AUR#768 Oct 4 Russian Blockade Of Georgia Continues; Hits Georgian VIneyards Hard; Do Ukrainians Need NATO?; First Revisions To National Unity Pact; Crimea

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 ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – NUMBER 768
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2006
 
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               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
              Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
     Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1. UNSWAYED BY WEST, RUSSIA CONTINUES GEORGIA BLOCKADE
By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Wed, Oct 4, 2006; Page A21

2.                GEORGIAN VINEYARDS HIT BY RUSSIAN FROST

             Kremlin Embargo Seen As Retribution Against Pro-Western State
       The government has begun advertising Georgian wine in countries such
       as Ukraine, where sales are soaring, and officials acknowledge that the
      standoff with Russia has drawn worldwide attention to the vineyards here.
By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Wed, Oct 4, 2006; Page A21

3.                      BACK OFF USSR: RUSSIA AND GEORGIA
        Mr Putin has yet to come to terms with the loss of the Soviet empire.
        He has been bullying and undermining the Georgian government, not
          least in encouraging separatism in its South Ossetia and Abkhazia
                            provinces. It is time for Mr Putin to stop.
LEAD EDITORIAL:
The Guardian, London, UK, Tue Oct 03, 2006

4.    STATEMENT OF ‘OUR UKRAINE’ FACTION ON UNFRIENDLY
                       STEPS BY RUSSIA TOWARDS GEORGIA
STATEMENT: From ‘Our Ukraine’ Political Party
ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 4, 2006

5.          RUSSIA SAYS ANY NATO ENLARGEMENT LEADS TO
                 SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN SECURITY SPHERE

                       Russia does not like Georgia’s work with NATO     
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sep 22, 2006

6.      PUTIN REVEALS DESIRE FOR REGIME CHANGE IN TBILISI                       
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
: By Pavel Felgenhauer
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 183
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Wed, Oct 4, 2006

7.                     PUTIN FURY AT GEORGIA ‘BLACKMAIL’
        Putin ignored international calls to drop the sanctions against Tbilisi
BBC NEWS, United Kingdom, Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006

8.                                    ENOUGH BULLYING
           Russia escalates its attempt to crush a neighboring democracy.
EDITORIAL: The Washington Post

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 3, 2006; Page A16

9. UKRAINE OFFERS MEDIATION IN RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN CONFLICT
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1100 gmt 3 Oct 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, October 3, 2006

10.             GEORGIA OPENS ‘YEAR OF UKRAINE’ IN GEORGIA
Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 29, 2006

11TRANS-DNIESTER: LONGING FOR RUSSIAN HUG, BREAKAWAY

                      REGION FEELS THE PINCH OF ISOLATION
Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Tiraspol, Trans-Dniester, Fri, Sep 29, 2006

12.                     ‘THE EXPANSION PROCESS HAS BEGUN’
                           Russia’s imperial ambitions are alive and well.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY:
by Reuben F. Johnson
The Weekly Standard, Volume 012, Issue 04
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 
                             FURTHER EXPANSION INEXPEDIENT
RIA Novosti, Moscow, in Russian 1425 gmt 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 19, 2006

14YUSHCHENKO STRESSES COMMITMENT TO UKRAINE’S EURO-
            ATLANTIC AMBITIONS, AWARDED PRIZE IN GERMANY
Associated Press, Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, October 3, 2006

15. NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY CALLS ON NATO NATIONS

                           ABOUT ROLE AND ACTIVITY OF NATO
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, October 3, 2006

16.    EU, UKRAINE VISA AGREEMENT POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, October 3, 2006

17UKRAINIAN PRES, ALLIES ON DEFENSIVE OVER NATO POLICY
              Yanukovych challenges Yushchenko’s authority on NATO
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 173
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Sep 20, 2006

18.                             DO UKRAINIANS NEED NATO?
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ihor Zhdanov
First Deputy Head of Our Ukraine Executive Committee
Translated from Ukrainian to English by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, September 27, 2006

19UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER THREATENS NATO SUPPORTERS
WITH REFERENDUM SOON IF THEY CONTINUE TO PRESS FORWARD
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1706 gmt 24 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, Sep 24, 2006

20.               NATIONAL UNITY PACT: THE FIRST REVISION
COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Ihor Zhdanov
First Deputy Head of Our Ukraine Executive Committee
Translated from Ukrainian to English by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 29, 2006

21.    JACKSON: “THERE IS NOTHING BAD ABOUT A PRAGMATIC
   APPROACH TO INTEGRATING INTO EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS”
INTERVIEW: With Bruce Jackson, President,
Project on Transitional Democracies
By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English #29
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 26 September 2006
22EX-UKRAINE LEADER APEALS U.S. EXTORTION CONVICTION
Reuters, San Francisco, CA, Tuesday, October 3, 2006
 
23.              WE SAVED EUROPEANS. WHY NOT AFRICANS?
                       The genocide in Darfur has lasted three long years.
       Will world leaders continue to give the perpetrators of genocide a veto
              over international action to stop it? Unless something changes
                              dramatically, the answer seems to be yes.
OP-ED:
By Susan E. Rice, Anthony Lake and Donald M. Payne
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Monday, October 2, 2006; Page A19
 
24.                    RUSSIA’S IMPERIAL MACHINE AT WORK
                  Empress Catherine II and the subjugation of the Crimea
     Every method was used – military force or its threat, bribery, blackmail,
 diplomatic ways, and hypocrisy. As the reader will soon see, both the design
and operation of that machine have not markedly changed in the last 220 years.
By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest #30,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 3 October 2006
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1
UNSWAYED BY WEST, RUSSIA CONTINUES GEORGIA BLOCKADE

By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Wed, Oct 4, 2006

 
MOSCOW Oct. 3 — Russia signaled Tuesday that it would not lift a
transportation blockade on Georgia despite the release of four Russian
officers detained on espionage charges and calls from the European Union and
the United States for the two countries to find ways to ease tensions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that his country had “no
plans for the time being” to restore postal and transportation links,
including commercial flights and train service, that were severed Monday as
the four military officers were about to be released.

“One must not feed off Russia and insult it,” Lavrov said at a media
briefing Tuesday that was marked by harsh language. “The Georgian leadership
must understand this.”

Relations between the two countries have worsened since Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili came to power in early 2004 on the promise of taking his
country into the NATO military alliance and out of Russia’s sphere of
influence. Tensions are also heightened by two breakaway regions in
Georgia — South Ossetia and Abkhazia — that receive support from Moscow.

Saakashvili has said he is determined to reassert Georgian sovereignty over
the two areas, which are patrolled by Russian peacekeepers.

In Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of
Finland, which holds the rotating E.U. presidency, said Moscow’s sanctions
seemed disproportionate and warned against “more acute measures.”

On Monday, the U.S. State Department also called on Russia and Georgia to
take steps to “de-escalate tensions in the days and weeks ahead.”

“We think that hot rhetoric on either side or sanctions is not a good idea,”
Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian
affairs, said in a telephone interview. “This is a time for reflection and
for both sides to work together. . . . It’s too bad Russia is not taking the
opportunity to de-escalate.”

But Lavrov was not in a charitable mood. “There are attempts by some figures
to say that the Russian officers have been released, the situation has
calmed down and let’s do things as before,” he said. “We don’t want to do
things as before.”

The Russian foreign minister accused Georgia of illegally acquiring Soviet-
or Russian- made arms in Europe, and he said the sellers, whom he did not
identify, were violating a ban on transferring those weapons to third
parties.

He said Russia was “seriously worried by total militarization in Georgia,”
noting a call-up of reservists by the government.

“The Georgian budget is not very big,” Lavrov said. “Money is coming via
different channels, including illegally from Russia, where this money is
largely made by criminal methods. These channels will be blocked, too.”

Lavrov provided no details, but the statement appeared to be a reference to
remittances sent back to Georgia by some of the estimated 300,000 Georgian
immigrants here; some estimates put the number of Georgians in Russia, many
of them here illegally, closer to 1 million. The population of Georgia is
4.6 million.

Russian lawmakers scheduled a debate on a bill that would bar Georgians from
transferring money home. “These measures will not give the desired results
and in the end will hurt Russia itself,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said in
a statement Tuesday.

Lavrov also noted that Georgia had arrested the Russians after Saakashvili
had visited Washington and NATO had agreed to an intensive dialogue with the
country on membership.

“We certainly make note of the assurances of our U.S. colleagues that they
have constantly tried to keep the Georgian leadership from abrupt moves,”
Lavrov said. “But the chronology was the way I have just explained — a
visit to Washington, NATO’s decision, hostage-taking — and the charges were
laughable and groundless.”                             -30-
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2.            GEORGIAN VINEYARDS HIT BY RUSSIAN FROST
            Kremlin Embargo Seen As Retribution Against Pro-Western State

      The government has begun advertising Georgian wine in countries such

       as Ukraine, where sales are soaring, and officials acknowledge that the
     standoff with Russia has drawn worldwide attention to the vineyards here.

By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Wed, Oct 4, 2006; Page A21

TELAVI, Georgia — In the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains, the grapes are
heavy on the vines and ripe for harvesting. Zurab Ramazashvili, owner of the
Telavi Wine Cellar, cradles a bunch in his hand, plucks a single grape and
savors its bursting juices.

“I’m very optimistic about our wine this year,” he said, adding with a
rueful smile, “But where to sell it?”

People have been making wine in this rugged and poor corner of eastern
Georgia for millennia, a tradition that survived nationalization in the
Soviet Union and the disarray of communism’s collapse. But another storm has
blown over the mountains from Russia and into Kakheti, Georgia’s storied
winemaking district.

Earlier this year, Russian health officials banned the import and sale of
all wine from Georgia, citing impurities. It was a body blow to Georgia’s
second-largest export industry, which sold nearly 80 percent of its wine to
Russia.

Georgians read the ban as political retribution for the country’s
increasingly strained relations with the Kremlin, which reached a new pitch
of animosity following the detention of four Russian military officers, who
were stationed in Georgia, on spying charges.

The two countries have been at odds since Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili came to power in early 2004 and immediately adopted pro-Western
policies that included a desire to join the NATO military alliance.

“This year the front line in the economic war is here in the vineyards of
Kakheti,” Saakashvili said in a meeting with ministers in early September.

The impact of the wine ban was immediate — from the fields where the vines
burrow deep into the parched earth to wineries that have invested millions
of dollars in new equipment in recent years. Georgia’s annual production has
plummeted from nearly 50 million bottles in 2005 to a projected 20 million
bottles this year, according to Georgian vintners, wiping out jobs and
investments.

In 2005, for instance, the Telavi Wine Cellar sold nearly 2.5 million
bottles of wine in Russia, about 70 percent of the winery’s entire output.
This year, with the Russian market lost, Ramazashvili projects that he will
sell only 1.7 million bottles.

“It hurts,” said Ramazashvili, “and breaking into new markets is a
time-consuming and costly process.”

“You can’t get a decent price for the grapes now,” said Keto Boglotsishrili,
70, as she and her family harvested Rkatsiteli, a Georgian variety whose
seeds were discovered here in clay jugs dating to 3000 B.C. Prices for the
white grapes have fallen about 30 percent since last year.

“It’s almost not worth being out here,” said Boglotsishrili’s husband,
Shota, as he bent to cut bunches of grapes on a warm fall afternoon.

But the Russian ban could also help diversify an industry that had become
too reliant on one market and paid too little attention to the quality of
the wine it was producing.

“It will take a certain amount of time to recover from this slump, maybe
some years, but this can be a blessing in disguise,” said Zurab Chkhaidze,
co-owner of the Askaneli Brothers winery. “We will have to find new markets
and make new and better products.”

Officials in Moscow said they acted because Georgian wine, as well as wine
from Moldova, was laced with pesticides and other impurities. Russia also
banned Georgian mineral water and agricultural produce and this week cut off
all transportation links between the two countries.

More than 600,000 gallons of wine already in the country were destroyed, and
vintners such as Chkhaidze, who had 40,000 bottles inside Russia at the time
of the ban, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Georgian restaurants that dot Moscow were suddenly forced to serve wine
from Western Europe and the Americas. “It’s not a substitute at all,” said
Gocha Markelia, manager of Alaverdy restaurant in Moscow.

“We grew up — and I mean both Russians and Georgians — drinking Georgian
wine, and Chilean or French wines are very alien to us. Our clients don’t
like those wines and don’t want them, but there’s nothing we can do.”

Vintners here agree that some of the wine sold as “Georgian” in Russia was
impure. But they stress that it wasn’t actually Georgian and that most of it
was counterfeited in Russia.

Last year, 150 million bottles of “Georgian” wine, much of it plonk, was
sold on the Russian market, although Georgia produced only 50 million
bottles in 2005.

Cheap Moldovan, Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian wine was relabeled as
Georgian and sold in Russia, where Georgia’s wines, particularly semisweet
and semi-dry varieties, have been beloved since the armies of the czar swept
in here in the 18th century.

“The Russian market was very easy — too easy. You could sell anything,”
said George Margvelashvili, the president of Tbilvino, a winery based on the
edge of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, that produces some of the country’s
finer vintages. “This crisis is forcing new ideas into the industry — how
to produce better and better wine and how to market it.”

Margvelashvili’s company and other vintners are now attempting to break into
new markets from China to the United States, where he is currently
negotiating with wine brokers.

But he said it will be at least three more years before his factory is back
to 2005 levels of production. Last year, he sold 1.5 million bottles, with
650,000 going to Russia.

“This year we’ll be very, very lucky if we sell 800,000 bottles,” said
Margvelashvili, who has had to lay off 40 of the 125 people who worked at
the winery. “Last year we bought 2,600 tons of grapes at harvest time. This
year nothing, because we have enough stock to carry us.”

To absorb this year’s harvest, grapes are being diverted into the
manufacture of juices and pure spirit, and Georgian companies have been
buying some of the harvest, describing their purchases as a public service.
The army is also buying grapes to feed its soldiers.

The Georgian government is also enforcing a quality-control system to root
out the persistent problem of counterfeiting. Saakashvili complained at his
meeting with ministers that he recently ordered a glass of Mukuzani at a
Georgian restaurant in Krakow, Poland, but it bore no relation to the dry,
deep red made from grapes grown in Kakheti.

“I tried the wine and it would have been better if I hadn’t,” said
Saakashvili. “It was water with alcohol and dye.”

The government has also begun advertising Georgian wine in countries such

as Ukraine, where sales are soaring, and officials acknowledge that the
standoff with Russia has drawn worldwide attention to the vineyards here.

“Russia has provided us with a lot of free publicity because of its
actions,” said Mikheil Svimonishvili, the Georgian agriculture minister, who
is spending the harvest season from mid-September to mid-October in Kakheti.

“We’re coping, and I believe this is going to have a positive impact.”   -30-
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3.                 BACK OFF USSR: RUSSIA AND GEORGIA
         Mr Putin has yet to come to terms with the loss of the Soviet empire.
        He has been bullying and undermining the Georgian government, not
          least in encouraging separatism in its South Ossetia and Abkhazia
                           provinces. It is time for Mr Putin to stop.

LEAD EDITORIAL: The Guardian, London, UK, Tue Oct 03, 2006

The president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, blinked first. He sought to
end a dangerous stand-off with Moscow yesterday by freeing four Russians
accused of espionage.

It was a positive gesture, welcomed in western capitals both for
humanitarian reasons and for selfish ones, primarily the security of
pipelines from the Caspian.

But it was not enough for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who on
Sunday, in an intemperate comment, described the arrest of the Russians as
“state terrorism”. He responded yesterday by banning air, sea and land as
well postal links with Georgia.

The spy crisis itself is relatively minor and Mr Putin’s decision to ban
traffic may in the end prove to be mainly symbolic.

But the stand-off is part of a bigger confrontation, between a former Soviet
republic that is democratic, independent and seeking a formal alliance with
the west, and a semi-authoritarian Russia that remains proprietorial about
what it perceives to be its backyard.

Mr Saakashvili was elected two years ago after the so-called Rose Revolution
on a populist, pro-Western agenda. But, as with the Orange Revolution in
Ukraine, a sense of disillusion has set in. The promised economic
transformation has not arrived and corruption remains endemic.

Facing local elections this week, Mr Saakashvili has opted to play up
nationalism, warning of the Russian menace. It is reckless politics, given
Russia’s military and economic strength. It is especially foolish since
Russia is Georgia’s main trading partner.

So Mr Putin’s irritation is understandable. The US has been increasingly
active in Georgia, training the country’s special forces.

The US, even its wildest fantasies during the cold war, could seldom have
envisaged the scenario that is unfolding: Georgia seeking Nato membership.

This is the real cause of the present confrontation. Agreement was reached
between Nato and Georgia in New York a fortnight ago, on the sidelines of
the United Nations general assembly, for “intensified dialogue”, the first
step towards membership of the alliance. Georgia hopes it could be a full
member by 2008, though that may prove over-optimistic.

Yet Mr Putin would have been wise to be magnanimous yesterday. The rail ban
is due to begin today: he should lift it immediately.

He would also be wise to end the petty trade restrictions already imposed on
Georgia, notably on its famous wine, presently banned in Russia for alleged
health reasons.

More importantly, Russia still has 3,000 to 4,000 troops based in Georgia.
That is unacceptable for a sovereign country. Mr Putin has said he will
stand by a promise to remove them by 2008, but he should remove them sooner.

Meanwhile Mr Saakashvili needs to be more careful in choosing his fights.
There is suspicion among Western diplomats that he deliberately sought this
confrontation to draw US and European attention to Russian interference.

But, if this confrontation was to escalate into conflict, he would end up a
disappointed man. There would be no US help: Georgia is not in Nato yet.

Mr Putin has yet to come to terms with the loss of the Soviet empire. He has
been bullying and undermining the Georgian government, not least in
encouraging separatism in its South Ossetia and Abkhazia provinces. It is
time for Mr Putin to stop.

The unwritten agreement tacitly recognised by most countries in the past,
that Latin America should be considered the US’s backyard, has long ceased
to be acceptable. The same is true of Russia and its former republics. There
are no backyards anymore.

Mr Saakashvili said as much yesterday at a ceremony for the media in which
the alleged Russian spies were uncuffed before being flown home.

Georgia is free to make its own choices and, given its treatment at the
hands of Russia over the last two centuries, it is, not surprisingly,
looking to the west. Mr Putin will have to stomach that.

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4. STATEMENT OF ‘OUR UKRAINE’ FACTION ON UNFRIENDLY
                        STEPS BY RUSSIA TOWARDS GEORGIA

STATEMENT: >From ‘Our Ukraine’ Political Party
ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 4, 2006

KYIV – Our Ukraine declares that aggravation of Russian-Georgian relations
is a consequence of imperial foreign policy of Russia on post-Soviet space,
in particular towards Georgia aimed to destabilize the situation in the
regions and weaken the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgian
state.

Russia started to ban Georgian import, escalated the conflict step by step
and introduced the whole range of economic sanctions against Georgia.

Blocking of Georgian seaports and constant military maneuvers in frontier
zone are dangerous. We consider such actions unacceptable.

Such methods of influence on other state’s will is a sign of shortsighted
policy that neither does nor harmonize Georgian-Russian relations but favors
tension in Caucasian region.

Citizens of both states who have parental, business and cultural ties on
both sides of Russian-Georgian border become dependent on these actions.

The Our Ukraine faction asks Russian side to refuse from such form of
pressure on neighboring country that was familiar for Middle Ages and come
to a civilized dialogue. It does not favor improvement of international
image of Russia and only stresses Russia’s aspiration for hegemony on
post-Soviet space.

We express our solidarity with Georgia and its people when Russia takes

a provocative, impulsive and emotional style in interstate relations. -30-
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LINK: http://en.for-ua.com/news/2006/10/04/140026.html
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5.       RUSSIA SAYS ANY NATO ENLARGEMENT LEADS TO
              SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN SECURITY SPHERE
                    Russia does not like Georgia’s work with NATO
     
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sep 22, 2006

MOSCOW – Moscow expects the latest NATO decision to launch an
“intensive dialogue” with Georgia “not to encourage Tbilisi’s endeavours
to alter the existing international and legal formats of the negotiations on
the settlement of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia problems, its stake on
the use of forcible methods to settle the conflicts”, says the statement of
the Russian Foreign Ministry, which was released here on Friday.

The NATO Council, which met at the level of foreign ministers in New York
on Thursday, decided “intensive dialogue” with Georgia. The Russian
Foreign Ministry believes it will “negatively affect the frail Caucasian
situation”.

“Tbilisi regards the new form of its relations with the alliance as a major
step towards Georgia’s admission to NATO,” the Russian Foreign Ministry

notes. “Our negative attitude to this is well known,” it adds. “The character
of the new risks and menaces to security calls for other patterns of international
interaction, different from those of the military-political alliances, which
were built up during the ‘cold war’ years,” the document says.

“Any enlargement of the North Atlantic Alliance leads to substantial changes
in the sphere of security,” the ministry stresses. “However, the case of
Georgia is special due to its geographic proximity to Russia and to the

obvious complexity of the Caucasian problems,” it adds.

“The experience of previous enlargements shows that the countries, acceding
to the alliance, are frequently trying to tackle the bilateral problems with
us by including them in the context of the Russo-NATO relations,” the

statement says.

As to Georgia, “the already existing difficulties can be expected to
escalate and there will be less chances to settle them,” it points out.

“It can be easily predicted that Georgia’s integration in NATO will worsen
still more the Russian public’s view on the alliance, since Tbilisi is making no
bones of the fact that it would like to shift to Brussels all its problems with
South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” the document notes.

“In this case, the alliance will inevitably be associated by many in Russia
with the actions of the present-day Georgian leadership, which has an

obviously anti-Russian orientation,” the statement of the Russian Foreign
Ministry stresses.                                    -30-
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6.    PUTIN REVEALS DESIRE FOR REGIME CHANGE IN TBILISI
                       Alleged Russian spies expelled from Georgia

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavel Felgenhauer
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 183
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Wed, Oct 4, 2006

The ordeal of four Russian military intelligence officers arrested in
Georgia on September 27 and charged with espionage (see EDM, October 2)
ended when the men were expelled to Moscow on Monday, October 2.

Speaking on the condition of confidentiality yesterday in Moscow, a
high-ranking U.S. diplomat told Jamestown that Washington had been strongly
urging the Georgians to secure the release: “We finally pressed them to do
it and now hope that the crisis will subside.”

Announcing the release and expulsion of the Russian intelligence officers,
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili declared, “Russia and Georgia are
historical partners” and called for dialogue with Moscow and with separatist
governments in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (RIA-Novosti, October 2). But the
release of the alleged Russian spies did not soften the Kremlin’s position.

On October 2 U.S. President George W. Bush phoned his Russian counterpart,
Vladimir Putin, apparently to encourage moderation from the Russian side.
Washington likely promised Saakashvili to raise the issue with Moscow if the
Georgian authorities relented and released the officers.

However Bush, it seems, was rebuffed. The Kremlin press service released the
following statement about the conversation: “The Russian side underlined the
unacceptability and danger to peace and stability in the region of any
actions of third parties that may be interpreted by the Georgian leadership
as reinforcement of their destructive policy” (RIA-Novosti, October 2).

On Monday Moscow announced sanctions against Georgia, including cutting

off all air, sea, and land transportation links, postal services, and money
transfers. On Tuesday, October 3, after the officers were already back in
Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that sanctions against
Georgia would not be revoked.

Lavrov declared that the money sent by the hundreds of thousands of ethnic
Georgians living and working in Russia to support relatives back home “is
criminal in nature” and used to rearm the Georgian military.

Lavrov also called the Georgian government’s procurement of weapons abroad
“criminal” and expressed hope that Russian sanctions would help stop this
activity.

Lavrov accused “third parties” of selling weapons to “the Saakashvili
regime” and interfering in Russo-Georgian relations, while Moscow’s
objective is to “eliminate this problem” (Itar-Tass, October 3).

Lavrov’s aggressive rhetoric follows Putin’s harsh statement made during a
meeting of the Russian Security Council on Sunday (Kremlin.ru, October 1).

Putin accused Georgia of “continuing the policies of Lavrenty Pavlovich
Beria, both inside the country and on the international stage.” (Beria, an
ethnic Georgian, was the notorious chief of Stalin’s secret police.)

Putin inquired: “They feel at ease, safe and secure under the protection of
their foreign sponsors, but is this really so? I would like to hear the
views of the representatives of the civil ministries and the military
specialists.”

The message seems clear: Putin wants regime change in Tbilisi to be achieved
with virtually any means.

Of course, Russia has been pressuring Georgia for years, trying to subvert
it with economic sanctions, political and military pressure, supporting
pro-Moscow opposition forces, arming separatist forces, and deploying
military intelligence officers.

Putin has accused Georgia’s leadership “of state terrorism with
hostage-taking” (RIA-Novosti, October 1). But the main problem, constantly
raised by Putin, Lavrov, and other officials, is that of “foreign sponsors”
or “third parties” — a clear reference to the West and the United States.

After 9/11 Putin declared himself an ally of the United States and the West
in the “War on Terror.” In return, the Kremlin had expected that the
post-Soviet space encompassing the Commonwealth of Independent States would
be recognized as its undisputed sphere of influence, where Russia could do
anything it wishes without any “third party” interfering.

The West has never formally or informally recognized such a “sphere” and the
Kremlin, together with the Russian military/security/foreign policy elite,
has interpreted this as a clear sign of ill intent.

The mirage of a new Russian-led union to replace the old Soviet one has
obsessed the Kremlin since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

The ruling elite in Moscow today is split between those who want to recreate
the Soviet Union per se and “reformers” who want a new, remodeled Soviet
Union (or “Imperial Russia”) with a thriving market economy and a newly
armed, professional military imposing itself on its neighbors.

As Putin told the country in August 2000, after the sinking of the Kursk
nuclear submarine, “We will overcome it all and restore it all, the military
and the navy and the state” (RTR TV, AP, August 24, 2000).

Today the Kremlin seems to feel itself strong enough, thanks to billions of
petro-dollars, to enforce its sovereignty on former Soviet republics.

Georgia, a small, impoverished country, riddled with separatist problems,
may seem to be a good showcase to install a pro-Moscow regime and at the
same time kick out the United States, the West, and NATO.

Moscow’s blockade of Georgia will continue and may get worse. Russian
officials have threatened to begin mass repatriation of Georgians living in
Russia.

Hopes have been expressed that the thousands of refugees ethnically cleansed
from Russia will, when arriving in Tbilisi, be “more well-disposed toward
Moscow” and will overthrow Saakashvili (Strana.ru, October 3).

If the noose of sanctions and pressure fails to achieve regime change,
direct military action is possible. The first sortie could be by proxy,
using armed separatists supported by “North Caucasian volunteers.” If the
proxy forces fail, the regular Russian military could become involved.
—————————————————————————————————

LINK: http://www.jamestown.org
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7.              PUTIN FURY AT GEORGIA ‘BLACKMAIL’
        Putin ignored international calls to drop the sanctions against Tbilisi

BBC NEWS, United Kingdom, Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006

MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has warned Georgia not to use the
“language of provocation and blackmail” against Russia in a speech in
parliament. He was speaking ahead of a Duma debate on a motion dubbing
Georgia’s policies “anti-Russian” and “anti-democratic”.

Tension between the two countries has been increasing since Georgia detained
and later released four Russian army officers accused of spying. Russia has
imposed a travel and postal ban between the two countries.
                                      
Moscow police raided Georgian businesses in the Russian capital, shutting a
Georgian-owned casino and seizing half a million bottles of Georgian wine.

Russian media say that the interior ministry has told the police to take
tough actions against Georgian organisations and businesses.
                                   TROOPS WITHDRAWAL 
Defence minister Sergey Ivanov said Russia could speed up the withdrawal

of its troops from Georgia because of the current tensions.

“We will keep withdrawing our two Russian bases from Georgia in line with
the schedule and even head of it. We understand the conditions our
servicemen are living in,” Mr Ivanov said, speaking in the Kyrgyz capital,
Bishkek.

In a deal signed last year, Russia pledged to withdraw its 3,000-4,000
troops from Georgia by the end of 2008.
                                   FURTHER SANCTIONS 
Moscow has ignored a call from the EU to lift the transport and postal ban
imposed on Georgia, and may go even further.

“It is possible to use other, tougher measures against Georgia, said Duma
speaker, Boris Gryzlov, who labelled Georgia’s policy towards Russia “state
terrorism”.

One of the possible sanctions is the adoption of a bill that would prevent
Georgians living in Russia from sending money home.

According to some estimates, about one million of Georgia’s 4.4 million
population work in Russia and their families depend on the hundreds of
millions of dollars sent home, the Associated Press agency reports.

Russian sanctions could take 1.5% off Georgia’s GDP this year, Georgia’s
minister for economic reforms, Kakha Bendukidze, told Reuters news agency.

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LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5405756.stm
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8.                                  ENOUGH BULLYING
           Russia escalates its attempt to crush a neighboring democracy.

EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 3, 2006; Page A16

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin has never fully accepted the breakup
of the Soviet Union, which he once called “the greatest catastrophe of the
20th century.”

Having consolidated power in Moscow by dismantling his country’s nascent
democracy, he has devoted himself in recent years to reestablishing the
Kremlin’s political and economic dominion over former Soviet republics that
became independent in 1991.

One particular target is the small Caucasian state of Georgia, which has
infuriated Mr. Putin by embracing liberal democracy and turning toward the
West.

A Russian attempt to strangle Georgia has been slowly escalating. Moscow
banned Georgia’s principal exports in March and has been encouraging two
separatist regions, protecting their rebel regimes with troops and granting
Russian citizenship to many of their residents.

Last winter Georgia’s natural gas supplies, which come from Russia, were
disrupted for weeks by sabotage of pipelines.

Now comes a new escalation: Last week the Georgian government announced
that it caught a number of Russian army officers based in Georgia engaging
in blatant espionage activities.

When it arrested four of them, Mr. Putin seized the occasion to withdraw his
ambassador and many other diplomats.

He also closed air, sea and land links between the two countries and
suspended the issuance of visas. His rubber-stamp parliament is taking steps
to block remittances by the hundreds of thousands of Georgian workers in
Russia.

Yesterday, pressed by the Bush administration, Georgia allowed the Russian
officers to return home. But Russia continued its bellicose acts, while
improbably claiming that it — and not the poor nation of 5 million it is
besieging — is the victim of aggression.

In a telephone conversation, Mr. Putin told President Bush that “it was
unacceptable for other countries to take steps that Georgia could interpret
as support,” according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Mr. Bush ought to reject that imperious warning. U.S. diplomats in fact have
spent the past several days urging compromise and caution on the part of
Georgia’s sometimes impulsive president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

But the United States has not only the right but also the duty to support
Georgia’s independence and Mr. Saakashvili’s aspirations to consolidate
liberal democracy and steer his country toward membership in NATO.

As the Georgian president rightly said yesterday, “The message to Russia is:
‘Enough is enough.’ ”                             -30-
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/02/AR2006100201202.html

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9. UKRAINE OFFERS MEDIATION IN RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN CONFLICT

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1100 gmt 3 Oct 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, October 3, 2006

KIEV – [Presenter] Ukraine is ready to mediate in the conflict between
Georgia and Russia, [Ukrainian] Foreign Ministry spokesman Andriy
Deshchytsya has said.

[Deshchytsya] This issue is being specially monitored by all Ukrainian
executive bodies. They are working on it. As soon as the Ukrainian
participation is found necessary, the appropriate decisions will be made in
due time.

[At 1048 gmt on 3 October, the UNIAN news agency reported that

Deshchytsya said that a joint statement by the presidents of Ukraine, Poland
and Lithuania on the Russian-Georgian conflict might be issued depending
on how the situation develops.]                    -30-
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10.   GEORGIA OPENS ‘YEAR OF UKRAINE’ IN GEORGIA

Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 29, 2006

KIEV – Georgia opened the Year of Ukraine in Georgia on September 28.

The press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced this to
Ukrainian News.

Ukraine’s deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Volodymyr Khandohii met with
Georgia’s First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Valery Chechelashvili during
the ceremonial opening of the Year of Ukraine in Georgia. They discussed
Ukrainian-Georgian bilateral cooperation and cooperation within
international organizations.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Culture and Tourism Minister Ihor
Likhovyi was expected to represent Ukraine at the opening ceremony of the
Year of Ukraine in Georgia.

The ceremony was expected to take place at Tbilisi’s Paliashvili State
Theater of Opera and Ballet. Ukrainian creative groups and exponents of
classical, folk, and pop music were also in Tbilisi. The Year of Ukraine in
Georgia will involve political, cultural, and other events.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Year of Ukraine in Georgia was
previously expected to be held from April 2006 to April 2007.

On June 23, President Viktor Yuschenko directed the Cabinet of Ministers to
organize the Year of Ukraine in Georgia during the 2006-2007 period. The
Year of Georgia in Ukraine was held from March 2005 to April 2006.
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11. TRANS-DNIESTER: LONGING FOR RUSSIAN HUG, BREAKAWAY
                     REGION FEELS THE PINCH OF ISOLATION

Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Tiraspol, Trans-Dniester, Fri, Sep 29, 2006

TIRASPOL, Trans-Dniester – The Kvint Distillery with its smooth, wooden
casks full of honey-colored brandy is so revered in Trans-Dniester that it
graces the 5-ruble bank note.

But like this breakaway republic, it exists in isolation. The bottles
chugging down the assembly line to be filled, corked, stamped and boxed for
shipment once traveled easily around the Soviet Union and the rest of the
Communist world. Not anymore. Lately they have faced barriers entering two
of their biggest markets, Russia and Ukraine.

The parallels aren’t lost on the 550,000 people of Trans-Dniester. The
territory, having broken away from Moldova, is recognized by no one. Its
passports, holdovers from when it was part of the Soviet Union, are useless.

Its smugglers have saddled it with a reputation as an outlaw state, of
potential use to terrorists. Foreign visitors are so rare that an American
journalist visiting a school is besieged for autographs.

It has just voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to seek unification with
Russia, but Russia doesn’t seem eager to have it. Meanwhile, as
Trans-Dniester looks east, Moldova, like neighboring Ukraine and nearby
Romania, is looking west, to the democracies of the European Union.

Of all the broken pieces and sharp edges left by the breakup of the Soviet
Union nearly 15 years ago, few are as unusual as this ragged ribbon of land,
125 miles (200 kilometers) long by 10 miles (16 kilometers) wide, wedged
between the Dniester River and Ukraine.

The Soviet crackup gave birth to 15 new nations, but it also left millions
of ethnic Russians in limbo, stranded in countries suddenly turned foreign
and in many cases eager to shake off Moscow’s heavy hand.

In the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, ethnic Russians
complain of discrimination against their language. In Ukraine, they are a
powerful political force engaged in a constant tug-of-war with
pro-Westerners.

The ex-Soviet republic of Georgia is carved up by two pro-Russian separatist
regions. Kaliningrad is a Baltic Sea enclave of 1 million Russians, 350
miles (563 kilometers) from home soil and surrounded by EU countries.
Chechnya has been waging a separatist war for a decade.

Trans-Dniester, about twice the size of Luxembourg and comprising one-eighth
of Moldova, has never stopped yearning for Russia’s embrace. Its leader,
Igor Smirnov, who has Russian citizenship, hails Russia as the natural home
for his people.

Trans-Dniester declared itself independent as the Soviet Union began to show
signs of crumbling fearing Moldova would seek to reunite with Romania.
Pro-Western Moldova, backed by the European Union, wants it back.

The Kremlin, while at odds with Moldova and sympathetic to the separatists,
has reacted coolly to the idea of absorbing the impoverished territory, and
says the two sides should negotiate a settlement.

So the Sept. 17 referendum which voted 97.1 percent yes to the government’s
goal of union with Russia is dismissed by political analyst Viorel Cibotaru
of Moldova’s Institute of Public Policy as a feel-good measure and nothing
more.

“It’s like a circus: you see something, but it’s an illusion. Because the
truth is, Trans-Dniester is an empty idea, it’s going nowhere,” he says.

Not so, insists Smirnov. Trans-Dniester and Moldova simply have nothing in
common, the president declared to his people after the vote. “We choose
Russia, and they choose the European Union and NATO. All these 16 years,
they have tried to impose on us an alien point of view … but today, that’s
history.”

History weighs heavy here. Once known as Bessarabia, the entire region has a
rich ethnic mix, with parts of it falling under the Lithuanian, Czarist
Russian, Romanian and Soviet empires.

Today, the scrambled geopolitical jigsaw puzzle left by the Soviet collapse
is highlighted by the 109-year-old Kvint distillery in Trans-Dniester’s
capital, Tiraspol.

Caught on a bureaucratic merry-go-round, its wines and cognacs are frozen
out of Russia because the Kremlin considers them Moldovan, and has an
embargo on Moldovan alcohol.

And they were frozen out of Ukraine for two years because they weren’t
considered Moldovan enough – the plant didn’t have the right Moldovan
business registration. Its export certificate is still only temporary.

Critics claim Trans-Dniester is a paradise for smugglers, bandits and
traffickers in weapons and drugs. “The Trans-Dniester problem is reflecting
negatively on the entire criminal situation in Moldova and Ukraine,”
Ukraine’s interior minister, Yuriy Lutsenko, complained recently.

The EU has deployed border police of its member states to help stem the flow
of contraband through the deserted, hilly roads that connect Trans-Dniester
to Ukraine.

Trans-Dniester has responded to criticism with a charm offensive on the Web.
offers “10 things you didn’t know about Europe’s newest country,” including
that it has twice the population of Iceland, 35 national groups and a market
economy.

It also claims to have made giant inroads into the smuggling problem, and
quotes EU and other Western watchdogs as saying “there is no evidence that
Pridnestrovie (Trans-Dniester) has ever trafficked arms or nuclear
material.”

That’s a reference to reports that circulated in 2004 claiming
Trans-Dniester could be a marketplace for weapons of mass destruction left
over from when the Soviets had arms factories here.

Smirnov, the president, has suggested that Trans-Dniester suffers in part
because of his unconcealed nostalgia for the Soviet Union.

Trans-Dniester and Moldova both elect their presidents. But while Moldova is
on a reformist, pro-Western course, Trans-Dniester keeps its Soviet habits
and discipline.

The streets are largely empty, but everyone uses crosswalks and waits for
the lights to change. Slogans endorsing Soviet-era solidarity and
cooperation are freshly painted on walls and buildings.

After school, teenagers gather along the left bank of the Dniester River to
strum guitars and talk about what they’ll do when they get out – to Moscow,
to Kiev, to Odessa, wherever. “Moscow is a big city and that’s where the
opportunities are,” said Aleksandra Luchkova, 16, in fluent English.

The population has fallen 20 percent in 16 years; in 2004, 5,000 babies were
born, down from 12,000 in 1992. The wait for Russian citizenship and a
passport can be two years. Meanwhile, to get in and out requires passing
through five separate checkpoints.

For the referendum, Dmitry Soin, head of a state security committee, whipped
up the youth vote to burn Moldovan flags and ride giant American tractors
through Tiraspol’s streets under banners of Che Guevara.

“We are waking up Trans-Dniester youth,” said Soin, 37, sipping espresso in
a dimly lit cafe. “I’m not going to say we don’t have a problem with youth
migration, but I don’t think it’s so unusual. Youth, the world over, are
very mobile and dream of escaping to somewhere new.”

The students set up a tent camp with the help of a pro-Kremlin youth group
brought in from Russia. But on referendum day, the tents were empty and
blown away by the wind.

Soin, who played a key role in 2004 efforts to close Moldovan-language
schools in Trans-Dniester, doesn’t leave the territory because he is wanted
by Interpol for premeditated murder in connection with two killings in 1994
and 1995 while serving in the Trans-Dniester security service.

He says Moldova is pushing the charge as punishment for his independence
efforts. Moldova accuses him of stirring ethnic hatred and creating
paramilitary organizations.

Analysts say it’s hard to know what is really going on because so little is
revealed and business deals are murky. A giant sports complex that
reportedly cost around US$200 million (A157 million) went up a few years ago
on the outskirts of Tiraspol.

Its owner, the Sheriff company, also manages supermarkets and gas stations,
and is one of the few businesses that are allowed to trade openly in dollars
rather than in Trans-Dniester’s weaker ruble currency.

The company is reportedly linked to Smirnov’s family, an allegation the
president and his entourage deny.

Smirnov is driven around in a humble Skoda, and generally, wealth is not
flaunted in Trans-Dniester, where many residents survive on US$50 (A39) a
month, though officials insist the average salary is three times higher.

“There has been a big, and not unsuccessful, effort to keep people satisfied
with their salaries and pensions,” Cibotaru, the Moldovan analyst, said.

On a bright Sunday afternoon, people packed a main street pizza parlor, 7th
Day, and streamed in and out of Mickey’s, which advertises 16 types of
hamburger toppings.

“It’s not correct to say that life here is bleak,” said Valentina Beslar,
45, as she waited for a trolley bus near a monument to fallen soldiers.
“But, of course, everyone dreams of better – and for us that means joining
Russia, if they’ll have us.”                               -30-

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12.               ‘THE EXPANSION PROCESS HAS BEGUN’
                           Russia’s imperial ambitions are alive and well.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Reuben F. Johnson
The Weekly Standard, Volume 012, Issue 04
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 10, 2006

“TRANSNISTRIA’S integration into Russia will proceed in several phases,
and it may take 5 to 7 years,” said the breakaway Moldovan region’s foreign
minister, Valery Litskai, to Russia’s Interfax news agency earlier this
month. “Russian society is now ready to expand beyond the . . . borders it
has been forced into,” he added. “The expansion process has begun.”

About the only phrases missing from this sinister declaration were the
German “we need Lebensraum” of the 1930s, or the “you will be assimilated”
threat of the Borg, the fictional half-human/half-machine alien race of the
TV-series Star Trek.

There are many ways of trying to enlarge one’s national territory–or to
reclaim territory lost through the dissolution of an empire.

The one tactic that has worked well in Europe’s recent past is some version
of the Sudetenland card used by the Third Reich to annex the German-
speaking regions of Czechoslovakia. The playbook is simple enough.

Agitate for the rights of a minority through PR campaigns led by a very
vocal political movement within the territory’s borders that has ties to
(and surreptitious financing from) the nation seeking to annex the
territory. This movement then engineers a “national” referendum calling for
the territory to rejoin its motherland.

In the case of Russia’s effort to assimilate the Transnistria region of the
former Soviet Republic of Moldova, now an independent nation, the Kremlin
has followed this well-worn script to the letter. On September 19, the
slightly more than half-million residents of this region bordering Ukraine
and Moldova (several hundred miles from the nearest Russian territory)
voted to declare independence from Moldova with an eye towards an
eventual union with Russia.

Only about a third of Transnistria’s population are Russian-speaking.
Another third are ethnic Ukrainian, with the remainder a collection of
Moldovan and other Balkan nationalities.

The legitimacy of this referendum was not recognized by the E.U. (or any
other government), and has been denounced by the Moldovan government.

But in Moscow the vote was heralded as the first step of a multi-staged
effort for Russian reacquisition of territories lost after the fall of the
Soviet Union. Moscow continues to maintain a military force of some 1,300
personnel in Transnistria.

Transnistria is not the only place where Russia and its political bed
fellows are seeking to destabilize an existing government in order to regain
Moscow’s imperial holdings.

Already there are plans in the works for similar referendums in the South
Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia. Russia has been trying to fan the
flames of nationalism in some areas neighboring Kazakhstan, where there are
large Russian-speaking populations.

But by far the biggest target of these destabilizing efforts is Ukraine.
Russian national sensitivities have chafed for decades over the fact that in
1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrush chev (who was Ukrainian by birth), moved
the borders between the Russian and Ukrainian Soviet Republics, giving the
Crimean peninsula to Ukraine to celebrate what he called at the time “300
years of pan-Slavic brotherhood.”

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, calls for Crimea to be “returned” to
Russia have never ceased. Their tempo increased after the election in early
2005 of a pro-Western president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko.

Moscow has tried numerous ploys–including a threat this past January to cut
off all natural gas flows to Ukraine–to weaken Yushchenko’s hold on power.

Not surprisingly, Viktor Yanu kovich, head of Ukraine’s pro-Russian Party
of the Regions and now the prime minister, has used the issue of the
Russian-speaking diaspora in Crimea to his own (as well as Moscow’s)
political purposes.

During this spring’s parliamentary elections, Yanukovich, who was
Yushchenko’s rival in the 2004 presidential race, promised to make Russian
the official second language of Ukraine and to strengthen ties with Russia.

Not surprisingly, his first foreign trip after becoming prime minister again
this August was the one hour and forty-minute flight to Moscow.

What most concerns leaders in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics is
that efforts by Russia to subvert their governments are not limited to these
public campaigns by local demagogues and visible strong-arm tactics like
threatening to turn the gas off.

Russia, they say, is secretly planting operatives within the armed forces of
these newly independent nations.

Government intelligence sources in the former Soviet republics bordering
Russia have provided THE WEEKLY STANDARD a list of military officers
from Transnistria who were issued false military service passports by the
Russian Ministry of Defense.

These documents, they say, fraudulently identify the officers as personnel
of the 31482 Unit of the Operational Group of the Russian Army in the
Transnistrian Region of the Moldova Republic.

Russian authorities then transport these personnel to be put through the
elite Russian officer training courses called “Vystrel,” conducted in the
city of Solnechnogorsk at the Russian combined arms training center.

According to the documents provided by these sources, 15 or more
Transnistrian officers were trained there in 2005 and another 30 were to be
trained by the end of 2006. The training program is two to four months in
length, and produces officers for all command levels and areas of
specialization.

Military and intelligence sources in former Soviet republics with knowledge
of this secret officer training program worry that this is a sign that
Russia–now flush with oil wealth and intent on flexing its muscles in the
international arena–is ratcheting up its efforts to intimidate, Finlandize,
and otherwise assert control over the Russian-speaking areas of its former
republics.

“You do not try to cover up a training program of this size unless you are
someday planning on using these people to overthrow or otherwise take
control of a sovereign government,” said an intelligence officer in a former
Soviet republic.

“The facility at Solnechnogorsk is used by Russia to train numerous
non-Russian military personnel openly and legally for peacekeeping and other
joint operations. If then, in parallel, you are training officers from these
disputed regions–officers that are pretending to be Russian personnel and
carrying bogus paperwork–then it does not take an enormous leap of faith to
assume that Moscow is up to no good on this one.”

Russia is well known for the outrageous behavior of its ultra-nationalist
politicians, and the world therefore tends to dismiss threats of Russian
expansionism as clownish. But there is nothing circus-like about secret
military training. And there is no guarantee that Transnistria is the only
region where it is taking place.                     -30-
———————————————————————————————
Reuben F. Johnson is the defense correspondent for Aviation International
News and for Military Periscope, a Washington-based defense information
service. He has extensive business experience in Ukraine.  AUR Editor
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13.    SENIOR RUSSIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT SAYS NATO’S

                             FURTHER EXPANSION INEXPEDIENT 
     “Ukraine’s possible entry to NATO, ignoring the opinion of the Ukrainian
      people, would result in the disruption of absolutely unique cooperation ties
        between the military-industrial complexes of Russia and Ukraine. Neither
                         Russia nor Ukraine needs this,” the deputy said.

RIA Novosti, Moscow, in Russian 1425 gmt 19 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 19, 2006

MOSCOW – The head of the State Duma international affairs committee,
Konstantin Kosachev, does not consider it necessary for NATO to expand in
order to oppose new challenges and urges the alliance to “rid” the process
of addressing this issue of mercenary considerations.

“Russia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO]
and at the same time it cooperates with NATO closely, and I do not see any
contradiction here. NATO is not perceived as an enemy, as an adversary,” he
said replying to the question on how Russia perceives cooperation between
Armenia, which is a CSTO member state, and the North Atlantic Treaty
organization.

“When we say that we cannot agree to NATO’s further expansion we view this
issue exclusively in a practical dimension. We do not see any sense in this
from the point of view of the global problems faced by the humanity,” the
Russian deputy said.

According to Kosachev, it is difficult to understand “how Georgia’s possible
entry to NATO could help solve the problems of nuclear nonproliferation or
international terrorism”.

“In countering these problems, NATO has proved to be an absolutely
inefficient organization. It is enough to look at what is happening in
Afghanistan today,” Kosachev said and added that, in his opinion, this is
precisely why Russia objects to the further expansion of the alliance.

“Ukraine’s possible entry to NATO, ignoring the opinion of the Ukrainian
people, would result in the disruption of absolutely unique cooperation ties
between the military-industrial complexes of Russia and Ukraine. Neither
Russia nor Ukraine needs this,” the deputy said.

He also pointed out that Armenia had not yet discussed its possible
membership of the North Atlantic Treaty alliance.

“But I am convinced that this hypothetical project does not meet either the
interests of Armenia or the interests of Russian-Armenian relations,”
Kosachev said.

He pointed out that Russia’s appeal to NATO “boils down to the fact that
this situation should be rid of political mercenary considerations and that
it should be looked at from the point of view of expediency”.
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14. YUSHCHENKO STRESSES COMMITMENT TO UKRAINE’S EURO-
            ATLANTIC AMBITIONS, AWARDED PRIZE IN GERMANY

Associated Press, Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, October 3, 2006

BERLIN – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stressed his commitment to
his country’s “Euro-Atlantic” ambitions Tuesday as he received a German
foundation’s prize for his commitment to democracy.

Yushchenko has pledged closer ties with Europe and strongly advocates NATO
membership – an aim opposed by new Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,

who was his bitter foe in the 2004 Orange Revolution.

“There will be no return to authoritarianism in Ukraine,” Yushchenko said
after accepting the Quadriga prize, awarded by a private foundation, for
what it described as his “mission of democracy.”

“As president, I was and remain the guarantor of the irreversibility of
democratic reforms in my country, the strengthening of civil society and the
priority of law, and without doubt of a full realization of Ukraine’s
European and Euro-Atlantic endeavors,” he said, speaking through an
interpreter.

Under Ukraine’s constitution, the president is in charge of foreign policy,
but on a question such as NATO membership he would need the support of

the prime minister and government. Yushchenko has assented to the idea of a
referendum on the issue.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Israeli vice premier Shimon Peres also received a
Quadriga prize. Organizers cited his “consistent stand for a sustainable
settlement between the Jewish and Arab world.”

Peres said that, despite many setbacks, he remains confident that “we shall
make peace” in the Middle East, and stressed the need for economic
development in the region.

“I would like to live as an optimist,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said
in his acceptance speech.                               -30-
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15. NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY CALLS ON NATO NATIONS

           TO ASSIST UKRAINIAN CABINET IN INFORMING PEOPLE
                         ABOUT ROLE AND ACTIVITY OF NATO 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, October 3, 2006

NATO Parliamentary Assembly calls on NATO countries to assist Ukrainian
Cabinet of Ministers in informing people about role and activity of the
organization. This is disclosed in NATO Parliamentary Assembly declaration
of September 29, a copy of which was made available to Ukrainian News.

‘Acknowledging importance of Ukraine as strategic partner and marking that
Ukraine stands by joining the EU and NATO, the NATO has to continue
developing relations with Ukraine in the frames of Ukraine-NATO Action Plan,
intensified dialog and NATO program entitled Partnership for Peace,’ the
declaration reads.

NATO marks the importance of social opinion about NATO and stresses that

the organization has to assist Ukrainian government to considerably spread the
information about role and activity of the organization. NATO summit in Riga
is scheduled for November 28-29.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on September 19, the Verkhovna Rada with
its resolution made a decision to support Ukrainian Premier Viktor
Yanukovych’s position on Ukraine’s non-preparedness to join NATO Action

Plan on membership in the organization.

The Verkhovna Rada resolution also foresees that NATO membership is
considered only at a Ukrainian referendum.                 -30-
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16. EU, UKRAINE VISA AGREEMENT POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

 
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, October 3, 2006

LONDON – The signing of a special visa agreement between Ukraine and

the European Union has been indefinitely postponed.
 
The European Union will be unable to sign the necessary documents by the
end of October because of differences between Brussels and Kiev, a source
from the European Commission told Tass.

Ukraine had been hoping for a facilitated procedure of issuance of Schengen
visas to its citizens that was to go into effect as of January 1,2007.
Earlier, the European Union had signed a similar agreement with Russia.

At present, unexpected problems have arisen between Kiev and Brussels,

which above all, affects the interests of citizens of other countries,
predominantly, Asian countries, that seek to get to the territory of the
European Union across Ukraine without the necessary documents.

In the absence of the agreement Ukrainian citizens have to pay 60 euros for
a visa to EU countries.

Ukraine’s closest neighbors – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and also France,
Germany and Austria, where the problem of uncontrolled migration has

reached its peak now, have assumed a very tough position towards Ukraine.
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http://www.tass.ru/eng/level2.html?NewsID=10850566&PageNum=0
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17. UKRAINIAN PRES, ALLIES ON DEFENSIVE OVER NATO POLICY
              Yanukovych challenges Yushchenko’s authority on NATO

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
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
counter-measures.

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

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
large.

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
administration.

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
Unity.

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
policies.

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)
WEBSITE: http://www.jamestown.org
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18.               DO UKRAINIANS NEED NATO?

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ihor Zhdanov
First Deputy Head of Our Ukraine Executive Committee
Translated from Ukrainian to English by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, September 27, 2006

Yanukovych’s visit to Brussels shows that despite his pro-European rhetoric
Ukrainian prime minister refuses to join NATO Membership Action Plan
(MAP).

Did Viktor Yanukovych violate Ukrainian legislation? What exactly did the
premier refuse to do? Was he empowered to act so? We will try to give
answers in this article.
                            UKRAINE-NATO COOPERATION
Already in January 2001 the president of Ukraine adopted the program of
Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2001-2004.

Already in May 2003 National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) approved
this strategy which promoted invariability of Euro-integration course and
joining NATO as the collective security system.

Again, in 2003 the parliament adopted the Law on Basic Principles of
National Security which defined joining NATO as strategic goal for Ukraine.
It is indicative that almost all members of Party of Regions (PRU) faction
supported the abovementioned bill.

Besides diplomatic progress Ukrainian party has positive results of
practical cooperation in the military sphere: participation of our country
in peacekeeping operations, technical modernization of military facilities,
re-training of military personnel.

Under conditions of constant financial problems in Ukrainian army it was an
excellent opportunity to raise qualification of the military.

Few people know that NATO rendered assistance to Ukraine in disaster relief
operations. Together with NATO Ukraine started a regional project aimed at
avoiding and management of emergency situations related to floods and
slushflows in Ukrainian Carpathians.

Of course it is only the beginning of a fruitful cooperation with NATO.
These extremely beneficial relations for Ukraine have to be maintained and
developed. Viktor Yushchenko’s election the President of Ukraine started a
new and entirely different dialogue with NATO.

Ukraine passed to an intensive dialogue with NATO. Now it is as close to
NATO membership as never.

The only thing Ukrainian authorities need to do is to state Ukraine’s
intention to join MAP and inform NATO top officials.
Did Viktor Yanukovych have authority to make statements in Brussels?

Yanukovych’s Brussels statements are incorrect from diplomatic and
constitutional points of view. The Fundamental Law unambiguously states
that:

1) the Verkhovna Rada determines the main vector of the foreign policy;
2) the president governs the adopted foreign policy program;
3) The Cabinet of Ministers carries out implementation of the adopted
foreign policy program.

What is the real situation now?
Basic principles of foreign policy. Ukraine’s foreign policy is clearly
defined on the parliament’s level: the lawmakers adopted the Law on the
Principles of National Security which defines Ukraine’s membership in NATO
as a strategic goal. Both the president and the premier, as well as any
other citizen, have to observe legislation.

President’s control over foreign policy. Viktor Yushchenko’s position is
known, stable and clear. He is supporter of Euro-Atlantic integration.

Moreover, he considers harmonization of Ukrainian legislation to European
norms and bettering of living standards as important as NATO membership
itself.

Implementation of the adopted foreign policy program. The Cabinet of
Ministers does not have any constitutional authorities in this sphere, even
taking into account Political Reform, since its main function is to execute
laws, the Law on the Principles of National Security and presidential
decrees in particular.

Thus, having refused to join MAP, Viktor Yanukovych violated the

Fundamental Law, the Law on the Principles of National Security and
interfered with the president’s constitutional authority. What did the
prime minister reject?
What is Ukraine’s interest in NATO membership?

Joining NATO Ukraine will solve at least three strategic tasks determining
its future:
1) securing of independent statehood;
2) guarantees for democratic development of the country;
3) securing of social maintenance and high living standards for the
citizens.

ITEM 1. Securing of independent statehood. Neutral status cannot guarantee
independence for Ukraine. In the modern world only membership in a well
developed organization of collective security can guarantee independent
statehood.

Logically, such membership implies modernization of military facilities,
professionalizing the army and high defense capacity of the country.

Since NATO collectively takes up all decisions, even if one country-NATO
members opposes certain decision it will be not adopted at all.

I do not want to say that Ukraine faces any military threats but joining the
system of collective defense will make political and economic pressure on
Ukraine just impossible.

ITEM 2. Guarantees for democratic development of the country. Joining any
military-political union we a priori share and acknowledge certain values
system.

Ukraine stands for democratic values, characteristic of all NATO
member-countries.

It implies such values as freedom of speech, independence of the court
system, fighting corruption, civil control over Armed Forces, supremacy
of the Law.

Of course it will be impossible to steal and cheat in the country with
established public institutions controlling the government. That’s why
certain political elites would prefer neutrality or Eurasian ephemerality.

ITEM 3. Securing of social maintenance and high living standards for the
citizens.  All citizens of Ukraine irrespectively of their political
preferences strive for higher living standards which are the norm of highly
developed countries.

NATO membership is the shortest way to high living standards, social,
economical and personal development.

Joining NATO, Ukraine will thereby comply with high economic obligations
characteristic of NATO-member countries. Besides, whatever politicians
may say, EU and NATO membership are closely connected.
                  What is NATO Membership Action Plan?
General Framework MAP conditions were defined by the Declaration of
NATO Washington Summit 1999. According to it, NATO is an open-
membership organization.

However, countries-applicants have to carry out a number of political,
economic, military and legal reforms.

Washington Declaration lays down the following standard conditions for
countries- applicants:

[1] management of international, territorial and inter-ethnical conflicts in
a peaceful way;
[2] actions of the country must comply with the principles of individual
freedom and supremacy of the Law;
[3] establishment of democratic control over Armed Forces;
[4] promotion of friendly international relations; active participation in
the Partnership for Peace Program;
[5] strengthening of economic stability and social welfare,  promoting
principles of economic freedom, social justice and legal responsibility;
[6] environmental protection.

In addition, they are also expected to meet certain political, economic and
military goals. These include providing evidence:

[1] that they treat minority populations in accordance with the guidelines
of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE);
[2] have resolved outstanding disputes with neighbors and had made an
overall commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes;
[3] have the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to the
Alliance and to achieve interoperability with other members’ forces; and
[4] are committed to democratic civil-military relations and institutional
structures.

As you can see Washington Declaration sets no unacceptable, non-democratic
or unreal conditions.

Just on the contrary, such conditions promote social and economic reforms,
democratic development of the country and raise living standards. Without
any doubts, any country may join the Alliance on such terms.

MAP implies individual approach for each country which defines it itself.
Thus, NATO does not impose MAP but the country itself works it out (of
course in the negotiation process).

I’d like to share my own experience concerning preparation for MAP. Back in
2003 Razumkov Centre worked out its proposals concerning MAP.

Proposals aimed at securing democratic development of the country, fighting
corruption and bettering living standards constituted 70% of the document.

Annual target plans shed more light on the Membership Action Plan. Let’s
analyze the last one.

On April 7 2006 President Yushchenko issued a decree approving Target Plan
Ukraine-NATO 2006 within the framework of Ukraine-NATO Action Plan.

So, what kind of document is that? For instance, the plan implies fair and
democratic parliamentary elections 2006.

It is interesting that Yanukovych who became the prime minister as a result
of these elections questioned the necessity of such obligations for Ukraine
during his visit to Brussels.

Target plan also implies accretion of power for subjects of the court
system, strengthening of a civil society, protection of human rights and
freedoms, completion of pension and administrative reforms, establishment of
public control over Armed Forces, fighting corruption and many other urgent
problems.

Is Ukrainian premier interested in an independent and fair court system,
completion of pension reform and fighting corruption? Well, taking into
consideration his Brussels statements, he is not.

Ukraine needs NATO membership. That’s why anti-NATO statements are

the protest against Ukrainian citizens who strive for a better life.

As a matter of fact, it’s the protest against independent, democratic
Ukraine, against pension, administrative, court and military reforms. It is
the protest against prosperous future of our children.

We have to clearly understand that NATO membership will inevitably bring
these reforms to Ukraine. We must think about that right now.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2006/9/30/6476.htm
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19. UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER THREATENS NATO SUPPORTERS
WITH REFERENDUM SOON IF THEY CONTINUE TO PRESS FORWARD

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1706 gmt 24 Sep 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, Sep 24, 2006

MOSCOW Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has said that a

referendum on Ukraine’s entry into NATO will be held if certain forces press
for the process to spite people’s will. Yanukovych said this in an interview with
ITAR-TASS.

“A referendum (on joining NATO) can be held at the initiative of people and
at the initiative of parliament. If someone provokes this topic and stirs
political passions around it, believing that this should be our foreign
policy priority, a referendum will be held very soon,” Yanukovych said. He
said that the issue should be approached “naturally”.

“It is impossible to set a date for a referendum at present. If there is an
initiative, there will be a referendum. There was such an initiative during
the [parliamentary] election campaign, and political parties collected
signatures. This process has already moved to the CEC [Central Electoral
Commission]. That is, lists [of signatures] were handed over [to the CEC],”
Yanukovych said.

“The level of support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration has
significantly fallen in the past two years. It is a matter of argument what
percentage support it – 12 or 25 per cent, but not more,” Yanukovych said.

“Pursuing a policy that has no support in society is probably incorrect. I
said this in Brussels (at a meeting with NATO’s leadership), and this is my
position as a politician,” Yanukovych said.

” Euro-Atlantic integration is set by the country’s policy at present. But
the pace of this process has not been set. The pace is determined depending
on the country’s preparedness and the state of society,” Yanukovych said. He
said: “The constitution clearly says that parliament sets the foundations of
domestic and foreign policy.”

“Prior to my trip to Brussels, I coordinated the directives with the
parliamentary coalition and received such powers, which parliament later
confirmed in a resolution,” Yanukovych said, commenting on the differences
on NATO between him and President Viktor Yushchenko.

“Upon my return, we had a long working conversation with the president in
the presence of advisers and aides. I believe that this dialogue has brought
us closer to common understanding. Apropos, both Europe and NATO are
accepting our position normally. They are sufficiently well informed about
the political situation in Ukraine,” Yanukovych said.          -30-
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20.       NATIONAL UNITY PACT: THE FIRST REVISIONS

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Ihor Zhdanov
First Deputy Head of Our Ukraine Executive Committee
Translated from Ukrainian to English by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, September 29, 2006

This summer Ukrainians witnessed a momentous event: the President of

Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko offered a qualitatively new kind of policy – the
policy of national unity and reconciliation.

His efforts resulted in ratification of the National Unity Pact which
outlined principles of the national and foreign policy. All political forces
that signed the document have thereby come to agreement on the most
problematic issues.

At the same time, current political situation shows that the position of
Party of Regions (PRU) and its members conflicts with basic provisions of
the National Unity Pact. A more detailed analysis is presented below.

ITEM #1: LANGUAGE PROBLEM ———-
Article 12 of the National Unity pact suggests: “To guarantee an all-around
development and functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language
and the official language of communication in all spheres of public life on
all of the Ukrainian territory – as the basis for the self-identification of
the people and the state.

To guarantee that every citizen can use Russian or any other native language
freely in all daily needs in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.”

PRU leader has accepted this provision having set his hand to the National
Unity Pact.

Hardly had the ink dried on this document when during his visit to Sochi
Viktor Yanukovych declared that absence of the constitutional majority was
the only obstacle to confer Russian language an official status.

So, what is his true position? Was he sincere signing National Unity Pact or
making his speech in Sochi?

At that, I’d like to remind PRU members that the Fundamental Law provisions
regarding minority languages comply with the International Charters for
Human Rights.
ITEM #2: JOINING NATO ———–
Article 27 of the National Unity Pact says: “Mutually beneficial cooperation
with NATO in accordance with the “Law on National Security of Ukraine” (in
accordance with the version of the law that is current on the day of the
signing of this Universal).

To resolve the question regarding NATO membership via a referendum,

which is to take place after Ukraine completes every step necessary for it.”

Recently the author of the document has analyzed Yanukovych’s refusal to
join NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in details.
At that he purposely avoided any criticism concerning discrepancies between
Yanukovych’s Brussels statements and provisions of the National Unity Pact.

In particular, the National Unity Pact stipulates completion of all
necessary procedures required for NATO membership. Only after that an
all-national referendum may be carried out. These procedures are defined in
MAP.

The prime minister has absolutely illogically argued his position: first
referendum then MAP.

On the contrary, National Unity Pact implies completion of all the
procedures and informational campaign on NATO followed by referendum

itself. By the way, joining MAP does not necessarily means joining NATO.

ITEM #3: BUDGET AND SOCIAL POLICY ———-
Article 15 of the National Unity Pact states: “To improve the standards of
living of Ukrainian citizens, to fight poverty by means of effective and
targeted welfare policies, to guarantee acceptable wages and a fair
retirement security.”

Let’s recall PRU pre-election slogan – Improvement of Your Life Now.

It is known that Yekhanurov’s government guaranteed the secure gas price of
$95 per 1000 cubic meters till the end of this year. What will Yanukovych’s
government do to improve living standards?

Now optimists are talking about the price of $130-135, pessimists forecast
$160 for the next year. Well, isn’t that improvement of life?

Of course certain people, mainly owners of big enterprises, do feel this
improvement. Businessmen from more privileged regions cannot even dream of
such economic and tax paradise as Donetsk region.

Draft budget proposed by Yanukovych’s government substantially cuts social
payments and guarantees which were the core of Yushchenko’s program Ten
steps towards people.

In particular, the government intends to introduce restrictions to pensions
for employed people. A number of social programs will be abolished.

In fact, Draft Budget-2007 cancels simplified tax system. That will
negatively affect small and middle-size business which will have to face the
red tape and corruption again.
ITEM #4 DISCHARGES ———-
During the first month in power Yanukovych’s government sacked about 40
officials for political reasons. These are deputy ministers, deputy chairmen
of committees and departments etc.

Their political preferences, i.e. the support of the Orange, were their only
fault. As a rule, the newly appointed officials come from one ill-famed
region.

The recent attempt to discharge governors and get rid of the Justice
Minister Roman Zvarych, who tries to control legitimacy of governmental
decrees and resolutions, is just the attempt to get rid of political rivals.

Without any doubts, all these problems seriously question the execution of
the National Unity Pact by PRU. Consequently, negotiation process on the
formation of a broad coalition may be interrupted.

I think, all these issues will be thoroughly analyzed at the sitting of Our
Ukraine Supreme Council and the meeting of Our Ukraine parliamentary

faction to be held next week.                      -30-
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21.  JACKSON: “THERE IS NOTHING BAD ABOUT A PRAGMATIC
 APPROACH TO INTEGRATING INTO EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS

INTERVIEW: With Bruce Jackson, President,
Project on Transitional Democracies
By Mykola Siruk, The Day Weekly Digest in English #29
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Bruce JACKSON, president of the Project on Transitional Democracies, is
a frequent visitor to Ukraine. He has an excellent understanding of both
American and Ukrainian foreign policies.

Our readers will find it interesting to acquaint themselves with his
thoughts on Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visit to Brussels and whether his
statement that Ukraine is postponing joining the NATO Membership Action
Plan presents any risks to Ukraine.

In the following interview the American analyst also describes official
Washington’s assessment of the steps taken by the new Ukrainian government
and the hopes it is pinning on them.

[The Day] “How would you assess Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visit to
Brussels and his talks with the leaders of the North Atlantic alliance?”

[Bruce Jackson] “Obviously, the prime minister of Ukraine was received very
well in Brussels and his statements sparked favorable comments.

“US Ambassador William Taylor’s announcement that President George Bush
is  reconsidering the possibility of visiting Kyiv, as well as European
Commission President Jose Barroso’s invitation to Prime Minister Yanukovych
to visit Brussels again, can be regarded as encouragement to the new
government and an opportunity for the Ukrainian prime minister to develop
close relations with the EU and NATO.”

[The Day] “What about the prime minister’s statement that Ukraine is not
prepared to join the NATO Membership Action Plan?”

[Bruce Jackson] “From the viewpoint of official Washington, Prime Minister
Yanukovych’s statement on NATO was almost certainly misinterpreted by the
media. Neither Ukraine nor NATO allies are prepared to make decisions on the
Action Plan or any other membership-related matters during the alliance’s
summit in November.

“The fact that the Ukrainian government admitted this and is ready to
continue establishing closer relations within the framework of the existing
dialogue was welcomed with relief by many NATO ambassadors.

“Some ambassadors commented that the Ukrainian prime minister’s remarks
during the closed session were correct and received with understanding. The
prime minister said that Ukraine needs time to prepare for accession to NATO
and the EU, and fundamental efforts must be carried out in order to inform
the public better about NATO and economic reforms.

“He also quoted the agreement with President Yushchenko, which states that
Ukraine’s goal is to continue the policy of European integration and close
relations with all European institutions. That was exactly what Secretary
General Scheffer and NATO member states’ permanent representatives in
Brussels wanted to hear.”

[The Day] “Does the rejection of the Action Plan mean that the Ukrainian
government is not prepared to carry out the necessary reforms?”

[Bruce Jackson] “Obviously, like any other government, the coalition cabinet
in Kyiv should demonstrate that it is prepared to carry out reforms. I agree
with Defense Minister Anatolii Hrytsenko, who maintains that Ukraine is
meeting defense reform requirements.

“This is why high- ranking officials in Washington and Brussels are going to
be looking at the way the Ukrainian government carries out urgent reforms in
other fields. I have already mentioned the very low level of public
awareness of NATO and the need for public outreach work.

“The prime minister stressed, however, that the government’s priority would
be reforms in trade and the economy. Independent observers will be
monitoring Ukraine’s progress toward WTO membership and the implementation
of anti-corruption measures within the framework of the US Millennium
Challenge grant, as well as reforms within the framework of the EU-Ukraine
Action Plan. Only a few spheres have been mentioned here.

“After being elected prime minister, Yanukovych made it clear at a meeting
with foreign officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations
that he is aware of the large number of reforms that must be carried out and
that he is prepared to begin implementing them.

“(President Yushchenko said similar things in this respect.) In this sense,
Europe and the West are taking the Declaration on National Unity seriously.”

[The Day] “How did Washington react, officially and unofficially, to Prime
Minister Yanukovych’s statements and actions in Brussels?”

[Bruce Jackson] “It is too early to speak of actions. Any administration
holds fact-finding tours during its first weeks in office. The real work of
Ukraine and the EU are still ahead.

“Washington had no official reaction to Yanukovych’s visit to Brussels – and
it did not need to have one. I am not sure that our friends in Europe will
understand Washington if it judges an EU- organized meeting where the US
was not represented.

Unofficially, Washington is pleased that Yushchenko and Yanukovych are
working together on sensitive national problems and that there is strong
opposition in parliament, which will make the government and the president
stick to their promises. I must admit that the new government’s first weeks
surpassed all of Washington’s expectations.

“It is also true that after last year’s turmoil, these expectations were
very low. I think in the next few months we will see the resumption of
visits by high US officials with a simple message. If Ukraine wants to have
pragmatic and close relations with the US, the EU, and international
institutions and markets, the US is prepared to help.”

[The Day] “Does Ukraine’s deferral of its membership in the Action Plan
mean that Ukraine’s membership in NATO will be buried forever?”

[Bruce Jackson] “Not at all. There is nothing bad about a pragmatic and
methodical approach to integrating into European institutions. This is just
a decision to be made by your country, and taking into account the weak
public support and relative instability of Ukrainian politics, this may be
the fastest way to NATO and EU membership.

“Poland built a close relationship with NATO without undue haste. Romania
and the states west of the Balkans were more emotional, which I think is
called a romantic approach in Kyiv today.

“You may recall that those countries were regularly applying and were
disappointed for years. Finally, Romania succeeded, soon to be followed by
success for the countries west of the Balkans.

“The most important qualities of a successful pro-NATO campaign are an
all-round reform program and comprehensive public support. With the aid of
these two components, Ukraine can make it to NATO if it wants to.”

[Bruce Jackson] “What risks can the postponement of membership in the
Action Plan present to Ukraine?”

“It does not matter whether and when Ukraine chooses to join the Action
Plan. Everything that Ukraine may want to do with NATO in the Action Plan
can be done today in the framework of an intensified dialogue.

The Action Plan merely gives candidate countries an opportunity to improve
some defense reforms and other aspects that represent mutual interest.

“The Action Plan sort of resembles a university tutorial before final exams.
By the time Ukraine makes the formal decision to switch from having close
relations to applying for NATO membership, its defense reform may well be so
advanced that this kind of tutorial will not be needed.

“As for your question about risks, today Ukraine is facing the same risks it
did yesterday and will tomorrow. These risks include a struggling economy,
rampant corruption, a young and unstable political system, political
isolation, as well as a large population without adequate opportunities to
work, trade, travel, study, or just prosper.

“It will take the government years to reduce or increase these risks. It
will take months for us to see if the new coalition is able to get down to
this work.”

[The Day] “Now that high-ranking representatives of the new Ukrainian
government have made their first visits, can we now say that Ukraine’s
foreign policy is more predictable?”

[Bruce Jackson] “Again, it is too early to talk about this. The EU showed a
positive response to Ukrainian visits to Moscow, Sochi, and Brussels. I do
not think I will be able to answer this question until the same high-
ranking Ukrainian officials visit Washington. Since the Senate primaries are
happening in the US now, I hope that high-level visits will take place in
November.”

[The Day] “What kind of signals should Kyiv expect from Western states,
including the US? Or has the West lost its influence on the political
situation in Ukraine?”

[Bruce Jackson] “I think it would be a mistake to believe that American
foreign policy resembles the picture of a Soviet-era May Day parade in
Moscow, which contained a lot of hidden signals.

“US policy on Ukraine is very simple: Ukraine is an independent state that
is independently choosing its own path. International and European
institutions should keep their doors open and welcome Ukraine.

“The US is offering an intensive program of economic and political reforms
and is ready to help Ukraine succeed in implementing them. That’s all. I
think this policy is applicable to the Yanukovych government in the same way
it was to the Tymoshenko and Yekhanurov governments.

“Finally, I think it would be wrong to interpret political developments in
Ukraine according to such categories as the West is either losing or gaining
influence in Ukraine. I think it would be more correct to say that Ukraine
is losing or gaining interest in what the EU and the West can offer it.

“During the last elections, Ukraine was interested in nothing but internal
political rivalry. Now that Ukraine has a parliament and a government, it is
showing renewed interest in what is beyond the border.

“Ukraine is again taking an interest in trade, markets, visas, direct
foreign investments, and cooperation with European institutions. This is
very good and opens new opportunities for Ukraine.”      -30-
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/168375/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22. EX-UKRAINE LEADER APPEALS U.S. EXTORTION CONVICTION

Reuters, San Francisco, CA, Tuesday, October 3, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO – Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has

asked a U.S. appeals court to overturn his sentence of nine years in prison on
extortion and money laundering charges, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins last month sentenced Lazarenko, only the
second foreign leader to be convicted in the United States, and fined him
$10 million. On Friday the judge also ordered Lazarenko to forfeit more than
$26 million plus interest from his bank accounts linked to the case.

“From the original 52 counts, we are down to 14,” defense attorney Dennis
Riordan told Reuters in explaining the appeal. “All of the (eight) money
laundering counts are subject to attack.”

Lazarenko became a multimillionaire while in the top echelons of government
during the chaotic post-Soviet 1990s. Now under house arrest in San
Francisco pending the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals review of the case, he is
the first foreign leader sentenced in a U.S. court since Panamanian leader
Manuel Noriega in 1992.

A jury convicted Lazarenko, Ukraine’s prime minister from 1996 to 1997, of
29 counts of extortion, laundering money through California banks, fraud,
and transportation of stolen property. Judge Jenkins later threw out 15
counts, finding that there was not enough evidence to sustain those
convictions.                                     -30-

————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23.     WE SAVED EUROPEANS. WHY NOT AFRICANS?
                    The genocide in Darfur has lasted three long years.

    Will world leaders continue to give the perpetrators of genocide a veto
           over international action to stop it? Unless something changes
                          dramatically, the answer seems to be yes.

OP-ED: By Susan E. Rice, Anthony Lake and Donald M. Payne
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Monday, October 2, 2006; Page A19

With Darfur set to be hit by a second wave of genocide, world leaders are
shifting into diplomatic high gear.

The government of Sudan flatly rejects deployment of a 22,000-strong U.N.
force, knowing it would be much more effective than the African Union’s,
even if augmented by additional personnel as is now planned.

Some 450,000 innocent human beings are already dead, and more than 2.5
million have fled their homes. Now Sudan is launching a major offensive in
Darfur.

After three years of fruitless negotiation and feckless rhetoric, it’s time
to go beyond unenforced U.N. resolutions to a new kind of resolution: the
firm resolve to act.

Will world leaders continue to give the perpetrators of genocide a veto over
international action to stop it? Unless something changes dramatically, the
answer seems to be yes.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed bribing the Sudanese with debt
relief, aid and trade concessions to get them to admit U.N. peacekeepers.

By contrast, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice threatened confrontation,
and President Bush declared: “If the Sudanese government does not approve
this peacekeeping force quickly, the United Nations must act.” But neither
said how.

Instead, the president appointed Andrew Natsios, a former administrator of
the U.S. Agency for International Development, as his special envoy for
Darfur. An envoy’s role is to negotiate, but the Sudanese have left nothing
to negotiate.

Lost in the diplomatic bustle is reality:
[1] First, the U.S.-brokered peace deal for Darfur, fatally flawed from its
     signature, is dead.
[2] Second, Sudan has broken every pledge to every envoy to halt the
     killing in Darfur.
[3] Third, China is unlikely to compel Sudan to admit the United Nations —
      7 percent of its oil is at stake, and China may figure we value its
      help on Iran and North Korea more than on Sudan.
[4] Fourth, it’s too late for sanctions; even if China miraculously
     relented, it would take months before their bite was felt. By then,
     Sudan will have completed its second wave of genocide in Darfur.

History demonstrates that there is one language Khartoum understands: the
credible threat or use of force.

After Sept. 11, 2001, when President Bush issued a warning to states that
harbor terrorists, Sudan — recalling the 1998 U.S. airstrike on Khartoum —
suddenly began cooperating on counterterrorism. It’s time to get tough with
Sudan again.

After swift diplomatic consultations, the United States should press for a
U.N. resolution that issues Sudan an ultimatum: accept unconditional
deployment of the U.N. force within one week or face military consequences.

The resolution would authorize enforcement by U.N. member states,
collectively or individually. International military pressure would continue
until Sudan relented.

The United States, preferably with NATO involvement and African political
support, would strike Sudanese airfields, aircraft and other military
assets. It could blockade Port Sudan, through which Sudan’s oil exports
flow. Then U.N. troops would deploy — by force, if necessary, with U.S.
andNATO backing.

If the United States fails to gain U.N. support, we should act without it.
Impossible? No, the United States acted without U.N. blessing in 1999 in
Kosovo to confront a lesser humanitarian crisis (perhaps 10,000 killed) and
a more formidable adversary.

Under NATO auspices, it bombed Serbian targets until Slobodan Milosevic
acquiesced. Not a single American died in combat.

Many nations protested that the United States violated international law,
but the United Nations subsequently deployed a mission to administer
Kosovo and effectively blessed NATO military action retroactively.

Unthinkable in the current context? True, the international climate is less
forgiving than in 1999. Iraq and torture scandals have left many abroad
doubting our motives and legitimacy.

Some will reject any future U.S. military action, especially against an
Islamic regime, even if it is purely to halt genocide against Muslim
civilians.

Sudan has also threatened that al-Qaeda will attack non-African forces in
Darfur — a real possibility since Sudan long hosted Osama bin Laden and
his businesses.

Yet, to allow another nation to deter the United States by threatening
terrorism would set a terrible precedent. It would also be cowardly and, in
the face of genocide, immoral.

Some will argue that the U.S. military cannot take on another mission. Our
ground forces are stretched thin. But a bombing campaign or a naval
blockade would tax the Air Force and Navy, which have relatively more
capacity, and could utilize the 1,500 U.S. military personnel in nearby
Djibouti.

Others will insist that, without the consent of the United Nations or a
relevant regional body, we would be breaking international law. Perhaps, but
the Security Council recently codified a new international norm prescribing
“the responsibility to protect.”

It commits U.N. members to decisive action, including enforcement, when
peaceful measures fail to halt genocide or crimes against humanity.

This genocide has lasted three long years. Peaceful measures have failed.
The Sudanese government is poised to launch a second round.

The real question is this: Will we use force to save Africans in Darfur as
we did to save Europeans in Kosovo?               -30-
————————————————————————————————
Susan E. Rice, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was assistant
secretary of state for African affairs from 1997 to 2001. Anthony Lake, a
professor at Georgetown University, was national security adviser from 1993
to 1997. Donald M. Payne is a Democratic representative from New Jersey
————————————————————————————————-

FOOTNOTE:  The president of Ukraine and the foreign minister of Ukraine
continue to remain silent on the genocide in Darfur.  Very alarming and very
disappointing in light of what happened in Ukraine during 1932-1933, the
Holodomor (induced starvation, death for millions, genocide), during the
dictatorship of Stalin.   AUR Editor Morgan Williams.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/01/AR2006100100871.html
——————————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.               RUSSIA’S IMPERIAL MACHINE AT WORK
                   Empress Catherine II and the subjugation of the Crimea

Every method was used – military force or its threat, bribery, blackmail,
diplomatic ways, and hypocrisy. As the reader will soon see, both the design
and operation of that machine have not markedly changed in the last 220 years.

By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest #30,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Russia’s annexation of “Splendid Tavrida,” as the Crimean Peninsula was
called in the 18th century, was one of the most perfidious, large- scale,
and meticulously designed military, political, and diplomatic special
operations of that age.

The word “annexation” is not quite accurate here. Aleksandr Chatsky, the
main character in Griboedov’s play, Woe from Wit, shows a keen understanding
of the Crimean events, when he speaks about “the Ochakiv times and the
subjugation of the Crimea.”

The subject of this article is the subjugation of the Crimea, which was an
officially independent country, recognized as such by the main European
states, including Russia.

I would first like to emphasize that whereas for Chatsky “the times of the
Crimea’s subjugation” served as a synonym of the ancient past, for us,
contemporary Ukrainians, and especially for our compatriots who live in the
Crimea, this story is of vital and topical interest.

The events of the 1780s, which resulted in Catherine’s manifesto of April 8,
1783, on the incorporation of the Crimea, Taman region, and the Kuban
territory into the Russian state, vividly demonstrate all the “charm” of the
imperial machine at work.

Every method was used – military force or its threat, bribery, blackmail,
diplomatic ways, and hypocrisy. As the reader will soon see, both the design
and operation of that machine have not markedly changed in the last 220
years.
                                                     WAR
The first step toward the conquest of the Crimea for Empress Catherine was
the famous Kuchuk-Kainarji peace treaty signed on July 10, 1774, which
concluded the First Russo- Turkish war of 1768-1774 with very advantageous
terms for Russia. According to the treaty, the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire
restored to Russia all the lands that had been conquered by Peter I.

All the territories north of the Black Sea, inhabited by the Tatars
(including the Crimean Khanate) were proclaimed independent from Turkey,
although the sultan, as the “highest caliph,” retained religious power, the
right to confirm elected Crimean khans, to mint his image on Crimean coins,
and, finally the honorary right to be the subject of prayers said in
mosques.

In addition, Russia obtained Kerch and the fortress of Yenikale. Turkey paid
Catherine 4.5 million rubles in contributions, and Russian merchant vessels
were allowed to sail on the Black Sea along with English and French ships.

The empress was consistent in implementing her program known as the
“gathering of lands,” the official doctrine of the Russian tsars. She knew
that Peter I had spoken about the vital importance of the Crimea for the
state that was being built (and to the imperialist mentality “state
necessity” excludes “ethical doubts”).

She also knew that the Crimean khanate, headed by the unpredictable and
weak-willed Sahib-Girey, who one day followed the European political fashion
and the next day pretended to be the most righteous of Muslims, was clearly
experiencing a rough period (like the rest of the Ottoman Empire).

Catherine was well aware of the weakness of Turkey and its assorted vassals,
including the Crimea. In September 1782, on the eve of conquering the
Crimea, in a memorandum to Austrian Emperor Josef II, Catherine claimed that
defeating weakened Turkey, which had lost the war, would not be difficult.

According to the empress, internal chaos, various pashas striving for
independence, constant discord between them and the sultan, the presence of
a large number of Christians in the Turkish empire, lack of discipline in
the army, greed and corruption of Turkish statesmen, and poverty made
Turkey, let alone the Crimea, its former satellite, easy prey.

I cannot avoid mentioning such an important factor as the permanent
stationing of Russian troops in the Crimea since the autumn of 1770. At that
time, during the first Russian-Turkish war, the 2nd Army of Prince Vasilii
Dolgoruky occupied the Crimea. This military presence became an
“irresistible” argument in Russia’s plans to annex the Crimea.

The army’s combat capabilities enabled Catherine II to afford to ignore the
advice of Prussia’s King Friedrich II, who, after the war victories won by
Petr Rumiantsev’s army in 1770, insisted that Catherine be reasonable, fair,
and amenable to compromise.

He even expressed the wish that Catherine abandon her intention to “obtain
the Crimea”(?). On the contrary, he asked the Russian empress not to assail
the Crimean Tatars’ independence.

In connection with this, Catherine wrote to her minister of foreign affairs,
Nikita Panin, declaring that letter “shows great displeasure, petty
jealousy, and threats; but when they see that they will not win anything
through threats, the rest will arrange itself.

Stand firm and do not retreat: everything will turn to our benefit. And if
they see that we are in pursuit of peace, we will get a bad peace.” One
cannot deny cruelty and pragmatism of this crafty, self-confident, and able
ruler.

However the future of the Crimea remained vague. Different versions were
possible, and much depended on the result of the internal political struggle
between the members of the khan’s court in Bakhchisarai.
                                       INTRIGUES
Conflicts between Turkey’s supporters and the “Russian party”-advocates
of a rapprochement with Russia – intensified within the ruling elite of the
Crimea. It should be emphasized that this “Russian party” enjoyed political
and financial support from St. Petersburg.

Moreover, its very formation had been inspired by Catherine. The imperialist
“land gatherers” had used this tactic numerous times, and let’s face it – it
is still being exploited today, here in Ukraine.

In March 1775 the unfortunate khan Sahib-Girey, against whom some
influential murzas had revolted, was ousted with the help of Turkish
emissaries. That summer a Turkish force escorting Devlet-Girey, the
Turkish-supported candidate to the khanate, landed in Alushta. Then the
“Russian factor” emerged.

The 2nd Army deployed on the peninsula blocked the movements of the land
force. Field marshal Rumiantsev advised Catherine to bet on Shahin-Girey,
Devlet-Girey’s brother, long known for his pro- Russian attitude.
Shahin-Girey was brought to the Crimea from Abkhazia, where he led
detachments of the Nogai Horde, and with the support of General Borzov’s
corps was elected the Crimean khan.

Catherine continued her policy of “divide and rule.” The Crimea, formally
independent of Istanbul but transformed into a marionette of the Russian
government best suited her plans. Shahin-Girey, surrounded by Russian
bayonets (Lieutenant-General Suvorov had accepted the post of commander
ofthe Crimean Corps in 1777), was behaving arrogantly and ignoring national
values and customs.

He felt 100 percent “European,” rode around in a coach, dined at a table
sitting on a comfortable chair, and employed a cook from Europe. The
pro-Russian khan’s expenses soared, and the treasury was empty.

Catherine’s representative, Andrei Konstantinov, despite being an
experienced courtier, could not help correct the situation. Shahin-Girey’s
subjects were outraged by the sharp increase in taxes and the granting of
special privileges to Russian merchants in the Crimea.

The average Tatar began to realize that Shahin-Girey was no more than a
traitor of the state and the faith, directly appointed by the “Russian
 party” whose only support was Suvorov’s corps.

Suvorov, who was not yet a Generalissimus but already a distinguished
military leader, demonstrated outstanding diplomatic skill in his defense of
Russian imperial interests in Tavrida. He managed to repulse the Turkish
fleet from the strategically important port of Akhtiar, avoiding direct
combat. On this spot later appeared “the eternal city of Russian glory” –
Sevastopol.

Suvorov had prepared generous gifts for the Crimean statesmen, who were
“accustomed to all sorts of evil” (his words), which came in very handy.
Here we have another vivid example of the old truth – when corruption and
embezzlement of the state treasury exceeds a certain limit, this indicates
that a state is in agony.

In October 1777 the Crimean Tatars launched an uprising, also supported in
the Kuban region, against khan Shahin-Girey. Selim-Girey, Shahin’s brother,
was proclaimed the ruler of the Crimea. The ousted khan deserted to the
Russian camp.

The insurrection was drowned in blood, and it was then that Suvorov changed
from a diplomat to a chastiser, who had drawn from the scabbard “the sword
of war.” By spring 1778 Shahin-Girey’s rule was restored.

I would not like readers to gain a simplistic impression of Shahin-Girey. He
had been educated in the European style and had a fluent command of Greek,
French, Arabic, and, of course, Russian. He wrote poems and was a direct
descendant of Chinghis Khan. But Shahin-Girey neither knew nor understood
his people, which doomed his political career.

The khan had not drawn the proper conclusions from the dramatic events of
the past. Like before, the course of forcibly implementing unprepared
European-style reforms was followed.

In 1778 Shahin-Girey granted the Crimean Christians (Greeks and Armenians,
whose population was estimated at about 15 percent of the total population)
equal rights with the Muslims, which was not welcomed in the least. He
ordered the return of prisoners of war to Russia and began minting gold and
silver coins without the sultan’s formal permission.

The Crimean Christians’ fate changed dramatically in the summer of 1778.
Prince Grigorii Potemkin, Catherine’s omnipotent favorite and the governor
of Novorossiia, Azov, and Tahanrih – in fact, the unlimited ruler of the
southern imperial lands, broached the idea of resettling those people to the
territory of Russia. The empress supported his idea.

Suvorov was appointed to head this operation, which was prepared in the
utmost secrecy. The Christians’ “evacuation” was executed rapidly and
efficiently. The khan lost a very important financial source because the
Crimean Christians were hard-working farmers, craftsmen, and merchants,
who contributed considerable sums to the treasury.

The khan, realizing the utter weakness of his authority, was “exhausted with
anger” (Suvorov’s words), and sent message after message to St. Petersburg.
But he was forced to reconcile himself to the situation.

Incidentally, those Crimean Greeks were resettled on the coast of the Sea of
Azov, in the area of today’s cities of Berdiansk and Mariupil, where a
considerable number of their descendants still live.
                                            ANNEXATION
Catherine II, who was used to “conducting herself discreetly, acting
cautiously, and always dreaming of her own majesty” (her self-assessment)
related the following about herself: “I took the firm decision not to stop
before any obstacle, to overcome them all, and use all possible means to
achieve the desired goals.”

This empress knew how to wait patiently. But in the summer of 1783, after
gaining the Austrian emperor’s support on the “Crimean issue,” Catherine
decided that the “fruit” had ripened, and the time for action had come.

By this time Shahin-Girey’s power had taken on an “imaginary dimension.” In
March 1779, in return for Turkey’s confirmation of the terms of the Treaty
of Kuchuk-Kainarji’s, the Russian government withdrew its troops from the
peninsula. Seeing the weakness of the shah’s rule, the Crimean clergy
launched another uprising against Shahin in early 1782.

The khan responded by hanging a mufti and two respected murzas, which only
angered the people. Shahin-Girey fled under Russia’s wing, and his elder
brother Batyr-Girey, an ally of Turkey, was proclaimed khan.

Once again military force went into action. A mighty Russian corps commanded
by General De Balmen assembled in Nykopil and on the avenues of approach to
Perekop. In September 1782 Shahin-Girey joined the force, whose task was to
return the throne to him.

In October troops led by Count Samoilov (Potemkin’s nephew), seized the
Perekop line of defense. The way to the Crimea for the “Russian party’s”
marionette was open. Batyr-Girey fled.

In early 1783, after several weeks of confidential talks with Samoilov, who
was now Russia’s representative in the Crimea, Shahin-Girey (not without
reasonable material stimulus!) declared his unwillingness to rule such an
ungrateful nation as the Crimeans and abdicated. Catherine’s hands were
untied.

On April 8, 1783, she issued a manifesto on the incorporation of the Crimea,
the Kuban land, and the Taman region into the Russian Empire. Who could
have predicted then that this event contained the kernels of all the future
tragedies of the Crimean Tatars, a nation that had lost its statehood?

One cannot help noting the fact that Ukrainian history during this period
was closely connected with the process of consolidating (by all means!) and
unifying the empire, which was characteristic of Catherine’s policy.

Let us not forget an important fact: in 1783, the year when the Crimea was
annexed, the empress turned the free Ukrainian peasants into serfs. This was
no coincidence.                                      -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/169778/

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              SPAM BLOCKERS ARE A REAL PROBLEM                 

If you do not receive a copy of the AUR it is probably because of a
SPAM BLOCKER maintained by your server or by yourself on your
computer. Spam blockers are set in very arbitrary and impersonal ways
and block out e-mails because of words found in many news stories.
 
Spam blockers also sometimes reject the AUR for other arbitrary reasons
we have not been able to identify. If you do not receive some of the AUR
numbers please let us know and we will send you the missing issues. Please
make sure the spam blocker used by your server and also the one on your
personal computer, if you use a spam blocker, is set properly to receive
the Action Ukraine Report (AUR).

========================================================
                        PUBLISHER AND EDITOR – AUR
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer

Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707
Mobile in Kyiv: 8 050 689 2874
mwilliams@SigmaBleyzer.com; www.SigmaBleyzer.com
========================================================
    Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. 
========================================================
return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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