Daily Archives: July 10, 2006

AUR#728 Jul 10 Foreign Policy Changes To Favor Russia; Yushchenko’s Four Conditions For Prime Minister’s Nomination; Morozchuk; Should Putin Host The G8?

                 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       

         Pro-Russians demand a foreign policy dedicated to relations with Russia
         President Viktor Yushchenko and Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk Say
                   Ukraine’s Foreign Policy Must Not and Will Not Change
                                                     (Article 6)
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
                Foreign policy will be dedicated to relations with Russia
One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1630 gmt 8 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, Saturday, July 8, 2006


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, July 8, 2006


RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 8, 2006

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1237 gmt 7 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sat, July 7, 2006


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, July 8, 2006


                  Yushchenko’s Weekly Radio Address To The People
Ukrainian Radio First Programme, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 8 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jul 08, 2006

7.                                         MOROZCHUK
       To sucker his partners in such a way he must have a unique talent.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Leo Amchuk in Ukrainian
Ukrayinska Pravda Online, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, July 7, 2006


Ukrayinska Pravda Online, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, July 7, 2006
             Dispute between Russia and Ukraine is expected to resurface
Ian Mather, Scotsman.com, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sunday, July 9, 2006

                             SHOCK “ORANGE” DEFECTION 
Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 9, 2006

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, July 8, 2006

                          STRUGGLED TO CREATE IN UKRAINE
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 14
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 2006

Agence France-Presse (AFP), London, UK, Saturday, July 8, 2006

Associated Press (AP), France, Sunday, July 9, 2006

Associated Press (AP), Rennes, France, Saturday, July 8, 2006

                  Former world time-trial champion rides for T-Mobile
By Jamey Keaten, Associated Press, Rennes, France, Sun, July 9, 2006

19                          SHOULD PUTIN HOST THE G8?
COMMENTARY: By Anne Applebaum
The Spectator weekly magazine, London, UK, Friday, 7 July 2006

Factbox, Reuters, Saturday, July 9, 2006
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Brussels, Belgium, Friday, July 07, 2006
By Richard Balmforth, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Sun, Jul 9, 2006
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Ivan Katchanovski, Canada
Action Ukraine Report #728, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 2006
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Natalie Taranec, Australia
Subject: Comment regarding M Ryabchuk response
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 206
    A Century Of Untold Ukrainian Stories About The Immigrant Experience
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From Orysia Tracz, Canada
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 25
Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 9, 2006
                 Foreign policy will be dedicated to relations with Russia

One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1630 gmt 8 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, Saturday, July 8, 2006

KYIV – [Presenter] One of the first steps of the new parliamentary coalition
will be a change in Ukraine’s foreign policy. Foreign policy should become
independent, and a separate chapter in the future law on the fundamentals of
home and foreign policy will be dedicated to relations with Russia, the
leader of the Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, has said.

Among other changes planned by the new coalition are decentralization of
power and the resumption of direct gas supplies from Turkmenistan to

The members of the coalition have already started talks regarding the
formation of a new government. They have identified the nominee for the
prime minister’s post: it has to be Viktor Yanukovych.

Also, the Party of Regions wants to control the economic and energy
sectors in the government. The rest of the posts will be distributed after
negotiations with the Socialist Party and the Communist Party.

Our Ukraine [propresidential bloc] and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc will not
receive any posts in the new government unless the orange forces join the
broad coalition, one of the leaders of the Party of Regions, Yevhen
Kushnaryov, has said.

[Kushnaryov] This is impossible because when we were ready to work in the
opposition, we did not claim any posts in the government, we only wanted to
obtain a certain number of committees in the Supreme Council [parliament],
and also a small number of state bodies, I stress, not executive bodies, but
state bodies which can supervise the activities of the government.

[Mykola Azarov, chairman of the political council of the Party of Regions,
in Russian] Now we are making proposals, then the leaders of the three
parties will meet, and I think they will reach understanding within just a
few hours. We will certainly not fight for posts, no quota principle
[proportional distribution of posts].                      -30-

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

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, July 8, 2006

KYIV – The Party of Regions’ leader Viktor Yanukovych considers it necessary
to change Ukraine’s foreign policy. Yanukovych announced this in his address
at the congress of Party of Regions deputies of all levels that took place
in Kyiv, the text of which Ukrainian News has obtained.

‘We should change the very essence of Ukraine’s foreign policy,’ Yanukovych
said. According to him, the country’s foreign policy should be independent
in reality and not only in rhetoric. ‘An independent Ukraine is an
independent foreign policy, a policy that serves the core interests of the
citizens of Ukraine. However, independent does not mean ambitious,’
Yanukovych said.

According to Yanukovych, Ukraine should return to a calm, prudent, and
confident tone in its foreign policy. ‘And particularly – in a separate
line – I would say that it is necessary to single out relations with Russia
here,’ Yanukovych said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the congress of Party of Regions
deputies of all levels opened in Kyiv on July 8. The Party of Regions, the
Socialist Party, and the Communist Party reached agreement on July 7 on
formation of a new parliamentary coalition.

On the same day, they nominated the Party of Regions’ leader Viktor
Yanukovych for the post of prime minister.

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Borys Tarasiuk has expressed confidence that
Ukraine’s foreign-policy priorities will remain unchanged regardless of the
format of the parliamentary coalition.               -30-

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

RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 8, 2006

KIEV – The leader of Ukraine’s pro-Russian Party of Regions said Saturday he
was planning to reconsider the relations between his country and Russia.

“Independent Ukraine means independent foreign policy,” Viktor Yanukovich,
who was nominated yesterday for the post of prime minister, said at the
All-Ukraine deputies’ forum in the capital, Kiev. “We must return to a calm,
reasonable and self-assured tone in the Ukrainian foreign policy, especially
in our relations with Russia.”

The Party of Regions, which won the largest number of votes in a March
election, but not enough to form a government on its own, teamed up with the
Communist Party and the Socialists to form a new parliamentary coalition
following the breakup of an alliance led by the pro-presidential Our Ukraine

“Ukraine has never been so close to the edge of an economic abyss as it is
today, and we are facing a national catastrophe,” Yanukovich said, adding
that his party was urgently developing an action plan to lead the country
out of the current crisis.                            -30-

LINK: http://en.rian.ru/world/20060708/51070115.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1237 gmt 7 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sat, July 7, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has told journalists that
Ukraine’s priorities in foreign policy will remain unchanged regardless of
the format of the [ruling] coalition.  “Ukraine’s foreign policy and
priorities will not change regardless of the format of the coalition and the
composition of the government,” Tarasyuk said.

Tarasyuk also said that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, the
president of Ukraine has great say in foreign policy. “Thus, a
constitutional mechanism exists that actually makes the president the main
subject ensuring the implementation of foreign policy,” Tarasyuk said.

He also said that as a representative of the Our Ukraine [propresidential
bloc] at negotiations to set up a ruling coalition of three political
forces, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Our Ukraine and the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc, and also as a participant in the consultations [to set up a
coalition] with the [opposition] Party of Regions, he can say that they have
managed to achieve more or less similar results regarding foreign policy. “I
do not expect any changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy,” Tarasyuk said.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, July 8, 2006

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko fears that Ukraine’s policy may change

after formation of a new parliamentary coalition. The presidential press service
announced this in a statement, a text of which Ukrainian News obtained.

‘If we are not going to speak of a democratic coalition, then let us be
conscious regarding the fact that the course that may be chosen by another
coalition is a course that can take us to a serious revision of that policy
that is being implemented in Ukraine,’ the press service quoted Yuschenko as

He stressed that a big question mark now hangs over the democratic gains

of the past few years.
‘The issue of a democratic coalition is possibly more important today than
it has been in the past two years,’ Yuschenko said.

He stressed that Ukraine needs a parliament with political forces that
accept mutual coexistence and are capable of reaching compromises for the
sake of the country.

‘For now, we are not seeing that. We are seeing many cases that speak of
self-destruction. It seems to me that this is a big political mistake by
every side behind which millions of people that voted for one or the other
stand. Therefore, the people that respect the mandates of voters should
behave themselves in another way,’ Yuschenko said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc’s leader
Yulia Tymoshenko announced in the parliament on June 22 that the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc, the Our Ukraine bloc, and the Socialist Party had
formed a parliamentary coalition.
On July 6, the parliamentary faction of the Socialist Party refused to back
the candidacy of the Our Ukraine bloc’s representative Petro Poroshenko for
the post of parliament speaker and nominated its own leader Oleksandr Moroz
for the post. Moroz was subsequently elected as the speaker of the
parliament. After this, Tymoshenko said that the coalition had collapsed.
Yuschenko later said that he was not ruling out the possibility of creation
of a parliamentary coalition with foreign and domestic policies differing
from his own course.
The Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party reached
agreement on July 7 on formation of a new parliamentary coalition.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                 Yushchenko’s Weekly Radio Address To The People

Ukrainian Radio First Programme, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1500 gmt 8 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jul 08, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said he will block the process

of the prime minister’s nomination by the ruling coalition until parliament
moves to resume the work of the Constitutional Court, whose members have
not been sworn in for more than six months by the previous parliament.

In a weekly radio address to the nation on 8 July, Yushchenko said three
weeks are left for the new parliamentary coalition to approve its programme
and format and to form a cabinet. The president said that Ukraine’s European
integration course and domestic policy will remain unchanged.

The following is the text of Yushchenko’s address to the nation by

Ukrainian radio on 8 July:

Esteemed fellow countrymen, dear Ukrainian community!

This week’s events in parliament have shown to what extent Ukrainian
democracy is vulnerable to political games and intrigues. We have created
the foundations of a new democratic political culture during the three
months when the coalition [of the president’s Our Ukraine bloc, the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialist Party] was formed. They must now

become the rule for Ukrainian politicians. We will face challenges more than
once. The constitution is there to protect us from them.

I have taken notice of the Supreme Council’s [parliament’s] decision to
elect the speaker [Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz]. At the same
time, I believe that there can be no Supreme Council chairman outside the
coalition. That is why I have initiated political consultations with all
factions in the Ukrainian parliament.

My position on the situation in the Supreme Council is as follows.

[1] First,
emotions should be put aside. MPs must decide on the make-up of
the coalition. They should present its programme and the format of work in
line with legislation. I need to see a viable coalition with which I will

[2] Second, this coalition has the responsibility for the effective work in
parliament and the government. I will react to its activity or inaction as

[3] Third, three weeks are left to form a government. The coalition should
submit a candidacy for prime minister for the president’s consideration. But
I will submit it to parliament only when the Constitutional Court resumes
its work.

[4] Fourth, my position remains unchanged at present. There will be no
revenge of Kuchma-ism [former President Leonid Kuchma’s rule]. The country
will move towards the European Union. The selected domestic and foreign
policy course remains unchanged. We will not divert from the road we have
selected. Our politicians are learning to do what they could not do, that
is, coming to agreement in a fair, open and responsible manner.

We are forming a new culture of relations whose basis is being laid for ages
to come. We can only be certain of our future if we pass this road. Ancient
Romans would say that being wise means seeing not only what is close but
also foreseeing the future.

Therefore, Ukraine expect productive and effective work from parliament.
Ukraine expects understanding and constructive dialogue from its leaders. I
remain a supporter of such dialogue. I am inviting all responsible political
forces to immediately continue it.

Thank you for your attention.                      -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
7.                              MOROZCHUK
        To sucker his partners in such a way he must have a unique talent.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Leo Amchuk in Ukrainian
Translated into English by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda Online, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, July 7, 2006

At the time when Oleksandr Moroz is sinking in the avalanche of criticism,
spite and aggression, he still deserves a compliment.

To sucker his partners in such a way he must have a unique talent. We can
only imagine excited Viktor Medvedchuk ordering live Rada Channel to
witness the whole action himself.

Greeting telegram from Cote d’-Azur reached Moroz almost immediately.

The way Moroz became the Verkhovna Rada speaker may lay down the
foundation for a new political culture in Ukraine.

If earlier politicians tried to hush down the scam, forgetting about
obligations taken in the lobbies and rest rooms, now they can openly ignore
public declarations, own autographs and shirts they have torn in the heat of
passionate promises at the rallies.

At that you can get the title of the nation’s ex-conscience.

Last week Korrespondent periodical published the list of the richest people
in Ukraine. If the weekly had delayed the issue for a couple of days we
could have seen famous names from SPU in this rating list…

Moroz got everything possible and impossible from his 5%. He followed
instructions worked out by the people who hate him now.

It was Yulia Tymoshenko who nominated Moroz for a speaker and presented
him the second political youth. She gave him that chance.

It was Petro Poroshenko who worked out a scenario for himself – to vote for
the speaker apart from other offices in the ‘coalition’ packet. That was the
subject of his negotiations with the Party of Regions (PRU).

Now the weapon turned against its developers.

Surprisingly, election of Moroz for the VR speaker was calm and quiet.

Tymoshenko was absolutely inadequate in such a situation – under the threat
of a soon collapse of the coalition and the loss of the premier office she
did not attack presidium, unplait the braid or at least burn out bulletins.

He had enough reasons to act so – beginning with violations of Parliamentary
rules and ending with the treason of the Coalition Agreement which was not
terminated. Instead, Tymoshenko was calmly sitting in the session hall and
then left the parliament.

Some people refused to believe Moroz could descend to such mean betrayal,
especially when his signature was still set on the Coalition Agreement with
Our Ukraine Block (NU) and Yulia Tymoshenko Block (BYuT).

Someone from the ‘orange side’ realized the situation got out of control.
Someone hoped Moroz would not be elected from the first time and that
‘prodigal socialist’ would come back to revolutionary family during the

At the marble column there stood MP who was lucky to be in the coalition
under Kuchma’s presidency. Observing the frigid process of seizure of power
by the blue-and-white ‘regions’ he could not conceal his annoyance at the
helplessness of the ‘orange’.

“Heh, this country lost Medvedchuk! He would show at least one way to
disrupt the voting! All you have to do is to spoil bulletins voted for

When the bulletins are taken out of the hopper, one of the commission
members hides a pen in the sleeve and spoils bulletins by setting an
additional sign opposite Azarov’s name. Bulletin with two signs is not
valid. It is that simple. But, alas!

The country loses its heroes indeed.”

With election of Moroz the VR speaker and formation of a new coalition
an intrigue is not over. Moreover is becoming more involute.

Sure, from the point of view of the common sense coalition of PRU and
the Communists is the same as if Lakers and Bulls united into one team.

Ideological antipathy may result in the loss of value for Akhmetov’s
capital – gradually Ukraine will worsen its investment image – or in the
loss of electorate for Symonenko – his voters may accuse Symonenko of
relations with bourgeois.

But from the revenge point of view the union of PRU and CPU got the
wind knocked out of the revolution.

On the other hand Communists in the coalition with PRU will have the same
role as the Socialists in the orange coalition – possibility for red chiefs
to dictate own terms until they are blue in the face.

To deprive CPU of such status the coalition will have to get reserve of 20
MPs. Yanukovych is going to enlist them in Our Ukraine (NU).

Yekhanurov and Kinakh, who are believed to control enough MPs, are the
hope for PRU

By the way, Oleksandr Volkov and Volodymyr Zaplatynsky, who are the
only MPs that voted for Moroz, got to Our Ukraine electoral list on Kinakh’s

VARIANT I – a part of MPs from Our Ukraine will join coalition.

That may happen even if Yanukovych becomes the PM.

– at least an insignificant representation of Our Ukraine in the government,
– additional factor for strengthening of the president’s role in case such
coalition is formed,
– depriving communists of their privileged status,
– attempt to liberalize power,
– possibility to get a packet of offices in the parliament.

By now, the coalition of Moroz-Yanukovych is not that sentimental even
to surrender the opposition the office of the First Vice-Speaker.

At least as of Friday all offices were shared between the trinity

speaker – Moroz,
the First Vice-Speaker – Adam Martynyuk,
Vice-Speaker Nina Karpachova/Rayisa Bohatyryova (unless she
becomes Vice-Premier in Humanitarian Matters).

At the same time even partial collaboration of Our Ukraine will worsen its
image. Yushchenko will have then to form two parties – one will take care
of morality and ideology and another will deal with PRU.

VARIANT II – Our Ukraine at the whole joins PRU which is almost
impossible taking into account that half of the party will not do that.

Such step will factually destroy Our Ukraine as a party. However, part of
its MP thinks it does not exist anyway.

Besides, there is an influential group of Our Ukraine MPs that will agree to
join PRU coalition only under condition that Moroz is discharged from the
speaker’s post and Petro Poroshenko comes into this office.

These are ‘dear friends’ who were the most sincere supporters of the orange
coalition on Thursday.

VARIANT III – Our Ukraine goes into opposition

Such step will keep the image but will completely deprive the party of power
in the country. But being in the opposition with charismatic Tymoshenko is
the threat to play the second fiddle.

In general oppositional status would be a good lesson for Our Ukraine.
The lesson is – to be in power and to think not only of own interests.

Such variant will be justified in case of early election. Oleksandr
Tretyakov, either jokingly or in earnest, offered Our Ukraine and BYuT to
run for elections under one voting list.

Yushchenko himself concedes dissolution of the parliament otherwise he
would not have reminded the coalition had less than three weeks to form the

As known, no one knows how to calculate the Time X since PRU claims
they have at least a month to form the government.

Yushchenko may use such pressure not to let Yanukovych become the PM.

….During the Orange Revolution Oleksandr Moroz never showed up with
an orange ribbon. No one noticed that.

It was not his Maidan. It was his ticket to future career.

And he is collecting dividends now.                         -30-
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2006/7/8/5705.htm

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
Ukrayinska Pravda Online, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, July 7, 2006
KYIV – Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of Social and Democratic Party of
Ukraine (united), congratulated Oleksandr Moroz with election on a post of the
Verkhovna Rada speaker. The party’s press-service reported that on Friday.

Medvedchuk expressed assurance that Moroz as a speaker “would support
further authority democratization, protection of social interests of
Ukrainian citizens, stable economical growth and effective external policy
on behalf of Ukraine.”

He also wished “firmness, buoyancy, solid health and splendid mood for
Moroz”.                                           -30-

Translated by Halyna Bondaruk,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Dispute between Russia and Ukraine is expected to resurface

Ian Mather, Scotsman.com, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sunday, July 9, 2006

GAS prices are set for another shock rise after this weekend’s G8 summit,
when a dispute between Russia and the Ukraine is expected to resurface,
British and European officials fear.

At the heart of the crisis is Moscow’s ongoing dispute with Ukraine, through
which 80% of Russia’s gas exports to Europe flow along a single pipeline,
making Europe vulnerable.

That vulnerability was starkly demonstrated in January, when Russia
unilaterally closed down the Ukraine pipeline, throwing gas prices into
turmoil and prompting a 16% rise in the wholesale price of gas, which hit
British and Continental consumers alike.

A temporary deal was put together, which led to Russia reopening the
pipeline. But last week, Ukraine’s prime minister in waiting, Yulia
Tymoshenko – a fiery and controversial figure, who has Western support –
pledged “wide, additional and deep revisions” to the deal. She said Ukraine
was now paying too much.

This infuriated Russian gas giant Gazprom, which supplies 30% of Europe’s
gas. Russian president Vladimir Putin renewed the agreement last week to
avoid poisoning the atmosphere at this weekend’s G8 summit in St
Petersburg – but only for another three months. Then, experts fear, the
dispute is likely to break out again.

However, Tymoshenko’s chances of succeeding to the premiership after three
months of wrangling were dealt a blow on Friday when her Orange coalition
fell apart acrimoniously.

She may still take over in the end, but if she fails the prospect for the
West is hardly better, since control of Ukraine and of its gas pipeline to
the West would pass into the hands of a pro-Russian coalition.

Western governments argue that Russia is the problem. EU Commission
president José Manuel Barroso said there was “a problem of lack of trust in
Russia as a credible supplier”.

US vice-president Dick Cheney suggested last month that Russia was using
oil and gas as “tools of intimidation or blackmail”.

This provoked an angry reaction from Putin, who threatened that if the West
tried to curtail Russia’s role in Europe’s energy markets, it would seek
other buyers for its gas.

Alexei Miller, head of Gazprom, the world’s fourth-biggest publicly traded
company, said recently: “The era of cheap energy is over. There is
increasing competition in the world for resources. Gazprom will use this to
diversify its export markets.”

The “gas war” has acted as a wake-up call to European governments, and is
one of the factors that led Tony Blair to order a review of British energy
policy, with a strong leaning towards nuclear power.

Jeffrey Waterous, chairman of Global Union Energy Ventures, an investment
company, said: “Whether or not Gazprom will cut off supplies again is not
the point. What’s important is that the perception of risk that this might
happen is high.”                               -30-
LINK: http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=999622006
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                          SHOCK “ORANGE” DEFECTION 

Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 9, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine is bracing for more weeks of stalemate after pro-Russian
parties formed a governing coalition and President Viktor Yushchenko vowed
he would not allow the new union to alter the pro-Western course he has set
for the ex-Soviet nation.

The stunning developments late last week turned the nation’s political
landscape on its head and indicated that the crisis-weary country — still
without a government following a March parliamentary poll — faced hot
summer weeks of political uncertainty.

The political earthquake in Ukraine erupted late Thursday when a key member
of the “orange” coalition, the Socialists, unexpectedly defected to
pro-Russian parties in order to elect its leader as parliament speaker.

Less than 24 hours later, the new allies signed an agreement to form a new
governing coalition that would control 240 seats in the 450-seat Upper Rada
legislature and seemed certain to slow Yushchenko’s policies of driving
Ukraine toward membership in the European Union and NATO.

The coalition named Viktor Yanukovych — the leader of the pro-Russian
Regions Party who lost the bitter “orange revolution” presidential contest
to Yushchenko in late 2004 — as its choice for the new prime minister.

But the president warned that he would submit his candidacy to parliament
only under certain conditions and vowed that his pro-Western policies would
remain intact.

“We will not veer from the chosen path,” Yushchenko said in his weekly radio
address Saturday. “Ukraine will head toward the European Union. The chosen
course for foreign and domestic policy remains unchanged.”

The president said he would move on a new premier nominee only after
lawmakers allowed the Constitutional Court to resume its work and if the new
coalition’s program reflected his policies.

“The coalition must present for the president’s review a prime minister’s
candidate,” Yushchenko said. “But I will submit it to parliament only after
the Constitutional Court begins functioning again.”

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has not been able to convene since last fall.
Lawmakers have refused to appoint their allotted third of the judges on
fears that Yushchenko would ask the body to review recent constitutional
changes that bolstered the powers of parliament at the expense of the

If lawmakers refuse to budge, Yushchenko could refuse “to submit the name

of the prime minister” to parliament and “we have early elections,” his chief
of staff Oleg Rybachuk told reporters.

The president can dissolve parliament if a new government is not formed
within 30 days after a governing coalition is legally registered in the

Yushchenko would likewise not move on the premier’s nomination if the new
coalition’s program conflicts with his policies, Rybachuk said.

“The president will be able to present the coalition’s candidate for prime
minister (to parliament) after he is convinced that the coalition will carry
out a program with which the president agrees,”  Rybachuk said.

Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party could join the new coalition if it excluded
the Communists and mirrored the policies that the “orange” union had agreed
to over three months of stormy talks, before the Socialists’ defection,
Rybachuk said.

The new governing coalition is made up of the Regions Party, a pro-Russian
big business blok, the Communists and the Socialists.
Ukraine’s March parliamentary election did not hand enough votes to any
single party to form the next government alone.

Currently Regions holds 186 seats in parliament, Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc 129
seats, Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party 81 seats, the Socialists 33 seats and
the Communists 21 seats.                         -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, July 8, 2006

Two weeks ago it seemed the Orange Revolution coalition had finally
re-formed. But now the sudden emergence of a new coalition has put the man
foiled by the revolution — Viktor Yanukovych — in a position to become
Ukraine’s prime minister.

PRAGUE, July 8, 2006 (RFE/RL) — Ukrainian politics has taken its second
sharp turn in the space of two days, with the creation of a new coalition
capable of commanding a majority in Ukraine’s parliament.

The three-member coalition includes two parties with similar pro-Russian
positions, the Party of Regions and the Communists. The dramatic change,
announced late on July 7, is the decision of the Socialist Party to join
forces with the two parties.

The announcement came a day after the party’s leader, Oleksander Moroz,

was on July 6 unexpectedly elected speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, the
Verkhovna Rada, with the backing of the Communists and the Party of the

Until that point, it had looked as if the Socialist Party would be joining
its allies in the Orange Revolution — Our Ukraine and the Yuliya Tymoshenko
Bloc — in a new government.

Moroz’s election effectively killed off a deal that the ‘Orange’ coalition
had struck about the distribution of leading position and, as President
Viktor Yushchenko conceded, it also indicated that efforts to form a new
Orange government had failed. That was swiftly confirmed by the formation

of the new alliance.

The new coalition has enough seats in parliament – 230 out of 450 – to
command a majority. As the leader of the party that won most votes in
March’s elections, the man who has been designated as the coalition’s
would-be prime minister is the leader of the Party of Regions, Viktor
Yanukovych — the man whose bid for the presidency in 2004, supported by
widespread fraud, was foiled by the Orange Revolution.

To Dissolve, Or Not To Dissolve Parliament?

 Difficult choices lie ahead for President Viktor Yushchenko (epa)But time
is short. Parliament reopened on May 25 and, under the constitution, the
president has the right to dissolve parliament if no government is formed
within 30 days. Yushchenko indicated on July 7 that he might use that right.

In a radio address on July 8, he indicated a number of conditions. One rests
with parliament: Yushchenko specifically stated he would endorse a new
government only after the constitutional court, which has been crippled by
parliament’s failure to elect new judges, resumes its activities.

He also indicated he would want clear assurances about the policies of a new
government, saying he would not accept major changes to Ukraine’s
foreign-policy goal of European integration.

He gave the new coalition three weeks to form a government. Yanukovych

and the new coalition therefore need to move quickly, first, to reach an
agreement on a new government and, second, to ensure that the coalition’s
paper majority translates into a vote of confidence in parliament.

Yanukovych and the new coalition therefore need to move quickly to reach

an agreement on a new government and to win the support of parliament.

Yanukovych has reached out to rival parties, saying his “coalition’s doors
will always be open, and every political force can apply to join the
coalition.” There has so far been no indication that either of the more
liberal parties will join the coalition.

Tymoshenko said that the primary issue at this point is whether, having
failed to produce a government yet, the Ukrainian parliament remains
constitutionally “legitimate” and whether the president will dissolve
parliament. “Until the president takes a stand, the parliament does not
enjoy full legitimacy,” she concluded.

Elements in Our Ukraine are thought to be more sympathetic to a government
featuring the Party of the Regions than to government with Yuliya
Tymoshenko, with whom relations soured during her time as prime minister in

But the key questions now are whether the new grouping can transform its
coalition into a government and whether Yushchenko might decide that the
best way forward is to disband parliament.

Ukraine has not had a government since March’s parliamentary elections and
so far this latest twist of events has chiefly highlighted the difficulty
that the country’s parties in forging and then sustaining alliances.   -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1400 gmt 8 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sat, July 8, 2006

KIEV – [Presenter] The results of talks on setting up a broad coalition
consisting of the Party of Regions, the Communist Party of Ukraine, the
Socialist Party of Ukraine and [propresidential] Our Ukraine [bloc] will
become known as early as next Monday [10 July], the leader of the Party of
Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, has told journalists after the all-Ukrainian
assembly of people’s deputies of all levels from the Party of Regions.

Yanukovych has repeatedly said that the newly-formed coalition is open to
other political forces and factions. Asked what compromises the Party of
Regions may make in talks with Our Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych said that
there are no serious differences between the Party of Regions and Our
Ukraine except some minor details. [Passage omitted: details of the assembly

[Correspondent] The Party of Regions advocates the principle of proportional
distribution of parliamentary committees, nevertheless, it is not going to
fill all the government posts with its own people. The Party of Regions is
ready to share some ministries with representatives of other political
forces, with unaffiliated politicians and even with those who have not yet
joined the anti-crisis coalition.

Today Yanukovych continues talks with possible participants in the alliance.
The Party of Regions and their allies will decide on people to work in the
government already on Monday.                    -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Anna Melnichuk, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Fri, Jul 08, 2006

KIEV – A top aide to Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko on Saturday
predicted a short life for the hastily formed pro-Russian parliamentary
coalition, whose creation could return to power Yushchenko’s former bitter
rival in the 2004 massive street protests against electoral fraud that
became known as the Orange Revolution.

In a stunning reversal of fortunes, the Socialist party broke ranks with its
Orange allies – Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the party led by former premier
Yulia Tymoshenko – and signed a coalition agreement on Friday with the
pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by Viktor Yanukovych, and the Communist

The move allowed the Socialists to get their leader, Olexander Moroz,
elected as parliament speaker, while Yanukovych was nominated prime
minister, prolonging the political turmoil that has gripped the country
since March parliamentary elections.

Yushchenko’s chief of staff, Oleh Rybachuk accused the new coalition
partners of being guided by personal ambitions rather than state interests,
and predicted the team would soon be shattered due to a lack of common

“They were proud that it took them hours to divide portfolios. They should
be ashamed instead,” Rybachuk told reporters. “What does the party of
businessmen with clear interests in Western markets (Party of Regions) have
in common with the Communists?” Rybachuk said.

Yanukovych has invited all the parties in parliament to join his coalition,
but Tymoshenko’s bloc has staunchly refused to cooperate. Yushchenko’s

party has yet to come out with a definite response.

Rybachuk also urged lawmakers to finally vote on Constitutional Court
judges, saying it was up to the high court to resolve a series of disputes
and questions that have been paralyzing the country’s politics lately.

The Constitutional Court has been sitting empty for several months, with
lawmakers refusing to approve the president’s nominees or name their own to
fill the 13 empty seats. Some lawmakers have accused Yushchenko of wanting
the judges in place so that he could appeal the constitutional reforms that
transferred many presidential powers to the parliament.

The formation of the new coalition is expected to be formally announced at 

a parliament session Tuesday, and lawmakers were expected to vote on
Yanukovych as prime minister. If the prime minister is approved, the
coalition would then have 30 days to form the government.

However, Rybachuk warned Yushchenko could refuse to fulfill his formal duty
of submitting the prime minister’s candidacy to the legislature if lawmakers
fail to vote on constitutional judges. Such a move could potentially deepen
the political crisis by allowing Yushchenko to dissolve the parliament and
announce a new vote.

Later Saturday, Yanukovych urged Yushchenko to “rise above your political
sympathies and antipathies, do your best so that society finally comes to a
mutual understanding.”

“Revolutions and rallies are over. The way to unite all of Ukraine is open,”
Yanukovych said at a congress of his party in the capital, Kiev.   -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

                         STRUGGLED TO CREATE IN UKRAINE

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 14
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 2006

Dear Editor: It is time for the people and government of Ukraine to take off
the rose colored glasses and see how Yanukovych and Moroz are infiltrating
chaos, anarchy and letting communism seep back into the democratic veins

we so struggled to create in Ukraine.

Is it possible that the Tatar’s have forgotten what horrid cruelty came down
on them from Russia, that the nation was banished and sent to Siberia as a

That the Russians then populated the land with their own people making the
Russian language the native tongue. Ukraine needs to be part of NATO, part

of a united democracy and not a child left alone  in the streets of propaganda
to fend for itself until it shrivels up and dies.

Now Moscow-Russia use Yanukovych and Moroz as puppets to agitate,

poison and mislead the minds of the people in Ukraine, Crimea, Moldova,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

We must stand tall as a people, the longer the world waits to accept

Ukraine into NATO, EU the more time Russia and her puppets have to
contaminate, confuse and corrupt the people.

Propaganda in daily doses from the Kremlin with wild accusations of finger
pointing to other countries such as the USA misleads the people. Let’s not
be sucked into the quicksand of Russia but soar to the blue skies of
democracy and breath the fresh air of freedom we so deserve.     

Respectfully Yours,
Eugenia Dallas (Los Angeles, California)(eugenia@eugeniadallas.com)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Agence France-Presse (AFP), London, UK, Saturday, July 8, 2006

LONDON – Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko, seen here in June 2006, insisted
he is determined to justify his 30 million pounds (55 million dollars) price
tag. Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko insisted he is determined to justify
his 30 million pounds (55 million dollars) price tag.

Ukraine star Shevchenko cost the English Premiership champions a club record
fee when he moved to Stamford Bridge from AC Milan in May.

He will also earn wages of around 110,000 pounds-a-week (203,000 dollars)
for the duration of his four-year contract, and it had been suggested
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho paid over the odds for a player who will be 30
this September.

But the former Dynamo Kiev forward is adamant he will prove Mourinho got it
right when he persuaded Blues owner Roman Ambramovich to sanction the

He told the Chelsea magazine: “He (Mourinho) is a very interesting person to
talk to. I am looking forward to proving on the field that he was right
about me.

“He said some kind words and I am very happy that Mr Mourinho said them,
especially as they are words coming from one of the best managers in the

“I have spoken to him for a long time and I feel that he is a very special
person and a very clever man, as well as someone who knows a lot about

Former European Footballer of the year Shevchenko admitted it was hard to
leave Milan, where he enjoyed great success during his seven-year stay –
including a Champions League triumph in 2003.

He added: “Obviously it was a very important decision for me and Milan. It
could be the first time that a player has left the club in the prime of his
career, so in a way this was not normal.

“I can only thank Adriano Galliani and the chairman Silvio Berlusconi
because they always behaved very well with me. “They also understood the
reason I was leaving was not money related, it was the mix of a new
challenge and family reasons.”                      -30-

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

Associated Press (AP), France, Sunday, July 9, 2006
FRANCE – Serhiy Honchar became the first Ukrainian to take the Tour de
France leader’s yellow jersey by dominating the first long time trial of the
race on Saturday.

The T-Mobile rider was easily the strongest against the clock, beating
American Floyd Landis in the seventh stage by more than a minute.

Sebastian Lang from Germany was third.

Honchar, who turned 36 last week, grabbed the front of the yellow jersey in
delight after it was slipped onto his shoulders on the podium. He said it
was the best day of his career since he won the world time trial title in
2000. “It was totally unexpected. I did my maximum,” he said through a
translator on French television.

After a week of mostly flat stages that favoured sprinters, the first long
individual time trial of the Tour was expected to give an indication of the
overall race favourites.

The shakeout didn’t end up exactly that way, though many anticipated
favourites ranked in the top 20 in the overall standings.

The biggest surprise was the performance of the T-Mobile squad – despite
losing its leader Jan Ullrich in connection with a doping scandal – and the
relatively lacklustre performance by the top Americans, except for Landis.

Honchar was timed at 1 hour, 1 minute, 43 seconds over 52 kilometers from
Saint-Gregoire to Rennes – at an average speed of 50.5 kph. The stage win
was Honchar’s first in three Tours. He won five time trials on the Tour of

Landis, of the Phonak team, was 1 minute, 1 second behind Honchar, and moved
to second in the overall standings. Lang was a further three seconds back,
and was 15th overall.

Australian world time trial champion Michael Rogers of T-Mobile finished
fourth and climbed to third overall. Teammate Andreas Kloeden – who was
runner-up to American star Lance Armstrong in the 2004 Tour – finished sixth
and was eighth overall.

At the winner’s press conference, Honchar said through a translator that his
name is Gonchar. But Tour organizers and his team said they would continue
to use the name on his passport, Serhiy Honchar.

Honchar said he and the other T-Mobile riders had prepared “100 percent” to
support Ullrich. Four of the seven T-Mobile riders left in the race placed
in the top eight.

Landis suffered a handlebar problem, forcing him to change bikes while out
on the course. But he said he was pleased with his ride. “I got beat fair
and square,” he said. “It looks good for the rest of the race, but there’s a
long way to go. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

Aside from Landis, a former teammate of seven-time Tour winner Lance
Armstrong, other top Americans were not as strong as expected. Levi
Leipheimer placed 96th, despite being among those expected to shine on the
Tour blown wide open by Armstrong’s retirement and the doping allegations
that took out Ullrich and Tour of Italy champion Ivan Basso.

The 6:06 that the Gerolsteiner rider lost to Honchar could end his hopes of
winning this Tour. Leipheimer did not talk to reporters immediately after
the race, but Landis said, “I wouldn’t write him off yet.”

Another former Armstrong teammate, George Hincapie, fared better, placing
24th. But he still trailed Honchar by 2:42.
Asked how his ride went, Hincapie replied: “Not good.”

US veteran Bobby Julich, a CSC teammate of time trial specialist David
Zabriskie, crashed out of the Tour after losing control of his bike on a
bend in the route. X-rays showed he broke a bone in his right wrist, CSC
team spokesman Brian Nygaard said. Zabriskie said he was distracted by fans
hurling water at him.

Honchar refused to predict how he might perform later in the three-week
race, which heads to the Pyrenees next week and then goes to the Alps.
Before the Tour, he had not been considered among the favourites to win the
overall title.

“I just want to enjoy this victory and the yellow jersey,” said Honchar, who
did not finish the 2005 Tour and placed 64th in 2002. “I don’t want to think
about anything else.”                                    -30-

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

Associated Press (AP), Rennes, France, Saturday, July 8, 2006

RENNES, France  – The Tour de France said Saturday it would stick to its
spelling of Ukrainian cyclist Serhiy Honchar’s name, even though he said it
was wrong.

The T-Mobile rider crushed the pack of competitors and won Saturday’s first
long time trial at the Tour de France, vaulting his name into media reports
around the world.

Because of what he thinks may have been a computer problem, his name was
misspelled as Honchar in his passport, when in fact it should be spelled

“It’s presented problems in airports and what have you, because my papers
didn’t match up,” he said at the stage winner’s press conference in the
western city of Rennes, where the seventh stage finished. “So, I had to put
an ‘H’ everywhere, but please call me Gonchar with a ‘G.”‘

Tour organizers said they would keep to the passport spelling. T-Mobile

team spokesman Luuc Eisenga said after the stage that the rider “is fine
with Honchar.                                     -30-
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               Former world time-trial champion rides for T-Mobile

By Jamey Keaten, Associated Press, Rennes, France, Sun, July 9, 2006

RENNES, France – On a day when other U.S. riders struggled, crashed or
complained, Floyd Landis set himself up as a leading contender in the Tour
de France.

Landis finished second behind Ukraine’s Sehiy Honchar in the Tour’s first
long time trial Saturday, and moved into second place overall after the
seventh of 20 stages.

Honchar, the former world time-trial champion who rides for T-Mobile,
dominated the field in the mostly flat stage – winning by more than a
minute – as he became the first Ukrainian to earn the leader’s yellow

Landis, the Phonak team leader, was impressed with Honchar’s effort but more
pleased with his own on the 32-mile ride from Saint-Gregoire to Rennes even
though he lost precious seconds changing bikes because of a handlebar

”I got beat fair and square,” Landis said. ”It looks good for the rest of
the race, but there’s a long way to go. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

After a first week of mostly flat stages that favored sprinters, the time
trial was expected to produce the top contenders for the first Tour after
the Lance Armstrong era.

For other Americans, Saturday was a bad day. Time trial specialist David
Zabriskie said he was distracted by fans hurling water at him; George
Hincapie muttered that his ride was ”not good,” and Levi Leipheimer did
not speak to reporters.

For veteran Bobby Julich, the outcome was even worse: He crashed out of the
race altogether with a broken wrist after his wheels slid out from under him
as he tried to negotiate a bend.

Landis, a 30-year-old from Lancaster, Pa., meanwhile came into the race off
wins in the Tours of Georgia and California, and in the Paris-Nice stage

”It’s more clear today than it was before that Landis is the big favorite,”
said Johan Bruyneel, sport director of Hincapie’s Discovery Channel team.

The T-Mobile riders claimed four of the top eight spots in the stage. Among
them was Australian world time-trial champion Michael Rogers, who was

Honchar’s win was the second at this Tour for his team, which lost its
leader Jan Ullrich – the 1997 Tour winner – and another rider to a doping
scandal on the eve of the July 1 start. ”I can’t imagine if Ullrich had
been here, because maybe the Tour would’ve been over today,” Bruyneel said.

Honchar’s time was 1 hour, 1 minute and 43 seconds – an average pace of
31.41 mph. Landis was 61 seconds behind. ”I just want to enjoy this victory
and the yellow jersey,” said Honchar, who did not finish the 2005 Tour and
placed 64th in 2002. ”I don’t want to think about anything else.”

Zabriskie, who won the prologue time-trial at last year’s Tour over
Armstrong, said he was distracted by spectators with freebies given out by
race sponsors along the race route.

”It’s like a circus out there,” he said, grumbling about fans who doused
him with water. When that happens, ”it’s hard to concentrate on exactly
what I need to do,” said Zabriskie, of Salt Lake City.

Leipheimer was the most glaring American surprise. He was 96th – and the
6:06 that he lost to Honchar could ruin his hopes of winning the Tour. ”I
expected him to go a little faster than that,” Landis said of Leipheimer,
who won this year’s Dauphine Libere stage race. ”I wouldn’t write him off

Hincapie finished 24th, but still trailed Honchar by 2:42. The New York
native who lives in Greenville, S.C., held the yellow jersey for a day.

Bruyneel said he was ”disappointed” about the time-trial result for
Hincapie and the rest of his talent-packed team, but plans to focus on
rebuilding morale and figure out how ”to go on the offensive.”

After more mostly flat stages ahead Sunday and Tuesday and a rest day
in-between, riders move into two days of tough climbs in the Pyrenees
mountains – the next major test in the three-week race that ends July 23.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
19.                      SHOULD PUTIN HOST THE G8?

COMMENTARY: By Anne Applebaum
The Spectator weekly magazine, London, UK, Friday, 7 July 2006

For sale, the advertisement might read: One very large Russian energy
company. Estimated assets, including oil wells, reserves, refineries:
$60 billion. Possible liabilities: four major international lawsuits, a
part-time CEO who works full-time as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy
chief of staff, and a certain – shall we say – lack of clarity about
whether the company legally acquired most of those assets at all.

I am talking here about Rosneft, the very large Russian energy company
whose shares go on sale in London next week. Don’t worry if you’ve never
heard of Rosneft; it hasn’t been a very large Russian energy company for
long. Much of its wealth was acquired recently – last year, in fact –
when the Russian government forced another oil company, Yukos, into
bankruptcy by demanding $30 billion in back taxes and sending its
chairman to a labour camp.

Only one bidder – a previously unknown company whose listed address
turned out to belong to a mobile phone shop in an obscure town – showed
up at the auction of Yukos assets. A few days later that mystery company
sold its Yukos property to Rosneft for a pittance – which was not
surprising, given that Rosneft’s major shareholder is the Russian government.

Have I mentioned that the Rosneft CEO works as President Putin’s deputy
chief of staff?

But the truly unusual, almost comic aspect of the Rosneft sale is the
openness with which this extraordinary company has presented itself to
the London Stock Exchange. When a prospectus was issued two weeks ago,
it contained a few warnings, including some that are uncommon in the
rarefied world of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and the other investment
banks which are straight-facedly managing the sale.

‘Crime and corruption could create a difficult business climate in Russia,’
notes the prospectus, which also points out that the company is controlled
by government officials ‘whose interests may not coincide with those of
other shareholders …and may cause Rosneft to engage in business
practices that do not maximise shareholder value’. Translation: when the
Russian government walks away with your money – as it walked away with
Yukos investors’ money – don’t say no one warned you.

There is no pretence here. The Rosneft sale next week – scheduled for
14 July -will establish the principle that companies with illegally
acquired assets can receive the imprimatur of the international
financial establishment – as long as they are rich enough. But maybe
that shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, on the following day Prime
Minister Tony Blair, President George Bush and the leaders of Italy,
Germany, France, Canada and Japan will meet in St Petersburg to help
President Putin preside over the annual meeting of the Group of Eight.

By doing so, they will establish the principle that authoritarian
governments can receive the imprimatur of the international political
establishment – as long as they are rich enough.

Admittedly, the G8 isn’t as serious an institution as the London Stock
Exchange. Although it started its life as a private meeting between the
leaders of the world’s largest industrial democracies, the organisation
has lately come to resemble nothing so much as a very expensive circus.

The Japanese, who consider the G8 a substitute for the UN Security
Council they’ll never join, racked up a $750 million bill last time they
hosted it. Others, the British Prime Minister included, have chosen
elaborate, crowd-pleasing ‘themes’, such as last year’s
save-the-Africans extravaganza, to boost their particular agendas. The
first Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, was allowed to attend meetings
on the muddled grounds that making him a member would magically turn
Russia into one of the world’s largest industrial democracies. It did not.

Nevertheless, President Yeltsin stayed in. His successor, President
Putin, stayed in too, mostly on the equally muddled grounds that it
would be too embarrassing to kick him out. Mr Putin has now taken full
advantage of this muddle and turned the St Petersburg meeting into a
major propaganda offensive, dedicated to the idea that Russia is still a
superpower – an ‘oil and gas superpower’ – and a democratic, free-
market one at that.

Just last week he defended his country’s deployment of gas-pipeline
blackmail to disrupt the Ukrainian elections on the grounds that Russia
had merely been ‘using free-market principles in the gas trade with some
of our neighbour states’. His top adviser held a rare public meeting to
announce that Russia is in fact a ‘sovereign democracy’ after all.

The Russian government has even hired a powerful American public relations
company (Ketchum, whose clients include Disney and Pepsi). Ketchum’s
job is to explain (as one Ketchum executive put it) that recent problems are
‘exceptions to the rule’, and more generally to encourage the Western press
to join their leaders in ignoring President Putin’s transformation of

For those with memories as short as those of London investors, it’s
therefore worth stopping for a minute to recall the highlights of that
transformation. To start with, President Putin destroyed independent
Russian television, which is now almost entirely state-controlled. He
twisted election results to ensure that he and his allies won by
landslides (not that, lacking media attention, his opponents would have
won anyway). He recently passed laws designed to make existence close to
impossible for Russia’s beleaguered human rights groups, environmental
groups and other independent advocates.

All the while, he continued his stunningly brutal (and now totally
invisible) guerrilla war in Chechnya, which long ago moved beyond any
legitimate repression of terrorism and into the realm of massive human
rights abuse.

The blatant illegality that accompanied the transfer of assets from Yukos to
Rosneft – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Yukos CEO, was arrested, put
through a macabre, Soviet-style show trial and sent to a prison camp where
he suffers mysterious ‘accidents’ – put a permanent dent in national respect
for the rule of law.

Much worse, though, for anyone who wishes Russians well, are the subtler
changes in the Moscow atmosphere. Paranoia is back: recently, when the
American Foreign Affairs magazine published an obscure article that idly
speculated on the aftermath of a US nuclear attack on Russia or China,
the city was instantly awash with rumours of impending nuclear war.

Fear is back too: once again, my Russian friends are too nervous to be
honest on the telephone. Some of them report visits – perfectly polite, it’s
true – from agents of the FSB, the agency formerly known as the KGB,
who are very interested in their foreign acquaintances and bank accounts.

A Russian visiting America last spring told me that he was surprised by
how many people, both in Washington and in Russia, had asked whether
he’s really returning to Moscow afterwards – ‘will you dare go back?’
being a question that no one even considered asking five years ago. It
is tragic but true: once again, Russia is a place where the
blunt-speaking watch their backs.

All of these changes at home have, of course, coincided with Putin’s use
of gas-pipeline blackmail in what Russia calls ‘the near abroad’ (and by
extension Western Europe); his attempts to undermine the governments of
Georgia and Ukraine and his increasingly ambiguous role in Iranian
nuclear and Middle East peace negotiations. Yet none of these changes
has prevented Bush, Blair and everyone else heading for St Petersburg,
where the leader of the ‘oil and gas superpower’ with a ‘sovereign
democracy’ and ‘free-market principles’ will welcome them with open arms.

And here is the real crux of the matter: it’s not the meeting itself
that counts; it’s the context. President Putin has met with Western
statesmen many times, and rightly so. Indeed, advocates of realpolitik
are absolutely right to argue that we should have normal relations with
Russia, that President Putin is a potential ally on many issues, that
Russia is not North Korea. But a G8 summit is not a normal, bilateral
meeting. The G8 is an informal gathering of the world’s largest
industrial democracies. By allowing Russia to head it, we have accepted
Russia as one of us.

And after everyone goes home? The Kremlin – along with Venezuelans,
Iranians, Arab leaders and other oil tyrannies – will sit back, laugh
and agree that the leaders of the so-called West merely pay lip service
to the ideals of freedom and democracy; they don’t really believe in
them. If you have enough oil, they’ll let you into their fancy clubs
anyway. As Putin’s defence minister recently put it, ‘In the
contemporary world, only power is respected.’ As Putin’s adviser
recently put it, ‘They [the West] talk about democracy but they’re
thinking about our natural resources.’

What is at stake here, in other words, is not just Russian-Western
relations, but the West’s very ability to go on talking about democracy
– in Russia, in Iraq, anywhere – and still get taken even remotely
seriously. In a world where the promotion of democratic and liberal
values is itself a realpolitik necessity – some form of political
liberalisation is absolutely essential to the battle against al-Qa’eda
and the ultimate integration of the Middle East into the global economy
– that’s a pretty big problem.

Oddly, the only people who seem really worried about the long-term
credibility of the West are Russians. In Washington a few months ago,
Andrei Illarionov, an economic adviser to Putin until his dramatic
resignation last year, told me that Putin always returns from G8
meetings feeling utterly convinced of the rightness of his political
course; more than once, Putin’s opponents have been arrested or put on
trial in a G8 summit’s wake.

By attending the G8 summit this month in St Petersburg, Illarionov said,
Western leaders will show their approval of ‘the nationalisation of private
property, destruction of the rule of law, violation of human rights and
liquidation of democracy’. Garry Kasparov, the chess champion who
dabbles in politics, has also said that the G8 will resemble ‘the Berlin
Olympics in 1936′ and predicts it will be followed by the ‘equivalent of
Munich 1938′ – the de facto acceptance of Putin’s Russia by the West.

But perhaps it is not surprising that Russians, not Americans or Brits,
are the ones pointing this out. After all, it is they, not we, who
really care about abstract ideas like ‘democracy’ and ‘free markets’
since it is they, not we, who will suffer without them. Russians also
understand better the significance that the G8 – a dull bit of
bureaucracy to most of us – has acquired in the rest of the world.

When I told Illarionov that Americans and West Europeans don’t care
much about the G8 one way or the other, he shrugged. ‘What is important
is not how you in the US view the G8. You have to think how your
participation will be viewed and used in the world.’

We, like the London Stock Exchange, have now been warned.      -30-
NOTE: Anne Applebaum is a contributing editor of The Spectator and

a Washington Post columnist and member of its editorial board.

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

Factbox, Reuters, Saturday, July 9, 2006
World leaders gathering for the Group of Eight summit in Russia are
expected to raise with host President Vladimir Putin mounting concerns
that he is rolling back democratic freedoms.

Some in Washington unsuccessfully urged President George W. Bush

to boycott the summit in protest at the way Putin has been accumulating
power. The Kremlin says the criticism is unfounded and much of it is

Here are the ways that, critics say, the Kremlin under Putin has been

undermining democracy in Russia:
[1] ELECTIONS SCRAPPED. Russia’s parliament, packed with Putin
loyalists, voted to abolish direct elections for the country’s regional
Under the new rules, the president’s nomination for governor goes for
approval to the regional legislatures, where Kremlin supporters also

[2] MEDIA “MUZZLED”. Russia’s three national television stations —

principal source of information for most Russians — give fawning
coverage to Putin and his officials while opposition politicians are
almost starved of airtime.

Critics say newspapers too are less free under Putin. Raf Shakirov,

editor of the respected Izvestia newspaper, was sacked for his coverage
of the 2004 Beslan school siege. Izvestia is owned by state-controlled
Gazprom, which with its other assets is now one of Russia’s biggest
media players.

[3] CIVIL SOCIETY. The Kremlin’s critics say it is now muscling in on

the one area of Russian life outside its control: charities and pressure
groups. A new law regulating these non-governmental organisations allows
officials to sit in on their meetings and gives wide scope to close them

[4] KHODORKOVSKY TRIAL. Once Russia’s richest man, oil tycoon

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving eight years in a Siberian prison for fraud
and tax evasion. Khodorkovsky was funding opposition parties and
challenging Kremlin policy. He says his trial was the Kremlin’s punishment
for his political ambitions, an allegation Putin has denied.

[5] PARTY BARRED. The nationalist Motherland party — one of Russia’s

top five parties — was barred from running in a series of big regional
elections, including one in Moscow where a court ruled its campaign ads
were racist. Its leader said officials shut it out of elections because
it had stopped toeing the Kremlin line.                 -30-
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International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Brussels, Belgium, Friday, July 07, 2006

BRUSSELS – The International Federation of Journalists today urged
Russian lawmakers to vote down legislation that could place severe
restrictions on free expression by increasing the scope of what is
considered “extremist  activity” to include criticism of public officials.

“This piece of legislation raises grave concerns that the Russian government
is attempting to stifle press freedom and any form of dissent in the
country,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This new law is far too
vague and could make it illegal for media to publish anything critical of
the government.”

On June 28, the Russian Parliament adopted in the first reading amendments
to the 2002 Law ‘On Counteracting Extremist Activity’. The final adoption of
the amendments would enlarge the list of categories of ‘extremist’ activity
punishable by law.

Extremist activity would include defamation of public officials if they are
accused of committing a serious crime and actions “impeding the legal
activities” of federal authorities or “linked to violence or threat of

The Russian government has said the purpose of the new legislation is to
fight ultra-nationalism. However, existing Russian laws already prohibit
inciting violent extremist activity or hatred based on ethnic origin,
religion, or affiliation to a certain group. The new amendments, however,
would make it possible for authorities to prosecute media for reporting
stories that criticise the government.

“With upcoming parliamentary elections in 2007, it is extremely important
that the media are able to maintain their role as a government watchdog,”
White said.                                    -30-
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries. 
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Richard Balmforth, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Sun, Jul 9, 2006

MOSCOW – It will be the high point of Vladimir Putin’s rule and mark
Russia’s resurgence as a global player, but he will not expect a hearty
slap on the back when he hosts Western leaders at a Group of Eight

Despite an unparalleled Kremlin charm offensive, including a televised
question-and-answer marathon by Putin himself, Russia goes into the St
Petersburg G8 summit on Saturday still the odd man out in the elite club of
industrialized nations.

Washington and its allies have questions over the state of Russia’s
democracy, its policies toward former Soviet allies and its conduct as a
huge world supplier of oil and gas.

But commentators say merely staging the summit will give Putin what he
wants — recognition Russia has recovered its self-confidence after the
chaos of the post-Soviet years and is ready to be a major world player

“I believe the future of our country can be ensured only if we feel
fully-fledged and equitable members of the world community and the European
family,” Putin said in a two-hour TV appearance on Thursday fielding
questions via the Internet.

Yuri Fyodorov, visiting professor at London-based Chatham House, said
the outcome mattered little: “In a way, the process of the summit is more
important for Russia than its results.”

Resigned to what could be a difficult encounter, Kremlin officials are
signaling the 53-year-old ex-spy with the low key style will strive to put
the accent on business-in-hand, try to play down controversy and would
settle for a muted affair.

President George W. Bush, whom Putin described on Thursday as a
“decent” friend, says he does not intend to lecture the Kremlin leader. But
if challenged by Bush or other G8 leaders Putin will dish back as good as

he gets, they say.

“He’ll not be pushed into a corner by uncomfortable questions,” Kremlin
first deputy spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Six years in power and due to bow out in 2008 to a successor he has yet to
name, Putin will want the summit in his home town to showcase the stability
he feels he has brought.

And while approval for his policies from Bush and the leaders of Britain,
France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan may not be in the offing, he will
settle for grudging acknowledgement of Russia’s new clout on the world’s
energy scene.

Moscow’s suspension of gas supplies to Ukraine in a January pricing row
saw it lose diplomatically as Europe suffered too.

But the mere fact energy security is the main theme at the July 15-17
gathering will fix Russia’s role of energy superpower in the popular
imagination. Chairing discussion of the

Iran and North Korean nuclear issues will only add to the gravitas.

                             CHALKING OFF PROBLEMS
In preparation, Moscow has steadily ticked off the points that set Russia
apart from other G7 members.

A rush of last-minute activity included steps to make the Russian rouble
convertible and signature of a $22 billion deal with the Paris Club to pay
off the entire Soviet-era debt.

Just last week Putin met heads of Moscow-based non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), a prudent move to pre-empt criticism of Kremlin
moves to curb their activity.

The Kremlin under Putin has tightened its grip on the media, neutralized
liberal opposition and centralized its power. In turn, Western hopes for
Russia’s course expressed when it was brought into the G8 in 1997 have
given way to open criticism.

As it readies to host the big G8 feast, Russia’s relations with the West are
ironically at their lowest point since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in

In just the past two months, Vice President Dick Cheney has accused Russia
of using its energy exports as a “tool of blackmail and intimidation”
against its neighbors. Putin hit back, comparing the United States to an

insatiable wolf.
Russian officials appear resigned too to not agreeing with the United States
on entry to the World Trade Organization by the time of the summit. “It will
not be a tragedy if the final deal comes later,” Kremlin official Sergei Prikhodko

Putin has his script ready if he is assailed on democracy or over “frozen
conflicts” where former Soviet allies Georgia and Moldova accuse Moscow
of backing separatist forces.

Charge us with human rights violations, and we’ll bring up abuses in the
U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison, the Kremlin line goes.

Press us on ‘frozen conflicts’ and we’ll ask our Western partners to justify
their support for Kosovo independence.

Commentators say it is a sign of Russia’s growing self- confidence that
Putin is prepared to take on criticism in St Petersburg — even from his old
friend, Bush.                                     -30-

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

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Ivan Katchanovski, Canada
Action Ukraine Report #728, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 2006

                            TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY
By Ethan S. Burger, Esq., Scholar-in-Residence
School of International Service, American University
Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACCC)
American University, Washington, D.C., June 2006
Published in Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #724, Article 14
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Dear Editor,

The issue of Ukraine’s future territorial integrity deserves a serious
consideration (Ethan S. Burger, “The Tenuous Nature of Ukraine’s Future
Territorial Integrity,” AUR-724.”) However, much of a discussion of this
important problem seems to be confined to popular media.

Ethnic Ukrainians are the majority in all regions of Ukraine with exception
of Crimea. However, many Ukrainians in geographic East, the South, and
even the Center of Ukraine prefer to speak Russian and embrace a pro-
Russian political orientation.

Numerous surveys conducted since 1991 have indicated that the
majority of the population in most of these regions, in contrast to Western
Ukrainians, supports pro-Russian orientation, including some form of a

union with Russia, but the popular support for outright separation of these
regions from Ukraine and their incorporation into the Russian Federation is
much weaker.

For example, the 2005 survey by the Institute of Sociology of the
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine shows that, excluding undecided,
92 percent of the respondents in the geographic East, 84 percent in the
South, and 53 percent in the Center, compared to 31 percent in Western
regions, favor such a union for Ukraine.

The January 2006 survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology
reveals that 40 of Easterners, 27 percent of Southerners, 12 of the
residents of the Center, and 4 percent of the Westerners support a
unification of Ukraine and Russia into one country.

While the level of support for the EU membership has declined, especially in
the East and the South since 2004, the prospect for joining of the EU has
the biggest potential to unite Ukraine in contrast to a deeply divisive
issue of the NATO membership.

A 2002 poll conducted by the Razumkov Center showed the absolute
majorities of Ukrainians not only in Western Ukraine (88 percent), but
also in the Center (72 percent), the East (71 percent), and the South (62
percent) favored the EU membership.

The failure of the EU to offer Ukraine, in contrast to almost all other
similar countries, a possibility of such as membership demonstrates that
many leaders and citizens of EU countries embrace double standards when

it comes to Ukraine, which they often even do not regard as European.

While I cannot speak for Francis Fukuyama, some of his views on the

conflict of civilizations, nationalism, and importance of religion in post-
communist countries, specifically in Ukraine, can be found in his foreword
to my recently published book entitled “Cleft Countries: Regional Political
Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova” (Ibidem-
Verlag, 2006).

This book also contains a detailed analysis of the role of historical,
ethnic, linguistic, religious, economic, and leadership factors in the
regional political cleavages and conflicts in Ukraine and an assessment
of risks of Ukraine’s territorial disintegration.

Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto 

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

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Natalie Taranec, Australia
Subject: Comment regarding M Ryabchuk response
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 10, 206

Joseph Stalin would have greatly appreciated your piece on Cold War II
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Mykola Ryabchuk
Addressed to Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #724, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Dear Morgan,

First of all I would like to say congratulations on producing an excellent
archive of material relating to Ukrainian issues. It is very informative,
and an excellent resource.

I am however slightly concerned about the publication of Mykola Ryabchuk’s
response to Dr Abbas Bakhtiar (unfortunately I did not see the first
article, however my comments are directed to style as opposed to content).

I felt the comments M Ryabchuk makes are an unprofessional attack on an
academic with whom he clearly disagrees. He does not clarify his reasons,
but lashes out emotively and sarcastically, perhaps to discredit Dr Bakhtiar

I feel that forums such as these should be the grounds for healthy debate
(for the important and sometimes controversial issues that you bring up)
conducted in a mutually respectful and professional manner, but not an
opportunity for personal attacks on individuals and their ideas. I have
always thought that, that is the point of freedom of speech.

Many thanks for your time.
With kind regards
Natalie Taranec, Sidney, Australia
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
   A Century Of Untold Ukrainian Stories About The Immigrant Experience

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From Orysia Tracz, Canada
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #728, Article 25
Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 9, 2006

Morgan, please pass this on to the readers of the Action Ukraine Report.

“Kobzar’s Children” is now out.  If you have not seen it yet — get thee to
a bookstore and ask for it, or order it online — for yourself, for gifts
(for all ages).  Pass this information on — to friends, to schools, etc., etc.

From the preface by the editor, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch:
“….  We are the Kobzar’s Children.  Our parents and grandparents
suffered in silence, with their life stories and histories either suppressed
or falsified.  This anthology tells a century of untold stories.  I hope
that after you read this book you will be inspired to talk to someone

whose stories have been deliberately forgotten.  The injustices that we
forget, we are bound to repeat.”

Maybe there will be a vol. 2, and more!

Orysia Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, orysia_tracz@hotmail.com
CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and

Kobzar’s Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories edited by Marsha
Skrypuch. Fitzhenry & Whiteside; $22.95, $14.95; 1-155041-954-4(hard cover),
1-55041-997-8 (soft cover). The kobzars were the blind minstrels of Ukraine,
who memorized the epic poems and stories of 100 generations. Traveling
around the country, they stopped in towns and villages along the way, where
they told their tales and were welcomed by all. Under Stalin’s regime, the
kobzars were murdered. As the storytellers of Ukraine died, so too did their

Kobzar’s Children is an anthology of short historical fiction, memoirs, and
poems written about the Ukrainian immigrant experience. The stories span a
century of history; and they contain stories of internment, homesteading,
famine, displacement, concentration camps, and this new century’s Orange

Edited by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Kobzar’s Children is more than a
collection; it is a moving social document that honors the tradition of the
kobzars and revives memories once deliberately forgotten.

“Kobzar’s Children,” Published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited:
LINK: http://marsha-s.livejournal.com/18648.html
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