Daily Archives: June 11, 2006

AUR#710 June 11 Pres Demands Action, Coalition Talks End; Tymoshenko Bloc Newletter; Children Against Smoking; Gulag; Alberta 100 Years; Crimea Vacation

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

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

                        STILL NO COALITION……STAY TUNED

         The Action Ukraine Report brings you the action from Ukraine.
                              Talks fail…President demands action.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
           –——-  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
        ‘Yulia Tymoshenko was entitled to become Prime Minister again’
From correspondents in Kiev, The Daily Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, June 11, 2006

Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jun 10, 2006

ANALYSIS: End Note, By Jan Maksymiuk
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Newsline, Vol 10, No 104
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, June 8, 2006

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1800 gmt 8 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jun 08, 2006

              Ukraine has moved from loving to hating its Orange leaders
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kiev
Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Neil Pattie, Ridge Consult, Inform newsletter, Issue 2
Fleet, Hampshire, United Kingdom, Friday, June 9, 2006


PANORAMA: Vladimir Averin, Mayak Radio
Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 5, 2006
ANALYSES: By Anna Górska, Tadeusz A. Olszañski
EASTWEEK Analytical Newsletter, Issue 44
Center for Eastern Studies, Warsaw, Poland, Thu, June 8, 20006

Associated Press (AP), Berlin, Germany, Sat, June 10, 2006

By Peter Borisow, President Hollywood Trident Foundation
For the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #710, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Sunday, June 11, 2006
By Kateryna Slavina, Kyiv Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

                                     CRITICAL LOOK AT THE PAST
By Brian Bonner, Knight Ridder Newspapers
DuluthNewsTribune.com, Duluth, Minnesota, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

             A Show at Ellis Island, Depicts A Soviet-era Penal System Gone Awry
EXHIBITION REVIEW: By Edward Rothstein
The New York Times, New York, NY, Wed, June 7, 2006

          Honoring families who immigrated to east central Alberta 100 years ago
By Shirley Hauck, Head of Special Events
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta Community Development
Edmonton, AB, Canada, Friday, June 2, 2006

15.                     QUEST FOR ‘NAZIS’ HURTS THE INNOCENT
Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Fri Jun 9 2006

Lawrence Sheets in Tbilisi, National Public Radio (NPR)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2006

17.                     RESORTING TO A VACATION IN CRIMEA
By Oleksiy Novak, Kyiv Weekly, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, June 7, 2006

            ‘Yulia Tymoshenko was entitled to become Prime Minister again’

From correspondents in Kiev, The Daily Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, June 11, 2006

PRESIDENT Viktor Yushchenko said his former ally Yulia Tymoshenko was
entitled to become Prime Minister again, but added it was up to her to end
bickering among liberals and quickly form a government.

Speaking after parties backing the 2004 “Orange Revolution” failed in a new
bid to produce a coalition government, the president said Ukraine had been
plunged into a political crisis which had to be quickly resolved.

It was logical, he said, for Mr Tymoshenko to be restored to the job of
Prime Minister, from which he sacked her last year, as she led the liberal
group with the most seats after a March election.

“I believe that the politician seeking to become prime minister must take
responsibility for creating a coalition,” he said in a radio address. “The
results of the election show that the people are prepared to give the orange
team a second chance. But the people also demand greater responsibility and
greater effort in seeking compromise and reaching agreements.”

Liberal parties behind the 2004 revolution against election fraud, which
propelled the pro-Western Mr Yushchenko to power, have been locked in talks
on forming a government since the poll.

The main stumbling bloc has been Mr Tymoshenko’s insistence on being
restored as premier and the president’s reluctance to see her back in the

Mr Yushchenko dismissed her eight months into her mandate at the head of a
government riven by infighting. New constitutional rules have cut the
president’s powers and give parliament the job of choosing the premier, but
he still plays a key role.

The new parliament met for the first time in late May, but has gone into
recess twice to allow talks to continue. Mr Yushchenko blamed the deadlock
on “plain old negotiating over jobs” and “political irresponsibility of big
party chiefs”. There would be no new elections, he said.

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

Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jun 10, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s former Orange Revolution allies have broken off
coalition talks after becoming deadlocked over who would become
parliamentary speaker, the party of President Viktor Yushchenko said

The difficult negotiations had dragged on for weeks after no single party
managed to win a majority in March parliamentary elections in this former
Soviet nation – and the powerful pro-Russian opposition hailed the impasse
as a proof of its right to enter government.

Our Ukraine spokeswoman Tetyana Mokridi said the negotiations failed
because of the Socialists’ insistence on getting the parliamentary speaker’s
job. “The talks were stopped because of the Socialists’ position,” Mokridi


Yushchenko has also been reluctant to concede the key prime minister’s post
again to his former ally-turned-rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.

However, Mokridi said the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party – which came a
humiliating third in the election – accepted that Tymoshenko’s party had a
right to nominate the premier because it won the second most votes after the
pro-Russian opposition Party of the Regions.

Our Ukraine lawmakers have said that in that case, the speaker’s job should
fall to the party with the next best performance in the election –
Yushchenko’s – rather than the fourth-placed Socialists.

The parties have until June 27 to form a governing coalition, and then
another 30 days to name the prime minister and other Cabinet jobs.
Yushchenko, whose job was not at stake in the election, remains president.

Yushchenko, a one-time opposition leader, came to power in January last
year in the wake of the Orange Revolution protests over fraud in the 2004
presidential election.

But his pro-Western Orange coalition split and he fired the charismatic
Tymoshenko last year. His government has become unpopular because of
political infighting and disillusionment at the poor economic situation.

The Party of the Regions, led by Viktor Yanukovych, the man whose
fraud-tainted victory in 2004 led to the Orange Revolution protests, has
insisted that it should be in government and accused Yushchenko of leaving
the country rudderless during the coalition talks. “This is the logical
end,” said Anna Herman, spokeswoman for the Party of the Regions.

She expressed her party’s confidence that a “broader coalition” will be
formed. “I am sure that both pro-presidential forces and the Regions will
found a common language,” Herman said.

Mykola Rudkovsky, a top lawmaker from the Socialists, said he was
“surprised” at the end of the talks. “We did our best” to help the Orange
team unite and “needed only a few key positions,” he said.

Analysts have suggested that Yushchenko could find it easier to swallow
offering his former presidential opponent a share of power than Tymoshenko,
because of deep personal rivalry between the former allies.

Such a move, although deeply controversial, could help to heal the divisions
between the Ukrainian-speaking west and largely Russian-speaking east of the
country, where Yanukovych has his power base.

“It’s a little bit early to consider the (Orange) coalition buried,” said
political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko, adding that there is still a slight
hope for them to find a compromise.

“But if so, the Party of the Regions will emerge on the stage,” he said. He
suggested that Yanukovych’s party might form a majority with either the
Socialists or with Our Ukraine.

Tymoshenko called on Our Ukraine to rejoin the coalition talks and vowed
to go into opposition if Our Ukraine forms a coalition with the Party of the
Regions, saying that would be “a major betrayal of national interests.”

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

ANALYSIS: End Note, By Jan Maksymiuk
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Newsline, Vol 10, No 104
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, June 8, 2006

The Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party — the
three allies in the 2004 Orange Revolution — have been busy for the past
two weeks preparing a coalition accord to form a new government. Meanwhile,
pro-Russian opposition groups have engaged themselves in fanning anti-NATO
protests in Crimea and declaring Russian a “regional language” in some

The June 7 session of the Verkhovna Rada, resumed after a two-week recess,
has not clarified the conundrum of who will form the next government in
Ukraine. The Orange Revolution forces once again passed a motion adjourning
the parliamentary session for one more week in order to finalize a coalition

But the Orange Revolution allies, if reunited after their split in September
2005, are set to restart their government career in a turbulent political
climate, in which the Russian language and NATO membership have once again
become bitterly divisive issues.

Since the March 26 parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine, regional
legislators have declared Russian a “regional language” in a number of
eastern and southern Ukrainian regions and cities, including Kharkiv,
Donetsk, and Mykolayiv.

President Viktor Yushchenko made clear on June 6 that these decisions are
unconstitutional: “Article 10 of the Ukrainian Constitution defines a common
status of the state language, which is Ukrainian. And no regional or city
council has the authority to change the status of any language.”

However, Yushchenko can do little more beside making indignant statements on
this account. Only Ukraine’s Constitutional Court can rule that a decision
by a legislative body is unconstitutional and subsequently cancel it.

But the Constitutional Court has been nonoperational for nearly a year. The
Verkhovna Rada refuses to swear in new judges, fearing that Yushchenko will
ask the court to cancel the 2004 constitutional reform that strips him of
some substantial powers in favor of the parliament and the prime minister.

Another blow to the apparently dwindling authority of the president came
last week from Crimea, where pro-Russian opposition groups — including the
Party of Regions, the Natalya Vitrenko Bloc, and the Communist Party — have
launched anti-NATO protests.

The pretext for the protests was the visit in the port of Feodosiya of a
U.S. naval cargo ship, which brought construction equipment and materials to
upgrade a training range in Crimea before the multinational military
exercise Sea Breeze 2006 in July.

The protesters see the U.S. naval visit as an unwelcome NATO intrusion into
Ukrainian territory and demand the sacking of the defense and foreign
ministers over the incident.

The deployment of foreign troops on Ukrainian territory must be approved by
the parliament for each individual case. It is not clear whether the
Verkhovna Rada will be able to grant relevant permission before the Sea
Breeze 2006 exercise. If not, then President Yushchenko will suffer
international humiliation, since participation in the exercise has already
been confirmed by 17 countries.

On top of that, the Crimean autonomous legislature on June 6 passed a
resolution declaring Crimea to be a “NATO-free zone.” Perhaps, as President
Yushchenko asserts, the resolution will have no impact on Ukraine’s
relations with NATO. But the resolution flagrantly defies Ukraine’s official
policy of integration with NATO.

Why is there no clear and decisive reaction from Kyiv to what is happening
in Crimea? Ukrainian political scientist Ihor Losev says the Orange
Revolution forces are so busy with haggling over the composition of a future
government that they have no time to think about national interests.

“When today we are watching this shameful story with the coalition
[building], when it is necessary to save Ukraine but the authorities are
totally focused on how to prevent [Yuliya] Tymoshenko from taking the chair
of prime minister — it is a pathological situation. It is something outside
the boundaries of common sense.”

According to Losev, the political class that came to power in Ukraine
following the Orange Revolution pursues the same “clannish” and “egoistic”
interests that were characteristic of the ruling elite during the previous
presidency of Leonid Kuchma.

There are also many commentators who see the current anti-NATO protests and
the rekindled Russian-language controversy in Ukraine as elements of a
broader campaign inspired from Russia in order to undermine Yushchenko’s
authority in Ukraine.

According to this line of reasoning, Moscow has realized that Ukraine under
Yushchenko has a real chance of integration with Euro-Atlantic structures.
Therefore, Gazprom’s increase of gas prices for Kyiv in January and the
current political turbulence in Ukraine can be seen as Moscow-supported
attempts to discipline Yushchenko and keep Ukraine “in the Russian orbit.”

Incidentally, President Yushchenko and Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk have
both suggested that the ongoing anti-NATO protests are sponsored by
anti-Ukrainian forces in Russia.

Kyiv-based political scientist Hryhoriy Perepelytsya says that Ukrainians,
because of their blurred national identity, can still be provoked by
pro-Russian politicians into conflicts about the Russian language and
Ukraine’s foreign-policy goals. “The problem is that a large part of
Ukrainians, particularly those living in eastern regions and Crimea, cannot
identify themselves as Ukrainians.

They consider [Ukrainians] to be an alien nation with relation to
themselves. They do not want to learn or speak the Ukrainian language. This
puts them in a situation of terrible discomfort, psychological and
ideological discomfort, and this leads to conflict,” Perepelytsya says.

According to Losev and Perepelytsya, President Kuchma did not actually want
to bridge the West-East divide in Ukraine during his rule, while President
Yushchenko has not yet proposed any plan for doing so.

What does President Yushchenko need to do in order to defuse the current
rebellious sentiments over the Russian language and NATO in the country?

Ukrainian political analyst Oleh Doniy believes that Yushchenko must employ
a carrot-and-stick tactic regarding the Russian-language controversy: “In
the first place it is necessary to show the authorities’ strength. That is,
the decisions of local self-government bodies that overstep the limits of
their authority should be indisputably canceled by prosecutors.”

As for the anti-NATO protests, Doniy advises caution and even abandoning the
idea of holding military exercises with NATO troops. He reasoned that: “If
the population is now against [staging exercises with NATO troops], it is
not [advisable] to break the people’s will by force. The worst will happen
when this [opposition to NATO] becomes a romantic idea among the


One thing is to fight political opposition or to fight Russia [and] the
Kremlin, but it is quite a different thing if [you have to fight] a romantic
idea among Russian-speaking youths in the south and east [of Ukraine]. It is
impossible to kill a romantic idea.”

Whatever President Yushchenko is going to do in this situation, it is
already evident that he needs to be guided not so much by short-term
concerns connected with coalition building as by long-term considerations
linked to nation building.                            -30-

LINK: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/2006/06/5-not/not-080606.asp
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1800 gmt 8 Jun 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jun 08, 2006

KIEV – Former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko is confident that talks on
forming a coalition between the forces that made the Orange Revolution will
end in success and that she will return to the post of prime minister that
she lost last September. She was talking after a meeting with
representatives of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine and Socialist Party.

The following is the text of a report by Ukrainian television TV 5 Kanal on
8 June:

[Presenter] Seven hours of talks on forming a coalition. In conclusion, one
decision was agreed. The leaders of three political forces met today for
another meeting. Once again, they did not get round to personnel
appointments. Kateryna Lebedeva spent the whole day outside the Our

Ukraine party office.

[Correspondent] There was nobody in front of the parliament building at 1000
[0700 gmt]. Our Ukraine and Yuliya Tymoshenko’s bloc did not respond to the
Socialists’ proposals to hold a meeting of MPs from the three factions.
Instead, a planned meeting of all three leaders took place in the Our
Ukraine office at midday. Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz was one of the
first to arrive.

He and his party do not wish to drop their claims to the speaker’s post. Our
Ukraine also wants the post. Personnel issues were not being discussed at
the negotiations, but after the meeting representatives of these two forces
had different views.

[A journalist] Has Moroz got any closer to the speaker’s post today?\

[Socialist MP Yosyp Vinskyy] Closer than ever.
[Questions from various journalists] Why? What happened?
[Vinskyy] During the negotiations it became clear that everything was OK.

[Our Ukraine MP Zvarych] This question did not arise. It did not arise
today. The Socialists did not bring it up. We discussed the general system
of principles according to which spheres of influence should be divided up.

[Correspondent] Seven hours of talks, and one issue resolved. Politicians
agreed that there will be a land market in Ukraine. They did not reach
agreement on NATO. The Socialists are proposing not to push for integration.
Nor did they agree on forming government committees or the institution of
state secretaries.

Yuliya Tymoshenko arrived at the talks last and left first. She is sure she
will become prime minister, and she is sure that the coalition talks will
soon end in success.

[Tymoshenko] I do not think that there can be simple, quick solutions on
this topic. It is necessary to have a little patience and go through this
political process of forming a coalition for the first time.

[Correspondent] The winner of the parliament election, [Party of Regions
leader] Viktor Yanukovych, is observing the feeble results of the Orange
negotiations not without amusement.

[Yanukovych, in Russian] Today it is necessary for some politicians to put
away their political ambitions and think about the country.

[Correspondent] There is a little over two weeks until the deadline for
forming a coalition. From the distant Netherlands [where he is on a state
visit], President Viktor Yushchenko called on politicians to speed things

[Yushchenko] Parliament has enough problems today. I want to see a

stable parliament as soon as possible. I want to see it working with normal
relations with the government and president of Ukraine.

[Correspondent] On Friday [9 June], the leaders of the three orange forces
are planning to meet again, this time in the presidential secretariat.  -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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             Ukraine has moved from loving to hating its Orange leaders

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kiev
Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Ukraine is on the brink of an unprecedented crisis. Some analysts
are even talking of a revolutionary situation. Never since the
Independence Square protests has the new administration been as
unpopular as it is now.

      The “no government period” that took shape in Ukraine after
the March 26 parliamentary election is drawing to a close. It has
lasted an indecently long time. For two-and-a-half months,
politicians have tried and failed to form a coalition government.

     Now, however, events will move faster. Tomorrow, the new
Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament) will finally hold its first serious
meeting. Although it assembled two weeks ago, that meeting lasted
only 45 minutes, mostly devoted to the national anthem and other
national music. This week, Rada members will have no time for
singing; they’ll be busy forming a government.

      Meanwhile, Ukraine is on the brink of an unprecedented
crisis. Some analysts are even talking of a revolutionary
situation. Never since the Independence Square protests has the
new administration been as unpopular as it is now.

      With astonishing speed, Ukraine has moved from loving to
hating its Orange leaders. They’re accused of being unable to
reach agreement with each other or Russia, and being incapable of
forming a parliamentary coalition.

      The people of Ukraine are saying that voters were tricked:
President Viktor Yushchenko hasn’t kept his “Ten Steps Toward the
People” campaign promises, and he hasn’t punished those who rigged
the first presidential election – but he did dismiss Yulia
Timoshenko from the post of prime minister.

      Publisher Viktor Dorokhov says: “The Ukrainians are experiencing
Abandoned Country Syndrome. Yushchenko and Timoshenko
got divorced. The revolution didn’t devour its children – it just
abandoned them to the whims of the countries that shape Ukrainian
politics: the United States and Russia. The abandoned nation has
ended up with higher taxes, higher energy prices, and

      Leonid Kuchma, author of “Ukraine Is Not Russia,” who lost
the presidency as a result of that revolution, has taken up
smoking. “I quit 13 years ago,” he says, inhaling a Davidoff Light
cigarette as if it were a Prima. “But I can’t stay calm when the
country is going to hell – when its new administration keeps
making mistakes. It’s planning to withdraw from the CIS, it’s
quarreled with Russia and provoked a rise in gas prices. Moscow
won’t be affected by this, but Ukraine could face heating
shortages next winter.”

                           LEGENDS AND MYTHS
      The chilly spring of 2006 was particularly memorable for
Kuchma. He was invited to receptions at the Ukraine Palace in
Kiev, and summoned for questioning to the Prosecutor General’s
Office. At the receptions, Kuchma was told that he himself had
provoked the Orange events by appointing Yushchenko as prime
minister. At the questioning sessions, investigators asked whether
he had ordered the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.

      The journalist’s death marked the start of the Kuchma-Free
Ukraine campaign. The campaign brought the future Independence
Square leaders to prominence, and generated the first myths:
Kuchma as a murderer, Timoshenko as Joan of Arc, Yushchenko as a
messiah. By the start of summer 2006, Ukrainians have ceased to
believe in all that. The legend about Yushchenko being poisoned,
with the poisoning allegedly organized by out-of-favor oligarch
Boris Berezovsky, fell apart after Berezovsky himself spoke out.

      He displayed receipts for $31 million in campaign funding that he
had provided for Yushchenko. Berezovsky has taken legal action
against President Yushchenko’s closest friends, to whom he gave
the money. They failed to live up to the Russian fugitive’s hopes:
he hasn’t been allowed to operate a business in Ukraine, he hasn’t
been granted a Ukrainian visa.

      In giving money to the Orange leaders, Berezovsky damaged
Yushchenko’s reputation. Yushchenko now faces a real prospect of
impeachment and an early presidential election; under Ukrainian
law, a presidential candidate must not accept campaign funding
from abroad.

      Another Orange legend was generated by Yulia Timoshenko’s
dismissed government. It’s formulated as follows: if you quarrel
with Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, provoke shortages of meat,
sugar, and gasoline, hold a hundred press conferences, and wear
lots of Loius Vuitton accessories, you can soon become president.
Timoshenko came to believe in her own fairy tale.

      “Yulia Timoshenko thinks she’s General de Gaulle, but her
policies can’t be described as Gaullism. Her actions will be known
as Yuliaism,” says journalist Oles Buzina. According to him, the
Orange Revolution’s greatest achievement was Timoshenko’s
hairstyle: her braid became absolutely perfect. But her government
never managed to braid state policy properly.

      And there’s another myth. It’s the myth that set Ukraine
against the Orange leaders: Yushchenko’s artistic nature. When the
country was suffering from gasoline shortages, Yushchenko was in
the Carpathians, pursuing his hobby of wood-carving. When the
natural gas crisis hit Kiev, Yushchenko was at his country
residence, painting pictures (he does sea-scapes). When there were
sugar shortages, Yushchenko – an amateur bee-keeper – announced a
state program for developing apiculture.

      Yevgeny Kushnarev, a Regions Party leader: “Yushchenko’s
actions were Freudian. His allies in the Reforms and Order party,
who adopted the bee as their symbol, lost the parliamentary
election. Most people regard bees as small insects that sting.”

      “Those who never had any illusions about the Orange leaders
haven’t grown disillusioned with them,” says Viktor Nebozhenko,
head of the Ukrainian Barometer think-tank.

      Political analysts are counting the errots made by Yushchenko
and his party, Our Ukraine. Yushchenko, who appointed members of
his team on the buddy principle and didn’t expel any of them even
after corruption allegations, forgot that a general is judged by
his troops. Bribery allegations against Yushchenko’s allies –
Nikolai Martynenko, Petro Poroshenko, David Zhvania, Alexander
Tretyakov – have been withdrawn by the Prosecutor General’s
Office, but the public hasn’t forgotten them. Judging by the
latest opinion polls, Ukrainian citizens believe there’s more
corruption under Yushchenko’s leadership than there was in the
Kuchma era.

      The Yushchenko team is living beyond its means. Ukrainians
say: “The Orange children are leading Orange lifestyles.” Yulia
Timoshenko’s daughter, Yevgenia, was raised in England; according
to her British husband, she’s “as rich as a princess.” The
president’s eldest son, Andrei Yushchenko, drinks champagne at
$1,000 a bottle and drives a car worth 133,000 euros.

      Yushchenko’s estate near the village of Bezradichi is worth $1.7
million, with five buildings, including a museum. Unashamed and
unafraid to display his collection, Yushchenko makes no secret of the
fact that he’s collected antique icons and prehistoric Tripolye pottery.
Since these objects are priceless, he doesn’t include them in his income
and assets statements.

      The top candidate on Our Ukraine’s electoral list, acting
prime minister Yuri Yekhanurov, lives in a house worth $1 million;
the home of Yushchenko’s chief lawyer, Roman Zvarich, is worth
$1.5 million. The properties of Viktor Yanukovich and Leonid
Kuchma are more modest. Yanukovich’s home in Donetsk is worth
$700,000; Kuchma lives at the state’s expense, at a state-owned

       “We’ve been tricked again!”

      The excessively luxurious lifestyles of the Orange leaders
who claim to come from the people can only be compared to their
shocking behavior. Yushchenko’s most colorful ally is Leonid
Chornovetsky, mayor of Kiev and minister in a non-traditional
church called God’s Embassy. He’s been known to exorcise evil
spirits from the municipal government building, make his staff
take lie-detector tests, order an inventory at the city zoo, and
have journalists fired if they displeased him. He appointed Oles
Dovgovy, a friend of the president’s son Andrei, to head the
municipal secretariat.

      “A couple more officials like that, and Yushchenko’s career
will be over,” say the people who sell souvenirs in Independence
Square. They offer mugs with pictures of Yushchenko and
Timoshenko, but these items aren’t selling very well, even with
prices down to 50 cents. “It would be more profitable to sell
Yanukovich souvenirs, but I really don’t want to,” says one
trader. Next to the stalls is Ukraine’s equivalent of the
Reichstag: the Post Office, decorated with revolutionary slogans.

An older “Yes to Yushchenko!” is covered by newer graffiti: “We
waited, we believed, and we’ve been tricked again!” Such
inscriptions sum up the essence of the world-view in Ukraine these

      The Orange team has made mistakes in pushing for Ukraine to
join NATO (70% of citizens don’t support this move), forbidding
regional language status for Russian, and announcing the
reprivatization of Ukrainian factories.

      “Ukraine’s leaders are selling what doesn’t belong to them:
the ideals of Independence Square. Orange Revolution brand-names
have been registered by Yushchenko’s son. Now vodka is being sold
with the Orange label. That’s simply dishonest,” say those who
voted for Yushchenko 18 months ago. The most widespread joke about
Yushchenko, who likes to say that his hands are clean, goes like
this: “His eyes didn’t see what his hands were stealing.”

                    YUSHCHENKO & TIMOSHENKO
      Two movies made in Ukraine about the Orange Revolution –
“Orange Love” and “Breakthrough!” – don’t focus on the
politicians, since people are tired of them. The Bukva i Tsifra
publishing house has published a book entitled “All of Ours,”
satirizing 11 Orange leaders. This book was compiled by ordinary
people, via the Internet. Their characters bear little resemblance
to the originals: “The real politicians are unpleasant, but our
versions are funny.”

      Laughter is a typical reaction to fear. Opinion polls in
Ukraine show that half of respondents fear there might be a civil
war; 42% say their rights and liberties have been restricted; a
third say that Ukraine’s national identity and traditions are
under threat. That last point is aimed at Yushchenko, who’s being
called an American protege.

      The only way to patch up Ukraine’s budget deficit was through
reprivatization. Initiated by Timoshenko and supported by
Yushchenko, the re-sale of former state assets rescued Ukraine’s
budget. The Kryvorizhstal steel mill, taken away from Kuchma’s
son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk, brought in 20% of budget revenue.

      Now the money is gone, but the tradition lives on. The Ukrainian
authorities intend to confiscate Kryvorizhstal from its new owner,
Mittal Steel, and sell it again at a higher price. This will lead
to foreign investors as well as domestic investors becoming
disillusioned with the Orange team.

      In the wake of Kryvorizhstal, other strategic enterprises are
being put up for auction: UkrTelecom, UkrNefteprodukt,
LuganskTeplovoz, the Pulsar plant, the Magnit plant, Nikopolsk
Piping, Dzhankoisk Machine-Building, the Ternopol Radio plant,
Makeevsk Metals, and Ukrainian National Airlines. If they can’t be
sold, the Orange team’s financial incompetence will become
obvious, with a real prospect of an early election.

      “Ukraine would repeat the 1994 situation, when I had to call
an early election due to the collapse of the economy,” says Leonid
Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine. “Yushchenko is heading
in the same direction.”

      The Orange Revolution has turned out to be bloodless and
unprecedented, with no prospects and no results.

      Ukraine’s political negativity is most clearly visible in a
recently-published history textbook. It devotes only one-and-a-
half pages to the Orange events. Yushchenko and Timoshenko barely
get a mention, but detailed descriptions are given for people of
whom Ukraine need not be ashamed: Olympic champion Yana
Klochkova and heavyweight boxers Vitaly and Vladimir Klichko.

     They supported Yushchenko during the revolution, but decided
against joining his party. There’s a photo of the Klichko brothers, with
clenched fists, as if they’re asking each other: “Where is your strength,
Orange brother?”                             -30-
Translated by Elena Leonova

FOOTNOTE:  The spin from Moscow is hot and heavy these days
and there is an endless stream of it. AUR Editor
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Neil Pattie, Ridge Consult, Inform newsletter, Issue 2
Fleet, Hampshire, United Kingdom, Friday, June 9, 2006

Dear Morgan,

We have taken the liberty of putting you on the distribution list for the
“Inform” electronic newsletter, which I hope you will find of interest. The
Inform newsletter provides views and analysis from the Tymoshenko Bloc
(BYTU) for the international community.

Any Action Ukraine Report (AUR) readers wishing to receive the Inform
newsletter by e-mail should simply e-mail taras@byti.org.ua and ask to be
included on the distribution list.

Best Regards,  Neil Pattie
Ridge Consulting Limited, 40 Swan Way, Church Crookham,
Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 5TT, United Kingdom
neil.pattie@ridgeconsult.com; www.ridgeconsult.com

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

PANORAMA: Vladimir Averin, Mayak Radio
Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 5, 2006
Anchor: Hello and welcome to Panorama on Mayak radio. I am Vladimir
Averin. Protests against Ukrainian-American exercises Sea Breeze-2006
continue in the Crimea. The port in Feodosia where American marines
arrived recently has been blocked. The Crimean Cossacks have sealed
off the Alushta sanatorium where the American servicemen are. And
American special forces have been sent to help the Americans. This is
the latest news from the Crimea. What is happening and how should
we react to it if at all?
This is our topic on Panorama today. And our guest is Sergei Markov,
director of the Political Studies Institute and member of the Public
Chamber of the Russian Federation, and Konstantin Simonov, director
of the Current Political Studies Institute.

A lot of comments are coming out from there. We know the details of the
plan of the exercises, controlling some unnamed separatists in the Crimea.
Just how necessary are these exercises in principle? A lot of lances are
broken. City councils declare their cities to be NATO-free territories,
Yushchenko is pushing through legislation. There is turmoil in the Supreme
Rada. What is in it for Ukraine? This is the main question that has worried
me recently.

Markov: Ukraine doesn’t need it. The current leadership of Ukraine needs

it. It has committed itself to tearing Ukraine away from Russia. And
accession to NATO is a major step aimed at severing Ukraine from Russia.
The demonstrators are also well aware of the implications. They understand
that it is not about the military having or not having exercises. Soldiers must
get training.
But people understand that this is a move toward separating Ukraine and
the Crimea from Russia, so that we could visit each other only with visas,
so that as few people as possible read the same books, watch common films,
visit each other and so that Russians stop going to the Crimea. Yushchenko
is prepared to strangle the Crimean economy in order to implement this manic
dream of separating Ukraine from Russia as much as possible.

And as a member of the Public Chamber I cannot but appeal to our citizens:

let us do something real to help Feodosia. Their economy is based on
the holiday industry. Let us all go to Feodosia. Let us go to the Crimea.
There are some wonderful places such as Sudak.

Anchor: And there is a new kind of entertainment on offer: taking part

in pickets.

Markov: Let us support Feodosia by going there. It’s a wonderful place.

I know that after an anti-Ukrainian barrage unleashed in our media many
people have got the idea that in order to go to Ukraine you need a foreign
passport and a visa. No, you don’t need any of that. You can go with your
ordinary internal passport as long as it is not expired. Go to the Crimea.
And it is a lie that the prices are high there.

Anchor: I am sorry, but the Advertising Service will fine me.

Markov: This is the civil stand of our people today, or should be. We

should go and help the Crimeans. They are with us and we are with them,
they want to be with us. Russia has no right to betray its allies. I hope that
the cursed times of the 1990s are over, the times when we betrayed all our
allies. Are we better off for that? Have we saved any money? Nothing of
the kind. So, I believe that we must support the Crimeans. As for NATO,
we’ll probably discuss it later.

Anchor: What’s NATO compared with the Crimea?
Markov: Well, I just happen to have attended a conference on Russia-NATO.

Anchor: But I would like to go back to my question. What is the position

of Ukraine? I put myself in Yushchenko’s shoes. Suppose I have what
you call a manic desire to take my country into NATO.

Markov: No, not to NATO. He doesn’t give a damn about NATO. If Latin

American MERCOSUR or African Unity backed anti-Russian moves, he
would enter into an alliance with them. It is anti-Russianism that motivates

Anchor: Okay, these exercises are needed to solve these tactical tasks.

But in order to organize them in a proper way there was first a request to
the Rada which he has just sent, after it all started. And then the Rada
delivers the desired decision and he then can conduct the exercises
legitimately thus striking the legal basis from under the feet of protesters.
Nothing has been done. First they brought the soldiers in and then, against
the background of all these pickets and rallies, the dialogue begins with
the Supreme Rada in order to provide a legal basis for this. Why so?

Simonov: Well, in any military exercises there is no military component,

but only a political component. There is nothing to be learned through
joint exercises. By the way, I would note that the exercise is not so much
between Ukraine and NATO as between Ukraine and the US and by the
way, the people at the NATO headquarters are raising eyebrows over
all this fuss about the exercise as if to say that these exercises are
not masterminded from Brussels, but rather from Kiev and Washington.
So, this is a political thing. And I think Mr. Yushchenko is performing
an internal political role by trying to show that in spite of the start of
reform and his promises  to pass on to a parliamentary republic, he is
not going to do any of these things, that he is still the head of state.
And I think that the parliamentary crisis that we see will enable him
after a while to say that the Rada is totally ungovernable, that it should
be dissolved before its term is over, and that in this situation Ukraine
has no need of any political reform. I think Yushchenko will do it very

And he is just demonstrating that the Rada is incapable of controlling

the situation, that he takes decisions without it and he doesn’t need its

And going back to the political component of the exercises, just before

we went on the air we recalled the Russia-China-India exercises in 2005.
And I would note that there too the political component was very important.
And the subjects of the exercise were not only the problem of separatism,
but also one of the tasks was a simulated landing on an island — obviously
Taiwan was meant. I am not dropping any hints, but one may simulate a
landing on some peninsula.
Of course, it is all on surface, it’s the fight against separatism. No more
explanations are needed, the name of the exercise and Yushchenko’s
position and the pressure he is bringing on the local authorities. In
principle, all the political arguments have been set forth and there
is no need to do any guessing.

Anchor: To what extent can one draw the line between internal political

goals pursued by these exercises and all this fuss and external goals?
Staying with internal policy for the moment, how can these exercises
and everything that is happening be used to further internal political goals?

Markov: I would like to take issue with Konstantin. I dabble in military

matters and I think there is a military aspect too. A system of interaction
between forces is being established. In short, how the Americans will
control the Ukrainian army is the issue that is being addressed. For this
purpose all these systems of interaction are being put in place, so that the
Ukrainian officers should understand American commands.

Simonov: Could I just interrupt you here? In Georgia, we see that you

don’t need exercises to do that. Instructors can just come over and do
all this. The Georgian army is absolutely tuned up to the American control
system and American arms, this is not a problem.

Markov: But in any case, they have to learn. So, the military aspect does

 matter. But I agree with Konstantin that the military component is
completely subordinate to the political component.

And speaking about the internal political aspect, it seems to me that

Yushchenko is trying to demonstrate that although the absolute majority
of the Ukrainian people are against Ukraine entering NATO, he will ram
his line through, with the help of the Americans or NATO, and will drag
Ukraine into NATO kicking and screaming.

Anchor: Will he succeed?

Markov: He will put Ukrainians on their knees. It is not only the question

of exercises, it is that there are mass protests, and local government
bodies are declaring their territories to be out of bounds for NATO

Anchor: As far as I know, Donetsk joined that number today.

Markov: In fact, he is sending special units to disperse these demonstrators.

Yushchenko is trying to show that he is a leader capable of pursuing his
line regardless of the opinion of the citizens who disagree with him.

Anchor: But he may run into a wall and crush his head on it by going against

the will of the Crimea, Donetsk which may also decide to be a zone out of
bounds to NATO, and contrary to the position of part of the Supreme Rada.

Simonov: Yes, the Ukrainian president is running a serious risk by holding

these exercises in the most controversial region in terms of the bilateral
relations. Obviously, from the point of view of history, the Crimea a part
of Ukraine that is the most important for Russia. And we know that the
problem is constantly raised of the legitimacy of the transfer of the Crimea
to Ukraine during the Khrushchev era.
Secondly, Russia still has a naval base there. The very choice of the
venue for the exercise is a challenge to Russia. But still think that he is
running a risk because he again raises the issue of the existence of two
Ukraine’s within one. And this is a challenge because there are protests
not only over the problem of NATO. Protests may begin all over the
eastern part of Ukraine. You have mentioned Donetsk and so on. That
problem existed after the third round of presidential elections. After
that passions subsided a bit. But we understand that this petrol drum is still
there and a match is enough for it to flare up.

By his provocative policy, Yushchenko in effect is putting this match and

— I am absolutely convinced — we will again confront the problem of the
existence of two countries within one. And especially in the light of events
in Yugoslavia this topic can be raised and pursued because a legal precedent
of partitioning of a country is being set up. The international community
supports it. It is a question of legal interpretation. I hope that the Russian
elite is not as stupid as not to try to interpret the situation in Yugoslavia in
a way favorable to it and to project it all on the problem of Ukraine and

Markov: Nobody will hear or see it. They have shut out Russian

television and radio.
Simonov: I mean, the projection of this situation on to the world
community in order to raise this problem.

Anchor: Just a brief remark regarding two Ukraine’s. Reports about the

American military who are stationed in the sanatorium say — Western
correspondents say — that they are relaxing, doing some physical
exercises and studying Russian. You see, they are not studying
Ukrainian even though they are in Ukraine, but they are studying Russian.
And I think it adds an important touch to the overall situation as it is
unfolding in the Crimea.

And we are already receiving messages on our pager: “The Russian
leadership must also support the Crimeans. Not only should we all go
vacationing in the Crime — that’s a response to your appeal — but the
Russian leadership should react”. What can the reaction be? What
should it be ideally?

Markov: We cannot fan this conflict, it would not be proper, after all,

Ukraine is still a fraternal country. But obviously, our position is that
these exercises are undesirable for us. We recognize the right of Ukraine
to join NATO and any association, even a Martian one. But it is
desirable that it should be in accordance with the will of the people.
But now we see that this is being done against the will of the people. So,
it is an undemocratic act. As I have been saying for more than a year
and a half, it is wrong to call Yushchenko a democrat. He can be called
a Euro-Atlantist, and he can be called an anti-Russian. Sometimes, these
things coincide, but sometimes they do not.

The people of Ukraine are against NATO and its president is in favor

of NATO and is ready to anything for this sake. But we cannot permit
ourselves to add fuel to the fire. We must support our allies. I think it
would be a big mistake, after the orange revolution, to believe that we
should minimize our participation in the internal political life of Ukraine.

Actually, everybody is coming into its internal political life. The

Americans are very much present, the European Union is present.
Everybody is supporting his allies. And I talk with our allies and they
say, what to do? We have to take American money and support a
policy aimed at alliance with Russia.

I think many people are making a mistake here when they say that

Yushchenko is a bad and incompetent politician which is presiding
over the breakup of his country. So, let us take away the manpower,
let the metallurgical plants go bankrupt and then we can buy them on
the cheap.

I think it is a mistake. I think the question of whether Russia and Ukraine

will develop together — not necessarily by forming a single country,
but creating an economic alliance — is in many ways the question of the
fate of our civilization, it is about whether the East European Orthodox
branch of the European civilization is 150 million-strong or more than
200 million-strong. Our role in the world depends on it and the wealth
of every individual citizen depends on it.

So, the question at issue is not only whether our people will be able to

go to the Crimea for their holidays and not to have to obtain visas. The
question in many ways is of the level of incomes of our children and
about the role of Russia in the world. If we abandon our allies and
surrender them to Ukraine and thus surrender Ukraine and allow an
anti-Russian course to be impose on Ukraine a course that the majority
of Ukrainians reject, that would be a catastrophic defeat for Russia.

And I think that Putin, for example, has gone down in history, for now,

as the man who restored the Russian state. He has already gone down in
history in this capacity. I would hate to see this extremely positive niche
in Russian history for Vladimir Putin to be marred towards the end
of his rule by the image of a man who has lost Ukraine. We have no right
to lose Ukraine for our civilization.

Anchor: I think that would answer the question from Irina who thinks that

a handful of Americans landing in the Crimea is no big deal.

Simonov: I take a more guarded position on this issue. Why? Because

when we speak in terms of Slavic brotherhood, I find it, frankly, a little
confusing. Why? Because this was the catchword throughout the 1990s,
and our Slavic brothers have made very active use of this slogan. But
have we got the common civilization? Who thinks in these categories?
Lukashenko or perhaps Rinat Akhmetov are thinking in terms of a single
Slavic civilization?
Who are the politicians in Ukraine or Byelorussia who speak in these
terms: by helping our brothers today we are spending our own money
and what do we get in return? Yes, it is a policy of divorce which has
always been used with regard to Russia. And the previous president,
Boris Yeltsin, constantly supported our brothers.
We supplied cheap gas. But did we get anything in return for this alliance?
All the economic projects and the common economic space. We are not
deriving any benefits from this. We simply bankroll Byelorussia. But
have we got a real ally in Byelorussia? No, we see that Byelorussian
president is simply blackmailing us: if you don’t want to help us, we will
turn to the West. And now he is trying to scare us with the prospect of
going to China.

This is the situation at present. So, when we speak about brotherhood

we should understand the price of these words. I for one do not believe
that our gas policy recently has been wrong. We are told, how can you
do it and charge 150 dollars for gas if it is your Slavic brothers?
But what did we get all these years other than words? So, I would take a
cautious view of all these ideas of a common civilization because, I
repeat, we have not yet produced politicians — in Ukraine or in Byelorussia
— who would really take these slogans on board.

Anchor: Questions from our listeners.

Q: I am Vladimir from Lyubertsy. What can we expect from Yushchenko

if his wife is a former US State Department employee? Obviously, he is
meeting his end of the bargain because they put him on the throne.

Anchor: Thank you for your opinion. Next question.

Q: My name is Lyubov Vladimirovna, I am a citizen of Ukraine. But

my daughter and grandchildren live in the Moscow area. I am currently
visiting with them. I often have to travel from Ukraine to Moscow and
back and to cross the border. And I am very saddened by the situation.

Anchor: Whose side are you on? On the side of the picketers or —

Q: Of course. I would like to say that when the orange revolution

took place, I actively opposed it. The money that brought Yushchenko
to power was American money. And he now has to work for it, that’s all.

Markov: This is an obvious truth.
Anchor: That is why I would like to get several calls at once.

Markov: These are the people who come out for a brotherhood

between Russia and Ukraine. Brotherhood is not when only one side
pays for everything. Brotherhood is the creation of a common
economic alliance that is good both for Ukraine and for Russia, a
common political alliance that strengthens the security of Russia and

Simonov: Wait a minute. Let us just look to the East.
Anchor: Let us get a third call and then we may get a better idea of

how our listeners feel.

Q: My name is Leonid Poletayev. I am calling you from Moscow.

Judging from the words of Comrade Osipov, I would like to ask
him a question. Does he have the slightest idea that our submarine
fleet which is in the Atlantic is only there thanks to Byelorussia.
And Byelorussia charges Russia 3 kopecks for this. Does he know
that it is our only strategic partner? And it is wicked on the part of
a Slav to pour dirt on Lukashenko who has been elected by 82
percent of his population. That’s one question for Osipov.

Anchor: And not only for Osipov.

Q: And I would like to put the following question to Comrade

Markov: does he think that it is possible, if Ukraine really uses force
against the demonstrators, to abrogate all our treaties with Ukraine
and suggest that it should withdraw within the borders it had when
it became part of the Soviet Union?

Anchor: Thank you. If, for example, the deputies of the State Duma

who have gone to the Crimea to study the situation are declared
persona non grata. Perhaps, we should act in this resolute way?

Markov: By the way, I, too, will probably go to support the people

of Feodosia, the people of Crimea. But in general, I don’t think the
Russian authorities should take abrupt action and allow itself to be
provoked. We should condemn all the crackdowns on the protesters,
we should help our allies. We have in fact liquidated the blockade
of Transdniestria, we have mounted such a relief effort as to make
that blockage meaningless. Similarly, we should help our allies raise the
issue of undemocratic actions of the Ukrainian authorities. But let us
not tear up the treaties. We need to strengthen treaties.

Anchor: Without hysterics, yes?
Markov: Without hysterics. We should have more good treaties with

Ukraine rather than tearing them up.
Anchor: We a call from the Crimea.

Q: Vladimir Dzhoralo from Simferopol. Mr. Markov knows very well

that we are into a new stage, new pro-Russian organizations have
sprung up created by Russians themselves, they are Russian citizens.
On the one hand, it is a weakness because they can be deported at
any moment. But on the other hand the Crimea is ablaze. Nobody
had expected that people are prepared to support such movements so

Without a leader, all that, of course, will peter out. But still, it shows the

depth of the pent-up passions. We are fed up with nationalists gaining
more and more ground. The only thing is — people are openly saying
that their patience is running out — but arms exist to be used sometimes.
In other words, although people understand that Russia may bear part
of the blame, they are ready to support. So, you are right there. I hope
that Russia will win this strategic game against the Americans.

Simonov: I don’t quite see why I should answer the question on

behalf of Osipov. If you ask me, I have never poured dirt on
Lukashenko. I would like to stress once again that any real pro-
Russian forces that emerge at the grassroots level —

Anchor: Needs support.

Simonov: Our listeners need the political support of Russia. That is

obvious. I am entirely for it.

It is another question that when we speak about brotherhood, we often

mean dialogue with the political elites in the countries which are trying
to speak on behalf of the people. We risk ending up dealing only with
Rinat Akhmetov who built a fortune on cheap Russian gas. This is the
only thing that he needs. Does he care about brotherhood? Of course not.

Anchor: Vladimir has said that unfortunately, without a leader, all this

movement will peter out.

Simonov: And about Lukashenko and the submarines. These are just tales

that are very often reproduced. If you take a sober look at the economic
situation and how much Russia pays Byelorussia, you can calculate that
what we pay is a lot more than 3 kopecks.

Anchor: Even the atmosphere in the studio is charged with emotion.

And even more so in the Crimea. We will keep tabs on events.
Thank you, Konstantin Simonov and Sergei Markov.

Markov: Crimeans, we are on your side.            -30-
Source: www.fednews.ru


FOOTNOTE:  The spin from Moscow is hot and heavy these days
and there is an endless stream of it. Crimea is covered with news
media teams from Moscow.   AUR Editor
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

ANALYSES: By Anna Górska, Tadeusz A. Olszañski
EASTWEEK Analytical Newsletter, Issue 44
Center for Eastern Studies, Warsaw, Poland, Thu, June 8, 20006

On 27 May 2006, a group of local people blockaded the port of Theodosia
in order to keep US military equipment out of Crimean territory.
Demonstrations against Ukraine’s co-operation with NATO were also
held in several other towns and regions, and political forces in Ukraine
clashed over the issue. The Ukrainian government made a number
of mistakes, both during preparations for the international military
exercise in Crimea, and afterwards while the protests were ongoing.

These events reveal the potential that Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions
has as an opposition force to cause destabilisation. Inspiration from Russia
was also apparently among the causes of the protests, as disrupting
Ukraine’s co-operation with NATO is in line with Russia’s interests.

                           THE THEODOSIA INCIDENT
The US-Ukrainian Sea Breeze exercises have taken place on the Black
Sea and in Crimea every summer since 1997. Other states also participate
in the exercise every year, and Russia is among the observers. Only
the first in the series of exercises in 1997 led to any protests organised
by the Ukrainian communists; successive events were not accompanied
by any protests, and indeed attracted no interest from the public. This
year, the Ukrainian government’s failure to meet all the formal requirements
provided a pretext for an outbreak of resistance.

Under the Ukrainian constitution, armed foreign military units may only
enter Ukrainian territory subject to the parliament’s authorisation as
expressed in a special bill. This year, the respective bill could not be
passed because of the ongoing election, during which the Party of Regions
campaigned on anti-NATO slogans.

The government and the president assumed that adopting the bill would
be a mere formality for the new parliament, and therefore decided to confirm
the exercise in April and launch preparations.

Meanwhile, when the parliament met on 25 May, it immediately announced
a break until 7 June, which was then extended to 14 June, and refused
to discuss any legal proposals. It is unclear when the new parliament will
meet, but pending the election of the presidium it cannot adopt any legal

As part of the preparations for the exercise, the US cargo ship Advantage
entered the port of Theodosia on 27 May carrying vehicles, machinery and
materials to be used in construction work on the Staryi Krym testing range,
as well as arms (including mortars) for troops taking part in the exercise.

On 8 June the US embassy confirmed that the ship was indeed carrying

The cargo was accompanied by armed escorts, who nevertheless left their
weapons in deposit before disembarking. On the same day, a group of around
200 unarmed US reservists were flown to Crimea to carry out the construction
work. None of these activities constituted a violation of Ukrainian laws.

                               OF ACCESSION TO NATO
According to data published on 6 June by the Democratic Initiatives
Foundation, opposition against Ukraine’s accession to NATO is constantly
on the rise in all regions and among the electorates of all major parties.

In 2000, 33.5% of Ukrainians were against joining NATO; in 2004 this
number decreased to 30%, but in early 2005 (after the presidential
election) it rose to 50.4%, and in 2006 (after the parliamentary
elections) it reached 64.4%.

At present only 12.4% of respondents are in favour of membership
in the Alliance. Opposition against accession prevails even in Western
Ukraine (38% against and 32% for). The opinions are divided as follows
within the electorates of different parties (the ‘don’t know’ answer
is not included):

Communist Party of Ukraine:  52% against  1% for
Party of Regions:  90% against  2% for
Socialist Party of Ukraine:  61% against  12% for
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc:  41% against  24% for
Our Ukraine:  43% against  24% for

Two days later, those opposed to the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine
began to stage pickets in the port. The protesters were told that the
containers held weapons and explosives, and that the purpose of the
construction works was to create a permanent NATO base in Ukraine.

It is unclear who initiated the picket, but activists of the ostensibly pro-
Russian extreme left Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine quickly became
the leaders of the protest. Demonstrations in front of the port and the
soldiers’ lodgings continue, and the construction work on the range has
not been undertaken.

The city authorities of Theodosia illegally proclaimed their area a
‘NATO-free territory’, and the authorities of several other administrative
units in Crimea followed in their footsteps. On 6 June, the parliament of
the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a ‘proposal’ to the Ukrainian
parliament asking it to recognize the whole of Crimea as ‘NATO-free’, and
called on the President to cancel this year’s military exercise.

                               RESPONSES IN KYIV
The reaction of the central government came too late and was inadequate.
the deputy ministers and ministers for defence and foreign affairs made
rather vague statements during the first days of the crisis, and for more
than a week, the authorities tried to conceal the fact that there were
weapons in some containers onboard the Advantage, even though the
protesters had already opened them to examine the content.

The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine spelt out its position
only on 2 June, and following its deliberations, the president issued a
decree legalising preparations for the exercise and ordering the bodies in
charge to take measures to stabilise the local situation. The government
failed to persuade the parliament to authorise the exercise during the
meeting on 7 June.

On 6 June, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko harshly criticised
the ‘anti-NATO’ resolution adopted by the parliament of the Crimean
autonomous region, and said that the protests were organised with “money
from abroad”.

Finally, on 7 June the Ukrainian Defence Ministry admitted that unless the
bill authorising this year’s Sea Breeze is adopted by 12 June, the exercise
will have to be moved to another Black Sea country, which will probably
prove inevitable in the end anyway.

The government and the president have underestimated the fact that the
election campaign brought about a dramatic rise in anti-NATO sentiments
in Ukraine (see the Appendix). They have also failed to adequately assess
the power and determination of the opposition, both outside (the Progressive
Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine
(United)), and inside the parliament (the Party of Regions and the

The government did not take into account the fact that after
the decisive victory of the Party of Regions in the local elections in
eastern and southern Ukraine, the influence of the central authorities in
these regions has diminished considerably, while the potential for social
protests has increased, especially in Crimea.

The main pro-Russian parties, namely the Progressive Socialist Party
of Ukraine (PSPU) and the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United)
have jointly organised the protests. They were joined by the Communists,
who also oppose co-operation with NATO and intend to file a draft law “on
the neutral status of Ukraine outside any military blocs”. These groups
oppose any co-operation with NATO whatsoever.

The attitude of the Party of Regions is ambiguous. On the one hand,
it has attacked the president and the government, and one of its leaders,
Yevhen Kushnariov, announced that the party would obstruct parliament’s
work until the ministers responsible for destabilisation in Crimea have been
called to account.

On the other hand, the Party of Regions has prevented
the Donetsk District Council from discussing a resolution proclaiming the
district a ‘NATO-free territory’. Apparently the leaders of the Party of
Regions are treating the issue as a bargaining tool; they still view
establishing a government coalition with Our Ukraine as a realistic
possibility, for which they would be prepared to abandon their anti-

NATO rhetoric.

During the campaign, Yanukovych himself argued that Ukraine should
continue co-operating with the Alliance, and according to unconfirmed
reports, on 7 June he asked the NATO Secretary General to examine the
situation and take adequate measures to stabilise the situation in Crimea

“with a view to preserving the partnership between Ukraine and NATO,
which the Party of Regions unequivocally endorses”.

As regards the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the worsening of the conflict has
forced its leadership to adopt an official position demanding that a
provision be included in the coalition agreement which specifies that
Ukraine will not aspire NATO membership (the Socialists have opposed
this as part of their electoral program, although they had previously agreed
or the issue to be left out of the agreement).

Moreover, on 5 June the SPU’s Political Council recommended that the
president should remove acting defence minister Anatoly Hrytsenko from
office. However, the party has not protested against the exercise in Crimea
or against co-operation with NATO.

Representatives of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the People’s Union Our
Ukraine have avoided making clear statements on the Crimean crisis. These
parties have advocated closer co-operation with NATO, and Our Ukraine
is definitely in favour of membership in the Alliance, but their leaders are
aware that such views are unpopular in Ukraine.

The position of the Party of Regions is particularly important. On various
occasions since the election, it has demonstrated the difficulties it can
create for the state if pushed into opposition. The anti-NATO protests broke
out after district and city councils controlled by the Party of Regions
resolutions establishing Russian as a ‘regional language’, forced through
some personnel reshuffles in the field administration, and ignored certain
presidential and government decisions.

In all the areas where the Party of Regions decisively won the local
elections, it is now reaching for real power at the expense of the state
administration bodies. If the ‘regionals’ find themselves in the opposition,
further destructive actions should be expected.

                              THE ‘RUSSIAN FACTOR’
The government in Kyiv is trying to stifle publicity for the suggestions
made by some media that the protests in Theodosia have been inspired by the
Russians, or even that the Russian secret services are involved. However,
the PSPU is considered to have been penetrated by Russian secret service
agents, and the powerful influence of the Russian state bodies in Crimea are
an open secret. Kyiv is convinced that Moscow does not approve of Ukraine’s
rapprochement with NATO.

Acting defence minister Anatoly Hrytsenko has said that “certain Russian
political forces” have been involved in organising the protests. Between 4
and 6 June, the Security Service of Ukraine, acting on a decision adopted by
the National Security and Defence Council, declared a group of Russian

nationals taking part in the protests in Theodosia personae non gratae in
Ukraine, the group including Konstantin Zatulin and Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

The expulsion of Russian politicians led to an unfriendly reaction from
Moscow, and on 7 June the Russian State Duma adopted an appeal to the
parliament of Ukraine calling on the latter to prevent Ukraine from becoming
a NATO member as that “could damage Russian-Ukrainian relations” and
expressed its “concern” about the recent events in Theodosia, as well as
accusations against Russian nationals which the Duma believes to be

There is no doubt that the current crisis, which has damaged Ukraine’s
international reputation, is playing into Moscow’s hands.

The protests in Crimea expose the weakness of Ukraine’s central government,
which has failed to operate normally since the election. They also show that
the central government’s influence has weakened in certain regions which are
of key importance for national security.

The chaotic and delayed reactions to the crisis, the absence of a patriotic
mobilisation which could supersede party divisions (such as during the
earlier conflict with Russia over the Tuzla Spit in the Kerch Strait) and
the fact that the politicians in Kyiv are preoccupied with their coalition
games, have cast the Ukrainian political elite in a bad light.

These recent events will undermine Ukraine’s good reputation as both
a NATO candidate and also a potential EU candidate country. This cannot

go unnoticed, and will inevitably affect Ukraine’s negotiations with the
Alliance, especially if Sea Breeze 2006 is indeed moved to a different

Irrespective of the participation of various elements in the anti-NATO
actions in Ukraine, it is seriously worrying that the influence of the
Ukrainian government in the regions has evidently become so weak, the
government’s administrative structures have become so ineffective in crisis
situations, and that Ukraine’s political forces, which will potentially form
the next government, have shown such a lack of responsibility, as they are
currently exclusively engaged in dividing up cabinet posts among themselves.
LINK:  http://www.osw.waw.pl
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Associated Press (AP), Berlin, Germany, Sat, June 10, 2006

BERLIN – Andriy Shevchenko and his teammates were greeted with yellow
roses – a bad omen – when they arrived at the World Cup on Friday.

In Ukraine, where flowers and their color send very specific messages,
yellow roses mean goodbye and are considered an ill omen. “Oh no!” a
Ukrainian journalist said upon seeing the yellow roses at the airport. “They
only just arrived and the flowers are saying goodbye.”

Ukraine, which is making its first appearance at the World Cup, touched down
at Tegel airport on the day host Germany opened the tournament by playing
Costa Rica.

“Ukraine are the last team to arrive at the World Cup. I hope they will be
the last team to leave,” said Igor Dolgov, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany.
“Everything is possible. At World Cup, all participants are strong and
chances of all are rather high.

“We have very high motivation and the composition of Ukraine’s group is
rather favorable for us so I believe for sure we will play in the next

Ukraine faces Spain, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in Group H.

Disembarking from the plane, Shevchenko and coach Oleg Blokhin were
immediately handed plump bouquets of yellow roses interspersed with small
blue flowers, representing the colors of the nation’s flag.

Offering flowers in Ukraine can be a culture trap, as their number, color
and type all bear a special meaning and little margin of error is allowed.

White flowers represent innocence and red symbolizes victory and patriotism.
An even number of flowers is for funerals only – though this does not apply
in a mixed bouquet – and more than nine flowers signifies a serious romantic
feelings. Roses, lilies and carnations are traditionally used to express
sympathy or condolence.

But Dolgov dismissed the apparent blunder. “It’s a very nice symbolic
gesture because it’s the colors of Ukrainian national flag and so it’s
absolutely in full compliance with old protocol traditions,” he said with a
smile, adding that a private ceremony at the team’s hotel in Potsdam would
stick more closely to tradition, with bread and salt offered to players and
team officials.

“Bread and salt is symbolic of hospitality, welcome, that you are a desired
guest and everybody was waiting for you and will be helpful and friendly,”
Dolgov said. “It’s a very, very old tradition.”

The players did not stop and speak with reporters lining the tarmac, though
Blokhin congratulated Ruslan Rotan, the father of a baby girl. “And team
morale is very high,” Blokhin added as he continued toward the team bus.

Shevchenko, who left AC Milan to sign with Chelsea 10 days ago, waved and
smiled at the cameras. The striker is only recently back from a knee injury
and scored Thursday to help Ukraine beat Luxembourg 3-0 in its final World
Cup warmup match.

Ukraine is considered a real threat with a healthy Shevchenko, who has 28
goals for his country, including six during qualifying for the 2006
tournament. In European qualifying, the team won a group that contained
European champion Greece, 2002 World Cup semifinalist Turkey and Denmark.

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

By Peter Borisow, President Hollywood Trident Foundation
For the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #710, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Sunday, June 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was there to meet
Kateryna Yuschenko when she got off the plane in Los Angeles on Friday
morning, June 2nd.  Half an hour later the First Lady had his promise to
support the work of the Ukraine 3000 Foundation as well as a Ukrainian Days
Festival in Los Angeles.

Then, she was en route to meet with doctors and senior executives at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  It was that kind of trip – non-stop energy
with barely a pause during two days of meetings.

Before leaving Los Angeles, Mrs. Yuschenko visited each of Los Angeles’
premier medical institutions – The Children’s Hospital at USC, The Mattel
Children’s Hospital at UCLA and Cedars-Sinai.  All three agreed to form
working committees to build relationships necessary to help Ukraine provide
its children and newborns with the best modern medical care.

The areas of cooperation will include not only research, physicians and
nurses training, but also exchanges of medical students and professors and
development of facilities and networks for consultations via the internet
and even exchanges between Ukrainian and American camps for seriously ill
and challenged children.

Mrs. Yuschenko reviewed the plans for UCLA’s soon to be completed $1

billion hospital which features state of the art Pediatric and Neonatal
Departments. She also inspected the site and discussed plans for the new
$550 million Children’s Hospital being built at USC.

Both UCLA and USC offered to help with conceptualization, design,
determination of staffing and equipment requirements and the most effective
resource allocation for the new Children’s Hospital being built in Kyiv by
the First Lady’s Ukraine 3000 Foundation.


Friday evening Mrs. Yuschenko addressed supporters in Los Angeles at a
benefit for the Ukraine 3000 Foundation, held in her honor at the Park Hyatt
Hotel in Century City.  The First Lady’s theme was ‘After the Orange
Revolution,’ how her work with the Foundation to improve children’s health
care was really just a natural part of building the New Ukraine.

Mrs. Yushchenko said, “The Orange Revolution didn’t give us freedom.  It
gave us the opportunity to be free.  Now, it’s up to all of us to work to
build a just democracy for all Ukrainians.”

On Saturday Ukraine’s First Lady was joined by many of Los Angeles’
Ukrainian American community as she placed flowers at the Memorial to
Victims of the Genocide in Ukraine in 1932-33.  For a while she was just
Katya, visibly moved as she embraced and spoke with each of the survivors
who attended the commemoration.

Taras Kozbur, the architect of the memorial, presented Mrs. Yuschenko with
an original book describing the memorial and how the community managed to
place it in what is doubtlessly the premier location in the City of Los
Angeles – right in the heart of the Civic Center Mall, in full view of both
City Hall and the new Disney Auditorium.

As Kateryna Yuschenko’s plane left for Kyiv, one could not help but admire
this woman, born and raised in another country, destined to pay such a high
personal price in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, yet so committed to the land
that called her heart through the blood that runs in her veins.

It has given her the strength and determination to allow no one to ever
forget Ukraine’s past suffering while passionately working to protect the
future of Ukraine’s smallest and most vulnerable – Ukraine’s children.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


By Kateryna Slavina, Kyiv Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Eight year old Alisa Rzhavska, the winner of the children’s drawing
competition Our Childrens’ Creativity Against Smoking, returned from The
Vatican a few days ago after being blessed by Pope Benedict XVI to do
good deeds in life.

The jury of the international competition in Italy appreciated the depth and
emotional expression of Rzhavska’s drawing. She managed to express her
feelings very clearly and distinctly through pencil and paper.

As the saying goes, “a picture speaks a thousand words” and Alisa’s does
exactly that. Her drawing says “Mom, give me life. Give me health. Give me a
chance” with a reference to women smokers on behalf of her yet unborn child.

Alisa represented Ukraine for the first time ever at the international
competition dedicated to an anti-smoking campaign. This project was created
in 1993 by the Italian non-government organization on the prevention of
cancer, Associazione Anvolt, and received the support of The Vatican from
Pope Benedict XVI. More than 20 countries currently participate in this

The competition was held in Ukraine for the first time and became a part of
the international project promoting a healthy lifestyle among children ages
6 to 13 by abstaining from smoking.

The works of Ukrainian school students was evaluated by a jury, which
included singer Oleksandr Budskiy; professor of the National Academy of
the Arts and Architecture and painter Feodosiy Humenyuk, Director of the
Information Center for the Struggle Against Smoking Konstantyn Krasovskiy
and the magazine for parents Alyonka + Seryozhka.

“We are very glad that the project was accepted with enthusiasm and
excitement among school students in Kyiv. We are planning to hold annual
competitions, where different forms of children’s creativity will be
represented from all regions of Ukraine,” said Olena Khlevna, Director of
the Adverta PR agency, which is in charge of implementing this project in
Ukraine.                                             -30-

LINK: http://www.weekly.com.ua/?art=1149715964
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
                           CRITICAL LOOK AT THE PAST

By Brian Bonner, Knight Ridder Newspapers
DuluthNewsTribune.com, Duluth, Minnesota, Tuesday, June 6, 2006

MOSCOW – Three Russian schoolgirls who won a national history
contest said they learned terrible truths in chronicling the 1930s
persecution of an Orthodox Christian priest from their village.

More importantly, the contest’s sponsors say, the trio struck a blow
against a dangerous whitewashing of the nation’s past that’s taking
place under President Vladimir Putin’s quasi-authoritarian rule.

“Events are now being distorted,” said Irina Scherbakova, the director
of youth programs for Memorial, the Russian human rights organization
that sponsored the contest. “Instead of bringing the children more truth
about our history, new mythology has been created by our state and
public organizations about our history.”

The material for the students’ prize-winning essay came from their
hometown of Yelniki, some 370 miles east of Moscow, with the tragic
story of Vasily Ivanovich Kashin.

Kashin, a married priest and father of four children, died in exile in 1931
at age 62. He was among the millions of victims of Josef Stalin’s
repression of religious leaders and others whom the paranoid dictator
considered to be enemies of the fledging Soviet state. Kashin’s eldest son,
Alexander, had been executed 13 years earlier in the early days of the
Bolshevik revolution.

“This family’s future was broken. When you read about it in the books,
it’s one thing. When you come across real lives crushed by the regime,
it’s different,” said Tatyana Kuzmina, 17, a graduating high school senior
who teamed up with classmates Dinara Khairova and Svetlana Geraskina
for the contest.

Despite what happened, the students said Kashin’s descendants didn’t
breed hatred of the Soviet system in their families. Instead, they tried to
follow the lesson taught by the priest – forgiveness in the face of tyranny.
“We think they were true Orthodox Christians,” Kuzmina said.

The students’ 125-page essay won one of several categories in the
seventh annual People in 20th Century Russian History Contest. Thousands
of students throughout the nation participate annually, and dozens of
winners from various grades come to Moscow each spring for a ceremony
where prizes are awarded.

The event’s sponsors say the contest is needed now more than ever to
dispel myths that have blossomed during Putin’s presidency – particularly
the rewriting of history in ways that glorify Stalin and sanitize World War

“The memory of the war is substituted with the memory of the victory,
which automatically makes Stalin a mighty figure that brought victory,”
Scherbakova said.

Putin has expressed distaste for historians who dwell on “negative things.”
Three years ago he called for new textbooks that “raise the younger
generation in the spirit of pride for their history and nation.”

A battle over textbooks followed. Education officials defended their new
choices, while some academics complained about the shelving of texts,
such as one by Igor Dolutsky, which gave detailed accounts of Stalin’s
purges and other human rights abuses.

The debate over how to teach Russia’s tumultuous history rages on, even
though much of the arguments take place outside the media limelight.

Like Putin, Scherbakova said, Memorial wants students to know the good
parts of Russia’s past. But, she said, “we want them to know what really
happened. A lie never contributes to bringing up kids in the spirit of
patriotism and morality.”

To overcome state distortions and falsehoods, generations of Russians
have relied on personal stories and family histories to help sort out the

The contest encourages that informal tradition and seeks to instill “a
critical vision and critical mentality,” Scherbakova said. “Overall,
the kids at school are not taught this critical approach. They don’t know
how to discuss things, argue, dispute.”

She also wants students to value democratic freedoms won under former
Kremlin leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and which, she says,
are now in jeopardy. “We want them to value their chance to live in a
society governed by the law,” Scherbakova said. “Our ruling authorities
now have belittled and smeared the figure of Gorbachev, not to mention

The three schoolgirls from Yelniki, which has 5,500 residents, seem to
have absorbed the lessons in three years of research that required
reading stacks of declassified state documents.

The trio counted on town elders who knew Kashin, including Kuzmina’s
great-grandmother, to help build a portrait of a kind and respected priest
who decorated Easter eggs and brought them to children.

The students are also ready to debate Stalin’s guilt with his admirers. “To
them, it’s an open question,” Khairova said. To her and her essay-writing
partners, the issue is settled. “I cannot bring myself to look at his
picture in books,” Kuzmina said.

Two of Kashin’s granddaughters accepted the students’ invitation last
spring to join other descendants for a family reunion in Yelniki.

A great-granddaughter in attendance said the students found details that
 she never knew and older generations didn’t discuss. “Practically
everything I found out, I learned from this work,” Lyudmila Plyuschaeva
said.                                           -30-
Bonner reports for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. To see photos click on:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
             A Show at Ellis Island, Depicts A Soviet-era Penal System Gone Awry

EXHIBITION REVIEW: By Edward Rothstein
The New York Times, New York, NY, Wed, June 7, 2006

An American-made shovel, two translucent toothbrushes, the Russian word for
“comedy” – sometimes it is in the small things that large truths are found.

For in a compact exhibition at Ellis Island devoted to Soviet-era prison
camps – “Gulag: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom” –
how much can possibly be shown to reflect the experiences of 18 million
human beings who were imprisoned in these camps over the bloody course of
the 20th century?

With the retreat of the cold war into memory, what can be done in so little
space to give some sense of the kind of regime that created these
slave-labor camps, beginning with Lenin’s utopian calculus, climaxing with
the megalomaniacal plottings of Stalin and still sputtering on until the
Communist system itself began to splinter in the 1980’s?

In “The Gulag Archipelago” – an epic account of the camps’ world of death,
pain and venality – even Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn could begin with only
small things. A 1949 issue of the journal Nature, he recalls, told of the
discovery of ancient creatures – salamanders – frozen in the ice of the
Kolyma River. They were so well preserved that their flesh, tens of
thousands of years old, was devoured by the excavators. “With relish,” he

What caught his attention, though, were not the well-preserved creatures
that were found, but the fact that in that frozen wasteland, the excavations
must have been done by prisoners in one of the most notorious of the Soviet
Union’s labor camps, where near-starvation did not permit much delicacy
about paleontological research.

So look to the salamanders, objects that make the horror palpable. They are
crucial in this exhibition, designed to be seen by visitors who have come to
this island museum in celebration of very different kinds of displaced
persons: immigrants who, with dedication and ambition, have sought better
futures in the United States.

An introductory panel explains that the National Park Service, which
administers the Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island, collaborated with
Amnesty International USA and the Gulag Museum at Perm-36, a former labor
camp, to tell this story of repression and its legacy, even as a freer, more
democratic society is being sought in Russia.

As it turns out, in this exhibition, perhaps because of some discomfort
caused by the blunt force of this morality tale, small things tell large
truths more plainly than larger arguments. Had it been even smaller, the
exhibition would have been still more powerful.

Before considering its failings, though, begin, as this exhibition does,
with the camps themselves. In the first part of the show, amid the
photographs of laborers, the diagrams of living quarters, the pock-marked
map showing the archipelago of camps, there are the relics.

The shovel, for example, was provided by the United States to help the
Soviet Union during World War II, but it was, like many other supplies,
routed to the camps, where the glories of manual labor had been celebrated
in the propaganda clips shown here on television monitors. Shovels like this
one, found not far from where the prehistoric salamanders were devoured,
were luxuries.

From 1931 to 1933, in fact, 100,000 prisoners were set to work using the
crudest of hand tools to dig a 141-mile-long canal in 20 months that would
link the White Sea and the Baltic Sea. The canal turned out to be too narrow
and too shallow to serve much purpose, but it provided a propaganda bonanza
for Stalin, supposedly demonstrating Soviet citizens working alongside one
another, transforming the world.

There are also drawings here from Stalin-era camps, including one by
Evfrosiniia Kersnovskaia, showing naked women being inducted into camp life,
stumbling across the snow: “Above our heads the stars twinkled,” the former
prisoner writes, “below our bare feet lay frozen excrement.”

Evidence of the “crimes” that led to such fates is also compelling. On a
1949 ballot on which citizens were supposed to proclaim their support for
the single party candidate, Ivan Burylov, a beekeeper, had scrawled his
intemperate commentary, “Comedy.” It cost him eight years in a prison camp.
As for the toothbrushes, they are relics from the 1960’s and early 70’s,
when a husband and wife, both arrested as dissidents, could communicate only
by inscribing such ordinary objects with nearly invisible messages of

So, in spareness and simplicity, the scale of the gulag is suggested. There
are also a few displays showing how readily many in the former Soviet Union
are now forgetting that past and resurrecting Stalin’s reputation, while
other displays show how the Perm-36 camp was turned into a museum to stave
off those delusions.

Then something else happens. In the last third of the exhibition, the small
objects disappear, and big concepts take their place. But in their way,
they, too, seem eager to slight the gulag past.

The exhibition’s text reads:

“Brutal systems have played a prominent role in many countries, including
the United States. Although slavery ended after the American Civil War, its
consequences persist. The repercussions of the Holocaust in Europe and
apartheid in South Africa reverberate even today. Similarly, Russians face
the legacy of the gulag. How can citizens in these countries face up to the
horrors of the past?”

It turns out that the gulag museum is part of an association it helped
establish in 1999, the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of
Conscience, described as “a network of organizations committed to teaching
and learning how historic sites and museums can inspire social consciousness
and action.”

That coalition now has 14 sites, which range from a 19th-century workhouse
in Britain to a slave house in Senegal, from the Theresienstadt
concentration camp in the Czech Republic to the Lower East Side Tenement
Museum in New York.

Not to be left out, the National Park Service has its own displays about
“civic engagement” and points out that three of its sites are “accredited
members of the coalition”: the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in
Seneca Falls, N.Y.; the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde
Park, N.Y.; and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in

No doubt noble sentiments are at work in this roster, but as a result, all
specificity and judgment disappears; conscience consumes everything and
contains nothing. To make a grand rhetorical gesture, encompassing all human
injustice when one particular example seems inconveniently egregious, has
become a museum ritual, a political tic.

When I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam several years ago, the
somber concreteness of the Annex and the dread fate of its inhabitants were
nearly erased by a final multimedia display in which the Holocaust was
calculatedly eclipsed by invocations of every contemporary example of racial
and social injustice the museum could formulate.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, in Cincinnati, did the
same thing with American slavery, ending its account with a potpourri of
international injustices, as if recruiting activists for a litany of causes.

In the gulag show, on a smaller scale, the approach is the same. The
particulars of the past, so carefully presented, are suddenly tossed aside,
and all differences in nature and scale are eliminated. Stalin really does
get off easy. The coalition claims a higher moral vision. Actually, it
cheapens injustice, leaving everyone equally guilty and equally innocent.

Are 19th-century English workhouses and New York tenements comparable
in any way to the gulag? Is the plight of women before receiving the vote
similar to the starving of Kolyma prisoners, who scrambled in the ice to eat
prehistoric amphibians?

Harvard University’s National Resource Center for Russian, East European
and Central Asian Studies is developing curriculum packets for this

(After July 4, it will go to Boston University, and then to Independence,
Calif.; Atlanta; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Washington.) The educational
material I was sent is careful and informed, but here and there are whiffs
of this homogenized conscience:

“Are there lessons to be learned from a study of the gulag that might apply
to prison systems in countries like the United States?” the curriculum
proposes asking students. “For example, should prisoners in this country be
forced to work jobs such as picking up trash on the highway?”   -30-
“Gulag” runs at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum through July 4;
www.gulaghistory.org/exhibits/nps; (212) 363-3200.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
        Honoring families who immigrated to east central Alberta 100 years ago

By Shirley Hauck, Head of Special Events
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta Community Development
Edmonton, AB, Canada, Friday, June 2, 2006

EDMONTON – The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is honouring families
of ancestors who immigrated to east central Alberta 100 years ago or more
by presenting centenary pioneer certificates to families and placing their
names on a permanent centenary monument.

Families completing a Centenary Pioneer Registration Form by June 30,
2006 will be presented with a unique certificate during the site’s Ukrainian
Day special event.

Registration forms are available from the Ukrainian Village by calling

(780) 662-3640, from the front desk at Old St. Stephens College,
8820-112 Street Edmonton, AB, Canada or by visiting:

The forms on this webpage may be found under the listing for UKRAINIAN

DAY. Participants are asked to supply a backgrounder on their family history,
date of initial arrival and location of settlement on the form. If you have
any questions, please contact me directly.

Shirley Hauck, Head of Special Events
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta Community Development
c/o 8820 – 112 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P8
Phone: (780) 662-3855, ext. 1104; Fax: (780) 662-3273
E-Mail: Shirley.Hauck@gov.ab.ca; Website: http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/uchv
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Fri Jun 9 2006

IN a recent commentary (Remember the murderers, Free Press, April 26),

David Matas, senior legal counsel to B’nai Brith Canada, attempted to justify
a process that undermines the civil liberties of more than six million
naturalized Canadians, under the guise of bringing “Nazi war criminals” to

He named four individuals — Jacob Fast, Wasyl Odynsky, Helmut Oberlander
and Vladimir Katriuk, and claimed that because of compelling evidence
linking them to Nazi-era crimes against humanity, the War Crimes Unit of the
Department of Justice had prosecuted them.

As any lawyer knows, prosecuting attorneys may determine whatever they

wish, but it is meaningless if the court finds otherwise. In none of these four
cases did the federal courts find any evidence of any individual crimes
whatsoever — let alone “compelling” evidence.

What the court did find was that “on a balance of probabilities” they lied
about their past upon coming to Canada. Balance of probabilities means
simply that the decision is 51 per cent on one side, as opposed to 49 on the

It falls way short of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of criminal
court. And there is no way to prove conclusively whether they lied or not
upon coming to Canada, because all the immigration records of that period
have been destroyed.

he final decision on the revocation of a person’s citizenship rests with a
committee of cabinet, which makes the government both prosecutor and

court of last appeal.

                                 NO JUDICIAL APPEAL
Since there is no judicial appeal process, no precedents can be established.
Judges have ruled both for and against respondents in similar cases, so the
whole system amounts to a judicial lottery where the victim’s fate depends
upon whichever judge he gets.

But because the government is under no obligation to present any evidence of
any individual crimes under our current citizenship revocation system, they
haven’t done so. And in the most recent cases they haven’t even bothered to
charge the individuals with any individual crimes.

In the three cases where the Department of Justice did attempt to bring
evidence to court, it was thrown out by the judges because it had been
obtained by the KGB through torture.

One may well ask what is the government doing bringing forward evidence by
an agency well-known for its crimes against humanity? This question should
have been raised when upon announcing the launch of the Denaturalization &
Deportation policy in a January 1995 news release, the government stated
that a major step forward in its investigations was an agreement that gave
it access to KGB files, but unfortunately it wasn’t.

Considering the source of the government’s charges against these men, it is
not a coincidence that all four individuals cited by Matas come from Ukraine
as do the two individuals whose case are now before the court — Josef
Furman of Edmonton, and Jura Skomatchuk of St. Catharines.

In the Odynsky case, one of those where no individual crime was alleged in
the government’s Statement of Claim against him, Justice Andrew MacKay found
that his service as a guard at a labour camp was involuntary (in fact he was
threatened with death after he attempted an escape) and that there was no
evidence that he participated in the mistreatment of any prisoner anywhere
at any time.

                                ACTUALLY REVOKED
In the case of Oberlander, whose citizenship was actually revoked by cabinet
order, it was reinstated by a unanimous vote of the Federal Court of Appeal,
after Oberlander’s lawyer took the unique step of appealing the revocation
process itself.

In this May 31, 2004 ruling, which was not appealed to the Supreme Court,
Justice Robert Décary, with the concurrence of Justices J. Edgar Sexton and
B. Malone told the government “it cannot apply the war criminals policy to

a person unless it first satisfies itself, to use the very words of the
policy, that ‘there is evidence of direct involvement in or complicity of
war crimes or crimes against humanity.’ “

The fact that revocation of citizenship can be used in such an arbitrary
manner prompted the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Citizenship and
Immigration last year to determine “that the potential loss of citizenship
is of such fundamental significance to the person concerned that fraud
should be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal court, that the
legal protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — 
specifically sections 7 to 14 — must apply, and there should be no special
limits placed on the right to appeal.”

Until those recommendations are enacted, the Charter rights of every
immigrant are in jeopardy.                           -30-
NOTE: Marco Levytsky is the editor and publisher of the Edmonton-based,

nationally distributed Ukrainian News, and a member of the National Justice
Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Lawrence Sheets in Tbilisi, National Public Radio (NPR)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2006

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: Joseph Stalin is buried in Moscow next to
the Kremlin Wall in Red Square. Some Russian lawmakers recently
proposed removing the grave of the long-time Soviet dictator and
sending his remains home to his native Georgia.

That suggestion has had a mixed reception from Georgians, as NPR’s
Lawrence Sheets reports from Tbilisi. (Soundbite of train whistle)

LAWRENCE SHEETS reporting: At the train station in Gori, visitors
are greeted by a huge portrait of Stalin looming over the platform. Stalin,
whose real name was Joseph Dzhugashvili, was born in this small
Caucasus mountain town in 1878.

In Gori’s main square is a towering statue of Stalin. Next door is a
museum dedicated to the man reviled for the deaths of millions of
Soviets during the great purges, but also a man still held in high esteem
by some people in the former U.S.S.R.

Ms. OLGA TULPTISHILI(ph) (Guide, Stalin Museum):
You can see that he’s too (unintelligible). You can see Stalin’s personal
shaving set – he used it, and you can see Stalin’s personal military

SHEETS: Museum guide Olga Tulptishili says curiosity seekers from
all over the world visit the museum. Their reactions, Tulptishili says,
can vary from horror to deep respect. It often depends on where they
are from.

Ms. TULPTISHILI: (Foreign language spoken)

SHEETS: She says Chinese visitors, for instance, always bow in front
of Stalin’s death mask, located in a darkened wing of this eerie, run
down edifice of marble floors and red velvet curtains. Tulptishili is
among many here who think Stalin should not be removed from his
Kremlin grave. (Soundbite of birds, traffic sounds)

SHEETS: Yet some other people in this dusty town look forward
to the day when Stalin’s remains will come home to Gori. Stalin is,
after all, the local boy. (Soundbite of people speaking foreign language)

SHEETS: 45-year-old Mohaz Gonniasheedi(ph) is one of a group of
unemployed men hanging around a park near the museum.

Mr. MOHAZ GONNIASHEEDI: (Through Translator) He’s our model.
He’s the history of our country, our city, our people. One day, they’ll
bring Stalin home. We are for it.

SHEETS: But others insist Stalin should remain where he is. Yasha
Dzhugashvili is Stalin’s great grandson and a young artist in the Georgian
capital, Tbilisi.

Mr. YASHA DZHUGASHVILI (Great Grandson of Joseph Stalin):
Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union. The capital of the
Soviet Union was Moscow. So I think there is no reason to move his
grave away from Moscow.

SHEETS: Yasha Dzhugashvili disagrees with the Russian lawmakers
who argue that only czars and Russian nobles should be buried at the
Kremlin. And, he said, Stalin’s resting place there should be given even
more prominence. While he ruled,Stalin’s grip over the U.S.S

And some Stalinists still revere him almost as a god. But currently,
Stalin is buried alongside many lesser-ranking former communist officials.

Mr. DZHUGASHVILI: The Kremlin wasn’t just a residence of the
Russian czars, et cetera, et cetera – as a spiritual place where the
Russian leaders are buried. I think that Stalin must be separated and
a separate grave must be made of Stalin – a very special one, so the
people can pay a respect to him.

SHEETS: But for many Georgians, especially younger people,
Stalin was a ruthless killer whose name inspires fear. State Minister
Giorgi Khaindrava says Stalin was Georgian only by ethnicity. And
he notes that Stalin considered himself primarily Russian. Khaindrava
doubts Russia will really dig Stalin up and hand him over to the
Georgia. But, he says, if asked, Georgia will oblige.

State Minister GIORGI KHAINDRAVA (State Minister, Georgia):
(Through Translator) Stalin is a purely Russian and Soviet
phenomenon. But if Russia can’t find two square meters in which
to bury Stalin, we, as an Orthodox nation, will find somewhere to
bury him.

SHEETS: It may surprise many people in the West, but even 53 years
after Stalin’s death, people in the former Soviet Union are still debating
whether his reign was good or bad. That’s reflected in the discussion
over where Stalin’s remains will finally be laid to rest.      -30-
Lawrence Sheets, NPR News Tbilisi, Georgia.

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

By Oleksiy Novak, Kyiv Weekly, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, June 7, 2006

The holiday season is open in Yalta, the main resort city in Crimea, and
tourists are already strolling along the well-developed beachfront and
basking in the sun. The local three- and four-star hotels accommodate mainly
Ukrainians (70%), tourists from Russia (20%) and from EU countries (10%).

The problem is that this popular resort city cannot attract more tourists
from Western countries due to the absence of a lucid government policy, the
inability to properly show its potential and the gap between prices and
service.  The number of tourists from Russia is in constant decline.

Furthermore, Ukraine has not been able to make a serious breakthrough into
the market of European tourists, despite the fact that the country is more
often represented at various international travel and tourism trade fairs.
Notwithstanding, westerners are slowly beginning to turn an eye on this gem
of peninsula known as Crimea.

The new three-star hotel The Seasons in Yalta attracts foreign tourists
through the concept of congress tourism and discounts offered at the Munich
Tourism Fair. Oleh Lozovsky, Director of the Commercial Department at The
Seasons Corporation, told about foreigners’ passions for excursions.

He explained that Germans are the most active in visiting the southern coast
of Crimea and are especially interested in the Livadia Palace, where the
Yalta Conference of the Big Three was held in 1944, as well as in Mount
Sapun in Sevastopol, where WW II battles took place.

The British are second in numbers when it comes to visiting Crimea. hey
prefer to check out Crimean caves and mountains and are particularly fond of
Mount Ai-Petri, which is accessible by cable car.

Seeing as the Japanese tend to prefer the more aesthetic features when
visiting foreign countries, they tour the famous park on the territory of
the Vorontsov Palace or the Nikitskiy Botanical Garden.

The Bristol Hotel in Yalta takes a slightly different approach to attracting
foreign tourists. Namely, this three-star hotel is 143 years old and is
located on Roosevelt Street after U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt, who
participated in the famous Yalta Conference in 1945.

Inside the hotel there is the Roosevelt Club, which today attracts citizens
of Great Britain, France and the U.S. Even the grand-niece of the famous
president, Priscilla Roosevelt, was a guest at the club. The three-star
hotels Levant and Primorskiy Park offer spa services which are quite rare in
Ukraine now.

Though the Levant Hotel often accommodates German tourists, its attempt at
finding a niche among Slovaks have been a failure. The result of talks with
representatives of this industry shows that not everyone is ready to compete
with similar, more popular resorts of Turkey and Egypt.

We would like to thank the Slavuta Creative Association of Mass Media and
the Yalta Mayor’s Office for helping us compile this article

The Crimean Peninsula is located in the south of Ukraine and is surrounded
by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Crimea’s South Coast is a resort area
with mountains that protect its sub-tropical climate from northern winds.
The place is rich in natural monuments and history – from ancient times and
the Middle Ages to the outstanding events of the 20th century.

Crimea was a traditional vacation place for citizens of the Soviet Union.
Anywhere from 6-8 mn people vacationed here annually. The peninsula itself
has a population of approximately 2.5 mn people. Seeing as service counted
on clients with an average income, the quality of service was poor.

After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, the influx of tourists
significantly fell. Later a new standard of the resort and tourism industry
was created to meet the demands of clients with incomes in the middle to
high level. This was when three- and four-star resort hotels appeared on the
southern coast of Crimea.
[1] Serhiy Braiko, Mayor of Yalta:
“The recent complications in relations between Ukraine and Russia have had
their impact on the tourism resort industry. Over the last two years the
tourism business in Russia and CIS countries has reoriented itself by
changing tourist destinations.

Today it is cheaper to take a return flight from Moscow to Turkey than it is
fly to Crimea one way. This is precisely why we have to look for
alternatives. The city budget of Yalta does not allow us to tackle such
issues as international advertising and transfers.

If the government wants to see tourism develop in Ukraine, and we truly have
great potential in this sphere, it has to draft a serious program for this.
So far, we have no single policy when it comes to tourism and resorts.

But the fact is that we do have something to offer to foreign tourists. We
have enough historic and architectural monuments like the palaces in Alupka,
Livadia and Massandra and a unique tour of the wine cellars at the Massandra

We have a sea animal park and a doplhinarium. During the last 3-4 years, 20%
of the 140 sanatoriums have been turned into three- or four-star hotels. We
have more than 200 small privately owned bed-and-breakfasts and hotels.”

[2] Taras Demura, deputy head of the State Tourism and Resorts Service
within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine:
“The movement of Ukraine towards the European market of tourist resorts is
happening through international tourism exhibitions, trade fairs and stock
exchanges. Another method of promoting tourism is Internet commercials.

Today we are talking about consolidating the expenses of private companies
for running commercials of certain objects and the state allocating money
for advertising the country’s image, its culture, history, certain
monuments, reserves, seas, etc. Achievements will only come through
combining the efforts of business and government bodies.

Business structures have been doing this for a long time without our
assistance. The task of the state is to help it. In the first stage, the
government should compensate a part of expenses of those companies

that invest money in advertising its tourism products.

This poses the question of whether there is an opportunity for a radical
breakthrough to the Western market. That depends on the political will of
the government. We need to understand that tourism is not simply “a walk in
the park”, but a huge industry that brings money into the national coffers.

If there is serious interest at all levels of government, then a
breakthrough is possible in 1-2 years. Otherwise, we have a long way to go.”

LINK: http://www.weekly.com.ua/?art=1149721529
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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