Daily Archives: June 7, 2006

AUR#708 June 7 Yankee Go Home; U.S. Reservists Caught In Bitter Ukraine NATO Debate; Orange Coalition Split Over NATO: Undeclared War Going On In Ukraine

                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
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                                First Salvo in the ‘War’ for Ukraine
           U.S., Ukrainian & NATO Policy Makers Caught Unprepared
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
WASHINGTON, D.C., Wednesday, JUNE 7, 2006 
           –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
         Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
Mara Bellaby, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

     “YANKEE go home!” the protester’s signs read outside the military compound.
From Jeremy Page in Moscow, The Times

London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, June 07, 2006

             Locals shouting racist abuse at Marines of Afro-American origin

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1253 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006


Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #708, Article 5
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine (CSDU)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #708, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 7 2006

                       “Suspicious” cargo unloaded from U.S. cargo ship
: By Victor Litovkin, New York Bureau
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

        Undeclared war going on between Our Ukraine and Yanukovych’s party.
                    Party of the Regions pushes for a place in the coalition
      Party of the Regions made decision to fan anti-NATO sentiments carefully
COMMENTARY: By Mikhail Zygar; Lenur Yunusov, Simferopol
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

              Ukraine’s defence minister slams opposition to US war game
: With Ukrainian Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko
One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1700 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteyko
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 1505 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

                                   BE UKRAINE’S PARTNER”
INTERVIEW: With James Sherr
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #18
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

13.                          PASSIONATELY MANIPULATED
 The Crimean unrest is aimed against Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.
COMMENTARY & OPINION: By Natalia Gevorkyan
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006


Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0927 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

                   Estonian daily reports anti-NATO protests in Crimea
Natalia Dremova, Tallinn Molodjozh Estonii (Internet Version-
WWW) in Russian 0000 GMT 03 Jun 2006
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006

NEWS CONFERENCE: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006

80th anniversary of assassination, decades after death Petliura still hotly debated.
By Prof. Yury SHAPOVAL, Ph.D. (History)
The Day Weekly Digest in English #18
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, June 7 2006

Last week, some 250 US marine reservists arrived in Crimea for what they
must have thought would be an unglamorous assignment: the construction of
new toilets at an old military training ground in preparation for
international exercises due to take place next month.

Instead, the reservists have become the latest victims of the heated debate
over whether or not Ukraine should join Nato. Continuously harassed by small
but well-organised groups of anti-Nato protesters, the marines have spent
most of their time since their arrival holed up in a hostel in the port town
of Feodosia, listening to the megaphone-enhanced shouts of picketers

Opposition to the presence of the marines reaches well beyond the Crimean
peninsula. Members of the Duma, the Russian parliament, have seized upon the
protests to publicise the case against Ukrainian membership of Nato.

The result has been the first significant flare-up of tensions over the Nato
issue, which has become the latest strategic dispute between pro-western and
pro-Russian groups within Ukraine and, on an external level, between Moscow
and Washington.

The situation escalated further yesterday when Crimea’s local parliament
passed a resolution proposing that the peninsula, which is rich in Russian
military history and still hosts a Russian naval base, be designated “a
non-Nato zone”.

The Crimean legislature also urged the national parliament in Kiev to forbid
the planned land portion of the Sea Breeze military exercises. The 12-nation
exercise, which takes place annually on the Black Sea, consists mostly of
naval exercises.

Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s president and a proponent of Nato membership,
insisted the vote would not affect Sea Breeze and accused the protesters of
lacking patriotism. “Why don’t we respect ourselves? These groups [of
protesters] are doing well with foreign money,” he said yesterday.

But other politicians said the protests had damaged Mr Yushchenko’s Nato
drive and cast a bad light on a tentatively planned visit by US President
George W. Bush sometime in the next six weeks. Mr Yushchenko and Mr Bush

are both pushing hard for Ukraine to sign a Nato “membership action plan” at the
alliance’s summit in Riga in November.

“This was a very bad moment for this issue to be raised. Our pro-western
politicians were caught unprepared,” said Andry Shevchenko, a pro-western
member of parliament.

Russian politicians argue that Mr Bush’s support for Ukrainian Nato
membership was aimed at weakening Moscow. Yuly Kvitsinsky, one of the

Duma members who joined the protests, told Russian television that Nato was
starting “an offensive” on the last remaining bastions of the former USSR,
Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus. “This is about cementing the outcome of the
collapse of the Soviet Union and getting close to Russia’s borders,” he

Ukrainian opponents of Nato membership argue that Mr Yushchenko is ignoring
popular opinion. A poll released yesterday by Democratic Initiatives, a
pro-democracy group that has received US funding, showed that 64 per cent of
Ukrainians opposed Nato membership and only 12 per cent were in favour.

However, Mr Yushchenko believes Nato membership would build momentum

towards the highly popular but much more distant and difficult goal of joining the
European Union. He is pushing for wording about Nato membership to be
included in a coalition agreement being negotiated by three pro-western
groups who won a narrow parliamentary majority in March elections. However,
his plans are likely to be blocked by the Socialist party, the smallest of
the three groups.

The US and Ukrainian governments say Sea Breeze has little to do with Nato.
The exercises are “in the spirit of Nato’s Partnership for Peace programme”,
but aren’t sponsored or organised by Nato, said Brent Byers, of the US
embassy in Kiev.

“We’re working through this with the Ukrainian government. We want to
diffuse the tensions,” said Mr Byers. Observers believe that the land-based
part of the exercises are increasingly unlikely to go ahead. While such a
compromise would come as a disappointment to Mr Yushchenko and the US,

for the marine reservists, who yesterday were still penned up in their hostel,
it would offer the chance of escape.                    -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Mara Bellaby, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, June 6, 2006

KIEV – When U.S. Marine reservists disembarked in this former Soviet republic,
they expected a quick and simple mission: installing new showers and toilets
at a military training facility, then leaving.

The 200 Americans did not anticipate the anti-NATO blockades and protesters
shouting “Occupiers go home!” that greeted them upon arrival in Ukraine.

The angry welcome in the Crimean port of Feodosiya – led by a radical pro-
Russian party and the Communists – was widely seen as the opening volley in
the battle over Ukraine’s campaign to join NATO, an issue now forced to the
top of the nation’s political agenda.

Analysts say that President Viktor Yushchenko’s opponents – and Moscow –
have sensed the government’s weakness after its party’s humiliating third-
place showing in March parliamentary elections and drawn-out talks to put
together a new government. They are seizing the chance to torpedo Kiev’s
hopes to receive a NATO invitation in 2008.

“The war for Ukraine has started,” said Hrihoriy Perepelytsya, of the
Foreign Policy Institute of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy. “What
is happening in Feodosiya is just a piece of a more powerful anti-NATO

He added: “Clearly, the goal is to discredit Ukraine as a potential NATO

Yushchenko has made NATO membership a priority since his 2004 presidential
election campaign, and has been pushing in the coalition talks for potential
partners to commit to that goal.

His supporters argue that if Ukraine does not join NATO, Kiev will
inevitably slide back under Moscow’s influence or risk being left in an
unprotected no man’s land between Russia and the West. NATO accession has
also been billed as a first step toward the ultimate prize: EU membership,
with its considerable economic advantages.

A key test is expected to come Wednesday, when the government tries to win
parliamentary permission for foreign troops to be on Ukrainian territory as
part of training exercises. A victory would allow the Marines, who are
biding their time at a Defense Ministry resort, to go ahead with their
three-week project to refurbish the Stary Krym facility, which is scheduled
to be used in a mid-July training exercise involving U.S. and other NATO

A defeat – or a failure to even get Parliament to consider the measure –
could force Ukraine to postpone or cancel its Sea Breeze exercise and five
others, and possibly send the Americans it invited home again.

“We cannot speak about common European values without also talking

about the concept of a common defense,” Yushchenko said Tuesday.

NATO has said its door is open to this nation of 47 million and appears
bewildered by the hostility; the military alliance had been warmly embraced
by other former Communist countries in Eastern Europe.

Recent opinion polls have found that only about 20 percent of Ukrainians
support NATO membership. Many Ukrainians perceive the alliance as a threat
and are puzzled over why their country – which, unlike some of its former
Soviet neighbors, has not been torn by separatist conflicts – would
willingly join a military alliance that could drag its sons off to war.

Fears persist that giving NATO a foothold here would irreversibly sour
relations with Russia and turn Ukraine into an American stooge. Critics also
say it would be too expensive to maintain NATO military standards.

“We should be spending our money on improving our own military rather than
in taking on any new international obligations,” an anti-NATO politician,
Nestor Shufrych, said on NTN television.

Ukraine, located on the Black Sea and bordering Russia, would certainly be a
strategic prize for NATO. NATO members like the Baltic nations and Poland,
who fear a resurgent Moscow, have been the strongest supporters of locking
this nation into the Western camp.

NATO has set up 27 information stands across Ukraine, and invited lawmakers,
religious leaders and cultural figures – even the 2004 Eurovision contest
winner, Ruslana – to NATO headquarters in Brussels for get-acquainted

The Kremlin, meanwhile, has bristled at the prospect of its former Cold War
foe arriving at its doorstep. The anti-NATO protests in Crimea have been
given prominent coverage on Russian television, which is watched in many
Ukrainian homes. Russian lawmakers have flown in to express their
solidarity, with some of Russia’s more extremist politicians even floating
the idea of pressing for Crimea to be returned to Moscow’s control.

The entire Crimean Peninsula, which has a large ethnic-Russian population,
was declared a NATO-free zone by its Parliament on Tuesday, a move that
Yushchenko criticized as meaningless.

“We don’t have a single square mile that belongs to NATO,” he said.

Crimea is home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, based in the Ukrainian port of
Sevastopol, about 160 kilometers, or 100 miles, away from where the
Americans are waiting.

But NATO supporters note that Yushchenko has room to maneuver, particularly
if he reaches out to the opposition Party of Regions, led by the pro-Moscow
Viktor Yanukovich, which unlike other pro-Russian parties insists it is not
hostile to NATO.                                     -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     “YANKEE go home!” the protester’s signs read outside the military compound.

From Jeremy Page in Moscow, The Times

London, United Kingdom, Wed, June 07, 2006

“YANKEE go home!” the protesters’ signs read outside the military
compound. Inside, about 200 US Marine reservists are confined to their
quarters, unable even to visit the local shop.

Nothing unusual, perhaps, by the standards of Iraq or Afghanistan, but this
was the scene yesterday in the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea, more
than 18 months after the Orange Revolution supposedly set Ukraine on the
path towards Nato membership.

The Crimean peninsula was once the site of a bloody war between imperial
Russia and an alliance of Britain, France and Turkey, whose futility was
epitomised by the Charge of the Light Brigade. But, 150 years on, the region
has become a new battleground in a geopolitical struggle between an
expanding Nato and its opponents in Ukraine and Russia.

The unarmed Marine reservists arrived last week to install showers and
toilets at a Ukrainian military training facility before joint exercises
with Nato this month. But the preparations have triggered passionate
anti-Nato protests, encouraged by Moscow, that analysts say could
undermine efforts by Ukraine to join the alliance in 2008.

The pro-Russian Crimean Parliament passed a resolution yesterday declaring
the region a Nato-free zone and demanding that the Government cancel the
“Sea Breeze 2006” joint exercises. The Ukrainian Parliament will start
debating today whether to allow foreign troops to participate in the
exercises, which are part of Nato’s Partnership for Peace programme.

That decision will also determine whether 150 RAF personnel can take part
in an unprecedented British-Ukrainian exercise called “Tight Knot”, starting
next Wednesday near Nikolayev.

The local government there has passed a resolution calling for Nato
personnel to be banned. “Sea Breeze 2006” will bring troops from the US and
14 other Nato countries to the border of Russia and simulate the defence of
a peninsula caught between a totalitarian state and a democratic one.

Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western Ukrainian President, insisted yesterday
that the exercise would go ahead. He said: “This political decision changes
nothing in the principles and arrangements that govern relations between
Ukraine and Nato.” He noted that “Sea Breeze” manoeuvres had been held
annually since 1997, and that Russia was also involved in Nato’s Partnership
for Peace.

But the row has highlighted the widespread opposition to his Nato membership
campaign, especially in Crimea, where Russia keeps its Black Sea Fleet in
Sevastopol. Opinion polls suggest that most Ukrainians back the drive to join
the EU, but only 20 per cent want Nato membership.

The protests also illustrate how Russia and its allies in Ukraine are
steadily undermining Mr Yushchenko’s authority and drawing the country back
into Moscow’s strategic embrace. The anti-Nato protests were organised by a
pro-Russian party and the Communist Party, both of which have close ties to

They began last week when USS Advantage, an American cargo ship, arrived in
Feodosiya, a Crimean port, carrying construction equipment. They increased
when the Marine reservists tried to reach the training facility that they
were supposed to renovate. Protesters surrounded their bus, rocking it and
trying to smash the windows, eventually forcing the vehicle to head to a
military sanatorium , where the reservists remain.

Russian politicians have flown in to support the protesters, and Russian
state-controlled television, which is watched in many Ukrainian homes, has
given them prominent coverage. Ultra-nationalist Russian politicians have
even suggested that Crimea, which became part of Ukraine only in 1954 and
has a large ethnic Russian population, should become part of Russia again.

Analysts say that Moscow and its supporters in Ukraine have sensed an
opportunity to capitalise on Mr Yushchenko’s waning popularity and power.

The protesters, who number between 100 and 300, accuse him of inviting Nato
troops to build a base without the required approval of parliament.

Brent Byers, a US Embassy spokesman in Kiev, said: “(The reservists) are
hoping to do something to improve the quality of life for the Ukrainian
military.” He acknowledged, however, that time was running short, as they
had expected to finish the task within two to three weeks.

                        A BATTLEGROUND FOR CENTURIES
AD250 to 1774 The Goths, the Huns, the Mongols, the Byzantine Greeks

and the Ottomans variously control Crimea

1783 Empress Catherine the Great annexes the territory for Russia

1854 March Concerned about the expansion of the Russian Empire, Britain
joins France, Turkey and Sardinia to fight the Russians in the Crimean War

1854 October After a misunderstood order, 673 British cavalry troops launch
a disastrous attack on Russian artillery positions in what became known as
The Charge of the Light Brigade. Between 100 and 200 die

1855 September Sevastopol falls to Allied forces after a year-long siege

1856 The war ends with the Treaty of Paris, limiting Russian military
activities in the Black Sea

1920 Crimea is the site of the Russian anti-Bolshevik White Army’s last
stand against the Red Army

1921 The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is created

1954 Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, controversially
transfers ownership of Crimea to Ukraine

1991 The collapse of the Soviet Union leaves the status of Crimea unclear.
Despite a large ethnic Russian population, it is agreed that it will remain
with Ukraine

1992 Crimea proclaims independence, but ultimately remains within Ukraine as
an autonomous republic
LINK:  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2214391_1,00.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

             Locals shouting racist abuse at Marines of Afro-American origin

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1253 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

SIMFEROPOL – The managers of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s sanatorium

in Feodosiya have recommended that American troops who have arrived in
Crimea ahead of the Sea Breeze-2006 exercise should stay inside the sanatorium.

The senior officer of the press centre of the Ukrainian navy’s command,
Volodymyr Bova, told journalists that “rumours are circulating” that two
Americans have ended up in hospital after a fight with locals. Bova said the
rumours were not true. Members of the marine corps engineering unit left the
sanatorium to go out to a shop, but have not organized any clashes with the
local population, he said.

Due to the rumours alleging that there have been fights involving the US
troops and due to “aggressive behaviour” by locals, it was suggested to the
Americans that they should not leave the Defence Ministry’s Feodosiya
sanatorium. “The Americans are treating our request as an order and are
staying inside the sanatorium,” Bova said.

All of the American troops staying at the sanatorium are “behaving extremely
well”, but Feodosiya residents display aggression towards them, shouting
racist abuse at marines of Afro-American origin, Bova said. [Passage
omitted: US troops’ arrival sparks off protests.]         -30-

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

Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #708, Article 5
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 7, 2006

WASHINGTON – Ivan Vasiunyk, First Deputy Chief of Staff of President
Viktor Yushchenko’s Secretariat, is in Washington this week for a series
of meetings and will meet with the members of the Ukraine-U.S. Business
Council on Wednesday. 

Some of the Council members and guests who will be in attendance include
AIG; Altria; Atlantic Group; Cape Point Capital; Cargill; Case-New Holland;
Eurasia Foundation; Heller & Rosenblatt; The PBN Company, SASI-Sweet
Analysis; SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation and Westinghouse. 
Susanne Lotarski, President of the U.S. Business Council said representatives
of the government of Ukraine at the meeting will also include Oleh Shamshur,
Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Mr. Vasiunyk’s chief of staff,
Sergey Rokhmanov; Charge d’Affairs of the Ukraine Embassy Victor Niktiuk,
Trade and Economic Mission Chief Yevgen Burkat and Yuriy I, Karpenko,
Deputy Chief, Economic and Trade Mission. 

While in Washington, Mr. Vasiunyk will also have meetings at the White House
and National Security Council, leading Senators and Members of Congress,
various U.S. government officials and the International Republican Institute

The main purpose of the trip is to start the implementation of a program
funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the International
Republican Institute (IRI) to provide assistance to the staff of the
Presidential Secretariat in Kyiv in the areas of structural reorganization
and management.

Mr. Vasiunyk is from western Ukraine and has held a variety of private
and government positions.  He was the deputy chief of staff for Viktor
Yushchenko when he was Prime Minister.  Vasiunyk then became a
member of the Ukrainian Parliament from the Our Ukraine bloc. Ivan
Vasiunyk has been a very close and trusted aide to President Yushchenko
for many years.

I first met Ivan Vasiunyk ten years ago when he was in charge of a
think-tank in Kyiv in cooperation with Viktor Pynzenyk, who is now

acting Minister of Finance. Ivan has also worked closely with Kateryna
and Viktor Yushchenko on their activities related to the commemoration
of the millions of victims of the Holodomor (genocidal famine-terror) in
1932-1933.  I have recently worked with Ivan on the planning for
Holodomor activities related to the 75th commemoration of the tragedy
in 2007-2008 in Ukraine and around the world.      -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Coalition For A Secure And Democratic Ukraine (CSDU)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #708, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 7 2006

WASHINGTON – The Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine (CSDU)
meet on Tuesday with the new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor,
Jr., to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-Ukraine partnership.

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President, Nadia McConnell began today’s meeting
with an overview of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s work, which was followed
by Ambassador Taylor’s introductory remarks.

Ambassador William Green Miller, Co-Chair of the Coalition for a Secure and
Democratic Ukraine, and Mark Levin, NCSJ Executive Director spoke about
the Coalition’s planned work.  Various members of the Coalition then gave
individual remarks about various issues they felt are important regarding
the work to move Ukraine forward.

Some of those who briefed the new Ambassador were:  Ken Bossong,
Ukrainian-American Environmental Association; George Chopivsky, Ukrainian
Development Company; Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer; Vera Andryczyk,
Ukrainian Federation of America; Mykhajlo Datsenko, Ukraina Citizens
International Association Zazdelehid’; Zenia Chernyk, Ukrainian Federation
of America; Adrian Karmazyn, Voice of America and Ann Olsen Schodde,
ITEBS Associates.

Others in attendance included Robert McConnell, Hawthorne & York
International; Karla Jones, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs;
Heather Fernuik, SigmaBleyzer; Vera Andrushkiw, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation;
John Kun, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; Charles Camp, Law offices of Charles
Camp; Yuliya B. Andresyuk, Attorney, Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot;
Jack Heller, Lawyer, Heller and Rosenblatt; Ulyana Panchishin, U.S-Ukraine
Foundation; Tom Gittens, Gittens and Associates; and Marta Matselioukh,
U.S. Ukraine Foundation.

Ambassador Taylor leaves later this week for Kyiv to take up his new
post. He asked members of the Coalition to stay in touch with him
and to keep him informed about the key issues related to Ukraine
development as a strong, independent nation. He said he looks forward
to meeting with many of the Coalition members when they are in Kyiv.

With over 30 representatives of member and potential member organizations
present at the meeting, issues such as promoting the U.S. Congress-Verkhovna
Rada partnership, supporting Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic
community, and promoting Ukraine’s market reform, democratic development,
as well as encouraging Ukraine’s energy efficiency were discussed.

The Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine has been created to
support steps to further strengthen U.S.-Ukraine relations. Co-chaired by
Ambassadors Steven Pifer and William Green Miller, former U.S. Ambassadors
to Ukraine, the Coalition will build on the success of the Jackson-Vanik
Graduation Coalition.

Member organizations in the Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine
include the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, NCSJ, SigmaBleyzer, Jewish Institute
for National Security Affairs, the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council,
Ukrainian-American Environmental Association, The Bleyzer Foundation, and
the Ukrainian Federation of America.

The Coalition intends to engage on an array of issues. It has assigned early
priority to promoting the establishment of a closer institutional
relationship between the U.S. Congress and Ukraine’s parliament (the Rada).
Such a link will promote interaction and mutual understanding between the
two legislative branches. The Coalition also will work to foster the
integration of a democratic, market-oriented Ukraine into the Euro- Atlantic

The Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine is the successor to the
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, which promoted Ukraine’s removal from
the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and extension of permanent
normal trade relations status to Ukraine.

By March 2006, when Congress passed legislation to accomplish this, the
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition had faxed, e-mailed, and delivered nearly

one thousand letters to Congress, met with members of Congress and key
Congressional staff, held a press conference on Capitol Hill, wrote numerous
newspaper articles, and mobilized countless constituents throughout the
United States to contact their Congressional representatives.

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition represented more than 250 businesses
and Ukrainian-American, Jewish- American and other non-governmental

The Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine looks forward to further
actions to strengthen the bilateral partnership between the United States
and Ukraine.

To become a member of the Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine
please contact Marta Matselioukh at
martam@usukraine.org or at (202)

Together, we can help Ukraine consolidate the democratic promise of the
Orange Revolution and move forward on its path toward Euro-Atlantic
integration!                                -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                       “Suspicious” cargo unloaded from U.S. cargo ship

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Victor Litovkin, New York Bureau
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

MOSCOW — Almost a week after protesters blocked the Ukrainian seaport of
Feodosia over a “suspicious” cargo, including HMWVs and other military
materiel unloaded shortly before from U.S. cargo ship Advantage, the
Ukrainian defense minister actually admitted to having lied to his people.

At first, Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko insisted the U.S.S Advantage
had delivered only “construction materials” for the overhaul of the local
military training base, but then had to backtrack in a televised statement,
saying the cargo included armaments and military equipment for the joint
U.S.-Ukrainian tactical exercise, Sea Breeze 2006.

However, “inconsistencies” in official statements is something the
Ukrainians have long got accustomed to.  The real reason for the upheaval is
much simpler.  The protest just goes to show that the people are against
letting NATO and the U.S. in and letting their country out into the orbit of
the Alliance.

This is evident not so much from the content of the posters and slogans the
protesters are waving as from the simple fact that the Peace Shield, Black
Sea Force, Sea Breeze, Joint Assistance and other elements of the
NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace Program involving Russia, Ukraine, and
other post-Soviet states for nearly a decade have never caused such a
powerful public outcry.

                          THE ANSWER LIES IN POLITICS
The answer lies in politics.  Though the upcoming exercise as such follows
the usual peacekeeping-oriented scenario, its stated purpose is perceived
differently in the context of anti-Orange sentiments, which have grown
tremendously since the Ukrainians propelled an Orange president to power a
year ago.

The bottom line is that the president has not kept his promise to improve
life in the country.  Prices are growing far faster than wages and pensions;
relations with Russia, a brotherly nation to many locals, are deteriorating;
and the Russian language, most recently denied any status whatsoever even in
municipalities where it is far more widespread than the official Ukrainian,
is under increasing pressure.

The government’s drive for Western and Atlantic integration – despite
concrete damage Ukraine has already suffered in return for little more than
vague promises – only makes the problem worse.

As long as Gritsenko’s project to bring the national fighting force closer
to NATO standards was seen as a promise – of transparent military
expenditures, more efficient bureaucracy, streamlined structure, shorter
terms of conscription, and a higher role of professional service – people
welcomed the idea.

As long as Ukraine’s role in Kosovo, African, and Middle Eastern NATO-led
operations, and the U.S.-led Iraqi deployment, was seen as an opportunity
for the soldiers to test themselves in combat – and, importantly, earn more
than they would have at home, even without as much danger and challenge –
people supported it.

Today’s prospect of full NATO membership is different.  Joining an
international military effort because you have been asked and agreed to do
so is not the same as because you have been ordered to and left without any
choice.  Just take the example of NATO newcomers who had to support the 1999
bombing of the neighboring Yugoslavia, looking sheepishly at how people of
their ethnicities – Romanians, Bulgarians, Hungarians – were imperiled as
well as Yugoslavs.

Another reason that adds to anti-NATO sentiments is the increasingly clear
danger that Ukrainian defense firms would lose their Russian partners.  Most
recently, Moscow again refused to go further on the project of the
Antonov-70 military transport aircraft.

This was clearly done much less because of “excessive load on the centerwing
and weak engines,” as Russian Air Force Commander Vladimir Mikhailov put it,
than because of extremely high political risks.  Moscow has shown plainly
that investing billions of rubles in a project that, if finished
successfully, will benefit NATO – which might one day be not in line with
Russia’s interest – is the last thing it wants.

Motor Sich, the Ukrainian producer of engines for the Mi-8 (Hip), Mi-17
(Hip), and Mi-24 (Hind) helicopters of Russian design, has also felt the
growing pressure.  In a move that might bankrupt the factory and add to
unemployment, which already runs higher in Ukraine than in the neighboring
Russia and Belarus, Moscow is shifting the engine orders home to St.
Petersburg-based Klimov and Moscow-based Chernyshev plants.

The Russians are also withholding further investments in other projects seen
as politically sensitive in the context of Kiev’s newfound Atlantic

To a sane observer, these moves hardly look as “Moscow’s revenge upon the
breakaway” or whatever others might say.  This is a consistent policy of
hedging the apparent political risks of dealing with a partner who is
potentially dependent on decisions made in Brussels – and, ultimately, in
Washington, D.C. – where long-standing interests of the Ukrainian people
will hardly be of much value.

The Feodosia blockade, for all its political motivation and lack of logic,
as it undermines genuine PfP cooperation, still carries a powerful message
that the people of Ukraine have much more common sense and stronger
self-preservation instincts than most of its political elite.

The yawning gap between the interests of the people on the ground in the
Crimea and southern and eastern regions of the country and those of the
egotistic Orange government is becoming all too obvious in Kiev and beyond.
NOTE: Victor Litovkin is an RIA Novosti defense commentator submitted
via its New York Bureau
LINK: http://www.postchronicle.com/news/security/article_21221884.shtml

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
    Undeclared war going on between Our Ukraine and Yanukovych’s party.
                Party of the Regions pushes for a place in the coalition
Party of the Regions made decision to fan anti-NATO sentiments carefully

COMMENTARY: By Mikhail Zygar; Lenur Yunusov, Simferopol
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The pro-presidential Our Ukraine Party accused Viktor Yanukovich’s Party
of the Regions of “inculcating federalism” in Ukraine. That is practically
an admission by Ukrainian authorities that an undeclared war is going on
between them and the Yanukovich’s party.

Left out of the coalition, the party launched a massive attack on the Orange
in eastern Ukraine. There are anti-NATO protests going on and regional
councils are declaring Russian a regional language. They also have
no-confidence votes lined up for regional administration heads appointed by

                                     THE CRIMEAN FRONT
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko introduced a law in the Supreme Rada
to allow foreign troops onto the territory of Ukraine this year to
participate in exercises. The document proposes opening the doors to troops
from Great Britain, Poland, the United States, Slovakia, Moldova and other
countries for a series of exercises. The president requested that the law be
given expedited handling.

Yushchenko is in a complicated position. The last Rada refused his proposal
to allow foreign troops to enter the country for exercises three times.
Therefore, the Sea Breeze 2006 exercises scheduled to take place in the
Crimea this year are illegal.

Similar exercises have been held in Ukraine six times without causing a
scandal. This time, however, the expected arrival of 259 foreign marines
caused a storm of popular discontent – and all because the exercises
coincide with finalization of the governing coalition.

The most ardent pickets against the presence of American soldiers in Ukraine
are taking place in Feodosia. American Marine reservists participating in
the exercises are being housed in the military sanatorium in Feodosia. “The
Americans are very polite,” a sanatorium worker told Kommersant. “They help
sanatorium workers paint the benches.”

In spite of the fact that the Feodosia city council declared the city
“NATO-free territory,” witnesses say that the American soldiers stroll in
the city peacefully. A sanatorium worker told Kommersant that mainly
officers leave the grounds. They buy cigarettes and cold drinks at the
nearby stores. Sometimes they talk to local residents, who have great
curiosity about them.

The picketers at the sanatorium do not interfere with the Americans’
movements. Yesterday they calmly let pass a U.S. embassy mission led by
military attache Col. James Molloy.

Ukrainian authorities seem to be at a loss before the protesters. Besides
Yushchenko’s hastily proposed new law, there was another attempt to deal
with the situation on Saturday, when the Ukrainian Security Service refused
to allow Russian State Duma member Konstantin Zatulin into the country.

“Zatulin’s activities will create conditions for illegal occurrences
connected with encroachments on the territorial integrity and inviolability
of Ukraine and incitement of ethnic strife,” head of the Ukrainian Security
Service press service Marina Ostapenko stated. Zatulin had taken part in
protest actions against the docking of a NATO ship in Feodosia.

In response, Russian authorities banned Sergey Evtushenko, member of the
political council of the Pora Party and sometime adviser to the Ukrainian
foreign minister, from visiting Moscow.

                                 REGIONAL CONSPIRACY
The anti-NATO activities in the Crimea are part of an opposition campaign
that began several days ago. Although the incidents in Feodosia and the
unpassed law on the exercises place Ukraine in a bad light in the West, they
are far from the government’s most pressing problems. The wave of
resolutions in the east of the country to give Russian the status of a
regional language is a much greater threat to the authorities.

Ukrainian politicians insisted for several weeks as they negotiated the
formation of a coalition that the incidents taking place in the south and
east of the country arose spontaneous and had nothing to do with the
formation of the government. Yesterday, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine
announced that there was an obvious conspiracy that centered around the
Party of the Regions.

An Our Ukraine statement released yesterday reads “The Party of the Regions
has engaged in direct and systematic post-election technology to inculcate
federalism in Ukraine, which is evidenced by the linguistic situation, the
enflaming of the groundless anti-American hysteria in the Crimea and the
vote of no-confidence against chairman of the Kharkov Region administration
Arsen Avakov.”

The no-confidence vote against Avakov seems to have exhausted Our Ukraine’s
patience. The Kharkov regional council, which is predominantly made up of
Party of the Regions members, voted against Yushchenko appointee Avakov. Our
Ukraine took the act as a declaration of war.

As the unlikelihood of Yanukovich’s party being included in the governing
coalition becomes clearer, it is showing the authorities that it can use
local administration to make their lives difficult. Obviously, the
no-confidence vote in Kharkov can be repeated in a number of other regions.

For the Part of the Regions, the transition to resistance of the Orange
authorities is its only chance to win power now that all government posts
have been assigned without its participation. Its chances of success are
greater than they may appear at first glance.

Yanukovich and his team may propose a tradeoff of admission to the coalition
for calling off the advance of the Russian language from the east and the
cancellation of picketing in the Crimea.

There is another possibility as well. The Party of the Regions made the
decision to fan anti-NATO sentiments carefully. The Sea Breeze exercise is a
regular event and it can be used to their advantage. Joining NATO is the
most unpopular item of Yushchenko’s program.

The Democratic Initiative Foundation has determined that 64.4 percent of
Ukrainians are opposed to the country’s admission to NATO. In the west of
the country, 38 percent of the public is opposed, and 57 percent are opposed
in the central part. By emphasizing this issue, the Party of the Regions may
be able to destroy the Orange coalition.

The Socialists, who are part of the coalition, are longtime opponents of
Ukraine’s admission to NATO. While there are few other points of
disagreement between the Socialists and their allies, the issue of NATO may
become a serious bone of contention.

It is noteworthy that Our Ukraine has stated that the issue of NATO
admission is not among those that have been agreed on by the coalition
members. The Socialists may become vocal on the topic if party leader
Alexander Moroz is made speaker of the Rada.

It is also noteworthy that Moroz has refrained from taking a position on the
new law to allow foreign troops into Ukraine. He stated that the issue
should not be settled before the parliament’s committees are formed.
LINK: http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=679571

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

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

MOSCOW – Ukraine’s would-be ‘orange coalition’ members have stumbled
again. The stumbling block is NATO.

That the idea of joining the North Atlantic Alliance has long been on
President Viktor Yushchenko’s mind and the Ukraine Party he leads, as well
as the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc, is common knowledge. It is likewise clear that
the arch opponent, Viktor Yanukovich, and his Party of Regions are firmly
against, and it is only natural they have used anti-NATO sentiment in their
political campaign more than once.

The post-election intrigue these days is centered around the third likely
participant in the ‘orange coalition’ (if that is ever to take shape) – the
Alexander Moroz-led Socialist Party – which has preferred to go ahead with
its will-you-won’t-you-dance show.

The creation of a three-party coalition of Our Ukraine, the YTB and the
Socialists has been postponed on several occasions, largely due to
differences over NATO.

The Socialists have said in a news release they urged the YTB and Our
Ukraine to remove from the draft coalition agreement the clause declaring
Ukraine’s accession to NATO as one of the official goals. The Socialists are
also against Our Ukraine’s intention to implement by the end of the year all
scheduled activities under the program for cooperation with NATO.

President Yushchenko has had to announce that the creation of a
parliamentary coalition has been postponed again, this time till June 27,
the last day when its formation will be still possible.

                                CRIMEA WITHOUT NATO
The theme of anti-NATO sentiment has acquired special significance, as
mounting protests in the Crimean Peninsula have continued for a tenth day

Demonstrators have picketed the main gate leading to the port of Feodosia to
prevent the transportation of U.S. containers and military hardware a U.S.
naval ship brought in on May 27. They also demand the U.S. troops, who had
arrived for participation in the international exercise Sea Breeze – 2006,
should go.

Protest actions by the Crimea’s people have received the backing of the
Party of Regions, the Nataliya Vitrenko Bloc, the Communists, the
Progressive Socialist Party and the organization calling itself the Russian
Community of the Crimea.

With every day protesters look ever better organized. Tents have been put
up, a podium built, and nighttime pickets placed at Feodosia’s seaport. The
American troops are sealed off on the premises of a local health-building

The city of Feodosia, and now other regions of the Crimea, declared
themselves NATO-free territories.

The legislature of the Crimean autonomy, where the supporters of Viktor
Yanukovich prevail, followed suit on Tuesday to vote for a resolution
declaring the whole peninsula “a territory without NATO.” The decision was
backed by 61 of the 78 legislators.

The statement says that the escalation of foreign military presence in the
Crimea will trigger a worsening of the social and political situation in the
autonomy and in the country in general.

The legislators argue that the Defense Ministry’s decision to go ahead with
the international exercise Sea Breeze-2006 without prior permission from the
national parliament is fraught with a threat to the basics of Ukraine’s
constitutional system and its non-bloc status.

The Crimean legislature demanded that US troops, NATO representatives and
engineering, technical and military equipment should be kept out of the
Crimea until the national parliament has given its consent. The autonomy’s
legislators also said the Sea Breeze – 2006 exercise must be canceled.

                                 UNLAWFUL EXERCISE
Under an agreement signed last year NATO forces undertook to upgrade the
training base at the Starokrymsky proving ground of the Ukrainian Navy. That
facility would be used to train peacekeeping units within the framework of
the Partnership for Peace program.

In July-August that proving ground was to host the Sea Breeze-2006 exercise
in compliance with the plan for military cooperation between the Ukrainian
Defense Ministry and the command of U.S. troops in Europe. However, under
the Constitution before any foreign troops or hardware may be allowed to
enter Ukraine, there has to be approval from the national parliament.

The previous parliament thrice rejected the presidential request for
allowing foreign military into the country in 2006 “for participation in
multi-national military exercises.” For this simple reason all international
military exercises in Ukrainian territory, just as the arrival of a NATO
ship in Feodosia, are not legal.

President Yushchenko has submitted to parliament a bill authorizing the
presence of foreign troops, saying he is certain about eventual success. “I
am sure we shall get through all legal phases required for holding the
exercise,” he said.

In response, the Party of Regions said that it would not allow the bill even
to be considered. The leader of the Socialist Party, Alexander Moroz, also
said that the issue of allowing foreign troops into Ukraine would not be
brought up until the parliament’s leadership bodies and committees were
                               ANTI-NATO SENTIMENT
The daily Kommersant believes that the anti-NATO “Crimean War” is part and
parcel of a vast campaign the Ukrainian opposition has conducted for the
past few days. “This would be a sixth such exercise in Ukraine. None of the
previous ones caused any rows,” the daily said.

Having received no invitation to join a coalition, the Party of Regions
mounted a massive attack on the ‘orange forces’ in the country’s eastern

“So far it has employed anti-NATO protests and resolutions by local
legislatures to declare Russian the regional language as their weapon of
choice. Motions of no confidence in the Kiev-appointed chiefs of regional
administrations may follow,” the daily said, adding that accession to NATO
is “the most unpopular item of Viktor Yushchenko’s political platform.”

A poll by the Democratic Initiatives fund indicates that the Ukrainians’
attitude to NATO has been changing from bad to worse year in year out.

In 2000 33.5 percent of Ukrainians were against idea of the country’s
membership of the North Atlantic Alliance. In 2005 the group of critics grew
to 50.4 percent, and in the spring of 64.4 percent said they would not like
their country to be a NATO member.

Anti-NATO sentiment is widely spread not only in the eastern parts of the
country. Even a considerable share of the ‘orange’ electorate looks at the
possibility of joining NATO with no enthusiasm at all.

As the latest opinion poll indicates, 61 percent of those who voted for the
Socialists, 40 percent of the Our Ukraine electorate and 41 percent of the
Yulia Timoshenko Bloc supporters are against NATO, too. Even in western
Ukraine – the citadel of nationalism – 38 percent of the polled said NO to
integration with NATO, and only 32 percent agreed.

In central Ukraine 57 percent of the population are the alliance’s
opponents, and a tiny 15 percent have described themselves as NATO-leaning.

“Two conflicting trends have been gaining strength in Ukraine,” said the
on-line publication GazetaSNG. “On the one hand, the authorities keep saying
the country must join NATO in two or three years. On the other hand, a
number of major political parties have kick-started a movement against NATO
membership and that campaign receives ever greater popular support.”

                                  RUSSIAN MOTIVES
The Our Ukraine bloc on Monday accused Russia of backing forces that
provoked protests in the Crimea. The Ukrainian security service has banned
Russian State Duma member Konstantin Zatulin from entering Ukraine again,
because he had participated in the demonstrations in Feodosia.

The chairman of the Russian State Duma’s foreign and defense policies
committee, Sergei Karaganov, believes that “those who are not quite sure
about their own strength, who are afraid of more competitive Russia and
would like the country to have a tight military and political peg to the
United States” wish accession to NATO more than anybody else in Ukraine.

“Far from all ‘western motives’ are clear at this point,” said Karaganov in
an article in the government-published Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Some are quite
obvious though – the wish to attach highly volatile and unstable Ukraine to
the Western system to complement Poland with one more pro-American
stronghold in Europe.”

The analyst warns that NATO’s expansion to Ukraine may cause a border
problem with Russia. “There is no marked border line between Russia and
Ukraine, but if a full-fledged border is to be ever created, immense
problems would ensue. Any hill will be strategic, and any ravine,
historical. They will begin to be fought for. And it is easy to guess what
this kind of struggle may lead to. Bloodshed is a likely possibility.”

“There will emerge tens and dozens of conflicts,” Karaganov warns. “There
will develop the ‘split nation syndrome’ on both sides. So far it has been
somehow prevented, but the last resort may be exhausted by then.”

“Another, artificially created ‘curve of instability’ along the
Russian-Ukrainian border will spell the end of the idea of a union of major
world powers against new challenges and start a new spiral of farce-like
confrontation between blocs,” Karaganov said.

LINK: http://www.tass.ru/eng/level2.html?NewsID=9596485&PageNum=0
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
           Ukraine’s defence minister slams opposition to US war game

INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko
One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1700 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

Ukrainian Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko has dismissed ongoing protests
against a joint exercise with US troops as part of a campaign to pressurize
Kiev. Speaking in a live TV interview, he accused “certain forces” in Russia
of meddling with Ukraine’s affairs.

Hrytsenko described a Crimean parliament resolution against the exercise as
unconstitutional and suggested that it might be used to outlaw Russian Black
Sea Fleet drills in Crimea. Hrytsenko added that the exercise would not go
ahead without the Ukrainian parliament’s permission. Protests in Crimea were
sparked by a US ship’s call at the port of Feodosiya ahead of the exercise
which is scheduled to start on 14 June.

The following is the text of Hrytsenko’s interview to Ukrainian One Plus One
TV on 6 June; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

[Presenter] Good evening. It’s going to be a hot day in parliament tomorrow.
The Orange parties may attempt to pass a permission to hold international
military exercises in Ukraine, while the opposition has promised to disrupt
the session. Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko will be right at the centre
of events. He is in our studio tonight. Good evening.

Why did the Defence Ministry start preparations for the Sea Breeze exercise
without being completely certain that parliament will agree to them?

[Hrytsenko] For you to know, preparations start one-and-a-half – two years
before the exercise. This is the way it has been every year, starting from
1997. There have always been planning conferences and talks, and relevant
legislative and government agencies of participating states passed the
necessary decisions. After that, parliament was to decide on that.

This year, for obvious reasons, because of the election, has been special.
Therefore, to calm things down and bring them into line with the law,
parliament should pass a decision. This is what we are expecting.

[Presenter] Are you feeling personally responsible for the political tension
over NATO and, possibly, for the damage done to Ukraine’s international
image of a reliable partner?

[Hrytsenko] It is not a matter of personal responsibility. The Defence
Ministry did what it was supposed to do. There is a law on peacekeeping. As
a minister, I must make sure that our armed forces include troops ready to
act in cooperation with other partners.

This is the way it has been, and this is the way it will be. If certain
political forces had not fuelled tension in Crimea, Ukrainians would not
have noticed this exercise at all. Like it had been previously, when the
government was led by [Valeriy] Pustovoytenko, [Viktor] Yushchenko,
[Anatoliy] Kinakh and [Viktor] Yanukovych. Exercises were held, and there
were no problems either in Feodosiya or Sevastopol.

This benefited someone. Unfortunately, this country has been taken hostage
by extremist actions by political forces which scored a grand total of up to
6 per cent of votes [in the 2006 parliamentary election]. Irresponsible
actions by local government agencies followed.

[Presenter] Excuse me, are you rejecting the president’s criticism? He
accused the power-wielding ministries including the Defence Ministry of
lacking coordination while preparing the exercise.

[Hrytsenko] I would like to explain that this is not the point. This is a
matter of informing various officials. When local council heads go live on
the air to say that they didn’t know an exercise was to be held, I’m saying
with full responsibility – this is a lie.

They did know. The Crimean government knew and the Crimean parliament
speaker, who is also called [Anatoliy] Hrytsenko, knew. Immediately after
the election, navy commander Adm [Ihor] Tenyukh issued an order and told

him everything at a meeting on 24 May.

But this did not prevent him from saying in a live broadcast that the
military had not told them. Be responsible for what you do. If Crimean MPs
cared about the holiday season instead of inciting protests, things would be
absolutely calm. There would be no losses for us.

                                  PRESSURE ON KIEV 
[Presenter] What do you think, then, is the real cause of the conflict?
Apart from what’s been declared.

[Hrytsenko] I think this is a scenario for influencing the central authority
in Ukraine in terms of information and politics. The question is – without
exaggeration – whether there is a central authority in Ukraine or not. I
want to tell something to all citizens, speaking as a citizen, not as a
Defence Minister.

There is a central authority in any country. In any country, it is not a
village council in Partenit or a town council in Lenine [village and town in
Crimea] that decides on elections, it is the central authority who does
that. That’s the way it has been, and that’s the way it will be in Ukraine.
All other issues related to the activity of the Defence Ministry and border
guards are decided on centrally. That’s whose remit this is.

The Crimean parliament’s decision today to raise the issue of banning
military exercises is, [1] first, unconstitutional. [2] Second, it flies in
the face of Ukraine’s and the Ukrainian army’s interests – because there is
no army without training. [3] third, this is against Russia. In essence, the
Crimean parliament raised the issue of throwing – no less – the [Russian]
Black Sea Fleet out of Ukraine. Because –

[Presenter] But what’s the connection?

[Hrytsenko] – without exercises the Black Sea Fleet is not a fleet. They
hold exercises and train. For this, we gave them training grounds located on
our territory. They rent them and hold exercises there. More than that,
Russia is an active participant in three NATO projects.

This is Blackseafor, a naval unit which Russia, incidentally, will be
presiding over this year. It involves ships from Turkey, Romania and
Bulgaria – all NATO member states. Second, Russia supports Black Sea
Harmony, an initiative of Turkey, a NATO member state. Third, Russia will be
sending its ships to the Mediterranean this year to take part in a NATO
exercise called Active Endeavour. Should Russia be banned from holding these
                                  RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT
[Presenter] But, as far as I can see, Russia’s hand can be seen in the
planned scenarios that you mentioned?

[Hrytsenko] What we see is a serious interest or, I’d say more, meddling
with our internal affairs on the part of certain Russian forces at the level
of State Duma and of certain organizations including NGOs.

[Presenter] What about secret services?

[Hrytsenko] I do not have information on that. But I think this issue will
be looked at in detail. A National Security and Defence Council meeting two
days ago passed an absolutely considerate decision. If citizens of Russia or
any other country – but we’ve seen Russian citizens there – take part in
illegal events and block our transport routes – have their passport against
the screen and deport them. This is an absolutely right thing to do.

[Presenter] Very briefly, I’d like to ask you about events tomorrow. What if
parliament does not give its consent to holding the exercise?

[Hrytsenko] First, up until now we have been preparing for the exercise. In
essence, the exercise kicks off on 14 June. If parliament does not pass a
decision on holding the exercise and allowing foreign troops (into Ukraine),
the exercise will not be held. It would be illegal.

However, I am deeply convinced that Ukraine’s reliability as a state and its
capability to honour its commitments are at stake. I’ll say more. The
parties opposed to the exercise are saying something else – even if
parliament gives its consent we won’t allow this. What we need to show is,
first, that there is an authority and, second, that it takes responsibility.

[Presenter] Lastly, a parliament decision passed before parliamentary
leaders are elected, would it be legitimate?

[Hrytsenko] The coalition that’s being formed now has to show our society
that it is up to solving the tasks that need to be solved. In essence, the
task we are facing is not that difficult. The first, only and urgent bill
President [Viktor] Yushchenko sent to the newly-elected parliament is the
one about allowing [foreign troops] in for training.

The coalition has to pass this decision, if it is a responsible coalition.
If a speaker needs to be elected for this, let it elect a speaker. Then it
will say that we are able to grapple with much more difficult tasks. If it
doesn’t do this, then as a citizen I will be very doubtful as to its ability
to run this country.                        -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteyko
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 1505 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

In an interview with Russian Ekho Moskvy radio at 1500 gmt 6 May 06
Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteyko commented on Ukraine’s
NATO membership bid, relations with Russia, the decision of the Ukrainian
authorities to deny Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin entry to Ukraine, the
status of the Russian language in Ukraine and some other issues.

In particular, Anton Buteyko confirmed Ukraine’s resolve to join NATO and
the European Union. “Ukraine’s full-fledged participation in these
structures meets Ukraine’s national interests,” he said.

At the same time, “Ukraine will be pursuing its foreign policy towards
acquiring membership of the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance,
NATO, with the preservation, development and consolidation of good-neighbour
and equal relations with other states, first and foremost neighbouring
states, including Russia.”

Buteyko explained Ukraine’s drive to join NATO by the fact that Ukraine “is
keen to move towards the values which united NATO member states. A candidate
for NATO membership is obliged to ensure normal democracy in the state,
protect its mass media, ensure freedom of the speech, protect human rights
properly and ensure supremacy of law. Apart from that, a NATO member state
should have a defence and security sector substantial enough to ensure that
the above values are protected.”

Buteyko said that Ukraine’s membership of NATO should not lead to curtailing
military-technical cooperation with Russia. He said that “NATO is a
structure which cooperates with other states actively, including the Russian
Federation, and the Russian Federation has much closer and more developed
relations with NATO than Ukraine.

We are just making our best not to lag behind the Russian Federation. The
Russian Federation does not make formal declarations that it wants to join
NATO and we do this and we work towards that end.”

According to the first deputy minister, Ukraine’s military-industrial
potential inherited from the USSR will not be affected by NATO membership
even if Russia decides to disrupt its military ties with Ukraine.

He recalled that Ukraine had won a tender for the delivery of tanks to
Pakistan and although the Russian side refused to supply guns for these
tanks, Ukraine managed to design its own gun and thus fulfil the contract.

Anton Buteyko admitted that, according to unbiased opinion polls, just 30
per cent of people in Ukraine support Ukraine’s plan to join NATO. However,
he explained this by the fact that people were not properly informed about
the alliance and the advantages of NATO membership.

“This lack of information is due to the policy pursued by the Soviet Union
where NATO was described as an aggressive imperialist bloc that posed a
threat to us. Apart from this, during the previous regime of President
[Leonid] Kuchma, a policy was pursued and declarations were made to ensure
Ukraine’s membership of NATO, but in reality the state machinery was working
in an opposite direction,” he said.

Buteyko expressed the hope that Ukraine’s membership of NATO and
subsequently the European Union will help improve the living standards of
people in Ukraine.

As regards the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to deny Russian MP
Konstantin Zatulin entry to Ukraine, Buteyko said that “there is such a
thing as pluralism of opinions and there are insults to a state. He said
that Zatulin “is behaving incorrectly in relation to the Ukrainian state and
taking part in political rallies that are aimed against the policy of the
Ukrainian state”.

Buteyko resolutely denied Zatulin’s TV statements that anti-Russian slogans
decorate his, Buteyko’s, office. “Therefore, such behaviour is unacceptable
to Ukrainians, unacceptable to our honour and dignity, and those who will
insult the honour and dignity of the Ukrainian state will be declared
undesirable persons,” he said.

Anton Buteyko also spoke about the status of the Russian language in
Ukraine. He said that, according to the constitution Ukrainian is the only
one state language in the country. However, other languages, including
Russian, are also protected by the constitution.

He described the decision by several regions in Ukraine to grant Russian the
status of regional language as “nonsense and stupidity which regional
authorities demonstrated in their actions. This issue is not regulated by
regional authorities, the language issue is the issue to be considered by
parliament and the constitution.”

Anton Buteyko refused to make any official comment on the inter-church
relations between Ukraine and Russia but added, as a private person, that
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate and other churches,
including the Russian Orthodox Church were successfully developing
relations.                                     -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

    If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
                         SHOULD BE UKRAINE’S PARTNER”

INTERVIEW: With James Sherr
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #18
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

In 2002 Ukraine announced its policy of Euro-Atlantic integration, with NATO
membership as the ultimate goal. During the recent parliamentary elections
in Ukraine, election frontrunners avoided the subject of NATO membership in
their campaign platforms. It appears that only Ukraine’s Foreign and Defense
ministries have been consistent in their declarations in favor of
Euro-Atlantic integration.

Now a “NATO compatibility test” awaits the government coalition now forming
in Ukraine. What do NATO member states think of Ukraine’s efforts at
integration into Euro-Atlantic structures? What is required of our country
as it moves along the path of integration? Will Ukraine be able to revise
its natural gas deal with Russia?

James Sherr, fellow at the Conflict Studies Research Center of the UK’s
Defense Academy, discusses these questions in the following interview.

The British defense expert is no stranger to Ukraine. For many years he has
been an unofficial mediator between the Ukrainian government and defense
structures in the UK and NATO. Regardless of his official position with a
government institution, he is entitled to his personal opinion, which may
not necessarily represent the official position of the UK or the alliance.

[QUESTION] “Are Ukraine’s goals to advance to the NATO Membership
Action Plan this fall and to join the alliance in 2008 realistic?”

[SHERR] “These are two different questions. I believe that it is a realistic
prospect for Ukraine to advance to the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP)
this year. But to do so, Ukraine must meet a number of requirements from
alliance members concerning some key aspects. As for Ukraine’s accession to
NATO in 2008, this is a completely different question.

“Before Ukraine can advance to the MAP, allies must be certain that Kyiv
realizes the depth of transformations that have to be implemented in
nonmilitary security sectors. So far, the question of reforms in most
spheres of the security sector has only been discussed, but nothing has been
done about them.

Ukraine needs a fundamental transformation. But it is not mandatory that
everything must begin once Ukraine has advanced to the MAP. Nevertheless,
the allies must be certain that Ukraine knows what has to be done and is
determined to do this.

[2] “A second problem is this: no harm should be done to the system of
national coordination in the defense sphere and the security system, let
alone the dynamics of reforms in the Ministry of Defense and the Armed

[3] “A third problem pertains to energy security, which is a component of
security that is attracting more attention in Europe. If Ukraine hands over
control of its network of oil and gas pipelines or loses ownership of this
network, the allies will be very concerned, much like all the EU member

They might question Ukraine’s ability to defend its primary interests, since
the oil and gas systems are a guarantee of Ukraine’s independence. The
question of energy security is becoming increasing relevant for the entire
Euro-Atlantic community.

“As we know, an invitation to the Membership Action Plan is a political
issue. I believe, however, that Ukraine’s advancement to the Membership
Action Plan in Riga at the end of this year is a realistic prospect.”

[QUESTION] “What about Ukraine’s accession to NATO in 2008?”

[SHERR] “Much harm has been caused by all the talk of dates for Ukraine’s
accession to NATO. The allies will not discuss dates. I hope that
advancement to the Membership Action Plan will be good news for Ukraine.
However, an invitation to join NATO will not happen unless real, profound
changes begin in the country following the advancement to the Membership
Action Plan. Why am I saying this?

Because in the past the period of the most intensive changes in all
countries aspiring to NATO membership was always the period between
advancing to the Membership Action Plan and actual membership.

However, when some countries joined NATO, transformations slowed
down significantly in individual cases. Therefore, some allies concluded
that before candidates are granted membership, they must complete all
critical transformations.

I emphasize critical transformations, not all transformations. Even old NATO
members have certain weak spots and shortcomings. Nobody intends to
demand from Ukraine what is not required of NATO member states.”

[QUESTION] “Would you name the sectors that need to be transformed?”

[SHERR] “The changes taking place in the Defense Ministry and the Armed
Forces of Ukraine should simply continue. Perhaps this depends on
predictable and consistent increases in funding. It is also important to
ensure that no one will interfere with the administration mechanism in the
program of reforms.

“At the same time, the Security Service of Ukraine and intelligence agencies
should change the culture and style of their work. By this I mean that they
must understand who their ally is and how to work jointly. This particularly
applies to the general approach to intelligence work and relations with
Ukrainian citizens.

The Soviet and post-Soviet approach is based on pressure, blackmail, and
exploiting human weaknesses and incriminating evidence against people. Such
methods are not employed in modern democratic countries. New approaches
require new people.

Among today’s professionals are those who can work constructively in the new
conditions and those who cannot. The latter should be assigned to positions
where they will not be able to do harm, or they should be given an honorable

All the new allies felt these changes, and it is only natural that they
experienced difficulties during the process. But where there is a will, all
of this can be accomplished.

“Without a doubt, it is also a question of reforming the Ministry of
Internal Affairs and the law enforcement agencies. The thing is, at the
local level, where the country’s population resides in its majority, in many
cases the police act as tools of organized crime instead of combating it.

Of course, this cannot be changed without resources. At the same time, it is
important to create a program that will distribute resources to ensure
optimum funding for the constituent components of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs, along with reforming the system of officer training and career
growth, social security, and reviving professionalism and self-respect among

In addition, this program has to be publicized and discussed by independent
experts. I hope that the basic principles of such a program will be
represented in the new document entitled ” National Strategy in Ukraine’s
Security Sphere.”

[QUESTION] “Do you think the future Orange coalition will be able to
implement the current government’s NATO goals?”

[SHERR] “This will not be a simple task. The Socialist Party, which is part
of this coalition, is still violently opposed to Ukraine’s membership in
NATO. It is not necessary to discuss this question now that coalition talks
are underway. It would be good to overcome this obstacle with time.
Otherwise, this may negatively affect the prospects of Ukraine’s membership
in the alliance.

We must clearly understand that the only fundamental thing that unites the
Orange coalition is its dedication to democratizing the state and society.
As for other spheres, economic and geopolitical, there are big differences
among the members of this coalition. In my view, this is one of the reasons
why the future Orange coalition may not be too stable.”

[QUESTION] “Can Ukraine join NATO if it fails to normalize its relationship
with Russia?”

[SHERR] “NATO will do everything possible to maintain normal, positive, and
equitable relations between the alliance and Russia. I believe that Ukraine
will do the same in its bilateral relations with its eastern neighbor.
Ukraine’s current relations with Russia are not all that good, but I do not
know and cannot predict what they will be like five years from now.

We should expect that in the future an internal discussion will take place
in Russia itself, and presidential elections will take place to bring a new
president to power. I am optimistic that significant improvements in the
Russo-Ukrainian relationship will happen during that period. But one thing
is clear: the alliance will not let Russia dictate who should be Ukraine’s
future partner. Ukrainians will make this decision themselves.”

[QUESTION] “Do you think Russia will try to influence France or Germany
and persuade them not to support Ukraine’s accession to the alliance?”

[SHERR] “I think the Russians have strong incentives to try to do this.
Perhaps at the start of the discussion some allies might feel that we should
postpone the decision on Ukraine in order not to displease Russia. But I
believe that at the end of the discussion NATO members will reach a
consensus, and I hope that this consensus will be a wise and correct one.”

[QUESTION] “Do you think it is possible that Ukraine will revise its gas
deal with Russia?”

[SHERR] “In one aspect a revision is inevitable, since gas prices are fixed
only until this July. In my view, Ukraine has a strong position to defend
its interests. Why?-because revenues resulting from a low transit price mean
more to Russia than gas prices in Ukraine.

Therefore, Ukrainians have every reason to raise the question of increasing
transit rates to the European level if Russia insists on raising gas prices.
It is also worth noting that for storing its gas in Ukrainian storage
facilities Russia pays one-eighth of what it pays for storing its gas in
European storage facilities. If the talks become protracted, Ukraine will do
just that.

Under the agreement reached in January, the price can be changed only by
future agreements. If Ukraine disagrees with Russia’s proposals, I strongly
doubt that Russia has legal grounds to reduce supplies. In fact, in
political terms and taking into account its G8 chairmanship, such a policy
is unlikely.

“The danger is that some Ukrainians in the upper echelons of power do not
realize the strength that comes from Ukraine’s ownership of its network of
gas pipelines. Habits of weakness have not completely disappeared. Ukraine
must rid itself of them and stand its own ground in a wise but unyielding
manner. I believe that in this case Europe understands Ukraine’s position.”
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/163422/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
13.                      PASSIONATELY MANIPULATED
The Crimean unrest is aimed against Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko

COMMENTARY & OPINION: By Natalia Gevorkyan
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Russian television is covering the presence of American troops in the Crimea
as though they had occupied Sochi and poisoned our environment with the
contents of the three mysterious containers that, in actuality, were stolen
from them.

As frequently happens when hysteria reigns, my colleagues mixed their facts
up, calling them first NATO exercises, then Ukrainian-American.

New coverage from Feodosia resembles reports from the frontlines, and from
our own frontlines. There is the impression that this is our fight, that we
are standing face to face against those 259 American Marines who pose an
inhuman threat and we are defending our land against them.

The rhetoric seems funny when it is superimposed on the reality of American
guys and gals dressed in shorts, running and jumping in the area assigned to
them, probably with no idea that they have been all over the airwaves not
only in Ukraine, but in Russia as well, for days.

How can you explain to them that, when Kuchma was president of Ukraine, the
Crimeans didn’t care about their exercises, or about those on the Black Sea,
which have also been going on for years already? Russia was calm about it

Exercises, after all, are just that – exercises. What has changed so
suddenly? Nothing, except the government in Ukraine, and so relations
between Moscow and Kiev.

The Crimean unrest is aimed against Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.
I don’t know if it will go so far as a demand by Crimea for secession from
Ukraine and unification with Russia, as it has in South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. In both Ukraine and Georgia, the specter of NATO is being used to
scare people. That is why Russian journalists in the Crimea are constantly
using the word where it does not apply.

Ukrainian and Georgian authorities do not hide their intentions of joining
the Western military bloc. In both countries, pro-Western forces are at odds
with pro-Russian. Moscow does its best to take advantage of the conflict.
That is what we are seeing on television. It may use different strategies,
but Moscow has one goal in Ukraine and Georgia.

It wants to bring them back into the Russian sphere of influence. Abkhazia
and South Ossetia are revolting in Georgia and the Crimea in the Ukraine.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has already asked for a meeting with
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Will Yushchenko follow suit?

Watching the Crimea run in place under the influence of Russian PR, the word
“blackmail” comes to mind. The Ukrainian president hasn’t even formed his
coalition yet. I will risk a guess that the passions will all die down
immediately if Yushchenko embraces Yanukovich instead of Timoshenko,
although she would be much more pleasant for all.

If Yanukovich forms the government, the American Marines will be met in

the Crimea like long-lost loved ones. The post of prime minister is a good
launching pad for the presidency. Let’s return to our starting position in
2004. That would already be a victory for Yanukovich.

And if the new prime minister were able to have the gas delivery agreement
between Russia and Ukraine reconsidered, which neither the president or
current prime minister were able to do, Moscow would seriously boost his
chances of becoming president.                     -30-
LINK: http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?idr=520&id=679593
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0927 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Jun 06, 2006

SIMFEROPOL – The Crimean parliament has adopted a statement declaring the
peninsular a “NATO-free territory”. This decision was backed at the plenary
session [of the parliament] today by 61 out of the 78 Crimean deputies
present in the session hall. Nobody voted against, four deputies abstained
and 13 deputies did not take part in the voting.

“The decision of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry to grant access to US
military units [to Ukraine] have been taken in violation of Articles 85 and
92 of the Ukrainian constitution and Clause 8 of the Law of Ukraine `On the
procedure of the access to and deployment of foreign military units on the
territory of Ukraine’. This caused numerous protests in Crimea lasting for
many days.

The protesters are against holding the [US-Ukrainian] Sea Breeze-2006
exercise on the territory of the [Crimean] autonomy,” the statement says.

The Crimean parliament also noted that the Ministry of Defence’s actions
“have put under threat the foundations of Ukraine’s constitutional system,
the principle of non-alignment as stipulated in the Ukrainian declaration of
independence and individual safety of Ukrainians”.

The Crimean parliament said that “expansion of foreign military presence to
the territory of the autonomous republic will exacerbate the sociopolitical
situation in Crimea and in Ukraine in general”.

In this connection, the Crimean parliament declared its protest “against the
illegal presence of the US and NATO military units in the autonomous
republic” and demanded an end to “the illegal entry to Crimea of the US
troops, experts, inspectors and other representatives of NATO, delivery of
hardware and munitions, including weapons” before a respective decision is
taken by the Supreme Council [parliament] of Ukraine.

Members of the Crimean parliament demanded in the statement that the
international exercise Sea Breeze-2006 be cancelled in Crimea.

The Crimean parliament also drew the president’s [Viktor Yushchenko]
attention to the fact that, in its opinion, the president’s representative
in Crimea, Henadiy Moskal, failed to fulfil his legal obligations regarding
timely and objective analysis of the situation with abidance by the
constitution and Ukrainian laws, political developments in the autonomous
republic and unbiased informing of the president about the situation, which
exacerbated the sociopolitical situation in the region and outside it.

In this connection, the Crimean deputies believe that it is inadmissible for
Moskal to continue to serve in the position of the Ukrainian president’s
permanent representative in Crimea.

The Crimean parliament also asked the Supreme Council of Ukraine to

urgently discuss the issue of banning foreign troop’s entry to participate
in the military exercise Sea Breeze-2006 in Ukraine.        -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                  Estonian daily reports anti-NATO protests in Crimea

Natalia Dremova, Tallinn Molodjozh Estonii (Internet Version-
WWW) in Russian 0000 GMT 03 Jun 2006
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006

The three-day protest was not planned in advance. Nobody in Feodosia was
awaiting visitors from NATO – they usually stay in Sevastopol. Then there
was a rumour that the ship was carrying equipment for a NATO base to be
built in the village of Starii Krim, and hundreds of people hurried to the

“Did we ask them to come here?” a young man turned to the protesters. “We
will not let NATO occupy Crimea!”

“No, we will not let that happen!” the crowd shouted. Locals already have a
joke about the ship Adventure. They are saying that this “adventure” was too
big for the Adventure….

Dock workers unloaded the ship anyway: weapons, military equipment,
medication, radios, and cars are in the port. These goods cannot be removed
from this area, because all the exits are blocked by massive pickets. Signs
with slogans, such as “Shame on the traitors!”, “We will not allow Ukraine
to join NATO and become an enemy of Russia and Belarus!” are fastened where
they can be seen through the port management’s windows.

The burning of American flags has kept the protesters warm at night. People
from Feodosia come from time to time. They bring sandwiches and coffee and
ask the protesters to protect their city until the triumphant end.

Nadezhda Polyakova, chairman of Sevastopol’s Breakthrough organization, told
this newspaper that they can see four American “Hummers,” machine guns,
containers of medication, and weapons in the port. It is assumed these goods
are meant for the international Sea Breeze military exercise, which is
supposed to take place in Crimea this summer.

Locals are afraid, however, that the Marines will stay for good. They have
brought bulldozers, backhoes, and steam rollers. According to protesters,
the Marines have also brought 500 beds, bio-toilets, and … pregnancy

Defence Minister Anatolii Grizenko finally admitted the Americans had
delivered weapons to Feodosia. Earlier, he had offered assurances that they
were only delivering building materials. According to the minister, the
Ukrainian Parliament will legalize the stay of the US Marines during its 7
June session.

At the same time, deputies from the Feodosian Council declared their town
NATO-free territory during an extraordinary session. They decided to turn to
the Ukrainian parliament in order to learn the purpose of the NATO-delivered
weapons and construction equipment to Crimea.           -30-

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

NEWS CONFERENCE: With Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 6 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has rejected the protests continuing
in Crimea against plans to hold a US-Ukrainian military exercise and
reiterated that there is no need to raise the status of the Russian
language, as Ukrainian is the only state language according to the

Yushchenko was speaking at a regular news conference in Kiev, which was
broadcast live. He also said a government coalition will be formed soon.

The following is an excerpt from the broadcast by Ukrainian state-owned
television UT1 on 6 June:

KIEV – [Yushchenko] Dear journalists, representatives of the Ukrainian

and foreign media, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the state I would like to congratulate all of you on your
professional holiday and stress that journalists are highly esteemed and
very much respected in this country. [Passage omitted: pleasantries]

The nation, the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian authorities need the
solidarity of journalists on a number of issues.

I understand how difficult it is for Ukraine, which has elevated the
journalist from the position of a slave, to deal easily with the issue of
the so-called language policy. It seems strange why the environment which
should be the first to protect language sovereignty is so reluctant to raise
this issue.

Why should we be so detached from the issue of historical reconciliation,
although all understand that this a time-bomb whose sole mission is to stop
our progress, show that Ukrainians are not capable of solidarity in history
matters, language policy, energy security, religious relations?

Why is it not immanent in Poles, Russians, Czechs, why should it be immanent
in Ukrainians? This is not the whole list of issues on which we should work
as the elite of the nation to enjoy the feeling of camaraderie. You know, as
the president of Ukraine, I can comment on what is going on in Feodosiya
with a feeling of humiliation.

You have been witnessing those exercises [i.e. US-Ukrainian Sea Breeze]
since 1997. Why in the year of freedom is Ukraine treating this event in
such a fashion? Is it something new, disturbing political circles or the
public? There is absolutely nothing new about this. There is the same number
of bulldozers employed to dig trenches to prepare the exercise and to leave
them on the training grounds as engineering installations. Nothing has

Why so violent reaction to the same things? Have we become worse than in
1997 and than under the [former President Leonid] Kuchma regime? Has this
not been approved by parliament in terms of the Ukraine-NATO action plan,
has it not been supported by 263 votes, is the president defying parliament?
Where is our patriotism? Why should we humiliate ourselves?

This is being done by some groups for foreign money. I cannot even call
those groups political. You know I do not harbour any illusions about
simplicity of Ukrainian politics. But where are we, Ukrainian journalists,
Ukrainian intelligentsia, healthy Ukrainian political forces when it comes
to the interests of the state rather than rightist or leftist interests?

In that area we are working with NATO within exactly the same framework as
Russia. But the reaction of certain forces has been incomparably different –
irritated, irreconcilable – to what is going on in Ukraine with this action

Of course, this is not an accusation. As the president of Ukraine I will do
my job, I will talk about this regardless of the audience because I am
convinced that this is a matter of national interests. There should be
somebody in Ukraine to talk about this. Sometimes it hurts to see that we
are so few.

We are observing the so-called regional status of a language being
proclaimed, when the constitution is defied, when we take easy the problems
which our society should have left behind long ago. We should not allow them
to drag us back to the past.

I view this problem as a problem of growth. Ukraine is just learning to
formulate its national interests. It is even more difficult for it to defend
them. I understand and tolerate many episodes in the policy of this kind but
as the president I want to say that the consolation of our efforts on
national priorities and patriotic objectives is, to my mind, a clear

This is the line which should not divide any progressive Ukrainian
politician or any progressive Ukrainian journalist. Passage omitted: more in
the same vein]

I think that great responsibility for the failure to formulate the state
information policy rests with government agencies. In first place, this is
the State Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasting. I think that it is not
efficient and that its work is unsatisfactory. I want the Ukrainian
parliament to give a political assessment of this institution’s performance
as soon as possible.

We have lost almost the year in the discussion about public TV, about a year
in the privatization of state media, although some experiments have been
launched. I blame all those shortcomings on the lack of efficient
organizational centre which the State Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasts
should have been. No national programmes have been adopted.

For this reason, 18 months ago I suggested that the committee head, Ivan
Chyzh, be dismissed. I still hold this view and I think in the near future
parliament will hear this issue and support his dismissal. Right after that
a new information council under the president will be appointed. [Passage
omitted: public TV and media privatization are needed]

[Olha Skotnykova, UT1 TV] A [majority] coalition [in parliament in order to
form the next cabinet] should be set up by 26 June. If this does not happen,
are you prepared to dissolve parliament? [Passage omitted: Yushchenko says
that the media should be patriotic]

[Yushchenko] As for the process of forming the coalition and the beginning
of the work of the new parliament, I would put it this way: you know, let us
be patient. Politics should be made within the current law and constitution.

A normal process of forming the coalition is under way. I can assure you, my
dear, that over the past 15 years Ukraine has not seen such a dialogue to
form a coalition. No-one is prompting from the second floor on Bankova [the
presidential administration building] who should side with whom and against
whom. I want to be the president in this process, not a servant or a
shepherd with a whip.

Parliament bears appropriate and adequate political responsibility. The
formation of a coalition of political forces is one of the functions of the
political forces which have made it into parliament. The constitution gives
them time until 27 June. I am confident that a coalition will be formed. I
am even more optimistic – it will be formed sooner than that.

I just want to say that we should be patient about this dialogue. I have a
copy of the coalition’s political agreement. You know, Ukraine has not had
such an agreement before. It is meaningful and it contains very few
declarations. This is what I asked my colleagues for. This is a more than
100-pages-long document, in which journalists can find the coalition’s stand
on, say, historic reconciliation, European and Euro-Atlantic integration and
the language policy.

Every point of disagreement will be addressed because this is the best place
to reach consolidation and provide answers rather than take off and then try
to settle these issues in parliament, which would be much more difficult and
would involve a great risk for the coalition. [Passage omitted: Yushchenko
promises to appoint new region governors for Luhansk and Kiev soon]

[Oleksandr Chalenko, Segodnya newspaper] Mr Yushchenko, you are probably
aware of the story of the Boryspil District prosecutor, Oleksandr Kuzovkin.
I remind you that two weeks ago near the Velyur restaurant in Leo Tolstoy
Street –

[Yushchenko] No need, no need to remind –

[Yushchenko’s press secretary Iryna Herashchenko] We read your newspaper.

[Chalenko] The car in which those who attacked him were travelling is
registered on the name of your first wife Svitlana Yushchenko, which
prompted the press to link this incident with your son Andriy. Until now the
presidential administration has not said where your son Andriy was on that
day, and, in general, could you shed some light? Also, will the income
declaration of your son ever be published, detailing his sources of income,
his job and so on?

[Yushchenko] I would like to tell the following, esteemed colleagues. Law
works in this country. My family and I are subject to this law. As the
president, in any incident I behave within the framework of the law. The
incident which you have been fanning for a few weeks has no relation to my
family. The investigation is under way.

You journalists altogether can supervise this investigation. The case is
investigated by the Prosecutor-General’s Office. Let us do serious things. I
do not want to waste my time, explaining some silly things which some want
me to explain.

[Herashchenko] There is a question from Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk Region.
How do you assess the recent events which took place in local councils there
and what do you think of the local authorities giving Russian the status of
a regional language?

[Yushchenko] My friends, I would like to highlight a few things when we talk
about language policies and the decisions on this issue.

The Ukrainian language policy, I mean the language policy of the Ukrainian
state, is about Ukrainian being the state language of Ukraine. Full stop.

[2] Second, alongside the state language, Russian and other ethnic minority
languages can be used. The Ukrainian state guarantees that every ethnic
minority in Ukraine can always count on support.

I would like to emphasize that the pseudo-problem which is being raised by a
part of political and not only political forces now is not a discussion
which benefits Ukraine. Let us be frank, if the Russian language needs
protection in Crimea, if in Donetsk, Luhansk or Kharkiv the Russian language
needs protection, let us say from which sort of policy and from which

I am confident that people in the third millennium should talk not only
Russian or Ukrainian but many other languages as well. This is a fundamental
principle of language policy reflected in the Ukrainian constitution. The
Ukrainian state will never restrict the development of any ethnic minority

Under the law on the state language, the authorities should develop the
Ukrainian language and support this development by all means. This is a
separate state programme. Ukrainian should develop not at the expense of any
language but as the state language.
[Passage omitted: repetition]

Finally, I would says what will not happen. Article 10 of the constitution
of Ukraine stipulates that there is only one language status in Ukraine.
This is the status of the state language, which is Ukrainian. No regional or
city council in Ukraine has competence to change the status of any language.
The status of languages in Ukraine is determined by the law. This is what
the constitution says.

Amending it takes three fourths of parliament to form a constitutional
majority and vote on it in parliament. This is the exclusive competence of
the Ukrainian parliament. So giving the status of local, village, city or
regional language is beyond the competence of the local self-government

This is a blatant violation of the Ukrainian constitution and the law. I
think that the Constitutional Court, which should be formed, will easily and
quickly assess these events.

                         A COALITION DRAFT IS READY
[Passage omitted: Yushchenko reiterates the need to develop a clear defence
policy and to expand the public awareness of NATO; says Ukraine needs a plan
to fight corruption, needs constitutional changes to form checks and
balances between the branches of power; promises to talk to winery owners
over the industry problems]

[Herashchenko] Mr Yushchenko, who will be the next prime minister? Are you
planning to hold any political meetings with participants of the future
coalition today?

[Yushchenko] Yes, indeed I am planning to meet the participants of a
political coalition today. It seems to me that my preliminary requirements
to a unified document have been met. The document has been produced.

What is left, I do not know whether to describe it as the simplest thing or
the hardest, is to form zones of influence, to distribute portfolios, divide
ministries, committees and commissions of the Supreme Council [parliament].
I am glad that, from the ideological point of view and from the point of
view of priorities and objectives, I would say a great understanding was
reached. There are several unsettled issues now, but I think they will be
settled at today’s meeting.

These issues concern integration developments, historical processes and
certain policies of some national sectors. During the recent meeting I had
an impression that the sides would agree to my formulation of such policy. I
do not expect any hard talk or time-taking discussion about the ideological
part of the document. As for ambitions, they are likely to be the most
difficult issue.

We can see from the already made statements that the Socialist Party
promotes Mr Moroz as parliament speaker and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc wants
Ms Tymoshenko to become the prime minister. I would not call it an easy
opening position to discuss, but I would not call it fatal either.

However, we still need to go through another round of talks. Later on I
would be able to formulate a more specific position on our agreement as
regards your specific question about the nominees for prime minister and
parliament speaker. I swear to you that I conduct these talks in an honest
and open manner, without any tactless blueprints.

In my opinion, it is very important that these talks be held with great
respect to certain absolute values. The first value is respect to the [26
March parliamentary] election outcome as this shows respect to voters. This
is the first aspect. Another aspect is to respect the constitution and the

In other words, it is necessary to respect the distribution, principles and
rules of formation of certain institutions, particularly the staffing. I
will never accept formation of the country’s power offices on a political
basis. This is inadmissible. This should not be even a subject for

Unfortunately, this position with regard to the formation of other
institutions is not perfect either, there are issues that will be solved and
closed during today’s discussion.

[Passage omitted: Yushchenko says he would like to hold a separate news
conference on the language issue; Russian President Vladimir Putin will
visit Ukraine after the government are formed; says his face was distorted
by poisoning; dismisses the idea of federalism; says Ukraine needs an
administrative reform]

[Herashchenko] Dear Mr President, we have reports from news agencies that
the Crimean parliament has just declared Crimea a NATO-free zone. Would you
please comment on this decision?

[Yushchenko] I would start by saying it is a political decision that does
not add anything to or changes the principles guiding Ukraine’s relations
with NATO. Not a square metre of our land belongs to NATO. But just like in
Russia or any other CIS country, we have a plan of cooperation with NATO,
which is based on several principles within the framework of an action plan.

The action plan provides for tactical exercises starting from western
Ukraine with its Yavoriv training grounds and including other grounds. These
are tactical exercises that have been taking place in Ukraine since 1997.
The implementation of this plan is strictly within the remit of the central
authorities, the cabinet, parliament and the president.

I would not say anything new. This is another political speculation. I heard
some journalists were trying to start applauding in the hall. I am very glad
there are only few of you [loud applause]. I am happy because this is one of
the challenges whether we understand the gist of the national interest or it
is easier for us to play to somebody else’s fiddle.

Think about it because it is not the issue of the president’s or some
Ukrainian official’s interest – this about national interest. I think we
should deeply respect these issues. I think the time will come and 47
million people will stop to be fooled around in this context as it used to
be the case for so many years. You know the nation will open its eyes and
make the right choice about the national defence and security policy.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
80th anniversary of assassination, decades after death Petliura still hotly debated.

By Prof. Yury SHAPOVAL, Ph.D. (History)
The Day Weekly Digest in English #18
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The 80th anniversary of the death of Symon Petliura was recently marked in
Ukraine. Commemorations in his honor were secured on the highest level
through a decree signed last year by President Yushchenko. Over a period of
several days last month, ending on May 25, several events were held in Kyiv
to commemorate this noted Ukrainian public and political figure.

In 1918 Symon Petliura was the Chief Otaman of the UNR Army, and in 1919 he
headed the Directory government of the UNR. He immigrated to Paris in 1924,
where he was eventually assassinated by Samuel Schwartzbard.

Decades after his death Petliura is still hotly debated. Why do so many
people ignore the existence of much unbiased information on this
personality? In the following article historian Yury SHAPOVAL provides
answers to these questions.

I have just returned from Poltava, where I presented a paper at the 8th
Scholarly Petliura Readings. Earlier, I had been invited to join a
roundtable in Kyiv commemorating the 80th anniversary of Petliura’s
assassination. Every public action that has anything to do with his name is
somewhat predictable.

It is understood in advance that “patriotically-minded” historians will
portray Petliura as a prophet and sage political leader, while their
“leftist-minded” counterparts will condemn him as a political outsider and a
dictator manque. It seems that both of these sides do not need the real
Petliura. Each side is simply demonstrating “its own truth.”

There is more to this. For a long time we had a force in Ukraine that did
not want to demonstrate anything. I am talking about the political
leadership. The government did its utmost to avoid any judgments of
Petliura, preferring to focus on his contemporaries, like Mykhailo
Hrushevsky at first, then even the confused loser Volodymyr Vynnychenko (who
is reportedly not a bad writer). Therefore, the government had no use for
Petliura either.

The current government seems to be noticing Petliura. A plaque in his honor
was unveiled recently in Kyiv, where so much is connected with him. It is
not far from the monument to the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin and the one
to Mykhailo Hrushevsky – parallel to the plaque and house-museum of Mikhail
Bulgakov. This completes the schizophrenic political and ideological
landscape that we have in the capital of independent Ukraine.

Incidentally, Bulgakov hated the very idea of an independent Ukrainian state
and felt the same way about Petliura whom he called a “wonderful
 bookkeeper.” At the end of his well- known short story “The City of Kyiv”
he appealed to readers: “May the memory of Petliura be damned.”

Memories about him are still very much alive, although as Academician
Myroslav Popovych correctly notes in his work entitled The Red Century,
assessing Petliura as an individual and a political figure remains “the most
sensitive issue in the history of the Ukrainian revolution.”

This is true and not least of all because there is still no master key to
correctly interpreting Petliura’s life and work. Not coincidentally, to this
day no one has attempted to write his scholarly biography (without any
political coloration: we have enough and to spare).

The key to understanding Petliura is his life, which was constantly in
motion. Academician Serhiy Yefremov made a very apt entry in his diary: “I
have known Petliura since 1905. I took a closer look at him in 1907, when he
was the secretary of the Rada. Closer acquaintance with him was not in his
favor. He had a lot of the social democratic spirit about him-boastfulness,
doctrinairism, and flippancy. Then there were his incorrect doings that led
to his resignation as secretary of the Rada. Then he vanished in Moscow.

When we met in 1912 at the editorial office of Ukrainskaia Zhyzn, I did not
recognize the former Symon; he had matured, he had become serious, he had
evolved and sworn off his former stunts. He was one of the most thoughtful
and advanced politicians in the Central Rada in 1917-1918.

After he joined the Directory we seldom met, but each time he left a nice
impression. People who worked with him during the last and most difficult
period for Ukraine say that he was a true statesman, who knew how to treat
people, handle difficult situations, encourage his men in combat,
demonstrate a personal touch that so charms ordinary people.

In any case…he was the only unquestionably honest person in his actions,
who was produced by the revolution in our country. Look at Hrushevsky: my
God, what happened to him? Vynnychenko is spinning like a wood chip in an
ice hole; the rest are simply petty little people. Only Petliura stood his
ground and did not waver, and if not for the victorious forces, he would
have reached his goal. We are probably not mature enough to ‘listen to our
own advice.’

At one time the Muscovite boyars gouged out our eyes, and our own efforts
could not overcome the general baseness. One Cossack out of a million
swineherds will not accomplish anything… But perhaps the tragic death of
one Cossack will beget a thousand new ones.”

It is my profound conviction that the key to Petliura also lies in the
problem of blood. Bulat Okudzhava once wrote, “You will not win firm
glory/Before blood is shed.” In Petliura’s time Jewish blood was amply
spilled in Ukraine. Petliura’s own blood was shed on the rue Racine in Paris
in May 1926, the very month of his birth.

The fact of his assassination along with the deaths of Jews while he headed
the Directory instantly transformed Petliura into a symbolic figure and
compelled one to seriously ponder the “Petluirivshchyna” phenomenon.

Petliura wrote: “It is obvious that you should be truthful in assessing my
person: the negative aspects of my personality, my actions must be
illuminated, not covered up…For me the judgment of history has begun. I am
not afraid of it…”

The trial of Petliura’s assassin Samuel Schwartzbard, which was held in the
fall of 1927, was a kind of rehearsal of this “judgment of history.” The
assassin was acquitted thanks to the professional manipulations of his
defense counsel Henri Torres and other factors.

To this day the trial also falls under the category of “unwanted things” (as
formulated by Yuriy Dombrovsky) because neither researchers nor the
government in Ukraine have dared to make a public and detailed assessment of

However, such an assessment is necessary in view of the fact that this trial
had a crucial impact on Petliura’s image as a “pogromist” and Judeophobe.
Mykola Riabchuk wrote at one time: “In fact, the trial turned into an
ostentatious demonstration of retribution against Ukraine’s demonized
‘nationalism and separatism’; no Lubianka could ever have come up with
anything better.”

There are also grounds to believe that the Lubianka “came up with” a lot of
things in connection with the trial. I am stating this as the researcher who
discovered and publicized documents that convincingly attest to the
Kremlin’s interest in an “anti-Petliura” outcome of the trial, and that the

trial was “directed” by Moscow.

Taras Hunczak’s Symon Petliura and the Jews: A Reappraisal is the most
substantiated attempt to destroy Petliura’s image as a “pogromist” in the
eyes of world democracy. However, it appears that his work did not make the
right kind of impact.

Here is what my esteemed colleague Myroslav Popovych has to say on the
subject: “It must be recognized that almost all the facts and testimonies on
which this author relies were known to the court, but nevertheless had no
effect on the verdict. Obviously, the crux of the matter has to do with
legal and moral-philosophical interpretation rather than with ostensibly
unknown circumstances that the archives should reveal.”

This explains why the majority of the most authoritative Jewish researchers
categorically deny Petliura the right to the slightest degree of
rehabilitation. One of them, describing a Jewish pogrom that took place in
Zolochiv, Ternopil oblast, in July 1941, in which Ukrainians participated,
writes: “The descendants of Khmelnytsky and Petliura turned out to be worthy
of their Nazi sponsors.”

This is an example of the “Ukrainian pogromist” stereotype that appears to
be carefully and consistently cultivated by certain forces, along with the
anti-Ukrainian graffiti that appear now and then on Petliura’s tombstone in
Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

At the roundtable that I attended recently I heard speakers voicing the
following idea: “So many works have been published, showing that Petliura
was not a Judeophobe. Professor Volodymyr Serhiychuk of National Kyiv
University has worked so hard and published so many collections of documents
about the pogroms!” Indeed he has.

However, no matter how hard Professor Serhiychuk (or anyone else) tries, the
number of pogroms perpetrated during the Directory will not decrease, and
the question of responsibility remains open for the international community,
no matter how much we “close” this question for ourselves in various
Ukrainian publications or during “patriotic” discussions of Petliura’s role
as a statesman.

The fact that Petliura was not a “pogromist” and an “anti-Semite” has yet to
be established through well argued discussion. At the same time we must not
only engage in talk but also be heard outside Ukraine. Contemporary
Ukrainian researchers do not seem to be succeeding in this.

There is another important aspect that requires an honest answer. This is
the problem of the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Directory government
and Petliura. As a rule, in current historiography, the differences between
Petliura and Vynnychenko, who hated Petliura until his dying day as an
ambitious demagogue carried to the surface on the wave of the revolution,
are treated in Vynnychenko’s favor.

In a recent Vynnychenko biography published in Kyiv in 2005, the authors
state that after the Directory’s initial successes problems started
surfacing, first and foremost among them the rule of otamans, marked by the
preeminence of military principles over political ones, the refusal of army
officers of various ranks to take orders from the state leadership, constant
opposition to the latter, the practice of regional separatism accompanied by
military terror, Jewish pogroms, etc.

According to the authors, “at the roots of these negative trends stood Symon
Petliura, who in every way encouraged the soldiers under his command to
[commit] uncontrollable acts, an orientation to the only value, the force of
the bayonet.” This is the image of the militarized bookkeeper.

It is hard to cast off the impression when reading such studies that their
authors are often too much governed by their likes and dislikes. Here is
what Popovych has to say on Petliura: “A certain shift is observed in Symon
Petliura’s psychological makeup toward egocentrism, especially in the
direction of the need for power over people and events. Or he may have

been traumatized by his unexpected power and historical mission.”

This is precisely why it is necessary once again to emphasize the need to
prepare a fundamental scholarly biography of Petliura that would also
reflect his psychological characteristics. There is another aspect.

While recognizing that Petliura was not an aggressive xenophobe (as
evidenced by published materials), Popovych nevertheless notes that “it is
impossible to visualize Petliura being married to a ‘little Jewish woman,’
like Vynnychenko was.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that such
statements should be left out of scholarly works dealing with such important

Let’s return to the Schwartzbard trial. In his article about the trial,
which was published in an encyclopedic text on the history of Ukraine
(Heneza, 2001) historian Yaroslav Hrytsak introduces information that is not
quite understandable. He concludes by saying that there is no documentary
confirmation of the involvement of any Soviet secret services in Petliura’s

In the same publication, Hrytsak’s countryman, the Lviv-based scholar Mykola
Lytvyn, writes that “Petliura was treacherously murdered on 25.05.26 by S.
Schwartzbard, a Bolshevik agent” and refers to Hrytsak’s article on the
Schwartzbard trial.

For me this is not simply an amazing case of publishing but also a vivid
illustration of the fact that in all the years since his assassination the
figure of Symon Petliura remains incompletely researched and hence the
subject of manipulation. I have mentioned academic and other historians who
work in institutions of higher education. I will not bother to mention the
party-affiliated chroniclers.

I am not afraid of being accused of neopositivism-a fashionable accusation
in intellectual quarters these days. In conclusion, I would like to stress
the importance of obtaining fresh data, primarily from archival sources, on
Petliura, his times, and, above all, the circumstances of his death.

I am convinced that one of the key conditions for overcoming the
stereotypical perceptions of Petliura lies in an unbiased study of what
happened on the rue Racine in Paris and the pressing but well-orchestrated,
large-scale support of the Bolshevik secret services in the preparation of
the murderer’s trial. It is easy to assume that this would also shed light
on other things.                            -30-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/163433/

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