Daily Archives: July 7, 2006

AUR#726 Jul 7 Socialist Leader Moroz Elected Speaker Of Parliament; Orange Coalition Agreement Shattered; Yushchenko & Moroz Blamed For Coalition Collapse

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                        “ORANGE” AGREEMENT SHATTERED

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
           –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
         Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006

Yosyp Vinskyi resigns as first secretary of the Socialist Party’s political council 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, July 6, 2006

    “I cannot support the scenario of bringing the Party of Regions to power.”
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2025 gmt 6 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, July 6, 2006


Headed the Communist majority in the legislature until the August 1991 coup 
BBC Monitoring Service research in English, UK, Thursday 6 Jul 06

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2055 gmt 6 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, July 6, 2006


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006
       Tymoshenko bloc and pro-presidential Our Ukraine refused to participate
RIA NOVOSTI, Moscow, Russia, Friday July 7, 2006

By Fred Weir, CP, Canada, Friday, June 30, 2006

The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Tue, July 4, 2006.

By Guy Chazan and Gregory L. White
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, Thu, July 6, 2006; Page A4

                    A majority of humanity is living under the system, but
                                    “backsliders” are taking a toll.
By Susan Taylor Martin, St. Petersburg Times Senior Correspondent
St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, July 3, 2006

16.                           THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME

                He was of mixed parentage – half Ukrainian and half German.
By Leo Andreyev, Ukrainian Observer monthly magazine
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

17.        “CROSSROADS: MODERNISM IN UKRAINE, 1910-1930”
        First Major Exhibition of Early 20th Century Ukrainian Art in the U.S.
           Comes to the Chicago Cultural Center July 22-October 15, 2006
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Kyiv Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program.
Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, July 6, 2006

                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

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament elected veteran Socialist Oleksander Moroz as
its speaker on Thursday, casting doubt over a prospective government
coalition made up of backers of the 2004 “Orange Revolution.”

Moroz won 238 votes in the 450-seat assembly with support from the Regions
Party, sympathetic to Moscow and led by Viktor Yanukovich, main loser of

the revolution, and Communists.

His election shattered an agreement clinched by three “orange” parties after
weeks of rancorous talks which would have reinstated fiery Yulia Tymoshenko
as prime minister. It could pave the way for a new coalition bringing
together supporters of pro-Western president Viktor Yushchenko and the

Moroz said after his surprise election that he wanted to heal the divisions
in Ukrainian society caused by the revolution and by last March’s
inconclusive election.

“We must reduce the tension which has been artificially created to do away
with the split we now see in Ukraine,” Moroz told parliament. “I am sure we
can overcome this problem. I am even more sure we can bring together those
seeing themselves as victors and those who see themselves as vanquished,” he

Parliament had been all but shut down since the election in which the
Regions Party won the most seats. But it was outscored by the combined tally
of three “orange” groups, the president’s Our Ukraine party, Tymoshenko’s
bloc and the smaller Socialists.

Deputies initially suspended sittings to allow the three groups to form a
new coalition. Later, the Moscow-leaning Regions Party prevented the
parliament from sitting.

                    “ORANGE” AGREEMENT SHATTERED
The three “orange” parties had agreed to elect wealthy magnate Petro
Poroshenko, an ally of the president, as speaker. But Moroz said that would
only lead to the same turmoil that plagued Tymoshenko’s first eight-month
term in office. He put forward himself instead for the speaker’s job.

Yanukovich, with his power base in Russian-speaking, industrial eastern
Ukraine, made a remarkable comeback with his first-place finish in the March
election after a humiliating loss to Yushchenko in the 2004 presidential
poll. He said Moroz was “just the person able to unite Ukraine.”

One of Yanukovich’s deputies, Evhen Kushnaryov, said there was no longer

any prospect of an “orange” governing coalition.
Analysts said Yushchenko’s position was greatly weakened and that the
outcome could force him into a coalition with Yanukovich, his political foe
from two years ago.

“I do not envy Viktor Yushchenko who will wake up tomorrow morning largely
dependent on Oleksander Moroz,” analyst Kost Bondarenko told Fifth Channel

Moroz, 62, threw his support behind Yushchenko in 2004, standing alongside
both him and Tymoshenko during protests that led to courts overturning
Yanukovich’s victory in a rigged vote.

Yushchenko won a re-run and took office in January 2005. Moroz’s Socialists
took up cabinet posts in an “orange” government led by Tymoshenko before

she was dismissed last September after lengthy infighting.  Parliament’s
inactivity has hobbled government initiatives.

Ukraine faces tough talks with giant neighbor Russia on gas supplies, the
harvesting campaign is in full swing and the budget for next year must be
prepared. (Additional reporting by Olena Horodetska)      -30-

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

Anna Melnichuk, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s pro-Russian opposition on Thursday ended a 10-day
parliament blockade and lawmakers elected a speaker, steps toward ending
the political turmoil that enveloped the ex-Soviet republic after March
parliamentary elections.

But the developments strained a fragile majority coalition formed by parties
involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution, leaving the future uncertain. Hours
after the blockade ended, the coalition was in danger of falling apart –
before it had a chance to form a new government – when some members said
they would not support its choice for parliament speaker, Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko withdrew his name from consideration, and lawmakers instead
elected Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz – a blow to President Viktor
Yushchenko, who wanted his supporter Poroshenko in the speaker’s post as

a counterbalance to Yulia Tymoshenko, the sometime ally the coalition has
agreed should be prime minister.

The renegade lawmakers who refused to support Poroshenko were 19 members

of the Socialist Party; the coalition had consisted of 243 lawmakers and the
defections would leave the coalition two votes shy of a majority in the
450-seat Verkhovna Rada. Top Socialist lawmaker Iosip Vinsky declared the
coalition “destroyed.”

In the late-evening secret ballot for speaker, counting commission head
Yevhen Shaho said Moroz won 238 votes – all that were cast and enough for

a majority.

Moroz, who was parliament speaker for years in the 1990s, urged lawmakers

to overcome differences and “demonstrate the ability to work as a legislature
should.” “With the help of all of you, I am sure we will remove the
artificial divisions and unnecessary conflicts here in this session hall,”
he said.

But Moroz spoke very cautiously about next steps, refusing to rule out a
coalition involving the opposition Party of Regions or be pinned down on the
prime ministerial vote.

Oleksandr Turchinov, a top Tymoshenko ally, said before the vote that more
talks would be needed on the creation of “another coalition” if a speaker
was successfully elected.

The Party of Regions won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, but
fell short of a majority. That resulted in months of tense negotiations as
Yushchenko, whose party placed third, cast around for partners to make up

a majority coalition.

A coalition including Yushchenko’s party, the Socialists and Tymoshenko’s
party was formed in late June with the understanding that Tymoshenko would
be nominated to return to the premiership – from which Yushchenko had fired
her last September.

But another political crisis swiftly developed when the Party of Regions
began blocking the parliament podium. The party complained that the
coalition was trying to shut it out of key committee positions and objected
to a coalition proposal to elect the premier and speaker in a single vote.

Talks to end the opposition blockade began this week and on Thursday party
leader Viktor Yanukovych said “almost all the demands of the Party of
Regions are satisfied … today there are no reasons to block parliamentary

Yanukovych was Yushchenko’s opponent in the 2004 presidential election that
sparked the mass protests dubbed the Orange Revolution. That election, in
which Yanukovych was tallied with the most votes, was declared invalid and
Yushchenko was elected in a court-ordered rerun.

The majority coalition formed in June reunited the central parties in the
Orange Revolution, who had fallen out with each other after Yushchenko took

Under the agreement ending the parliament blockade, the opposition appeared
likely to get chairmanships of just under half the committees, at a minimum.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                     ‘Anybody from Our Ukraine but Poroshenko’
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006

KYIV – The Socialist Party faction is refusing to support the candidature of
Petro Poroshenko to the post of Verkhovna Rada chairman. Ukrainian News

has learned this from MP Yevhen Filindash (the Socialist Party faction).

As he said, at 12:30, the Socialist Party faction decided to vote for any
candidate to the post of Verkhovna Rada chairman from the Our Ukraine

Bloc faction, but not for Poroshenko.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in late June, leader of the Socialist
Party Oleksandr Moroz said that election of Petro Poroshenko to the post

of Verkhovna Rada chairman might result in a conflict with eponymous bloc
leader Yulia Tymoshenko as the possible Prime Minister.

Earlier member of the Verkhovna Rada Ivan Bokyi (the Socialist Party)
forecasted that the Socialist Party would refuse to support the candidature
of Petro Poroshenko to the post of Verkhovna Rada chairman. Bokyi said

that most members of his faction are against electing Poroshenko as Rada’s
chairman.                                          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Yosyp Vinskyi resigns as first secretary of the Socialist Party’s political council 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, July 6, 2006

KIEV – Yosyp Vinskyi, first secretary of the political council of the
Socialist Party, has accused President Viktor Yuschenko and Socialist Party
leader Oleksandr Moroz of coalition collapse. He made this statement at a
press conference.

‘The first person to blame for coalition collapse is the president, the
second one is Moroz,’ Vinskyi said. He announced that his party turned out
to be a weak link in the parliamentary coalition.

He said that some part of his faction members and Moroz have refused to
follow the coalition agreement, which Vinskyi believes leads to a change in
the coalition format. By doing so, they betrayed the party and their voters,
Vinskyi added.

He said that 90% of SPU electorate supports the coalition between the

Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine and SPU.

Vinskyi said he will call a political council meeting which will result
either in his resignation or expulsion of party members who urge for a
different format of the coalition.

Moroz, Yaroslav Mendus and Mykola Rudkovskyi are behind the idea of
withdrawing from the coalition agreement, he said.

Vinskyi added that he will not contest the leader’s position in the party
faction and called some socialist deputies renegades. He promised to
publish a list of their names later.

Socialist MPs Halyna Harmash, Oleksii Malynovskyi, Serhii Kuzmenko, Vasyl
Tsushko, Yevhen Filindash, Volodymyr Tarasov, Leonid Mordovets and few
others continue to be advocates of sticking to the BYT-OU-SPU coalition.

Vinskyi said that after his party’s refusal to support the candidacy of
Petro Poroshenko for the speaker’s post, the coalition ceased to exist de

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on July 6, Our Ukraine nominated
Poroshenko and the Party of Regions suggested Azarov for the post of
parliament speaker.

On July 6, Vinskyi resigned from the post of first secretary of the
Socialist Party’s political council and announced intent of some members

of his faction to make a coalition with the faction of the Party of Regions.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
    “I cannot support the scenario of bringing the Party of Regions to power.”

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006

KIEV – Member of the Verkhovna Rada Yosyp Vinskyi has resigned from

the post of first secretary of the Socialist Party’s political council. This follows
from his statement, a copy of which was made available to Ukrainian News.

‘I, Vinskyi Yosyp Vikentiiovych, resign from the post of first secretary of
the Socialist Party’s political council because chairman of the Socialist
Party Oleksandr Moroz has actually supported the policy aimed at destroying
the coalition of democratic forces and organized violations of decisions
taken by the Socialist Party’s political council at a meeting of the
Socialist Party faction in the Verkhovna Rada,’ Vinskyi said.

He called the intentions of some members of the Socialist Party faction to
set up a coalition with the Party of Regions betrayal of voters.

‘I have been member of the Socialist Party since its foundation. I have come
an uneasy way with the party. Today it is evident to me that the party has
betrayed those millions to Ukrainian citizens who trusted us and voted for
us,’ the politician said.

As he noted, following that step, he cannot trust Oleksandr Moroz as the
party’s leader any more.

‘At the same time, I, being first secretary of the Socialist Party’s political

council, have exhausted all political possibilities for influencing the situation
and cannot hide degeneration of the party’s ruling clique anymore, and on
ethical grounds, I cannot support the scenario of bringing the Party of
Regions to power,’ Vinskyi said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on Thursday, the Socialist Party faction
refused to support the candidature of Petro Poroshenko to the post of
Verkhovna Rada chairman.

The faction decided to vote for any candidate to the post of Verkhovna

Rada chairman from the Our Ukraine Bloc faction, but not Poroshenko.
LINK: http://www.ukranews.com/eng/index_high.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006
KYIV = Hennadii Zadyrko has tendered his resignation from the post of
secretary of the political council of the Socialist Party. Ukrainian News
learned this from his written statement.

‘On July 6, 2006, at the meeting of the Socialist Party faction, at the
plenary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, party leader Moroz and some

members of the faction, without exaggeration, have betrayed the future
of Ukraine.
By their actions, the party leader and some part of the faction have grossly
violated the decision of the political council, which resulted in actual
destruction of the coalition of democratic forces in the Verkhovna Rada,’
Zadyrko stated.

He underlined that in this situation he cannot keep the post of SPU
political council secretary any longer. ‘Therefore, I, Zadyrko Hennadii
Oleksandrovych, secretary of the political council of the Socialist Party,
request the political council to accept my resignation from this post,’ the
statement reads.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yosyp Vinskyi resigned from the post

of first secretary of the Socialist Party’s political council and accused
President Viktor Yuschenko and Moroz of coalition collapse.

He announced intent of some members of his faction to make a coalition

with the faction of the Party of Regions.
Vinskyi said that it was decided at a faction meeting with the majority of
votes (19 against 10) not to support the Our Ukraine candidate for the post
of parliament speaker.

Moroz said at the end of June that election of Petro Poroshenko to the post
of Verkhovna Rada chairman may result in a conflict with eponymous bloc
leader Yulia Tymoshenko as the possible prime minister.         -30-

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

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2025 gmt 6 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, July 6, 2006

Oleksandr Moroz, the newly-elected speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, has
said that parliament should remove the tension that was created artificially
so that the country is not split. Speaking in parliament immediately after
his election this evening, Moroz spoke against parliament being split into
winners and losers.

He also urged MPs to work for the common good and for the benefit of all
citizens. He also urged MPs to start listening to each and to work for a
common victory.

The following is the text of Moroz’s speech broadcast on Ukrainian
television TV 5 Kanal on 6 July:

[Oleksandr Moroz] Dear people’s deputies, dear television viewers and

radio listeners, voters and citizens of Ukraine. I cannot say that this was a
totally unexpected result [laughter in house]. It seems that this is what
should have occurred. And today I feel moral responsibility to those who
voted for me, and I feel morally responsible to those who voted against or
did not vote.

And I want to say that for me all people’s deputies are equal. even if it
just due to the fact that I do not have any other obligations towards anyone
else. And this gives me the opportunity to state what I think and my
convictions, which are in line with those principles with which I came to
the people during the election [presumably, the recent parliamentary
election in March].

I want to say that having had nearly 200 meetings with voters in all the
regions of Ukraine, I said everywhere that we should remove the tension that
was created artificially so that there is no split in Ukraine as seen today.
I am convinced that we shall resolve this issue.

We will definitely resolve it and I am more than certain that those who are
today regarded as winners or as defeated will agree to cooperate. There
cannot be winners and losers in parliament.

There can be opponents in parliament, and there can be adversaries who have
various approaches and various views on the development of Ukraine. But if
we play in line with the principles that one won and the other lost then the
entire country loses and Ukraine loses, and we cannot allow this to happen.

I expect that those who today made inappropriate comments or the like will
understand that it is not right to do so and that the practice of our work
in parliament and in the country as a whole assists in satisfying the
interests of every single citizen and this will be the fullest and the most
necessary response to the expectations of people which they put today on

the Supreme Council [parliament] and the authorities in general.

A lot can be said about this, but I would not like to use this time now for
propaganda, advertising, etc. It is late now. Besides, if anyone does not
remember, this is the night of Ivana Kupala [pagan holiday]. I would like us
to gather the agenda-setting council tomorrow morning and decide how we

will move forward.

I would say that the agenda-setting council should meet at 0930 [0630 gmt]
so as to decide the procedure for work tomorrow, taking into account certain
points that arose out of the situation today. And you can, in the meantime,
have a think as to how this should be done.

I would like us not to argue in the future even though I understand that
discussion always takes place in parliament in the way that it does and its
form cannot be otherwise but I believe that with the help of you all we will
lift the artificial tension and unnecessary conflicts in the parliamentary
session hall.

This is very important and needs to be done and this will be done. In any
case I will apply every effort for this and will do everything in my power.

And, finally, as the head of the Ukrainian parliament, the parliament of a
country which is one of the largest in the world and in Europe, I would like
us to show, for our society and the international community, the ability to
work as a legislative body should. I would like to end our meeting on this

Once again, I am very grateful to all those who voted for or did not vote at
all. I am grateful to Serhiy Volodymryrovych [Shevchenko, of the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc] that he was able to express his view at the rostrum. That
is also a sign of democracy and how it should be.

I would like us to learn how to listen to one another because my experience,
namely my 16 years of experience of parliamentary work shows that we have a
lot of intelligent people in parliament, we express many sensible, clever
thoughts but we have not yet learned how we should listen to one another.

Let’s listen to one another and then the victory will be a joint one for us
all. That is what I hope for. Thanks once again to you all for being the way
that you are and that you have resolved the issue which we needed to today.

There is a lot of work ahead, and I hope that we all have enough strength,
health and wisdom to resolve them. Thank you to everybody. [Clapping,
cheering]                                        -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
Moroz headed the Communist majority in the legislature
                       until the August 1991 coup in Moscow.

BBC Monitoring research in English, UK, Thursday 6 Jul 06

Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz has been elected parliamentary
speaker in a secret ballot, apparently with the support of the opposition
Party of Regions and Communist Party. The vote, which took place in
parliament on the evening of 6 July, meant that Moroz has been elected
speaker for a second time.

The veteran Socialist leader, who has run for president three times, has
been in the top echelon of Ukrainian politics since the late 1980s, and an
MP since 1990. He was perhaps the most experienced and consistent

opponent of President Leonid Kuchma.

Moroz came third in the first round of the 2004 presidential election, after
which he called on his supporters to vote for Viktor Yushchenko in the
runoff against Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych. Moroz and the
Socialist Party supported the Orange Revolution that brought Yushchenko

the presidency. The Socialists received several posts in post-revolution

Moroz was born into a peasant family in Kiev Region in 1944. Educated as

an agricultural engineer, he worked in the countryside until the mid-1970s,
when he became a Communist functionary. Elected to Ukraine’s parliament
shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moroz headed the Communist
majority in the legislature until the August 1991 coup in Moscow.

Moroz then founded the Socialist Party of Ukraine, whose leader he has been
ever since. As parliament speaker in 1994-98, Moroz was the staunchest
opponent of Kuchma’s economic reforms, which he believed were too radical.
He has consistently opposed land privatization.

He also opposed Kuchma’s earlier attempts to strengthen the presidency
vis-a-vis parliament both in the constitution preparation process in 1996
and in the abortive constitutional referendum in April 2000.

After Moroz twice came third in two presidential races – in 1994 and 1999 –
many observers thought his best years in politics were in the past. But in
November 2000 Kuchma’s fugitive bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko chose

Moroz to publicize the scandalous recordings Melnychenko claimed were
secretly made in Kuchma’s office.

The recordings appeared to implicate Kuchma in the kidnapping of opposition
journalist Heorhiy Gongadze and physical intimidation of political
opponents. Moroz spearheaded the “Ukraine Without Kuchma” movement,

which demanded Kuchma’s resignation. The president denied the accusations
and the movement did not achieve its goal, but it was a major comeback into
big politics for Moroz.

Moroz has always believed that parliament should be stronger than the
president, so he wholeheartedly supported the constitutional reform
proposals aimed at redistributing authority between parliament and the
president in favour of the former, which Kuchma tabled in 2003.

Moroz and his Socialist Party essentially express the interests of
smallholders and small and medium-sized businesses. Central Ukraine,

where the small-scale economy dominates, has been the Socialists’ natural
stronghold. Moroz’s leftist convictions – he still marches under red banners
on 1 May – however, recurrently prevented him from winning the hearts and
minds of the electorate in the conservative west of Ukraine.

Moroz is married and has two daughters. His hobbies include poetry and
chess.                                             -30-

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

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 2055 gmt 6 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, July 6, 2006

KIEV – The [pro-presidential] Our Ukraine faction will go into opposition,
faction leader Roman Bezsmertnyy has told UNIAN. “There is a new majority.
Let it work. We will be in opposition,” Bezsmertnyy said.

[Our Ukraine MP] Roman Zvarych told UNIAN that Oleksandr Moroz will,

of course, be the majority’s speaker, but “Our Ukraine will not be in the
majority. Our Ukraine will not support any coalition in which there are
appointments outside the coalition,” Zvarych said.

[Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz was today elected speaker with the
support of the opposition Party of Regions and Communist Party. Previously,
the Orange coalition of Our Ukraine, Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and the
Socialist Party had committed to supporting Our Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko
for the post.]

Bezsmertnyy said that an Our Ukraine representative will take part in the
meeting of the agenda-setting council tomorrow morning.   -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, July 6, 2006
The coalition between the Yulia Tymoshenko’s BYT bloc, the Our Ukraine
bloc (also know as People’s Union Our Ukraine, or OU) and the Socialist
Party will remain in place despite the Socialist Party’s refusal to support the
nomination of Petro Poroshenko of OU for the Verkhovna Rada Speaker’s
post, political analysts say.

“It [the coalition] is half-ruined, but still it can revive. It is only a
crack in the foundation,” said Vadym Karasiov, the director of the Institute
for Global Strategies, a think tank.

Karasiov believes that Poroshenko’s nomination can well gain the required
number of 226 votes even without the Socialists, as part of deputies from
the Party of Regions’ faction are going to support it.

“On this issue the Socialists are risking, but this cannot endanger voting
on Poroshenko’s nomination. Because, if the Party of Regions is integrated
into parliamentary committee’s leadership, then the Party of Regions is well
capable of making up for the Socialists’ votes. Poroshenko’s nomination will
most likely be voted for,” the think-tank expert said.

Viktor Nebozhenko, the head of the Social Barometer service, echoes
Karasiov, saying Poroshenko’s nomination is going to be supported.

He also agrees that the Socialists’ refusal [to support Poroshenko’s
nomination for the Speaker’s post] is not going to damage the coalition,
even though it violates the provision in the coalition agreement that bars
participating parties from vetoing candidacies proposed by partners in the

Meanwhile, Nebozhenko believes that Moroz has an interest in bringing to
collapse the coalition in which Yulia Tymoshenko would be the Prime
Minister, Petro Poroshenko the Verkhovna Rada Speaker and Yosyp

inskyi [of the Socialist Party faction] the first deputy Prime Minister.

“It has become clear for Moroz that these coalition games may bring him

into oblivion, pushing him onto the sidelines of the political life,” the
political analyst said.

Volodymyr Fesenko believes that such moves by the Socialists are intended

to destroy their coalition with the NSU and BYT, and reveal their true
intention to agree on a coalition with the Party of Regions.

“Moroz just exploited the Poroshenko’s issue in order to keep his front
going when it comes to a divorce with the Orange [partners],” Fesenko said.

Under such circumstances Moroz is about to win for himself the Speaker’s
post, the analysts believes.

Karasiov disagrees, saying that in the given situation the Socialist Party
has more approved itself as BYT’s supporter rather than the OU’s or the
Party of Regions’.

President Viktor Yuschenko and Our Ukraine itself would never let it happen
that it went into opposition and a coalition was formed between the
Socialist Party and the Party of Regions, he believes.

The analysts differ on the composition of the future coalition which may
emerge as a result of disagreements between the three partners in the
existing coalition.

Fesenko forecasts that the Socialist Party may enter a coalition with the
Communists and the Party of Regions, and, as an alternative, an
inter-faction parliamentary majority may be formed of deputies from the
Socialist Party, the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine.

Nebozhenko, for his part, believes the majority would be every time set up
in various configurations depending on the situation and the subject of

Karasiov expects that the SPU-OU-BYT coalition will remain in place in
executive bodies, but in the Verkhovna Rada the coalition is going to be
reconfigured by accepting the Party of Regions.

“The coalition agreement is becoming less clear-cut as the Party of Regions
is joining it at the level of the executive branch of the government. It is
not going be a clear-cut structure any more — a coalition of the three and
the opposition. The structure will be more washed out,” Karasiov believes.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, deputy Yosyp Vinskyi resigned as first
secretary of the Socialist Party’s political council in protest against his
faction’s refusal to support Petro Poroshenko’s nomination for Verkhovna
Rada presidency.                                      -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       Tymoshenko bloc and pro-presidential Our Ukraine refused to participate

RIA NOVOSTI, Moscow, Russia, Friday July 7, 2006

KIEV – Leader of the Socialist Party Oleksandr Moroz is Ukraine’s new
parliamentary speaker. Two hundred and thirty-eight deputies in the 450-seat
house voted late Thursday in favor of Moroz, who occupied the post in

The Supreme Rada resumed work Thursday after the opposition ended its

the blockade of the rostrum and reached a compromise with the coalition
majority. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions had staged a sit-in since June 27 in
protest against the allocation of Cabinet and Supreme Rada portfolios by the
coalition of three Western-leaning groupings.

Deputies from former premier Yulia Tymoshenko’s eponymous bloc and

the  pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc refused to participate in the vote in
protest against the Socialist faction. They claimed the Socialists had
breached an “orange” coalition agreement, which had a provision to elect a
candidate from pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc as a speaker.

The three parties formed a coalition June 22 after three months of
negotiations over key posts.

Representatives from the largely pro-Russia Party of Regions, which won the
largest share of the March 26 parliamentary vote, said that Moroz’s election
as parliamentary speaker had drastically changed the balance of political
forces in the Rada.

Now, the Party of Regions (186 deputies), the Communist Party (21 deputies),
and the Socialist Party (33 deputies) can form a new coalition majority,
although the Socialists have been rejecting this possibility so far.

The Rada is to form the government by July 22. After this deadline the
president is entitled to dissolve legislature and call new elections, though
President Viktor Yushchenko has already warned that holding new elections
could be too costly.                          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

By Fred Weir, CP, Canada, Friday, June 30, 2006

MOSCOW (CP) – Canada will get a chance to voice its concerns about the
health of democracy and business transparency in Russia at the upcoming
Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter
MacKay said Friday.

“There will be a period on the agenda that will allow leaders to bring
forward issues that may not have been on the agenda,” at the Russian-hosted
summit, slated for July 15-17, MacKay said at the end of the two-day G8
foreign ministers meeting.

“Every country has to be prepared to do some introspection if they want to
be part of this larger group, and Russia is no exception,” he said.

As this year’s chairman of the organization, an exclusive club of the
world’s top industrial democracies, Russia sets the agenda and defines the
priorities of the annual summit.

President Vladimir Putin has declared the meeting’s key theme will be global
energy security. Kremlin officials have repeatedly said they won’t entertain
any discussion of allegations that Russia under Putin has been backsliding
on democratic values, straitjacketing the media and suppressing civil

Some western politicians, such as U.S. Senator John McCain, have called on
G8 leaders to boycott the St. Petersburg summit and even expel Russia, which
was admitted to the group under its previous leader, Boris Yeltsin.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a Moscow G8 news conference
Thursday that Washington rejects calls for a boycott but shares many of the
critics’ worries about democracy in Russia. “We have raised those concerns
many times, and will continue to raise them,” she said. “But we do so in a
spirit of candour and co-operation.”

MacKay got an earful of the critics’ views when he met with members of
several Russian human rights and civil society groups Thursday night.

“I told (MacKay) that real democracy is unthinkable without a proper
division of powers, independent courts and genuine elections, and we don’t
have these in Russia,” said Eda Khukhrina, a representative of the Soldiers’
Mothers Committee, a grassroots anti-militarist group, who attended the

MacKay said that having Russia inside the G8 gives members an opportunity
to aid its often troubled transition to a western-style political and
economic systems.

“Russia is a young democracy, and a developing one, and there are areas
where Canada may be able to help them move forward on the democratic

front,” such as academic exchanges, constitutional advice and the example of
Canadian democracy, he said.

Russia has changed radically from its Soviet-era incarnation, and deserves
the benefit of the doubt, he added.

“In Moscow one’s expectations are confronted with all the westernization
that’s taken place very quickly here,” he said. “The billboards for western
companies, the fashions people are wearing, the cars, a lot of things look
very familiar (to western eyes).”

Another point of contention is Russia’s alleged bullying of post-Soviet
neighbours by manipulating the price of energy.

As Europe’s biggest supplier of natural gas, Russia set off shock waves in
January when it briefly shut down gas deliveries to Ukraine. The Kremlin
says the blockade was over a pricing dispute but critics allege it was an
effort to punish Ukraine for its West-leaning policies.

MacKay said European nervousness over energy dependence on Russia could
present an opportunity for oil-rich Canada to expand its own sales. “How a
country uses its energy supply is a matter of sovereign choice, but using it
as a political tool is fraught with danger,” he said.

“Energy supply is becoming a matter of great concern throughout Europe, and
Canada should be reminding some of our European partners that there are

But he says Canada will go ahead with negotiations between PetroCanada and
Russia’s state-run natural gas giant, Gazprom, to build a huge liquefied
natural gas plant near St. Petersburg, which could become a major supplier
to North America within 10 years.

“Any time you’re entering into an agreement of that magnitude it’s always
your preference not to be a partner to something that’s going to be
questionable,” he said. “But I’m not convinced the Russians intend to do
something nefarious. They just want to get the best deal for their gas.”

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

The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Tue, July 4, 2006.

The clearing of Russia’s $22 billion debt to the Paris Club has reopened
another dispute: Russia’s squabble with Ukraine over the division of
Soviet-era assets.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in televised comments Saturday that
paying back the debt ahead of schedule would allow Russia to claim all of
the former Soviet Union’s assets abroad, including in Ukraine.

On Monday, officials in Kiev countered that Ukraine would only hold talks
with Russia if Moscow specified which assets it had in mind.

In the 1990s, the former Soviet republics agreed to transfer all their
Soviet-era property abroad to Russia, which in return pledged to repay the
republics’ Soviet-era debt. The Ukrainian parliament has not ratified the
agreement. Last week Russia signed an agreement with the Paris Club to pay
about $22 billion to settle its debt to the club ahead of schedule.

Ukraine is the only former Soviet republic that has so far refused to
acknowledge Russia’s claim to former Soviet assets in return for Russia
paying off the Soviet Union’s debts.

Vasyl Filipchuk, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, said Moscow had
been keeping Kiev in the dark about Ukraine’s debt and assets. We don’t have
exact information” about Soviet balance sheets, Filipchuk said by telephone
from Kiev.

Although Ukraine does not have any official data, local experts estimate
that Ukraine’s assets “by far outweigh” its debt, Filipchuk said, adding
that Ukraine was entitled to 17 percent of the former Soviet assets.

Assets under dispute include not only former Soviet property abroad, but
also Russia’s diamond fund and some foreign currency assets.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied Ukraine’s claims. Officials at the
Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry in Moscow said they were unable to
immediately comment on the issue.                     -30-
LINK: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/07/04/043.html

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

By Guy Chazan and Gregory L. White
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, Thu, July 6, 2006; Page A4

MOSCOW — When President Vladimir Putin hosts the Group of Eight leading
nations in St. Petersburg next week, he is expected to sign an energy action
plan bristling with pro-market rhetoric about improving the investment
climate, encouraging competition and increasing access to energy markets.

But in recent months, Moscow has imposed strict restrictions on foreign
investment in its oil and gas fields while entrenching the dominance of big
state-owned monopolies like natural-gas giant OAO Gazprom.

Russia passed a law yesterday enshrining Gazprom’s exclusive right to export
Russian gas, weeks after the European Union called for Moscow to open its
pipeline network.

The disconnect shows how differently Russia and other G-8 members view
energy security — a topic Mr. Putin has put at the top of the summit’s

“Call it the Sinatra approach,” said Marc Franco, head of the European
Commission delegation to Russia, in an interview. “The Russians have assured
us they’ll work on issues [like market access], but they’ll do it their own

Though it causes alarm for some governments, the Russian approach hasn’t
fazed many of the major international energy companies desperate for access
to Russia’s vast reserves.

Big oil companies from Asia and Europe are showing strong interest in buying
shares in the initial public offering of state oil company OAO Rosneft. The
IPO could be valued at as much as $12 billion but has found mixed reactions
among Western investment funds that consider the company’s price target to
be high.

“The only way you’re going to get access to…resources in Russia is if you
have good relationships with” Rosneft and Gazprom, said one Western oil
executive. By participating in the Rosneft offering, “you’re buying a
ticket,” he added.

People close to the situation said BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have
expressed interest in participating, as have China National Petroleum Corp.
and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas. Each could buy $1
billion or more in stock, with industry buyers potentially taking more than
half of the shares on offer, these people said. Final terms won’t be decided
until the offering is priced July 13, however. Other European and Asian
companies also might participate.

For BP, which invested $7 billion in a joint venture in Russia in 2003 and
joined with Rosneft in a project in Russia’s far east, ensuring good
relations with the Russian state company is a big motivation for
participating in the share offering, people close to the deal said. BP is
looking at potentially investing around $2 billion, one person familiar with
the matter said.

Also undecided is Royal Dutch Shell, which is negotiating over a potential
investment in Rosneft that could be around $1 billion, according to a person
familiar with the matter.

CNPC is offering to invest as much as $3 billion in the IPO if Rosneft will
give it commitments on oil supplies and participation in projects in Russia,
said people close to the Chinese company.

Rosneft, however, is resisting calls for special treatment for the big oil
companies, insisting that they participate in the IPO on the same terms as
other potential buyers.

Russia’s presidency of the G-8 comes at a time of growing jitters in the
West about energy supply and surging prices. Russia, which already supplies
a quarter of Europe’s gas and is the world’s second-biggest exporter of oil,
after Saudi Arabia, has sought to leverage its resources into greater global

A draft law would limit foreign companies to minority stakes in all but the
smallest oil and gas fields. There are no such limitations now, and the law
would not apply to past deals.

Kremlin officials admit Russia and the other G-8 members don’t see
eye-to-eye. “Our partners understand energy security to be complete control
of our pipeline system and our energy resources,” Vladislav Surkov, a top
Putin aide, said last week. “We understand it to be something different, and
we have a right to.”

In Europe, fears are growing that Gazprom isn’t investing enough in new
fields to ensure adequate production growth. The EU expects to double
natural-gas imports to 535 billion cubic meters annually by 2030 from 275
billion cubic meters. Russia’s gas exports haven’t grown significantly since
the early 1990s and total about 160 billion cubic meters.

“The main worry is whether Russia will be able to continue to satisfy
increased demand for gas in Europe,” says Mr. Franco.

Gazprom insists it has plenty of gas and is making the investments needed
to meet rising demand.

Russian officials accuse Europe of double standards, saying they want
liberalization in Russia but are reluctant to allow Russian companies into
their markets.

“When we invest huge amounts upstream, we need to know that there will
be no obstacles put up by governments to us selling what we produce,”
said Igor Shuvalov, a Putin aide. “We don’t feel that G-8 governments and
companies are completely ready yet to open up their jurisdictions to allow
Russian companies to invest.”                       -30-
Alistair MacDonald in London, Kate Linebaugh in Hong Kong and Bhushan
Bahree in New York contributed to this article. Write to Guy Chazan at
guy.chazan@wsj.com and Gregory L. White at greg.white@wsj.com.
LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115213624338498775.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                   A majority of humanity is living under the system, but
                                  “backsliders” are taking a toll.

By Susan Taylor Martin, St. Petersburg Times Senior Correspondent
St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, July 3, 2006

As Americans celebrate this Fourth of July, they might pause to consider
how many others are fortunate enough to live in democracies.

A toast is in order: Three-fifths of all nations today have democratic forms
of government. For the first time in history, a majority of the world’s
people enjoy at least some of the fruits of democracy.

Now for the negative.

“It is clear that the forward momentum we have seen in the past is no longer
the case,” says Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for
Democracy, an organization that supports grass roots projects worldwide.
“There are governments in a number of countries that want to hold onto power
and are resisting democracy.”

Among them are what experts call the “backsliders” – nations like Russia,
Venezuela and Zimbabwe whose leaders were democratically elected but since
have cracked down on pro-democracy groups.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Arab nations have taken only the
tiniest steps toward democratic rule. “The real basket cases tend to have
too much oil,” says Ted Piccone, executive director of the Democracy
Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization.

“The elites in power have more resources to control the country the way they
want. If you look at the number of states with oil and gas, and those with
democracies, they are inversely proportional. There are exceptions, but they
tend to be countries that already had democracies, like Norway.”

Still, democrats can take heart. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and
the world’s longest experiment with communism, there have been no viable
alternatives to democracy as a political system. As Winston Churchill
famously remarked: “It has been said democracy is the worst form of
government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time
to time.”

In just half a century, large swaths of Africa, Asia, Latin America and
central and eastern Europe have undergone democratic transitions. Of the
world’s 193 countries , 122 are now classified as democracies including
former Soviet states like Ukraine and Georgia and large Muslim nations like
Turkey, Indonesia and Nigeria.

“Democracy is not a Western concept – it’s a universal concept,” Piccone
says. “You can find roots of democratic values in all the major religions
and cultures.”

Along with the growth in democracies has come a more disturbing trend – the
emergence of dozens of “hybrid” states where authoritarian rule is masked
by superficially democratic trappings.

A prime example is Egypt, which held its first multicandidate presidential
election last fall. Longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak was overwhelmingly elected
in a contest marked by allegations of vote-rigging and sharp restrictions on
the campaign activities of other candidates. Egyptian law also makes it
nearly impossible for pro-democracy groups to function.

Another case of democracy backlash is occurring in Russia, where the
government of President Vladimir Putin has harshly and even violently
persecuted civil-society groups. Experts say Putin was spooked by Ukraine’s
Orange Revolution, which ousted a pro-Russian government, and fears the
West is trying to undermine his efforts to restore Russia’s international
and prestige.

Although the former KGB spy was chosen by popular vote, his actions show
that “a country doesn’t become a democracy overnight,” Piccone says.
“Russia is coming from a long, long history of authoritarian culture and

Since 1983, the United States has supported democracy projects around the
world through the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy.

With annual congressional funding of about $74-million, it makes grants to
hundreds of local groups working for rule of law, free elections and other
requisites of a true democracy.

The endowment’s efforts often seem undercut by U.S. foreign policy, which
supports many autocratic regimes that critics say are most in need of
democratic reform. Despite its poor human rights and electoral record, Egypt
receives nearly $2-billion a year in U.S. foreign aid because it has a peace
treaty with Israel and is considered a valuable American ally in a volatile

“There is a tradition of realpolitik triumphing over ideal politik,” says
John Stremlau, associate executive director of peace programs at the Carter
Center in Atlanta.

“You make compromises in the name of national security, but you can’t

make a credible case for our values if our allies are the Wahhabis of Saudi

In recent years, promoting democracy has spread well beyond U.S. efforts.
The European Union has emerged as a key player, partly to shore up
democratic institutions in formerly communist eastern European states as
they became candidates for EU membership.

According to a recent poll, 74 percent of Europeans think their governments
should promote democracy in other countries, compared to just 51 percent of
Americans who felt the same. Republicans were twice as likely as Democrats
to support the idea.

The partisan difference is probably “a reaction to the war in Iraq because
democracy was the (Bush administration’s) last rationale for invading,”
Piccone says. Iraq and the broader war on terror have hurt the U.S. push for
reforms in other countries because “people have identified democracy
promotion as a tool of U.S. hegemony.”

Despite setbacks in the global move toward democracy, the overall outlook is
“reasonably positive,” says Stremlau of the Carter Center. He notes that
South Africa adopted a new constitution in 1996 that in some ways is even
more progressive than its U.S. counterpart.

“Never forget American history – it took the bloodiest war of the 19th
century to come to some sort of minimal agreement to resolve the issue of
slavery and another 100 years for the Civil Rights Act to be passed. The
hard work of building a democracy never ends.”              -30-
Susan Martin can be contacted at susan@sptimes.com

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
16.                            THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
                 He was of mixed parentage – half Ukrainian and half German.

By Leo Andreyev, Ukrainian Observer monthly magazine
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

That year, the last day of September in Kyiv was a typical example of Indian
summer. Under other circumstances a passer-by might slow down their quick
pace to admire the colorful palette of the yellow-leafed trees, contrasted
beautifully with the impeccably clean azure blue sky.

However, for Ivan this was an exception to the rule, for he had weighty
reasons to be depressed. Deep in thought, he hardly noticed the beauty of
the picturesque scenery.

Ivan Leonenko, Kyivan-an ordinary but diligent civil servant – had retired
on the first day of this month. An event so distressing to him that he
thought he might have a nervous breakdown. He felt like a racehorse,
suddenly brought to a complete stop from a full gallop.

The loss of his job was overwhelming. Like the death of a family member
or a loved one, unemployment had left him mentally devastated as well as
socially, emotionally, physically, and financially crippled.

Prior to the event, he had spent two years in a state of agitation and
misgiving but strove to prepare himself for a more or less painless crossing
of this inevitable and sad Rubicon.

Sure, he was still of sound body and mind. It seemed only yesterday he had a
good reputation, decent post and good salary. Then, seemingly in a flash –
he had lost everything!

He saw no future except a very low, pauper-like pension and no chance to be
hired again for a decent job in the civil service. The situation with job
openings in private enterprise seemed equally bleak, especially since the
trend was to hire mainly young people – in their twenties and early
thirties- leaving those over 40 with little if any chance.

So, like many other pensioners he found himself hopeless and helpless to
change his situation.

These and many other thoughts were swimming in his mind when he strolled
along the noisy Oleny Teligy Street. Lost in thought, he aimlessly roamed
the streets of his natural habitat, the Syretz region.

Suddenly, a forgotten truth burst into his mind, something he had almost
totally forgotten.

In spite of what the official records said, he was not yet 60 years old! He
was, in fact, two years younger and should rightfully still be employed. He
knew that he had born on 17 June of 1943, not 1941 – as declared in his
passport. He knew this because his mother had revealed it to him just before
her death.

But the momentary burst of joy almost instantly changed to depression. He
remembered the long held secret of his life. The one he’d managed to hide
from all of his associates and even from next of kin during all those years.

He was of mixed parentage – half Ukrainian and half German.

As his mother neared death, she confessed to him that his father was a
young, blond German soldier. That she, a very young and orphaned girl, had
fallen in love with him during the German occupation of Kyiv. She had even
told him the soldier’s name: Paul Schuster.

His mother’s deathbed confession had turned his whole world upside down,
as it was completely different from the embellished legend related to him as
a younger boy. For so long Ivan knew his father to be Peter Leonenko, a
fighter pilot, who went missing soon after being called up to military
service several months before WWII broke out.

In her confession, Ivan’s mother tried to show his father in a very
favorable light. She told him how his father was the only son of a very
respected and good family who had fallen in love with her at first sight.
Being honorable and honest, he asked for her hand in marriage, but his
insistent appeals to the command of his sub-unit refused permission for
their marriage time and time again.

Ivan’s mother also told him that his father was shocked by the horrible
scenes of mass shootings of Jews in Babiy Yar on 30 September 1941.

A trauma so great, that his hair turned gray at a very young age. Forced to
be an accessory to such horrific crimes haunted the heart and conscience
of this young and impressionable soldier.

Ivan’s mother described how they become acquainted – in the officer’s
canteen at the storehouse – where she had been employed as a waitress.
Though a happy coincidence, Paul, an ordinary soldier and military driver,
had been allowed to dine in the officer’s canteen.

And it was this same ordinary soldier who, somehow, managed to save her from
compulsory shipment to Germany as an ostarbeiter – the terrible slave labor
status that befell so many other Ukrainians.

Mother told Ivan how incredibly hard it was for them to survive those long
postwar years-struggling to avoid starvation and poverty in the chaos of
mass hunger and deprivation.

Whenever she was able to find some work, she always carried her little boy
on the luggage frame at the rear of her bicycle.

She always hid the truth of his birth. First, because of the shame of being
born out of wedlock, but even worse, it might become known that he was the
by-product of an amorous liaison with an enemy soldier. Had this fact become
known, it would be seen as high treason and she would have been sent off to
one of Stalin’s notorious death camps.

On her deathbed, Ivan’s mother asked his forgiveness for what might have
been considered a deadly sin. He understood everything and not only forgave
his mother but also profusely thanked her for saving his life and for her
superhuman sufferings in the process.

He agreed to her request and promised that the secrets revealed would die
with her, although her death left a giant, aching wound in his heart.

From occasional obscure newspaper stories, Ivan knew that he was part of

a group of secret keepers, for it was quietly known that many of Ukraine’s
leaders shared his false birth date and his mixed German-Ukrainian
parentage. Regardless, he kept his promise to his mother-never revealing
the truth.

As Ivan walked, musing over his past and his future, a long, white,
well-maintained Mercedes switched on the right blinker, slowed down and
stopped at the edge of the curb.

The car had foreign plates and a quite noticeable black letter ‘D’ on the

The car stopped just short of the intersection of Oleny Teligy and
Dorogozhyzkaya streets, not far from where Ivan was walking.

An elderly married couple was visible through the car’s windshield. The
elderly driver climbed out of the car.

Speaking Russian with a very pronounced German accent, he addressed
questions to passers-by, and he soon discovered he was a few hundred

meters from the Babiy Yar Memorial.

It was the same Paul Schuster, who as a young Wehrmacht soldier, some

sixty years earlier, found himself in the middle of horrible and unthinkable
truths-there at Babiy Yar.

Though he took no active part in the Nazi ordered mass shootings of Kyiv’s
Jewish population of September 29 and 30, 1941, inwardly he counted himself
as a war criminal.

With his own hands he was forced, trembling, to touch the personal items of
innocent victims. He had in fact witnessed these items being taken away, or
rather torn away, just before the executions-by ruthless SS-men.

Before his very eyes, great mounds of goods seized from those about to be
killed – food, clothing, footwear, valuables, gold, jewels and even child’s
toys – were declared property of the Reich. He and other drivers like him
were ordered to load these items into covered lorries and deliver those
goods up to the special storehouses on Nekrasovskaya Street.

Those storehouses became places of pilgrimage for the German servicemen

and officials supplied with special coupons.

Now together with his faithful wife Helen, who also suffered much in the
war, Paul at long last stood again in this mournfully famous place, with its
enigmatic name, Babiy Yar.

He stood in front of this oddly shaped memorial, where he could see the many
freshly laid flowers from people of all walks of life.

He tried and somehow succeeded to translate the inscriptions engraved on
three fixed slabs of granite that were laid before the memorial.

Written in Ukrainian, also in Russian and Hebrew, the slabs read: “To the
Soviet citizens and prisoners of war soldiers and officers of the Soviet
Army shot down by German fascists in Babiy Yar”

Now after years of consideration from afar, he saw this monument.

A monument that put great emphasis on the killing of Soviet citizens and
Soviet military personnel, but had nothing to say about the Jews who
suffered the greatest losses, nor of the homosexuals, mentally incompetent
and Roma who eventually became a part of the growing mounds of dead and
decaying corpses.

Paul Schuster, once the dutiful Wehrmacht soldier, was now back at Babiy
Yar – the scene of a crime against both nature and humanity.

But the Babiy Yar Memorial wasn’t his main goal, rather pretext only. There
was another more weighty reason-a reason that he had concealed from his
devoted wife and friend Helen.

Earlier, for some vague misgiving, he was rather afraid to come. Maybe he
wished to avoid any implication of hostility on the part of locals. Maybe it
involved something else. Who knows? But now sixty years later, in his
declining years, he at long last had made up his mind.

Before this year’s September the circumstances did turn out particularly

He and his wife decided to finally visit Kyiv, regardless of the end result.

By some strange and ultimately wonderful coincidence-on that very day, on
that very street – Ivan was trudging along the sidewalk when, from the
corner of his eye, he noticed the old white Mercedes stopped a small
distance ahead.

His senses were aroused by the hoarse voice of an old gray-haired man who
suddenly arose before his eyes.

Apparently a foreigner, he thought, speaking with an accent, attempting to
spell the separate words in Russian. The foreigner was looking for the
memorial in Babiy Yar.

Ivan promptly answered in English and pointed to the monument, just visible
between trees on the opposite side of a wide street.

Ivan returned to his interrupted thoughts and didn’t attach any importance
to the passing moment.

However, step-by-step, his subconscious assembled all the facts into one
definite thought.

An old man speaking Russian with an accent, a black letter ‘D’ on the boot
of a white Mercedes that just drove off and at last – Babiy Yar Memorial…
And again, today for the second time, the truth burst upon him! His heart
skipped a beat as he contemplated his feelings.

-Maybe? No, it’s too incredible! But it wouldn’t hurt to ask him!

With a renewed sense of purpose, Ivan rushed to the monument, dodging
passing cars without a care.

Fortunately, prudence triumphed and it took him several minutes to cross the
dangerous road by underpass and end up on the spot just in front of the
white Mercedes.

He watched the elderly couple from a distance. He allowed them to
familiarize themselves with the memorial. The old man thoroughly studied the
sculpture walking around it while his wife was standing at a distance.

At last when he heard the woman addressing to her husband, ‘Paul, com doch
zu mir!’, Ivan made up his mind and came up to the old man as he stood

Initially they exchanged some meaningless words of acquaintance. Finally,
they formally introduced themselves.

After alternating short, vivid questions and answers to each other they
found themselves standing silent – eyes wide open in amazement. For some
moments they were standing opposite each other and didn’t know what to do…

Their stupor was interrupted by frau Helen:

– Paul, sagst du mir bitte, wer ist dies junger Mann mit welchem sie haben
so angeregte Unterhaltung?

– Dies Mann ist mein Sohn, – answered a confused Paul Shuster.

For Ivan Leonenko – soon to have his name correctly changed to Shuster – the
day that began so inauspiciously suddenly became the happiest day of his

For Ivan, the future looked immensely brighter and would certainly be as he
claimed his German citizenship and the rewards of being part of a moderately
well-off German family.

But for the new Ivan Shuster, finally having a father that was real, alive
and truly his own was the greatest reward of all.

And it all happened by chance… the chance of a lifetime.
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/221/887

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
        First Major Exhibition of Early 20th Century Ukrainian Art in the U.S.
           Comes to the Chicago Cultural Center July 22-October 15, 2006

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Kyiv Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program.
Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, July 6, 2006

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs announces the first
major exhibition of early 20th century Ukrainian art in the United States.

Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930 will be on display at the
Chicago Cultural Center in the fourth floor Exhibit Hall, 78 E. Washington
Street, from July 22 through October 15, 2006.  Admission to the exhibition
is free.

This outstanding exhibit of 21 Ukrainian avant-garde artists includes
approximately over 70 works gathered by Professor Dmitirii Dmytro Horbachov,
an international expert on this period and Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, from
private collections, the National Art Museum of Ukraine, the Theatre Museum,
the Museum of Folk Art of the Ukraine, and the Art Museum of Dnipropetrovsk.

Anatolii Melnyk, General Director of the National Art Museum of Ukraine,
provided organizational assistance in Ukraine and John Bowlt, Professor at
the University of Southern California, served as editor of the exhibition

The exhibition has been organized by the Foundation for International Arts
and Education with the National Art Museum of Ukraine.  It is presented by
the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Kyiv Committee of the
Chicago Sister Cities International Program.

The national tour is sponsored by The Boeing Company, The Trust for Mutual
Understanding, Nour USA Ltd., Konstantin Grigorishin and Aerosvit Airlines.
Additional financial support has been provided by Oleksandr Tabalov, Mykola
M. Shymone, Dean Buntrock and Chadbourne and Park, LLP.

“Crossroads explores the role of Ukraine in the development of the
avant-garde movement,” said Gregory Knight, Deputy Commissioner/Visual
Arts of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

“It includes works by well-known artists like Kazimir Malevich, Alexandra
Exter and David Burliuk and introduces American audiences to previously
unknown Ukrainian artists including Yasyl Yermylov and Oleksandr

The international avant-garde movement that reached its peak during the
first three decades of the twentieth century included many influential and
innovative artists from Ukraine.  As elsewhere in the former Soviet Union,
these artists were often persecuted and executed in the 1930s and their
works were banned or destroyed.

According to local experts, nearly 2,000 of these works were confiscated
by the government during the late 1930s, and only 300 remain today.  This
exhibition presents the best of these works, many of which have only
recently been viewed outside of Ukraine.

Writing in the exhibition catalog, Mr, Lobanov-Rostovsky noted: “This
exhibit is designed to show an American audience the talent and unique
nature of Ukrainian avant-garde art and to help understand that the artists
are, indeed, Ukrainian, not Russian, a difference not always appreciated in
the West.  Moreover, the exhibition is equally important because it will
also help Ukrainians acquaint themselves with their own cultural heritage.”

The public is invited to learn more about the exhibition with a full
schedule of events listed below that have been organized to accompany the
exhibition.  All are free, unless otherwise noted.

[1] Lunchbreak: Classical Mondays; Monday, July 31, 12:15pm;
Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center
The MAVerick Ensemble present a classical program inspired by the
exhibition, featuring the music of Boris Lyatoshynsky and Virko Baley.

[2] Gallery Talk: Thursday, August 17, 12:15pm
Exhibit Hall, Chicago Cultural Center
With Jane Friedman, Chicago-based independent scholar.

[3] Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema Festival: Wednesday, August 23 –
Friday, August 25, 7:30pm; Gallery 37 Rooftop, 66 E. Randolph Street.
This festival features a selection of some of the best works by Ukrainian
filmmakers produced over the last five years with film introductions by Dr.
Yuri Shevchuk, lecturer of Ukrainian language and culture at Columbia
University and founder and director of the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia

The festival is organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Kyiv
Committee of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, with
participation of the Ukrainian Film Club and the Ukrainian Studies Program
of Columbia University.

Tickets to the opening night of the film festival, catered by Fox and Obel,
are $15. The remaining nights of the film festival are free, but tickets are
required. To order tickets, please call 312-742-TIXS (8497) or visit
Wednesday, August 23 – Mamay (Dir. Oles Sanin, 2003, 80min.)
Thursday, August 24 – Ukrainian Short Narrative Films
Friday, August 25 – Ukrainian Documentary Films

[4] Ukrainian Modernism, Identity, and Nationhood: Then and Now
Wednesday, September 27, 6pm; Exhibit Hall, Chicago Cultural Center.
This discussion explores the parallels in Ukrainian art and culture during
two pivotal eras, and the affects of the nation’s recently-achieved
sovereignty and dueling influences from Western Europe and Russia.

[5] Gallery Talk: Thursday, October 5, 12:15pm; Exhibit Hall, Chicago
Cultural Center With Gregory Knight, Deputy Commissioner/Visual
Arts, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

[6] Special Lunchbreak Performance: Thursday, October 5, 12:15pm
Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
Ukrainian pianist Alex Slobodyanik performs Chopin’s Scherzo op. 10
b Flat Minor, Lev Revutsky’s 5 Preludes and Prokofiev’s Sonata # 7.

                                FOUR-COLOR CATALOG
Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930 is accompanied by a
four-color catalog, which will be available for sale at the Shop at the
Cultural Center.  A complimentary brochure will be on hand at the
exhibition. Teacher materials are offered for local educators, and school

groups are encouraged to visit by calling 312.744.8032.

Following its premiere in Chicago, the exhibition will travel to The
Ukrainian Museum in New York.  After concluding its American tour, the
exhibition will be displayed at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv.

Expanded hours for summer at the Chicago Cultural Center began on April 1
and run through October 31.  Viewing hours for Crossroads: Modernism in
Ukraine, 1910-1930 at the Chicago Cultural Center are Mondays through
Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to
6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The Chicago Cultural Center is closed
on holidays.

In Chicago, the exhibition is sponsored in part by generous support from
UA-TV, LLC, Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union, The
Heritage Foundation at First Security Federal Savings Bank, Hyatt
International Corporation and an anonymous donor.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the
Arts and Humanities.  Additional support has been provided by the Mission of
Ukraine to the United Nations, the Embassy Ukraine in Washington DC and the
Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago.

Exhibitions and related educational programming presented by the Chicago
Department of Cultural Affairs at the Chicago Cultural Center are partially
supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Transportation support is generously provided by United, Official Airline
for the Chicago Cultural Center.

For more information about Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930, call
312.744.6630. (TTY: 312.744.2947) or visit www.chicagoculturalcenter.org.
For information about the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, visit
chicagosistercities.com. Note to Press:  Electronic Images Available Upon
Request.                                                -30-

Contact: Jill Hurwitz, 312.742.1148 jhurwitz@cityofchicago.org
FOOTNOTE:  Our special thanks to Marta Farion, Attorney, Chairman –
Chicago Kyiv Sister Cities Committee, for sending the AUR the news
release about the Ukrainian art exhibition in Chicago.  AUR EDITOR
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
                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,


                         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

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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Chairman; Victor Gekker, Executive Director, Kyiv, Ukraine;
Washington, D.C., http://www.bleyzerfoundation.com.
   Additional supporting sponsors for the Action Ukraine Program are:
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4.  ESTRON CORPORATION, Grain Export Terminal Facility &
Oilseed Crushing Plant, Ilvichevsk, Ukraine
5. Law firm UKRAINIAN LEGAL GROUP, Irina Paliashvili, President;
Kiev and Washington, general@rulg.com, www.rulg.com.
6. BAHRIANY FOUNDATION, INC., Dr. Anatol Lysyj, Chairman,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. VOLIA SOFTWARE, Software to Fit Your Business, Source your
IT work in Ukraine. Contact: Yuriy Sivitsky, Vice President, Marketing,
Kyiv, Ukraine, yuriy.sivitsky@softline.kiev.ua; Volia Software website:
http://www.volia-software.com/ or Bill Hunter, CEO Volia Software,
Houston, TX  77024; bill.hunter@volia-software.com.
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Dr. Susanne Lotarski, President/CEO; E. Morgan Williams,
SigmaBleyzer, Chairman, Executive Committee, Board of Directors;
John Stephens, Cape Point Capital, Secretary/Treasurer
Brown Brook, New Jersey, http://www.uocofusa.org
Ihor Gawdiak, President, Washington, D.C., New York, New York
12. U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION (USUF), Nadia Komarnyckyj
McConnell, President; John Kun, Vice President/COO; Vera
Andruskiw, CPP Wash Project Director, Washington, D.C.; Markian
Bilynskyj, VP/Director of Field Operations; Marta Kolomayets, CPP
Kyiv Project Director, Kyiv, Ukraine. Web: http://www.USUkraine.org
13. WJ GROUP of Ag Companies, Kyiv, Ukraine, David Holpert, Chief
Financial Officer, Chicago, IL; http://www.wjgrain.com/en/links/index.html
14. EUGENIA SAKEVYCH DALLAS, Author, “One Woman, Five
Lives, Five Countries,” ‘Her life’s journey begins with the 1932-1933
genocidal famine in Ukraine.’ Hollywood, CA, www.eugeniadallas.com.
15. ALEX AND HELEN WOSKOB, College Station, Pennsylvania
16. SWIFT FOUNDATION, San Luis Obispo, California
17. TRAVEL TO UKRAINE website, http://www.TravelToUkraine.org,
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