Daily Archives: September 22, 2006

AUR#761 Sept 22 The Making Of Sheva; The Hired Assassin; Viktor Baloha:Yushchenko’s New Favourite; Rudderless Ship; Halyna Krychevska-Linde; Babi Yar

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               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
              Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
    Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
         This exclusive extract from a new book charts the remarkable story of
              Chelsea’s Andrei Shevchenko: from a childhood blighted by the
                 Chernobyl disaster, through a tough footballing education in
                                 Ukraine to fame and fortune in the West.
The Independent, London, United Kingdom, Thursday, Sep 21, 2006

2.                                      THE HIRED ASSASSIN
      After three years of hot pursuit Chelsea finally have the player Roman
Abramovich wanted more than any other – Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukrainian
    superstar with the American model wife and one of the world’s greatest
 players. He talks exclusively to James Eve, in London, about the horror of
   Chernobyl, his Champions League ambitions and how Giorgio Armani
                                         helped him to find love.

By James Eve, The Observer, London, UK, Sunday September 03 2006

                              Profile of new presidential chief of staff
: By Viktor Chyvokunya
Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Sep 21, 2006

Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 20 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 20, 2006

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 21 Sep 06;
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Sep 21, 2006

By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 21, 2006


Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 21, 2006

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, UK, Thursday, September 21 2006


Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, 21 September 2006

10.                                      RUDDERLESS SHIP
   So who’s leading the country now? It seems like a ship without a captain.
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Sep 21 2006


                                    ANOTHER 200 FOLLOWERS”
                    Website reveals Ukrainian premier’s speech at NATO
Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Sep 21, 2006

12.                            TEMPTATIONS OF DEMOCRACY
     Any talk of parliamentary democracy in this country is premature. The

    opposition and the authorities are used to waging wars against each other.
There are no winners in these wars. Instead, there is a whole nation of hostages.
: By Serhii Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN) On The Web, Mirror-Weekly
International Social Political Weekly, No. 35 (614)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 16 – 22 September 2006 year

New Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to Ukraine
By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #28
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 19, 2006


By Heather Fernuik, Special to The Ukrainian Weekly
The Ukrainian Weekly, Vol. LXXIV, No. 38, p. 4 and 22
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, September 17, 2006

                                  BABI YAR UKRAINE MASSACRE
By Jeremy Wimpfheimer and Daniel Epstein
Israel News Agency, Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Sep 21, 2006

Live Video Webcast Friday Of Presentation By Former US Ambassador Pifer

By John A. Kun, Vice President/COO
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, Washington, D.C., Thu, Sep 21, 2006
     This exclusive extract from a new book charts the remarkable story of
          Chelsea’s Andrei Shevchenko: from a childhood blighted by the
             Chernobyl disaster, through a tough footballing education in
                            Ukraine to fame and fortune in the West.

The Independent, London, United Kingdom, Thursday, Sep 21, 2006

This article is from the (RED) edition of The Independent of 21 September
2006, guest-designed by Giorgio Armani. Half the revenue from the edition
will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight Aids.

‘At the time Chernobyl didn’t affect us too much. Of course, for too many
others is had terrible consequences. It was all hidden from us’

Andrei Shevchenko, the most expensive player ever to sign with a UK club and
the greatest footballer to have emerged from Eastern Europe, was born on 29
September 1976 in the village of Dvirkivshchyna, the son of a kindergarten
teacher and a captain in a Red Army tank regiment.

Though far from wealthy, his parents Lubov and Nikolaj – next-door
neighbours in their youth – created a happy home for Andrei and his sister,
Yelena. Endless football, skating in winter, fishing with his father and
idyllic summers on the Black Sea all made for a contented youth.

But at the age of nine, Andrei and his school were evacuated to the Black
Sea after the nuclear disaster of April 1986 in nearby Chernobyl. His class,
however, only moved in the autumn, some four months after.

“At the time, it did not affect us too much. Of course, for too many others
it had terrible consequences. But the tragedy and all its after-effects were
more talked about in the West. It was all hidden from us there,” recalls
Andrei, whose foundation today helps children in need and orphans in the

Shevchenko’s talent had already been recognised. Four weeks before the
tragedy he signed for the youth team of Dynamo Kiev, who were then coached
by the legendary Valery Lobanovsky, former trainer of the Soviet Union.

“For a child at that time, Dynamo Kiev had always been the greatest team in
Kiev, in Ukraine!” Shevchenko remembers.
                                FIRST STEPS IN FOOTBALL
‘It’s my people who watch me, who respect me. I play for them. That’s why
it’s important’

Father Nikolaj was reluctant to see his son become a player, but eventually,
like everyone, recognised Andrei’s ability. “My parents left the choice
tome, they never said, ‘Do this, do that’. They said it’s best you choose,”
Shevchenko says.

By the age of 14, Andrei was already making his mark internationally, as the
young Dynamo team won the Ian Rush Cup in Wales in 1990, and Andrei,
as the top scorer, received a pair of boots from the famous marksman.

As a child of a military family, Andrei always appeared spick and span.
Already foreign newspapers were noticing the handsome and impeccably
kitted out goalscorer.

His goalscoring touch was such he became the symbol of the fruits of
glasnost on a youth tour of Germany, where already his self-confidence and
good looks made him stand out.

Aged 15, Andrei had burnished a major local reputation, boosted after he
scored for Ukraine’s youth team live on national television in a 2-2 draw
with Holland.

Aged 18, Andrei broke into Dynamo’s first team at a golden time. Dynamo
won five consecutive league titles and three Cups, as Shevchenko scored 60

He also notched a remarkable 20 for Dynamo in the Champions’ League,
including a hat-trick against Barcelona in Nou Camp – the first by a
Ukrainian in the competition.

“In Kiev we had beaten Barcelona 3-0, and a friend said, ‘Let’s see how you
do in the return,’ and bet me I wouldn’t score three goals. He ended up
buying that dinner/’ Andrei chuckles.

But Sheva’s greatest season for Dynamo was 1998-99, when in the Champions’
League he scored in each match against Lens and a penalty against Arsenal as
Kiev won their group.

In the quarter-final, Andrei rifled in three to eliminate Real Madrid before
racking up two against Bayern Munich, fruitlessly as the Germans squeezed

Later, when Milan paid pounds 18m to buy the player, Lobanovsky nicknamed
him “The White Ronaldo”, while Italian fans dubbed him the new Marco van
Basten. Seven years on Chelsea were to almost double that price when they
lured Andrei from Italy to England.

Lobanovsky was to be an immense influence on Andrei, for whom loyalty is a
key value. He drove his young charge hard at Kontcha Zaspa, the mythical
training camp with 500 rooms, immense Socialist Realist pool, sauna,, gym
and covered and open-air pitches 10 miles from central Kiev.

Like many young Eastern Europeans back then, Sheva was a heavy smoker,
consuming 30-40 cigarettes per day, something the old hand Lobanovsky was
determined to stop. He forced him to drink a nicotine-based solution, which
made him feel powerfully sick and reject cigarettes ever since.

Shevchenko’s greatest remaining ambition came true on 3 September, 2005
when Ukraine qualified for their first World Cup.

Three times they had been eliminated in the play-offs, to Croatia in 1997,
Slovenia in 1999 and Germany in 2001. However, guided by coach Oleg Blokhin,
Ukraine won their group, with Andrei top scorer. Again, Sheva’s statistics
are remarkable – 19 goals in 29 World Cup qualifiers.

“Playing for Ukraine is extra important’ it’s my country. It’s my people who
watch me, who respect me. I play for them. That’s why it’s important. You
are playing for the people, not for anything else, only for them.”

With Dynamo, Sheva wore the 10 or 11 shirt, but with the national team and
Milan – and now Chelsea – he took to wearing No 7, in part because he felt
it brought him luck, but also because Sheva means seventh in Hebrew. His
official website is: www.sheva7.com.

Andrei does not like to make comparisons with his contemporaries, though
when pressed names his four favourite past players as Blokhin, Van Basten,
Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff.

When it comes to defenders, he cites five fearsome opponents: Paolo
Mal-dini, Ciro Ferrara, Lilian Thuram, John Terry and Jilrgen Kohler, “who
was maybe the toughest of the lot”.
                                  THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
‘Losing to Liverpool was a beautiful moment’ I would never change it. Even
if we lost, we also learnt’

Andrei exploded into SerieA with the Rossoneri, scoring on his debut. With
24 goals he finished up capocannoniere (top scorer) in Italy in his first
season. Almost immediately, Milan’s tifosi began calling him Super Sheva.

Shevchenko went on to score 173 goals in seven seasons with Milan, a
exceptional figure in the tough-tackling and defensive minded Italian

His European scoring average was even better. On 23 November 2005 he scored
four in a Champions’ League game, an achievement matched only by four other
players, Van Basten, Si-mone Inzaghi, Dado Prso and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

And he knows how to take the rough with the smooth: his missed shoot-out
penalty sealed Liverpool’s remarkable comeback from 3-0 down at half-time in
the Istanbul Champions’ League final of 2005, an emotionally exhausting
defeat for the Italians.

“This was an important moment to face. Life is not made up just of
victories, but also losses. When you are down, you rise up and go ahead.
This was a beautiful moment’ I would never change it. Even if we lost, we
also learnt,” he shrugs.

“These famous six minutes completely changed the destiny of Milan. It’s not
true what was written that we thought we’d win. We continued to play’ we
even played very well.

For us, that is football and that is why I would not change this moment.
Liverpool did what they had to do in those six minutes, you recognise that.”
‘I said I would not even think about it. But I wished him good luck creating
this new Chelsea. Now we are ready for each other’

The latest chapter in Sheva’s football career began in May 2006 when he
signed a four-year contract with Chelsea for a record fee – “I want to
finish my career here.”

On signing Sheva, the Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho declared: “Today is a
day when the dream became reality. Andrei has always been my first choice
for Chelsea since I arrived.

He has great qualities, ambition, discipline, tactical awareness and of
course he is a great goalscorer.” Mourinho knew the sting of Sheva’s
scoring – when Sheva scored the winner in the 2003 Uefa Super Cup the
opposition was Mourinho’s Porto.

After two Premiership titles, the key target for Chelsea must be the
Champions’ League, which is where Sheva comes in. He was the top marksman
in that tournament last season with nine goals. Sheva is full of admiration
for the team Roman Abramovich has busily built with his petroroubles.

“Chelsea is a beautiful team, very well constructed and, above all, with
very special, passionate fans,” Sheva says. “I hope to win the Champions’
League and Premiership with Chelsea. I play for the team, not just to score
lots of goals, but also to make my contribution. “There has always been
competition at Milan, a huge team, so I’m used to it.

Teams are not just 11 players. Chelsea have many objectives: Premiership, FA
Cup, League Cup, the Champions’ League, so everyone has a role and a chance
to play.”

Shevchenko first met Abramovich shortly after the Russian billionaire bought

“I met him in Milan’s Four Seasons [hotel]. He was in town to speak with
Internazionale, who had players that interested him. Roman asked me right
away would I think of coming to his team.

But that was when Milan had just won the Champions’ League and I said I
would not even think about it. But I wished him good luck creating this new
Chelsea Now we are ready for each other.”

Abramovich and Mourinho are the latest wise men to guide the trajectory of
Sheva, a man who speaks with great respect for his own father. Lobanovsky,
Blokhin, [Silvio] Berlusconi and [Carlo] Ancelotti were all mentors’ now
it’s the turn of Roman, and Jose.

Sheva arrived in London the mirror image of the pampered modern player,
the spoilt millionaire indulged by Footballers’ Wives.

He is the consummate professional and, statistically, the best striker ever
in the Champions’ League. No wonder Roman hired Andrei. If Sheva’s the
missing piece on the Holy Grail that is the Champions’ League, he will be
worth every penny.
‘It was clear people needed help’

Sport is not his only connection to his native land. The Andrei Shevchenko
Foundation raises funds to refurbish existing orphanages, donate modern
hospital equipment and train hospital staff, doctors, social workers and
qualified psychologists in a battle to help children in need and orphans.

In May 2005, his foundation raised EURlm (pounds 670,000) through abenefit
match in San Siro where Maradona and Richard Gere lent their support and
personalities like tennis star Andrei Medvedev, gymnast Yuri Chechi and
boxer Vladimir Klitschko appeared.

“The foundation began because so many letters arrived. It was clear people
needed help. First we bought a machine for a neonatal hospital, then I
visited the hospital and we bought more machines and then ambulances.
Slowly but surely you do more. You see that people really needed support.”

Sheva is determined to use his fame and reach to build the Andrei Shevchenko
Foundation, which raises money for children suffering with leukemia and
cancer. The Foundation bankrolled a fully equipped ambulance for newly born
babies for Bojarka’s Paediatric Regional Hospital.

Next, it financed a boarding school for orphaned and needy children in
Pereyaslov Khmelnitskiy and another in Volodarka, Kiev Region. Information
on the Andrei Shevchenko Foundation or how to make a donation is available
on www.sheva7.com.                              -30-
Extracted from ‘Sheva’, a biography of Andrei Shevchenko, written by Godfrey
Deeny and specially commissioned by Giorgio Armani, who will be donating
royalties from the sales of the book to the Andrei Shevchenko Foundation.
LINK: http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/premiership/article1645611.ece

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
2.                                  THE HIRED ASSASSIN
    After three years of hot pursuit Chelsea finally have the player Roman
Abramovich wanted more than any other – Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukrainian
     superstar with the American model wife and one of the world’s greatest
   players. He talks exclusively to James Eve, in London, about the horror of
     Chernobyl, his Champions League ambitions and how Giorgio Armani
                                         helped him to find love.

By James Eve, The Observer, London, UK, Sunday September 03 2006

It was the right place, but the wrong time. In the late summer of 2003
Andriy Shevchenko arrived at the Four Seasons hotel in Milan for a meeting.

By chance, Roman Abramovich had chosen the same hotel – a converted
15th-century convent – for talks of his own. Abramovich, in the short time
since his surprise takeover of Chelsea, was establishing himself as European
football’s most powerful club owner; Shevchenko was still glowing from AC
Milan’s Champions League triumph against Juventus a few months earlier. It
could have been the perfect romance. In the end it was a brief encounter.

‘I happened to have an appointment there at the same time with another
person, who introduced me to Roman,’ Shevchenko says. ‘Straightaway he
asked me whether I’d like to come to Chelsea, but I told him absolutely not,
because I was happy at AC Milan. We’d just won the Champions League.
I spoke to him for another five minutes and that was it.’

Abramovich would not forget their meeting. It soon became apparent that he
wanted the striker above any other to play for him at Chelsea, and so the
wooing began. It started as a stealthy affair. In May 2004, Abramovich and
his chief executive Peter Kenyon travelled to the northern Italian fashion
capital to meet club vice-president Adriano Galliani. The meeting ended with
both parties insisting their talk had been ‘of a general nature only’ and
not about the specificity of a Shevchenko transfer. Few believed them.

The following summer the romance went public. Shevchenko and Abramovich
were photographed in conversation at the stadium in Boston where Chelsea
were playing Milan on a pre-season tour of America. This served only to

intensify speculation that they had been talking, if not meeting, in private as well.

By now, Shevchenko was sending out mixed messages. ‘Even if Milan wanted
to sell me, I wouldn’t leave,’ he said in July 2005, a few weeks after
publicly expressing his respect and admiration for what Abramovich was

trying to achieve at Chelsea.

The British press reported that Abramovich was prepared to pay up to
£85m for the striker. Cifre da fantascienza- ‘fantasy figures’ – said
their Italian counterparts. Milan’s fans would probably argue they reflected
the true value of their man. And the final figure, when the deal was
concluded a year later, was a British transfer record of nearly £31m.

It’s no wonder Abramovich was so eager to sign the Ukrainian superstar. His
European experience fits neatly with Chelsea’s ambition of winning the
Champions League – he has 43 goals in the competition and only Real Madrid’s
Raul of current players, with 51, has scored more.

Three times the Ukrainian has been the competition’s top scorer across a
season and he remains one of the game’s most consistent strikers.
Importantly, for a player who turns 30 later this month, he is capable of
adapting quickly to a new league – at Milan he became the only foreigner
 ever to finish top scorer in his first Serie A season.

This summer, Shevchenko captained Ukraine in their first appearance in the
World Cup. Despite the shock of a heavy defeat in their first game, he led
his side to the quarter-finals, where they lost to the eventual champions,
Italy. A country whose league he had by then agreed to leave.

‘Milan is a big club, a great club, but for him to leave Milan for Chelsea
is a big statement about where Chelsea is,’ said Jose Mourinho about a
player who may have been pressed upon him by Abramovich.

There is without doubt an affinity of sorts between Shevchenko and
Abramovich, the footballer and the oil billionaire. Most obviously, they
speak Russian, are both former citizens of the Soviet Union and, for all
their present wealth and comfort, know hardship and early struggle: while
the Russian Abramovich began his business empire flogging plastic ducks
from a grim Moscow apartment, Shevchenko escaped Europe’s worst
nuclear disaster in his native Ukraine to become Shevagol, the ‘Wind from
the East’, ‘the White Ronaldo’.

We meet on a wet West London evening at the hotel in Kensington where
he is living with his 28-year-old American wife, Kristen Pazik, a former
model, and their 22-month-old son Jordan. He arrives a little late, having

spent the afternoon playing golf at the exclusive Wisley club in Surrey.

He must be tired, but he shakes everybody’s hand and smiles, relaxed in his
new surroundings. There’s nothing showy in his manner, no strut or swagger.

He’s dressed simply but well in dark grey trousers and a black T-shirt; he
negotiates the photo-shoot with practised ease. He is used to being
photographed, having modelled for his friend Giorgio Armani, with whom
he opened two boutiques back in his former hometown of Kiev.

Armani played a role in his relationship with Pazik, whom he met in 2002 at
a post-show party organised by the celebrated designer; they married in July
2004 on a golf course in Washington DC. She is tall and blonde and graceful.
Usually she would take part in the shoot, but not today: she is seven
months’ pregnant, with a son, and keen to avoid the lens.

In Italy Pazik has been accused of enticing Shevchenko away from Milan. Her
friendship with Abramovich’s wife, Irina, with whom she goes shopping, and
her wish to bring up their children in an English-speaking culture were
reported as important influences on her husband’s decision to join Chelsea.

Adriano Galliani, the Italian club’s vice-president who was reported to have
held those preliminary transfer talks with Abramovich in 2004, described
Shevchenko’s departure as ‘a victory of the English language over the
Italian language’.

Shevchenko is defensive but defiant. ‘I don’t see why I should have to
explain to loads of people why we’ve moved,’ he says, speaking in precise,
accented Italian. ‘Kristen is American, I’m Ukrainian and we’ve spent the
last few years living in Italy. We’ve already got one kid and there’s
another on the way. They will need stability and part of that is about what
language they are going to speak as they grow up. The decision to come to
London was a family decision about what was best for them.’

That has not stopped some Milan fans from, inevitably, branding him a
‘traitor’. Perhaps their irritation is understandable: his departure is a
blow for Serie A, which is still grappling with the fallout from the
match-fixing scandal.

After the departures of other top players, including Italy’s World
Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, Brazil midfielder Emerson and

France defender Lilian Thuram, all to Spain, Shevchenko’s move abroad
confirmed the growing unease about the fading glamour and appeal of a
league not long ago seen as the most prestigious in the world.

More recently, La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Milan-based daily newspaper,
published a barbed account of the Shevchenkos’ busy social calendar since
arriving in London: golf, shopping excursions, a Madonna concert, the
musical Chicago and dinner at smart restaurants. How quickly he has
forgotten us, it implied.

Shevchenko and Pazik have just found a rented apartment close to Stamford
Bridge. Had Abramovich offered to lend him one of his many residences, as
was widely reported? ‘No. It wouldn’t be appropriate,’ he said. ‘He’s the
owner of the club. He’s my boss and I’m his employee. I want to keep it that

Andriy Shevchenko was born on 29 September 1976 and spent his early years in
the village of Dvirkivschyna, 60 miles south of Kiev, before moving with his
parents to the capital of what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist
Republic. His father Mykola was a mechanic in the army, his mother Lyubov
worked in a nursery.

When he was nine, on 26 April 1986 a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded,
spewing a vast radioactive cloud into the skies. The family home in Kiev was
only 80 miles away. ‘We knew something was going on because my father was in
the army, but mostly it was just rumours,’ he says now. ‘People continued to
go to work and go about their business. There was no panic. For days the
press and television would not say exactly what had happened, how serious it

The Soviet authorities were unsure what to do, waiting until the school
exams were over before evacuating the children, including Shevchenko and his
sister Elena, who is three years older, to live on the coast in the east of
the country, near Donetsk. ‘We were all taken off to the sea, to go camping.

Eventually, after two or three months, my parents came to pick us up. It’s
only now, years later, with all the genetic illnesses that have started to
emerge, that we’ve begun to understand the scale of the disaster. And people
didn’t just get sick. They also lost their homes, their possessions.’
Shevchenko has since set up a charitable foundation for sick children, many
suffering from birth defects, the result of the catastrophe at Chernobyl.

As a child, he was enthralled by football and, at the age of 10, was spotted
by Dynamo Kiev scout Alexander Shpakov. He was invited to join the club’s
youth programme. Following perestroika, the programme of economic
restructuring and liberalisation introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev, the
opportunities for a young player had never been so good. He travelled to
Germany, Italy and England.

In 1990, as part of Dynamo’s under-14 team, he finished top scorer in the
Ian Rush Cup in Wales and was awarded a pair of boots by the Liverpool
striker. ‘Funnily enough, the boots were too small for me but I still tried
to play in them – until my big toes poked through,’ he says, laughing. He has
kept them to this day.

When he was 16, Shevchenko failed a dribbling test for a place at a
specialist sports university in Kiev. ‘After that, I had to choose: whether
to continue with football or take another direction. It was difficult, but I
never lost my self-belief. I told my parents I wanted a bit more time to
prove myself. A few weeks later, Dynamo’s second team stepped in. A year
later [in 1994] I was playing in the first team.’

Dynamo had won the Soviet Union’s championship a record 13 times and now
dominated their domestic rivals in the league of the independent Ukraine. In
five seasons, Shevchenko won five league titles and scored 60 goals in 118
appearances. But thrashing Dnipro and Shakhtar Donetsk was easy. Recognition
abroad depended on success against Europe’s top clubs and Shevchenko might
have been easily missed were it not for the appointment of Valery Lobanovsky
as coach.

Lobanovsky was 58 and already a hero to Dynamo fans when he returned to the
club at the start of the 1997-98 season. As a winger, he had formed part of
the great Dynamo side that won the Soviet league title in 1961 – the first
side from outside Moscow to do so. Then, in 1974, he took over as coach.

He held the position for 15 of the next 17 years, a period in which the club
won the Soviet league eight times. He also had three spells when he was in
charge of the Soviet Union national side: his teams won Olympic bronze in
1976 and finished as runners-up at the 1988 European Championship.

Lobanovsky left Ukrainian football in the early Nineties to take charge of
the United Arab Emirates and then Kuwait but, after watching Shevchenko and
strike partner Sergei Rebrov in action in the winter of 1996, he was
persuaded to return home.

‘He was the greatest coach in Dynamo’s history and the father of Ukrainian
football,’ Shevchenko says. ‘We called him “The Colonel”. He was a
disciplinarian and a very intelligent man – I don’t just mean tactically. To
be successful as a coach you need more than tactics. Lobanovsky was
constantly looking ahead, trying to work out where football was going next.
He was the first Ukrainian coach to use sports science to get the best out
of his players.’

Lobanovsky died in 2002. Shortly after winning the 2003 Champions League
title with AC Milan, Shevchenko took the trophy to Kiev and stopped off by
his old coach’s grave. ‘It was my way of thanking him for what he gave me.

Without doubt he was the coach that changed me most. He taught me the need
to be patient, he instilled the culture of work in me and the importance of
respecting your adversary. He laid the foundations on which my career is

The respect was mutual. Comparing Shevchenko to some of Europe’s
more established stars in 1998, Lobanovsky said: ‘Big-name players get so
far and become complacent. Look at Ronaldo. He’s still improving, as he
should at his age. But he stands around when he isn’t scoring. I wouldn’t
swap him for Shevchenko, who puts in valuable teamwork.’

Under Lobanovsky, Dynamo made the step up from domestic domination to
progress in the Champions League. In the 1997-98 season they reached the
quarter-finals of the competition, the highlight of their campaign a 4-0 win
over Barcelona at the Nou Camp, in which Shevchenko scored a first-half

‘It was the night I was “discovered”. After that there was no hiding,’ he
recalls. The team went even further the following year, beating reigning
champions Real Madrid in the last eight, and could have reached the final if
they hadn’t squandered a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 in the first leg of their
semi-final against Bayern Munich. But Dynamo were ultimately victims of
their own success, with their best players being lured away by wealthier and
more glamorous western clubs. In the summer of 1999, AC Milan, then Serie A
champions, signed Shevchenko for £26m.

‘It was like starting my life from scratch,’ he says of the move to Italy.
His first coach, Alberto Zaccheroni, remembers him as being ‘quiet, maybe a
bit shy, and respectful. But right from the start he had a great desire to
learn – not that he needed much help. He just seemed to soak it up. His
record speaks for itself.’

‘He seemed to settle quite quickly,’ recalls Gazzetta dello Sport
correspondent Alessandra Bocci, who followed Shevchenko during his seven
years in Italy. ‘He was shy, but there was also a quiet confidence about
him. It was clear … he had something to say. And he was never the kind of
player who would go out to curry favour with the fans. He wasn’t like
[Gennaro] Gattuso, for example, who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Big gestures weren’t his style. It’s easy to forget, but back then Milan
wasn’t a team of stars. For a few years at the beginning he propped up a side

that was struggling to hold its own, and he had to wait a long time [five
seasons] before winning the Serie A title. There was a lot of responsibility
on him – that’s a tough thing for a kid of 23 to handle, especially a
foreign player. But he always remained very approachable, even when he
became the star.’

At home, in Ukraine, Shevchenko remains a national hero, though fame can be
perilous. In late 2004, for instance, he became caught up in the country’s
presidential elections, in which the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych faced the
reformist, pro-Western Victor Yushchenko. The contest was marred by
corruption and voter intimidation and the sinister suggestion that
Yushchenko had been poisoned. How else to account for his sudden facial

During the campaign Shevchenko appeared on national television and glumly
read a prepared statement that endorsed Yanukovych, who drew his support
largely from the eastern part of Ukraine, the region where the footballer
was evacuated as a child in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster.

The great hero who had departed for the West and married an American
looked like a man reading his own death warrant. When Shakhtar Donetsk
fans visited Milan for a Champions League fixture a few weeks later, they
unfurled a banner with the simple message: ‘Your choice made the nation

Since then Shevchenko has tried to distance himself from what happened. He
spoke of enjoying ‘warm words’ with Yushchenko when the latter, then
installed as President, congratulated him on becoming European Footballer of
the Year in 2004. ‘The people in Ukraine deserve democracy,’ he says now.

Then, with anger: ‘It’s bullshit. A big load of bullshit. Listen, politics
is a shitty world. I want to stay well away from it, and well away from
newspapers and TV stations that are standing up for one candidate or
another. I’m an athlete. I represent my country. Whenever I’m called on to
play, I play. And when the time comes to stop, I’ll stop. But I do all this
because I want to, not because someone is forcing me to.’

There was further controversy last month, this time trivial, when, on his
competitive debut for Chelsea, he kissed the badge on his shirt as he
celebrated scoring in the 2-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool. Former
team-mates at Milan were disgusted. ‘It’s best if I don’t say what I really
think,’ said Gennaro Gattuso, the bearded midfield mastiff. ‘It looks like
he has fallen for his new team in a hurry,’ team coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

‘People give far too much importance to things like this,’ Shevchenko says
now. ‘They don’t look at the person, they look at some tiny gesture instead.
When I was at Milan, I didn’t win the fans over by kissing my shirt. I did
it through the way I played on the pitch. Here at Chelsea I want to do the

He says he misses friends in Italy but is adapting quickly to life in
London. The hotel where he lives employs Italian staff and Chelsea use an
Italian cook on their travels. As for the football, ‘it’s faster, more
physical and less tactical than in Italy. The smaller teams seem to go for
the long-ball approach and, in general, teams don’t try to keep possession
so long, and the defenders close you down much faster.’

His ambition above all others is to win the Champions League with Chelsea,
especially as he was part of the Milan team that lost the final on penalties
to Liverpool in 2005, having led 3-0 at half-time. Shevchenko missed the
decisive penalty in the shootout. ‘It was incredibly painful at the time,
but I’ve learned to see it in a positive light. The team was playing well
that night, there was a great feeling between the players. In my opinion we
deserved to win, but Dudek made an incredible save to stop me scoring [in
extra time]. That’s just part of football.’

What is also now ‘just part of football’, or of English football at any
rate, is the constant media attention from both sport and showbusiness
journalists. With his model wife, who likes to pose nude, Shevchenko is more
likely than many of his team-mates to feel this intense exposure. Kristen
admits that she has already been surprised by the close scrutiny of the
British tabloid press. Yet Andriy is still engagingly open in conversation
and manner. Perhaps this is because in Italy the relationship between
footballers and reporters remains comparatively accessible and relaxed,
whereas here in England they are protected by image makers and are often
paid for interviews (as if they needed the money).

By way of confirming his naivety, the week before we spoke, he had driven on
his own to Wentworth, hoping to pay a green fee for a round at the exclusive
Surrey golf club. The three gentlemen with whom he made up a four-ball must
have been as thrilled as they were unsettled to be joined for the afternoon
by Britain’s most expensive footballer. Perhaps the ultimate test of his
assimilation into Premiership culture, then, will not be how many goals he
scores, but whether he is still making such spontaneous trips at the end of
the season.
                         THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ANDRIY 
1976: Born on 29 September in Dvirkivshchyna, Ukraine. His father,
Mykola, served in the Red Army and his mother, Lyubov, was a nurse.
1986: Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs in April. His family is forced to
abandon their home in Kiev and move to the coast in the east of the country.
Later that year, he is brought to Dynamo Kiev after a scout spots him
playing in a youth tournament.
1994: Breaks into the Dynamo first team. He goes on to win five successive
Ukrainian league championships between 1994-95 and 1998-99.
1995: Wins his first international cap for Ukraine against Croatia.
1996: Scores his first goal for Ukraine in a 3-2 defeat against Turkey.
1999: Signs for AC Milan for £26m in July, making his league debut in
a 2-2 draw with Lecce. Becomes the first non-Italian to be top scorer in
Serie Ain his debut season, with 24 league goals.
2003: Scores the winning penalty as Milan beat Juventus in a shootout in the
Champions League final at Old Trafford.
2004: He is again top scorer in Serie A and Milan win the title for the
first time since his arrival. In July, he marries American model Kristen
Pazik on a golf course in Washington, DC. The couple had met at an Armani
after-show party. A few months later, Kristen gives birth to their son,
Jordan. Andriy is named European Footballer of the Year.
2005: After leading 3-0 at half time, Milan lose the Champions League final
against Liverpool on penalties. Shevchenko’s miss in the shootout is
2006: In May, he signs for Chelsea for an English transfer record of more
than 30m and in June he captains Ukraine in their first World Cup.

Their first match is a 4-0 defeat by Spain, but he scores against Saudi
Arabia and Tunisia as Ukraine reach the quarter-finals, where they lose to
Italy. Scores on his Chelsea debut in August in the Community Shield against
Liverpool.                                         -30-
NOTE: James Eve is a sportswriter based in Rome.
Email your comments to football.editor@guardianunlimited.co.uk.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                          Profile of new presidential chief of staff

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Chyvokunya
Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Sep 21, 2006

The Ukrainian president’s new chief of staff is a good manager and family
friend, a website has reported. He comes from Transcarpathian Region where
he earned his reputation for leadership and the ability to defence political

Baloha owns no business, but his wife has stakes in 14 companies, the
website said.

The author also said Baloha will defend the President Viktor Yushchenko
against Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

The following is the text of the article by Viktor Chyvokunya, entitled
“Baloha: Yushchenko’s new favourite”, published on the Ukrayinska Pravda
website on 19 September, subheadings appear as in the original:

[Ukrainian President] Viktor Yushchenko, [newly-appointed presidential chief
of staff] Viktor Baloha and [former Prime Minister] Yuriy Yekhanurov. This
is who jumped into the freezing water to mark the baptism of Christ and this
is the order in which they jumped. That happened on 19 January 2006.

Now this threesome can unite under one roof in the building on Bankova
Street [where the presidential secretariat is located].

Baloha has already made the jump as the president’s secretary. The decree
employing Yuriy Yekhanurov as the secretary of the National Security and
Defence Council [NSDC] is on its way.

Baloha’s being at the helm of the secretariat is a symbol of the changes
which have taken place in Ukraine with the advent of Viktor Yanukovych as
prime minister. The epoch when it was necessary to demonstrate democracy in
the presidential secretariat has ended. Now it is time to hold the defences.

A grating epithet has often sounded in Baloha’s address – he is also called
a “crisis manager”. The analogy is easy to read: he will defend Yushchenko
from Yanukovych’s advances as [chief of staff of former President Leonid
Kuchma, Viktor] Medvedchuk once defended Kuchma from the opposition.

Perhaps now the room where the head of the secretariat relaxes will finally
lose the weight machine that Medvedchuk left behind. Not because Baloha does
not like sports, simply he hates everything associated with the United
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine [USDPU]

Yushchenko’s aide Mykhaylo Doroshenko suggested Baloha’s nomination to
Yushchenko a long time ago. But after Baloha was appointed Minister of
Emergency Situations in the Yanukovych government, it seemed he had fallen
out of the favourites in the race for lobbying to take [former
chief-of-staff Oleh] Rybachuk’s place.

However, a few days ago the version pushed onto the scene that Rybachuk’s
successor was chosen during the celebration of the sixtieth birthday of
Petro Yushchenko, the president’s brother, which took place in the middle of
last week.

The first statement on Rybachuk’s resignation was written in February this
year. After talking to Yushchenko last week, and understanding his
intentions, Rybachuk wrote another one.

The president immediately granted the request of the head of his secretariat
to resign. Rybachuk is going without a specific place to prolong his career.

He declined posts offered him by Yushchenko in the secretariat and the
Foreign Ministry, since these posts looked like clear demotions compared to
his current rank.

And it appears most likely that Rybachuk has nothing else to do but head the
Oshchadnyy Bank holding [state bank] or UkrPoshta [Ukrainian state post],
which his friend Oleksandr Morozov is lobbying for.

Despite Baloha friendly tone during the news conference, it is worth
expecting significant personnel changes in the secretariat. Ivan Vasyunyk is
under threat in his post as first deputy secretary.

The practice of delegating authority which Rybachuk introduced will be
repealed. It’s simply that Baloha will do what Vasyunyk has done up to now –
hands-on management of the secretariat.

This war is destined to end with Baloha’s victory and because he is a most
powerful behind-the-scenes fighter and because he now has a carte blanche
from Yushchenko and because Vasyunyk managed to discredit himself in the
year and a half that he has worked in the secretariat.

Some experts predict Arseniy Yatsenyuk will be appointed to Bankova Street
with the goal of keeping him in the president’s team – he is the single
positive hero of the past year.

Yet there is not information as to whether Yatsenyuk himself desires this.
Life is giving Baloha the urgent task of returning Yushchenko’s influence.

“Earlier, the president could punish. Now he can only ask Yanukovych – and
the latter may agree or may not. And he more frequently chooses the second
variant”, a representative of the prime minister’s circle explained the
logic of the current moment.

Baloha’s projects in his new job could be to repeal political reform and
take processes in the regions under the control of Bankova Street.

Baloha in charge of the secretariat is also an attempt to build a new party
around Yushchenko. As is known, he and Yekhanurov were the ideologues

behind the idea of cleansing Our Ukraine of “dear friends”.

Since some of Our Ukraine’s sponsors no longer believe it can be brought
back to life, the idea of building a new political force in this electoral
niche is growing inside a lot of heads. And now Baloha has one big
advantage – the authority of power.
                               BALOHA’S SECRET SMILE
In contrast to Rybachuk, whose behaviour is like a fountain, Baloha is a
siphon which is not sympathetic to publicly voicing his real intentions. A
smile rarely leaves the face of the newly-appointed chief of staff and in
personal conversations one very quickly begins to feel he is a personal

But, despite simple behaviour and his ability to evoke sympathy, Baloha is a
person whom one does not want to underestimate. He always jokes in

response to difficult questions and does not say it straight.

Baloha is a typical “man”, maybe even with a bit of macho. With all the
attendant accessories. There is a house in Transcarpathian Region at the
foot of Mount Synyak, where every week there is a barbecue or sauna session
where Baloha’s closest team meets. Half of Ukraine’s politicians have been

Under Kuchma, Baloha earned his reputation as a bureaucrat-manager in the
fight with floods. From May 1999 to June 2001 he headed the Transcarpathian
Region Regional Administration for the first time.

This region was the political cradle of [Hryhoriy] Surkis and Medvedchuk –
through the first-past-the-post districts there they were first elected MPs,
opening the doors to big politics.

During that time as governor, Baloha built the first vertically-integrated
chain of the USDPU within one region. But after the conflict with Medvedchuk
in Mukacheve he forced the leaders of district administrations to renounce
the party.

At this stage, Baloha was called the companion of [Our Ukraine member and
former NSDC Secretary Petro] Poroshenko, who had also just split with the

Baloha has long been in the sights of the current president. Even back when
he quit his post as governor after Yushchenko was dismissed as prime
minister. Yushchenko values such gestures.

Baloha’s weak spot is his past. He personifies one of three competing clans
in Transcarpathian Region: Baloha on one side, [Serhiy] Ratushnyak on
another and Medvedchuk via his brother-in-law Chubirek one the third.

Each one of them conquered his place on the map and was an influence in
every possible manner. Baloha’s homeland is Mukacheve, where he was twice
elected mayor. There are no criminal cases which would testify to his ties
to bandits. But everyone in Mukacheve knows who controls the city.

For example, there is a report from May 2004, read in parliament by Ihor
Dryzhchannyy – the then-deputy prosecutor-general and now chief of the
Security Services of Ukraine [SBU].

He was summoned to the podium in connection with the falsified election for
mayor in Mukacheve. Baloha, who took away Medvedchuk’s victory, readied
himself for them no less meticulously than the USDPU.

In particular, the report read that besides skin-heads from USDPU, the
candidate from Our Ukraine also had a support group. These people “were
concentrated in a sports complex for Greco-Roman wrestling in Mukacheve

city and were ready to provide physical support”.

Besides Dryzhchannyy informed, about 200 residents of neighbouring districts
arrived in Mukacheve to support Baloha. They called themselves observers and
activists in the National Congress of Youth and the All-Ukrainian
Association Freedom and the Ukrainian Nationalist Front.

The mayor of the city now is Vasyl Petyovka – the husband of Baloha’s sister
and the right hand of the new head of the presidential secretariat.

Local opponents even joke that the monument in Mukacheve to Cyril and
Methodius [the medieval monks who brought written language to the Slavs] is
“Baloha teaches Petyovka to write”.
                   LEGENDS ROAM OF BALOHA’S GRIP
One legend that is around is this: on the first day of the Orange authority
on 4 February 2005, when Baloha was made governor, after the first
ceremonial meeting of the [Yuliya] Tymoshenko government, he made one

call to Transcarpathian Region – to his trusted person Oleh Havasha.

Baloha gave the order to publicize a number of his decrees – for this, he
had left a packet of documents in Uzhhorod with clean sheets of paper with
his signature at the bottom.

And so the vertical of authority in Transcarpathian Region was formed
literally in one day, while other colleagues were unable to do the same for

And when one of the deputies of the former governor, who represented the
USDPU arrived to work, he was literally taken out of the service automobile
with the words: “Get out and put it in the garage. You don’t have the right
to use it anymore, because you’re fired”.

At the same time, Baloha is a person who is able to make personal contacts.
When he ran in that scandalous election in Mukacheve, he was able to make a
partner of his enemy Serhiy Ratushnyak and even the Communist Mariya

But Baloha is not a public person and he is not known for acts of PR. For
him, it is easier to win an election with food hand-outs, than with a finely
thought-out political strategy.

Old-timers from Kanal 5 recall when they held a marathon in connection with
the falsification of the Mukacheve election – Baloha did not once show up on
air for them.

But Baloha controls the biggest television and radio company in
Transcarpathian Region, M-Studio, which has several times the coverage than
the state regional television. During Kuchma, they “damaged” the information
picture put together by Medvedchuk.

The election in Mukacheve in 2004 was a stage event for Kuchma’s last year
in power. It turned the attention of all diplomats accredited in Ukraine to
this regional district centre and all the leading Western publications wrote
about it, for as it turned out, it was a testing ground for falsifying the
next presidential election.

Medvedchuk’s experiment played a cruel joke on him. This election finally
gave birth to a formula for the democratic world: if Yushchenko does not

win the election for president, then that means the election was shuffled.

Yushchenko did not forget his comrade at the end of the revolution. After
the “corruption scandal”, the president promoted Baloha to Minister of
Emergency Situations.

One of the first steps he made was to repair the toilets in the central
building of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, since the only one which
worked normally before that was the one in the minister’s own office.

Over the course of a year, Baloha proved his professional abilities to
Yushchenko four times, during the accident in Alchevsk, the flooding in
Transcarpathian Region, the explosions in Novobahdanivka, and bird flu in
Crimea. In order to prove the safety of Ukrainian domestic chicken, Baloha
lunched on it in front of journalists.

“Baloha has good relations with Yushchenko’s family – thanks to an ability
to engender a good mood on a personal level. Betting on Baloha is betting on
the day-to-day, personal comfort of the president.

The new boss on Bank Street can really solve problems, without distracting
the president with the minutiae”, a source closely acquainted with the new
leader of the secretariat told Ukrayinska Pravda.
                                     BALOHA’S COLOURS
Baloha is not a poor person. Baloha’s main business group in Transcarpathian
Region is Barvy [Colours], which no profitable sphere goes past. It is sort
of a mini Lyuks in Mukacheve.

Once former Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov tried to tell journalists that
the members of his cabinet were not involved in commerce.

“Well, maybe there is Baloha…[ellipsis as published] Maybe they put him in
row 27 of Kiev businessmen, and put him in with business. Yes…[ellipsis as
published] But it’s mostly talk”, Yekhanurov said then.

In his official declaration for 2005, it reads that he received 105,146
hryvnyas of income, which came exclusively from his wage accounts as a state
servant. In his declaration, Baloha said he had no money of his own in the
bank and he only owned a number nine Lada [very common, inexpensive

At the same time, his family’s income in 2005 was 915,989 hryvnyas including
wages of 909,000 hryvnyas.

According to the declaration, the minister’s family owns two plots of land
of 2,406 and 341 square metres and two flats of 101.1 and 51.8 square meters
and a garage of 43 square metres. Baloha’s family also owns two automobiles,
an Audi All-Road and a Daimler-Chrysler.

Members of Baloha’s family have bank accounts of only 22,068 hryvnyas. The
size of their investments in authorized capital of enterprises and
organizations is 1,488,300 hryvnyas.

At the present time, Baloha is not listed as the founder of any company. But
his wife Oksana figures as a shareholder in 14 enterprises:

LLC Barvy
Open Joint-Stock Company Mukachivska Avtobaza [Mukacheve automobile

LLC Vysokyy Zamok [regional newspaper]
LLC Barvy Cultural and Arts Centre
LLC Matriks Mukacheve
LLC Prodyuser
LLC Hart
LLC Mukachivskyy Institut Mebliv [Mukacheve furniture institute]
LLC Zakarpatska Prodovolcha Hrupa [Transcarpathian food group]
LLC Avto M
LLC Partner
LLC Torhovyy Dim Okan
LLC Rusyniya
LLC Starovynnyy Zamok

Baloha himself is modest in characterizing his entrepreneurial achievements.
When Our Ukraine held a congress and failed to exclude the “dear friends”
from the party, Yevhen Chervonenko told Baloha he has no moral right to
criticize them: since the Barva company was operational while
[Chervonenko’s] Orlan was ruined.

To which Baloha replied: “Even 1,000 of my Barvy would be too small to
compare to what Orlan is. They are completely different companies in terms
of size. Don’t try to compare an elephant to a mouse. You just have to work
normally and not make a joke out of nothing”                   -30-

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

Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 20 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 20, 2006

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko has appointed Viktor Bondar and

Arseniy Yatsenyuk deputy heads of the presidential secretariat. Decrees
to this effect are posted on the president’s official website.

Yatsenyuk was appointed the first deputy head of the presidential
secretariat and the president’s representative in the Cabinet of Ministers.

As reported earlier, on Saturday [16 September] Yushchenko appointed

[former Emergencies Minister] Viktor Baloha head of the presidential
secretariat. Bondar was the transport minister in the [Yuriy] Yekhanurov
cabinet and Yatsenyuk the economics minister.            -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 21 Sep 06;
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Sep 21, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has appointed Taras

Stetskiv his adviser, the UNIAN news agency reported on 12 September.
Stetskiv was an activist of the Orange revolution, which brought
Yushchenko to power in 2004. Then he headed the National TV Company.

Yushchenko also appointed Oleksandr Chalyy deputy head of his

secretariat, UNIAN reported on the same day. Earlier, Chalyy was a
deputy foreign minister.                             -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 21, 2006

BRUSSELS – Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine said Thursday
that his socialist government’s chief priority was social stability and that
he would not introduce reforms in response to pressure from the European

Meeting top EU officials in Brussels for the second time in a week, he was
again urged to conclude negotiations to join the World Trade Organization by
the end of the year to bring Ukraine closer to EU policies and eventual
membership in the European bloc.

He also warned that he would not risk igniting the kind of anti-reform
protests that swept Hungary this week, when thousands of demonstrators in
Budapest lashed out at Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurscany for lying repeatedly
about the economy and then proposing harsh measures to reduce a huge
budget deficit.

Ukraine’s other neighbors to the west, including Poland and Slovakia, are
increasingly reluctant to impose further economic changes, while to the
east, President Vladimir Putin of Russia continues to strengthen central
power. Given those considerations, Yanukovich appears to be in no hurry.

“You should understand that this government will protect the national
interests of Ukraine and you should underline this in red,” Yanukovich said
during a 45-minute interview in Brussels before meeting with the president
of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

If he chooses to introduce reforms at all, it “would be a long-term
program,” he said. “The decisions will be realistic and pragmatic. Not
populist. But Ukrainian. We will not respond to orders.”

Yanukovich is an enthusiastic pro- Russian who was ousted in the peaceful
Orange Revolution in December 2004 but has made a remarkable comeback.
In parliamentary elections in March, his faction defeated the pro-Western
parties that led the Orange Revolution.

One of those parties, Our Ukraine, led by President Viktor Yushchenko, had
made fast-track negotiations to join NATO and the EU a foreign policy
priority. Little progress was made because of infighting within the
government and a lack of immediate encouragement from Brussels.

Since taking power last month after long negotiations over the formation of
the new government, Yanukovich has dropped the effort to join NATO – long
opposed by Russia – but is pursuing EU membership. Commission officials said
Thursday that Ukraine would have to accelerate economic reforms simply to
sign a new trade agreement with the EU.

Yanukovich said such a trade accord depended on Ukraine’s completing
negotiations to join the WTO. Pandemonium broke out in Parliament last year
after the Socialist Party balked at reducing tariffs for some agricultural
produce as part of the WTO talks. The Socialist Party, whose main support
comes from small farmers, is now part of Yanukovich’s coalition.

When asked if WTO negotiations would be complete by the end of this year,
the timetable set by the previous government, Yanukovich hesitated. “I will
never say that we will do something today,” he said.

“I want to say that the speed will be optimal to the extent that it will be
able to speed up when the laws are ratified. There is a need to protect the
domestic producers. They have to be able to withstand competitive

Yanukovich could face problems this winter, when gas prices will be
substantially increased. An agreement last January between the Yushchenko
government and Gazprom, Russia’s state- own energy monopoly, stipulated that
Gazprom would raise the price of gas to Ukraine from $60 per 1,000 cubic
meters to $95 this year.

That price was far below the $250 demanded by Gazprom, largely because
Ukraine was also buying gas from Turkmenistan that passed through Russia to
reach Ukraine.

Yanukovich said gas prices would increase because of a deal made this month
between Turkmenistan and Gazprom. Gazprom agreed pay $100 per 1,000 cubic
meters, an increase of $35. This means that Ukraine will no longer be able
to buy cheap Turkmen gas, since that gas will be sold to Ukraine via Russia.

Asked how he was going to explain the higher price for gas, Yanukovich
blamed the previous two governments led by Yushchenko. “They left us this
legacy,” he said. “Because of them, Ukraine lost its direct supplies of gas
from Turkmenistan. Now Russia carries responsibility for the supply of gas
to Ukraine and the transit of gas to Europe.”

He gave no indication that Putin was prepared to make any concessions over
the gas price even though Yanukovich has managed to shift Ukraine’s foreign
policy closer to Russia.

Yanukovich made it clear last week that Ukraine was in no rush to join NATO
and that the people would have to vote on such a decision in any event.
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/21/news/ukraine.php
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 21, 2006

BRUSSELS – On a return visit to Brussels today, Ukrainian Prime Minister

Viktor Yanukovych restated his government’s intention to push ahead with
its aim of joining the European Union.

Yanukovych was in the EU capital last week, but came back in order to meet
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso — and reiterate that
Kyiv’s NATO bid is, for now, on ice.

Yanukovych reassured Barroso that Ukraine is still looking to join the
European Union and World Trade Organization.

He also said that Ukraine was pumping enough gas to ensure that Europeans
won’t face a frosty winter — as they did for a few icy days last January,
when Russia blocked its shipments to Ukraine.

“We should move step by step in order for Ukraine and the European Union to
be able to sign an agreement on a free-trade zone within the shortest term
after Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization.”

And Yanukovych also restated his government’s intention to push ahead with
reforms necessary to establish a free-trade zone with the European Union.

“We should move step by step in order for Ukraine and the European Union to
be able to sign an agreement on a free-trade zone within the shortest term
after Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization,” he said.

Linked to that was Yanukovych’s assurance that Ukraine was not attempting to
join a customs union with Russia, something that would scupper the plans for
an EU-Ukraine free-trade zone.

“I have answered this question many times,” the Ukrainian prime minister
said. “It goes against the Ukrainian Constitution and we will never do
                                                   EU FEARS
Since Yanukovych’s appointment as prime minister in August, following months
of political deadlock, there were fears in the EU and United States that
Ukraine would reverse the Westward course it has taken since the 2004 Orange

Yanukovych, the loser of the hotly contested presidential campaign that
sparked the revolution, campaigned on a pro-Russian platform.

Visiting Brussels last week and meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister and
current EU chair, Erkki Tuomioja, Yanukovych gave EU officials an idea of
his government’s intentions — namely that they would continue seeking
membership of the EU.

His comments then were cautiously welcomed. And Barroso today reiterated the
EU’s current offer to Ukraine: closer ties but no mention of membership.

“Our objective is to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union. Our
objective is also to support political, institutional, and economic reforms
in a way [that would] contribute to economic growth and the improvement of
the living standards of Ukrainian citizens,” Barroso said.
                                             NATO BID ON ICE 
The arrival of U.S. troops in the Ukrainian port of Simferapol prompted a
series of protests in June (RFE/RL)Prime Minister Yanukovych also elaborated
on his government’s position regarding NATO.

In Brussels last week, Yanukovych irked his president, Viktor Yushchenko, by
saying there was not enough popular support to join NATO and Ukraine should
move in gradual steps toward its bid to join the alliance.

Yushchenko described Yanukovych’s comments as wrong and said they must be

But today in Brussels, Yanukovych remained defiant, saying the NATO question
would be decided by a referendum and that his position has the support of
the parliament.

“The statement that I made during my previous visit to Brussels had been
agreed upon with the [parliamentary] coalition’s council,” Yanukovych said.
“And this is the position of the parliamentary coalition [and this position]
has been voted for.

Today, it is our parliament that practically determines our home and foreign
policy — the principles of our home and foreign policy.”
RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent Ahto Lobjakas contributed to this report.

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

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, UK, Thursday, September 21 2006

The deal between Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s president, and Viktor
Yanukovich, his prime minister – agreed only a few weeks ago after
months of argument – has run into trouble amid fights over domestic
reform policies and the president’s speedy western integration agenda.

Mr Yanukovich was due to visit Brussels today and meet European Union
officials to reassure them of Kiev’s continuing commitment to closer
integration. But there are questions about what exactly the Ukrainian
premier will say following a Brussels trip he made last week to see
Nato representatives when he unexpectedly announced that Kiev was not
prepared to take the first steps towards membership of the military
alliance. This is in defiance of Mr Yushchenko’s wishes.

The prime minister shrugged off a presidential public rebuke for his
actions, casting doubt on the realism of Mr Yushchenko’s foreign
policy ambitions. The president’s “desires, at times, exceed his
capabilities”, Mr Yanukovich told the FT at a briefing earlier this week.

As well as threatening political gridlock, the resurfacing of deep
political rifts has called into question Mr Yushchenko’s ability to
keep Ukraine on a path of swift western integration.

Both leaders agree on seeking improved trade relations and eventual
membership of the EU for their country of 47m. However, with the two
men vying for domestic political advantage, foreign policy has become
a battleground.

Mr Yanukovich, who campaigned ahead of last March elections for
reviving ties with Moscow, Kiev’s principle energy supplier, does not
support Mr Yushchenko’s plans for quick Nato membership. Most
Ukrainians also oppose Nato membership.

The prime minister’s position on Nato and his government’s first
domestic reform moves have triggered sharp criticism from Mr
Yushchenko and Our Ukraine, the president’s political party.

Allies of both leaders said relations between the two men were also
tense because of the inability of their respective political camps to
find common ground.

Our Ukraine leaders this week accused Mr Yanukovich of breaking last
month’s compromise agreement through which his candidacy for prime
minister was supported on condition that Mr Yushchenko’s western
integration drive be preserved. Mr Yushchenko avoided dissolving
parliament after Mr Yanukovich signed the compromise accord.

But during a five-hour meeting last Friday, Mr Yushchenko issued what
he described as a “first political warning” to his former arch rival
from the “Orange Revolution” of 2004, criticising the government’s
changed stance on Nato and its failure to push ahead with reforms,
such as tax cuts.

Earlier this week Mr Yanukovich said relations with Mr Yushchenko had
been complicated by constitutional changes that shifted key
presidential powers to the parliament, which formed the country’s
first coalition government.

He held firm in defending his government’s policies and restated his
plans to pursue pragmatic western integration policies.

Mr Yushchenko hopes to gain influence over the government by coercing
Our Ukraine to join Mr Yanukovich’s coalition, which is made up of the
pro-business Regions party, Communists and Socialists. All three
oppose swift Nato integration and, to a lesser degree, liberal reforms.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, 21 September 2006
On 14 September, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich faced their first real open disagreement
over policy, as they clashed publicly over whether Ukraine will
continue on its path toward NATO.  The disagreement underscores the
lack of clarity in the country over separation of powers and
responsibilities, and makes it clear that the prime minister will not
be content simply to follow the president’s orders.

On 2 August 2006, Yushchenko, Yanukovich and the leaders of the
Communist Party, Socialist Party and Our Ukraine Bloc, signed a
“Declaration of National Unity.” The five-page document was said to
provide the foundation for all future policy decisions in the country.  

“The basics of the definition of Ukraine’s domestic and foreign
policy, of its continuity, have been completed,” Yushchenko said at the
time. “I am convinced that in Ukraine’s political practice, at any rate
among the signatories, there will be no more … discussions and
misinterpretations.” (1)  Those discussions, of course, had been based
on the fact that Yanukovich leaned toward a Russo-centric foreign
policy while Yushchenko was committed to a West-leaning policy.

Following the signing of the declaration (called a “Universal” in
Ukraine), and buoyed by his apparent belief that all questions of
Ukrainian’s future policy direction had been answered, Yushchenko
nominated Yanukovich to become the country’s new prime minister. 

When questioned by the media about differences that seemed to exist
between the two men, – particularly about the country’s general foreign
policy and its specific goal of joining NATO – Yushchenko seemed calm.
Directing foreign policy, he said, was a right granted to the president
constitutionally, and “I am pursuing the policy toward [NATO]
integration without adding anything else to it.” (2)

Yanukovich’s interpretation of the declaration apparently was a bit
different.  On September 14, speaking in Brussels following a meeting
with NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Yanukovich announced
“a pause” in the country’s movement toward fulfilling its NATO
Membership Action Plan (MAP).  “We explained that given the political
situation in Ukraine,” he said, “it would be better to take a pause [in
the integration process].” (3)  He pointed to the low level of support
for NATO integration among the public as evidence that Ukraine was not
ready to join the alliance.

Yushchenko and his allies in the government reacted with indignation. 
Their irritation seemed to stem mainly from the fact that Yanukovich
made such a major policy announcement without consulting Yushchenko. 

“This step was unfounded and illogical and even, in my view, mistaken,”
said Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko. (4)  The president accused
Yanukovich of making statements that “breach the Universal of National
Unity and constitutional accords.”  (5)  And Foreign Minister Boris
Tarasyuk said, “If we read the Constitution closely … we don’t find
these kinds of authorities granted to the government.” (6)

But that isn’t entirely accurate, particularly since new Constitutional
amendments give the parliament increased power to control the
government.  A close reading of the constitution finds that both the
president and the parliament have some level of authority over foreign
policy.  Since the prime minister is nominated by, and answerable to,
the parliament, this technically provides Yanukovich with the legal –
if not political – right to direct the NATO debate.

Article 106, Point 3 of the Constitution states that the President of
Ukraine “represents the state in international relations, administers
the foreign political activity of the State, conducts negotiations and
concludes international treaties of Ukraine …”

Meanwhile, Article 85, point 5 notes that the authority of the
parliament includes “determining the principles of domestic and foreign
policy …”

Additionally, Article 114 notes, “The Minister of Defense and the
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine are appointed by the Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine upon the submission by the President of Ukraine.”  This
provides the right for the president to choose these ministers, but may
or may not guarantee their approval by the parliament. (7)

Therefore, it would seem that President Yushchenko is depending
primarily on the historical right of Ukrainian presidents to control
foreign and defense policy, and the agreement of the prime minister to
divide authority along domestic and foreign policy lines.  The comments
in Brussels suggest that Prime Minister Yanukovich may not be willing
to maintain this division.  And unfortunately for Yushchenko, since the
Declaration of National Unity is not legally binding, it will provide
him with little recourse.

Yanukovich’s comments also suggest that President Yushchenko needs to
do a better job at protecting what he sees as his “turf.”  Yushchenko
chose to remain in Ukraine and allow Yanukovich to conduct meetings not
only with the NATO Secretary General, but also EU representatives. 

At those meetings, the Prime Minister publicly reiterated Ukraine’s
commitment to Euro-integration in Brussels, but his reception, to say
the least, was cool.  “The future is not prejudged,” External Relations
Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said, “but at this moment, clearly,
there is no membership perspective.” (7)

Yushchenko could have traveled either to Brussels with Yanukovich or
made the trip himself.  During the Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy
Yekhanurov governments, he did just that.  But, he has chosen to allow
his current prime minister far more leeway and to accept a far larger
role for Yanukovich in foreign policy.  He has not explained his
reasoning, except to underscore the need for unity and teamwork.

Regardless, the result has been to confirm the concerns of some Western
officials that Ukraine’s Western trajectory is shifting, and that
alliances recently built will suffer.  Will Ukraine continue to support
the EU’s border control provisions regarding Transnistria?  Will it
continue to join the EU in criticizing many of Belarusian President
Aleksandr Lukashenko’s policies?  Will it continue to join in the fight
against trafficking and arms smuggling?  In short, will the country
continue to act as a reliable foreign policy ally to the West?

President Yushchenko’s decision to allow Prime Minister Yanukovich to
speak for him and the country in Brussels did little to answer those
questions.  Instead, it may have caused Western officials to wonder
just who is controlling the country’s foreign policy decisions now.

(1) UT1-TV, 2253 GMT, 2 Aug 06; BBC Monitoring International
Reports, via Lexis-Nexis.
(2) RIA Novosti, 7 Aug 06; via Lexis-Nexis.
(3) Agence France Presse, 1129 GMT, 14 Sep 06; via Lexis-Nexis.
(4) ITAR-TASS, 1639 EST, 17 Sep 06; via Lexis-Nexis.
(5) ITAR-TASS, 1407 EST, 15 Sep 06; via Lexis-Nexis.
(6) ITAR-TASS, 1639 EST, 17 Sep 06; via Lexis-Nexis.
(7) No current English-language amended version of Ukraine’s
Constitution is available online.  See
for the English-language 1996 Constitution without amendments.  See
for the amendments.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
10.                                  RUDDERLESS SHIP
      So who’s leading the country now? It seems like a ship without a captain.

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Sep 21 2006

Last Friday, Sept. 15, President Viktor Yushchenko had a long chat with
Premier Viktor Yanukovych, at which Yushchenko voiced his concern about
the actions of the new cabinet, saying it must abide by the National Unity
Pact signed between the president and the Rada majority.

In a briefing later that day Yushchenko said he gave Yanukovych his first
political warning and confirmed there is a joint plan to correct the
situation. We shall see if this happens.

Yushchenko described Yanukovych’s attempt to revise foreign policy at his
recent meeting at NATO headquarters as unacceptable.

The previous day Yanukovych had called for a pause in plans to join NATO,
but said Ukraine would continue efforts to join the EU. Yushchenko said the
opposite, reiterating that the country’s goal to join the EU and NATO would
not change.

The mixed messages are a problem. Yushchenko, not surprisingly, was
supported by Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and Foreign Minister
Boris Tarasiuk, two of his appointees.

Hrytsenko said Ukraine will implement the NATO membership Action Plan
despite Yanukovych’s statements, while Tarasiuk said Yanukovych has no
authority to formulate foreign policy.

Yanukovych’s argument that the people do not support NATO membership is
weak because the issues have not been explained. However, that’s not the

Ever since Yanukovych became premier he has, with the help of the speaker,
been pushing the president aside. Most people believed that, in line with
constitutional reform, foreign policy is the president’s remit. But now this
doesn’t seem to be so.

In practical terms, membership of NATO comes before EU membership.
This was certainly the case for countries like Poland.

So who’s leading the country now? It seems like a ship without a captain.
There is also a real danger that foreign policy will just stagnate and the
country will go nowhere.                                 -30-

LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/25097/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                    ANOTHER 200 FOLLOWERS”
                  Website reveals Ukrainian premier’s speech at NATO

Ukrayinska Pravda web site, Kiev, in Ukrainian 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Sep 21, 2006

Few are aware of what the Ukrainian prime minister actually said in Brussels
during his trip to NATO HQ, a website has reported. The author said his
agency had obtained a recording of Prime Minister Yanukovych’s remarks

and published what he said was the speech heard in Brussels.

The author wrote that Yanukovych spoke in favour of Ukraine’s participation
in NATO military undertakings around the world and valued “continual support
for our Euroatlantic desires, support for military reform and democratic and
market transformations”.

The following is the text of the unattributed article, entitled “Yanukovych
“secretly” uses Akhmetov and another 200 followers”, published on the
Ukrayinska Pravda website on 19 September, subheadings have been inserted

The scandal which erupted after [Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych’s
statements in Brussels regarding NATO has hit parliament.

Yanukovych obviously got tired of hearing [President Viktor] Yushchenko’s
lectures that the prime minister has no right to influence foreign policy as
this is the prerogative of the president (according to the constitution) and
parliament (which passes laws about the basis of foreign and domestic

And so Yanukovych decided to cover himself behind MPs. Of course, there

was no time to pass a new law, nor the procedural possibility of voting on it.
But Yanukovych found a way out.

On Tuesday, parliament passed a strange document – a resolution entitled “On
the position of the Prime Minister at the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO

The issue was addressed at the very door of the session hall, as the last on
the day’s agenda. But despite this, 242 MPs voted in favour. Among them were
such serious people as Rinat Akhmetov and [the prime minister’s son] Viktor
Yanukovych, junior.

What is absurd is not the fact that these worthy men were not in the session
hall – but that not even the designated button pushers knew what to do.

The text of the resolution included the armoured phrase: “To support the
position of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, spoken in Brussels on 14
September 2006 during a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission on

mutual cooperation between Ukraine and NATO”.

But in fact, MPs had no idea what Yanukovych said during that meeting.

They could not learn it from the press, because reporters were not allowed
to the Ukraine-NATO meeting. The Alliance’s HQ is a secure site, where
journalists only have the right to access a certain part near the entryway –
that is where Yanukovych and NATO Secretary-General [Jaap de Hoop]

Scheffer held their news conference.

The meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission was held in a completely
different wing of the building, where the press was not let in. And
naturally, no television broadcast was allowed.

Theoretically, only two MPs could have heard Yanukovych’s words live:

Leonid Kozhar and Ihor Oleksiyiv, who accompanied the prime minister
as members of the delegation to Belgium. But we do not know if they had
the right to sit in the room where the Ukraine-NATO Commission met.

When members of the Ukraine-NATO Commission gathered at the round room,
cameramen and photographers who only had the right to take protocol footage
during introductory remarks by Yanukovych and Scheffer were allowed in.

So even though the prime minister’s words at the Ukraine-NATO Commission
were not made public, this is exactly what the MPs of the anti-crisis
coalition so kindly voted for.

Maybe they will be interested post-factum in what they supported with 242
votes? For example, the Communists [of the Communist Party of Ukraine]
should be in shock, for they are blessing Ukraine’s participation in NATO
“military operations” (!) in various parts of the world.

And Eurointegrators have reason to pour the champagne, because Yanukovych’s
comrades vowed to take the programme of Intensified Dialogue on Membership
in NATO as their Bible.

                              THE RECORDING OF THE SPEECH 

Ukrayinska Pravda correspondent obtained a recording of Yanukovych’s
speech at the Ukraine-NATO commission from his sources. And so that
everyone  knows what the MPs really voted for, we publish the full text of
he prime minister’s address.
Dear Mr Secretary-General, ladies and gentlemen!

I would first like to express my sincere thanks to NATO Secretary-General
Scheffer for the chance to continue political dialogue between Ukraine and

This is also my first visit as leader of the new coalition government.
Today, I represent the government of a state formed by the parliamentary
majority with new responsibilities in line with the new Constitution of

The activity of the coalition government is based on principles agreed to by
the main political forces and among which are securing the sovereignty and
integrity of Ukraine, guaranteeing adherence to human rights, consistently
developing such unconditional democratic gains as freedom of speech, the
free expression of views and convictions, respect for the rights of the
opposition and the continuation of the European course of the state.

After long debates in the course of political, and sometimes popular,
opposition, the leading politicians of Ukraine reached understanding on such
an important issue as the Euroatlantic integration of our state.

The agreed position was included as one of the points in the Declaration of
National Unity, which we signed together with President Yushchenko.

We achieved the main thing – separation of the issue of membership in NATO
from normal mutually-beneficial cooperation with the alliance. This is a key
landmark for the further course of the government in the direction of
relations with the Alliance.

Now, the issue of Ukraine’s joining NATO will be determined at a national
referendum. Time will tell when the need arises to hold it.

Today we have the intention of concentrating on deepening relationships of
partnership with the Alliance on the basis of Intensified dialogue on
membership and the annual goals of action plans.

Ukraine highly values the level of cooperation with NATO. We value continual
support for our Euroatlantic desires, support for military reform and
democratic and market transformations.

Among the foremost priorities of government activity are strengthening
informational work in sphere of relations with NATO. There is not a lack of
such programmes, but they need to be augmented with specific content.

We will do everything we can so that the citizens of Ukraine obtain
objective and unprejudiced information on the Alliance’s activity as well as
on our state’s cooperation with NATO.

Today I intend to inform our partners of specific steps which the government
of Ukraine intends to implement in various spheres of cooperation with the
Alliance, including participation in military operations which NATO carries
out in various regions of the world.

I am certain, that a deeper strategic partnership between Ukraine and the
North-Atlantic Alliance must be a two-way street, since this is not only in
the interests of our state, but in the interests of NATO as well.

Thank you for your attention.

At the same time, Bank Street [the address of the Presidential Secretariat]
believes Yanukovych’s message in Brussels was his rejection of support for
the NATO membership plan. And they are so serious about this that parliament
support of the prime minister’s decision was met with immediate reaction
from the secretariat.

Yushchenko’s new chief-of-staff, Viktor Baloha called the document “a
provocation”. “This resolution is of an exclusively political nature and has
no legal consequences”, Baloha said. “Parliament and the government must
unwaveringly adhere to the laws of Ukraine, including the law On the basis
of Ukraine’s national security”, Baloha added.

Three MPs are the coauthors of the resolution – [Yevhen] Kushnarev of the
Party of Regions, [Ihor] Alekseyev of the CPU and [Vitaliy] Shybko of the
Socialist Party of Ukraine, who is also chair of the parliament committee on
foreign affairs.

In comments to Ukrayinska Pravda, Shybko admitted that the document was not
reviewed by the foreign affairs committee. “Yesterday, we met to consult,
and we decided to recommend not introducing this resolution to the session
hall at all”.

He added that MPs had not seen the text of Yanukovych’s speech before the
Ukraine-NATO Commission, but that no-one was worried. “At least no-one in
the session hall had any question about what Yanukovych said before the
vote”. Shybko also agreed that the resolution “does not have any legal

“We just wanted to show that Ukraine is a state which does not walk away
from its obligations. After the prime minister’s trip, there was a lot of
commentary – everyone was saying different things about what he had done in

But after the resolution, it was confirmed that we will strive towards
Europeans standards and inform the public about NATO”, Shybko said.

He advised looking at the third point of the resolution which obligates the
Cabinet to build democracy and also “aid the dissemination of objective
information on NATO’s role in the modern world and the directions of its

In particular, Shybko added that First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
promised him on Wednesday that the Cabinet would allocate 5m hryvnyas for
information work with the public regarding NATO.

Only it is not known whether that campaign will have the prefix “counter”.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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12.                           TEMPTATIONS OF DEMOCRACY
      Any talk of parliamentary democracy in this country is premature. The
      opposition and the authorities are used to waging wars against each other.
 There are no winners in these wars. Instead, there is a whole nation of hostages.
 By Serhii Rakhmanin
Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN) On The Web, Mirror-Weekly
International Social Political Weekly, No. 35 (614)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 16 – 22 September 2006 year

Commitment to the principles of European democracy has become an
incantation, a mantra with Ukrainian politicians. However, authoritarianism
and Byzantine style in the domestic “art of the possible” die hard.

Politics have been festooned and filigreed in various ways: masters of
intrigue and compromise spend huge dollars on image-makers and sweat over
designing intricate combinations as recommended by trendy specialized
literature. Yet when it comes to ideology and philosophy, Soviet approaches
reign supreme in Ukrainian politics.

They manifest themselves, first and foremost, through the politicians’
giving preference to primitive tools, albeit in bright attractive wraps.

They would carry out market reforms resorting to state regulation
mechanisms, liberalized prices under tough governmental control, whip MPs
into the coalition and appoint election winners.

Over the last fifteen years of languidly adopting “European values and
civilized standards”, our top officials have learnt how to observe the form
(never caring for the essence) and expatiate on the letter of the law
(ignoring its spirit).

The recently enacted constitutional reform is a classical example of this
approach. The promotion of parliamentarianism is a noble objective, in and
of itself, no doubt about that.

Yet our way of doing it is questionable, to say the least: the extendedly
discussed draft amendments were eventually revised overnight, and MPs
were blackmailed into adopting them.

Undemocratic methods were used to add some democratic flavour to
institutions and procedures of public administration. Nonetheless, we hoped
that the new ground rules will stimulate the players to change.

The hopes are fading by day, especially in view of the latest, seemingly
unrelated political developments.

A civilized state is characterized by responsible administration and
effective opposition. Not only should they be present, but also co-exist and
cooperate, more or less productively. Parliamentary democracy implies that
the power of the majority will respect and safeguard the interests of the

A look at Ukrainian politicians will suffice to understand that any talk of
parliamentary democracy in this country is premature. The majority pays no
heed whatsoever to the interests of the minority. The latter retaliates by
denying the majority’s right to exercise power.

Both modes of conduct are unacceptable, since in both cases politicians
disrespect the voters who elected their opponents. Put differently, those in
power and in the opposition trample on the fundamental principle of
democracy – the will of the people.

It has been commonly recognized that the last parliamentary elections were
conducted in compliance with democratic norms and standards, that their
outcomes are legitimate, and that the people’s choice should be honoured.

A certain political force represents the majority of voters, therefore the
right of this force to rule the country should be honoured, too. The
political force that turned up in the minority should be given an
opportunity to monitor the rulers. One should bear in mind, however, that in
a democratic environment, “monitor” does not mean “impede”.

Furthermore, the monitoring capacity should be directly proportional to the
opposition’s share in representative power: the more votes it gets, the more
rights they have.

Over the last couple of weeks, the proponents and opponents of the new
political regime have been actively fighting for their rights and tending to
forget about their responsibility.

Disinclined as we are to idealize Western parliamentary democracies, we
cannot but commend them for mutual respect that the authorities and the
opposition demonstrate. There are two reasons for that.

[1] First, any opposition is well aware that it has all chances to come to
power one day whereas powers that be fully realize that sooner or later they
will turn up in the opposition.

Any political force in any European country strives to rule as long as
possible, but none ever dreams of ruling forever. Ukrainian politicians have
yet to learn to think along these lines.

[2] Second, any stable society cherishes its stability. Various unforeseen
circumstances might occur, of course, but politicians (whatever their status
and orientation) should use every opportunity to save the nation from
crisis. And they should be working together towards it. In fact, this is
what people call political responsibility.

In a broader perspective, this is what true patriotism is about. Faced with
a threat of stress to the nation, the authorities and the opposition become
more responsive to each other, more prepared to meet each other halfway,
which makes both eligible for similar favours on their opponents’ part. Oh,
when will our politicians ever learn?

“They” (Western democracies) could have governments formed by the minority
that rule for decades. “Their” presidents, being formally entitled to turn
the candidate down, nevertheless nominate prime ministers from the opposite
political camp. “Their” heads of state hang fire in order to avoid
dissolving parliament, even with all legal grounds for the dissolution in

“They”, for the most part, prefer to minimize statutory regulation of the
opposition’s rights and responsibilities but nobody would think of violating
the former or neglecting the latter.

What about “us”? Last week the opposition mustered enough votes in the
Supreme Rada to dismiss the notorious Ivan Chyzh from chairing the State
Television and Radio Committee. The new majority took advantage of the
situation to replace him with its appointee Edward Prutnyk.

In a civilized country, the regime supporters would probably offer this post
to their opponents, as a friendly gesture, hoping for further cooperation.
You might say it is nonsense. OK, but so is the very existence of an agency
like the State Television and Radio Committee in a civilized country.

There are other, more impressive illustrations. On 13 September, the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc initiated the setting up of a parliamentary commission of
inquiry into the justification for raising gas tariffs.

The majority endorsed the idea . and transformed it a bit: the Supreme Rada
formed the commission but appointed the coalition representative Ms
Alexandrovska to head it, instead of the YTB candidate Syvulsky.

More than that, one of the commission’s stated objectives is to check the
legality of writing-off the debt of a company associated with the opposition
leader Yuliya Tymoshenko.

The latter blamed the Rada majority and presidium for breaching the
Constitution and rules of procedure while her faction members blocked the
rostrum, disrupting the session of already lame Parliament.

Did Parliament have to elect an oppositional MP to chair the commission?
Formally speaking, it did not. Did it have the right to charge the
commission with an additional inquiry? As a matter of fact, it did. Without
scrutinizing the opposition’s claims about the breach of parliamentary
procedure, let us take a wider view.

Even if the decision were made in full compliance with the rules of
procedure, it is essentially antidemocratic because it deprives a large part
of voters of their right to monitor the authorities.

If the majority had had well-founded doubts about the legitimacy of debt
forgiveness to the UESU Company, it could have formed another commission,
specifically authorized to study this issue. The majority was entitled to
it. So was the opposition to look into the government’s dealings.

It was cynically denied this right. In a civilized country, the
administration would encourage the opposition to form a commission of
inquiry and to delegate an oppositional representative to head it.

In this country, however, the majority does not care about the minority’s
rights and interests, which was confirmed yet another time last week. Vasyl
Kiseliov from the “Party of Regions” faction came up with a proposal to
restore criminal penalties for slander and insulting.

A relevant norm was part of the old Criminal Code, but in 2001, criminal
penalties were replaced with administrative sanctions, the change being
praised as a noticeable headway of democracy.

The mass media voiced their protest against the new draft law. Yet we will
venture a guess that it was not the press that the draft was targeted at.

Leaders of the Party of Regions hardly sought to tighten the noose around
independent media or to bring libellers to account. They must have regarded
it as an effective remedy against the opposition.

They did their homework, having thoroughly studied the amended Constitution,
in particular Article 80, which exempts MPs from liability for what they
say, except for the cases of slander and insulting. This same article
describes the procedure for instituting criminal proceedings against MPs.

Do you see the trap? As matters stand today, MPs can be fined for accidental
or deliberate discourtesy, provided the court establishes the fact of
slander or insulting. Once criminal responsibility for such misconduct is
restored, the consequences will be much graver.

The offended party will file a written claim with the Prosecutor General’s
Office, which will be allowed to open a criminal case and petition the Rada
to sanction the offender’s arrest. Taking an MP into custody implies his or
her loss of immunity. You might say the conclusions are too far-reaching.

You might be right. Yet they are not totally unfounded, given the relations
between Ukrainian authorities and opposition, as well as morals and manners
of some people in the new majority.

According to our sources, the “Party of Regions” faction decided to revoke
Mr. Kiseliov’s draft. Should it be true, it will mean the authorities are
trying to show good will.

However there is still little reason for optimism as the administration and
the opposition refuse to cooperate in any meaningful or beneficial way. And
again, examples are plenty; we will comment on the most recent ones.

ZN has already commented on the draft law on opposition prepared by the
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc. The latest developments in the Rada prove there
is a need to discuss it in a greater detail.

The matter is that the YTB insists on vesting the opposition with
unreasonably extensive rights and powers; their appetite for personnel,
informational, institutional and financial resources seems insatiable.

The opposition claims the right to have its representatives elected or
appointed to the positions of:

– Vice Speaker;
– chairs of four parliamentary committees and all controlling commissions;
– first deputy chairs of committees headed by the majority representatives;
– heads of the Accounting Chamber and Antimonopoly Committee;
– NCSD member;
– two members of the High Council for Justice;
– four members of the NBU Board;
– two members of the State Television and Radio Committee;
– heads and members of the State Securities and Stock Market Commission,
State Commission for Financial Services Market, State Financial Monitoring

Additional demands include:

– guaranteed access to the mass media;
– right to be privy to the state secrets;
– right to initiate vote of no confidence in the government and right to
veto the Cabinet decisions;
– participation in the Cabinet meetings;
-a separate line in the state budget expenses.

The draft suggests that the state should provide the opposition with
premises, means of transportation, salaries, and a newspaper of its own with
the circulation comparable with that of the parliamentary Holos Ukrainy

The proposed list of officials accountable to the opposition is too long to
be cited here; of course, the key figure is the prime minister. The draft
also prescribes the frequency of and procedure for the authorities’
reporting to the opposition.

Another innovation to be found in the draft concerns empowering the
opposition to participate in the appointment of leading judiciary officials
and police top brass.

The draft is most imperfect and gives rise to numerous objections.

[1] First, some of the demands are completely illegitimate. Legal
professionals that belong to the YTB faction and its external consultants
who, we hope, took part in the drafting are bound to know that. Claiming the
right to veto or to initiate the government dismissal was pointless from the

[2] Second, the passage of this law will entail a reshaping of the entire
legislative framework. The drafters provide a list of law and enabling
regulations that would require revising and amending, but the list is by no
means exhaustive. The harmonization process could take years.

[2] Third, some provisions have been “borrowed” from other laws and the
Constitution, sometimes inaccurately.

[4] Fourth, the authors are often carried away with the terminology: they
offer a classification of the opposition types but do not seem to be able to
tell one type from another or define their specific objectives.

The impression is that YTB intentionally submitted a draft doomed to
failure, using it as a pretext to cry out about the alleged oppression,
rather than a chance to promote the opposition’s rights.

Anyway, the philosophy of the document is indicative of Yuliya Tymoshenko
and her allies’ views on the nature of state power, authorities, opposition,
and their relations. As we said before, the language and contents of the
draft law leave much to be desired.

[1] Its first and major flaw is rooted in the authors’ aspiration to ensure
that the opposition would rule the country on a par with the powers that be,
which is unworkable by definition.

[2] The second defect ensues from the first one: the opposition gets a more
attractive status than the force in power, which is unnatural. The
opposition is supposed to have more rights than the government whose
activities are yet to be regulated by a special law.

[3] Third, Yuliya Tymoshenko requires fixed quotas for the opposition,
irrespective of the number of seats it gets in Parliament and other
representative bodies. Suppose the opposition gets 20 seats – it will lack
people to man all the posts it claims to be entitled to.

The claims could be sensible if the opposition had 150 at least MPs. In this
case it would have the constitutional right to initiate a no-confidence

[4] Fourth, formalization of the shadow Cabinet is unachievable. So is the
founding of the shadow Cabinet in Ukrainian context. Shadow governments have
sense in countries with a well-established two-party system where they serve
as a prototype of the government-to-be, rather than a fancy political gadget
funded from the state budget.

The draft lays down a formal procedure for decision-making within the
opposition. There is no need to regulate this process with a law. An
agreement signed by different oppositional parties will do. Alternatively,
the parliamentary rules of procedure could be an appropriate document to
describe it.

[5] Fifth, the draft is permeated with the spirit of personal leadership,
absolutely lacking in team spirit and rules of teamwork. The opposition
leader’s status, rights and powers take up a large part of the document.
This part could be omitted in principle.

In Lithuania, for instance, the opposition’s rights are formulated in most
general terms in the parliamentary statute. The statute does not contain a
long list of attributes characterizing an opposition member: a person who
disagrees with the government’s course and strategy is an oppositionist.

Nor does the document provide for a complicated procedure for legalizing
the opposition leader: if the oppositional coalition unites more than half
of the Seym members, the coalition head is officially recognized as the
opposition leader.

The Lithuanian opposition leader has no excessive powers: he or she sits on
the Seym presidium, receives extra pay, and has a priority right to address
parliament and submit a draft law.

[6] Sixth, the draft law testifies to the opposition’s desire to control the
authorities in every possible way but provides for no leverage for the
authorities and public, no means of control over the opposition’s behaviour.

[7] Seventh, the Constitution, Law “On Status of the People’s Deputy”, and
parliamentary rules of procedure enable the opposition to monitor and
control the administration and give a lot of opportunities for it to do so.
The draft authors replicated some of them and dropped the other, for no
obvious reason.

Yet they did not propose any mechanisms for the opposition’s exercising its
controlling powers, which would be expected of this kind of law.

The draft law could be expected to update and elaborate on such notions as
interpellation, agenda setting, ad hoc commission of inquiry, law amending
procedure, etc. Having done that, the opposition, no matter how few in
number, would get the necessary tools to influence the law-making process
and determine its outcomes.

In Germany, for instance, the opposition proposes thousands of amendments
to vital legislation; Parliament has to consider all of them and
substantiate its decision in the case of declining them. As a result, the
majority interested in having the law passed makes concessions to the opposition.

There are many other downsides to the draft law, but even those mentioned
above make it clear that the opposition is no better than the authorities in
that it would not work seriously towards consolidating the people and
re-examining its own role in the society.

The opposition and the authorities are used to waging wars against each
other. There are no winners in these wars. Instead, there is a whole nation
of hostages.                                           -30-
LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/614/54528/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

New Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to Ukraine
By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #28
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Great Britain is doing its best for Ukraine to draw closer to the EU in
general and “misty Albion” in particular. Both the Ukrainian government and
the Ukrainian grassroots can feel this support.

This was the subject of the first press conference given by Timothy Barrow,
the new Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland to Ukraine, which was held in the press club of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. Upholding his predecessor’s tradition, the new ambassador
began his speech in Ukrainian.

He noted that the UK is supporting Ukraine’s course toward European
integration and would be working with the new government to promote further
reforms based on such common values as democracy, human rights, rule of law,
and market economy.

According to the ambassador, practical support for Ukraine’s European
integration aspirations is being provided by various institutions. For
example, the UK Department for International Development is carrying out a
technical assistance program in Ukraine, valued at 6.5 million pounds

Meanwhile, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Opportunities Fund
annually provides half a million pounds to implement the United Europe
Program in Ukraine.

Trade between our two countries is increasing. In the first quarter of this
year British exports to Ukraine reached 90 million pounds, up 83 percent
from the same period last year. British imports came to 38 million pounds in
the same quarter, registering a 68-percent growth.

Ukrainians definitely feel Britain’s support for their opportunities to
learn English in Ukraine and to study in the UK. The number of Ukrainians
who want to visit the United Kingdom is rising steadily. While the embassy
received 31,000 visa applications last year, there were 26,000 applications
between January and August 2006 alone.

The ambassador had good news for Ukrainians applying for a British visa.
From Oct. 1, 2006, applications can be done online. “The principal advantage
for applicants is that there will be no need to line up at the embassy, and
they can also choose their time and date for an interview,” Mr. Barrow said.

The tone of the British ambassador’s press conference was set by the event
that was taking place almost at the same time in Brussels – the negotiations
between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and the EU and NATO leadership. The
negotiators were supposed to discuss Kyiv’s insistence that the prospect of
Ukraine’s EU membership be included in the future cooperation agreement.

The British ambassador, who took part in concluding the current EU-Ukraine
partnership agreement, noted in this connection that the EU supports
Ukraine’s aspirations for closer cooperation with European institutions.

“We all see Ukraine more closely integrated in the future. We can establish
closer links with each other and get to know each other better through
practical cooperation. This in fact will lead to full integration,” the
ambassador noted. In his view, dialogue and discussions will take place in
Brussels, which will promote further practical cooperation.

The British ambassador said that he would work to help Ukraine implement the
current Partnership Agreement. In his opinion, this agreement’s clause on a
free trade area has not been fulfilled. “During my stay here I would like us
to fulfill everything that we have planned,” he said.

Naturally, journalists could not avoid the question of Ukraine’s prospects
for adopting the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP). A few days earlier,
Defense Minister Anatolii Hrytsenko said that the prospect of Ukraine
switching to the MAP this year depends on Prime Minister Yanukovych.

As was to be expected, the British diplomat refused to discuss the
activities of specific political figures. He only said that the Membership
Action Plan is an invitation to the alliance.

“We welcome closer cooperation with Ukraine. We will respond to the choice
that Ukraine will make,” the ambassador noted. He disagrees with the
opinion, widespread in some circles, that certain countries do not support
Ukraine’s entry into NATO.

There is considerable commonality of views and approaches among his
counterparts in Kyiv. He believes that Ukraine is fully aware of what we are
striving to achieve in Europe and will independently decide on its future.

“Ukraine’s actions in the direction of cooperation will perhaps be the best
way to lobby on Ukraine’s behalf. I do not think you need lobbying on the
part of the British ambassador here in Kyiv while the prime minister of
Ukraine is in Brussels,” the ambassador said.

Discussing military cooperation, the ambassador noted that Britain is not
refusing to take part in the Tight Knot exercise canceled earlier this year
and will continue its program of military exercises.

“We will continue to do so because it is in the mutual interests of both
Ukraine and Britain to achieve operational compatibility. Ukraine has large
and combat-ready armed forces.

There is a great necessity or requirement for military formations that would
conduct peacekeeping missions all over the world. By strengthening the
operational compatibility of different armed forces, we increase our
capability of fulfilling these peacekeeping tasks,” he emphasized.

Asked by The Day what the European Union will look like in 20 years and
where its borders will be drawn, the British ambassador said, “I will not
hazard a guess as to how big the European Union will be in 20 years.

But the policy of admitting new members was and still is one of the most
successful political and strategic directions in the European Union’s
development.”                                     -30-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/168869/

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

By Heather Fernuik, Special to The Ukrainian Weekly
The Ukrainian Weekly, Vol. LXXIV, No. 38, p. 4 and 22
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, September 17, 2006

Halyna Vasylivna Krychevska-Linde, an artist and daughter of the
renowned Ukrainian architect and artist Vasyl Krychevsky, who is credited
with preserving his works during World War II, passed away April 4, 2006
in her home in Caracas, Venezuela.

Perhaps Ms. Krychevska-Linde will best be remembered and honored for
her relentless fight for freedom from oppression and heroic preservation
of Ukrainian national art, architecture, and ideals. In the face of constant
destruction she saved lives, memories, paintings, books, and a piece of
Ukrainian national identity.

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1918 to Prof. Vasyl H. Krychevsky, the
renowned Ukrainian architect, artist, teacher and scholar and his second
wife, Yevheniya M. Shcherbakivska, sister of the two famous archeologists
Vadym and Danylo Shcherbakivsky, Ms. Krychevska grew up in a fertile
environment of Ukrainian national thought and culture that doubtlessly
shaped her artistic and patriotic contributions of a lifetime.

As a young girl, Ms. Krychevska displayed natural aptitude for languages
and assisted her mother in translating archeological and other documents
from German, French, and English to Russian and Ukrainian.

Upon completion of secondary school, Ms. Krychevska entered the
National Academy of Art and Architecture, founded by her father, to
study architecture and painting. The beginning of World War II interrupted
her formal education.

In 1937, Ms. Krychevska-Linde married engineer-geologist Ivan Ivanovych
Linde in Kyiv.

During the Nazi occupation of Kyiv, Ms. Krychevska-Linde utilized her
architectural drawing skills in the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition,
Section of Agrarian Reform. Rather than cower at the Soviet-inflicted
destruction of art, architecture, and human lives, the attempted eradication
of everything Ukrainian, Ms. Krychevska-Linde, at great personal risk
actively led anti-Nazi resistance efforts.

Prior to the forced exodus of 1943, Ms. Krychevska-Linde had the foresight
to send many of her father’s paintings, drawings, and other artwork ahead to
L’viv. Ms. Krychevska-Linde then aided her parents and family in escaping
to safe-havens L’viv, Austria, Paris, and ultimately, Venezuela.

Without Ms. Krychevska-Linde’s heroic efforts, the continued creative work
of Vasyl H. Krychevsky until his death in 1952 and the return to Ukraine of
over 300 pieces of his artwork in 2003 with the generous aid of Michael and
Nataliya Bleyzer would have been impossible.

Once in Venezuela, Ms. Krychevska-Linde worked from 1961-1981 as
the Executive Assistant to the Agricultural Attaché in the United States

Ms. Krychevska-Linde never ceased learning and progressing, despite
failing health in later years and immense personal challenges. She studied
Japanese for over a decade. At the time of her passing, she was fluent
in 10 languages.

A prolific artist, her elaborate embroidery pieces, original patterns for
hand-made tapestries, ceramics, and paintings have been exhibited in
Ukraine, Austria, France and Venezuela. Ms. Krychevska-Linde painted
the St. Pokrova image in Caracas’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1952.

Ms. Krychevska-Linde manifested her undying devotion to her family not
only in her courageous escape assistance, but also in laboriously caring for
her parents until their deaths. She loved to educate her children and spent
countless hours translating scholarly articles on various topics and in
writing Ukrainian-Russian-English-Spanish dictionaries for family and

Ms. Krychevska-Linde was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan
(1961), her daughter Irma (1974), and her granddaughter Beatriz (2005).
She is survived by three children, Myroslava, Oksana and Vasyl, nine
grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

                        Note on the Vasyl H. Krychevsky Family
Vasyl H. Krychevsky (1873-1952) is revered in Ukrainian history for his
tremendous contributions to formation of national Ukrainian identity and
numerous accomplishments, among which are: his creation of Ukraine’s
famous trident emblem created for the young Ukrainian Republic on 22
September 1918 and still used today; his codifying of a distinct from
Russian “Ukrainian” architectural style, embodied in his award-winning
“Poltava Zemstvo” design (1903); his elaborate decoration of the State
Theater edifice; his design of tombstones for famous Ukrainian nationalists,
such as M. Kotsyubynsky and M. Hrushevsky; his design of the Memorial
Museum near T. Shevchenko’s grave.

While much of the world knows the Vasyl H. Krychevsky family through
the writings of his step-son Vadym Pavlovsky (son of Krychevsky’s second
wife) and the artistic work of Krychevsky’s descendants (two artist-sons:
Mykola and Vasyl and daughter, Kateryna Krychevska Rosandich) from
his first marriage with Varvara Marchenko Krychevska, few are aware of
Krychevsky’s second family by Yevheniya M. Shcherbakivska and their
migration from Kyiv, to Caracas.

Halyna V. Krychevska, Krychevsky’s only daughter and child from his
second marriage, who remained with her father throughout his life,
protected his legacy, and carried on his quest for a free Ukraine and
richly established national Ukrainian identity.                 -30-
The Ukrainian Weekly, Ukrainian National Association, Parsippany,
NJ, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-in-chief, staff@ukrweekly.
The Ukrainian Weekly Archive: www.ukrweekly.com.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                             BABI YAR UKRAINE MASSACRE

By Jeremy Wimpfheimer and Daniel Epstein
Israel News Agency, Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, September 21, 2006

KIEV – For two days in late September, a quiet ravine deep within the
forests outside of Kiev, Ukraine, will become the site of an international
memorial event for one of the bloodiest massacres of the Nazi Holocaust.

Called Babi Yar, the site was witness to the murder of more than 33,000 Jews
over the course of a five day period in the fall of 1941.

While the event is well documented by Holocaust historians and remembered
by the families of its victims, the Babi Yar massacre has become part of the
“hidden Holocaust,” according to Moshe Kantor, organizer of the memorial
ceremonies that will include the participation of dignitaries from more than
40 nations.

“Most people today simply do not know what happened there,” says Kantor,
President of the Russian Jewish Congress and Chairman of the Board of
Governors of the European Jewish Congress.

“Most troubling is the fact that much of the world was tolerant of the Nazi
crimes that took place at Babi Yar and that tragic permissiveness allowed
more than 6,000 similar slaughters to take place over the coming years – and
all this before the ‘official’ death camps were even built.”

More than 40 nations, including Russia, the US and Israel have confirmed the
attendance of high level government officials. Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko will be joined by Heads of State from Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia.

“This is a moment of truth for governments to determine what is their
official position when it comes to issues of anti-Semitism and xenophobia,”
says Kantor.

Kantor founded and leads the World Holocaust Forum,
www.worldholocaustforum.org, which is coordinating the memorial, an
organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and
educating the world about its important lessons for all humanity. He
believes the world today faces a critical danger if it forgets the dangers
posed by hatred.

In a rare interview which, ironically, took place five years virtually to
the minute after the Twin Towers were brought down during the September
11th 9/11 terror attacks in North America, World Holocaust Forum Chairman
Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantor, warned sharply about the dangers of intolerance.

“Anti-Semitism and xenophobia come in cycles. Some periods have more, some
have less,” commented Kantor from Geneva.

“But the world was absolutely tolerant of the events at Babi Yar, and this
single event became a defining moment in the way the Nazi Holocaust
progressed from that point onward. World apathy enabled the Nazis to move
forward in their slaughter of six million European Jews.”

Kantor points to disturbing expressions of hatred directed toward
Jews in many cities around the world. These range from recent acts of
violence against Jews in Russia to the call by Iran President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad for an Iran conference to deny the Holocaust.

Kantor says, “Anti-Semitism on the social level is growing around the globe.
Now more than ever, the symbolism and warning of Babi Yar must ring loudly,
and we are ensuring that the terrible events of the past are a lesson to
modern society about the frightening dangers of intolerance.”

Kantor commented that “President Yushchenko has a full understanding of the
World Holocaust Forum’s goals and motivations, why we are having this
commemoration ceremony in Kiev and what the final result should be.” “Russia
once again is facing a moment of truth,” commented Kantor, referencing
Russia’s decision to send a senior delegation to the events.

“President Putin said in his speech at the 60th anniversary commemoration of
the liberation of Auschwitz that he was ashamed of the anti-Semitism and
xenophobia that had surfaced in Russia. Once a country declares that it
should take meaningful lessons away from the Holocaust, its people can start
to improve their attitude towards racial intolerance.”

According to event organizers, two days of commemorations on Sept. 26th and
27th, will include a series of Holocaust exhibits, lectures and concerts to
be highlighted by a somber march of participants from central Kiev to the
Babi Yar site, retracing the steps of the thousands of Jews who walked a
similar path to their deaths 65 years ago. It will be an emotionally charged
walk on Wednesday afternoon from central Kiev to the Babi Yar killing

Focused on developing original educational initiatives to better inform
people about the realities of the Holocaust, the World Holocaust Forum has
created a European Holocaust Education program that will train teachers to
relate to Nazi crimes against the Jews to better foster tolerance between
religions and nationalities.

Over the years, criticism has been levelled at several Eastern European
governments as well as Russia that these countries are not doing enough to
actively combat anti-Semitism. Ukraine was one of the countries mentioned.
In July, the menorah-shaped Holocaust memorial at Babi Yar, erected 15 years
ago by the Jewish community, was badly vandalized.

“Currently, Babi Yar is a place where kids play soccer. The games needs to
stop,” observed Kantor.
          A Survivor’s Eyewitness Account by Dina Pronicheva

“It was dark already…They lined us up on a ledge which was so small that
we couldn’t get much of a footing on it. They began shooting us. I shut my
eyes, clenched my fists, tensed all my muscles and took a plunge down before
the bullets hit me. It seemed I was flying forever. But I landed safely on
the bodies.

After a while, when the shooting stopped, I heard the Germans climbing into
the ravine. They started finishing off all those who were not dead yet,
those who were moaning, hiccuping, tossing, writhing in agony. They ran
their flashlights over the bodies and finished off all who moved.

I was lying so still without stirring, terrified of giving myself away. I
felt I was done for. I decided to keep quiet. They started covering the
corpses over with earth. They must have put quite a lot over me because I
felt I was beginning to suffocate. But I was afraid to move. I was gasping
for breath. I knew I would suffocate.

Then I decided it was better to be shot than buried alive. I stirred but I
didn’t know that it was quite dark already. Using my left arm I managed to
move a little way up. Then I took a deep breath, summoned up my waning
strength and crawled out from under the cover of earth. It was dark.

But all the same it was dangerous to crawl because of the searching beams of
flashlight and they continued shooting at those who moaned. They might hit
me. So I had to be careful. I was lucky enough to crawl up one of the high
walls of the ravine, and straining every nerve and muscle, got out of it.”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
16.                     “CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINE”
Live Video Webcast Friday Of Presentation By Former US Ambassador

By John A. Kun, Vice President/COO
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, Washington, D.C., Thu, Sep 21, 2006

WASHINGTON – Live Video Webcast of the “Current Developments

in Ukraine” a presentation by Ambassador Steven Pifer, Senior Adviser,
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS),
and Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

Ambassador Pifer just returned from a week-long fact finding trip to

Ukraine. Click here to register for webcast:

            U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue – September 25-29, 2006

The U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue is designed to supplement and deepen
the official bilateral dialogue between Ukraine and the United States
through the involvement of government officials, members of the

Verkhovna Rada and Congress, and representatives of non-governmental
organizations, the media and the business community.

This September session is the third of four working sessions, which are
held alternately in Washington and Kyiv.

Watch Live Video Webcast of the U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue.

Click here to register:  http://www.usukraine.org/PD06/index.shtml. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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