AUR#780 Oct 25 Ukraine: Prospects & Risks; WTO & Russia; IBM; Building Cars In Russia; ‘Our Ukraine’ Self-Annihiliation; Hungarian Revolution 50 Years Ago

                  An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                       In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                        Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
           Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                50 Years Ago When Hungary Took On The Soviet Bear 
             The Hungarian revolution and fight for freedom – 13 days between
                                   October 23 and November 4, 1956.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
               –——-  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.                                UKRAINE: PROSPECTS & RISKS
          A serious political conflict has erupted in Ukraine over foreign policy.
By James Sherr
CSRC, UK Defence Academy, United Kingdom
Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #780, Article 1
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 25, 2006

2.                                 A GATEWAY TO THE WEST
     Ukraine’s dash into NATO postponed for the time being. Post-socialist
    countries join NATO because Russia unable to offer attractive alternative.
By Mikhail Delyagin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 23, 2006

3.       UKRAINE TO RECEIVE GAS AT $130 PER 1,000 M IN 2007
Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 24 Oct 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

          Pro-presidential party took another step towards self-annihilation.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Chalenko
Segodnya, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 23 Oct 06; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Oct 24, 2006

INFORM, Newsletter for the international community providing
views and analysis from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYUT), Issue 16
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006
14.                   “BUT WAS THERE DISCRIMINATION”
     Paper denies Russian reports on language discrimination in west Ukraine
2000 newspaper, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 20 Oct 06 pp F1, F2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, October 20, 2006
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 21 October 2006

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 23, 2006


Press Office Of President Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 22, 2006

STATEMENT: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

         They were three weeks that shook the world, when a revolt begun by
            students forced out both a government and hated Soviet forces,
                             only to end in bloodshed and repression.
By Peter Popham, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, 23 Oct 2006

          The Hungarian revolution and fight for freedom – 13 days between
                                  October 23 and November 4, 1956.
By Sandor Szakaly, The Australian
New South Wales, Australia, Wed, October 25, 2006

       A serious political conflict has erupted in Ukraine over foreign policy.

CSRC, UK Defence Academy, United Kingdom
Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #780, Article 1
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A serious political conflict has erupted in Ukraine over foreign policy
prerogatives. In principle, there are several grounds to hope that this
conflict, brought about by the new division of power between President
Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, will not lead
to major changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy course.

In practice, institutional rivalries, external pressures, ignorance and
mistakes may combine to do so. Yanukovych’s foreign policy record and
the content of his 14 September speech in Brussels (calling for a ‘pause’
in NATO integration) are far less negative than often portrayed.

Nevertheless, one should not take for granted that Ukraine will continue
down the path that President Yushchenko set in January 2005.  Once again,
politics is undermining clarity of purpose and coherence of action.

The positive factors are these:

     [1] The ‘Universal’ agreement of 3 August established the framework for
a grand coalition of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the ‘blue’ forces of 2004:
Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, Moroz’s Socialists and the now much
diminished Communist Party.

It also reiterated presidential prerogatives in foreign and security policy
already set out in the December 2004 OSCE brokered constitutional
agreement, as well as Article 106 of the Constitution.

     [2] The President’s Euro-Atlantic team-Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk
and Minister of Defence Anatoliy Hrytsenko-was swiftly reconfirmed by the
‘Verkhovna Rada’ (parliament), as were three other Yushchenko appointees
in the national security area, Minister of Interior Yuriy Lutsenko, SBU
(Security Service) Chairman Ihor Drizhchaniy and Minister for Emergency
Situations Viktor Baloha (who on 16 September left this post when he was
appointed State Secretary, head of the President’s Secretariat).

The President retains the power to designate the Secretary of the country’s
influential National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), which, according
to Article 107 of the country’s constitution, ‘coordinates and controls the
activity of bodies of executive power in the sphere of national security and
defence’.  After much speculation, he appointed Vitaliy Hayduk to this post
on 10 October.

     [3] As Prime Minister under President Leonid Kuchma, Yanukovych
pursued a generally positive line towards NATO.  He was an architect of the
NATO-Ukraine Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on airlift (which
parliament rejected),  and he supported the drive for a Membership Action
Plan (MAP) at a time when Kuchma was losing credibility in the West.

     [4] Although repairing relations with Russia is his top priority,
Yanukovych is known believed to favour a multi-vector policy on a basis
that respects Ukraine’s national interests.  He has indicated on several
occasions that this will prove difficult unless the West remains firmly in
the equation.

He was humiliated by President Putin on at least one occasion during the
2004 electoral contest and is capable of drawing conclusions from Putin’s
warning (to Russia) that ‘only the strong are respected’ in international
affairs.  It is unlikely that he, any more than Kuchma, wishes to be a
‘vassal of Russia’.

     [5] This inclination towards balance is reinforced by very powerful
business interests in eastern Ukraine:  by the group of industrialists in
Rinat Akhmetov’s Systems Capital Management (which constitutes the
‘economic resource’ behind Yanukovych’s Party of Regions), as well as
the somewhat less powerful but very successful rival group, the Industrial
Union of Donbas (IUD), co-chaired by Hayduk up to the time of his
appointment to NSDC.

Both groups know how to work with Russian partners, but also have a number
of  competing interests, as well as a growing portfolio of investments in
Central and Western Europe. These industrialists rely upon a predictable
macro-economic framework with their eastern neighbour, but have learnt to
expect the unexpected. Although they have the capacity to absorb energy
price rises, they can only do so if the increases are predictable and

But the negatives are telling:


Regions, with its working ‘blue’ majority in parliament, believes it is in a
dominant position and is wasting no time in exploiting it.  As of January
2006, Ukraine is no longer a presidential republic.

Although the President retains the formal prerogative in foreign, defence
and security policy, Parliament’s control of the money and its power to
dismiss ministers risks confining this prerogative to paper.[i]   If Our
Ukraine is a loosely knit village,  Regions is an entity run on Leninist
principles with a lack of inhibition about using the power it has.

Yanukovych’s appointment of First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
(former First Deputy PM  and head of the Tax Administration  under Kuchma),
and Deputy PM Andriy Klyuev (responsible for supervising the country’s
unreformed energy sector) should leave one in no doubt about this.

Both appointments risk restoring opaque, post-Soviet norms of governance.
Already, apprehensions have been voiced that Azarov might become the power
behind the throne, reviving the reviled precedent set by Viktor Medvedchuk,
head of ex-President Kuchma’s presidential administration (but  with the
added advantage of ministerial appointment).  Like Medvedchuk, Azarov is
striving to become master of the bureaucratic apparat as well as the Cabinet
of Ministers.

As architects of Kuchma’s administrative system, both of these figures
studiously turned state and public institutions into tools of presidential
interests.  In the short time since Azarov’s reappointment, he has already
replaced five regional heads of the once notorious Tax Administration, as
well as its Chairman.

The new Minister of Economy, Volodymyr Makuha,  (a supporter of
integration into the Russian sponsored Single Economic Space) and the
new Prosecutor General, Oleksandr Medvedko, are allies of Azarov.

Whilst Klyuev appears to have the ability and ambition to Offset some of
Azarov’s power at an institutional level, he shares the latter’s ‘kuluarno’
(private lobby) understanding of power, administration and the
relationship between business and government.

To a country whose greatest security problem is the relationship between
politics, business and crime, these figures are unlikely to offer guidance
or help.  Euro-Atlantic norms of accountability and transparency are not on
their agenda or in their bloodstream.

energy instruments remain in place:  a concessionary gas price (now $95 per
th cu m) subject to frequent review and a bankrupt state energy sector,
excluded  from the sources of income needed to repay its debts (thanks to
the damaging agreement between ‘Gazprom’ and ‘Naftohaz Ukrainiy’ of 4
January 2006).  The 15-16 August summit between Putin and Yanukovych
in Sochi did nothing to change this status quo.

Both sides were dissatisfied with the meeting:  Yanukovych, because the
Russians showed no inclination to change the rules; Putin, because
Yanukovych failed to make the concessions-control of the pipeline network
and full entry into the SES-that would induce him to change them.

But instead of refocusing Ukraine’s efforts on the Western vector, the
summit appears to have redoubled efforts to concede ground to Russia in
other areas.  There are grounds to fear that this might entail accepting a
‘de facto’ Russian veto on further steps towards NATO and the WTO (which,
in turn would put paid to the prospects of a free-trade agreement with the

The dominance of ‘Moscow retransmitters’ in Yanukovych’s apparat (and the
appointment of Anatoliy Orel, Kuchma’s former foreign policy adviser to the
analogous post under Yanukovych) has possibly propelled Yanukovych in this
direction, though it is possible that more balance will emerge with the
recent appointment of two other figures:  former Foreign Minister Konstantin
Hryshchenko and a young, independently minded refugee from Kuchma’s
Presidential Administration, Anatoliy Fialko.[ii]

 For the moment, the disposition to make concessions to Russia appears
to have worked brought relief.  On 12 October, the government delegation in
Moscow (parliamentary Speaker Moroz, Klyuev and Minister of Fuel and Energy
Yuriy Boyko) announced a ‘breakthrough’:  the delayed introduction of the
new price ($130) until 1 January.

As Moroz triumphantly asserted, ‘the price issue has been resolved, and we
can draw a line under these relations’.  Just how it has been resolved, he
did not say.[iii]

This combination of internal strength and external weakness has produced two
unfortunate developments:

Yushchenko nor Tarasyuk (let alone the Ukrainian delegation at NATO HQ)
knew what Yanukovych would say in NATO HQ until he said it.  The five-hour
meeting between Yushchenko and Yanukovych following the latter’s return
 produced an agreed position on NATO integration which survived until
Yanukovych’s first press conference.

contravention of its commitment to deepen public understanding of NATO,
Yanukovych’s government has disbanded the Interdepartmental Committee
on Euro-Atlantic Integration (which Tarasyuk chaired) and cut funds for the
government’s two NATO information programmes by 40 percent.

The budget for reform of the Armed Forces has been cut by half:  a cut which
makes it brazenly optimistic to suppose that the MOD will be able to match
projected force reductions with the funds required to re-house retired

It is unlikely that the architects of these cuts fail to understand the
relationship between these components of the State Programme,  the standing
of Minister Hrytsenko in the Armed Forces and the evaluation of Ukraine’s
defence reform by NATO.

It is, after all, this State Programme and Hrytsenko’s capable
implementation of it that has provided NATO with its strongest argument
for extending MAP to Ukraine.

In response, a president who was reluctant to use his powers when he had
them has now begun to fight a vigorous rearguard action:

in this fight, the Secretariat of the President, is a purely presidential
structure. After almost two years of frustration, infighting and
ineffectiveness, it looks as if it finally will be capably led and directed.

Although its new head, Viktor Baloha, is reputed to be a key figure in the
much reviled Mukacheve business group, he is also regarded as a strong and
competent administrator.

Noteworthy amongst his appointments is one of his two first deputies,
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Economics Minister;  and, amongst three deputies,
the urbane and well seasoned Oleksandr Chaliy, former Deputy Foreign
Minister and latterly Vice President of the Industrial Union of Donbas.
Yatsenyuk is also considered an ‘IUD man’.

These appointments suggest that the President is not only trying to defend
his foreign policy turf but limit damage on the domestic, economic front as
well and enlist a new set of allies to this end. But how will the
Secretariat succeed in the absence of the real levers of power that the
Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament now possess?

The President’s  second institutional vehicle is the National Security and
Defence Council (NSDC).  Although chaired by the President, its members
consist of ministers in Yanukovych’s government as well as other senior
decision makers with national security responsibilities.

The August agreements with the Prime Minister and Parliament have already
diluted the NSDC’s cohesion, bringing into the fold Prosecutor General
Oleksandr Medvedko, parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz and National
Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh.

Although it cannot be said that these figures lack national security
responsibilities, their priorities are certainly different from those of the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior,
Chairman of the SBU (Security Service) and Chairman of the SZR (Foreign
Intelligence Service).

Moreover, Medvedko and Moroz are political opponents of the President,
and it was the latter’s  defection from the Orange coalition which brought
Yanukovych back to power.

Nevertheless, it is the Council’s Secretary who has tended to play the key
role in its affairs, not to say a key role in the strategic direction of the
state.  Under the initial stewardship of Volodymyr Horbulin (1996-99) the
NSDC was an effective and respected body, adhering strictly to its
constitutional remit and providing the rudiments of inter-agency
coordination in a country hobbled then (as now) by debilitating
institutional rivalries.

But under Horbulin’s successors, Yevhen Marchuk and Volodymyr
Radchenko, the Council was sidelined by President Kuchma and the head
of the Presidential Administration, Viktor Medvedchuk, who not only
usurped the Council’s traditional powers, but directly supervised ministers
and, despite his lack of an elected position or a constitutional role,
became the second most powerful figure in the country.

From the start, those who expected President Yushchenko to restore
constitutional norms were rudely disappointed. As Secretary
(January-September 2005), Yushchenko’s close associate, Petro Poroshenko,
used the NSDC as a foil against Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and secured
presidential backing to widen its remit well beyond its statutory role.  The
result was a full blown crisis which broke up the Orange coalition only nine
months after the Orange revolution brought it to power.

After this trauma, it is not surprising that Yushchenko returned the NSDC to
safer hands:  former Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh (September 2005 to May
2006) and, after Kinakh took up a parliamentary seat, to Horbulin once again
(but as Acting Secretary). It was clear that Horbulin could only be a
stopgap.  On 10 October, Vitaliy Hayduk, Co-Chairman of the Industrial Union
of Donbas, was appointed to this post.

     [2] POLITICAL REALIGNMENT. The appointment of Hayduk, Chaliy and
Yatsenyuk (and the reappointment of Oleksandr Zinchenko as presidential
adviser) has brought the Industrial Union of Donbas into the core of
Yushchenko’s administration.  This gives the President allies on his
opponent’s turf.  In a country where those who own and those who run the
country are often indistinguishable, this is a significant development.

By taking this step,  Yushchenko has expanded his financial resources in
ways which he appears to believe will might improve his prospects for
re-election in 2009.  But well before then, he clearly hopes to limit the
ability of Regions to damage his foreign policy and monopolise the economy.

The by now exhaustively explored alternatives offered him no egress:  deeper
dependence on a diminished Our Ukraine and on ‘dear friends’ already
compromised by the events of 2005; or alliance with Yulia Tymoshenko, whom
both he and the ‘dear friends’ regard as ambitious, and uncontrollable and
too knowledgeable about the shortcomings of his administration. This
erstwhile inner circle also advised him not to appoint Hayduk, but he has
wisely ignored their advice.

For the Industrial Union of Donbas, the new developments are, of course,
propitious. >From the moment that Yanukovych and Azarov returned to power,
the IUD was made to feel the financial levers of Akhmetov and the
administrative resources of the Yanukovych/Azarov/Klyuev government.  Now
they will have administrative resources of their own.

They will also aim to counterbalance the geopolitical tilt of Regions’
economic policy.  Hayduk will almost certainly make energy security a major
priority at NSDC.  Central to this enterprise will be steps to counter the
covert Russification of Ukraine’s energy sector and electricity market-and
its not so covert proponents, Deputy Prime Minister Klyuev and the Minister
of Fuel and Energy, Yuriy Boyko.

The fact that Hayduk firmly opposed the January 2006 gas accords and the
formation of ‘RosUkrEnergo’ – which the President’s men negotiated and the
President defended – is an awkwardness that both men will have to manage.

The President now appears ready to support efforts to free Ukraine from the
vice that these accords created, as long as radical means-the denunciation
of the accords and a fresh gas crisis-are avoided.

Hayduk is not a radical, and he will pursue other, more subtle forms of
attack and defence.  As a major player in the economy-and, not incidentally,
a former Deputy Prime Minister under Yanukovych’s last government-he retains
all the necessary back channels to Regions.

He knows how to compromise as well as resist.  The appearance of another IUD
man, Konstantin Hryshchenko, in the Prime Minister’s team, will also keep
lines of communication open.

On the date that Hayduk was appointed, the breakdown of the ‘Universal’ had
a second political consequence. Our Ukraine announced that it was going into
opposition and called for the resignation of all ministers ‘appointed on
behalf of Our Ukraine’.  But just who belongs to that category?

Our Ukraine’s leader, Roman Bezsmertniy, insists that the entire
pro-presidential bloc in Cabinet belongs to it.  Minister of Defence
Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who belongs to no faction, is adamant that he does not.
So is Borys Tarasyuk, who whilst a member of Our Ukraine, does not owe his
appointment to its leaders, but to the President’s foreign policy

For his part, the President is holding ‘consultations’ on the issue, which
in accordance with his well established convention, appears to mean that ‘we
will make a decision on Friday, and on Tuesday we will make another’. As of
14 October, he also continues negotiations with Yanukovych to resurrect the
coalition.  The indecisiveness of the President survives.

But the die appears to have been cast. The experiment in unity between the
foes of 2004 has collapsed.  But instead of restoring old alliances, the
collapse is producing a new and more complex alignment .  Who in these new
circumstances will the President’s people now be?  What kind of opposition
will be formed and against whom?

On 12 October the leadership of Our Ukraine boldly announced the formation
of a nine-party opposition ‘confederation’ under the name European Ukraine.
Yet this format, if realised, will simply replicate the format of Our
Ukraine in 2001. The centrepiece of parliamentary opposition, Yulia
Tymoshenko’s bloc, has not been invited to join it.

The IUD’s men in parliament who, like Hayduk himself, enjoy good relations
with Tymoshenko, certainly will not join it.

Will the IUD’s men in the Secretariat and NSDC be able to stabilise the
relationship between the President’s team and hers? Will they give teeth and
ballast to the parliamentary opposition?  Will Tymoshenko’s bloc in turn be
able to give the IUD more of a political shape?  Where will Our Ukraine fit
into this matrix?  Is it capable of doing so, or will it retreat into its
village and its nostalgia?

Although the ‘Universal’ set out a framework for civilised ‘dvoevlastie’
(bifurcated power), politics has set Ukraine on a course of antagonistic
‘dvoevlastie.’  Need that be a destructive course?  If the struggle were
played out along Orange-Blue lines, that would probably be the case.

Either Yanukovych’s Party of Regions would prevail (because Blue is
stronger), or both antagonists would lose (because Blue would win in
opposition to most of the country and the greater part of Ukraine’s foreign
and defence policy establishment).  The short and mid-term casualties would
be accountability, legitimacy and coherent policy.

Today’s developments point to the emergence of new lines of cleavage:
between  democratically orientated Euro-realists and the bastions of eastern
Ukrainian paternalism and the multi-vector approach.

By reaching out to the foils of Yanukovych and Akhmetov in eastern Ukraine
(and disregarding the counsels of those who only recently were his closest
confidants), President Yushchenko has either shown strategic wisdom or
achieved a strategic breakthrough by accident.

Yet the new alliance is unlikely to give much joy to idealists. The IUD are
not crusaders against corruption or ideologues of financial transparency and
G7 style corporate governance.

But they are self-interested proponents of a European future for Ukraine,
and they have set themselves in opposition to the key projects that would
turn Ukraine towards another future:  the Single Economic Space and the
Russian-Ukrainian energy consortium.

Unlike most of Yanukovych’s entourage, those brought into the NSDC
and President’s Secretariat understand Western institutions and impress
Western decision makers with their knowledge, pragmatism and competence.

The IUD team has also developed a productive relationship with Ukraine’s
most prominent opposition figure, Yulia Tymoshenko, whose public profile is
considerably more radical than their own.  >From the start, she, unlike the
leaders of Our Ukraine, has sought to move onto the opponent’s ground,
eastern Ukraine.

The past fortnight’s developments suggest that the struggle might be
shifting onto that ground.  If so, it is a good and necessary thing. Eastern
Ukraine is a region that many in the West have considered lost and that many
more in Russia have considered ‘nash’ (ours).  Yet it has never been a

The East-West  political paradigm has repressed its divisions, ambivalences
and even its Ukrainian identity. Whereas President Kuchma managed for a
time to alter this paradigm, the electoral contest of 2004 revived it in
Orange-Blue form.   In that form, politics in Ukraine is fated to be a
process that weakens Ukraine.

The political course since Yushchenko’s inauguration makes it worth
reiterating that Ukraine’s greatest challenge is not integration with the
West, but the integration of Ukraine.  This will not be possible without the
diminution of the regional divide and the mutation and reconstitution of
today’s political blocs.

The short-term effect of this process of mutation  is bound to be
incoherence and an untidy, altogether Ukrainian accommodation to the mixed
agendas of key players.  But that might be a price worth paying if it breaks
the mould of Ukrainian politics.

That mould-the absence of an opposition able to operate on Regions’ own
turf-has not only handed eastern Ukraine’s electorate to Regions, it has
retarded the evolution of Regions itself. Those who believe in the
possibility of Regions’ evolution should welcome this process.

The events of recent days demonstrate once again that things are never as
good or as bad in Ukraine as they seem.  The emergence inside eastern
Ukraine of a capable bloc of pro-presidential allies is not only redressing
some of the imbalance between Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

It is shifting the ground of Ukrainian politics in ways that demand
examination by the West, not to say encouragement.  The alternatives
which have commanded so much attention are not viable.

A revived Orange coalition, like the original coalition, would have little
internal coherence and possibly an even shorter shelf life than the first.

The grand coalition has already fallen apart, and its instrument of unity,
the ‘Universal’, merely enabled Regions to come to power and exercise it
without too much regard for its provisions.   For the moment, a gross
imbalance persists.

Yanukovych and Regions are seeking to establish ‘de facto’ control over
foreign and security policy, and they believe they possess the tools to do

Despite the President’s counter-offensive, they might be right.  The
struggle between Yushchenko and Yanukovych is no longer the only game
in town, but it remains the biggest game,  and it could prove to be a
destructive one.

That puts the West in a dilemma. How can NATO and the EU accommodate
to the reality of Regions’ ‘de facto’ power without legitimising it? In
today’s circumstances, the establishment of direct lines of communication
with Ukraine’s new government is essential.

In principle, there is no impropriety in establishing them. But there is a
difference between exchanging views with the Prime Minister and Cabinet and
transacting official business with them. Western governments will need to
get this balance right.  We dare not suggest by our behaviour that power and
money trump the laws and the constitution of Ukraine.

For its part, Regions will need to come to terms with three realities

     [1] The first is the West. Yanukovych and a good many others in his
entourage and government are hobbled by a lack of understanding of the West
and the working culture and ethos of its core institutions, NATO and the EU.

They exaggerate the extent of geopolitical competition for Ukraine and
underestimate the importance we attach to its democratisation, the
liberalisation of its economy and the modernisation of its institutions.

They also underestimate our knowledge of how Ukraine works, the depth and
extent of our relationships in the country and our ability to see through
the scams and deceptions of politics and daily life.

Finally, they overlook the magnitude of our other security problems and
underestimate the limits of our attention span and patience.  Unless we can
break through these misunderstandings we may be heading for trouble.

     [2] The new authorities might also underestimate the extent of
democratisation that has occurred in Ukraine itself:  the growing astuteness
and assertiveness of civil society, the knowledge and courage of journalists
and experts and the extent to which people have come to take liberty for
granted during the past two years.

We must not forget that despite the failings of Yushchenko, Yanukovych (who
secured 36 per cent of the vote in October 2004) secured only 32 per cent of
the vote in Ukraine’s freest elections to date, those of March 2006.  The
majority of Ukrainians do ‘not’ support him, and there is a risk that he will
overestimate the limits of their tolerance.

     [3] Finally, Regions might overestimate their ability to improve
relations with Russia. Yanukovych and most of his supporters are not tools
of the Kremlin, but Ukrainians who recognise that the achievement of good
relations with Russia will not be easy.

Nevertheless, they currently believe that ‘Yushchenko is to blame’ and hope
for real improvements that do not damage Ukraine’s independence.  It is
likely that this will prove to be an illusory hope.

Will Regions continue on a course of covert accommodations and incremental
capitulations, or at some point will they draw lines and seek help?  If they
have alienated the West before they reach that point,  then re-engagement on
our part might prove difficult.

On all three fronts, the learning curve is likely to advance slowly.  As
clearly as possible, then, it would be in the West’s interests to
communicate three messages:

    [1] We would like Ukraine to join the Euro-Atlantic community to the
extent that it is willing and able. It is Ukraine’s choice. But it cannot do
so on the basis of values and interests that we do not share.  A retreat
from democratic norms-not only in elections, but in media freedom,

administration and law enforcement-will have immediate and damaging
repercussions in Europe and North America.

    [2] NATO’s priority is not MAP or membership, but the deepening of
cooperation and the strengthening of the networks, mechanisms and
programmes that sustain it.  This depends on the survival of teams as well
as ministers-and the continuation of  their work to bring Ukraine’s defence

and security sector into the 21st century.  Much has been invested and
much achieved in this sphere.   A return to ‘integration by declaration’ will
thoroughly disenchant Ukraine’s Western partners.

    [3] There is an urgent need for Ukraine to demonstrate continuity and
credibility.   Without them, our relationship will unravel.  There is no
competition for Ukraine.  There is a competition for priorities and
resources inside the West.   If our joint work in Ukraine is dismantled,
Ukraine could find itself out of that competition.

For its part, the West needs to understand that a period of incoherence

will not necessarily be bad for Ukraine if it breaks down today’s outdated
divisions and alters the dysfunctional pattern of politics in the country.
Where Euro-Atlantic integration is concerned, it would also be best to
adopt the maxim, ‘better later, but better’.                      -30-
NOTE: The views expressed in this paper are entirely and solely
those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official thinking and
policy either of Her Majesty’s Government or of the Ministry of Defence.
[i] The President’s principal foreign, defence and security prerogatives are
set out in Article 106 Para 1 (he ‘guarantees the state’s independence,
national security.’) and Para 3 (he ‘exercises LEADERSHIP in the state’s
foreign political activity, conducts negotiations and concludes treaties’).
Whilst Article 116, Para 1 of the Constitution states that the Cabinet of
Ministers ‘ensures the state sovereignty and economic independence of
Ukraine [and] the IMPLEMENTATION of domestic and foreign policy of
the state’, even this article (which obliges the Cabinet to implement ‘acts of
the President’) implies that the policy to be implemented is that defined
by the President. [emphasis added by author]

[ii] Hryshchenko, a former ambassador to the United States, was believed to
have strong Euro-Atlantic sympathies until he replaced Foreign Minister
Anatoliy Zlenko in 2004 and then failed to support those fighting a
rearguard action against Viktor Medvedchuk and the entry of Ukraine into the
Single Economic Space.  His deference to Medvedchuk (who had placed the
Ministry under direct subordination to the Presidential Administration)
secured his departure from the MFA after the Orange Revolution.  One
casualty of Hryshchenko’s tenure was Deputy Foreign Minister Oleksandr
Chaliy, who had resigned over the issue of the Single Economic Space.  Yet
he, too, found himself shunned by Yushchenko after the Orange Revolution
and, as a result, he soon began to advocate a more equidistant position for
Ukraine.  Both Hryshchenko and Chaliy took up positions in the Industrial
Union of Donbas.  But whatever his leanings at present, Hryshchenko is an
extremely able and knowledgeable figure, who is bound to add balance and
ballast to Yanukovych’s alternative foreign ministry.

[iii] Interfax Ukraine, 12 October 2006, cited in “BBC Summary of World
Broadcasts: Former Soviet Union” (hereafter SWB).
CONTACT: James Sherr,

FOOTNOTE: James Sherr was one of the leading speakers and panelists
last week in Washington, D.C., at Roundtable VII, “Ukraine and NATO
Membership” of the Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood series
of fall conferences.  The AUR will publish Mr. Sherr’s presentation at
the Roundtable within the next few days.  We thank Mr. Sherr for the
opportunity to publish his latest article, “Ukraine: Prospects & Risks.”
AUR Editor Morgan Williams
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
2.                         A GATEWAY TO THE WEST
   Ukraine’s dash into NATO postponed for the time being. Post-socialist
  countries join NATO because Russia unable to offer attractive alternative.

COMMENTARY: By Mikhail Delyagin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 23, 2006

NATO still performs its principal military duties, but its role
changed with the collapse of the USSR. These days, NATO is the key
instrument for the West’s absorption of post-Socialist countries
whose economies and legislation don’t yet meet requirements for
European Union membership.

NATO membership of the period of EU’s rapid expansion is a kind
of mandatory “preliminary phase” prior to membership of the European
Union itself. Crisis of the European Union makes membership of NATO
the only affordable form of integration with the West.

Moreover, this integration doesn’t really concern societies and citizens
whose lives are not really affected by military threats. It concerns first
and foremost the elites that prove their loyalty to the West and
particularly to the United States in this manner.

Ukraine’s membership of NATO is one of the central issues of
Russia’s future. Thanks to Zbigniew Brzezinski, everyone knows now
that Russia cannot exist as a major factor of international politics
without Ukraine.

That’s what makes Ukraine’s “European” or Western
choice a key element of the whole global arrangement in the wake of
the collapse of the Soviet Union. That is why membership of NATO is
so important for Western strategists and their partners in Ukraine
itself who believe that cooperation with Russia is fatal for the
fragile Ukrainian self-identity.

George W. Bush intended to visit Ukraine this summer to invite
Ukraine to join NATO. But Ukraine’s political crisis had left it
without a government, however, and there was no one to receive the
high-ranking guest. Mass protests against the American military in
Ukraine followed.

 In fact, it was the so-called Feodosia conflict that transferred the
issue of membership of NATO from bureaucratic to the political plane
and made the previously passive Ukrainian people active and therefore
 important for official Kiev. (Opinion polls indicate that only 20% of
Ukrainians support the idea of joining NATO.)

The NATO summit in Riga on November 28-29 will be “for
authorized personnel” only. Russia is not invited to it as an
observer. Like any other “step backwards,” it is alarming of course.

On the other hand, because of the Ukrainian society’s clear position
the summit will be dedicated to the internal problems of NATO
accumulated in the years of its explosive expansion – from
rearrangement of the military infrastructure of East Europe to
financial issues. The United States is annoyed by a situation where
it essentially maintains NATO at its own expense and where at the
same time it is forced to take into account the conceited Europeans
who in their turn are sincerely mad over the Americans’ disinterest
in their rights.

The time is not yet ripe to invite Ukraine into NATO, and
Viktor Yanukovych went so far as to explain this to the West. The
Ukrainian elite aspires for membership of NATO, viewing it as
another “gateway” to the West, another road to the new opportunities
opening up before NATO members.

It seems that some Russian companies would also like to see
Ukraine in NATO. It will destroy the Ukrainian factories cooperating
with Russia and compel the latter to build its own ones. The
opportunities that will open for Russian businesses in this case are
truly enormous. The idea of membership of NATO is but postponed.

Backed by external financial and technological resources, the
campaign of propaganda needs some time first to brainwash the
Ukrainian population and bring the ratio of supporters and enemies
of the idea at least to 1:2. European experience shows that this is
the minimum ratio states need to crush the resistance of enemies of
membership of NATO that outnumber the supporters but lack state
resources to substantiate their stand on the matter.

Pro-NATO propaganda is extremely clumsy for the time being. It
boils down to boring diatribes about “no alternative path,” “the
choice of the civilized world,” the “ignorance” of all opponents,
the “veto power” Ukraine would allegedly wield with regard to its
sponsors, and the inevitable economic prosperity.

The propaganda inevitably refers to Romania, where foreign investment
soared once it became a NATO member. Propagandists never mention
the fact that investment soared in light of Romania’s forthcoming
membership of the European Union.

And yet, even this primitive propaganda is having an effect.
Quality may eventually evolve into quality. Credibility of the
Ukrainian audience should be taken into account as well. But it is
membership of NATO that may become the shocking moment of truth
for Ukraine. In any case, Russia still have time to adjust its position.

Restricting Russia’s stance to clumsy condemnation will
certainly be a mistake. Russia should make an emphasis on the fact
that NATO is a military-political bloc and not “partnership for the
sake of development.” Unless Russia is explained deployment of
NATO’s offensive weapons on its eastern borders, it will keep
regarding expansion of NATO as a hostile move.

The lessons of the anti-Georgian campaign should be learned. Russia’s
response should advance relations between peoples, not sever them.
It should be aimed at the elites (Ukrainian in this case) that force
membership of NATO on their people against the will of the latter.

Russia’s problem is that competition nowadays is not a contest
of tanks or finances, it is a contest of attractive images, models,
and symbols of development. This is where Russia doesn’t have
anything at all. Post-Socialist European countries are not
independent. The choose membership of NATO because Russia as
the only alternative doesn’t have anything attractive to offer them.

If it wants to win the battle for Ukraine, Russia should stop
being a synonym for authoritarian savagery and dumb coercion. Its
leaders should learn to respect other peoples, but this requires
that they should learn to respect their own people first.   -30-
Translated by A. Ignatkin

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

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has announced that next
year Ukraine will receive at least 55 billion cubic meters of imported gas
at not more than $130 per 1,000 cubic meters.

“Negotiations are concluding in Russia. The volume of gas being supplied to
Ukraine is being confirmed at not less than 55 billion cubic meters at a
price of not more than $130 per 1,000 cubic meters. As soon as the
executives arrive in Ukraine they will show these contracts,” Yanukovych
said at a joint press conference with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov
in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that the price agreements are agreements between two companies. “Of
course, we are creating conditions and, as they say, a normal atmosphere for
our companies, so that they can operate normally,” he said.

Fradkov said that the issue of gas supplies to Ukraine was not discussed at
a meeting of the intergovernmental committee, as these talks are being
carried out by companies – primarily Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy.

Yanukovych said that earlier this issue was over politicized and that now
both sides are trying to transfer it to the corporate arena.

He said that the government would guarantee gas import volumes and also
reliable transit “so that European partners do not feel any discomfort.” The
prime minister said that the contracts to supply gas to Ukraine would be
published after they are signed.

This 55 billion cubic meters, along with the 20 bcm produced domestically,
is sufficient to meet requirements in 2007. At the moment the price for gas
being imported into Ukraine is $95. All of the gas supplied to Ukraine is
supplied through RosUkrEnergo and is bought by a joint venture with Naftogaz
Ukrainy – UkrGaz-Energo.

Russia and Ukraine, with help from RosUkrEnergo A.G. (Switzerland),
regulated their gas relations in January 2006. According to agreements, the
price for gas being imported to Ukraine increased to $95 per 1,000 cubic
meter, and the transit price – to $1.6 per 1,000 cubic meters over 100 km.

Ukrainian gas imports are expected to increase to $130 per 1,000 cubic
meters in 2007. Meanwhile, Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of a large
parliamentary group, has criticized Yanukovych’s remark about the price of
$130 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas Ukraine will pay for Russian gas imports
in 2007.
“Ukrainian interests were blatantly betrayed at the start of 2006, when the
agreement with RosUkrEnergo was signed and when the link between transits of
Russian gas through Ukraine and the price for which Ukraine receives gas
from Russia was broken,” Tymoshenko told journalists on Tuesday.

“When it comes to power, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc will make public the
names of the officials” because of who “the country is now losing its energy
stability, independence, and its financial substance.”

“It is ridiculous to talk about $130, $210, or $95 now, since officials gave
up the price we were entitled to up to 2010. Either $95, or $130, or $210
remains a crime. I don’t see any difference here,” she said.

Tymoshenko pointed out that, while the agreement on the rent of land and
property for the Russian Black Sea Fleet was signed simultaneously with the
agreement on Russian gas sales to Ukraine, the agreement regarding the
conditions on which the fleet is functioning in Ukraine has not been

“I regard all these statements on a Russian-German-Ukrainian gas
transportation consortium or any other consortiums based on our gas
transportation system as high treason.

I warn the politicians who have switched to the issue of the gas
transportation system’s ownership after RosUkrEnergo that they won’t get
away with that. They must not dare eye something that has remained our
strategic property,” she said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – Ukraine and Russia should take into account each other’s opinions 
on joining NATO and the European Union, and should synchronize their
joining the World Trade Organization, Russian Premier Mikhail Fradkov
has said.

Fradkov was speaking at a press conference following a meeting of the
Ukrainian-Russian intergovernmental economic cooperation committee in

Kyiv on Tuesday.

“Strategic cooperation provides for not only the ability to look at the
prospects ahead, but also for relations of trust and mutually shared
priorities in both foreign and domestic policy, as well as at the level of
interstate relations,” he said.

“If it is [the issue of Ukraine’s joining] NATO, it should not be against
Russia’s interests,” he said.

“If it is the WTO, one should take into account the relations between the
WTO and Russia and [there should be] a desire to build up strategic and
economic cooperation in a bilateral format. There should be more
consultations, more exchange [of opinions], I would say directly – to
synchronize the negotiation process of our countries regarding the WTO,”
Fradkov said.

“If it is European integration, here there are a lot of questions, which
must be taken into account by Ukraine and Russia, including those we have
discussed today – transport, industrial cooperation, cooperation in the
high-tech sphere. All of these issues are interrelated,” he said.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 24 Oct 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – [Propresidential] Our Ukraine has described as inappropriate Russian

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov’s remarks that negotiations should be
synchronized so that Ukraine and Russia join the WTO simultaneously.

“We believe that in this way Ukraine is coming under pressure so that its
foreign policy changes. The essence of the Russian prime minister’s remarks
is not coordination and working out a joint position of the two countries,
but ‘a package of concessions’ by Kiev in politics and the economy,” Our
Ukraine said in a statement.

“Imposing the idea of a synchronized WTO entry [on Ukraine], Russia could
make other demands as well: that it should call a referendum on NATO
immediately, extend the stay of [Russia’s] Black Sea Fleet in Crimea and get
Turkmen gas only via Russia,” the statement says.

“This explains Russia’s position in the ongoing gas talks, whose course can
be affected by any concessions made by the [Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor]
Yanukovych government,” the statement continues.

Our Ukraine believes that “Russia pursues a policy of restricting Ukraine’s
sovereign right to determine its own foreign policy interests”.

In this connection, Our Ukraine has called on Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych “to be a prime minister of Ukraine, not a governor of small
Russia [as Ukraine used to be known when it was part of the Russian empire]”
during talks with Russia.

It was reported earlier that Fradkov suggested that Ukraine’s and Russia’s
accession to the WTO should be synchronized [see TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in
Russian 1100 gmt 24 Oct 06].                      -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006
KYIV – Ukrainian First Vice Premier and Finance Minister Mykola Azarov
has said that Ukraine should pass the package of laws needed for entry to
the World Trade Organization as soon as possible.

“I am convinced that we must consider all these draft bills [concerning the
reform of the tax and customs systems], taking into account the requirements
of the WTO. The government’s firm stand is that Ukraine must join the WTO.

We need to pass a package of laws providing for the process as soon as
possible,” he said, according to a press release from the Finance Ministry
issued on Tuesday.                                 -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

         Around 2,000  Ukrainian  companies  are  currently  IBM  clients
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

MOSCOW – IBM has set up a subsidiary in Ukraine called IBM Ukraine.

The  presence  of  a  world leader on the IT market in Ukraine will have a

positive  influence on the development of the Ukrainian IT market on the
whole  and  will help expand the sector of supply and services to the
company’s  business partners, Brendon Riley, IBM general director in
Central and Eastern Europe, said at a Tuesday press conference.

The  establishment  of  an  IBM  subsidiary  based on the company’s
representation,  that  has  worked  in Ukraine since 2004, will help
IBM offer the   entire   range   of  its  services  in  Ukraine,  said
 Ihor Pastushenko, general director of IBM Ukraine.

IBM  is planning to implement projects in business consulting, such
as designing  strategies,  personal  management,  installing
integrated informational systems, and developing the network of local
designers and business partners that offer solutions based on IBM

Around 2,000  Ukrainian  companies  are  currently  IBM  clients,
Pastushenko said.                                   -30-

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

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – A Japanese Policy and Human Resource Development (PHRD) Grant
Agreement to help the Ukrainian government advance its structural reform
agenda was signed today by the First Deputy-Minister of Economy, Mr.
Anatoliy Maksyuta, and the World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus and
Moldova, Mr. Paul Bermingham, in the presence of Mr. Mutsuo Mabuchi,
Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine, according to a WB press-release,
forwarded to UNIAN.

Under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, the US$700,000
grant will assist the government in preparing the second Development Policy
Loan (DPL) from the World Bank by implementing policy commitments and
planning future reform steps in three major areas:

     [1] improvements in the investment climate,
     [2] better public administration and
     [3] public financial management and greater social inclusion.

The World Bank has supported Ukraine’s key policy and institutional reforms
over the past five years, through the series of loans: PAL-1 (2001), PAL-2
(2003) and DPL-1 (2005).

These loans supported the following accomplishments:

     [1] the elimination of pension, wage and most other budget arrears,
     [2] the reduction of tax arrears and tax exemptions,
     [3] improved business accounting standards and practices,
     [4] the launch of land reform and pension reform,
     [5] the establishment of a legal system for mortgage and secured
     [6] improvements in the regulation of banks and other financial
          institutions, and
     [7] material progress towards WTO accession.

“Accelerating the implementation of structural reforms will be critical if
Ukraine is to achieve the target of doubling GDP over the coming decade” –
says Paul Bermingham, World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus and


“We have already started the dialogue with the new government on the
necessary steps going forward and we are grateful to the Japanese

Government for their assistance.”                   -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – Bogdan Corporation and Zaporizhia Automobile Plant (ZAZ) have begun
building a new auto plant in Russia to produce cars, trucks, and buses.
Bogdan press secretary Serhiy Krasulia told reporters joint investment in
the plant would top $300 million.

United Transport Technology on October 18 bought a 50 hectare plot of land
in the Bor district of Nizhny Novgorod in auction. Krasulia said the company
represents Bogdan and ZAZ and is founded by companies affiliated with them.

The plant will initially be able to produce 25,000 Lanos-Chevrolet cars,
6,000 Bogdan-Isuzu buses, and 25,000 trucks and assemblies. It will reach
full capacity in 2009 and will sell mainly on the CIS markets, primarily in
Russia, he said.

Krasulia said Bogdan and ZAZ previously conducted joint projects. The
companies have been producing the VAZ-21099 and VAZ-21093 cars at

ZAZ plants since 2003.

Bogdan first announced plans to produce automobiles in August of last year.
The company produces buses in Ukraine and Belarus.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – The Ukrainian government will spare no efforts to make the

Ukrainian market attractive to investors, according to Ukrainian President
Viktor Yuschenko.

The cornerstone of this process is the formulation of clear rules, helping
build a productive dialogue between government and business, he said on
Monday in Budapest at a meeting with representatives of Hungarian business
circles, the president’s press service has reported.

He said one of the priorities for the government in this context was to
reduce taxes. Yuschenko also said he was taking steps to persuade

parliament to pass bills enabling Ukraine to become a WTO member.

He said the government was going to sign agreements on readmission and the
liberalization of visa requirements with the European Union this October,
and also start talks to sign a new enhanced agreement in 2007.

He reiterated that Ukraine’s foreign policy would not change. “Ukraine is
looking forward to building the most active dialogue possible with the
European markets,” he said.

Yuschenko discussed ways to introduce energy efficiency technologies and
produce biological fuel. Yuschenko said Ukraine expected Hungary to submit
proposals on joint projects in the area of energy efficiency.

The business leaders said they were ready to invest in the production of
fuel and development of Ukraine’s transportation infrastructure.

The President also said Ukraine would gladly use Hungary’s experience in

the modernization of farms. “Ukraine is open to full-scale economic and
investment cooperation with Hungary,” he stated.          -30- 
FOOTNOTE:  The Ukrainian government the last two years certainly has
not done all they can to make the Ukrainian market attractive to international
investors.  In fact they have accomplished very little in this area and are
doing very little at the present time. The president and others in the
government have made many speeches on this subject but seldom is
there any reality to go with what is promised.   AUR Editor  
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
           Pro-presidential party took another step towards self-annihilation.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Chalenko
Segodnya, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 23 Oct 06; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Oct 24, 2006

Three factions threaten to fracture the pro-presidential party in Ukraine, a
newspaper has reported. The author said nearly a third of Our Ukraine
People’s Union local chapters will leave the party to follow Mykola
Katerynchuk if he is not elected party leader.

In the meantime, the author said a three-week break in the party’s congress
is to be spent by President Viktor Yushchenko searching for a compromise
with current leaders in the party whom he wants to replace with people more
likely to help him find a common language with the Party of Regions.

The author said an agreement with the Party of Regions could secure him a
second term as president.

The following is the text of the article by Oleksandr Chalenko, entitled
“Our Ukraine does not give in to the president: The dear friends refused to
give up control of the party. Now it demise it unavoidable”, published in
Segodnya on 23 October, subheadings appear as in the original:

Over the weekend, the main pro-presidential party – Our Ukraine, People’s
Union [OUPU] – took another decisive step towards self-annihilation. The
party is ready to be torn into three factions.

[1] The first: those sympathetic to Mykola Katerynchuk, who insist on going
into the opposition and joining Yuliya Tymoshenko.

[2] The second: “the dear friends” [Yushchenko’s allies who were accused of
corruption] headed by Roman Bezsmertnyy and Petro Poroshenko, who are
financing and controlling the OUPU governing bodies.

[3] The third: Viktor Yushchenko himself and his new favourites from the
Presidential Secretariat ([head of the presidential secretariat Viktor]
Baloha, [first deputy head of the presidential secretariat Arseniy]
Yatsenyuk and [deputy head of the presidential secretariat Viktor] Bondar).

And if on Friday [20 October] it appeared that the president and “the dear
friends” managed to find a common tongue in dividing the management of the
party, by Saturday [21 October] during the third OUPU congress, all the
agreements were ruined and the congress itself interrupted.
                                   A ONE-HOUR CONGRESS
The congress opened with a speech by Viktor Yushchenko, the honorary
chairman of the party. The orator came on stage in a suit, but without a tie
though he wore an orange handkerchief in his breast pocket [Orange being
OUPU’s campaign colour].

He branded the former Our Ukraine leadership (he did not name names, but
everyone understood he meant Bezsmertnyy and “the dear friends”, who sent
the party into crisis and turned it into a closed joint-stock company where
“the main shareholders solve their own interests or interests close to their
own”. At the end, the head of state suggested holding the congress in two

 To set up working groups which will work out foundation documents and sort
out the leadership bodies in the first stage. And in the second stage – the
congress should approve what was worked out. The president’s intentions did
not come to pass.

After him, Bezsmertnyy stepped up to the podium and…[ellipsis as
published] declared a three-week break.

That shocked the delegates, especially those siding with Mykola Katerynchuk,
who wanted to try to elect him leader of the party at this congress. But
Katerynchuk calmed them and agreed to the time out.
                               AWAY WITH THE FRIENDS?
A source in the president’s circle told us that the day before the congress,
the Secretariat reported to Yushchenko that an agreement had been reached
with Poroshenko and company about their resigning on their own from the
leadership of Our Ukraine and on Bezsmertnyy’s departure and freeing a place
for Arseniy Yatsenyuk (currently the deputy chief-of-staff).

And so the president agreed to remain honorary chair of the party. But
unexpectedly, it turned out that Poroshenko was not ready to give up the
party. “And the long time-out was called in order to resolve the problem”,
the source explained.
                               THE END OF THE PARTY?
If it turns out impossible to agree (which is very likely), then it is most
likely Yushchenko will lose interest in OUPU, giving it over to “the dear
friends” who will “devour” Katerynchuk and kick him out of the party (up to
one-third of local organizations and almost half the Our Ukraine faction in
parliament will leave with him).

Of course, without the president’s support, Our Ukraine will quickly become
marginal and it cannot be ruled out that it will give in to the Party of
Regions and set up a grand coalition with it in parliament.
                                    ANOTHER SCENARIO
Events will develop in a far more interesting way if Yushchenko manages to
agree with the “friends” on replacing the leadership of the party (and
Katerynchuk will leave anyway – the president does not accept his calls to
unite with Tymoshenko). There are two conflicting versions on why Viktor
Andriyovych [Yushchenko] would need this.

[1] First: the secretariat is looking at the possibility of an early
parliamentary election. Should Our Ukraine enter them with the old
leadership, unavoidable defeat will be awaiting it, but with new leadership,
the party has a chance to fight for the “Orange” electorate’s vote.

[2] The second version, and one which is more likely, comes down to
Yushchenko not wanting a new election, but rather his thirsting for a
stabilization of the political situation.

To this end, he needs to quickly find agreement with the Blue-and-Whites
[the campaign colours of the Party of Regions], something his old “dear
friends” could not do because of their large appetite for posts and

 So it has been decided to put them on the back burner and give the reins of
government in OUPU to people close to the financial-industrial group
Industrial Union of Donbass [IUD], which already controls the presidential
secretariat to a significant extent (Yatsenyuk and [deputy head of the
presidential secretariat Oleksandr] Chalyy) and the Secretary of the
National Security and Defence Council (Vitaliy Hayduk – the co-owner of the

The end goal: getting a second term as president for Yushchenko, who could
be elected in parliament rather than in a nationwide election, and so there
is a need to agree with [Prime Minister] Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of
Regions.                                                -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

INFORM, newsletter for the international community providing
views and analysis from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYUT), Issue 16
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The pro-presidential bloc, Our Ukraine, is on the verge of an irrevocable
split as the bloc’s third congress ended in disarray on Saturday.  Its
embattled leadership agreed to reconvene in three weeks time to review plans
from President Viktor Yushchenko who remains its honorary Chairman.

Speaking at the congress, President Yushchenko sharply criticized his
party’s decision to move into opposition and urged it to resume talks with the
governing coalition led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, his one time

Only last Thursday Our Ukraine announced that four ministers had resigned
and reiterated that it was officially in opposition.  This appeared to
signal the end of efforts to form a grand coalition with the pro-Russian
Party of Regions and its allies, the Socialist and Communist parties – known
collectively as the Anti-crisis coalition.

But the president seems to have a different agenda. He expressed doubt that
being in opposition was the best option for Our Ukraine and insisted that
the focus should “be on consolidation and mutual understanding with various
political forces, including the Party of Regions.”

He also criticised our Ukraine’s leadership, stating that it had been
weakened by personal ambition and urged a reshuffle. This was seen as a
rebuke of Roman Bezsmertny who announced that he would renounce the
leadership and suggest a new candidate at the party’s council meeting next

The party appears to be on the verge of splitting. For several weeks,  the
president and his ministers appointed by decree – Foreign Minister Boris

Tarasyuk and Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko – have distanced
themselves from the rest of the bloc. Both ministers signaled their
opposition by refusing to resign, citing their constitutional duty as the

Yet the rationale for clinging onto their positions is confusing,
particularly given the fact the ministers were unable to work effectively
with the Yanukovych-cabinet which ran rough-shod over their portfolios.

Tammy Lynch, Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict,
Ideology and Policy at Boston University, recently opined, “A move to
opposition may allow these former ministers more effectively to criticize
the government and to provide clear alternatives.  Their influence outside
the government may be far greater than it was within it.”

The four ministers who submitted their resignations to parliament last
Thursday are Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko, Culture Minister Ihor
Likhoviy, Family, Youth and Sport Minister Yuriy Pavlenko and Justice
Minister Roman Zvarych.

It is now unclear if they will leave office or not.

Earlier in the week, Evhen Kushnaryov, a senior official from the Party of
Regions, intimated that parliament might go as far as to offer the president
the opportunity to name candidates for the vacant ministerial posts.

President wants renewed talks with the parliamentary coalition

The president’s willingness to hold further talks aimed at forming a new
coalition is at complete odds with the views of many in Our Ukraine,
including its leader Mr Bezsmertny who had deemed further negotiations as

Previously claiming “all bridges are burnt,” Mr Bezsmertny  had pinned the
blame on the failure of the Party of Regions to incorporate the conditions
of the ‘Universal’ (National Unity Pact) into a new coalition agreement; the
most pressing being the adoption of the NATO membership action plan,
EU integration and swift accession to the World Trade Organisation.

Despite the president’s wishes, most observers doubt whether Mr

Yanukovych will suddenly acquiesce to Mr Yushchenko’s demands. The
Communist Party will also keep up the pressure.

Its leader, Petro Symonenko, claimed earlier that he did not see any
constructive proposal from Our Ukraine during the negotiations, and “those
ideas that the president and his ‘orange team’ impose were ineffective.”

The most likely scenario is that Our Ukraine will split in two with some of
the deputies joining a re-constituted governing coalition and others
remaining in opposition.

As if to confirm a potential split in the ranks, the first meeting of
“Yevropeyska Ukrayina,” or “European Ukraine,” was held on October 12.
This grouping purports to be a confederation of parties that will form an
alternative opposition.

Interestingly, BYUT was not one of the nine parties invited to attend the
first meeting which lasted for three hours. According to Roman Bezsmertny,
the new force will base its policy upon the Universal and seek to form a
shadow government.

However, some insiders believe the unwillingness to involve BYUT is because
the new group is forming mechanisms to make deals with the governing

Others contend that it is simply a re-invention or re-branding of Our
Ukraine in European clothes – a move designed to entice back voters that
defected to BYUT in the March parliamentary election.

Whatever the intent, BYUT leader Yulia Tymoshenko was in a conciliatory
mood, “The door will remain open as long as it takes.

 We encourage Our Ukraine to join an inter-factional opposition which would
unite in challenging the government and securing the future direction of
Ukraine.  This is not a question of party politics but about the freedom and
economic prosperity of a nation.”

To-date there has no been serious dialogue between Our Ukraine and BYUT
on a united opposition.

“There is room for several oppositions,” said Mrs Tymoshenko, “but a single
strong inter-factional opposition will serve this country best. The people
are tired of being let down by squabbling politicians whether they are in
government or opposition.  They expect better and deserve better and because
of this we will remain open to discussions.”                 -30-
For further information contact:

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

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

KYIV – Ivano-Frankivsk city council considers Russian Foreign Affairs
Ministry reports on infringement of Russian language in the city as

Ivano-Frankivsk city council has disclosed this in a report to Ukrainian
President Viktor Yuschenko, Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry and
Ukrainian citizens of all nationalities on October 17.

‘We consider Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry reports on infringement of
Russian language in Ivano-Frankivsk…as provocative,’ the report reads.
Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s position surprised the deputies.

The deputies say that before the report no official complaints from
representatives of national minorities had been received in the frames of
implementation of the program on development of Ukrainian language in
the city for 2004-2006, which was endorsed on June 9, 2004.

‘The program contains nothing about Russian language. It foresees
functioning and development of the state language,’ the report reads.

According to the deputies, Ivano-Frankivsk was, is and will be the city
freely developing communities of other nationalities.

‘We, Ivano-Frankivsk city council deputies, will do our best to make each
dweller of the city, each visitor feel a free and protected person,’ the
deputies said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ivano-Frankivsk city mayor Viktor
Anushkevichus invites Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry representatives to
hold monitoring of Russian language functioning in the city.

Ivano-Frankivsk regional state administration chairman Roman Tkach denies
Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s accusations concerning oppression of
Russian language in Western Ukraine.

On September 27, Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry criticized language policy
of Ukrainian local authorities and in particular authorities in Ivano-Frankivsk

In particular, according to Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry,
Ivano-Frankivsk authorities have issued resolution banning to speak Russian
at educational establishments, and hold mass events using Russian language.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     Paper denies Russian reports on language discrimination in west Ukraine

2000 newspaper, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 20 Oct 06 pp F1, F2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, October 20, 2006

Contrary to reports in Russian media and to a statement issued by the
Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian language does not face discrimination
in western Ukraine, a popular newspaper has reported.

The author said a visit to the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk
uncovered no signs that the local authorities were intent to stamp out the
Russian language.

On the contrary he said, Russian co-exists with Ukrainian and
Russian-speaking residents have no real complaints. He concluded that the
Russian newspaper Izvestiya misrepresented facts in its reports of a
“language inquisition”.

The following is the text of the article by Yaroslav Zahoruy, entitled “But
was there discrimination?”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper 2000 on
20 October; subheadings appear as in the original:

2000 looks into information from Russian media about the presence of a
“language inquisition” in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Citing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 27 September the media
reported on severe pressure on the Russian language in the western regions
of Ukraine, especially in Ivano-Frankivsk.

The Russian Foreign Ministry press release reported: “As always, the
authorities in Ivano-Frankivsk have excelled in this. According to
directions issued by the local Ukrainian authorities, it is now forbidden to
speak in Russian anywhere on the territory of educational institutions, mass
events are not allowed to be held in Russian and it is even forbidden to
post announcements in Russian in public places.

Observation of book-sellers and those distributing periodicals in Russian
has been implemented. The Committee of Public Language Control will look for
adherence to these rules; the Committee has been invested with the practical
functions of a ‘language inquisition’.”

The reaction from Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration head Roman Tkach
was immediate: “I have no official information on authorities in western
Ukraine making decisions which limit the Russian language.” The Our Ukraine
People’s Union party stated that such commentary from a foreign country’s
foreign policy establishment was interference into our country’s internal

It would seem the conflict had run its course. But on 10 October, the
Russian publication put up an article by Yanina Sokolovska
under the headline “The dictatorship of language: Ivano-Frankivsk becomes
the most Russophobe city in Ukraine”.

A correspondent from 2000 visited Ivano-Frankivsk to see what the situation
was like on the scene.

“About 90 per cent of publications are in Russian”

I can make the Russians happy – there are plenty of publications in the city
in Russian. If you look at glossy magazines, then it is hard to find one in
Ukrainian. In general, the assortment here does not differ much from that in
Kiev and many other cities in Ukraine.

All the popular Russian-language newspapers are also represented here:
Segodnya, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestiya, Argumenty i Fakty, Moskovskiy
Komsomolets and others. To tell the truth, there is a lack of the popular
2000 newspaper. One kiosk operator said that many kiosks kept the newspaper
for regular readers.

I decided to walk down Chornovil Street and made it a point to ask locals
the way in Russian. They all politely answered in Ukrainian and pointed the
way. One did ask if I was from out of town and tried to answer in Russian.
He did not do a very good job of it, but the beginning of my trip gave me

Next to the regional administration building I first heard Russian speech. A
middle-aged man and woman were talking animatedly – it was clear they were
old acquaintances. I asked them about limits on their native language.

“No-one forbids us from speaking Russian,” was the answer I heard, “Like
you see, we are now freely conversing.”

They heard about the statement of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry for
the first time from me, and were surprised at the alleged pressure on
distributing Russian language press and books, pointing to a newspaper kiosk
nearby where “90 per cent of the publications are in Russian”. To tell the
truth, local newspapers come out exclusively in Ukrainian (this was noted by
my new acquaintances).

There are also plenty of books in Russian. One can easily buy books by
current popular authors like Paulo Coelho, Boris Akunin, Dan Brown and
detective stories by Aleksandra Marinina and Darya Dontsova both in stores
and on the street as well as Russian classics like Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir
Mayakovski. As far as literature in translation, I found Moliere, Kafka and
Maugham in Russian – but not in Ukrainian.

It is interesting that book sellers freely converse in both Ukrainian and
Russian, easily switching from one to the other. They say there is no
“language inquisition”, and that people buy books in both languages.

But there is little children’s literature in Russian. And in order to find
it, you have to look several places. And it is not a fact you will be able
to buy the book you need.

“No-one pressures us, but we would like more Russian schools”

City residents may speak verbally to authorities in Russian, but only in
Ukrainian in written form. “That is what the law says,” they say.

But they are mistaken in this. Unfortunately, civil servants have not
studied the Ukrainian constitution in depth, which in particular says: “The
free development, use and defence of Russian and other languages of
national minorities is guaranteed.”

Here are just a few excerpts from the law of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet
Republic “On language”, which refer to the Russian language (the norms of
this law are in effect in modern Ukraine): [excerpts from the law in Ukrainian]

“Article 4. The languages of interethnic communication
“Ukrainian, Russian and other languages are the languages of inter-ethnic
communication in the Ukrainian SSR.

“The Ukrainian SSR provides for the free use of the Russian language as a
language of inter-ethnic communication between the peoples of the Soviet

“Article 5. Citizens’ rights to use any language
“Citizens of the Ukrainian SSR are guaranteed the right to use their
national language or any other language.

“Citizens have the right to address state, party, public bodies,
enterprises, departments and organizations in Ukrainian or in another
language of their work, in the Russian language or in another language
acceptable for both sides.

“The refusal of a civil servant to accept and review citizens’ appeals
citing a lack of knowledge of the language of appeal is punishable pursuant
to the law.

“The decision upon an appeal is written in the Ukrainian language or in
another language used by the body or organization which the citizen has
addressed. Should the citizen desire, such a decision can be given to him in
Russian translation.”

[back to Russian] As we see, the law clearly defines citizens’ rights to
converse with state bodies in Russian not only verbally, but in written form
as well. And even get official replies in that language.

Overall, the people I spoke with are convinced that neither the authorities
or residents are pressuring the rights of Russian speakers. The only thing
they drew attention to was that there is currently only one Russian school
in Ivano-Frankivsk (before there were three) and it is full. Russian
speakers (and they now number about 6.4 per cent according to the 2001
census) have to generally send their children to Ukrainian schools.

Of course, some of them do so for purely practical reasons, why should a
child walk to school several kilometres away (even if it is Russian) if he
can be sent to a Ukrainian school only a few minutes’ walk away?

Children in kindergartens and schools speak in the state language, since the
teacher (or school worker) is providing an example. And a Russian-speaking
child speaks in Ukrainian. But at home within the family circle, he freely
speaks Russian.

The very opposite situation is seen for example in Kiev, when a child from a
Ukrainian-speaking family converses with his peers in Russian. And feels no
discomfort in doing so.

The people I spoke with were indignant over such nonsense as Pushkin being
translated into Ukrainian in textbooks and Russian literature being taught
as a foreign literature. But unfortunately that is the practice in many
Ukrainian cities.

Many in Ivano-Frankivsk do not understand the policy of local television
stations in dubbing Russian-language interviews during the news hour into
Ukrainian and again, local stations broadcast exclusively in Ukrainian.
Russian speakers watch neutral channels and the Russian channels ORT,
RTR and NTV.

Students at the Vasyl Stafanyk University in Prykarpattya did not confirm
information that the university administration does not let them speak
Russian. Youth from Crimea and other regions in Ukraine where Russian is
popular study here and no-one hinders them in speaking Russian.

They speak to teachers in both languages. But it is not a fact that all will
answer in the language of the person addressing them. “It depends on the
teacher,” the students explain.
                          NATIONALISM IS NOT POPULAR
I did not find any nationalist slogans in Ivano-Frankivsk newspapers, in
particular Halychyna and Afisha Prykarpattya. I did not see any writing on
the streets along the lines of “Muscovites, out of Ukraine!”, “Suitcase –
Station – Russia” and so on.

In contrast to many articles in Russian media, nationalism is not popular in
the city, nor in the region as a whole.

For example, the Svoboda party of [nationalist] Oleh Tyahnybok did not get
into the regional council and the National Choice bloc, which was made up of
the Ivano-Frankivsk organizations of Sobor and the Congress of Ukrainian
Nationalists, got less than 5 per cent of votes in the parliamentary
election last spring.

Local residents say there are individual instances of “a lack of love” for
Russian. But they are not widespread and find no support among the
population. “There are idiots everywhere, and Ivano-Frankivsk is no
exception,” pensioner Petro Mykhaylovych told me.

At the same time, he noted that Russia, which is always talking about
pressure against the Russian language in western Ukraine, allows its
politicians, in particular [Deputy Speaker Vladimir] Zhirinovskiy and [MP
Nikolay] Kuryanovich to speak negatively about Ukraine and even call it
Little Russia (that concerns the latter of the two).

Ivano-Frankivsk residents relate that they are used to hearing visitors,
especially from eastern regions, asking questions in Russian about pressure
on the Russian language. They are afraid of being laughed at for speaking

And they are surprised when they are politely answered in Ukrainian,
sometimes the speaker switching into Russian, as I learned in a cafe. And in
one store, when I approached the cashier in Ukrainian, she answered in
Russian. I did not feel any antagonism from any of the locals I spoke to in
                        RUSSIAN SONGS PLAY IN CAFES
Walking around Ivano-Frankivsk and entering various cafes and stores and
travelling on public transport, I noted that songs are played in Ukrainian,
Russian, English and other languages.

For example, near the marketplace Russian pop is playing everywhere and in
the Tsimes Pizza shop the television was showing videos only in Russian. And
no-one asked anyone to turn off the music “in that damned language”.

To the contrary, Ukrainian-language students near the cafe where [pop group]
Via Gra was playing, happily sang along with the girls in Russian.

There is advertising in Russian. Yes, there is not much, but you can’t say
it is not there. And there are posters in Russian. And the Ukrainian
billboard advertising the visit of [Russian pop star Filipp] Kirkorov called
him Filipp and not [the Ukrainianized] Pylyp, like Izvestiya wrote.

I heard no complaints from local Russian speakers about bans on advertising
in Russian. I was told that no-one bans anything, simply Ukrainian speakers
are the vast majority and so advertising is written mainly in Ukrainian.

Whatever the case, I saw no pressure on the Russian language just as I heard
no complaints about it from locals.

They are worried today about issues of a social and economic nature: low
paying jobs (there is nearly no industry), the terrible condition of the
roads and buildings. Many Ivano-Frankivsk residents travel to Italy and
Poland to work and this is the only way they can afford to feed their
2000 learned at the Ivano-Frankivsk city council that they were simply
shocked by the articles on pressure on the Russian language.

The mayor’s press secretary Andriy Oleksin said the statements by the
Russian Foreign Ministry and the articles in Izvestiya are related to the
Programme of the development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in
Ivano-Frankivsk for 2004 to 2006, which was passed on 9 June 2004 after a
relevant resolution by the cabinet (similar programmes operate in all cities
in Ukraine).

The chairman of the Russian community in the city, Oleksandr Volkov,
protested against six points of the programme and he did so as a private
person (the city received no protests from the community itself or from
other Russian-speaking residents in Ivano-Frankivsk).

The court noted two points relevant to teaching in Ukrainian in educational
facilities and advertisements in the state language. But the authorities in
Ivano-Frankivsk do not know why Volkov did not complain when the programme
began but only did so now as it is coming to a close and a new one is being

Oleksin especially noted that no decisions about a ban on playing Russian
music or speaking in Russian in daily life had been made and that they could
not be made as any court would say they were illegal. And the Committee of
Public Language Control is something the Russian press simply made up.

Andriy Volodymyrovych said he was present on Friday at a meeting between the
city mayor Viktor Anushkevych and Volkov and Russian Federation Consul
Yevgeniy Guzeyev. Volkov said he was “[in Ukrainian] simply in shock over
the statements from the Russian Foreign Office and individual media on the
‘language inquisition'” and was “not satisfied by this open filth and
considers such path of cooperation between the Russian community and city
authorities to be anti-productive”.

Commenting on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement and the latest
articles in, Guzeyev said he thought the tone of the Foreign
Ministry was rude and a bit incorrect and the information of the Russian
publication “rude, untrue and unfounded”. A relevant press release was
posted on Ivano-Frankivsk’s official website.

There is a tourist boom in Ivano-Frankivsk and Andriy Oleksin says such
unfounded statements significantly harm the city’s reputation. The
authorities do not know who is gaining from that.                -30-

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

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 21 October 2006

KYIV – Last week, Kateryna Yushchenko held a press conference in Donetsk
to present a project to build a children’s hospital of the future in Kyiv.

Her advisor Andriy Myroshnichenko and Transbank Honorary President
Volodymyr Kosterin, who is also a member of the supervisory board of the
Children’s Hospital of the Future Foundation, attended the event.

Mrs. Yushchenko said: “Not only will the creation of such a hospital enable
our doctors to treat serious diseases but also help Ukraine’s medicine
develop and use modern technologies to save Ukrainian children’s lives. We
are proud to see more and more sponsors join in, which we see as a sign of
civil society.

Every day we accept new partners, such as business representatives and
public leaders, who appreciate our vision of common responsibility to
resolve the most pressing social problems.”

Mr. Myroshnichenko detailed steps aimed at creating and building the
hospital. He also told reporters how they were going to raise funds.

Ukraine’s leading television channels, ICTV, 1+1, Inter, NTN, Tonis, STB,
NTCU, M1 and Channel 24, which are participating in the campaign, will
launch a television marathon on November 1.

He also said the project was supported by Ukraine’s mobile network
operators, UMC, Kyivstar, Golden Telecom, Life:) and Beeline, whose
subscribers can donate money via SMS messages or telephone calls.

Mr. Kosterin said his bank saw the Ukraine 3000 Foundation as its reliable
partner. He expressed hopes Donetsk’s business elite would join the project.

Following the press conference, the First Lady inspected the Donetsk Oblast
Children Hospital, where it took place. She also met with Donetsk business
leaders.                                      -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 23, 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko and his wife have laid flowers on the monument to
the leaders of the 1956 Hungarian revolution in Budapest’s public cemetery.

When the uprising was suppressed, its three leaders, among them the
reforming Prime Minister Imre Nagy, were arrested and executed. In 1961
their remains were secretly reburied in the outskirts of the cemetery.

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a nationwide revolt against the
Neo-Stalinist government of Hungary and its policies, lasting from October
23 until November 10.

The uprising started in Budapest with a spontaneous demonstration by a crowd
of about 23,000, the reading of a pro-democracy manifesto and the singing of
banned national songs.

A giant statue of Stalin was pulled down. Soviet tanks were forced to
withdraw, but returned with devastating force a week later. Imre Nagy made a
final impassioned plea to the outside world by radio. He and hundreds of
others were killed, among thousands of Hungarians who died.

On June 16, 1989, Nagy was ceremonially reburied again and a monument
honoring the heroes of the revolution erected. This event marked the
beginning of a new democratic era for Hungary and helped initiate social and
political changes in the country.  

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

Press Office Of President Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 22, 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko and his wife have met with representatives

of Hungary’s Ukrainian community.

In his speech, the President revealed his vision of the current situation in
Ukraine, reiterating that the country’s political forces must unite to
fulfill the nation’s key priorities. He said the National Unity Pact “was
designed to unite political forces irrespective of geography.”

Mr. Yushchenko outlined Ukraine’s recent economic and social
achievements. He particularly said the Ukrainian economy had stabilized
in the past several months, with the GDP rate being 6%.

“This is one of the best results in Europe,” he said, adding that the direct
foreign investment rate had doubled in the past year.

Speaking about Ukrainians living abroad, the Head of State said the
Ukrainian government was now formulating a project called
“The Ukrainian parlor” and aimed at creating Ukrainian information and
culture centers in European capitals and other cities of the world with
numerous Ukrainian communities. He believes it will enable Ukrainians
abroad to sense “the channel of communication with Ukraine.”

“We know what worries the diaspora in Hungary,” he said, promising to
discuss their most pressing problems with his Hungarian colleague, Laszlo
Solyom, tomorrow.

Yaroslava Khortyani, Head of the Ukrainian Culture Association in Hungary,
thanked the Ukrainian government for supporting and promoting their

The President and the first lady inspected the Markiyan Shashkevych library
and viewed exhibitions featuring Ukrainian artists and craftsmen. They gave
the Ukrainian community a collection of books by Ukrainian classics,
videotapes, CDs and musical instruments.                  -30-
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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STATEMENT: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On October 23, 2006 freedom-loving people across the world mark the 50th
Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

This spontaneous nationwide revolt against the Neo-Stalinist government of
Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies lasted from October 23 until
November 10, 1956 when it was brutally crushed by the armed forces of the
Soviet Union assisted by domestic collaborators.

Thousands of Hungarians died defending their nation.  Many others became

The Revolution was an act of national self-defence in face of an
anti-democratic dictatorial regime which did not serve the interests of the
Hungarian people but only those of the imperialist regime in Moscow.

Ukrainian Canadians bow their heads in memory of those that gave their lives
for the ideal that nations have the right to live as they chose in their own
countries.  We celebrate the spirit of love of country and of fellow
citizens which motivated the Freedom Fighters of ’56.

This same spirit was subsequently shown in other countries of Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union.  Most recently, in Ukraine, during the Orange
Revolution this spirit served as an example to the hundreds of thousands of
Ukrainians who braved the threat of state violence and foreign intervention
to stand up for their rights.

Canada became home to many of the refugees of the Revolution.  Ukrainian
Canadians are proud to count their Hungarian neighbours as friends.

Together our two communities became champions of freedom and
democracy in countries ruled by totalitarian regimes.  We stand together
now in continuing to contribute to Canada and its multicultural society.

On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, I extend my best wishes to
the Hungarian Canadian community. Let no one forget the spirit and example
of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956!

Orysia Sushko
President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Contact: Ostap Skrypnyk
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
          They were three weeks that shook the world, when a revolt begun by
             students forced out both a government and hated Soviet forces,
                             only to end in bloodshed and repression.

By Peter Popham, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, 23 Oct 2006

Fifty years ago today, something extraordinary happened in Hungary. A
nation, one of the proudest and most distinctive in Europe, that had endured
two catastrophic world wars, the loss of much of its territory and
subjugation to the brutal might of the Soviet Union, spontaneously decided
that it wasn’t going to take it any more.

It wasn’t the first time Soviet power had been challenged. In June of that
year, workers in Poznan, Poland had risen against the government.

Repression was swift and ferocious, with dozens of rebels killed and wounded
by security police. A poor example to follow, you might think, but in
October Poland’s communist government granted many of the rebels’ demands
and after tense negotiations the Soviets agreed to reduce their troop levels
in Poland.

Posthumously, the slaughtered rebels had won. Following the death of Stalin
in 1953, the long, bleak Stalinist winter appeared to be waning. Winds of
change were beginning to blow through the eastern bloc.

But that is to view the events of 23 October 1956 with the deceptively calm
gaze of hindsight. At the time they were astonishing and unexpected: the
Soviet Empire had not received a challenge on this scale since the end of
the war.

The Hungarian Uprising, or Revolt, or Revolution, flared up out of
practically nothing, the disgruntlement of a few thousand students.

It swept up in its onward surge millions of ordinary people, overthrew the
government and forced the withdrawal of the Soviet forces – then was crushed
and pulverised by Soviet military might with the deaths of tens of thousands
of ordinary people, all within the space of three tumultuous weeks.

It was the most dramatic eruption that the Soviet empire was to experience
before its final eventual disintegration – of which it was the first omen.
“The whole thing was so spontaneous, we didn’t really think things through,”
says Gergely Pongratz, a leader of the uprising. “We just took a gun and

The revolution was a textbook demonstration of Alexis de Tocqueville’s tenet
that “the most dangerous moment for a bad government is that in which it
sets about reform.”

Following Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in February 1956, Stalin’s
hardline representative in Hungary, Matyas Rakosi, responsible for thousands
of atrocities against political opponents, was elbowed from power and the
rehabilitation of more liberal communists began.

Communism itself was not being challenged, only the imposition by the
Soviet Union of its own brutal and foreign way of doing things.

The official communist student union, for example, was rejected on 16
October by students in the city of Szeged, who re-established their own
democratic student organisation that had been banned under Rakosi. Their
example flashed across the country, imitated everywhere. Suddenly freedom
seemed possible.

The Russians had liberated Hungary at the end of the Second World War,
and Stalin’s agreement with Churchill guaranteed that the Soviets would have
only a 50 per cent share in the rule of the country.

That proportion was steadily raised by Rakosi’s so-called “salami” tactics,
taking more power one slice at a time, and within a few years Stalin’s
placemen were fully and ruthlessly in charge everywhere.

Compulsory nationalisation and collectivisation followed, with the familiar
results of collapsing productivity and economic stagnation. But the ubiquity
of the much feared state security police, the AVH, and Rakosi’s readiness to
imprison, torture and execute his enemies, ensured that dissent remained

Now that was suddenly changing. Students and writers, no longer prevented
from banding together freely, set up discussion groups to thrash out the
nation’s dire problems. Thousands joined in.

To show solidarity with Polish rebels, students decided to honour a hero of
Hungary’s War of Independence, General Bem, who was of Polish origin. On
23 October 1956, 20,000 demonstrators duly thronged around the general’s
statue in Budapest.

Some sang the banned national anthem, with its rousing chorus, “We vow, we
vow, we will no longer remain slaves…” Someone cut the hammer and sickle
out of the Hungarian flag, leaving a hole in the middle, and suddenly
everyone was doing it.

We have seen these intoxicating events in our own age, Prague’s Velvet
Revolution, the overthrow of Ceausescu, the huge demonstrations that brought
down Milosevic in Serbia. This was the grand-daddy of them all.

The demonstrators had started gathering in the afternoon, and by 6pm they
numbered 200,000, including tens of thousands of workers. The majority of
them had moved to the Parliament Building.

Even now there was no sign of trouble. “There are big student
demonstrations,” a Budapest editor told an English colleague. Any trouble?
“A few nationalist slogans, but everything is good-humoured.”

Charlie Coutts, Budapest correspondent of Britain’s communist Daily Worker,
told his office on the phone, “The quiet and orderly behaviour of the
marchers is impressive.”

At this point the regime decided to come down hard. At 8pm Erno Gero,
general secretary of the Communist Party, went on the radio and made a
speech rubbishing the demonstrators’ demands.

They were reactionaries, counter-revolutionaries, he said, “hostile
elements” bent on disturbing “the present political order in Hungary.” The
timing was exquisite: Gero had lavished oil on the flames.

The demonstrators showed no sign of going home – and Gero’s attempt to
regain the authoritarian upper hand merely made them furious. A large crowd
gathered outside the headquarters of Radio Budapest, which was heavily
guarded by the AVH. A delegation of some 300 students got inside, bent on
broadcasting their demands, but they were detained.

The temperature of the event began to soar. Rumours began swirling through
the crowd that the delegation inside the radio station had been shot. AVH
men in the building threw tear-gas canisters from upper floors and began
firing at the demonstrators. An ambulance bringing more weapons and
ammunition to the AVH was intercepted by the crowd.

Hungarian Army soldiers arrived to disperse the demonstrators but, harangued
by them, they tore the red stars from their caps and sided with the crowd.
The revolution with no leaders and no plan was giddily underway.

That night the embattled Hungarian government appealed to the Soviet Union
to send troops and tanks “to suppress a demonstration that was reaching an
ever greater and unprecedented scale.”

The next day, Soviet tanks rumbled into place outside parliament building
and at major bridges and crossroads. But there was no stopping the
revolution. Many of the Soviet soldiers, like the Hungarian ones,
fraternised with the revolutionaries and sympathised with their aims.

Charlie Coutts reported seeing a peaceful demonstration encountering a
Soviet tank. “The tank stopped,” Coutts told Peter Fryer, the British
journalist who wrote a book, Hungarian Tragedy, about the uprising, “a
soldier put his head out, and the people in front of the crowd began to
explain they were unarmed and were engaged in a peaceful demonstration. The
soldier told them to jump on the tank; a number of them did so, and the tank
set off in the demonstration.”

When the crowd escorting the tank got to Parliament Square they found three
more tanks and two armoured cars, all on the demonstrators’ side, all
fraternising cheerfully. Then shots rang out from parliament, fired by AVH
secret police, leaving 30 demonstrators dead.

The tipping point of the conflict had suddenly arrived: the government
collapsed, its leaders fled to Moscow, the revolutionary forces were
chaotically in control. By 28 October, after six days of chaos, a ceasefire
was agreed, and the Soviet forces returned to barracks. A huge hole had been
blown in the iron curtain.

Two things are remarkable about the ensuing week of freedom: the West made
no attempt to exploit the chaos in Hungary, despite Khrushchev’s premonition
that it would try to “add Hungary to Egypt.”

The Suez crisis was monopolising the West’s attention, and the Cold War had
reached a sort of stasis. And, although the Stalinists had ranted about
“reactionaries” from day one, the revolutionaries in the countryside were in
no doubt that what they were doing was reforming communism.

“The Government will retain from the Socialist achievement everything which
can be…used in a free, democratic and Socialist country,” said a member of
the new government on 3 November. “No one must dream of going back to the
world of counts, bankers and capitalists,” said another leader. But Moscow
was not interested in democratic socialism.

With the declared neutrality of Austria, which Hungary wished to emulate,
the Soviets saw the Warsaw Pact unravelling before their eyes. Hardliners in
the Kremlin insisted that the process be stopped. And there was only one way
to do it.

On 1 November, 12 new Soviet divisions began grinding into Hungary, many
of them brought from remote corners of the Union and with no knowledge of
European languages. By 3 November they had Budapest encircled.

By dawn the next morning shots were heard all over the city, and prime
minister, Imre Nagy, made a final, futile broadcast appeal to the world.
“Operation Whirlwind” was underway, combining air strikes, artillery
barrages and tank and infantry attacks. It was a grossly unequal fight.

Peter Fryer wrote, in a dispatch censored by the Daily Worker: “For four
days and nights Budapest was under continuous bombardment. I saw a once
lovely city battered, bludgeoned, smashed and bled into submission…It was
heart-breaking.”                                       -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       The Hungarian revolution and fight for freedom – 13 days between
                              October 23 and November 4, 1956.

By Sandor Szakaly, The Australian
New South Wales, Australia, Wed, October 25, 2006

THE Hungarian revolution and fight for freedom – 13 days between October
23 and November 4, 1956 – is a central event in Hungarian history and a
turning point of the last century. On this 50th anniversary it is well to
recall what really happened and the causes of the revolt.

After their electoral fraud in the 1947 elections, the Hungarian Communist
Party and the Social Democrat Party dominated the government of Hungary.
The country was sovietised and by 1949 a tyrannical regime resembling
Joseph Stalin’s was created.

Living standards and the gross domestic product fell and by the early 1950s
Hungary was in economic, social and political chaos.

In the beginning of 1956 – mostly due to tensions and debates in Poland –
people became politicised. DISz, the Hungarian Communist Party’s youth
organisation, led and organised the debate. Most people wanted the return of
ousted prime minister Imre Nagy, who briefly led reforms following Stalin’s
death in 1953.

The party itself wanted change; it swapped one notorious Moscow-trained
communist, Matyas Rakosi, for another, Erno Gero, but also brought the
out-of-favour Janos Kadar in from the cold.

The last important impulse was the revolutionary fervour and the party
changes in Poland, which the Soviet Union accepted.

As so often in history, the students took the first important steps.

On October 22, 1956, the students published their 14 points, which included:
reformation of the government under Nagy; withdrawal of the Soviets; new
secret ballot elections; freedom of the press; realistic industrial
production norms; worker autonomy at plants; relief for peasants from
compulsory deliveries to the state; and removal of the hammer and sickle
from the flag.

The Hungarian political leaders’ paralysis and indecision emboldened the
students’ demands. A march of solidarity for the Polish people planned for
the next day became a huge demonstration in Budapest’s streets.

More than 100,000 people demonstrated for Nagy, who mistook one aspect
of their mood: they did not want to be called comrades. Clashes followed at
Hungarian Radio and by then the uprising was armed.

The Hungarian Workers Party’s central committee then decided it needed
Soviet help. But Gero believed the government could not formulate such a
request because of the events, so the request was sent by prime minister
Andras Hegedus after Soviet forces had been sent in.

Most researchers have thought the Soviets could have entered Hungary under
the Warsaw Treaty of May 14, 1955. The question, however, is more
complicated. The peace treaty of 1947 allowed Soviet forces in Hungary to
uphold transport routes to the Soviet zone in Austria.

However, the Soviets had moved out of Austria by October 1955, in keeping
with an agreement to leave by December 31 that year. The Warsaw Treaty
allowed the joint stationing of forces in Hungary according to future
arrangements between the countries and joint protection needs.

But before or at the time of the Hungarian uprising, no such arrangements
had been made, and the necessary agreement under the treaty came into effect
on September 15, 1957, 10 months after the uprising was put down.

As neither the peace nor the Warsaw treaties allowed the Soviets to come in
or stay, we can now say the Soviet intervention violated international law.

The uprising became a revolution on October 28, 1956, when the Nagy
government acknowledged the national movement, that it served the interests
of the whole nation and that the movement was a source of power or

The government made new promises – withdrawal of Soviet forces from
Budapest, dissolution of the State Defence Authority secret police, the
raising of pensions and the minimum wage – which were completely in harmony
with the public’s demands.

After this, Nagy’s goal became a neutral and independent Hungary. The
parties dissolved earlier were re-formed and new ones were founded.
Non-communist politicians were brought into the Nagy government formed

on October 27.

From October 30, well-known politicians such as Bela Kovacs, Zoltan Tildy
and Ferenc Erdei became members of the cabinet.

The discussions about the withdrawal of the Soviet forces that were to be
started, the secession from the Warsaw Treaty, the announcement of the
country’s neutrality were all signs of revolutionary changes and were more
than was originally demanded.

The Hungarian Socialist Worker Party (Magyar Szocialista Munkaspart) was
not the only political force any more but one of many parties agreed with
the political requests on the need for change. The leader of the party was
Kadar, who at that time seemed to be the comrade of Nagy.

US foreign policy then changed the flow of Hungarian events. The US was
understood not to want to interfere, and to not prefer a country next to the
Soviet Union that might not be that friendly with it. This allowed the
Soviet Union to deal with the situation at will.

Thus after negotiations with Tito, Khrushchev and the presidium of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union decided to lead an armed attack. Two
members of the Nagy government – Kadar and Ferenc Munnich – left for
Moscow on November 2 and agreed to establish a counter-government in
opposition to the legal Hungarian government and to ask the Soviets for

On November 4, the Soviet forces stationed in Hungary and, transported there
from Romania and the Soviet Union, overran the country. The Hungarian
revolutionaries fought against the might of the Soviet forces, but their
power was very limited and fighting ebbed away between November 10 and15,

A Revolutionary Worker Farmer government had taken power on November 4.
By the spring of 1957 the Communist Party government, backed by the Soviet
armed forces, completely controlled the country.

The results? Hungary remained in the communist bloc. About 200,000 people
fled to the West. Damage to national property ran into many billions of
forints. The fighting within Hungary was estimated to have claimed 3000 to
4000 lives.

A further 400 people were executed between 1957 and 1963 for playing an
active role in the counter-revolution, as the Kadar regime called the

Most of the executed were workers, students and employees aged 20 to 35.
There were only a few older people or people belonging to the elite of the
era before 1945 among them.

The goal of the Hungarian revolution and fight for freedom of 1956 was not
to re-establish the pre-1945 past but to create a democratic, new Hungary.
Thanks to 1956 this became possible, but only in 1990.        -30-
Sandor Szakaly is a professor in 20th-century Hungarian history at
Semmelweis University, Budapest, and a former director of the Military
History Institute and Museum of Hungary. This is an edited version of his
October 19 commemorative lecture in the Hungarian Revolution series at the
Centre for Contemporary European Studies at the University of Melbourne.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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