Monthly Archives: September 2006

AUR#765 Sep 30 Lviv Celebrates 750 Years; Babyn Yar, Holocaust; Was 1933 Holodomor Act Of Genocide?; Perpetuating Butchers? Catherine II of Russia Monument

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                              1256 – 2006
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
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                     Presentation of Ruslana’s new project “Wild Energy” 
“”, Friday, September 29, 2006 

Lviv 750th Celebration, Lviv, Ukraine, September 2006

                       SHOW FOR LVIV’S 750TH ANNIVERSARY
Lviv 750th Celebration, Lviv, Ukraine, September, 2006

Lviv 750th Celebration, Ukraine, September, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, September 27, 2006


Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, 27 September 2006

        “A more hopeful, peaceful future depends on advancing the values of
           respect, compassion, and freedom and that begins with education”
U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., Wed, Sep 27, 2006

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau
The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, New Jersey
Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 27, 2006

  Urged Croatia to “support all our initiatives on declaring Holodomor a genocide
Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Channel 5TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 28, 2006

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Deputy Director,
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest in English #29, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Sep 26, 2006

            Photographer Brian Steidle has made it his mission to spread the
            word about the violence and suffering he encountered while part
                           of an international observation team in Sudan.
By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY newspaper
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006
14.                           PERPETUATING BUTCHERS?
     We must not permit the removal of the monument to the heroes of the
      popular revolution and its replacement by a monument to Catherine II
               of Russia, that merciless butcher of the Ukrainian people.
By Oleksiy Volovych, Mykhailo Matsiuk, and Oleksandr Muzych,
Research Fellows, Odesa Branch, National Institute of Strategic Studies
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #29
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006
                      Officials Break Ground at Washington, D.C. Site
By Sue Anne Pressley Montes, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, September 28, 2006; Page B03


New Book By Johann Bollinger and Janice Huber Stangl
Michael Miller, Germans From Russia Heritage Collection
Fargo, North Dakota, Friday, September 29, 2006 


        Symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, October 20, 2006        
Orysia Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, September 29, 2006
               World-renowned Kyiv Chamber Choir will give 12 concerts                
Infoukes, Toronto, Canada, Friday, September 29, 2006


                 Free musical concert on Monday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Diana Howansky, Staff Associate
Ukrainian Studies Program, Columbia University
New York, New York, Friday, September 29, 2006

Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, September 2006

                  Presentation of Ruslana’s new project “Wild Energy” 
“”, Friday, September 29, 2006 

The real pearl of the Eastern Europe Lviv resembles an open-air museum

with its 2,000 historical, architectural and cultural monuments. For more
information on Lviv’s 750th year anniversary celebration, September 29
and October 1, visit

The event is held on this weekend. Vitaliy Klychko and Goran Bregovich,
Okean Elzy and Ingrid, Druha Rika, Talita Kum, Taras Chubaj and Plach
Yeremiji, Pikkardijska Tercija, Mertvyj Piven will be performing at the
different venues in this great city.

The celebration festivities will be crowned by a great show- presentation by
Ruslana’s new project “Wild Energy” and a spectacular illumination show
near the Lviv Solomiya Krushelnytska Opera House by the German producer
and director of light and music performances Gert Hoff.

If for any reason you will not be able to attend this amazing event in
person, please visit where you will find

extensive video & TV coverage of these festivities.

Special greetings to all lvivjan!                          -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
2.                         HISTORY OF LVIV, UKRAINE 
Lviv 750th Celebration, Lviv, Ukraine, September 2006
The city of Lviv is the center of Lviv oblast with the population of 2.6
million inhabitants and the area of 21.8 thousand sq. km.

There are 830 thousand citizens who permanently live in the city and 200
thousand people who come to Lviv every day to work or to have an excursion.

Real pearl of the Eastern Europe Lviv resembles an open-air museum with its
2000 historical, architectural and cultural monuments.

The city was founded in the middle of the 13th century (1256) by the prince
Danylo Halytskyi and was called after his son Lev.

Lviv quickly became a trade and economic center of the region. The vantage
location of the city on the cross roads of trade routes from the Black and
Baltic sea ports, from Kyiv, Central and Western Europe contributed to its
fast development.

The geographic location and natural resources attracted foreigners: Tatars,
Germans, Polish, Lithuanians, Austrians, and Swedes.

For ages they have brought here their culture, traditions, and religion –
hence the Lviv architecture is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque, Renaissance
and Roman styles, Rococo and Empire, Modern Eclectic and Constructivism.

The old Lviv is first of all the Market Square – the center and the heart of
its public, economic and cultural life. Six centuries has the history of
Lviv been closely connected with this comparatively small almost square
place 142 x 129 m large. It located the Magistrate, palaces and buildings of
the outstanding citizens, a market, a court, and a place where justice was

There were placed fountain-sculptures of Neptune, Adonis, Diana, and
Amphitrite on the four corners of the square in 1793 at the place of the
former wells.

The Market Square has witnessed the most important events in the city since
1356 – the time of the Magdeburg right adoption. The Magdeburg right is one
of the best known systems of the feudal town right. It emerged in the 12th
century in the German town of Magdeburg. It legally fixed right and
liberties of the citizens, their right for self-government.

After the adoption of the Magdeburg right Lviv ceased to be dependent on the
king’s administration and was directly subordinated to the king, whose
interests were represented by the town head-man.

The earliest record about the city tower dates back to 1381. It was then a
wooden structure finished with a high tower and a gallery for the trumpeter.
But the fires did not have a pity for the structures.

In the early 17th century a new city hall was built with a high octahedral
tower crowned with a gilded metal lion. But this city hall did not survive –
its tower crumpled in 1826. Construction of the building dominating the
present square was completed in 1835 by the project of J. Markl, F. Treter,
A. Wondrashky.

In spite of its massiveness the city hall naturally entered the Lviv
architectural ensemble while its tower became a symbol of the city. It is 65
m high.

In 1852 a clock was placed on the tower. One has to go up 400 stairs to
reach it. The diameter of the clock face is 3 meters, the length of the
large hand is 2 m 15 cm.

The entrance to the city hall is guarded by the two lions. They are holding
shields with the city coat-of-arms.

The basis of the coat-of-arms is formed by the stamp of Halychyna kings. The
coat-of-arms depicts the town gates with towers suggesting defensive might
of Lviv, the gates bars are raised suggesting hospitality of the citizens,
and the lion is protecting the city from the unwelcomed quests.

Today Lviv is the treasury of the national ideas and culture, it is an
economic, educational and cultural center of the Western Ukraine. There are
many museums, picture galleries, theater and music groups. The majestic Lviv
Opera Theater has a very busy season.

There are 12 higher educational institutions located in Lviv, it has justly
deserved the reputation of the city with the high level of education. It is
here that one of the oldest central European university and the first
university founded in Ukraine is located.

Lviv, however, is famous not only as a cultural and educational center, it
is also the business center.                         -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                      SHOW FOR LVIV’S 750TH ANNIVERSARY

Lviv 750th Celebration, Lviv, Ukraine, September, 2006

LVIV – German producer and director of light and music performances Gert
Hoff and Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lyzhychko are glad that it is Lviv that is
going to be the first to see their joint creative work, all the more that it
will be on its 750th jubilee.

That was what they told at the press-conference which took place in Kyiv. In
the words of Hoff, he is very glad to make a light show for Lviv in the days
of celebration dedicated to the 750th Lviv anniversary, because he is very
much fond of this city.

The production which Mr. Hoff and Ruslana will show the audience in our

city on September 30 constitutes the result of their joint work.

Salutes and lasers which are going to illuminate the square in front of the
Opera Theatre will be accompanied by music which has been written under

the influence of the creativity of the German “light master” by the Ukrainian
singer, while she was analyzing the works of classics. Lviv will get an
enchanting show because cooperation yields ingenious works, – the authors

Let us remind you that the German producer promised to impress Lviv with
fireworks 80 metres of height.                    -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Lviv 750th Celebration, Ukraine, September, 2006

LVIV – Public Association “Virmenska 35” and organizers of art festivals
have presented the program of street activities which will take place within
the framework of the festivities dedicated to the Day of the City with the
support of Lviv City Council and Public Association “Directorate dealing
with organization of celebration of the 750th Lviv anniversary”.

International festival of blacksmiths’ art “Lvivska pidkova 2006” will last
for all the three days of celebration – from September 29 to October 1.

Each day from ten o’clock in the morning till ten o’clock in the evening in
the courtyard behind Arsenal blacksmiths from different countries of the
world will be demonstrating their art, they will compete for the quickest
and best fulfillment of a certain task and will put their works on sale.

On Friday, September 30, at 8 p.m. a show of fire and metal will be held
within the framework of this festival, and on Sunday at 2 p.m. knights
fights will start.

The festival “Lviv – the capital of handicrafts” will collect on one ground
masters of different crafts for three days: blacksmiths, weavers, jewelers,
stained-glass windowmakers, glassworks craftsmen, armourers, engravers,
stonecutters, bakers, musicians as well as masters of batyk, folk toys,
pysanka, embroidery, leather work.

These will mostly be Lviv masters and craftsmen, and everybody will have

a chance to watch their work. Their articles will also be on sale.

Artists and craftsmen will be working in Valova Street from 10 a.m. till 3
or 4 p.m., after that they will give place to the participants of “naLIT”

In the square of Bernardine cathedral poets from various parts of Ukraine,
Russia, Byelorus, Germany and Poland will recite their works and works of
Ukrainian classics in their own interpretation. The audience is also in for
a poetic event (poetry recitation with artists’ performances, musical
variations, photo- and video activities).

In the evening, after 9.00 p.m., poets will be followed by film masters. In
the words of the organizer of the festival “kinoLev” Oles Dzyndra, all in
all they have received 81 films. Within the framework of the festival it
will, for sure, be impossible to demonstrate all of them, therefore films
will be selected “in correspondence with Lviv ideology”.

During the festival spectators will have a chance to watch a 3-4 hour mix
program, which is 99% made of the author’s films of young producers shot
over the past few years. Apart from that, such already known Ukrainian
producers as Ihor Strembitskyy and Taras Tomenko are going to come to the

“Lviv Starodavniy” is a festival which, as organizers plan it, is called to
get the guests plunged into the atmosphere of the XVth century, the epoch

of prosperity of our city. Over 200 persons are going to participate in it.
These will be members of Ukrainian and international clubs of historical

The program of the festival includes: knights tournament, medieval dances
(the guests will have a chance to learn some medieval movements and steps),
tasting of medieval cuisine (without species, tomatoes, etc.), demonstration
of medieval games (like chess, card games, races).

Apart from that, participants from other countries will show the guests
their crafts, and musicians from Byelorus, the Baltic countries, St.
Petersburg and Czechia will play medieval music. You can see it all on
September 30 and October 1 in Shevchenkivskyi Hay from midday to

6-7 p. m.

Also, during the celebration of the 750th city anniversary the 11th
International Festival of Journalism “Vira. Nadiya Lyubov” will take place
in Lviv. Over 70 journalists from different countries of the world will
participate in it.

In particular, participants from Egypt, Tunisia, the USA and Canada will
arrive. On September 30 in the inner courtyard of the City Hall at 4 p.m.
the award ceremony “The best journalist of the year” will take place. The
event will start with the performance of the military orchestra from the
House of Officers.                                   -30-

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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, September 27, 2006

KYIV – The State Administration of Railway Transport Ukrzaliznytsia has
decided that another three trains will run between Kyiv and Lviv, as the
railway administration expects a large number of people will want to take
part in the celebrations of Lviv’s 750th anniversary on September 30 and
October 1. Ukrainian News learned this from a representative of the Lviv
railway administration.

The representative said train No.57 will depart from Kyiv at 20:07 on
September 29 and will arrive in Lviv at 06:01 on September 30, train No.35
will depart from Kyiv at 22:42 on September 29 and will arrive in Lviv at
08:10 on September 30, and train No.113 will depart at 23:31 on September

29 and will arrive in Lviv at 09:46 on September 30.

Train No.274 will depart from Lviv at 23:06 on September 30 to arrive in
Kyiv at 09:10 on October 1, train No.208 will depart from Lviv at 21:45 on
October 1 to arrive in Kyiv at 08:24 on October 2, and train No.220 will
depart from Lviv at 23:40 on October 1 to arrive in Kyiv at 09:59 on October

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in September, the State Administration
of Railway Transport Ukrzaliznytsia launched a new Kyiv-Lviv high-speed
day-time express train No.169/170. The trip between the two cities takes
about 6 hours. The departure from Kyiv is at 17:11 and at 06:10 from Lviv.
The express runs six times a week.                        -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, 27 September 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko has spoken at an international forum LET MY

PEOPLE LIVE!, which is being held in Kyiv to mark the sixty-fifth anniversary
of the Babyn Yar massacre.

“[.] on behalf of the Ukrainian nation, I am bowing my head to honor the
innocent victims of terror,” he said.

The President said the atrocious killing of over 100,000 people of different
nationalities had been concealed for many years but admitted that lifeless
statistics would never reflect the magnitude of the tragedy.

Mr. Yushchenko declared that “Ukraine resolutely condemns those who

incited the Holocaust and will spare no effort to prevent such tragedies
together with the world community.”
[What about the genocide going on in Darfar today, Mr. President? What
do you plan to do to stop a genocide today? Why do you not mention
the people who are dying today, Mr. President?  When will you speak out,
when will you ask the UN to take real action?  When will you send
assistance to those dying in Darfar today?  AUR EDITOR]
“I clearly and straightforwardly promise that there will never be ethnic
intolerance and religious hatred in Ukraine. Together with other world
leaders, I support the global process of strengthening the dialogue of
cultures and religions.

Like all Ukrainians, I refuse to accept and tolerate the slightest
manifestation of xenophobia and anti-Semitism,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko then remembered Ukrainians that heroically saved Jews

during the Holocaust: “I am proud of those righteous Ukrainians who were
saving innocent Jewish lives when the millennium-long Jewish presence in
Ukraine was being eradicated.”

He also thanked his colleagues and delegates of the forum.

The forum was organized by the government of Ukraine, the World

Holocaust Forum Foundation, and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’
and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.                 -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       “A more hopeful, peaceful future depends on advancing the values of
          respect, compassion, and freedom and that begins with education”

U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., Wed, Sep 27, 2006

KYIV, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today led a
Presidential delegation to Kiev, Ukraine to commemorate the 65th anniversary
of the tragedy at Babyn Yar.

Following the ceremony, Secretary Spellings delivered remarks at the Kiev
Opera House, discussing the important role of education in fighting
ignorance and prejudice.

Following are her prepared remarks:

Thank you. President Yushchenko, President Katsav, President Vujanovic,
President Mesic, and distinguished guests: On behalf of President Bush and
the American people and as a person of Ukrainian descent, it’s an honor to
be here. President Bush sends his regards and has asked me to share his
thoughts and prayers with you.

I want to thank Ambassador William Taylor and the other members of our
delegation. Vince Obsitnik is a former member of the U.S. Commission for

the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Gregg Rickman is the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for combating
anti-Semitism. And Fred Zeidman is chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial

As the United States Secretary of Education, I want to thank all of you here
today for your commitment to commemorating and learning from the past.
Earlier today, we visited the ravine at Babyn Yar, which became the final
resting place for 100,000 innocent men, women, and children.

Many were killed for their religious and political beliefs; others for where
they were born or for the way they looked. They were all victims of hatred
and intolerance.

Even today, 65 years later, it’s difficult to come to terms with the scale
of the atrocity and the systematic cruelty with which it was carried out. In
the first few days of the massacre, 33,000 Jews were marched to the edge

of the ravine and gunned down.

The perpetrators tried to hide their crimes from the world, but your
presence today shows they failed. The dead were buried and burned, but

their lives will not be forgotten.

Anatoly Kuznetsov was one of the lucky ones. He survived to write a famous
book about Babyn Yar. As he put it, “History will not be cheated, and
nothing can be hidden forever.”

Today, we’re committed to honoring his words by remembering the past and
passing on the lessons of this terrible tragedy to the next generation.

In the 20th century, we saw what happens when ignorance and prejudice go
unchallenged, and we must teach our children to confront these forces in
their own lives. A more hopeful, peaceful future depends on advancing the
values of respect, compassion, and freedom and that begins with education.

We have a responsibility to help our children understand what happened here
and at similar sites across Europe. Through education, we can help protect
future generations from a similar fate. In the United States, we opened the
national Holocaust museum in Washington, DC.

It’s a memorial to those who died as well as a center of learning. More than
24 million people have visited the museum since it opened, and the history
and lessons taught there still resonate today.

In his book, Mr. Kuznetsov wrote, “Looking at our yesterday, we think of
tomorrow.” For all of us here today, it’s a reminder that we must do our
part to make sure history does not repeat itself.

On behalf of President Bush and the American delegation, I want to thank
President Yushchenko and the Ukrainian people for inviting us here to join
in remembering the past and dedicating ourselves to a brighter future.
Thank you.                               -30-

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

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau
The Ukrainian Weekly, Parsippany, New Jersey
Sunday, September 17, 2006

KYIV – Like most Americans, when Morgan Williams first arrived in Ukraine

in 1992 as an agricultural and food distribution expert, he hadn’t even heard
of the Holodomor.

Ukraine’s beauty, and its tragic past, which he began to study, deeply
intrigued the Kansas native.

“When you’re in the food business, you’re always interested in what causes
famines and food shortages,” Mr. Williams said. “In this case, it was mostly
the policy of the Soviet government to crush private farms and collectivize
land and property.”

More than 14 years later, Mr. Williams has emerged as among the most
passionate, active and effective advocates for a Ukrainian Holodomor
Memorial Complex.

He spent August and early September meeting with the key Ukrainian officials
who will lead the complex’s development, including President Viktor
Yushchenko, Assistant State Secretary of Ukraine Markian Lubkivskyi and
National Council for Cultural and Spiritual Issues Chair Mykola Zhulynskyi,
among others.

Ever since 1995 Mr. Williams has been on a mission to inform the world, as
well as ignorant Ukrainians, about the artificial famine and ethnic genocide
wrought by Joseph Stalin.

A fellow American who was dedicated to documenting the Holodomor, Dr.

James Mace, provided the inspiration.

“I told Jim several years ago that I was not a researcher, scholar or
writer,” Mr. Williams said. “He said, ‘Morgan, then your job should be to
tell the world about the Holodomor.’ “

He began collecting Holodomor posters and artwork that had only begun to
emerge in Ukraine in 1988, when Soviet totalitarianism began to ravel and
Ukrainians began to express themselves more openly.

Much of his vast collection of 300 items, which also includes Holodomor
artwork from the Ukrainian diaspora, is currently on a yearlong tour through
museums throughout Ukraine.

Mr. Williams also became involved in the drive to have the Ukrainian
Parliament recognize the Holodomor as a genocide against the Ukrainian
people, – something that finally happened with a resolution passed in May

The planning, design and construction of the Holodomor Memorial Historical
Complex is Mr. Williams’ current concern.

Repeating Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s words delivered in August
to the fourth World Forum of Ukrainians, Mr. Williams has stressed that the
complex “should be commensurate to the level of the tragedy.”

In his criticisms of the memorial’s design, he urged the complex’s
organizers and developers to make a firm statement against dictatorial,
totalitarian and oppressive governments.

“They were murdered by a political system and people who were out of
control. So I think Ukraine has to make a strong statement against the
system which murdered all these people,” he said.

A memorial for visitors and tourists, the complex should also include a
research center, library, book store, genealogical center, as well as
provide support to Holodomor researchers and scholars throughout the

world, he added.

Mr. Williams said he’s particularly concerned about the current legislative
drive to recognize the Holodomor as an artificial famine and genocide as
part of Ukrainian law.

In May 2003, the Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution recognizing the
Holodomor as genocide, a victory that was hard-fought and sufficient, in his
view. In most countries around the world, a resolution is all a government
typically resorts to in order to recognize a tragic historical event, he

Writing recognition of genocide into law is typically done to pursue
reparations, something that neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian government
would ever agree to, Mr. Williams said.

The timing of such a legislative drive may create a backlash in the coalition

government against the planned Holodomor complex, Mr. Williams said.

In explaining why Holodomor commemoration experts and leaders were

pushing for a law, Pavlo Movchan told a September 8 press conference
that the law is needed for international recognition, particularly by the United
Nations. No attempts to pursue reparations will be made, he told reporters.

Mr. Williams has also been very active in gathering, preserving and
researching government archives concerning the Holodomor.

When he contacted the Security Service of Ukraine, he found out that the
country’s top intelligence agency had not a single photograph of the
Holodomor. “Photographs of the Holodomor were either never taken or

entirely destroyed,” he said.

At a Holodomor roundtable discussion at the World Forum of Ukrainians Mr.
Williams urged diaspora Ukrainians not to use any photographs that have been
typically associated with the Ukrainian Holodomor.

These photographs were taken by international relief agencies along the
Volga River in Russia in 1921 and 1922 and then used by Nazi Germany as

part of an anti-Soviet propaganda campaign in 1935 to falsely depict the
Ukrainian Holodomor.

The photos made their way into American newspapers owned by William

Randolph Hearst and then became widespread in the diaspora. Continuing to
use such photographs will only help Holodomor detractors, he said.

No known photographs [very few] exist of the Holodomor, he said, adding

that he had even repeatedly offered to pay $100 for any such photos.

When he’s not in Kyiv, Mr. Williams is in Washington “advocating Ukraine’s
issues and moving its agenda forward.”

He’s a longtime associate of former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), and
served as his presidential campaign manager during the 1979 Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Williams currently serves as the director of government affairs for
SigmaBleyzer, an investment bank very active in Kyiv, and chairs the
executive committee of the board of directors at the Ukraine-U.S. Business

Amidst his activities, he also finds time to edit the Action Ukraine Report,
an electronic mail list-serve that compiles and distributes English-language
news reports about Ukrainian affairs.

In some ways, Mr. Williams views his work as giving back to Ukraine what

it gave to Kansas.

In 1860 German Mennonite settlers began leaving southern Ukraine for the
U.S., bringing with them hard red winter wheat seed. “Kansas prospered from
that wheat seed brought from southern Ukraine,” he said.           -30-
The Ukrainian Weekly, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-in-Chief
Parsippany, NJ 07054, e-mail:  

The Ukrainian Weekly Archive,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 27, 2006

KYIV – Montenegro intends to support Ukraine in acknowledgment of

1932-1933 famine as genocide of Ukrainian people. Presidential press service
has disclosed this in a statement with the reference to meeting of Viktor
Yuschenko and Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic in Kyiv.

According to the report, the presidents discussed development of bilateral
cooperation in humanitarian, military and technical and economic sectors;
and necessity of stepping up formation of normative and legal base of
bilateral relations regulation.

Viktor Yuschenko and Filip Vujanovic agreed that it is necessary to organize
active diplomatic dialog between the two countries.

Yuschenko also proposed to work out program on mutual education of
Ukrainian and Montenegrin students in Ukraine and Montenegro respectively.

Vujanovic supported this initiative and the initiative to erect Taras
Shevchenko monument in Montenegro. The presidents marked that it is
necessary that the defense ministers of the two countries also have to
cooperate. The parties of the talk stressed that both countries’ willingness
to join European and European-Atlantic structures.

Vujanovic invited Yuschenko to Montenegro in 2007. As Ukrainian News

earlier reported, Vujanovic arrived in Ukraine on September 26 to take part
in the events dedicated to the 65th anniversary of Babyn Yar tragedy.   -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Urged Croatia to “support all our initiatives on declaring Holodomor a genocide

Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 27, 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko has met with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic.
First he thanked the colleague for coming to Ukraine to commemorate the 65th
anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre.

“This is a significant page in the history of Ukrainians and Jews and so we
decided to honor the memory of the Babyn Yar victims internationally,” he

Mr. Yushchenko added that Ukraine would insist that the Holodomor be
recognized as genocide. He said ten parliaments, among them the U.S.
Congress, had passed this resolution so far and urged Croatia to “support
all our initiatives on the Holodomor.”

Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Mesic discussed ways to develop trade, economic,
military and scientific cooperation. They also spoke about visa procedures
and agreed to sign an agreement on readmission. The Croatian leader said the
two countries should open markets to each other and build ties with big

 Mr. Yushchenko said Ukraine supported “open, liberal policy” and thus would
gladly sign a free trade agreement with Croatia. The Ukrainian President
then promised to help Croatian investors build a heart surgery hospital in
Kyiv oblast. Mr. Mesic invited his colleague to Croatia.          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 28, 2006

KYIV – The draft budget for 2007 does not include any funding for the
memorial complex planned in honor of the millions of victims that were
killed by the Soviets last century.

In addition, practically no funds are allocated to the Institute of National
Memory that was created by presidential decree last year.

Human rights groups, together with the Prosvita and Memorial organizations
issued an appeal alerting Ukrainians to the fact that despite promises, the
government is not following through on its plans.

Roman Krutsyk of the Memorial organization said that the government has
taken the Institute of National memory away from the Ministry of culture
and made it subordinate to the State Archive Committee now headed by
Communist Olha Ginzburg.                         -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

By Stanislav KULCHYTSKY, Deputy Director,
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest in English #29, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Sep 26, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 12
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006

On Nov. 10, 2003, the 58th UN General Assembly Session officially adopted
the Joint Statement on the Holodomor-the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in
Ukraine. Due to the Russian Federation’s inflexible stand, the level of the
document was lowered from a UN resolution to a joint statement, and the term
“genocide” was excluded from the title.

In view of Russia’s position, the US House of Representatives and the Senate
also left out this key term from their statements on the 70th anniversary of
the Holodomor in Ukraine.

However, in a joint bill passed in February 2005, both houses of the US
Congress allowed the Ukrainian community to erect a memorial in the District
of Columbia “in order to honor the victims of the famine-genocide.”

In this document the US Congress emphasizes that in 1998 it set up a
commission to investigate the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine and after
analyzing its report, acknowledged that Stalin and his circle had employed
genocide as a weapon against Ukraine.

The Nov. 4, 2005, Ukase of the President of Ukraine “On Commemorating the
Victims and Those Who Suffered from the Holodomors in Ukraine,” established
an organizing committee headed by the prime minister of Ukraine, whose task
is to implement a number of measures commemorating the 75th anniversary of
the Holodomor of 1932-1933.

As President Yushchenko declared, the committee’s main task is to “implement
additional measures pertaining to the international community’s recognition
of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide against the
Ukrainian people.”

Why is qualifying the Holodomor of 1933 as an act of genocide so important?
What kind of hidden obstacles are we finding on the way to recognizing this
tragedy as a genocide?

Why do so many people both in our country and abroad refuse to believe that
the Soviet government in Stalin’s time was capable of destroying people? Do
historians have facts at their disposal that can prove that the 1933
Holodomor was an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people?

In October and November of 2005, The Day carried a series of six of my
articles entitled “Why did Stalin exterminate the Ukrainians?” Without
repeating myself, I am seeking an answer to these questions in a new series
of articles.
The Holodomor of 1932-1933 left unhealed wounds on the body of the

Ukrainian nation. If one imagines the total number of the population as a
diagram based on birth years, the result would be an age-based pyramid, with
children born in the first years at the bottom and long-lived people at the

Dents in this pyramid are caused by unnatural population losses. The dent
made by the Holodomor is the deepest and in an increasingly smoother
appearance is repeated in every succeeding generation. Today no grandsons
and great-grandsons of those whose lives were cut short in the early 1930s
are being born.

The current generation of Ukrainian citizens remembers its grandfathers and
great-grandfathers who perished during the famine. But for many the cause of
those deaths by starvation in 1932-1933 has not been determined. Some people
try to learn why. Others have no memories – and there are a lot of people
like this.

The 70th anniversary of the Holodomor has become an event of world
significance. On Nov. 10, 2003, the UN General Assembly issued a joint
statement by 36 countries expressing sympathy with the Ukrainian people.

On Oct. 22, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 356
“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the man-made
famine that occurred in Ukraine in 1932-1933″ in which the nature of the
tragedy was clearly defined: “…this man-made famine was designed and
implemented by the Soviet regime as a deliberate act of terror and mass
murder against the Ukrainian people…”

Yet neither the joint statement of 36 countries nor the US Congress
resolution contained the key point: recognition of the 1932-1933 famine as
an act of genocide.

Genocide is a category of international law. The UN Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed on Dec. 9, 1948,
reads that the international community undertakes to bring to justice
persons committing genocide “whether they are constitutionally responsible
rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

Former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was prosecuted on the basis of this
convention. We do not have to bring to justice those who were responsible
for the genocidal famine because they are all dead. The important thing is
to know why. Our society and the rest of the world must know what really
happened in those years.

With this in mind, the president of Ukraine signed an edict on Nov. 4, 2005,
establishing the Organizing Committee for the Preparation and Implementation
of Measures in Conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of the Holodomor. The
committee must organize its activities so that the UN will recognize the
Holodomor as an act of genocide in 2008.

Do we stand a chance of getting the international community to do this?

The task of this article is to assess the actual situation. We have about two
years to convince the international (and Ukrainian) community.


Whether a crime against humanity is an act of genocide is decided only by
the international community – i.e., parliaments in other countries. The
final verdict is returned by the United Nations. Qualifying a crime as an
act of genocide is a serious matter, and the international community
approaches it with a sense of special responsibility.

The recognition of the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine as an act of genocide
cannot entail any concrete actions on the part of the UN Security Council.
An entire lifetime separates us from that tragedy, but this circumstance is
of little help in the successful resolution of this problem.

History is firmly connected to politics and is thus often politicized. Nor
is the famine issue an exception. It has to be depoliticized, made
absolutely clear, and convincingly substantiated.

In the first place, it must be explained to the international community why
the nation against whom that weapon of genocidal famine was employed has not
demonstrated any clear-cut and unanimous desire to regard this crime as an
act aimed at terminating its existence in an organizational, i.e., state,

It must also be explained why several convocations of parliament formed by
that nation during the course of free elections failed to examine the
question of the famine-genocide. Is it because the dent from this genocide
touched not only the physical body of the Ukrainian people but also its
historical awareness?

We are a postgenocidal society, said the late Prof. James Mace, former staff
director of the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine (1932-1933). A
postgenocidal society is not cognizant of the violence that was carried out
against it. Complicating this issue is the fact that the victim of this
violence is a generation that no longer exists.

Ukrainian scholars and those engaged in regional historical studies have
succeeded in conveying to their people the outward image of the Holodomor.
This has been done in breathtaking detail.

However, they may not have been as convincing in revealing the logic of
events that were unfolding in the countryside from the beginning of the
all-out collectivization of agriculture.

Collectivization itself probably ought to be viewed on a broader scale, as
an element in the creation of the Bolshevik socioeconomic system that ran
counter to the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population; in
other words, it was inherently artificial and could emerge only within the
force field of a terrorist dictatorship.

The final task is crucial in determining the genocidal nature of famines in
Ukraine and the Kuban region. It is necessary to prove why the Kremlin found
the regions most densely populated by Ukrainians especially dangerous, so
that it employed famine as the most severe form of terror against them.

Without a doubt, the famine of 1932-1933 swept over most Soviet regions.
Researchers also agree that the degree of famine in two Ukrainian regions
was the highest (with the exception of Kazakhstan, but more on this later).
In order to recognize the famines there as an act of genocide, it is
necessary to explain how they differed from the others.

This article does not claim to solve the problem of the famine-genocide. It
simply raises questions relating to the recognition of the 1932-1933 famine
in Ukraine as an act of genocide. It should be noted that foreign
researchers have accomplished more to this end than we have.

One of the main problems is to heal the Ukrainian people’s historical
awareness. The need has been realized on the governmental level. A Ukrainian
Institute of National Memory is in the process of being organized and is
meant to coordinate the efforts of numerous organizations in reviving
historical memory.


Two de-Stalinization campaigns took place in the Soviet Union. The one
launched by Khrushchev became known as the struggle against the cult of
personality; the one by Gorbachev, as democratization. Both campaigns had a
concrete objective: to rehabilitate the victims of Stalin’s arbitrary rule,
primarily communist functionaries and Soviet public figures.

Along the way, society gradually began to see the general picture of terror
with the aid of which the Bolsheviks constructed an order during 1918-1938,
which became known as the Soviet system.

A colossal number of documents on the mass repressions, which began
circulating among the general public, convinced many in the Soviet Union
that there were no blank spots left in their history. That was an illusion.

The Short Course on the History of the AUCP(b), which in 1938 summed up the
gains of the communist revolution, was withdrawn from circulation after
Stalin’s death, but the postulates remained in the minds of those who
studied and taught history.

In the countries that emerged in place of the USSR, a revision of Soviet
history continued, but at different rates and even along different vectors.
Russian historians, for example, have mostly emphasized positive aspects,
like the transformation of a backward country into a superpower.

Ukrainian historians have basically divided into two camps. Some see nothing
positive in the past; others see almost nothing negative. Official policy in
the field of history (which was particularly manifested in the content of
textbooks recommended by state agencies) has been strongly influenced by the
anticommunist North American Diaspora.

The anticommunism of the Diaspora and the former Soviet Communist Party
nomenklatura that did not lose power in independent Ukraine sprang from
different causes, which I will examine further on. At this point it should
be noted that anticommunism only impeded the comprehension of the history of
communist construction.

Comparatively few researchers, who try to approach the past without using
communist or anticommunist criteria, are working quite successfully on
revising the conceptual principles of the history of the Soviet order. Their
studies are facilitated by the absence of pressure from authorities and the
presence of open archives.

The year 1933 cannot be described as a blank spot because everybody knew
about the famine. In the late 1980s, when information about the crimes of
Stalinism began pouring out, it was received by society in a variety of

In the minds of many people a positive attitude to Soviet power, ingrained
since childhood, could not coalesce with claims that this government had
carried out terror by starvation, i.e., conscious actions specially designed
to physically destroy the population by starving it to death.

It is considerably easier to present historical facts in a consecutive order
than to trace the effects of some or other events on a person’s
consciousness. A historian has few sources at his disposal with which to
study individual and collective consciousness.

The history of Soviet Ukraine has been studied well in terms of events,
including the Holodomor, but we know little about how people’s awareness
changed during that revolutionary epoch, how adequately people responded to
terror and propaganda, which were used to herd them toward a “bright

Along with terror and propaganda, the Soviet government intensively used
another factor of influence on the population, namely, the education of the
rising generation.

Recently, on the pages of The Day I wrote a commentary on the occasion of
the 50th anniversary of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, but I did not
emphasize an idea that is very important in the context of the present
article: that congress served to reconcile people who were products of
Soviet schools with the government.

At the time, in the first postwar decades, almost all Soviet citizens were
graduates of Soviet schools (except in the territories that were annexed to
the USSR in 1939). It was now possible to attribute to Stalin the crimes
committed by the Bolshevik regime, which had used terror and propaganda to
build the Soviet socioeconomic system in the years preceding World War Two.

We (I mean my generation) can assess the effectiveness of communist
upbringing by analyzing our own awareness in this period.

When I was still a university student (1954-1959) I obtained access, as a
professional archivist, to uncensored information: Ukrainian newspapers of
the occupation period, the first articles on the 1932-1933 famine that were
appearing in the journals of the Ukrainian Diaspora, etc. But that
information was rejected by my consciousness and had no effect on my
ingrained world views.

Terror can impose a way of life but not a world view. A world view is the
result of upbringing and propaganda, which must necessarily rely on an
understandable and a positive symbol of faith.

Who can argue that the communist doctrine in its propagandistic form was not
attractive? You should read the works of a very sincere poet, Vladimir
Mayakovsky, to realize its strength.

After graduating from Odesa University, I made my way to the Institute of
Economy of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, where I became
fascinated with Soviet economic history of the 1920s and 1930s.

In those days I was also following the scholarly literature in my field that
was being published in the West, and I tried on a regular basis to read the
journal Problems of Communism, which was quite prestigious among

My indirect acquaintance with “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” did not
lead to a split in my consciousness. Our world was different from the West
in its most profound dimensions, i.e. it was a different civilization.

The Iron Curtain was like the glass walls of an aquarium separating two
different environments. In its own way our world was logical and had values
that were understandable to everyone. It was false through and through, but
few could detect this precisely because of the totality of that falsity.

For me in particular, both the causes of the 1932-1933 famine and the
reasons behind the Soviet government’s refusal to acknowledge the fact of
the famine remained unfathomable. The literature of the Diaspora stated that
Stalin had starved the Ukrainian people to death, but it was simply
impossible to believe such a thing.

It is embarrassing to keep referring to myself, but I lack other empirical
material for analyzing the revolution in world perception that has taken
place in our country. My own such revolution was accelerated by my research
on the famine of 1932-1933, and it passed through two stages.

The first one lasted seven or eight years during which I accumulated
archival material and formed a factual picture of the Holodomor. I was
compelled to believe the “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists,” who recounted
how Stalin had killed the Ukrainian people by starving them to death.

During the second stage, my department conducted a systematic nine-year
study of the nature of Soviet totalitarianism. The famine of 1932-1933
became part of the general context of events that took place in 1918-1938 in
a Bolshevik-controlled country.

It has become possible to answer the question why Stalin tried to destroy
the Ukrainian people by starving them to death. This is precisely what we
need to define the Holodomor as a famine-genocide in accordance with the
criteria set forth in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide, of Dec. 9, 1948.


History knows cases of genocide that occurred in wartime and in different
ethnic sociums. In my encounters with some overseas researchers of the
Ukrainian Holodomor, I could see that they were unable to accept the
possibility of genocide in peacetime and within one’s own country.

I repeat: in order for them to believe in the facts, the nature of the
Holodomor must be analyzed against a broader background, without separating
this phenomenon from the entire process of communist construction of

Marxism had a number of principal distinctions from the teachings that were
known in the Soviet Union as MarxismLeninism.

Perhaps the most important one was that Marx regarded a communist society as
a natural product of objective natural-historical development. You will not
find the term “communist construction” in any of his works. In contrast,
Lenin believed that it was not worth waiting for communism to mature.

He saw communist construction as the main duty of the proletarian party (his
and only his) after it came to power and after the founding of the
“dictatorship of the proletariat” (once again, the dictatorship of his very
own party). In his opinion, communism could be built within a very short
period of time.

Maintaining the stereotypes that were instilled in us during Soviet times,
we are still seeking the roots of the Leninist-Stalinist communist
revolution in the revolution that began in Russia in March 1917 (new style).

In reality, the revolution in Russia had only two distinct
currents-bourgeois-democratic and Soviet, which were represented in various
proportions in every region of the multinational empire.

The Bolsheviks joined the Soviet current without in any way merging with it
and seized power on the shoulders of the soviets, after which they left only
the outer shell of these soviets.

None of the revolutionary personalities of 1917, except the leaders of the
Bolshevik Party, wanted to do what was done in Russia and Bolshevik-

enslaved Ukraine between World War One and World War Two.

At any rate, in 1917 the Bolshevik leaders kept their communist doctrine to
themselves, and for the purpose of seizing power they exploited completely
different political slogans of the revolutionary soviets.

After the failure of the first communist assault in 1921, the Bolsheviks put
communism on the back burner and played up distribution relations in
communism rather than production relations. Simultaneously, from the angle
of propaganda distribution relations were given the following highly
effective formulation: “From each according to his abilities, to each
according to his needs.”

The building of the Soviet order, starting in 1918, was proclaimed as
socialist, not communist. This terminological contradiction was resolved
very simply: socialism was proclaimed the first phase of communism.

Even today we call the communist revolution of 1918-1938 the building of
socialism. However, the notion “socialism” should be left to its original
Western European discoverers, who recognized the objective necessity of
capitalist enterprise and private ownership.

The essence of socialist policies in the West was that the capitalists
pledged to share their profits with the strata of the socium that needed
help. This policy appealed to the population, which could elect organs of
rule. That is why social democratic parties began coming to power in Europe
(the Bolsheviks too emerged from the ranks of the social democrats).

In time, countries called capitalist in the Soviet Union changed, but we
could not spot their new look from behind the Iron Curtain, all the more so
as they never called themselves socialist. This popular term was privatized
first by Lenin and later by Hitler.

As a matter of fact, Stalin took a dim view of Hitler’s privatization, so
when the National-Socialist German Workers Party became the governing one,
he ordered the Nazis to be called fascists. Even though there is an
essential difference between German Nazism and Italian fascism, we still
adhere to Stalin’s directive announced at the 17 th Congress of the AUCP(b).

Western European socialism relied on capitalist entrepreneurship and helped
maintain class peace in society, which is the basis of a democratic order.
It was a dynamic and highly effective socioeconomic system, so long as it
took into account the polarized interests of workers and employers.

In contrast, Soviet communist socialism destroyed the free market and
private enterprise, replacing them by the planned distribution of finished
products. The destruction of the free market as a natural regulator of the
economic process a priori deprived production of effective management. The
nationalized economy came alive under the influence of bureaucratic commands
that arrived from outside and could not assure its effectiveness.

Marx and Engels peremptorily declared in their Communist Manifesto: “…the
theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition
of private property” (Works, 2nd ed., vol. 4, p. 422).Western European
Marxists discarded this postulate as premature and, instead of revolutionary
violence, adopted a policy of reform as a method of struggle for a better

Thanks to this, they were able to transform their countries. In contrast,
the Bolsheviks adopted early Marxism and declared the destruction of private
ownership of the means of production. What came of this?

Private property is an historical category, i.e., it has a beginning and an
end. But in our days, just like in Marx’s time, it is too soon to discuss
its demise. We will have to wait another couple of hundred years, perhaps
longer. The slogan of the abolition (not demise) of private property is an
altogether different matter.

Its realization does not destroy property itself; it merely changes its
owner. Communist construction in the USSR resulted in the concentration of
all ownership of the means of production in the hands of a small group of
oligarchs, the Politburo of the CC CPSU.

Even during the first onslaught of 1918-1920, these oligarchs realized that
tens of millions of peasants would not surrender their lands and other means
of production. And so a new communist onslaught, which began in 1929,

relied primarily on terrorist means of influencing the peasantry.

Hair-raising tragedies, like the Holodomor and the Great Terror became
possible precisely because the coercive component was paramount in

communist construction.

In the hands of the Communist Party/Soviet oligarchs the fusion of political
dictatorship and economic dictatorship turned society into an atomized,
helpless, inert mass.

You can do anything you want with an enslaved population: organize an
artificial famine to ward off spontaneous unrest, and carry out mass
repressions, even with the help of the purged victims’ intimidated

Many people refuse to believe that the Soviet power could use terror by
starvation in order to systematically destroy people. They seek other causes
behind the famine of 1932-1933, like drought, excessive grain delivery
quotas, or the drop in harvests because of the crisis that took place in
agriculture after villages were totally collectivized.

I will say straightaway that all these factors were present (except
drought). They did cause famines both in grain-producing regions (because

of excessive grain delivery quotas) and grain-consuming ones (because of
inadequate government food supplies).

But it is necessary to distinguish between the famine that raged almost
everywhere in the Soviet Union, and the Holodomor in Ukraine and the Kuban
region. Unfortunately, the tenfold difference in the death toll does not
suffice to convince many of our contemporaries. (To be continued)

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
             Photographer Brian Steidle has made it his mission to spread the
             word about the violence and suffering he encountered while part
                           of an international observation team in Sudan.

By Rick Hampson, USA TODAY newspaper
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006

As an admiral’s son and a former Marine officer, Brian Steidle believed that
following orders and doing the right thing were one and the same. Then he
went to Darfur.

As an official international monitor of the vicious conflict in western
Sudan, he faced a choice: respect authority and honor a code of silence or
show the world what he’d seen and kiss his career goodbye. He puckered up
… and blew the whistle.

“I was a witness to genocide,” he says. “I wanted to make a difference.”

Since returning last year from Darfur, where he was a U.S. representative on
an African Union observation team, Steidle has become the most vivid
chronicler of one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes.

His photographs – which were supposed to be for his superiors’ eyes only –
have helped make Americans care about a complex crisis in a faraway place of
little economic or strategic value.

Jerry Fowler of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington says Steidle “has
given people images of Darfur they can hold onto”: a soldier standing next
to the store he’s just torched; a military helicopter firing on a village; a
baby with a bullet in her back.

Since 2003, when war broke out between the Sudanese government and Darfuri
rebels, about 200,000 civilians have died.

Another 2.5 million, a third of Darfur’s population, have been driven from
home. American food has helped stave off famine and U.S. diplomacy has
fostered a partial cease-fire, but it has not been enough.

The Sudanese government refuses to admit 20,000 United Nations troops to
relieve a poorly equipped 7,000-member African Union force. Since May, when
the government and one of several rebel factions signed a peace agreement,
Darfur has become even more violent and lawless.

Steidle is a compact, intense 29-year-old. He lives on a sailboat in
southern Maine, where he’s writing a memoir.

He’s the son of retired rear admiral Craig Steidle, a Naval Academy graduate
who flew fighters off carriers in Vietnam, tested experimental planes and
trained test pilots, and directed the Defense Department’s biggest aircraft

Then he became associate administrator of NASA in charge of space
exploration planning. “He was the best at everything,” his son says, “and we
had to try to live up to that.”

That’s what he was trying to do in Darfur. “Brian told a story others could
not,” says David Del Conte, an American humanitarian worker who met Steidle
in south Darfur. “He moved Darfur onto the front page. He saved thousands of
                                   SHOCKING PHOTOGRAPHS
Steidle says he went to Darfur for several reasons. Mostly, he went because
of what he saw one day in 2004 on a computer screen.

He was in the Nuba Mountains in south-central Sudan, working for the
international commission supervising a cease-fire in another civil war,
between the government and another rebel group.

He was bored. Promotions had put him behind a desk. That’s why he’d left the
Marines in 2003 after more than four years, having served in Kosovo, made
captain and risen to company commander.

That day, a colleague was back from a trip to Darfur. Steidle had heard
reports of atrocities against African farmers, who supported Darfur’s
rebels, by nomadic Arab militias armed and supported by the government.
The raiders were called Janjaweed – “devil on horseback.”

How was Darfur? Steidle asked his colleague. The man flipped around the
laptop on his desk, clicked up a slide show and invited Steidle to take a

Steidle had never seen anything like it – schoolgirls, bound together with
makeshift handcuffs and burned alive. He was shocked, then outraged, then
intrigued. He wanted to see for himself.

Today, when asked why he volunteered for a situation from which most would
flee, he sticks his chin out: “I heard there was shooting, and I run toward
bullets.” Or he’ll cite “selfish reasons” – money ($3,500 a week tax-free,
paid by a private company under contract with the State Department) and

That month he wrote an e-mail to his sister Gretchen, which she shared with
USA TODAY. It suggested another motive:
“I have to write to you to get this out of my mind. I have seen these photos
from a confidential report. I am not permitted to send them, nor do I wish
on you the same dreams that I have as a result. … Why are we sitting here
letting this happen? This is not the doing of humans, this is the work of
the devil. We as humans, all races, religions, colors, creeds, etc., have to
stand up for what is right.”

He applied for a job monitoring Darfur’s shaky cease-fire under the auspices
of the African Union, the association of African nations whose mission in
Darfur receives financial support from the United States and other nations.
He’d have no power or authority to stop the violence, not even a sidearm.

But Steidle did not go unarmed. Photography had been his hobby; now he
bought the best digital camera he could afford: a professional-grade Canon
EOS 1D Mark II. In Darfur, it would prove more powerful, and more dangerous,
than a gun.

Steidle believed the world needed information to prick its conscience. If
the classified photos he’d seen had been released to the public, he wrote
Gretchen, “there would be troops in here in a matter of days.”

Photography was a touchy subject. Although then-Secretary of State Colin
Powell had just described what was happening in Darfur as genocide, there
had been virtually no pictures of Janjaweed attacks on civilians; Steidle
says he was warned the Sudanese government wanted to keep it that way.

A few photos of atrocities had been leaked outside official channels, so
African Union commanders – not wanting to offend the host government – were
suspicious of the new man with the camera that could zoom in on a face on
the ground from 500 feet in the air.

It took Steidle several weeks to win their trust before he was allowed to
use his camera. That was Oct. 20, 2004, when his team visited a village that
the Janjaweed had torched. They found some women and children huddled under
a tree.

A woman handed Steidle a 1-year-old girl. This was Mihad Hamid. Her mother
had been shot to death while fleeing with Mihad in her arms. Mihad was shot
in the back. She was having trouble breathing. She probably didn’t live the
night, he says.

There were many days like that. On the worst, he counted smoke from attacks
on 37 villages. On another, he stood next to a Sudanese army commander, who
watched as soldiers looted a village. Steidle says that when he asked Brig.
Gen. Ahmed El Hajer Mohammed why he didn’t stop them, the general said they
weren’t his men – anyone could put on a uniform.

He heard Janjaweed riders explain that they destroyed villages over stolen
cattle. He saw neither regret nor remorse: “It was like looking into the
devil’s eyes.”
                               A FAILURE TO PROTECT
“My reports,” Steidle used to say, “are my ammunition.” He soon realized he
was firing blanks.

His photos and descriptions vanished into the AU’s bureaucracy; others
reached the AU’s sponsors, including the U.S. government, months late. In
secret, he began to send reports directly to the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

After a mission, he’d head straight to his tent to download all his images
on his laptop. Only then would he go to the operations tent, download into
the AU computer and delete the images from his own camera as required.

He became increasingly frustrated with the AU’s impotence. By charting
Janjaweed attacks, movements and motives, “We got to where we knew where
the next attack would be,” he says. “But I couldn’t stop the attacks I was
predicting.” Some attacks were deterred by the AU observers’ presence. The
top commanders, however, refused to systematically place teams in the way of

Steidle says he knew why. The AU was in Darfur with the government’s
permission, and anything that antagonized Khartoum – especially taking sides
against its Janjaweed proxies – threatened the AU’s ability to function.
“The attitude was, ‘We gotta tread lightly,’ ” Steidle says.

(The AU did not respond to a request for comment. In the past, the AU has
emphasized the legal, logistical and financial constraints on its operations
in Darfur.)

In January, he predicted – based on Janjaweed movements – that the town of
Hamada would be attacked within two weeks. When it was hit 10 days later,
Steidle says he refused to go with the observation team: “I knew what they
were going to see. I said, ‘I’ve seen enough.’ “

The team found babies with their faces bashed in. When members came back to
the post, “they were like zombies,” Steidle recalls. “A guy who’d usually
brief me just held up his hand and said, ‘I must go pray.’ “

The people he’d hoped to help were furious. “They’d say, ‘Leave if you can’t
protect us.’ I thought, ‘What are you doin’ here? Just here makin’ money?’ “

He returned to the USA in February 2005 with hundreds of images, including
those of a man castrated and left to bleed to death, people with their ears
cut off and eyes plucked out and an aerial view of government troops joining
ranks with the Janjaweed.
                                   A DIFFICULT DECISION
Steidle planned to make public his photos, not his identity or affiliation.
“It was never his intention to speak out,” Gretchen says, “even when he

He’d break the trust of AU commanders and make them less likely to share
intelligence with the humanitarian agencies for whom AU patrols were eyes
and ears.

He’d ruffle the U.S. State Department, which had not authorized him to go
public. He’d throw away a lucrative career doing freelance military and
security work overseas.

“Did I promise not to release anything? No. Do I own the copyright to my
photos? Yes. I took them with my own camera,” he says. “But I was
apprehensive. I was paid to do what I was told, keep my mouth shut, and go

Gretchen put him in touch with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
Steidle gave him some photos but said not to use his name.

After the Times printed the photos Feb. 23, Steidle says, Kristof called.
“He said, ‘Everybody’s asking me where I got these photos. Can I use your
name?’ “

His father says Brian struggled with the decision. “He felt he gave his
word.” But Steidle thought about what his sister – the family’s social
conscience – had asked: “Who has the right to keep genocide a secret?”

He thought about the impact of personal testimony. People could look at a
photo, but unless there was a witness to tell them that this girl’s name was
Mihad Hamid and that her mother was shot in the back, it was just a picture.

“I thought about if for a few days,” Steidle says, “and I told Nick, ‘Go
ahead.’ “

Back in Darfur, some of his comrades felt Steidle had broken trust.
In May 2005, USA TODAY spoke with Dale Fage, a former U.S. Army
officer who served with Steidle on the AU force, at the airport in south

When Steidle’s name came up, Fage’s face hardened. “Brian was only here five
months,” Fage said. “He didn’t take all those photos himself.” (Photos of
the attack on Hamada had been taken by another photographer.)

“What he did created problems for people here.” Having vented his
frustration, Fage relented. “He’s a good kid,” he said. “He just wanted to
do the right thing.”

For the past 18 months, Steidle has shown his photos, told his story and
asked people to lobby the Bush administration and the U.N. to stop the
carnage in Darfur.

He has taken his message to Congress and the British House of Commons, to
an audience of 35 on a college campus in San Antonio and to 100 people at
church in Fort Wayne, Ind. Wherever he goes, a newspaper story or broadcast
interview usually follows.

(Khalid Musa, spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, did not
respond to a request for comment on Steidle.)

Sometimes he seems haunted by his photos, like the ones on display last week
for a Darfur benefit at a gallery in New York City: “The whole thing comes
back to me, not just that image, but the whole scene – the smell, the sound,
everything. When I look at … that burned guy that I (photographed) who was
burned alive in his hut, I smell him every time I look at that photo.”

As the situation there has grown more desperate, so has he.
“I’ve been banging my head against the wall,” he told The Philadelphia
Inquirer in February during a stop on a national speaking tour. “It’s like
screaming in a dream, and no sound comes out.”

He says he has no regrets about going public. Neither does his father. “I
knew he’d make the right decision,” Craig Steidle says. “I’m proud of him.” 

FOOTNOTE: The President of Ukraine and the Foreign Minister of
Ukraine both made important speeches this week about genocide. The
president spoke in Kyiv about Babyn Yar and the Foreign Minister made
an address at the United Nations in New York.
President Yushchenko brought up the genocide of 1932-1933 and the
genocide during WWII. Both leaders said they would do and the world
should do everything possible to stop genocide today.  But what is most
disturbing neither of these top Ukrainian leaders mentioned the ongoing
genocide today in Darfur. 
Their words would sound must stronger and real if they choose to bring
up what is happening in Darfur, if they urged the UN to act, if they urged
the world to act, if they announced Ukraine was sending relief to the
genocide victims in Darfur. [AUR Editor Morgan Williams]
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
14.                            PERPETUATING BUTCHERS?

        We must not permit the removal of the monument to the heroes of the
         popular revolution and its replacement by a monument to Catherine II
                   of Russia, that merciless butcher of the Ukrainian people.

By Oleksiy Volovych, Mykhailo Matsiuk, and Oleksandr Muzych,
Research Fellows, Odesa Branch, National Institute of Strategic Studies
The Day Weekly Digest in English, #29
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 14
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006

The First one racked my country dear;
The Second gave the final blow
That brought my land to utter woe…
(From Shevchenko’s “The Dream,” trans. Constantine
Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell, Toronto, 1964)

The recent decision of the Odesa City Council to move three monuments, to
Lenin, the Potemkin Mutineers, and Hlushko, from downtown to other city
districts is indicative of the council members’ interest in economic
problems as well as cultural and ideological questions.

One cannot agree with those who insist that this burst of monument-moving
activity is untimely and unnecessary. The concept of “monument” has the same
lexical root as “historical memory,” which is part of the cultural and
ideological sphere.

In 1990 the so-called postcommunist countries embarked on different paths of
developing their culture, ideology, and attitude to the past.

In the Baltic countries and Poland, imperialist and Soviet monuments were
decisively torn down as symbols of those countries’ colonial dependence on
Russia. After some hesitation, Russia honors both its imperialist and Soviet
symbols, including monuments.

Ukraine has chosen the middle road, as usual. It has adopted a stand worthy
of King Solomon, honoring heroes of Ukrainian history one after another,
upholding the ambiguous “he’s-done-something-for-Ukraine criterion, without
ascertaining who has done what and for what kind of Ukraine.

The absence of a clear-cut and consistent conception of Ukrainian national
development often plays into the hands of anti-Ukrainian forces in the east
and south.

On this particular occasion Odesa’s nationally-conscious Ukrainians are
concerned about the prospect of seeing a monument to Catherine II of Russia
in place of the figures of the sailors who mutinied aboard the battleship
Potemkin in 1905.

Given the indulgent attitude of the Orange mayor of Odesa, Eduard Hurvits,
the city council recently made the criminal decision to erect a monument to
Catherine II in place of the Potemkin memorial (on which battleship
Ukrainians constituted the absolute majority of the crew that rebelled
against Russian tsarist autocracy).

Prior to this decision, Tetiana Fedirko, head of the city’s culture
department (what department and what council is anyone’s guess), pushed
through a recommendation during a meeting of the toponymy commission in

May of this year, concerning the erection of a monument to Catherine II.

It is highly unlikely that she did so without Hurvits’s knowledge and
consent. Rumor has it that, just like in the early 1990s, this project is
being prepared with big money supplied from Moscow and via lobbying by
anti-Ukrainian forces in Odesa, which are trying to make this city look
increasingly like Novorossiia, a part of the Russian empire.

The question is: how can we, Ukrainians, allow the construction of monuments
dedicated to our oppressors and executioners?

Whereas a lively debate emerged in Odesa with regard to a similar council
decision in the mid-1990s, when Hurvits was also mayor, this time the
Ukrainian community of Odesa and the Black Sea Cossacks have barely

reacted to the criminal plans of the Odesa mayor’s office.

The confusion, disillusionment, and apathy that have engulfed Ukrainians
since the temporary defeat of the Orange revolution are starting to make
their presence known.

The arguments offered by the supporters of the monument to Catherine II in
Odesa boil down to three main positions:

(1) the 1900-style monument to Catherine II has a more aesthetic appearance
than the Potemkin one;
(2) returning the monument to Catherine II to Potemkin Square will be an act
of restoring historical justice that was violated by the Bolsheviks;
(3) Catherine II founded Odesa because she issued an ukase on its founding
(or rather one renaming the settlement of Khadzhibei that had existed for
more than 400 years) and helped populate the Novorossiisk krai.

Just like in 1990, today the bronze Catherine II is being lobbied for by
openly pro-Russian and Ukrainophobic forces, like the Iedinoe Otechestvo
(Sole Fatherland) and Soiuz pravoslavnykh grazhdan (Union of Orthodox

Those “Orthodox citizens” do not seem at all perturbed by the fact that the
German-born Catherine murdered her husband, Tsar Peter III, in order to
seize the Russian throne and was known for her lechery, dragging hundreds

of noblemen and even ordinary soldiers into her bed.

The deeds of Catherine II are lauded by Anatolii Vasserman, a well-known
Odesa Ukrainophobe, pseudohistorian, and pseudo-political scientist, and
“hero of Moscow’s Brain Ring” of long standing. At one time he called for
“separating western Ukraine from eastern Ukraine by tanks and a high wall.”

As always, the Moscow Patriarchate is at the head of all the processes that
run counter to those that assert the Ukrainian state. Like in 1990, today it
is important for local Russophile politicians to instill “New Russian”
patriotism in the population, awareness that they are different from the
rest of Ukraine.

A similar tactic was recently used by these forces during the pompous
transferal of the remains of the Vorontsov couple. Their desire to
perpetuate Catherine II is a sequel to their efforts to convince the
residents of Odesa (65 percent of whom are ethnic Ukrainians) that they
belong to “New Russia.”

It is also worth mentioning the good services being offered to these forces
by many regional historians of Odesa. For them, creating a pro-Russian
history of Odesa is not only a demonstration of a sociopolitical stand, but
also a lucrative business.

Trying to communicate with the representatives of these forces, which feel
no commonality with the interests of the Ukrainian nation and openly scorn
it, is like communicating with blind deaf-mutes.

The two other arguments sound equally unconvincing. The concept of
“historical justice” cannot be interpreted in a primitive and retrograde
manner. The idea of restoring the names and monuments that existed before
the revolution to the streets of Odesa utterly ignores the fact of the very
existence of the Ukrainian state with its own values and laws.

Within the boundaries of this state it is impossible to honor people who
denied the very fact that the Ukrainian nation existed. Catherine II was,
without a doubt, one of them.

In addition to destroying the Zaporozhian Sich, the center of Ukrainian
democracy and independence, she waged a consistent policy aimed at
annihilating the historical distinctions between Ukraine and Russia.

Returning a monument to Catherine II to Odesa today would mean identifying
ourselves with all her acts, with the “progressive nature” of the Russian
empire vis-a-vis Ukraine, and demonstrating our Russian patriotism in
principle. For in today’s Russia Catherine II is one of the most respected
historical figures on a par with Peter I.

A monument forms a solid image, so an argument, like “We honor Catherine II
as the founder of Odesa and as a person who facilitated the development of
southern Ukraine,” does not work because in fact she facilitated the foreign
colonization of the southern region of Ukraine and the destruction of the
Ukrainian population.

No significance should be attached to the third argument. The process of
founding and developing a city cannot be reduced to the activities of a
single individual and demiurge.

Such an assumption is germane to antiquated thinking and an imperialistic
ideology, according to which history is created by kings. Insightful studies
by historians, like Kabuzan, Druzhynina, and others, whose works are based
on materials about the history of southern Ukraine, have long demonstrated
the narrowness of this approach.

The late historian Oleksandr Boldyrev’s Odesa Is 600 Years Old (recently
reprinted) deserves special notice. The author offers weighty arguments
against the unsubstantiated claim that Odesa’s history dates from 1794. The
noted Ukrainian historian, writer, and journalist Bohdan Sushynsky also
devoted considerable attention to refuting this claim.

How should one interpret the municipal authorities’ stubborn intention to
mock the historical memory of the Ukrainian people?

First of all, it is determined by the pro-Russian, pro-imperialistic
political orientation of a certain part of Odesa’s population, people who
believe that Catherine II, although she was a tormentor of the Ukrainian
people, founded Odesa and did a lot of good things for the city (?!).

These philistines still do not consider Odesa oblast as an inalienable
component of Ukraine and are daydreaming about some kind of
pro- Russian Novorossia.

The members of the Odesa City Council did not rise above these pro-
imperialistic moods. Second, a number of Odesites uncritically share the
opinion that one’s history must be respected no matter what. This is the
same sort of argument used by the communists to preserve their idols,
those sore spots on our city squares.

This argument is profoundly immoral. No one in his right mind would hang
a portrait in his apartment of the criminal who tortured to death one’s
father, mother, or close friend. It is understandable why no monuments to
Mussolini are built in Italy, to Genghis Khan in Russia, or to Hitler in

They are all well- known historical figures, but they do not deserve a
nation’s respect. Erecting a monument to Catherine II in Odesa or elsewhere
in Ukraine is like unveiling a statue of Adolf Eichmann in Tel Aviv

Neither Catherine II, Peter I, nor any Russian tsar or any one of their
satraps, let alone the Bolshevik leaders, are worthy of having monuments
erected in their honor – nor should their old monuments be left standing –
in independent Ukraine, because they were all ruthless butchers of our

For Russia, where imperial values are still upheld, Catherine II is the
object of worship, but it is time we all realized that Ukraine is not
Russia. Indeed, today’s neo-imperialist Russia is interested in having a
monument to Catherine II in Odesa, designed to assert Russia’s “historical
right” to this city.

Our neighbor’s stand corresponds to his doctrine of imperial integration.
Therefore, the decision of Odesa’s city council can be interpreted as a
realization of Russia’s imperialistic plans in Ukraine.

Should the Potemkin memorial be removed? In their day the Bolsheviks
completely falsified the revolution of 1905 by “privatizing” the heroism of
its participants. That revolution was a popular one – bourgeois democratic –
not Bolshevist.

It had matured historically and was progressive in that its objective was
the overthrow of the despotic tsarist regime and landlord ownership to pave
the way for a free development of market relations and liberal capitalism.

The Potemkin mutiny (most of whose crew was Ukrainian) was a revolt against
the officers’ brutality, and it became an exciting and heroic page in the
history of the revolution.

This page must be cleansed of Bolshevik scum, and historical truth must be
restored. At the time of the mutiny the residents of Odesa sincerely
welcomed the sailors who were rebelling against the tsarist regime. So would
it be fair to remove a monument to the heroes of this popular revolution?

Today a move against the Potemkin memorial is an act of barbarism that can
be perpetrated only by people afflicted with Russian chauvinism, by those
for whom imperial symbols come first.

We must not permit the removal of the monument to the heroes of the popular
revolution and its replacement by a monument to Catherine II of Russia, that
merciless butcher of the Ukrainian people.

Below are some facts illustrating Catherine II’s “merits” with regard

to the Ukrainian nation.

1762-1763: Catherine II issues two manifestos on the foreign colonization of
Rus’-Ukraine; Serbs, Bulgarians, Moldovans, and Germans from Prussia,
Austria, and other countries are recruited. Every foreigner receives 65
desiatynas of land [1 desiatyna=2.7 acres] and is exempted from taxes.
Ukrainians have to provide horse-driven carts to transport their future
landlords free of charge.
1763: Catherine II signs an ukase banning instruction in Ukrainian at the
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
1764: Catherine II instructs Prince Viazemsky to Russify Ukraine, the Baltic
provinces, Finland, and Smolensk gubernia.
1764: Catherine II abolishes the Ukrainian hetmanate and at the same time
liquidates Ukrainian educational and cultural institutions; Ukrainian-
speaking officials are dismissed.
1764: Abolition of the Ukrainian Hetman State.
1765: Catherine II liquidates the Cossack order in Slobidska Ukraine and
closes Cossack schools.
1765: The Holy Synod orders the Kyivan Cave Monastery to print only books
issued by the Moscow print shop and approved by the Synod.
1768: Muscovite troops suppress the anti-Polish rebellion in Right-Bank
led by Gonta and Zalizniak (this period is known as Koliivshchyna), after
the two rebel leaders are treacherously captured by Muscovites, who were at
war with Poland.
1769: The Synod orders Ukrainian church books replaced by Muscovite ones.
1769: The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church forbids the Kyivan Cave
Monastery to print primers in Ukrainian and orders the confiscation of books
already distributed.
1775: Muscovite troops launch a perfidious attack on the Zaporozhian Sich
and destroy it after Zaporozhian forces provided decisive reinforcements to
the Russian army during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. The Cossacks
are robbed, their property is confiscated, and many are exiled to Siberia.
Ukrainian schools at regimental chancelleries are closed. The last Koshovy
Otaman Petro Kalnyshevsky is exiled to the Solovky Islands, where he is
imprisoned for 25 years until his death in 1803 at the age of 112.
1777: Plans are made for the deportation of the Tatars from the Crimea and
Ukrainians from Ukraine, the territories thus vacated to be populated by
Muscovites from Russia. Implementing this plan, Aleksandr Suvorov deports
32,000 Ukrainian men from southern Ukraine within a few days.
1777: The persecuted brilliant Ukrainian composer and member of the Bologna
Music Academy, Maksym Berezovsky (b. 1745 in Slukhove), dies in penury.
After his death Catherine II’s government bans his compositions and destroys
a number of his manuscripts.
1780: The library of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is burned down (its collection was
amassed for more than 150 years and was one of the largest in Eastern
1781: The last vestiges of Cossack self-government on the Left Bank are
destroyed, and the Russian administrative system is introduced in 1783.
1782: Catherine II sets up a commission to establish people’s schools in
Russia with the aim of introducing a uniform school system with Russian as
the only language of instruction in all schools throughout the empire.
1783: The peasants of Left-Bank Ukraine are transformed into serfs.
1784: As of 1747 there were 866 Ukrainian schools on the territory of seven
hetman regiments, or one school per thousand residents. By the end of the
century, the population had increased threefold, while the number of schools
dropped by two times. There were no Ukrainian schools.
1784: The Synod orders Metropolitan Samuil of Kyiv and Halych to punish
students and dismiss teachers at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in retaliation for
straying from the Russian language.
1785: Catherine II orders all Divine Services to be celebrated in Russian in
all the churches of the empire. Russian is the language of instruction in
all schools in Ukraine.
1786: The Synod again orders the Metropolitan of Kyiv to control the
activities of the Cave Monastery’s print shop to ensure that there are no
differences between Kyiv – and Moscow-based publications, and to introduce
the empire-wide school system at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
1789: The Comparative Dictionary of All Languages is published in St.
Petersburg on Catherine II’s initiative. According to this dictionary,
Ukrainian is a Polish-distorted version of the Russian language.
1793: Muscovite troops crush a revolt in the village of Turbai and severely
punish the populace; over 20 villagers die after being tortured or are shot;
the rest are flogged and exiled to Siberia or other gubernias.

The case of “Odesa’s Catherine” is vivid proof of how little has changed in
Ukraine in the past decade, particularly in Odesa, in the sense of people’s
attitude to their national identity. Today it is fashionable to talk about
the Orange revolution, the formation of a civil society, the Ukrainian
political nation, liberal ideas, and other nice things.

However, concealed behind this opportunism is the key thing: the actual
refusal by most political forces in Ukraine to conduct a policy that would
satisfy the national needs of ethnic Ukrainians as the main carriers of the
Ukrainian spirit.

Being Ukrainian does not mean having the appropriate box checked on a
census list, but meeting the main criteria, such as Ukrainian-language
usage, knowledge of history – and not on an “elder brother” basis.

In other words, it means being aware of Ukraine as a value unto itself and
an independent historical and modern entity, not as part of the Russian

This principle is being ignored in today’s Ukraine. Ukraine is regarded as a
dormitory, where all people are equal regardless of what values they profess
or what actions they take.

Ukrainians in Odesa are generally viewed not as representatives of the
titular nation, and not even as members of an ethnic minority, but as a
foreign body that is interfering with the non-Ukrainian forces’ efforts to
build a separate “Odesa civilization.”

The latter is essentially and suspiciously reminiscent of Odesa during the
Russian empire. Living in Odesa and remaining a Ukrainian-speaking and
Ukrainian-minded individual is extremely difficult, even dangerous, but you
are perfectly safe and welcome to ignore all things Ukrainian.

The latest actions perpetrated by Ukrainophobic forces (the seizure of the
library at Agrarian University), and especially the authorities’ weak
response, demonstrate that these forces are limited by nothing but their
insolence. Thus, it would have been surprising if the image of the Russian
empress had not reappeared in Odesa.

It is obvious to every Ukrainian that the unveiling of such a monument in a
Ukrainian city in the 16 th year of Ukraine’s independence is an insolent
challenge to the dignity of the Ukrainian nation and its historic choice.

But the main problem lies elsewhere. Why the same old “Catherine’s rakes”
again? Are our old enemies the only reason? We have another question: why
haven’t any of the more than 15 Cossack organizations in Odesa done anything
to prevent the plans to erect a monument to Catherine II?

The impression is that they simply don’t know about the city council’s
intentions. Instead, they show off their uniforms and rows of medals that
they have conferred on themselves. There are practically no rank-and-file
Cossacks, only lieutenants, captains, colonels, and otamans.

Why is it that people who talk so much about Ukrainian interests are often
the very ones that betray them? The organizers of Catherine’s monument have
carefully analyzed the situation. Any lawful acts on the part of the
Ukrainian community, like sending letters, collecting signatures, etc., will
be useless.

Any more decisive efforts will scare the general public and make the
Ukrainians look like radical nationalists. In the end, the Ukrainians will
be shunted aside and prevented from making important decisions relating to
national development.

The real response of the entire Ukrainian community of Odesa and every
Ukrainian resident of the city to this Catherinomania must be to fight not
the monument but the reasons that make its appearance possible. These
reasons reside in us: in our weakness, sluggishness, inconsistency,
hypocrisy, and our desire to foist responsibility on someone else

In their souls many of the opponents of the monument to Catherine are split
half-Russian/half-Ukrainian individuals and are afraid to look “too
Ukrainian.” People can see through this falseness and will not follow them.

We must start to work hard, constantly and insistently, for the sake of the
Ukrainian cause by renewing and perfecting ourselves.

They will unveil their monument, and we will raise our children and
grandchildren in the Ukrainian national spirit. We will speak only Ukrainian
at home, in the office, on the street, and in public places. We will show
success in business, studies, and sports.

Ukrainians must stop being marginal. They must be patriots, and
well-educated and highly moral individuals. Then people will follow them and
listen. The monuments to our enemies will be destroyed in our hearts, and
none will be allowed on the squares of Ukrainian cities.

If the monument to Catherine II is unveiled in Odesa, it will be a great
insult to the Ukrainian people and a slap in the face of the sluggish,
helpless, and fragmented Cossack community.           -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                   Officials Break Ground at Washington, D.C. Site

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, September 28, 2006; Page B03

In China’s Tiananmen Square, the “Goddess of Democracy” created by
student activists was demolished by communist tanks during the historic
uprising in 1989.

Now a 10-foot bronze copy of the statue is being erected in downtown
Washington as a permanent tribute to the estimated 100 million people killed
by various communist regimes.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Victims of Communism Memorial was
held yesterday at the site, a wedge of federal land where G Street NW meets
Massachusetts and New Jersey avenues, near Union Station.

The event drew about 100 people, including ambassadors and other officials
from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Republic
of China (Taiwan).

“There is no memorial to all the victims of communism,” said Lee Edwards,
a conservative historian and Heritage Foundation fellow who chairs the
memorial foundation. “We want to focus attention on the crimes of
communism and therefore educate people about why we fought and won
the Cold War.”

The memorial, expected to be dedicated in June [2007] around the 20th
anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s famous tear-down-the-Berlin-Wall
speech at Brandenburg Gate, was more than a decade in the making.

Formed in 1994, the foundation originally had hoped to build a $100 million
museum and later scaled back plans to focus on the memorial, Edwards said.

About $800,000 has been raised in private and corporate donations, he said.
Although no federal funds can be used on the project, several foreign
governments have contributed.

“I can’t believe we actually got to this day after all these years,” said
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who was credited with helping pass the
law that created the memorial.

“During the Cold War, there were so many people who did not want to
recognize the evil nature of communism,” Rohrabacher said. “There were so
many people who did not want to fight the Cold War. . . . They always

seemed to be nitpicking us as we made our stand against communist

The Democracy statue destroyed in Tiananmen Square was fashioned from
plaster of Paris and based on the Statue of Liberty; it has become an
international symbol of freedom.

Thomas Marsh of Orange, Va., the sculptor who will create the bronze
memorial for the quarter-acre site in the District, is donating his work,
Edwards said.

The groundbreaking “signifies in many ways the end of the Cold War,” said
Paula J. Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for democracy and global
affairs whose father, former ambassador Lev Dobriansky, was the first
chairman of the memorial foundation.

She spoke of the men and women “for whom the Cold War was the central
reality for most of their lives.” “The memorial built here will stand after
we no longer do,” Dobriansky said. [Dobriansky is the highest ranking

person in the Bush Administration with Ukrainian heritage.  AUR Editor]

David Lee, Taiwan’s representative in Washington, said the memorial will
also remind people that the fight against communism is not over.

“We are still in a confrontational situation with communist China,” Lee
said, as he waited his turn yesterday to help shovel a bit of the earth.
“That’s the reason we think we need to be here.”           -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

New Book By Johann Bollinger and Janice Huber Stangl
Michael Miller, Germans From Russia Heritage Collection
Fargo, North Dakota, Friday, September 29, 2006 
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 16
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006

FARGO – The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to

announce this important publication of “Marienberg: Fate of a Village” by
Johann Bollinger, Wstenrot, Germany, and Janice Huber Stangl, Sterling,
Virginia, a native of Bowdle, South Dakota.
Edited by Harold M. Ehrman. Published by the Germans from Russia Heritage
Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, North Dakota,
2000, 365 pages, softcover and hardcover. English and German languages in
one volume.

Johann Bollinger was born in Marienberg. He lived there until he entered
the Odessa Pedagogical Institute in 1935. He taught in the Zaporozhye
(Saporosche) area until he was drafted into the German army in 1944. He
was badly wounded and spent one year in the hospital.

When he was discharged in 1946, he moved to Baden-Wuerttemburg, at
Vaihingen an der Enz. For a year and a half, he worked as a laborer in
building construction for 19 pfennings an hour.

Even though he was trained as a teacher in German and Russian, he had to
take the teachers’ examination to obtain his teaching certificate in
Germany in 1947. His first teaching post was in Talheim bei Heilbronn. His
last post was at Wuestenrot at the elementary and high school where he was
the master teacher and later the principal. He was an educator for over 30
years. He retired in 1983 to his home in Wuestenrot.

Johann started working on his Marienberg chronicle in the early 1950s. He
sent a copy of his work to Dr. Karl Stumpp in Tuebingen in 1956. It
remained unpublished until 1993, when Johann printed a limited private
edition for distribution to some of his fellow Marienbergers in Germany.

Janice Huber Stangl was born on a homestead near Bowdle, South Dakota. Her
paternal ancestors came to America from Glueckstal and Kassel; her
maternal ancestors came from Nesselrode and Neu-Beresina. She attended
Bowdle schools for 12 years, and went to Northern State Teachers College
in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She taught elementary school and music for
grades 1-12 in Selby and Dupree, South Dakota, and Gordon, Nebraska. She
retired from public teaching when she had her children; she then privately
taught piano lessons.

Janice is a member of AHSGR, GRHS, and GCRA. Her interest in Germans

from Russia research encouraged her and her husband, Tom, to take the Journey
to the Homeland Tour in 1998 to Ukraine, Moldova and Trans-Dnestr, to
visit villages of her ancestors.
The tour included a day at the Bundestreffen in Stuttgart, Germany. It was there
she met her Seefried cousins, whom her family presumed had died in WW II,
because all contact had been lost since the late 1920s.
The cousins gave her a copy of the Marienberg chronicle, which she wanted to
share with family members in America. The cousins introduced Janice to Johann
Bollinger, author of the chronicle. Hence the translation of a 40 page book to
English, led to more research, and is now a book of almost 400 pages!

The book is based on a chronicle of this daughter colony of the Glueckstal
group of villages written by Johann Bollinger. The volume also includes
genealogical data from the EWZ (German resettlement) records which relate
to residents of the village in 1944, when they were forced to flee and
began their trek west to Occupied Poland.

The newly released book, Odessa Martyrology, lists the fate of thousands
of men and women from the Odessa region, during the Terror Years of
Stalin. It was used by Thomas Stangl and Harold Ehrman to determine the
fate of the Marienbergers who were taken away (verschleppt) in
1936-1938. The information has been included in the Marienberg book.

In addition, letters which were sent to North America and published in
German language newspapers, have been transcribed and translated to
English, by Homer Rudolf and Janice Huber Stangl. These are of historical
importance, as they describe the difficulties and the plight of our
relatives in Ukraine during the starvation years from World War I to the
early 1930s.

Through all the hardships, there was still humor. Some letters have
“tongue in cheek” humor and clever adages. Several letters sent to America
were humorous stories written in Bergdorf dialect. Stories of brauching
(faith healing), strong women, mischievous boys, and raucous fests, tell
us that they truly are our people (Unsere Leute).

Several private, previously unpublished letters from Marienberg, which
were sent to American families and shared with GCRA and the author, are
also included.

This volume is for all who have an interest in our Germans from Russia
families, whether or not their ancestors lived in Marienberg. The letters
portray what was happening in all of Ukraine and other states of the
former USSR during this historical period.

The following is a partial list of “Russian” villages mentioned: Alt-Posttal,

Balitzki (Saratow), Balta, Bergdorf, Birsula, Glueckstal, Grekowo,
Hoffnungstal, Kassel, Mardarowka, Moina, Nesselrode, Neudorf, Odessa,
Okna, Perekrestowo, Seebach, Sofiental, Tregrady (Friedenstal), Tschubovka,
Post/Wamske Post, Wischina–and many more.

Localities mentioned in Siberia/USSR: Kazakhstan, Kustanai, Perwomaiski,
Sverdlovsk, Tashkent, Ural Mountains, Uzbekistan. Canada
includes: Alberta, Burstall, Eva, Hilda, McLain, Winnipeg, Woolchester. In
the United States included are California, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota,
South Dakota, Nebraska and Washington.

Towns in South Dakota are: Aberdeen, Bison, Bowdle, Dale, Eureka, Fairfax,
Frederick, Greenway, Hosmer, Java, Long Lake, Menno, Parkston, and
Roscoe. Towns in North Dakota are: Alfred, Burnstad, Denhoff, Gackle,
Hebron, Heil, Jamestown, Streeter, Turtle Lake and Zeeland. Towns in
Montana are: Circle, Glendive, Marsh, Paris, Terry, and Watkins.

A partial list of surnames: Raile, Ahl, Aipperspach, Bader, Bender,
Bieber, Bollinger, Bonnet, Dietrich, Dobler, Dockter, Eichelberg, Eider,
Eisenbeiss, Elsaesser, Erlenbush, Faas, Fauth, Fischer, Foede, Geib,
Georg, Goehring, Graff, Haller, Herring, Hausauer, Haux, Hettich, Heyne,
Hilt, Hoffer, Hoffmann, Hohenaecker, Hoepfer, Huber, Huft, Jenner, Jesser,
Kaul, Keim, Keller, Kessler, Kirschenmann, Klein, Klipfel, Knorr, Kolb,
Kranzler, Kurle, Laemmle, Laut, Leicht, Leno, Lippert, Maier/Mayer,
Martin, Matthies, Merkel, Metzger, Moessner, Nagel, Neiffer, Opp, Pleinis,
Rath, Rau, Reiser, Rieker/Ricker/Rieger/Ruecker, Ritter, Rosin, Sandmayer,
Schaeffer, Schaible, Scheuffele, Schimke (Pastor), Schmidt, Schnabel,
Schock, Schumacher, Seefried, Spitzer, Stiegelmaier, Stotz/Staatz, Stroh,
Teske, Trefz, Veil, Voegele, Wagner, Weiss, Wolf and Zweygardt.

The following text including the cover of the book and images appear
at this website page:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       Symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, October 20, 2006
Orysia Tracz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Friday, Sep 29, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006
YEARS LATER – a symposium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the
nuclear accident at Chornobyl will be held at the University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Canada on Friday, October 20, 2006, 1:15 – 5:00 P.M.
The location:  Moot Court, Robson Hall (Faculty of Law), University of
Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It is presented by The University of Manitoba Archives & Special
Collections; the Slavic Collection, Elizabeth Dafoe Library — University
of Manitoba; and the Department of German & Slavic Studies, University of

A panel presentation — AFTERMATH OF CHORNOBYL — will begin at

1:15 P.M., with Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Dr. Ehor Gauk (Medical Project
Osvita), and Professor David McMillan (University of Manitoba).

The keynote speaker is DR. YURI SCHERBAK — “Chornobyl — Lessons

for the 1st Century.”  His is the 14th Annual J. B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished
Lecture, at 3 P.M.  Dr. Scherbak is the Director of the Centre for Global
and Area Studies of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the
former Ukrainian Minister of Environmental Protection, and a former
Ambassador to Canada, the United States of America, and Israel. 
He is an expert on the Chornobyl tragedy and the current political landscape
in Ukraine.  He is the author of Chernobyl:  a documentary story (1989) and
The Strategic Role of Ukraine:  Diplomatic Addresses and Lectures
(1994-1997).  Dr. Scherbak is also a well-known Ukrainian novelist who has
written over 20 books of poetry, prose, plays, and essays.

The Zone:  1994-2005, a photograph exhibit of the works of Professor David
McMillan (School of Art), will be open to the public October 5-20 (9 A.M.-
5:00 P.M. weekdays) in the Dr. Paul H. T. Thorlakson Gallery, Iceland
Reading Room, 3rd floor, Elizabeth Dafoe Library, University of Manitoba.
The day of the Symposium, Professor McMillan will lead a walk-through of
his exhibition at 11:30 A.M.

A special exhibit of books on Chornobyl from the Libraries’ collections
will be featured on the first floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library (October
19 – December 15).  The University of Manitoba Book Store, University
Centre, will feature a display of books for sale on this topic October
1-31. Admission is free, with a reception to follow.

For further information:  James Kominowski (204) 474-9681
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.

               World-renowned Kyiv Chamber Choir will give 12 concerts
Infoukes, Toronto, Canada, Friday, September 29, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 18
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006

The world-renowned KYIV CHAMBER CHOIR – and Conductor
MYKOLA HOBDYCH – will return to Canada to give 12 concerts in 11
cities this fall.
Concerts will take place in the following cities and high quality venues:

Sun.    Oct. 29 Kitchener   3:30   St. Marys Roman Catholic Church
Mon.   Oct. 30 London     7:30   First St. Andrews United Church
Wed.   Nov. 1 Montreal    7:30   Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul
Thurs. Nov. 2 Ottawa       7:30   Christ Church Cathedral
Fri.      Nov. 3 Toronto     7:30   George Weston Recital Hall
Sun.    Nov. 5 Vancouver 3:00    Ryerson United Church
Tues.   Nov. 7 Calgary     7:30    Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
Wed.   Nov. 8 Edmonton  7:30    McDougall United Church
Thurs.  Nov. 9 Saskatoon 7:30    Knox United Church
Fri.      Nov. 10 Regina      7:30    First Baptist Church
Sat.     Nov. 11 Winnipeg  7:30    Knox United Church
Sun.    Nov. 12 Toronto II 3:00    Timothy Eaton Memorial Church

Winners of 3 Grand Prix awards in competitions among the best choirs in
Europe, Kyiv Chamber Choir members are also among the most entertaining
performers in classical music, whose European concerts regularly attract
sold-out audiences.

Their compelling presentations had a unique impact in every Canadian city
where they performed in 2004.  In January of 2005, CBC Radio aired a 2 hour
broadcast of the Choirs memorable performance in Toronto’s George Weston
Recital Hall a concert also available on CD.

These Kyiv Chamber Choir concerts are being presented by Platinum Concerts
International, whose goals include presenting the hidden treasure of
Ukrainian choral music to North American arts and music audiences.

The national sponsor of the 2006 Kyiv Chamber Choir Canadian concert tour
is ACUITY FUNDS LTD.         

Tickets & Information: 1-888-636-5195 or
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

             Free musical concert on Monday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m.
Diana Howansky, Staff Associate
Ukrainian Studies Program, Columbia University
New York, New York, Friday, September 29, 2006

NEW YORK – This Monday: Columbia University’s Ukrainian Studies

Program, in coordination with the Center for Ethnomusicology, will host a
free musical performance by the premier Ukrainian acoustic folk ensemble
in the United States: “CHERES UFO (Ukrainian Folk Orchestra)”

The virtuosos of Cheres weave fiery instrumentals and spirited songs
from Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and beyond. During performances
— such as before thousands of audience members at Lincoln Center’s “Out
of Doors” Festival and NYC’s “River to River” Festival this summer —
Cheres’ arsenal of instruments has included clarinet, wooden flutes,
violin, viola, and double bass. For spellbinding mountain music that
tugs at the heart and lifts the feet, experience Cheres’ concert at
Columbia University.

Introduction by MARIA SONEVYTSKY, PhD candidate at the Center for
Ethnomusicology, who will speak briefly about: “Seeking an Unmitigated
Authenticity: Tradition, Innovation, and Experience in Carpathian
Mountain Music.”

WHEN: Monday, October 2, starting at 7:30pm
WHERE: Room 1501, International Affairs Building (15th floor), Columbia
University, New York, NY. (Please note this performance is open to the

“Cheres captivates its listeners with centuries-old Carpathian folk hits
that “drift off into spacious caverns that jazz fans might call home.”
— Poughkeepsie Journal

“Cheres is the best purveyor of authentic Ukrainian folk music in the
United States.” — Archive of Folk Culture, Library of Congress

For more information about Cheres, please see: Andriy Milavsky, Music

Director Cheres UFO, Ukrainian Folk Orchestra. E-mail:; URL
The Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University, in cooperation
with the General Petro Grigorenko Foundation, will host a commemoration
of the life of NADIYA SVITLYCHNA, a heroine of the Soviet, Ukrainian
and Russian human rights movements.

The commemoration will take place during the morning and early afternoon
of Tuesday, October 10th. It will include a morning panel discussion
about the life and work of Nadiya Svitlychna, as well as an afternoon
panel discussion about contemporary human rights issues in Ukraine and
other post-Soviet countries.

The commemoration will be held in Room 1501, International Affairs
Building (15th floor), Columbia University, 420 W. 118th St. Free and
open to the public. A detailed schedule of the event will follow soon.

Diana Howansky, Staff Associate, Ukrainian Studies Program
Columbia University, Room 1208, MC3345
420 W. 118th Street, New York, NY  10027
(212) 854-4697,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, September 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #765, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 30, 2006

EDMONTON – Peter and Doris Kule, prominent members of the Edmonton

Ukrainian community and staunch supporters of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre,
made another substantial gift to the University of Alberta on September 6, 2006.

In honour of their support, the Centre was officially renamed the Peter and
Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore by university
president Dr. Indira Samarasekera in a special ceremony.  Also in attendance
were Daniel Woolf, Dean of Arts and Andriy Nahachewsky, Centre Director,
plus numerous invited guests from various university departments and from
the Ukrainian community.

The Kules are well known to the Ukrainian Folklore Centre as they provided
an endowment in 2004 which created the Kule Chair of Ukrainian Ethnography
in the department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies.

Recognizing the valuable contribution the study of Ukrainian Folklore plays
in developing Ukrainian culture and heritage, the Kules decided to assist
the further expansion of the Centre.

“Here Ukrainian studies flourish and we owe this to the vision of the Kules
and others like them” Dr. Natalie Kononenko, Kule Chair of Ukrainian
Ethnography, pointed out.

The Kules’ gift of 2 million dollars is being matched by the Faculty of Arts
and the Province of Alberta. The Kules’ initiative will allow the Centre to
practically double in size. “This donation is a milestone which is at least
as significant as any that came before,” says Centre Director, Andriy

The Centre is looking at expanding beyond specifically Ukrainian folklore.
The “Local Culture and Diversity on the Prairies” project, a research effort
already completed, focuses on German, English and French, as well as
Ukrainian cultural identity in Canada.  Similar new projects are envisioned,
as is increased cooperation with other parts of the university.

Research, scholarships, teaching and publications are all areas in which the
new funds will be used.  Expanding beyond Ukrainian folklore will allow the
Kule Folklore Centre to fill a significant void in western Canada.

It is the Centre’s desire to fill the need for folklore instruction by
increasing the number of courses offered here at the university.

In addition to increased research projects and publications, a portion of
the gift will be used to help support students. Through the newly
established Kule Fellowship Fund, the Centre will provide scholarships and
assistantships for both graduate and undergraduate students.

A Post Doctoral Program will be established allowing young scholars a chance
to do research in collaboration with local scholars and the resources of the
Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archive.

The Kule Folklore Centre Fund will also allow expansion of the current
visiting speakers series which has brought international scholars the
University of Alberta.

It will also help fund biannual conferences bringing together some of the
best minds for exploration and increased sharing between sister institutions
in Edmonton, north America and the world.

The Kule Folklore Centre is extremely grateful to the Kules for their
generous contribution to the Centre. Through this gift the Centre will be
able to support the important work they do.

“Folklore is the artistic expression of the common man and woman. Folklore
expresses belief in the most satisfying and meaningful way.  Folklore is
what uplifts the spirit.  With its spiritual power, it is no wonder that
folklore is intimately tied to ethnic identity.  It is that part of our
heritage that the common person most wants to preserve.” – Dr. Natalie
For more information contact: Sheryl Mayko, Communications and
Public Relations Officer, Kule Folklore Centre; Email:
Dr. Natalie Kononenko, Kule Chair of Ukrainian Ethnography
University of Alberta, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
200 Arts Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E6
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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