AUR#797 Dec 17 U.S. Amb Taylor On Yanukovych’s Trip To Washington; Human Rights; Amend Constitution, For Survival; Stem Cell Baby Deaths

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 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       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 797
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2006 
             –——-  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.                           A PRODUCTIVE WORKING VISIT
             Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s recent trip to Washington
COMMENTARY: By William Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly No 48 (627)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday 16 – 22, December 2006

2.     UKRAINE: ORANGE REVOLUTION GIVES WAY TO REALITY
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Stefan Wagstyl
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, December 15

3.                         UKRAINE’S LEADERS IN BITTER FIGHT
By Natalia A. Feduschak in Kyiv, The Washington Times

Washington, D.C., Friday, December 15, 2006

4.          UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS COALITION LEADERS

Press Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Dec 15, 2006

5UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAYS VAT TAX PROBLEM SHOWS THAT
           CORRUPTION IN STATE TAX ADMINISTRATION IS BACK
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 15 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

6. UKRAINE MUST STRENGTHEN FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

              SAYS REPORT EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION OECD
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

7COUNCIL OF EUROPE COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
        OUTLINES EIGHT MAJOR PROBLEMS IN ADHERING TO

                                HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, December 16, 2006

8.       UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WARNS AGAINST
                            LOOMING AUTHORITARIAN RULE
UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 1030 gmt 14 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Dec 14, 2006

9.    UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS TO AMEND CONSTITUTION
INTERVIEW: With Roman Zvarych, Official Representative
in Parliament for the President of Ukraine
BY: Halyna Kaplyuk, Glavred, Kiev, in Russian 0000 gmt 12 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Dec 14, 2006

10“CHUBAROV HAS NO REASON TO ‘GO TO MAYDAN TODAY'”
     Ukrainian Crimean Tatar leader says political reform should be revoked
INTERVIEW: With Refat Chubarov, Member, Our Ukraine Faction
First Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Majlis
Interview By: Lidiya Denysenko, 2000 newspaper, Kiev, in Russian 1 Dec 06

11.                              “LIMITED LIABILITY PARTY.

                      YUSHCHENKO SEIZURE OF OUR UKRAINE”
           Ukrainian president purges his party as precursor to early election
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY:
By Yuriy Butusov
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, in Russian 9 Dec 06; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Dec 12, 2006

12.                                FROM FAMINE TO RE-RUN
POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 13, 2006

13. UKRAINE 3000 INTERNATIONAL CHARITABLE FUND CONDUCTS
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF THE FUTURE ALL-UKRAINIAN TELETHON

           A unique event, no fund has ever done anything similar in Ukraine.
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Dec 15, 2006

14HOLIDAY GIFT TO HELP THE ELDERLY IN UKRAINE THIS YEAR!                             

Katie Fox, President, American Friends of “For Survival”
Washington, D.C. Friday, December 15, 2006
 
         [Her husband is Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S., Oleh Shamshur]
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 11, 2006

16.              A UKRAINIAN BEACON, SHINING ONCE AGAIN
         Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia undergoes renovation
By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

17.                   UKRAINE BABIES IN STEM CELL PROBE
          Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.
By Matthew Hill, BBC Health Correspondent
BBC NEWS, UK, Tuesday, December 12, 2005

18.              THE BABIES WHO ARE MURDERED TO ORDER
         Ukraine has become the main supplier of the global stem cell trade.
By Mathew Hill, Daily Globe, London, UK, Friday, December 15, 2006

19.    UKRAINE: STEM CELL BABY DEATHS PROBE ‘TOO CLOSE
                       TO THE TRUTH,’ CLAIMS INVESTIGATOR
By Bojan Pancevski in Vienna, Sunday Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, December 17, 2006
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1
                      A PRODUCTIVE WORKING VISIT
              Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s recent trip to Washington

COMMENTARY: By William Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly No 48 (627)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday 16 – 22, December 2006

The Vice President, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State,
United States Trade Representative, and other United States Government
officials welcomed Prime Minister Yanukovych to Washington.

All were interested to meet and hear from the Prime Minister – the elected
head of the government that resulted from a free and fair election last
March.

When Prime Minister Yanukovych spoke at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington DC, he said, “We have but one truth,
for internal use, as well as for export.” He could also have said that he
had but one truth for public and closed-door sessions.

I was present at most of the meetings he had with USG officials; his message
was the same in those meetings as it was when he spoke publicly at CSIS and
elsewhere in the United States.

The Prime Minister told us that, as someone who had recently been in
opposition, he knows from personal experience how important it is to adhere
to fundamental rights and freedoms and to build and maintain a competitive
democratic system with strong institutional checks and balances. He said
that there can never be too much democracy, just as there cannot be too
much freedom. We agree.

Prime Minister Yanukovych frankly stated that, as a young democracy, Ukraine
is still developing and determining the relationships among the branches of
government. Without dwelling on the specifics of internal domestic politics
(and I won’t either), he acknowledged that there had been discussions and
even disagreements in Ukraine before his trip.

He stressed that issues related to his trip had been resolved and he was in
Washington representing all of Ukraine, not a particular faction, party, or
branch of government. We were clear that we had no intention to get involved
in internal Ukrainian politics.

I have said before, and will no doubt repeat it again, that neither
Americans nor Russians nor anyone else have votes in Ukrainian politics,
only Ukrainians do, and that is as it should be. We were reassured that the
Prime Minister and President agreed on a common agenda for the trip.

We do, however, have an interest in seeing political squabbling come to an
end so that the government can move forward as a united team with a
reformist agenda.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of a common vision with
President Yushchenko in foreign policy in his speech at CSIS and in later
individual meetings with U.S. officials. Here again, we agree.

Publicly and in private, the Prime Minister spoke about energy. He spoke
about Ukraine’s need to improve energy efficiency, diversify energy supply,
and seek greater domestic energy production. He said that there were no
political deals made during the gas negotiations with Russia.

He also said that there is no possibility of any other country getting
control of Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline network. He stated a long-term
goal of buying, selling, and transporting energy at transparently determined
market prices and pledged that this year and beyond, Ukraine will be a
reliable partner in transporting energy resources to Europe.

For our part, we suggested that finding additional international suppliers
for nuclear fuel would be an excellent way to demonstrate that Ukraine is
committed to energy security through diversity of supply.

We also suggested that a timely conclusion of a production sharing agreement
for oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea would be a signal to energy
companies and other international investors that Ukraine is committed to
making and keeping binding agreements – an essential component to attracting
investment.

Finally, given the questions about the transparency of the government’s
energy policy, there is a need to allay skepticism as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister said that Ukraine’s European choice is the key foreign
policy priority. He said that everyone also understands the importance of
developing Ukraine’s strategic partnership with the United States and a
special partnership with NATO. He was also clear that good relations with
Russia are a priority.

For our part, we were pleased to hear that Mr. Yanukovych agrees that closer
relations with NATO need not preclude good relations with Russia. We
reiterated our support for Ukraine’s efforts to meet the requirements to
join NATO.

When and if the Ukrainian people decide to join, the door will be open.
Here, too, the Prime Minister faces a number of skeptics, and he needs to
move quickly to make Ukraine’s view of NATO clear.

He said that EU accession is a strategic objective, while stressing that
this goal should be approached in a pragmatic way – by joining the World
Trade Organization, then seeking a free trade agreement with the EU.

He also stressed that Ukraine would continue cooperation with the European
Union in the energy sector, development of transport corridors, free
movement of persons and the fight against illegal migration and crime.

For our part, we expressed our support for these goals and encouraged
him to clear the few remaining hurdles to WTO membership.

We also emphasized that Ukraine should show that it is ready to accept the
responsibilities as well as the benefits of WTO membership and immediately
bring its grain export and meat import policies into compliance with WTO
requirements and commitments.

Mr. Yanukovych also pledged to improve the investment climate through
greater transparency, including reform of licensing, permitting and
regulatory systems.

For our part, we suggested that Ukraine could immediately improve relations
with large foreign investors by making sure that the VAT reimbursement
program is applied fairly, predictably and quickly.

The Prime Minister also said that the government is resolute about achieving
a breakthrough in its fight against corruption. We applaud this commitment
and agreed to support that fight with $45 million from the U.S. Government’s
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

There was some confusion in the Ukrainian media about what was agreed to
and signed in Washington. To clarify, Ukraine and the United States signed,
December 4 in Washington DC, a $45 million Millennium Challenge
Corporation Threshold agreement aimed at reducing corruption.

The two-year program is designed to strengthen civil society’s ability to
monitor and expose public sector corruption in Ukraine, advance judicial
reform efforts, improve government monitoring and enforcement of ethical and
administrative standards, streamline enforcement of regulations, and combat
corruption in higher education admissions.

Ukraine’s participation in the larger MCC program will depend on the success
of the anti-corruption program and a commitment to a strong anti-poverty and
economic growth program.

The Prime Minister’s working visit to Washington was characterized by frank
and direct discussions where Mr. Yanukovych made clear he was presenting a
united Ukrainian agenda.

He committed to do the right things for the Ukrainian people: increase
transparency, protect political freedoms, clean up corruption, improve the
investment climate, maintain Ukrainian independence.

We were equally frank – as friends should be. We promised to support
Ukraine as it turns those commitments into actions.

If actions follow commitments, Ukraine will become a democratic,
independent, united nation that is integrated into Europe, growing
economically, and a leader in the region and the world. The United States
supports that Ukraine.                                 -30-
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LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/627/55390/
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2. UKRAINE: ORANGE REVOLUTION GIVES WAY TO REALITY

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Stefan Wagstyl
Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Friday, December 15

After the heady days of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is confronting
reality. When Viktor Yushchenko won the disputed 2004 presidential election,
he seemed to have an indisputable mandate for change: in particular,
dismantling the corrupt regime of his predecessor, Leonid Kuchma, and a
rapid integration with the west.

Loudly applauded by the US and the European Union, Ukraine appeared
to be on the verge of leaving Russia’s orbit for good.

Today, it is clear that Mr Yushchenko’s victory was never as complete as
it seemed. Viktor Yanukovich, Mr Yushchenko’s bitter rival in 2004, has
returned to power as prime minister, while Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr
Yushchenko’s firebrand Orange Revolution ally, has been driven into
opposition.

But it would be wrong to conclude that little has changed. Ukraine today is
a different country from the timid nation that existed before the Orange
Revolution. There is a greater sense of freedom and a stronger feeling of
national identity. The media reports critically on Mr Yushchenko and Mr
Yanukovich alike. If corruption remains rife, it is no longer centralised
around the presidency.

In foreign policy, Kiev is more confident, even in its dealings with Moscow.
While Russia retains considerable influence, it no longer interferes as
blatantly as when it unsuccessfully backed Mr Yanukovich in the 2004
election.

Petro Poroshenko, an official of Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, says:
“People expected more from the Orange Revolution. But we did what we did.
There is no danger of going back to the old ways, even though there is a big
chance of failing to make the most of our opportunities.”

Unlike Mr Kuchma, Mr Yushchenko cannot bulldoze his way out of political
trouble. Under the settlement that ended the Orange Revolution, significant
rights passed this year from the president to parliament. But the precise
boundaries of power have yet to be defined.

Everything is new – and everything is a potential trigger for political
conflict. Whatever the personal battles between Mr Yushchenko, Mr
Yanukovich and Ms Tymoshenko, this is Ukrainian democracy in the making.

At the same time, rapid economic growth is creating new opportunities,
especially for educated young people. Incomes are rising fast, allowing
Ukrainians to modernise their homes, buy new cars and take foreign holidays,
and foreign investment has poured into the country.

Domestic politics is dominated by Mr Yushchenko’s efforts to secure support
for his reform agenda. This summer, in a bid to end 18 months of conflict,
the president brought Mr Yanukovich back to power. For many, it was a
betrayal.

But Mr Yushchenko believed Mr Yanukovich’s triumph in the March 2006
parliamentary elections, when his party won over 30 per cent of the vote,
could not be ignored without dividing Ukraine between his own supporters in
the west and Mr Yanukovich’s in the east.

Mr Yanukovich pledged to implement the president’s west-oriented programme,
including economic liberalisation and pursuing membership of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO), the EU and Nato. But Mr Yanukovich’s ties with Ukraine’s
conservative business oligarchs, who want to maintain close ties to Russia,
have raised questions about his enthusiasm for Mr Yushchenko’s aims.

For Mr Yushchenko, integration with the west is a mission but Mr Yanukovich
and his backers are less philosophical. They see long-term advantage in
westward integration – notably in access to markets, technology and capital.
But they also want to maximise the short-term benefits from links with
Russia, notably cheap energy.

The next challenge is the WTO. Mr Yanukovich is not opposed but his ideal
option is for Ukraine and Russia to accede together. If it does join the
WTO, Ukraine will be in a position to deepen relations with the EU under the
union’s neighbourhood policy. Brussels is ready to negotiate agreements on
free trade and visa facilitation, but it will not give Ukraine even a
glimpse of membership.

If Mr Yushchenko is pro-EU, Mr Yanukovich and Myloka Azarov, the finance
minister, are more circumspect. Mr Azarov says that given the EU’s energy
needs, Brussels will soon establish a “common economic zone” with Moscow.
“We are offering both the EU and Russia to establish a common economic
market.”

Energy is Ukraine’s big challenge, and with Kiev still dependent on gas
imports from Russia, the Kremlin retains some influence over Ukraine. The
price of gas imported from Russia jumped by nearly 50 per cent in January
to $95 a thousand cubic metres and is expected to rise to $120 next year.

So far, the economy has withstood the shock, thanks to strong exports and
domestic consumption. But a global economic downturn could leave Ukraine
vulnerable.

Mr Yushchenko’s answer includes economic liberalisation to encourage
greater efficiency in the public sector and more diversification in private
business. However, it is unclear how far Mr Yanukovich will back such
reforms. Liberal economists fear that progress could be a question of “two
steps forward, one step back.”

The phrase was often used in the Kuchma era. But Ukrainian politics have
changed irrevocably with the Orange Revolution. The winter of 2004 may now
be a memory but it has left a lasting legacy.                    -30-

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LINK: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1665950e-8be1-11db-a61f-0000779e2340.html
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3.                 UKRAINE’S LEADERS IN BITTER FIGHT

By Natalia A. Feduschak in Kyiv, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Friday, December 15, 2006

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko yesterday placed a
debilitating power struggle squarely at the feet of his bitter political
rival, Viktor Yanukovych, saying he had done his best to work with the new
prime minister.

“There has been a lot of discussion about peacemaking,” Mr. Yushchenko

told a small group of foreign journalists. But he indicated it has been
increasingly hard to find “common ground” with Mr. Yanukovych.

“I am not the author of the situation that has been created,” the president
said. “This is not constructive.”

Mr. Yanukovych defeated Mr. Yushchenko in a tainted 2004 presidential
election that was overturned by the courts in the face of massive protests
known as the Orange Revolution.

Mr. Yushchenko won the rematch, only to see his opponent come back

as prime minister last summer after a year and a half in which the president’s
coalition was itself accused of ethical failures.

Since then, the two have clashed over the president’s efforts to bring
Ukraine into major European institutions, including the European Union and
NATO.

“The course of Euro-Atlantic integration is irreversible,” Mr. Yushchenko
said yesterday. “We are going into the European Union to create conditions
for the development of the national economy, for better standards, for a
system of defense and security.”

During a visit to Washington last week, Mr. Yanukovych said he and the
president did not differ on whether to join the two organizations, but only
on the timing. Mr. Yanukovych said he favors gradual integration, while Mr.
Yushchenko favors a fast-track approach.

At home, however, Mr. Yanukovych and his Regions Party, which hold the
majority in parliament, have publicly taken strong stands against European
integration and NATO membership, proposing closer relations with Russia
instead.

Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Yanukovych, often dubbed the two Viktors by the
press, have also fought over next year’s budget, constitutional issues and
the price Ukraine is paying Russia for natural gas.

Most recently, Mr. Yanukovych spearheaded parliament’s sacking of the
Western-oriented foreign minister, Boris Tarasiuk, who under the
constitution is appointed by the president. Although a Kiev court ruled this
week that the firing was illegal, Mr. Tarasiuk has been barred from entering
Cabinet meetings.

Political analysts in Ukraine have seen Mr. Tarasiuk’s dismissal as a direct
assault by the prime minister on the president, who has so far refused to
appoint a new foreign minister. “I have rejected candidacies the prime
minister has submitted. This is my position,” Mr. Yushchenko said.

Ukraine’s political bedlam has resulted in lower poll ratings for both the
president and prime minister. Numerous opinion polls show nearly half of
Ukrainians distrust the country’s political leadership.            -30-

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4.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS COALITION LEADERS

Press Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Dec 15, 2006

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko has met with leaders of the parliamentary
coalition: Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Verkhovna Rada Speaker
Oleksandr Moroz, Finance Minister Mykola Azarov, Justice Minister

Oleksandr Lavrynovych, Deputy Speaker Adam Martynyuk, Communist
Party Head Petro Symonenko, Coalition Coordinator Raisa Bohatyryova,
Cabinet Secretary Anatoly Tolstoukhov, and MP Evhen Kushnaryov.

Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha, NSDCU Secretary Vitaly Haiduk,
Deputy Chiefs of Staff Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Ivan Vasyunyk were present

at the meeting. The President said, “I appreciate this dialogue and want it to
yield constructive results.”

The political leaders spoke about how to improve cooperation in the
President-Parliament-Government triangle. Mr. Yushchenko is convinced it

is necessary to find mechanisms to “make these offices closer.”

“I want no war with the Prime Minister and the Verkhovna Rada Speaker,” he
said, adding that they must adhere to the country’s laws and Constitution.
“I will issue decrees to void governmental decisions until they are
consistent with our laws. This is not the war of decrees but my position.”

The President believes they must unite to protect national priorities. He
insists that politicians fulfill obligations they assumed when signing the
National Unity Pact.

“I was a great optimist when we were elaborating this document. I believe
only common goals can unite people with different political views,” he said.

He asked them not to broach subjects that divide society, such as NATO
membership, the Holodomor, or language issues.

“We are officially in government today. I want us to build our relations in
a way that gives us stability and social peace.”

The President told reporters after the meeting its participants “made
compromises on the issues discussed by the people recently.” He said they
had agreed to form a group involving professionals from the government and
the Presidential Secretariat, whose aim is to formulate temporary procedure
rules regulating their relations.

Mr. Yushchenko said they had also discussed the budget issue and agreed to
hold consultations between the economic department of the Secretariat and
the Finance Ministry to remove misunderstandings caused by his veto.  He
also said they would meet every three weeks.              -30-
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5. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAYS VAT TAX PROBLEM SHOWS THAT
         CORRUPTION IN STATE TAX ADMINISTRATION IS BACK

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 15 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said the problem of VAT
administration shows that corruption in the State Tax Administration is
back. He was speaking at the opening of the National Security and Defence
Council’s session in Kiev today.

“This problem is very illustrative for the national economy. Essentially, it
is a test for authorities on whether they can organize public relations
based on legal grounds without any subjectivity,” he said.

He added this problem became very acute as of September 2006. In late
October, the amount of outstanding VAT arrears reached 7.2bn hryvnyas

[about 1.42bn dollars], which is 70 per cent more than a year before.
“Forty-two per cent of outstanding arrears were formed in September and
October.

What happened in this sector to make relations between the authorities and
business manually controlled? If someone thinks that this is about bringing
order, they are deeply mistaken because this means corruption which is
returning to the tax administration office,” the president said.

He added the stable growth of budget receipts from VAT amid the swift
accumulation of outstanding amounts shows that business resources are being
manually used “to finance a concealed deficit of the budget”, which
naturally makes business circles indignant.                   -30-
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6.  UKRAINE MUST STRENGTHEN FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

                SAYS REPORT EUROPEAN ORGANIZATION OECD

AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine must step up its fight against corruption, the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development said Friday, calling on the ex-Soviet
republic to toughen prosecution of bribery and other graft cases.

In a report, the Paris-based business group urged Ukraine to reform its
criminal legislation, to toughen prosecution of corruption and to
strengthened cooperation among enforcement bodies.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said last month that the national budget
had lost up to US$1.78 billion (A1.4 billion) in revenues as a result of
corruption. Watchdog group Transparency International’s ranking of corrupt
nations has listed Ukraine as one of the worst for several years.

After coming into power in 2004, President Viktor Yushchenko pledged to

make fighting corruption a top goal for his government and to hold former
officials accountable for any proven misdeeds. But there have been no
successful, high-profile corruption cases under his presidency.

The OECD report analyzed the progress made by this ex-Soviet republic to put
in place the recommendations made by the organization since its last review
in 2004.

“The country needs to toughen punishment for abuse of office. It is very
difficult to solve such cases but punishment for it is only administrative
responsibility,” said Konstantin Stogniy, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

He said between January and October, Ukrainian courts heard nearly 2,700
corruption cases and convicted 1,900 persons on various charges.

Comprised of 30 mainly industrialized nations, the Paris-based OECD strives
to help governments achieve sustainable economic growth.          -30-

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7.  COUNCIL OF EUROPE COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
          OUTLINES EIGHT MAJOR PROBLEMS IN ADHERING TO
                                  HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE 
 
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, December 16, 2006

KYIV – Ukrainian Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych and the Council

of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, on an
assessment visit to Ukraine, met to discuss the human rights situation in
Ukraine.

As Ukrinform learned from the Justice Ministry’s press service, during the
meeting Thomas Hammarberg stressed on eight basic problems in adhering

to human rights in Ukraine.

These in particular are, [1] bad state of court’s premises, [2] numerous
vacancies among judges, [3] domination of prosecutors during criminal
hearings, [4] corruption among judges, [5] crowded penitentiary
establishments, [6] improper conditions of detainees’ holding in custody,
[7] too long duration of court hearings and [8] unsatisfactory
implementation of rulings.

At the same time he remarked serious improvements in the mentality of
Ukrainian citizens over the years of independence. “If compare with the
Soviet times, the progress is undoubtful,” he said.

In his turn, Oleksandr Lavrynovych said Ukraine is aware of those problems.
The parliament, the government and the president have common understanding
of the need to settle these.

According to him, “unfortunately, seven years ago we made serious mistakes
while reforming the judicial system.” As he added, those negative trends in
the judicial system resulted in the society’s very low trust in courts.    -30-
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8.     UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WARNS AGAINST
                          LOOMING AUTHORITARIAN RULE

UT1, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian 1030 gmt 14 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Dec 14, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said that the political
reform in Ukraine should be completed to avoid Ukraine moving towards
authoritarian rule.

This should be achieved through a dialogue involving the key political
forces, Yushchenko said. Alternatively, he will initiate the abolition of
the constitutional reform, Yushchenko added.

Speaking with Ukrainian journalists in Kiev on 14 December, Yushchenko

said: “Let us tell the truth and admit that the latest amendments to the
constitution were not constructive.

They were implemented in a way that has failed to drum up high public
support for them, and most importantly, it has failed to introduce the
clarity which the nation expected when forming various other branches of
power, the parity of relations between them and clearly defined remits.

For this reason, we are witnessing today the war of resolutions, the war of
laws and the war of decrees. We currently see a lot of mess in making
appointments or in blocking appointments. This is abnormal.

“I have already told foreign journalists today that there was the main
reason why the previous model was imperfect. The whole of the country
depended on the mood of one man coming to work on the next day. That man
lived in Bankova [allusion to former President Leonid Kuchma and his power
administration located in Bankova Street].

Now it seems to me that everything depends on the mood in which another man
gets up and comes to work. But this man lives in Hrushevskoho [Street, the
building of the Cabinet of Ministers led by Viktor Yanukovych].

“So what has changed? If we leave the situation as it is, we will be sliding
towards the authoritarian rule day by day and week by week. It is breathing
in our necks. We used to have such a situation some time ago. So, thesis
one, let us stop trading mutual or political accusations and calmly admit
that the implementation of the constitutional reform should top our agenda.

There are two ways of organizing this work. One way is constructive. We
recognize that this work must be done. This should involve parliament, the
president and the all political forces. We do our best to initiate essential
changes and means of their implementation,” Yushchenko said.

“If we fail to take this move, I will be forced to comment on another move,
which is not what the president wants to initiate but which will definitely
take place. I mean the abolition of the reform’s result and, logically, the
continuation of the reform in the political context, realities and accords
with which this country’s political forces and power bodies can come up
with,” Yushchenko said.

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS TO AMEND CONSTITUTION

INTERVIEW: With Roman Zvarych, Official Representative
in Parliament for the President of Ukraine
BY: Halyna Kaplyuk, Glavred, Kiev, in Russian 0000 gmt 12 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Dec 14, 2006

KIEV – Roman Zvarych, who is President Viktor Yushchenko’s official
representative in parliament, has said that the current constitution is
imperfect, especially in its articles dealing with presidential powers.

Speaking in an interview, Zvarych said that the presidential secretariat was
working on Yushchenko’s proposals to amend the constitution. He said that
the Security Service chief, Ihor Drizhchanyy, will carry on until parliament
approves his dismissal by the president.

The following is an excerpt from the interview Zvarych gave to Halyna
Kaplyuk published on the Ukrainian website Glavred on 12 December;
subheadings have been inserted editorially:

[Kaplyuk] They have not yet had time to hung the icons that always accompany
Roman Zvarych in his working offices in his new haven “under the cupola” on
Hrushevskyy [Street in Kiev where parliament is located].

Now St Nicholas will be “good” and St Matthew will be strictly “reproving”
no longer a minister [Zvarych used to be justice minister] but the
president’s representative in parliament. And another essential attribute
for the boss stands alongside on his desk – a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Mr Zvarych now represents the position of the head of state [Viktor
Yushchenko] in the Supreme Council [parliament], in particular trying to
persuade people that Viktor Yushchenko wants only to improve the
constitution. And the fact that [propresidential faction] Our Ukraine
intends to rescind political reform is its own private affair.

It turned out that the views of the president and his political force may
not coincide on this. Roman Zvarych spoke about this in an interview with
Glavred.

Mr Zvarych, as the president’s representative in the Supreme council, tell
me what is Viktor Yushchenko’s position today on the question of political
reform – does he intend to rescind it or improve it?

[Zvarych] The president has spoken publicly on this issue several times,
giving an in-depth analysis of what happened in December 2004 [when
constitutional reform was agreed] and its consequences for our state. In
particular, he stated that at present changes to the constitution cause more
questions than answers. That is obvious to everyone.

Of course, this greatly concerns the president, since, according to the
constitution, he also enacts the powers of guarantor of the constitution. In
particular he is worried by the lack of definition in the constitution of
the relationship between individual institutions of power.

This problem arises most acutely in connection with the cabinet taking over,
in accordance with the constitution, certain powers that previously belonged
to the president of Ukraine.
FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENCE IN PRESIDENT’S REMIT
I think that you had the opportunity to be convinced that the relationship
between the institution of the president and that of the cabinet over the
past few months are far from regulated in the proper way in our state’s
fundamental law [constitution]. The president is actually laying separate
stress on this.

To get down to details, the area of foreign policy and national security and
defence, in accordance with Articles 106 and 107 of the constitution,
belongs exclusively to the remit of the president.

Article 106 says that the president enacts the foreign policy leadership of
our state. At the same time, in what way can he ensure this constitutional
position without the participation of the Foreign Ministry? This is a
question to which it’s very difficult to give an answer.

In effect the constitution does not give it. And from this it logically
follows that the foreign minister, as, incidentally, the defence minister,
is appointed by the Supreme Council of Ukraine [parliament], but at the
presentation of the president. Then there is a logical question: to whom is
the foreign minister subordinate?

On the one hand, other articles of the constitution talk about collegiality
in the cabinet’s activity, and this, incidentally also applies to the
foreign and defence ministers. On the other hand, leadership remains with
the president.

From whom does the foreign minister take instructions? Whose orders does he
carry out? Who formulates the tasks and so on? There is no clear answer.
[Passage omitted: other constitutional ambiguities]

[Kaplyuk] So, please shed some light on the powers of the president.
[Zvarych] Some lawyers very often mistakenly comment that the full list of
the presidential powers is contained in Article 106 of the constitution and
thereby exhausted.

At the same time, there is Article 107 of the constitution that applies
exclusively to the National Security and Defence Council [NSDC], which is
headed by the president of Ukraine. There the powers are written out in the
general plan, in particular that NSDC decisions are formulated by
presidential decrees.

The prime minister of Ukraine, the defence minister, the foreign minister
and other ministers appointed in accordance with presidential decree take
part in the NSDC ex officio.

In other words, a significant part of at least the strategic ministries is
represented on the NSDC. Collegial decisions are taken, and the president
may agree or not, but he is obliged to issue the decree.

Why is it then, please tell me, that there arises a need to get agreement on
such a presidential decree, if that is how one is to understand
countersigning? Imagine a situation where the foreign minister is the only
member of the NSDC to be against some draft decision, but the council

adopts the decision.

Can the minister block it, not having agreed to countersign the decree?
That’s nonsense. Countersigning presidential decrees means accepting the
decree for implementation.

[Kaplyuk] And a decision from the NSDC, forgive me, is not the only power

of the Ukrainian president. How are we to understand this? That all
presidential decrees after NSDC meetings are subject to countersigning, or
only those where he is enacting his powers individually?

And what does the constitution have to say about the president issuing a
decree about agreeing with him the candidacies of deputy defence, foreign
and interior ministers?

[Zvarych] Again, this question is also not regulated by the Constitution of
Ukraine. What is more, in the two draft laws on the Cabinet of Ministers –
the presidential and government ones – subjects of legislative initiatives
approach this question differently.
                     ROLE OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT 
[Kaplyuk] So, can the president, by his order, force such candidacies

to be agreed with him or not?

[Zvarych] If we proceed from the fact that the president enacts the
leadership of the state’s foreign policy activity, then it is logical that
the enactment of that power is possible only through the Foreign Ministry.

It is also obvious that the president should have the possibility to
influence key personnel appointments in that ministry. This also applies to
the Defence Ministry.

As for the Interior Ministry, the position here is not entirely convincing.
But if we understand national security in the broader sense, not only in the
military dimension, then we must take account of the fact that the question
of security also includes law-enforcement agencies. Then it will be
understood that in a certain way these things should be agreed with the
president.

[Kaplyuk] If one is to be guided by logic, yes, but from the position of the
law?
[Zvarych] This is a question that can be answered solely by the
Constitutional Court at the request of the relative subject of legislative
initiative. Neither I nor the cabinet, nor, forgive me, the president can
take on what is the exclusive remit of the only body of constitutional
jurisdiction in Ukraine – the Constitutional Court.

[Kaplyuk] So this can be viewed as a response move to spite the actions

of the government and the anti-crisis coalition?

[Zvarych] You are already taking a political position. I’ll put it like
this: these imperfect dispositions in the constitution give cause for all
sorts of political battles. What’s the way out?

Continue the political struggle and try to prove your case in various
juridical instances – in administrative ones or in the Constitutional
Court – or go by means of writing this procedure, like others, in the
fundamental law itself. I think that this would be more correct.

[Kaplyuk] Would it be more correct to continue making amendments to

the constitution or to write the text of a new constitution?

[Zvarych] Maybe a new text, but for now we are talking about procedural
matters. If we take Section 2 of the constitution, where it talks of human
rights and liberties, it seems to me that it can be strengthened in the
section of procedural rights. I mean that you have the right to free
expression, but it is empty if it is not underpinned by legal procedure.

Or take another section of the constitution, where it talks about bodies of
the prosecutor’s office. In one of the first articles of the constitution we
wrote that power in Ukraine is divided into three separate branches:
legislative, executive and judicial.

If you read the section on the prosecutor’s office, please tell me into
which branch it fits? No reply. It is neither executive nor judicial, and
certainly not legislative. It simply hangs somewhere in the air. And the
argument comes down to the fact that it should be independent.

Yes, on the contrary, it will be the object of various political
speculations depending on the political situation at the time. I’m sorry,
but I’m not sure that it should be independent, but should be inserted
somewhere. Certain corrections clearly need to be made here.
                         REWRITING A CONSTITUTION
[Kaplyuk] A working group has now been set up in the presidential
secretariat dealing with questions of constitutional reform. Is it rewriting
individual article of the constitution, or is it writing a new one?

[Zvarych] Most likely it is perfecting the present text. It’s a group of
highly qualified professionals, as a rule of former Constitutional Court
judges. Back during the elections Our Ukraine informally tried to provide
for the activity of this group. Our approach was very simple – no political
interference and optimum conditions to ensure that scholarly staff could
reach the best text of the constitution so that they could conduct a
discussion having agreed it between themselves.

In order to break away from political influence, we sent them off to the
Carpathian Mountains, where they stayed for two weeks and then came to Kiev
and showed us the result of their work. I want to tell you that I didn’t
like all of it from the political viewpoint. But I had to agree that what I
was indicating was a scientifically justified approach. Therefore, they
rewrote some parts of the constitution.

[Kaplyuk] Which ones precisely?
[Zvarych] As I already said, the sections on human rights and liberties. On
the prosecutor’s office, and the Supreme Council. For example, the Supreme
Council dismissed Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk. According to Clause 12

of Part 1 of Article 85 of the constitution, it is primarily a question of
appointing officials, including the defence and foreign ministers on the
presentation of the president.

And then, a comma later, it is a question of the possibility of the Supreme
Council of Ukraine to dismiss the listed persons or to consider the question
of their dismissal. So, to dismiss or consider the question of their
dismissal?

The Supreme Council of Ukraine certainly has the right to dismiss a
minister. This is clearly written down in black and white in the
constitution. But who is the subject of presentation in this case? I don’t
know, since it’s not written in the constitution.

Apart from that, the Supreme Council took the decision to dismiss [former
Interior Minister Yuriy] Lutsenko on the presentation of the prime minister
of Ukraine [Viktor Yanukovych], which was already considered on 30 November,
but was rejected, having gathered 223 votes. If a vote is not positive, then
according to the rules, it is considered rejected. On what basis was the
Supreme Council able to consider the same presentation a second time? Once
again, the procedure is not written down.

[Kaplyuk] But how then should we act, if the procedure is not written out?
[Zvarych] Naturally, when the procedure regarding the definition of a
subject of presentation is not written down, then a disposition is used by
analogy, the reverse of the one by which the person was appointed.

And therefore the government, absolutely logically, in its draft law on the
Cabinet of Ministers defined that neither a people’s deputy nor any other
subject of legislative initiative (for example, the National Bank) can
present for consideration of the Supreme Council of Ukraine a draft
resolution on the dismissal of ministers, but only the Cabinet of Ministers,
with the exception of two ministers.

Once again I stress that in this draft law, signed on submission to the
Supreme Council by Prime Minister Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, it is
written that the foreign minister and defence minister can be dismissed in
accordance with a decision of the Supreme Council on the presentation of the
president of Ukraine.

Excuse me, but what is the prime minister doing in submitting a presentation
for the dismissal of Tarasyuk, having previously sent the draft law on the
Cabinet of Ministers to parliament? It’s a completely contradictory
position.
                                 DISMISSAL OF SBU CHIEF
[Kaplyuk] Okay. Why then did the president dismiss Ihor Drizhchanyy from the
post of head of the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU] without consideration
of the issue in the Supreme Council, which should have given its consent to
his dismissal?

[Zvarych] First, Ihor Drizhchanyy is still carrying out his duties and is
still head of the SBU until his dismissal, which can happen exclusively by
decision of the Supreme Council. The president submitted the relevant
presentation to parliament for the dismissal of Ihor Drizhchanyy from this
job at his own [Drizhchanyy’s] request.

[Kaplyuk] Why then has this question not been considered in the Supreme
Council?
[Zvarych] I think that it hasn’t yet gone through the relevant committee.

[Kaplyuk] But on what basis then was Drizhchanyy appointed first deputy
secretary of the NSDC?
[Zvarych] And where is the legal barrier preventing the head of the SBU from
combining his job with a job not defined by the constitution as deputy
secretary of the NSDC? There is no such barrier.

[Kaplyuk] Do you mean to say that Ihor Drizhchanyy will remain head of the
SBU if his dismissal is not accepted in parliament, and thereby he will be
combining two jobs?
[Zvarych] Of course. If the dismissal is not accepted by the Supreme Council
of Ukraine, then Ihor Drizhchanyy will remain head of the SBU. At the same
time, he can be dismissed from the job of deputy secretary of the NSDC in
connection with this circumstance.

[Kaplyuk] Do you think that the Supreme Council will accept the dismissal of
Drizhchanyy?
[Zvarych] I think so.

[Kaplyuk] Does the president already have a candidate for head of the SBU?
[Zvarych] Several candidacies are being considered.

[Kaplyuk] Who precisely?
[Zvarych] I can’t talk about it now.

  PRESIDENT AT ODDS WITH HIS PARTY OVER CONSTITUTION 
[Kaplyuk] Many politicians in their speeches these days are apprehensive
that Viktor Yushchenko wants to repeal political reform and return to the
old presidential-parliamentary structure. Is that really the case?

[Zvarych] From what I’ve heard from the president and, guided by his public
statements on this theme, I don’t see any grounds for making such
allegations, still less for making accusations against the president of
Ukraine. He is constantly talking about the same thing – about the need to
improve our state’s fundamental law.

[Kaplyuk] But at the same time, we are hearing statements from politicians
of the propresidential Our Ukraine, in particular from Petro Poroshenko and
Oleksandr Tretyakov, that political reform should be repealed.

[Zvarych] There is the position of the congress of Our Ukraine, which is
subject to obligatory enactment by people’s deputies of our faction in
parliament regarding the initiation of repeal of the so-called political
reform.

In connection with the fact that I am now the president’s representative in
parliament, I represent exactly the position of the head of state on this
matter, and I am not taking any part in that process, regardless of the fact
that I am a member of Our Ukraine, but I’m not a deputy.

[Kaplyuk] Then let us once again precisely define the position of the
president.
[Zvarych] Improving the constitution.

[Kaplyuk] And the position of Our Ukraine, whose honorary head is Viktor
Yushchenko, is the repeal of political reform. Where’s the logic?

[Zvarych] It’s very easy to explain. Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is the
undoubted leader of Our Ukraine and its honorary head. Not the president of
Ukraine – and here’s the difference – but Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko.

But Our Ukraine precisely at the insistence of its leader has always been
and will be a democratic party, and the position of the leader will not
necessarily coincide with decisions taken at the level of the party’s
highest leading bodies.

This is understandable. I won’t say that the decision to repeal political
reform will please everyone, but it is mandatory, since it was taken by the
party congress. And such a representation to the Constitutional Court is
being drawn up.

From what I’ve heard on the part of those who are responsible for its
drafting, it will deal not with the material dispositions of the law on
making changes to the constitution adopted on 8 December 2004, but with
constitutional procedure itself. [Passage omitted: expanding on this]
   POSSIBILITY OF REFERENDUM ON CONSTITUTION
[Kaplyuk] You have not ruled out the possibility that the adoption of the
text of the constitution developed by the constitutional commission set up
by the president may be implemented by means of a nationwide referendum
without the participation of the Supreme Council.

[Zvarych] I admit that this is possible. Although until recently I could not
have made such a supposition, since, if one reads the relevant decision of
the Constitutional Court of 2005, there is such a possibility in the legal
dispositions of that conclusion.

At the same time, it’s difficult for me to imagine how such a nationwide
referendum could be held in the absence of a relevant law where the
procedure would be clearly set out. And in the current law on nationwide
referendums a third of the articles do not correspond with the constitution.
In particular, it does not include an initiative from the president of
Ukraine.

This means that legal organizational and technical material provision of the
actual process is carried out, if I’m not mistaken, by the Central
Commission for Issues of Holding Nationwide Referendums, not even the
Central Electoral Commission. [Passage omitted: precedents for referendum]
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10.  “CHUBAROV HAS NO REASON TO ‘GO TO MAYDAN TODAY”
      Ukrainian Crimean Tatar leader says political reform should be revoked

INTERVIEW: With Refat Chubarov, Member, Our Ukraine Faction
First Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Majlis
Interview By: Lidiya Denysenko, 2000 newspaper, Kiev, in Russian 1 Dec 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Dec 05, 2006

The first deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Majlis (ethnic assembly), Refat
Chubarov, who is a member of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine faction,
believes that political reform in Ukraine should be revoked. In an interview
with a newspaper, he said he thought Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych
would benefit from a coalition of his party with Our Ukraine.

He also said that a law on the status of the Crimean Tatars should be passed
and that the Tatars’ hopes for better life after the 2004 Orange Revolution
have not materialized.

The following is an excerpt from Chubarov’s interview with Lidiya Denysenko
entitled “Chubarov has no reason to ‘go to Maydan today'”, published in the
2000 newspaper on 1 December; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

“I fear authoritarian people, and especially authoritarian presidents, but I
fear irresponsible parliamentarians even more,” said Refat Chubarov, first
deputy head of the Majlis, a member of the presidential commission for
citizenship, MP and member of the Our Ukraine faction. He was one of the few
in Our Ukraine who in December 2004 did not vote for political reform. Now
he wants to revoke it at all costs.

“Are you trying to have it revoked because you can see [Viktor] Yushchenko
staying in office as president? Do you not even entertain the idea that it
may be someone else who will eventually enjoy stronger presidential powers?
It is hard to imagine you would try so hard for someone else’s benefit,” I
said to Mr Chubarov, laying bare my doubts.

“Why would I not ‘entertain this idea’? It is not impossible that [Prime
Minister Viktor] Yanukovych will be the next president,” Chubarov replied.

“It is good that [head of Our Ukraine People’s Union Party Roman]
Bezsmertnyy cannot hear you. He would never forgive such ‘sedition’ from a
member of the pro-presidential faction,” I warned my companion, but he did
not react and continued to explain what his fears are right now.

“I shall still vote for the abolition of political reform. The Ukrainian
parliament is being turned into a model of the Russian State Duma of the
last convocation. And these consequences could be devastating. That’s what
I’m afraid of… Look what’s happening in the chamber of the Supreme Council
[parliament].

An MP gets up, waves his hand and all the others who make up the ‘majority’
vote for a document they’ve never even seen! They haven’t even been handed
it. This isn’t ‘discipline’, it’s some kind of nightmare.”

The Crimean Tatars, traditional partners of the Rukh [People’s Movement of
Ukraine], who entered with them into a political agreement with Our Ukraine,
have got themselves in a pickle, so to speak. Because on the one hand, Kiev
is not giving them anything what they, naturally, were counting on, such as
the laws on restoration of rights, land distribution and so on.

On the other hand, the “pro-presidential party in Crimea itself has behaved
so unpredictably, that the Majlis [Crimean Tatar ethnic assembly] and the
Rukh placed a condition (read “ultimatum”) on it: go to the election
separately. But here, of course, they acted very appropriately: as a result
the Crimean Tatars and Rukh got into the Crimean parliament, but Our Ukraine
did not even get two per cent.

Chubarov says “a whole number of defectors appeared especially at first in
Our Ukraine in Crimea, who were working against us because we can never work
with them”. There are all the signs of a “separate life” here.

[Denysenko] And you still haven’t broken away from Rukh? Not all is going
well there either.
[Chubarov] “In the 15 and a half years of Ukraine’s independence, the
representative body of the Crimean Tatars the Majlis has always been and
still is a partner of Rukh,” Chubarov replied very diplomatically. “There
has never been an occasion where our partnership has broken up.”

[Denysenko] “Under [former Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma the Crimean
Tatars did at least get some kind of rights, albeit virtual, but under
Yushchenko the Tatars have simply been forgotten”, one Simferopol newspaper
wrote. Or do you think this is not the case?
                  HOPES OF ORANGE REVOLUTION DASHED
[Chubarov] The hopes linked with the Orange Revolution have not,
unfortunately, been justified. And these hopes hinged on special laws being
adopted to restore the rights of the Crimean Tatar people. Or at least to
ease the situation regarding the law on the restoration of the rights of
those people who were deported on ethnic grounds.

In June 2004 it was voted “for” by 380 votes. But Kuchma vetoed it. And
under Yushchenko, too, the situation with this law is extremely obscure. The
hopes of the Crimean Tatars to have it speedily reviewed have not been
justified. And after all, there lies the solution to many problems,
including land problems.

[Denysenko] In the past not a single rally of the Crimean Tatars would go by
without a lot of noise about creating a Crimean Tatar autonomy. Are there
signs of a move towards separatism or am I mistaken? Nevertheless, is the
idea of autonomy still alive or not?

[Chubarov] We are not considering any options of the development of the
peninsula other then a Crimean Tatar national territorial autonomy as part
of the Ukrainian state and on the basis of the right of the Crimean Tatars
to self-determination.

[Denysenko] So that means an autonomy of the Crimean Tatars in a Crimean
Autonomous Republic? An autonomy within an autonomy isn’t that a
contradiction?

[Chubarov] We don’t see any contradiction here. We are an integral people.
We are returning to our land which is a part of the Ukrainian state. But we
want to talk about the people’s right of self-determination. That which the
international charter, the UN Charter, begins with: “Each people has the
right…”

[Denysenko] Yes, it does, but potentially, what would this Crimean Tatar
autonomy be? Does it have its own ministers, its own constitution, a
perimeter fence where the Tatars live?

[Chubarov] We are speaking about a national territorial formation. The
Crimean Autonomous Republic de jure is a territorial autonomy, without any
suggestion of self-determination. But we are insisting precisely on this
term “national”: special legal procedures making it possible for the Crimean
Tatar people to develop should be provided for in Ukrainian legislation.

[Denysenko] Everything is there in the constitution: it refers to language
and culture. What else?
                      PROBLEMS OF CRIMEAN TARTARS
[Chubarov] Issues concerning the Crimean Tatars are currently resolved by a
simple voting procedure. In the Supreme Council of the Crimean Autonomous
Republic representatives of the Crimean Tatars have only eight votes. And in
many city councils they have even fewer or none at all, even though the
Crimean Tatars form the indigenous population of the peninsula.

So, whatever questions they have raised, both in theory and practice they
cannot get the consent of the majority. And this simply shouldn’t happen.

[Denysenko] What questions, for example?
[Chubarov] Well, land, for one.

[Denysenko] Forget land, that’s a big issue. What else?
[Chubarov] What is a “big issue”? The Crimean Tatars have a right to return
to their home land, let me tell you! But the local MPs say this is now our
territory, we will not give up the land. And they vote in the majority! Or
take language: the rural council meets and decides not to open a school for
the children of Crimean Tatar families in their native language because
“there are no extra resources available”.

Or take the written language: the Crimean Tatars want to go back to their
own alphabet which is based on the Latin. And the MPs say: “Why? It should
be Cyrillic. We think it’s better.”

[Denysenko] But according to all the laws on local self-administration, the
things you are talking about are in fact being dealt with by the
representative of power bodies, the rural councils. What should Kiev do?
Abolish them?

[Chubarov] Inter-ethnic relations are not a subject of mathematical
calculation. There must be special laws providing for the effective
participation of representatives of the minority, which the Crimean Tatars
are in those same local councils, in decisions which concern them.

In this case I am speaking about the Crimean constitution: it should not
only provide equal guarantees of the rights and freedoms of all citizens,
but also provide for a mechanism for the implementation of these rights and
freedoms. And the same applies to the Crimean Tatar population.

[Denysenko] In short, we need a new Crimean constitution?
[Chubarov] First we need a law on the status of the Crimean Tatar people.
But to achieve this you have to have the political will.

 
[Denysenko] Whose? Only don’t talk in generalities. Let’s be more specific.
Who first, in your view, should be insisting on this? Apart from the Majlis,
of course, because it already is.
[Chubarov] The Ukrainian politicians. Nobody can just nod their head and say
who is first and who is last.

[Denysenko] Let’s narrow it down to the speaker, the prime minister and the
president. Who among those should be responsible for this issue?
[Chubarov] The president, of course, should be the one to speak about this.
In 1998-2002 parliament was unable to debate the law on the status of the
Crimean Tatar people. At the last convocation, in 2002 and 2006, it was not
even raised in the chamber.

[Denysenko] But the administration has changed now.
[Chubarov] Inasmuch as the future of the law on the restoration of the
rights of those people deported on ethnic grounds has still not been
resolved a priori, in this situation the document should be put up for
debate… You must understand, when the result is known in advance, or – to
be more precise there is disagreement, it cannot be raised in the chamber.

[Denysenko] One politician from the Crimean Tatars was saying that he had to
pay for a place in the party list. Did you have to pay to get on the Our
Ukraine list? Be honest, imagine you are swearing on the Koran.

[Chubarov] No, I didn’t and I’ll tell you why. It is all very simple here:
if you take such a many-faceted force as the Our Ukraine bloc, then you have
to understand that there is a broad political spectrum concentrated here
from the extreme right to moderate centrists.

Our partners are Rukh and the right, and they had their own quota in the
list. And whereas in the “Rukh” list I was, I think, number 13, then in the
general the Our Ukraine list I was number 62.

[Denysenko] In the fifth convocation, apart from you and [Mustafa]
Dzhemilev, there are also Tatars, and they are in different factions.

[Chubarov] They are from just one faction, the Party of Regions – Rinat
Akhmetov and Ravil Saffiulin. Incidentally, the Crimean Tatars and the
Tatars are quite different ethnic groups.

[Denysenko] Still this is general. You can’t argue. So, apart from the
“Regions”, there is still Oleksandr Abdullin in Yuliya Tymoshenko’s Bloc,
and, in my opinion, there is Tatar blood running through his veins, too. Can
I ask you what your relations are like?

On the one hand we have party discipline: that means you must be
antagonists. And on the other there is the call of the blood. Are you on
good terms or are you at loggerheads?

[Chubarov] I will say this: we cannot avoid coming into contact or having
friendly conversations, firstly because we are colleagues, and secondly,
because they, like me, also have this Turkic ethnic background. Although I
don’t know to what extent they identify themselves with their Tatar roots…
Whatever you think, I have very good relations, with Ravil, with Abdullin,
and with Rinat.
                         PARTY OF MUSLIMS OF UKRAINE
[Denysenko] A year ago the Party of Muslims of Ukraine became active on the
Crimean peninsula, and people were saying that it had been created “on
Akhmetov’s money” and they were opposing the Majlis. Now we hear nothing
about them. Perhaps you have merged?

[Chubarov] Up to a certain time, to the extent that I have known Rinat
Akhmetov, he had practically no interest in politics at all, although people
from his circle were always advising him to set up the kind of project you
are talking about, the Party of Muslims of Ukraine. We were against it. In
general, we are opposed to parties on a religious basis. [Passage omitted:

Chubarov says he voted for Yanukovych as prime minister]

[Denysenko] Somebody made a significant comparison, unfortunately I don’t
know who, but it has already become a popular expression: “There have been
two tortuously long crossings in history: Suvorov’s crossing of the Alps
[reference to Russian general Aleksandr Suvorov’s crossing of the Alps in
18th century] and Our Ukraine crossing over to the opposition”. Are you sure
that Our Ukraine is in opposition?

[Chubarov] This has been stated officially.
[Denysenko] When [Our Ukraine MP Mykaylo] Katerynchuk named “dissenters”

in the party, i.e. those opposed to the candidature of the present prime
minister, he also mentioned your name. Are we to believe this? Incidentally,
why did he include you among the “opponents” if you supported Yanukovych?
I don’t understand.
                       NO COALITION WITH COMMUNISTS
[Chubarov] Katerynchuk was being hasty. At a meeting of the faction I said
there is one area where I would not compromise, even if Viktor Yushchenko
asks me to. I will not accept a broad coalition with the Communists.

So, I said to my colleagues, accept my statement that if the faction decides
to join a coalition which would still have the Ukrainian Communist Party, as
well as the Party of Regions and the Ukrainian Socialist Party, then I would
quit this political formation the next day.

[Denysenko] You are not a member of Our Ukraine in which Viktor Yushchenko
is the honorary head. Nevertheless, you are joining the faction, which means
you care about it. So, at the congress he gave everyone who supports Our
Ukraine a clear signal come and join us. But you, Mr Chubarov, did not. Why
was that?

[Chubarov] I was a guest at the inaugural congress, To be honest, as soon as
Mr Yushchenko expressed the idea that all parties of national-democratic
spectrum should dissolve and join Our Ukraine, I got up and walked out. God
help us if this goes through! Parties with a rich history will simply
disappear. From the very beginning I was on my guard not about setting up
Our Ukraine, but about the idea of the dissolution of parties which had
already been formed.

However, you know that both [Ukrainian People’s Party leader Yuriy] Kostenko
and [Reforms and Order Party leader Viktor] Pynzenyk also did not take up
the call.

I am not prepared at all to speak about Our Ukraine, but I can give some
advice from the side: it is time to decide if it wants to be
self-sufficient, and not to attach itself to an official, be it the
president or the prime minister. This also, incidentally, applies to the
same degree to the Party of Regions. They are also becoming “attached”.

[Passage omitted: Chubarov predicts further differences within the Party of
Regions; wants president to have more powers than parliament]

[Denysenko] Yuliya Tymoshenko said at a press conference on 10 November
and this is literally word-for-word “in ten or 20 days time the president
and the prime minister will be burning down each other’s doors”. 20 November

the minimum deadline passed without any disasters, and the 30th also passed
without any damage being caused to the president’s or prime minister’s
property.

But to be serious, what do you think, does an Our Ukraine in opposition have
a vested interest in a quarrel between Yushchenko and Yanukovych?

[Chubarov] When two people who have been equally invested with high powers
start to quarrel in their own country, they always have to seek help from
outside. I don’t like quarrels because I wouldn’t want either the prime
minister or the president to seek protection anywhere else except from their
own people.

And when neighbouring powers want to interfere in our domestic affairs this
always impacts on our own instability. So when I look at what the prime
minister is doing, then as a politician I sometimes feel for him. Let me
explain why.

His partners in the anti-crisis coalition especially the Communists are
using their presence there to the full not only for their own interests, but
also to prevent Yanukovych from doing what he, as a pragmatist and a
man who understands economics, could and would like to.

[Denysenko] You are talking about the WTO?
[Chubarov] Exactly! Yanukovych may say that he has the best of relations
with Moscow, and I don’t think he is playing coy here, but still he realizes
that at the moment it is important to put things in perspective as far as
integration in general and European structures in particular are concerned.
There must be normal relations with America.

But he is being constrained by the behaviour of the Communists in many ways.
To put it simply, I think that Yanukovych himself would like more clarity
and consistency. Perhaps I’m being a bit radical but I believe a coalition
with Our Ukraine could give him precisely such clarity and consistency.

[Denysenko] I would like you to comment on another of Ms Tymoshenko’s
predictions. She also said, talking about the cabinet’s “100 days”: “The
electorate will pass judgement on Yanukovych and his “blue-and-white”
government within 50 days.” This date will arrive in January. Do you think
they will “pass judgement”?
       YANUKOVYCH GOVERNMENT LIKELY TO STAY
[Chubarov] No. The government will work at least until the spring. And in
spring there will probably be a certain re-format of the cabinet, but with
Viktor Yanukovych staying as prime minister.

[Denysenko] What do you mean by “re-format”? Who will replace whom?
[Chubarov] Do you remember how the “orange” coalition was formed? It had
its supporters and its opponents belonging to one political force. Well, the
opponents said: you can’t create such a conglomerate within the framework
of one “camp”.

You must have a “scale of colours”. And they turned out to be right. It’s
the same with the government. If Ukraine is to be given the chance to
develop economically, it must be “multi-coloured”.

If you brush aside any political sympathies and antipathies, then whether we
like it or not, the two leading forces the Party of Regions and the “orange”
union of the Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine essentially make up all
Ukraine.

Of course, [Socialist Party leader Oleksandr] Moroz, and the Communists, got
something from the elections, but when we speak about the need to haul up
the Ukrainian economy, then the path which I spoke about would be a much
shorter one.

[Passage omitted: Chubarov says he favours democracy and independence but
sees no reason for any large-scale protests at the moment.]
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================

11.                           “LIMITED LIABILITY PARTY.
                   YUSHCHENKO SEIZURE OF OUR UKRAINE”
              Ukrainian president purges his party as precursor to early election

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuriy Butusov
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, in Russian 9 Dec 06; p 2
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Dec 12, 2006

Commenting on the 7 December election of the new leadership of President
Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine People’s Union party, an analytical weekly
has said that the party’s new governing body includes only those people who
are loyal to Yushchenko personally.

The group of businessmen linked to Petro Poroshenko have been elbowed out.
Yushchenko forced the reluctant party to elect the head of his secretariat,
Viktor Baloha, as party chief. The party has become a political branch of
the presidential secretariat, the paper summed up.

The following is an excerpt from the article by Yuriy Butusov entitled
“Limited liability party. Yushchenko’s seizure of Our Ukraine” published by
the Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo Nedeli on 9 December; subheadings have been
inserted editorially:

President Yushchenko had never displayed such firm and decisive political
action. The political council of Our Ukraine was formed in a raiding attack,
as a result of which the people who had built and maintained it for several
years were removed from power. On the other hand, Yushchenko was always

the person who defined the party’s rating.

That is why he considered it possible by a personal decision of will to
change the composition of the council of founders… [ellipsis as published]
sorry, the composition of the political council and to introduce remote rule
in Our Ukraine. Talk about Yushchenko’s intention to hold early
parliamentary elections in 2007 is receiving genuine confirmation. [Passage
omitted: background]

The scenario of conducting the political council was damned very quickly.
Yushchenko categorically demanded that there be a rejection of secret
voting, which was envisaged by the rules (and so nobody went to the voting
booths set up).

It was a hard blow to the hopes of the “dear friends” [a group of
businessmen within the party, including Petro Poroshenko and Oleksandr
Tretyakov], since it had become evident that in these conditions there was
no way that they could be in control of the situation. The question out to
the vote was – do you support a secret vote, as the president proposed? A
disgruntled rumbling was heard in the hall.

Yushchenko asked the delegates apparently “why do we need a secret vote –
it’s only our own people?” At that point an anonymous note was delivered to
the presidium, which Mr Yushchenko read out loud.

The delegate wrote that such a vote had been thought up in order to prevent
members of the political council from being subjected to pressure from
administrative resources, since the president and the head of the
presidential secretariat were present in the hall.

Yushchenko put a rhetorical question to the hall: “Maybe I should leave”.
The question remained unanswered. In the eyes of the head of state, the
party’s political council did what the president requested – the decision on
a secret vote was not supported. Yushchenko showed that now he intended to
press to the end, and that this time he would get what he wanted.
                  BALOHA’S UNDEMOCRATIC ELECTION
At that point [Petro] Poroshenko and [Oleksandr] Tretyakov [former members
of Yushchenko’s close entourage] tried to make a breakthrough in the
situation. It became clear to everyone that the president would be able not
only to push through [presidential secretariat head Viktor] Baloha [as party
head] – a long-standing enemy of the “dear friends”, but also to change the
composition of the presidium.

In a last attempt, Tretyakov desperately demanded that Baloha say what he
understood by party construction. Poroshenko withdrew his candidacy from the
vote and requested an adjournment before the vote (similar manoeuvres by Mr
Poroshenko, one recalls, were unsuccessful back during the time of the
elections of the parliamentary chairman on 7 July). Only [Roman] Bezsmertnyy
did not speak at the political council.

In spite of the open system of voting, Baloha’s candidacy failed to gather
the necessary number of votes three times. But time after time the head of
the secretariat carried out educational work with the “unaware” delegates
and the president pronounced an incantation in support of Baloha.

Many members of the political council were shocked by the nature of what was
going on. At the fourth attempt the president put extra pressure on the
political council, and Baloha was elected.

After this triumph for democracy, yet another emergency situation followed.
Baloha put his option of the composition of the presidium to the vote. The
option that had been handed out to the delegates in advance and drawn up by
a working group was not even put to the vote by the new head of the
political council.

The new political council consisted only of people who are known for their
total loyalty to Yushchenko and who do not have any close contacts with the
“dear friends”.

Oleksandr Tretyakov was included on the list, but, either having taken a
look at the company, or because he – the party’s main sponsor – was refused
the chair of head of the OUPU [Our Ukraine People’s Union] executive
committee, which, on the eve, the president had apparently promised him,
Tretyakov himself asked to be removed from the composition of the political
council.

Bezsmertnyy was appointed head of the political executive committee – a job
that prior to that had been held by Mykola Katerynchuk and that had never
had any serious weight in determining the party’s actions.
WAY NOW CLEAR FOR LUTSENKO TO HEAD THE PARTY
In this way the path for inviting [former Interior Minister Yuriy] Lutsenko
has been cleared. The technical leader of the party – Baloha – announced the
holding of a congress as early as February. The party’s fate remains
uncertain.

It has been visibly demonstrated to the party leadership that the most
democratic party of the Maydan [Kiev’s Independence Square, heart of the
Orange Revolution of 2004] has become an adjunct to the presidential
secretariat. The office is weightier than a political career.

Why hold elections and create structures locally, if personnel policy is
still determined by an apparatus of officials? Total contempt for the ethics
of relations in the collective and for the logic of party construction is
unlikely to have a favourable effect on the party apparatus.

However, the president, wanting to unite right-wing forces (under a
left-wing leader) may consider that small sacrifices for the sake of a big
cause are justified.

And what next? The main party office, for example, is in the possession of
Tretyakov’s structures. It is through Tretyakov and Poroshenko that the
greater part of the enormous expenditure on maintaining the party is funded.

Will the “dear friends” stay with Our Ukraine? So far the newly dismissed
party leadership has not made a definitive decision. But it is quite likely
that the events in Pusha-Ozerna will bring changes in the Our Ukraine
parliamentary faction.

It is not ruled out, for example, that Tretyakov will drift away towards an
alliance with [opposition leader] Yuliya Tymoshenko, which will be an
extremely natural process, considering the good relations of both
politicians with [tycoon] Ihor Kolomoyskyy. It is not ruled out that part of
the faction or individual deputies will move towards the [government]
anti-crisis coalition.
  MOVES TO CREATE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL BLOC
So the main aim of Yushchenko and Baloha is to accumulate under the trade
mark of a propresidential party the maximum possible number of names and
parties of the so-called national democratic spectrum.

By the way, it is not at all essential for a new pro-Yushchenko bloc with
Lutsenko at its head to become an independent electoral entity.

The presidential secretariat has even now started negotiations with
Tymoshenko regarding the formation of a single party list on parity
foundations. Incidentally, in the heat of battle Mr Yushchenko forgot to
realize another domestic semi-product – to vote for the creation of an
opposition coordination centre.

Yuriy Lutsenko should become a member of that centre. Now it is not clear

in what status he will meet with OUPU party organizations in the regions
preparing for the election of the party chief.

According to our paper’s sources, the dismissal of the [propresidential]
orange ministers has prompted decisive actions to create a presidential
election bloc. Last Monday [4 December] the president held consultations
with a number of politicians regarding an immediate dissolution of the
Supreme Council [parliament] in response to the dismissal of [Foreign
Minister Borys] Tarasyuk and Lutsenko.

However, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc came out resolutely against an immediate
dismissal of parliament. Ms Tymoshenko believes that dissolution now would
only damage the opponents of the anti-crisis coalition. But if it were in
spring… [ellipsis as published]

New players are entering the great game entitled “2007 elections” and big
stakes are being placed. Although none of those who are spinning the
roulette wheel are sure whether the game itself will take place… [ellipsis
as published]                                         -30-
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========================================================

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========================================================
12.                              FROM FAMINE TO RE-RUN

POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, December 13, 2006

During the surveyed period Ukraine commemorated the famine victims.
President Viktor Yuschenko decided to use the date to test the parliament
majority and the whole parliament for “patriotism.”

The ability of Viktor Yuschenko to raise high-voltage ideological issue of
such kind is long known.

Once, on the eve of the Victory Day (May 9) he demanded to stipulate the
status of OUN-UPA warriors in the coalition agreement, which complicated

the hard process of shaping of the “orange” coalition.

This time, the President demanded the parliament recognizes 1932 – 1933
famine as act of genocide against Ukrainian people.

 
He even used openly xenophobic words addressing those opposing the
recognition, the most of which are concentrated in the parliament majority.

The President clearly defined his stance commemorating the victims of the
famine during the ceremony in the Sofiiska Square: “Those who deny the
famine today are in deep hate with Ukraine. They hate us; they hate our
spirit and our future. They deny not the historical past, but the Ukrainian
state.”

So, victims of the famine became the victims of Ukrainian policy, namely of
the struggle between the President and parliament coalition. Members of the
coalition catch the message of the President – by refusing to approve his
bill the parliament “denies the Ukrainian state.”

So, the President chose to split the coalition by way of such sharp
ideological issue. What can be better ground for early dissolution if not
the anti-Ukrainian parliament blocked by political conflicts in open
confrontation with the President?

Still, the anti-crisis coalition more tended to blame the President’s
surrounding of plotting this scenario, rather than the President himself.
“It is not Viktor Yuschenko who is the author of this political provocation
connected with the tragedy of the famine, but representatives of the
Presidential Secretariat,” the “blue” camp insisted. However, tensions
between the President and the parliament escalated.

Party of the Regions famous for its pro-Russian orientation and protecting
everything of Russian kind, and as such representing interests of eastern
and western citizens with unshaped national identity could not approve the
President’s bill. Thus, emerged the bill alternative to the President’s.

It named the famine 1932-1933 the act of mass destruction, national tragedy
of Ukrainian people and did not provide for responsibility for the denial.
Yevhen Kushnariov noted that “principality of the position is that the
famine was not a genocide.”

Party of the Regions just could not neglect the opinion of Russia as
assignee of the Soviet Union due to totalitarian regime of which 10 million
of Ukrainians died. The price for gas was denial of national identity and
history.

Party of the Regions protected not the deceased Ukrainians but “millions of
Russians and representatives of 100 nationalities who lived in the USSR” and
also have died from the famine in Ukraine.

Party of the Regions had also to take into account the communists, who could
not be indifferent to accusations by Our Ukraine, which claimed “the famine
was deliberately planned by communist Stalin’s regime.”

So, dominating political force of the coalition became the hostage of its
policy and seemed to be anti-Ukrainian. Historians proved the famine
1932-1933 was the genocide. In the time the draft was passed ten states
recognized it was the genocide, but not Ukraine.

This paradox would last if not an independent game of Oleksandr Moroz.
Socialist Party stepped on the side of the parliament opposition and backed
the bill despite the decision of the majority. The draft was approved with
some corrections of the speaker.

Hence, the famine 1932-33 is the genocide, but not of Ukrainian nation as
the President wanted but of Ukrainian people and the responsibility for the
denial of this fact is not envisaged. Viktor Yuschenko was pleased, but
plans to insist on administrative responsibility.

Still, significance of recognition of the genocide cannot be underestimated
either in national or in political sense. In political sense the coalition
shows first signs of rift.

If not the stance of Oleksandr Moroz, the President’s bill would not be
passed. The President has highly appreciated this “unifying and
consolidating role” of the Verkhovna Rada chair.

For the first time Oleksandr Moroz played “the game above the conflict,” the
master of which was considered his predecessor Volodymyr Lytvyn and for the
first time showed what does it’s like to be the “golden share.” Party of the
Regions took voluntarism of socialists calmly from outside.

Yevhen Kushnariov noted that the anti-crisis coalition is “very young
coalition and, clearly, it cannot be unanimous in all questions.” Our
Ukraine saw in recognition of the genocide a step to reshaping of the
coalition in the new democratic force including Our Ukraine, BYT and
Socialist Party and has already promised Moroz the post of speaker.

Communist threatened to leave the coalition. Oleksandr Holub declared that
meeting of the party’s central committee slated for December 9 will possibly
examine the question of “re-shaping the coalition,” and relieving Oleksandr
Moroz of his duties. On the accusations Moroz replied: “If we don’t want to
examine absolutely clear issue I don’t care of this post.”

There are other ways to oust Party of the Regions from the power. One the
most realistic is cancellation of the political reform or dissolution of the
parliament with the subsequent re-run. Hostile camps started to exchange
charges with usurpation of power.

Viktor Yuschenko told amending of the Constitution resulted in “usurpation
of power by the institute of the government,” because the amendments gave
all authority to the government, while the “authorities of the President in
respect to the government were significantly weakened.”

It concerns not only the ministers, but also the procedure of replacement of
the prosecutor general, whom the President cannot preserve by his own
authority.

Viktor Yuschenko has also expressed a concern about spreading influence of
the government to the enforcement agencies. “Principles stipulated in the
Constitution produce a conflict. Independently of who heads those
institutions,” the President stressed. So, Yuschenko defined three ways out
of the crisis:

[1] confrontational – suggesting cancellation of the political reform;
[2] compromising – improvement of the political reform with the help of
Constitutional commission taking into account suggestions of all sides;
[3] approval of the new wording of the Constitution by way of the
referendum.

All three ways are rather problematic. The first is the most seductive.
Nevertheless, the President stresses he’s against revoke of the political
reform and stands for its improvement. Viktor Baloha suggested the idea of
holding a referendum on the political reform questioning: “Are you for
Presidential or parliamentary form of governance?” Yulia Tymoshenko backed
the idea of the referendum as “effective instrument to take the decision.”

The bloc offers to hold two referendums on political reform and early
parliament election. Leader of BYT declared the “Constitutional reform
proved political cannibalism – who will eat whom of the competing centers of
influence,” it even abdicated the President of his power in a year after the
election.

In response to this initiative Viktor Yuschenko told that the referendum
will hit the political situation and will split the society.

However, if it is initiated the coalition, in its turn, will insist on
inclusion of some other questions. One can only guess these questions will
be like acknowledgement of the Russian language as the second state
language, which neither the opposition, nor the President need.

Although the will of citizens concerning the change of the Constitutional
procedure “gained through election or referendum is obligatory,” as rules
the decision of the Constitutional Court, the way of its implementation is
not elaborated. Lawmakers are sure the tradition of amending the
Constitution by two thirds of the vote with further approval by the
referendum if the necessary is the best way out.

Meanwhile, Our Ukraine announces the “text of the submission to the
Constitutional Court is almost ready” and will be examined only after
approval on the party’s council. However, cooperation with Tymoshenko’s

Bloc failed even in this issue.

Cancellation of the political reform suggests return to the old
Constitution, which empowers the President to fire the Cabinet and then use
the grounds for the parliament dissolution if it fails to form the
government within 60 days for instance. To such proposals Party of the
Regions responds with its own – what if Yanukovych won’t quit.

What if the Verkhovna Rada won’t recognize revoke of the political reform?
And asks Viktor Yuschenko maybe he wants to “repeat the events of Russia
1993, when two branches of power quarreled?” It means it will fight till the
end. As for early election, Party of the Regions has not yet determined
whether it is convenient for them to put an end to confrontation.

“We’ll look on spring’s ratings,” Yevhen Kushnariov told. Meanwhile the
President confirmed reasonableness of the President’s accusations: “We will
make order in the state whatever this process is called. If you want to call
it usurpation, let it be usurpation. But it is all done to benefit society.”

He advised “the President and the politicians” not to restrain the
government. As a reaction, Our Ukraine called him a new Mussolini.

So, the Constitutional commission remains the most loyal and, at the same
time, the most unfruitful way out of the situation. However, the
Constitutional commission created by the President has not yet been shaped.
The anti-crisis coalition called it unconstitutional.

The deputy speaker opines the Constitutional commission set up by the
President contradicts the Constitution because the President has no right to
create commissions authorized to make legislative initiatives. Moroz offered
to stop on his proposal and create interim parliamentary commission.

So, the sides keep on exchanging threats and recapturing the initiatives of
attack diminishing their political effect.                 -30-
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
             Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13. UKRAINE 3000 INTERNATIONAL CHARITABLE FUND CONDUCTS
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF THE FUTURE ALL-UKRAINIAN TELETHON
           A unique event, no fund has ever done anything similar in Ukraine.

Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, December 15, 2006

KYIV – On December 17, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. Kyiv time, the National
Television Company of Ukraine along with the ICTV, Tonis, 24, K1,
Fifth Channel, and NTN television channels will start a live four-hours
Children’s Hospital of the Future All-Ukrainian Telethon.

The telethon will be also partly covered by the Ukrayina Television and
Radio Company, New Channel, TET, and 1+1 channels.

The goal of the all-Ukrainian telethon is presenting to the Ukrainian public
the project to create and construct the Children’s Hospital of the Future,
its partners, and to summarize the promotional tour of Ukraine’s oblast
centers and results of the fundraising campaign through the 353 mobile
phone number.

Head of the Supervisory Board of the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable
Fund Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko, members of the Fund’s Board of
Directors and Supervisory Board, directors of television channels,
politicians, media and businesspeople, and Ukrainian pop stars will take
part in the telethon.

The NTCU and Ukraine 3000 Fund press center will cover the telethon at
42 Melnykova St. (ASB-2 Pavillion and press center)           -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14. HOLIDAY GIFT TO HELP THE ELDERLY IN UKRAINE THIS YEAR!
                                 American Friends of “For Survival”

Katie Fox, President, American Friends of “For Survival”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #797, Article 14

Washington, D.C. Monday, December 17, 2006

Dear Friends,

Please consider a holiday gift to help the elderly in Ukraine this year! As

many of you know, a group of Americans who have lived in Kyiv run a
small charity for impoverished Ukrainian seniors.

We started the charity, “American Friends of For Survival” 10 years ago to
immediately and directly help the elderly, many of whom were begging on
Kyiv’s streets as a result of the economic collapse accompanying the break
up of the Soviet Union.

This charity is an all volunteer effort, run by Americans here and in Kyiv.
Every cent of the funds we collect from donors goes directly to a poor
elderly person. It is often the only way they can afford lifesaving medicine
and decent food, as well as housing and clothing.

Ukraine’s elderly need our help again this year. Though pensions have risen
in Ukraine, the cost of living has risen even faster.

A respected business survey recently ranked Kyiv more expensive than Los
Angeles or Chicago – making survival a struggle when the minimum pension is
equivalent to $65/ month.

Significant increases in home heating prices are forecast for this winter, a
blow to all Ukrainian consumers that will hit those on fixed incomes
hardest.

Your help is desperately needed!

American Friends of  For Survival currently provides some elderly with
special needs $20 per month and others $10 per month. With prices rising

so rapidly we would like to increase most, if not all supplements to $20.

     A contribution of $240 provides an elderly Ukrainian $20 per month for
     the entire year.
     A contribution of $120 will provide necessary assistance for 6 months.
     A donation of any amount is needed and much appreciated.

A contribution of $240 only amounts to a bit more than $4.50 per week!
That’s slightly more than many of us spend on coffee every morning. Each
contribution will help an elderly Ukrainian buy food and medicine and, of
course, your generous donations are tax deductible.

We want to make it easy for you! You can now donate directly with any
major credit card on our new website, www.ForSurvival.org,

Or if you prefer you may contribute by check made payable to:
“For Survival”, c/o Katie Fox, 3100 Connecticut Ave NW #235
Washington, DC 20008

Dyakuyu! (thank you) very much, from the bottom of our hearts.
Have a wonderful year!

Katie Fox, President, American Friends of ‘For Survival”

PS Please be sure to visit our new website, www.ForSurvival.org
and tell a friend! 

——————————————————————————————-
FOOTNOTE:  The AUR urges you to donate to the “For Survival”
program.  We have known about this very cost effective program for
several years.  AUR Editor Morgan Williams
——————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15. YUSHCHENKO APPOINTS TATIANA IZHEVSKA TO POST OF
                        UKRAINE’S AMBASSADOR TO VATICAN

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, December 11, 2006
 
KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has appointed Tatiana Izhevska at
the post of Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican.

This follows from presidential decree No. 1062/2006 dated December 11,
the text of which Ukrainian News has obtained. As Ukrainian News earlier
reported, on June 14 President Viktor Yuschenko has dismissed Hryhorii
Khoruzhyi from the post of Ukraine’s Ambassador to Vatican.

———————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE:  Our personal congratulations to Tatiana Izhevska on
her appointment as Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican.  We had been
working with her at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv regarding the
75th Commemoration of the Holodomor [induced starvation, death for
millions, genocide] in 2007-2008.  Tatiana Izhevska’s husband is Ukraine’s
Ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur.     AUR EDITOR
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16.       A UKRAINIAN BEACON, SHINING ONCE AGAIN
        Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia undergoes renovation

By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, Friday, Dec 15, 2006

PHILADELPHIA – It was once known as “Little Ukraine,” a swath of North
Philadelphia along Franklin Street, north of Spring Garden Street and south
of Girard Avenue.

Others might have called it “East Poplar” or Northern Liberties. But for
Slavic immigrants, it had the ethnic resonance of South Philly or Chinatown.

It was where neighbors spoke Ukrainian, where shop signs were written in the
Cyrillic alphabet. And there was the cathedral – St. Mary’s, informally, to
earlier generations; now the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Today, Little Ukraine has largely evaporated along with memories of the old,
stone church, purchased in 1907, that was the first mother church for
generations of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States. But the cathedral –
in the form of the massive gold-domed Byzantine temple that replaced the old
church in 1966 – remains.

Still a shrine for devout Ukrainians nationwide, the cathedral is near the
end of a five-month $750,000 makeover in preparation for next year’s
international synod of bishops commemorating the centenary of the arrival in
the city of Soter Stephen Ortynsky, the first Ukrainian Catholic archbishop
in America.

“This will be a major celebration,” said the Rev. Ivan Demkiv, the
cathedral’s Ukrainian-born rector. “The bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic
churches – 30 from all over the world – will come to Philadelphia for their
annual meeting.”

“It’s really the first major renovation the building has ever had,” said
John Drozd, archeparchial financial officer.

The cathedral, the largest Ukrainian Catholic church in the world and the
“mother church,” or archeparchy (archdiocese), for all four U.S. eparchies,
celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first liturgical service on Oct. 16.

Four decades of automotive and industrial soot had so blackened the
barrel-vaulted roof over the main entrance, Drozd said, that he thought the
roof was metal that tarnished.

Since a crew from Keystone Waterproofing Inc., of Greensburg, Pa., began
work, the roofs are again white. And the pollution that dulled the immense
gold dome – actually 22-karat gold fused into hundreds of thousands of
one-square-inch Venetian glass tiles – is being cleaned away by rappelling
workers from Pittsburgh’s USA (Unique Services in Applications) Inc.

“It’s a big project,” said David Sebek, Keystone’s on-site superintendent.
That’s a bit of an understatement for a structure 172 feet long and 128 feet
wide, and surmounted by a dome 106 feet high and 100 feet in diameter – so
large it has its own ventilation system to prevent clouds and “rain” inside.

Sebek said the work has gone surprisingly well: “The biggest thing was
scratching our heads wondering what we’d find underneath the dirt.”

Next year’s synod will be held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 10 and will be a
watershed event for a church separated for decades from its European roots
by a Soviet regime that outlawed the religion, confiscated churches, and
imprisoned prelates.

When the Ukrainian church was “underground,” said Demkiv, the synods were
at the Vatican in Rome. Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the
synods have been in Ukraine: in the capital Kiev or in Lviv, in the country’s west,
from which most U.S. Ukrainian Catholics immigrated.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church traces its history to 988, when Prince
Vladimir of Kiev announced his conversion to Christianity. After the “Great
Schism” – the split in 1054 between the pope in Rome and the leader of the
eastern church in what is now Istanbul – Ukrainian Christians followed the
eastern faction into what became the Orthodox Church.

But in Western Ukraine people were closer to Europe and its church,
especially after Ukraine was conquered by Poland (allied with the Roman
Church).

In 1594, Western Ukrainians were brought back into the Roman Church through
the Council of Brest. In exchange for acknowledging the pope’s supremacy,
Ukrainian Catholics were allowed to retain their liturgy and customs,
celebrate Mass in Ukrainian, and have married priests.

Demkiv, 41, who was born near Lviv, is the son of a priest and himself
married and the father of two. According to Demkiv, Ukrainians emigrated to
North America in four major waves: during the first decade of the 20th
century, shortly after World Wars I and II, and after the collapse of the
Soviet Union.

In the United States, Ukrainians settled in areas roughly paralleling
today’s four Ukrainian Catholic eparchies: Philadelphia; Stamford, Conn.;
Chicago; and Parma, Ohio.

Today, Philadelphia’s Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Stefan Soroka is the
spiritual leader of 22,000 Ukrainian Catholics in Eastern Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as well as the “metropolitan” –
patriarch – for 114,000 Ukrainian Catholics nationwide.

The 1964 decision of then-Archbishop Ambrose Senyshyn to replace the old
cathedral with the present $3 million building was controversial. Many
wanted the cathedral to follow the faithful to the Philadelphia suburbs.

Lured by city promises of a $40 million “East Poplar Redevelopment Area,”
Senyshyn announced that the cathedral would remain in North Philadelphia:
“After all, they wouldn’t move Independence Hall and rebuild it somewhere
else.”

Fifteen thousand people attended the new cathedral’s dedication, including
Mayor James H.J. Tate and Catholic luminaries from as far away as China.

But the East Poplar renewal never lived up to its $40 million billing, and
within a decade, except on Easter and Christmas, the cathedral was rarely
near its 1,800 capacity. Still, the cathedral holds a pull for the devout.

One high point was the October 1979 visit of the late Pope John Paul II. The
pope, born in Poland when it was under Communist rule, came to the cathedral
accompanied by Cardinal Josef Slipyj, then 87, a prelate legendary among
Ukrainians because of 18 years spent in a Siberian prison camp under Soviet
rule.

Last year, the cathedral was a stop for Ukraine’s president, Viktor
Yushchenko, on his visit to Philadelphia to receive the Liberty Medal.

And every summer, Demkiv said, the cathedral has visitors from around the
country and Europe who come to marvel, worship or view artifacts next door
in its Treasury of Faith Archeparchical Museum.

Demkiv recalled his first impression when he arrived here from Winnipeg,
Canada, in 2003: “Magnificent! I was amazed by a church that was so big and
by the beautiful mosaics.”                                -30-
—————————————————————————————————–
Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or jslobodzian@phillynews.com.
—————————————————————————————————–
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/religion/16243310.htm?source=rss&channel=inquirer_religion
———————————————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17.             UKRAINE BABIES IN STEM CELL PROBE
           Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.

By Matthew Hill, BBC Health Correspondent
BBC NEWS, UK, Tuesday, December 12, 2005

Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a
flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC
suggests.

Disturbing video footage of post-mortem examinations on dismembered
tiny bodies raises serious questions about what happened to them.

Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.

There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims
they can help fight many diseases. But now there are claims that stem cells
are also being harvested from live babies.
                                     WALL OF SILENCE
The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they
gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.

In 2003 the authorities agreed to exhume around 30 bodies of foetuses and
full-term babies from a cemetery used by maternity hospital number six.

One campaigner was allowed into the autopsy to gather video evidence. She
has given that footage to the BBC and Council of Europe.

In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of
children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff
upwards over their fate.

The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped – and some
bodies dismembered.

A senior British forensic pathologist says he is very concerned to see
bodies in pieces – as that is not standard post-mortem practice. It could
possibly be a result of harvesting stem cells from bone marrow. Hospital
number six denies the allegations.                         -30-
————————————————————————————————-

LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6171083.stm
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
========================================================
18.     THE BABIES WHO ARE MURDERED TO ORDER
        Ukraine has become the main supplier of the global stem cell trade.

By Mathew Hill, Daily Globe, London, UK, Friday, December 15, 2006

The plastic bag looks as if it contains meat. But then a right leg is taken
from it and placed surgically on the morgue table, followed by the left one.
Then the torso. The head follows, a gaping cavity where the brain used to
be.

But it is only when the gloved hand of the pathologist examines the tiny
fingers of a baby aged about 30 weeks that the full horror of what I am
witnessing sinks in.

This shocking scene was captured on video at post-mortem examinations
carried out on behalf of Ukrainian mothers who claim their babies were
stolen from them at birth.

The film was shown to me by an incredibly brave charity worker called
Tatyana Zhakarova, who represents up to 300 families who believe their
healthy babies were deliberately targeted at a maternity hospital in the
Ukraine’s most easterly city of Kharkiv.

The babies, believes Tatyana, were taken at birth to have their organs and
stem cells harvested as part of a sickening but highly lucrative
international trade.

Certainly, Ukraine has become the main supplier of the global stem cell
trade.

Officially, the cells are taken from aborted foetuses with the mothers’
consent, but according to Tatyana, there could also be hundreds of babies
stolen to order, to feed demand for stem cells from around the world.

Can she be right? Alarmed by her claims, I decided to launch my own
investigations for a special BBC report, to be broadcast tomorrow.

My inquiries took me around the world, from a private clinic in the
Caribbean to the desolate back streets of the Ukraine. What I uncovered is a
disturbing tale involving claims of murder, conspiracy . . . and a sickening
new beauty treatment.

The first hint I had of these allegations arose months ago during a
conversation with one of the UK’s foremost experts on stem cell research.

Dr Stephen Minger, from Kings College, London, is a distinguished medical
researcher who believes stem cells hold the key to finding a cure for some
of our major diseases.

These tiny cells, which first divide within an embryo, have the ability to
transform themselves into any type of tissue. But it’s their potential as a
future treatment for conditions such as muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s
disease that really excites Dr Minger.

He is one of many reputable experts who fear their research into this field
is being given a bad name by companies making a fast buck out of untested
stem cell therapies.

Dr Minger told me he found out about the trade in stem cells from aborted
Ukrainian foetuses two years ago, when he was invited to meet doctors from
a controversial clinic in Barbados. called the Institute For Regenerative
Medicine (IRM), the firm wanted Dr Minger to lend his endorsement to its
therapies.

The firm’s website boasts IRM is “dedicated to excellence in stem cell
therapy for the remediation of diseases resulting from tissue damage and/or
the effects of aging”. But its claims are treated with scepticism by
experts.

The clinic’s method of treatment involves injecting patients with stem cells
taken from babies aborted between seven and ten weeks old.

It is a technique, says Dr Minger, that has no credible research to back it
up, and that raises disturbing questions about how the cells have been
‘harvested’.

“The problem is, I am not sure how the cells are prepared,” he says. “A
six-week-old embryo can be just 1cm from head to foot, so it’s difficult to
dissect tissue from it. They may just homogenise the whole embryo.” That’s
a polite way of saying that the aborted babies could have been liquidised.

Dr Minger was especially troubled that as well as offering unproven therapy
to patients with degenerative diseases – at up to £10,000 a time – the
clinic was running a lucrative sideline in offering stem cell treatments to
reverse the effects of ageing.

The firm boasts that such treatment can lead to everything from improved
fitness and a better sex life to greater mental capacity and enhanced sleep
patterns.

“I find it very distasteful that they are used for beauty treatments,” says
Dr Minger. “As far as I can tell from what’s been published, a lot of people
go to this clinic in Barbados feeling a bit run down, or that their skin has
just lost some elasticity, and they are getting ‘smoothies’ or perk-me-ups.”

The stem cells used in these techniques are bought by IRM from the Ukraine.
They are said to be taken from aborted foetuses, with the mothers’ consent.
But could there be a link with the Ukrainian mothers who believe their
babies were deliberately taken from them?

I travelled to Barbados to speak to one of IRM’s senior doctors, Shami
Ramesh.

Initially, I feared my journey was in vain. As I approached the 170-year-old
colonial building where the clinic is based, I found the gates were
padlocked – I was told by Dr Ramesh that I would have to come back in
January.

But eventually I managed to persuade him to come to my hotel, where he said
he could show me evidence of two studies that proved the treatments work.

This “proof” turned out to be one study of a single patient with motor
neurone disease and another of eight cardiac patients. The numbers were too
small for proper analysis and the data had not been published in any
reputable peer-reviewed journal.

But Dr Ramesh’s faith in the treatment was striking. “Foetal stem cells
work,” he said. “If patients were not getting value for money they would

not be coming back to us for second and third infusions.”

Then our conversation turned to the main part of my inquiry: how could he

be certain the stem cells the clinic was using had indeed come only from
aborted foetuses in the Ukraine – a country where there’s very little
regulation over issues like consent from donors.
Was it possible that the cells had, in fact, been harvested from fullterm
babies without any consent from the parents?

Dr Ramesh denied any knowledge of babies being sacrificed for stem cells.

He said he had faith in the Institute of Cryobiology in Kharkiv, the source of
the stem cells used by the Barbados clinic, but added that “maybe in the
future we will go and check it out”.

I decided to travel to the Ukraine myself to see what sort of guarantee the
Institute could offer about the source of its stem cells.

Once there, I made several attempts to interview the head of the Institute,
Dr Valentin Greshenko, to put my concerns to him, but he refused.

So my inquiries took me instead to Maternity Hospital Number Six, which
stands in what my translator told me nervously was the “criminal area” of
Kharkiv.

It was at this hospital, in 2002, that a young woman called Svetlana
Plusikova gave birth to a baby girl. The 26-year-old agreed to meet me in a
derelict fairground nearby, set in a leafless forest. She was too scared for
me to come to her workplace.

Svetlana told me that after a relatively straightforward pregnancy, she gave
birth without any complication. “It happened very, very quickly – the
doctors didn’t say anything.”

It was only much later that she was informed the child had been stillborn.
“They told me my child had already been dead inside me for five months.”

Svetlana was unconvinced. Surely if her baby had been dead for so long, she
would have suffered a miscarriage. And why was the dead infant not shown to
her? It had been whisked away so quickly she didn’t even have a chance to
hear if it cried.

She has her own theories as to what happened. “I think she was stolen. If
she was dead I should have been allowed to see her. I think a lot of young
mothers like me lost their children, but right now nobody turns to the
police.”

Certainly, Svetlana is not alone in her suspicions. I met Dimitry and Olena
Stulnev in their two-room flat nearby. I arrived during a power cut and
started to interview them by candlelight. There, with tears running down her
face, Olena told me about her own experience in Maternity Hospital Number
Six.

“I gave birth to a healthy girl,” Olena told me. “She was crying and moving
her hands and legs. I was shown the baby. After that the girl was taken
away. They told me everything was OK and I could see her the next day.”

But that never happened. Olena was told the following day that her baby had
died. But when she asked what had caused the death, the answers were
inconsistent. “They told me three stories. One, she didn’t have enough air
to breathe; two, the lungs didn’t open; and three, that her heart failed.”

The couple tried in vain to find out what really happened, but the more they
investigated, the firmer the doors were shut in their faces.

So she contacted a charity campaigner named Tatyana Zhakarova, from the
Federation Of Families With Many Children, who took up the case on her
behalf.

Tatyana discovered many more infants had died at the hospital in similarly
odd circumstances. And after intensive lobbying, the authorities eventually
agreed to have the tiny bodies of around 30 babies exhumed and examined.

Tatyana showed me the video she had been allowed to record of the
post-mortem examinations that followed. The gruesome film shows the
carcasses of babies, some of whom were full-term, with their organs and
brains missing. Neurones in infants’ brain are a rich source of stem cells.

Another body shown in the video is so badly dismembered it has to be put
together piece by piece, like a jigsaw. Dismemberment is not standard
autopsy practice and could, according to experts, indicate stem cells were
harvested from bone marrow.

The post-mortem examination conclusions were profoundly disturbing. But
Tatyana is now living in fear that the authorities are trying to silence
her.

Her 20-year-old son went missing in October in mysterious circumstances, and
she fears he may have been killed in revenge for her campaign to uncover the
truth.

The Ukrainian authorities deny any conspiracy and refute claims that there
is a trade in stem cells taken from stolen babies.

However, alarmed by the whole stem cell issue, the Council Of Europe is
now carrying out its own investigation into the Ukrainian mothers’ claims.

The Council’s interim report talks of a “culture of trafficking of children
snatched at birth and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over
their fate”.

As part of the second stage of the inquiry, the council will no doubt want
to talk in detail to staff at Maternity Hospital Number Six. But whether
they will get any answers is another matter – as I discovered when I tried
to speak to the hospital authorities myself.

It was a grim scene. As I waited for hours at Maternity Hospital Number Six,
heavily pregnant women in maternity smocks wandered past me in its dark
corridors, along with the occasional elderly midwife.

Paint was peeling off the walls and there was a strong smell of antiseptic.
Eventually, I was granted five minutes with the chief doctor, Larysa
Nazarenko.

She was visibly uncomfortable as I set up my camera – her eyelids blinking
rapidly as she stood behind her desk. “The children are not lost,” she told
me. “They are not stolen – that’s just somebody else’s illusion.”

Who, she asked, had put these ideas in this young mother’s head?

“It’s about money,” I said, “about stem cells. About Westerners paying a lot
of money for stem cells from babies. And claims that cells from their brains
are taken for treatment by various organisations.”

“There is no such therapy,” she said. “No work in this hospital is connected
with the use of cells. This is the wrong address. I deny everything.” Then I
was ordered to leave.

Dr Nazarenko may have to spare more time to speak to Council Of Europe
officials in February, when they will return to Kharkiv to continue their
investigation.

The wall of silence is crumbling. And it may yet reveal a very ugly side to
the global beauty business.                           -30-
————————————————————————————————
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=423057&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490
—————————————————————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
19.   UKRAINE: STEM CELL BABY DEATHS PROBE ‘TOO

           CLOSE TO THE TRUTH,’ CLAIMS INVESTIGATOR

By Bojan Pancevski in Vienna, Sunday Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Ukrainian investigator looking into claims that new-born babies were
killed to harvest their stem cells and internal organs says she was removed
from the case after demanding that the inquiry be extended to all Ukraine’s
maternity hospitals.

Irina Bogomolova, who works in the chief prosecutor’s office in the capital,
Kiev, claims she was taken off the case because she came too close to the
truth while investigating allegations made by women who claim their babies
were taken away from them immediately after birth.

She said: “I was sacked for political reasons. I demanded an investigation
into all maternity wings in hospitals across Ukraine and I was relieved of
duty after making that demand.

“A trade in stem cells exists here… I suspect there is a lot of bribery
going on, right up to highest levels.

“Pregnant women, especially from rural areas, are very vulnerable targets as
they will obviously believe whatever the doctors tell them. It’s easy to
take their babies from them and tell them they died or were born dead due to
complications.”

The Council of Europe is to investigate allegations that newborn babies, and
foetuses, have been killed to provide stem cells and internal organs for
controversial medical and cosmetic treatments.

Officials of the Strasbourg-based human rights organisation are to travel to
Ukraine in February to investigate the role played by some of the country’s
research centres and maternity hospitals in the international trade.

The council launched an inquiry in 2004 when several mothers accused
hospitals of snatching their newborn babies to harvest their organs and
tissue for the booming new industry of rejuvenation treatments, as well as
treatments of illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer. The
treatments cost up to £12,000 in the Ukraine, but much more in western
countries.

The inquiry was abandoned for lack of firm evidence, but is to be reopened
after fresh allegations in the press. A BBC report on the subject, claiming
that healthy babies may have been killed, is to be broadcast tonight on
Radio 4.

Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, a Swiss MP who is a member of the Council of
Europe’s parliamentary assembly, and who previously investigated reports of
missing babies, said: “I have obtained reliable information, from mothers
and other sources about five cases of newborns that went missing . I believe
the mothers were telling the truth. I am more inclined to believe the babies
were stolen for the purpose of adoption in the West.”

Some 300 mothers who claim to have suffered the same fate are represented

by the All-Ukrainian Federation of Families with Many Children.

In 2003 its head, Tetyana Isayeva Zaharova, gave Council of Europe
investigators a video which was said to show babies’ bodies partly
dismembered so that stem cells and organs could be removed. -30-
——————————————————————————————————
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/17/wbaby17.xml
——————————————————————————————————
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