Daily Archives: March 20, 2006

AUR#676 Blue Days In Ukraine, Will Colors Change?; IRI Election Delegation; James Sherr: Internal Weakness & External Dependence

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

Ukraine’s once every 5 years parliamentary election, Sunday, March 26, 2006
Has taken much of the power away from the President and the People.

Members of parliament now selected by top party leaders and their oligarchs.
Parliament will now select the Prime Minister

The people of Ukraine, now that Parliament has much of taken their power away,
have limited real ‘people’ power. Millions of Ukrainian citizens now only get to
vote (1) directly for a President (with very limited powers) once every five years
and get to vote (2) directly for a political party, once every five years, whose
leaders and oligarchs will then personally select all the members of Parliament.
The people of Ukraine no longer get to select directly any members of Parliament.
Most rural geographic regions representing thousands of small towns and
villages in Ukraine will no longer have any direct representation in Parliament
and very little indirect representation. Rural Ukraine will be lost and left behind.
This top down power structure has replaced the bottom-up power structure set
up after Independence in 1991 ‘thanks’ to legislative actions by the Parliament
over the past few years and a very weak, deeply faulted Ukrainian constitution
which gives far too many powers to the Parliament rather than to the people.
The people of Ukraine have once again lost much of their democratic power
and the Parliament has won. Millions have lost, a few ‘elite’ have gained.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
A hard-fought election will decide whether the
orange revolution needs to change its colors
By Yuri Zarakhovich, Kiev, TIME Europe magazine
From the TIME Europe magazine March 27, 2006 issue

By Brian Spadora, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, Sun, Mar 19, 2006


International Republican Institute (IRI)
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 3, 2006

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1150 gmt 19 Mar 06
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Sunday, Mar 19, 2006


By Kostis Geropoulos, Political Editor, New Europe
Athens, Greece, Monday, March 20, 2006

Askold Krushelnycky’s Book “An Orange Revolution”
: By Roman Kupchinsky, Journalist, Prague
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006

Ukraine-U.S. Business Council, Washington, D.C., Fri, Mar 17, 2006


One of first journalists to report truthfully on the genocidal famine in Ukraine
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA)
Toronto,Ontario, Canada, March 20, 2006

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 17, 2006

“Ukraine in the Geostrategic Context” plus Brzezinki lectures and interviews
Kyiv Mohyla Akademy and Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA)
by Prof. V. N. Bandera, Temple University
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 19
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006

By James Sherr, Fellow of the Conflict Studies Research
Centre, UK Defence Academy and Lecturer in International
Relations at Lincoln College, Oxford
French Institute of International Relations (IFRI)
Institut Francais des Relations Internationales
‘Russe.Nei Visions’ No. 9, electronic collection
Paris, France, March, 2006
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006
A hard-fought election will decide whether the
orange revolution needs to change its colors

By Yuri Zarakhovich, Kiev, TIME Europe magazine
From the TIME Europe magazine March 27, 2006 issue

KIEV – Under bleached winter skies, Kiev is saturated with color – blues,
ice whites, reds and, of course, orange. Political parties have plastered
every wall in their liveries; their supporters declare allegiance with vivid
scarves, headbands and banners at rallies patrolled by riot police.

It’s as if Hollywood had decided to re-enact the orange revolution that less
than 15 months ago installed the people’s choice, Viktor Yushchenko, as
Ukrainian President. In the Hollywood version Yushchenko would be an
unimpeachable hero and his ousted rival, the former Russia-backed Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych, an unalloyed villain.

But parliamentary elections this Sunday, the real reason for the colorful
factional displays, are set to prove that there are no heroes in Ukrainian
politics – and no irredeemable villains either. Three parties lead a field
of 44 competing for the 450 seats in the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Yushchenko’s liberal-democratic Our Ukraine (ou) faces strong competition
from the Bloc of Yuliya Tymoshenko (BYuT), led by Yushchenko’s erstwhile
ally and now his bitter opponent. And opinion polls suggest that neither
party can expect as many votes as the Party of the Regions (pr). Recent
polls predict just under 18% for ou and 16% for BYuT.

With strong support in predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, pr is
looking at a hefty lead. “We expect to carry well over 35% of the vote,”
Nikolai Azarov, chair of pr’s political council, told Time.

That would not be enough for an outright majority in the Rada but would mark
an extraordinary rehabilitation for Yanukovych, the pr leader originally
declared the winner of the 2004 presidential contest against Yushchenko but
replaced by his rival after vote rigging provoked an outburst of popular

The office of President is not in contention but constitutional reforms have
transferred the selection of Prime Minister and most of the Cabinet from the
President to the Rada.

If Yanukovych gets enough votes to form a coalition with smaller parties, he
will have more influence on selecting a government than Yushchenko. That
would likely undermine the President’s drive to integrate Ukraine more
closely with the West, toward an eventual aim of membership in the European

Instead, Ukraine would once more align itself with Moscow. “This is a very
special election,” says Volodymyr Lytvyn, the Rada speaker and leader of the
centrist People’s Bloc. “At stake is whether Ukraine has passed the point of
no return to its so recent authoritarian past.”

The orange government came to power promising fundamental change that
would make such a return impossible. And to an extent it has delivered: for
business, less red tape and tax; for the wider community, better wages and
pensions, free speech and fair elections.

“Profound democratic changes have occurred both in the structures of the
state and in people’s minds,” says Vasily Doroshchuk, head of Caravan
Records, one of the country’s leading record labels. But these achievements
have been undermined by food and fuel shortages, and soaring inflation.

“Some 40% [of voters] are still undecided how they will vote,” says the
incumbent Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov. “Most of them are our supporters,
but they’re now at a loss, because they expected too much too fast, which
simply couldn’t happen.” He predicts that “the Rada will end up split the
same way as society.”

Those fault lines deepened last autumn, when Yushchenko and Tymoshenko,
one-time comrades-in-arms who spearheaded the orange revolution, traded
accusations of betraying the cause. Their rift will now play out at the
ballot box. “It’s like choosing between mother and father when the family
breaks up,” says record-label boss Doroshchuk.

As often happens in divorce cases, a third party may benefit. A pr activist
says, baldly: “We’re preparing to grab the rewards of our political
comeback.” The party’s official program is much more benign:
improvements to the economy and a better deal for Ukraine in the price of
natural gas, nearly doubled by Russia after it briefly suspended supplies
late last December.

“Russia is an influence, of course,” says Yekhanurov. “It’s like having a
furnace the other side of an inadequate partition wall: they turn it up, you
feel the heat; they turn it down, you feel the cold.”

As the election approaches, the political temperature is being stoked by the
prospect of the largest parties being forced to govern in coalition. Rada
Speaker Lytvyn dismisses talk of an ou-pr pairing. “I don’t see these two
entering a coalition,” he says.

“But should I prove wrong, I can only say that there are no principles left
in politics any more.” His reaction was echoed by Tymoshenko in a TV
interview last week. “If they go for it, what was the revolution all about,
then?” she asked.

Failure to establish a workable government won’t just call into question the
meaning of the orange revolution. A standoff between Yushchenko and
the Rada could unleash the violence and disintegration the revolution

“The country will not endure the ensuing confrontation,” says Lytvyn. “Its
stamina is exhausted.” Fair elections are a legacy of the orange revolution.
But denied an upbeat, Hollywood ending, Ukraine’s political narrative could
still turn into something as bleak and ambiguous as a cold war thriller.

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

By Brian Spadora, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, Sun, Mar 19, 2006

In December 2004, Orest Temnycky of Clifton traveled to Ukraine — the

land of his ancestors — where hundreds of thousands of demonstrators
had gathered in the capital city of Kiev to protest a rigged presidential
election in which one candidate was poisoned.

Temnycky was among the thousands of Ukrainian-Americans who served

as election monitors in a vote that saw Viktor Yushchenko, who survived
being poisoned, elected president.

This week, Temnycky will return to Ukraine to monitor the nation’s
parliamentary election on March 26. The election is not likely to be as
controversial as the presidential vote, and it will draw just a fraction of
media attention.

But many Ukrainian-Americans in Passaic and Bergen counties say next

week’s vote is as important as the presidential race because it is another
stage in Ukraine’s progress from Soviet state to an independent democracy.

“[The presidential election] was a huge step in the right direction for
Ukraine, but it was one step,” Temnycky said Saturday. “This is an
opportunity to continue to let people know that people around the world
support them on this road.”

After Ukraine gained its independence when the Soviet Union collapsed in
1991, its government was plagued by corruption and, many Ukrainian-

Americans say, hampered by ties to Russia. Yushchenko was elected on
a platform of Westernization, including seeking Ukrainian membership in
the European Union and the World Trade Organization.

Peter Paluch of Rutherford and his daughter, Oksana, 20, will serve as
election monitors for the second time, as will Jerry Kuzemczak, a lawyer who
practices in Clifton. Another of Paluch’s daughters, Uljana, 32, and Zane
Halkowycz of Teaneck will be first-time monitors.

The monitors all gave similar reasons for going — they want Ukraine to
enjoy the benefits of democracy and a free-market economy that they see in
the United States. Honest elections are crucial to continue moving toward
those reforms, especially as many in Ukraine have grown frustrated with
Yushchenko over the slow pace of change.

Oksana Paluch, who will spend her spring break from the University of
Chicago in Ukraine, said she hopes a majority of the candidates elected to
the 450-member parliament support Yushchenko’s policies, but said the
results are less important than the process.

“All those plans revolve around economic improvement and a more democratic
way of life in Ukraine,” she said Friday. “[But] it doesn’t matter who they
vote for, as long as they get a chance to vote.” Her sister, Uljana, agreed.
“People have gone through a lot of trouble to get to this point where they
can vote freely,” she said.

The monitors will oversee an election that is more complicated than anything
American voters are used to. In addition to selecting members of parliament,
voters will choose representatives on the regional, county and local levels.
More than 40 parties have candidates seeking office.

Depending on the voting site, a voter will have to fill out four to six
ballots, some of which are 3 feet long, said Tamara Gallo Olexy, executive
director of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

Turnout is expected to be high, Olexy said, because an amendment to the
Ukrainian constitution gives parliament the right to select the president’s
Cabinet and prime minister. Previously, the president made those

In a twist, polls favor candidates allied with former Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych — the man the Ukrainian Supreme Court and international
observers said rigged the 2004 presidential election. The results were
overturned, leading to Yushchenko’s victory.

Temnycky said he worries that greater influence for Yanukovych could

lead to a rollback of reforms. “People in Ukraine are learning that
democracy isn’t always pretty,” he said. -30-
LINK: http://www.NorthJersey.com
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

International Republican Institute (IRI)
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Republican Institute (IRI) today
announced it will monitor Ukraine’s March 26 parliamentary and local
elections. Delegates will travel to Ukraine to monitor voting and ballot
counting throughout the country. Following the voting, IRI will issue a
statement on the findings of the delegation.

IRI’s delegation will be led by The Honorable Michael Trend, former member
of Britain’s parliament. Other delegates are Steven Berry, President,
Steven K. Berry, LLC; Thomas Carter, President, Commonwealth Consulting
Corp.; Marjorie Finkelnburg, Director of Government Relations, Pfizer; The
Honorable Bohdan Futey, U.S. Court of Federal Claims; Charles Greenleaf,
former Assistant Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development;
Lilibet Hagel, Trustee, Meridian International Center; Reuben Jeffery III,
Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Patricia Morgan, State
Chairman for Rhode Island, Republican National Committee; Gardner

Peckham, Managing Partner, BKSH & Associates; Roman Popadiuk,
former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Bob Schaffer, former Congressman
representing Colorado’s 4th District; and Morgan Williams, Director of
Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer.

Delegates will travel to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on March 21. Once
there, delegates will be briefed by representatives from the U.S. Embassy,
the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Ukrainian
Central Election Commission, international and Ukrainian nongovernmental
organizations, political parties, and representatives of the media.

They will also be briefed on the rights and responsibilities of
international observers and Ukraine election law. Delegates will then be
deployed throughout the country where they will monitor polling stations and
identify and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in Ukraine’s election system,
including campaign regulations, the balloting process, vote tabulation and

IRI staff will also serve as observers and assist in the mission. IRI staff
will be led by Georges Fauriol, Senior Vice President of IRI, Stephen B.
Nix, Regional Director for IRI’s Eurasia division and Chris Holzen, IRI’s
Country Director for Ukraine.

In addition, through a grant from IRI the Democracy Development Foundation
(DDF), a domestic Ukrainian nongovernmental organization, will monitor an
estimated 2,600 polling sites with more than 150 observers. DDF is the only
Ukrainian elections monitoring organization conducting and coordinating both
domestic and international election observation for the parliamentary and
local election.

Since 1993, IRI has worked to help strengthen political parties and good
governance in Ukraine at both national and local levels. IRI also works
with youth, women and civil society to increase their participation in the
political process. In preparation for the March 2006 parliamentary
elections, IRI carried out trainings on campaign management, voter
education, youth mobilization, and political party poll watching. -30-
IRI: A not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing democracy
worldwide. Contact: Lisa Gates, Press Secretary, International

Republican Institute lgates@iri.org, www.iri.org
[ return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1150 gmt 19 Mar 06
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Sunday, Mar 19, 2006

KIEV – Some 3,518 official international observers will monitor the
parliamentary election in Ukraine, which is scheduled for 26 March, the
chairman of the Central Electoral Commission [CEC], Yaroslav Davydovych,
has said. Today the CEC ruled to register the last international observers
to meet the deadline. Davydovych said that 854 observers registered today.

They came from Poland, Romania, France, Sweden, the United States,
Hungary, the International Organization for Fair Elections, the American
Centre for International Labour Solidarity, the Institute for International
Studies foundation, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
[UCCA], the Ukrainian World Congress, the European Network of Election
Monitoring Organizations [ENEMO], the US Agency for International
Development [USAID], the Ukrainian Canadian Congress [UCC].

And from the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutes and Human Rights, the
Council of Europe Information Office in Ukraine, the Observer interregional
foundation for the facilitation of public control over fair elections, the
CIS Interparliamentary Assembly Council, the International Republican
Institute [IRI], the European Parliament, the CIS-ENEMO international
election observation organization, the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development [EBRD], the Ukrainian-Polish Forum and the International Union
of Komsomol Organizations. -30-

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

By Kostis Geropoulos, Political Editor, New Europe
Athens, Greece, Monday, March 20, 2006

“If you look at the latest polls you can see that there are no ways for any
political force to dominate in the parliament which means that any political
alliance will be unstable and thus it will be very complicated to form the
government and lay it on the grounds of having parliamentary support all the
time,” Nikolai Petrov, scholar in residence at the Carnegie Moscow Centre,
told New Europe.

Although there are many political parties competing, the Ukrainian
parliamentary elections is basically a three-horse race with the majority
grip of the votes going to Viktor Yanukovich’s pro-Russian Party of the
Regions, Our Ukraine bloc loyal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko

and Yulia Timoshenko’s party.

Yushchenko and Timoshenko – the two leading figures of the Orange
Revolution – are now heading rival parties in the March 26 vote. In
September 2005, Yushchenko, a moderate politician supporting free markets,
sacked the hard-line Timoshenko, replacing her with pragmatic Yuri
Yekhanurov. However, the present day government isn’t entirely legal since
the cabinet has ignored a no-confidence vote.

Martin Nunn, the director of White’s International, a public relations firm
in Kiev, told New Europe it is an “unlikely scenario that Timoshenko and
Yushchenko will patch up their differences. That rift is very wide.”

Anyway the “Orange Coalition” parties will not have enough votes to form a
majority in parliament and elect a cabinet without taking in Alexander Moroz’
Socialists and Speaker Volodymyr Litvin’s list.

Polls now say the Party of the Regions will take the largest single share of
the vote. “In any case Yanukovich will represent the strongest single
political force in the parliament but it will be needed for him to look for
a coalition,” he said. The “Anti-Orange coalition” may work with the smaller
socialist or communist parties.

A deal with Timoshenko is also possible. “You can’t exclude anything when
dealing with her. She is a brilliant politician. She can change her tactics
any time and thus you can’t exclude – although she is telling all the time
that there are no chances for her to cooperate with Yanukovich – that she is
a politician so she is very pragmatic,” Petrov said.

But some analysts say the future parliament coalition may be comprised of
Our Ukraine bloc and the Regions Party.

Donetsk-based business leader Renat Akhmetov – the money behind Regions

of Ukraine – recently described his own vision regarding the country’s future
in an interview with nationwide television station, TRK Ukrayina. He has
also poured millions of dollars in an American-style political campaign.

The analysts also say Akhmetov could break ties with Yanukovich, his old
friend and political ally. Yanukovich has no financial support base of his
own, and relies on Akhmetov’s System Capital Management Corporation and

the Industrial Union of the Donbas for funding. Nunn said the reclusive
billionaire could step up and lead the government after the election.

“You could end up with a scenario here where Party of the Regions not run

by Yanukovich but one which is run by Akhmetov will form a pact with
Yushchenko and potentially Yulia Timoshenko in order to have a closer knit,
almost coalition-like government of national image,” Nunn said. The “Big
Coalition” could allow Ukraine to deal with the urgent economic problems
that are troubling the former Soviet republic.

A dual alliance between Yushchenko and Yanukovich would be politically
unacceptable for both of them and would anger voters. But Akhmetov is a
different man altogether. “The face of Party of Regions is Yanukovich but
that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is going to be prime minister because
if the party wins, Akhmetov could simply say ‘okay I’ll take over now’
because Akhmetov is on the Party of Regions list,” Nunn said.

“The discussion at the moment is that Timoshenko would take over as

speaker of parliament – so her job would keep the parliament in check –
Akhmetov would head the government and everybody would be happy.”

Our Ukraine bloc has reportedly discussed a possible coalition with the
Party of Regions, but says it will not agree to Yanukovich becoming prime
minister. It has, however, avoided such a categorical refusal regarding a
similar deal with Akhmetov. The two parties have cooperated before when
voting for Yekhanurov and his government.

However, leaving the populist Timoshenko in opposition would be fatal. A
resentful, rejected woman with enormous appeal and attitude may just have
them for lunch. “They may not want her, my friend, but the reality is she is
going to be there,” Nunn said. “For all her misgivings and failings as a
politician she has overall tremendous popularity and as a woman she is
stronger than all the men put together and that is going down well with male
voters and female voters.”

Businessmen supporting Yushchenko including Petro Poroshenko, Transport
Minister Yevhen Chervonenko and former Emergencies Minister Davyd

Zhvania and the Party of Region’s Akhmetov are wary of Timoshenko’s
earlier re-privatisation efforts. But as a parliament speaker Timoshenko will
be less of a threat.

The businessmen are also trying to find a compromise over their zones of
influence. “This is not a typical political election. What is happening here
is that the business interests are moving into politics in order to secure
their business interests,” Nunn said. “Consequently there are no real
political allegiances, only lots of parties so individuals can gain whatever
power they can.”

Political infighting has slowed down growth. “I think investors are more
worried of the fact that you have 10,000 of the top economic brains in this
country concentrating on getting into parliament over the last three months
than running their business deals,” Nunn said.

“We’ve actually seen a major slowdown in industry here. I mean everything is
sort of pending and waiting. Even in our company we probably had half
million dollars-worth of business which was scheduled towards the end of
last year and was moved after the elections.”

The practice of seeking immunity from prosecution by taking up a
parliamentary seat has become standard in post-Soviet Ukraine.

Businessmen are trying to get into parliament because of the immunity that
it gives them. “The first thing the new parliament has to do is to obtain the
new judges for the new Constitutional Court.

The first case the Constitutional Court has to hear is the immunity of
politicians in Ukraine. You’ve got this massive plight to get into
parliament and the first they have to do is elect the people who may well
remove their immunity. That’s the irony,” he said, laughing. -30-

[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Askold Krushelnycky’s Book “An Orange Revolution”

BOOK REVIEW: By Roman Kupchinsky, Journalist, Prague
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006

RE: “An Orange Revolution, A Personal Journey
Through Ukrainian History” by Askold Krushelnycky
Harvill Secker, Random House, London, UK, March, 2006

Ukraine’s history, much of which is linked to it’s numerous quests for
statehood, has an idiosyncrasy rarely seen in other nations. It can be
called the mole factor, after the animal which burrows its way into the
ground and waits for the proper moment to emerge and expose itself.

In 1914 when the Great War began, Symon Petlura, the leader-to-be of
the Ukrainian national revolution, was living in Moscow where he edited a
newspaper, “Ukrayinskaya Zhyzn”, for the Ukrainian expat community,
most of whom served in the Tsarist bureaucracy. When the conflict
began, Petlura wrote an editorial for the paper in which he called upon
Ukrainians to preserve the integrity of the Russian empire at a time of
great danger.

Safe from prosecution, Petlura later emerged from self-exile in Moscow to
lead an attempt to destroy that same empire, which instead of the Romanov’s,
the Bolshevik’s were then successfully fighting to maintain. He failed and
was assassinated in Paris.

Petlura’s historical predecessor, Hetman Ivan Mazepa, had pulled off the
same stunt centuries earlier. In his letters to the Russian Tsar Peter I, he
pledged his undying loyalty to the “Gosudar of all the Rus lands.” Then
came the battle of Poltava where Mazepa suffered his famous defeat and to
this day the name Mazepa remains synonymous with “traitor” for Russians.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, one of the most unexpected and
monumental events of the 20th Century, was, for most people except
Russia’s Vladimir Putin, a glorious event. For many Ukrainians however,
it was a non-event.

True, Ukraine achieved independence, the dream shared by at least part of
the nation, but it was achieved without any bloodshed – it was handed to
them on the proverbial platter and this in itself called forth suspicions
and doubts.

“Here, take your country, go rule yourselves” the descendants of Mazepa
and Petlura were told by Leonid Kravchuk, a former member of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and by Boris Yeltsin, the head
of the Russian Supreme Soviet. The numbed population did not really know
what to make of this offer and managed to screw it up royally.

Centuries of subjugation had done a number on the nation; Russian imperial
rule, supported by Ukrainian quislings, had dulled their instincts of
self-preservation and the will to rule over themselves. Slavery, it seemed,
had become very deeply ingrained in the Ukrainian mentality and sudden
freedom was too much to deal with.

This opened the doors to the shysters, the Medvedchuk’s, Kuchma’s,
Bakay’s, Derkach’s and their legions of money hungry con artists. They
talked the talk of independence, bought elections, beat up their opponents
and proceeded to liberate the Ukrainian treasury of billions of dollars
which they carted out into their accounts in the British Virgin Islands,
into bank vaults in Cyprus and in Switzerland.

They cut the needed deals with the Russian brothers- the Putin’s, Sechin’s,
Surkov’s and Miller’s- and in return listened with unabashed pride as they
were praised in Moscow for their deeds, for their ability to “rule” Ukraine.
These were glorious times for them, they were the true masters, the
governors, of the Southern Little Russian Gubernia straddling Europe and
Asia and nobody would dare move them out.

As these events were taking place the new moles were sitting quietly. Viktor
Yushchenko, Leonid Kuchma’s handsome dashing prime minister who
referred to Kuchma as his “Papa” in politics and who called those who
dared to demand that Papa resign fascists, worked to somehow save the
country from being totally plundered by its elite. Others waited in the
wings for their moment in history to finally arrive, not knowing if they had
any real support among the population.

The moment finally arrived – in the dead of winter 2004 – and is described
masterfully by Askold Krushelnycky in his fast moving and totally readable
book “An Orange Revolution – A Personal Journey Through Ukrainian

It is the author’s recollections of his stay in Ukraine as a journalist for
the duration of the Orange Revolution – for that brief moment in history
when the moles, millions of them, emerged from their schools, homes,
offices and barracks and told the slick con artists “Basta. We will not
tolerate this any longer!”

Reading Krushelnycky’s excellent book today, after watching the sad events
of last year when the Orange mole coalition finally fell apart and the con
men began returning with a vengeance in their eyes, one cannot help but
wonder if the Ukrainian nation is perpetually doomed to straw fires, to the
explosive Hajdamaky revolts of the past.

Are these moments of heroism in the face of an overwhelming army of
gangsters, shysters and cretin’s the result of the bloodless way in which
Ukraine achieved its independence? Would it have been different if people
had shed blood for their freedom in 1991?

Krushelnycky does not lionize the moles, he shows them for what they were
in December 2004 and why they captured the worlds imagination. He brings
the reader onto Kyiv’s Maydan and into the back rooms where the main
drama’s were being played out.

Needless to say, “An Orange Revolution” is must reading for everyone
interested in not only Ukraine, but in Russian perfidious behavior, and the
dynamics of change and revolution. In retrospect it is also a guide to
understanding modern, post-Soviet Western Europe, the leaders of which
stood by watching as millions of people who inhabit the same continent
pledged their loyalty to what in the end turned out to be mythical European
cultural and political traditions.

The Ukrainians wanted to be part of the European club – the Europeans,
minus the Poles, turned them away from the gates. This time it was the
Western Europeans who erected a new, not iron, but velvet curtain between
Ukraine and Europe, which, despite the material it was made from, was
still a curtain.

The book will be available on Amazon in late April and hopefully will be
published in Ukrainian and Russian – while it still can be. -30-
NOTE: Roman Kupchinsky is the organized crime and terrorism analyst
for RFE/RL Online and the editor of “RFE/RL Organized Crime and
Terrorism Watch.” He graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn
with a degree in political science. He was the president of Prolog Research
and Publishing Corporation in New York prior to joining RFE/RL where
he was director of the Ukrainian Service for 10 years. He lives in Prague,

Czech Republic. We give a special word of thanks to Roman for writing
this book review for the AUR. EDITOR
CONTACT: Roman Kupchinsky, KupchinskyR@rferl.org
CONTACT: Askold Krushelnycky, Askold.Dare@gmail.com
PURCHASE BOOK NOW: Information can be found at the
following link: http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/catalog/results.htm
[ return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukraine-U.S. Business Council, Washington, D.C., Fri, Mar 17, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Ukraine-United States Business Council’s March 6

luncheon in honor of Ukraine’s visiting Economy Minister, Arsenyi
Yatsenyuk, doubled as a celebration of the signing later that day of the
U.S.-Ukraine Bilateral WTO Accession Agreement on Market Access.

Council President, Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, congratulated Minister Yatsenyuk
and his team on their successful negotiations, saying: “We know that
reaching this agreement has required tremendous effort on your part to meet
Ukrainian domestic, U.S., and international requirements. Conclusion of
this agreement opens the door to accelerated growth of U.S.-Ukrainian trade
and investment.”

Minister Yatsenyuk, introduced by Council Executive Committee Chairman
Morgan Williams, shared his belief that the democratic forces of the Orange
Revolution will win the upcoming parliamentary elections and will undertake
the complicated task of reaching agreement to create a coalition government.

In his remarks, the Minister candidly assessed Ukraine’s political,
economic, energy and external situation. He noted the challenges Ukraine
faces in the near term, as well as its assets, and described the government’s
policies for economic growth, privatization, and investment. He urged U.S.
companies and the Council to be more aggressive and publicly visible in

Deputy Minister of Economy Valery Pyatnytskyi, the chief Ukraine WTO
negotiator, also participated in the luncheon and described some of the key
features of the bilateral market access agreement being signed later in the

Council members and guests – including representatives of Altria, Boeing,
Cargill, Cape Point Capital, John Deere, Ukrainian Legal Group, SALANS,
SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Funds, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation,

and Senator Sam Brownback’s (R-KS) office – received responses to their
questions about U.S. Eximbank and EBRD financing, Ukraine’s credit rating,
vat tax refunds, energy efficiency and conservation, Russian-Ukrainian
trade, and efforts to eliminate the Commercial Code and enact a law on joint
stock companies.

In several instances, Minister Yatsenyuk requested further information so
that he could pursue appropriate action. Ukraine Embassy Trade and

Economic Mission Chief, Yevgen Burkat, and Deputy Chiefs Yuriy
Karpenko and Mykhailo Ratushniy also participated. -30-
For further information contact Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, President,
Ukraine-U.S. Business Council, E-Mail: slotarski@boo.
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

One of first journalists to report truthfully on the genocidal famine in Ukraine
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA)
Toronto,Ontario, Canada, March 20, 2006

TORONTO – On Tuesday, 2 May 2006, a historical plaque honouring the

Welsh journalist, Gareth R V Jones, will be unveiled at The University of
Wales, Aberystwyth. Jones was one of the first Western journalists to travel
to, and report truthfully on, the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine,
the Holodomor.

For that he was denounced by the Soviet authorities and by their
sympathizers in the West, including the notorious New York Times
correspondent, Walter Duranty, who would go on to be awarded the Pulitzer
Prize for his supposedly objective reporting on events in the Soviet Union.
Jones was later murdered by Chinese bandits in Manchukuo, in August 1935.
For more on Jones go to

Following a Memorial Service in the University Chapel, with remarks by Lord
Elystan Morgan, president of the University, the trilingual (Welsh, English,
Ukrainian) plaque will be unveiled in The Quadrangle of the Old College by
Dr Margaret Colley and Nigel Linsan Colley, relatives of the late Gareth

Organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, with the
support of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches of Great Britain and Canada,

the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, the Ukrainian American Civil
Liberties Association, and other donors, the bronze plaque is adorned with
a bas relief of Gareth Jones, prepared by Toronto sculptor, Oleh Lesiuk.

This is the first-ever historical marker including not only the English and
Welsh languages but Ukrainian as well. The event is open to the public.

For further information please contact UCCLA at www.uccla.ca or
Arthur Dafis, Y Wasg a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus / Press and Public

Relations. Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth /The University of Wales,
Aberystwyth Ffôn / Tel 01970 62 17 63; Symudol / Mobile 07841 979 452
E-bost / E-mail aid@aber.ac.uk ; Y We/Web www.aber.ac.uk/aberonline
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 17, 2006

KYIV – The Polish Senate (the upper chamber of the parliament) urged the
world community to recognize the 1932 – 1933 famine in Ukraine as a

genocide act against the Ukrainian people, the Senate’s resolution said. In
the resolution Polish senators expressed their solidarity with the people of
Ukraine and urge bringing the famine’s organizers to responsibility.

According to the Senators, the famine was organized by the Soviet Union
ruling regime for weakening and annihilation of the Ukrainian people, with a
view of strangling their desire to freedom and establishment of an
independent state. The Senate also said western politicians and journalists,
who were concealing the truth about the events in Ukraine in 1932 – 1933,
are also responsible for the famine.

As Ukrinform reported, by 2007 Ukraine means to draft a document on
recognition of the 1932 – 1933 famine in Ukraine as an act of genocide for
UN adoption.

President Yushchenko earlier called on world leaders to recognize the famine
in Ukraine as an act of genocide against Ukraine.

Several parliaments have already recognized the famine as a genocide act. In
November 2003 25 UN countries readied a joint statement calling the
Ukrainian famine a result of the totalitarian regime activities. The statement
was later joined by other states. The Verkhovna Rada recognized the famine
in Ukraine as a genocide act in 2003.

As a result of the famine in 1932 and 1933, under different estimates, some
three to seven million people died. -30-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
“Ukraine in the Geostrategic Context” plus Brzezinki lectures and interviews
Kyiv Mohyla Akademy and Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA)

BOOK REVIEW: by Prof. V. N. Bandera, Temple University
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 19
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006

PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book “UKRAINE IN THE

GEOSTRATEGIC CONTEXT” is now available in the Ukrainian language
thanks to the Publishing House of the National University Kyiv Mohyla
Akademy and the Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA).

This insightful but rather short book consists of three parts. First is the
translation of Dr. Brzezinki’s monograph “The Geostrategic Triad: Living
with China, Europe and Russia.” Originally published by the Center for
Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) (2000), and it is known that the
analysis provided by this and similar “think tanks” is significant in the
formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

From Ukraine’s standpoint, especially interesting is the section devoted the
coexistence of the U.S. with Russia. Brzezinski argues that after the
disintegration of the Russian-dominated Soviet empire, the strengthening of
the newly independent states like Georgia and Ukraine would help in the
formation of a new Russia as a strong democratic country without
imperialistic and confrontationist designs.

The second part consists of several recent public lectures and interviews
which focus on the geopolitical implications of Ukraine’s independence
immediately preceding and following the Orange Revolution. Brzezinski’s
speeches and impromptu responses to questions demonstrate a deep grasp

of East-European conditions and will delight the readers with masterful

For instance, a student’s question at the National University KMA on Ma14,
2004 was : “If Europe should lose Ukraine now, what would it lose in the
future?” To this, the answer was: “If Europe loses Ukraine, it will also
lose Russia; and without Ukraine and Russia, its security will be weaker.
Hence Europe is greatly interested to promote close relations with Ukraine
both since your country is important in itself and since Ukraine’s entry
into EC will be conducive to the broadening of desirable relations between
Europe and Russia.”

Another student asks: “If the elections will be undemocratic and not
conforming to European and American standards, what will be the Western
response.?” To his Dr. Brzezinski responds that “.the relations would
markedly worsen. However, most importantly, if the elections are free,
honest and legal, then regardless of who is elected, there will be positive
cumulative effects on the development of a democratic society; it is in the
interest of Europe and America to maintain constructive relations with the
important country of Ukraine.”

And the third part of the book contains several brief but masterful essays
which appeared as op-page commentaries in the Wall Street Journal during

the days of the Orange Revolution. They address the significance of this
popular upheaval and the rudeness of Putin’s heavy-handed intrusion, aptly
dubbed “Russian roulette.”

It should be noted that through these articles Dr. Brzezinski’s voice in
defense of freedom and democracy has been broadcast by the Wall Street
Journal to millions of readers of its American, European, Asian and
electronic editions; the articles were also carried by hundreds of
newspapers worldwide, including some publications in Ukraine.

Certainly, the relevance of Dr. Brzezinski’s analysis goes beyond the time
frame of the original publications. His broad historical and global
perspective can help to understand such current issues as the
Russia-provoked energy crisis, the challenge to Ukrainian as the state
language, and Ukraine’s entry into WTO, NATO and EC.

While recognizing these challenges to Ukraine’s reborn nationhood, Dr.
Brezinski is optimistic in that the Orange Revolution was “a revolution of
hope.” He perceives Ukraine not merely as a pawn on the chessboard of
global geopolitics, but as a independent player pursuing its rightful
national interests.

This book appears as the 6th volume in a series “Current Global Issues”
published by the National University KMA. The series is sponsored by

the Educational Program of the Ukrainian Federation of America located
in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Soon to come out
is No. 7, “The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership” by Z.

In preparation is No. 8, “Divergent Paths in Post-Communist Transformation”
by O. Havrylyshyn. UFA’s program of publication and distribution of books

in Ukraine is being sustained by the generosity and efforts of such benefactors
as Hryhorij Malynowsky, Dr. Volodimir Bandera and Steven Romanko.
CONTACT: Prof. Volodimir. N. Bandera, band@temple.edu
[ return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By James Sherr, Fellow of the Conflict Studies Research
Centre, UK Defence Academy and Lecturer in International
Relations at Lincoln College, Oxford
French Institute of International Relations (IFRI)
Institut Francais des Relations Internationales
‘Russe.Nei Visions’ No. 9, electronic collection
Paris, France, March, 2006
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #676, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 20, 2006

Barely one year after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine finds itself in the
midst of fresh internal and external dislocations. In one respect, the
revolution promises to be enduring. Ukraine is a democratic country with
a vigorous political life, and a return to state intimidation and political
stagnation is no longer feasible.

But the revolution has not fulfilled its central promise: the emergence of
authorities who, finally, would govern in the interests of the country
rather than themselves. With few exceptions, there has been no attempt to
challenge the country’s dysfunctional institutional inheritance or replace
the culture of patronage with meritocracy.

This failing has not only created new internal cleavages, but reopened old
international vulnerabilities. The Russian Federation has recovered from
its post-Orange disorientation and is governed by an elite confident that
the country’s wealth and energy resources can be used to create a ‘sphere
of predominance’ on the doorstep of the EU.

Russia’s gas diplomacy in Ukraine, a key corridor to European consumers,
reinforces the EU’s broader stakes in Ukraine’s capacity and trajectory.
Without indulging Ukraine’s illusions about EU membership, the EU needs
to develop channels of integration that are both realistic and mutually
It is surely time to repeat what, at the height of the 2004 electoral
crisis, no one wished to hear: ‘the worst outcome [for Ukraine] would be if
[Yushchenko] wins and then fails’.[1] Has Ukraine’s Orange Revolution
failed? Or, with all its mistakes and perceived betrayals, has it altered
the political and geopolitical landscape in ways that will prove lasting
and, ultimately, beneficial? Has the worst already occurred? Or, with
constitutional change in progress and parliamentary elections looming in
March 2006, is the worst yet to come?

These are not questions to be pondered by Ukrainians alone. Ukraine finds
itself once again between the East, the West and itself. What bearing will
the fate of the Orange Revolution have on Russia and Europe? What bearing
will the conduct of these external actors have on Ukraine’s prospects?

Four developments make re-assessment unavoidable. (1) The first is a
dramatic decline in Yushchenko’s standing with his own electorate. Despite
the emergence of some trenchant criticism at home and abroad, as late as 3
May 2005, 47 per cent of Ukrainians believed that the country was moving in
the right direction (only five per cent below the vote for Yushchenko in
December 2004).[2] In January 2006 support for Yushchenko had dropped to
19.76 per cent (and that of his erstwhile partner, Yulia Tymoshenko to 12.82
per cent).[3]

(2) The second was the ill-tempered divorce of the Orange team in September
2005 after increasingly public and venomous disputes between Orange factions
prompted the President to dismiss his own government-and, to the repugnance
of many, conclude an improvised agreement with the leading exponent of
revanche, Viktor Yanukovych.

(3) The third is the constitutional reform that will transform Ukraine into
a fully-fledged parliamentary public after the parliamentary elections of 26
March 2006. Negotiated under international mediation as a way of defusing
confrontation at the height of the 2004 electoral crisis, it now multiplies
every other imponderable that Ukrainians face.

(4) Finally, there is the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis, ill-timed or carefully
timed to accentuate Ukraine’s geopolitical weakness and sharpen every
existing cleavage in its fragile polity.

At the root of Ukraine’s present travails is a widely acknowledged fact.
Whilst the Orange Revolution was revolutionary in terms of the process

that brought it about and the expectations that drove it, it has not been
revolutionary in its results. The long-term expectation of its supporters
was obvious: to change the nature and not simply the appearance of the
system that had governed the country since 1991.

It was also a lenient expectation, because most Ukrainians understood that
nothing short of a long struggle would bring fundamental change about. But
the short-term expectation placed upon the new authorities was tough: to
demonstrate that they were committed to fundamental change and capable of
it. On the face of it, this was not an unrealistic expectation.

Yushchenko arrived in office on 23 January 2005 with unparalleled moral
authority and with his opponents in disarray. He had also inherited the
enormous powers of the presidential system bequeathed to President Kuchma
by the June 1996 constitution. What is more, the scheduled diminution of
these powers beginning in January 2006 provided an element of urgency.

On the face of it, these were remarkably favourable starting conditions. But
they could not produce clarity and competence where they were absent.

Absent these qualities and a well honed sense of purpose, it always stood
to reason that cultural, institutional and geopolitical realities would undo
any transient political advantage.
Had all the features of Ukraine’s political culture been deleterious, then,
irrespective of its geopolitical importance, the country would not have
received the attention that the West has bestowed upon it since
independence. Today it is worth reminding ourselves that quite a few are

The country’s roots in a ‘Cossack anarcho-democratic semi-state’, its
ethno-religious diversity and divergent imperial experiences
(Polish-Lithuanian, Habsburg, Ottoman, Russian, Soviet) have fostered
division but they have also engendered a widespread distrust of power and
a pronounced antipathy to forceful ‘solutions’ to political problems.[4]

They also instilled a rudimentary democratic consciousness and stimulated
the growth of civil society. By the time of the 2002 parliamentary
elections, this consciousness had become far more than rudimentary, and a
large part of the electorate outwitted and defied the ‘administrative
resources’ and manipulations of the state.

The tendencies of Russia’s political evolution have been noticeably
different. If the Yeltsin years discredited democracy in Russia, the Kuchma
years merely persuaded Ukrainians that there was no democracy in Ukraine.

By no means, then, could the West be accused of ‘imposing’ Western models
when supporting democratic standards in Ukraine, even if the charge has
resonance elsewhere.

Alongside this democratic consciousness, one must highlight three other
factors. (1) First amongst these is the relative absence of ethnic
cleavages[5] and separatist sentiment-not to say civil conflict-in a country
with strong regional divisions and a limited experience of statehood.[6]

(2) Second has been the palpable, if sharply uneven growth in the
sophistication and capacity of state institutions and the pronounced
Euro-Atlantic sympathies of many who work in them.[7]
(3) The third factor has been the marked absence of great power sentiment,
let alone a spirit of rivalry with neighbours or territorial claims upon them.

(4) The fourth and related factor is an avoidance of exclusivity in
relations with Russia and the West. It is a factor which must be understood
with due subtlety and treated with care. Despite extremes of opinion, for
the majority of Ukrainians Russia engenders strong affinities and powerful
ambivalences, as one would expect when histories are closely related and
historical relationships profoundly unequal.

They are, to be sure, related histories-perhaps more related than those
which connect Germany and Austria, England and Ireland or Norway and
Sweden-but certainly more distinct than the common history loudly proclaimed
by much of Russia’s political class. It is for the most part a manageable
ambivalence, combining affinity for the Russian people with a distrust of
rossiyskoe gosudarstvo [the Russian state].

But as we have seen repeatedly-during the September 2003 Tuzla crisis[8],
the 2004 elections and the recent gas crisis-affinity rapidly turns to anger
when ‘brotherhood’ turns to domination.[9] In sum, the impulse towards
friendship will be as strong as Russia allows. It will flourish so long as
Russians do not confuse it with integration or subservience.

For all of these reasons, there is no exaggeration in stating, as former
President Kuchma did in a book of this title, that ‘Ukraine is not Russia’.
Equally, there is nothing fanciful in postulating a course of development
that would anchor Ukraine firmly in a Europe that does not define its
development or enlargement in anti-Russian terms. But no course can be
realised without a strategy for realising it. No strategy can succeed unless
skills and resources are mobilised behind it. In neither of these respects
has the new leadership succeeded or the country been led.

The spirit of the Maidan-of the hundreds of thousands who converged on
Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti)-was both compelling
and simple: that finally Ukraine should be governed by authorities who put
the country’s interests ahead of their own. The course that this spirit
dictated was equally compelling, albeit far from simple to realise: to
transform the country’s institutions and, by doing so, end the criminality
of the state.

Under Kuchma, Ukraine had pursued a course of reform by declaration: by
‘programmes’ that, with rare exceptions, did not touch the dysfunctional
administrative cultures inherited from the Soviet system, let alone the
inbred, opaque networks of power which, under the stewardship of
Kravchuk, Kuchma and their minions, had mutated rather than disappeared.

The defining features of Soviet political culture-the divide between state
and society, the concentration of power and privilege, the powerlessness of
ordinary people and the ‘war against civil society’-remained the defining
features of post-Soviet Ukraine. No one of consequence expected these
realities to vanish after Yushchenko’s victory, but those who fought for it
expected them to be addressed.

In one fundamental respect, they were not disappointed. In terms emphasised
by the West and many Ukrainians themselves, Ukraine is no longer a virtual
democracy, but a genuine one. The ‘administrative resource’ of the state
(i.e., of central government) has largely been withdrawn as a means of
pressure against political parties, the mass media, public organisations,
independent centres of opinion and (to a discernable but still arguable
degree) the courts. The war against civil society has ended. But it has not
ended all levels (as noted by Freedom House in June).[10]

When it comes to local structures of administrative power and the ‘shadow’
structures, that work in illicit alliance with them, it has not ended.

Average Ukrainians (who do not live in Kyiv, do not speak to ministers and
do not work for an NGO) will not feel that their country is theirs until
they cease to be at the mercy of the petty powers and ‘licensed thieves’ who
have damaged and, in some cases, ruined their lives.
For these citizens, Ukraine still is far from being a democracy,
because the real authorities of the country live at the expense of
the people rather than serve them.

It was always questionable how much this would be understood by people who,
for all their repugnance towards the culture of power in Ukraine, were part
of it. To be sure, Yushchenko and the majority of those he trusted stood on
one side of a divide within it.

Whereas the lapsed Leninists of the Kuchma system had no proper
understanding of democracy, Yushchenko and his inner circle saw themselves
as democrats beyond reproach; whereas the former were congenitally cunning,
the latter were ostentatiously principled; whereas the former were concrete
and pragmatic, the latter were almost romantic in their vision of Ukraine
‘at the heart of Europe’ and affronted when members of the EU did not share
this moral imperative.

Yet these were variations on a theme. Both wings of this establishment were
accustomed to holding power, but had limited experience of being on the
receiving end of it. Both had acquired their political instincts in a
culture of patronage, rather than merit, and both regarded loyalty, rather
than professionalism, as the main criterion of indispensability.

Both had bonded together in tight, inclusive factions, held together as much
by kompromat [11] and fear as by shared outlook and experience. Both had
learnt to be solicitous of the private, ‘subjective’ interests of allies.
Both were consumed by struggles within cliques and clans, and both lost
sight of the country.

Therefore, the new leadership was fated to exercise power with many of the
instincts, instruments and interests of the old. Nevertheless, to achieve
its aims and retain popular support, it needed to confront three factors
that hindered systemic change, but also made it urgent.

SHARED POWER. Yushchenko had come to power with the
assistance of an ideologically diverse coalition and, at least illicitly, of
forces within the country’s powerful and resourceful state apparatus. He

was also assisted by money, the donors of which not only had principled
aspirations, but concrete interests. Yet the key, countervailing fact was that
he had come to power with Kuchma’s constitution and with immense
moral authority.

These conditions should have stimulated the President to seize the
initiative and maintain it. Instead he ceded it to others: on one side, to
the empire building of Petro Poroshenko (Secretary of the once impressively
run National Security and Defence Council until September 2005), to
Oleksandr Tretyakov (Head of the President’s Office until September 2005)
and to the latter’s rival, Oleksandr Zinchenko (Head of the Presidential
Secretariat until September 2005);[12] on the other, to his highly
conditional ally, then Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose ‘non-market’
economic policies quickly diverged from his own, not to say the expectations
of Western business.

Rather than resolve these conflicts, he allowed them to ripen. For the first
critical months of his administration, it is no exaggeration to say that
Yushchenko behaved more like the spiritual than the political leader of his

Orange forces had inherited not only a convoluted, meddlesome and
obdurate bureaucracy, but a legal ‘order’ that was little more than a system
of ‘codified arbitrariness’.[13] Ukraine’s assortment of laws, codes and
‘normative acts’, rife with contradictions, gaps, permissive powers and
regulative minutiae, had not only stimulated criminality and corruption; it
had also usurped many traditional prerogatives of entrepreneurship and
management. In these circumstances, the challenges of legal and
administrative reform were inescapable.[14]

Yet they were evaded. More than once, Yushchenko suggested that serious
reform could begin only after the March 2006 elections, a view, which
implied, quixotically, that time was on his side.

THE GEOPOLITICAL CRUCIBLE. Fifteen years after achieving
independence, Ukraine’s fundamental problem with Russia remains. Its
formal independence, its nezavisimost'[15], has been eminently acceptable
to Russia’s largely pragmatic elites. But its samostoyatel’nost'[16]-its
‘ability to stand’ apart from Russia has always been controversial, both as

practical possibility and as a basis for cooperation. In the Yeltsin years,
cooperation was predicated on integration; under Putin, it has been
predicated on recognition of Russia’s primacy. Ukraine also has had to
contend with three asymmetries in its relations with Russia and the West.

(1) First, Ukraine’s ‘vector of development’ is deemed a vital interest by
Russia, but only an important interest by most EU and NATO member


(2) Second, whereas Ukraine’s policy towards the EU and NATO was

clearly foreign policy, language, inter-elite ties and a common business
culture made Russia, in addition, a structural component of internal politics
in Ukraine.

(3) Third, whereas Ukraine’s ‘European choice’ has always confronted a
seemingly insurmountable wall of conditions, standards and criteria,
Russians have attached no conditions to integration except ‘firm good
neighbourliness’. Hence, the weaker Ukraine internally, the stronger the
Russian factor-in internal affairs as well as international relations. For
this reason, internal incapacity and external dependence have operated like
the blades of a scissor, opening or closing in tandem.

After the Orange victory, it appeared that these asymmetries might finally
come to an end. Putin’s gambit had collapsed; the European Neighbourhood
Policy was on the defensive. Yet both of these appearances were illusory.

President Putin did not believe he had been defeated by Ukrainians, but by
the West. Whilst shaken, his remorselessly geopolitical paradigm of security
and his business-led scheme of integration survived Yanukovych’s defeat.

For its part, the EU did not believe that the Orange Revolution established
the case for membership; its most enthusiastic supporters believed that it
had established the preconditions for membership and, at most (pace the
European Parliament resolution of 13 January) that it should be offered ‘a
clear perspective for membership possibly leading ultimately to accession’.

The moral for any objective observer was clear: Russia was down, but not
out. It ‘could make itself urgent, whatever priorities Ukraine might wish to
adopt’.[17] Hence, Yushchenko’s first foreign policy priority should be the
success of internal policy. But he focused on foreign policy-at least until
crisis loomed.

It is not surprising that these sins of omission took time for others to
register. Inside and outside Ukraine, people were digesting the implications
of the Orange Revolution for months. Few were prepared for another
somersault of reassessment.

Whilst brutal messages were delivered to the Orange team at the June 2005
economic forum, most critics presumed that the authorities were suffering
from teething problems that would diminish rather than solidify. Yet by the
summer of 2005, the indicators of disillusionment had become visible.

(1) First, by mid-August, was the decline in public support: a mere 20 per
cent for Yushchenko’s Nasha Ukraina (compared to 31.6 per cent in May) and
10.5 per cent for the Tymoshenko bloc (down from 15.5 per cent in May).[18]

(2) Second were the increasingly public frictions within the Orange team and
within Yushchenko’s administration itself. On 5 September this sharpening of
interfaces took a sanguinary turn when State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko,
two days after his resignation, charged National Security and Defence
Council Secretary Petro Poroshenko and the Head of the President’s Office,
Oleksandr Tretyakov with ‘escalating bribery and corruption,’ attempting to
‘take over the instruments of power’ and the ‘cynical’ maintenance of an
‘information blockade of the President’. The next series of moves redoubled
the shock.

(3 – Third) On 8 September, Yushchenko not only dismissed Poroshenko

and Tretyakov, but their principal foil, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko;
on 22 September, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Viktor
These shocks overshadowed Yushchenko’s prompt selection of a more
unified team, led by Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov. Rather than arrest
decline, he only precipitated a ‘catastrophic drop in ratings’.

For the first time (18-21 September) Yanukovych’s Party of Regions moved
into first place (20.7 per cent, versus 20.5 per cent for the dismissed
Tymoshenko and 13.9 per cent for Yushchenko’s Nasha Ukraina). More
indicative was the decline in the trust of the public, which delivered a
rating of minus 8 for Yushchenko (compared to +34 per cent in March).[19] In
the wake of these developments, it was only to be expected that Russia would
return to the scene.


The so-called gas crisis has proved understandably problematic in its
causes, dynamics and, not least of all, its potential consequences. But it
has been made needlessly contentious by those who have a taste for single
variant explanations. The energy relationship between the Russian Federation
and its neighbours operates along three dimensions: the economic, the
geopolitical and the ‘subjective’-the personal, as distinct from the
national interests of people in power. These dimensions are like primary
colours. Only when combined is it possible to see properly.

The economic case in support of Russia’s ‘joint’ (but de facto state)
company Gazprom is simple and eminently justifiable. The Soviet Union
collapsed in 1991, but Soviet era price levels have largely survived until
the present day. It is time that market pricing replaced them. But the
complexity is twofold. What is the ‘market price’ in conditions where the
product sold is a primary, unsubstitutable commodity and the supplier is a

When OPEC sharply raised the price for oil in 1974 and again in 1979, was
the new price the market price or the old price? What we know is that Europe
managed to pay both, just as it can afford to pay the $230 per mcm of gas
which (with variations) is charged by Gazprom. If Ukraine, Georgia and other
customers cannot pay such a price, would it be more profitable for Gazprom
to lower the price or dispense with these markets entirely? That question
leads to the second complexity: we don’t know.

The reason we don’t know is because Gazprom is not a transparent company.
Just how it forms its prices and establishes the line between profit and
loss is ultimately a matter of assertion and opinion. To be sure, few energy
companies are properly transparent, but until Gazprom becomes as transparent
as the others (e.g. the joint Russo-British venture, TNK-BP), the claim that
Ukraine is not being made to pay a political tariff is simply impossible to

When (admittedly after months of chicanery and evasiveness by the Ukrainian
side) a price is demanded which plainly would result in the collapse of an
economy-and proposals for staged price increases are brusquely rejected-the
basis for examining political motives is strong.

The geopolitical dimension is undeniable to all but the casuist. The first
paragraph of the official (2003) Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation
to 2020 defines the country’s fuel and energy complex as an ‘instrument for
the conduct of internal and external policy’, adding that ‘the role of the
country in world energy markets to a large extent determines its
geopolitical influence’.[21]

Russian analysts known for their objectivity have echoed the view that
Gazprom has become instrumental to the aim of restoring Russia ‘to the
capacity of a global centre of power’ and the establishment of a ‘sphere of
predominance for Russian interests’.[22]

The linkage between economic and political dimensions also has a number of
recent precedents. On becoming Acting President of the Russian Federation in
December 1999, Vladimir Putin cut the supply of oil to Ukraine for the fifth
time since 1991. The taps stayed off until April 2000, when President Kuchma
took the first steps to meet Putin’s political demands. The dynamic of
concession led, by turns, to the dismissal of Ukraine’s then (and once again
current) foreign minister, Boris Tarasyuk in September 2000.

By winter-spring 2001, energy interests, Ukrainian and Russian, played an
influential role in securing the dismissal of the first deputy prime
minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, and finally the then Prime Minister Viktor
Yushchenko. In August 2004, the relationship re-emerged in inverse form when
Gazprom and Naftohaz Ukrainiy signed a supplementary agreement to their 2002
contract, setting a five-year price of $50 per mcm.

Few have questioned that this agreement was predicated on the assumption
that post-Kuchma Ukraine would remain in Russia’s ‘sphere of predominance’.
Comparative analysis of the energy equation in Moldova and Georgia also
gives point to the conclusion that economic, geo-economic and geo-political
factors coalesce and are difficult to separate.

In this context, are Gazprom’s methodical efforts to acquire ownership of
pipelines and other infrastructure in neighbouring countries economic or
political? Is it not a distinction without a difference?

Yet it is the institutional and personal dimension of the crisis, which is
proving to be the most telling for the future of Yushchenko and his
administration. According to a growing body of evidence, neither Ukraine’s
government nor its National Security and Defence Council played a material,
let alone direct role in negotiating the agreement signed with apparent
haste between UkrNaftohaz, Gazprom and RosUkrEnergo on 4 January 2006,
nor was the agreement submitted for review by the National Security and
Defence Council or Cabinet of Ministers.

The insecurity of the agreed price, the non-market (but long-term) prices
agreed for transit (two thirds the European average) and storage of Russian
gas (one eighth the European average), the absence of information about the
real owners of RosUkrEnergo, the absence of clarity about the joint venture
being established with its participation, combined with the revelations of
journalists on every one of these very points, has presented a murky and
sinister picture: that persons tied to UkrNaftohaz, the former Kuchma regime
and the Kremlin are profiting at the expense of Ukraine and possibly Russia
as well.[23]

In this acrid atmosphere, it has proved all but impossible for the President
and government to shift attention to the agreement’s arguable merits (the
apparent preservation of the pipeline network, the shift from barter to
cash, and the admittedly temporary $95 price as a baseline for further

Perhaps more fatefully, it has proved difficult to focus attention on first
principles: the unavailability of alternative routes of supply, the
impermissibility (in the eyes of Europe) of further gas siphoning and the
fact that over the short-to-mid term, Russia is fated to remain a monopolist
and Ukraine a hostage. In these miserable conditions, what is the
alternative to lesser evils except greater ones? In an energy ‘market’
dominated by opaque and criminalised entities, with whom does one
conclude agreements apart from opaque and criminalised entities?

Ironically, it has even proved difficult to examine the authorities’
principal culpability: the failure to prepare for ‘gas attack’, let alone
negotiate with Gazprom in earnest during the spring, when its approach (and
the Kremlin’s) was still cautious and its terms comparatively lenient. Given
the atmosphere, it was not surprising that the government was dismissed by
parliament on 11 January.

At the outset of this discussion, we asked whether the Orange Revolution’s
triumphs would have a more lasting influence than its disappointments.
Despite a gloomy picture of challenges ignored and challenges weakly
accepted, it was not a rhetorical question. Neither disillusionment nor even
the sense of betrayal need translate into nostalgia for the old regime or
trust in its presumptive heirs.

Over the past year, Viktor Yanukovych’s standing has risen or fallen within
the limits of his previous support. A substantial portion of Ukraine’s
electorate, 44 per cent, voted for him in December 2004 before there was any
Orange system to be disillusioned about. Yet at the end of last year,
support for Yanukovych’s Party of Regions stood at 26.6 per cent and for all
‘blue’ forces in the range of 31-40 per cent.[24] After the fresh scandals
surrounding the gas crisis (and Parliament’s dismissal of the government),
this support has, according to one poll fallen (to 24 per cent) and,
according to another, moderately risen to 29.9 per cent.[25]

But the main imponderable for Orange forces lies in the political algorithm
that will translate electoral support into parliamentary seats. As
disillusionment with the two main Orange wings has grown, a number of their
supporters have drifted to smaller Orange factions that might not clear the
three per cent threshold required for representation.

If they don’t, the lost percentages are algebraically transferred to the
parties that enter parliament. Depending upon which of the smaller parties
succeed or fail, then (according to Razumkov Centre figures) Regions could
find itself with 34-37 per cent of parliamentary seats, compared to 22-24.5
per cent for NSNU (Nasha Ukraina-People’s Union).

Unless there is a coalition between Regions and one of the two Orange blocs,
the smaller parties-the Socialists, Lytvyn’s People’s Bloc and the
Communists-could emerge as kingmakers: not only at the outset but on every
occasion where legislation is needed and agreement sought. Given these
imponderables, the future remains open, and so must judgement.

But three hypotheses can be hazarded. (1) First, efforts to find common
ground be tween NSNU and Regions are likely to continue. The allure of a
grand coalition between a de-radicalised Yushchenko and a reconstituted,
more centrist (and probably post-Yanukovych) Party of Regions is twofold:
(1-A) it might be a route to stability, even (in stark contrast to the ethos
of the Maidan), stabilisation, based on a deal between oligarchic interests
in each camp. (1-B) Second, as a practical matter, the momentum of enmity
between the Yushchenko and Tymoshenko factions is now probably too great
to overcome, and it is not surprising that the most recent efforts to
overcome it have failed.

(2) Second, even if it is realised, such a coalition is unlikely to achieve
its aims. Even the more centrist wings of these blocs have very different
visions of Ukraine’s future, starting with its geopolitical future.

Besides, oligarchic interests are not so easily reconciled in Ukraine, even
in the east, where the dominance of Renat Akhmetov (the ultimate source of
power in the Party of Regions) is strongly opposed on grounds of outlook and
interest by other powerful figures, notably the businessmen grouped around
the Industrial Union of Donbass.

Apart from these factors, such a coalition risks turning Yushchenko into a
risible and not merely compromised figure. He is now running his campaign
on a patriotic and reformist image by attacking the more dubious aspects of
the 4 January gas accord that his negotiators signed; also by portraying the
Party of Regions as a force that would make Ukraine ‘safe for

Can his reputation withstand any further reversals? Wouldn’t such reversals
allow Yulia Tymoshenko to emerge as the heir of the Orange tradition and the
centre of a truculent parliamentary opposition?

(3) Third, whatever the outcome, there is likely to be yet a further delay
on urgently needed reforms. This is suggested not only by the compromises
required to build coalitions and oppose? them. It is also suggested by the
fact that Yushchenko is now committed to a new constitution and to a
referendum for approving it.

Deliberating upon, drafting and mobilising support for such a constitution
will be arduous, acrimonious tasks, and it is far from certain that those
who have already dithered on reform will be able to concentrate upon it in
these circumstances.

These hypotheses point neither to a radiant future nor a dire one for
Ukraine. Dire prognostications must also be tempered by the qualitative
change that has taken place in several areas outside the ambit of this
discussion: reform of the defence and security sector, relations with NATO
and with the EU. Nearly all NATO professionals engaged in the first
enterprise attest that the reformist ethos (present even under Kuchma’s
presidency) has now acquired tangible form.

Resisting the temptation ingrained in Ukraine’s administrative culture,
Yushchenko’s Minister of Defence, Anatoliy Grytsenko, has amended rather
than scrapped the better plans of his predecessors and concentrated on
developing the mechanisms that will bring them to fruition.

The core mechanism is a transformed system of national defence planning
designed to produce a smaller military establishment of 143,000 by 2011
(compared to 260,000 in mid-2005), with priority given to Joint Rapid
Reaction Forces and Immediate Response Forces (20 per cent of the force,
but 50 per cent of the budget).

Efforts to increase transparency, uncover fraud and pare down redundant
infrastructure and bloated establishments have already begun to bite and-as
is always the case when real reform takes place-these efforts are arousing
resentment. Progress, therefore, remains hostage to politics.

In contrast to the Kuchma years, the reformist impulse has also entered
domains critical to the relationship between state and society: the Ministry
of Interior and the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine). By the same token,
these institutions have become distinctly more positive in their attitudes
towards NATO, and the traditionally positive relationship between the latter
and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces (in the new framework
of Intensified Dialogue) has become far more integrated than it was in the

Whilst the relationship with the EU (in the stale framework of New
Neighbourhood) has lost none of its ambivalences, it has at last moved from
pantomime to practical cooperation. Yet, the same daunting challenge
remains. It is the EU, which retains a broadly positive resonance within
Ukrainian society (although, thanks to the conviction that ‘Europe does not
want us’, less so than once was the case); whereas in the wake of the Kosovo
conflict and Iraq war (a non-NATO operation), NATO continues to be
regarded with pronounced suspicion.[27]

Until Yushchenko and pro-NATO institutions lose their timidity and confront
public prejudice directly, membership of the Alliance will remain off the

In these mixed circumstances, it would be as bold to predict the revival of
Orange forces, as it would be rash to predict their rout. Barring the most
extreme public retribution-and a wholesale defeat of Orange forces in
March-what one can predict is that foreign policy will be more consistent
than domestic policy. How, then, will Ukraine approach its interests in the
outside world?

(1) First, there is likely to be a partial return to mnogovektornost’: the
‘multi-vector’ policy placing equal emphasis on Russia and the West, which
was traditionally reviled by Yushchenko’s core supporters and officially
abandoned when Yushchenko came to office. The gas crisis has demonstrated
even to his inner circle that this policy was not the product of Kuchma’s
vices, but of Ukraine’s weaknesses and hence, for the foreseeable future,
its dependence upon Russian energy.

Certain taboos are likely to remain: de facto (as opposed to rhetorical)
membership of the Russian sponsored Single Economic Space, membership
of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, surrender of the pipeline
network, the ceding of autonomy in defence and security policy, and the
‘coordination’ of foreign policy, particularly where NATO and the EU
are concerned. It remains to be seen whether these bastions are breached.

Even if they are not, there are likely to be gestures, manoeuvres and
compromises that, from time to time, will discomfit Ukraine’s Western
partners and its own patriots What is indisputable is that Ukraine needs
figures who, whilst firm about upholding Ukraine’s interests, are well
connected in Russia and know how to find a common language with it.

(2) Second, membership of the EU will remain an existential, but unshakeable
long-term commitment, both political and moral, and EU members who share
this vision (notably Poland) will find themselves treated as privileged, as
well as burdened partners. Nevertheless, Ukrainians will continue to
perceive the EU as an entity whose interest in Ukraine always takes second
place to its interests in Russia.

For both of these reasons, the EU’s New Neighbourhood policy (which, in
Ukraine’s eyes, puts the country on the same footing as Morocco), will
remain unacceptable, an emotionally charged issue, and a continued
obstruction to what is urgently needed: the emergence of realistic
perspectives about how Ukraine might achieve closer integration with the
EU in practice.

(3) Third, despite all the ambivalences in Ukrainian society, the United
States is likely to be perceived by the Orange elite? as Ukraine’s
indispensable partner and NATO as an indispensable vehicle of that

It is the United States which is seen as the ultimate guarantor of Ukraine’s
security: the one partner who combines the will and capacity to
counterbalance Russia (unlike Poland) and the one power willing to sacrifice
good relations with Russia for the sake of Ukraine (unlike the EU). Likely
as it is that this perception will survive, it is not certain, because Yulia
Tymoshenko has yet to demonstrate that she shares it.

Given these internal and external coordinates, how should the EU prepare for
the future and shape it? Too often, the EU forgets that it is a determinant
actor, yet the fact is not forgotten in Moscow or Kyiv. On 1 January, the
Kremlin was fully resolved upon a course that would have struck at the
foundations of Ukraine’s economy and disrupted gas supplies to Europe.
On 4 January, it reconsidered.

What had intervened was a groundswell of European opinion critical of
Russia. The lessons to be drawn from this episode are threefold: Russia
showed itself to be as dependent upon the European consumer as the latter
is upon Russia; the EU’s strong reaction, or the fear of one, induced Russia
to think again; thanks to this fact, Russia’s relations with the EU have
been damaged far less than they would have been had the EU stepped back

and acquiesced in Russia’s course. Given its wealth and power, the EU
influences its neighbours whether it tries to do so or not.

Nevertheless, the EU’s means of influence over Ukraine have not always been
well chosen. (1) First, it has diminished its own influence through a New
Neighbourhood policy, which too often unfolds in the shadow of policy
towards Russia. There is no case for the EU to pursue a policy towards
Ukraine that is anti-Russian. Equally, there is no good reason for hesitancy
in approaching Ukraine on its own merits and with clear regard for the
distinct ways that its development affects EU interests.

After all, Ukraine is the northern littoral of the Black Sea, its frontier
will form the principal eastern border of the Union after Romania’s
accession, and it is the transit zone for over 80 per cent of the EU’s
imported gas from Russia. Our stake in the security and economic
development of that country, in the independence and capacity of its
institutions-and its democratic foundations-should require no defence
and should not be made contingent upon other interests.

The United States has developed, with profit, distinct and constructive
relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and it is difficult to see why the
EU should not be able to do the same.

(2) Second, in inverse proportion to Ukraine itself, the EU diminishes its
influence by confusing the issues of integration and membership.
Membership, like the acquis communautaire, is indivisible. But integration
can be approached on a case by case basis.

If Ukraine seeks a friendly Schengen frontier and Europe a safe one, then it
stands to reason that Ukraine should strive to meet EU standards on border
management, policing and customs regulation. If the EU can help Ukraine
increase its capacity in these areas, that is manifestly in the interest of

If Ukraine seeks levels of trade and investment analogous to Poland’s (and
not per capita investment at one-tenth the Polish level), then it is
essential to focus efforts on meeting Copenhagen criteria regarding contract
enforcement, judicial integrity and transparency. If the EU seeks expanding
markets, not to say the expansion of its business culture elsewhere, this
too is an important issue for Europe. The importance of gas to Europe needs
no explanation.

The establishment of an EU-Ukraine Energy Dialogue (analogous to that with
Russia) should not need justification either, particularly because interests
and relationships are so different (Russia being a producing and transit
country and Ukraine being an importing and transit country). To this end,
the establishment of a joint Ukraine-EU mechanism in the area of energy
sector reform (analogous to NATO’s highly successful Joint Working Group
on Defence Reform) warrants consideration.

Integration and a differentiated approach to it-a process advancing in well
defined areas, by stages and to the extent that capacity political will
allow-should be based on mutual interest and benefit. It should be a 25+1
process with its own distinct mechanisms.

Such a process should neither rule membership in nor rule it out. It would
give a positive impulse to the relationship with Ukraine (unlike the New
Neighbourhood policy, which has caused nothing but resentment in Kyiv) and
would suffer from none of the contentiousness (and few of the burdens) of an
‘accession process’. Yet by making ‘signals’ and ‘perspectives’ the sine qua
non of relations with the EU, Ukraine has unwittingly strengthened those
inside the EU who would dismiss Ukraine’s prospects and acquiesce in its
return to Russia’s fold.

Within much of the EU Russia, too, is seen through a false perspective: ‘how
will Ukraine’s integration with Europe affect Russia’s interests’? That is
the natural, but narrower question. The broader and more significant
question is how Europe’s interests will be affected by the evolution of

Is it in Europe’s interests to vindicate Putin’s geopolitically outmoded
view of security or give encouragement to those in Russia who would
question it? Will ‘zones of interest’ built upon the weakness of neighbours,
rather than their aspirations and efforts, contribute to security in Eurasia
or undermine it? To the EU’s ‘new neighbours’, the question answers itself.
From the EU, an answer is still awaited. -30-
[1]J. Sherr, ‘Viyboriy v Ukraine: vzaimodeistvie vnutrennikh i vneshnikh
faktorov’ [Ukraine’s Elections: The Interplay Between Internal and External
Factors], Zerkalo Nedeli, n. 40 (515), 9-15 October 2004,
[2] On 10 January 2005, Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission declared
Yushchenko the winner of the third round of the elections (26 December) with
51.99 per cent of votes cast compared to 44.2 per cent for his rival, Viktor
Yanukovych, on the basis of a 77 per cent turnout.
[3] Poll conducted by Sotsis 18-23 January, cited in BBC Summary of World
Broadcasts: Former Soviet Union (hereafter SWB).
[4] D. Furman, ‘Kuchme dostalsya ne tot narod’ [Kuchma has got the wrong
people], Vremya MN [The ‘Times’ of Moscow News], 15 October 2002. As
he goes on to note with arguable exaggeration, ‘Russian society is
culturally homogeneous, but in Ukraine there are two languages, four
and huge cultural differences between regions’.
[5] Although the term ‘ethnicity’ rarely appears in official discourse,
according to the last census of 1989, 22 per cent of Ukrainians were of
Russian ‘nationality’-a highly misleading figure, as a large percentage of
Ukrainian citizens are ethnically mixed, and in Soviet times there was an
incentive to claim Russian nationality. Yet outside Crimea, attitudes to
Ukrainian statehood have not reflected noticeable ethnic divisions. As a
case in point, a Democratic Initiatives poll of Kyiv residents in January
1995, revealed 62 per cent of ethnic Ukrainians and 58 per cent of ethnic
Russians firmly in favour of independence; on the other hand, 16 per cent of
Ukrainians and only 10 per cent of Russians pronounced themselves against
[6] Even at the most dangerous and polarized stage of the 2004 elections,
the separatist gambit launched by several political figures in eastern
Ukraine (and supported by Moscow’s mayor, Yuriy Luzhkov) swiftly fell apart
for lack of popular support. The one exception to the rule about separatism,
the Autonomous Republic Crimea, reinforces the rule, because unlike
24 oblasti (regions), Crimea was only transferred to Ukraine’s
administrative jurisdiction in 1954, and almost 90 per cent of its Russian
population (then 67 per cent of the peninsula’s inhabitants) had settled in
the territory after the Tatar deportations of 1944.
[7] For this reason, as we noted some years previously, ‘[w]hilst at one
level the growth of civic instincts is sharpening the divide between state
and society, it is also creating points of friction within the state and
hence, a dynamic of evolution inside it’. J. Sherr, ‘Ukraine’s Parliamentary
Elections: The Limits of Manipulation’, Occasional Brief, Conflict Studies
Research Centre [hereafter, CSRC], April 2002.
[8] The island of Tuzla, located in the Kertch Straits linking the Azov Sea
with the Black Sea, was in 2003 the subject of a territorial dispute between
Russia and Ukraine.
[9] In a January 2006 poll, 95 per cent of Ukrainians characterised Russia’s
cut-off of gas as an ‘attack’ [napadenie] upon Ukraine.
[10] Cited in ‘Yushchenko’s Disappearing Moment’, TOL (Transitions On-
Line), Prague, 20 June 2005.
[11] compromising information.
[12] Although Yushchenko originally planned to cut the staff of the
Presidential Administration (renamed Presidential Secretariat) threefold, it
is indicative of his approach that he allowed it to expand and then, in
compensation, allowed the size of Tretyakov’s office to exceed it. O.
Dmytrycheva, Yu. Mostovaya, S. Rakhmanin and T. Sylyna, ‘How a
Fairytale Was Born and a Myth Died’, Zerkalo Nedeli, 10 September 2005.
[13] The term is Francoise Thom’s.
[14] In the words of the Lyudmilla Suprun, First Deputy Chairman of the
parliament’s budget committee, ‘N? single president can substantially change
the situation in the country without reforms of the legal system’ (Interview
with FirsTnews, 17 July 2005, reprinted in Action Ukraine Report, 18 July
[15] Independence.
[16] Autonomy.
[17] James Sherr, ‘Between Regimes: The Relationship between Internal and
External Factors’, Zerkalo Nedeli, no 1(529), 15-21 January 2005.
[18] Poll taken by the Razumkov Center on 5-12 August, cited in BBC Summary
of World Broadcasts: Former Soviet Union (hereafter SWB) 30 August. Yet
whilst Yanukovych’s Party of Regions had now moved into second place, its
level of support was still a modest 14.2 per cent.
[19] Poll taken by Democratic Initiatives and the Kyiv International
Sociology Institute. The ‘catastrophic drop in ratings’, also applied to the
parliament, with a -28 per cent rating, compared to +23 per cent in March.
[20] When negotiating the supply contract for the Odessa-Brody pipeline,
TNK-BP was assiduous in presenting all relevant data to the Ukrainian side.
All of the terms-which included a right for Ukraine to withdraw from the
contract with three months notice-were open to public inspection.
[21] Energeticheskaya strategiya Rossiiskoi Federacii do 2020 goda [The
Energy Strategy of Russia up to 2020], www.minprom.gov.ru/docs/strateg/1.
[22] Dmitri Trenin, ‘Postimperski proekt’ [The Post-Imperial Project],
Nezavisimaya Gazeta-Dipkurier, n. 2, January 2006,
www.ng.ru//courier/2006-01-30/9_project.html. In an earlier paper, Trenin
analysed Putin’s strategy of utilising economic, cultural and inter-elite
factors ‘to establish and promote in neighbouring countries groups of
influence orientated towards Moscow and to progressively neutralise
pro-Western circles’. (‘Proekt SNG – noviy prioritet rossiyskoj vneshney
politiki?’ [‘The “CIS Project”: A New Priority of Russian Foreign Policy?’],
February 2004 (author’s copy). On 31 December 2005 Andrey Illarionov,
President Putin’s former economics adviser (who resigned on 27 December)
stated that the Kremlin’s gas policy towards Ukraine ‘had no relation not
only to liberal economic policy, but to economic policy at all… Energy
weapons are being used against neighbours.’ (Eurasia Daily Monitor,
Jamestown Foundation, vol 3, issue 5, 9 January 2006. On 3 January, he went
on to argue that the mechanism used for determining European prices had
been shelved with respect to Ukraine and that price-maximisation had been
substituted for profit-maximisation).
[23] For an intentionally damning but fairly convincing analysis, see two
English language translations on the website of Zerkalo Nedeli: A.
Yeremenko, ‘Shalom Gazavat!’, Zerkalo Nedeli, n.1 (580), 14-20 January,
and Yu. Mostovaya, ‘More to the Gas Issue’, Zerkalo Nedeli, n. 2 (581) 21-27
January, www.mirror-weekly.com/nn/show/581/52384/. For an analysis
of the relevant financial interests at play in the Russian President’s
Administration, see S. Charap, ‘An Executive Branch Moscow Could Love,’
Moscow Times, 19 January 2006.
[24] Poll conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy 9-20 December 2005. The range in numbers reflects
the as yet uncertain allegiances of the Socialists and People’s Party, as
well as the support given to ‘blue’ parties below the 3 per cent threshold
entitling a faction to representation.
[25] The first poll, conducted by Kyiv’s National Institute of Strategic
Studies, shows the Party of Regions with 24 per cent, Nasha Ukraina with 22
per cent, Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc with 15 per cent, the Socialists with 9
per cent, the Communists 8 per cent and the People’s Party of parliamentary
Speaker Lytvyn with 5 per cent. The second poll, conducted by the
Razumkov Centre, gives Regions 29.9 per cent, Nasha Ukraine 19.6 per
cent and Tymoshenko’s bloc 13.7 per cent.
[26] Nasha Ukraina weekly press release, 10 February 2006.
[27] Although it was not NATO, but a ‘coalition of the willing’ that
prosecuted the Iraq war, it is indicative of the ‘information war’ being
fought in Ukraine that the electorate is largely unaware of the fact.
NOTE: The views expresses are those of the author and not necessarily
those of the UK Ministry of Defence.
NOTE: James Sherr is a Fellow of the Conflict Studies Research Centre,
UK Defence Academy and Lecturer in International Relations at Lincoln,
College, Oxford. He is a consultant for NATO and the EU on Ukraine
and a former Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Defence
Committee. In Ukraine, where he has made almost 100 trips, he advised
a number of official bodies and NGOs on Euro-Atlantic integrations and
security and defence reform. The AUR thanks James Sherr for alerting

us to his latest article and sending us a copy. EDITOR
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than one copy please let us know so this can be corrected.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer
Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707
Mobile in Kyiv: 8 050 689 2874
mwilliams@SigmaBleyzer.com; www.SigmaBleyzer.com
Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
return to index [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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