AUR#720 Jun 30 Ukraine VS Italy, Football Fever Grips Ukraine; Wash Wizards Draft Ukrainian Basketball Star; Parliament Blocked; What About The Bandits?; NATO

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR
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

FOOTBALL FEVER GRIPS UKRAINE
AHEAD OF HISTORIC MATCH

ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 720

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Published in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 30, 2006

——- INDEX OF ARTICLES ——–
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. FOOTBALL FEVER GRIPS UKRAINE AHEAD OF HISTORIC MATCH
Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, June 30, 2006

2. WORLD CUP: UKRAINE SAYS ITS NO LONGER A DARK HORSE
Erica Bulman, AP Worldstream, Germany, Thu, Jun 29, 2006

3. WORLD CUP: UKRAINE NOT AFRAID TO FACE ITALY
Kyodo News Service, Thursday, Jun 29, 2006

4. SHEVCHENKO GOES BACK TO FUTURE: AMBITIONS OF UKRAINE’S
TALISMAN HAVE BEEN SHAPED BY GREAT COACH OF THE PAST
Jonathan Wilson, The Guardian, London, United Kingdom, Fri, Jun 30, 2006

5. WASHINGTON WIZARDS BASKETBALL TEAM MAKE UKRAINIAN
OLEKSIY PECHEROV THEIR FIRST DRAFT CHOICE
By Ivan Carter, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Thu, June 29, 2006; Page E01

6. UKRAINIAN OLEKSIY PECHEROV GROWS ON WIZARDS
Former Soccer Player Developing on the Basketball Court
By Ivan Carter, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Wash, D.C. Fri, June 30, 2006; Page E01

7 . RADA FAILS TO START WORK, BLOCKED BY REGIONS PARTY
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, June 30, 2006

8. WHAT ABOUT THE BANDITS?
EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 22, 2006

9. ON PROSPECTS FOR THE NEW ORANGE COALITION
“The coalition should not be formed by fomenting war”
COMMENTARY FOR DEN : By James Sherr
The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 27 June 2006

10. CHOICE FOR UKRAINE PM IS THE LEAST OF ALL EVILS
Letter-To-The-Editor: By Maxim Glinkin. editor of the politics
section of Vedomosti, where this comment was published.
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jun 30, 2006

11. A JOYLESS COALITION
By Olena YAKHNO, The Day, Luka HRYNENKO
The Day Weekly Digest in English #20, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue June 27, 2006

12. ROSUKRENERGO MAY LEAVE UKRAINE GAS PRICE UNCHANGED
Greg Walters, Dow Jones Newswires, Moscow, Russia, Fri, June 30, 2006

13. RUSSIA UNDECIDED OVER GAS PRICE HIKE FOR UKRAINE
ALEX NICHOLSON, AP Worldstream, Moscow, Russia, Fri, Jun 30, 2006

14. FITCH LAUNCHES NATIONAL RATING SCALE IN UKRAINE
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, June 29, 2006

15. AUTHORITIES NOT INFORMED ABOUT MILITARY EXERCISE
Anatoliy Hrytsenko comments on the Crimean events
INTERVIEW:
With Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Chairman, Crimean Parliament
By Mykyta Kasyanenko, Symferopil
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #20, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Jun 20, 2006

16. UKRAINE: NATO DEMILITARIZATION PROJECT LAUNCHED
Largest Trust Fund project established by NATO and is the single
largest demilitarization project ever undertaken.

NATO, Brussels, Belgium, Monday, June 19, 2006

17. RUSSIAN ENERGY POLICY TOWARDS UKRAINE –
BUSINESS OR BULLYING?
New Report: “Ukraine: Post-revolution Energy Policy & Relations with Russia”
Alica Henson, GMB Publishing Ltd, London, UK, Wed, June 28, 2006

18 . DYING TOWN? HOW TO SAVE THE UKRAINIAN PROVINCE?
The first thing is to develop local self-government
By Viktoria Herasymchuk, The Day Weekly Digest in English #20
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

19. KYIV TO HOST 4TH WORLD FORUM OF UKRAINIANS AUG 18-20
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, June 28, 2006

20. NEW DOCUMENTARY: “WE’LL MEET AGAIN IN HEAVEN”
Searing chronicle of a forgotten genocide and a lost people
Ethnic Germans: starvation, forced labor & execution in Soviet Ukraine
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
Fargo, North Dakota, Friday, June 30, 2006

21. ANTI-SEMITIC, RACIST ATTACKS
A GROWING THREAT IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Wash, DC, Fri, June 23, 2006

22. UKRAINE-U.S. BUSINESS COUNCIL JOINS COALITION FOR
A SECURE AND DEMOCRATIC UKRAINE
Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, President and CEO
Ukraine-United States Business Council
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 30, 2006
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1
. FOOTBALL FEVER GRIPS UKRAINE AHEAD OF HISTORIC MATCH

Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, June 30, 2006

KIEV – No longer do kids playing football in the backyards of Ukraine argue
over who is going to be Ronaldo and Beckham. Today they fight over who is
going to be ‘Sheva’, Voronin and Kalinichenko.

The children have caught the football fever sweeping the country ahead of
Ukraine’s historic quarter- final against Italy on Friday in the nation’s
first-ever World Cup appearance.

“People who’ve never been interested in football, today the games are all
they talk about,” says Valya Romanenko, a 28-year-old English teacher in
Kiev and longtime football fanatic. “Everyone is buying flags to hang from
windows.”

Ukrainian flags and the yellow jerseys of the team are selling like hotcakes
from stands throughout the country. Many people are wearing team jerseys to
work and around town, and lawmakers are donning them for parliament
sessions. Taking the lead from head coach Oleg Blokhin, many fans are vowing
to shave their heads in the event that the team wins football’s top prize —
a distant dream only a few weeks ago that’s today gaining more and more
converts.

Bars and restaurants overflow with people during matches and most businesses
come to a standstill. “All of our tables get reserved several days before
matches,” says Serhiy, a barman at Planeta-Sport in Kiev, one of the
capital’s most popular sport-watching venues.

The former Soviet state is making its first appearance at the world’s
premier football contest since gaining its independence in 1991 and few
thought the boys in yellow would get as far as the quarter finals.

Star striker Andriy Shevchenko, alias ‘Sheva’, has said repeatedly that he
would consider it a success if the team made it to the last 16.

So the unexpected arrival in the last eight has fanned patriotic flames,
especially vis-a-vis Russia, which has traditionally wielded influence over
its smaller neighbor. Russia never made it past the group phase in the two
World Cups at which it has played and failed to qualify for this year’s
contest.

“We’re the only eastern European team that has gone this far,” says Grigoriy
Medvid, a 30-year-old railroad worker from western Lviv. “Now more people in
the world will know that Ukraine is not Russia. Russia is not even
competing. So which one of us is the little brother?”

The team’s victories also come as a welcome break from headlines about the
nation’s bickering politicians, the stagnating economy and rising energy
prices. “If we beat the Italians and they triple gas prices, I don’t even
think anyone would notice,” says Vassyl Androsenko, a 52-year-old engineer
in Kiev. -30-
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2. WORLD CUP: UKRAINE SAYS ITS NO LONGER A DARK HORSE

Erica Bulman, AP Worldstream, Germany, Thu, Jun 29, 2006

Ukraine no longer considers itself an outsider since it reached the
quarterfinals of the World Cup. The Eastern European nation, which is making
its first World Cup appearance, has been emboldened since becoming the first
former-Soviet republic to get past the group stage, then defeating the
unbeaten Swiss in the second round. Now the team is eager to face
talent-packed Italy in the quarterfinal at Hamburg on Friday night.

“We are not dark horses. We are the Ukrainian national team,” declared
Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin, a former Soviet player who is worshipped by his
team and nation of 47 million. “I understand we are not Argentina or Brazil,
or one of those teams, but we made the quarterfinals.

“We’ve not stopped here. I’m not satisfied so far. We have a game against
Italy. I understand Italy is the favorite but there are two teams on the
pitch and we developed an appetite and we will try to win.”

Despite reaching the quarterfinals and its own self-assurance, Ukraine still
hasn’t imbued a great deal of confidence in World Cup observers.

In its opener, the team lost 4-0 to Spain. The players regained some of
their confidence after whipping Saudi Arabia by the same score but then
barely scraped past 10-man Tunisia 1-0 to finish runner-up in the group
behind Spain and advance to the knockout stage.

There, despite unfavorable odds, Ukraine held Switzerland off for 120
minutes and prevailed on penalty kicks 3-0 to reach the round of eight.

“We’ve had some luck but we’ve played well, and I understand what we’ve
done for our country and fans,” Blokhin insisted.

He dismissed criticism of his team’s inelegant, laborious style, and is
hoping Ukraine will enjoy the same fate as Greece, which won the Euro 2004
title after entering the tournament as a longshot.

“We are different in style to Greece, but maybe our success will be the
same,” Blokhin said. “A lot of teams play attractively. I liked Mexico and
Spain was nice, but they went home. “Can we win the Cup? Why not?”

The confident team invited Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko to attend
its quarterfinal match. According to a statement on Yushchenko’s press
office’s web site, he has not yet decided whether he will make the trip.

“The president said he had a very busy schedule on Friday but would choose
to go to Germany if he knew his presence could support and encourage the
team,” the statement said. Yushchenko was expected to decide Friday, the
day of the contest. -30-
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3. WORLD CUP: UKRAINE NOT AFRAID TO FACE ITALY

Kyodo News Service, Thursday, Jun 29, 2006

Coach Oleg Blokhin says Ukraine have nothing to be afraid of when the
World Cup debutants face Italy and will be going all out for victory in their
quarterfinal clash in Hamburg. “We are not scared of playing Italy, we will
play freely and are going to target victory,” said Blokhin.

Italy battled past Australia 1-0 in Kaiserslautern to reach the last eight
thanks to a highly contentious late penalty from Francesco
Totti and are heavily favored to advance to the semifinals.

But Blokhin said Ukraine, who ousted Switzerland 3-0 on penalties after a
dour 0-0 draw in the round of 16, had already surpassed their goal of
qualifying for the knockout stage and insisted the pressure was all on the
Italians.

“Italy are more under pressure because they are the favorites in our match
and we have already achieved what we set out to do. We have already made
history,” said Blokhin.

Ukraine, hammered 4-0 by Spain in their opening game of the group stage, are
the only team in the last eight to have lost a game and have been criticized
for their playing style at the tournament so far.

But Blokhin said, “People are saying we are playing modest football. But I
like the football Ukraine are playing and we are in the quarterfinals.”

Ukraine’s star striker Andriy Shevchenko insists just being in the
quarterfinals was a cause for celebration in the former Soviet state.

“After our 4-0 defeat against Spain, a lot of people wrote us off. Getting
to the quarterfinals is a cause for celebration though, both for the team
and for the entire people of Ukraine,” said Shevchenko.

“It’s a good thing the Spain game was our first match. Unfortunately we were
hesitant that day because it was our debut. But our self belief grew more
and more as time went on.” The winner of Friday’s match will face either
Germany or Argentina, who face off in the first quarterfinal in Berlin
earlier the same day. -30-
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4. SHEVCHENKO GOES BACK TO FUTURE: AMBITIONS OF UKRAINE’S
TALISMAN HAVE BEEN SHAPED BY GREAT COACH OF THE PAST

Jonathan Wilson, The Guardian, London, United Kingdom, Fri, Jun 30, 2006

A jet leaves Skopje for Milan. On it is a furious Andriy Shevchenko, and
with him, as more than one of his team-mates put it, is “the soul of
Ukrainian football”. The phrase recurs among the present squad, as does the
observation that “we thought that was it”.

After being denied qualification for three major tournaments in play-offs,
Ukraine, once the footballing jewel of the Soviet Union, faced sinking to
the level of Georgia, Belarus and Armenia. Even Latvia surpassed them,
qualifying for Euro 2004.

Shevchenko has a reputation for equanimity, but as Ukraine went one down to
Macedonia the frustration became too much. A minute before half-time, he
took a blow to the face. With blood dripping from his mouth he tore off the
captain’s armband, ripped off his shirt and stormed from the stadium to the
airport.

He was 27, the great Dynamo Kiev generation that reached the Champions
League semi-final in 1999 was ageing and Ukraine had gone five games
without a win.

The appointment of Oleg Blokhin as coach was generally regarded as a
disaster. Yet a little over two years later, Ukraine are in the last eight
of the World Cup. The USSR only got beyond this stage once.

The turnaround resulted from a moment of diplomacy from Blokhin, who has
been an MP for eight years. Publicly he defended Shevchenko but privately he
sought a tete-a-tete. A captain, Blokhin told Shevchenko, has certain
responsibilities, a country’s best player even more. That was the stick,
then came the carrot: “Without the national team,” he said, “you can forget
about the Ballon d’Or.”

Shevchenko was convinced and he came back with renewed vigour, though it was
only in Blokhin’s 10th game in charge, away to Kazakhstan, that he achieved
his first win. Fortunately, that was the second match in World Cup
qualifying and followed a draw in Denmark. That December, Shevchenko was
named European Player of the Year.

That the two should share such an obvious bond is only natural, and not just
because both backed Viktor Yanukovych, the “wrong” candidate, during the
Orange Revolution. Blokhin, like Shevchenko, was a forward brought up at
Dynamo Kiev and coached by Valeriy Lobanovskyi.

Blokhin, Ballon d’Or winner in 1975, was arguably the first great
Lobanovskyi player; Shevchenko is certainly the last. “The Colonel” died
four years ago and things are changing. It is hard to imagine Lobanovskyi
countenancing the dinked penalty with which the 21-year-old Artem Milevskyi
opening the scoring in Monday’s shoot-out with Switzerland.

Lobanovskyi remains a misunderstood figure in the west, his belief in
systems and the value of statistics leading many to conclude he was no more
than a socialist version of Charles Hughes, the FA technical director whose
beliefs legitimised long-ball football in the 1980s. Possession was all to
Lobanovskyi, and he would have his teams learn set moves. The analogy,
according to his collaborator Professor Anatoliy Zelentsov, was to chess.

At its best, Lobanovskyi’s ideal could produce passing moves of aching
beauty, but individuality could prosper within his systems too, as was
demonstrated by Blokhin in the 1975 Super Cup final when Dynamo beat
Bayern Munich.

Back then, Dynamo functioned almost as a Ukraine national side, but there is
a modern urge for genuine national achievement. That is partly political, to
unite the east and west of the country, but it is also to do with a need to
continue the line of great Ukrainian footballers.

As Ukraine prepare for tonight’s quarter-final against Italy in Hamburg they
have been repeatedly reminded that Lobanovskyi’s finest moments as USSR
coach came against the same opposition in the same country, a 2-0 win in the
semi-final of the 1988 European Championship. Eight of the 12 Soviets who
played that day, including the two goalscorers, Henadiy Litovchenko and Oleg
Protasov, were Ukrainian.

Marcello Lippi, the Italy coach, has spoken of the influence that match had
over his thinking. “Back then,” he said, “we all learned from Lobanovskyi.”

Ukraine are hoping to put his lessons into practice one last time. -30-
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5. WASHINGTON WIZARDS BASKETBALL TEAM MAKE UKRAINIAN
OLEKSIY PECHEROV THEIR FIRST DRAFT CHOICE

By Ivan Carter, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Thu, June 29, 2006; Page E01

WASHINGTON – In a draft that was widely thought to be devoid of
instant-impact prospects, the Washington Wizards didn’t expect to land a
player who would elevate them from playoff team to championship contender.

However, the Wizards hope they came away with a potential star of the future
when they used the 18th pick to select forward Oleksiy Pecherov, a
20-year-old native of Ukraine who recently completed a season playing for
Paris Basket Racing of the French Pro A League.

The selection of the 7-foot, 210-pound Pecherov concluded a scouting process
that led Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld to Europe
to see Pecherov play this spring.

It is the first time the Wizards have used a first-round pick on an
international player, and the team continued the international trend in the
second round with the selection of Vladimir Veremeenko, a 6-10, 230-pound
forward who is a native of Belarus and plays professionally in Russia.

The Wizards hosted both players in pre-draft workouts at Verizon Center
earlier this month but it is Pecherov who has drawn the most interest from
NBA teams. Though still developing physically, Pecherov has been on the
radar of NBA scouts since his performance for the Ukrainian national team in
the 2005 European Championships.

“It will depend on him when he will be ready,” Grunfeld said of Pecherov.
“We’ll work with him over the course of the summer and see where he is. When
you are drafting at that position, it’s hard for that type of player to come
in and make an immediate impact on a playoff team with 12 players under
contract.”

In 23 games, Pecherov averaged 11.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 21 minutes per
game for Paris Basket Racing, which plays in the top French league. He also
played professionally in Ukraine.

Pecherov attended the draft at Madison Square Garden last night and will be
in Washington today. He will join second-year Wizards Andray Blatche and
Donell Taylor and other prospects when summer league play opens July 6 in
Las Vegas. The Wizards do not know whether Veremeenko will be available for
summer league.

According to Grunfeld, Pecherov has a buyout on his contract with Paris
Basket Racing but the Wizards liked him enough to pass on several
first-round candidates, including guard Quincy Douby, who went 19th to
Sacramento, guard Rajon Rondo, who went 21st to Phoenix, and forward Josh
Boone, who went 23rd to New Jersey.

“He has an NBA talent — shooting the basketball, rebounding the basketball
and he runs the floor well,” Grunfeld said. “And he’s extremely competitive.
He’s not afraid to mix it up.”

One scouting service described Pecherov as “a very skilled big man who can
play both inside and out. Decent athlete. Excellent shooter. Has the ability
to put the ball on the floor though that seems to be somewhat diminished as
he’s filling out. Has developed into an excellent rebounder.”

Pecherov has a solid command of English — a skill he picked up while
playing professionally in Ukraine and in Paris — and said he has patterned
his game after the most successful international player in the NBA, Dallas
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.

‘I try to learn from every experience but I like Dirk Nowitzki,” Percherov
said. “He’s a great player. He’s from Europe. He has the same skills like
me so I think he’s a good example for me to be like in the future. I will
keep working hard and we’ll see in the future.”

“I think this is a sign that our scouts did a real good job.” said Wizards
Coach Eddie Jordan, who saw both players work out prior to the draft.
Pecherov “has a lot of skills, a lot of toughness. He has good size. If all
the stars fall right, maybe he can help this year.” -30-
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6. UKRAINIAN OLEKSIY PECHEROV GROWS ON WIZARDS
Former Soccer Player Developing on the Basketball Court

By Ivan Carter, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Wash, D.C. Fri, June 30, 2006; Page E01

WASHINGTON – Oleksiy Pecherov plans to be in front of a television
today when the Ukrainian soccer team takes on Italy in the World Cup.

During a news conference officially announcing his arrival as the
first-round draft choice of the Washington Wizards yesterday afternoon,
Pecherov’s eyes lit up at the mere mention of today’s match. “Football is
the big thing in Ukraine,” Pecherov said. “Our team is doing a good job and
I hope they beat Italy.”

Wizards draft pick Oleksiy Pecherov has only played basketball for five
years but his development has been swift.

The Toronto Raptors select Italy’s Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 pick in an
unpredictable draft that saw four of the top seven picks switch teams by the
middle of the first round.

The Wizards use the 18th pick to select forward Pecherov, a 20-year-old
native of Ukraine.

George Washington guard Danilo Pinnock and Cincinnati swingman James
White are the only two players drafted with D.C.-area ties.

Had circumstances been different, Pecherov might have had a career in
soccer. However, nature had other plans as Pecherov, now 20, has grown to 6
feet 11 with a smooth shooting stroke and outstanding agility for a person
his size, something he attributes to his background on the soccer pitch.

“I started out playing football but I kept growing and growing,” said
Pecherov, who has been playing basketball for only five years. “Once I
started playing basketball, that’s all I cared about, all I read about. It
was all I wanted to do. It is my favorite game.”

And it has him on the cusp of playing in the NBA. The Wizards used the 18th
pick to take Pecherov in Wednesday’s draft and feel that with time, he has
the kind of talent that could steal him a few headlines back in soccer-mad
Ukraine.

Wizards officials traveled to France to watch Pecherov play for Paris Basket
Racing this spring and were intrigued by the lanky forward with deadly
outside shooting skills and solid rebounding ability.

They grew more impressed on June 1, when Pecherov had a strong head-to-head
workout against Hilton Armstrong, a center from Connecticut who was selected
by New Orleans with the 12th pick. Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan was on hand
for that workout and rattled off a few things that intrigued him about
Pecherov, who has been compared to Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.

“The fact that with his size he can get off a shot,” Jordan said. “That he’s
versatile with the ball off the floor, off the dribble, that he can get his
shot off either on catch-and-shoots or off the dribble. He has some nice
skills.”

Paris Basket Racing, which plays in the French Pro A league, is the same
team that produced San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker. Pecherov is currently
on loan to Paris Basket Racing and holds an $800,000 buyout option with his
original team in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Wizards can pay up to $500,000 of that buyout if they feel that Pecherov
is ready to play next season. That will be decided starting Thursday when
Pecherov plays for Washington’s summer league team in Las Vegas. The squad
will include last year’s draft pick, forward Andray Blatche, as well as
second-year guard Donell Taylor and third-year center Peter John Ramos.

While expressing excitement over the prospect of playing in the NBA,
Pecherov said he would be open to returning to Europe.

“It depends on the team,” said Pecherov, who averaged 11.2 points and 6.3
rebounds in 23 games in Paris last season. “If they want me right away, I
will stay. If they need me to stay in Europe, I will stay one more year in
Europe and improve myself. I think this is a good situation for me.”

Several NBA teams have experienced success by drafting an international
player and then waiting for that player to develop overseas before bringing
him to the United States.

The best example may be Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, a native of Argentina who
played in Italy when the Spurs chose him in the second round of the 1999
draft. Ginobili remained in Italy until 2002, and the result was a seasoned,
polished and physically developed player who has helped the Spurs win two
championships.

Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, Pacers guard Peja Stojakovic and Nets center
Nenad Krstic also spent years overseas after being drafted before making
their NBA debuts. Pecherov’s overall skills appear to be ideal for Jordan’s
Princeton-style offense.

“It excites me about him,” Jordan said. “It excites me that a guy at seven
feet can do those things: pass, shoot, play on the perimeter, and yet he’s
tough enough to take some hits inside and he’s a good defensive rebounder.
But again, we have to see how his international experience and what he does
in summer league translates into October.”

Pecherov’s first order of business yesterday was figuring out where he was
going to watch today’s big World Cup match. “I can’t wait to see Washington
and get to know this city,” said Pecherov, who has been assigned jersey No.
14. “I think I will like it very much here.”

Wizards Note: Second-round pick Vladimir Veremeenko was not in Washington
yesterday. Veremeenko is under contract to Dynamo St. Petersburg and is
expected to remain in Russia for at least another year, but the Wizards
would like to bring him to Las Vegas for summer league. -30-
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7. RADA FAILS TO START WORK – BLOCKED BY PARTY OF REGIONS

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, June 30, 2006

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada failed to open its meeting on Friday, June 30, as
the Party of Regions faction continues to block the presidium of the parliament.
On Friday morning, the Verkhovna Rada conciliatory council failed to reach
an agreement to put the work of the parliament back on track.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the parliamentary faction of the Party
of Regions has been blocking the work of the parliament since June 27,
saying that it wants to prevent election of the prime minister and
parliament speaker as a single package in violation of parliamentary
regulations, prevent amendment of the regulations themselves, and prevent
distribution of parliamentary committees exclusively among members of the
parliamentary coalition.

On June 27, the Party of Regions faction leader Viktor Yanukovych said the
party would continue blocking the work of the parliament, unless the
coalition fulfils the conditions of the party’s ultimatum. -30-
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8. WHAT ABOUT THE BANDITS?

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko & Co. promised to put a whole list
of “bandits” in jail, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way

One of the rallying calls of the Orange Revolution was “Put the bandits in
jail!” Most Ukrainians may not have understood the finer points of what
they’d been called on to defend on the freezing streets of their capital in
late 2004, but they had an intuitive understanding that ever since their
country gained independence, a small group of well-connected people – call
them oligarchs or mafia – had bled the state dry at the expense of everyone
else.

Now, as this week’s front-page article in the Post points out, Ukrainians’
trust in those who promised them a just society a year-and-a-half ago is not
much higher than it was in the former regime of President Leonid Kuchma,
which seemed to represent everything that was wrong with the authorities.

Does anyone remember Serhiy Kivalov, who headed the country’s Central
Electoral Commission during the 2004 presidential elections, widely
condemned as fraudulent by everyone but the Russians?

Kivalov was never charged for the mass vote rigging that took place under
his nose, but Yushchenko’s new interior minister, Yury Lutsenko, publicly
called on Kivalov to show up for questioning about another criminal case.
Kivalov eventually returned from Moscow and was promptly instated as the
rector of a legal academy in Odessa.

How about former governor of Sumy Region Volodymyr Shcherban? After the
Orange Revolution, Lutsenko and Prosecutor-General Sviatoslav Piskun, who
Yushchenko had left in place since the Kuchma days, accused Shcherban of
abuse of office and extortion, prompting him to flee to the U.S ., where he
was soon detained for visa violations.

Kyiv threatened to extradite the former governor, but it turns out that
Shcherban still enjoyed local deputy immunity from prosecution under a law
that has since been annulled. Shcherban had been a member of Yushchenko’s
Our Ukraine faction, with which he was elected to parliament in 2002, before
joining a pro-Kuchma faction and being appointed governor. Is Shcherban one
of the bandits Yushchenko and Co. had referred to?

Then there was the governor of Kyiv Region – Anatoliy Zasukha. Like
Shcherban, he also disappeared when the people from Maidan came to power.
Shcherban is still in the U.S., but recent rumors have it that Zasukha has
already come home, as the PGO dropped its case against him in May, citing
the same deputy immunity law: Zasukha served as governor and head of the
Kyiv Regional Council concurrently, which is illegal.

Top cop Lutsenko has threatened to open another criminal case, which
unfortunately will have to be prosecuted by the same prosecutor that
cancelled the first one, Oleksandr Medvedko. Like his predecessor Piskun,
Medvedko is more closely associated with the political parties that
supported Kuchma and Party of Regions head Viktor Yanukovych, who
opposed Yushchenko in the 2004 presidential elections.

Zasukha’s wife Tatiana is also a Regions lawmaker, which means she also
can’t be prosecuted, although Interior Ministry reports from last year
suggest that she helped her husband flee the country.

The governor of Donetsk, Borys Kolesnikov, was one of the few officials
under the Kuchma regime who actually ended up spending time behind bars, but
he has been released and now also a has seat in the new parliament, also
with the Regions party. Kolesnikov was released by freshly elected Regions
lawmaker Piskun.

As Yushchenko continues his public duel with former Orange ally Yulia
Tymoshenko, the Regions party is increasingly mentioned by Our Ukraine
faction members as a possible coalition partner.

And how about Ihor Bakai, former head of Ukraine’s state oil and gas company
Naftohaz Ukrayiny and more recently in charge of managing lucrative state
property under Kuchma? It was in this last position that Bakai allegedly
bilked the state out of almost a billion hryvnias before fleeing to Russia,
where he supposedly now has citizenship.

Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has pledged to defend
Bakai against extradition. But this isn’t the only friend Bakai has: During
a recent media interview, Bakai counted close Yushchenko ally Petro
Poroshenko among people with whom he has good relations.

All these ‘cases’ raise an important question. If none of these people
hounded and jailed by the government and put or kept in place by the
president are bandits, then just who did Yushchenko mean when he promised to
jail the people’s persecutors a year-and-a-half ago? What about those
bandits? -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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9. ON PROSPECTS FOR THE NEW ORANGE COALITION
“The coalition should not be formed by fomenting war”

COMMENTARY FOR DEN: By James Sherr
The Day Weekly Digest in English, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 27 June 2006

One should try to be hopeful. But Ukraine needs more than hope.
Democracy exists in Ukraine, but it is not yet irreversible. It won’t be
irreversible until the forces of the old order know that they cannot survive
if they carry on in the old way. The old order in Central Europe grasped
this point more than a decade ago.

But Ukraine’s Party of Regions has not grasped it, and so far it has had no
reason to. It will not fragment, transform or mutate until it knows it has
no future as a national force and only a steadily diminishing future as a
regional one. Can a new Orange coalition launch this process, or will it
once again disappoint and demoralise the country?

One must also be realistic. Coalition government should be built on
accommodation, not the internalisation of war. The juxtaposition of
Tymoshenko and Poroshenko is a recipe for internal war: a war relaunched
without so much as a prior truce.

Why has this combination been chosen? Yulia Tymoshenko is certainly more
popular than BYuT, which secured 22 per cent of the vote. Petro Poroshenko
is certainly less popular than Nasha Ukraina, which secured 14 per cent of
the vote.

So why has Mr Poroshenko been nominated to the most powerful position in
the parliament of a country that is becoming a parliamentary republic? Does
his nomination not tell us just how closely business remains connected to
power in Orange Ukraine?

What will the punters [pontyoriy] make of all of this? I think it is
unlikely they will be betting on success. It is equally unlikely that
Regions will be betting on its rivals’ success. If, instead, backchannel
accommodations between members of the Orange factions and Regions
proliferate, then Regions will prepare for power.

In doing so, they will exploit their comparative advantages: a strong
vertical of authority, a good distillation of Western and Russian PR and the
ruthless employment of financial resources to penetrate administrative
structures. Will Yulia Tymoshenko be an effective foil [rapira] to this?
Will she be given effective help? That is now what we need to watch.
——————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: The views are strictly those of the author, not of the British
government. James Sheer is a Fellow at the Fellow, Conflict Studies
Research Centre, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. E-mail:
james.sherr@lincoln.oxford.ac.uk)
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/164442/
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[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10. CHOICE FOR UKRAINE PM IS THE LEAST OF ALL EVILS

Letter-To-The-Editor: By Maxim Glinkin. editor of the politics
section of Vedomosti, where this comment was published.
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jun 30, 2006

Yulia Tymoshenko’s return as prime minister in Ukraine was at once expected

and hard to believe. Everything seemed to go against this latest twist in the
career of the Gas Princess — a career that has alternated between government
service, the threat of prison and Independence Square during the Orange
Revolution.
Working against her was her stint as head of a government recognized as a
failure by just about every major politician in the country with the exception
of Tymoshenko herself. Also against her was the relative electoral success
of Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions. The entire logic of the
negotiations to form a coalition was against her. Nonetheless, Ukraine’s Iron
Lady came out on top.

Those familiar with the talks describe Tymoshenko as an extremely able
negotiator — clever, subtle, not afraid to play on opponents’ weaknesses
and a master at blackmail. She also wields exclusive influence with the
president, openly stating that the most important thing was to meet
personally with Viktor Yushchenko. But are these really the qualities you
look for in a head of government? Tymoshenko’s first turn at the helm came
as a result of a deliberate choice on the part of Yushchenko, but this time
around it seems to be the result of a lack of options. This is the blind
alley the country’s political elites have reached.

In essence, Yushchenko opted for Tymoshenko as the least of all evils.
Yanukovych turned out to be intransigent, delivering demands and ultimatums,
while the president’s own Our Ukraine party feared a coalition with the
Party of the Regions would be political suicide. It didn’t help that
deputies in the Ukrainian parliament are constantly jumping from faction to
faction. What it costs to have a Ukrainian deputy change positions is common
knowledge and is discussed as widely as the price of gas.

The second coming of Tymoshenko is a symptom of democracy, Ukrainian style.

This democracy can best be described as unmanaged and, compared with the
managed variety, seems to come up short. On one hand, it increases the role
of the electorate while taking into account the opinion of the parliamentary
minority.

On the other, it generates corruption, a continuing power vacuum
and economic instability. This kind of democracy is not only unpopular with
Moscow, but possibly also with Washington. Last week, U.S. President George
W. Bush announced he would not visit Kiev before the July G8 summit in St.
Petersburg, and Sunday brought the announcement that NATO was not planning
to make Ukraine a member. -30-

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[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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11. A JOYLESS COALITION

By Olena YAKHNO, The Day, Luka HRYNENKO
The Day Weekly Digest in English #20, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue June 27, 2006

At long last Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party
of Ukraine have formed a parliamentary coalition. Roman Bezsmertny’s motion
to postpone the date of its announcement until Friday [June 22 being the
anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union], caused a stormy
response from the Party of Regions.

So the negotiating parties decided to close the issue so as not to irritate
their colleagues any further, considering that their condition was
lamentable enough; they thought victory was so close.

On June 22 Tymoshenko formally announced that the Orange camp had finally
reached an agreement. Her speech gave the tragic date an entirely different
coloration. “I think it is important to note that this coalition commences
today, under the new constitution, when 65 years ago the people of Ukraine,
together with the people of the Soviet Union, began their struggle against
the aggressor.

Today we are beginning our struggle for a democratic Ukraine, cleansed of
all that dirt of corruption, so we can be proud of the country of which our
forefathers dreamed, all those who fought for its independence.” She
stressed that this struggled ended in victory, and so will this coalition’s
struggle (even though this coalition is likely to struggle with itself in
the first place – Ed.).

Tymoshenko went on to say that the situation in Ukraine largely depends on
official appointments. She was right.

The Day previously wrote about the incorrect quota principle and
revolutionary expediency practiced by the first post-Maidan coalition. The
Orange camp’s people, interviewed by this newspaper shortly before and after
the last government crisis, admitted that the quota approach was wrong.

Now that there is a fresh smell of power in the air, we will see whether
they remember their statements any time soon. From what is stated below it
is clear that once again appointments have been assigned to coalition
members on a quota basis, although the names have not been announced.

In her speech at the Verkhovna Rada, Tymoshenko lashed out at the Party of
Regions. The BYuT leader said they should kiss good-bye to their hopes of
taking over political power “after 10 years of ruination.” In fact, this
part of Tymoshenko’s speech was not especially pleasing to the ear, as there
was no mistaking the gloating tone of her voice.

After all, there are years before the next elections, so a constructive
approach would seem more appropriate under the circumstances, especially in
regard to a rather strong opposition that makes up almost one-half of the
Ukrainian parliament.

It is also safe to assume that the electorate has become sick and tired of
the political shows over the past couple of months; shows that turned out to
be cheap farces for the most part. Indeed, the Party of Regions did its best
to torpedo a broad coalition.

Language and anti-NATO recommendations proved to be the wrong way to
influence Our Ukraine. Whatever the arguments in favor of a “broad format”
coalition, the Orange electorate would regard the signing of an agreement
between Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions as an act of capitulation.

Of course, one ought to wish the newly established coalition Godspeed
because Ukraine’s well-being and progress will depend on their stable and
professional performance. There is the risk that, before dedicating every
effort to combating economic problems, the new coalition will have to deal
with a great many internal differences, including personal issues that are
not likely to have been resolved in the course of negotiations.

Mykhailo Pozhyvanov of Rukh made an interesting statement on June 22, to the
effect that his party does not like way the posts were assigned within the
coalition. The parliamentarian stressed that they will not recall their
signatures, of course. “I am sure that if they keep up this practice,
without considering the opinion of the People’s Rukh of Ukraine, for
example, or other entities that created the bloc Our Ukraine, 17 MPs will
always be found, who will be able to block the coalition’s further work.”

The Verkhovna Rada is in recess until Tuesday (June 27). The coalition must
resolve a number of formal and cadre issues during its meeting, especially
in regard to the speaker. Roman Zvarych says he has learned about a meeting
of the Political Council of the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of
Ukraine from media coverage and that PIEU leader Anatoliy Kinakh was
nominated as candidate speaker. Earlier Our Ukraine announced that their
candidate was Petro Poroshenko.

Zvarych commented on the deputy prime minister’s candidacy, saying that the
Verkhovna Rada’s Standing Orders read that it takes a general meeting of the
coalition: “Of course, Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc will have the post, but
formal procedures must be observed.” Nor should one ignore President
Yushchenko’s stand; he made it clear that he would not endorse the prime
minister’s candidature before the justices of the Constitutional Court are
sworn in.

On June 22 the president was pleased to inform journalists in the village of
Nova Petrivka that all the “t’s” had been crossed in the coalition-forming
process. When he was asked whether the process was actually complete, the
head of state replied, “I believed that it is, by and large.

I would also like to ask you to assess it with a great degree of patience
because a majority efficiency test is being performed in parliament for the
first time in 15 years.” The president noted that even clauses that are not
regulated by the constitution and other laws had been agreed upon during the
talks.

Whether or not these arrangements last will depend on a number of subjective
and objective factors. Will the politicians learn from their mistakes? How
will the team perform in the conditions of a prognosticated crisis? The Day
posed these questions to its political analysts.

COMMENTARY
[1] Volodymyr MALYNKOVYCH , Ukrainian Branch, International Institute

for Humanitarian and Political Studies:

This coalition has its pluses and minuses. It unites very different forces;
it includes five, maybe six blocs, rather than three. Our Ukraine alone
comprises three rival groups.

There are Socialist Party groups with differences in their stands. True, the
BYuT is a coalition designed to serve only one political figure; it may have
dissatisfied members but they keep quiet. The coalition is a markedly motley
crowd.

The document they have signed contains a number of controversial provisos
and implementing them will prove to be a sophisticated process, especially
the one concerning NATO. We know that we have a NATO membership plan.
How will the different political groups within this coalition behave when it
comes time to carry out this plan?

There are many such examples. In other words, this alliance is rather vague
ideologically, yet I believe that this aspect isn’t that important
ideologically because it will not hurt the coalition’s longevity.

I am not one of those who believe that this coalition will collapse soon. If
Tymoshenko comes up with a program next spring, they will feel pretty
confident during the year. In the spring of 2007 Viktor Yushchenko will have
to worry about having Tymoshenko in opposition and thus having actually
deprived himself of being elected for the second term.

Tymoshenko, as an opposition leader, will simply never let him make the
second round of the presidential campaign; she will have snatched the rest
of his electorate from him. Even now Yushchenko is scared by this scenario
and will be scared even more as the election date approaches.

Neither do I think that the Party of Regions should count on obtaining quick
access to power. In fact, I believe that this party feels quite comfortable
in opposition as a business project rather than a political party. They will
have to work hard to create a full-fledged and influential party.

How will the economic situation evolve in the presence of this coalition? A
most realistic option would be for both parts of Ukraine – those influenced
by Our Ukraine and by the Party of Regions – to unite.

This hasn’t happened, so the situation looks more complicated. Tymoshenko
will have to display a great deal of flexibility in (a) persuading business
circles in the east of Ukraine that business can be done with her, and (b)
persuading Russia that she is its great friend. An intergovernmental
protocol will have to be signed in the nearest future.

I think Russia’s requirements will be extremely harsh; I also believe that
Tymoshenko will have to concur with most of them, even though she will try
to portray this as though everything depended on her. She has no
alternative. This flexibility may also help her push Ukraine through a
complicated period. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will, of course, take a
vividly populist stand, but she will actually conduct no populist policy.

The Maidan is history and the next elections are far ahead. This leads me to
assume that she will take a pragmatic stand, but will keep up her populist
rhetoric.

As for the Tymoshenko-Poroshenko combination, I don’t think their relations
will be normal. Their respective stands are incompatible. Today the Speaker
of the Verkhovna Rada is not a very important figure. Lytvyn’s days are
over. There is the coalition’s secretariat and they will vote for a number
of issues duly agreed upon.

Decisions will be made not by the Verkhovna Rada but by the coalition’s
secretariat. The prime minister cuts a much stronger figure now than last
year, when s/he could be fired by the president at any moment. In other
words, Tymoshenko will find it much easier to compete with Poroshenko.

[2] Vadym KARASIOV, Director, Institute of Global Strategies:

I believe that this event ends the revolutionary cycle that started in 2004.
It’s a step forward, of course, in terms of political and perhaps national
development. Needless to say, this Orange family isn’t going to face a
cloudless future; there will be ideological differences and personal
ambitions, the more so that in the end-game phase Our Ukraine suddenly
nominated Petro Poroshenko as speaker. Although the situation reminds one of
what happened in the spring and summer of 2005, the alignment of political
forces is essentially different.

Will the Poroshenko-Tymoshenko combination be marked by conflict? I
wouldn’t overstate the situation, because both politicians are currently bound
by both coalition protocol and even broader political obligations assumed by
the Orange Coalition.

Poroshenko and Tymoshenko realize that they won’t have another chance. In
the face of a rather serious opposition (the Party of the Regions and the
Communists hold 206 seats in parliament), neither has a right to make a
mistake. This overall containing factor is bound to reduce conflicts to a
minimum and can make this coalition sufficiently stable and lasting.

Under the circumstances, one can expect the Ukrainian government to show a
more or less stable performance until the second half of 2008. Other reasons
and a different alignment of political forces might appear prior to the
elections scheduled for 2009. Then a more autonomous and conflictual game
could start being played. However, this prognosis is conventional; we still
have to see what happens in 2009. So far the whole Orange Coalition is under
“cloudless skies.”

As regards the economic policy, I expect it to be pragmatic and that
unpopular decisions will have to be made. Tymoshenko, however, appears to
possess a unique quality; she can use any unpopular decision to boost her
image. Therefore, she won’t be afraid of unpopular decisions. Also, the main
coalition figures are aware of having this unique historic chance and are
cognizant of their own historic mission.

[3] Kost BONDARENKO, Director, National Strategy Institute:

This turned out to be a hysterical rather than historical event because all
the arrangements were made on a hasty and slapdash basis. There are still
outstanding differences. Another spectacular fact is that the two leading
branches of power will be headed by polarized figures.

First of all, this coalition is fraught with serious controversies. Second,
Yulia Tymoshenko is shouldering a burden that she may well not be able to
bear. She is taking charge of the main ministries; perhaps she regards them
as sinecures.

On the other hand, she will have to assume the greatest degree of
responsibility for them. This and the approaching economic crisis make it
possible to forecast that this coalition won’t last long. Another
possibility is that the next session of the Verkhovna Rada will raise the
matter of retiring the current government, all the more so as Tymoshenko won’t
have critical immunity: during the negotiations it was decided that the
government’s action would not be approved by the Verkhovna Rada, so
Tymoshenko would be unable to be prime minister for a long time.

I believe that after Tymoshenko sustains a blow from a crisis, her departure
to the opposition won’t be that damaging for Yushchenko. Indeed, I think she
has already sung her swan song. -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/164299/
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========================================================
12. ROSUKRENERGO MAY LEAVE UKRAINE GAS PRICE UNCHANGED

Greg Walters, Dow Jones Newswires, Moscow, Russia, Fri, June 30, 2006

MOSCOW – Swiss-registered natural gas trader RosUkrEnergo will most likely
leave gas prices for sales to Ukraine unchanged at $95 for 1,000 cubic
meters in July, deputy chief executive of Russian natural gas monopoly OAO
Gazprom (GSPBEX.RS) said Friday, Russian newswire Interfax reported.

Gazprom owns 50% of RosUkrEnergo, which is half-owned by Ukrainian
businessmen and is the monopoly importer of gas into Ukraine.

The announcement appears to be a reversal by Ryazanov, who had said only
days ago that RosUkrEnergo would increase prices starting July 1.

But Ryazanov also cautioned that a decision on the price had not been taken,
Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

An agreement to periodically recalculate Ukraine’s gas price based on global
prices was reached in January, following a bitter dispute over the price at
which Ukraine buys gas from Russia.

The dispute culminated in Russia shutting off gas supplies to Ukraine for a
brief period shortly after the new year. Ukraine began siphoning Russian gas
exports to Europe passing by pipeline through Ukraine, causing several
European consumers of Russian gas exports to register dropping gas import
levels.

Yet the deal brokered between Russia and Ukraine in January – under which
RosUkrEnergo would buy some gas from Russia and cheaper gas from central
Asia and sell gas to Ukraine at a blend price – has since come under fire
from several sides.

Yulia Tymoshenko, who is expected to become Ukraine’s next prime minister,
has called for a new gas deal with Russia without the involvement of
intermediary companies.

Saparmurant Niyazov, president of Turkmenistan, has demanded from Gazprom
a drastic increase in the price at which it sells gas. Gazprom sells large
amounts of Turkmen gas to RosUkrEnergo for sale to Ukraine. -30-
———————————————————————————————-
By Greg Walters, greg.walters@dowjones.com
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Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13. RUSSIA UNDECIDED OVER GAS PRICE HIKE FOR UKRAINE

ALEX NICHOLSON, AP Worldstream, Moscow, Russia, Fri, Jun 30, 2006

MOSCOW – A senior official at state-controlled gas giant OAO Gazprom said
Friday that Russia has not yet decided whether it will increase the price for
the price could be hiked.

“The decision on raising the gas price for Ukraine from July 1 has not been
taken yet,” the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Gazprom Deputy CEO
Alexander Ryazanov as saying.

The Gazprom head threatened earlier to hike the price, even though Ukraine’s
state-owned Naftogaz gas and oil company argues that the current price of
US$95 (A76) per 1,000 cubic meters is valid for five years unless both sides
agree to review it.

Under the current deal that defused an earlier bitter fight over gas prices,
Ukraine receives all of its imported natural gas at that price from a
little-known intermediary company, RosUkrEnergo, a joint venture between
Gazprom and Centragas Holding AG.

According to the terms of the agreement, Gazprom sells Russian and cheaper
Central Asian gas to RosUkrEnergo, which then sells it at the blended price
of US$95 (A76) to Ukraine. Previously Ukraine had paid US$50 (A40) for gas
from Russia.

However, Turkmenistan, a main contributor to the gas Gazprom sells to
RosUkrEnergo, has sought to increase its prices from the current US$65 (A52)
per 1,000 cubic meters to US$100 (A80), raising fears that the cost could be
passed on to Ukrainian consumers.

The gas-rich Central Asian country has warned that it will cut exports to
Russia if Gazprom does not accept the new price by September. Ryazanov noted
Friday that the current contract with Turkmenistan would remain in force
until between September 23 and 27.

The situation could be further complicated by demands from Ukraine’s Yulia
Tymoshenko, who is widely expected to become the ex-Soviet republic’s prime
minister, to revise the agreement. Tymoshenko argues the contract is not
transparent, saying there is no need for an intermediary company. -30-
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14. FITCH LAUNCHES NATIONAL RATING SCALE IN UKRAINE

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, June 29, 2006

KYIV – The Fitch international rating agency has announced the launch of
its National ratings scale in Ukraine. This follows from a press release by
the agency, a copy of which was made available to Ukrainian News.

Fitch’s National ratings provide a relative measure of creditworthiness for
rated entities in countries with relatively low international sovereign
ratings and where there is a demand for such ratings. The best risk within a
country is rated ‘AAA’ and other credits are rated only relative to this
risk.

National ratings are designed for use mainly by local investors in local
markets and are signified by the addition of an identifier for the country
concerned, such as ‘AA+(ukr)’ for National ratings in Ukraine.

‘The National rating of ‘AA+(ukr)’ with a Stable Outlook assigned to Ukraine
becomes the benchmark against which all other issuers or issues within
Ukraine will be assessed. National ratings are maintained by the analytical
team in the agency’s Moscow office, with relevant assistance from
international offices,’ the statement reads.

Ukraine is the 30th country in which the National rating scale has been
introduced. National ratings are designed to indicate relative
creditworthiness of issuers and issues within one country.

By making available a complete range of notches on a separate national
scale, they permit better credit differentiation than is possible on the
international scale, where ratings tend to bunch below the sovereign
ceiling.

Fitch Ratings is a leading global rating agency committed to providing the
world’s credit markets with independent, timely and prospective credit
opinions.

Fitch Ratings is dual-headquartered in New York and London, operating
offices and joint ventures in more than 49 locations and covering entities
in more than 90 countries. As Ukrainian News reported, earlier Moody’s and
Standard&Poor’s international rating agencies also launched national rating
scales in Ukraine. -30-
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15. AUTHORITIES NOT INFORMED ABOUT MILITARY EXERCISE
Anatoliy Hrytsenko comments on the Crimean events

INTERVIEW: With Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Chairman, Crimean Parliament
By Mykyta Kasyanenko, Symferopil
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #20, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Jun 20, 2006

It is little wonder that many of Kyiv’s problems and oversights come to a
head in the Crimea of all places, above all for the simple reason that the
Crimea’s status of autonomous republic runs counter to the unitary setup of
Ukraine, because any autonomous entity always strives for greater
self-sufficiency.

Furthermore, there are foreign military facilities on the peninsula, whose
existence stirs up many both juridical and political disputes. The Crimean
land is a priceless treasure that many are trying to grab at any cost. This
land is also the ancestral home of the Crimean Tatars, who have come back
and now have to struggle for the right to be full-fledged citizens in their
native land.

The Crimea is very special owing to its multiethnic and multicultural
character. Every year it welcomes millions of CIS residents and, therefore,
should develop effectively in order to withstand competition from other
world holiday resorts.

Naturally, to a large extent the local authorities are responsible for the
development of and preservation of peace in the region. Above all, this
applies to the Supreme Council of the Crimea, the autonomous republic’s
government and its leadership.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, whom the new Crimean parliament elected as chairman, is
not new to this autonomous republic. He was born, raised, and educated in
the Crimea, and he has carved out a political and administrative career
here. Nor is he a novice as parliamentary speaker: Hrytsenko chaired the
Supreme Council in 1997-1998.

The recent events in the Crimea have propelled the newly-elected speaker to
political prominence in the peninsula. In his interview with The Day,
Hrytsenko reveals his opinion on the events in Feodosiya, cooperation
between Symferopil and Kyiv, and ways to solve the peninsula’s many
problems.

[The Day] “Mr. Hrytsenko, you used to say that the current Crimean
parliament, dominated by pro-Russian deputies, would be neither a ‘fifth
column’ nor ‘anti-Kyiv enclave’ in Ukraine. But even today the Crimean
parliament, whose members supported the decision of local councils to
declare the Crimea a ‘NATO-free territory,’ is regarded as a destabilizing
factor.

During your previous tenure as head of the Crimean parliament, you actively
opposed the separatist tendencies of Meshkov (president of the Crimea –
Ed.). This time around, will you again be playing the role of a peacemaking
speaker curbing the extremist passions of some parliamentarians?”

[Hrytsenko] “I interpret such phrases as ‘fifth column’ and ‘anti-Kyiv
enclave’ as pure journalese aimed at drawing their readers’ attention to the
problem. You have to understand that there is some exaggeration here.
Although there really are preconditions for a conflict with Kyiv, so far
they are only potential ones, and I will make every effort not to let them
materialize.

“At the same time, not only can there be work differences and debates, they
must exist. Contradictions arise from the Constitution of Ukraine itself
because there is an autonomy that is bound to lay claim to its own share of
power in any event. In particular, the Crimea will continue to insist on
greater economic powers, on the right to greater economic initiative and the
right to apply additional leverage for filling the budget.

“I see no reason why the center should deny us these rights. If the autonomy
has opportunities for boosting the budget through an economic experiment or
additional tax payments that would naturally stimulate the economy, instead
of being a burden on the public, why not allow us to do this?

“From the political angle, I would like Ukrainian politicians to adopt a
more balanced approach to the Crimean events and not provoke conflicts.
Those who have been elected to the Supreme Council of the Crimea and hold
leading posts are civil servants who have sworn an oath, and I am sure they
will observe the Constitution and laws of Ukraine. We are all aware that our
country has a president, and no matter what political party he may
represent, he is the head of state.

“So the Supreme Council of the Crimea is not going to be in opposition to
him. At the same time, we will be expressing our attitude to certain actions
of politicians and the decisions of some bodies that are destabilizing the
situation in the Crimean autonomy by, among other things, appealing to the
highest governmental bodies and the president. I think President Yushchenko
fought for this very right of the people on Independence Square. I hope the
time of uniformity of thought has gone forever in Ukraine.”

[The Day] “The Meshkov affair is usually recalled when separatism is
discussed. You were elected parliamentary speaker right after the
constitution was repealed. How did you manage to normalize the situation?”

[Hrytsenko] “The point is that Meshkov personally was the factor that
increased tensions both in Ukraine and the Crimea: as you remember, he even
had the Supreme Council building blocked and tried to dissolve parliament.
Some politicians now reproach me for working with Meshkov. Yes, I was in
parliament during his presidency, but we played different roles.

When he began subverting the sociopolitical situation in the country, a
group of deputies and I did our best to have Meshkov dismissed from office.
I had always defended the law and the unity of state by mobilizing MPs
against the separatism that Meshkov was encouraging in the Crimea. By the
way, I did not vote for the first constitution.

“After the constitution was abrogated, I was entrusted with restoring the
status quo. And together with the newly-formed majority I succeeded in
persuading parliament to pass the law on the Supreme Council of the Crimea,
which not only ensured stability but also turned our parliament into a
legitimate body. This law is still in force. We also managed to have the law
on elections to the Crimean Supreme Council passed and began to work on the
constitution. If you remember, only 17 out of 138 articles were not
approved.

“This means we were on the right track even then and might have averted some
of the difficulties that we are experiencing now. For example, if we had
approved the article that there are three official languages in the Crimea –
Ukrainian, Russian and Crimean Tatar – as we in fact intended, today there
would be no exacerbation of the language problem at all.”

[The Day] “Was it possible to predict what happened in Feodosiya?”

[Hrytsenko] “This is a totally unexpected exacerbation of the situation.
Clearly, Kyiv missed an opportunity to get parliament to allow the presence
of foreign troops. Because of this, the local authorities were not duly
informed about the forthcoming Sea Breeze-2006 exercise. But now it is
too late to discuss the root cause.

My efforts were aimed at warding off an even more dangerous showdown.
As a result, we managed, in spite of essential differences, to maintain stability
in parliament and suppress antagonism among the corps of deputies.”

[The Day] “Right now it is very important for the Crimea to spell out the
prospects for its development. Do you have a development strategy, and what
does it entail?”

[Hrytsenko] “We are going to form a task force in the nearest future to map
out a 15-year comprehensive program for our autonomous republic. We
already have a lot of programs and strategies, but they are either of a
sectoral or short-term nature, whereas the Crimea needs a long-term
comprehensive strategy.

“I am sure we can draw up quite a viable plan, but to apply any strategy you
need certain leverage, above all in financial terms. We used to criticize
the system where you had to ask Moscow to approve the development plan for
almost every village. But today we have an equally imperfect system of
budgetary relations. For example, 42 million hryvnias have been earmarked
for our social needs this year, but we still have to get the budget
utilization program approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

“Does the cabinet know our requirements better than we do? Why on earth do
we have to set aside considerable funds for the center and then to go there
and beg for subventions to tackle various problems? That is absurd. Does
this mean they want to burden the Crimea with economic problems so that it
won’t engage too much in politics? I think we must obtain the right to fill
our budget according to the constitution, which envisions that all tax
returns remain in the Crimea, while the center only receives funds for the
purposes of nationwide importance.

“By the way, it is not normal that Naftohaz Ukrainy should buy gas from
Chornomortnaftohaz at cost and we should beg for it, only to receive what
has been left over. Since Chornomornaftohaz is allowed to sell fuel to
individual consumers only, our industrial sector is fully dependent on gas
deliveries from Haz-Teplo, while irregular supplies of this gas impair the
entire sector.

When we are allowed to fill our own budget, we will be able to claim that
any strategy will be implemented, and people will see that the Crimean
authorities are efficient. The resort and recreational sector should become
the top priority of our strategy. These days we often say that our resorts
are far from world standards. Indeed, to bring this sector to the
international level, we need to give it sizable financial injections. But we
cannot do this simply by waving a magic wand.

If we are to build resort facilities, we should establish a special fund as
soon as possible and invest this money in the reconstruction of the
resort-oriented infrastructure. Only then will we have a stable taxpayer and
can establish a land sales fund; only then will our cities and villages
develop.

“Moreover, we should revise our resort strategy. I recently spoke to
Germany’s Ambassador to Ukraine Dietmar Stuedemann, who asked me:
why are you building 16-storey hotels in Yalta, because Europeans are
used to vacationing in cottages and will never come here? We are still
building hotels for prospective CIS vacationers, but their tastes will soon
change.

“Furthermore, we have not yet fully appreciated the Crimea’s healing factors
that are in high demand all over the world. Our mud-treatment hospitals are
mostly concentrated in Saky, although there are several salubrious water
reserves on the Kerch Peninsula, including unique Chokrak Lake, which has
4.5 million tons of argentiferous mud.

So far, private entrepreneurs are producing several dozen varieties of
cosmetics there, but this is a recreational Klondike that we are still
overlooking and do not take into account in our strategy.” -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/164004/
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[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16. UKRAINE: NATO DEMILITARIZATION PROJECT LAUNCHED
Largest Trust Fund project established by NATO and is the single
largest demilitarization project ever undertaken.


NATO, Brussels, Belgium, Monday, June 19, 2006

A contract was signed on 19 June 2006, at the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv,
between Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and the NATO Maintenance and Supply
Agency for the destruction of 1000 Man-portable Air Defence Missiles
(MANPADS).

This is the first element of the NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund
project to destroy surplus munitions and weapons in Ukraine. The destruction
of MANPADS took place on 20 June near the town of Shostka in Northeast
Ukraine.
A DEADLY LEGACY
As a legacy of the Cold War, Ukraine holds more than seven million surplus
small arms and light weapons and more than two million tons of excess
munitions.

The presence of such huge stockpiles is dangerous and represents a direct
threat to the safety of the population of Ukraine as well as a potential
security threat to the region. Three ammunition depots in Ukraine have
suffered devastating explosions in the last few years and the situation will
worsen as the stockpiles age and degrade.

The destruction of the MANPADS is the first step in the safe destruction of
1.5 million small arms and light weapons and 133,000 tons of munitions in
Ukraine. The tendering process for the equipment and facilities to undertake
the subsequent tasks will begin in due course.

LARGEST PROJECT EVER
It is the largest Trust Fund project established by NATO and is the single
largest demilitarization project ever undertaken.

The project, established at the request of Ukraine, is led by the United
States with funding from 13 other NATO Member and Partner Nations (Austria,
Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway,
Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom) and the European Union.

This is the second of three NATO Trust Fund projects to be established in
Ukraine. The first project, completed in 2003 in Donetsk, destroyed 400,000
anti-personnel landmines as part of Ukraine’s implementation of the Ottawa
Convention to eliminate landmines. A third Trust Fund project led by the
Netherlands was established in Khmelnitsky in January 2006 for the
retraining and resettlement of its redundant military personnel. -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2006/06-june/e0619a.htm
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17. RUSSIAN ENERGY POLICY TOWARDS UKRAINE –
BUSINESS OR BULLYING?
New Report: “Ukraine: Post-revolution Energy Policy & Relations with Russia”

Alica Henson, GMB Publishing Ltd, London, UK, Wed, June 28, 2006

LONDON – “Ukraine: Post-revolution Energy Policy and Relations with Russia”
was written by a close adviser to Ukraine’s President. This unique report
looks at how Russian energy interests – both political and private sector –
have interfered with Ukraine’s attempts to distance itself from Russia’s
sphere of influence.

Following Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, the Government of President Viktor
Yushchenko declared a new energy policy, the goals of which include the
diversification of oil and gas supply sources, the reform of the domestic
market, and the creation of strategic oil stock.

Ukraine’s search for more partners in the energy sphere has affected the
relationship between Ukraine and Russia, which has transformed from a
“brotherly” relationship to one of pragmatic interest.

The Ukrainian government’s attempts to reduce dependency on Russian energy
supply escalated into a bilateral dispute which reached crisis point in
December 2005 when Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, thus opening the
door to Europe’s worries over its dependence on Russia for gas which flows
through Ukraine’s gas pipelines.

Published in June 2006, by GMB Publishing Ltd., “Ukraine: Post-revolution
Energy Policy and Relations with Russia” provides instructive analysis of
the impact of Russian foreign energy policy towards Ukraine and, in
particular, provides an explanation of Ukraine’s post-revolution energy
policy and how it seeks to reduce Russian influence over its energy sector.

The Russia Foreign Energy Policy Report series establishes for the first
time the confluence of Russian foreign policy with the acquisition of
foreign energy assets by Russian entities. Nine specific country profiles
focus on the oil, gas, electricity and nuclear power industries. Each report
written by an author of international standing, explains how Russian foreign
energy downstream mergers and acquisitions are transpiring to consolidate
the new Russian empire.

EDITORS
Editor: Olena Viter is a Senior Adviser to the Operational Department of the
Secretariat of the President of Ukraine. She is Coordinator of Energy
Programs at the School of Policy Analysis, National University of
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and a member of the non-governmental Expert
Council on Energy Security.

Rostyslav Pavlenko, PhD (Political Science), is Head of Situation Analysis
Service of the Secretariat of President of Ukraine. Dr Pavlenko is also an
associate professor of Political Science at the National University of Kyiv
Mohyla Academy.

Mykhaylo Honchar is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian JSC
“Ukrtransnafta”. He also serves as Vice President of the non-governmental
“Strategy-1” Foundation. Between 1994 and 2000, he worked in the Council of
National Security and Defence, National Institute for Strategic Studies.

Series Editor: Dr. Kevin Rosner, PhD is a specialist in Russian oil and gas,
security of critical energy infrastructure, and international energy
security policy. He served as the 2006 Co-Director of the NATO Forum on
Energy Security. He is a Senior Fellow, both at the UK Defence Academy and
at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) in Washington
DC.

Posts held include Senior Security Advisor to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline company, Project Director with the Programme on Cooperation with
the Russian Federation at the OECD, and Project Manager with the UNESCO
Science Division in Paris. Dr. Rosner is the founder of Therosnergroup®,
serving leading members of the global oil and gas community with energy and
security analytical products.

The Russia Foreign Energy Policy Reports are factual case studies, written
by leading authorities on Russian hydrocarbons and critical energy
infrastructure protection, including Dr. Kevin Rosner, Dr. Ariel Cohen,
Liana Jervalidze, Dr. Harold Elletson, and Dr. Gregory Gleason.

ADDITIONAL NEW REPORTS
[1] “Gazprom and the Russian State” – part of the Russian Foreign Energy
Policy series.
[2] “Georgia: Russian Foreign Energy Policy and Implications for Georgia’s
Energy Security”
[3] “Russian Energy Policy During President Putin’s Tenure: Trends and
Strategies”

Global Market Briefings is the ultimate information resource for analysts,
entrepreneurs and companies trading internationally. Its respected list
includes The Doing Business with. series focusing on all 10 new EU member
states, and many other countries in the Central and Eastern European and CIS
regions, the Middle East and China.

In addition, GMB Publishing Ltd. also publishes “A Handbook of World Trade,
The Handbook of Country Risk 2006-2007, and other books and reports focusing
on a variety of international business topics.

For further information, to request a review copy, or to interview the
author, please contact Alica Henson, tel: 0207 843 1973, fax: 0207 843 1965;
email: ahenson@gmbpublishing.com.

£397 / $687 / Euro583 – Spiral-bound – 1 905050 31 3 – 40 pages – A4; An
electronic version is also available (ISBN 1 905050 77 1). Published by GMB
Publishing Ltd. in June, 2006.

Available from all good bookshops or direct from the publisher at GMB
Publishing Ltd, 120 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JN
Tel: 0207 278 0433 Fax: 0207 843 1965; Email: info@gmbpublishing.com,

Or order on line at www.globalmarketbriefings.com ; GMB Publishing Ltd. (US
Office), 525 S. 4th St., Suite 241, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA, Tel.: +1
215 928 9112. Email: gmbriefings@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
GMB Publishing Ltd; 120 Pentonville Road; London, N1 9JN
United Kingdom; E-mail: info@gmbpublishing.com;
www.globalmarketbriefings.com
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18. DYING TOWN? HOW TO SAVE THE UKRAINIAN PROVINCE?
The first thing is to develop local self-government

By Viktoria Herasymchuk, The Day Weekly Digest in English #20
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The main thing is a road – a good road along which civilization can reach a
small town, because civilization does not travel along bad roads. I was
pondering this after a preview of the US animated movie Cars, dubbed into
beautiful Ukrainian. It is set in a small town that died because the road
was destroyed and then resurrected after the road was restored.

I had to make a trip to another small town, not a fairy-tale or animated
film one-a good old Ukrainian provincial town. There is nothing remarkable
about it, no advanced infrastructure, no outstanding architectural sites,
and no large industrial projects. That is why the central authorities have
little interest in it, and even less so, the local government.

In the last while many official words have been pronounced about the rebirth
of the Ukrainian countryside, but not a word about the rebirth – or at least
survival – of the Ukrainian province.

The town begins where the decent road ends. Here you will find something you
will never see in Kyiv: the potholes in the asphalt are filled with crushed
stone (there is a major granite quarry in the vicinity). Some of the holes
are patched with pieces of fresh asphalt that are not even half a square
meter in size. The crushed stone is knocked out of other holes by feet and
tires.

The town is literally covered with crushed stone. There is more of it here
than garbage, which is also abundant. Here and there the asphalt distends,
rises, and falls to pieces, forming another pothole that will be filled with
crushed stone. As for patching it with asphalt, this is an unlikely
possibility.

The buildings lining the road match the road: flaking, dusty, best described
as disgusting. The Park of Culture and Relaxation is the only place
frequented by the local youth in the evenings and on weekends, not counting
several public gardens and, of course, the cafe.

The park is very beautiful, by the way. It used to be the town’s main focal
point – I guess even the capital doesn’t have such large parks, even though
it has so much greenery! It is better not to look down while you walk; all
the paving stones are broken and unchanged since Soviet times, although the
need to replace them is glaringly obvious.

The same is true of the benches; they are not only not replaced but never
painted. They stand there flaking year in and year out.

Once you are in the park, you have to stop on the bridge. Although it is in
hazardous condition, the sign and small fence blocking the entrance were
removed a few years ago. People are still using the bridge, now and then
joking darkly, “Can you feel it shaking?” It is not too big a problem
tidying up and renovating the park and the road, except that neither the
local authorities nor residents have shown enough enthusiasm. All the
“active” populace has since left for Kyiv (a short distance from this town).

The Day asked its experts about how to save the Ukrainian province.

COMMENTARIES
[1] Inna PILSUDSKA, president of the civic organization Europe XXI
Foundation:

(A) The first thing is to develop local self-government. I mean not just
declarations but changes on the legislative level and real budgetary reform.
Local money must be kept locally, where it has been collected.

(B) Second, private initiative must be encouraged, first and foremost, small
business. Residents of small towns must realize that small business is not
just retail trade.

(C) This brings us to the third factor: developing public opinion. It is
very important to turn the populace into a community capable of assuming
responsibility for the town and seeing ways of progress. There are many
techniques for developing a civic society throughout the world; some can be
applied in Ukraine. Such experiments have taken place and shown good
results.

Also, local authorities must also be responsible; they must initiate
positive changes, show effective management using gradual planning and
enlist all possible resources. Let me repeat myself: budgetary reform is a
very important factor. Once it is carried out, we’ll see positive changes –
of course, given local initiative.

[2] Andriy KOKOTIUKHA, writer and journalist:

First of all, we should we forget about the word “province” and stop
bandying it about left and right. I try to use the word “periphery” because
it’s more neutral and can be applied even to big cities; its lexical
connotation has not been vandalized yet. Once we stop treating the province
this way, we’ll make the first step toward rescuing it.

This isn’t enough, of course. Residents of small towns and big cities must
be on the same level. In all countries, even the most advanced ones, you
find a capital and a periphery. In the United States, for example, people
who live in small towns enjoy the same benefits of civilization as residents
of big cities.

In Ukraine there is social inequality in terms of opportunities, including
the lack of good movie theaters, books, newspapers, PCs with Internet
access; there is no information infrastructure.

But provincials can also be found living in downtown Kyiv – provincials in
spirit and mentality, like in that joke about the Chukchi, who moved into a
large apartment and in the biggest room set up a yurt where he lived and
went to the toilet. Our mothers, regardless of the size of the town or city
they live in, still wash plastic bags after buying sausage.

We live in the city, but we want to spend weekends at the cottage to tend
our kitchen gardens and make jars of pickled vegetables and fruit preserves.
It is only recently that we became a country in which the city dominates the
countryside. We don’t have a large urban population.

Moreover, until recently this whole country was a periphery, a district of
Russia. This periphery complex is the same as an inferiority complex, and it
is still there. Our parliamentarians gleefully recount stories about how
they made it from the bottom to the top – in other words, from the
countryside to Kyiv. But the countryside must not be considered the bottom!

The periphery problems will disappear once the periphery stops regarding
itself this way. What we need is small-town patriotism in the best sense of
the word. No industries? So what. No towns should consider themselves
superfluous! The very fact that people built it once is proof that it was
necessary. It’s this feeling of being useless that constitutes the biggest
problem of the periphery.

[3] Yevhen HOLOVAKHA, sociologist:

In order to save the province, it is necessary to curb the egotism of the
center. The question is how this is to be accomplished. For centuries our
state was built on the pyramid principle – not only geographically, but also
politically, economically, and culturally: the closer to the base, the
broader the pyramid, and the greater the number of poor people.

In the civilized world it is the rhombus principle, with the greatest number
of citizens in between, where people can live reasonably well, because there
everything depends on the level of activity, not the place of residence.

In Ukraine the center is doing its utmost to draw people from the periphery,
in excessive quantities. By doing so it is destroying both the periphery as
well as itself, for many people thus drawn into the center are not adapted
to the capital’s lifestyle. Kyiv is a rather specific city with a marginal
culture. The way to save the province lies through dismantling the existing
pyramidal structure.

But our people are impatient, they believe in miracles, so dismantling this
structure is easier said than done. Miracles are not worked in social life
just like that; one must struggle for them.

There are many versions of reform. Just think of everything that is being
proposed to save the periphery! But the periphery is afraid of such reforms,
and with good reason; it feels that they will finish it off. Their very
“intellectual” level will. In fact, even more or less clever reforms are not
likely to help the periphery because the center cannot save the province; it
can only save itself.

Lately, much has been said about the construction of a civic society. But
how can a civic society build a state? It’s like communists building
capitalism. The state cannot build its antipode; a civic society must be
built by citizens.

People who live in the periphery must take an interest in dismantling this
pyramid. Without a doubt this interest can originate only from the province.
These people must realize that their living standard is much lower than in
the capital; they must confront the center with economically and culturally
substantiated demands.

Of course, the central government could give them definite signals and
demonstrate its readiness to help them instead of throwing monkey wrenches
into the works. After that, political parties should take over. After all,
we have switched from a majority to a party electoral system. Parties should
set up regional cells to convey regional demands to the center.

Such demands should be supported by cultural and intellectual leaders. Most
importantly, it takes people, a massive movement. When such signals appear,
the central government will have no alternative but to head this new
movement that will produce the required reforms.

[4] Volodymyr TSARUK, director of the tourist information center
National Tourist Organization:

As far as small towns in Ternopil, Zakarpattia, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts
are concerned, unquestionably the key to their development is tourism
through small hotels, museums, and various souvenirs. Rural tourism support
associations are being set up, and there are various small business
development options.

Two organizations of small towns were recently founded in western Ukraine,
embracing Zakarpattia, Khmelnytsky, Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, and Ternopil
oblasts. Their objective is to jointly solve small- town problems, draft
programs, and help small businesses. I think that similar approaches can be
effective in other regions that have no tourist options. The state must help
develop small business anyway. -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/164020/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
19. KYIV TO HOST 4TH WORLD FORUM OF UKRAINIANS AUG 18-20

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, June 28, 2006

KYIV- The 4th World Forum of Ukrainians will be held in Kyiv August 18
through 20. Acting Deputy Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko’s press
service reported this to Ukrainian News, with reference to a meeting of the
forum’s steering committee.

On June 27, the Ukrainian members of the steering committee in charge of
organizing and conducing the forum approved a concept and plan of
preparations. According to the new report, 1,730 people will take part in
the forum.

“They will be representatives of all countries where Ukrainians live.
Post-Soviet countries will be represented by unions of Ukrainians from each
country,” Kyrylenko said.

He added that unlike previous forums, the next one will be focused on the
problems of the eastern diaspora, of Ukrainians living in the Russian
Federation first of all, and on labor migrants.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the 3rd World Forum of Ukrainians took
place in Kyiv August 18 through 21, 2001. In December 2005, the Cabinet of
Ministers replaced Oksana Bilozir with Kyrylenko as head of the Steering
Committee of the 4th World Forum of Ukrainians. Earlier, Yuschenko
announced the idea to create a Department of Ukrainian Diaspora Affairs
under the Cabinet of Ministers. -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
20. NEW DOCUMENTARY: “WE’LL MEET AGAIN IN HEAVEN”
Searing chronicle of a forgotten genocide and a lost people
Ethnic Germans: starvation, forced labor & execution in Soviet Ukraine

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection,
North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo
Fargo, North Dakota, Friday, June 30, 2006

FARGO, North Dakota – The new thirty minute documentary, “We’ll Meet
Again In Heaven” is a searing chronicle of a forgotten genocide and a lost
people, whose ” … misery screams to the heavens.”

The lost people are the ethnic German minority living in Soviet Ukraine, who
wrote their American relatives about the starvation, forced labor, and
execution that were almost daily fare in Soviet Ukraine during this period,
1928-1938.

Ronald J. Vossler, Narrator and Scholar
“We’ll Meet Again in Heaven” is part detective-story, part historical
research, and part travelogue. Narrator and scholar Ron Vossler guides the
viewer from the small North Dakota town where he found the first letter,
down the “blood-dark corridor of ethnic history” to former German villages
in Ukraine and Moldova that were the source of numerous immigrants to the
American prairie frontier.

Based on a decade of research, including on-location footage in Ukraine and
Moldova, this film draws upon hundreds of personal letters, written from
German villages in Ukraine to the Dakotas, and brought to public attention
for the first time. These wrenching personal letters, along with compelling
survivor interviews, detail an odyssey of hunger and destruction in Soviet
Ukraine.

Noted historian Robert Conquest, author of Harvest of Sorrow, has called
these letters “…virtually the only absolutely contemporary first-hand
testimony from those actually suffering the famine as they wrote.”

Villagers weep ” … hundreds of thousands of gallons of tears, tears,
tears.” People kill themselves. Forced into cattle cars for almost certain
death in Siberia, their children taken from them, parents tear the hair from
their heads in grief. At night, the regime’s secret police gather victims.
During the day, collective leaders threaten villagers with starvation and
execution if grain quotas aren’t met.

This documentary, with its focus on the treatment of the ethnic German
minority, helps clarify the Soviet regime’s intent to solve aspects of its
nationalities problem with depopulation and ethnic cleansing, and also to
punish with starvation and forced labor the small landholders in Ukraine for
resisting collectivization.

Major funding by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North
Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota.

Producer: Bob Dambach; Script Writer: Ronald J. Vossler; Cover Artwork:
Joshua Vossler; Cover Design: Will Clark; Closed Captioning: Armour
Captioning; Executive Producers: Bob Dambach, Michael M. Miller,
Roadshow Productions.

ORDER FORM: We’ll Meet Again in Heaven
The price of the We’ll Meet Again in Heaven DVD is $25 each plus postage and
handling ($4 for shipping in the U.S.; $6 for shipping to Canada; and $10
for shipping via air mail post outside the U.S. and Canada. All orders must
be in U.S. dollars. Check or money order payable to NDSU Library. Name,
Address, City, State/Province, ZIP/Postal Code, Daytime phone number, E-mail,
Number of DVDs ($25 each), Total enclosed $.

Mail to: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
We’ll Meet Again in Heaven DVD
NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599
————————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/order/tapes/meet_again.html
————————————————————————————————–
Michael M. Miller, Bibliographer; Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
(GRHC); Marie Rudel Portner Germans from Russia Room
North Dakota State University Libraries, P.O. Box 5599, 1201 Albrecht Blvd.
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 USA, Tel: 701-231-8416, Cell: 701-306-3224,
701.231.7138 – fax, E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection Website:
LINK: http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc
———————————————————————————————–
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21. ANTI-SEMITIC, RACIST ATTACKS
A GROWING THREAT IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Wash, DC, Fri, June 23, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Anti-Semitic and racist attacks in Russia and
Ukraine show no sign of abating, according to an expert on racial
violence. Nickolai Butkevich, Research and Advocacy Director with the Union
of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union (UCSJ) told a RFE/RL
audience last week that the month of April this year saw the largest number
of racially motivated murders (7 murders), and that the number of attacks
against minorities in Russia has increased over the last decade.

According to Butkevich, the number of Neo-Nazi, skinhead and other extremist
groups in Russia is estimated by Russian police to be anywhere from 15,000
to 20,000, with sociologists putting the number closer to 50,000. Three
reasons are usually cited for the existence of these extremist groups,
Butkevich said: the collapse of the Russian economy in the 1990s, the
demographic collapse of Russia’s population, and migration by Muslims
from the southern tier of the former Soviet republics, Butkevich said.

Steady economic improvement has not, however, led to a decline in the
extremist movement, Butkevich said — it has, instead, spread “outside of
the big cities of European Russia” to the rest of the country.

Butkevich said that he believes the Neo-Nazi movement is at its peak
now in Russia, because of a “psychological affect” generated by both the
social disruptions of the 1990s and the current government’s efforts to
“reassert Russia’s dominance” in the world. Those who have joined the
extremist groups, Butkevich said, feel that their activities represent “a
kind of revenge” for Russia.

Although the Neo-Nazi and skinhead problem has continued to grow in Russia,
“Russian law enforcement agencies are doing a better job” in tackling the
threat, according to Butkevich. The number of arrests for crimes tied to
racist and anti-Semitic incidents has risen in the last four years,
Butkevich said, and “some prosecutors have even started to apply hate-crime
statutes, which never happened before.”

Turning to the situation in Ukraine, Butkevich said the Neo-Nazi movement
has gained strength and attacks have worsened over the past three years.
“Unlike Russian officials,” Butkevich said, Ukrainian law enforcement
officials have “continued to deny” that the country has a problem with hate
crimes. Comparing the situation in Ukraine today to that in Russia during
the 1990s, Butkevich said, “is like déjà vu.”

Jews are the primary target of hate crimes in Ukraine rather than Muslims,
according to Butkevich, and political groups associated with the Orange
Coalition of reformers have “called for mass violence” against Jews. In
addition, Butkevich said, Ukrainian officials are doing little to fight
racist and anti-Semitic extremism — for example, in the last ten years
Ukraine has prosecuted only one hate-crime and one hate-speech case,
while in Russia there have been a dozen such prosecutions.
———————————————————————————————
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, international communications
service to Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia
funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
CONTACT: Martins Zvaners (202) 457-6948, ZvanderM@rferl.org or
Melody Jones (202) 457-6949, Fax 202 457 6992; http://www.rferl.org.
————————————————————————————————
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22. UKRAINE-U.S. BUSINESS COUNCIL JOINS COALITION FOR
A SECURE AND DEMOCRATIC UKRAINE

Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, President and CEO
Ukraine-United States Business Council
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 30, 2006

WASHINGTON- The Ukraine-United States Business Council has joined
the newly formed Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine. This
will afford the Council and its members opportunities to participate in
important initiatives to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and deepen
U.S.-Ukraine relations.

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

Members of the Coalition have already met with U.S. Ambassador Taylor
and Ukrainian Ambassador Shamshur, both of whom strongly support this
initiative. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation provides coordination support for
the Coalition.

The Coalition intends to engage on an array of issues. It has assigned early
priority to promoting the establishment of a closer institutional
relationship between the U.S. Congress and Ukraine’s parliament (the Rada).
Such a link will promote interaction and mutual understanding between the
two legislative branches.

The Coalition also will work to foster the integration of a democratic,
market-oriented Ukraine into the Euro- Atlantic community. Energy issues
and NATO membership are other likely topics of Coalition attention.

Other organizations participating in the Coalition include the U.S.-Ukraine
Foundation (USUF), NCSJ, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,
the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, Ukrainian-American
Environmental Association, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation, and
the Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA).
——————————————————————————————-
FOOTNOTE: Further information about the Coalition can be found at:
http://www.usukraine.org/csdu.shtml. For additional information or to
become a member of the Coalition for a Secure and Democratic Ukraine,
you may contact Marta Matselioukh at martam@usukraine.org or at
(202) 223-2228.
——————————————————————————————–
Dr. Susanne S. Lotarski, President and CEO, Ukraine-United States
Business Council, P.O. 42067, Washington, DC 20015, slotarski@boo.net

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