AUR#740 Jul 28 Moment Of Truth Approaching Ukraine’s Political Life; New Poll Shows Party Support Changing; New Prime Minister Expected Soon

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR
An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – NUMBER 740

Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
PUBLISHED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, JULY 28, 2006

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

1. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT OPENS ROUND TABLE, SAYS MOMENT
OF TRUTH IS APPROACHING UKRAINE’S POLITICAL LIFE
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1310 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

2. UKRAINIAN DRAFT DECLARATION SETS 24 PROVISIONS
FOR COALITION OF NATIONAL UNITY
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1802 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Jul 27, 2006

3 . UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT HOLDS POLITICAL STALEMATE TALKS
Natasha Lisova, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

4. UKRAINE’S ROUND-TABLE TALKS STUMBLE OVER NATO
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1830 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

5. UKRAINIAN PARTY LEADERS EXCHANGE OPINIONS
AT ROUND-TABLE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO
UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1400 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

6. UKRAINIAN POLL SHOWS CHANGES IN PARTY SUPPORT
IF ANOTHER PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CALLED
Regions 38.7%, Tymoshenko Bloc 35.1%, Social Party not clear 3% hurdle
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1035 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

7. UKRAINE’S HAZY CONSTITUTION ADDS TO TROUBLES
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 July, 2006

8. MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: ROMANIA, RUSSIA, UKRAINE
What is happening now in Ukraine is very important to Moldova
Basapress news agency, Chisinau, in Moldovan 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

9. POLISH PRIME MINISTER SAYS WE WILL MAINTAIN RELATIONS
WITH ANY DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN UKRAINE
PAP news agency, Warsaw, in English 1234 gmt 26 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Jul 26, 2006

10. POLISH PRESIDENT COUNTING ON UKRAINE NOT CHANGING
PAP news agency, Warsaw, in Polish 2011 gmt 26 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Published: Jul 27, 2006

11 . UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MOROZ AND A TOP US
STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL DAVID KRAMER MEET IN KYIV
Discuss signing of declaration of national unity, foreign policy issues.
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0821 gmt 28 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jul 28, 2006

12. UKRAINE’S FUTURE LOOKS LESS ORANGE
Orange Revolution has gone sour
By Stephen Mulvey, BBC News, United Kingdom, Wed, July 26, 2006

13. UKRAINE: CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS DEEPENS AS ORANGE
PARTIES JOSTLE FOR POWER
COMMENTARY: By Niall Green
World Socialist Web Site, UK, Thu, 27 July 2006

14. “VICTOR YUSHCHENKO WILL BECOME A BANDIT HIMSELF”
Russian emigre tycoon says Ukrainian president should disband parliament
INTERVIEW:
With Boris Berezovskiy
By Oleksandr Chalenko, Segodnya, Kiev, in Russian 21 Jul 06; p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Jul 27, 2006

15. UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER TO BE APPOINTED VERY SOON
Yanukovych will be nominated, Regions Party expected to make concessions
Segodnya newspaper, Kiev, in Russian 28 Jul 06; p 3
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jul 28, 2006

16. “CENTRIFUGE TOWARDS THE CENTRE”
Ukrainian president likely to approve premier from rival camp
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuliya Mostova
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, in Russian 22 Jul 06; pp 1, 3
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jul 25, 2006

17. ORANGE REVOLUTION IS “OVER BUT NOT A FAILURE”
INTERVIEW: With Taras Kuzio
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations
New York, Washington, D.C., Monday, July 24, 2006

18. UKRAINE REMEMBERS VICTIMS OF HOLOCAUST
Monument dedicated in Zolochev, Lvov region
The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC)
Moscow, New York, Monday, July 24 2006

19. UKRAINIAN CARTOONIST’S WORKS ON EXHIBIT IN TEHRAN
Mehr News Agency (MNA), Tehran, Iran, Sunday, July 23, 2006

20. MAPPING UKRAINIAN CONTRIBUTION TO MODERNISM
By Kevin Nance, Art Critic, Chicago Sun Times
Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, July 27, 2006

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1
. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT OPENS ROUND TABLE, SAYS MOMENT
OF TRUTH IS APPROACHING UKRAINE’S POLITICAL LIFE

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1310 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko has told a round-table meeting with
leading politicians and public figures of the need to unite around the
principle of Ukraine’s unity and sovereignty.

In his opening remarks to the meeting in the presidential secretariat, which
was relayed live by state-run UT1, private ICTV and TV 5 Kanal, Yushchenko
said Ukraine is facing a “moment of truth”, and described the current
situation in parliament as a “trap and a dead-end”.

Yushchenko convened the meeting in an effort to find a way out of the
ongoing government crisis through the signing of a declaration of national
unity. The following is an excerpt from Yushchenko’s opening remarks
broadcast by Ukrainian television TV 5 Kanal on 27 July:

[Live broadcast starts in mid-sentence] forces that may have different
views, that may often have opposing views on one issue of Ukraine’s
development or another. But I am confident this is not a reason to split
Ukraine and the nation. It seems to me that the nation would never split the
country. It is split by politicians.

It has so happened that today we are facing big challenges to which we need
to respond. Some of these challenges were inherited. They have their own
history. Others developed within the framework of the recent battles.
Neither the former, nor the latter give us an understanding of tolerance,
the strengthening of the principle of co-existence.

They do not give us mutual understanding either. Therefore, I hope that
today’s round table will be the point from which we start counting a new era
in the political and social life of Ukraine.

The form of our dialogue is based on international experience. I am happy
today that a Ukrainian [round] table can be held today in Ukraine, in Kiev,
and we do not need to go to Warsaw, and we do not need to invite political
leaders from neighbouring countries or the West.

The time has come when we can initiate a nationwide polemic that is open and
fair. Its agenda is defined by the nature of the Ukrainian people, whose
philosophy and temper make them look for sophisticated and wise decisions
even in the hardest situations.

I am thankful to the participants of the round table for their readiness to
have this talk, to my political colleagues sitting to my right [parliament
faction leaders]. I know that for some of them this road was not easy, but I
highly appreciate your understanding of how important it is now to be at one
round table.

I would like to say special words of gratitude and wisdom to the
representatives of society who found time, when it was necessary, to come
here because I know many of them were outside Kiev and Kiev Region. I am
very thankful to you for this.

Your presence confirms that you are above [several words indistinct] all the
political discussions that can be held in this hall, because the scale of
actions now relate to such significant notions as independence, integrity,
Ukrainian democracy and Ukrainian freedom and fairness.

I am citing this series of concepts in order to stress the exceptional
importance of the subject and the prospects of our discussion.

UKRAINE FACES MOMENT OF TRUTH
I am confident a moment of truth is approaching in Ukraine’s political life.
We need to make a decision.

We are faced with a conflict, and not one of names, I am sure, but of
events. I would put these events together by saying that, first of all, they
are: the course of statehood and the course of state fragmentation; the
principles of democracy and the principle of manipulating the nation; the
basics of a new European political culture and the recurrence of the past,
revenge, moral contamination and the leukaemia of dignity.

During the fifteenth year of independence, the ideology of equal distance to
the west and east, north and south is still being imposed on people. We have
already been there. This is a dead-end.

You cannot hide from these problems regardless of what party you are in,
what flag you have above you. The Supreme Council [parliament] is at the
centre of these challenges. The situation that we can still see in
parliament can be described in one way only: this is a trap and a dead-end.

It seems to me there are two ways we can get out of this. By the way, we are
standing close to both of them now. And we have an inevitable choice, to
speak frankly. Either we follow the path of confrontation and delay solving
the vitally important problems of the nation and the state, or – maybe for
the first time in our history – we can pave a road to the real unity of the
nation.

The second step is much more difficult than the first one. Very often it
will be difficult for certain political forces to explain it to their
voters, but it is still possible.

It so happened that the election to Ukraine’s parliament ended with a score
of one all, with 8m votes for one bloc of political parties, and over 8m
votes for another bloc. Today it is up to politicians to make a true choice
of national strategy.

Either they are brave, stand upon principles of consolidation and take hold
of the national prospects, or they live by the principles of intolerance and
political warfare to the last man, not even accepting the principle of
coexistence. This scares me as president. It should not be this way in
politics.

The question is not about the relations between certain individuals. The
question is whether the political elite is capable of forming the national
course and following it strictly.

It hurts me that electoral rhetoric has not been forgotten, and instead it
was brought into the parliament hall. It concerns the issues that can never
split a European nation, whether it be discussion of the language policy or
our European choice, the integration issue or the WTO, church consolidation
or our history.

I am confident that a responsible politician will never speculate with an
issue that produces tension in society. The election is over.

NEED TO UNITE AROUND PRINCIPLE OF UKRAINE’S INTEGRITY
This is indeed an exceptionally difficult moment, and I ask all the
political forces to start uniting around the principles of the country’s
integrity regardless of the locations and political forces that you
represent.

We should unite to guarantee national sovereignty, the integrity of the
border and territories, implementation of economic transformations that are
market-based, open, competitive and clear. We should guarantee all the
democratic rights and freedoms that have been won. We should not allow a
step back for any democratic position or freedom.

Today we are strong not for our mottoes, but for resolute, wise and
consolidating actions. These are never too many for a good thing.

Anyone who wants to see Ukraine united, not ruins on both sides of the
Dnipro River, must understand this.

For all the fairness and strictness of the national truth, we should finally
conceive the real Ukraine and start its new day with the common will of the
authorities and the opposition.

Certainly, the unity of Ukraine is an unconditional category. But I believe
it may not be artificial, sly or semi-true. We will be able to achieve such
unity only when it is ultimately clearly defined and explained thanks to our
joint efforts.

What is unity? How do we understand this? How can we get consolidated
around this issue as the key national priority?

It seems its principles are the following:

[1] the integrity of Ukrainian territories, we should not speak or be sly
about the rest; the inviolability of its borders and territories; [2] a
close dialogue between the regions;
[3] the unconditional guarantee of the state status for the Ukrainian
language;
[4] a civilized approach to languages and cultures of national minorities;
[5] guarantees of the freedom of speech and all fundamental human rights
and freedoms;
[6] the creation of liberal conditions for Ukraine’s economic development;
[7] the implementation of the nation’s European prospects.

In my opinion, these are the basis of our unity. I think these are the
principles and categories that can unite us for the sake of the future.
[Passage omitted: Yushchenko compares the parliamentary election in Ukraine
to those in the neighbouring countries.]

We need to abandon a fluctuating course. We need to take a resolute stand on
the future prospects that are so important for Ukraine.

SHOULD CONFIRM IRREVERSIBILITY OF DOMESTIC,
FOREIGN POLICY COURSES
Finally. I would like to add a few thoughts to these fundamental aspects of
unity. It seems to me that the unity means respect for the spirit of public
tolerance. Understanding the uniqueness of the current political situation,
I consider it to be a true historical chance to achieve the political,
economic and spiritual unity of our country.

It seems to me it is a good occasion to talk about the integral Ukraine and
its unity, to forget the atmosphere of elections and to be wise.

We are obliged and need to be balanced and brave in dealing with the
challenge of current political problems, first of all those in the Ukrainian
parliament, and use the true national consolidation as an unbeatable ground
for the unity of Ukrainian society.

I am confident that while sitting at this round table we need to drop for a
long time the politics of revenge and confrontation. We need to confirm that
Ukraine’s domestic and foreign courses are irreversible. By the way, this is
the course that received support at the presidential election in 2004.

In our actions we need to drop the slightest personal ambition and be ruled
by the fundamental national interests of Ukraine. This is the most
important, in my opinion. By taking this road, we will be able to open new
prospects for Ukraine and for our people. By neglecting the voice of wisdom
and balance and by taking a different path, we will all lose.

Dear colleagues, I would like to welcome you to a dialogue once more. I am
confident that we will able to make the decisions that are the best in this
situation.

I am confident these decisions will become the basis for our common document
today, which is called the declaration [Ukr: Universal] of national unity.
[Passage omitted: Yushchenko describes the schedule of the meeting.]
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2. UKRAINIAN DRAFT DECLARATION SETS 24 PROVISIONS
FOR COALITION OF NATIONAL UNITY

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1802 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Jul 27, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is proposing that Supreme
Council [parliament] chairman Oleksandr Moroz, Prime Minister Yuriy
Yekhanurov and the leaders of the factions in parliament form a coalition of
national unity.

This is stated in the declaration of national unity offered for signing as
the result of the round table taking place in Kiev today attended by the
president, the leaders of political parties and public figures.

“We are convinced that the implementation of this declaration’s provisions,
which will form the basis of a majority coalition agreement, is only
possible if a coalition of national unity is formed in the Ukrainian Supreme
Council of the fifth convocation, and we support this step,” the draft
declaration says.

Interfax-Ukraine’s correspondent says that the draft sets out a plan of
actions for national unity coalition participants and it has 24 provisions.

The document defines points that must be carried out: Ukraine must remain a
single and unitary state, the creation of a balanced system; refraining from
confrontation between the president, the Supreme Council and the cabinet;
and reviving the work of the Constitutional Court.

The document proposes bringing decisions by all bodies of state authority
and of local self-government into line with the constitution. It is also
proposed to create political and legal conditions to ensure the opposition
can work without obstruction in election bodies at all levels.

The plan of action envisages reforming the executive authorities and
preventing the politicization of state service by making it a priority to
pass new versions of the laws on the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers and
state service prepared for presentation by Yushchenko.

The plan also includes the following provisions: the continuation of
judicial reform, reform of the law-enforcement bodies in line with European
standards, the bringing of criminal law and criminal justice into line with
the standards and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s committee of
ministers, the European Union and the rules of the European Court of Human
Rights.

The declaration says it’s necessary to introduce amendments to some
legislative acts to accelerate Ukraine’s entry to the World Trade
Organization by the end of 2006.

Other points are achieving annual GDP growth of no less than 5 per cent and
inflation of no more than 10 per cent, as well as the creation of at least
1m jobs a year.

Further, the plan proposes conducting tax reform to introduce property tax
and collect a single national insurance payment from wages. Also, it’s
planned to raise the quality of utility services by creating competitive
conditions in the housing and utilities sector.
Also, the document defines the need to raise Ukrainian citizens’ standard of
living and defeat poverty by implementing effective targeted social welfare,
as well as the need to provide worthy pensions.

The action plan talks of the need to stimulate the system of local
self-government by ensuring it is sufficiently financed and by reforming
administrative borders, and talks of a rejection of federalism in favour of
decentralisation.

The plan says it is necessary to pay special attention to the fight against
corruption at all levels of power by supporting the legislative initiatives
of the president in this area. It is also necessary to ensure Ukrainian has
the status of the only state language and the language of officials, whilst
at the same time guaranteeing the rights of languages of ethnic minorities,
in line with the European Charter.

On culture and the revival of spirituality, it is proposed to maintain
freedom of confession and support efforts to build a single national
Ukrainian orthodox church.

The plan says there must be the implementation of the Ukraine-EU plan of
action and immediate talks regarding the creation of a free trade zone
between Ukraine and the European Union, as well as the joining of a NATO
Membership Action Plan.

It envisages the establishment of effective economic partnerships with all
relevant foreign trade partners, guided by common interests and mutual
benefit.

These priorities must be the defining criteria of the formation and activity
of the coalition and the system of power as a whole, which will find as
their basis new mechanisms of social and political collaboration.

These mechanisms include: the drafting and introduction of regular procedures
for public consultations regarding important issues of social development and
state building, the formation of effective mechanisms of public monitoring
of the authorities’ actions, and ensuring openness and accountability of the
bodies of state and local self-government.

For this document to come into force, it must be signed by: Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko, Supreme Council chairman Oleksandr Moroz and
Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, as well parliament faction leaders Viktor
Yanukovych (Party of Regions), Yuliya Tymoshenko (Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc),
Roman Bezsmertnyy (Our Ukraine), Vasyl Tsyshko (Socialist Party) and Petro
Symonenko (Communist Party).

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3. UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT HOLDS POLITICAL STALEMATE TALKS

Natasha Lisova, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko held crisis talks Thursday to find a way
out of Ukraine’s political stalemate, but his appeal for compromise was
shattered when lawmaker Yulia Tymoshenko lashed out against what she
termed calls for artificial unity.

“In not a single democratic country in the world is it possible to unite all
political forces,” said Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange
Revolution, in an angry speech during the round-table discussions. “As a
rule, there are those in power and the opposition.”

The ex-Soviet republic has been locked in turmoil since Viktor Yanukovych’s
pro-Russian Party of Regions won the most seats in a March parliamentary
election, besting the pro-Western reformers who backed Yushchenko, but
falling short of a majority.

Yushchenko’s allies teamed up with Tymoshenko’s bloc and the Socialist Party
to create a majority coalition in June, but the Socialists defected before
it had time to form a new government. The Socialists united with the Party
of Regions and the Communists in a new coalition that proposed Yanukovych
as prime minister.

Fraud allegations during Yanukovych’s run for the presidency against
Yushchenko in 2004 triggered the massive protests known as the Orange
Revolution; the Supreme Court declared the vote invalid, and Yushchenko
defeated Yanukovych in a rerun.

Yushchenko so far has not forwarded Yanukovych’s nomination as premier to
the parliament. But because the parliament convened more than 60 days ago
without forming a government, Yushchenko technically has the right to
dissolve the legislature and call new elections.

Faced with the equally unattractive prospects of calling new elections or
allowing his foe to become prime minister, Yushchenko has been casting
desperately for a solution as the Aug. 2 deadline to decide on Yanukovych’s
candidacy approaches.

“The moment of truth has come, we need to make a decision,” Yushchenko
said at the start of the round-table, which was televised live.

Yushchenko proposed that all the parties sign a memorandum of national unity
that which would safeguard freedom of speech, Ukraine’s territorial
integrity, liberal economic reforms, European integration efforts and
support for a single national language, Ukrainian.

But when the leaders began discussing the memorandum, discussion over
whether Ukraine should join NATO sparked heated debate. The Socialists and
Communists oppose NATO membership, while Yushchenko countered that
cooperation with the alliance was the only way to provide security to
Ukraine.

After Yushchenko and Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko exchanged
barbs over NATO and the issue of creating a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church,
Tymoshenko said the sharp disagreements were an example of why a broad
coalition would not work.

“Why should we have two centers of power that rule the country with
different courses … it is only a matter of time before they clash,” she
said.

But Yanukovych, who is seeking Yushchenko’s support, appeared eager to find
a compromise. He said that “cooperation with NATO is natural.”

However, after six hours of talks, the party leaders failed to reach an
agreement on the text of the memorandum. Yushchenko ordered a working group
to hash out differences and prepare a final document by Friday morning.

The tension in the room was obvious, even without the main issue – of
Yanukovych’s premiership – being addressed. When Yanukovych went into a
long-winded speech, Yushchenko pointedly interrupted to tell him he had been
speaking too long.

Yushchenko ally Roman Bezsmertny said that the president’s bloc was willing
to work with Party of Regions, but only if a new coalition of national unity
was formed. “Today all of us must think first of all about unity,” he said.

Ukraine remains deeply divided between the Russian-speaking east, which
supports Yanukovych, and the Ukrainian-speaking west, which considers a
Yanukovych premiership a betrayal of the Orange Revolution.

Tymoshenko pressed the president to reject any union with Yanukovych, urging
him to dissolve parliament and call new elections.
Yushchenko has appeared reluctant to take such a drastic step.

The Party of Regions suggested earlier Thursday that it was ready for some
compromises, but would refuse to discuss dropping Yanukovych.

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4. UKRAINE’S ROUND-TABLE TALKS STUMBLE OVER NATO

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1830 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

KIEV – A heated discussion over Ukraine’s NATO integration erupted at the
round-table talks among the country’s leading politicians and public figures
held in Kiev today.

While President Viktor Yushchenko wanted the talks’ final document, called a
declaration of national unity, to contain a clear provision that joining
NATO is Ukraine’s goal, Communist leader Petro Symonenko and parliamentary
speaker Oleksandr Moroz called for the exclusion of such a provision from
the proposed document.

Addressing the participants in the round-table talks broadcast live UT1
state TV and three private TV channel, President Viktor Yushchenko recalled
that Ukraine’s European aspirations mean “joining the NATO defence system”,
which, in his view, “is the cheapest and the most reliable concept from the
point of view of national spending”.

“Do not forget that we are living in a country without a single meter of
demarkated state border. Esteemed politicians, you are responsible for
this,” Yushchenko said. He urged the politicians “to produce an honest
answer because we are not talking about virtual things but your families,
our families and 48 million Ukrainians”.

The president’s reasons, however, remained unheard by the leaders of the
Communist and Socialist parties. Both Petro Symonenko and Oleksandr Moroz
insisted that the provision on Ukraine’s accession to NATO be excluded from
the draft declaration.

“We will join NATO when we need to. We will hold a referendum when the time
comes. But today let us not include in the declaration something that
irritates people,” Moroz said.

Communist leader Petro Symonenko said that his party has been a consistent
opponent of Ukraine’s joining NATO and he is not going to sign any documents
containing such provisions. He suggested that a nation-wide referendum on
NATO should be held in Ukraine as soon as in November this year.

In an attempt to reconcile views of all participants in the talks, the
leader of the propresidential Our Ukraine parliamentary faction, Roman
Bezsmertnyy, proposed to amend the disputed NATO clause to read that a
decision on joining NATO should be taken following a nation-wide referendum.
Such wording, however, was rejected by both Symonenko and Moroz.

In the end, the participants in the talks agreed to form a working group
which is work out a draft declaration of national unity acceptable for all
sides of the round table by 0730 gmt 28 July. -30-
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5. UKRAINIAN PARTY LEADERS EXCHANGE OPINIONS
AT ROUND-TABLE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1400 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

The leaders of major Ukrainian parties have presented their positions at a
round-table meeting with President Viktor Yushchenko. The meeting, which
it is hoped will solve the current political crisis, is being broadcast live by
the state TV channel and three commercial channels.

The parliament speaker and head of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Oleksandr
Moroz, urged those present to sign an agreement on forming a grand
coalition, and said that all differences could be settled through talks.

The leader of the parliamentary coalition and head of the pro-Russian Party
of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, said there were few policy differences
between the old Orange coalition and the new coalition of his Party of
Regions, the Socialists and the Communists. He echoed calls for the
formation of a broader coalition, and praised President Yushchenko for not
taking the side of any political party.

“We are sure that the president will never take the side of any political
party, that he will be on the side of the state and Ukraine’s national
interests,” Yanukovych said. He expressed hope that they “will manage to
find a common language for the sake of the state and Ukrainian people”.

The prime minister and head of the propresidential Our Ukraine People’s
Union party, Yuriy Yekhanurov, said that a grand coalition can be formed,
but without the Communist Party.

“Only the president is the source of stability in this country, so the
government believes that it is his proposals that should become the
foundation for reaching a balanced and responsible compromise,” Yekhanurov
said. This compromise will make it possible “to form in parliament the only
grand coalition possible in the current situation, without the Communist
Party, but allocating to them the posts they have won in a difficult
struggle,” Yekhanurov said.

The opposition bloc leader, Yuliya Tymoshenko, has said she will never join
any grand coalition with the Party of Regions and listed grounds for holding
a new parliamentary election. Tymoshenko called on the president to dissolve
parliament and hold a new parliamentary election.

“I have to say that our bloc has won in 14 regions of Ukraine. Under no
circumstances shall we join any grand coalitions because today we see that
the budget resolution which has been submitted revokes all the decisions
adopted by the cabinet in order to combat the black economy,” Tymoshenko
said.

She said that politics has become “the most profitable business” in Ukraine.
This is why her political force “reserves the right, first, to insist on
holding a repeat parliamentary election because the political grounds for
this do exist, since the [parliamentary] majority does not enjoy the backing
of the majority of Ukrainian people”. “Second, parliament has been
discredited. Third, whatever we sign, there will be no unity as we all
differ ideologically”, Tymoshenko said. -30-
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6. UKRAINIAN POLL SHOWS CHANGES IN PARTY SUPPORT
IF ANOTHER PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CALLED

Regions 38.7%, Tymoshenko Bloc 35.1%, Social Party not clear 3% hurdle

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1035 gmt 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

KIEV – If an early election was called, the Party of Regions would be
supported by 38.7 per cent of voters who definitely decided to take part and
expressed a preference. The Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc would get 35.1 per cent
and the Socialist Party would not clear the three-per-cent hurdle, taking
only 2.8 per cent.

UNIAN’s correspondent reports that these are the results of a public opinion
survey unveiled today by the director of the Institute of Social and
Political Psychology of the Academy of Political Sciences, Mykola
Slyusarevskyy.

“Our Ukraine and the Communist Party would get less support [than in the
last election], although they would still cross the entry barrier: 6.9 per
cent and 4.4 per cent respectively.

As before, People’s Opposition Bloc of Nataliya Vitrenko is on the verge of
the entry barrier with 3.3 per cent. Pora-Party of Reforms and Order would
not get into parliament, with 2.5 per cent, and neither would the
Socialists, with 2.8 per cent,” Slyusarevskyy said.

At the same time, he stressed that if Our Ukraine and Yuliya Tymoshenko
Bloc formed a single list of candidates, they could count on 40.6 per cent of
votes from those who definitely decided to take part and expressed a
preference.

“On the same condition, Party of Regions could get around about the same
number of votes, 39.2 per cent, but the situation for other parties would
change. In particular, Pora-Reforms and Order would have a chance of getting
into parliament with 3.2 per cent, but things would be worse for Vitrenko’s
bloc (2.9 per cent) and the Socialists (2.6 per cent)”, he said.

The head of the institute’s laboratory, Pavlo Frolov, pointed out that
nearly half of respondents – 48.6 per cent – say they made a mistake in
their choice at the 2004 presidential election. “This opinion is especially
widespread among supporters of the Party of Regions (86.1 per cent) and the
Communists (81.9 per cent).

Only a quarter of those asked ( 26.5 per cent) still say they made the right
choice, and most of those are those who voted for Our Ukraine at the
parliamentary election (62.7 per cent) and Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (46.3 per
cent),” Frolov said.

The institute carried out the poll on 14-20 July. A total of 2,293
respondents were surveyed in 334 built-up areas, of which 146 urban and 188
rural. The poll was carried out among a representative sample of people aged
18 or over. The margin of error is 2.1 per cent. -30-
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7. UKRAINE’S HAZY CONSTITUTION ADDS TO TROUBLES

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 July, 2006

KIEV: Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko says that he will stick to the
constitution as he wrestles with a political crisis. But there is a problem:
neither he nor his opponents truly understand what the document says.

The constitution, hurriedly adopted during another crisis two years ago, is
unclear on crucial issues such as whether Yushchenko has the power to
dissolve parliament or reject its nominee for prime minister.

And the Constitutional Court, whose job it is to adjudicate on any disputes
over the document, is paralysed because parliament cannot agree on the
appointment of new judges.

Yushchenko is locked in a stand-off with the opposition majority in
parliament that wants him to appoint his rival, Viktor Yanukovich, as prime
minister. The Ukrainian president, citing the constitution, says that he has
the right to reject Yanukovich’s candidacy and dissolve parliament. His
opponents, also citing the constitution, say he has no such right.

“We have a collapse of constitutional law. It has just ceased to exist
here,” said Vadym Karasyov, director of the Institute for Global
Strategies, a Kiev think tank. “Every politician interprets the constitution
how he wants.”

Yushchenko’s aides say that the lack of clarity in the constitution has
helped bring about Ukraine’s political crisis. “Unfortunately, it contains
contradictions which have led to this situation and give rise to differing
interpretations,” presidential legal adviser Mykola Poludenny told
reporters.

Yushchenko and his opponents are working on a compromise deal that would
give Yanukovich the prime minister’s job. The real test for the
constitution, say analysts, will come if that deal collapses.

Article 90 (2) of the constitution states parliament must form a cabinet
within 60 days after the previous government is removed. If it does not the
president can dissolve the chamber and call new elections.

That deadline expired on Tuesday. But there is a loophole. Yushchenko’s
opponents say the last government was not removed but its authority expired.
Therefore, they argue, the 60-day countdown never actually started.

Article 106 (9) says parliament proposes its candidate for prime minister to
the president. He then has 15 days to present the nomination back to
parliament for approval. But it does not say if that means Yushchenko can
reject parliament’s choice.

The constitution took on its current form when parliament voted through
amendments to the document on December 8, 2004. That was at the height of
the “Orange Revolution”, a wave of street protests over a rigged
presidential election.

The amendments, watering down presidential powers, were part of a backroom
deal with outgoing president Leonid Kuchma that allowed Yushchenko to take
over.

The changes should have been followed up with enabling legislation spelling
out how to apply the principles in the constitution. Since then though, parliament
has been without a stable majority so the legislation has not been passed.
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8. MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: ROMANIA, RUSSIA, UKRAINE
What is happening now in Ukraine is very important to Moldova

Basapress news agency, Chisinau, in Moldovan 27 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jul 27, 2006

CHISINAU – The chairman of the Moldovan parliament, Marian Lupu, told
a news conference today that the Moldovan-Romanian relations should be
more flexible and intelligent on the part of both Bucharest and Chisinau.

Lupu assessed the relations between Romania and Moldova as “latent” and said
that this issue will be discussed within the forthcoming visit by Romanian
Senate President Nicolae Vacaroiu to Chisinau.

Marian Lupu described a recent proposal by Romanian President Traian Basescu
to Moldova to enter the EU together as abstract and unachievable as it lacks
practical maturity.

“Language, history and national issues are under permanent discussion and I
do not believe we will find a common language in these issues. There is a
single chance for good neighbouring relations, which is to eliminate
disputed moments from the dialogue and replace them with practical issues:
transborder cooperation, trade, economic projects, investments, cooperation
in the humanitarian sector,” Lupu said.

Speaking about Moldovan-Russian relations, Lupu said they are rather tense
at all levels and urged for a dialogue with Russia in order to resolve this
situation.

“Without Moscow’s participation, no solution will be found to the Dniester
conflict. The dialogue could be held at the levels of governments and
parliaments. We are witnesses of a new concept of Russia’s foreign policy,
which seems to be very pragmatic and even aggressive. We are going through
an adaptation period and I hope that common sense will win and we will find
areas of common interests in our partnership,” Marian Lupu said.

Commenting on prospects for relations with Ukraine, Lupu said that
Chisinau’s foreign policy will not change regardless of the way the
political situation in Ukraine develops.

What is happening now in Ukraine is very important to Moldova, especially in
the context of the joint border monitoring at the Dniester sector of the
border and the Dniester conflict settlement. What concerns the evolution of
political climate in Ukraine, there is a certain risk and we are waiting for
the outcome of the situation,” Lupu said. -30-

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9. POLISH PRIME MINISTER SAYS WE WILL MAINTAIN RELATIONS
WITH ANY DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN UKRAINE

PAP news agency, Warsaw, in English 1234 gmt 26 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Jul 26, 2006

WARSAW – Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Wednesday [26 July]
that Poland monitors the development of the situation in Ukraine with concern
but assured reporters that it would maintain relations with any democratically
elected government of that country.

Those are Ukraine’s internal affairs and we respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in
all aspects though we regret political crisis in the Ukrainian parliament,
the prime minister said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski underlined that Polish foreign policy vis-a-vis Ukraine
is pursued vis-a-vis the country and not a specific government. “We will
talk with every government,” the prime minister said.

He added that the situation in Ukraine has stabilized. “We do not want to
overreact,” he stressed. Democracy is a difficult process and a “hasty
declaration of failure” is “explicitly irresponsible”, the prime minister
concluded.

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10. POLISH PRES COUNTING ON UKRAINE NOT CHANGING

PAP news agency, Warsaw, in Polish 2011 gmt 26 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Published: Jul 27, 2006

WARSAW – President Lech Kaczynski told [commercial] TVN24 television
on Wednesday [26 July] that his Tuesday conversation with Ex-president
Aleksander Kwasniewski had been necessary. The meeting was about the
political situation in Ukraine.

“We spoke almost exclusively about the issue of Ukraine, where President
Kwasniewski played a very serious role,” said President L. Kaczynski. He did
not reveal details of the conversation. He said only that they had spoken
about “different variants”. “I think that at this moment we will still try
and talk with the highest circles in Ukraine, but it is of course Ukraine
that will decide about its fate,” he stressed.

The president made whether Poland will be the “advocate of Ukraine in
Europe” dependent upon the policy of that country. “We are defending the
interests of Ukraine in our interests as well,” he said.

The president is counting on it that the line of Ukraine “will not change”.
He added that “from the point of view of Poland, it is not a matter of
indifference what coalition rules there.” He stressed that there were no
factors tending to “a cooling of relations with the authorities of Ukraine”.
[passage omitted]

Asked about his attitude towards Kwasniewski, President L.Kaczynski stressed
that he had “never felt a particular antipathy towards him”. “We are people
who first had contact in our youth, but we chose completely different roads.
In direct contacts, President Kwasniewski is a pleasant man,” he said.

For L. Kaczynski, that the present and former presidents, “people with
different life-stories and belonging to different groups, meet from time to
time is something obvious”.

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11.UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MOROZ AND A TOP US
STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL DAVID KRAMER MEET IN KYIV
Discuss signing of declaration of national unity, foreign policy issues.

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0821 gmt 28 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jul 28, 2006

KIEV – The chairman of the Supreme Council [parliament] of Ukraine,
Oleksandr Moroz, has met Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and
Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State David Kramer to discuss
the signing of the declaration of national unity, as well as foreign policy
issues.

Speaking after the meeting on Friday [28 July], Moroz told journalists that
they had discussed the prospects for signing the declaration of national
unity and also issues related to forming a new cabinet. Moroz said he hoped
that the document would be signed on Friday. “I hope that the final document
will be signed today, or at least that there will be at least three
signatures on it,” Moroz said.

At the same time, Moroz said that the signing of the declaration or a
failure to do so by parties involved in the talks will not mean that a
coalition is formed, expanded or reformatted. “This document is a message
to society,” he said. He said he doubted that the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc
faction or the Communist Party would sign the declaration.

[Passage omitted: Moroz says the talks are held to find a “model for
Ukraine’s development”.] -30-
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12. UKRAINE’S FUTURE LOOKS LESS ORANGE
Orange Revolution has gone sour

By Stephen Mulvey, BBC News, United Kingdom, Wed, July 26, 2006

Everything was meant to change in Ukraine as a result of the Orange
Revolution in the last three months of 2004.

Corruption and cronyism were supposed to give way to transparency and
democracy. “Bandits” were meant to be jailed, dubious privatisations were
meant to be reversed. EU and Nato membership appeared to be within reach.

It has not quite worked out like that – though some important goals were
achieved.

“The main achievement of the Orange Revolution was freedom of speech,”
says Taras Berezovets, chief editor of the Ukrainian political website,
Polittech.org.

“Another benefit has been freedom of business. Politicians stopped
interfering, and we now have an economic boom, which has continued
despite recent political crises.”

A parliamentary election in March, unlike many previous elections, was free
and fair – so much so, that the winner was the man who “lost” the Orange
Revolution, the pro-Russian former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych.

He has now been nominated again for the premiership, which, under
constitutional amendments brought in after the Orange Revolution, would
make him the most powerful man in the country.

IN-FIGHTING
But many of the Revolution’s promised changes did not occur. Corruption
allegations still dog some government ministers. Political parties resemble
business clans, bankrolled by tycoons who often double as members of
parliament. Reports of vote-buying are rife.

Things started to go wrong from the very start.

Any political goals the leaders of the Orange Revolution may have shared
were forgotten during the coalition government headed by Yulia Tymoshenko,
which took office in February 2005, and quickly descended into in-fighting.

Ms Tymoshenko accused Mr Yushchenko’s inner circle of corruption. He
sacked her, and accused her of abusing her position to repay debts.

Mr Yushchenko then outraged many of his own supporters by turning to his
rival, Mr Yanukovych, for help in a parliamentary vote to confirm his new
prime ministerial nominee.

During the Revolution it had been Yushchenko and Tymoshenko against
Yanukovych. Suddenly it was Yushchenko and Yanukovych against
Tymoshenko, who voted against Mr Yushchenko’s nominee.

CATCH 22
In the months since the March election – in which his party came a poor
third – Mr Yushchenko has been faced with a choice of which enemy to form a
coalition with: Ms Tymoshenko or Mr Yanukovych.

Ukrainian commentators say he negotiated with both simultaneously, dragging
the talks out for months in an attempt to extract maximum concessions.

Finally, he struck a deal with Ms Tymoshenko, with the Socialist Party as a
junior partner, just as in 2005. But within days the Socialists had second
thoughts and opted instead to join a coalition with Mr Yanukovych. Now Mr
Yanukovych has the upper hand, and is inviting Mr Yushchenko’s party to join
his coalition.

Mr Yushchenko now has to decide whether to agree, or whether it would be
better for his Our Ukraine party to go into opposition. A third option,
favoured by Ms Tymoshenko, would be for him to dissolve parliament and
call new elections.

“It is a Catch 22 situation,” says Taras Kuzio, a senior fellow of the US
body, the German Marshall Fund. “Yanukovych as prime minister would
overshadow Yushchenko. Yushchenko would be sidelined. And his supporters
would desert him in droves, going over to Tymoshenko. Politically, he would
be finished. “But if he calls fresh elections it could be even worse.”

‘ANTI-CRISIS’ COALITION
Taras Berezovets of polittech.org agrees that new elections held now would
simply reduce Our Ukraine’s share of the vote from 14% in March to 9% or
10%.

What a new Yanukovych government would mean for Ukraine and for the legacy
of the Orange Revolution is an open question.

For example, the “anti-crisis coalition” formed by his Party of Regions, the
Socialist Party and the Communist Party, pledges to continue moving towards
Mr Yushchenko’s goal of EU membership and to abide by any result of a
referendum on Nato membership.

“Yanukovych claims he is a new man, and is not going back to the bad old
ways,” says Taras Kuzio. “We simply do not know whether he will have to work
within the parameters of the post-Orange system or not.”

How long a Yanukovych government would last is also unclear.

The Party of Regions’ big business backers do not have much in common with
the Communists, and neither group has much in common with the more “Orange”
members of the Socialist Party, some of whom have already begun splitting
away.

So whatever happens next, Ukraine seems far from a return to political
stability. -30-
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LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5215210.stm
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13. UKRAINE: CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS DEEPENS AS ORANGE
PARTIES JOSTLE FOR POWER

COMMENTARY: By Niall Green
World Socialist Web Site, UK, Thu, 27 July 2006

A coalition of the Party of the Regions, the Communists and the
Socialists-which together hold a majority of seats in the Ukrainian
parliament (Rada)-continues to be prevented from forming a government by the
leaders of the “Orange Revolution,” President Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia
Tymoshenko.

The Party of the Regions won the March elections to the Rada with 32 percent
of the vote. Tymoshenko’s eponymous political party came second with 22
percent, followed by Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine trailing a distant third.

According to the constitution, Yushchenko had until midnight July 24 to
approve or reject Party of the Region’s leader Viktor Yanukovich as the
country’s prime minister. The deadline passed with Yushchenko insisting he
has until August 2 to decide if he will endorse the new government or call
fresh elections to the Rada.

Presidential loyalist and former prime minister Yuri Yekhanurov has been
re-appointed head of an interim government.

Our Ukraine could join with the Party of the Regions in a “grand coalition.”
Roman Zvarych, a spokesman for Our Ukraine, indicated that if the
pro-Russian Party of the Regions was willing to adapt to Yushchenko’s more
pro-Western agenda, then the two parties could form a government. “We are
ready for cooperation on condition the country continues its domestic and
foreign policy line,” Zvarych said.

Ukraine should continue working to join the World Trade Organisation by the
end of 2006 and the European Union, as well as maintaining close ties with
NATO and eventually joining the alliance, he explained. This amounts to a
diktat that any deal between them would be predicated on the Party of the
Region’s adopting the policies of a party decisively rejected in the polls.

The formation of any government led by Yanukovich-the defeated presidential
candidate in 2004-has been strongly opposed by Tymoshenko, who has
demanded the post of prime minister for herself.

In a move intended to prevent the Yanukovich-led coalition from taking
office, Tymoshenko’s party resigned from the Rada on July 24. If they are
joined by 26 deputies from Our Ukraine’s faction, then the Rada will lack
the two-thirds quorum necessary to function, forcing fresh elections.

The move was also designed to place maximum pressure on Yushchenko in a
so-far unsuccessful bid to force him to use his presidential powers to
reject Yanukovich as premier.

For Tymoshenko, a multimillionaire oligarch whose fortune was made in the
privatised gas supply market in the 1990s, failure to gain power at the
expense of the Party of the Regions would be a political and personal
disaster. A Party of the Regions-led government would be likely to push for
her prosecution for numerous alleged criminal practices in business and
politics.

Caught between these factions, Yushchenko has faced a political “Catch 22”
since the results of March’s election left his party in a dismal third
place. Most Ukrainian commentators have predicted that if Yushchenko
responds to the demand of Tymoshenko and calls fresh elections, Our
Ukraine’s share of the vote will collapse, from 14 percent in March to as little as
9 or 10 percent, with many of its remaining supporters switching their vote to
either the Party of the Regions or the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko.

Alternatively, if the president backs the formation of a government led by
Yanukovich, then he will be portrayed by Tymoshenko as having “betrayed” the
Orange Revolution.

Most crucially, should Yushchenko allow the pro-Russian Party of the Regions
to take office, he will lose the backing of his principal supporter, the
United States.

The Orange Revolution, hailed in the Western media as a victory for
Ukraine’s “democratic forces,” was little more than a political coup organised and
funded by the US and other Western powers to bring to power a section of the
country’s elite that were amenable to Washington’s aim of weakening the
influence of Russia in all the territories of the former Soviet Union.

Yushchenko’s acceptance of a Yanukovich government would be unacceptable to
Washington, which has now identified Tymoshenko as the key figure to press
ahead with its strategy for Ukraine.

There is as yet no direct evidence that her decision to quit parliament was
approved by the Bush administration. But Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, fierce
opponents since the president sacked her from the post of prime minister in
2005, only agreed to share power as a result of pressure from the US to form
a Tymoshenko-led government that would keep the Party of the Regions out of
power.

The debacle in Ukraine has proven to be a major embarrassment for US foreign
policy. In the struggle between Washington and Moscow, the Orange Revolution
was seen as a major blow to Russian influence in a region rich in oil and
gas deposits and energy transit routes. Less than two years later,
Washington’s plans for the Ukraine are in disarray.

US and European media outlets, so effusive in their praise for the Orange
Revolution in 2004, are almost silent on the crisis in Ukraine today.

Writing in the Financial Times, Anatol Lieven, senior research fellow at the
New America Foundation, commented that current events “have been barely
reported by most of the US media, let alone commented on. This silence marks
a response to ideological and geopolitical embarrassment of which the old
Soviet media might have been proud.”

Despite the silence, Washington is already preparing to disrupt any new
pro-Russian government in Kiev. The Stratfor web site, highly connected in
US foreign policy and security circles, wrote on July 24 that Tymoshenko’s
task will be to mobilise her supporters “against a hostile government,
whether one emerges immediately or after a new election.”

The article continues: “Though [Tymoshenko’s] supporters are highly
motivated and often young, they are concentrated in western Ukraine and
Kiev. She enjoys almost no support in the heavily pro-Russia east. Should
she find herself isolated entirely from government, however, she might have
no other option but to attempt the large-scale undermining of Ukraine’s
political system through public demonstrations, blockades, work stoppages
or extra-constitutional maneuvers.”

There could not be a more frank description of the fundamentally
undemocratic character of Tymoshenko and, by extension, of the Orange
Revolution sponsored and organised by the US.

Stratfor concludes that her actions would not be driven by “resetting
Ukraine on a course toward Europe, nor about gaining concessions on energy
or economic policy. It is a matter of personal ambition. Having lost the
office of prime minister, she will not rest (or allow her followers to rest)
until she is back at the top.”
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LINK: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/ukra-j27.shtml
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14. “VICTOR YUSHCHENKO WILL BECOME A BANDIT HIMSELF”
Russian emigre tycoon says Ukrainian president should disband parliament

INTERVIEW: With Boris Berezovskiy
By Oleksandr Chalenko, Segodnya, Kiev, in Russian 21 Jul 06; p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Jul 27, 2006

The Ukrainian president should disband parliament to keep “bandits” from
coming to power, Boris Berezovskiy has said in an interview with a major
daily. He called the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine
“bandits” and said Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko should disband
parliament in order to prevent them from coming to power.

He also said the Americans “do not understand anything about what is going
on in the post-Soviet space”. He criticized the USA for violating
international law in Iraq.

The following is the text of the article by Oleksandr Chalenko, entitled
“Viktor Yushchenko will become a bandit himself”, published in the Ukrainian
daily newspaper Segodnya, which is close to the Party of Regions, on 21
July; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

PARLIAMENT MUST BE DISBANDED
[Chalenko] Boris Abramovich [Berezovskiy], what do you think of the current
political situation in Ukraine?
[Berezovskiy] I think President Viktor Yushchenko is the one who has pushed
it into a corner. And he has only one way out, if he really wants to solve
it. And that is to disband parliament.

I remember a conversation I had with him a year and a half ago, when he had
just become president. Viktor Andriyovych [Yushchenko] then told me that he
saw Ukraine as a normal, effective and democratic state. But in assessing
the current situation, he not only did not fulfil this task, but Ukraine
stands even farther from democracy than it did under [former Ukrainian
President Leonid] Kuchma.

If Yushchenko sends Viktor Yanukovych’s nomination [for prime minister] to
parliament, then that will be a betrayal of everyone who stood with him on
the Maydan [Independence Square in Kiev, the focal point of the Orange
revolution which brought Yushchenko to power in December 2004].

[Chalenko] And what should the president do after disbanding parliament?
[Berezovskiy] Go into the parliamentary election under a single list with
Yuliya Tymoshenko. Otherwise, [Yushchenko’s bloc] Our Ukraine will have no
victory, because Yushchenko himself discredited it.

Earlier I thought that Viktor Andriyovych represented the democratic
component of the orange movement in an ideological way, and not Yuliya
Tymoshenko. Now I have come to understand that I was wrong. It is Yuliya
Volodymyrivna [Tymoshenko] who personifies the democratic force.

[Chalenko] Perhaps you are not aware that the most recent polls show that
first, the people are against a new election and second, it is the Party of
Regions which would win a repeat election.
[Berezovskiy] I am sceptical of the data in polls. You see, Ukrainians have
a very mobile mode of thinking. Today they have certain sympathies and
tomorrow others. I think it is enough that 15 per cent of Ukrainians are in
favour of disbanding parliament. Because this is the progressive minority,
and it is this minority which moves the passive majority in social progress.

THE “BANDITS”
[Chalenko] Okay, but what if Yushchenko presents Yanukovych’s nomination
for prime minister in parliament after all? What will happen?
[Berezovskiy] The Party of Regions will physically take care of him.
Yanukovych is a bandit. Yes, yes. Once upon a time, Viktor Andriyovych
[Yushchenko] was not ashamed to call Yanukovych a bandit. So if he presents
him to be prime minister, then he will become a bandit himself.

Really, the leader of the Party of Regions is a figure from the 1970s, one
speaking in a mixture of criminal slang and the language of “homo
soveticus”. Tymoshenko is right in calling the last coalition in parliament
a union between the communists and criminals. Both of them are bandits. But
the communists have always been state bandits.

[Chalenko] And yet if there is a re-election, will you provide financial aid
to help Yuliya Tymoshenko set up an “institute of civil society”, like you
helped Yushchenko during the presidential election?
[Berezovskiy] I will not help Tymoshenko personally, because I am a foreign
citizen and do not have the right to do that under Ukrainian law. But I will
help a democratic and transparent election be held, like our Civil Freedom
Fund did in the last election.

Aleksandr Goldfarb, the chairman of our fund, is in Kiev now. He is holding
negotiations on help with the representatives of a few political
forces…[ellipsis as published]

[Chalenko] Which ones exactly?
[Berezovskiy] Ask him. We always finance projects which are directed at
supporting and developing civil society.

AMERICANS WITH NO CLUE
[Chalenko] The G8 summit was just held in St. Petersburg. They say that in
return for support in Iran and North Korea, the Yankees “gave up” democracy
in Russia and Ukraine. Is that true?
[Berezovskiy] You know, I wasn’t there, and so I don’t know anything. But I
can say one thing: the Americans do not understand anything about what is
going on in the post-Soviet space. One should not count on them in affairs
of democratization in Ukraine.

Remember when [Henry] Kissinger came to Ukraine before the presidential
election? He only met Kuchma and Yanukovych, and did not meet Yushchenko.
The Yankees are really hypocritical.

Instead of getting involved in democratization in Iraq (by the way, against
the law, as they are acting against the statute of the UN, having not got
its permission to invade), they would do better to be engaged in
democratization in Ukraine taking a strong position against Yanukovych.

They are doing nothing to counteract the Russian special services in
Ukraine. And it is they [the Russians] who have provoked the situation we
see today in parliament, including buying [speaker Oleksandr] Moroz.

[Chalenko] What happened to your court case against [Yushchenko’s allies
Davyd] Zhvaniya and [Oleksandr] Tretyakov?
[Berezovskiy] I know they have already been summoned. The case will be
heard in the fall. The English courts are slow, but they are fair.
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15. NEW UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER TO BE APPOINTED VERY SOON
Yanukovych will be nominated, Regions Party expected to make four concessions

Segodnya newspaper, Kiev, in Russian 28 Jul 06; p 3
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jul 28, 2006

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko’s party has dropped its demands to
replace Viktor Yanukovych as candidate for prime minister and exclude the
Communists from the parliamentary majority, Oleksandr Chalenko says in a
newspaper linked to Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

According to the newspaper’s sources, Yanukovych will be nominated for
prime minister on 28 July. The following is the text of report by Ukrainian
newspaper Segodnya on 28 July:

This country will most probably have a prime minister today. Yesterday it
became more or less clear that the president will submit the candidacy of
Viktor Yanukovych for prime minister to parliament. The time of this
nomination is already known – 1600 [1300 gmt].

[Party of Regions MP] Taras Chornovil has told Segodnya that an agreement
on this was reached with the president by 0900 on Thursday [27 July], as
members of his party were saying. In any case, the Party of Regions has
urged 100-per-cent readiness from its members, which means that everybody
has to be in the session hall today.

In the morning, the deputies will fulfil one of the main conditions of the
president for Yanukovych’s nomination – they will elect Constitutional Court
judges.

Something like unofficial consultations and working meetings went off and on
between the Party of Regions and [Yushchenko’s party] Our Ukraine earlier,
but yesterday full-scale negotiations started. [Communist leader] Petro
Symonenko has said that the earlier consultations between the coalition and
the Yushchenko people at the level of working groups looked like “talks on
the employment of the president’s people”.

Now the latter delegated to the talks [Our Ukraine MPs] Petro Poroshenko,
Roman Zvarych, Roman Bezsmertnyy and Anatoliy Kinakh.

Both parties told Segodnya that the talks are about to be completed. “A week
ago I did not have a feeling that a coalition will be, but now I have it,”
said Yuriy Pavlenko, who works concurrently as Our Ukraine MP and acting
sports and youth minister.

Incidentally, it has emerged that Our Ukraine finally dropped its demands to
replace Viktor Yanukovych as the candidate for prime minister and to exclude
the Communists from the coalition.

The Regions are expected to make the following concessions in return.

FIRST – appoint Petro Poroshenko as first deputy prime minister (when this
newspaper was printed, this was not yet confirmed).

SECOND – appoint [Economics Minister] Arseniy Yatsenyuk (a man of the
president) finance minister and subordinate the customs office, the control
and revision department and the tax administration to him (the Regions are
inclined to accept this).

THIRD – the fuel and energy complex has to be supervised by somebody from
Our Ukraine, but state monopolies like Naftohaz Ukrayiny go to the Regions
(this has already been settled).

FORTH – somebody who suits Yushchenko has to be appointed interior minister.
The Party of Regions can agree with this, but only if it is not [current
Interior Minister] Yuriy Lutsenko. One wing in the party, however, says that
Lutsenko as the minister will be no tragedy – let him join Yanukovych’s
government, and this will kill him as a politician. -30-
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16. “CENTRIFUGE TOWARDS THE CENTRE”
Ukrainian president likely to approve premier from rival camp

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuliya Mostova
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, in Russian 22 Jul 06; pp 1, 3
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jul 25, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is unlikely to disband parliament even
though it may be in his best interests to do so, an influential weekly has
opined.

The best option for his Our Ukraine bloc is to unite with opposition leader
Yuliya Tymoshenko and prevent the Party of Regions from forming a
constitutional majority in parliament, it said.

But Our Ukraine is apparently demoralized and is inclined to join the
coalition led by the Party of Regions. Yushchenko also likes the idea of an
alliance with the Party of Regions in exchange for an increased quota of
ministers in the new cabinet, but this is risky as new ministers will be
fully dependent on the prime minister and parliamentary speaker, who could
initiate their dismissal, it concluded.

The following is the text of the article by Yuliya Mostova, entitled
“Centrifuge towards the centre”, published in Zerkalo Nedeli on 22 July,
subheadings have been inserted editorially:

It is no secret to anyone that many parties and their leaders spend colossal
amounts of money on consultants experts and image makers. As a rule they are
not just feeding the horses.

No, these people whose calling is to make a politician’s image more
attractive, work – some better, some worse – for the money spent on them.
But the overwhelming majority of self-confident leaders in love with
themselves do not use the work of consultants scrupulously and
systematically.

FOLLOWING SOUND ADVICE – PARTY OF REGIONS
Only one political force showed an example of unwavering obedience to the
recommendations of highly-paid consultants – the Party of Regions. The funds
they paid were returned with more than just electoral dividends. And the
recommendations of American and Russian PR-men (by the way, ones not in the
Kremlin pool) are being followed after the election, too.

Both leaders and rank-and-file faction members alike are strictly following
the recommendations of the image-makers. And we are not just talking about a
dress code or topics for news conferences or about ways to present needed
information to the media or the need to send clear signals to influential
embassies. We are talking about the practically unwavering adherence to
rules worked out on public positioning.

Have you paid attention to the fact that representatives of the Party of
Regions have not allowed themselves to speak harshly about the president for
nearly four months? Or to the fact that the congress for Party of Regions
deputies of all levels was held in Ukrainian?

And of course you will recall that Donetsk, despite the efforts of
[Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine leader Nataliya] Vitrenko, did not
declare itself a NATO-free territory.

And everyone has already made due note of how severely and uncompromisingly
the Party of Regions is capable of fixing image problems. The instance of
kicking MP [Oleh] Kalashnykov, who took part in an attack on a group of
journalists from the STB TV channel, out of the faction is an eloquent
example of such capabilities.

This lot of micro and macro recommendations is meant to show Ukraine and the
world (meaning its Western part) another face for the Party of Regions. All
of this is supposed to make us believe that [Party of Regions member Mykola]
Azarov will no more put pressure on opponents using the levers of the Tax
Administration.

Or that [former election chief Serhiy] Kivalov, in administering the fate of
judges, will be guided exclusively by their professionalism. Or that [a
former deputy prime minister Andriy] Klyuyev will not show any interest in
shadow schemes in the fuel and energy complex in general or in state
joint-stock companies in particular.

And that [Party of Regions MP Mykola] Dzhyha will become that person who
will fill in the existing blanks in the [journalist Heorhiy] Gongadze
[murder] case.

OPEN EYES
One of the goals of the new political make-up is to create comfortable
public conditions for President Yushchenko, whose partnership the Party of
Regions is still trying to achieve. In principle, Mr Yushchenko has got into
a situation, which is in short characterized by the words: “I’d be happy to
fool myself”.

Of course, the president has the right to make any decision for which he is
ready to bear responsibility. But it is important for him, at this possibly
last strategic crossing to make a decision with his eyes wide open, and not
eyes wide shut.

FIRST, because, the decision will be equivocal in any case, but no less
responsible because of that. And SECOND, because his decision is a decision
on the fate of the political force which supported him. After all the fate
of the president and Our Ukraine is linked by many things.

Like the president, Our Ukraine is banging its head over the question “what
to do?” Practically no-one has a sure answer to this question. As before,
the bloc has three options open before it, as we wrote last week: early
elections, joining the coalition or being in the opposition.

It is perfectly clear that the bloc, which is not only split along party
lines, but also divided into groups of influence which define their goals in
differing ways, is in no condition to make a decision without the president.

One thing that appears very strange is not only that the president has not
found it necessary to meet with the Our Ukraine faction in the four months
since the election, but that he has not done so even after the creation of
an ideologically unfriendly coalition.

In essence, [Our Ukraine formal leader] Roman Bezsmertnyy is the link
between the faction and the president; he is able to take the entire
spectrum of opinions within the faction to the head of state. But only if Mr
Yushchenko is in a good mood. If he is storming like thunder and lightning,
then it’s not easy at all.

Yushchenko’s striving to narrow the number of people he converses with as
much as possible and the long search for a clear residential position has
led to not only the Party of Regions holding consultations with the group
composed of Bezsmertnyy, [Oleksandr] Tretyakov and [Roman] Zvarych which
is officially authorized for such consultations, but with other, unauthorized,
groups as well.

In the bloc’s information field, there are interpretive versions of
conversations between the “dear friends” and [Party of Regions MP Mykola]
Azarov and [Party of Regions MP Yevhen] Kushnaryov, the president and
[Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc – YTB – leader Yuliya] Tymoshenko, the president
with [Party of Regions MP Rinat] Akhmetov and the president with [prime
minister designate Viktor] Yanukovych and [outgoing Prime Minister Yuriy]
Yekhanurov with everyone.

There is no single “database” in either the bloc itself, or in the
presidential secretariat. In place of one, there is a wealth of information
snippets, based on which the president will make his decision. What
decision? Today, no-one knows.

THE PRESIDENT’S POSITION
There is a very great possibility that Viktor Yushchenko will introduce
Yanukovych’s candidacy [for prime minister] to parliament.

The president’s position has wavered between two extremes: from “never
in my life” to “I’ll introduce it immediately and let’s be done with it”. The
faction, thirsting for something definite has come close to the level of
dispersion in which the slogan “Save yourself while you can!” has become
close to many.

At the same time, both the Our Ukraine HQ and the presidential secretariat
are continuing to weigh various actions while waiting for Yushchenko’s
verdict. Polls prove the intuitive suppositions of those in the president’s
court: the orange electorate is demoralized, disappointed and most
important, apathetic.

Moreover, blitz-polls have convinced officials in the secretariat that this
negative tendency has yet to reach its peak. This argument, like a number of
others, including Tymoshenko’s dominating role in the attempt at an orange
comeback via early elections, is forcing the president to think ever more
sceptically about such a turn of events.

However, according to data at Zerkalo Nedeli, the aggregate sum of
psychological missteps taken by representatives of the Party of Regions –
Azarov’s tone of voice in discussing the budget resolution; Yanukovych’s
personnel position; the backslapping by [Communist Party of Ukraine leader
Petro] Symonenko and [Socialist Party of Ukraine MP Mykola] Rudkovskyy’s
hints at impeachment have worried the president, forcing him to guess that
tucking someone comfortably into bed does not mean it will be easy to sleep
with him.

It’s clear that it was exactly this which served as the reason which
perplexed the anti-crisis group (not to be confused with the anti-crisis
coalition) to prepare a list of all the risks, pluses and minuses of
disbanding parliament. Zerkalo Nedeli learned that this task was placed
before them on Thursday [20 July].

The main apologists for such a way out of the situation among those speaking
with the president are Yuliya Tymoshenko and [presidential chief-of-staff]
Oleh Rybachuk.

INFLUENCING THE GRAND COALITION
Now about the grand coalition and other forms of cooperation between the
president and the coalition which has been set up. A number of experts and
adherents to the idea are trying to convince the head of state that without
his people in the executive branch, the president will de facto lose all his
power by the end of September when the Party of Regions intends to establish
a constitutional majority [of more than 300 deputies in parliament].

Of course, there is a grain of truth in this. In order to remain a serious
player, the president clearly needs more than the two cabinet members
allowed him by the constitution – the foreign minister and the defence
minister.

But the constitutional majority that the Party of Regions is talking about
in the hallways as just a question of time will relieve him of the right of
veto over laws passed by parliament.

And the president can forget about the Constitutional Court which is now
being formed under the legal and sensitive leadership of Mr Kivalov. And so
Mr Yushchenko needs effective contact with the Party of Regions, by securing
that his people take 10 posts in the executive branch.

(By the way, a working group is working on themes meant to explain Our
Ukraine’s cooperation with the Yanukovych to the public at large. Of course,
the base of the pyramid of explanations is unifying the country and the
corresponding need for consensus.)

In the course of consultations with the Party of Regions, one of the groups
of negotiators reached an agreement that the personnel sacrifices in favour
of Our Ukraine would include the first deputy prime minister with
authorities, the minister of interior affairs and the justice minister.
There was also agreement reached that the two ministers nominated by the
president and not by the prime minister would not figure in the quota of 10.

We do not know whether Thursday’s [20 July] meeting between the president
and Viktor Yanukovych confirmed these points. We only know that Mr
Yanukovych was not ready to talk about specific personnel issues. And also
that he was very sceptical about the idea of dividing up the cabinet by
sector.

As you will recall, posts in the orange coalition were divided using this
very principle, upon which responsibility for the state of an entire
sector – the fuel and energy sector, the economy, the humanitarian sector
[and so on] – was carried by one of the three political forces in the
coalition all the way up the vertical of power.

That is, if Tymoshenko got the minister of fuel and energy, then that meant
Naftohaz Ukrayiny [state oil and gas company], the National Energy
Regulating Commission and other entities in fuel and energy were for her
personnel and other responsibilities. The Party of Regions does not want
that. That is, they only want it for themselves, without entrusting any
serious sectors to Our Ukraine.

MINISTERS DEPEND ON PARLIAMENT
And there are other points. Under the old constitution, as we recall, the
president wandered far beyond the legal field when he determined the fates
of ministers. Formally, they could only be dismissed at the request of the
prime minister.

But using the fact that the old constitution gave the president the right to
sign any decree to dismiss the prime minister, the head of state had direct
influence on members of the cabinet.

Now the fate of any minister depends on the parliamentary speaker, who is
capable of including a report from any member of the cabinet, or from the
prime minister who (in our case) controls the parliamentary majority, on the
agenda at any time. And that majority, in any composition, including without
Our Ukraine votes, will be enough to dismiss any minister at any moment.

And how much time do you think is needed to “recruit” the lion’s share of
potential Our Ukraine ministers? Especially if people in these posts are
people who have been calling for cooperation with the Party of Regions
consistently and for a long time…[ellipsis as published]

SERIOUS DOUBTS
I have also heard that the 12 presidential-Our Ukraine ministers put into
the executive will be able to first, defend themselves, and second,
influence the situation in the country. Two things force one to doubt these
thoughts.

FIRST, the spirit of the snake box which reigns in the presidential bloc
gives no reason to think that ministers who get into the Yanukovych
government will act remembering the parable of the divining stick and the
broom.

SECOND, Viktor Yanukovych style of leadership is different from the
democratic cabinet talk sessions with Tymoshenko or Yekhanurov’s silent
ignoring of the government’s opinion or of certain “government factions” and
representatives. In Yanukovych’s government everything will be quite simple:
“Battalion, line up! And forward, march!” Far from every person is able to
withstand such pressure.

WAYS TO COOPERATE
Now a little about who Our Ukraine can use to keep its finger on the pulse
of the executive branch. We are not talking about names.

The president probably cannot fully be guided by the principle of “three Ps”
in this situation [allusion unclear]. Understanding the large arsenal the
Party of Regions has, Mr Yushchenko will strive foremost to appoint
trustworthy, or rather loyal, people. We are talking about forms of
cooperation. There are three.

[1] FIRST – is Our Ukraine entering the coalition before the vote on
Yanukovych for prime minister? That is a collective and final “Goodbye,
Maydan!” [i.e. the Orange Revolution].

[2] The SECOND form is Our Ukraine joining the coalition after the prime
minister is confirmed. The law does not in this case require a
reconfirmation of the head of government or a new vote on him.

The main part of Our Ukraine (it cannot be ruled out that after adopting the
first or second variant of a decision, several people will de facto split
off and join YTB) will simply sign the coalition agreement after which their
representatives will join the executive branch. Sort of a “virgin birth”
with the real prospect of the consequences described above.

[3] But someone was able to come up with a third variant: Our Ukraine
remains in the parliamentary opposition and the quota is given directly to
the president who fills it with professionals and technical people not
affiliated to any party or to people who give up their membership in the
parties which make up Our Ukraine.

I never did figure out whom in central and western Ukraine they are trying
to fool with this “just a little bit pregnant” format of working with
Yanukovych. Nonetheless, this variant is being discussed along with the
others.
LOSING VOTERS
Independent of the chosen manner of cooperation, a situation could certainly
form as a result, one in which having joined the executive branch, Our
Ukraine loses its electorate once and for all and shares responsibility for
the results of the government’s activity with the other members of the
coalition – results which for both subjective and objective reasons are far
from guaranteed to be positive. At the same time, the president loses his
electoral support and the rest of his real power.

Possibly Mr Yushchenko is counting on an open, or perhaps closed, protocol
in which the Party of Regions’ answers to Yushchenko’s conditions are
written. It is known to be true that such a list exists. It includes issues
concerning the political future of the current head of state and issues
which are of principle importance to the development of the country.

In some ways this list is similar to the “Protocol of Differences” which
existed among the members of the former orange coalition. But it is hard to
judge the level of consensus which has been reached today between the
president and the Party of Regions.

It is known that the first group of issues was discussed with [Party of
Regions MP Rinat] Akhmetov. As far as issues of the state are concerned,
they were discussed with a wider group of participants. And at a certain
stage they gave the president optimism.

Whether they are enforced by “the Donetsk word” or a Donetsk signature is
not of principle importance for results, but for the president it is
important.

To say that there is a critical mass of people in Our Ukraine who feel joy
from the prospect of cooperating with the current coalition is to fool one’s
self.

There is no-one there on Yanukovych’s side, but there are those who are
ready to cooperate with someone who is strong; there are very few who love
Tymoshenko, but many who think a decision for our Ukraine to go into the
opposition is the correct one.

There are not a lot of people there who will blush when a little Ukrainian
asks “How could you guys screw up like that?” But there are a lot who
understand that the electorate which is left needs to be saved.

In light of the lack of consensus, the party cannot allow itself to cross
the president’s decision. And it appears that the overwhelming majority will
accept any decision Viktor Yushchenko takes. Whatever it is.

KEEPING TOGETHER IN THE OPPOSITION
Our Ukraine cannot go into opposition without the president. Those who
believe in this step are convinced: if Yushchenko, for any of the above
reasons, decides to cooperate with the legally established coalition and its
lawfully nominated prime minister, and the faction stays in the opposition,
then in a very short time, a significant part of the Our Ukrainians will de
facto join the majority.

And a smaller, but radical part, will be drawn into Tymoshenko’s orbit and
leftovers of the Our Ukraine faction will not be of any use or attractive to
the electorate.

Undoubtedly, if for one second you believe that the slogans used by Our
Ukraine during the presidential and even parliamentary elections were
sincerely shared by Viktor Yushchenko’s adherents, then there cannot be any
talk of cooperation with the “anti-crisis” coalition. Our Ukraine’s place is
in the opposition. Together with the president.

Exactly that decision is dictated [1] first by the traditions of the
civilized world – you couldn’t keep hold of power, didn’t justify the
voters’ hopes, did not show the talent of a negotiator – go into the
opposition. And the next election will judge whether the winners were able
to handle their tasks.

[2] Second, there is a real prospect that Our Ukraine’s quota in the
government as the “women’s’ council for the division commander” is not a way
out for the president.

[3] Third, the rescued and potential electorate has to be given a clear
signal of at least some kind of consistent action. After all, gluing the
country together doesn’t mean trading one’s principles…[ellipsis as
published]

People in Our Ukraine understand well that opposition under an uncontrolled
Yanukovych a la [former President Leonid] Kuchma is not only dangerous for
capital and career growth…[ellipsis as published]

They don’t believe Tymoshenko there, or in her striving to coordinate
actions with Our Ukraine. The statements on joint lists are considered to be
the result of shock which has not yet passed.

There they believe that it is not possible to keep the 150 MPs which are
needed to keep the ruling coalition from overcoming a veto and changing the
constitution or to keep the Party of Regions within at least some semblance
of democratic bounds without allowing appetites to grow to monarchical size.

People there do not believe their comrades in the bloc, thinking that sooner
or later the Party of Regions will find enough arguments to create a
constitutional majority at their own expense and at that of YTB.

And the fact that Andriy Klyuyev – who is responsible for this ticklish
direction – is not forcing Our Ukraine and YTB MPs into the coalition camp
today does not comfort those who know the weaknesses of their party fellows.

People in Our Ukraine do not believe that Viktor Yushchenko will disband
parliament. And that is the most important thing. And so when talk is of the
opposition, people are looking foremost not for ways to act, but for reasons
which would explain why this is impossible.

In the big picture, no-one in Our Ukraine is flattered by getting
[chairmanship of parliament’s several standing] committees and no-one
considers posts held to be a means to influence parliamentary decisions.

[1] First, because the Party of Regions has created its own majorities in
those committees which the opposition has been given. And [2] second,
because decisions are made by the majority in the session hall anyway and a
committee’s position can be ignored.

ACTING RATHER THAN ASKING WHAT TO DO
In fact if what has transpired had served as a lesson for Our Ukraine and
YTB, then today they would not be asking “what to do?”

A sober assessment of the prospects of early elections; consolidation of
positions in communicating with the president and forming his point of view;
working out and publicly confirming joint plans; setting up an analytical
group for working on basic directions for developing the economy and
withstanding threats to national security; or drafting corresponding bills.

Or working to hold onto a critical number in factions which would make
possible a business opposition as well as a political opposition to exist in
the country.

Does anyone doubt that [wealthy businessmen Serhiy] Taruta, [Vitaliy]
Hayduk, [Ihor] Kolomoyskyy and an entire slew of other businessmen will
sleep soundly even one night after Yanukovych becomes prime minister?

With the move of the two orange factions into the opposition, voters will
get a clear signal and orientation. The country in general will get an
understandable system of political relations and an opposition capable of
fairly effectively defending rights and freedoms. And the civilized world
will understand what is happening.

Nevertheless, today the chance for such a variant is slight. It is much more
likely that the president will take Viktor Yanukovych’s candidacy for
confirmation by parliament for which the president will get his enlarged
quota in the executive branch. And that will happen not because the Party of
Regions does not have enough votes in the session hall or personnel to fill
vacant posts.

It will happen not because many in the Party of Regions think that a union
with the Communist Party of Ukraine does nothing to decorate a “market”
party and not because Rinat Akhmetov is beginning to understand that
Oleksandr Moroz in the political game is a figure as big as Akhmetov in
business. And that Akhmetov’s experience in politics is about the same as
Moroz’ experience in business…[ellipsis as published]

The Party of Regions and its person number one need the president and Our
Ukraine for “image”.

What did Mykola Azarov get for showing up on Independence Square in an
orange scarf [in 2004]? And how his fellow party members laugh at the
humiliating procedure of “voting for the speaker” [earlier this month, when
nobody voted for Azarov].

But Mr Yanukovych gets complete use of the country and the possibility to
enter civilized society as a “homo erectus”. But he doesn’t need to put on
an orange scarf to do this, just an orange mask.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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17. ORANGE REVOLUTION IS “OVER BUT NOT A FAILURE”

INTERVIEW: With Taras Kuzio
By Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations
New York, Washington, D.C., Monday, July 24, 2006

Taras Kuzio ( http://www.gwu.edu/~elliott/faculty/kuzio.cfm), an expert on
post-Soviet affairs at George Washington University, discusses the current
political crisis in Ukraine and what it means for the country’s relations
with the United States, the European Union, and Russia. He says the Orange
Revolution, while over, should not be considered a failure.

[QUESTION] Why has it taken three months for a government to get off the
ground in Ukraine?

[TARAS KUZIO] With the new constitutional reform that was introduced this
year just ahead of the parliamentary elections. The Ukraine moved from a
presidential to, in effect, a parliamentary presidential system. Therefore,
one could lay some blame upon this being a completely new system for
Ukraine.

The move to a parliamentary presidential system is in many ways when looking
at the transitions imposed in Europe a very positive thing because countries
with parliamentary systems have tended to do far better in democratization
than those in the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] which tend to
have presidential systems. That is one factor.

A second factor has been the ingoing division within the orange revolution
camp which became in September of last year when the Yulia Tymoshenko
government was dismissed by Viktor Yushchenko, and since then the orange
camp which consists of three political forces Ukraine allied to the
president, Yulia Tymoshenko bloc, and the socialist party. The three have
really never gotten back together again and they entered the parliamentary
elections in March as a separate component.

These inner divisions led to very long and protracted coalition
negotiations, and the government can not be proposed under the new
constitutional reforms until a parliamentary coalition is created because
previously under the old system it was the president who appointed the
government. Now the government is appointed and responsible to a
parliamentary coalition-so more of a west European model.

[QUESTION] Given the outcome of the March elections, it seems the
Ukrainian public has swung back toward the Party of the Regions, which is
led by Viktor Yanukovich, who famously lost the presidential elections in
2004 in what became known worldwide as the Orange Revolution. Why
has his popularity gone up since then?

[TARAS KUZIO] One has to compare the results of the parliamentary
elections in March to the presidential elections in November and December
2004. The results are pretty much the same, and nothing has really changed.

Although the Party of Regions this year came first in the five political
forces which crossed the 3 percent threshold into parliament, they received
32 percent, when one does a comparison of what the political forces who
supported Viktor Yanukovich in 2004 obtained and what they obtained this
year, and the orange forces who backed Viktor Yushchenko in 2004 and what
they obtained this year. There really is not that much of a difference.

So both sides obtained approximately the same percentage of support. It is
just that the Party of Regions came first with thirty two percent because
they were the only political force which crossed into parliament that
represented the old system whereas the orange forces were divided between
three political forces.

But the two together actually obtained more than the party of regions.
Therefore, they were able if they had wanted or had the political will to
create an orange coalition which would have given them more than 50 percent
of the seats.

[QUESTION] Does it seem that Yanukovich will become prime minister then?

[TARAS KUZIO] It is a question that is difficult to answer because of these
constitutional reforms. The president is supposed to just have a formality
of actually proposing his name now because the parliamentary coalition is
being created called the anti-crisis coalition consisting of the communists
the socialist and the party regions.

They have nominated Viktor Yanukovich for Prime minister; they nominated him
to the president, the president then puts his name to parliament to be voted
on. That is the formal procedure. It has never happened before. But this is
the actual procedure under the constitutional reform.

Mr. Viktor Yushchenko has said that he does not want to see Mr. Yanukovich
as prime minister for a whole host of reasons. One of which, he feels he
will be overshadowed by Mr. Yanukovich, because he is a strong willed
character, also because the position of Prime minister has become more
important and has more power under the constitutional reform, but also
because Mr. Yanukovich is loathed by a good proportion of Ukraine, primarily
in western and central Ukraine who voted for the orange revolution.

Viktor Yanukovich does represent in many people’s mind that election fraud
and violence that took place in 2004. He is a divisive figure not a uniting
figure. Whether the president has the right not to propose Mr. Yanukovich
for the position of Prime minister to parliament for its vote, is a separate
question because the only real alternative for Viktor Yushchenko is really
to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.

So he is really caught between two very difficult questions, and I would
suspect that he will have to go forward and propose Mr. Yanukovich for the
position of Prime Minister because it is the lesser of two evils. Because if
he calls fresh elections the party of regions could well get more votes than
they got in March precisely because the Orange camp has failed to come back
together again.

[QUESTION] Does this mean that the Orange Revolution is effectively dead?

[TARAS KUZIO] I think regarding the Orange Revolution, the first nail in the
coffin was done in September of last year when the president, in my view,
wrongly disbanded the Yulia Tymoshenko government and created the divisions
in the Orange camp which led to the situation today.

Up until the divisions in September last year, the Party of Regions had an
average rating of about 20 percent. After the September crisis, the party of
regions shot up over 30 percent.

What has happened now with the defection of the socialist part to the party
of regions to create this so called anti crisis coalition has in effect put
second nail in the coffin of the orange revolution. We should be very
cautious here.

Although the potential for an orange coalition now is very unlikely because
the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and Our Ukraine together does not have enough
deputies to create a parliamentary coalition. They only have 210 and they
are required 226 minimum.

At the same time, many of the positive aspects which have arisen out of the
election of Viktor Yushchenko and the orange revolution will continue. It
will be difficult to see how any coalition in power in Ukraine even the
Prime minister Yanukovich can turn back the gains of the orange revolution
in a more freer system.

Ukraine held its first free and fair elections in March of this year and a
free and independent media. There is a danger here with the creation of the
anti crisis coalition. After all it is the first coalition in Ukraine’s
history with a communist inside the coalition. But at the same time, it
would be wrong to assume that the Orange Revolution is a failure. It is
over, but I would not say it is a failure.

[QUESTION] Why is Yulia Tymoshenko such a divisive figure in your opinion?

[TARAS KUZIO] I think that she finds it difficult to work as a team player.
In many ways some regard her as a populist. I think this is a much abused
term because after all many political forces, parliaments, and governments
in Europe have parties in power which include such political forces.
Poland-a member of EU and NATO-have two so called populist parties in its
government.

So I think it is a mixture of misnomer, very wrong negative views about
Yulia Tymoshenko rising from her Prime Ministership in 2005. Particularly
from economists who regard her economic policies as wrong. At the same time,
she is also somebody who is one of the few political forces in parliament
who is willing to break from the old regime.

So she is somebody with a force for good as well in terms of pushing along
democratization and the battle against corruption. It is never a black and
white issue.

If you are an economist, you probably don’t like her because of her
attitudes towards laissez-faire economics and re-privatization. At the same
time in Europe, many of her social market economic policies are the norm,
which they are not in the U.S. So there are different views about her.

And of course she has a checkered past as someone who was involved in the
energy industry in the 1990s and became in effect one of Ukraine’s first
dissident oligarchs. So people have very mixed views about her. They find it
difficult to work with her in terms of working as a team.

Certainly she shares some of the responsibility for the implosion of the
orange camp. But I would lay the greatest blame here and responsibility on
the president because during those three months of coalition negotiations
from March to June, it really was a responsibility of the president to
ensure that they be completed very quickly. And the fact they dragged on
right to the deadline in late June is really the responsibility of Our
Ukraine politicians and President Yushchenko.

[QUESTION] What has been the effect on the Ukrainian people? I have read a
lot of articles that Ukrainian people have become very disillusioned with
politics.

[TARAS KUZIO] Yes, this is something that is probably the saddest aspects of
the entire crisis and the different crises rising since September of last
year. One of the main reasons why people went on the streets in the orange
revolution was precisely because they thought that Viktor Yushchenko
represented somebody who was different to the norm. He wasn’t the typical
politician.

Usually public opinion in post-communist Europe, particularly in the CIS,
tends to see politicians as all the same: They are all a bunch of rogues,
who only enter politics for corrupt personal interests and not for the
interests of their voters or the country’s interests at large. People go
into the streets, such as during the orange revolution, believing that this
is not quite the case with this particular person with Viktor Yushchenko.

That innocence is in some ways being totally eroded because we have now a
return to the view that “well, we were wrong, all politicians are actually
all same. Viktor Yushchenko has not really been that different from the
other politicians.” That is one of the most tragic aspects.

You see that in today in Kiev where the ability of youth groups such as
Pora, which means “its time,” which was very active during the Orange
Revolution, is now unable to get people on the streets to protest the
formation of this new coalition and the possible appointment of Viktor
Yanukovich as prime minister.

They are unable to do that today because people are disillusioned. People
are angry; they feel deceived that the politicians they believed would make
Ukraine different during the orange revolution have proven that they are
incapable of doing that. Here I think Viktor Yushchenko really has failed to
live up to many people’s expectations, both in the west and in Ukraine.

[QUESTION] Specifically, what are Yushchenko’s main mistakes? I am referring
to the past year, not just the past few months.

[TARAS KUZIO] His main mistakes have been an inability to understand
strategic questions facing the country. When the presidential administration
and the president have dealt with issues, these have tended to be in
reaction to events-for example, the gas crisis in January 2006. There has
been a total inability of the president to have a backup command structure.
His presidential secretariat has failed to provide him with that.

The first head of the presidential secretariat Oleksandr Zinchenko and the
current head of the presidential secretariat Oleg Rybachuk have both failed
to provide the president with the necessary backup, expertise, and research
for him to undertake presidential functions. The National Security Council
has also not really operated as it should do, given the previous president
Leonid Kravchuk.

There is a mixture of institutional problems, strategic inability to deal
with issues in Ukraine, and also a kind of detachment from what is going on
around them. The president’s party itself Our Ukraine proved to be
disastrous. This is a party after all where the honorary chairman is the
President Viktor Yushchenko.

A year ago, in the summer or spring of 2005, we would have expected that
this party, which is headed by the president, would have come in first in
the elections. In fact, he came in third, with 10 percent fewer votes than
in 2002 under Kuchma. These are precisely the fault of the president and Our
Ukraine leadership.

Another important area, which has certainly impacted relations with the West
has been an inability to understand the relationship between domestic and
foreign policy issues. The U.S. in particular, for example, and the Bush
administration was actively lobbying after the parliamentary elections in
March of this year for an orange coalition.

This orange coalition would have been a precursor to Ukraine being invited
to a membership action plan at NATO’s Riga summit in November of this year,
and potentially for an invitation to membership in the 2008 NATO enlargement
summit.

But this was conditional on the Orange camp reuniting and forming a
government very quickly. I don’t think the Bush administration really cared
who the prime minister would be, as long as there would be a reuniting of
pro-reform pro-democratic forces.

The fact that the president and his team were willing to drag on these
coalition negotiations for three months just because they did not want to
let in Yulia Tymoshenko’s prime minister and at the same time was
simultaneously negotiating with potentially the Party of Regions for a grand
coalition, is I think a complete failure of their understanding of how this
would impact not only inside Ukraine, which we have talked about, but also
understand this impact upon the west.

Now you have in the west a Ukraine fatigue in many ways. The supporters
of the orange revolution, supporters of Viktor Yushchenko, which
were numerous particularly in the U.S. and within NATO, which had an open
door policy have now become far less, and they have become disillusioned as
well with the inability of Viktor Yushchenko to really stamp his authority on the
country.

[QUESTION] Let’s talk about foreign policy. What does a Yanukovich
premiership mean for European and U.S-Ukrainian relations?

[TARAS KUZIO] Certainly because of the growing Ukraine fatigue, it is highly
unlikely that Ukraine would be potentially invited into a membership action
plan in the Riga NATO summit in November of this year.

It is difficult to imagine NATO inviting in a country with a parliamentary
coalition leading a government that includes two political forces-a
socialist and a communist-that are totally opposed to membership in NATO.

That is one of the factors, already with the anti-NATO and anti-American
demonstrations in the Crimea in June, which the president was unable to deal
with. Those demonstrations have already put a question mark on the whole
question of whether Ukraine would have been anyway invited into NATO in
2008.

I think the enlargement summit now is likely to be postponed from 2008 to
maybe a few years down the road. The NATO issue both outside Ukraine and
inside the new government is likely now to return more the Kuchma era
position on NATO, which was “yes we are interested in cooperation with NATO,
but we are not interested in membership.” That is one of the downsides.

The other area which deals with the European Union is more complicated
because the European Union never really welcomed the Orange Revolution
unlike NATO.

The EU never opened its doors to Ukraine following the Orange Revolution,
and its argument (particularly it’s West European members) was that “we are
so preoccupied with our own internal problems such as Turkey, failure of the
constitution to be passed by France and the Netherlands in their referendum,
and entire enlargement fatigue that the European Union is going through that
we really can’t deal with Ukraine at the moment.”

So Ukraine was in many ways sidelined and cold shouldered by the European
Union and therefore any kind of relationship is unlikely to change there.
The only possible change would be that what we have is in many ways a very
cynical view in Western Europe that the Orange Revolution was never here to
say or very successful.

[QUESTION] Russian-Ukrainian relations since the Orange Revolution have been
less than spectacular. Do you see a lot of the issues with Russia changing,
for example, the gas crisis earlier this year, the Black Sea fleet, issues
of democratization, etc.?

[TARAS KUZIO] Some issues will change, some issues will not. Russia and
Ukraine under even Kuchma and during Vladimir Putin’s first term were
already on very divergent political paths.

Let’s recall that Putin’s Russia is heading towards a more utilitarian
regime, and Ukraine is still heading towards and still has moved with its
constitutional reforms towards a more democratic system away in some ways
from the CIS. Politically internally they are still very different
countries.

At the same time, where it will change is that the Putin regime was always
hostile to the democratic revolutions that were taking place where it
regarded as its turf, the CIS. Therefore, regardless of what Mikhail
Saakashvili did in Georgia or Victor Yushchenko did in the Ukraine, the
Putin regime was always going to adopt the very negative view about those
leaderships.

The fact that now you will have a change where the prime minister could be
held by Viktor Yanukovich will certainly create a change in atmosphere and
relation with Russia.

At the same time, Russia has already stated that it is not planning to give
Ukraine under Prime Minister Yanukovich any preferences on gas. Russia is
playing hardball even with its allies inside the CIS. It has not really been
giving them any better privileges and preferences.

For example, pro-Russia Armenia still has to pay a higher price for its gas
being delivered from Russia than even Ukraine today under Yushchenko. So I
don’t think there is going to be many changes there.

Where there will be changes will be more on the level of diplomatic and
political relations. After all, party regions in Ukraine have already in
2005 signed a close agreement of cooperation with president Putin’s party of
Unified Russia.

So there is already some kind of close relations. Certainly, the Party of
Regions and Viktor Yanukovich’s Prime minister would maybe adopt less
hostile in Russia’s view positions on international relations.

For example, Ukraine in the last two years has been adopting the western
position on isolating the Yulia Tymoshenko regime in Belarus and among human
rights issues in general inside the CIS. That could be now less likely to be
the case.

Also, U.S. backed regional initiatives in the region such as the GUAM group
(Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) and the community of democratic
choice, these are two regional groupings that the U.S. and the Bush
administration has been backing.

Anybody such as prime minister Yanukovich would be like to be colder to
these initiatives because they would be seen as provocative towards Russia.
Those would be the kind of main changes. What it would in effect be is maybe
a return to the Kuchma era, multi-vector foreign policy.

But it is so difficult to completely see ahead because of these
constitutional reforms because even under these constitutional reforms,
president Yushchenko still has control over the security forces and foreign
policy issues.

What we can in effect see is the prime minister conducting one foreign
policy and the president conducting another. In that respect, there could be
a clash between parliament and president over foreign policy issues.

[QUESTION] What does it mean for future elections in Ukraine about the
divisiveness in the country: East versus West, pro-Russia versus pro-Europe,
religious versus the secular parts, catholic parts in the west versus
eastern orthodox? There seems to be this in the United States with the red
versus blue. How significant and how damaging is this going to be to the
political process going forward?

[TARAS KUZIO]The regional divides is a very important factor in Ukrainian
politics in terms of elections and voting. It does not have an impact on an
interpersonal level and in terms of some kind of conflict. After all, these
individuals living in the east of Ukraine and in the west of Ukraine are all
Ukrainians in terms of citizenship.

The divisions between them are purely on a linguistic level primarily. From
a linguistic level, this leaves different political preferences. So we are
not talking about a potential ethnic divide or potential ethnic conflict as
we have seen in many other countries. Hence, what we should be careful of is
moving from an idea regionalism can therefore lead to separatism or to
interethnic conflict.

This regionalism is a factor that Ukraine has inherited from the Soviet era
and even from other periods in history. It does have political preferences.
It just means that of all the political forces in parliament none of them
really have ability to attract voters from throughout the country.

They are all in many ways regionally based including the Party of Regions
itself, which is not popular in western central Ukraine. But what we tend to
have a problem with in the west in particular in western media and newspaper
accounts are that this issue is over simplified.

It is not a question of Catholic nationalist west versus a pro-Russian
Orthodox East. There are more Orthodox believers living in west Ukraine than
Catholics. Catholics are only confined to three provinces of west Ukraine.
West Ukraine is far bigger than three provinces. It is linguistic. It is not
really religious, but that linguistic is a consequence of history and it
leads to political preferences and in some ways foreign policy issues.

What it does mean is that kind of anti-Russianism that you have in three
Baltic States understandably because of the occupation that they went
through under the Soviet Union is only really something that exists in
western Ukraine. In eastern Ukraine, which is largely Russian speaking, that
kind of anti-Russianism does not exist.

Therefore, no politician no president certainly can really adopt a stern
anti-Russian line. He has to carefully tread between dealing with Russia on
the one hand and dealing with the west on the other. What we should again be
cautious of understanding is that a pro-Russian position in eastern Ukraine
means really that all it wants is good relations with Russia.

It does not mean that the east Ukrainian region wants to somehow join Russia
or join this nebulous Belarus Russia union that has been creating over the
last ten years. What we in effect have is most Ukrainians are in favor of
integration with Europe to the European Union.

NATO is a different question. What they also want is that this integration
with Europe be not done at the expense of bad relations with Russia. -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Podcast: http://www.cfr.org/publication/11168/kuzio.html
———————————————————————————————–
[ return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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18. UKRAINE REMEMBERS VICTIMS OF HOLOCAUST
Monument dedicated in Zolochev, Lvov region

The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC)
Moscow, New York, Monday, July 24 2006

ZOLOCHEV, Ukraine – A monument commemorating victims of the
Holocaust has been dedicated in Zolochev, Lvov region, Ukraine.

The ceremony included Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Azriel Chaikin, Chief Rabbi
of the Zhitomir region Shlomo Wilhelm, Chief Rabbi of the Ivano-Fankovsk
region Moshe Kolesnik, Chief Rabbi of Rovno Shneur Zalman Shneerson,
officials representing the regional and the city’s authority agencies and
Jews from across the world whose parents originate from this Ukrainian town.

A citizen of Belgium, Fanny Zilmend was one who with gathered these people
in the former Jewish cemetery to dedicate a monument to Jews killed by
Nazis. The monument was made by a famous sculptor of Lvov, Vasil
Kamenschik.

After a red ribbon was cut to symbolize the opening of the monument, the
floor was passed to Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Azriel Chiakin. Addressing his
speech to hundreds of people of different nationalities, the rabbi thanked
G-d for being free to speak the native language, to pray and to build
monuments in the free country of Ukraine.

“We have to learn from the errors of the past and do everything possible to
save the world from terrorism.” At the ceremony, the participants chanted
“El Mole Rachamim” and the Kaddish Prayer.

Head of the Zolochev Region Administration Boris Zolotnik stressed that
Ukraine treated with equal respect people of different nationalities buried
in its land. “It is a very important event for our city to dedicate a
monument to those killed by Nazis during World War Two. What had
happened in the middle of the past century must never occur again!”

NOBEL LAUREATE IN CHEMISTRY ROLAND HOFFMAN
One of representatives of Jews whose parents came from this city in Ukraine,
Nobel laureate in chemistry Roland Hoffman shared his emotions of the visit
to the native land of his parents: “It was very important for me. The house
I was born in is still standing here. I believe building monuments is very
important even though there are no Jews here anymore.

This is essential for the education of the young generation, so that the
youths know that Zolochev had once been home for many Jews – one third of
its total population – living side by side with Ukrainians and Polish. And
then there was the Holocaust. One part of my soul – the optimistic one –
says this will never happen again, but another part of my heart whispers it
can happen in any moment. This won’t happen only as long as we remember
the lessons of the past.” -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=406616
———————————————————————————————–
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
19. UKRAINIAN CARTOONIST’S WORKS ON EXHIBIT IN TEHRAN

Mehr News Agency (MNA), Tehran, Iran, Sunday, July 23, 2006

TEHRAN – Once again, the works of Ukrainian cartoonist Vladimir
Kazanevsky were put on display in Tehran at the Kupeh Gallery on
July 20, ISNA reported on Sunday.

The 22 cartoons had previously been exhibited for two weeks at Tehran’s
Nashr-e Salis Gallery in May at the invitation of Iranian cartoonist Kianush
Ramezani.

The cartoons are being sold for 130 euros each and prints of the artworks
are on sale at an affordable price. The exhibition runs until August 2 at
the gallery, which is located at 845 Enqelab Ave, opposite Khark St.,
between Hafez and Vali-e Asr avenues.

Kazanevsky’s cartoons have earned him many prestigious awards in
international events including the Yomiuri International Cartoon Contest in
Japan (1990) and the 4th Certamen International Competition in Spain (1996).
He won 22 prizes in 2001 alone.

Many countries, including Romania, Hungary, Belgium, Japan, and the United
States, have displayed his cartoons over the two past decades. Iran’s House
of Cartoon also hosted his 2002 Tehran exhibition.

Kazanevsky, 56, has published his works in the books “Heads” and “Revelation
of Elderly Cupid” in Belgium and Ukraine. His “The Art of Modern Cartoon”,
surveying the theory of cartoon art, was published in English in 2003. MMS/HG
—————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=357088
———————————————————————————————–
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
20. MAPPING UKRAINIAN CONTRIBUTION TO MODERNISM

By Kevin Nance, Art Critic, Chicago Sun Times
Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, July 27, 2006

CHICAGO- Mention Ukrainian art and your mind leaps first to Easter eggs.
You know the ones I mean: those fragile folk-art treasures called psanky,
with their delicate intertwining lines and geometric figures that smack of
classical decoration and Byzantine iconography.

What might not occur to many Americans — for reasons having to do with the
country’s reluctant mingling with Russia and, later, the Soviet Union — is
Ukraine’s contribution to the modern art movements that percolated
throughout Europe and the United States in the early 20th century.

“Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930,” a touring exhibit making a
welcome stop at the Chicago Cultural Center through Oct. 15, is out to
change that.

Culled from private collections as well as those of the National Art Museum
of Ukraine and other institutions there, this handsome, mostly unfamiliar
grouping of about 70 works by 21 artists firmly establishes Kiev (which
Ukrainians now spell Kyiv) as one of the most fertile hotbeds of European
modernism, along with St. Petersburg and Paris.

A casual walkthrough of the exhibit — the first of its kind in the United
States — can tend to leave you with the impression of a polyglot,
aggressively cosmopolitan art that lacked easily discernible national
characteristics. Those trendy Ukrainians!

They dipped their brushes into virtually every paint can of the avant garde,
from Cubism and Futurism to (belatedly) Art Nouveau and (early on)
Constructivism. (That last movement, widely considered a Russian phenomenon,
was actually pioneered in part by a cadre of native or adopted Ukrainians.)

A closer look, though, takes you back to those Easter eggs, or rather to
their connections with classical, Byzantine and ecclesiastical sources.

There’s a distinctly Ukrainian lushness that adheres to even the most severe
compositions here — such as Kazimir Malevich’s “suprematist” images, with
their subtle use of Christian symbols — and deepens into outright decadence
in the overheated canvases of Vsevolod Maksymovych.

A Constructivist journal cover from 1929 by Vasyl Yermilov is part of
“Modernism in Ukraine” at the Chicago Cultural Center.

For good or ill, Maksymovych, a nudist, body builder and dapper
provocateur-about-town who committed suicide at age 21 after a drug
overdose, unexpectedly dominates this exhibit.

His smorgasbord of large-scale decorative panels, heavily indebted to
Symbolism and Art Nouveau (especially as embodied by Aubrey Beardsley and
Gustav Klimt), may be too rich a diet for some; “The Nude” (1914), a trio of
lithe bodies fronted by a fey young man whose privates are covered by what
appears to be a heart-shaped valentine, borders on camp.

But two of his images from 1913, “Kiss” (a worthy homage to Klimt’s icon of
the previous decade) and “Masquerade” (his most macabre and Beardsleyesque
panel), are jaw-dropping stunners.

The show’s other standout is Viktor Palmov, who both employed and subverted
the social realism of the early Soviet era by tamping down its heroic
political agenda in favor of stylized treatments of the figure, endowing
them with some of the folk mysticism and high color saturation that we now
associate with Chagall.

The Soviets initially tolerated the Ukrainian avant-garde but eventually
reversed course, sending a generation of free-thinking modernists into exile
or the gulag. Here’s the trail they left behind. -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Contact: knance@suntimes.com
LINK: http://www.suntimes.com/output/entertainment/cst-ftr-art27.html
———————————————————————————————–
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