AUR#806 Jan 21 Legal Chaos In Wake Of Reform; Imperative Madate Not Democratic; Pres Vetos Cabinet Law Again

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               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
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1.                     LEGAL CHAOS IN THE WAKE OF REFORM
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Judge Bohdan A. Futey
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan 17 2007

       Although the legislation of all EU member countries, without any exception,
           directly prohibit an imperative mandate, initiators of such a reform in
                                 Ukraine paid no attention to this fact.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Vasyl Lemak, Doctor of Legal
Sciences, Professor of Uzhgorod National University, for UP
Original article in Ukrainian translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, January 16, 2007

               Law significantly increases influence of party leadership upon
                               tens of thousands of local deputies.
STATEMENT: Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU)
Milena Zherdiy, International Secretary CVU
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 19, 2007

                                 OPPOSITION LAW PROMISED 
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 18 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jan 18, 2007

6.                                       RASCAL METHOD
    Parliament easily overrides presidential veto on Cabinet of Ministers law
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 1 (630)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 13-19 January 2007

                               OR TILL DEATH US DO PART
       Voting deal between Ukraine coalition, opposition could damage both
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 12 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jan 18, 2007

By Vitalii Kniazhansky, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, January 16, 2007

                  ARE FINISHED WITH EACH OTHER FOR EVER”          

INTERVIEW: With Volodymyr Horbulin, Advisor to Pres Yushchenko
BY: Olena Yakhno, Den, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian Wed, 17 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jan 19, 2007

Inform Newsletter #26, Newsletter for the international community
providing views and analysis from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
Kyiv, Ukraine,  Monday, January 15, 2007

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 16 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Jan 16, 2007


      Oleksandr Moroz scored many political points. He has got the chance to

make his dream come true – to turn Ukraine into a Soviet Parliamentary Republic.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Taras Pastushenko
Original article in Ukrainian translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2007

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Rozumakhin, Journalist
Glavred, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 0937 gmt 18 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Jan 18, 2007

14.                      A FRAGILE HOPE FOR COMPROMISE
           Rivalry between Ukraine’s president, premier to continue in 2007
Den, Kiev, in Ukrainian 11 Jan 07; p 1
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Jan 12, 2007

               Kyiv is being robbed of its historic face. Builders can build
 anywhere, everything depends on the size of the kickbacks to the bureaucrats.
By Tetiana Kolesnychenko, The Day Weekly Digest #1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 16 January 2007

     Scholar fears preservation of Church of St. Cyril in Kyiv is compromised.
UPDATE: By Olenka Z. Pevny, PhD., Assistant Professor of Art and
Art History the University of Richmond, VA, specializing in
Late Antique, Byzantine and Medieval art history.
BRAMA.COM, New York, Saturday, Jan 20, 2007

Ukrainian Museum-Archives, Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday, January 20, 2007

                        Total restoration of frescos starting in year 2006
By Viktoria Herasymchuk, The Day Weekly Digest #41
Kyiv, Ukraine, December 20, 2005

                          In commemoration of Ukraine’s Unity Day
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Washington, D.C., Sun, Jan 21, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 19, 2007

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Judge Bohdan A. Futey
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan 17 2007

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych recently visited the United
States in order to strengthen ties between the two countries.  The success
of his visit is still not known, but, nevertheless, the prime minister faced
a political crisis and legal chaos upon his return home.

Considering the United States’ concern with building strong democracies,
more attention should be paid to countries like Ukraine that have free
elections but are struggling with the fundamentals of democracy.

Despite Ukraine’s steady progress towards democracy since it declared
independence from the Soviet Union, the leadership recently took a
significant step backwards, specifically in the legal area.

Following the fraudulent presidential run-off election in 2004, which
sparked the Orange Revolution, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) passed
several amendments to the Constitution on Dec. 8, 2004.

These amendments were known as the political reform and became effective
Jan. 1, 2006.  Although the political reform resolved the 2004 presidential
election crisis, it was hastily adopted and not thoroughly thought out.

In addition, because the reform was passed as a package, the Rada deputies
were either unable or unwilling to examine the effect individual provisions
would have on the operation of the government.

This was all evidenced by the considerable confusion surrounding the
formation of the majority coalition and new government following the March
2006 parliamentary election.

The status of the political reform still remains in question. In a decision
handed down by the Constitutional Court on Oct. 5, 2005, just prior to the
expiration of the nine-year term for most of the judges, the majority of the
court stated that any change in the political system of Ukraine should be
submitted to and approved by a national referendum.

For nearly 10 months after this decision, however, there was no quorum in
the Constitutional Court because parliament refused to swear in the
president’s and the Council of Judge’s Constitutional Court appointees and
avoided electing its share of justices.

Therefore, the court was unable to consider the constitutionality of the
rest of the political reform before Jan. 1, 2006, the reform’s effective

Many critics of the reform, including myself, agree with the Constitutional
Court’s decision because it converts Ukraine from a presidential system to a
parliamentary system and is, therefore, unconstitutional unless submitted to
a national referendum, regardless of any other irregularities.

The reform gave the majority faction in the Verkhovna Rada the power to
select a candidate for prime minister for nomination by the president as
well as most other ministers, and also empowered the Rada with the right to
terminate ministers.

The president may still nominate certain ministers, but, recently, the Rada
dismissed the minister of foreign affairs chosen by the President even
though it is unclear whether the president or the Rada has the power to
remove this person from office.

On Aug. 4, 2006, parliament passed a bill prohibiting the Constitutional
Court from reviewing the amendments to the Constitution passed as part
of the political reform. To many people’s surprise, President Viktor
Yushchenko, for one reason or another, signed the bill into law the same

This is clearly an attempt to prohibit the Constitutional Court from
considering the constitutionality of the political reform now that a quorum

It is inconceivable that reforms of such magnitude would be “immune” from
constitutional scrutiny.  This was a step backwards from implementing a rule
of law system and the only way to overturn the law is for at least 45
deputies to submit a challenge to the Constitutional Court.

The political reform and its aftermath have created legal chaos and forced a
political confrontation. In addition, the Council of Europe criticized the
reform and considers it void ab initio and the Venice Commission called the
reform a step backwards for Ukraine.

Most recently, on Dec. 8, 2006, at an international forum “Law and Democracy
For Ukraine” a leading group of Ukrainian lawyers and legal scholars adopted
resolutions condemning the political reform and questioning its legality.

Simply implementing the political reform has been a source of great
confusion and strife in the Ukrainian government.

There was a great deal of disagreement following the March 2006 elections
regarding the effect of the reform, particularly as to what the president’s
powers were in nominating the prime minister. Additional problems have
come up since the coalition government was formed.

As mentioned above, the Rada fired the minister of foreign affairs, even
though many legal scholars declared it did not have that power.

The president has the power to nominate the minister of foreign affairs and
the minister of defense in line with his responsibilities for foreign policy
and national defense as the commander-in-chief.

Therefore, according to Ivan Tymchenko, the former Chief Justice of the
Constitutional Court, it seems apparent that the Rada may only request that
the president dismiss these ministers, but that the decision is ultimately
up to the president.

The Rada chose to ignore the president’s foreign policy powers and, instead,
dismissed the minister of foreign affairs.

Currently, the friction within the executive branch between the president
and ihis secretariat on one hand and the prime minister and the Cabinet of
Ministers on the other hand is extremely high because there are disputes
over who holds authority within the executive branch.

A political solution would be for all the parties to reach an agreement on
the ultimate intention of the political reform and determine its proper
meaning, which could then be voted on by the Rada in accordance with the
Constitution and submitted to a national referendum.

The legal resolution to the confusion created by the political reform is in
the hands of the Constitutional Court.

[1] First, the court would have to consider the constitutionality of the law
preventing the reform from being reviewed by the Constitutional Court, as
adopted by the Rada on Aug. 4, 2006.  Once this has been decided, the
court will have to [2] review the political reform and render a decision.

Regardless of which method is used, political or legal, there must be a
resolution to this political crisis because, unless it is solved the legal
chaos will continue.

It is in the interest of the president, the prime minister, the Rada
Speaker, and, most of all, the Ukrainian people that the situation be
settled before Ukraine stumbles any further back.          -30-
Bohdan A. Futey is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in
Washington, DC, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in May 1987.
Judge Futey has been active in various Rule of Law and Democratization
Programs in Ukraine since 1991. He served as an advisor to the Working
Group on Ukraine’s Constitution, adopted June 28, 1996.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     Although the legislation of all EU member countries, without any exception,
          directly prohibit an imperative mandate, initiators of such a reform in
                               Ukraine paid no attention to this fact.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Vasyl Lemak, Doctor of Legal
Sciences, Professor of Uzhgorod National University, for UP
Original article in Ukrainian translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravada (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, January 16, 2007

Establishment of democracy in Ukraine is not only an incomplete but
sometimes an inconsistent process. It became clear on January 12, 2007

when the Verkhovna Rada adopted amendments to a number of Laws on
the Status of local MPs. It was the completion of conferring local MPs
imperative mandates.

Only MPs of village councils appeared to be beyond the imperative mandate.

An imperative mandate has gradually won its positions, beginning from the
Orange Revolution, though strange as it may seem.

[1] THE FIRST STEP. The Political Reform produced by an authoritative
regime was the first step in this direction. Amendments to the Constitution
of Ukraine introduced an institution of an imperative-type mandate for MPs,
which was new to the country.

Although the legislation of all EU member countries, without any exception,
directly prohibit an imperative mandate, initiators of such a reform in
Ukraine paid no attention to this fact.

So, the state has granted political parties an unprecedented right of
depriving a lawmaker of the deputy’s mandate if he/she has lost ties with
the party faction.

Dynamics of changing factions in the Verkhovna Rada of the last convocation
was really intense which became one of the main problems of its political

However, to resolve the problem of changing faction the political parties
have been granted the right to deprive an MP of his mandate on the great
variety of grounds.

Even without any reasons it would be possible to exclude the lawmaker from
the faction. It is doubtful if this specific approach will resolve existing
problems or cause even more new ones.

However, the author states: none of the countries has such a norm in their
legislative system.

The European constitutional practice has rejected the procedure of recalling
an MP by the voters, it goes without saying about political parties.

It seems not enough for Ukrainian supporters of an imperative mandate, so
they decided to apply it to the lawmakers of city councils.

Ukrainian lawmakers paid no attention to the fact that even the Russian
Federation gave up such an idea in 2005 when Vladimir Putin refused to
introduce an imperative mandate, fearing of a negative response of the
international public that would discredit his country.

[2] THE SECOND STEP. If the parliament made the first step because

it had to adopt amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in a packet with
the Law on the Presidential elections which provided a legal basis for the
third stage of presidential election 2004, now the situation has drastically

If in December 2004 part of the parliament consented to such amendments

for the sake of overcoming the ongoing political crisis, now a
parliamentary-governmental coalition alongside with part of the opposition
has purposely and defiantly introduced an imperative mandate for local MPs,
being aware the civilized world does not accept it.

Those who think the political parties have got a leverage effect on
undisciplined MP are mistaken.

If you read the amended Article 5 of the law it becomes clear that the
highest ruling body of the party (bloc) is granted the right to recall a
local MP (except for deputies of village councils) on a fairly vague basis.

To be precise, the powers of a local MP may be terminated is case he:

     1) failed to submit an application of admission to the deputy faction
     of the relevant local political organization (bloc) under the list of
     which he was elected a deputy of the local council;
     2) left a deputy faction (resigned at his own will or joined another
     deputy faction);
     3) is recalled on other grounds set by the highest governing body
     of a political party (bloc)

Thus, the Law sets two grounds to terminate powers of a local MP.

Besides, it grants a political party the right to set any other reasons for
that at its own discretion.

Reviving a Soviet tradition, the grounds for termination powers of the
Crimean deputies are even more obscure.

These are not only ‘violation of the Constitution of Ukraine and other
legislative acts’, ‘unsatisfactory duty performance’, ‘jobbery’ and even
‘systematic violation of moral and ethical norms’ (item 2 of the law).

Obviously, a Ukrainian lawmaker does not clearly know that ‘violation of
Ukrainian legislation’ may be both speeding and crossing the street on a red
light, it goes without saying about ‘violation of ethical norms’.

With all due respect to moral nobody knows the nature of these norms.
For instance, a part of the society seriously believes it is amoral for the
local lawmakers to take part in the decision making concerning allocation

of land plots for individuals without auctions.

However, MPs and political forces that support them do not think so.
Inaccurate wording of the law causes free interpretations and random
application of its norms.

However, final provisions of this law unveil real intention of Ukrainian

“This law comes into force from the date of its publication and applies to
local MPs (except for lawmakers of village councils) elected on March 26,
2006, as provided by the Law on Election of People’s Deputies of the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea, city councils and head of village councils.”

The political parties are eager to exclude those lawmakers who left the
party factions just after March 26. Of course they will not take into
account inconsistent political basis and political course of the party

Shuffle of the deputy staff and actual altering of the local election
outcomes will become another political phenomenon in Ukraine that will
carry it away from democracy and European values of constitutionalism.

This law will enable 4-5 leaders of political parties (blocs) to control
deputy staff of local city councils after elections.

It has nothing to do with a modern European democracy. The problem is

that the parliament is more likely to override a possible presidential veto on
this law.

Local MPs may hope for the provision of the Constitution of Ukraine that
stipulates: “Laws and other legislative acts cannot be retrospective unless
they extenuate or relieve a person of responsibility.” (Article 58)

However, it will happen only in case the Constitution of Ukraine and
mechanisms of its protection become stimulating factors for the aggressive
political forces, most of which are non-democratic organizations with a
shady financing and structure.                           -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
            Law significantly increases influence of party leadership upon
                              tens of thousands of local deputies.

STATEMENT: Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU)
Milena Zherdiy, International Secretary
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 17, 2007

KYIV – On January 12, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the Law of
Ukraine On Making Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine On Status of
Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
and Local Council Deputies.

The Law establishes reasons for re-calling local council deputies, or the
so-called “imperative mandate”.

On several occasions, the CVU pointed out that local council deputies
breached election programs of political parties on which lists they had been

Also, many deputies have quitted their factions taking favorable opportunity
of the “political market”. Mainly, it was provoked by “an anything goes”
approach to formation of election list by political parties.

The situation was aggravated because previously legislation offered no means
for withdrawal of deputies.

At the same time, the CVU believes that the Law adopted by the Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine significantly increases influence of party leadership upon
tens of thousands of local deputies.

Actually, they become dependent on will of a few persons. As the Law fails
to give exhaustive list of reasons for termination of office, supreme party
bodies may deprive a deputy of the mandate for any reason whatsoever.

The CVU’s opinion is that the Law does not solve the issue of party
discipline and accountability of local party deputies in full scope, as the
problem remains topical. Instead, the act introduces new undemocratic
practices and may restrict rights of local council deputies.

The CVU calls national deputies of Ukraine to improve the legislation on
status of local council deputies and approve an exhaustive list of reasons
for termination of office of local council deputies.     -30-
The previous CVU Statement On organization of re-election of Kirovograd
city mayor is available on the site:

You can find other news from CVU on the site, and also
on Domestic Observers Groups’ site, together with
news from other NGOs of CEE and FSU countries.
Committee of Voters of Ukraine, 21 L.Ukrainky Ave., apt. 19, Kyiv 01133
tel./fax: (044) 492-27-67, E-mail:,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]



Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 19, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has again vetoed the Law on the Cabinet

of  Ministers. Presidential press service disclosed this to Ukrainian News.
Yuschenko returned the draft law to the Verkhovna Rada for re-consideration,
together with his proposed amendments.

‘The bill returned to the parliament has to again pass all voting procedures
foreseen by the legislation. Only after that it has to be signed by
Verkhovna Rada chairman and sent to the president,’ the report reads.

Yuschenko proposals will be presented by Arsenii Yatseniuk, the first deputy
head of the Presidential Secretariat and the presidential representative in
the Cabinet of Ministers. Yuschenko sent eight proposed amendments to this
law to the parliament.

In particular, Yuschenko opposes the law’s provision that authorizes the
parliamentary coalition to submit candidates for the post of premier and the
posts of defense minister and foreign affairs minister if the president of
Ukraine fails to submit candidates for these posts within the established

Yuschenko also sent proposals regarding the procedures for terminating the
mandates of members of the Cabinet of Ministers in cases of their dismissal
by the Prime Minister or President.

Yuschenko is also proposing that the law should stipulate that the Cabinet
of Ministers can transfer some of its powers temporarily or indefinitely to
other organs of the executive branch of government in cases stipulated by
the law.

Moreover, Yuschenko proposes amending the procedures for agreeing

candidates for posts of head of local administrations and holding them
responsible when necessary.

Yuschenko also proposes canceling the law’s provision that grants the
government the absolute power to refuse to sign presidential acts.

Yuschenko believes that the bill on the Cabinet of Ministers that the
parliament adopted on January 12 violates the Constitution.

At the same time, Yuschenko stresses that the version of the Law on the
Cabinet of Ministers that was sent to him for signing, differs from the
previous version and that it contains changes that differ from the one that
he proposed on January 11.

Presidential press service explained that part 7, article 21 of the first
version of the bill endorsed on December 21 had provision on order of
appointment of first deputy and deputy heads of central executive agencies.
That is proved by comparison table to the bill.

The bill was signed and sent to the president, who vetoed it and returned to
the Verkhovna Rada with his proposals. However, the bill was vetoed for the
second time to overcome the presidential veto (the bill did not contain the
abovementioned provision).

After the voting, the amended bill was signed by the speaker and sent to the
president again.

At the same time, difference between the first and the second variants of
the bill was confirmed by parliamentary administration head, who estimated
that as technical mistake.

The Presidential Secretariat does not agree with the estimation and insists
that the second variant is new wording of the bill. In this, the Verkhovna

Rada endorsed new bill overcoming the veto, which allows the president
to put veto again.

‘Per se, the president received new wording of the bill. In this, on January
18, the president returned the document for repeat consideration of the
parliament,’ the report reads.

The Presidential Secretariat considers the action is eligible for the
Constitution and Constitutional Court decisions on order of voting and
repeat consideration of bills at the Verkhovna Rada.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko said on January 18 that he
intended to veto the law. Yuschenko believes that the text of the law that
was adopted at the second attempt differs from the text of the one he

The parliament overrode Yuschenko’s veto on the Law on the Cabinet of
Ministers by 367 votes on January 12. A few days earlier, Yuschenko,
Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych
agreed to jointly draft a new, coordinated Law on the Cabinet of Ministers.

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

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 18 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jan 18, 2007

KIEV – [Presenter] The parliamentary coalition has no commitments towards
Yuliya Tymoshenko [opposition bloc leader] regarding the final approval of
the law on opposition, parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz has said.

According to him, they agreed on supporting the law on imperative mandate
[banning MPs from swapping factions] and the law on the opposition in the
first reading, which the coalition actually did.

There were no other commitments, particularly on overriding the president’s
possible veto.

Oleksandr Moroz described the law on imperative mandate as the application
of force to deputies, the law on the opposition as an encroachment on
governing functions.

On the last parliamentary session day [12 January], the Yuliya Tymoshenko
Bloc’s faction voted for the law on the Cabinet of Ministers in exchange for
having the two mentioned laws approved.

[Moroz] I believe it has a lot of provisions that overstep the boundaries of
the constitution and common sense. We provided the response that
representatives of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc insisted on.

However, there were no commitments made regarding the final approval

of this law or overriding the veto on it.

One of our experts, a lawyer, joked once with Yuliya Tymoshenko by

saying – Yuliya Volodymyrivna, you offer such a law as if you are never
going to come to power.                                               -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
6.                                  RASCAL METHOD
    Parliament easily overrides presidential veto on Cabinet of Ministers law

Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 1 (630)
International Social Political Weekly
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 13-19 January 2007

Contrary to skeptical predictions, the Ukrainian parliament has easily
overridden the presidential veto of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers,
which was adopted on December 21, 2006 and rejected by President
Yushchenko  on January 11, 2007. At least 300 votes are required to
override the presidential veto.

This time, 366 people’s deputies cast their votes in support of the law.

The secret of success is simple: the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc supported an
anti-crisis coalition. The reason for that is obvious: quid pro quo.

[1] First, thanks to the efforts of the anti-crisis coalition the law on the
opposition, submitted personally by Yulia Tymoshenko, passed its first
reading in parliament.

[2] Second, the majority signed the law on imperative mandate for the
regional council deputies, which is equally important for Tymoshenko. From
now on, Tymoshenko needn’t worry about the outflow of deputies from her
faction into local governmental bodies.

As for prime minister Yanukovych and the pro-governmental majority, they
have finally attained legalization of the new rules of conduct with the
President – the law On the Cabinet of Ministers that has been repeatedly
challenged by the president and his team.

The lawyers of Yanukovych (who is the formal author of the law) have made
maximum use of the novelties of the political reforms and omissions of the
amended Constitution.

At the same time, certain provisions of the law are not quite flawless and
could possibly require interpretations of the Constitutional Court, which
has been silent for six months.

[1] First, Yanukovych and company tired to secure themselves against the
incidents similar to the “Tarasyuk case”. Henceforth, a minister is
officially considered to be a political figure and the laws on civil service
and labor do not apply to him. This means that ministers will not be able to
dispute their dismissal in district courts.

Moreover, the authors of the law put a final full stop (or rather they
believe that they have put a full stop) to the question of who has the right
to dismiss Foreign and Defense Ministers.

Article 19 of the law lays down a single procedure for all Cabinet Members –
they are dismissed by the Verkhovna Rada at the motion of the Prime
Minister. Any president’s motion is out of the question.

[2] Second, the president no longer has the opportunity to create artificial
conditions for an early dissolving of the Verkhovna Rada. Thus, the
Constitution provides that parliament can be dismissed if it fails to form a
new Cabinet within two months after the previous Cabinet’s dismissal. The
coalition submits the proposal of the prime minister’s candidacy to the
President, who must review it within 15 days.

Here, several questions remained unanswered.
[a] Can the president ignore the coalition’s proposals and what is to be
done if he chooses to do so?
[b] Can the parliament be dissolved if the president fails to submit the
proposed candidacy of the premier to parliament within 15 days, with the
result that this parliament fails to meet its 60-day deadline?
[c] Who can be considered a member of the Cabinet?
[d] Can we consider parliament to be formed if the President intentionally
delays the submission of the candidates for the posts of Foreign and
Defense Ministers and they are not appointed within one month since the
disbandment of the previous parliament?
[e] If not, does the president have the right to announce early elections in
this case?

The new law provides rather peculiar answers to these questions. According
to it, if the president fails to submit a candidacy of prime minister within
15 days, the coalition will make it instead of him. The idea is clear, yet
it does not agree with Ukrainian Constitution, which grants this right
exclusively to the president.

Similar method is used in cases with the appointment of the heads of the
Defense and Foreign Policy Ministries: if the president neglects his
constitutional duties and refuses to submit the candidacies of the two
ministers, the parliamentary majority does it. This innovation also
contradicts the Basic Law and most likely will be reviewed by the
Constitutional court.

The Cabinet members will assume office only after they take an oath, and the
government will become authorized only after at least 2/3 of its members
have been sworn in. This provision contains some ambiguities as well, yet
not so serious.

Can an understaffed Cabinet be fully formed and (consequently) authorized?
Only the Constitutional Court is able to prove the complete answer to this
question, and it will have much work to do in the near future.

[3] Third, Yanukovych and his lawyers decided to put an end to the arguments
over the legal meaning of the notion “countersign”. Everyone remembers
heated discussions about whether it is the right or duty of the Prime
Minister and the minister concerned to sign certain the presidential

The new law enables the Cabinet members not to sign presidential decrees (if
ministers disagree with them) and to return them to the president’s office.
The law gives a rather detailed although somewhat one-sided description of
the countersign procedure.

The Our Ukraine strongly disagrees with such a statement, calling this law
an attempt to usurp power and stating its intention to appeal to the
Constitutional Court.

In addition, the Our Ukraine members question the right of the Cabinet of
ministers to appoint (and dismiss) first deputies, deputies of the
ministers, heads of central bodies of executive government, and to rescind
the decision of local state organizations.

It is hard how these innovations legally qualify. The impudent revision of
article 116 of the Constitutions by the authors of the law is much more
obvious. According to the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers “provides
for the implementation of the internal and external policy of the state”.

The new law, however, determines that the task of the Cabinet is “to
implement the internal and external policy of the sate.” “To provide for
implementation” and “to implement” are two different legal categories. The
Cabinet assumed the right to implement policy, thus encroaching upon the
constitutional power of the president and parliament.

The rights of the president were cut short in one more case. The law
provides that the government’s program of actions (whose adoption renders
the Cabinet untouchable for the entire year) is adopted by a resolution but
not by a law. This was probably done to deprive the president of the
possibility to veto it.

Adoption of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers, proposed by Yanukovych,
makes the president’s poor political arsenal even poorer and his position
more disadvantageous.

Formerly, the conflicting sides (the President and the Cabinet) were trying
to interpret the Constitution each in their own way. Now the Cabinet has law
on its side and the President must keep it.

We can assume that upon the adoption of this law the president will feel a
strong urge to dissolve this parliament. We can assume that Yulia Tymoshenko
secretly hopes for that. By venturing to form a union with the anti-crisis
coalition, she might be playing a more complicated game than it may seem.

It is obvious how much she wants to become the Prime Minister of SUCH a
government. Yet her dreams are unlikely to come true.

Yushchenko most likely will not dare for an early campaign at least because
she has nobody to run with for election. While having received SUCH power,
the Donetsk clan is unlikely to yield it to anyone.            -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                OR TILL DEATH US DO PART
       Voting deal between Ukraine coalition, opposition could damage both

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 12 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Jan 18, 2007

Both the ruling Party of Regions and opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc
could lose out after they struck a deal to defeat the presidential veto on
the law on the Cabinet of Ministers last week, a website has said.

Analysing the provisions of the law itself, it said that the law passes more
powers from the president to the cabinet; at the same time, Tymoshenko
secured more authority for herself as the leader of the biggest opposition

However, though the two political forces may have short-term political
gains, in the long run they may lose in terms of voter support. Tymoshenko,
a long-time ally of President Yushchenko till recently, has helped to take
away the few powers that Yushchenko has, it concluded.

The following is the text of the article by Tetyana Nikolayenko entitled
“How Tymoshenko turned Yushchenko into nobody, or till death us do
part” posted on the Ukrainian website Ukrayinska Pravda on 12 January;
subheadings are as published:

[Epigraph] “It is better that Ukrainians do not know how Ukrainian sausage
and Ukrainian politics are made” – Volodymyr Lytvyn [former parliamentary

12 January 2007 will go down in the history of Ukrainian parliamentarianism
as the day when backroom deals came out from behind the scenes and from
under the carpet.

On this day Ukrainians learnt how politics works in Ukraine and the
principle on which laws are adopted.

On that Friday the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc [YTB] and the [ruling] anti-crisis
coalition [of the Party of Regions, Communist and Socialist parties] agreed
to a mutually-acceptable barter deal – the president’s veto of the law on
the Cabinet of Ministers and to changes to the law on banks and banking
activity in exchange for voting in favour of the law on the binding mandate
for deputies of local councils and the first reading of the law on the

MPs of the coalition and the YTB, first of all quietly, and then they
bragged out loud about the fact that they had conspired, and
[propresidential] Our Ukraine left the session hall once the agreement had
become reality.

After the vote parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz said that this is “an
undisguised political agreement”. In his words, such an agreement was
absolutely acceptable and permissible, the more so as the entire procedure
was observed.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych described the voting on the law on the
Cabinet of Ministers as “a healthy reaction” by parliament to the situation
in the country, while Tymoshenko believes that she saved the country from a
permanent crisis and arguments between the president and the cabinet.

In reality, on 12 January Yanukovych grabbed a substantial portion of power,
Tymoshenko tarred her reputation while Viktor Yushchenko was left with
little. With the new law on the Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine was turned
into a parliamentary republic where the president has the rights of someone
organizing a wedding.
                      WHAT DID YANUKOVYCH GET?
As a result of the voting on Friday the prime minister got the law on the
Cabinet of Ministers. And even if Yushchenko refuses to sign it [in Donetsk
on 17 January he said he would not due to ethical reasons], Moroz can sign

This law opens up that broad array of powers for the coalition, which is not
even provided for by the amended constitution.

FIRST. >From now on the appointment of the prime minister does not depend
on the president. Thus, in accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 8, the
prime minister is appointed to the post by the Supreme Council of Ukraine
[parliament] at the submission of the candidate by the president.

But Paragraph 3 of this article states that in the event of the president
not submitting the candidacy of the prime minister of Ukraine within the
period stipulated by the constitution, the request on appointment to the
said post is submitted to parliament by the [majority] coalition of
parliamentary factions.

So, Yushchenko or any other president can oppose a prime minister with a
criminal past as much as he likes but he will only be able to impede his
coming to power if he has his own coalition.

SECOND. The president loses control over the defence and foreign


The president’s right, as guaranteed by the constitution, is levelled by the
law, in which it is stated that in the event of the president not submitting
his candidates for the posts of defence and foreign ministers within 15
days, the request on appointments to these posts are submitted to parliament
by the coalition.

Goodbye Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko [current foreign and defence ministers,
respectively]! Soon you will be replaced by personnel to Mr Yanukovych’s

THIRD. The Cabinet of Ministers shall, not later than 13 days after it
receives its powers, submit the cabinet action plan to parliament for
consideration by it.

Paragraph 5 of Article 11 states that the decision on adopting the cabinet’s
action plan is adopted in the form of a parliamentary resolution.

This means that the president will not be able in any way to influence the
cabinet’s “road map”, which will take the country wherever it wants to.

No wonder that Yushchenko tried to the last to ensure that the action plan
is approved by a law, as the president would still be able to veto this law.

FOURTH. The president no longer has any levers over the dismissal of the
cabinet. Although he could initiate it in parliament, early termination of
the cabinet’s powers is possible only in the event of:

     1) the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in connection
         with the adoption of a resolution of no-confidence by parliament;
     2) the resignation of the prime minister on the basis of him submitting
         his resignation;
     3) termination of the powers of the prime minister in connection with
         his being unable to carry out his duties due to ill health;
     4) the prime minister’s death.

FIFTH. With this law Yanukovych has clearly distanced himself from any
attempts by the president to interfere in personnel appointments at a level
lower than ministerial.

There is Paragraph 7 of Article 23 for this.

The Cabinet of Ministers appoints and dismisses persons from posts:

     1) at the submission of the prime minister – heads of central bodies of
         executive power, as well as members of collegial central bodies of
         executive power which are not part of the government;
     2) at the submission of the prime minister in accordance with proposals
         made by ministers – first deputy and deputy ministers;
     3) at the submission of the prime minister in accordance with proposals
         made by members of the Cabinet of Ministers, to the sphere of
         direction and coordination of which belong central bodies of
         executive power – first deputy and deputy heads of these bodies;
     4) at the submission of members of the Cabinet of Ministers, to the
         sphere of direction and coordination of which belong central bodies
         of executive power – first deputy and deputy heads of these bodies.

So “so long Yura [presumably former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko],
forgive me Vitya [presumably Yushchenko]”, long live Plekhanov, Popkov
[two recent controversial appointments to the Interior Ministry] and others
with them.

SIXTH. During the period of fulfilment of their powers, the heads of local
state administrations are accountable to the Cabinet of Ministers. Local
state administrations and their heads are accountable and subject to the
control of the Cabinet of Ministers within the auspices of their powers.

In the event of inappropriate fulfilment of powers by the head of a local
state administration, the government has the right to bring him to
disciplinary accountability or to appeal to the president with a request to
dismiss him from his post.

The Cabinet of Ministers is also hooking local administrations on financial
bait – it ratifies the typical procedure of local state administrations, the
recommended list of directorates, departments and other units of local state
administrations and typical regulations about them, sets the maximum levels
of staff and pay for the employees of local state administrations, including
their apparatus and spending on their upkeep.

SEVENTH, but not last of all. The law states that presidential acts are
countersigned by the prime minister and the minister responsible for their
fulfilment and can be returned to the president with an indication of the
reasons for their not having been signed.

In effect, experts are saying that after the signing of this law the
president is losing his influence over the mechanism of executive power.

In addition, in accordance with the constitution, he has like before the
right to suspend the action of government acts in unison with them being
sent to the Constitutional Court [for consideration] at the same time.

EIGHTH. Almost the last one. From now on the prime minister must write
only the most important facts of his or her personal biography. This is
probably a present for Yanukovych. He definitely does not regard his
two convictions as important facts about his life … [ellipsis as

NINTH. And something else. The cabinet equated its influence over bank
councils with the influence of the president when parliament defeated the
presidential veto on changes to the law “On banking and banking activity”
[also on 12 January].

                                 WHAT DID YTB GET? 
On 12 January Tymoshenko got her biggest bonus since parliamentary
election day [in March 2006] when she won 22 per cent of the vote.

FIRST. She managed to get the binding mandate to be applied to deputies

of local councils. Thus, the leader of YTB will be able to keep in her hands a
majority in local councils by throwing traitors out of her ranks.

SECOND. Tymoshenko confirmed her rights as the opposition in the first
reading [of the law on the opposition]. It is a different matter as to the
form of these rights and how many of them make it into the second reading,
and that is without mentioning that this second reading could be dragged
Nevertheless, Tymoshenko’s special share looks like this at the moment.

[1] The opposition receives leadership of 12 parliamentary committees:
freedom of speech, legislative guaranteeing of law-enforcement work; human
rights; budget; parliamentary proceedings; functioning of the court system;
control over the protection of the rights of industrialists, entrepreneurs
and investors; control over observance of social standards and ensuring the
appropriate living standards of citizens; control over the operation of
state monopolies; energy security; agricultural policy; health, education
and science.

It is worth noting that as of today half of the committees listed do not
actually exist. In addition, the opposition receives the posts of the first
deputy heads of all parliamentary committees apart from those which it

[2] The parliamentary opposition takes part in forming the personnel
composition of the Accounting Chamber, the Council of the National Bank
of Ukraine, the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine,
the Supreme Council of Justice of Ukraine by submitting its candidates for
posts in these bodies, the appointment of which is carried out by

[3] The number of candidates put forward by the parliamentary opposition
during the formation of the personnel composition of state bodies is
determined taking into account the principle of proportional representation
of deputies factions [in parliament].

[4] The opposition has the right to create an opposition government and
other auxiliary bodies of its own. The head of the opposition government is
permitted to take part in sittings of the Cabinet of Ministers.

[5] In the event of participation by the head of the opposition government
at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, he (she?) has the right to make an
address which is not less than 15 minutes long.

[6] The opposition has the right to submit proposals to the draft budget and
the writing of parliament’s daily agenda, to make an address during
consideration of the principles of domestic and foreign policy, the state
budget and ratification of the cabinet’s action plan and its report.

[7] It is proposed that the opposition control the work of the coalition
through representation in committees and the creation of temporary
investigation committees, submission of proposals for consideration by
parliament of the issue of the government’s accountability, appeals to
the Constitutional Court.

[8] In order to carry out control of parliament the parliamentary opposition
has the right to receive information on the work of bodies of state
authority and their senior officials.

[9] In the event of violation of legislation by senior officials of bodies
of state authority or the committing of corrupt actions, on submission of a
request for dismissal by the parliamentary opposition officials are
dismissed on the basis of a court ruling.
Yuliya Tymoshenko will have to pay for all these achievements – and not
by voting for new laws put forward by Yanukovych but by losing a part
of the love for her held by the people.

This is partly evidenced by the wave of hatred of Tymoshenko expressed by
voters on Ukrayinska Pravda’s forum! She is hardly likely to like that which
people are saying about her right now… [ellipsis as published]

On Friday Tymoshenko set foot on that slippery path on which
[propresidential bloc] Our Ukraine has already smashed its head.

Now, Yushchenko’s supporters have received the opportunity to talk about
how Tymoshenko agreed to an alliance with Yanukovych, and not vice versa.

And any comments of justification by Yuliya Tymoshenko like “we resolved
the crisis in the country, while Our Ukraine is fighting for power”, will
not work.

This is because by defeating the presidential veto on the law on the
cabinet, the YTB gave Yanukovych the right to write whatever action plan he
wants and to cut pensions and raise tariffs how he wishes, against which he
fought so hard.

Moreover [former Interior Minister] Yuriy Lutsenko has already made use
of today’s barter deal by Tymoshenko and already begun to earn points
with the electorate with this.

And lastly. In the event that, let’s say, one spring the situation in
Ukraine changes radically in terms of electoral likes and dislikes, then
those political forces which carried out a legal barter deal on Friday are
hardly likely to like the documents which they ratified.

 Then they will find themselves in a mousetrap, which they built with their
own hands – the cabinet with its unlimited power and the opposition with its
showy, theatrical rights.                                 -30-

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

COMMENTARY: By Vitalii Kniazhansky, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The shocking news last Friday was another presidential veto and parliament’s
repeated success in overriding it. The main consideration here is not even
the possibility that the law on the Cabinet of Ministers, which largely
finalizes the distribution of executive power, will be enacted.

Far more important are the signs of a new political situation in which the
ruling coalition may have secured systematic rather than situational support
from the second-largest faction in parliament – the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.

Under this distribution of power, if the coalition makes the necessary
concessions to the chief opposition force, it will acquire almost full

The second shocking news for the country is the shattering of hopes for
cooperation between the coalition, the government, and the president.

The microscopic warming of relations after the famous recent meeting at the
highest level could have been discussed at length, but it turned out to be a
flash in the pan and has led to further escalation of tensions with
consequences that are difficult to foresee right now.

From today’s standpoint, even this warming can be viewed as having been
prompted by the panic that seized the Presidential Secretariat after
parliament overrode the presidential veto on the moratorium on the sale of
agricultural land.

In cases like this, people in all headquarters are saying, “Something has to
be done.” So the parties sat down at the negotiation table as though pushing
the hawks in their own camps into the background.

Friday’s events showed that they have left the trenches and are intending to
react to their opponent’s every move. It was probably the president who
first broke the truce with his veto on the law on the Cabinet of Ministers
and others passed by parliament.

Until the last moment he obviously had not anticipated that Tymoshenko and
her faction would dare give the coalition systematic rather than just
one-time support.

Now the president’s team is up the creek and can only pin its hopes on the
Constitutional Court (which is still idle and may be demoralized by
publicized (dis)information about million- hryvnia bribes) and also on the
power structures. But the coalition is pressing on very forcefully or, as
the opposition chooses to put it, impudently.

On Friday parliament appointed a new deputy speaker, Volodymyr Radchenko,
who will deal with the power agencies. He declared his intention to put an
end to the “chaotic tasking” of these agencies and said the Armed Forces of
Ukraine need to be reformed.

Among the top-priority tasks he mentioned is coordinating the work with all
the power agencies in order to ensure that laws are obeyed in Ukraine.

The Presidential Secretariat already had a counterpart office. It was
occupied by Arsenii Yatseniuk, who was assisted by former Security Service
head Ihor Drizhchany.

But the people in these counterpart offices must belong to different classes
of political weight, and their influence on the power structures is

In short, the coalition is confidently winning points in the struggle for
control over them. But now the ball is in the president’s court, and he is
also capable of powerful moves.

If only he and, more importantly, some of his aides do not lose their nerve.
Otherwise the situation may become extremely critical.

Under these conditions, as past articles in The Day have stated, the
decisive vote belongs to the BYuT and its leader, Tymoshenko. What is
guiding her today?

In the beginning, the most plausible theory was that she had agreed to vote
for the law on the Cabinet of Ministers in exchange for the coalition’s
votes in support of the law on the opposition. Friday’s voting for this law
in the first reading provides strong supportive evidence.

There is another theory. It is a known fact that Tymoshenko, who has now
unbraided her hair (which many interpret as a sort of female signal
indicating a change in the party line) and dismissed the people’s parliament
on Independence Square, appears to be the most innocent politician at the
moment, especially as seen against the backdrop of people’s dissatisfaction
with the recent utility rate hike.

She is the only one who can be interested in new parliamentary elections.
Once appointed, she will undoubtedly be able to prove to her electorate the
strategic wisdom of all her moves.

On Friday Tymoshenko said that her bloc voted that way in order to
“establish order” and “not to disgrace the country before the whole world
with our domestic political scandals.”

She added, “We believe that the people who essentially ruined the first
Orange team, ruined everything they possibly could, and personally
nominated Yanukovych for prime minister cannot reproach us for anything.”

Is it possible that behind these words an experienced politician like
Tymoshenko is concealing a desire to urge the president, who is virtually
powerless and seems to be cornered, to disband parliament and call new
elections?                                          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

           Aide to Ukrainian president says tough negotiations lie ahead

INTERVIEW: With Volodymyr Horbulin, Advisor to Pres Yushchenko
BY: Olena Yakhno, Den, Kiev, Ukraine, in Ukrainian Wed, 17 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Jan 19, 2007

Volodymyr Horbulin, an adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko,
has said that the country is far from being a parliamentary republic,
despite the recently passed law on the Cabinet of Ministers.

However, speaking in an interview, Horbulin said that the law violates
segments of the constitution. Horbulin also said he does not believe the
National Security and Defence Council should be demoted in status, as
progovernment deputies are inclined to think.

The following is the text of the interview with Horbulin by Olena Yakhno,
entitled “Volodymyr Horbulin: Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine are finished
with each other forever”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper Den on 17
January; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

Volodymyr Horbulin is an experienced political fighter, one who has
practically never disappeared from the Olympus of domestic power. Various
presidents, prime ministers and speakers have listened (or not listened) to
his advice.

Horbulin was one of the most influential figures of the early [Leonid]
Kuchma presidency (and of course, that comes with its own accountability).
He was also of help after the Orange Revolution. And that is not surprising:
he is too experienced to not be able to demonstrate his exceptional use to
anyone in power.

In the heat of the Orange events, Horbulin did not visit the Maydan
[Independence Square in Kiev, the focal point of popular protests in late
2004] and he did not swear an oath of loyalty to democratic values to the

He brought attention to himself in another way, by publishing a devastating
reply to Russian political pundit Gleb Pavlovskiy after the latter allowed
himself impolite jabs at the new, Orange, authorities.

In this way, Horbulin showed his loyalty to Viktor Yushchenko. The president
took note and, as it turned out, he did not forget.

In March 2005, Horbulin became an aide to Yushchenko, and at the end of
November 2005, the president appointed him leader of the main defence policy
service in the presidential secretariat.

Today, Volodymyr Horbulin is celebrating his birthday. He is 68. Den
congratulates Volodymyr Pavlovych [Horbulin] and wishes him to remain a
full-fledged player in Ukrainian politics.
                      NOT A PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC
[Yakhno] Mr Horbulin, everyone is caught up in the latest events which
transpired in parliament. After the veto on the law on the Cabinet of
Ministers was overcome, can one say Viktor Yushchenko really has become
“an English queen”, and Ukraine has become a parliamentary republic?

[Horbulin] Unfortunately, for some reason we are only capable of extremes
and see the situation exclusively in two colours: black and white.

In fact, there are a myriad of shades which allow one to look at everything
going on in a much deeper and more interesting way.

I do not see what happened on Friday [12 January] as the president getting
the status of an “English queen”. Moreover, I categorically disagree with

As far as a parliamentary republic is concerned, we are far off from that. I
think we are in for a process of difficult moments of negotiation which will
determine the final status of our country (I do not mean roundtables).

[1] Because adopting a law in which norms of the constitution are violated
does not allow one to ink a full stop. Or an exclamation mark, as many are
now doing. It doesn’t seem to me that this process is complete. It will
develop on its own and I do not think it will be easy. That is first.

[2] Second is a no-less-serious moment. What happened on Friday practically
allowed us to get three documents which are needed to one degree or another
for a clear system of division between the branches of power to function in
the country.

It is another matter that it was done with certain excess. It is clear under
the current constitution that no-one besides the president has the right to
introduce the prime minister’s candidacy.

That is undoubtedly a violation of the constitution, as is the introduction
of the candidacies of defence minister and foreign minister. But I think
this is temporary.
In my opinion, we are in for a long, complicated process in the
Constitutional Court, in which the winner will be the one who finds the
necessary arguments. I would rather not comment on everything in brief.
To agree or disagree.

I am against simplified systems. And there cannot be any such systems here.
I also do not think that the joyful cries of members of the Party of
Regions, made when the veto was overridden, were a funeral march for the
president. That is a premature verdict. I think it will be refuted in

[Yakhno] How would you comment on the vote by the [opposition] Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc [which backed the law] ?

[Horbulin] Tymoshenko did what she wanted to do. For her, this was a
boundary which she crossed. Now she and [propresidential, opposition

party] Our Ukraine are finished forever.

I think [her] relationship with the president is over as well. If there was
some chance to renew dialogue before, then I think that today there are no
more chances.

[Yakhno] The Party of Regions is now voicing statements about the
possibility of liquidating the National Security and Defence Council [NSDC].
As a former secretary of this institution, can you predict the likelihood of
such a scenario coming to pass?
                             DEFENCE COUNCIL IS VITAL
[Horbulin] That is yet another stupidity which is brought on by the
emotional lift which has captured the Party of Regions. An NSDC is a body
which exists in practically all civilized states.

I once laid the foundations of this body. Its unique status and composition
provides for working out a consensus among the political elite on issues of
vital importance to the country’s development. The council’s activity is
foremost directed not at the interests of any specific political forces, but
at realizing general, national tasks.

The NSDC is the highest body in the state providing definitions for the
strategic priorities of state policy in the sphere of national security and
defence. The council and its apparatus resolve unique tasks which lie

beyond the remit of the rest of the state’s bodies.

We are talking foremost about inter-institutional coordination as well as
informational-analytical activity in the sphere of providing national
security and defence in issues of extreme importance which are at the same
time ticklish, issues like intelligence and counter-intelligence, internal
politics, the military, foreign policy, economic security and so on.

I can say that in 1996, the post of secretary was not included in the
constitution only because I had extremely difficult relations with most of
the MPs in parliament. They also once introduced suggestions directed at
stopping the work of the NSDC.

I don’t know if they were formulated as laws, as MPs [Yuriy] Miroshnychenko
and [Vladyslav] Zabarskyy are trying to do now. But in light of the growing
rivalry between the NSDC apparatus and part of the parliamentary body, such
suggestions have been voiced more than once in the session hall.

Those changes did not pass then, and I do not  think they will pass now. The
building of serious state institutions cannot hung exclusively on the will
of one political force.

[Yakhno] How would you comment on Volodymyr Radchenko’s appointment
as deputy prime minister of security?

[Horbulin] I am positive about this appointment. Because he is a wise man
who has graduated through all the faculties of government building in the
sphere of security. And his presence in any post associated with designing
our uniformed agencies will be positive.

[Yakhno] But experts are saying Radchenko we be a counterweight to current
NSDC Secretary Vitaliy Hayduk. Do you agree with that?

[Horbulin] In order for the deputy prime minister to be a counterweight to
Hayduk, they need to find someone else, not Volodymyr Radchenko. I have

a very high opinion of his personal and professional qualities.

[Yakhno] You are an aide to the president. Does Mr Yushchenko often

approach you for advice? Can we say Volodymyr Horbulin is influencing
the situation in the country today?

[Horbulin] No, the only pulpit I have is the meeting of the NSDC. There I
voice all my suggestions, which I think are constructive.

[Yakhno] But still, what advice would you give the president right now?

[Horbulin] I would give this advice to all: you need to work more and talk
less, independently of a given post. And I think the tugging back and forth
on the rope of power, which has artificially been created between the
presidential secretariat and the cabinet, does nothing to make either the
government or the secretariat look good.

You don’t need to tug on the rope, but you need to look for ways to solve
the multitude of problems which Ukraine is facing today.      -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

INFORM Newsletter #26, Newsletter for the international community
providing views and analysis from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT)
Kyiv, Ukraine,  Monday, January 15, 2007

Last week the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) took the unusual step of
voting twice with their parliamentary opposites – the governing Anti-crisis
Coalition – to overturn presidential vetoes.  The first of two overrides was
on January 9, when over 100 BYuT deputies voted with the government to
overturn the president’s veto on the law extending the moratorium on the
purchase and sale of agricultural land until 1 January, 2008.

Last December, the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted to
prolong the moratorium on farmland sales (Party of the Regions 180 votes,
BYuT 109, Socialist Party 30, and even the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc
8).  However,President Yushchenko exercised his prerogative to veto the
draft law, claiming that it would only serve to boost the illegal land

The majority in parliament, including deputies from BYuT, argued that the
legislation to underpin the free land market needs further improvement.
Leader of the opposition and of her eponymous bloc, Yulia Tymoshenko said
that she wholeheartedly supported private land sales but wanted the rights
of landowners to be protected.  Of particular concern is the need to prevent
the many small farm owners from falling victim to unscrupulous corporate

“Shady speculation is keeping the peasants from receiving a fair price for
their plots,” said Mrs Tymoshenko following the vote, “there is urgent need
for rural reform and for legislation to be passed that will ensure that
farmland sales are both fair and transparent.”

Long known as “the bread basket of Europe,” Ukraine has 33 million hectares
of farmland which experts have valued at more than 60 billion dollars. Some
sources claim Ukraine possesses nearly one-third of the world’s richest
soils. In the Soviet-era this fertile land generated more than a quarter of
the total agricultural output of the Soviet Union. Ukraine’s primary crops
are wheat, corn, and sugar beets, and the country is the sixth largest grain
exporter in the world.

Despite there being many privately owned small plots, there is still no
central land register or cadastre and what meagre regulation exists is in
urgent need of reform.  “To-date the government has failed to put in place
the checks and balances needed to protect small holders and provide
legitimacy for purchasers. We don’t want to repeat the free-for-all that
blighted industry in the 90s.  The government has an obligation to get it
right,” said Mrs Tymoshenko.

There have been calls for the moratorium to continue past 2008 unless laws
on the national cadastre and land market are enacted.

Ivan Tomich, president of the Association of Farmers and Private Landowners
of Ukraine, is concerned that some 70% of land containing the famed
chornozem black soils have been earmarked by potential buyers. He
believes that a significant part of such farmland could be acquired for
prices considerably lower than market rates and that cancelling the
moratorium would result in many  rural citizens losing their land.

BYuT member Mykhaylo Hladiy, who supported overturning the presidential
veto, said, “We seek simply to have the necessary legislative base in place
to administer land sales properly, and that commonsense prevails so that we
avoid chaos.”

On Friday, President Yushchenko suffered another set- back when his veto on
the law on the Cabinet of Ministers was voted down.  It was overcome by 366
votes (Party of Regions 185, BYuT 121, Socialist Party 31, Communist Party
21 and no-faction deputies 8).  BYuT stated that the measure was adopted for
the good of the State and to end the political deadlock.  The move is set to
remove the power of the president to reject parliament’s choice of prime
minister, select foreign and defence ministers and curb his power of decree.

Our Ukraine accused BYuT of hypocrisy by siding with the Party of Regions.
Mrs Tymoshenko dismissed the allegation, “We stand hard on our position
because it was the right thing to do.It was a vote on the issues,
synchronous perhaps but not a joint strategic one. There can be no
fundamental system of cooperation with the Party of Regions.

“It’s a case of the pan calling the kettle black, for we never signed
memorandums or a pact with Yanukovych. Nor did we create a common
government with him or place our ministers in his cabinet, we have been
consistent in our approach all along.”

The president vowed to challenge this latest overriding of his veto in the
Constitutional Court, claiming that it will enable Mr Yanukovych’s ministers
to usurp his power.                                       -30-
NOTE:  Send questions or comments to the BYuT Inform Newsletter
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1300 gmt 16 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Jan 16, 2007

KIEV – [Presenter] Yuliya Tymoshenko has pledged to do everything in her
power to make President [Viktor Yushchenko] dissolve parliament.

Tymoshenko was speaking to journalists after a meeting with her Israeli
counterpart Binyamin Netanyahu, who is the leader of the Israeli opposition
party Likud.

Our correspondent Olha Koshelenko has more details. [Correspondent, by
phone] Yuliya Tymoshenko believes that the powers that be do not want to the
bill on opposition passed. Nevertheless, she promised to make this happen,
without specifying how though.

Asked whether her faction voted to overcome the president’s veto on the
cabinet bill [on 12 January] to push the president towards the idea of an
early election, Tymoshenko confirmed this and said that she will do
everything in her power to make the president pluck up the courage to
dissolve parliament.                                 -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
      Oleksandr Moroz scored many political points. He has got the chance to

make his dream come true – to turn Ukraine into a Soviet Parliamentary Republic.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Taras Pastushenko
Original article in Ukrainian translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2007

In the evening on January 12 the entire Kyiv political beau-monde was going
nuts. All prestigious ‘spots’ were filled with jubilant masses and their
entourage, mostly of a regional origin.

The winners compared January 12 with May 9. The enemy is defeated. It is
time to celebrate.

However, through a severe hangover, the victors will suddenly realize:
“We’re screwed, folks!”

It is difficult to say if it was someone from the ‘Orange’ who opened the
eyes of the ‘regionals’ or maybe it was their own expert.

However, on January 12 Yanukovych got into such a mess which is only
compared with an unforgettable November 2004. The party will be over
and the understanding of what has happened is sure to follow.

What actually happened? The Anticrisis Coalition with the help of Yulia

Tymoshenko Bloc has actually suspended President Yushchenko from

Does Yanukovych and Co. feel better now? I doubt that!

Already in November Yushchenko was unable to take part in the
decision-making. He was just getting in the way, being no obstacle for
adoption of certain decrees and resolutions.

At the same time he was a kind of a political deo spray for the Donetsk
clan, making western leaders accept Yanukovych as the PM. Reluctantly,
the political world elite did that.
                           What is the situation like now?
The US Administration is unlikely to give a positive assessment of such
actions of the Ukrainian government which has put down their protégé. They
face future presidential election and still have enough problems in Iraq.

Official Moscow has even never considered Yushchenko a possible partner
in a political dialogue.

Having taken away absolutely all authority of the executive power, the
Anticrisis Coalition failed to notice it did assume the entire
responsibility for the country, economical performance and social welfare of
its citizens.

This social welfare is not particularly good now. It is going to worsen in
the near future.

Now the shock from the new communal tariffs is somewhat virtual. However,
in a couple of weeks the tariffs will become a reality. There are problems
with gas because of crisis in Turkmenistan. The shadow of default has

loomed on the horizon.

The thing is that they cannot tell enthusiastic people now that it is
Yushchenko who is getting in the way of progress and the ‘Orange’ who
prevent Yanukovych from building a happy life and ‘improving of living
standards right away’.

Now blue-and-white chiefs are directly responsible for the country, having
no chances to shift the blame onto somebody else. Well, maybe by force of
habit they will blame Yulia Tymoshenko.

The winners have not realized yet that this victory will not profit them.
They did a hell of a job, though. The Anticrisis Coalition has overcome all
legal obstacles that might appear on their way to power.

Overriding of presidential veto upon the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers is
not the present for PM Yanukovych but for the future PM which will turn into
Kanzler by that time.

Having assumed a full responsibility for the coming social-economic crisis,
having run out the political resource in a dragged-out war with Yushchenko,
having killed the only possibility of legitimation in a civilized world,
they just cleared the road for successors.

That is not the whole story. Having voted for an imperative mandate,
‘donetskies’ secured stability of regional branches of BYuT and SPU.

They rescued the abovementioned parties from their own pressure. Thus,
Southern and Eastern branches of these parties are sure to live up to the
next elections.

We should keep in mind it happened in the right time. Regional branches of
BYuT and SPU became totally uncontrolled and unstructured. MPs started
deserting the parties, unable to stand the temptation of the gravy or
fearing for their own lives and the lives of their families.
                                        Quo prodest?
According to external features, a mittelspiel of a complex game has begun.
The authors of the games managed to stay backstage.

To find them we must answer one simple question: Quo prodest? Who
benefited from such an amazing gambit?

‘Donetskies’? All their achievements are rather virtual. Well, unless they
seriously take Yanukovych’s promises that he has come to power for 10
years. Well, really.

Someone might think that Yushchenko is the winner who got the chance to do
nothing, and assuming no responsibility whatsoever, tell the people how he
would change the situation if he had the authority.

But the thing is that Yushchenko’s voodoo has no effect at all now.

He will never get back people’s faith and trust. That will never happen. The
only thing he had is people’s respect and fear for his title – the President
of Ukraine. He has lost even this respect.


Oleksandr Moroz scored many political points. He has got the chance to
make his dream come true – to turn Ukraine into a Soviet Parliamentary

According to the Verkhovna Rada speaker, the republic is to be run by
Politbureau of parliamentary factions, represented by their ‘stock-holders’
and chaired by the speaker himself.

It is not clear if the main stock-holders consent to such table of ranks and
for how long will they let him be on the top?

Maybe it is Tymoshenko who benefited from the situation? It is quite
predictable that the entire president’s entourage headed by a clean-fingered
Yuriy Lutsenko will start babbling about treachery of Maidan values again.

Their hysteria leaves the public cool. Petro Poroshenko’s ballads do not
sound persuasive as well.

Tymoshenko’s real achievement is a new mechanism of a system structuring
of her own political project.

At the second point, she cleared the road for herself to fight for power in
the country in the legal field and on the personnel level.

At the third point, she remains the only promising politician in Ukraine.
                                         A SET PIECE
For the past to years Ukrainian politicians seemed to have no intellect.
They substituted it with two effectual principles: “Money makes the world
go round” and “birds of a feather flock together”.

But it turned out they were intellectuals. If graduates of village schools are

gambling with smart people the results may be fairly amazing, in case they
play some serious games.                         -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Rozumakhin, Journalist
Glavred, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 0937 gmt 18 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Jan 18, 2007

The ruling Party of Regions may want to keep Viktor Yushchenko as president
until the next presidential election, journalist Viktor Rozumakhin suggests.

He writes that Yushchenko could help Prime Minister and Party of Regions
leader Viktor Yanukovych win the 2010 election by taking votes from
opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko in western and central regions of the

In the meantime, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine People’s Union party is
likely to reach a non-public agreement to coordinate actions with the Party
of Regions.

The following is the text of a report by the Ukrainian Glavred website on
18 January:

Despite a burst of activity from the anti-crisis coalition, paradoxically as
it may seem, Ukraine is gradually entering the stage of mutual-understanding
between the branches of power.

On closer inspection, the Party of Regions turns out to have an interest in
preserving Viktor Yushchenko as president. Regions may very well preserve
him to 2010, when the party’s own representative will have built up enough

Having increased the powers of the government and counting on Viktor
Yanukovych’s continuing career as prime minister, the coalition is unlikely
to finish Yushchenko off.

This is absolutely not out of respect for the dramatic circumstances of
Viktor Andriyovych [Yushchenko]’s election or for the manifestation of the
people’s will.

And not even the lessons drawn from the experience of [former president]
Leonid Kuchma and [Kuchma’s chief-of-staff] Viktor Medvedchuk, who
turned a once quiet and pliable financier [Yushchenko] into a politician.

Simply there are a number of circumstances that turn the Party of Regions
into an occasional and even consistent ally of the president.

[1] First, it has become clear that the king is naked – the presidential
team has failed to show anything like the declared efficacy, and the
propresidential party is so demoralized that it could not resist the
high-handed assault on the president’s position.

[2] Second, even after the strengthening of the government’s position, the
president retains sufficient powers that he has for some reason not learnt
how to use.

[3] Third, the presidency is the highest post in the land, and Regions
representatives readily repeat the thesis that the Ukrainian head of state
has the greatest powers in Eastern Europe.

So, for the time being, the Party of Regions has grounds to take care of
and coddle its former opponent, guard him against sharp movements,
and not use him as a punch-ball for boxing practice.
It is worth remembering the specific features of the presidential race – it
will be fought by politicians who have experienced the love of the
electorate and negative human emotions.

Viktor Yanukovych, who has been through the full course for a Ukrainian
politician in 2004-2006 and has managed to return to power, remains the
Party of Regions sole presidential candidate.

It is hardly likely that a more popular politician will emerge in the
southern and eastern regions, and even a fall in his popularity would not
mean his voters going for Tymoshenko or Yushchenko, but more likely the
emergence of marginal figures of a pro-Russian and separatist bent.

The prime minister is objectively growing and has built up a team that is
commensurate in its intellectual potential with the president’s, and is able
from time to time to implement multistage operations.

Despite the existing friction within the party, it is objectively beneficial
for the Regions to promote their leader, clearing the prime ministerial post

for young and ambitious party members.

It is clear that Yushchenko’s current rating leaves few illusions as to a
favourable outcome for the current head of state in the presidential
election, whenever it is held. An early parliamentary election could also
spark an out-of-turn presidential campaign.

This has long been understood on Bankova [street in Kiev, address of
presidential secretariat], and Yushchenko even tried to launch a second
round of the “universalization” of the political elite [reference to the
declaration (“universal”) of national unity signed by political leaders on 3
August 2006], but he was too weak to overturn the results of the agreement
between the anticrisis coalition and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc.

The presidential team will now have to take the role of “firemen” ironing
out the contradictions. They do have something to offer the Regions. If
Viktor Andriyovych’s ambitions are properly fired up, he could well become a
strong rival for Yuliya Tymoshenko in the central and eastern regions. The
background to this conflict is simple.

Yushchenko is hardly likely to forgive Tymoshenko her energetic
participation in the attempt to inflate the government’s powers at the
expense of the president’s.

The struggle for votes between the former leaders of Maydan [Orange
Revolution venue in Kiev] will be very good for Viktor Yanukovych. It is
important for him not to allow competitors on his own territory and secure
even minimal support in the west and centre.

The Party of Regions has the opportunity to make several beneficial steps.
It should not be forgotten that the ideological differences between Party of
Regions and [pro-presidential party] Our Ukraine People’s Union are not so
great – really just over the language issue and some aspects of foreign

The unification of two virtually non-ideological party projects would be
utopian, but non-public coordination of actions would be quite possible. Not
so much is needed for that – to depict for the current Our Ukraine
membership its prospects after 2010 and the likely defeat of Yushchenko.

In other words, a “goodfella’s word of honour” guaranteeing that there will
be no “black carveup” in business.

For obvious reasons, Yuliya Volodymyrivna is in no position to hand out
anything like guarantees to “the dear friends” [the business representatives
in Our Ukraine who were formerly close to Yushchenko] – the voices of the
“businesses” that have not gained access to financial flows at the national
level are sounding increasingly loudly in her “heart” [presumably a
reference to the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc’s heart-shaped logo].

True, it cannot be said that the Regions will be so kind as to provide the
president with comfortable working conditions during the second half of his

It is likely that their respect for him will not go further than observing
procedural formalities. While in summer 2006, the Party of Regions was ready
to make concessions, now its leaders see that there is nobody left to make
concessions to.

So the anticrisis coalition will in exchange adopt draft law 3207-1 [on
amendments to the constitution to improve the system of local
self-government] in the first reading, to please speaker Oleksandr Moroz
and ensure that political reforms are irreversible.

After that it will be possible to launch the trading for the points of the
law on the president of Ukraine that will not only allow Viktor Yushchenko
to work out with honour the remainder of his term, but also preserve the
attractiveness of the post for the next president.                -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Rivalry between Ukraine’s president, premier to continue in 2007

Den, Kiev, in Ukrainian 11 Jan 07; p 1
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Jan 12, 2007

The cold war for power between Ukraine’s president and prime minister will
continue in 2007, a newspaper has reported. Two political commentators said
in an interview that both president Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych had practical reasons to continue their opposition,
including the need to keep voter sympathy.

However, they said this stand-off would likely give way to compromises on
such important issues as the law on the Cabinet of Ministers and
constitution reform.

The following is the text of the article by Olesya Yakhno, entitled “A
fragile hope for compromise”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper Den
on 11 January:

The Christmas holidays performed their deed after all: both the prime
minister and the president appear to be in a good mood. After a long
holiday, no-one wants to renew the stand-off.

“We have to leave that negativity which there was in cooperation with the
presidential secretariat and the president personally in last year”, Viktor
Yanukovych said yesterday [10 January], in opening the first meeting of the

Moreover, the prime minister noted it was necessary to analyse “all the
vetoes signed in 2006″ and in case of a mistake on the part of the
government “they need to be fixed in good time”. In short, Mr Yanukovych
extended his hand to Mr Yushchenko. And it appeared that hand was not left
hanging in the air.

At the end of the cabinet meeting, [presidential adviser] Arseniy Yatsenyuk
said there would be a meeting of the president and the prime minister and
speaker at the end of this week. However, Viktor Yushchenko decided not to
wait until the end of the week. At 1500 [1300 GMT] Viktor Yanukovych
together with [Speaker] Oleksandr Moroz arrived at the presidential

The discussion was long. Well, enough topics had piled up to be discussed.
As the lay-out on this issue was under way, the president, prime minister
and speaker were still negotiating at Bankova Street [where the secretariat
is located].

We asked Den’s experts: is peace between the president and the prime
minister possible?

[1] Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta centre of applied

political studies:
The opposition will continue. It is most likely that relations between the
presidential and government structures in 2007 will develop along the lines
of something between a cold war and an exercise in political tension. The
logic of a cold war is based on two reasons.

First, the fight for control over structures of power. The second reason, a
ratings rivalry, a competition for voter sympathy. And this is why the cold
war will continue, it has objective reasons behind it. But on the other
hand, both the prime minister’s team and the president’s team will need to
periodically make agreements and find compromises.

That is, this tendency towards peace will arise periodically. It is another
matter that this will more likely be local compromises and intermittent
peace. Put more simply, this is the schematic: first they will butt heads,
shoot out information sparks and then they will understand that they have to
find an agreement anyway, to find a compromise. That happened with the

I think something similar will happen with the law On the Cabinet of
Ministers and on many other normative acts. But one must not forget that we
will have a very conflict-ridden topic before us in February – reviewing the
issue of constitution reform. And again that will lead us to increased
tension between the presidential and government structures.

[2] Oleksandr Derhachev, political commentator:
First, one must look at what happened a few months ago, in the autumn and
beginning of winter. What happened was the anti-crisis coalition filling in
the legal “gaps”.

Via personnel and organizational decisions they extended their practical
influence. That is, in places where the law is not written, they set up the
domination of this branch of power.

And I think this process has not run itself out and without any doubt this
offensive will continue. And calls to live as friends show that no-one needs
destabilization, that the conflict should be regulated and, as far as
possible, not witnessed by the public at large.

Besides this, it is very important for each of the opposing sides that it
not be considered the instigator of conflicts. This is where there is logic
in Yanukovych’s statements. You may recall the famous postulate: “The
aggressor always loves peace”.

When he has already captured the prize, he is for peace and stabilization.
At the same time, one can welcome this process of adjusting to new

The government has been forced to adjust, since it is in the sights of both
the opposition and public opinion (after all, criticism is even coming from
within their electorate). And so one can say that there are reasons and
stimuli for improving and evolving. But I do not think that any peace will
take place. It will simply be a controlled process. Where there is the
possibility, positions will be taken.

Both the constitutional parliamentary majority and the government have
significant advantages and they will use them. And in everything else they
are ready to cooperate, since without the president there is a lot they
cannot accomplish on their own.                           -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
               Kyiv is being robbed of its historic face. Builders can build
 anywhere, everything depends on the size of the kickbacks to the bureaucrats

By Tetiana Kolesnychenko, The Day Weekly Digest #1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 16 January 2007

he Day has often written about the so-called “Kyiv phenomenon,” the term
used to describe construction in the city’s historic quarter.

Whereas in the past investors could only get their paws on children’s
playgrounds and pleasure gardens, now they are targeting nature preserves,
parks, and even museums.

Paradoxically, even the most mindless and absurd eyesores in the capital of
Ukraine have received the go-ahead from bureaucrats and experts, and no one
can change the existing situation, even the president, let alone Mayor
Leonid Chernovetsky.

Banning the build-up of the city’s historic quarter was high on the list of
the mayor’s pre-election slogans. But promises have remained just that.

Nobody even blinked when on the evening of Dec. 30 special vehicles pulled
up to the Kyiv Fortress, the world’s largest earth fortification, and razed
three mid-19th-century structures to the ground.

These architectural monuments, which were torn down on New Year’s Eve, are
making way for a multistoried residential complex that builders, investors,
and municipal bureaucrats think is more important for the city.

Meanwhile, for the last several years the administration of the Kyiv
Fortress has been trying to bring all its museum buildings together into a
single complex.

Instructions to this effect came from President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr Moroz.

Yet, by all accounts, the signatures of Ukraine’s three bosses failed to
scare the builders. Initially, the Kyiv City Council gave permission for the
construction of a residential complex and demolition of a few dilapidated
museum structures that were used as sheds.

But the builders also thought it necessary to tear down three monuments of
national importance, including the former Kyiv telegraph, the only structure
that had retained its original shape.

Kyiv Fortress director Viacheslav Kulinich says that the builders have found
a formal excuse: they allege that the three structures did not have a
protection number and did not display any information plaques.

“This is nonsense. Maybe they have no protection number, but even if the
builders could prove this in court, construction on the territory of the
preserve is banned,” says Kulinich.

The administration still does not know what to do in this situation, but its
members intend to take up the cudgels against the brazen builders.

Kulinich says an unidentified person has already threatened him with
dismissal. It should be noted that the museum management also shares the
blame for the destruction of the three historical monuments: although the
territory of the preserve measures ten square kilometers, the management is
directly responsible for keeping all the structures safe.

How could it happen that three “unnecessary” buildings were torn down, even
though it was New Year’s Eve? Incidentally, the vehicles arrived on Dec. 30.

The Day asked some experts to comment on the situation. They all agree that
Kyiv has already been robbed of its historical face.

[1] Mykola PARKHOMENKO, first deputy, All-Ukrainian Civic Organization

for the Protection of Architectural Monuments:
“In general, construction on the preserve’s territory without permission
from the Cabinet of Ministers is banned. The monument should be struck
off the register, which only the Cabinet can do.

But as a rule, builders do everything on their own, leaving us to hold the
bag. I must also say that I cannot remember a single instance when the
culprits were prosecuted. Such matters are usually settled out of court,
much to the satisfaction of both bureaucrats and investors.

The whole problem is that all the laws, not only the one on construction,

do not work in Ukraine. You can break the law and get off scot-free.

There is no balanced policy. What could really change the situation is a
reform at all levels. We must make an all-out effort to raise the juridical
culture of people.

Even if we begin pursuing the builders, there will be no result unless
people choose to obey the law. Every year Ukraine loses about 500
archeological finds due to unsanctioned excavations. And who is to be
brought to justice? I don’t know! The city’s historic center no longer

You can see the latest glaring example at 2a Zhytomyrska Street, where the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs is building a hotel-and-office center. Please
tell me where they took the funds from if no budgetary expenditures have
been envisioned for major construction in many years?”

[2] Larysa SKORYK, architect and Corresponding Member of the

Academy of Architecture and Arts:
“Kyiv bureaucrats have struck a gold mine. You can make any kind of deal:
everything depends on the size of the kickback. Kyiv is not losing its
historic face, it has already lost it. Above all, this situation is bad for
the city’s economy, especially the tourist sector.

In all countries tourism is a good way to fill the state coffers. In
Ukraine, this sector is still underdeveloped. But do you really think that
tourists will be coming from all over the world just to see eyesores?

Kyiv has always been famous for its unique combination of landscape and
architecture. And now the once omnipresent green oases are vanishing

one by one.

Right now the banks of the Dnipro are practically intact, but given the
current pace of construction, this will not last for very long. As for
corruption control, I think we must begin with the officials who issue
licenses. They do as they please. Such people should be prosecuted.”

[3] Zhanna KOVBA, Associate Professor, Ph.D. (History):
“Along with the fortresses Kyiv has lost hope for the existence of the Law
on the Protection of Architectural Monuments. A historical monument was
destroyed in broad daylight, during a holiday, right before everyone’s eyes!
And nobody is held responsible.

The Museum of Kyiv has been closed for almost three years, which means
that there is no center to monitor the condition of monuments and shape
public opinion. Historical Kyiv is being lost before our very eyes.”  -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
   Scholar fears preservation of Church of St. Cyril in Kyiv is compromised.

UPDATE: By Olenka Z. Pevny, PhD., Assistant Professor of Art

and Art History the University of Richmond, VA, specializing in
Late Antique, Byzantine and Medieval art history.
BRAMA.COM, New York, Saturday, Jan 20, 2007

On January 11, 2007 published a report by Dr. Olenka Z. Pevny
regarding the threat to the preservation Ukraine’s most important 12th
century monument – the Church of St. Cyril of Alexandria in Kyiv.

Below is an update on the situation from Dr. Pevny, who continues to
receive information regarding developments in Ukraine.

The Church of St. Cyril (the Kyrylivs’ka tserkva) is a monumental princely
foundation of the Kyivan Rus’ period. It is part of the National Preserve of
the St. Sofia Cathedral that falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine.

It is the only 12th century monument in all of Ukraine to preserve medieval
frescoes and it is one of two monuments in all East Slavic lands that has
preserved significant sections of medieval painting (the other monument
being the Church of the Savior in the Mirozh Monastery in Pskov, Russia).

After the Cathedral of St. Sofiia, the Church of St. Cyril of Alexandria and
its frescoes is the second most important medieval monument in Ukraine. It
is also the only Byzantine Orthodox monument to preserve a depiction of the
life cycle of St. Cyril of Alexandria.

In recognition of its uniqueness and cultural importance the Church of St.
Cyril was designated a cultural/historic landmark belonging to all the
people of Ukraine. Its care has for many years fallen to the directorship of
the National Preserve of St. Sofia.

Its museum status has allowed all visitors regardless of nationality and
religious confession to appreciate the medieval murals, the most important
of which are located in the areas of the sanctuary apses.

The recognition of the Church of St. Cyril as a cultural monument also
assured the proper monitoring of the humidity and temperature in the
structure and the ongoing preservation of the wall paintings.

In 2004 the status of the Church of St. Cyril changed significantly. The
monument was designated to service a parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Under an agreement signed on November 12, 2004 by the acting director of
the National Preserve of the St. Sofiia Cathedral, V.V. Kyrylenko, and the
ecclesiastic Fedir Sheremeta, the unique historical monument was given over
for permanent use with no financial obligations to the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

This agreement limited museum access to the Church of St. Cyril to four
hours a day, from noon to four, five days a week. Soon thereafter the Church
was closed for restoration work and in October 2006 the National Research
Restoration Centre of Ukraine issued a report on the fragility of the
frescoes and painting and the need to maintain a proper microclimate in the
building and restrict access.

The report also mentions the damage caused by the burning of candles and
oil lamps. Despite these concerns, at the petitioning of the parish priest
Fedir Sheremetev, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych recently issued an

ordinance confirming the conditions of the 2004 agreement.

In the last few days His Holiness the Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv
(Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate) has issued verbal
assurances that at the present time the walls will not be repainted, but
that new icons will be displayed in the church for veneration.

The issues touched upon by desired preservation of the Church of St. Cyril
of Alexandria are complicated indeed. In many cases the preservation of
religious monuments requires the negotiation of an understanding between
cultural preservationists and ecclesiastics.

The case of the Church of St. Cyril, and a select number of other monuments
in Ukraine, should form an exception to this rule. There is but one well
preserved 11th century monument in Ukraine with fresco imagery – the
Cathedral of St. Sofiia.

There also is only one relatively well-preserved 12th century monument in
Ukraine with fresco imagery – the Church of St. Cyril of Alexandria. These
monuments first and foremost belong to the Ukrainian people.

They are also part of the cultural heritage of the entire world. Access to
these structures should be restricted only on the basis of the requirements
posed by their preservation.

The scheduling of several church services daily in a 12th century structure,
the accommodation of large crowds of faithful rubbing and leaning against
the frescoes walls, the opening of door and the burning of candles, lamps,
and incense is bound to damage the existing painting.

The installation of other icons in the church, their removal and
reinstallation, will also cause harm to the underlying images and prevent
their viewing for museum visitors.

The preservation of the Orthodox heritage of Ukraine should be secured for
future generations. There are other structures that can accommodate the need
of faithful besides the handful of the most important medieval structures to
survive in the country.

Ukrainian colleagues interested in the preservation of the Church of St.
Cyril have indicated that letters sent to Ukrainian government officials may
help assure the preservation of this unique monument.          -30-
                                      SAMPLE LETTER
I am (We are) writing to express concern regarding the preservation of
Ukraine’s most important 12th century monument – the Church of St. Cyril
of  Alexandria (Kyrylivs’ka tserkva).

News is reaching us that the Church of St. Cyril, which is part of the
Cultural Preserve of the Cathedral of St. Sofiia is in danger of being
deprived of its protective status as museum.

Indications are that such a move may precipitate the endangerment of the
murals by such prominent nineteenth-century artists as M. Vrubel and M.
Murashko, and compromise the preservation of unique 12th century frescoes.

The Church of St. Cyril is the most important 12th century monument in
Ukraine. Its medieval frescoes are unparalleled not only in terms of Kyivan
Rus’ visual culture, but also in the context of Middle Byzantine art.

They are the only specimens of monumental 12th century Orthodox
iconography to survive in the former Rus’ and present Ukrainian capital
city, Kyiv.

Among the truly irreplaceable compositions in the church is the life cycle
of the 5th century Patriarch of Alexandria, St. Cyril. Images from the life
of this saint constitute the only representation of the life of this church
father in the world.

Together with the Church of the Savior in the Mirozh Monastery in Pskov,
Russia, the frescoes in the Church of St. Cyril comprise the most important
examples of medieval monumental painting executed in the Byzantine tradition
to survive in East Slavic territories.

There are so few actual medieval monuments remaining in Ukraine and even
fewer with iconographic evidence from the Kyivan Rus’ period that preserving
the Kyrylivs’ka tserkva must be a cultural priority.

According to colleagues in Kyiv the current crisis unfolded in the following
manner. Since 1994, the Church of St. Cyril has been officially recognized
as a dual-use building, that is, designated both as a historical site to be
used by the public as a museum and as a church to be used for worship.

The Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was allowed to hold
services in the church. Since 2004 measures have been taken to allow for
the ultimate transfer of the Church of St. Cyril to the Church.

In a recent church newsletter the parish priest complained about the Vrubel
oil paintings not being ‘iconic’ enough, and expressed displeasure with
caricature-like style of the frescoes prompting fears that the interior of
the monument may be altered should it fall under the jurisdiction of the

I (We) urge you to intervene in this matter and help protect this unique
historical and cultural monument. The preservation of this monument should
be a national and international priority. Its appreciation should be insured
for all Ukrainians and visitors interested in learning about Ukraine’s
medieval past.

This can only be achieved by maintaining the monuments museum status
and ensuring government protection and oversight. Please help preserve
the Church of St. Cyril for future generations and assure assess to this
monument and its paintings for all visitors while giving priority to its

Sincerely, (signature)
Listed below are the addresses and e-mail addresses of individuals to
contact regarding this matter. Everyone interested in the preservation of
Ukraine’s cultural heritage is encouraged to mail letters of concern.

Yushchenko, Viktor Andriiovych
President of Ukraine
252220 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Bankova 11 

Yushchenko, Kateryna
Head, Supervisory Board
International Charitable Fund “Ukraine 3000”
22A Borychiv Tik St.
Kyiv 04070 Ukraine
Yanukovych, Viktor Fedorovych
Prime Minister
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
01008 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Hryshevs’koho 12/2

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Moroz
Head of Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council)
252019 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Hrushevs’koho 5

Volodymyr Vasyl’ovych Rybak, Minister
Ministry of Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine
01025 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Velyka Zhytomyrs’ka 9

Yurii Petrovych Bohyts’kyi
Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine
01601 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Ivana Franka 19

Volodymyr Ogruzko
Director, National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
01018 Kyiv, Ukraine
Mykhailivs’ka ploshcha 1 /

His Holiness Volodymyr,
Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine
01015 Kyiv, Ukraine
vul. Sichnevoho povstannia, 25, korp. 49

Oleh Shamshur
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the US
Embassy of Ukraine in U.S.
3350 M St., NW
Washington D.C. 20007

Mme. Françoise Rivière
Assistant-Director-General for Culture of UNESCO
2 United Nations Plaza, Rm. 900
New York, NY 10017

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

Ukrainian Museum-Archives, Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday, January 20, 2007

CLEVELAND – The Ukrainian Museum-Archives of Cleveland is extremely
concerned regarding issues that have come to light regarding the
preservation of the Church of St. Cyril of Alexandria in Kyiv, Ukraine.

This church has been deprived of its UNESCO World Heritage preservation
status and is being allowed to fall into the hands of the Orthodox Church of
the Moscow Patriarchate, which wants to remodel the interior and paint over
the 12th century murals and frescoes.

Please, please follow the link provided below to read more about this
situation and take the time to write letters of concern and protest to the
persons indicated.

Perhaps we, together with the rest of our Ukrainian Diaspora, can help
prevent the destruction of the 12th century church of St. Cyril in Kyiv.
Thank you!                                         -30-
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives, 1202 Kenilworth Ave, Cleveland,
OH 44113,
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
                           Total restoration of frescos starting in 2006

By Viktoria Herasymchuk, The Day Weekly Digest #41
Kyiv, Ukraine, December 20, 2005

The restoration of a unique 12th-century monument, St. Cyril’s Church in
Kyiv, is nearing completion. The church is still closed to visitors, as the
surrounding premises are still being landscaped, but the church is ready. In
the past several years the church’s main attraction – original 12th-century
frescoes – was at risk.

As a result of errors committed during a Soviet-era restoration effort,
humidity inside the church reached levels four or five times higher than the
norm. This could have led to the plaster peeling off together with the
artwork. Fungus posed no less a threat to both the frescos and murals by

“However, this is not just about the frescoes,” says Nelia Kukovalska,
general manager of the St. Sophia Kyiv National Architectural Preserve,
which includes St. Cyril’s Church.

“The ancient monument itself was suffering. Groundwater had reached the
foundations, creating new cracks and causing old cracks to spread. No water
drainage system was installed, resulting in soil subsidence, which was
slowly destroying the church.

Now, after carrying out a series of preventive measures, we have made it
impossible for the aggressive, external environment to damage the monument.
Thanks to moisture proofing of the groundwork and church walls, the

humidity level will be stable. This will allow us to carry out a total restoration
of all the frescos starting next year.”
An archeological discovery was made during the restoration: workers
unearthed the foundations of the original structural additions to St. Cyril’s
Church, dating to the 12th and 17th centuries. Although experts were aware
that these foundations existed, they did not know their actual

Now they have a new field for research. The room whose foundations were
unearthed by builders under archeological supervision was used for divine
services and as a funeral chamber. Many graves were discovered as well.

After being carefully examined, the foundations were buried. “Ideally, of
course, we would like to place the foundations under transparent glass with
lighting, so that people can walk on top of it.

Today, however, we do not have the technical and financial means to do
 this,” says Kukovalska. The discovery was buried beneath a layer of fresh
sand, and a memorial plaque will be mounted on the site.

The design and construction company Osnova Solsif executed the entire
project to refurbish St. Cyril’s Church at its own cost (close to UAH
1,200,000). The plight of Ukraine’s cultural heritage is common knowledge.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ihor Likhovy presented the following statistics
during his recent address to parliament on Government Day: in various
Ukrainian regions between 50 and 70 percent of cultural and architectural
monuments are in unsatisfactory condition, and one in ten monuments is in
critical condition. The cost of emergency controls, repairs, and restoration
at all these sites is estimated at UAH 600 million.

Naturally, curators of museums and historical and cultural preserves know
better than to expect such funds from the state budget. They are pinning
their hopes on philanthropists, even though charity is not very widespread
in Ukraine, and donations are not large enough.

Still, Kukovalska believes that the ice has been broken between the business
and cultural communities. So far another five contracts have been signed
with companies that want to support the St. Sofia Kyiv National
Architectural Preserve.                                     -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                        In commemoration of Ukraine’s Unity Day

Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Washington, D.C., Sun, Jan 21, 2007

WASHINGTON: Vitaliy Haiduk, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security
and Defense Council, will lay a wreath at the Taras Shevchenko Monument
in Washington on Monday, January 22 at 9:20 am to commemorate Ukraine’s
Unity Day. 

The public is cordially invited to attend the ceremony, which will last
approximately 15-20 minutes. 

The Taras Shevchenko Monument is located between 22nd and 23rd
Streets and P Street, NW.  The closest metro stop is DuPont Circle.

Haiduk was appointed by President Viktor Yuschenko to head the
National Security and Defense Council on October 10, 2006.  Haiduk
has held several previous government appointments including deputy
prime minister, deputy energy minister and minister of fuel and energy.

Vitalii Haiduk is president of the Industrial Group consortium, which

co-owns and manages assets of the Donbas Industrial Union corporation
(Donetsk) and is reported to be one of Ukraine’s wealthiest men. 

Haiduk will spend several days in Washington visiting with various
U.S. government officials, Ukrainian organizations, and other groups.

Further questions may be addressed to Mr. Oleksandr Mykhalchuk,
Counselor at the Embassy of Ukraine, at
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 19, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has left for Switzerland to undergo
scheduled medical examination. Presidential press service has disclosed this
in a statement.

‘President Viktor Yuschenko has left for Switzerland to undergo scheduled
medical examination and program on excretion of dioxin form organism,’ the
report reads.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in September, investigators of Yuschenko
poisoning ordered an expert examination to determine the country that
produced the dioxin.

The second expertise conducted by a commission comprising Ukrainian
specialists, experts from the United States, Germany, and Japan confirmed
the previous findings by laboratories of the Netherlands, Germany, Great
Britain and Belgium that Yuschenko’s body contains dioxin, poisonous
substance. The PGO established that Yuschenko was deliberately poisoned

in September 2004 with the aim of murdering him.            -30-
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