AUR#750 Aug 13 View From Moscow: Commentary, Analysis; Constructing An Opposition; Human Rights Activist Nadiya Svitlychna, Political Prisoner

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Ukrainian Human Rights Activist, True Hero, Former Political Prisoner

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Ukrainian Ambassador Oleh Demin sets scene for Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych’s Visit to Russia
COMMENTARY: By Nadezhda Sorokina
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Russia Urged To Be Pragmatic About Ukraine Despite PM Yanukovych
By Leonid Radzikhovskiy
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel:
Contributors: Yury Fedorov, Andrei Seregin, Sergei Shishkarev
Introduced by Vladimir Frolov
Russia Profile, Moscow, Russia, Friday, August 11, 2006

It may not seem it, but the return of Ukraine’s once autocratic, Russian-leaning
prime minister is actually the triumph, not the defeat, of the Orange Revolution
By Yuri Zarakhovich in Moscow
TIME magazine, New York, NY, Friday, Aug. 04, 2006

OUTSIDE VIEW: By Vyacheslav Igrunov, Director
International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies, Moscow
UPI Outside View Commentator, Moscow, Russia, Tue, August 8, 2006

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Boris Kagarlitsky
The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Tatyana Stanovaya
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yanukovych seen as abandoning his promises to electorate, Russia
COMMENTARY: By Vitaliy Dymarskiy
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Viktor Yanukovych is leading Ukraine into NATO. Ukraine’s new prime
minister isn’t as pro-Russian as he used to be. Meanwhile, those who were
Yanukovych’s allies until recently are accusing him of betrayal.
By Valeria Ovsyanik in Kiev
Novye Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Wed, August 9, 2006

COMMENTARY: By Andrei P. Tsygankov, Program Chair,
International Studies Association 2006-07, Associate Professor,
International Relations/Political Science, San Francisco State University
Johnson’s Russia List (JRL) #180, Article 30
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong, Thursday, August 10, 2006

COMMENTARY: By Dan-Daniel Tomozeiu
EuObserver, Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Moscow will continue to use its back channels to penetrate, compromise
and sow division, and they will cultivate Moroz as an independent factor.
: With James Sherr, CSRC, UK Defence Academy
Den in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Formation of new government causes a number of concerns
By Tammy Lynch, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Aug 10, 2006

COMMENTARY: By TOL Magazine, Transitions Online
Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, August 8, 2006

By Taras Kuzio, Transitions Online (TOL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, 11 August, 2006

Ukrainian Human Rights Activist, True Hero, Former Political Prisoner
Human Rights In Ukraine
Kharkiv Group For Human Rights Protection
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 10, 2006
Ukrainian Ambassador Oleh Demin sets scene for
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s Visit to Russia

COMMENTARY: By Nadezhda Sorokina
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ukrainian premier Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to Russia will take place next
week. This was stated at a press conference by Ukrainian Ambassador to
the Russian Federation Oleh Demin.

The diplomat’s manner was extremely restrained throughout the meeting
with journalists. He gave the impression of being afraid to sully the
backdrop to the head of government’s upcoming Moscow visit by speaking
a word out of place. Unsurprisingly, since Kiev is pinning great hopes on
the upcoming talks.

“Primarily economic cooperation problems will be discussed. We also want
to raise the issue of energy security as a whole. The main thing that the
Ukrainian side will be seeking to achieve is to put the contractual
(dogovornyy) relationship between our countries in order: Everything must
be as transparent as possible,” Demin explained.

He said that the existing contractual base for gas transshipments and gas
supplies to Ukraine is incomplete. The diplomat reminded his audience
that protocols to the 2001 agreement on gas transshipments across Ukraine
and gas supplies to Kiev are adopted annually. But no such protocol has yet
been signed for 2006.

Demin believes that the Europeans are following Russia’s and Ukraine’s
actions in the gas sphere very closely and that they also have an interest
in the relationship’s transparency.

The ambassador is confident that the situation surrounding the Antonov
project will also be a priority for discussion at the Moscow meeting.
This refers to Ukraine’s plans to build the An-70 military transport plane
jointly with the Russian side.

The only time the ambassador smiled was when he was asked to comment
on rumors that leading Ukrainian oppositionist Yuliya Tymoshenko and
Fuel and Energy Minister Boyko are currently in Russia on a visit.

“The fact that Yuliya Volodymyrovna is in Moscow is something I learned
from the Russian media. We are personally acquainted, but she has not
been in contact and has not approached the embassy.

Our diplomatic mission knows nothing about a Boyko visit to Moscow
either. It is possible that the visit is private, and I cannot confirm or
deny anything,” the ambassador stated.

Demin was much more willing to talk about Ukraine’s future foreign policy
priorities. In answer to the correspondent’s question about how the change
of political elite in Ukraine will reflect on Kiev’s relations with the
European Union and NATO, the ambassador again declared Ukraine’s
choice of the European route.

“When we talk about Kiev’s relations with the European Union, we mean a
European vector for the country’s development. If we are talking about
relations with NATO, we are perfectly well aware that Russia’s dialogue with
NATO has progressed much further than NATO’s analogous contacts with
Ukraine,” Demin asserted.

The Ukrainian ambassador named the Black Sea Fleet agreement as one
of the founding Russian-Ukrainian agreements. He is convinced that the issue
will not prove to be an “irritant” in relations between Moscow and Kiev. “We
have a treaty, and we have an agreed timeframe for the Black Sea Fleet’s
presence in Crimea,” Demin stated.

The Ukrainian ambassador thinks that it is hard to forecast as of right now
when Ukraine will join the WTO. It will all depend on bills that the
parliament still has to adopt to that end. In Demin’s words, in discussing
these documentsit is very important to analyze the extent to which they
accord with Ukraine’s national interests.

The head of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission also made it clear that Kiev is
not going to alter the customs regulations introduced for the Dniester

“Ukraine’s policy with respect to the Dniester region in no way breaks
international rules or international agreements. From the Ukrainian side’s
viewpoint, what is being called a blockade is actually in line with
international relations in the sphere of foreign trade and customs regulations,”
Demin concluded. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Russia Urged To Be Pragmatic About Ukraine Despite PM Yanukovych

COMMENTARY: By Leonid Radzikhovskiy
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The 15th prime minister within the 15 years of Ukraine’s existence is
“Yanukovych again.” “Few birds can fly as far as the middle of the
Dnieper,” but Yanukovych has managed to do so twice.

Yes! (“orange revolution” slogan)

I am not going to retell you the endless saga of quarrels and
reconciliations between Viktor Andriyovych (Yushchenko) and Viktor
Fedorovych (Yanukovych), for we all know these rumors.

However, people rapidly forget rumors, which are merely “dust in the
wind.” Meanwhile, there are strategic points which remain unchanged:
The foundations of Ukraine’s “political economy.”

I am not a great fan of quoting President Putin, especially as the ultimate
and highest argument. This time, however, I will gladly do this. Putin said
during his meeting with foreign correspondents that there are no “pro-
Russian” or “pro-Western” politicians in Ukraine; there are “pro-Ukrainian”
politicians only.

Exactly! On the other hand, Ukraine itself is not homogeneous. As we know,
relations between Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kiev, and west Ukrainian clans
are not easy at all, and these clans willingly use both Russian and
anti-Russian sentiments in their games.

There are a lot of partners for these games in Russia, and they are ready to
shout either about Ukraine’s imminent split and “reunification of Donbass
and Crimea with Russia” or about “Ukraine’s final departure from Russia.”
It is two-way PR…. However, believe me that Russian society should not
treat this seriously.

In any case, “Ukraine is not Russia” (title of Leonid Kuchma’s book). It is
a country with its own exclusive interests that do not coincide with
Russia’s, the EU’s, or US interests, although it does not have antagonistic
conflicts with any of them.

It is not going to “enter” anywhere or “yield” to anybody, which is an
unconditional interest, a reflex of the entire elite no matter how its
members quarrel with one another.

Incidentally, the list of 30 Ukrainian oligarchs, including nine dollar
billionaires (incidentally, there are more than 50 of them in Russia), was
recently published.

There are different people among them: Steel makers, bankers, food
manufacturers, gasmen and oilmen, and even a TV producer (incidentally, he
is the producer of STS, which is probably our fastest-growing TV channel).

The list includes people living in Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, Kiev and
Kharkiv, London, Hungary, or on the plane. It includes Tatars (the great
Rinat Akhmetov with his fortune of around $12-billion who is at the top of
the list), Jews, Russians, Georgians, and, naturally, mostly Ukrainians.

There are eight Supreme Council deputies among them with Akhmetov,
again, at the top of the list (generally speaking, the Ukrainian Supreme
Council is the richest parliament in the world in terms of per capita
income of its deputies), seven former deputies, including two former
ministers of the economy and former general prosecutor (!).

We should also mention Kuchma’s son-in-law Pinchuk and Poroshenko,
the godfather of one of Yushchenko’s children and former chairman of
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

While reading the list, one becomes aware what kind of serious and
concentrated force the Ukrainian business-political elite is. To make it
finally clear: These powerful, crafty, rich, and stubborn “Cossacks,” just
as any elite in any normal country, are not going to share their power and
independence with any “sultan.”

Particularly since (we should compliment Ukraine again on this) not only
the elite, but also the people, society play an active political role there.
This always happens when the revolutionary brew is still warm.

We had the same situation in the early 1990s. What will happen in Ukraine
when the “revolutionary dust” settles down and people get alienated from
the authorities? We do not know whether this alienation will ever take
place, for each country has its own way.

Russia,in view of our “ability to reach agreement” (the 1993 events were an
example), was fated to face a “vertical structure of power” and the
bureaucratic “chill.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine demonstrated two other peculiarities: [1] First, its
ability to boil but, instead of exploding, reach agreement and stop on the
verge of an abyss and, [2] second, its ability to develop quite successfully
amid political chaos!

In 2004, for instance, when the entire country was in political turmoil and
the slogan “Down with Kuchma” was seen on every corner, the GDP
growth rate was 12 percent — a record level in the CIS!

Even in the first half of this year when the government was virtually
paralyzed, Ukraine’s GDP increased more than 5 percent (for comparison,
our GDP increased 6.4 percent amid perfect political stability).

Again, it is clear that “Ukraine is not Russia” and what is murderous for us
(a parliamentary republic and political instability) can be quite good for
Ukraine, just as for Italy, for instance.

Therefore, the fundamental problem for the Russian political elite is the
need to finally become aware of the “dialectical truth”: [1] First, Ukraine
will never be “Russian” or follow Russia’s lead; [2] second, Ukraine has
not “departed” from Russia, for we are fated by “history and geography”
to be partners.

What did Yanukovych’s appointment change? The appointment itself is
another example of “dialectical irony.” When Russia put every kind of
pressure to help Yanukovych, he lost (perhaps, excessive pressure was
not the least important factor!).

When Russia “left the situation unattended” Yanukovych did become
premier as a result of internal balance of forces in Ukraine. However,
when he became premier, he did not become a “pro-Russian” premier.
He simply became prime minister of the Republic of Ukraine.

Another moment of truth for the Russian Federation has come.

It is clear that Viktor Fedorovych will pay his first visit to Moscow. It is
very likely that he will say “absolutely pleasant things” (in political
terms) in impeccable Russian. And will ask — for the sake of support
for his government — to return to “fraternal” gas prices. And will promise:
“We will not enter into NATO in exchange for this!”

Will Russia agree to play this “Kuchma-2 game?”

If it does, this will primarily mean that we did not learn a lesson from
history. That our new pragmatic foreign trade policy is not a
well-considered course, but merely a “gesture of annoyance.” That,
just as before, there is “no business, only personal relations.”

That, just as before, ambitions and “false fears” (for instance, fear of
“Ukraine’s entry into NATO”) are of primary importance, whereas the
economy is of secondary one.

All our CIS neighbors will receive the old-new message: Russia is rich;
as always, it has money to burn and is ready to pay all those who smile
and bow to it. There is no need to do anything else.

If it does not, this will mean that our foreign policy has matured. We do
not owe anybody and nobody owes us anything. We (the Russian
Federation) maintain friendly relations with our friends, but we trade with
all countries based on general rules.

We pay for political gestures with political dividends, not with
petrodollars at all. Russia knows how to be a friend, but in addition to
this it has learned to count its money.

It is very interesting which policy will prevail.

It is time to make up our minds. It is time, as they say in Ukraine! -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel:
Contributors: Yury Fedorov, Andrei Seregin, Sergei Shishkarev
Introduced by Vladimir Frolov
Russia Profile, Moscow, Russia, Friday, August 11, 2006

Viktor Yanukovich, who lost the presidency to Viktor Yushchenko in
the Orange Revolution, engineered a remarkable political comeback
following a convincing victory by his Party of Regions during the
March parliamentary elections, eventually leading to his appointment
to the powerful position of Ukrainian prime minister

It was not easy for Yushchenko to take Yanukovich’s victory, especially
considering that in 2004, Yushchenko campaigned against Yanukovich
under the slogan “Don’t let criminals into power,” hinting at Yanukovich’s
juvenile criminal record in the 1970s. But Yushchenko hardly had a

The so-called Orange coalition, made up of the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko,
Our Ukraine and the Socialist Party, collapsed in early July after the
Socialists abandoned the group when their leader, Alexander Moroz, was
not appointed speaker of the Rada. Joining forces with the Party of Regions
and the Communists allowed Moroz to get the position he wanted.

Yushchenko and his entourage did not mourn Yulia Tymoshenko’s failure
to secure the prime minister’s job, but the collapse of the Orange
coalition left the president with two options – to disband the Rada and
call new elections (a course favored by Tymoshenko whose party stood
to gain in new elections) or to accept Yanukovich as prime minister along
with the consequent personal humiliation.

On the surface, Yushchenko decided to be a statesman and put the
country ahead of his own political ambitions and personal feelings.
The reality is not quite so noble, however.

Yushchenko accepted Yanukovich’s nomination on the condition that
he sign a politically binding declaration, diluting some of his party’s
electoral promises on opposition to NATO and the EU and the official
status of the Russian language.

He also forced Yanukovich to accept Our Ukraine’s Pyotr Poroshenko
as First Deputy Prime Minister and pro-western politicians in the
Foreign and Defense Ministries. In return, Yanukovich received a much
broader and more stable parliamentary coalition.

[1] What does the new Ukrainian government mean for the country’s
relations with Russia and the West?

[2] Will Yanukovich be able to persuade the Kremlin to lift the tight
economic squeeze that Russia imposed on Ukraine after the Orange
Revolution, including the bans on imports of Ukrainian agricultural
and dairy products, as well as some industrial goods?

[3] Will Yushchenko be able to continue his push for Ukraine’s
membership in NATO and the EU with Yanukovich as prime minister?

[4] How will Washington’s approach to Ukraine change with the
new government in place?

[5] How stable is the new political coalition in Kiev likely to be?

[6] Are we witnessing the birth of a new broad political force that
can transcend Ukraine’s regional and cultural divisions?


Whatever one thinks about Yanukovich’s personal and political
background, his nomination as prime minister has ended the protracted
governmental crisis in Ukraine and normalized political circumstances in
the country. More importantly, the crisis has been settled by political
means and according to the nation’s legal norms and procedures.

It means that Ukraine is really moving from its recent semi-totalitarian
past to a normal democratic political process. It gives reason to believe that
the next government, most probably headed by Tymoshenko, will come
to office also as a result of political developments and decisions.

Today it is impossible to predict how long Yanukovich’s government will
stay in power; to a large extent it will depend on its policies. If
Yanukovich focuses on redistributing national wealth and influence to his
lieutenants and a few East Ukrainian tycoons, his government is doomed
to fail in a few months.

Almost immediately, such a policy would result in the rise of a potent
coalition of Ukrainian elites threatened by the prospect of one particular
clique dominating the nation’s economy and polity.

Yet if he is responsible and sophisticated enough to maintain a balance
between Ukraine’s principal political, economic, and regional lobbies and
to concentrate not only on accumulating power in the hands of his Party
of Regions but also on promoting the national economy, his stay in office
will be much longer, up to a year or even a year and a half.

But it seems that political development in Ukraine will follow a pendulum
model. Governing coalitions headed by the Party of Regions and
Tymoshenko’s Bloc will rotate while Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Party will
play the balancing role.

This is a so-called two-and-a half party system, well known in political
science and typical of a number of European democracies.

Of course, Yanukovich’s nomination as Prime Minister will be welcomed
by the Russian ruling elites. It will be interpreted as a long-awaited
victory for the pro-Russian forces, as well as a defeat of Tymoshenko,
the Ukrainian politician most hated by Moscow.

Yet the new situation in Ukraine is not as favorable to Moscow as it

[1] First, Russia will have to make serious economic concessions
to its would-be client in Kiev. Otherwise it will set Yanukovich up for
criticism by Tymoshenko.

[2] Secondly, Ukrainian foreign and defense policies are controlled not
by the prime minister but by the president and his nominees, who are
even more pro-Western than the president himself.

[3] And finally, Yanukovich, as well as most of the East Ukrainian
tycoons, is a supporter of Ukraine’s movement towards Europe. None
of Ukraine’s major political figures wants to see the transformation of
Ukraine into a Russian protectorate.

What makes Yanukovich distinct from Tymoshenko and the like is that
he prefers not to irritate Moscow and a part of his own electorate by
anti-Russian rhetoric and gestures.

In other words, Ukraine will continue its movement to the West. Crucially,
because of Yanukovich’s role, Moscow will have to at least nominally
support the things it does not like at all.


The new broad coalition in Ukraine is a tactical loss for Russia and the
West, but a gain for Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy.

With the Orange Revolution finally over, Russia and the West still have
much time to understand and fix their political losses. Both Moscow and
Washington were surprised to see the rebirth of Ukrainian political
identity, which is rapidly maturing and exorcizing foreign influence.

Many Ukrainian observers hurried to call the new coalition fraudulent
deal, stressing the details of the compromise. The Orangists sensed the
bitter taste of betrayal, and branded it a “non-democratic elite collusion,”
which is true.

In negotiating the broad coalition compromise, both Yushchenko and
Yanukovich had to make some sensible concessions, discouraging many
among their electorate. But the harder the political compromise – the
better it is for Ukrainian democracy.

It has just successfully come through its greatest challenge thus far.
The two main political forces in Ukraine followed Lincoln’s
legacy in refusing to let their country become a “house divided.”

There are numerous political, economic and even moral problems
surrounding the new coalition. They include legalizing the alleged
“electoral fraud” by Yanukovich and closing the door to integration
in the EU and NATO, accepting whatever bitter disillusionment that
goes with it.

The opposition is already preparing many handy arguments for blaming
Yanukovich’s government for the current state of Ukraine’s economy, its
growing social problems and the tough gas talks with Russia that lie ahead.

Putting aside all media talk about stability, it is now clear that Russia
and the United States have lost some of their influence on the
Ukrainian political establishment. Russia will be surprised to see the
Yanukovich who emerges as prime minister. Although generally still
Russia-friendly, the new head of the Ukrainian government will not
allow Moscow to treat him like a puppet.

However, Yanukovich’s premiership is an evident blow to the U.S.-
sponsored “pro-democracy” drive in Ukraine. Some senior officials in
the White House, the State Department and other U.S. agencies have
surely taken the news as a bitter pill. But the most logical policy change
for Washington will be to try to fix its relations with Yanukovich and
work closely with the new government.

So, the new Ukrainian government clearly suggests the need for at least
tactical changes in both Russian and American policy towards Ukraine.


It is true that the Yanukovich government will not be a Russian puppet.
For one thing, this is a coalition government with heavy participation
from Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, which controls key ministerial
positions – Defense, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and the Ministry of
Interior headed by Yury Lutsenko (who is a Socialist but more in
Yushchenko’s camp).

Yanukovich’s closest associates from Donetsk fill the rest of the top
government positions. These are hard-nosed people who know how to
defend Ukraine’s interests. Dealing with the new government in Ukraine
will not be a cakewalk for Moscow.

Although Yanukovich’s Party of Regions won the election on a platform
that advocated opposition to NATO membership and a broader role for
the Russian language, it is quite likely to shift gears pretty soon and
adopt more centrist positions that will not challenge Yushchenko’s drive
to move Ukraine toward the West.

Already, Yanukovich is starting to bring nuances to his stance on the
prospect of holding a national referendum on Ukraine’s NATO membership,
a key electoral promise. On Tuesday, he stated that the issue of Ukraine
joining NATO will be decided jointly by the cabinet, the president and the
Rada. Conspicuously missing from this formula was any mention of a
nationwide referendum.

The same assessment will probably apply to Ukraine’s position in the
negotiations with Russia on energy imports and transit. Yanukovich
needs at least to avoid another hike in Russian gas prices, which now
looks almost inevitable. This is what his most important constituency –
the big business from eastern Ukraine – demands the most.

But Russia is not likely to agree to a return to subsidized pricing for gas
deliveries to Russia’s competitors in eastern Ukraine, unless the new
government in Kiev does the unthinkable, agreeing to sell off its grid of
transit gas pipelines. No Ukrainian government could make such a deal
without being immediately brought down.

So we are going to see Ukraine muddling though in fits and starts and
probably enjoying healthy growth rates in the process, but it will not be
a pro-Russian or a pro-Western Ukraine. It will be a stubbornly
independent and more self-assured nation. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
It may not seem it, but the return of Ukraine’s once autocratic, Russian-leaning
prime minister is actually the triumph, not the defeat, of the Orange Revolution

ANALYSIS: By Yuri Zarakhovich in Moscow
TIME magazine, New York, NY, Friday, Aug. 04, 2006

To most Western eyes, the political comeback of former Ukrainian Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych would seem to be a major setback for the
celebrated Orange Revolution that brought President Viktor Yuschchenko to
power in late 2004.

It was the Russian-backed Yanukovych, leader of the eastern-leaning Party of
the Regions (PR), who helped trigger the peaceful democratic uprising after
initially winning a rigged Presidential election.

But thanks to his own political makeover and the internal squabbles of
Yushchenko’s once triumphant coalition, Yanukovych came Friday afternoon to
the Supreme Rada, Ukraine’s National Legislature, to be confirmed as
Ukraine’s new Premier – and, as a result of recent reforms, actually take
over many of the Presidential powers of his onetime nemesis, Yushchenko.

The flamboyant Yuliya Tymoshenko, Yuschchenko’s own onetime revolutionary
partner and prime minister and now leader of the parliament’s Byut faction,
decried “the sellout of the Orange Revolution” and pledged “stiff opposition
to the hatching coalition government of Yanukovych’s PR faction and
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine (OU) bloc.

Her sentiment may be shared by many shocked at the turn of events in
Ukraine. But keen observers of government in the entire former Soviet Union
argue it could also be seen as evidence of an unprecedented political
maturity in the fledgling democracy.

“The Orange Revolution was all about fair elections rather than
individuals,” reminds Viktor Nebozhenko, an authoritative Kiev-based
political analyst. For the first time ever in the region, Ukraine has both a
President and a Premier elected in fair elections, with the first
opportunity to learn what separation of powers really means.

And contrary to what some people might claim, the political intrigue that
led to Yanukovych’s reemergence is as much a part of democracy as fair
elections, or for that matter, separation of powers. In the March
parliamentary elections, Yanukovych’s PR won 32% of the vote fair and

The Orange forces, badly split since Tymoshenko lost her Premiership last
September in a feud with the OU, tried to re-build their winning coalition,
along with the Socialist party, but Tymoshenko’s categorical condition was
the Premiership.

Instead, in a sudden about-face, the Socialists formed a Coalition with the
PR and the Communists. That left Yushchenko with the legal option of
nominating the Coalition Leader Yanukovych, however distasteful to him, for
Premier, or disbanding the Rada, which risked aggravating the nation’s
already yawning split.

With suspense growing – and with two pre-taped TV addresses to the nation,
one proclaiming the Rada disbanded, the other one announcing the
‘Two-Viktors-One-Country’ conciliatory formula – Yushchenko chose the
last-minute compromise.

The terms of the National Unity pact he has forged with Yanukovych’s
coalition are discernable, however vague the wording: Yanukovych signed on
to Ukraine’s moving closer politically to Europe, while Yushchenko agreed to
improve cooperation with Russia – albeit only up to the point that would
facilitate Ukraine’s trade with Russia, but won’t hurt Ukraine’s prospects
for eventual WTO and EU membership.

Both yielded on the divisive issue of Ukraine joining NATO: Yanukovych
withdrew his avowed opposition to the move, while Yushchenko agreed to put
the issue to a referendum. Yanukovych has evolved since December 2004, while
Tymoshenko mentally got stuck at the barricades,” comments Nebozhenko.

In tactical terms, Yushchenko smartly used Yanukovych to neutralize
Tymoshenko, her blend of populism, radicalism and charisma perceived as a
bigger threat. Now, however, he may be able to just as effectively use
Tymoshenko’s opposition status to keep Yanukovych in check, should the
latter’s evolution fail to prove sufficiently deep.

The backstabbing and strange alliances might not be pretty, but they sure
beat street fights, or storming Parliaments by tanks. For that reason, it
can be argued, the compromise that brought the two Viktors together in power
is actually the triumph, not the defeat, of the Orange Revolution.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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OUTSIDE VIEW: By Vyacheslav Igrunov, Director
International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies, Moscow
UPI Outside View Commentator, Moscow, Russia, Tue, August 8, 2006

MOSCOW – The political crisis in Ukraine has been resolved, but uncertainty
persists. The new government is still suffering from the painful compromise
that brought about its establishment.

On the one hand, most key posts in the government have been given to people
free of ideological intoxication and capable of constructive, pragmatic
actions. They know why gas should be stored in underground depots in summer,
why international commitments should be honored, and why their country
should not clash with those on whom its development depends.

They are First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Naftogaz head Yury
Boiko. They will be easy to work with, and may be the most suitable partners
for Russia.

The duo of Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy
Hrytsenko, who had laid out the plan for an accelerated integration of
Ukraine into NATO, which determined the policy underlying other decisions,
has remained in place, just like the position of President Viktor
Yushchenko, who pursued the line they had suggested and who remains the key
politician in Ukraine.

Yushchenko’s miraculous victory in the battle against the parliamentary
majority showed that he still has something within him — a fighting spirit.
Any other head of state would have acted in accordance with the law and
nominated the majority’s candidate.

But Yushchenko said that the majority must accept his conditions or he would
dissolve parliament because the creation of “a wrong coalition” distorted
the will of the people.

Surprisingly for observers, parliament did not reject the ultimatum, which
would have buried any other democratically elected president in a democratic
country, but spent weeks discussing it and eventually signed it, although
with compromise conditions.

The catastrophic inability of “orange” politicians to govern the country has
reduced the president’s approval rating to almost zero. (In his first and
best 100 days, Yushchenko had the support of barely 50 percent of the
people, which is logical in view of the illegitimate way he had come to

The parliamentary victory of the “orange trio” — the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc,
pro-presidential Our Ukraine and the Socialist Party — seemingly
rehabilitated the revolutionary ideals. But subsequent developments showed
that the winners were kept together by their striving for power, so that the
“orange” government was deadlocked by their fear that one of the partners
would gain the upper hand.

However, the ideological foundation of Our Ukraine proved to be sufficiently
strong to prevent a seemingly unavoidable union with the pro-Russian Party
of Regions, led by Viktor Yanukovych, the new prime minister of Ukraine.

Its ideology prevented Yushchenko from implementing his agreements with the
crisis coalition: only 30 of the 80 members of Our Ukraine in parliament
voted for the new prime minister, leaving the party short of full
participation in the new coalition.

This result will benefit Yanukovych, who did nothing to bring it about.

The talks on the formation of the government showed that Yanukovych is a
weak politician, just like Yushchenko. The compromise was mostly reached
through the surrender of his party’s positions. Yanukovych’s stance on the
issue of the Russian language is a relevant example.

During the election campaign, the Party of Regions demanded that Russian
should be granted the status of a second official language.

But shortly before signing the agreement, Yanukovych said that Ukrainian
should remain the only official language and that the Ukrainian
Constitution, which protected all other languages, should be used to ensure

His statement sounded like a capitulation in view of President Yushchenko’s
stubborn refusal to implement the European Charter for Regional or Minority

Lawyers can talk all they want about how this refusal does not preclude
support for decisions to grant Russian the status of a regional language,
but the voters will not believe them.

Another example is Yanukovych’s stance on joining NATO. A possible
compromise might involve making a commitment to do everything necessary to
become a member, with only the formal accession to be approved by

That Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko have kept their posts in the government means
that preparations for accession to NATO will continue alongside energetic
brainwashing of the people.

But then, a brainwashing campaign might not be necessary, since the
compromise agreement is not a binding document, and agreements survive in
Ukraine only until one of the sides decides to change his/her stand.

Moreover, the new government will be unable to speed up the country’s
movement towards NATO because of the growing civic awareness of the people.
But the Euro-Atlantic factor will complicate economic talks with Russia.

Russia sympathized with the Party of Regions, above all because it hoped to
stop Ukraine’s slide towards NATO. Since Ukraine’s stance on this issue
remains vague, Moscow will most likely establish coldly pragmatic relations
with Ukraine, and none of the new ministers, even though they suit the
Kremlin, will be able to dampen its resolve.

Russia will operate according to the “every man for himself” formula,
although this may cost it some of Ukrainians’ sympathy. But the Ukrainian
government will also lose out unless it develops friendly relations with its
main economic partner.

By succeeding in the coalition talks, Yushchenko has kept his post until the
next elections but lost broad electoral support. By resisting the temptation
to support the government and get seats in it, Our Ukraine may remain an
opposition force alongside Tymoshenko’s Bloc.

However, the “orange” time is over. The voters that may desert Yanukovych
and his Party of Regions will not support the “orange” forces, but rather
those who more consistently uphold the interests of the southern and eastern
regions of the country. Unrestrained nationalism survived for as long as the
eastern regions slept and maintained their paternalist Soviet mentality.

They are becoming increasingly active today, as proved by the passing of
laws on the status of the Russian language by regional assemblies.
This means that we may soon see the emergence of political parties that will
fight for the interests of the majority of Ukrainians, who live in the
southern and eastern regions. If the Party of Regions fails to get part of
that vote, it will anyway not go to the “orange” forces.

Ukraine has started down the path of slow recovery after years of
instability and civil discord. The formation of the new government was the
first faltering step towards this goal. Ukraine’s parliament has won the
battle against the president, and its role will keep growing, together with
that of the majority of voters.
(Vyacheslav Igrunov is the director of the International Institute of
Humanitarian and Political Studies. This article was reprinted with
permission from RIA Novosti.)
(United Press International’s “Outside View” commentaries are written
by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press
International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original
submissions are invited.)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Boris Kagarlitsky
The Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ukraine finally has a government. As expected, it’s a coalition government.
In fact, Viktor Yanukovych, head of the Party of the Regions, got votes
during his confirmation as prime minister from his recent opponents in
Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party. The day before the vote, Ukrainian
politicians ceremoniously signed their names to the Declaration of National

In honor of the occasion, Yanukovych even spoke Ukrainian, and Yushchenko’s
voice cracked with emotion when he told journalists that the signed document
“would unite the two sides of the Dnepr River.” Henceforth, the
Russian-speaking East will be a friend of the Ukrainian-speaking west.

In actual fact, the two sides were never at war. The cultural animosity was
artificially fanned by politicians and business clans with power bases in
different regions. Yushchenko’s victory was not based in the nationalistic
Ukrainian West but, rather, Russian-speaking Kiev.

The Declaration of National Unity contains grandiose language and phrases
that gloss over the details. The Russian language will be respected, but it
won’t have the status of a state language. Ukraine will cooperate with NATO,
but not join the organization. In other words: Nothing will change.

The average citizen is far more interested in the economic situation than in
the status of the Russian language or even NATO. Naturally, the Declaration
of National Unity doesn’t mention the expected utility price hikes and
partial privatization of public transport, which will result in higher fares
and the discontinuation of unprofitable routes.

But the new coalition government will not be concerned with ideology. It
will be dealing with the economy. As Yulia Tymoshenko noted, the declaration
“is only a screen to hide the backroom deals to divide up ministerial
positions and spheres of business.”

Tymoshenko refused to sign the declaration. She appeared at the ceremony and
announced that her bloc was going into opposition, which would be outside
the parliament.

At Tymoshenko’s bidding, her faction left the chamber. At one time,
Tymoshenko threatened to return 3,000 companies to state control, so it’s no
surprise that the local elite were united in their desire to keep her out of
the government.

Tymoshenko stood out at the signing ceremony, dressed all in white against
the background of dour men in black suits. The message her image was meant
to convey was clear and certainly understood by millions of television

Over the next few months, the government will have to start taking action.
The Ukrainian drama will continue, since a compromise among the political
elite does not guarantee social stability. In fact, it’s as if the
politicians took each other warmly by the hand and headed off in search of
the nearest cliff.

The division of rival camps allowed for the manipulation of public opinion,
which kept the situation under control. Now the situation is changing. Who
will lead people into the streets when there is another price hike? Who will
protest against the flagrant — even by Eastern European standards — social
injustice? Who will expose corruption?

Communists and Socialists are settling down comfortably into cabinet
ministers’ chairs. It seems the leaders of the main parties have accepted
their imminent disappearance from the political arena and dream of grabbing
something as they leave. Our Ukraine and the Party of the Regions will join
forces to carry out price increases and privatization.

Only Tymoshenko’s bloc will fight against official policies. I’ll bet
anything that if this continues, Tymoshenko will be the only person raising
the issues of pensioners and the poor and defending Russian schools and
ethnic minorities. After the Ukrainian statesmen united under the flag of
the declaration, no one is going to rock the ship of state.

The political bankruptcy of the Communists and Socialists has left a vacuum
on the left that will be filled by Tymoshenko. She is not very left-leaning
and her ideology is more than a little shaky. But there isn’t any other
opposition in Ukraine.

The new organizations that have appeared on the left in the last two or
three years will grow and increase in influence but in the coming months it
will be hard for anyone to match up to Tymoshenko. So the left will be
confronted by a tough choice: either join forces with an ideologically
doubtful populist opposition, or stay in the background of political life.

In the meantime, for millions of television viewers, Tymoshenko will be the
only defender of the people, fighting for social justice and the
nationalization of industry. -30-
Boris Kagarlitsky is director of the Institute for Globalization Studies.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Tatyana Stanovaya
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

MOSCOW – A new government has been formed in Ukraine, with Viktor

Yanukovych, leader of the allegedly pro-Russian Party of Regions, as
prime minister. Observers have hurried to say that the crisis is over and
the new body is sufficiently stable.

But this is not so. Although the union of President Viktor Yushchenko and
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is the most viable of all the possible
scenarios, it is fraught with big risks of a chronic political crisis.

The new government does not yet have a ruling coalition, which should
take shape in September in a far-from-formal ceremony. Moreover, the
would-be coalition may be either a ruling or an opposition one.

Officially, there is a crisis coalition consisting of the Party of Regions,
the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, which nominated Yanukovych

as prime minister. But there is also a memorandum on the establishment of a
“broader coalition,” signed by the leaders of the Party of Regions and
pro-presidential Our Ukraine. It is not a coalition agreement but rather a
declaration of intentions.

Our Ukraine does not want to join a coalition that nominated the main
adversary of the “orange revolution” as prime minister and includes the
Communist Party. The pro-presidential party is ready for compromise provided
the Communist Party leaves the coalition and Our Ukraine has more say in
government and personnel policy.

It appears that Our Ukraine will have to accept Yanukovych, but will
continue fighting for the above condition. Meanwhile, it has split into two
factions: pragmatists, who may come to terms with the adversary, and
idealists, who may decide to join the opposition.

Only 30 of the 80 deputies from Our Ukraine voted for Yanukovych. Besides,
the Christian Democratic Union, which is part of the pro-presidential bloc,
announced on August 8 that its deputies would not join the broader coalition
with Communists and Socialists (the latter are said to be traitors who have
destroyed the “orange coalition”).

People’s Party leader Yury Kostenko said his party would join the opposition
and promised a new revolt by September as a protest against having
representatives of the “former regime” in the new government.

The pragmatists say the current developments have shifted the balance in
favor of the Party of Regions, referring to Our Ukraine’s representation in
the cabinet, where the posts of the deputy prime ministers and ministers of
the economic block have been given to members of the Party of Regions.

The pro-presidential party has been left with cultural and social posts.
This is the price Yushchenko has paid for keeping his “hawks,” Foreign
Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko.

According to the Party of Regions, the above two posts should have been
given to deputies from Our Ukraine anyway, but the pro-presidential party
claims that they are in the competence of the president and should not have
been distributed within the coalition.

Yushchenko also missed a chance to ensure the appointment of Petro
Poroshenko as deputy prime minister. Poroshenko was viewed as a
counterbalance to the Party of Regions in the upper echelons of the

Our Ukraine will attempt to push back the Party of Regions in the cabinet
before the establishment of a new coalition. Yushchenko will try to regain
the loyalty of his allies, which means that he will have to pressure
Yanukovych. This is important, because the president as head of state is
losing the support of parliament by becoming a hostage to Yanukovych.

The disappointment of the “orange” part of parliament will soon become a
source of political instability in Ukraine, increasing the risk of tensions
in the divided government. Justice Minister Roman Zvarych has said that a
cell of Our Ukraine would be established in the government. This amounts to
an attempt to institutionalize the influence of the pro-presidential party
in the Yanukovych-led government, which contradicts the interests of the
prime minister.

On the one hand, the cabinet may split into an “orange” and a “regional”
block. On the other hand, it will have to rely on the “volatile”
parliamentary coalition. The difficulty is that there may be two forms of
parliamentary majority, one with Our Ukraine (the broader coalition), and
the other without it (the crisis coalition of the Party of Regions, the
Socialist Party and the Communist Party). The broader coalition will become
the ruling one, while the other will form an opposition, but the line
between them is very fine.

Yanukovych, who was nominated by the opposition (crisis) coalition but
approved by the broader coalition, might blackmail Yushchenko with the
existence of an opposition (crisis) majority in parliament.

This situation will persist for as long as the Communists, who ensure a
majority for the Party of Regions without Our Ukraine, support Yanukovych.
This will strengthen Yanukovych’s stance in subsequent political bargaining
with the president.

Our Ukraine will do its best to squeeze the Communists from the coalition.
But the Communists may be willing to leave of their own free will, in
protest against the anti-popular policies of the government (a relevant
example is a clause prohibiting the sale of land, which has been removed
from the coalition agreement). In this case, the search for a balance
between Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions will begin anew.

So the crisis in Ukraine has not been resolved, but has acquired new
characteristics and become quiet and chronic, and its core has shifted

from parliament to the executive branch. -30-
Tatyana Stanovaya is chief analyst at the Center for Political Technologies.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not
necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
Yanukovych seen as abandoning his promises to electorate, Russia

COMMENTARY: By Vitaliy Dymarskiy
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let us talk about recent events in Ukraine. When viewed from the perspective
of one-dimensional Russian politics, where everything is black-and-white,
something strange is happening in the neighboring country.

After all, the parliamentary crisis caused by the breakup of the “orange”
coalition was supposed to prove the viewpoint of Russian political analysts
recruited to help “our man” Yanukovych in his fight against Yushchenko,
who is not “our man.”

Or take “our man’s” return to the post of prime minister: Does it not attest
to the weakness of the Maydan’s ideas and of the Ukrainian president’s
pro-Western policy?

In essence, speculations about the “orangists'” defeat started immediately
after the Supreme Council elections where the Party of Regions won first
place, but nonetheless lost to the three “revolutionary” parties — those
led by Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, and Moroz.

This suggests that the Ukrainians have not changed their preferences since
the Maydan days. Only politicians and politics have changed.

I cannot deny myself the pleasure of reminding you that I predicted in an
article published in the same Rossiyskaya Gazeta column the other day
that the “orange mixture” would fall apart into three components:
[1] Yushchenko’s democracy, [2] Tymoshenko’s populism, and [3]
Moroz’s pragmatism. And this really happened.

The “lady in white” who dreamed of premiership to secure her political
and economic interests was unsuitable both for the president himself and
his entourage in this post, whereas Socialist Party leader Moroz
demonstrated pragmatism (or political cynicism — you choose the name
for it), which presumes readiness for any alliances and coalitions for
the sake of one’s own career ambitions.

Briefly then: There was discord and hesitation, as a result of which
Yanukovych won and, just as during Kuchma’s presidency, took charge
of the Cabinet of Ministers where members of his Party of Regions
received 15 out of 24 ministerial posts.

However, did Yushchenko and his policy, so hated by Moscow, turn
out to be the loser?

Strange things then started to happen.

Yanukovych suddenly forgot his election promises and about his geopolitical
curtseys in Russia’s direction. Naturally, he will pay a ritual visit to
Moscow, but in the capacity of an exclusively pro-Ukrainian rather than
pro-Russian politician.

Just as during his premiership under Kuchma’s presidency, when the Russian
language was being squeezed out even of Yanukovych’s native Donetsk,
he has already removed the issue of the status of the Russian language from
the agenda.

At any rate, he placed his signature under the Universal (Declaration of
National Unity) speaking about comprehensive development of “the
Ukrainian language as the state language and the language of official
communication, the basis for the self-identity of the people and the state.”

Nor does Yanukovych’s premiership program mention his former concept
for Ukraine’s federalization, which, undoubtedly, could have led to the
breakup of the country, as was predicted by the spin doctors serving him
during the presidential elections, who felt offended by subsequent events.
The Universal emphasized Ukraine’s “territorial integrity, unity, and

Finally, the main point: Yanukovych has fundamentally changed his stance
on Ukraine’s entry into NATO. Not only does the Universal point at the
need for mutually advantageous collaboration with the North Atlantic

The new premier, without batting an eyelid, immediately gave up the idea
of a referendum on the issue and stated that the decision should rest with
the president, the premier, and the Supreme Council rather than the people.

If anybody still has illusions regarding the legislative majority’s
position, suffice it to look at the results of the vote on the resolution
authorizing foreign servicemen’s stationing in Ukraine: 273 votes “in favor”
and 23 “against.”

There is no doubt that the deputies passed the resolution with an eye to
future military exercises with NATO. Incidentally, Ukraine’s entry into
NATO was defined as a strategic goal back during Kuchma’s presidency
and Yanukovych’s premiership.

Admittedly, we have to say that the North Atlantic alliance (as well as the
EU, which has not yet recovered from its latest expansion) is not eagerly
waiting for Ukraine, and many Ukrainian experts share this opinion.

I would add for the sake of better understanding of the new premier’s
political position that the economic interests of the so-called Donetsk clan
do not coincide in any way with the economic interests of Russia, which
should not expect any major preferences from Yanukovych’s premiership,
although he will probably have to pay Russia in some form for Moscow’s
active (and occasionally even swashbuckling support) and for renunciation
of his own electoral promises due to which, in essence, Russia had chosen
him as its favorite.

One paragraph in the Universal hints at the form of this compensation: “To
complete work on Ukraine’s participation in the activities of the single
economic area based on the principles of multilevel and multispeed
integration taking into account WTO norms and regulations.” However, this
is merely guesswork. One way or another, the new Ukrainian premier will
have to explain his behavior to Moscow.

I am not saying all this to condemn Yanukovych or expose his
“treacherousness.” He behaves as a genuinely Ukrainian and pro-Ukrainian

It would be naive to believe that any politician in the post-Soviet area —
be it Yushchenko, Aliyev, Voronin, or anybody else — would behave
differently. It is time to get rid of the illusions we had about Ukraine in
the fall of 2004 when we thought that political technologies and PR
techniques could secure Russian interests in the neighboring state.

Let us recall the events that took place 15 years ago when our obviously
belated realization of new realities in the USSR resulted in its breakup.
The CIS and our bilateral relations with its members may meet the same fate if
we continue to regard Moscow (just as back in those days when it was
the notorious union center) as Mecca where everybody goes to bow and

One more point. Russian TV channels showed sensational footage of
fights in the Ukrainian Supreme Council with satisfaction and, it seemed,
malicious joy, as if saying: Look at the fruits of the “orange revolution.”

I agree, it was an unpleasant sight. Equally unpleasant as similar reports
from many parliaments in the world where political passions fly high. In
my opinion, however, complete unanimity and conformity of opinion,
which we also happen to see in TV reports, do not look any better.

Democracy (naturally, if it is not controlled from above) presumes political
struggle rather than marching in columns. It presumes harsh struggle (like
the one being waged in Ukraine) keeping awake both the authorities (no
matter how long the eclectic Yanukovych cabinet will last) and the
opposition, which, represented by Tymoshenko, currently comprises a
real force, which has something to fight for and somebody to fight against.

In this respect the Maydan definitely did not suffer a defeat. -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Viktor Yanukovych is leading Ukraine into NATO. Ukraine’s new prime
minister isn’t as pro-Russian as he used to be. Meanwhile, those who were
Yanukovych’s allies until recently are accusing him of betrayal.

COMMENTARY: By Valeria Ovsyanik in Kiev
Novye Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Wed, August 9, 2006

Ukraine’s newly-appointed prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych,
is continuing the previous government’s policy of integration into
the European Union and NATO.

What’s more, at the end of last week the Supreme Rada, controlled
by Yanukovych, passed a resolution legalizing the presence of foreign
troops in Ukraine. NATO soldiers will soon take part in three military
exercises, and NATO vessels will visit Sevastopol in September.

Passing the legislation that permits the presence of NATO
troops on Ukrainian soil didn’t even require the votes of the
Yulia Timoshenko Bloc, considered pro-Western; 273 members of
the Supreme Rada voted in favor, with only 20 Communists and three
sympathizers voting against. The parliament’s decision can hardly
be considered uninformed.

Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko addressed lawmakers before the
vote, clearly explaining that this legislation was required for three
military exercises that will include NATO forces from Poland, Britain,
and Slovakia, as well as the pro-NATO Moldova.

What’s more, the upcoming Black Sea Force 2006 exercise will involve
NATO warships entering the military port of Sevastopol. The previous
Ukrainian parliament, which was considered pro-Western, rejected similar
legislation on two occasions.

It’s worth noting that the Economic Court of Crimea made a
significant decision yesterday: it ruled in favor of Gennadi
Moskal, President Yushchenko’s envoy in the region, in his case
against the Municipal Council of Feodosiya. The court found that
the Municipal Council’s decision to declare Feodosiya a “NATO-free
territory” was unlawful.

It was reported the same day that other municipal councils on the
Crimean Peninsula, which adopted similar resolutions in June, have
revoked them voluntarily, deciding not to go to court. Moskal’s argument
was a quote from the National Unity Universal, signed by Ukrainian
politicians, which directly refers to “the need for mutually beneficial
cooperation with NATO.”

Yanukovych has also changed his stance on the question of
Ukraine joining NATO. Previously, he was strongly in favor of
holding a national referendum on that issue – but as soon as he
become prime minister, he announced that the matter should be
decided by the president, the prime minister, and the parliament,
rather than by the people via a referendum.

Yanukovych added that “we should be guided by economic
expediency, not emotions.” But the best description of the
situation was provided by Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a
member of the Orange team, who told a news conference: “When I
wrote the Ten-Step Program [describing the NATO integration
process – editor’s note] for President Viktor Yushchenko, I never
imagined it would be implemented by the person who was his chief
opponent in the presidential election.”

Meanwhile, those who were Yanukovych’s allies until recently
are accusing him of betrayal. Natalia Vitrenko, leader of the
People’s Opposition Bloc (which didn’t make it into parliament),
maintains that Yanukovych has deceived voters for the sake of
securing the post of prime minister: “He said that his party would
oppose NATO membership and support the Russian language – but
now he’s talking of continuity between successive governments and
saying there won’t be any substantial changes in Ukraine’s
development strategy.”

To all appearances, the apprehensions of those analysts who
doubted Yanukovych’s pro-Russian orientation have turned out to be
well-founded. If current trends continue, there’s every chance
that Yanukovych will overtake his Orange predecessors on the path
towards the European Union and NATO. -30-
NOTE: Translated by Elena Leonova
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: By Andrei P. Tsygankov, Program Chair,
International Studies Association 2006-07, Associate Professor,
International Relations/Political Science, San Francisco State University
Johnson’s Russia List (JRL) #180, Article 30

Washington, D.C., Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Good news is that Ukrainian government is formed, and it is a coalitional
one. Not everyone is happy, yet many observers from some cheerleaders
of the Orange revolution to Victor Yanukovich sympathizers have rejoiced
at the result of the four month’s stalemate. Inside Ukraine, influential
members of political class favor the outcome.

Both Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned
Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko to congratulate him on the
settlement of the political crisis with the formation of Prime Minister
Yanukovich’s cabinet.

It is great news indeed, and the combination of the two Victors is the best
available at the moment. Ukraine now has a chance to rebuild its political
identity and address issues that have generated the crisis.

These issues are far from trivial, and working out a national unity
agreement is only beginning of solving them. Time is not on the side of the
new government, and Yushchenko/Yanukovich leadership must act quickly
and effectively.

The four most pressing issues are [1] energy, [2] Ukraine’s participation in
the Eurasian Economic Union, [3] status of Russian language, and [4]
NATO membership.

On energy there is no escape from the fact that prices are high, and Russia
is not going to be able to change that. Neither is America or Europe. As a
former President Leonid Kravchuk recently put, “the price of gas will not
depend on who is prime minister.” Something’s got to give, and, by now,
Ukrainian leaders must understand that. Other issues are no easier.

Polls show that more than 60% of Ukrainians are in favor of raising the
status of Russian language; more than 50% prefer Ukraine’s union with
Russia and countries of the Eurasian Economic Union; and about 55%
are fully or partially convinced that “pro-Russian choice” is the best for
their nation. Ukraine and Russia, while politically independent, remain
closely interdependent economically and culturally.

Alternatively, however, around 30% are strongly or partially in favor of
integration with the EU and NATO, and oppose rapprochement with

Ukraine’s lacks of a viable political structure further complicates the
situation. Now that a coalitional government representative of both
eastern and western regions is formed, the key question is weather it will
be functional.

Divisions within the political class run deep, and the absence of a strong
executive authority may exacerbate the problem. The two Victors are
going to need every help they can get not just from within, but from
outside the country.

Internally, they would have to appreciate the depth of Ukraine’s cultural
and political divisions and act in the spirit of the national unity

In reality, this means the already tested multi-vector policy practiced
before the Orange revolution.

Any attempts to forge some hard-core alignments­ either with Russia or
the West­ may only come at the expense of the nation’s unity.

Instead, one has to look for compromises, which might include giving
Russia greater share in domestic markets in exchange for acceptable
energy prices; developing ties with the Eurasian Economic Union, along
with those with the European Union; working out an arrangement on
status of Russian language, while encouraging younger generation to
speak Ukrainian; and not pushing membership in NATO, while gradually
forging stronger security ties with members of the alliance.

Externally, the new coalition will benefit greatly from big players, such
as Russia, the United States, and the European Union, providing
a concerted assistance or, better yet, a concerted decision not to

To quote from the same interview with Kuchma, the Ukraine’s problem is
that there are three bosses for every two Ukrainians, and the key challenge
is to keep those bosses from pulling each other’s hair out. That includes
external bosses. It would be crucial to work out an agreement among great
powers in the region to stop treating Ukraine as its own turf and stay out
of the nation’s politics and policies.

Sending the new coalitional government congratulations is not going to do
it. Instead, it is necessary to address great powers’ gap in interests and
values, and to learn how to treat Ukraine with respect it deserves. Given
the increasingly antagonistic nature of Russia-Western interactions in the
region, this will not be easy.

At this point, there is simply too much negative baggage in Russia-Western
relations. NATO expansion, war in Iraq, colored revolutions, competition
for energy resources, and Russia’s domestic changes have already produced
radically different interpretations of the situation in the former Soviet
region. A new political will and a fresh approach are necessary.

Ukraine deserves nothing less. It is important that all external sides agree
that not only the Orange revolution, but many confrontational developments that
preceded it would have not been possible without great powers’ attempts to
treat Ukraine as a geopolitical prize in the region.

As known geopolitical warrior Charles Krauthammer put it during the Orange
revolution, “this is about Russia first, democracy only second . the West
wants to finish the job begun with the fall of the Berlin Wall and continue
Europe’s march to the east . the great prize is Ukraine.”

One must recognize the formidable challenge Ukraine is facing in its nation-
building. The nation has only been united in the 1930s, as a result of
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which, ironically, makes Josef Stalin one of its

founding father.

The young nation therefore needs all the time and peace it can get to work
out for itself what it wants to be. If the world finally understands that it
needs a stable and predictable Ukraine, and not a Ukraine of warring clans

or quasi-separatist states, the new coalitional government has a chance.

If not, a strong center of gravity in Ukrainian politics may disappear
within a year, and extremists from east or west of Dnipro River will have

the day.
Andrei Tsygankov,;
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Asia Times Online, Hong Kong, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Modern Ukraine’s most famous son, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, once
said, “He who cannot eat horse meat need not do so. Let him eat pork. But
he who cannot eat pork, let him eat horse meat. It’s simply a question of

The predicament facing the United States over the death of the “Orange
Revolution” in Ukraine is somewhat similar. The choice is whether to do
business with the incoming pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich or
to destabilize him in the coming months by consorting with the mercurial
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

The dilemma is acute insofar as Washington doesn’t have a genuine “taste”
for either of the two Ukrainian leaders.

The choice would have been easy if Moscow had placed its cards on the table.
But Moscow is not helping matters. It is eschewing polemics and is not
stating preferences. Instead it is putting on a poker face – an exasperating
correct median line.

No sooner had Yanukovich assumed office in Kiev on Friday than Russian Prime
Minister Mikhail Fradkov extended customary greetings and expressed hope for
the development of bilateral ties.

President Vladimir Putin took another three full days to add his
felicitations. On Monday, significantly, he first telephoned Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko to congratulate him for putting an end to the
political crisis emanating out of the latter’s rift with his “orange
partner” Tymoshenko. And only then did Putin congratulate Yanukovich.

With characteristic understatement, Moscow drew attention to the great
strategic defeat that the US has suffered in Ukraine. It is common knowledge
that the US actively worked behind the scenes after the March elections to
put together an orange coalition of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

Washington was eager to see an orange coalition in power in Kiev so that at
the summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in November in Riga,
Ukraine could be formally invited to a membership action plan, which in turn
would qualify Ukraine potentially for full membership at the 2008 NATO
enlargement summit. But in the event, Yushchenko simply would have no truck
with Tymoshenko.

Fearing that his popularity, which is already below 10%, might plummet even
further if fresh elections were held because of a hung parliament,
Yushchenko opted for a grand coalition with Yanukovich despite the US
administration’s deep suspicion of the latter as a menace to the United
States’ geopolitical interests.

Worse still, as a former American diplomat put it, “pretty much everybody
… was surprised” by the undercurrents that swept Yanukovich to power.

Washington has put a brave face on the geopolitical shift in Kiev. The US
State Department spokesman claimed satisfaction that Yanukovich’s return to
power was “in the old-fashioned, democratic way” and, therefore, Washington
would seek a “good relationship” with his government, “just as we would with
any other democratically elected government”.

Yet such grandstanding couldn’t hide that in three broad directions at
least, Yanukovich’s ascendancy signifies a shift in Ukraine’s policies that
profoundly hurt the US position.

First, developments in Ukraine conclusively debunk Washington’s claims that
a wave of US-sponsored freedom and democracy was on the march. President
George W Bush himself had listed in his 2005 State of the Union address the
“Orange Revolution” in Ukraine as one of the “landmark events in the history
of liberty”.

As Russia scholar Anatol Lieven wrote, these assumptions on which the US
strategies have been based stand contradicted today; Ukraine “demonstrated
that the processes which the West has encouraged in Central Europe and the
Baltic states cannot be extended seamlessly to the former Soviet Union.

Societies, economies and national identities and affinities are very
different, links to Russia are closer, and both the US and the EU are weaker
than appeared to be the case a few years ago.”

Indeed, the reverberations of the collapse of the “orange project” will be
felt far and wide in the post-Soviet space. Belarussian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka will feel vindicated in his assertion that there will be no rose,
orange or banana revolutions in his country. Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia,
on the other hand, will worry that “color revolutions” are not irreversible.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan would be gratified that his early burial of
the “Tulip Revolution”, and his choice of indigenous and regional moorings
as the mainstay of power, were after all the correct choice.

Across the length and breadth of the post-Soviet space a realization will
have dawned that the era of the “color revolutions” has ended and that with
all its awesome power as the sole superpower, there are serious limits to
the US influence in bringing about regime changes.

Certainly, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine – or, wherever
Washington has let the genie of “democracy” out of the bottle – pandemonium

The Bush administration faces a serious credibility problem in the
post-Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, which will pose a
difficult legacy for the next administration.

The less said the better for Washington’s “Greater Central Asia” strategy or
any mediation in settling the “frozen conflicts” in Moldova or
Transcaucasus. (Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin visited Moscow on
Tuesday to discuss with Putin key issues of finding a settlement to the
Transdnistria problem.)

Equally Ukraine, with its 50 million people, its advanced
military-industrial complex, its strong agricultural base, its highly
strategic geography, and not least of all its near-mystic appeal to Mother
Russia, should have been the fulcrum around which an entire geopolitics was
conceived by the US. With Ukraine cut adrift once again in the midriff of
Eurasia, issues are wide open.

Democracy may or may not have changed Yanukovich. But one thing is certain:
Moscow is back in serious business in Ukraine – that is, if it ever was out
of it in real terms. In his first remarks within hours of assuming office,
Yanukovich told the Russian government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that
Ukraine-Russia ties will run on an altogether different track than under the
orange regime.

He said: “We need to stop quarrelling with our neighbors and learn to have
respectful discussions … The new government is not going to foster
anti-Russia sentiments in Ukraine.”

Influential Russian politicians promptly reciprocated. But the chairman of
the Russian duma’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachyov,
underlined Moscow’s cautious approach not to raise hackles in the West. He
commented: “Yanukovich stands for a balanced foreign policy of Ukraine.

Russian-Ukrainian relations now have a chance to overcome the crisis and
start gradual development.” The emphasis of Russian politicians was on the
“de-ideologization” of Russian-Ukrainian relations and their pragmatic

All indications are that Russia will offer Yanukovich’s government a new
concept of strategic partnership focusing on the economic-reform objectives
of Ukraine but aimed at closer integration with Russia in terms of projects
and programs.

Russia has an inherent advantage over all of Ukraine’s Western partners in
pursuing such a course. More important, it is a “win-win” situation, since
Russia will also attend to the top priorities of Ukraine’s political

But US cold warriors seem to be stopping at nothing to raise the dust in
Russia-Ukraine relations. They see fresh hope in the “checks and balances”
implicit in the Yushchenko-Yanukovich grand coalition. (They made more or
less the same misplaced assumption in the case of the Bakiyev-Felix Kulov
team in Kyrgyzstan.)

They count on Tymoshenko providing an “effective critique” of the grand
coalition in Kiev. They insist democracy has changed Yanukovich’s outlook.

They calculate that the US still has its own clientele in the Ukrainian
leadership. They visualize Yushchenko, though an isolated politician, as
still capable of (and interested in) fighting for the “orange” spirit.

Without doubt, Yanukovich will create a change in atmosphere in Ukraine’s
relations with Russia, especially at the political and diplomatic level.

He will not be enthusiastic about the anti-Russia regional groupings
sponsored by Washington such as the GUAM group (Georgia, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan and Moldova) or the Community of Democratic Choice. These
regional groupings are bound to wither away if Kiev doesn’t put its heart
in them.

The million-dollar question has always been about the prospects of Ukraine’s
NATO membership. In his first comments, Yanukovich reiterated his opposition
to Ukraine joining the NATO.

He recalled that the orange regime’s stance on the issue “made Russia
unhappy” and that his government must abide by the wishes of the majority
of Ukrainian people who were opposed to NATO membership.

Yanukovich later amplified that “NATO is a very sensitive issue for our
society” and, therefore, “balanced and collective decisions” became
necessary involving the government, president and the parliament. What all
this adds up to is that the NATO enlargement summit in 2008, which Bush very
much hoped to have as a legacy of his presidency, will have to be postponed

But NATO expansion is not merely an issue of Bush’s political legacy. If
Ukraine holds back, NATO’s eastward expansion virtually stalls. Ukraine is
too big to be bypassed. And no encirclement of Russia is realistic without
Kiev coming on board.

Furthermore, NATO expansion into Ukraine was intended to give verve to
Poland’s claims of a leadership role in Eurasia, which the US was counting
on, challenging Russia. Eastward expansion is NATO’s strategy; it isn’t
Ukraine’s strategy. It is a strategy that, essentially speaking, has nothing
to do with the actual security of member countries.

It is political and has been championed by the caucus involving the US,
Poland and the Baltic states. It is a venture about which other NATO
countries harbor ambivalent feelings.

Washington hoped that NATO expansion would give impetus to the United
States’ trans-Atlantic leadership and keep burning the fire of
Euro-Atlanticism even in the post-Cold War setting. Now, if NATO begins to
meander for want of motivation or a clear-cut action plan, lingering doubts
about its raison d’etre would resurface.

It is not even two years since then German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
questioned NATO’s pivotal role or France reactivated its NATO links. The
challenge is thus political and, as Khrushchev put it, politics are the same
all over – “They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”
M K Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service
for more than 29 years, with postings including ambassador to Uzbekistan
(1995-98) and to Turkey (1998-2001).
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

COMMENTARY: By Dan-Daniel Tomozeiu
EuObserver, Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ever since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine represented for many observers
just a large former soviet republic too close to Russia to be properly

The policies of the two countries seemed so similar that many commentators
almost lost hope of ever seeing a truly independent Ukraine in charge of its
borders, army and energy security. And yet in November 2004, not more that
six months after Europe’s historical enlargement, the Ukrainian nation

The people had enough of corruption, fraud and ignorance of their choices.
They took to the streets to manifest their anger and desire for freedom. And
it was there in the streets where the wish for a better life of the orange
camp proved stronger than the conservatism and inertia of the blue side.

Names like Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko immediately became
associated with Ukraine’s new independent course, while Viktor Yanukovych,
the former premier, was seen as the big loser.

This picture was altered a few days ago, on the 3 August, when president
Yushchenko nominated his archrival Yanukovych to be prime minister.

The news hit hard at the heart of Orange Revolution supporters. Judging from
their comments, their hopes are shattered, the values they fought for seem
all lost. But are they really?
In 1947 the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made one of his most
memorable quotes: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect [.] democracy
is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been

It is this democracy that, fifty-seven years later, was promoted by the
supporters of the Orange Revolution. And it is exactly democracy that has
triumphed in Ukraine. The values of democratic choice, proved in the end
stronger than any individual or coalition.

The Orange Revolution was not about giving the state power to Mr Yushchenko
or anybody else but about putting in place a democratic system that insured
Ukraine’s sovereignty and a better life for its people.

On 26 March, during the last election, the people showed their preference.
The two factions came close, the difference being around 3% in favour of the
now split Orange side. It showed the people were not happy with the slow
changes of the past two years but they haven’t lost their trust in democracy
and they were willing to wait.

It was now down to president Yushchenko, the political symbol of the Orange
Revolution, to make his choice for prime minister.

His options were limited Mrs Tymoshenko or Mr Yanukovych After a long
delay he opted for the later with all the sacrifices such a decision
implied. From a purely theoretical perspective, Mr Yanukovych being the
leader of the party that got most votes, is entitled to the position.

But there is more to the president’s choice; it shows his trust in the
durability of the democratic changes he was able to bring to the country.
His option carries a risk, a high one, and now he has to be able to defend
and oversee it.

But more importantly he has to keep his country on track. It won’t be easy
but if he manages, Ukrainian democracy will come out stronger and more
of a unifying force than ever before.
The decision of the president was interpreted by many as leaving Mrs
Tymoshenko, the real symbol of the Orange Revolution, out in the cold.
Instead, she is in for four years of real heat!

If any of that revolutionary spirit that energised the masses two years ago
is still there then the Yanukovych government will have to face a real
opposition both in Parliament and in the media.

In a real democratic system the role of the opposition is as important as
the one of the government. Mrs Tymoshenko proved to be a strong and
charismatic leader, now she has to show herself as an informed and fierce
critic. Heading a strong and unmerciful shadow government can be as
challenging as the real job itself.

For young democracies, having an alternation of power and leaders that are
capable of great things both in government and opposition is crucial.

Moreover if the alternation to power in other Eastern European countries is
any indication, Mrs Tymoshenko has a great chance of getting the top
position in four years or even earlier. And what a rich political experience
will she have by then!

It is clear that the controversial character of the story is the new prime
minister, Mr Yanukovych. His past is no indication of how he will perform in
his new job.

He was for long seen just as the right hand man of a Soviet-style leader.
Later, at the height of the Orange Revolution there were rumours he wanted
to bring the army out in the streets against his co-nationals.
As a leader of the opposition he didn’t bring much and now he is portraying
himself as a reformed politician. Only time will tell what his real nature
is. For the moment he has to prove he is worthy of a second chance to the
highest office.

He has to show he understood the democratic game and he is willing to play
by the rules. Until then the responsibility for his actions lies with
president Yushchenko who took the gamble. Hopefully it was the right one.

Yet, there is one part of the world where the news about Mr Yanukovych’s new
job was received with less reservation. The Russian newspapers and opinion
leaders congratulated him and some even said they feel vindicated by the
nomination. But outside lessons have always slowly entered Russian space.

It must be hard to see a neighbouring country with a similarly difficult
history having a strong and blossoming democracy in which political rivals
are not jailed but asked to play their rightful role and where the press is
free to speak its mind.

And for the ones that are less jubilant about the Ukrainian changes, Mr
Yanukovych’s nomination at least proves that the Orange Revolution was

There was no outside force trying to put its people into place. The
revolution was simply the option of the local population that had enough of
Democracy is a complex and delicate concept, that takes time to grow and
flourish both in the political system and in people’s hearts. And at no
phase is democracy more fragile than in its infancy.

The past two years showed the Ukrainian people the benefits and sacrifices
it requires, but it also showed its fragility.

It should not be forgotten that the people of Ukraine were energised by the
democratic models of Europe and the US when they took the streets asking
for change and for EU and NATO membership.

It is the EU and the US that became the guarantors of the newly born
democracy. The EU through its proximity and historical ties with the country
has not only the possibility but also the capacity and duty to keep a very
exigent eye on the developments in Ukraine.

Inside the EU, there are certain countries, such as Poland, which have a
vested interest in keeping the country on course and should therefore spare
no effort in making sure that democracy has solid roots across its eastern

But who can talk about democracy in Eastern Europe without mentioning the
role of the United States?
The US is the single most important democratic model for the countries in
the region and its committed involvement in the area played a crucial role
in the post- Cold War transformations.

Washington’s role in Ukraine’s recent history has for sure been
overestimated by most commentators. It is true that the US engagement with
the Ukrainian democratic forces has always been there, but it has to be
stepped up in the near future.

If indeed president Bush wants to see Ukraine in NATO before he leaves
office then he has fully understood a large part of his responsibilities
towards this young democracy. With European integration having no secure
date, NATO membership is the only real external guarantee for the Ukraine’s
democratic future.

The Americans and the majority of the other NATO members are willing to
stretch out a hand. President Yushchenko and prime minister Yanukovych
should be ready to grab it if they want to prove they are worthy of leading
Ukraine in these historic times. -30-
The author is currently undertaking a PhD research at the Diplomatic Academy
of London (DAL) investigating the democratization of Central and Eastern
Europe. LINK:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
Moscow will continue to use its back channels to penetrate, compromise
and sow division, and they will cultivate Moroz as an independent factor.

INTERVIEW: With James Sherr, CSRC, UK Defence Academy
Den in Ukrainian, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 8 August 2006

QUESTION 1. Do you think that the Universal can indeed unite Ukraine?

SHEER: There are three problems with this premise.

[1] First, documents do not create unity. To see how little unity exists
here, all you need to do is read the provisions. Eighty per cent of them
are so noble and vapid [ploskie, pustie] that they would unite eighty per
cent of humanity. The twenty per cent that matter are carefully crafted to
conceal disunity.

[2] The second problem is that Ukraine’s long-standing divisions have not
been healed since January 2005. In fact they have been aggravated, because
the lives of most ordinary people have become worse.

If a government, Blue or Orange, were demonstrably to change people’s lives
for the better and do so across the country, then today’s
divisions-regional, geopolitical, linguistic-would matter less than they do

[3] Third, there is a just a touch of totalitarian nostalgia in this quest
for unity. The quality of a liberal democracy is measured by the quality
of its government and opposition-and by the rules and institutions that
keep the conflict of interests civilised, open and lawful.

QUESTION 2. Who won from signing this document, and who lost?

SHEER: Regions won before the document was signed. They won when
Moroz defected. The question now is how to shape this victory and prevent
it from becoming a danger to the rest of the country.

The scale of the potential danger will be seen when ministers are appointed.
But it will be influenced by several other factors:

[1] first whether the formerly Orange members of this coalition care as much
about their democratic and European values as they do about their
business interests;
[2] second, whether the opposition can oppose in a way that does credit to
them-and articulate a vision for the country that is attractive,
realistic and responsible.
[3] Third, I think it will depend on the resolve of the West not to give up
on Ukraine, but look for new opportunities and play a principled,
supportive role.

QUESTION 3. How might these events influence Ukraine’s relations with
NATO, the EU and Russia?

SHEER: It’s too early to say how they will, so let’s consider how they
might. NATO’s aim has never been Ukraine’s membership of NATO. It
has always been effective cooperation and security.

The latter depends on transforming Ukraine’s military and security
structures, so that they are well-trained, well-financed, democratically
minded and democratically controlled.

NATO and Ukraine have been addressing this jointly and, since January 2005,
in a very dedicated and serious way. That joint work now forms the core of
the NATO-Ukraine relationship.

So NATO’s key concern is, ‘what happens to this relationship?’. Soon, the
answer will be clear enough. It won’t be possible to fool anyone. There
are just too many experts involved.

As to membership, the door is open to countries that share NATO’s values
and meet its standards (which, by the way, include public understanding and
support). NATO won’t close this door, and it will insist on the right of
Ukraine and Ukrainians to make an informed choice on the matter.

Membership of the EU would not be on the table even if the Orange coalition
were restored. What is on the table is integration in specific, functional
areas of immense importance to Ukraine: trade, investment and friendlier
visa arrangements. But integration works according to certain principles.
The EU has one set of principles, the SES another.

Integration with one bloc and cooperation with the other is possible.
Integration with both is not possible, and it is a disservice to pretend

The question is not what declarations are issued, but what the practical
focus of the new government will be: implementation of the EU-Ukraine
Action Plan or integration into the Eurasian economic space?

Is the Kremlin happy about the latest events in Ukraine? Undoubtedly, yes.
But they are not dizzy with success. They do not trust Yanukovych, and
they know that the business interests behind him are tough.

The new government will be vastly more predictable for Moscow than the
Orange government, but stronger than Kuchma’s and less easy to manipulate
than Yushchenko’s.

So Moscow will continue to use its back channels to penetrate, compromise
and sow division, and they will cultivate Moroz as an independent factor.

As to Yanukovych and Akhmetov, they will try to establish a firmly pragmatic
multi-vector policy. I hope the West treats that a challenge rather than an
insult. -30-
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of
the British government
Contact: James Sherr,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Formation of new government causes a number of concerns

OP-ED: By Tammy Lynch, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Aug 10, 2006

Many analysts have reacted positively to the confirmation of the new
Yanukovich government, welcoming the end of over four months of
political turmoil.

But, when looking past the short-term goal of so-called “political
stability” to Ukraine’s long-term development, the formation of the
government causes a number of concerns.

On August 3, US State Department Spokesman Scott McCormack suggested,
“”Mr. Yanukovych has come to the prime ministership in the old-fashioned,
democratic way. He worked hard for votes, he campaigned, he politicked.”
Yes – and no.

It is true that Yanukovich’s Party of Regions ran a superb Western-style
political campaign, based on the advice of several US Republican Party
strategists. The party placed first in the parliamentary election, with 32
percent of the vote. And, in the end, Yanukovich negotiated well with the
president to secure his job.

But the formation of the coalition that allowed Yanukovich to be in that
position had as much to do with the physical blockading of the parliamentary
rostrum, and the reported providing of “incentives” to MPs, as with

Almost immediately after the former “Orange” parties announced their own
majority coalition, which would have nominated former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko, the Party of Regions began blocking parliament. They blocked
work for 10 days, assisted by at least one non-MP “hired gun.” The unknown
man was filmed physically defending the rostrum from those attempting to
unblock it.

During that time, the Party of Regions was able to “convince” the Socialist
Party, the smallest member of the “orange coalition,” to switch allegiances.

The Socialists did so spectacularly during the election of the parliamentary
speaker. The party provided no notice to its previous coalition partners,
thus violating Ukraine’s parliamentary procedures.

Given the long history of bribery in Ukrainian politics, it was not
surprising when a television camera captured Party of Regions deputy Andriy
Kliuyev on the parliamentary floor making what appeared to be a gesture of
counting money while speaking to the head of the Socialists (although the
Socialists deny receiving money).

It also was not surprising for journalists to overhear a deputy from the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc ask Kliuyev sarcastically whether they could “get”
a committee membership for three million dollars since they missed the
chairmanships “for 10.”

There may be a reason why Kliuyev has been called the “money man” in
Ukraine’s domestic press. But one thing is certain – those watching the
parliamentary majority’s creation saw very little that resembled Western-
style parliamentary politics.

The inclusion of certain individuals in the new cabinet does little to
assuage concerns. Andriy Kliuyev was named Deputy Prime Minister
for the Energy Sector. This is the same post Kliuyev held in the 2004
pre-revolution Yanukovich government.

In fact, the new Yanukovich cabinet includes several individuals from that
time, which is the period when the questionable gas intermediary
RosUkrEnergo was formed.

RosUkrEnergo, which controls Ukraine’s gas contracts, has been severely
criticized by Western officials for its lack of transparency.

Charles Tannock, a British European Member of Parliament suggested that
the use of RosUkrEnergo in gas agreements with Russia suggests “there is
a possibility of political corruption.” He and other Western officials have
urged Ukraine to remove RosUkrEnergo from all gas transactions.

Yulia Tymoshenko had vowed to do this. During her tenure as premier, the
company was investigated by the Secret Service for money laundering. “It
is a front company,” she charged, designed to enrich certain Ukrainian
officials. After her dismissal, the probe was shelved. Now, the new cabinet
can be seen as a sign of support for the intermediary.

Ukraine’s new Minister for Coal and Mining, Serhiy Tulub, served as
Yanukovich’s Minister for Fuel and Energy in 2004, when RosUkrEnergo was
formed. Even more, Yuriy Boyko, the former head of Ukraine’s state gas
company Naftohaz in 2004, will now serve as Fuel and Energy Minister.

Boyko sat on the original “coordinating council” of RosUkrEnergo. The
international watchdog Global Witness questioned the “curious relationship”
between RosUkrEnergo, Naftohaz and Boyko and asked who profited from it.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s new First Deputy Prime Minister will be Mykola Azarov,
a man known during the Kuchma administration for his use of the tax police
against the political opposition.

As head of the Tax Administration, Azarov is heard on the “Gongadze Tapes” –
secret recordings of President Kuchma’s conversations in 2000. These tapes
were authenticated by the United States FBI. Most individuals heard on the
tapes, including then-Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, have said the
conversations in question did take place. Kuchma and Azarov have not, but
they seem to correspond with real events.

In one conversation, a man identified as Azarov discusses his attempt to
pressure Boris Feldman, a wealthy banker and supporter of Yulia Tymoshenko.
On the tapes, Kuchma is heard to tell Azarov, “Put him in a cell with
convicts. Let them pound him.”

Three months later, Azarov explains that Feldman will go to prison.

“We agreed with the Luhansk court .,” he says on the tape. “I have talked
about adding a charge. We have discussed this with the judges there, whom we
can manipulate.” Feldman spent three years in jail before another court
threw out the charges.

Under Azarov’s direction, the tax administration also opened investigations
into the work of the US-based organization Freedom House and the US-owned
newspaper Eastern Economist. Many Ukrainian organizations critical of
Kuchma also endured excruciating tax investigations during Azarov’s tenure.

Now, Azarov is the second most important man in the cabinet. Though it
includes reformers, its overall make-up and the tactics used to form the
coalition, should give pause to those worried about corruption or possible
oppression. Any resurgence of RosUkrEnergo may concern Europeans
focused on energy.

As usual, the country appears to be heading in two directions at once.
Despite concerns for the future, Ukraine conducted a free and fair election.

All politicians expressed their opinions throughout the coalition formation.
Perhaps most important, this government, unlike Yanukovich’s first, will be
actively monitored by a real opposition.

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc refused to participate in the government,
suggesting that it could better serve Ukraine as a watchdog. Tymoshenko’s
new inter-party opposition may include disaffected members of President
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, which officially joined Yanukovich’s
government. The President has welcomed the creation of the opposition and
pledged to protect it.

In fact, protecting the opposition should be one of the president’s most
important goals, given possible questions about the new cabinet.

Will this government truly be able to meet Western standards of democracy
and transparency? Ukraine will need its opposition to ensure that they do.
The author, Tammy Lynch, is a Senior Fellow at Boston University’s
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: By TOL Magazine, Transitions Online
Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Ukraine’s new government is a squandered opportunity, an unavoidable
decision, a compromise that – with luck – might help lead the way into a
more clearly defined party system.

In the end, President Viktor Yushchenko had little real choice. The
elections were free and fair, the Party of Regions topped the vote, it
managed to stitch together a majority, and the majority nominated Viktor
Yanukovych to be prime minister.

To deny Yanukovych the post would have been to deny the results of a
standard political process. To call new elections would have been a blow to
Ukrainian democracy, a loss of national face.

But, of course, the re-emergence of Yanukovych is a major blow, an
embarrassment for the democratic revolution that in 2004 swept aside,
strictly through the law book and without violence, a regime that had sought
in craven fashion to steal elections.

It is a loss of face for Ukraine – and, in that, it continues the motif of
the past two years, because face, and the loss of it, has been the
overarching theme of Ukrainian politics. Yushchenko lost his literally two
years ago, sacrificing his strikingly handsome looks in his bid to fight
opponents willing to use poison.

Two years on, he has lost his face politically, comprehensively defeated on
the political chessboard. The man who should have disappeared from public
view after the elections in 2004 – Viktor Yanukovych – will now, somehow, be
the face of Ukraine, occupying a constitutionally strengthened premiership.

With the return of Yanukovych, a former small-time criminal jailed by the
Soviets but never sentenced for the big-time crimes of the Donetsk clan that
he leads, Ukraine will be presenting to the world some of the ugly mug it
showed the world in the 1990s.

What was the new inspiring image of Ukraine – the hundreds of thousands on
the Maidan, the scarred, sacrificed face of Yushchenko, and the artfully
iconic image of Yulia Tymoshenko – has, at the very least, lost its sheen.

No one comes out this looking good. Victory seemed within the grasp of the
“orange” coalition, with the announcement of a government coalition between
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine, Tymoshenko’s bloc, and the Socialists. Then, at
the last, Yanukovych’s blues seized the Socialists, and suddenly Yushchenko
was checkmate.

It was a game that should never have been lost: an orange coalition – albeit
smudged, stained, and faded after 15 troubled months in power – was viable,
and formed in outline within days of the elections. But it took nearly four
months to flesh out the outline with details.

That protracted process , and the coalition’s last-minute collapse, is
unconscionable, and those responsible should have that on their conscience.

That means the Socialists – for going over to Yanukovych – but, ultimately
and primarily, Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine: Tymoshenko’s position as leader of
clearly the most successful “orange” party in the elections should have
delivered her the premiership, but it seems that was the rock on which
the endlessly drifting, unguided talks foundered repeatedly.

There was always the knowledge that the united orange front would at some
point split. After all, a once-divided opposition unites to deal with an
otherwise insurmountable challenge – in Ukraine’s case, elections
grotesquely manipulated by a shamelessly venal administration – and, once
the challenge is surmounted, old divisions are bound to emerge when they
face the many, discrete challenges of government.

Nonetheless, an opportunity has been needlessly wasted – a chance of an
extended period in power in which to put clear blue water between Ukraine
and its murky past and to embark on a much-needed period of comprehensive
reform that would lead the country westward.
An opportunity has been squandered. Still, despite the presence of
Yanukovych, the new government offers a solution that might be reasonable,
even appropriate for Ukraine at the moment.

Or, looked at from a less optimistic angle, there are at least some features
that militate against a worst-case scenario.

[1] First, the “declaration of national unity” that the parties signed up to
tries to safeguard some key parts of the “orange” agenda.

Among the critical ones are the commitment “To continue on the course of
European integration with the goal of Ukraine’s entrance into the European
Union,” to seek “mutually beneficial cooperation with NATO,” and to reform
the laws, judiciary, and law-enforcement institutions based on European

[2] Second, Our Ukraine is in a position to prevent a lurch back to
Ukraine’s past. The party has, in effect, acted as a cuckoo in the nest:
faced with the prospect of a blue government, it joined the government – and
in the process the Socialists and Communists have been pushed to the
margins, each with just two of the 23 government posts.

[3] Third, an impasse has some benefits for Ukraine. Symbolically, the
country is a highly charged geopolitical asset, wanted by Russia and,
theoretically, prized by Europe as a potentially “normalized,” democratic,
reliable, comprehensible neighbor.

This highly emotive geopolitics, and the controversial nature of the 2004
elections, has exacerbated internal tensions, and Yanukovych and his allies
used this as the launch pad for their political comeback.

Now, with Yushchenko’s and Yanukovych’s parties both in government, that
charge could slowly be neutralized. That would bring the country closer to

And that reality is that, [a] firstly, the West was doing little to win
Ukraine over – NATO membership was only on a very distant horizon; courtesy
of the EU’s sloth, EU membership was not even on the horizon – and, [b]
secondly, that, thanks to the deep divisions within Ukraine and its elites (and,
hopefully, because of the lingering spirit of the Orange Revolution), Russia’s
chances of transforming Ukraine into a system similar to its and Belarus’ –
namely, a consolidated authoritarian system – are also off the horizon.

A government that represents the two poles of Ukraine – a western, former
Austro-Hungarian half of small businesses, nationalist sentiment, and more
liberal inclinations and an eastern half onto which the Russian and Soviet
empires grafted on urbanization, industrialization, Russification, and a
more collectivized identity – will now have to work, day in, day out, on the
tortuous process of resolving these contradictions.

[4] And, fourth, if the process is too tortuous, the government will
crumble. Bets on this government lasting a long time should not be high.
That probability – that there will be a new government and possibly new
elections soon – suggests that, with the exception of Yanukovych’s party, we
may soon realize that the winners and losers from this debacle are not only
the current political formations. The elections and the protracted birth
pains of the new government suggest two basic scenarios.

The Party of Regions can use its time in government to advance its policies,
to reinforce its base of popular support, and to retrench itself in
Ukraine’s institutions.

Tymoshenko can capitalize on what is being presented as the capitulation of
Our Ukraine and the treachery of the Socialists to reinforce one message
that was clear from the elections: that Ukrainians see her as the principal
defender of the revolution.

The Party of Regions and Tymoshenko are, in other words, now in a position
to marginalize the other parties. Yanukovych can effectively consume what
remains of the Communist vote (just 3.7 percent in the elections) and slice
off chunks of the Socialists’ small support. Tymoshenko should be able to
feed on both Our Ukraine and the Socialists.

The Party of Regions and Tymoshenko’s party can work towards creating a
system dominated by two big parties. The strategic challenge for Tymoshenko
is to become a more standard political organization. Her election campaign
was populist and vacuous and the party images – herself and pink hearts on
white flags – hardly seem the symbols of an enduring party.

Still, behind the image-making are the outlines of a recognizable political
idea: social democracy. The challenge for Our Ukraine is to recover some
ground to become the third strong party that a polarized country like
Ukraine needs. For the other two – the Communists and the Socialists – mere
survival and maintaining significant influence may be a tough task.

But that vision of the political scene’s logical development may prove
wildly wrong: as these elections show, logical solutions can take a long
time to crystallize – and then dissolve. Previous parliaments have been
typified by constantly shifting alliances and deputies moving from one
faction to another, and business interests have been critically important.

Alliances may well shift again, deputies may migrate, and the billionaire
oligarchs of the Party of Regions, some of the millionaires who back Our
Ukraine, and the “red directors” – the communist-era apparatchiks – that
back the Socialists may battle for their own interests in a way that
distorts standard party-political calculations.

Quite possibly, we may see a continuation of the post-revolution pattern of
short-lived governments.

So, rather than a consolidating political system, we may see a country whose
politics looks rather like Italy’s, with governments changing frequently,
politics and business cohabiting unhealthily, and deputies operating more in
alliances and factions rather than clearly defined parties. There is even a
regional similarity, with Italy’s north-south divide matched with Ukraine’s
historic east-west split.

Where would that leave the revolution? Hopefully, after some years of
watching the political dance we would realize that the country is traveling
in generally the right direction.

Certainly, it would be clear that this is a highly political country – and
that alone would be a reminder of and a guarantee that Ukraine is different
from Russia.

But the key may lie outside the circus of parliament. Ukrainians need to
push for change in other ways – and they could look for an example to Italy.
There, politicians and the judiciary, politicization and independence are in
constant battle.

As the battles in Ukraine’s parliament grind on, dimming the spirit of the
revolution, Ukrainians can take their battle to the courts. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

ANALYSES: By Taras Kuzio, Transitions Online (TOL)

Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, 11 August, 2006

As fickle as the recent moves of Yushchenko and his party may look,
they highlight Our Ukraine’s deep-seated motivations.

The Ukrainian parliamentary elections in March were the freest in the
country’s history and one of the most free and fair polls yet held in
the Commonwealth of Independent States.

But this milestone in Ukrainian history was overshadowed by a four-
month parliamentary and political crisis that was overcome only at the
beginning of August with the signing of a deal that saw President Viktor
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party enter a “National Unity” coalition with
the top vote-getter, the Party of Regions, headed by defeated presidential
candidate Viktor Yanukovych.

The Socialist Party is also part of the new coalition, and the political
bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, Our Ukraine’s Orange Revolution partner,

goes into opposition.

Our Ukraine’s maneuvers saw Yushchenko approving the candidacy for
prime minister of the man conventionally dubbed his arch-rival. The real
rivalry, however, is not Yushchenko against Yanukovych; it is the
personal and ideological divide between Yushchenko’s party and the
person and political movement of the woman who stood at his side during
the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko and Our Ukraine did not expect to win the elections. Surveys
clearly put Yanukovych’s Party of Regions in the lead. But they never
expected to finish a distant third behind both Regions and the electoral
bloc headed by Tymoshenko, Yushchenko’s Orange Revolution comrade,
first prime minister, and now rival to both him and Yanukovych.

After the voting, a leading figure in Our Ukraine, Roman Bessmertny, told
the Stolychnyi Novosti newspaper, “The elections have taken place and we
should respect their results.”

Instead, the president and his stunned supporters refused to adhere to the
informal agreement among the “orange” forces that whichever political
grouping in their camp won the most votes – Yushchenko’s or
Tymoshenko’s – would have the right to nominate the next prime minister.

Our Ukraine’s unwillingness to accept the election outcome led directly
to four months of political and constitutional deadlock. And the party’s
solution to the dilemma was to go into “opposition” while placing some
of its leading figures into the National Unity coalition government: a
“semi-pregnant” position, as the leading weekly Zerkalo Tyzhnia
described it.

Such a move will not fool orange voters. Yet the party’s decision to
adopt an awkward straddle between the opposition and government did
not arise from short-term political considerations alone, for the party
has never been a true opposition force.
When they realized how badly the elections had turned out for them,
Yushchenko and Our Ukraine made a decision that set the course for

Instead of living with the outcome of the voting and putting forward
Tymoshenko for the premiership, they began simultaneous talks with
the Tymoshenko bloc and the Party of Regions.

In its talks with Tymoshenko’s people, Our Ukraine sought to prevent
her from returning to the premiership, or failing that, to win the post of
parliamentary speaker for Our Ukraine’s candidate, Petro Poroshenko,
a major figure in or near the party since its founding in 2001.

Personal animosity between Poroshenko and Tymoshenko plagued the
first year of the Yushchenko administration, and many observers felt
that the placing of the two rivals in high office would up the odds of a
quick government collapse.

Our Ukraine switched roles when talking with Yanukovych’s side, agreeing
to a deal to retain Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov in office while
Regions would be allowed to control the speakership.

This would not have been too bitter a pill for Regions to swallow, as they
saw Yekhanurov as someone they could work with, above all, someone
opposed to further “reprivatizations” of one-time state assets that had
fallen into the hands of the wealthy businessmen who are Regions’ major

Though Our Ukraine had come in third in the voting, the party believed
that having the president’s backing would compensate for its election
failure and allow it to hang on as the dominant political force.

The Socialists’ defection from the orange camp in July and the formation
of the “anti-crisis coalition” comprising the Party of Regions,
Socialists, and Communists, without Our Ukraine, undermined this
strategy and moved the crisis into a new phase that resolved itself only
with the formation of the “National Unity” coalition.

The creation of this coalition in early August marks a return to the
political landscape of the early 1990s after Ukraine became an
independent state.

The country’s first president, Leonid Kravchuk, sought to align himself
with the so-called national democrats – center-right parties, such as
Rukh, who favored building a strong state ahead of reform – to support
his statist policies in the face of internal and external threats. National
democrats divided over their attitudes toward cooperating with Kravchuk.

Rukh underwent a split, one wing going into opposition while hewing to
the president’s overall policies – a stance known in Ukrainian political
jargon as “constructive” or “loyal” opposition – while another wing fully
aligned itself with the president.

Our Ukraine’s split this summer came about in a similar manner, with one
“constructive opposition” wing against cooperation with Yanukovych and
another faction willing to join a Yanukovych-led government. The party’s
deep division showed clearly in the parliamentary vote on Yanukovych’s
candidacy for the premiership on 4 August, when only 30 of Our Ukraine’s
80 deputies voted for him.

Today, as in the early 1990s, those in Our Ukraine, such as Yushchenko,
who countenance cooperation with Yanukovych do so believing that
national democrats and “centrists” need to work together to unite
Ukraine, bringing together the western and central areas where the
national democrat power base lies with the eastern and southern
strongholds of the business-oriented, typically Russophone “centrists.”
Our Ukraine was established after parliament removed Prime Minister
Yushchenko from office in 2001. The aim was to unite national-democratic
and liberal parties against the growing authoritarianism of President
Leonid Kuchma’s administration.

Yet Kuchma did not see Our Ukraine as a threat, because its leaders –
including Poroshenko, who brought another “loyal opposition” party,
Solidarity, and enticed business interests into Our Ukraine’s fold;
Yushchenko; and former parliamentary speaker Ivan Pliushch – made
clear they were not like the true opposition represented by Tymoshenko’s
party and the Socialists. Our Ukraine sought out a niche between
pro-regime and anti-regime parties.

National democratic forces in Ukraine have never been comfortable
oppositionists. Their qualms in the early days over taking overly
critical stances against the presidential administration can be
partially understood by looking at the political tensions of the day.

Under Kravchuk and during Kuchma’s first term, the new state was
threatened by internal and external threats from the Communist Party and
Russia respectively, which refused to accept Ukraine’s sovereignty or

The strategic priority for national democrats was state and nation
building; that is, they were first and foremost statists rather than
reformers, as the 1992 split of Rukh into “constructive oppositionists”
and strong supporters of Kravchuk’s state-building policies shows.

These two poles of the national-democrat camp have always ruled out
a position of real opposition. Not until the “Kuchmagate” affair of
2000-2001 would Ukraine see its first true opposition movement,
embodied in Tymoshenko’s supporters and the Socialists.
The emergence of Tymoshenko as a leader of the protests against
Kuchma over his alleged involvement in the murder of journalist Georgy
Gongadze deepened the split in the national-democrat camp between
mild oppositionists and those willing to cooperate with the authorities.

Her bloc, which entered the 2002 elections as the National Salvation Front,
attracted some radical national democrats and liberals who opposed any
cooperation with pro-Kuchma centrists, but most national democrats
joined Our Ukraine and backed away from Tymoshenko’s and the
Socialists’ calls for Kuchma’s impeachment.

Our Ukraine and dismissed premier Yushchenko did not condemn Kuchma
or call for his removal from power. Instead, they merely called for the
removal of the heads of law enforcement bodies involved in the Gongadze
investigation, a sacrifice that Kuchma accepted.

When Yushchenko took over Kuchma’s office, although free from any
allegations of personal involvement in the journalist’s murder, he, too,
shied away from a thorough investigation of the affair, even after the 2005
shooting death (officially by suicide) of former Interior Minister Yuri
Kravchenko, one of the officials reportedly mixed up in Gongadze’s death.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, the violence committed against
Yushchenko and his supporters, coupled with the level of fraud
undertaken by the authorities, temporarily changed Our Ukraine’s
constructive opposition to open protest against Kuchma.

He was no street activist, unlike Tymoshenko, but Yushchenko had little
choice than to prepare for a revolution after his poisoning and the mass
fraud in the runoff vote against Yanukovych, which convinced him that
the authorities would never allow him to win.

Yushchenko’s transformation into temporary revolutionary did not convert
him into a true oppositionist, and the division between Our Ukraine and
the forces led by Tymoshenko and the Socialists was only set aside
during the Orange Revolution.

The division has dominated the Yushchenko administration, leading to the
dismissal of the Tymoshenko government in September 2005 and bitter
recriminations ever since. This spilled over following the 2006 elections
in Yushchenko and Our Ukraine seeking not to permit the return of
Tymoshenko as prime minister.

Our Ukraine’s inability to become an opposition force showed through
again in its reaction to the formation of the National Unity coalition.

The Socialists’ abandonment of the orange coalition for the Party of
Regions sent Our Ukraine reeling, and the party’s tactics have continued
to remain confused.

One part of Our Ukraine has stated its readiness to go into “constructive
opposition” to the new Yanukovych government while another is eager
to join forces with him. Meanwhile, neither of these wings of Our Ukraine
is willing to go into true opposition alongside Tymoshenko’s party.
The Our Ukraine bloc that won the 2002 elections under Kuchma is very
different from the Our Ukraine that lost the 2006 elections under

Our Ukraine-2002 was a far broader coalition of liberal and national
democratic parties. Our Ukraine-2006 is more centrist and pro-business,
comprising parties such as the Party of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs, which supported Kuchma in the 2002 elections, defected to
Yushchenko’s camp only in the second round of the 2004 presidential
election, and joined Our Ukraine-2006.

Other democratic groups that had joined up with Our Ukraine in 2002,
such as the Reforms and Order Party and the civil-society organization
Pora, backed away from Yushchenko in 2006 and failed to win any seats
in parliament.

The more centrist and pro-business Our Ukraine became the more it grew
estranged from the Tymoshenko bloc and the closer it moved toward the
Party of Regions. Yushchenko has always been more threatened by
Tymoshenko, personally and ideologically, than by Yanukovych.

One of the paradoxes of the Yushchenko administration has been his
dispensing with allies who assisted his rise to power.

The presence of Pora and Reforms and Order in the Our Ukraine camp
for this spring’s elections would undoubtedly have helped the party attract
more than a measly 14 percent of the vote and would have helped
Yushchenko build a stronger support base in parliament from which to
challenge more effectively the rebounding Party of Regions during the
spring and summer negotiations.

True to form, Yushchenko has seemingly preferred to team up with the
former authorities than with the opposition. -30-
Taras Kuzio is a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United
States and an adjunct professor at the Institute for European, Russian,
and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University. The views expressed
in this article are those of the author alone.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian Human Rights Activist, True Hero, Former Political Prisoner

Human Rights In Ukraine

Kharkiv Group For Human Rights Protection
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nadiya Oleksivna Svitlychna was born August 11, 1939 in the village of
Polovynkyno, Starobilsk district, Luhansk region, Ukraine and died August

8, 2006 in the United States of America after a long illness.

Human rights activist, active member of the External Representation of the
Ukrainian Helsinki Group, editor and compiler of the “Visnyk represiy v
Ukraini” [“Bulletin of repression in Ukraine”] (USA); former political

In 1958 Svitlychna graduated from the Department of Ukrainian Language and
Literature of Kharkiv University. She worked in the city of Krasnodon in a
school for working young people (as a teacher, then as the head teacher, and
the Head of the school), and after leaving the school found a job as a

While working in Donbass, Svitlychna had been outraged at the fact that any
student in Ukraine could refuse to study Ukrainian and that even a “dvoika”
(the usual “fail” grade) in Ukrainian language was a sufficient grade to
move up to the next class. In 1964 Svitlychna settled in Kyiv.

She worked in the editorial team of an external agricultural technical
college, as the editor of the publishing house “Radyanska shkola”, as a
research assistant in the institute of pedagogical studies and at the same
time as a teacher in an evening school in Darnytsa.

The “Klub tvorchoyi molodi” [“Club for Creative Young People” (CCY)]

which Nadiya visited together with her brother, Ivan SVITLYCHNY, played
an enormous role in the life not only of the “Shestydesyatnyky [Sixties
activists]”. It was there that she became friendly with many future
dissidents, and with the artist A. HORSKA.

0n 1 April 1966 Svitlychna sent a telegram to the Presidium of the XXIII
Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in defence of her brother who

had been arrested in August 1965.

She also sent a statement to judicial consultancy body of the Shevchenkivsky
district in Kyiv and the Prosecutor General of the Ukrainian SSR turning
down the services of the lawyer appointed to defend her brother, since
analogous cases had made it clear that the defence lawyer in political
trials was forced to fulfil the role of assistant to the prosecutor.

After the notorious clash on 22 May 1967 near the monument to Taras
Shevchenko, the KGB began to closely follow Svitlychna’s movements.

On 8 November 1967 Svitlychna, together with her brother, Ivan DZIUBA and
Lina KOSTENKO sent a letter of protest to First Secretary of the Central
Committee of the CPU, Shelest, in which they qualified the trial of
Viacheslav CHORNOVIL as a violation of basic procedural norms, and as
“special revenge, reprisals by those people with power of a person who
thinks differently and who has the courage to criticize the actions of
specific Soviet institutions, that is, who exercises his constitutional

In 1968 she was forced under pressure from the KGB to leave the Institute

of Pedagogical Studies.
In December 1970 in the city of Vasylkovi, Kyiv region, she and Y.
SVERSTYUK found the body of their murdered friend, the artist A.
HORSKA, organized the funeral and arranged for a monument to be
placed on her grave.

After the “January cull” of 1972 (the second wave of arrests), Svitlychna
was summoned to the KGB for questioning virtually on a daily basis in
connection with the case against her brother. Each time she parted with her
two-year old son Yarema as though for good. Her son was also used by the

KGB as an “argument” in the investigation.

A month before her actual arrest, during one of the questions, they
announced her arrest and demanded that she sign a form stating whom she
authorized to bring up her child.

“There were tears. Fear, doubts, bargaining with my soul: should I agree to
compromise for the sake of my child”, – these were the thoughts that ran
through her head when the head of the investigation unit, the notorious
Parkhomenko said: “We are giving you 24 hours – think long and hard”. She
did not believe a single word.

It then transpired that on that day I. DZIUBA had been arrested, and a large
number of searches carried out, including of Svitlychna’s home. They removed
the books of V. STUS “Fenomen doby” [“A Penomenon of our time”], A.
Avtorkhanov “Technology of power”, Mykhailo OSADCHY “Bilmo”

[“Cataract”], a manuscript by Danylo SHUMUK, poems, articles, extracts,
letters – 1800 items in all.
Svitlychna was arrested on 18 May 1972. Her son was taken from the crèche
by KGB agents and put in a children’s home in the city of Vorzel near Kyiv. It
was only through the efforts of Nadiya’s sister-in-law, L. SVITLYCHNA, that
the family was able to collect him from there and take him to his
grandmother in the Luhansk region.

Svitlychna spent almost a year in the isolation cell of the KGB on
Volodymyrska St. She was accused of having held and distributed samizdat.

Her response to the provocative questions of the investigator was as
follows: “I am simply a person whom life gave the good fortune of meeting
with a wide range of creative people. Persecution against them I perceive as
persecution against me”.

The investigation protocols also read: “I admit guilt in that, having a
higher education and a certain amount of life experience, I still believed
laws which contradict each other, I considered that the Constitution of the
USSR is the highest Law and this is not the case since it is constantly
violated. I promise that when I am released with my small child, I will not
read anti-Soviet literature.

However I cannot swear that I will not read anything at all, since I am a
literate person, while the criteria are not clear, what one can read and
what is not allowed”.

On 23-24 May 1973 Nadiya Svitlychna was sentenced by the Kyiv Regional
Court under Article 62 Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR (“Anti-
Soviet agitation and propaganda”) to 4 years labour camp.

She served her sentence in the Mordovian political labour camp, No.
ZhKh-385/3 in the settlement of Barashevo, the Tengushevsk district. .

Together with other prisoners she actively participated in protests, hunger
strikes. A month before the end of her sentence, Svitlychna was taken to
Luhansk to choose a place to live, effectively in “exile”, although she had
firmly decided to return to Kyiv.

She returned in May 1976. She was refused registration, not able to get a
job, and threatened with arrest for “parasitism”. She and her son lived
with her sister-in-law, L. SVITLYCHNA, who was regularly fined for
“infringements of passport regulations”.
In autumn 1976 she had the courage to send a declaration to the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the government rejecting her
citizenship, basing this move on the savage punishment meted out to Levko
STUS, Stefaniya SHABATURA and other decent people.

She explained her decision with the following words: “It would be below my
dignity to remain the citizen of the world’s biggest, most powerful and most
developed concentration camp”. She sent copies of this declaration to the
Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG) and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of
the USSR.

In 1977 Svitlychna was invited to join the UHG. She refused, explaining: “I
do everything I can for you and will continue to do all in my power. I will
do it not in order to make myself noticed somewhere as I see no particular
sense in this”.

In 1977 she married P. Sktotelny, obtained registration and found work as a
janitor in a kindergarten however after the next round of questioning she
was dismissed. On 30 December she was presented with a formal warning in
accordance with the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from

She was called as a witness at the “open” court trial of M. MATUSEVYCH

and M. MARYNOVYCH in March 1978 in Vasylkiv, Kyiv region. With
regard to her testimony, the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist
Party was sent the following information from the court: “She attempted to
use the court as a platform for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda”.

In May 1978 her son Ivan was born. On 12 October 1978 she left the country
first for Rome where she given an audience by Pope Paul VI, and on 8
November that year she arrived in the USA. 8 years later she was stripped
of her Soviet citizenship. She worked as a translator at Harvard University.

From 1980 Svitlychna was actively involved in the work of the External
Representation of the UHG, and was the editor and person in charge of the
periodic publications of the Representative Office. All information about
repression in Ukraine came to her.

Up till 1988 Svitlychna regularly published the “Visnyk represiy v Ukraini”
[“Bulletin of repression in Ukraine”] (financed by the Ukrainian Diaspora).

From 1983 – 1994 she worked for the Ukrainian editorial office of Radio
“Svoboda” [Radio “Liberty”]. At first she only made public broadcasts
occasionally, as a rule, in connection with tragic events in Ukraine. She
turned down offers of regular work at first, fearing that this could hurt
her brother.

Then she understood that her brother could not be hurt anymore than he had
been. Out of a dazzling literary critic and poet the regime had turned her
brother into a sick man with first group disability status.

She deciphered and sorted out material smuggled out of the camps and
transformed it into brochures and books. She prepared for publishing V.

STUS’s “Palympsesty”.

In 1990 Svitlychna came to Ukraine. During the student hunger strike in Kyiv
she came without revealing her identity each day to the square.

She lived in Irvington (New Jersey, USA) and worked in the Ukrainian

Museum in New York, as well as editing the women’s magazine “Vera”.
Together with L. SVITLYCHNA she put together a book of recollections
Nadiya Svitlychna died after a long illness on 8 August 2006. -30-
G. Kasyanov. Dissenting voices: the Ukrainian intelligentsia in
the resistance movement of the 1960s to 1980s – Kyiv: Lybid, 1995.- pp.
11, 73, 74, 126, 127, 163, 164, 171, 172.
A. Rusnachenko. The National Liberation Movement in Ukraine. – Kyiv:
The O. Teliha Publishing house, 1998, pp.146, 153, 223, 262.
‘Khronika tekushchykh sobytiy’ [‘Chronicle of Current Events’] (CCE) –
Amsterdam: The Herzen Foundation, 1979, No.1-15.- pp. 28, 151.
CCE. – New York: Khronika, 1976, No. 41.- p. 44, , No. 43.- p. 107.
CCE. – New York: Khronika, 1977, No. 44.- pp. 63, 120; p. 45.- p. 22.
CCE. – New York: Khronika, 1978, No. 48.- pp. 22, 94, 126, 128.; No. 49.-
pp. 9-11.
Vesti iz SSSR [News from the USSR]. Munich : Prava cheloveka, 1988,
O. Klymchyk. Yak ne zihneshsya, te ne zihnut [Try as you like, you won’t
break them].- Ukraina, 1992, ? 12.- p. 4-7.
The KHPG archives; S. Karasik
NOTE: Subheadings have been inserted editorially by the Action
Ukraine Report (AUR).
FOOTNOTE: A few years ago Chrystia Sonevytsky took me to New
Jersey to see Nadiya Svitlychna, a truly amazing lady. We spoke
with her about her friend Alla Horska and looked at a series of documents
and photographs. Information about Nadiya was then posted on my
were developed about Alla Horska using information and copies of
photographs obtained from Nadiya Svitlychna:
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