AUR#684 Immunity Lifted For Local Council Deputies; Several Judges Resign; Decentralization & Regionalization

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Party of Regions did not support the bill
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Inter TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 4 Apr 06
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Regions Party blocked the rostrum, Constitutional Court remains inactive
Ukrinform, Tuesday, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Making decentralization and regionalization the driving force
By Petro Morgos, Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Apr 3, 2006

Country’s political elite advancing far slower than the rest of the population
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 12 (591)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday 1-7, April 2006


By Andreas Umland, German Academic Exchange Service
(DAAD) Lecturer, National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv
For The Action Ukraine Report #684, Article 8
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 5, 2006

By Adrian Karatnycky
Newsweek International Edition, NY, NY, April 10-17, 2006

COMMENTARY: By Kostis Geropoulos, Political Editor
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, April 3, 2006


COMMENTARY: by Viktor Erofeyev
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Fri, Mar 31, 2006

Russian speakers in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula helped vote out Yushchenko
By Tom Parfitt, Guardian Unlimited, London, UK, Thu, Mar 30, 2006

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong, Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yulia Tymoshenko puppet sold for a staggering $70,000
By Yulia Volfovska, What’s On magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, No. 11, March 31-April 6, 2006

The Disabled & Vulnerable Orphans of Ukraine launches new
fundraising campaign to aid impoverished at-risk orphans in Ukraine.
DVOU, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Party of Regions does not support the bill

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada has lifted the immunity of local council deputies.
Bill N7732-7 on amendments to the Local Council Deputy Status Law was
supported by 296 MPs, with 226 votes needed for its adoption.

The least support was provided by one of the Rada’s most numerous factions
that of the Party of the Regions, with only one vote for the bill.

According to the bill, criminal proceedings against a local council deputy
can be provided by the prosecutor general or his deputy, the prosecutor of
Crimea, a region, the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol within the limits of
their powers (according to previous laws, proceedings may be instituted by

a prosecutor or court).

Under the bill, the prosecutor who brought a case against a deputy must
inform the local council about that next workday the latest. The bill
envisages that preventive punishment of a local council deputy in the form
of a written undertaking not to leave the place, or arrest may be introduced
exclusively by court (under previous laws, also exclusively by court, but
with the consent of a relevant local council).

As Ukrainian News reported, the parliament restored the criminal and
administrative immunities of local council deputies on September 8, 2005,
saying charges cannot be brought against local council deputies without
their initial consideration by the local council.

President Viktor Yuschenko signed this bill into law, but later asked the
Constitutional Court to determine whether the law is constitutional. The
immunity of parliamentary deputies is guaranteed by the Constitution.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Inter TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 4 Apr 06
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

KYIV – [Presenter] The people’s deputies at local councils have lost their
deputy immunity [from prosecution]. This morning, the Supreme Council
[parliament] cancelled their immunity, as 296 parliamentarians voted in
favour of a corresponding motion.

This means that, in order to open a criminal case against a local deputy, no
sanction from his colleagues is needed any more. The lowest number of votes
in favour of this motion – just one – was cast by the Party of Regions [of
former presidential contender Viktor Yanukovych].

The main policeman of this country reacted to this decision of the people’s
deputies like a real cop.

[Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko] Today, the Supreme Council made a serious
step. I even sent congratulation telegrams to all the 296 people’s deputies
who voted in favour of this decision, cancelling deputy immunity by half.

Why by half? Because a court verdict is needed anyway in cases where an
obligation not to flee has to be signed and in order to arrest esteemed

From now on, it will be easier to work with the top managers of
Ukrzaliznytsya [state railways], who stole more than 1bn hryvnyas, and with
other celebrities like Mr [Yevhen] Shcherban [a former governor of Sumy
Region] and Mr [former prime minister Pavlo] Lazarenko. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada has rejected all of draft resolutions assessing
the parliamentary and local elections. Draft resolution No.9270 found
support with 61 lawmakers, while the resolution needed 226 votes to be
endorsed, draft resolution No.9270-1 found support with 198 lawmakers, draft
resolution No.9270-2 with 48 lawmakers, and draft resolution No.9270-3 with
52 lawmakers.

Draft resolution No.9270 recognizes the parliamentary and local elections as
valid but provides for recount of votes at separate polling stations. Draft
resolution No.9270-1 provides that ballot papers from all of polling
stations shall be brought to Kyiv for a repeat count of votes.

The draft resolution also introduces a check of authenticity of all ballot
papers on the parliamentary elections. The draft resolution allows presence
of media at the repeat count. The draft resolution prohibits announcement
of official returns of the parliamentary elections, unless the repeat count
of votes is completed.

Draft resolution No.9270-2 recommends that the Central Election Commission
closely and comprehensively consider all of complaints related to the
elections. The draft resolution also urges all of participants in the
elections to report about all violations to law enforcement bodies.

Draft resolution No.9270-3 provides that the Rada agrees with the findings
of the international observers that the elections were free and fair and met
international standards. The draft resolution reads that the Ukrainian
authorities secured transparent and fair elections for the first time in
Ukraine’s history.

In the draft resolution the parliament thanks all of members of election
commissions and says it is not appropriate to hold local elections
simultaneously with the parliamentary elections. Before the vote on the
draft resolutions, the parliament saw one-hour debates on the past
elections. The lawmakers presented their stance on whether the elections
and the count of votes were fair and honest.

The Rada heard reports by two co-chairmen of the Rada’s interim special
commission for the election legislation, CPU MP Heorhii Kriuchkov and
PIEU MP Ihor Yukhnovskyi.

Kriuchkov said there were a lot of errors in the parliamentary elections,
first and foremost, with the electoral rolls. Yukhnovskyi said the repeat
count of votes was technically impossible and, moreover, there were no legal
provisions for that.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, parliamentary deputies Yurii Karmazin of
the Our Ukraine faction, Vasyl Nadraha of the People’s Party faction, and
Ihor Yeremeev of the People’s Party faction are proposing that the
parliament order the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) to recount the votes
that were cast in the elections that took place on March 26. They made this
proposal in draft resolution No.9270-1.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Regions Party blocked the rostrum, Constitutional Court remains inactive

Ukrinform, Tuesday, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 4, 2006

KYIV – On Tuesday the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine refused to swear in the
Constitutional Court judges who were appointed by the President and the
Congress of judges.

The Regions Party faction was the basic opponent, with its members blocking
the rostrum, the Government’s seats and the President’s chair as under
Ukraine’s active legislation the President is supposed to attend the
swearing in ceremony. As a result, the Constitutional Court remains
inactive as the bulk of the judges had resigned.

In November 2005 three judges were elected by the Congress of judges, three
more were appointed by the President. Since then the President has
repeatedly approached the lawmakers to petition them for swearing in the
judges. The Verkhovna Rada thrice torpedoed the procedure.

About 5 p m Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn adjourned the
sitting. The Parliament’s last session will be held on April 26, the day Ukraine is
to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear accident. In between
the sessions the lawmakers will work in their constituencies and in
parliamentary committees. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 4, 2006

KYIV – Chairman of the Supreme Court Vasyl Maliarenko has resigned

from his post. A source in the Verkhovna Rada disclosed this to Ukrainian
News. According to him, Maliarenko handed the resignation letter.

The judges of the Supreme Court Anatolii Didkivskyi, Ivan Dombrovskyi,
Dmytro Lilak, Yaroslava Machuzhak, judge of the High Business Court
Viacheslav Dzhun, and judge of the Kharkiv region’s Court of Appeals

Vasyl Bryntsev have also resigned from their posts.

Maliarenko was in the fifth position of the People’s bloc of Lytvyn list for
elections to the Verkhovna Rada. -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Making decentralization and regionalization the driving force

By Petro Morgos, Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Apr 3, 2006

Ukraine is now in the process towards restructuring its constitutional and
institutional governance framework, keeping in mind that the respective
areas of competency of central and regional/local governments must be
clearly delineated making decentralization and regionalization, as the
driving force.

It is thus an opportune time for Ukraine to ask the questions that go to the
heart of development of the policy and strategy for regionalization, while
maintaining its national coherency and spurring national and regional
economic development policies.

Sound policy development and legislative drafting must be based on sound
methodology that poses the fundamental questions and that relies on an open
process of interchange and communication with the stakeholders. This not
only provides the basis for increasing the chances of good policy
development, but also increases the legitimacy of the chosen policy model.

The experience of the recent past on governance in Ukraine, provides the
parties concerned with some of the questions, or at least raises several
fundamental issues, but does not necessarily provides with all of the
answers. The experience of the European Union member states in
decentralization and regionalization may help in providing with some of the

However, the difficult task at hand is to create a legislative and
institutional framework that befits the principles of the Council of Europe’s
Charter on Local Self-Government and those of the Draft Charter on Regional
Self-Government, which is workable in practice, without imposing undue
additional institutional and budgetary burdens.

Hence, the questions must address:
1. development of a sound policy approach, and
2. the creation of a legislative framework that will enable Ukraine to meet,
3. the political demand for increased regional self-definition, and
4. the creation of the necessary institutional setting for a coherent
overall national economic development approach that,
5. balances the central government need for maintaining national coherency,
with the regional need for self-development and self-sustainability, within
6. a solid investment enhancement based legislative framework and
administrative practice.

There are four basic threshold questions that are at stake. They address the
level of institutional decentralization through democracy that Ukraine wants
to promote, while allowing for a strong state to be the guardian of economic
development, unity and cohesion.

Not easy tasks to carry out simultaneously in a transition economy that
still needs to bring its institutional, administrative and governance
capacity to a level commensurate with the vision it has of itself for the

Developing decentralization and regionalization in Ukraine today, with local
self-government’s ability to function effectively, provides the perfect test
for skills that must be part of sound policy development.

The focus on decentralization, regionalization, local self-governance and
regional economic development must inevitably start at the overall
institutional approach to governance and the relationship between the
regions and the central state government.

One of the key points to keep in mind at the onset is to define clear lines
of competence and authority between the various levels and layers of

This has been, and still is, one of the weaker links in establishing a
functional and functioning government in Ukraine. No administrative reform
at this point would be truly beneficial, if the issue of governance is not
resolved in the first place.

The other major issue that will determine whether a policy of
regionalization will succeed in fostering economic development in the
regions and generally, concerns the regulatory framework and rule of law.

The extremely opaque and confusing context in which businesses operate in
Ukraine today, which is also one of the reasons still for the high level of
businesses operating in the shadow, has had a negative impact on the ability
of the country to generate investments.

Even if the investments have increased in the last two years, the pace of
development of Ukrainian small and mid-sized enterprises still is quite
stifled by the high regulatory context in which they must function.

In developing a policy of regional development, these aspects must be also
taken into consideration.

Beginning with the institutional framework, the stakeholders must thus
establish the possible consequences of a given policy, and its possible
impact on the dynamics of the society and its ability to move forward.

The starting point begins with four main areas of inquiry:

The regional council is elected by the population and its chairman by the
council. However, in practice, the council essentially delegates its
authority to the regional administration, which is an extension of the
central government.
a. What new authority and capacity must the council have in order to promote
regional self-government and regional economic development?
b. Should the Council elect the head of the executive administration of the
c. From which pool of candidates? (Council or based on universal suffrage).
d. What issues are likely to arise if elected from within the Council?
e. What issues are likely to arise if elected by universal suffrage from a
pool of candidates from the region?

The oblast administration does not represent the regional interest in the
sense that a regional self-government institutional setting otherwise would
in a European model, or other models, in which regionalization means
regional self-government.

The regional administration, aptly named the oblast state administration, is
an extension of the state central government, and only superficially does it
address the issues that may arise in the region and local governance needs.

Furthermore, the practice of governance has made it so that national budget
allocations and support for new infrastructure development are based on
political allegiance to the president and central state administration.

The head of the region is nominated by the Cabinet of Ministers and then
appointed by the President for the duration of the term of the president,
unless otherwise terminated sooner.
a. Will the head of the region now represent the state administration at the
regional level, or will s/he represent the region proper and the region in
its relationship with the central state administration?
b. How can the head of the region be nominated and appointed or elected in
accordance with principles of democracy?
c. Can the Parliament ratify a nomination for the head of the oblast
d. What issues are likely to arise if elected by universal suffrage from a
pool of candidates from the region?
e. Can there be a problem of blockage if the Council and the head of the
region, elected separately by universal suffrage, for example, do not


Today the central state government and regional administrations are one and
the same, as stated above. The result has been a slow process of
decentralization, a false promise of democratization at the local level, a
confusion of each part’s role, and in the end inability to foster capacity
building in governance and economic development at the regional and local

At the same time, the push for democratization resulting from the prior
regime’s centralized approach is a key issue in terms of maintaining unity
of the country, while promoting regional and local self-governance.

Answers to these issues are probably situated over a period of time, in
which the central government still needs to play a strong role of policy
maker and development for democratization and economic growth, while the
regions and local governments develop their capacity to function more

Hence, again, the issue of the relationship between the two levels of
government is back in the front of the discussions on the subject. This
issue is an extension of the prior issue raised about the definition and
identity of the regional administration.

This point must force the parties concerned to redefine the role of the
central government and regional government in terms of authority each needs
to exercise for an effective governance of the country and the regions.
a. What model of relationship between the central government and regional
government does Ukraine want to choose?
b. Should the regional government administration represent only the
interests of a region, or should it also act as a delegated manager of the
central government?
c. What institutional capacity does the region have today in carrying out
the delegated tasks of the central government?
d. Is a central approach to educational programs, health and welfare,
national transport systems (roads, railways, air and water transports), for
example, best remain within the central government’s sphere?
e. Are they overlapping issues concerning certain aspects of the items
listed above?
f. If so, how can they be managed effectively without creating additional
and unnecessary administrative, institutional and budgetary burdens?
g. Is the concept of region as defined today in the form of oblasts the
proper approach to regionalization?
h. Prior debates concerning the conceptualization of regions had indicated
larger areas for regions, taking into consideration several factors, among
other approaches. Given the options that were debated and the choice that
was finally taken, were a compromise, not necessarily based on sound
government approach, will the debate be reopened?


Currently, the relationship between local self-government and regional
government (regional local state administration) is based on the reality of
the relationship between the regional state administration and the central

In other words, while conceptually and on paper, local self-government has
much of the autonomy and responsibilities that a local self-government may
be expected to have in a modern context, in practice, local self-governments
in Ukraine are dependent on budget allocations which are determined by
region’s special programs submitted to the central government budget.

This translates into inability to carry out most of the tasks that are under
the authority of local self-government, as the majority of special programs
are not funded, either locally or via national budget allocations.
a. Are local self-governments able to carry out the functions enumerated in
existing legislation?
b. If local self-government is to exist in an effective manner, what are the
competencies of local self-government that have a chance of being carried
out under a real form of local self-government?
c. Is current legislation on local self-government effective in allowing
these governments to function effectively?
d. Is delegation of powers and authorities an effective way in carrying out
governance tasks generally?
e. If so, what resources would be available if local self-government does
not have a sufficient base for self-finance?


Many of the questions posed and issues stated above have been raised in the
last 15 years in Ukraine. They remain as valid today as they were then. In
the meantime, much has happened and much has been learned by all.

Hopefully, this renewed contribution to the debate will foster further
dynamic ideas from Ukraine and will lead to the beginning of the fulfillment
of its aspirations, and that its pent-up potential will begin to become a
reality. -30-
Mr. Morgos is the Senior Expert in Legislation and Institutional Issues of
the EU funded Project “Assistance to Regional Development in Ukraine”.

The Project is implemented by Bureau of Economic Management and Legal
Studies, division of BCEOM. The findings, conclusions and interpretations
expressed in this article are those of Petro Morgos alone and should in no
way be taken to reflect the policies or opinions of the European Commission.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Country’s political elite advancing far slower than the rest of the population

Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 12 (591)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday 1-7, April 2006

[Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR]

The chief lesson learned from the 2006 parliamentary campaign is fully
evident. The election that passed has yet again demonstrated that the
country’s political elite is advancing far slower than the rest of the
population, which is maturing very rapidly. This maturity is what the fairly
surprising, if not sensational outcome of the election might be attributed

What happened on March 26 has confirmed that the population (at least very
significant part of it) is disappointed with the authorities’ performance,
and, at the same time, brought to shame those who believed the people to be

Pessimistic forecasts that voter turnout would be lower than ever before and
the percentage of votes against all candidates would be as high than ever
before did not come true. Of all the eligible voters, 67.7 percent came to
polling stations, of whom only 1.77 percent voted against all candidates.

The election returns also brought to shame those who mistakenly believed
that people are easy to cheat using one-off election projects – hurriedly
organized yet well financed and advertised. The voterate didn’t rise to the
bait of a great deal of empty promises in expensive glossy wrappings. The
majority of voters have ignored the sloppily-built ‘paper’ parties and
occasional ‘cardboard’ alliances.

The election has toppled the thesis that ‘the percentage of votes garnered
is in direct proportion to the amount of cash invested’. The huge sums of
money paid by the Ne Tak! bloc, Viche party or Volodymyr Lytvyn’s Popular
Bloc for TV advertisements did not earn them the dividends they expected.

The modern-style TV advertisements for the Communists did not bring them
more votes, neither did aesthetically beautiful advertising videos for
Vitaliy Klichko’s Pora-PRP party bloc help it to get into parliament.

The outright failure of ‘baby’ parties deserves special attention. Their
failures have clearly demonstrated how far those running for parliament
underestimated the voters. Ordinary voters have on most occurrences turned
out much wiser, far-sighted and pragmatic than some experienced policy

Some who are masters at achieving what can be achieved turned out not to be
very critical when estimating their own abilities.

Some, for example, fondly believed that their previous merits and the
man-in-the-street’s nostalgic reflexes could open to them the gateway to
parliament. But this hope was toppled by the voter; there are at least two
examples of this.

The [1] first is the once powerful Communist Party of Ukraine that hardly
cleared the three-percent hurdle required for entering parliament. The [2]
other is the failure of the Kostenko-Pliushch bloc that was stuffed with
well-known names. The results achieved by these two forces demonstrates that
the voter no longer trusts either orthodox leftists nor national democrats
just as they are.

There are a few who support the Communists only for being such. But, as it
turned out, those who are ready to give their votes to national-patriotic
legends just out of respect for them are still fewer. The people have
matured, while some parties have never ridden themselves of the infantile
sickness of leftism (or rightism).

Both the Communist Party and Kostenko’s Ukrainian People’s Party seemed to
be perceived as obsolete political projects even by their supporters. Even
if the party leaders made attempts to add a fresh blood to their dying
organisms, these attempts went unnoticed by their potential voters.

The Kostenko-Pliushch party list featured outstanding figures such as Stepan
Khmara, Ivan Drach, Dmytro Pavlychko, Pavlo Movchan, Ivan Zayets and other
veterans of the national-patriotic movement. We believe that the failure
suffered by this project illustrates one more lesson of this election
campaign. The myth that the presence of well-known names in a party list
inevitably provides it a reliable pass to parliament seems to have been
dispelled forever.

By including constellations of prominent personalities in their party lists
many of the participants in the election process vainly tried to make up for
the lack of cash, or ideology, or institutional structure, or all of the

The Yednist bloc decided to exploit what has remained of Yevhen Marchuk’s
renown. Social Democrats (united) used as their banner [the first president
of Ukraine] Leonid Kravchuk’s reputation in decline. Pora-PRP tried and win
votes by exploiting Vitaliy Klichko’s popularity. Members of the Volodymyr
Lytvyn’s Popular Bloc intended to benefit to the maximum possible extent
from the Rada Speaker’s personal authority.

Calculations by the above mentioned (any many more) participating forces in
the race to parliament have turned out to be erroneous. Voters from all over
Ukraine have proven that they are hard to buy using ‘signboards’. Natalia
Vitrenko’s Popular Opposition bloc was very close to dispelling this
contention. But this is the one exception that proves the rule.

There is no denying that the results achieved by Yulia Tymoshenko’s and
Nasha Ukraina blocs depended very much on the level of personal trust in
Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko. But this dependence was not as
evident as might be expected at first glance (about this see below).

Along with that, the election results may become a weighty argument in a
dispute with foes of the proportional voting system. To those who still
insist that “the country has yet to grow to voting by party lists” and “the
society is not sufficiently structured” we strongly recommend to look at the
voters’ judgment and then answer one question.

Which is more structured: the political community that made society choose
from four and a half dozen participants in the race or the society itself
that only elected five of them?

Men of all conditions could be heard during this election campaign saying
approximately one and the same thing: I would like to vote for some X party
but will vote for an Y party, because the former has fewer chances of
getting into parliament than the latter, for which it wouldn’t hurt to have
more seats in building a coalition.

Voters were banking on favorites, in that they, the voters, feared a defeat
far more than political people did. A substantial part of the political
community has turned out to be unable to sacrifice its ambitions and forget
its resentment for the sake of a strategic goal, while the mass of the
voters did what pragmatists would do.

As a result, a citizen’s wish to support those who can do more outweighed
his wish to support those who promise more. For the population it was
evident that a small force that they would like to support would be unable
to implement their hopes in full. A less favorable yet more powerful force
that met their basic requirements looked more promising in their eyes.

For this reason, some voters who favored the Communist Party gave their
votes to the Regions of Ukraine, supporters of Pora-PRP contributed votes to
Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, and ‘fans’ of Kostenko, Pliushch and Khmara voted
for Nasha Ukraina.

One more feature that distinguishes this parliamentary campaign from all
previous ones is that voters are discussing the possible composition of the
future coalition in parliament much more than details of election scandals,
particular features of TV advertisements for some or other political force
or merits of party leaders.
Here I repeat what I already said: the society has matured much sooner than
some political people could expect. And it did so much sooner than the
political people did themselves. In this situation, policy makers will have
to adjust themselves to the standards set by citizens.
One may expect that the huge number of politicians from all extremes and of
all calibers will eventually understand that for getting into parliament it
is not enough to have:

[1] a party with a dozen and a half active members;
[2] two or three reputable names at the top of their party list;
[3] a few thousand Hryvnyas in election pledges;
[4] overestimated belief in oneself;
[5] fervent wish to get one’s faction in parliament.
One might also expect that lawmakers will eventually decide to take steps
towards building up a normal party system. From our viewpoint, proposed
amendments to current laws should:

[1] elevate the hurdle for entry to parliament from the current three
percent to at least five percent of voter support;
[2] ban party blocs from running for parliament;
[3] ban the parties that have been set up less than three years (the longer
the better) before the start of the election campaign from running for
[4] toughen requirements on political party performance, particularly on
issues concerning party strength;
[5] toughen sanctions for failure to comply with the new requirements.

It would be unwise to make assumptions about what this election has
demonstrated so apparently. The time of political pigmies has passed for
good. We realize that this may sound insulting for a good hundred party
leaders, as nobody wants to be considered a leader of a ‘dwarf’

They may not think so, but the people – the only source of power in this
country – does. Those who lost this election should look at the election
returns once again just to realize that it is stupid to continue deceiving
themselves and to try to deceive the whole people.
Introducing tougher and fairer rules of the game would make it possible to
get the party system structured to obtain ten or so parties — solid,
wealthy and well staffed — instead of the current 126. The parties existing
only as visions in the minds of their leaders will inevitably die out, as
such parties, made primarily of their leaders’ friends, relatives, drivers,
bodyguards and love-mates, have no prospects whatsoever.

God willing, and with voters’ help, the very approach to building up parties
that claim for themselves a role in the country’s social life (particularly
in parliament) will eventually change. Previously, all things were done
thus: before the start of a campaign an owner of a party brand was looking
for a money-bag who, in turn, was looking for a few known names (typically
already included in five or six other teams). The work is done, and the
party is now ready for helpless battle for votes.

Voter choice in favor of the strong suggests that the situation is going to
change soon. It is to be hoped that parties known to no one will cease
sheltering themselves behind known political figures, and there is no need
any more for parties of this kind. As for policy makers (including known and
most experienced ones), they will try to get into ‘heavyweight’

Many will eventually stop the practice of changing their party affiliation
every six months or so, and numerous party sponsors and patrons will change
the old good tradition of putting their golden eggs in different party

It may be hard to believe but this process has already got underway, and
people’s matured political consciousness will inevitably make it even

Don’t we idealize the population too much? Is our estimation of their choice
correct? We will give two examples. According to the information obtained by
this newspaper, in the city of Mariupol, SE Ukraine, the Socialist Party
garnered 13 percent of the vote, although (as the word has) it hoped for 50
percent. And this hope was well justified, as Volodymyr Boyko (number 8 in
the Socialist Party ticket) is a kind of a god in that city. The
metallurgical mill that he heads supports the whole population there.

But citizens voted for the Regions of Ukraine Party en masse, thereby
demonstrating that utilitarian approaches to a political choice are now
passing into history together with the majoritarian voting system. A similar
situation could be seen in another city in the Donbass region, Alchevsk.

The Ecological Salvation Party ‘ECO+25%’ is know to all there, as it did for
the city more than all the authorities put together during the heating
system failure at the height of this winter. But all the ‘rescuers’,
including party leaders Serhiy Yermilov, Petro Dyminski, Ihor Nasalyk and
Anatoliy Tolstoukhov got approximately as many votes there as the Socialist
Party in Mariupol. We believe, for the same reason.

Politicians should have realized during the 2004 presidential campaign that
the time of voting for inexpensive sausage and free cheese had passed.
Strangely and sadly enough, it is the pro-presidential team that understood
this apparent truth least of all.
It would be untrue to say that the election project named ‘Nasha Ukraina’
was doomed to failure from the very beginning. (This is how their miserable
13.94 percent of the vote should be perceived, although only a year ago
orange team leaders were serious in their intention to win the majority of
seats in the fifth-convocation Rada). Though, the same leaders did what they
could for the result they obtained to be as sad as it was.

‘Heavyweight’ orange team leaders can and must only blame themselves for
this failure, blame their own ambitions and inability to reach agreements.
They should admit that their campaign was ineffective and lacked
organization (this, in particular, is about the failure to unite under their
banners Pora-PRP and Kostenko’s bloc).

[1] It is the authorities, in the first place President Yushchenko, who are
to blame for what has never become a united orange team.
But this is not the chief election mistake by Viktor Yushchenko and his men.
As we understand it, the head of state erroneously interpreted the idea of
the ‘pledges given on the Maidan’.

Propaganda for Nasha Ukraina more often than not was reduced to a kind of a
report for the work done. “We did what we promised!”, authorities reported,
citing maternity benefit rise, a shorter conscription period, GDP growth and
more accomplishments.

But for the mass of orange team supporters the ‘pledges from the Maidan’
were and still remain a collection of values rather than a list of material
comforts. Because it was not maternity benefits or high GDP growth rates for
which people went to the Maidan in hundreds of thousands.

Each of those who became disappointed with the new authorities have a
‘because’ of their own, subjective, yet justified. Because none of the
bandits whom the new authorities promised would be jailed have got there.

Half of those on the Regions of Ukraine Party ticket could well be taken to
justice. If they are offenders, why they are in the Rada, not behind bars?
If they are not, why all these numerous charges of breaching the law?

Because they promised that the authorities would be fair, democratic and
unbiased; there would be no nepotism, bribe-taking, embezzlement of public
funds or lobbying; the authorities would not be involved in businesses of
any kind. Part of the promises has been recanted, the other part has never
been fulfilled.

Some of Yushchenko’s men have been accused of corruption, but the President
took his ‘dear friends’ under his shelter, declaring those to be honest men
even without an investigation.

Because the President, who promised to honor the Constitution, began
breaching it literally from the first day in office. Those who noticed this
were in much greater numbers than Yushchenko might think. Those to whom this
fact was of importance were in larger numbers than Yushchenko might want.

Many did not vote for Nasha Ukraina not ‘because’ Roman Zvarych does not
have a university degree but because he lied that he had one. They did not
vote not because Yushchenko’s son, Andriy, drives a luxury vehicle but
because nobody knows where he got it from. And because a journalist who was
honestly doing his job didn’t deserve a boorish remark from the top state

Didn’t the ‘orange team’ promised the authorities would be fair and
transparent, and would respect the people?

[2] The second principal error was the very technology used by Nasha Ukraina
in building its election bloc. This was established specially for the
election and for suiting Yushchenko’s interests, and was being formed ‘from
the above’ as a new party in power.

By so doing President Yushchenko and his team were exactly repeating the
mistakes by Kuchma and his men. For this reason, it was not incidental that
the Nasha Ukraina project followed the sad fate of the Za Yedyny Ukrainy
(for United Ukraine) bloc. And this party is most likely to travel the same
path to the end until it passes into political non-existence.

To many ordinary supporters of the orange revolutionaries the Don’t-Betray-

the-Maidan! call sounded insulting, for the reasons mentioned above. But
there was one more reason. We venture to assume that supporters of the
Maidan team were scrutinizing the Nasha Ukraina ticket more closely than
other voters.

The majority of the population most likely made their choice based on a
party brand, its biography, personality of its leader, the character of
their election pledges and, of course, on what their intuition told them.
The people that were running for parliament as Yushchenko’s were not
perceived by many voters as Maidan’s team.

Because this team lacked a lot of the men with whom the Maidan was
associated, as heroes of the revolution ended up with other party teams such
as Tymoshenko’s bloc (BYuT), Pora-PRP, Kostenko’s bloc and even smaller
election formations. Their places on the principal list had been given to
those who were nowhere to be seen on the Maidan or could be seen there when
everything was decided.

Those who did ‘responsible jobs ‘on the home front’, who concealed
themselves, waiting till it became clear who would win.. Those who
cooperated with Yushchenko’s enemies or even openly worked for them.
Promised ‘new faces’ never emerged. It’s up to a political force to decide
whom to include on its ticket. It’s up to a voter not to support it if s/he
believes such a ticket to be a betrayal of the Maidan agenda.

We will not speculate on the betrayal issue here, as the question of whether
the betrayal existed is a point at issue, though all who answer ‘yes’ would
have the right to say so. We will only state what is evident: the Nasha
Ukraina project was not effective, nor it was representative or attractive.

Maidan veterans who did not get onto the ‘orange’ list took away romance
with them, while the newcomers did not bring anything. The quota of those
‘trusted’ or ‘useful time-servers’ had turned out to be too big. And the
voters reacted correspondingly.

Less than 14 percent of the vote for Nasha Ukraina is to be blamed on
Yushchenko alone. Such a return is miserable for a man who enjoyed strong
support from half the nation quite recently. But the political force that
had the consciousness to hope for a leading role in the post-revolution
parliament could not have got even this percentage.

We would venture to suppose, with a high degree of probability, that if the
Nasha Ukraina list had been replaced altogether with figures of the same
‘political weight’, the result would be the same.

The 13.94 percent of the vote for Nasha Ukraina represents the number of
those who still believe not as much in Yushchenko as in what he proclaimed
on the Maidan, and still believe that he did not keep his promises simply
because he did not have enough time to do so.

Why is the Nasha Ukraina project doomed to die?

FIRST, in its present shape, it is inherently bad. A democratic party must
not be built up ‘from above’. And for this reason, a party claiming for
itself a place in the vanguard must not be built as a one-off election
project, as this is not feasible from a policy viewpoint and also
disrespectful of voters.

SECOND, the Nasha Ukraina project was designed to retain for Viktor
Yushchenko the status of the leading policy player that he risked losing as
the political reform came into force. Nasha Ukraina did not cope with this
task, just in the same way as the similar ‘cardboard’ Za Yedynu Ukrainu
bloc — tasked with retaining the power slipping away from Kuchma — did not
accomplish that goal four years ago.

THIRD, and finally, there is the lack of agreement between friends. The men
on the Nasha Ukraina Party list (selected according to very strange
criteria) are quarreling not only with Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc but also with
one another.

After it became known (from some unofficial yet highly reliable sources)
that Roman Bezsmertny was accused by his companions-in-arms after the
election of having been ‘recruited’ by BYuT and dismantling the party ‘from
the inside’, it became clear that the political life of this force will not
be ‘long and happy’, and it cannot be such by definition.

Nasha Ukraina may hold on for some time, but only as an appendage to a
stronger force. But it would be more reasonable to create a new party from
the ashes (sparks are there already).

By whom, when, on what ideological principles and for what strategic goal is
a premature question. One thing is obvious: none of the now existing parties
will be adequate to this role. What each of them is worth has been clearly
demonstrated by the election returns.
The fate of Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc – which is not a political force as
such — is equally vague. This is, rather, a movement supported by those who
have become disillusioned with Nasha Ukraina but are not yet disappointed
with the orange agenda. And, contrary to all forecasts, they are not

Recognizing Yulia Tymoshenko’s artistry, skills and charisma, we would
venture to claim that the number of votes given to her bloc (22.27 percent)
is not equal to the number of her true supporters. If she thinks otherwise,
she risks repeating Yushchenko’s mistake.

Her position in the election was inherently advantageous: After resignation
as Prime Minister she could afford the luxury of speaking of what those
disappointed with Yushchenko were thinking about. The trouble was that
nobody could think about the true magnitude of this disappointment.

The mass of Tymoshenko’s voters are romantic, impulsive, emotional, often
adventurist, sometimes aggressive and, most likely, inclined to shift their
favorites. Today they accepted the dubious (from the viewpoint of a
convinced ‘orange’ supporter) figures who are present on her ticket in

Yulia was only forgiven because such figures are aplenty in other lists as
well, because she has on her ticket true supporters of the orange agenda,
but mainly because she is still trusted. She was in essence in opposition to
the authorities (even though she vehemently denied this), and not only was
her criticism rightful but also unpunished.

If she grabs her chance of coming back into real power, she will face a
difficult test. Her voters will judge how far her deeds correspond with her
words with much scrutiny, and, if there is little correspondence, they will
turn away from her even sooner than they did from Yushchenko.

She will also have to be particularly exclusive in selecting partners, as it
is most unlikely that she would never be forgiven political adultery, even
gentle ones. To secure for herself a firm standing in the new political
situation, Tymoshenko will be simply obliged to transform her BYuT bloc into
a fully-fledged political party, preferably with a clear ideology and an
integral program.
The party-building issue is facing the Socialist Party as well. No matter
how far reluctant party veteran Oleksandr Moroz may be from admitting this
fact, but (judging from everything) he managed to outpace the Communists

and get into the Rada due to two things.

The [1] first is that he was a frequent guest on the Maidan during the
Orange Revolution. Secondly, [2] it was due to the presence in his party of
Yuri Lutsenko, who played a major role in the revolution.
The Socialist
Party seems to have not found yet its own place in the new conditions. Pure
leftists are slowly dying out as a class, while center-leftists have not
been born yet as a class.

To remain afloat, it is necessary for the Socialists to retain their status
as an influential party: as the election showed, the people have a nose for
the weak and do not favor them too much. To confirm that they are still
strong, the Socialist should urgently start to search for and develop a
political niche of their own until it is too late.
The problem of correct self-identification is probably the most critical for
one of the most promising political projects – the Pora-PRP bloc. This could
and should have been perceived by a considerable number of voters as a
Maidan party or defenders of the true values of the revolution. It should,
but did not become so. It could, but failed to.

And the point is not in the presence of some very strange figures in its
ticket but rather in the fact that this bloc organized its campaign in such
a way that it gave the impression it was a party of Vilatiy Klichko, not the

Many did see him on the Maidan, but few associated Klichko with the Maidan
proper. Many on the party list behind him had more rights to this. Some
believe that Klichko not only did not bring in new votes but even repelled
some potential voters.

This assumption is challengeable, but it has the right to exist. Having
failed the initial phase of the campaign, Pora-PRP decided to compensate for
lost time by exploiting a well-advertised brand. But their hopes never came

As we have already pointed out, pure brands never won this race. The same

is true for political lightweights. The only thing that could save them were
ideas. But these were not there.
There is no denying that the Regions of Ukraine Party that won the race
deserves special attention. There is no point in speculating much about that
party, as everything is apparent there. For the first thing, it’s apparent
that the number-one name on the party ticket played little if any role at
all, less so his personal characteristics.

Those who gave their votes to the most ardent opponents of the orange team
did not much care if Yanukovych knows Anna Akhmatova poems, understands
Orthodox traditions, or pronounces the name of Hulak-Artemovsky correctly.
The Regions of Ukraine was the living picture of the force whose supporters
felt themselves insulted after the presidential election.

Whatever might have driven them – a lust for revenge or a wish to restore
justice – it was strong enough. In the author’s subjective view, the Regions
of Ukraine’s impressive percentage (32.12%) was born artificially. But today
it looks integrated and organic.

The previous authorities had split the nation, thereby giving birth to the
orange movement as a social phenomenon. The new authorities did nothing to
get the nation united again, thereby increasing the number of its opponents.

In response to the events in the late 2004, a kind of an anti-Maidan emerged
on the east of the country. It emerged as a collection of own values and a
certain code of honor – strange to foes but logical to friends. The
anti-Maidan’s almost unanimous voting in 2006 is akin to the Maidan’s
upsurge in 2004.

Both rose up to defend their choice, and both were striving for the win they
believed to have been stolen from them. We may not accept this, but we must
respect their choice.

This choice should also be reckoned with by the elected ones. What is
evident even today is that the ‘blue-and-whites’ have even fewer principles
than the Nasha Ukraina team. The principles that are there would long have
been given up for the sake of portfolio distribution. But this may not be
accepted by the electorate, which has recently been looked to, at least
occasionally, and will be increasingly looked to in future.
The Social Democrats (united), the Greens, the Ukrainian People’s Party, the
Reforms and Order Party, the People’s-Democratic Party, Pora and, possibly,
the Progressive Socialist Party – all these projects, at least as they are,
will most likely cease to exist soon, from which the party system will no
doubt benefit.

The long-awaited consolidation of political organizations will, God willing,
eventually start up. Let’s hope that this will be accompanied by
reevaluation of values and a reformation of party programs.

The old epoch is passing away. The new parliament will not see Volodymyr
Lytvyn, who would no doubt have got there as a majority candidate, but did
not find in the proportionate system a place he believed his party deserved.
Why? At first glance, this is because of his failure to understand that
‘peacemakers’ are only needed at times of revolutions. In post-revolution
times, people much fear deputies from the ‘mire’.

Ivan Pliushch and Leonid Kravchuk, Viktor Pynzenyk and Viktor Musiyaka,
Borys Oliynyk and Volodymyr Filenko, Ihor Sharov and Liudmyla Suprun,

Stepan Khmara and Heoriy Kriuchkov, Ihor Ostash and Yuri Kostenko,
Ivan Zayets and Borys Andresiuk will not be in the newly-elected parliament

There will be no experienced policy makers there who represent different
political forces but could be of much use to the country’s top legislature.
The nation has changed. Therefore, it is high time for the political
community to change itself as well.

It is to be hoped that the majority of those listed above (and many more not
mentioned here) will keep themselves occupied. It is to be hoped that, after
taking a rest and realizing what has happened, these will find their own
places in business, in government offices or in the ‘third sector’.

The latter is probably of particularly significance. An inflow of
experienced and highly-qualified masters should expedite the emergence in
this country of a full-fledged civil society, which we all have awaited for
so long. -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

By Andreas Umland, German Academic Exchange Service
(DAAD) Lecturer, National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv
For The Action Ukraine Report #684, Article 8
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 5, 2006

One of the worrying results of the 2006 Verkhovna Rada elections was that
the so-called “Popular Opposition” bloc led by the head of the Progressive
Socialist Party of Ukraine Natal’ya Mikhailovna Vitrenko (b. 1951) managed
to come, with 2.93% of the official turnout, close to passing the 3%-barrier
and thus almost entered the Rada.

Vitrenko is the premier representative of radical anti-Westernism in
Ukraine; she has also made herself known with her frequent invectives
against Ukrainian politicians whom she does not hesitate to call “natsisty”

Both of these circumstances are ironic in as far as Vitrenko has been, for
some time, officially allied to a well-known Russian propagator of the
West’s worst invention: fascism.

Vitrenko, along with former UNA-UNSO and current “Bratstvo” leader
Dmitro Korchinskii, entered in 2004, and is now listed in the directory of
members of, the Highest Council of the International Eurasian Movement
31st March 2006).

There was also an announcement in 2005 that Vitrenko and Korchinski were
going to enter the Highest Council of the Eurasian Youth Movement
(, 31st March 2006), the International Eurasian
Movement’s youth section with branches in, among other countries, Ukraine.

Both of these organizations, the International Eurasian Movement and
Eurasian Youth Movement, have been created by, and are entirely devoted
to the ideas of, a certain Aleksandr Dugin (b. 1962). Dugin has become
famous in Russia during the last years and is more and more present in
Russian mass media, but has not (yet) been broadly noted in Ukraine. He
has, in Putin’s Russia, made himself known as a “neo-Eurasianist” and
fanatic anti-American.

Dugin also occasionally describes himself as a “national bolshevist,”
“traditionalist,” “conservative revolutionary” or “Guenonist” (with
reference to the founder of West European “Traditionalism,” Rene Guenon).

As the latter terms indicate, Dugin’s world-view is not only determined by
indigenous Eastern Slavic ideas. Rather his ideology is, to a large degree,
a variation of a number of ideas that had their origins in pre-war Western

While Dugin poses as a radical anti-Westerner, his major concepts, in fact,
are derived from Western theories. That Vitrenko has entered the ruling body
of an organization fundamentally inspired by non-Slavic (and, sometimes,
even anti-Slavic) Western sources might make Slavic anti-Westerners think.

There is more. In spite of his dubious sources, Dugin finds himself today in
the company of a whole number of highly placed Russian political and social
figures such as Minister of Culture Sokolov, Federation Council Deputy
Speaker Torshin or Presidential Aide Aslakhanov who, like Vitrenko,
Korchinskii and other post-Soviet figures, have entered the International
Eurasian Movement’s Highest Council.

This circumstance makes it even more intriguing that, in the past, Dugin has
made many, to say the least, unorthodox statements on world history. In
particular, Dugin gave some unusual assessments of West European fascism.

To be sure, Dugin has harshly criticized German, Italian and other fascisms,
for instance, in his article “Fascism – red and borderless” which is a
chapter of his book “Tampliery Proletariata” (The Knight Templars of the
Proletariat, Moscow: Arktogeya, 1997; an English translation of this article
is appended below; for the Russian original, see, 31st March 2006).

Yet, what Dugin blamed the fascist regimes and parties of inter-war Europe
for was that they were too moderate, too incoherent, too soft, and not truly
revolutionary. Fascism, such seems Dugin’s view, is, in principle, an
excellent idea.

Unfortunately, in Dugin’s opinion, it has, however, never been consistently
implemented. That shall be different after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
In Russia today, finally, there will emerge a truly “fascist fascism.” (For
further amplification of this thesis, see the appendix below.)

In previous books published in the early 1990s, Dugin had already elaborated
why exactly he thinks fascism is a good idea, the SS was an organization
with positive characteristics, the break-up of the 1939 alliance between
Hitler and Stalin constituted an unfortunate event, etc.

See for instance his essay collections “Konspirologiya” (Conspirology,
Moscow: Arktogeya, 1992; available at,
31st March 2006) and “Konservativnaya revolyutsiya” (The Conservative
Revolution, Moscow: Arktogeya, 1994; available at, 31st March 2006).

That Vitrenko has used terms like “Nazi” or “fascist” with a seemingly
negative connotation is only to be welcomed. However, Vitrenko might,
perhaps, before using liberally these labels for her political opponents,
first check whether her own close political allies fall under these

As far as Dugin is concerned, Vitrenko has, by entering the International
Eurasian Movement’s Highest Council, it appears, officially accepted
intellectual leadership from somebody who has not hesitated to formulate
repeatedly and explicitly a deep attraction to fascism.

A final note on Dugin might be worth adding in view of Vitrenko’s recent
frequent posing as a Ukrainian patriot. Dugin is not only notorious for his
debt to Western radical anti-democratic ideas. He has, furthermore, made
himself also known by views on the future of Ukraine not less extravagant
than his statements on fascism.

In his major book “Osnovy geopolitiki” (Foundations of Geopolitics,
4th edn. Moscow: Arktogeya, 2000), Dugin, for instance, writes that “[t]he
sovereignty of Ukraine represents such a negative phenomenon for Russian
geopolitics that it can, in principle, easily provoke a military conflict.”
(p. 348).

Apart from a other similar statements about Ukraine as a whole
(“Malorossiya” and “Okraina”, p. 799), he, in “Osnovy geopolitiki,” noted,
with reference to Southern Ukraine, that “[a]n absolute imperative of
Russian geopolitics on the Black Sea shores is the total and unlimited
control by Moscow of [these shores] over their whole stretch – from the
Ukrainian to the Abkhaz territory” (p. 349). Similar sentences can be found
in “Osnovy geopolitiki” and other publications by Dugin.

In view of the above and many comparable statements, it is bizarre that
Dugin has managed to link himself institutionally to a whole number of top
actors of the government, parliament, mass media, and civil society of
Russia – a country that defines itself, even more than Ukraine, by its
victory over fascism, is proud of its anti-fascist credentials, and claims
to have brotherly feelings for Ukraine.

What would be equally ironic is that, “if Vitrenko is successful in pursuing
her plan to force herself into the Verkhovna Rada through a re-count, a
grouping, the International Eurasian Movement, led by a sworn enemy
of Ukrainian independence and fanatic apologist of fascism would acquire
an official representative in the Ukrainian parliament.” -30-

There are, in the 20th century, only three ideologies that have managed
to demonstrate that their principles are realistic in terms of their
political-administrative implementation – these are liberalism, communism
and fascism.

As much as one may like to – it is impossible to name another model of
society which would not be one of the forms of these ideologies and
[which], at the same time, existed in reality. There are liberal countries,
there are communist [countries] and there are fascist (nationalist)
[countries]. Others are absent. And are impossible.

In Russia, we have passed two ideological stages – the communist and the
liberal. What remains is fascism.

One of the versions of fascism which, it seems, Russian society is today
ready (or almost ready) to embrace is national capitalism.

It is almost beyond doubt that the project of national capitalism or “right
fascism” constitutes an ideological initiative of that part of the elite of
society which is seriously concerned with the problem of power and feels
acutely the power of time [velenie vremeni].

Yet, the “national-capitalist,” “right-wing” variation of fascism does by no
means exhaust the nature of this ideology. Moreover, the union of the
“national bourgeoisie” with the “intelligentsia” on which, according to some
analysts, the coming Russian fascism will be based constitutes a glaring
example for what, actually, is entirely alien to fascism as a world-view, as
a doctrine, [and] as a style.

“The domination of national capital” – this is a Marxist definition of the
phenomenon of fascism. It does absolutely not take into account the
specific philosophical self-reflection of fascist ideology [and] consciously
ignores the fundamental core-pathos of fascism.

Fascism – this is nationalism, yet not any nationalism, but a revolutionary,
rebellious, romantic, idealistic [form of nationalism] appealing to a great
myth and transcendental idea, trying to put into practice the Impossible
Dream [sic], to give birth to a society of the hero and Superhuman [sic],
to change and transform [preobrazovat’ i preobrazit’] the world.

On the economic level, fascism is characterized rather by socialist or
moderately socialist methods which subordinate personal, individual
economic interests to the principles of national welfare, justice, [and]
brotherhood. And finally, the fascist view of culture corresponds to a
radical rejection of the humanistic, “excessively humane” mentality, i.e.
of what represents the essence of the “intelligentsia.”

The fascist hates the intellectual [intelligent] as a type. He sees in him a
masked bourgeois, a pretentious philistine, a chatterbox and irresponsible
coward. The fascist loves the brutal [zverskoe], superhuman and angel-like,
at the same time. He loves the cold and tragedy, he does not like warmth
and comfort.

With other words, fascism despises everything that makes up the essence
of “national capitalism.” He fights for the “domination of national
idealism” (and not “national capital”) and against the bourgeoisie and
intelligentsia (and not for her and not with her). The fascist pathos is
accurately defined in the famous phrase of Mussolini: “Rise, fascist and
proletarian Italy!”

“Fascist and proletarian” – such is the orientation of fascism. [It is] a
labor and heroic, militant and creative, idealistic and futuristic ideology
which does not have anything in common with securing additional
governmental comfort for the traders [torgasham] (even if a thousand
times national) and sinecures for the socially parasitic intelligentsia.

The central figures of the fascist state, [and] fascist myth [are] the
peasant, worker, [and] soldier.

On the top, as the supreme symbol of the tragic fight with destiny, cosmic
entropy [is] the god-like leader, Duce [duche], Führer [fyurer],
superhuman who realizes in his supra-individual personality the extra-
ordinary tension of national will for feat. Of course, somewhere, at the
periphery, there is also a place for the honest citizen-merchant
[grazhdanin-lavochnik] and university professor.

They too put on party badges and go out to ceremonial meetings. But, in
fascist reality, their figures are fading, getting lost, [and] move into the
background [otstupayut na zadnii plan]. Not for them and not by them is
the national revolution done.

In history, clean, ideal fascism did not experience a direct incarnation. In
practice, the urgent problems of assumption of power and establishing
economic order forced the fascist leaders – including Mussolini, Hitler,
Franco, as well as Salazar – to forge alliances with conservatives, national
capitalists, big owners and corporation heads.

Yet, this compromise always ended deplorable for the fascist regimes.
The fanatic anti-communism of Hitler warmed up by the German capitalists
cost Germany the defeat in its war with the USSR while Mussolini – trusting
into the honesty of the king (articulator of the interests exactly of big
business) – was delivered by him to the renegades Badoglio and Ciano who
put the Duce into prison and threw themselves into the embrace of the

Franco held out the longest, and even that because of the concessions of
liberal-capitalist England and USA and because of [his] rejection to support
the ideologically related regimes of the Axis. Moreover, Franco was not a
real fascist.

National capitalism is the inner virus of fascism, its enemy [and] guarantor
[zalog] of its degeneration and perishing. National capitalism is in no way
an essential characteristic of fascism as [national capitalism] is, on the
contrary, an accidental and contradictory element in its inner structure.

Therefore, in our case, in the case of the growing Russian national
capitalism, one cannot speak about fascism, but of an attempt to
preliminarily pervert what is not to be circumvented. Such pseudo-fascism
can be called “preventive,” [or] “precautionary.”

It hastens to make itself known before an authentic, real, radically
revolutionary and consistent fascism, a fascist fascism is, in full measure,
born and becomes strong in Russia.

National capitalists – these are former [communist] party leaders who are
used to boss around [vlastvovat’] and humiliate the people and who
subsequently, out of conformism, became “liberal democrats,” and who,
now that this stages is over, are, equally zealously, venturing to cover
themselves with national clothes.

Having democracy transformed into a farce, apparently, the partocrats,
together with the obliging intelligentsia, are, decidedly up to foul and
poison the nationalism that is advancing into society. The nature of fascism
[is] a new hierarchy, a new aristocracy. The novelty lies in that the
hierarchy is based on natural, organic [and] clear principles – dignity,
honor, courage [and] heroism.

The dilapidated hierarchy which is trying to carry itself over into the era
of nationalism is, as before, based on conformist abilities: “flexibility,”
“caution,” “a taste for intrigues,” “toadyism,” etc. The obvious conflict
between two styles, two human types, two normative systems is inescapable.

It is absolutely unjustified to call fascism an “extremely right-wing”
ideology. This phenomenon is much more precisely characterized with the
paradoxical formula “Conservative Revolution.” It is a combination of a
“right-wing” cultural-political orientation – traditionalism, faithfulness
to the soil, roots, national ethics – with a “left-wing” economic program –
social justice, limitation to the market forces, deliverance from “credit
[protsentnogo] slavery,” prohibition of stock market speculation,
monopolies and trusts, [and] primacy of honest work.

In analogy to National Socialism which was often called simply “German
socialism,” one can speak of Russian fascism as “Russian socialism.” The
ethnic specification of the term “socialism” has, in this context, a special
meaning. What is meant is formulation of a socio-economic doctrine, from
the beginning, not on the basis of abstract dogmas and rationalistic laws,
but on the basis of concrete, spiritual-ethical and cultural principles that
have organically formed the nation as such.

Russian socialism – that is not Russians for socialism, but socialism for
the Russians. In distinction to rigid Marxist-Leninist dogmas, Russian
national socialism proceeds from an understanding of social justice which is
characteristic exactly for our nation, for our historical tradition, for our
economic ethics.

Such a socialism will be more rural than proletarian, more communal and
cooperative than administrative [gosudarstvennyi], more regionalistic than
centralistic – all these are requirements of Russian national specificity
which will find its expression in the doctrine and not only in practice.

Such a Russian socialism should be build by new people, a new type of
people, a new class. A class of heroes and revolutionaries. The remains
of the party nomenclature and their ramshackle order should fall victim
to the socialist revolution. The Russian national revolution.

The Russian’s are longing for freshness, for modernity [sovremennosti],
for unfeigned romanticism, for living participation in some great cause.
Everything that they are offered today [is] either archaic (the national
patriots) or boring and cynical (the liberals).

The dance and the attack, fashion and aggression, excessiveness and
discipline, will and gesture, fanaticism and irony will seethe in the
national revolutionaries – young, malicious [zlykh], merry, fearless,
passionate and not knowing limits. They [will] build and destroy, rule
and fulfill orders, conduct purges of the enemies of the nation and tenderly
take care of Russian elderly and children.

Wrathfully and merrily will they approach the citadel of the ramshackle
[and] rotten System [sic]. Yes, they deeply [krovno] thirst for Power [sic].
They know how to use it. They will breathe Live [sic] in society, they will
shove [vvergnut] the people into the sweet process of creating History

New people. Finally, intelligent and brave. Such as are needed. Who take the
outer world as a strike (in the words of [Evgenii] Golovin [a Russian mystic
and teacher of Dugin – A.U.]).

Immediately before his death, the French fascist writer Robert Brasillach
voiced a strange prophecy: “I see how in the East, in Russia, fascism is
rising – a fascism borderless and red.”

Note: Not a faded, brownish-pinkish national capitalism, but the blinding
dawn of a new Russian Revolution [sic], fascism – borderless as our lands,
and red as our blood. -30-
Translated from Russian by Andreas Umland,
31st March 2006]
Mit freundlichen Gruessen, Dr. Andreas Umland
Lektor des Deutschen Akademischen Austausch Dienstes
Nationale Taras-Schewtschenko-Universitaet Kiew
Post bis 2007 (temporary mailing address): DAAD-Lektorat Schewtschenko-
Universitaet, Deutsche Botschaft Kiew, wul. Bohdana Chmelnyzkoho 25,
UA-01901 Kyjiw, UKRAINE; Efax: +1-661-4573014; Tel.: +38-044-2786344.

DAAD in der Ukraine:
Studieren & Forschen in Deutschland:
LektorInnen- & JobMails:
Book Series “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics & Society”:
Funding for East European academic libraries (in Russian):
Praktika fuer angehende UebersetzerInnen:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

OPINION: By Adrian Karatnycky
Newsweek International Edition, NY, NY, April 10-17, 2006

Listening to the fevered commentary that greeted the two most recent East
European elections, you’d think the Soviet Union had risen from the dead. In
both Belarus and Ukraine, the pundits fretted, pro-Moscow troglodytes had
dominated the polls.

In Ukraine, the results seemed to crush the fragile hopes of the Orange
Revolution, barely a year old. In Belarus, fledgling protests were quickly
squelched, dashing hopes for change.

But look again. Belarus certainly remains Europe’s last dictatorship. And
yes, voters in Ukraine gave a plurality to Viktor Yanukovych, the former
prime minister, figurehead of the old regime and friend of the Kremlin,
while the Orange Revolution’s hero, President Viktor Yushchenko, placed a
dismal third. But this was a setback for one party, not for the democratic
spirit of the Orange Revolution.

Put aside the fact that this was the first fully free and fair ballot in the
country’s history, and look at the numbers. While Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine
party lost ground, other Orange parties made it up. In the end, 55 percent
of Ukraine’s new Parliament will be held by groups that led the Orange
Revolution-identical to the victory in December 2004.

Charismatic Yulia Tymoshenko’s party won nearly 30 percent of seats, making
her the likely prime minister in an Orange coalition.

Nor is rival Yanukovych’s strong showing all it seems. Without a legislative
majority, the Regions Party cannot dictate any backward policies. And it,
too, is deeply fissured. On one side is the motley gang that tried to steal
the last presidential election.

On the other are the pragmatic politicians associated with the billionaire
Rinat Akhmetov, the party’s de facto leader. They talk of economic reform,
corporate-tax cuts, European integration and the need to heal the rifts
between eastern and western Ukraine.

There are other important signs. Crisscrossing Ukraine recently, I met
multibillionaires and trade-union leaders, media magnates and editors of
small but influential Internet sites, bankers and civic activists. Ukraine
was changing, they told me optimistically, and emphasized that they-not
government-are the solution to the country’s problems. This reflects deep
social and economic changes over the 15 years since independence.

In this sense it might not matter who becomes Ukraine’s next prime minister.
Parliament will be controlled by a pro-growth, pro-Western majority.
Yushchenko retains substantial powers and is committed to liberal economic
policies. And while Tymoshenko has challenged questionable privatizations
(as well as the government’s recent natural-gas deal with Russia), she too
is a confirmed free-marketeer.

Just days after the election, she called for radical cuts in corporate-tax
rates coupled with incentives to spur high technology. Despite a reputation
as a populist firebrand, her closest aides now say she has matured into a
politician who understands the need for moderate policies. All this is a
clear signal of the Orange Revolution’s enduring strength, not its impending
demise. -30-
Karatnycky, the former president of Freedom House, heads the Orange
Circle, a New York NGO founded to assist Ukraine’s democratic transition.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: By Kostis Geropoulos, Political Editor,
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, April 3, 2006

After the pro-Russia opposition Regions Party won the parliamentary
elections in Ukraine receiving 32.1 percent of the vote, according to
official results announced last Thursday, Russian officials couldn’t help
but smile. Better yet for them, President Viktor Yushchenko’s pro-western
Our Ukraine was dealt a crushing defeat, coming in third with 13.9 percent –
down 1.5 points from preliminary results.

Moscow’s position is better today than it was 15 months ago after a very
unsuccessful meddling and humiliating defeat in Ukraine’s presidential
election that catapulted the country’s Orange government to power.

“If there was any Russian participation in this election it was not
conspicuous,” Maria Lipman, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Centre, told
New Europe. “Russia indeed has learned its lesson and has acted more wisely
this time … Russia has learned to listen.”

Gazprom’s decision to raise gas prices for Ukraine earlier this year had an
impact on the election but it wasn’t the decisive factor. Over the past
year, Ukraine went through political and economic difficulties resulting in
a split in the Orange coalition.

Analysts and politicians last week were predicting an eventual realliance of
the Orange group including anti-corruption Bloc Julia Timoshenko, which
garnered 22.3 percent of the vote, and Our Ukraine and the smaller Socialist
party, which polled 5.7 percent.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press secretary Vasil Filipchuk told New Europe
by telephone from Kiev last Thursday that “there is an enormous amount of
informal contacts” and that a coalition may be announced this week.

“A pro-European coalition must be very close to the Orange government but at
the same time yesterday the premier clearly said that the colour must be
blue and yellow,” Filipchuk said, referring to the Ukrainian flag colours.

The 2004 presidential elections and the recent parliamentary elections have
split Ukraine in half. The Orange revolution left the country divided
between the Russian-speaking east, which backed Yanukovich, and the
Ukrainian-speaking west, which backed Yushchenko.

Some analysts say a Yushchenko-Yanukovich coalition may be a unifying force.

“Unlike Russia, Ukrainian parties more or less reflect the big groups that
Ukrainian society consists of,” Lipman said. “It can be argued, though very
cautiously, that a coalition between Yanukovich’s party and Yushchenko’s
party may eventually emerge as a step towards building a more unified
Ukrainian nation whereas an Orange coalition against the Party of Regions
will further deepen the rift between east and west.”

Nevertheless any future Ukrainian government will have to navigate in a
savvy and sophisticated fashion between Russia and the west. “Ukraine is
locked between these two big neighbours. There is no way to change this,”
Lipman said. “It cannot fully discourage one and fully join the other and it’s
up to Ukraine … to figure out a policy that will be the result of a
balance between Ukrainian interests in Europe and in Russia.”

However, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press secretary reiterated earlier
remarks that there will be no change in the foreign policy of Ukraine since
the president is the one who defines foreign policy. “We are confident that
the foreign policy direction will not be changed and European integration
will remain the main foreign policy issue,” he said. He reminded that even
after the changes in the constitution the parliament forms the government
except two ministries: the defence ministry and the foreign ministry.

Maintaining close ties with Russia will also have to be a priority. Moscow
sees the former Soviet states as its strategic backyard and is slowly
reasserting its influence in the region. The re-election of Belarussian
President Alexander Lukashenko showed that Russia is less and less shy of
having allies that are regarded with condemnation and disapproval by the

However, the man deemed as “Europe’s last dictator” may be more of a
liability. “Lukashenko may be a convenient yet an embarrassing partner but
he’s also not a very good one because he failed to deliver what Russia
expected him to in exchange,” Lipman said.

The US-inspired Orange Revolution in Georgia and the Orange Revolution in
Ukraine made Moscow wary of Washington’s involvement in the region. Russian
diplomats point out that Russia is not necessarily against democracy only it
realises that America is using it to spread its influence in the region.

Russia has its own trump card. Living next door to an energy giant, Ukraine
is dependent on Russian supplies. And Georgia plunged into an energy crisis
recently when a pipeline explosion disrupted Russian supplies during the
coldest period of the winter.

A successful Ukrainian diplomatic policy would have to balance a pro-Russian
and a pro-European course. Lipman said the critical factor for Ukraine is
having reasonably good relations with Russia and certainly good relations
with Europe.

“This is an objective reality that Russia ignored back in 2004 when it was
trying to win Ukraine over to its side but the reality is there – it will be
there for years to come – and whatever coalition is made, the west will be a
factor as much Russia will be,” the Moscow-based analyst said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: by Viktor Erofeyev
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Fri, Mar 31, 2006

Ukraine reminds me more and more of a large piece of meat that two
cats are fighting over.

The Russian cat believes that historically the meat belongs to it and was
stolen, and so feels insulted and humiliated. The Western cat thinks that
Russia has always treated this meat very badly, so taking it away is a
sacred duty. It has not fully decided, however, what to do with the meat.

Russia, as the recent “gas war” demonstrated, is prepared to take the
crudest and most decisive steps to get back the stolen meat. The recent
Ukrainian elections show that Russia does have a chance to get it back. But
if Russia swallows it, it will be bad for everyone – including Russia. A
dependent Ukraine will substantially weaken the chances for a future
democracy in Russia.

In reality, though, Ukraine is not meat. Ukraine must be seen for what it
is. It is still a post-Soviet space: demoralized, uncertain of itself,
somewhat depressive, internally divided, to a degree criminalized. It needs
time and political will to overcome these problems.

But there’s a distinct difference between the populations of Russia and
Ukraine. In Russia, more than 50 percent of the people regard Stalin as a
positive historic figure, as the founder of a powerful Soviet state. In
Ukraine, Stalin is a fallen idol; he is identified with forced
collectivization, famine and repression. The defeat of Ukraine’s Communists,
who failed to get even 4 percent in the parliamentary elections, marks a
final break with the Soviet past.

The future, however, is more complicated. I was in Kiev before the elections
and, once again, I was struck by the beauty of its Orthodox cathedrals and
its chestnut parks. Even the Stalinist buildings along the main street,
Kreshchatik, did not discourage me – their facades are covered with
innumerable advertisements and the marquees of fashionable boutiques.

It is difficult for a Russian to see Kiev as foreign: For him it is the
mother of Russian cities, the oldest city of ancient Rus. Even now, with
Kiev the capital of an independent Ukrainian state, Russian is the language
most often heard in the streets. Ukraine is tied by blood to Russia – and
not only by the Soviet past.

Young Kievan journalists with whom I met proudly described to me the Orange
Revolution on Independence Square. Now, after the elections, this pride has
been largely replaced by disappointment. The convincing victory of the
pro-Russian party of Viktor Yanukovich, who, despite a criminal past and
falsified results in the last presidential election, got nearly a third of
all votes, speaks to the serious crisis of the Orange Revolution.

The unstable, compromised coalitions that will be formed may well exhaust
the country and drag it into a political swamp. Once again, Ukraine hangs
suspended at the edge of two worlds, the West and Russia, living up to its
name, which means “borderland.”

Viktor Yushchenko turned out to be a political dreamer, almost utopian,
while his ally in the Orange Revolution, Yulia Timoshenko, literally drowned
in revolutionary rhetoric. The West also contributed to the fading of
Ukraine’s European dreams. The European Union indefinitely postponed
Ukraine’s entry and played an ambiguous game, enticing Ukraine westward and
then turning away to avoid irritating the Russians.

The Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovich bitterly told me that Europeans treat
Ukrainians with suspicion; they see them as bandits and prostitutes. It
seems to me that Europe has to bring clarity to its Ukrainian policy.
Ukraine has no future other than Europe, and everything possible has to be
done – including an easing of the visa regime – so Ukrainians would feel at
home in Europe, so Ukraine would systematically move toward European
economic and moral values. Ukraine needs European guarantees.

The election results are a call to political realism. Ukraine turned out to
be insufficiently Western, but also not overly pro-Moscow. Yanukovich won,
but he did not conquer. Ukraine is hesitant, but it refuses to go backward.

Even Yanukovich is not against talking of integration with Europe, and he is
indisputably correct when he raises the language problem. Kiev’s rigid
policy toward Russian, which is spoken by the overwhelming majority in
eastern Ukraine, and its openly Russophobic rhetoric, are not only the
result, but also the cause of mutual misunderstandings between Russia and

The sooner Kiev’s politics become pragmatic, flexible and dynamic, the more
supporters it will find on both sides of its borders. Not all Russia should
be identified with the imperial pretensions of its current leaders.

Kiev’s success depends on making democratic values attractive to its people,
and in safeguarding them from savage capitalism. Russian democrats suffered
a defeat in the 1990s and eventually gave way to Putin because they did not
deal with the real population, pressing their reforms on a theoretical
nation. The West must not put brakes on Ukraine’s road to the EU and NATO,
and likewise it must not crow that Ukraine is moving away from Russia.
Irritating Russia is not tantamount to a successful policy.

The challenges before Kiev are not simple, but there is hope.
Viktor Erofeyev’s latest book is “Life With An Idiot,” a collection of
short stories. This article was translated from the Russian by the IHT.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
Russian speakers in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula helped vote out Yushchenko

By Tom Parfitt, Guardian Unlimited, London, UK, Thu, Mar 30, 2006

The old man sat alone on a bench clutching a plastic bag. He wore a fake
leather jacket and his shoes had been given a new lease of life, not with
polish but a coat of brown lacquer that made them twinkle in the sunlight.

His back was straight and he focused his eyes on a faraway point across
Sevastopol’s deep water bay. “You want to know what we think about the
elections?” he said in a steady voice without averting his gaze. “Ask your
questions, I’ll answer them.”

Vadim Polupanov, 68, is a retired merchant seaman. He looked like any other
pensioner in the former Soviet Union. Engineers, scientists and teachers;
once respected, now eking out survival on a meagre allowance, holding the
last scraps of dignity around themselves like a protective shroud.

The usual sloppy tirade seemed likely. No money, no job, no holidays,
nothing sure in life any more. But Vadim’s complaints were more pointed.

“They are destroying our history, our heritage, our culture,” he said.
“Yushchenko is an American stooge, a populist. He does everything the US
wants. Timoshenko is a liar. I heard she said ‘I’ll put Sevastopol on its
knees’. Imagine that! They want to get rid of us.”

He drew breath. “I’m Russian. I was born here. I voted for Yanukovich. He’s
got a steady grip. He showed it when he was in power. This is a town of
Russian glory and it’s going to stay that way. Those Ukrainians want to
rewrite history and say it’s not.

Next thing you know, they’ll be saying Genghis Khan was Ukrainian. That
Yushchenko only wants to give up his country to the West.”

It was Sunday March 26, the day of parliamentary elections in Ukraine. The
former prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich, had appeared a spent force after
he was accused of rigging the 2004 presidential vote that led to the orange
revolution. But now his party was predicted to seize the most seats, and
went on to do just that.

Mr Yanukovich’s opponents, President Viktor Yushchenko and the glamorous
Yulia Timoshenko, had fallen out after leading the orange uprising, allowing
his comeback.

It seemed a good idea to be in Mr Yanukovich’s heartland as votes for him
came flooding in. The big, ponderous former governor of the eastern Donetsk
region draws his support from the Russian-speaking population in the east
and the Crimean peninsula in the south, where Sevastopol is located.

To visit Crimea is to understand the depth of the rift that divides Ukraine.
Here, such distant concepts as European integration and Nato accession seem
superseded by more perennial concerns: land, freedom, blood and belonging.

A sun-kissed paradise of vineyards and fruit trees that dangles into the
Black Sea, Crimea was originally part of Russia. It was transferred to
Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 in what was then a minor territorial
shift inside the Soviet behemoth.

A decade earlier its native population of Crimean Tartars had been deported
by Joseph Stalin to Uzbekistan for allegedly cooperating with the Germans
during the war.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Crimea’s mainly Russian population
was left stranded in a new country, as was the heroic Russian Black Sea
Fleet, anchored in Sevastopol. Old grievances surfaced and new ones quickly

Today the chief battleground is language. The dispossessed Tartars want back
their prime plots of land and support Mr Yushchenko as a result of his
promises to help. But the majority Russian population overwhelmingly backs
Mr Yanukovich because he has vowed to introduce Russian as a second
official language.

Many Russians born and bred in Crimea never needed to learn Ukrainian
during the Soviet era, and struggle to understand official documents such
as court records. “They’re even dubbing our Russian films into Ukrainian,”
said a disgusted Yevgeny Bubnov, a deputy in the Crimean parliament.

The sense of persecution was not alleviated by a spectacular official
cock-up in the run up to the election, which left many disenfranchised.
Computer software translated Russian names into Ukrainian ones. Mr
Shkvortsov (Mr Starling) became Mr Shpak and could not vote because his
passport did not match the electoral roll.

This week, Mr Yushchenko is locked in talks with his former orange allies
over a possible coalition to stymie the success of Mr Yanukovich.

One thing is clear in Crimea: if the president wants to be leader of all
Ukraine after his party slipped to third place in the election, he must find
a way to reach out to the whole country, not just his hardcore supporters.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong, Thursday, March 30, 2006

March has been a fateful month for “revolutions” in three former republics
of the old Soviet Union. The March 26 parliamentary election in Ukraine was
a pale reflection of the tumultuous “Orange Revolution” of 2004; also this
month a revolution struggling to be born was aborted in Belarus; and in the
Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, people reflected sourly on a
revolution seemingly gone astray after one year.

The mystique of the “color revolutions” is no longer sustainable.
Revolutions can no longer be staged against the seductive
backdrop of rock music and feverish all-night partying. It turns out that
progress toward real democracy and prosperity is a long slog. As The
Economist pointed out recently, “Revolutions need money; somebody
paid for the floodlights and free food in Kiev.”

That somebody included organizations close to the administration of
President George W Bush, who himself has been the head cheerleader for
advancing democracy across the globe. But unlike their active intervention
in Ukraine in September 2004 and the behind-the-scenes support for the
“Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in March 2005, the Bush people chose
not to get too involved the election this March 19 in Belarus.

Bush limited himself to a stirring address, reminding the people of Belarus
that this year was the 88th anniversary of the first effort to establish an
independent Belarus. Washington thought some mileage could be had by
needling Moscow about the incorporation of what was then known as
Byelorussia as a Soviet republic in 1918. At a minimum, it helped take
Washington’s mind off sad thoughts about the death of the Orange and Tulip

Bush was probably wise not to get too close. President Alexander Lukashenko
didn’t need to rig the election to win. Most independent opinion polls
(including “unfriendly” ones like that of the Independent Institute of
Socio-Economic and Political Studies in Kiev) gave Lukashenko a comfortable
lead of about 55% in a straight and fair election. He should have known that
nobody in a real democracy gets 82.6% of the vote, but perhaps he didn’t

Lukashenko is authoritarian but still very popular. Says The Economist,
“Unemployment is 1.5% … other ex-Soviet republics are actually poorer than
they were under communism, while Belarus is richer. The average wage last
year rose to US$218 per month. Pensions have grown and are paid on time.”

Real wages have continually increased in Belarus for the past several years;
inflation is under control; Lukashenko has halved the number of people below
the poverty line during the past seven years. He followed policies that gave
Belarus the fairest distribution of incomes of any country in the region. He
preserved the Soviet-era industrial complexes, the large collective-farm
agricultural system, and the system of social support.

Compared with neighboring Poland, where unemployment is soaring, or Ukraine,
where economic growth has plummeted since the Orange Revolution, Belarus is
an oasis of stability. It was natural that the United States failed to
ignite revolutionary fervor in Minsk.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, “What happened
in Minsk was a failed attempt to follow the opposition tactics that were
used in presidential elections in other CIS countries”, ie, members of the
post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Guardian commented in the run-up to the Belarusian election: “Europe and
the US are pouring in money. According to the New York Times, cash is being
smuggled from the National Endowment for Democracy, Britain’s Westminster
Foundation, and the German Foreign Ministry directly to Khopits, a network
of young anti-Lukashenko activists.”

But as Dimitri Simes, president of the Nixon Center in Washington, explained
to the Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta, “Despite all the flaws in the
Belarusian political system, it’s clear that the criticism of Minsk isn’t
based on its domestic policies, but on the fact that Lukashenko isn’t
oriented toward cooperation with the West and the US – not even as a
formality. He’s more focused on an alliance with Russia.

“The US didn’t back any particular candidates in either Ukraine or Belarus.
It’s clear that Ukraine’s election won’t produce any kind of result that
won’t be acceptable to the US. But this isn’t just about fair elections, but
a matter of pushing Russia’s influence out of the region.

“Color revolutions succeed when the authorities are not only authoritarian
but also lack self-confidence … Until President Lukashenko loses
popularity in Belarus, I don’t think his regime will have any serious
problems,” said Simes.
March 24 was the first anniversary of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. It
marked the day that ex-president Askar Akayev fled the country to Moscow; he
resigned a few days later, to be succeeded ultimately by President Kurmanbek

The new president decreed that March 24 be celebrated as the “Day of the
Triumph of Justice”, but large sections of population preferred to remember
it as “Looters’ Day” – a sign of how things have soured for the Kyrgyz
people in the past year.

This change of power was another supposed triumph for Bush’s democracy
project, yet he was uncertain as to what kind of anniversary felicitations
he should send to his counterpart in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. The
Americans in the embassy there must have informed him that there was great
confusion in the Kyrgyz minds over whether the events of a year ago made
their country better or worse.

Clearly, Bakiyev’s government was thinking positively. On the eve of the
anniversary, Prime Minister Felix Kulov wrote to the International Monetary
Fund and World Bank in Washington, which jointly manage the Heavily
Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), that Kyrgyzstan was ready to

Kyrgyzstan wouldn’t be able to pay back any more of its foreign debt, which
exceeds $2 billion (equivalent to 80% of its current gross domestic product,
or GDP).

It takes Washington’s support for admission to the privileged circle of the
HIPC, thus becoming eligible for a debt writeoff. Only 28 countries have
been admitted so far – 24 from Africa.

The Kyrgyz economic crisis is at least partly a legacy of the Tulip
Revolution. The overall situation facing Kyrgyzstan is indeed daunting –
political instability (including criminalization of politics), ethnic
tensions, clan struggles, drug trafficking, Islamic militancy, extreme
poverty and unemployment. Akayev, the deposed Kyrgyz leader, starkly
reminded everyone last week: “The threat of the country’s collapse is not
unreal. A national catastrophe awaits us.”

Half of Kyrgyzstan’s national income today comes from remittances by the
migrant laborers working in Russia. They contribute about $200 million
annually. This is augmented by the annual rent that Bishkek lately sought
for the use of Manas Airbase by US forces. No matter what happened to the
Tulip revolution, Bishkek has signaled its desire for long-term engagement
with Washington.

The Bush administration must hold itself accountable for much of the chaos
left behind by the Tulip Revolution. Follow-through or nation-building may
not figure highly in US foreign policy, but in Kyrgyzstan’s case, an
exception is needed. That may eventually help Washington to evolve a Central
Asia policy that is intrinsic to the region’s needs and worthy of a global
Sunday’s election in Ukraine brought the many contradictions into sharp
focus. The Our Ukraine Party of President Victor Yushchenko, hero of the
Orange Revolution and darling of American democrats, lost heavily in the
voting for parliament despite strong US backing. His party pulled in barely
15% of votes.

Yet he emerges as the power broker, since neither of the two top performers,
his old nemesis from 2004 Viktor Yanukovich and ex-prime minister Yulia
Timoshenko, can form a majority coalition without Yushchenko.

Yushchenko views his erstwhile Orange Revolution ally Timoshenko with deep
distaste, believing she harbors ambitions to replace him as president. Yet
he may have no choice but to realign with her, pinning hopes that the
coalition may not last. On the other hand, despite his “pro-Kremlin” image,
Yanukovich is keen to link up with Yushchenko. Yanukovich said: “We are
ready to work with all … there is no compromise we will turn down.”

The US at some point might actually encourage a Yushchenko-Yanukovich
coalition – provided Yushchenko maintained his anti-Russia stance (over
natural gas, Black Sea bases, use of the Russian language, blockade of
Trans-Dneister, etc) and provided, of course, that Yanukovich moderated his
opposition to Ukraine’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership.
(Two-thirds of Ukraine’s people oppose NATO membership.)

It would not prove difficult for Yanukovich to fulfill these “conditions” to
receive Washington’s blessing either, since everything ultimately would
depend on the wishes of the big business interests backing him, especially
the billionaire kingmaker of Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov.

Entrenched business groups manipulate all three top political figures –
fiery revolutionaries such as Yushchenko and Timoshenko, and Yanukovich
alike. As in Kyrgyzstan, “revolution” simply resulted in a reshuffling of
mafia clans manipulating the politicians in power. (Ironically, in his
felicitation message to Bakiyev last Friday, Yushchenko wrote that the
“ideals for which the Kyrgyz people struggled correspond with the ones of
[the] Orange Revolution in Ukraine”.)

The calculus of power remains the same. Economic plunder continues to bleed
Ukraine white. GDP growth declined from 12% in 2004 to 2.5% in 2005. The
results of Sunday’s election show that the people’s disillusion has followed
the same downward curve.

Moscow remains uninvolved and impassive. It has learned to play by the
rulebook of Bush’s revolutions. Moscow didn’t even make an issue of
Yushchenko’s crude attempt to disfranchise hundreds of thousands of
ethnic-Russian voters (Yanukovich’s support base) by simply changing the
voters’ names from the Russian language into Ukrainian – an ethnic Russian
would be puzzled to see his name Skvorsotv figuring as Shpakov in the voters

As for the impressive election campaign of the “pro-Kremlin” Viktor
Yanukovich, full credit goes to the savvy US public relations firm that he
hired, which had an impressive record of catapulting to the White House two
US politicians – Ronald Reagan and George W Bush.

Not surprisingly, the Russian Foreign Ministry has already offered to deal
with any new government in Kiev on the basis of the “principles of equality,
friendship, pragmatism and mutually beneficial cooperation”. What happened
in Ukraine?

The biggest potential “revolution” comes next year, when Russians go to the
polls to elect a president. But if the Bush people thought these color
revolutions were merely dress rehearsals for the main event, they might be
mistaken. There can be half a dozen different ways that the Kremlin may
approach the transition in 2007, but the bottom line is that it will not
bend down to a noisy revolution.
M K Bhadrakumar is a former Indian career diplomat who has served
in Islamabad, Kabul, Tashkent and Moscow.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Yulia Tymoshenko puppet sold for a staggering $70,000

By Yulia Volfovska, What’s On magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, No. 11, March 31-April 6, 2006

KYIV – Two days before Ukraine went to the polls dolls of the country’s
leading politicians went under the hammer at a special charity auction at
Arena Entertainment Centre. The event was organized by restauranteur
Margarita Sitchkar and the Modus Vivendi charity organization and proved
to be a bell-weather for the parliamentary elections themselves.

Toy versions of Yulia Tymoshenko, Victor Yushchenko, Oleksandr
Moroz, Volodymyr Litvin, Rinat Akhmetov, Victor Yanukovych, Igor
Surkus and Mykhailo Poplavsky all competed for the right to claim the
highest price.

Fortunes were mixed for the Orange front on the night; the Yulia
Tymoshenko was sold for a staggering $70,000 while the Viktor
Yushchenko miniature raised $15,000. This was, however, more than
enough to see off the Donbass deputies, with Rinat Akhmetov’s likeness
raising $15,000, with big Viktor Yushchenko attracting Victor Yanukovich.
All the money raised will go to various good causes around the country.
The generous head of the supervisory board of industrial giant ‘Zaporigstal’
Andrey Ivanov was prepared to go further than any other bidder to win the
Yulia doll, and the price rose eventually to an incredible $70,000! ‘Shahter’
fan Andrey bought the doll of Rinat Ahmetov for $15,000. Bargain: Nestor
Shufrish payed just $5,000 for a doll of his friend Viktor Yanukovich.
The doll of Grigoriy Surkis stayed in the family – daughter Svitlana paid
$15,000 for it!
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The Disabled & Vulnerable Orphans of Ukraine launches new
fundraising campaign to aid impoverished at-risk orphans in Ukraine.

DVOU, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, April 5, 2006

PHILADELPHIA – The Disabled & Vulnerable Orphans of Ukraine
(DVOU) non-profit foundation announces the launch of the DVOU
awareness wristband campaign. The purpose of this initiative is to promote
greater awareness of impoverished conditions of Ukrainian orphanages serving
special needs children with HIV/AIDS or severe physical and/or mental
disabilities. Monies raised will enable DVOU to continue to provide
humanitarian aid and health care services to these orphanages, located in
remote areas of Ukraine.

Throughout Ukraine, orphans in state care are seriously deprived of basic
living necessities such as food, clothing, heating, plumbing and
electricity. Death rates among orphaned children in Ukraine have increased
over the past decade, as a result of undernourishment and the rapid
development of childhood diseases.

Orphans with special needs are commonly not provided the physical,
intellectual or emotional stimulation essential for healthy development.
Causes for this include understaffing, lack of training or staff
disinterest. Though some children are resilient, most develop physical,
language and behavioral problems, such as the inability to sit or walk,
speech delays, attachment disorders and psychological disturbances.

One of our goals is to relieve and prevent such after-effects by providing
assistance through programs supporting personnel and adding volunteers,
says Horodysky.
Each silicone band bears the DVOU signature mark debossed on a gray and
red swirled design. The gray color in the wristband symbolizes children with
physical and mental disabilities. The red color symbolizes HIV/AIDS

I believe these DVOU wristbands make a very powerful statement in support
of this important cause. They help build awareness to raise the necessary
funds to aid orphanages for customized projects, that improve the quality of
life of special needs children in Ukraine , says Horodysky.

Support the DVOU awareness wristband campaign with a purchase.
Wristbands are available for $3.00 each at: or by writing
to: 841 Highland Ave, No 263, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

About the Disabled & Vulnerable Orphans of Ukraine (DVOU) —–
DVOU is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization aimed at identifying and
resolving critical issues and emerging areas of need in the lives of special
needs orphans suffering from HIV/AIDS, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome,
tuberculosis and other diseases. Services offered include humanitarian aid,
health care, advocacy, education and training. -30-
CONTACT: Lilia Horodysky,

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