AUR#764 Sept 27 Babi Yar Nazi Massacre Remembered – Mass Murder 65 Years Ago; Genocide In Ukraine 1932-1933 & WWII; Genocide Today In Darfur

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Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, 26 Sep 2006

By Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006


Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1617 gmt 26 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006

By Mara D. Bellaby, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006

                               HOW WILL HISTORY JUDGE US?
Full-page advertisement, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 26, 2006, page A5


Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, 25 September 2006


                           President Yushchenko: You Can Help End It
COMMENTARY: Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #764, Article 8
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006

By Amiram Barkat,, Tel Aviv, Israel, Wed., Sep 27, 2006


Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 26 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006


Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the general debate of the
sixty-first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
New York, New York, Monday, 25 September 2006


COMMENTARY: The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #764, Article 12
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006

13.                          UNITY STATEMENT ON DARFUR
SAFE DARFUR COALITION, Washington, D.C., September 2006


         75th anniversary commemoration of the Famine-Genocide in 2008.
By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau, The Ukrainian Weekly
Parsippany, New Jersey Vol. LXXIV, No. 38.
Sunday, September 17, 2006 (Reprinted with permission)

15.                                     THE GENOCIDE TEST
                       Surely China does not believe Sudan’s brazen lies.
The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 19, 2006; Page A20

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 25, 2006


                Question about Ukraine’s possible membership in NATO
Press Availability Following NATO Ministerial, New York City
Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
US State Department, Washington, D.C., September 21, 2006

Agence France-Presse, New York, NY, Monday, September 25, 2006

INTERVIEW: With Alan Cooperman, Professor, Texas University
By: Oksana Levkova, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #28
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 19 September 2006

                Yanukovych challenges Yushchenko’s authority on NATO
: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 173
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Sep 20, 2006

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko and his Israeli colleague, Moshe Katsav, have
opened an exhibition commemorating the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Babyn
Yar tragedy.

In his speech, the President said: “Today we are honoring the tragedy of the
Second World War, one of its most horrific crimes, the Babyn Yar tragedy.

The Holocaust and Babyn Yar killings have wounded our nations. Babyn Yar
should be that injection to prevent aggressive bloody xenophobia,” he said,
adding that it was vital to promote democracy and the rule of law.

Mr. Yushchenko called on the world community to never forget the massacre:
“Let’s read our history, omitting ‘no titles and no commas,’ as Taras
Shevchenko wrote, for this is a bitter lesson for us and posterity.”

Moshe Katsav also said people must never forget this event. “We must pass

on the memory of the Holocaust to the young for the sake of posterity and to
preserve kindness and human values,” he said.

“We must act together to root out anti-Semitism and racism for the sake of
mankind,” he continued. “Like us, many leaders of the free world are worried
about the spread of anti-Semitism. They are combating it confidently and
responsibly.” The Israeli President said such exhibitions “help ensure
security of our children and grandchildren.”

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr

Moroz, Kyiv Governor Vira Ulyanchenko, Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky,
First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic,
Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and other participants of tomorrow’s
forum LET MY PEOPLE LIVE! attended the ceremony.

Victor Yushchenko and his wife held a reception after the opening.
Addressing those present, the Head of State said his generation of
politicians must spare no effort to make such tragedies never happen again
and help future generations preserve historical memory. [What about

the genocide in Darfur today, Mr. President? What is Ukraine doing
about it? AUR EDITOR]

“And so we are working for that, we worked last year and we will continue
working,” he said, adding that the Ukrainian nation “will remember this
tragic event forever.” He thanked his colleagues for coming.

Babyn Yar, a large ravine on the northern edge of Kyiv, is the site of a
mass grave of victims, mostly Jews, whom Nazi German SS squads killed
between 1941 and 1943. After the initial massacre of Jews, Babyn Yar
remained in use as an execution site for Soviet prisoners of war and for
Gypsies as well as for people of other nationalities. Soviet accounts after
the war speak of 100,000 dead.

Following the sixtieth anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation in 2005,
Victor Yushchenko announced that Kyiv would mark the sixty-fifth

anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre.

The exhibition, which has two parts, A Warning for the Future and No
Children’s Games, was organized by Ukraine’s Culture Ministry, the Babyn

Yar Memory Foundation, the Kyiv Council Culture Department and Yad
Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, 26 Sep 2006

KIEV –  Ukraine this week marks the anniversary of one of World War Two’s
most notorious wartime massacres, reflecting on a key stage in Nazi
Germany’s plan to kill off European Jewry and on persisting anti-Semitism at

The ex-Soviet state is holding events to honour more than 33,000 victims
shot and tossed into pits over two days in September 1941 in Babiy Yar, a
ravine now in the Kiev suburbs.

The focal point will be a forum on Wednesday, hosted by President Viktor
Yushchenko, on the Nazi “final solution” and its ramifications today,
especially in post-Soviet society.

Kiev’s 150,000-strong Jewish community, swollen by refugees, was summoned

to a gathering point on September 29, 10 days after the Nazis rolled
practically unhindered into the city.

Jews in Ukraine and Russia were long used to pogroms under the tsar. Living
in a closed society and all but ignorant of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policies,
most carried prized possessions on the mistaken notion that the Germans
would resettle them.

“My grandmother had me in one arm and her passport in the other. She kept
crossing herself and crying ‘I’m Russian!” said Raisa Maistrenko, three at
the time and half-Jewish and now one of a handful of survivors still alive.

“A local policeman said everyone there was Jewish. He tried to hit me with
his rifle butt. My grandmother protected me with her shoulder and we fell to
the ground together.”

Maistrenko, who later danced in an ensemble for 22 years, fled in the
confusion with her grandmother to a cemetery, hid in the bushes through the
night before stumbling home after dawn.
                                        STARTING POINT
Jewish leaders see Babiy Yar as a starting point — meant to test public
reaction before pushing ahead with the network of a half dozen death camps
in neighbouring Poland set up to kill Jews brought in by train from across
the continent.

“The Nazis checked the level of tolerance to their own intolerance in
Europe,” said Moshe Kantor, chairman of the board of governors of the
European Jewish Congress.

“And step by step they became sure that the world would be tolerant of their

Historians said the choice of Kiev as a killing ground was logical for the
Nazis as their troops swept towards Moscow, Leningrad and the war’s big
turning point at Stalingrad.

“The Nazis had good intelligence and they knew there were large
concentrations of Jews in Kiev,” said Viktor Korol, a history professor at
Kiev state university.

“They also exploited Soviet errors. The authorities confused the people by
insisting Kiev would never fall to the Germans.”

Korol said the massacre was planned by SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who
visited Kiev days after the city fell.

“Himmler personally took the decision of a final solution for Jews in Kiev
in the last few days of September,” he said. “And he was acting on a
directive from Hitler.”

No one knows how many died in Babiy Yar as the killings resumed after the
first massacre, adults and children alike lined up on ledges and
machine-gunned, their bodies piling into the ravine. Estimates range from
100,000 to 200,000.

Later victims included Gypsies, partisans and underground fighters.

As Red Army troops advanced westward after Stalingrad, the Nazis unearthed
and burned bodies and carted off archives.

After victory in 1945, Babiy Yar’s impact was diminished under the Kremlin’s
blatant anti-Semitic policies, under Josef Stalin and then his successors.

No monument stood at the site until the mid-1970s, when a grandiose
sculpture commemorated “Soviet civilians”, with no specific reference to

It was only under Mikhail Gorbachev’s “perestroika” reforms of the 1980s
that the extent of the Jewish tragedy was raised. A menorah was erected in
the first years of post-Soviet rule.

While in modern Ukraine there is none of the “state-sponsored” anti-semitism
that marked the Soviet period and tsarist era with its merciless pogroms.
But Jewish organisations say anti-semitism still exists on a personal level,
with Jews suffering insults and prejudice.

Elsewhere in the ex-Soviet Union, notably in Russia, it is also in evidence.
Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin bowed his head and admitted shame at the last
holocaust forum marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
death camp last year.

Ukrainian President Yushchenko, whose father was a forced labourer at
Auschwitz, vowed then to help stamp out anti-Semitism.

“From age three I was uncomfortable about saying I was a Jew,” said survivor
Maistrenko. “Now my grand-daughter is proud to say so. Part of my mission
now is to help fight anti-Semitism.”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Tuesday opened

commemorations of the 65th anniversary of the Nazi massacre at Babi Yar
with a plea to remember, saying it was the only way to ensure that such a
tragedy is not repeated.

“Time can heal wounds, but it should not erase them from our memories,”
Yushchenko said as he launched two days of events to mark the 1941 Nazi mass
murders of more than 100,000 people, including tens of thousands of Jews, at
a ravine in Kiev.

Ten days after Nazi soldiers occupied the capital of Soviet Ukraine, notices
appeared around the capital ordering Jews to report by 8 a.m. on Sept. 29,
1941, to a site on the outskirts of town. They were told to bring their ID
cards, money and fresh clothes. Most thought the Nazi occupiers were
deporting them to a Jewish ghetto. Some even arrived early in hope of
getting a good seat on the train.

But after dragging luggage and their families to the ravine, the Jews were
forced to undress and herded in lines to the edge of the embankment. For 48
hours, the Nazis gunned down the crowd until at least 33,771 Jews had been
massacred – a number recorded by the Germans. In the ensuing months, the
ravine would fill with an estimated 100,000 bodies, including other Kiev
residents and Red Army prisoners.

Ukrainian and foreign dignitaries including Israeli President Moshe Katsav
took part Tuesday in the opening of an exhibit entitled “Forewarning the
Future,” which included grim photographs of victims of the Nazis’ “final
solution” that killed 6 million European Jews. The photographs showed naked
and twisted bodies stacked together in the Babi Yar ravine, and German
soldiers picking through the Jews’ abandoned clothes.

“Not only bodies were buried at Babi Yar, but also hopes, dreams and
expectations,” said Yushchenko, whose father, a Red Army soldier, was
imprisoned by the Nazis in the Auschwitz death camp as prisoner No. 11365.

Katsav said, “We must teach the young of every country about the Holocaust,
not to forget.”

The commemorations – involving 1,000 guests representing 41 countries – will
continue with a ceremony on Wednesday at the ravine, followed by a forum
aimed at “assessing the world’s moral climate,” organizers said in a

Valentyna Sukalo, 82, cried as she recalled how the Jews passed her house on
the way to Babi Yar 65 years ago. “They were scared, some begged my mother
to take their baby,” Sukalo said, her eyes filling with tears. “We had to
say no. We were already hiding one Jewish family – a mother and daughter.
There wasn’t room. All we could do was say goodbye.”

Ukraine’s Jewish community has grown increasingly frustrated by
manifestations of anti-Semitism. Last year, there were a series of attacks
on Jews near a downtown synagogue, and anti-Semitic books and literature
continue to be sold openly in some kiosks around the city center.

Today, Babi Yar, part of a popular tree-lined park, still has the air of a
forgotten monument. Young couples slip past the hedges that mark the border
to the ravine, where tens of thousands of bodies once lay, to stretch out on
the carefully cut grass. In another part of the ravine, near the menorah
that the Jewish community erected in 1991, boys play soccer on a dirt field.

Ukraine was once home to a thriving Jewish community; about 20 percent of
Kiev’s population of 875,000 was Jewish before the war. Today, there are
103,000 Jews in all of Ukraine, according to official data, although the
number is believed to be several times higher.              -30-

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

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1617 gmt 26 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, opening an exhibition dedicated to
the 65th anniversary of the Babyn Yar (Babi Yar) tragedy in Kiev, warned
against xenophobia and said that democracy prevents hatred.

Israeli President Moshe Quatzav said that Babyn Yar is a symbol of the worst
in people. More than 100,000 Jews and other people were killed by the Nazis
in Babyn Yar, then outside Kiev, during World War II.

The following is an excerpt from report by Interfax-Ukraine news agency:

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko believes that the commemoration
of the 65th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy has universal significance.

“The main goal of today’s event is to make it so that the mankind should
read the story of the Babyn Yar tragedy over and over again,” Yushchenko
said during the ceremony of opening an exhibition at the Ukrainian House in
Kiev today.

Yushchenko recalled that more than 100,000 people were butchered in Babyn
Yar. “Babyn Yar buried not only people’s bodies, but also their dreams,
hopes and expectations. Among those who suffered were Jews, Romanies,
Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Czechs and representatives of other nations,”
he said.

Yushchenko said that the tragedy of the holocaust and Babyn Yar is “a deep
wound for each of those nations”. “Babyn Yar should become a vaccine saving
and protecting everybody from aggressive and bloody xenophobia,” Yushchenko

He noted that “hatred grows where there is poverty and crime and where there
is no democracy”. That is why, Yushchenko said, the main goal of the Orange
Revolution [in December 2004, which brought him to power] was to introduce
democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine. “There is no place for hatred and
intolerance only in a country where freedom and democracy are present,” he

For his part, Israeli President Moshe Quatzav stressed that Babyn Yar, just
like Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps, symbolizes the worst
in human being – the desire to kill, exterminate and spill human blood.

“The worst fate awaited 1.5 million Jewish people – people who were full of
hopes and dreams – they were tormented to death together with their hopes
and their future,” he said. [Passage omitted: repetition, the exhibition
opened]                                          -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

By MARA D. BELLABY, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 26, 2006

KIEV, Ukraine — When the notices went up in Kiev ordering the Jews to
gather on the corner of Melnyka and Dokterivska streets by 8 a.m., they
assumed the Nazis were shipping them to a ghetto. Some even arrived early
for a good seat on the train.

There were no trains. What met the Jews that morning was death in a ravine
called Babi Yar.

The mass murder on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital 65 years ago
Friday has made the name Babi Yar infamous and has come to be seen as
foreshadowing the gas chambers and crematoria of the Final Solution.

Forced to undress, the Jews were herded in groups — men, women and
children — to the edge of a ravine. For 48 hours, the Nazis gunned down the
crowd until at least 33,771 Jews — the number recorded by the German
executioners — were dead.

The bodies that toppled down the embankment would be joined in the ensuing
months by at least another 70,000 dead: Jews, Soviet POWs, other Kievans.

“Time can heal wounds, but it should not erase them from our memories,”
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said as he launched two days of
commemorations attended by Israeli President Moshe Katsav and 1,000 guests
representing 41 countries.

“Not only bodies were buried at Babi Yar, but also hopes, dreams and
expectations,” said Yushchenko, whose father, a Red Army soldier, was
prisoner No. 11365 at Auschwitz.

Ukraine was a Soviet republic when the Germans invaded in 1941. It became
independent with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, and hopes the Babi
Yar commemoration will show the world that it has completely shaken off the
Soviet-enforced silence that clung to the tragedy for decades.

The commemorations began Tuesday with the opening of an exhibit entitled
“Forewarning the Future,” featuring photos of naked and twisted bodies
stacked together at Babi Yar. They continue Wednesday at the ravine.

The commemorations come as Ukraine’s Jewish community worries about the

sale of anti-Semitic books and newspapers in the capital and a series of attacks
on Jews near a synagogue last year.

Before World War II about 175,000 of Kiev’s 875,000 people were Jewish.
Today official figures say there are 103,000 Jews in all of Ukraine,
although the Jewish community says the number is several times higher.

“Every Ukrainian city has its own Babi Yar,” said Roman Levith, 73, who
survived because his mother managed to get new passports with
Ukrainian-sounding last names that fooled the Nazis. Six of his relatives

“I survived only because I don’t look like a Jew,” said Oleksiy Volikov, 72,
who witnessed the Babi Yar executions firsthand as a boy of 7. “People’s
bodies were thrown into the pit like dead chickens.”

Valentyna Sukalo, 82, cried as she recalled the Jews passing her house on
the way to Babi Yar. “They were scared, some begged my mother to take their
baby,” Sukalo said, her eyes filling with tears. “We had to say no. We were
already hiding one Jewish family — a mother and daughter. There wasn’t
room. All we could do was say goodbye.”

The exact number killed was never known; as the Red Army approached two
years later, Jewish prisoners were ordered to dig up the bodies and burn

For years, the atrocity went officially unmarked, while an expanding Kiev
grew around the ravine.

Then, in 1961, Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko drew international attention
to the massacre with “Babi Yar:”

     “… Wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar,
     “The trees look sternly, as if passing judgment.
     “Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,
     “I feel my hair changing shade to gray …”

Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich set it to music in his Symphony No. 13.
Soviet authorities tried to suppress the poem and the symphony, then offered
a half-measure: a towering bronze monument at Babi Yar that made no mention
of Jews.

Only in 1991, with Soviet rule coming to an end, was the Jewish community
allowed to raise a 10-foot menorah at the ravine.

Today, the place where tens of thousands of bodies once lay is part of a
popular tree-lined park, but still has the air of a forgotten monument. Boys
play soccer there, and young couples slip past the hedges to stretch out on
the carefully cut grass in the ravine.                      -30-

FOOTNOTE: Latest news articles say President Bush has announced
a delegation to the 65th commemoration of the Babi Yar massacre.
The delegation to the Sept. 27 ceremony in Ukraine is headed by Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings and includes Gregg Rickman, the State
Department’s special envoy on anti-Semitism, and Fred Zeidman, chairman
of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.   AUR EDITOR
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                          HOW WILL HISTORY JUDGE US?

Full-page advertisement, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 26, 2006, page A5

                            HOW WILL HISTORY JUDGE US?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Genocide is happening right now in Darfur.
You can end it.

400,000 people dead.  2.5 million displaced.  Untold thousands
raped, tortured and terrorized.  Men. Women. Children.

Ending the horror will take a strong UN peacekeeping force.  And
that will take leadership from President Bush. 

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

Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, 25 September 2006

KIEV – Ukraine will commemorate on Wednesday the anniversary of a
massacre at Babi Yar, a grassy ravine in Kiev where Nazi forces killed
34,000 Jews in two days 65 years ago.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, whose father was imprisoned at
the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, will host
Israeli President Moshe Katzav, as well as his Croatian and
Montenegrin counterparts.

Thirty foreign delegations, including from Moscow and Washington, are
expected to attend the event and an exhibition about the tragedy that
is set to open on Tuesday.

The commemoration ceremonies are to start by the monument to the
memory of the victims of the Babi Yar (Woman’s Ravine) massacres on
Wednesday — to be followed later in the day by an international forum
entitled `Let My People Go.’

The forum on xenophobia and anti-Semitism is being organised jointly
by Ukrainian authorities, the World Holocaust Forum and the Yad Vashem
Holocaust Memorial.

`The Holocaust didn’t come out of nowhere, it formed gradually. It’s
only by examining closely the microbes called anti-Semitism that we
can understand where they come from,’ said Moshe Kantor of the
European Jewish Congress.

The massacres at Babi Yar were on a scale that defies comprehension.

Nearly 34,000 Jews, many of them elderly, women and children, were
forced to gather at Babi Yar by German troops just days after the Nazi
invasion. They were shot along the ravine’s edge on September 29 and
30, 1941.

Some 800,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in the war.

Ukraine today has around 500,000 Jews — the fourth largest Jewish
population in the world after Israel, Russia and the United States.

The ravine continued to be used for executions and up to 60,000 more
people — Jews, Roma, resistance fighters and Soviet prisoners of war
— were killed there until 1943.

Before retreating from the advancing Red Army in 1943, Nazi troops
exhumed and burned the corpses at Babi Yar in a last-ditch bid to hide
the atrocities committed there.

But the secrets of Babi Yar became part of the accusations against
senior Nazi officials at the Nuremberg trials and a monument was
erected in Soviet times to the memory of the victims.

Soviet authorities, however, sought to play down the sensitive Jewish
component of the history of Babi Yar. Anniversary gatherings were
banned at the site and there was an attempt to build a stadium there
in the 1960s.

In 1991, the Jewish community erected a menorah-shaped sculpture nearby.

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

COMMENTARY: Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #764, Article 8
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006

President Viktor Yushchenko, genocide is happening right now in Darfur.

You can help end it.

400,000 people dead.  2.5 million displaced.  Untold thousands raped,

tortured and terrorized.  Men. Women. Children.

Ending the horror will take a strong UN peacekeeping force.  And
that will take leadership from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
and other presidents around the world.

President Yushchenko: When will you speak out about Darfur? When

will you urge the United Nations to act? When will Ukraine send
assistance to the genocide victims in Darfur?


HOW WILL HISTORY JUDGE US?                  -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Amiram Barkat,, Tel Aviv, Israel, Wed., Sep 27, 2006

KIEV – Sixty-five years after 33,000 Jews were massacred in the Babi Yar
ravine in Ukraine, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and

several Jewish organizations are teaming up to identify the approximately
1 million Jews killed in the former Soviet Union during World War II.

As researchers interview the last surviving witnesses and examine old
documents, the question they hear repeated over and over again is:

“Where have you been until now?”

A state memorial ceremony will be held tomorrow at Babi Yar, near the
Ukrainian capital of Kiev, where German and Ukrainian soldiers and policemen
carried out the mass murder. But it is not clear exactly whose deaths are
being commemorated, since more than 90 percent of the Jews killed there
have yet to be identified.

Yad Vashem has recorded the names of some 3,000 Jews killed at Babi Yar.
While it also has the names of some 7,000 Jews from Kiev who were killed in
the Holocaust, the museum’s researchers don’t know where they died or were

The incomplete records stem from the fact that at the time of the massacre,
only the number of dead was reported, and not their identifying details.
Other Einsatzgruppen squads – mobile killing units that murdered about 1
million Jews between 1941 and 1943 in the western Soviet Union, northern
Romania and eastern Poland – operated in a similar way.

The project to identify Soviet victims, which began on Holocaust Remembrance
Day, in April, has so far collected several thousand “pages of testimony”
filled out by the relatives and acquaintances of those killed in the
Holocaust and a few dozen lists of victims’ names and memory books written
by survivors of various cities and towns.

The project was initiated by Yossi Hollander, an Israeli entrepreneur in the
hi-tech sector who lives in the United States. Yad Vashem is working with
Jewish organizations that operate in the former Soviet Union and Jewish
communities in the area.

Avner Shalev, chairman of the Yad Vashem directorate, said the museum had
the names of more than 90 percent of Jewish victims killed in western and
central Europe, 35 percent to 40 percent of those killed in Romania, Hungary
and Poland – and only about 20 percent of those killed in the former Soviet

Some 600,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust in Ukraine alone, and
some 300,000 in Belarus, according to Yad Vashem.

Researchers have gleaned the names of the victims from records kept by the
Germans as well as pages of testimony and record books. Yad Vashem has
collected about 3.5 million pages of testimony so far, of which only a few
hundred thousand relate to people from the former Soviet Union.

One reason for the paucity of information on Soviet victims is that Yad
Vashem has focused on collecting pages of testimony in Israel and Western
countries, while very little has been done to retrieve data from witnesses
and survivors living in the former Soviet Union.                -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 26 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006
KIEV – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has urged the 61st
session of the UN General Assembly to recognize the famine of 1932-33
in Ukraine as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

He said such recognition would be of great importance for all the countries
that observe the principles of democracy and respect for the human being and
would confirm their loyalty to international commitments and readiness to
resist any act of totalitarianism, mass-scale and gross violations of human
rights and new cases of genocide.

He thanked the countries whose parliaments had recognized the famine as
genocide of the Ukrainian nation and commemorated its victims. He said such
responses are gladly welcomed in Ukraine and widely echoed in the world.

He thanked the countries which approved extending the agenda of the 61st UN
General Assembly’s session to the issue of protracted armed conflicts in the
GUAM region [including Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova] and their
consequences to the security and development of international community.

He said that Ukraine alongside the international community did not recognize
the recent referendum in Moldova [in the breakaway
Dniester region] as legitimate and all the attempts to use “the Kosovo
scenario” as a precedent to claim independence by self-declared regimes are

He said Ukraine is proud to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council and

is ready to work there alongside other countries.
“The strengthening of democracy, the rule of law, human rights protection
and other fundamental rights and freedoms of the person are the cornerstone
basics of Ukraine’s foreign and home policy,” he said.          -30-
FOOTNOTE:  It is very sad and disconcerting that Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Borys Tarasiuk did not also call on the United Nations to
declare the massacre presently going on in Darfur as genocide. Ukraine
should be one of the first nations in the world to speak out directly,
clearly and loudly about present day genocides.   AUR EDITOR
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the general debate of the
sixty-first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
New York, New York, Monday, 25 September 2006

Madam President,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Madam President, with your
election to this high post and to assure you of the full support of Ukraine
throughout your mandate. I would also like to express our deep appreciation
to your predecessor and my good friend H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson for his
outstanding contribution to the progress in implementation of the decisions
of the 2005 World Summit.

I would like to pay special tribute to the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi
Annan, who is about to relinquish his important and noble mission. I praise
Mr. Annan for his valuable personal contribution to and devoted efforts on
all aspects of the UN activities and wish him the best in his further

We are convinced that the next Secretary-General can and must be a person
truly deserving this post and who will honorably discharge this responsible
duty. I would like to once again emphasize the justified position of the
Eastern European states regarding the priority right for a representative of
this region to be appointed to the UN top post.

Eastern Europe remains the only region which has never had its
representative serving as the Secretary-General. In this respect, we welcome
the nomination of the candidature of Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of
the Republic of Latvia.

Madam President,
Our achievements in implementing last year’s Summit decisions are really
impressive.  The Human Rights Council, of which Ukraine is an active member,
has started its work.

The Peacebuilding Commission, the Central Emergency Response Fund and

the UN Democracy Fund are all functioning and making an important contribution
in overcoming disasters and injustice. All of these are notable milestones in
the process of reforming the United Nations.

Still, we are far from ensuring adjustment of our Organization to today’s
realities, let alone preparing it for addressing tomorrow’s threats and
challenges. Reform of the UN Security Council, strengthening of ECOSOC and
promotion of the 2005 World Summit agenda for development, improvement in
the UN Secretariat management are yet to be tackled.

It is well-known that without modernization of the Security Council – an
indispensable pillar of the system of collective security – United Nations
reform would be incomplete.

From standpoint of States of the Eastern European Group, this thesis could
be paraphrased as follows: no enlargement of the Security Council would be
complete without ensuring an enhanced representation of the Eastern Europe.
And the rational for this is doubling of the Group’s membership since 1991,
with, most recently, the Republic of Montenegro joining the United Nations
as its 192nd Member. Taking this opportunity I would like to welcome the
friendly Republic of Montenegro to the UN family.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We need to unite our efforts so that the United Nations – that is, all of us
together – can adequately respond to the whole spectrum of existing and
future challenges in the areas of security, development and human rights.

Recent commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the heinous terrorist attack
in this city as well as growing number of terrorist acts in many parts of
the world should leave no doubt that terrorism continues to remain one of
the most dangerous threats of the present time.

Ukraine welcomes the recent adoption by the General Assembly of the United
Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and is ready to make its important
contribution to its effective realization. This important step has become
another strong signal that terrorism will not be tolerated.

The Strategy has also testified to the readiness of the international
community to strengthen coordination and increase effectiveness of measures
to combat this hideous phenomenon within the framework of a concrete action
plan. On its part, Ukraine has recently ratified the Council of Europe
Convention on Prevention of Terrorism.

We call upon the Member States to make additional efforts during the current
session of the General Assembly to elaborate and to adopt the comprehensive
convention on international terrorism.

Ukraine is deeply concerned with the situation in the Middle East. Recent
events in Lebanon and continuing Israeli-Palestinian crisis have shown the
need for more decisive international efforts aimed at returning peace and
stability to this region.

Violence and hatred cannot become alternative to restoring dialogue and
negotiations in order to achieve comprehensive and lasting settlement of the
Arab-Israeli conflict on all of its tracks.

Therefore Ukraine welcomes the adoption by the Security Council of
resolution 1701 on Lebanon. Support of the resolution by all parties in the
region gives hope for achieving progress in its full implementation. As a
longstanding contributor to the UN peacekeeping efforts, including in the
Middle East, Ukraine made its concrete proposals on contributing to the
enhanced UNIFIL.

Inability to agree on set of commitments in the area of disarmament and
non-proliferation has become one of the major setbacks of the 2005 World
Summit. More than a decade ago Ukraine has made historical contribution in
this area when it unilaterally renounced the third largest nuclear weapons
arsenal in the world.

Therefore we call on Member States to strive for achieving progress in the
areas of disarmament and non-proliferation in the UN and other fora for the
sake of future generations.

Lately the international community has been concerned with the nuclear
programme of Iran. Ukraine supports the efforts of those countries who aim
for Teheran’s return to close and full cooperation with the IAEA.
Appropriate level of cooperation and transparency from Iran on this issue
would help to lift concerns of the international community.

Ukraine stands for the right of all nations to use nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes. However, while realizing this right it is necessary to
fully adhere to commitments in the field of non-proliferation.

One of the most important tests for the ability of the United Nations to
deal effectively with interethnic conflicts will be the issue of the future
status of Kosovo. Taking into account the fragile situation in and around
Kosovo, the political process of determining its future status should be
handled with the maximum level of responsibility of all parties involved.

Any imposed decision leading to unilateral change of borders of the
internationally recognized democratic state will inevitably destabilize the
situation in the Balkan region and set dangerous precedents in Europe and
entire world.

Unfortunately we are already witnessing the unfolding of this undesirable
scenario with precarious attempts to use Kosovo settlement as a precedent
for claiming independence by some self-proclaimed regimes on the post-Soviet

I mean so called referenda on independence recently held in Transnistria,
Moldova, and scheduled for the near future in South Ossetia, Georgia.
Ukraine together with all international community does not recognize these
referenda and considers them illegitimate and having no legal consequences.

Thus, Ukraine consistently supports the need for negotiations between
Belgrade and Pristina aimed at finding mutually acceptable solution based on
Security Council decisions, including resolution 1244.

It is extremely important to ensure that the eventual decision of the UN
Security Council on the final status of Kosovo would not impose the solution
but be taken only upon the clearly expressed consent of both parties

As representative of Ukraine, presiding in the “Organization for Democracy
and Economic Development – GUAM”, I would like to thank those countries
which supported the inclusion into the agenda of the 61st session of the
General Assembly of the new item “Protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and
their implications for international peace, security and development”.

It is an important step that will help to draw the attention to the need for
more active and effective steps of the international community in order to
achieve progress in settlement of conflicts on the territory of Azerbaijan,
Georgia and Moldova.

We, in particular, call for realization of the initiative by the President
of Ukraine Mr. Victor Yushchenko on Transnistria “To settlement through
democracy”, a Plan of peace settlement of the conflict in South Ossetia
offered by the President of Georgia, and also implementation of the
resolutions of the Security Council and decisions of OSCE on the conflicts
in Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia.

These conflicts are among the main obstacles for the full-scale democratic
transformations in the region, which is among the core elements of the
regional policy of Ukraine.

Having gained the new level of integration during the Kyiv Summit last May,
GUAM Member States set as their main purposes strengthening of values of
democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, deepening
of the European integration, achievement of sustainable development and
increase of the well-being for their peoples.

Black Sea Economic Cooperation is another promising model of multilateral
political and economic initiative. In 14 years of its dynamic existence, the
Organization has proved its value as a framework of regional cooperation.

Considering that the issues of energy security are among most important for
Europe today, Black Sea – Caspian Region takes on special significance for
providing secure, stable mining and transportation of energy resources.

Ukraine is ready to take active part in promotion of energy projects in the
BSEC framework. We are also convinced that the BSEC should render effective
support to the efforts of the world community directed at combating
terrorism, resolving the so-called “frozen conflicts” in the region and
combating trans-border crime.

It is necessary to coordinate the BSEC activity with corresponding programs
supported by the UN, OSCE, EU and NATO.

The Forum of Community of Democratic Choice, held in Kyiv in December 2005,
is yet another example of cooperation for strengthening European democratic
values in Eastern Europe.

The CDC united the states of Baltic-Black-Caspian Seas’ area and the Balkans
in their aspirations for higher democratic standards, required for
successful movement towards the full-scaled European integration.

GUAM, BSEC and the CDC are valuable contributions to the creation in Eastern
Europe of a homogenous with the EU area of democracy, stability and

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Strengthening of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms are imperatives of internal and external policy of
Ukraine. That is why we are proud to have been elected to the Human Rights
Council. As a member of this body Ukraine is ready to work with other states
in order to bring real change in promotion of human rights worldwide.

The international community is responsible for protection of people under
the threat of genocide or other violations of fundamental human rights. In
two years we will mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. One and a half decade
before its adoption and yet before the tragedy of Holocaust Ukrainian people
had become victims of genocide.

Deliberately organized by the communist totalitarian regime with the purpose
of destruction of the vital core of freedom-loving Ukrainian people – its
peasantry, the artificial Holodomor in Ukraine of 1932-33 led to the death
of seven to ten million of innocent men, women and children which
constituted up to 25% of the then Ukraine’s population.

Having committed this inhuman crime, the communist regime tried to conceal
its scale and tragic consequences from the world community. And they
succeeded for a long time. After regaining the independence of Ukraine many
new appalling and horrifying facts have been revealed. Parliaments of a
number of countries took decisions recognizing Holodomor of 1932-1933 as

an act of genocide.

Ukraine calls upon the United Nations as the collective voice of the
international community to contribute to the commemoration of the 60th
anniversary of the Convention by recognizing Holodomor as an act of

genocide against the Ukrainian people.
Such a step would contribute towards making genocide and mass
abuse of human rights impossible in the future.  [What about the
genocide in Darfur today, Mr. Foreign Minister?  AUR EDITOR]

With the same aim a number of events will take place in Kyiv tomorrow to
commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy. Mass executions
by the Nazis there became among the first sad pages of evolving tragedy of

In the memory of the Ukrainian people it also the death of tens of thousands
of Soviet prisoners of war of different nationalities. This event is
designed to become yet another important reminder of the lessons of history
and the need to prevent any manifestations of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is needless to say that our primary attention should be devoted to
implementing the Millennium Development Goals as well as new commitments

in the  global development agenda taken at the 2005 World Summit.

There certainly is some mixed progress in this area, but the commitments and
promises taken are yet to be translated into action having a direct impact
on the lives of peoples in need.

The response to global threats should be effective and timely. It took
international community nearly 20 years since the first registered cases of
AIDS to recognize that this disease could threaten the very existence of
humanity. Special session of the UN General Assembly, initiated by Ukraine
together with other states in 2001, has become a turning point in combating

I want to confirm once again Ukraine’s commitments to the implementation of
the Declaration of the United Nations against HIV/AIDS and to express hope
for continuing close cooperation in this field with the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the other UN specialized

Lately we have witnessed the emergence of new disease that can potentially
pose no less then HIV challenge to humanity. Avian influenza threatens the
entire world, it knows no borders. And it is our common responsibility to
ensure that all countries are prepared and protected against this threat.

Combating the spread of the avian influenza and preparation to possible
pandemic of human influenza demand the concerted action at national,
regional and global levels. Should we repeat the mistakes of the past or
learn the lessons and meet the challenge prepared? We believe that the
General Assembly should consider this problem and provide the answer.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
For over sixty years after its creation the United Nations has grown both in
numbers – from 51 states up to 192 – and in quality. Our Organization has
gained invaluable experience in changing the world so that every person
could enjoy more security, justice and dignity.

However, much is yet to be achieved. I believe that it is in our power and
interests to do all we can so that we would be united not only by common
past but common future as well.    Thank you.              -30-

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

COMMENTARY: Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #764, Article 12
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, genocide is happening

right now in Darfur. You can help end it.

400,000 people dead.  2.5 million displaced.  Untold thousands
raped, tortured and terrorized.  Men. Women. Children.

Ending the horror will take a strong UN peacekeeping force.  And
that will take leadership from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko 
other presidents around the world and yourself as the Foreign

Minister of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Tarasyuk when will you speak out directly about

Darfur? You did not do this in your speech before the United Nations
in New York this week. You brought up the genocide in Ukraine in
1932-1933, the worst tragedy in Ukraine’s history.  Why not also work
directly to stop genocides today in the world?

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
13.                       UNITY STATEMENT ON DARFUR

SAFE DARFUR COALITION, Washington, D.C., September 2006

The emergency in Sudan’s western region of Darfur presents the starkest
challenge to the world since the Rwanda genocide in 1994.

A government-backed Arab militia known as Janjaweed has been engaging in
campaigns to displace and wipe out communities of African tribal farmers.

Villages have been razed, women and girls are systematically raped and
branded, men and boys murdered, and food and water supplies targeted and

Government aerial bombardments support the Janjaweed by hurling
explosives as well as barrels of nails, car chassis and old appliances from
planes to crush people and property.

Tens of thousands have died. Well over a million people have been driven
from their homes, and only in the past few weeks have humanitarian agencies
gained limited access to some of the affected region.

Mukesh Kapila, the former United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Sudan,
said on March 19, 2004 that the violence in Darfur is “more than a conflict,
it’s an organized attempt to do away with one set of people.”

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has issued its first ever genocide
emergency. John Prendergast of International Crisis Group warns, “We have
not yet hit the apex of the crisis.”

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates
that 350,000 people or more could die in the coming months. Ongoing
assessments by independent organizations such as Medecins sans Frontieres
(Doctors without Borders) suggest that USAID’s estimate may be conservative.

If aid is denied or unavailable, as many as a million people could perish.
Lives are hanging in the balance on a massive scale.           -30-


American Jewish World Service
American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA Society)
Amnesty International USA
Citizens for Global Solutions
Darfur Peace and Development
Genocide Intervention Network
International Crisis Group
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
National Association of Evangelicals
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition
Union for Reform Judaism
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Affiliation of Christian Engineers
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Alliance of Baptists
American Anti-Slavery Group
AFL-CIO/Solidarity Center
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
American Humanist Association
American Islamic Congress
American Islamic Forum for Democracy
American Jewish Committee
Americans for Democracy in the Middle East (ADME)
Americans for Democratic Action
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute
Armenian Assembly of America
Armenian Church of America
Armenian National Committee of America
B’nai B’rith International
Bread for the World
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Christian Solidarity International
Church Alliance for a New Sudan
Church World Service
Coalition for American Leadership Abroad (COLEAD)
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations
Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations (CSJO)
Council for Secular Humanism
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Cush Community Relief International
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy
Darfur Community Organization
Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA
Darfur Rehabilitation Project
Dear Sudan
The Echo Foundation
The Episcopal Church, USA
Faithful America
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Freedom Quest International
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
Global Justice
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Human Rights First
The Hunger Site
ICNA: Islamic Circle of North America
Institute for the Study of Genocide
Interfaith Council
International Justice Mission
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Society of North America
Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
Jewish Healthcare International
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Jewish World Watch
Jubilee Campaign
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutheran World Relief
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Metropolitan Community of Churches
Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
Muslim Public Affairs Council
My Sister’s Keeper
National Black Church Initiative
National Black Law Students Association
National Council of Jewish Women
National Jewish Democratic Council
National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Open Doors USA
Operation Sudan
Operation USA
Passion of the PresentPax Christi USA
Peace Action
Physicians for Human Rights
Presbyterian Church USA; Washington D.C. Office
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Project Islamic H.O.P.E
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbis for Human Rights North America
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Refugees International
Religions for Peace-USA
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Res Publica
The Shalom Center
Social Action Committee of the Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations, c/o Jewish Family & Life!
Society for Humanistic Judaism
Society for Threatened Peoples
Stop Genocide Now
Teachers Against Prejudice
Third World Images, Inc
TransAfrica Forum
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
Union for Traditional Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
United Jewish Communities
United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA)
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment
Western Sudan Aid Relief in the USA
Women of Reform Judaism
Women’s America ORT
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
Workmen’s Circle/ Arbeter Ring
World Evangelical Alliance

African Mutual Assistance Association of Missouri
All Saints Church in Pasadena
Board of Rabbis of Northern California
Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan
Canadian Council for Reform Judaism
Canadian Federation of Jewish Students
Canadian Jewish Congress
CASTS: Canadians Against Slavery and Torture in Sudan
Chicago Coalition to Save Darfur
Cincinnatians United to Save Darfur
Cleveland Diocesan Social Action Office & Diocese of Cleveland
Congregation Beth Or
Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur
Dallas Peace Center
Darfur Alert (Philadelphia)
Democrats for Life of New York
District of Columbia Baptist Convention
Help Darfur Now, Inc.
Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin,
Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey
Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
Jewish Federation of Tulsa
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
Mason-Dixon Darfur Alliance
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
Medjugorje International Relief
New Vision Partners, Inc.
New York Board of Rabbis
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC)
Save Darfur Coalition of South Palm Beach
Save Darfur Coalition of Western Massachusetts
STAND Canada (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur)
Sudan Human Rights Organization (SHRO) Washington, DC Chapter
UJA Federation of New York
Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America
Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Washington Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Western Massachusetts Darfur Coalition
Yeshiva University
FOOTNOTE:  How many of the thousands of Ukrainian organizations
around the world today have signed on as members of the Save Darfur
Coalition?  How many can you find on the list above? 

One would think when the worst tragedy in Ukraine’s history was a

genocide, the HOLODOMOR (induced starvation, death for millions,
genocide), and no one intervened to stop the mass murder in 1932-1933,
and when genocide took place again in Ukraine during WWII, the
HOLOCAUST, the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian organizations
around the world would be one of the first to speak out directly against
genocide today and send assistance. Seems logical but does not happen.   
The way to pay tribute to and memorialize the victims of genocide in the
past is to stop genocides today.  (AUR EDITOR)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         75th anniversary commemoration of the Famine-Genocide in 2008.

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau, The Ukrainian Weekly
Parsippany, New Jersey Vol. LXXIV, No. 38.
Sunday, September 17, 2006 (Reprinted with permission)

KYIV – A design featuring Christian symbols and a labyrinthine underground
museum was selected on September 9 as the plan for Kyiv’s Holodomor

Memorial Historical Complex.

A judges’ panel of about 20 experts selected the architectural plan proposed
by architect Anatolii Haidamaka, a prolific designer of churches and
national monuments, as well as a close adviser to President Viktor

The decision marked the biggest step in five years in planning for a
world-class Holodomor memorial which Ukraine’s leadership hopes to

complete in time for the country’s 75th anniversary commemoration of the
Famine-Genocide in 2008.

“If foreign countries defined that famine as genocide, if we know about it,
if the Communist Party made excuses in 1991, we have to end debates and put
up this memorial,” said Pavlo Movchan, a well-known writer and the assistant
chair of the jury selecting Mr. Haidamaka’s design.

It was Mr. Haidamaka’s use of Christian themes, not only in the memorial’s
artistic expressions but overall structure, that was most lauded by the jury’s
leaders, including Mr. Movchan and Chairman Mykola Zhulynskyi.

Skeptics, however, alleged Mr. Haidamaka’s plan was selected because of his
close relationship with President Yushchenko.

The complex’s artistic focal point, which may eventually become the
internationally recognized symbol for the Holodomor around the world, is a
metal sculpture of a frail, starving Ukrainian girl.

Clutching five ears of wheat in her folded-over hands, placed over her heart
as if she were praying, the girl is depicted looking toward the sky.

Her sunken eyes appear to reveal hope in God and, simultaneously, disbelief
that He allowed such a tragedy to transpire. “This is the memorial’s most

convincing image,” Mr. Movchan said.

The sculpture of the girl with the ears of wheat might be posed in front of
the planned museum’s entrance.

In the view of Morgan Williams, a Washington insider who has been among the
most active advocates for a Holodomor complex in Kyiv, the sculpture should
be large and central to the memorial.

In fact, the central placement of the sculpture is probably the only thing
that those involved in planning and developing the memorial can agree on.

The remaining art is largely Christian. Two large structures are planned,
the first depicting a traditional ritual cloth (rushnyk) draped above an
icon of the Virgin Mary or the Savior and the second a traditional bell

While Ukrainians embraced Mr. Haidamaka’s use of religious themes, Mr.
Williams believes they’re not effective in distinguishing the memorial and
making a political statement against communism and totalitarian governments.

The predominance of Christian symbolism may lead visitors to associate the
memorial more with Christianity, rather than communicating the evil of
communism and totalitarian governments, he said.

“I’m not against religious symbols,” Mr. Williams said. “But that’s only
half the story. Ukraine might miss the boat to tell the story about a
political system and leaders that crushed the nation by causing the
Holodomor. It’s a weak response to talk about the victims.”

The memorial’s design is based on a Christian theme as well. Visitors will
enter the underground museum along a downward path that is meant to
symbolize the descent into hell endured by Holodomor victims. In the
labyrinth’s center, a window allowing a glimpse of the sky will symbolize

The labyrinth continues to lead the visitor through a cosmic corridor
decorated with thousands of stars, through a wreath of thorns to a cranberry
grove, a depiction of heaven, the ultimate destination of the millions of
innocent victims.

Engraved in black, granite blocks symbolizing Ukraine’s chornozem (black
earth) will be the names of millions of Holodomor victims and their

Perhaps the biggest source of contention has been the Holodomor Memorial
Historical Complex’s location.

After years of denials or indecision regarding various sites in Kyiv, even
as far as the Lukianivskyi Cemetery, the complex’s organizers were offered
the slopes below Kyiv’s Park of Eternal Glory along the Dniprovskyi Descent,
as decreed by former President Leonid Kuchma.

Also sanctioned by the Verkhovna Rada, the proposed location incensed the
Organization of Veterans of Ukraine, which stated that such a location is a
political attempt to discredit the Soviet Union and the Red Army, and
eclipse their honor.

At a September 6 public hearing, Red Army veterans asked that their
sacrifices and achievements on behalf of the Soviet Union be respected and
demanded that organizers move the park to a different location, far from the
Park of Eternal Glory.

“In my mind, comrades, the idea to put this memorial complex in the Park of
Eternal Glory is just a cynical and angry attempt to detract from and to
reduce [the achievements of] the victors, the front-line soldiers,” said
Stanislav Hryhoriev, the first assistant chair of the Kyiv Organization of

“We can’t combine what can’t be combined. Talk to psychologists, and they’ll
tell you that you are trying to cause a conflict between generations,
between people, to incite public opinion,” he said.

The location also drew criticism from the Forum for Kyiv’s Salvation, a
citizens’ group that opposes illegal or abusive real estate development in

The capital’s center already has enough national monuments and parks in its
central district, and constructing the complex would only add traffic and
detract from the area’s natural beauty, said Vitalii Cherniakhivskyi, the
forum’s leader.

Mr. Movchan refuted that claim, stating that the wooded slopes designated
for the complex are rarely traversed by anyone. “It is just a place for
walking with dogs,” Mr. Movchan said.

Many details of the complex remain open to adjustment, including its overall
size, design and various components, Mr. Zhulynskyi said.No budget has been
set for the complex, which will be funded by the Cabinet of Ministers and
the Kyiv City Council.

A vague estimate of $10 million has been floated for Mr. Haidamaka’s design,
and the extent to which it will be possible to develop the complex will
largely depend on how much financing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych will
be willing to provide.

It’s also unclear whether the coalition government, which is led by and
almost exclusively consists of Russian cultural sympathizers, is willing to
support an expedient and well-financed construction of a complex focusing

on the Holodomor.                                  -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
15.                             THE GENOCIDE TEST
                    Surely China does not believe Sudan’s brazen lies.

EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 19, 2006; Page A20

THE NEXT FEW days will show whether China means to let Sudan’s
dictatorship get away with genocide. A series of meetings at the United
Nations in New York offers the best and possibly the last chance to
persuade the Sudanese to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur. The
deployment is required by a Security Council resolution passed last

It is supported by nearly all the leading powers and even by factions within
Sudan’s government. But China has so far refused to tell Sudan’s isolated
leaders to drop their opposition to a U.N. contingent, even though its
extensive investments in Sudan give it the power to do so. If it wants to be
regarded as a responsible power, China should use its leverage.

Consider the arguments for not doing so, as presented by Sudan’s spokesmen.
Yesterday, Sudan’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations protested that
blaming hundreds of thousands of deaths on his government was unfair: “The
armed groups in Darfur are the real culprits,” he asserted.

But China’s leaders surely know this is absurd: The leading murderers in
Darfur are the Janjaweed militia, which has been equipped by Sudan’s
government. Meanwhile, at the World Bank-International Monetary Fund
meetings yesterday, Sudan’s finance minister argued that “what Darfur needs
is not peacekeepers. . . . What Darfur needs most is resources for water,
resources for schools, for hospitals.”

But Sudan’s air force has strafed Darfur’s hospitals and schools, and its
Janjaweed allies have addressed the region’s water scarcity by poisoning
wells with corpses.

Sudan’s president asserts that “the U.N. forces have a hidden agenda in
Sudan because they are not coming for peace in Darfur. They want to
recolonize Sudan.”

His henchmen have indicated that, in place of U.N. peacekeepers, they might
be willing to extend the mandate of the African Union force, which is due to
leave at the end of this month.

Before China accepts this preposterous description of the United Nations and
embraces the supposed concession of a renewed African Union mandate, it
should read the recent dispatches from journalists inside Darfur.

The Post’s Craig Timberg reports that Sudan’s government has seized A.U. jet
fuel and used it to fill its own military aircraft; indeed, the airstrip
used by the African Union in North Darfur is controlled by Sudanese
government forces at night, so fuel is regularly looted.

Meanwhile, Janjaweed fighters recently demonstrated their contempt for the
A.U. forces by assaulting civilians who had gathered to speak to them.

In short, Sudan’s government is presenting the extension of the African
Union’s mandate as a concession, even as it destroys the organization’s
ability to operate.

The A.U. presence is not preventing the government from mounting bombing
raids on civilians with a frequency not seen since the height of the
genocide in 2003; nor is it preventing the obstruction of humanitarian
efforts in North Darfur, where more than 300,000 people have been cut
off from food aid.

The African Union has become almost irrelevant, and no responsible
government can accept an extension of its mandate as an alternative to a
real peacekeeping force.

Is China’s a responsible government?                       -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                            DEEPENING OF ITS COOPERATION WITH EU 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 25, 2006

KYIV – European Commission Directorate for Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus
and Central Asia head Hugues Mingarelli considers that Ukraine’s joining the
World Trade Organization necessary for deepening of cooperation between
Ukraine and the EU.

He has disclosed this at a meeting with Verkhovna Rada foreign affairs
committee chairman Vladyslav Shybko (the Socialist Party faction).

Mingarelli said that strategic aim of the EU is approaching of Ukraine to
the EU structures and integration of Ukraine economy into European one.
Mingarelli said that Ukraine has to immediately enter the WTO.

He said that at first it will entail complications in some Ukraine’s economy
sectors, but Ukraine will win strategically.

Mingarelli said that after joining the WTO Ukraine will become predictable
to European partners. He said he hopes that the parliament will endorse bills
on preparation of Ukraine’s joining the WTO.

In his turn, Shybko said he had met Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yanukovych and
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz.

According to Shybko, currently, the Cabinet of Ministers works out the
scheme of the soonest presentation of 21 bills on WTO for parliamentary
consideration. Shybko also reported on the Verkhovna Rada intention to hold
parliamentary hearings on Ukraine’s joining the WTO.

The deputy said that the most part of the bills on WTO will be considered by
his committee. Shybko forecasted that the committee will approve them as
well as the parliament will.  ‘I do not see any obstacles in passing these
bills by the committee. I do not feel parliamentary objections,’ Shybko

Mingarelli said it is necessary to sign new agreement between Ukraine and
the European Union, which will pay considerable attention to cooperation
between the parties in energy sector.

He said that there are conflict situation in Transdniestria, Abkhazia and
South Osetia. According to Mingarelli, Ukraine has to take active part in
solving these conflicts.

Mingarelli said he hopes for cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the
sectors of fighting against organized crime, human trafficking, corruption
and fighting for democracy.

In his turn, Shybko said that a part of Ukrainian political forces calls for
cooperation between Ukraine and the EU and creation of the free trade zone.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yanukovych
reported on Ukraine’s readiness to enter the EU.

On October 18, the Verkhovna Rada intends to hold parliamentary hearings
on preparation of Ukraine for joining the World Trade Organization.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                Question about Ukraine’s possible membership in NATO

Press Availability Following NATO Ministerial, New York City
Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
US State Department, Washington, D.C., September 21, 2006

Assistant Secretary Fried: Thank you.

As the NATO Secretary General has spoken at length and very well about
the ministerial, there is, in fact, little for me to add.

This was a ministerial somewhat out of normal sequence. We, and working
with our NATO colleagues, agreed to this in order to give an impetus to
preparations for the Riga Summit in late November.

This was a good meeting to talk about the current NATO operations in
Afghanistan, talk about some of the ideas being developed for the Riga
Summit, and it was an important opportunity in which we could remind
ourselves and the world how important NATO is to our common security.

As my Minister, Secretary of State Rice, said in her presentation today, in
a world where our interests and our ideals are increasingly joined and where
our democratic principles are our greatest source of security, NATO remains
one of the most important, effective and remarkable alliances in history.

I think that Jaap de Hoop Scheffer went over the discussions today so there
is no need for me to repeat all of that. A good discussion of Afghanistan, a
good discussion of the principle of NATO’s open door, and the success that
NATO has had through the enlargement process in supporting reform,
stability, and the deepening of democracy in Europe’s East. This has been
one of NATO’s great strategic successes since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This process will continue.

There was strong support at the table for Georgia’s new Intensified Dialogue
with NATO and support for Georgia’s continued reforms and for a peaceful
resolution of some of the regional disputes with separatist regimes in

Finally, you heard Jaap de Hoop Scheffer talk about his meeting this morning
with the President of the African Union and the support the African Union
conveyed to him with respect to NATO’s backup for the Darfur mission.

It is our view that this is another example of NATO’s increasing role around
the world. It can be called on for support in many places where NATO has not
been present traditionally and is present today.

So with that, I’ll answer a couple of questions. Time is short. Again, you
had Jaap de Hoop Scheffer doing most of the work, so my remarks should be
seen as supplemental.

Question: Why is it that a Ukrainian possible membership isn’t mentioned at
all? Did it come to a halt? What is your opinion on that?
With respect to Ukraine, no, I don’t think Ukraine’s progress toward NATO
has come to a halt. The Ukrainian Prime Minister was in NATO last week and
made very clear that he hopes Ukraine’s involvement with and cooperation
with NATO will increase. In that he was welcomed.

He also said there is a debate going on in Ukraine about NATO, which is
really a debate among Ukrainians about Ukraine. And it’s important that the
Ukrainians sort out this debate with respect [inaudible].

We want to see Ukraine move as far as it wants toward NATO, as fast as it
wants, and as fast as it meets NATO’s requirements. But we are neither
impatient, nor are we trying to grab Ukraine.

NATO enlargement, NATO membership, has always been demand driven.
That is NATO and NATO members have responded to the desire of countries
that want to join NATO. That’s why NATO enlargement has been so successful.

NATO is not a camp which tries to keep members in, it’s an alliance of
democracies which welcomes members that want to be in and have something
to contribute.

So we are happy with our partnership with Ukraine, we are happy to see this
deepen. The Ukrainians are working through these issues.
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Agence France-Presse, New York, NY, Monday, September 25, 2006

NEW YORK – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her
Ukrainian counterpart that Washington was eager to work with the
new government of pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

But she said Ukraine’s integration into the US-led NATO alliance and
other “Euro-Atlantic” institutions depended on the pace of democratic
reform in the former Soviet republic, a senior US official said.

Rice met with Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk on the sidelines of the
UN General Assembly, accompanied by the State Department’s chief
human rights official, Barry Lowenkron, and its top democracy promotion
advocate, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky.

Rice raised the possibility of visiting Ukraine during 45 minutes of talks,
but no decision was announced, the official said on condition of

“The secretary emphasized that the United States is ready to work with
the new democratically elected Ukrainian government,” the official said.

Yanukovych, a former communist, was blocked in his bid to claim the
Ukrainian presidency in disputed elections two years ago by a US-backed
“Orange Revolution” which saw his Western-leaning rival, Viktor
Yushchenko, take control of the country.

But he made a spectacular comeback after Yushchenko was forced by
months of political deadlock to offer Yanukovych, 56, the prime minister’s
position last month in a government of national union. Tarasyuk, the
foreign minister, is from Yushchenko’s party in the alliance.

Yanukovych quickly challenged Yushchenko’s foreign policy by announcing
a “pause” in its efforts to join the US-led NATO military alliance, though
he expressed support for Ukraine’s eventual membership in the European


Yushchenko had set an ambitious target of joining the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization by 2008, a development strongly opposed by Moscow, and he
rejected Yanukovych’s announcement as “mistaken” and said it would be

In their talks Monday, Rice “reiterated that the US supports Ukrainian
integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions” — meaning NATO and the
European Union.

But she said the “pace of that evolving relationship will depend on
continued reforms in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government’s comfort with

the pace of that evolving relationship”, the official said.

They also discussed negotiations on Ukraine’s candidacy to join the World
Trade Organisation, a possible Ukrainian contribution to the UN peacekeeping
force in Lebanon and regional efforts to deal with “frozen conflicts”, he
said, without elaborating.

Prior to Ukraine’s disputed 2004 election, the United States had actively
funnelled funds to pro-democracy, non-governmental groups and sent
election monitors to observe the polls.

But US officials have dismissed suggestions that Ukraine under Yanukovych
and his association with the authoritarianism and corruption of ex-president
Leonid Kuchma has fallen from the democratic path.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said recently that
Yanukovych’s move up into the prime ministership was “the evolution of a
democratic process in Ukraine”.

“Mr Yanukovych has come to the prime ministership in the old-fashioned,
democratic way. He worked hard for votes, he campaigned, he politicked.”

“We are going to work with the government of Mr Yanukovych just as we
would with any other democratically elected government,” McCormack said.

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

INTERVIEW: With Alan Cooperman, Professor, Texas University
By: Oksana Levkova, The Day Weekly Digest in English, #28
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Texas University professor Alan Cooperman is a well-known foreign affairs
specialist. He has worked as a consultant to many American congressmen and
published a number of analytical materials that have appeared in the New
York Times, Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs.

This expert’s views on US influence on other countries, the exporting of
revolution, and the role of the EU and Russia in international relations are
especially interesting.

In his interview with The Day, Prof. Cooperman gives his assessment of the
events connected with the appointment of Victor Yanukovych as prime minister
and the signing of the Declaration on National Unity. The American scholar
also says that the US has changed its attitude toward the Ukrainian

[The Day] Do you think the role of the European Union is increasing in
comparison with the importance of the US?

[Alan Cooperman] “To determine whether this is so, one should examine
economic and military aspects. Europe is developing economically faster than
the US, and this is caused not by the success of individual countries but by
the fact that there are a lot of new EU members.

“The GDP and other similar indices are growing faster in the US than in the
European countries, but because of the large number of “newcomers,” total
European economic power indices are higher. And the population of the
European Union is large.

“Therefore, if you consider only the economic aspect, the EU appears to be
more powerful than the United States. If you consider military might,
American military power is expanding much more rapidly. But the countries
that are entering the EU cannot say the same.

“Moreover, Europe spends money on military affairs very ineffectively. If
there’s enough money to pay soldiers, then they lack it for new technology
and communications development.

“Now we should define what is more important: the military or economic power
component. What is power? It is the ability to make others do things they
would never do without compulsion. What made Libya curtail its nuclear
program? Europe’s economic potential? No.

“It was the military force of the US. Why is Iran so persistent in its
decision to enrich uranium? This is not a reaction to the EU’s economic
policy but to US military power.

“On the other hand, the power of the EU’s economy lies in the fact that more
and more new members want to join United Europe in order to become a free
market territory. But consider another thing: the main EU players are not
absolute partners in the sense of external strategies, and this is a

“To sum up, I would say that the approach whereby Europe becomes more
influential and the US, less, is too simplified.

[The Day] How can Russia’s efforts to restore the bipolar world order of the
Cold War era influence the balance of power?

“President Vladimir Putin understands that it would be absurd to strive for
the restoration of the Soviet Union. Russia wants to establish a different
order from the one that existed during the Cold War.

“It wants to establish its own spheres of influence in a large part of the
former Soviet Union’s territory, thereby remaining an economic and military
partner of the ex-Soviet republics.

“It also strives to influence their domestic affairs, to block their
pro-NATO aspirations. The Kremlin reckons NATO to be a threat to

Russia’s sovereignty, freedom, and influence.

“Domestic affairs are another aspect. Russia has a different political
system from NATO member countries; it may be characterized as something

between an authoritarian state and a democratic one.

“Why is this so? Putin has clearly understood that capitalism, which emerged
in Russia in the 1990s, was profitable only for certain people in the
country, i.e., it was the wrong path to take. That’s why today an “iron
 hand” is applied to domestic policies to control the economy.

“An interesting thing is that the Kremlin considers that the political model
recently invented by Russia may become useful for Ukraine, Belarus,
Transdnistria, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China as well.

“China, as well as many other countries, is in favor of a multipolar world,
opposing it to the world order where you have the US on one side, and other
countries (supposedly of a lower sort) – on the other. By the way, the
Shanghai Co-operation Organization was initiated as an institution whose aim
is to establish cooperation among various states against terrorists.

“It is not the Warsaw Pact, but its members are deliberately refusing to let
the US into their ranks and are striving to oppose their self-sufficiency to
it by every means. However, Russia and China are not uniting to oppose the
US, so we don’t have any bipolarity.

[The Day] Can a revolution be exported?

“Russia openly supported Viktor Yanukovych in his struggle against Viktor
Yushchenko. During the presidential elections in your country Moscow
emphasized every time that eastern Ukraine has close relations with Russia.

“I agree with this, but I don’t think Putin should have been the one to
claim this! However, another thing is more important now: it looked as though
Russia had lost, but Yanukovych came into power again soon after that.

“As for US influence, the Americans are conducting an open policy of
advancing democracy into some authoritarian states, supporting those
political parties that want a regime change. Is this the advancement of
revolution or evolution idea? No, it is the desire to change a regime.

“Not just the US, but international organizations as well, supports such
changes, and they are absolutely open about this – the days of the CIA are

“What about results? Similar aspirations were successful in Serbia, Georgia,
Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. However, many reasons were behind the correction
(or 180- degree turn) of the state direction in these countries (except for
Georgia), but it happened after the regime change, so that is a different

“The main thing for us is that Washington is open about advancing democracy
through various foundations that are established inside states.

[The Day] You mean the US gave money to different non-governmental
organizations in Ukraine who were advancing the idea of revolution
(successfully, as it turns out!)?

“We do not call the events that happened in your country a revolution – that
is your term. It seems too broad to us. We use the term “regime change”
instead. The US gives money to those forces that advance the idea of regime
change, first to different foundations, and they in turn provide financial
assistance to certain parties and NGOs.

[The Day] What is Viktor Yushchenko’s reputation in the US? Has it changed
in the last 1.5 years?

“The Ukrainian president used to have the reputation of a liberal,
uncorrupted politician and a progressive democrat. In contrast, his opponent
in the elections in 2006, Viktor Yanukovych, was considered loyal to Russia,
with the reputation of a corrupt communist.

“In time, people who study Ukraine’s problems began claiming that Yanukovych
is not so dirty and that the abyss between them is not so large. When the
results of the parliamentary elections appeared, the Americans shrugged
their shoulders: how could the democratic Ukrainian voters support “a
corrupt communist” instead of the brilliant pro-Western democrat Yushchenko?

[The Day] What is your assessment of the events connected with the
nomination of Victor Yanukovych as prime minister of Ukraine and the essence
of the Declaration?

[Alan Cooperman] It looks as though the Ukrainian president was doing his
best not to accept Yanukovych’s nomination. But finally Yushchenko had to
consider the huge support for Yanukovych among voters and also the fact that
Yulia Tymoshenko had refused to work with the president.

“Ukrainian policy experts think that she is an opportunist and puts career
advancement in first place. It is obvious to me personally that she is the
one who is responsible for all these processes, but the American mass media
do not pay much attention to her.

“Instead, they have concentrated on the fact that Yushchenko practically
squeezed out Yanukovych’s promise to support a pro- Western policy.

“If you generalize the whole picture, what you notice is the anxious tone of
journalists’ materials that seem to be saying: doesn’t all this mean a
180-degree turn in Ukraine’s state direction in comparison with the slogans
of the Orange Revolution?                         -30-
The author expresses her gratitude to Viadrina European University in
Frankfurt (Oder) and Olena Syrinska of the Centre of Near Eastern Studies
(Kyiv) for their assistance in organizing and preparing this interview.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                Yanukovych challenges Yushchenko’s authority on NATO

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 173
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Sep 20, 2006

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych clearly exceeded the powers of
his office, breached internal governmental procedures, and undoubtedly
usurped the presidency’s constitutional authority by announcing in Brussels
that Ukraine is opting out of NATO’s Membership Action Plan.

Shocked, President Viktor Yushchenko and his supporters in government and
parliament seem prepared for a political confrontation with the governing
majority over this issue, which is a fundamental one to them.

Moreover, they realize that the prime minister’s seemingly unilateral move
on NATO is but one aspect of the Party of Regions’ aggressive expansion of
its power and influence, rapidly exceeding the bounds of its pact concluded
in August with the pro-presidential Our Ukraine factions.

That pact and its subsequent misuse by the Party of Regions have almost
turned the pro-presidential camp into a hostage of its more powerful
partner. Thus, the president and his pro-NATO allies in government and
parliament would be acting from a position of weakness if they decide to
confront the Party of Regions and its allies on this issue.

Yushchenko, the ministers of defense and foreign affairs Anatoliy Hrytsenko
and Borys Tarasyuk, and some second-tier presidential advisers (the
first-tier positions being vacant or changing hands) are publicly
criticizing Yanukovych and his party for the move on NATO and are proposing

Their arguments, however, reflect the weakness of their position in Ukraine’s
internal politics generally and in the governing coalition’s politics in

The main arguments and proposals are:
1) Ukraine should announce that Yanukovych’s position on NATO is that of

the prime minister and party leader, not the position of the president or the
entire cabinet, and the relevant ministers have not been consulted.

This assertion is correct, but the decisive political fact is that
Yanukovych’s position does reflect that of the main ruling party and its
allies, the majorities in government and parliament, and public opinion at

The Verkhovna Rada’s Socialist chairman, Oleksandr Moroz, has promptly
defended Yanukovych’s conduct in Brussels as reflecting a political
consensus. Moreover, the Party of Regions has become powerful enough to
circumvent other centers of authority.

The prime minister did not deign to include the pro-Western ministers of
defense and foreign affairs in the delegation that accompanied him to NATO
and European Union headquarters in Brussels.

Yanukovych’s chosen foreign policy adviser is Anatoliy Orel, a leading
exponent of the Russia “vector” in former president Leonid Kuchma’s

2) The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) — as a presidential
body, the argument goes — should hold a special meeting and issue
directives to all relevant departments of government regarding
implementation of ongoing NATO-Ukraine reform programs.

However, the NSDC’s overall performance and its actual involvement in
coordinating such reforms have declined precipitously during Viktor
Yushchenko’s presidency.

The decline will continue if Yushchenko carries out its intention to appoint
former prime minister Yuriy Yekhanurov to head the NSDC.

After Petro Poroshenko and Anatoliy Kinakh, Yekhanurov would be the third
consecutive NSDC chief with a business background rather than national
security credentials in 21 months since Yushchenko became president.

3) The presidency and relevant ministries should launch a public information
campaign about NATO and the benefits to Ukraine in implementing reform
programs with the alliance’s assistance.

Such an effort is indeed overdue; but it will take time and funding, and
requires more credible standard bearers than the political forces that
emerged with 10-15% ratings from the recent elections.

In any case, the information effort would almost certainly be more effective
in the eastern and southern regions if it focuses on the Party of Regions
and affiliated interests first, before reaching out more widely to the
populace of those regions.

4) Yushchenko is being asked to confront Yanukovych and, by implication, the
Party of Regions with the argument that the prime minister’s move on NATO
has violated the president’s constitutional authority on foreign and
national security policy making and the August 3 Declaration of National

The constitutional argument is impeccable but risks remaining ineffective
due to the political weakness of the presidential forces.

Hardly anyone in Ukraine or abroad takes the Declaration of National Unity
seriously as a binding pact or guide to policy (see EDM, August 7); merely
invoking that document amounts to an admission of lacking real leverage.

On September 15, Yushchenko summoned Yanukovych for a four-hour

discussion about the latter’s actions in Brussels.

Following their encounter, Yushchenko declared that the prime minister had
violated the president’s constitutional prerogatives, the Declaration of
National Unity, and Ukraine’s national interests.

Yushchenko gave Yanukovych a “first political warning” and announced that

he would henceforth hold weekly meetings with Yanukovych to coordinate

However, the president and his allies do not seem to hold any leverage that
could counter Yanukovych’s and the Party of Regions’ continuing expansion

of their power and influence.                         -30-
(UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine, Channel Five TV [Kyiv], September 14-18)
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