrial
complex after Ukraine joins the World Trade Organization.

Mr Kasyanov unveiled his intention to initiate an extraordinary session of
the mixed Commission and parliamentary hearings to address this problem.

In the meantime, Ukrainian agrarian lobby representatives keep pressing for
lifting the moratorium on trade in agricultural lands before Ukraine joins
the WTO.

In particular, Mykhailo Hladiy, vice chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
Committee for matters of agrarian policies and land relations, while
attending a roundtable in Kyiv into likely effects of Ukraine’s accedence to
the WTO on the agrarian sector, emphatically stressed that until Ukrainian
peasants are not allowed to freely exercise their land proprietorial rights
Ukrainian agricultural producers will not be competitive on foreign markets.

As the bulk of Ukrainian experts believe, vis-a-vis the land market’s
absence Ukraine will not be able to meet one of the WTO’s chiefest
postulates with regard to credit policies and so will be barred from
opportunities for modernizing its agrarian sector.  -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

            MP Ihor Ostash interviewed at WTO meeting in Hong Kong
                  Ukraine’s status allows it no influence at the meeting

Olha Tanasiychuk, Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

HONG KONG, CHINA – Simultaneously with the sixth Ministerial Conference

of the World Trade Organization in Hong Kong a regular parliamentary session
is underway. The meeting of almost 300 deputies from 140 countries opened
on December 12 and is to last through December 15.

As Ukraine’s delegate to the parliamentary session, people’s deputy Ihor
Ostash told Ukrinform’s correspondent, the session is vetting problems,

which the WTO is faced, very promptly and openly.

As he stressed, all the leaders of the organization, including WTO Director
General Pascal Lamy, started their work in Hong Kong from the parliamentary
conference, where they were “strictly interrogated” by different deputies.

First what Ihor Ostash noticed during the 6th Ministerial Conference was,
“unfortunately, Ukraine’s sitting in the last line, behind it only observers
and public organizations are sitting”, Such status doesn’t allow us to
really influence the negotiation process within the WTO, rules of game,
assert its interests.

According to the Ukrainian deputy, it hampers our forwarding not only to the
world market, but also to the European one.

The current conference, in Ihor Ostash’s opinion, is a good chance to meet
with other states’ delegations, with whom protocols are left to be signed.
As never before it is important for Ukraine to sign a protocol with China,
which has already initialed it and the two sides are very close to its
signing, the deputy hopes.

Talking about internal procedures in Ukraine, Ihor Ostash stressed on the
need to seriously consider the position by the Verkhovna Rada, which often
fell under powerful lobby of deputies, “combining two positions”.

He urged to view this problem in a larger context, as Ukraine’s membership
in the WTO switches on “green light” to serious investments to the Ukrainian
economy, means significant reduction in anti-dumping investigations,
decreasing import duties for Ukrainian goods, provides many opportunities
for Ukrainian goods’ access to foreign markets, including the markets of
textile, steel and chemicals.

It is strange watching such phenomena, when Ukrainian steel makers are
trying to establish their associations for protection of their interests
within the framework of the EU, while deputies, who represent metallurgical
regions, actually oppose Ukraine’s accession to the WTO, Ihor Ostash added.

As he reminded, presently, there is the last in the parcel of the WTO bills
on the Verkhovna Rada’s agenda (some of them have been passed in first

According to Mr Ostash, considering these matters is very politicized and
there is “a very tall wall between the Government and the parliament, which
appeared after first consideration of the WTO bills and, unfortunately, has
not yet disappeared”.

This fact threatens passing the WTO bills in time and Ukraine may lose one
more chance to complete negotiations on accedence to the WTO in early

2006.  -30-
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, December 14, 2005 

KYIV – Foreign Affairs Minister Borys Tarasiuk and Australia’s Ambassador

to Ukraine Robert Tyson have discussed the signing of an agreement on
access to markets of goods and services between Ukraine and Australia
within the framework of the negotiations on admission of Ukraine into the
World Trade Organization. The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press
service announced.

Tarasiuk And Tyson also discussed prospects for Ukrainian-Australian
cooperation in the political, trade, economic, scientific, and technical
spheres as well as bilateral cooperation within international organizations.
The discussion took place when Tyson presented copies of his credentials

to Tarasiuk.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Economics Ministry is forecasting
that Ukraine will join the WTO before July 2006. Ukraine is continuing

WTO entry talks with seven countries, including Australia. -30-
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Agricultural Marketing Project (AMP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Dec 2, 2005

KYIV – If Ukraine enters World Trade Organization (WTO) it will cause no
disastrous effect on the national fruit and vegetable market, this according
to expert Andriy Yarmak, Deputy Director of the Agricultural Marketing
Project (AMP). This was the included in talk given at the second
international conference “Fruits and Vegetables in Ukraine 2005 on
December 6, 2005.

In his opinion, “The produce business of Ukraine is practically in WTO.
Import taxes decreased and no catastrophe took place”.

However, A. Yarmak presumed that entry into the WTO will have definite
negative consequences on the Ukrainian fruit and vegetable producers, but
the influence is expected to be insignificant.

“The market will start to feel the consequences in a couple of months”, A.
Yarmak pointed out. At the same time the expert mentioned a couple of
positive things, which will able to be implemented in the case of possible
WTO membership for Ukraine.

In particular, he indicated the simplified process of new varieties and
hybrids registration, easier entry of input suppliers into the Ukrainian
market, and broader sales channels in EU countries for fresh and
processed produce of Ukrainian origin.  -30-
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10.                          UKRAINE CONFIRMS BIRD FLU

By C.J. Chivers, The New York Times, NY, NY, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

MOSCOW – Ukraine on Wednesday announced that tests had confirmed

that a potentially deadly strain of avian flu had established itself in the
Crimean Peninsula, and said that thousands of birds were being culled
in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Health and emergency service officials said that the strain, known as H5N1,
had been found in 11 villages on the peninsula, and that an outbreak was
continuing to kill birds near the Black and Azov seas, according to
Ukrainian and regional reports by news agencies.

The confirmation of the strain’s presence underscored the fluidity with
which the virus has spread as it has moved erratically this year across Asia
and Russia and ultimately reached Europe. Officials say that H5N1 has been
responsible for the deaths of at least 69 people in Asia since 2003, and
worry that the virus has the potential to mutate and become more dangerous
to humans.

There has been no reported cases of the virus afflicting people in Ukraine,
although news services reported that thousands of people in several villages
were being held in “medical control” for the time being, and that many were
being given flu vaccines. Hospitals have also been placed on alert.

Health officials also reported slaughtering tens of thousands of birds, with
hopes of reducing the chances of the virus continuing to spread.

The region has been under a state of emergency since early December, when
large-scale die-offs of birds were noted.

News of the strain’s discovery came as a Russian scientist warned that avian
flu might have established itself firmly enough to continue appearing.

Anatoly Smirnov, director of the Research Institute of Veterinary
Sanitation, Hygiene and Environment, in Moscow told the RIA Novosti press
agency that slaughtering domestic birds probably would not block the
disease’s movement, because the virus had already found its way into poultry
yards, bird nesting sites and bodies of water on bird migration routes.
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      Bush gives State Department control over reconstructing foreign countries

Barry Schweid, AP Worldstream, Wash DC, Wednesday Dec 14, 2005

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush on Wednesday designated

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take charge of coordinating,
planning and implementing U.S. assistance to countries recovering from
war or civil strife.

A statement issued by White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the

move would facilitate helping the countries prevent terrorists from operating
on their territory.

Bush’s directive authorized Rice to coordinate U.S. reconstruction efforts.
If the U.S. military is involved, Rice would coordinate with Secretary of
Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

McClellan’s statement said the aims of U.S. reconstruction efforts would be
promoting peace, security, development, democratic practices, market
economies and the rule of law. There was no immediate elaboration, but U.S.
officials were expected to provide details later in the day.

Bush, as a presidential candidate, took a skeptical view of U.S. engagement
in reconstruction of other countries. As president, however, he has
spearheaded efforts to help Afghanistan and Iraq, among other nations,
recover from conflict.

Last March, the State Department set up a new office to manage the aftermath
of war and try to prevent extremism from taking hold in conflict-saddled

“It’s not just strong states we need to be concerned with,” Undersecretary
of State Nicholas Burns said at the time. “It’s weak states and failed
states and failing states.” Hopeless and poor countries are breeding grounds
for terrorists, he said.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual was named director

of the office.  -30-
FOONOTE:  We offer our congratulations to Ambassador Carlos
Pascual on his new appointment.  EDITOR
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By Harry Dunphy, AP Worldstream, Washington, D.C. Dec 14, 2005

WASHINGTON – The United States and its European partners must be

prepared to stand by new democracies in Europe and central Asia, while
resisting dictatorships in the region, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried
said Europeans must also do more to support democracy in Iraq after this
week’s elections, which will set up the country’s first, postwar permanent

Working with Europe, Fried said it was “time to move from theory to

practice in support of democratic objectives in 2006.”
He said the United States and the European Union should work together to
support fledgling democracies in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgystan.

Fried said the allies also should resolve the final status of Kosovo, the
one obstacle remaining to bringing stability to the Balkans.

Although still officially a province of Serbia-Montenegro, the United
Nations has administered Kosovo since a 1999 NATO bombing campaign
halted the Serbian crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority insists on independence, while Serbia
and the Serb minority living in Kosovo want to retain at least formal control
over the region.

In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington policy
research group, he said recent elections in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

“were not free and fair, but they were not a joke either” and that’s an

On Iraq, he said European governments had turned a corner and realized there
was a need to avoid chaos there because it would be a disaster for the whole
region, as French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepain said in an interview
last month.

“It’s time for the Europeans to remove the brackets and asterisks and get
behind the next Iraqi government,” Fried said. Most European nations
staunchly opposed the U.S.-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq.

The war has increasingly become a domestic problem for President George W.
Bush. On Wednesday, faced with mounting criticism over the war, Bush
delivered the last of four speeches aimed at explaining his reasoning for
keeping U.S. troops in the conflict-ravaged country.

Fried said Europeans should move away from the idea that democracy in Iraq
is somehow suspect and realize the country has one of the most democratic
constitutions in the Arab world.

He said it was up to individual European countries to decide how best they
can help bring stability to Iraq and support its democracy.

On Iran, he characterized the “anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying remarks” by
President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as “ugly”. He said world’s democracies should
reach out beyond the theocracy in power in Tehran and provide “an agenda for
hope for the Iranian people.”

Fried said NATO was midway in its transition from a Cold War organization

to one with multiple responsibilities in various countries and should be given
the tools to do its job at a summit meeting in 2006.  -30-
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13.                    “FOUR D MARKS FOR DEMOCRACY”
   Changes to Constitution of Ukraine contains loopholes and ambiguities

Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 10 Dec 05; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Wed, Dec 14, 2005

Changes to the Constitution of Ukraine introducing political reforms from 1
January 2006 contain loopholes and ambiguities, an influential weekly has
written. The author explained how the law will transfer many powers from

the president to parliament.

He added that confusion could arise on the issue of appointing the prime
minister if enough MPs form a mega-faction demanding such a move even

before the new parliament is elected in spring.

MPs will also be more limited in their non-parliamentary activities in the
future, as the ban on MPs carrying out entrepreneurial activities for profit
will now be applied more strictly.

The following is the text of the article by Serhiy Rakhmanin, entitled “Four
D marks for Democracy”, published in the Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo Nedeli on
10 December; subheadings are as published:

As a rule, those truly in the know agree: there are no good or bad
constitutions. They usually suggest judging the adequacy of this or that
constitution on how much it agrees with the historic habits, democratic
traditions, legal norms and political ritual of the state.

We propose examining the essence of national political reform exactly from
this point of view. In many countries (which are commonly called civilized)
the formalization and detailing of the rules of behaviour for politicians
are of a very relative nature.

Because there these very habits, traditions and rituals have formed over
hundreds of years and have long ago come into their own.

Our democracy has not yet really got onto its own feet. And so domestic laws
(foremost the constitution), should really probably contain fewer ambiguous
clauses and vague provisions. It generally costs the country a lot when
legislators do not speak in full. Something of which society has had the
opportunity to become convinced more than several times over.

We will try to not let this circumstance slip out of sight in returning to
that conversation which we began in the last issue of Zerkalo Nedeli. Today
we continue to sort out the obvious merits and hidden defects of the
December [2004] law “On introducing changes to the Constitution of Ukraine”.

That very document which in the slang of MPs (thanks to its registration
number) is known as “The Law of four Two’s [a “Two” in school being
equivalent to a D grade in the West, that is, unsatisfactory]”.
                                  ART OF THE IMPOSSIBLE 

The historical document which introduced corrections to the constitution is
not big in size and comprises only 11 pages. At the same time, the changes
are very large and concern about 20 articles of the constitution. Of course
the key change is giving parliament the right to determine the composition
of the Cabinet of Ministers. We will talk about this novelty first.

Before, the both the head and members of the government were named by the
president. Of course, in the first case this required the agreement of
parliament, and in the second – the representation of the prime minister. In
the near future the situation will change.

The new model will look like this: based on the results of the parliamentary
election, a coalition of factions should be formed, which must include a
majority of MPs (that is, not less than 226). We will turn our attention to
the peculiarities of forming this alliance of MPs and the nuances of its
relationship to the president a bit later. For now we will describe the
schematics itself in short.

The coalition should give the president its proposals regarding the
candidacy of prime minister. After this, the head of state introduces
corresponding introductions in parliament and parliament (by a vote)
appoints the head of government. The members of the Cabinet of Ministers,
and also the chairs of the Antimonopoly Committee, the State Property Fund
and the State Committee of Television and Radio Broadcasting are also
appointed by parliament and also after introduction – this time by the prime

The exceptions are the defence and foreign ministers as well as the chief of
the Security Services of Ukraine [SBU], as they are chosen by the president.
But again the right to appoint these citizens remains with parliament.

The central representative body of the country also has the prerogative to
dismiss all of the above persons. And parliament requires the “OK” from the
president only if it wants the “head” of the SBU. MPs cannot remove the
chief of the SBU without presidential introduction.

The right to influence the balance of leadership personnel in the SBU will
arise on 1 January [2006]. Moreover, within three weeks the highest civil
servant [the president] can no longer determine the fate of the
prosecutor-general. But until the New Year, the head of state still has the
right to appoint the chief of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, although of
course with the agreement of parliament. We also point out that the
president can still dismiss the prosecutor-general without any sanction or
recommendation from the highest legislative body.

The master of Bankova Street [the president, whose office is on Bankova
Street] has only a small number of days left to enjoy his independence:
after the bell tolls, the fate of the prosecutor-general will be in the
hands of parliament: it is MPs who will thence both appoint and dismiss him.
But, with the introduction of the president.

Many are asking the big question: what exactly is the difference? In the
past the president appointed the prosecutor-general with the agreement of
parliament. In the future, he will be appointed by parliament with the
president proposing the candidate. Isn’t the good will of both sides needed
in either case? Without question.

But there is one small difference. In the language of pilots, the one who
makes the appointment is the leader. He has more responsibility on his
shoulders and more initiative in his hands, both political and legal. The
one giving agreement (or making the introduction) is known. That is, he is,
of course, an important player, but not the main one.

But let us return to our appointments. As we have learned, beginning from 1
January, the authority in the sphere of appointing personnel is not widening
by much. The right to influence rotation in the leadership of the SBU and
Prosecutor-General’s Office and that is about it. Everything else will be in
the president’s zone of influence until the spring. But is it really until
the spring?

There is a moratorium on a number of provisions of political reform, as we
all know. The strict rules of the Four D’s law envisions:

– only a parliamentary coalition will get the possibility of directly
influencing the choice of leadership personnel for the executive branch; and
– only a parliament elected on a proportional basis will have the right to
form a coalition.

The list of “frozen” clauses in the new edition of the constitution is not
very big. And it is written in the transitional and concluding clauses of
the law of the four D’s. But is this list complete?

We remind our readers, that the final text of political reform was shaken
out under conditions of impossible speed, and was adopted under conditions
akin to complete chaos. And then, in just a few days after the fateful
December vote, experts appeared who had found the first consequences of

the MP’s bustle and fuss. It turned out that in their haste, MPs had forgot to
place a moratorium on a number of articles on political reform.

Shall we double check? Pursuant to the law of the four D’s, the refined
variant of Article 114 of the constitution comes into effect from January
2006, and not from April. What is in it? We read: “The prime minister of
Ukraine is appointed by parliament at the introduction of the president of

Does that mean that parliament will have the authority to declare its claims
as soon as winter? Sort of no, because this explanation follows:
“Nominations for the post of prime minister are introduced by the president
at the proposal of a coalition of factions, formed in accordance with
Article 83 of the constitution…[ellipsis as published]”.

The article referred to here comes into force only after the parliamentary
election. Does that mean the president’s authority is not under threat?
Let’s not rush, but read to the end of the phrase”…[ellipsis as published]
or by a MP faction in which there are a majority of MPs”.

Let us spell that out. Suppose that for some reason the cabinet of [premier
Yuriy] Yekhanurov falls right after the New Year. Let us also suppose that
at this same time a group of MP organizations decide to merge. Let us
finally suppose that after this merger the new mega-faction will “be on
target” with 226 MPs. According to the new clauses of the constitution, the
new parliamentary group would in principle have the right to demand that the
president appoint a prime minister whom it suggests.

Fantasy? We will not argue. But has there been nothing fantastic in the
newest history of the country? Wasn’t there voter turnout of over 100 per
cent? Wasn’t there a meeting of parliament at the exhibition centre? Wasn’t
there a “genius” ruling by the constitutional court? The very one which
essentially obliged all of us to believe that [Leonid] Kuchma, who had ruled
the country for 10-and-a-half years, had only served one term…[ellipsis as

Of course what we have outlined above is practically incapable of coming to
pass. And also because nobody needs the government dismissed right now. And
because there is disorder in parliament right now, and practically the
entire corpus of MPs is up to its neck in the coming campaign. And because
the legislative mechanism for appointing the prime minister at the
initiative of the majority is still lacking. The new version of Article 114
grants the giant faction the right, but there is an embargo on the procedure
for carrying it out.

But it is not for nothing that our politics is so often called the art of
the impossible. A blunder by legislators is capable of artificially creating
a reason for new conflict between the unintelligible authorities and the
undiscriminating opposition. Messrs MPs should be given a “D” for this
mistake. And there are many such mistakes in the law of four D’s.
                                       NEAR AND FAR 
What has really changed in relations between the branches of power since 1
January? We have already mentioned the part that parliament plays in
determining the fates of the chiefs of the SBU and prosecutor general’s

What else? From the New Year, the president will be deprived of a number of
privileges. For example, he can no longer painlessly ignore one of the
demands of the constitution. Article 94 obliges the head of state to sign a
law, if parliament overrides a veto on it. Leonid Danylovych [Kuchma]
ignored this norm. Viktor Andriyovych [Yushchenko] cannot follow his

From now on, if the president does not sign such a document within a ten-day
period, the speaker will do so for him. Besides this, the head of state will
lose the right to a delaying veto with regard to laws which concern
amendments to the constitution.

And the president can no longer dismiss the prime minister. On the other
hand, some of his rights have increased. The new edition of Article 97
allows not only 150 MPs to raise the issue of a vote of confidence in the
government, it allows the head of state to do so too. If 226 MPs support
such an initiative of a third of the MPs corpus (or of the president), the
cabinet has to resign.

By the way, from 1 January a fairly strange situation will take shape around
the central executive body. Who and how to correctly dismiss the cabinet is
clear in principle. Who will form the new one and how – not very. It is
defined that from winter 2006 parliament should appoint the government at
the introduction of the president and on the proposal of the MP coalition.
But no coalition can be formed until spring 2006. Funny, isn’t it?

It is also funny that in January, the leader of the nation will get the
additional right to dismiss parliament, a right he cannot use (at a minimum)
until May. Earlier, the president could dismiss parliament if MPs did not
begin work within 30 days of one session.

Now a second right is formally added to the first: the head of state gains
the possibility to dismiss parliament if a new cabinet if not formed within
two months after the resignation of the [previous] cabinet. But the
president cannot use this right for the time being.

Why? Pursuant to the current edition of Article 90 of the constitution, the
authority of parliament cannot be ended prematurely within the last six
months of the authority of the president. But from 1 January, the new
edition comes into effect: now parliament cannot be dismissed in yet another
case – when less than half a year is left until a parliamentary election.

The president’s abilities are limited on one more issue. Up to now, the
cabinet was directed in its work by presidential decree as well as by law
and by the constitution. Now the government must react only to those
presidential decrees taken within the framework of the constitution. And in
just a bit, it will essentially narrow the head of state’s influence on the

On the other hand, the rights of parliament are increasing slowly but
surely. The government (which may soon include an unlimited number of

deputy prime ministers, in contrast to the current three as earlier was the case)
will carry responsibility before parliament as well as before the president.
Parliamentary resolutions (passed within the framework of its authority)
will have the force of law on the cabinet.

The General Accounting Office (tied to parliament from 1 January) will not
only keep track of the process of spending state funds, but will also
examine all income coming into the country’s budget. In the event of a
premature end to the president’s authority, the speaker (and not the prime
minister as now) will begin to fulfil the duties of the head of state.

In addition to everything else, parliament will lose a reason for conflict
with the National Bank of Ukraine [NBU]: in just a few days, the NBU will
lose the right to initiate legislation.

Finally, parliament decided to put an end to presidential initiatives on one
fairly delicate issue. Earlier the constitution read: state awards, state
holidays and also the manner of use of state symbols was determined only by
law and in no other way.

Leonid Danylovych and Viktor Andriyovych had their own opinions on this. In
order to put an end to this issue, MPs increased the authority of parliament
in one other point – determining state symbols.

And life promises to get harder for MPs in some ways. From now on the
constitution strictly forbids an MP from:

– being engaged in enterprise;
– being a member of the leadership body (supervisory council) of an
enterprise (organization), whose aim is to earn profit;
– to have a salary “on the side”.

Exceptions were made for creative, scientific and pedagogical activities.
Violating these rules results in losing the MP mandate. Of course, a court
ruling should come first.

One could consider these to be all the main constitutional novelties which
come into force from January 1. But there is one more important correction
which deserves a separate discussion.
                                INTERESTING ARITHMETIC 
Six months ago a little scandal flared up in the Ukrainian political
establishment and then died down immediately. At the beginning of summer,
the head of the Central Electoral Commission [CEC], Yaroslav Davydovych,
stated that the next presidential election should be held in 2010 and not in
2009 (as most citizens thought until recently).

Yaroslav Vasylovvych based his point of view in the following way: he
claimed that the law on presidential elections contained a clear definition
on the period of the powers of the head of state, but merely referred to the

In turn, the constitution reads: the president is elected for a five-year
period. Since Viktor Yushchenko’s inauguration took place on 23 January
2005, then the next presidential election should take place in January 2010.

The opinion of the chief of the CEC provoked a real storm: some shamed him,
others mocked him. But a careful study shows: the old head of the counting
brigade is probably right.

The law really does read: the term of authority of the head of state of
Ukraine is determined by the constitution. Article 13 of the constitution
(to which Davydovych’s opponents referred) states: “The next election for
president of Ukraine is held on the last Sunday of the October of the fifth
year of the president’s authority”.

However, the merciless critics of the CEC chair forgot that the new edition
of the constitution comes into force on 1 January. And in it, this clause
reads a bit differently. The difference between the two variants is not
big – in the version under political reform, there is no mention of October.

What month exactly of the fifth year of the president’s authority then is
considered the last? Nobody really knows. In any case the opinions of
interested parties differ on the issue.

Everyone understands it the way he wants. Some (probably mistakenly) count
the necessary period from the beginning of the last presidential campaign
and get October 2009. Others take the beginning mark from the time of Viktor
Yushchenko’s being elected and come up with December of the same year

Still others insist loudly: the president gains his authority from the time
he takes his oath (by the way, Article 104 of the constitution confirms they
are right). Viktor Andriyovych took his oath in January 2005. Add five years
(that is, 60 months) – and you get January 2010.

There is another, fourth, practically fantastic version. It is hard to
accuse its authors of lacking a sharp mind, and they have their own view on
arithmetic and logic. We acquaint you with their calculations.

     Position number one: Yushchenko took upon himself presidential

     authority in 2005.
     Position two: from there the fifth year of the president’s authority
     begins in 2010.
     Position three: the last calendar month of 2010 is December.
Conclusion: the next presidential election should be held in December
2010. How so you like that little variant? I thought so.

We intentionally refrain from discussing the vulnerable spots of the
hypothesis (just like all those preceding). We merely point out that final
clarity on this issue should be given by the one whose has the status to do
so – the Constitutional Court. And the sooner, the better.
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Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, December 14, 2005

KYIV – Ukraine is not ready to become a full-fledged member of NATO,

Senior Advisor of the RAND Corporation, former Ambassador of the
USA to NATO and US representative to the West European Union,
Robert Hunter said in an interview, published in the journal of the US
Council on Foreign Relations.

“I can say that Ukraine is not ready to become a member of NATO, NATO

is not ready for that and NATO – Russia relations are not ready, too”, Mr
Hunter said. A nation, stating its intention to join the Alliance, must be fully
ready to become a part of the West. Any state may join NATO, if it meets
internal demands of the organization, realizing that NATO doesn’t threaten
any subject of international relations.

As Robert Hunter said, there are two summits slated at this point. One

will almost certainly take place in Riga, Latvia, probably next October or
November; a smaller summit is planned for the last year of the Bush
administration. Some people are saying that that second summit should
issue an invitation to Ukraine to join along with possibly one or two other
countries, like Croatia.

As he said, this is going to force a major debate, I suspect more serious
than any debate on NATO enlargement since the very first one at the

Madrid Summit in 1997 over the entrance of the Czech Republic,
Hungary, and Poland, for a couple of simple reasons.
Among these he named both internal and external factors. One, it is still
not clear that the democratic experiment in Ukraine is taking hold and
certain differences in the Western and Eastern populations’ perception
of NATO integration.

The Council on Foreign Relation is the most influential private organization,
engaged in foreign relations. Among the organization’s staffers, there are
former and active high-ranking officials, whose activities are connected
with international issues, famous scientists, business and media leaders, as
well as NGOs in charge of human rights protection and humanitarian issues.
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC)
New York, NY, Columbia, MD, Monday, Dec 5, 2005

TO:       Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
             Yuri Yekhanurov, Prime Minister of Ukraine

FROM:  Ihor Gawdiak, UACC President

We are writing to convey our profound shock and distress concerning the
horrific statement made on 4 November by the heads of the International
Academy of Manpower Management (MAUP) in support of the Iranian
President’s statement that Israel should be wiped off the map.

President Yushchenko’s exemplary record so far in combatting anti-
Semitism will be reversed and besmirched if a swift, outspoken protest
is not issued from the President and Ukraine’s government in response.

Ukrainian-Israeli relations are at risk. Also at risk are the efforts of the
Ukrainian American community to gain support for the graduation of
Ukraine from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, now
coming up for a crucial vote in the U.S. Congress.

These efforts have been supported by leading American Jewish
organizations and this very cooperation may now be at risk. Ukraine’s
acceptance into various European organizational structures may also
be hampered.

Everything, in fact, that makes us human -above and beyond political and
economic consequences–calls for a strong, decisive and immediate
response to this outrageous manifestation of hatred.

It has been said that one cannot legislate morality, but Ukraine may need to
look into whether current legislative approaches can be brought to bear in
this situation to prevent teaching in the future that incites racial,
ethnic, or religious prejudice or whether new provisions need to be devised
and implemented.   -30-
Ihor Gawdiak, President, UACC: Email: ukrdc@aol.com

FOOTNOTE: The U.S. Senate passed legislation this fall, introduced
by Senator Dick Lugar, that would graduate Ukraine from the
restrictions imposed by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.  Reports
from the Hill now indicate the U.S. House of Representatives will not
pass similar legislation in 2005.  The drive to graduate Ukraine from
the Jackson-Vanik Amendment will have to be carried over into 2006.
Ukraine has met all the requirements for such graduation since the late
1990’s as certified by President Clinton and President Bush. EDITOR
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
          Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

TotalCatholic.com. The Universe Catholic Newspaper
Manchester, England, UK, Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Benedict XVI expressed shock when he looked at the documents that
showed the scale of the Nazi-led massacre of Jews in the Ukraine during
World War II.

The Pope wrote a letter on this topic to Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger,
retired archbishop of Paris, on the occasion of the 3rd European Encounter
Between Jews and Catholics, promoted by the European Jewish Congress.

The event, held Dec. 4 in Paris, gathered some 700 representatives of
Judaism and the Catholic Church, including a Vatican representative,
Cardinal Georges Cottier. During the encounter Patrick Desbois presented
the results of his investigation in the Ukraine of the mass graves where
more than 1 million Jews were buried by the Nazis in the wake of the
invasion of 1941.

Cardinal Lustiger reported to Benedict XVI these discoveries, and in
response, the Pope wrote a letter to the prelate, dated Dec. 1, to express
his support. “Upon reading your letter, and the documents sent previously, I
was shocked to realize to what point the power of evil took possession of
our people, making it possible for something so monstrous to take place, as
what is revealed in these documents,” wrote the German-born Pontiff.

“Until now I had never heard of these systematic assassination campaigns
in the Ukraine that had preceded the horror of the extermination camps of
Jews,” the Holy Father stated.

The Pope continued: “Only now have I been able to conceive what the
demonic powers of evil, which had reigned for 12 years over our people,
had been able to carry out, by the complete overthrow of moral obligations
and the destruction of consciences, to a level that would be impossible to
believe, if it had not been established with alarming precision.”

He invited the cardinal “to pray without ceasing to the Lord so that he
protects us from these powers in the future.” At the same time the Holy
Father confirmed the “consoling” fact that “the Ukrainian metropolitan of
the time had taken a clear position against these practices, and that today
there are Catholic priests that endeavor to clarify the truth.”

The European Encounter Between Jews and Catholics offered the opportunity
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s
declaration “Nostra Aetate,” which marked a historic turn in Jewish-Catholic
relations. The event also recognized the work done by Pope John Paul II to
foster mutual relations.  -30-

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

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 14, 2005

KYIV – On December 14, Doctor Dmytro Kvit (Lviv Municipal Children’s
Hospital),  Doctor Anton Kierner (Barmherziger Brüder) and Vira Pavlyuk
(Ukraine 3000) signed a tripartite cooperation memorandum in the Austrian
city of Eisenstadt.

Kateryna Yushchenko, Head of the Supervisory Council of the Ukraine 3000
Foundation, attended this ceremony. She said “one more Ukrainian children’s
hospital has found a partner for long-term cooperation in the framework of
the Hospital to Hospital program.”

“I believe this partnership will help pediatricians at the Lviv hospital to
work more efficiently, and I also know that Ukrainian and Austrian doctors
will jointly create new opportunities to normally treat little patients from
the Lviv region,” she added.

Dmytro Kvit and Anton Kierner discussed possible cooperation projects
between the hospitals. The memorandum outlines general directions of
cooperation and is only the first step towards the conclusion of agreements
on specific projects.

For example, the Austrians are going to conduct a contest to invite young
Ukrainian colleagues to practice at their clinics or to exchange protocols
and consult each other to treat child diseases. They might also operate on a
Ukrainian child suffering from brain cancer.

In the middle of January 2006 a working group of doctors from Barmherziger
Brüder will come to the Lviv Municipal Hospital to meet with the doctors and
to enhance their cooperation.

The memorandum is the second cooperation agreement signed between
Ukrainian children’s hospitals and European clinics. In November, the
Ukraine 3000 Foundation helped the Kharkiv Institute for Child Protection
sign a memorandum with the Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.

The Hospital to Hospital program is intent to improve health care for
children by finding foreign partners such as hospitals, universities,
medical foundations and pharmaceutical companies for 23 children’s
hospitals throughout Ukraine.  -30-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/5_4904.html

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
          Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

                    Pora enters Ukraine’s 2006 parliamentary elections

The Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 2, Issue 232
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C., Wed, Dec 14, 2005

The youth group Pora (It’s 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 (pora.org.ua).

The once united Orange coalition will now enter the elections divided among
five blocs and parties. These include President Viktor Yushchenko’s Peoples
Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU), 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 attract
additional votes or split Orange voters.

The hard-line opposition forces 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 will likely tie
the SPU for seats.

The fragmented Orange coalition is undoubtedly a failure for President
Yushchenko, who sought to maintain Orange unity through a strong
pro-presidential party. Only two small parties, Solidarity and the Youth
Party, opted to merge with NSNU. One wing of Rukh joined the NSNU bloc
while another created its own bloc.

Opinion polls consistently show that only six blocs will definitely win
seats in the new parliament: NSNU, Tymoshenko, SPU, KPU, Regions, and
Speaker of Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn’s 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 Soiuz party).

Pora-RiP will target two groups of voters. First, Pora-RiP will compete with
the Tymoshenko bloc for disgruntled Orange voters. Second, the bloc may
attract 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 2002 elections the Winter Crop
Generation party, modeled on Russia’s Union of Right Forces, failed to enter
parliament after obtaining only 2.02%. Pora-RiP could obtain support in the
same constituency as the Greens in 1998 or the Lytvyn bloc next year, about

RiP is a long-established party that grew out of Rukh in the 1990s. The
Pora-RiP bloc has a number of well-known and respected individuals in its
top ten, who should ensure its popularity. RiP’s leader is Finance Minister
Viktor Pynzenyk.

Volodymyr Filenko and Taras Stetskiv, also on the list, were the
intermediaries between Yushchenko’s election headquarters and the organizers
of the street protests and tent city on the Maidan. Interior Minister Yuriy
Lutsenko, another NSNU-Maidan intermediary, was tempted to join the
Pora-RiP bloc but has opted to remain on the SPU ticket.

Serhiy Taran, head of the Reporters without Frontiers Kyiv office, and Pora
leaders Vladyslav Kaskiv and Yevhen Zolotariov are also well known. These
Pora leaders belong to the wing of Pora commonly referred to as “yellow
Pora” because of the color of their symbols.

The other wing, “black Pora,” condemned the yellow wing’s creation of a
Pora political party, noting that after Serbia’s Otpor (Resistance) group
established a party, failed to enter parliament.

The head of the Pora-Rip list is Vitaliy Klichko, a world-class boxer.
Klichko explained that he wants to help young people to enter parliament —
individuals “who never figured in corruption scandals” (Ukrayinska pravda,
December 13).

This was a clear reference to the September accusations that rocked
Yushchenko’s entourage. “It is pleasant to stand together with people who
have clean hands,” Klichko commented.

In the 2004 Ukrainian elections, as in earlier democratic revolutions in
Serbia and Georgia, youth sought to pressure their elders to unite the
opposition in order to successfully oppose the regime. The Pora-RiP bloc
also wants to reunite the Orange coalition into a new, pro-Yushchenko
parliamentary majority in the new parliament.

This strategy arises out of two fears.

First, as Filenko warned, “Our aim is also to slap on the wrists those who
are thinking about joining with Yanukovych,” (Ukrayinska pravda, December
12). This threat refers to the September memorandum signed by Yushchenko
with Yanukovych as well as opposition within the Yushchenko camp to
Tymoshenko’s return as prime minister.

Second, the democrats fear the threat posed by the “revenge” of former
president Leonid Kuchma’s regime through a victory by Regions of Ukraine.
The threat of “revenge” was outlined in alarmist tones by Ihor Zhdanov,
first deputy head of the central executive committee of NSNU (Ukrayinska
pravda, December 8).

Zhdanov called for unity within the Orange camp to fend off Regions of
Ukraine. What he ignores is that the threat exists because Yushchenko has
failed to honor his oft-repeated 2004 campaign pledge that “bandits would
sit in prison.”

A new Pora leaflet pointedly asks, “Why are they not sitting [in prison]?”
alongside portraits of Yanukovych and other senior Kuchma officials. The
Tymoshenko bloc will therefore not be the only force to draw support from
the radical wing of the Orange camp.

All of the senior Kuchma-era officials who participated in abuse of office
and election fraud appear on the Regions of Ukraine 2006 list, as none of
them have been charged. They could obtain immunity after Regions of
Ukraine enters next year’s parliament.

As Zhdanov 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 the outcome. Yet again, Pora will play a central role.
Taras Kuzio, is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for European, Russian
and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University, Washington, DC
tkuzio@gwu.edu; LINK: www.Jamestown.org


CORRECTION: The story above was published as article 8 in 
the AUR#618 for December 13. It is being republished here as
there were some errors in the previous article.  EDITOR
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
19.                               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: http://www.day.kiev.ua/154365/

CORRECTION: The story above was published as article 1 in 
the AUR#618 for December 13. It is being republished here as
there were some errors in the previous article. EDITOR
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 following link to see the book about Khasevych:
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                          COSSACKS AND THEIR EXPLOITS

By Volodymyr Suprunenko for WU
Welcome to Ukraine magazine, Issue 3 (45)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2005, Pages 78-82

Volodymyr SUPRUNENKO, a member of historical expedition, set on a

journey along the Dnipro River, visiting places associated with the Cossack
past, and now some of what he saw and heard he relates in a story written
for WU.

The Island of Khortytsya, once the very heart of Zaporizka Sich, on the
Dnipro River was our starting point. We travelled along the river, making
stops here and there, enjoying the scenery and talking to people. What we
were interested in most were the traces of the Cossack past that we hoped

we would find on our way. And we did – but what we saw was not exactly
what we had hoped to see.

One of the first stops was at a village called Ostriv. A seventy-something
villager, Zinayida Budymko, came forward to show us around. Despite her age,
she was so nimble and quick-paced we had to make an effort not to fall
behind. She took us to a hill on the top of which stood a very old, big
wooden cross, the symbolic centre of the village.

Then the old villager led us to all those places in the village which, as
far as she knew, had something to do with the Cossacks of old. She showed
us a place close to a big communal garden, which, she claimed, used to be a
Cossacks’ burial ground. From there we proceeded to a place the locals call
Horodok, and which, they believed, used to be a fortified Cossack

“Over there, where that last house stands, there used to be a defensive
wall, and further on there were other fortifications. I was told by old Baba
Tertyshykha that in her young years she had once discovered an ancient oak
door on the slope of that hill that faces the river.

She opened that door and felt a powerful draught – there must have been a
tunnel or something leading into the depths of the hill. Could have been a
hiding place, or something. Also, they say that the Cossacks used to moor
their chayky (boats) yonder, at the bank. There was a lot of fighting going
around these places, and for years and years, during the floods, in spring,
the water, they say, turned brown, as though coloured by old blood.”

Our next stop was in the town of Nikopol that in the times of old used to be
the village of Mykytyn Rih. About twenty-five hundred years ago there was a
ford there which was used by the Scythians to deliver iron ore to the
Scythian settlements further inland. In more recent times, the great Solony
Shlyakh – Salt Trail passed there. Chumaky (Ukrainian salt merchants)
delivered salt to various parts of Ukraine.

A Cossack named Mykyta Tsyhan founded the village in the early sixteenth
century. Later, it developed into a large Cossack settlement, another sich.
The Cossacks fought with the Poles for the control of the ford. In 1648,
Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s troops captured the ford and the Polish strongholds in
the area. The very same year he was elected hetman at a sich rada (Cossack
general assembly).

There is a monument to Khmelnytsky right in the centre of Nikopol which got
its name in 1782 after a victory of Russian troops over the Cossacks (Nike –
is an ancient Greek word for victory). It is ironic that the town with such
a name has a monument to one of the greatest Cossack leaders. Incidentally,
some of the streets of Nikopol were recently renamed to honour Cossacks
and their leaders.

On a deserted beach, with only river gulls for company, in the vicinity of
the village of Kapulivka I found a lot of shards which I showed later to
someone who knew local history and lore well. He said that most of these
shards were from ancient Scythian pottery but some could have been of later
Cossack times.

The Cossacks founded in the vicinity of the present day village of Kapulivka
their settlement, Chortomlytska Sich which became one of the most important
Cossack centres until it was destroyed at the end of the eighteenth century.

The village boasts two monuments to one and the same Cossack leader, Ivan
Sirko, who was said to have commanded Cossack units in more than fifty
battles and not a single of those battles was lost. Also, he was said to be
able to change his appearance at will, a sort of Cossack Proteus. This
famous Cossack commander died peacefully in the village of Hrushivka where
he tended his beehives. His body was taken to Chortomlytska Sich where it
was buried with great pomp.

In 1709, Russian troops raided Sich and destroyed many of the Cossack tombs,
but the Cossacks had unearthed Sirko’s remains and hidden them, together
with the Cossack treasures. When, some time later, Cossacks returned to
Sich, Sirko’s body was reburied. At the site of the original tomb was placed
a large rock; now you can see a memorial plaque there. Many villagers are
great enthusiasts of the Cossack history and are eager to tell stories from
the Cossack past and they do it with gusto and in great detail.

Stories about Sirko are particularly popular and colourful. Volodymyr
Salamakha, a much-respected senior inhabitant of Kapulivka, is a great
storyteller. He told us stories about his ancestors being Cossacks and about
his being a direct descendant of Mykhailo Salamakha, an orderly of Sirko,
and about Sirko’s last battle, and about his death among the bees, and about
his tomb being destroyed by the Russian troops, and about Sirko’s reburial.

He got so emotional that he wept when he was reciting a poem about Sirko
and his great military exploits. The poem said inpart that “Sirko is
immortal and will come back to Sich.”

The first monument, a bust, to Sirko was erected on Kapulivsky Mys
(Promontory) at Sirko’s grave in 1956. There was not a single portrait known
to depict the likeness of Sirko, and the sculptor created an imaginary
portrait. In 1967, when, because of the dam that was being built, the waters
began to rise, the grave and the monument were moved elsewhere in the
village of Kapulivka.

The remains were interred but minus the skull which was sent to Leningrad
(now St Petersburg, Russia) where in a special laboratory Sirko’s face was
reconstructed with the skull providing the basis for the reconstruction. In
1980, a new bust, based on the reconstructed face, was created and placed at
Sirko’s grave.

The old one, instead of being destroyed, at the request of local history
enthusiasts, was moved to the yard of a local school. Thus Kapulivka wound
up with two monuments to Sirko. It was only in 1990 that the skull was
returned to Ukraine but instead of being put back into the grave, it was
kept in museums. It took the skull another ten years to find its way back
into the grave.

In the little town of Pokrovske, “one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever
seen” in the words of the Ukrainian film director Oleksandr Dovzhenko, there
was very little, indeed, that indicated that once it had been a Cossack
place through and through, except for two plaques, one of which said in a
few, formal words that the town had once been a Cossack centre, a sich, and
the other mentioned a Cossack leader, Petro Kalnyshevsky. And, probably, a
third reminder was the name of a store, Nova Sich. An old man I talked to
knew of the heroic past of Pokrovske but concluded with a sigh, “But now
it’s all gone, even the memory about it is hardly alive.”

I knew from the reading I had done before the trip that Pokrovske was one of
the most important Cossack centres of Zaporizka Sich. Cossacks were warriors
but with the passage of time they were settling down, becoming land tillers
and cattle-raisers, preserving at the same time their freedom-loving and
independent spirit. The Imperial power was not content to destroy Sich as an
autonomous unit – it wanted to destroy its spirit too.

The central Sich church is now underwater, several yards away from the bank.
At the time when the dam at Kakhovka across the Dnipro was finished, a huge
artificial lake was created, and its waters covered a big territory. Many
places and landmarks found themselves on the bottom of that lake.

The church in Pokrovske was one of them. Some of the icons were saved by the
locals but no one, when I started asking around, admitted to having any. The
place, where the underwater church stood, had been marked with a buoy but
then even this reminder was soon gone.

The village of Respublikanets in Kherson Oblast used to be a major Cossack
centre, Kamyanska Sich, called so because of a nearby small river, Kamyanka.
I found an old stone cross at the grave of Kost’ Hordiyenko, a Cossack
leader (I could even make several letters incised into it, which said
otaman, or leader), a plaque at the place of archaeological excavations in
which a Cossack had been unearthed, a cave on the slope of a hill facing the
Dnipro, which was said to have been a hiding place, and ruins of a
nineteenth-century landowner’s estate.

I was shown another stone cross, almost completely sunk into the ground, at
the outskirts of the village. I was told it had once stood at a Cossack
grave. I made an attempt to clean its surface but the inscription remained
illegible. Not much for a place once associated with the Cossack glory.

Kamyanska Sich was founded by Hordiyenko in 1709 after the destruction of
Chortomlytska Sich. In those times it stood on the border with the Turkish
empire and the Cossacks at first had to fight off Turks, but later, when the
Russian troops in a series of military campaigns moved the border further
away, they had to deal with a new threat which proved to be much more


1419-1437. Religious Hussite wars in Bohemia (now Czech Republic), in
which Ukrainian troops took part as mercenaries.

1482. A devastating raid of the Crimean Tartars into Ukraine; Kyiv is
taken and pillaged; a great many people are captured and driven off to
The Tartar raids of the second half of the 15th – first half of the 16th
centuries caused depopulation of the vast areas of southern-eastern Ukraine.
This territory remained unclaimed either by Poland or by Muscovy and
gradually it began to be settled by those people who later came to be known
as “Cossacks.”
Among the settlers were many refugees from the lands of Ukraine which
became the target of Poland’s expansionist policies; in the second half of
the 16th century, they were joined by certain numbers of disgruntled
nobility who formed the upper layer of the nascent Cossack community.
Late 15th – first half of the 16th centuries. A new martial society – the
Cossacks – is beginning to evolve in Ukraine’s southern steppe frontier.
The term was applied initially to venturesome men who entered the steppe
seasonally for hunting, fishing, and gathering of honey. Their numbers were
continually augmented by peasants fleeing serfdom and adventurers from other
social strata, including the nobility.
Banding together for mutual protection, the Cossacks by the mid-16th century
had developed a military organization of a peculiarly democratic kind, with
a rada (a general assembly) as the supreme authority and elected officers,
including the commander-in-chief, or hetman.

Their centre was the Sich, an armed camp in the lands of the lower Dnipro
“beyond the rapids” (za porohamy – hence, Zaporizhzhya; adjective –
Zaporizka). The Cossacks defended Ukraine’s frontier population from Tartar
incursions, conducted their own campaigns into Crimean territory and, in
their flotillas of light craft, even raided Turkish coastal cities in

1550. Dmitry Vyshnevetsky (alias Bayda), a scion of the Gedyminovyches,
princes and rulers of Volyn, is elected by the Cossacks starosta (governor)
of Cherkasy and Kaniv.
1556. Establishment of Zaporizka Sich.
1558-1560. Joint campaigns of Cossacks and Muscovy troops, led by

Bayda, in the Crimea.

First half of the 17th century. Cossacks become involved in the raging
religious conflict. In 1620 the entire Zaporizka host joins the Kyivan
Orthodox brotherhood; in the same year a new Orthodox hierarchy is
consecrated in Kyiv under their military protection. Thus, in the great
religious divide, the Cossacks become identified with staunch support of
Orthodoxy and uncompromising opposition to the Uniate church.

1616. A massive Cossack raid, led by Hetman Petro Sahaydachny on the
Crimea and into the Ottoman Empire; Varna, Synop and Kaffa, important
Turkish strongholds are taken.
1617. A Cossack army, led by Petro Sahaydachny, joins the Polish troops
in a military action against Moscow.
1616-1622. Under Petro Sahaydachny, Hetman of the Ukrainian Cossacks,
a regular Ukrainian army is formed.
1621. Turkish-Polish war, in which the Turkish army is routed mostly
thanks to the Ukrainian army led by Petro Sahaydachny.
1623-1628. Mykhailo Doroshenko, Hetman of Ukraine, makes attempts
to establish better relations with Poland and avoid conflicts.
1635. Fortress Kodak is built on the Dnipro River to prevent run-away
peasants from joining the Zaporizka Sich.
1648. Tensions stemming from social discontent, religious strife, and
Cossack resentment of Polish authority finally coalesce and come to a head
in January 1648. Beginning with a seemingly typical Cossack revolt, under
the leadership of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Ukraine is quickly engulfed in
an unprecedented war and revolution.
1648, May. A Polish army is defeated by the Cossack army near Korsun; a
considerable part of Ukraine is cleared of Polish troops.
1646, August. Cossacks defeat another Polish army at Zborov; a peace
treaty with Poland is signed; a census conducted in the Sich shows that the
number of free Cossacks is about 40,000 people.
1654. At a Great Assembly convened at Pereyaslav (Pereyaslavska Rada),
Khmelnytsky concludes with Muscovy an agreement whose precise nature has
generated enormous controversy.

Some historians have emphasized Ukraine’s acceptance of the tsar’s
suzerainty, which subsequently legitimized Russian rule; others have
stressed Moscow’s recognition of Ukraine’s autonomy (including an elective
hetmancy, self-government, and the right to conduct foreign relations) that
was virtually tantamount to independence; Khmelnytsky becomes increasingly
disillusioned with the Muscovite alliance.

1658-1659. War with Russia; Hetman Vyhovsky attempts to break relations
with Muscovy whose aggressive policies are aimed at doing away with
Ukraine’s independence.
1660. Hetman Yury Khmelnytsky signs an agreement with Poland that places
Ukraine under Polish protectorate; Ukraine is politically split along the
Dnipro into Pravoberezhna (Right Bank) and Livoberezhna (Left Bank)
1667, January. A peace treaty is signed between Muscovy and Poland;
Livoberezhna Ukraine stays under Muscovy, and Pravoberezhna goes to

After the partition of 1667, the autonomous hetman state, or Hetmanate, was
limited territorially to Left Bank Ukraine; at the head of the state stood
the hetman, elected theoretically by a general Cossack assembly but in
effect by senior officers, who, in turn, were largely swayed by the tsar’s
preference; the terms of autonomy were renegotiated at each election of a
new hetman, and over time this led to a steady erosion of his prerogatives;
nevertheless, for a century the Hetmanate enjoyed a large measure of
self-government, as well as considerable economic and cultural development.

1670, June. A Cossack army led by I. Sirko takes the Turkish fortress of
1687-1689. A joint Russian-Ukrainian army conducts military operations in
the Crimea; the Ukrainian units commanded by I. Samoylovych, numbered
20-30,000 troops.
1687-1709, Ivan Mazepa, Hetman of Ukraine. The hetman state reaches its
zenith in the hetmancy of Ivan Mazepa.

Relying at first on the support of Tsar Peter I, Mazepa exercised near
monarchical powers in the Hetmanate. Literature, art, and architecture in
the distinctive Cossack Baroque style flourished under his patronage, and
the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, the first Ukrainian institution of higher learning,
experienced its golden age.

Mazepa aspired to annex the Right Bank and re-create a united Ukrainian
state, initially still under the tsar’s sovereignty. But Peter’s
centralizing reforms and the exactions imposed on the Hetmanate in
connection with the Second Northern War appeared to threaten Ukrainian

In 1708, in furtherance of his plans for independence, Mazepa made a secret
alliance with Charles XII of Sweden, but in the decisive Battle of Poltava
(1709) their allied forces were defeated. Mazepa fled to Moldavia, where he
died shortly thereafter.
1708. The town of Baturyn, residence of hetmans of Livoberezhna Ukraine,
is taken by Russian troops commanded by Menshikov and its population is
put to the sword.
1709. Chortomlytska Sich, a major Cossack settlement, is destroyed by
Russian forces.
1710. First constitution of Ukraine, compiled by Hetman Pylyp Orlyk.

1734-1750. Haydamaky insurrections on Pravoberezhna Ukraine against
Polish rule; uprisings in Livoberezhna Ukraine are put down.
1764, November. Hetmanate is abolished in Livoberezhna Ukraine.
1775, August. Empress Catherine II issues a manifesto that proclaims
abolishment of Zaporizhska Sich, and this bastion of the Cossacks is
destroyed by Russian troops.

Based on The Ukrainian Historical Calendar ’95; edited by P. Tolochko,
the academician of the National Academy of Ukraine.  -30-
LINK: http://www.wumag.kiev.ua/index2.php?param=pgs20053/78
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