AUR#814 Feb 11 Imperial Knot of Crimea; Tatars Picket; Crimean Ecologists Alarmed; Kulchytsky & Mace: Holodomor Truth; Holocaust Memory; Langauge Issue

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    Interestingly, in the booklet “Myth about the Holodomor. Invention of spin
    doctors. Kyiv, 2006″ disseminated by communist lawmakers in Verkhovna
    Rada prior to debates on the Holodomor bill they lashed out at James Mace
    and Robert Conquest, author of the best-selling “The Harvest of Sorrow,”
    as well as at Stanislav Kulchytsky.

    Mace is hated by Stalin’s ideological successors because he was the first

    to tell the world the truth about the greatest tragedy in the history of the
    Ukrainian nation. Stanislav Kulchytsky thus comments on the attitude to
    him, “They hate me because I was one of them and then became a different
    person. Anyway, I do not care.”  [Article 10]                            
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer

              –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1.                           THE IMPERIAL KNOT OF CRIMEA
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Ostap Kryvdyk, for UP
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), in Ukrainian, translated by Anna Platonenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 5, 2007

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1210 gmt 1 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Feb 01, 2007

Black Sea TV, Simferopol, in Russian 1700 gmt 22 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007

ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 24, 2007

NewswireToday, Castleford, Yorks, United Kingdom, Jan 22, 2007

By Walter Ruby, The Jewish Week
Cinderella Travel, New York, NY, Monday, February 5, 2007


UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 9, 2007

                         FILES TO BE OPENED IN KHARKIV
ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 22, 2007

                                  IN KYIV DOWNTOWN
ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 29, 2007

Article By Arkadij Sydoruk, Writer
The Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, Mirror-Weekly #1(630)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 13-19, 2007 (in Russian)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 10, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2007


                                HISTORY AND MODERN TIME
                       The manmade famine in 1932-1933, Holodomor
By Volodymyr Zvihlianych for Ukrayinska Pravda
Ukrayinska Pravda Internet newsletter (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 20, 2006
Action Ukraine Report #814, Article 11 (in English)
Washington, D.C., February 11, 2007


                               POSTED ON GOOGLE VIDEO
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 12
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2007
13.                    HOLOCAUST: NAMES AND MEMORY
By Alexander Feldman, Member of Parliament of Ukraine
News Blaze, Folsom, California, Sunday, January 28, 2007

                               LANGUAGE LAW IN UKRAINE
                       Language issue takes back seat in Ukraine
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 28
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Thu, Feb 8, 2007

                            FLOUTING LANGUAGE RULES 
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1434 gmt 7 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Feb 07, 2007


Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, February 7, 2007 

        Sunday, February 11, 2007, 1:00 P.M., Silver Spring, Maryland
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2006
Jim Onyschuk, Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group (TUGG)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February, 2007
                    THE IMPERIAL KNOT OF CRIMEA

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Ostap Kryvdyk, for UP
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), in Ukrainian, translated by Anna Platonenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 5, 2007

Crimea is a small peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea, where
the interests of several different countries, organizations and communities
overlap, quite often being poles apart.

People have lived here since the dawn of time. State formations were
appearing one after another, cities and fortresses were emerging and
disappearing. Today this peninsula is the territory of Ukraine.

The conflict in Crimea has been raging relentlessly for two decades. In
my opinion, the main reason for the conflict is Crimean land.

This article has no concern with the so-called ‘conflict managers’. It is
about the way the old stereotypes are used in triggering conflicts, putting
people with different historical fates against each other. The article also
deals with the basic symbols of conflicts and covers several versions of
finding the way out.
In the times of the USSR there were the Soviet Uzbeks, Latvians and
Ukrainians, but there were no Soviet Crimean Tatars.

On May 20, 1944 more than 200,000 of Crimean Tatars were deported,
and Just in the same way their place was occupied by hundreds of
thousands of immigrants.

Stalin declared the entire Tatar population “traitors to their own country”,
they were loaded into freight cars in record-breaking time and dispatched
to the far-away steppes.

Every second person died en route, and many more died in the special
settlements in Kazakhstan. Later, having left their hard-earned possessions
in the foreign country, Crimean Tatars returned to their non-Soviet

Today Crimean Tatars are outcasts in their own land; they are forced to
watch the best pieces of it being stolen. They see their houses, but they
cannot go back and live there, because the outrageous prices for real estate
in Crimea do not let them buy their property out.

Seizing the land, they go beyond the legal framework, destroying it (other
people, who have nothing to do with Crimean Tatars, are also engaged in
this) and choosing between the lesser of two evils: otherwise they would
just have to turn both their cheeks to be slapped.

The Slavic colonization of the Crimean peninsula started as far back as
early 19th century, and after the Crimean War, when thousands of Tatars
left the peninsula, people of other different nationalities made up the
greater part of the Crimean population.

The census conducted in 1939 indicates that Tatars amounted to 25% of
the peninsula population.

Thus, only since 1800’s this territory can be considered as “purely

It is not known what percentage the descendants of those who came to settle
in Crimea two centuries ago make up in today’s Crimean population, for the
present conflict was already provoked back then.

In the times of the USSR the south coast of Crimea was a dream destination
of every Soviet person, well known for Artek as a communist masterpiece, for
the beauty of Yalta and the antiquity of Eupatoria, for the sea and
mountains scattered with splendid palaces and marvelous ancient monuments.

Accommodation in Crimea was given as a reward for the most devoted work
for the welfare of the Soviet Homeland. And the absence of protests as to
the fact that Crimea belonged to the Ukrainian SSR and not to the Russian

SFSR in the best way illustrated the falsity of this Ukrainian-Russian
socialistic shield.

Many citizens of the ‘Soviet paradise’ are former party officials or the
military, the standard Soviet people, who provided support to the regime and
were its ‘middle class’. They will not forget the golden Soviet times for
many generations to come.

The sea coast was indeed a paradise, but not the entire Crimea. A part of
the new inhabitants of Crimea (mainly in the north, in the steppes) were the
Ukrainian immigrants, who were forced to cultivate the abandoned Tatar
fields and graze somebody else’s cattle.

Not knowing the local natural peculiarities and being unable to cope with
water problems, they were frequent victims of droughts and winter winds.

Many of these people came from various regions of the USSR, and that is
why its collapse struck everyone who lived here, thus breaking off or
complicating family relationships.

These are people who lost their opportunities and guarantees of serene old
age, granted by the previous regime.

Are these people Russians? It is most likely that by birth they are not, for
the Soviet melting pot fused all the nations together, producing
“internationalists”, who in the first place thought themselves to be
nationally identical.

That is why the word “Russian” became a synonym for the concept of
“a Soviet person”. Today this identity, which established the base for
three entire generations, prevails in Crimea.

Some of them can easily be called “imperians”. This is political identity,
detached from national and cultural one.

Its typical characteristics are willful disregard of everyone who is
different, neglect of our history and rewriting of it in one’s own way,
sticking the “traitor” and “enemy” labels, arrogance and showing off one’s
powerful past, using the concept of “high” culture only with a view to
indicate their seemingly marginal position as “low”, aggression in case of
various Ukrainian, Chechen or Crimea-Tatar “issues”.

The local Ukrainian community is situated in a distant ghetto, being
persecuted by aggressive “internationalism” and drawn into an array of
foreign culture. The scantiness of local schools and Ukrainian publications
(for 24% of Ukrainians taken a census of, 40% of whom consider Ukrainian
to be their mother tongue) is the direct evidence of this.

                      THE USSR AND THE UNKNOWN
The historical background to modern Crimean Soviet identity is the
heroic sacrificial struggle of the Soviet troops during World War II.

That is why there are so many semiofficial Soviet monuments in Crimea
dedicated to those killed in the war. Every single one of them was supposed
to become a sacred place of soviet faith, a stone in a temple of the holy
soviet fatherland.

It is here where the symbolical and historical heritage of the tsarist and
communist empire can be clearly seen in the methods and rhetoric.

The names of the Crimean towns and streets do not let the new reality in:
neither post-Soviet, nor even pre-war one. The local toponymy, erased
together with the “traitors”, was substituted with neutral and plain names
as “Solnechnoye” (“Sunny”), “Uyutnoye” (“Cosy”), “Perevalnoye”
(derived from a “Mountain pass”) or even “Schastlivaya vstrecha”
(“A hearty welcome”).

The thing which I personally consider as very dangerous is Sevastopol’s
being an enclave. It’s significance for Russian identity is exceptional: if
Kyiv is Russian ‘mother’, then Sevastopol is its ‘father’.

Sevastopol is of utmost importance to this country: it is its “pearl of
British crown”, its Serbian Kosovo and Polish Lviv all rolled into one.

It is the marker of the Russian South and a nation-building symbolic
element. The tragedy of Russian identity lies in the fact, that so native
and even indispensable places turned out to be beyond Russian bounds.

Will Russia be wise and strong enough not to tear its ‘bowels’ out of the
neighbour’s body?

For if we are to follow such logic, we can further assume that Livadiya, the
residence of the Russian tsars, Mykolayiv, ‘the city of Russian ships’,
together with Odessa, ‘a pearl by the Black Sea’ and the southern gates of
Russian Empire, “The glory of Yekaterina”, Dnipropetrovsk, and finally Kyiv,
the Mother of all Russian Cities – should all belong to Russia.

But then again, in such a way Constantinople as well as Berlin and Paris
should also be called “the cities of Russian glory”. This way it may all
come to washing up boots in the Indian Ocean.
Provocative trial of strength (one among many, yet the most far-reaching) in
Bakhchisaray at the Aziz cemetery in August 2006 pursued secret aims too.

The tactical aims were in full public view.

[1] Firstly, it was meant to show that Crimean Tatars wanted to make
Russians give their property back, and therefore to make the former pose
a threat to peace and property of other citizens.

[2] Secondly, it was meant to insult the memory of Crimean Tatars. In other
words, to show them “who the master of the house is”. The secret aims,
however, dig somewhat deeper. The internal aim of this conflict was to
further steal the Crimean lands for the benefit of third party, having
caused a clash between the two communities.

Another possible economic motivation for organizing such a “show” lies
in promoting other Black Sea resorts outside Crimea with a view to gain
customers over.

A possible foreign policy component consists in setting up the instability
zone, perhaps, with a view to realize the self-proclaimed scenario in
Prydnistrovya with the “peacekeeping” force to help “resolve the conflict
peacefully”. In other words, divide et impera (divide and rule).

One more self-suggesting conclusion which can be drawn from this and all the
other conflicts is that Ukraine, being weak as a peacemaker, should project
the image of Tatars’ ally, some sort of “property master of Russians”. There
is a need to pose a threat of property redistribution and to “stand up for
fellow countrymen”.

In such a situation it is mythologically powerful Russia that can become a
property and non-restitution guarantee for the benefit of Crimean Tatars.
And this is where the Russian myth and the desire of the rest of Crimean
citizens to be with Russia comes from.

But there is a risk: the interests of Crimean Tatars may simply turn into
small change in the hands of Ukrainian bureaucracy for the loyalty of
Crimean Russians.
                               WHO TIED THE KNOT?
The USSR did not die. In people’s heads it is still waging a war on the
“traitors to the Fatherland”, still fighting with invaders (today with those
of NATO), and still longs for the united “Great State”.

Like any other empire, the USSR was actively destroying ethnic communities.
The national politics of the Soviet Empire was criminal and its outcome
amounts to millions of victims.

The roots of this conflict stretch back into the crimes of the Soviet
system. We should find the USSR guilty of genocide against Crimean Tatars.
The “nobody-is-guilty” position is similar to the way a frightened ostrich

The Soviet people of Crimea also participated in the ethnocide of the
Crimean Tatar people: they are either the descendants of those who
expulsed Tatars, or those who received (or inherited) the property of
Tatars for distinguished service to the Soviet regime.

They also bear the moral responsibility for what has happened.

These people should certainly condemn the crimes of the past so that such
things never happen again. Otherwise, they may face the possibility of being
regarded as accomplices in crime against humanity.

And this issue is absolutely similar to the question “Do you condemn the
crimes of Nazism?”.

The answer “I want all of the Crimean Tatars be deported again” should be
interpreted in much the same manner as the phrases “Death to the Jews!” or
“Foreign race, get out!” and fall under Paragraph 2, Article 110 of the
Criminal Code of Ukraine (a term of three to five years of imprisonment,
with grave consequences up to twelve years) or under Article 161 (from
fines to five years of imprisonment).

The descendants of those who had committed a crime are secretly afraid
that it is them who will have to face this ‘trial of history’ in the course
of the rectification of injustice.

We cannot presume, however, that property restitution is to be made by
Stalin’s methods (like violent expulsion of non-Crimean Tatars, say, in the
freight cars within 24 hours) – it would be the same crime against humanity.

There are no simple solutions here.

Other forms of compensation are to be found: for instance, to expropriate
the coastal lands, which were stolen by the high and mighties of Russia and
Ukraine in the last 15 years, and to assign property to Crimean Tatars on
the free-of-charge basis, in compliance with the historical right of the

This should be launched as a one-time campaign with the subsequent use
of market methods.
                            THE FUTURE IS POSSIBLE
Paradoxical as it is, the Soviet people of Crimea, who consider themselves
Russians and constitute a majority, cannot reunite with the post
Soviet-Russian mother country.

In actual fact, it turns out that Crimea can only be annexed to Russia if
all the former territories of the latter are annexed too.

Nevertheless, Ukrainian independence is one of the nails in the coffin of
former empires.

There are two things which do not favour the separation of Crimea from
Ukraine: the international situation and the games of internal political
‘solitaire’ where only Moscow has all the chances to prosper, leaving its
neighbours in decline.

That is the reason why genocide against Crimean Tatars should be

recognized on government level, as in the case with Holodomor.

The future prospects can TACTICALLY  be as follows:
1. To find the USSR guilty of committing genocide against Crimean Tatars
and of framing the present-day citizens of Crimea who received the seized
property. To decommunise Crimea: from myths and public holidays to street
and city names. To abolish the so-called ’empire holidays’, which insult the
national dignity of Crimea citizens.

2. To prevent further stealing of Crimean land by third parties and to
establish a land bank through joint efforts of all the ethnolingual
3. To start the process of national reconciliation – from mutual respect to
historical comprehension.
4. To prevent further integration into Russian media and cultural field; to
create our own field as an integral element of Ukrainian humanitarian

The future prospects can STRATEGICALLY be as follows:
1. To recognize the Ukrainian, Russian and Crimean Tatar communities
as equally subjective in the policy making process of Crimea.

2. To integrate into Ukrainian field by establishing Ukrainian civic
identity, which would not come into conflict with one’s ethnic background.
To get rid of chauvinistic complexes about Ukraine and everything Ukrainian.

3. To eventually recognize Crimean Tatar language as the official language
of Autonomous Republic of Crimea, on the same level with Ukrainian and
Russian: from signboards to schools (for example, to start teaching this
language in the first form and to lecture one third of subjects in Crimean
universities in Crimean Tatar language).

4. To build a democratic society, successfully protecting the interests of
local communities and integrating these interests regardless of ethnic
background of the citizens.
The idea of a Crimean Russian, who would both be a Ukrainian citizen and
a true patriot, does not seem to acquire much popularity or importance in
Crimea these days.

It is a positive challenge to those who want to live in peace and quiet on
this planet and avoid being in constant symbolic conflicts with Ukraine and
Ukrainian community.

However, the viruses of the former Empire, being tightly interwoven with
people’s destinies, will still badly harm their daily life for a long time
to come.

This also allows speculators to manipulate people, pursuing their own
divide-and-rule interests.

Only if the old wars are finally brought to an end, through memory and
forgiveness, will it then be possible to walk on, leaving the historical and
land speculators without ghost of a chance.           -30-
NOTE: Author Ostap Kryvdyk, is a political scientist and an activist.

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

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1210 gmt 1 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, Feb 01, 2007

SIMFEROPOL – The religious situation in Crimea is stable on the whole and
relations between denominations are normal, the head of the Crimean state
committee for religious affairs, Volodymyr Malyborskyy, has said.

The Crimean cabinet’s press service has told UNIAN, quoting the Crimean
state committee for religious affairs, that as of [31] January [2007], there
were 1,296 [officially registered] religious organizations belonging to 48
religions, denominations, branches and cults in Crimea.

According to Volodymyr Malyborskyy, favourable conditions have been

created for religious organizations acting in Crimea.

In the meantime, a series of problems which remain outstanding are linked
mainly with the return of property which belonged to churches and religious
communities as well as with allocating land plots for building new premises.

The committee says that these issues should be solved at all levels – by the
local authorities and the Crimean cabinet as well as the central government
in Ukraine.

The Crimean cabinet says that on 31 January the committee’s board meeting
has registered six religious organizations (three Evangelical Christian
churches, one Muslim community belonging to the Crimean Muslim council, one
independent Muslim community and one Ukrainian Greek Catholic community).
Two more religious communities changed their statutes.

At the same time, the committee refused to register one religious community
(Simferopol-based Muslim independent community Davet) because some articles
in its statute violated existing legislation.

[Crimean Islamic communities which proclaim themselves independent from the
Muslim council usually belong to radical branches of Islam and are financed
and directed from Saudi Arabia.]

[Malyborskyy made his statement declaring religious stability amid numerous
reports on tensions in Crimea. This week alone, there have been three
ongoing conflicts flaring up between Muslims and Christians.

The Crimean private channel, Black Sea TV, has reported on 2000 gmt 31
January that Muslims have started to build a mosque without permission in
the centre of the Crimean Black Sea resort of Alushta, in the land plot
belonging to Kiev-based company Aerosvit.

Also on 2000 gmt 31 January, the same channel reported that the Muslims in
Feodosiya have filed a court case against the city municipality which
privatized a local mosque and sold it to an Evangelical Christian church.

In Bakhchysaray, known for ethnic and religious tensions, a local Christian
monastery plans to build its premises right in front of the Islamic medieval
holy site, Zyndzhyrly Madrasah, the Crimean daily Krymskoye Vremya has
reported on 1 February 07, p 7.]                         -30-

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

Black Sea TV, Simferopol, in Russian 1700 gmt 22 Jan 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007

SIMFEROPOL – Several thousand Crimean Tatars picketed the Crimean

parliament building, demanding land, on 22 January. The picket took place
after a failed attempt by a development company to dismantle an
unauthorized Crimean Tatar village in Simferopol.

The picket coincided with Crimean speaker’s announcement that he was

sacking a prominent Tatar radical from the post of his aide. In addition, the
Ukrainian parliament adopted a law introducing criminal responsibility for
land grabs. All this could further exacerbate the Crimean Tatar resettlement
problem now facing the government.

The following is the text of a report by the Ukrainian Crimean Black Sea TV
(ChTRK) on 22 January:

[Presenter] More than 3,000 Crimean Tatars gathered for a rally in
Simferopol’s central square in front of the Crimean parliament building

Rally participants said that they gathered to express their anxiety over
last week’s clashes which took place in Simferopol’s Balaklavska Street [See
report by Black Sea TV, Simferopol, in Russian 1700 gmt 18 January 07].

Last Thursday [18 January] there was a mass clash between inhabitants of an
illegal Crimean Tatar settlement and construction workers of a development
company, Olvi-Krym, over the land plot housing the settlement.

Today, the pickets were demanding land once again. They also protested
against the recently adopted law which introduced criminal responsibility
for land grabs.

[An elderly Crimean Tatar woman shouting at parliament against a background
of constant drumbeat] You, you should recognize our rights! You should adopt
laws on our rights!

[An elderly Crimean Tatar man, decorated with World War II medals, also
shouting] Thieves! Thieves! You have captured our homes and usurped our
land! And now you live there, yes? You should be put behind bars!

[Correspondent] Old people were in front rows. Those who are younger crowded
behind them. The beat of drums, large metal barrels beaten by wooden sticks,
resounded far beyond the square. Government officials observed the events
from a distance. The picketers demanded land.

[Lilya Khalilova, captioned as picket] We do not want much. We want just

10 ares [an are equals one hundredth of a hectare] to be allocated for each
family – and we are being harassed even for that.

[Correspondent] The picketers said they were not afraid of recently
introduced criminal responsibility for land grabs. They said the land grabs
law would not stop them.

[Crimean Tatar leader Ibraim Voyennyy, captioned as picketer] This is, as
the saying goes, enough to make a cat laugh. I say, they [the government]
should start by adopting laws restoring the rights of the Crimean Tatar
people. And only then should these laws on land grabs be adopted. And they,
as another saying goes, put the carriage in front of the horse.

[Correspondent] The drumbeat stopped when the midday Muslim prayers

began. Several hundred young men kneeled for prayer right on the lawn.
They immediately attracted journalists who crowded around them.

Danial Ametov, whom the media have dubbed the King of Land Grabs, led

the prayers. He took the most active part in the Balaklavska Street clashes.
Now, Crimean speaker Hrytsenko has dismissed Ametov from the post of
his aide.

[Anatoliy Hrytsenko, captioned as Crimean speaker] Unfortunately, Ametov,
during all the time he has been my aide, failed to perform his duties and
solve the problems which we had set out earlier.

That is why, after he took part in the Balaklavska Street events, I
dismissed him from the post of unpaid aide to the Crimean parliament

[Correspondent] The Crimean police head held talks with the [Crimean] prime
minister [Viktor Plakida]. He said that nothing extraordinary happened and
the talks were just a routine briefing.

[Volodymyr Khomenko, captioned as Crimean police head] This is a peaceful
rally which protests against the authorities’ inability to solve the land
problem. That is, I have discussed these issues with the prime minister and
I think that the authorities will take the following steps: they will start
talks [with Crimean Tatars].

[Correspondent] A live chain of policemen divided the picketers and
government officials. Security in the parliament building was stepped up. A
Berkut [special task force] unit was deployed in parliament’s inner yard.
The siege of parliament lasted for three hours.

Leaflets circulated at the rally said the following and I quote: Crimean
Tatars will never submit to not having their own land in Crimea, their
homeland. Not a single one of them. And if tomorrow it turns out that every
plot of land on the peninsula would have a so-called legitimate owner and
the Crimean Tatars have no land, then a conflict is imminent.

[Video shows a square filled with Crimean Tatars; Crimean Tatars beating
metal oil barrels; clips from the 18 January clash in Simferopol; elderly
Crimean Tatars shouting; pickets holding placards with slogans “Give land to
Crimea’s indigenous people!”; several hundred young Crimean Tatar men
kneeling for a Muslim prayer; a young imam and Danial Ametov leading the
prayers; pickets, Hrytsenko and Khomenko interviewed; policemen encircling
the pickets.]

[The Crimean Tatar service of the Crimean state-run TV channel, reporting on
the picket at 1600 gmt 22 Jan 07, said that 7,000 Crimean Tatars took part
in the rally.]

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

ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 24, 2007

KYIV – Crimean ecologists consider the proposal to the President of

Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko from of the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
of the Crimea autonomous republic Anatoly Hrytsenko to remove 800
hectares of land from the mountain-forest reserve and to use the land for
investment projects is irresponsible.

Andrey Artov deputy representative of Crimean association “Ecology and
 World” told today at the press conference in Simferopol.

“Such a statement of the first officials of the power of the Crimea
autonomous republic is irresponsible,” the ecologist said. At the same time
he noted that investments should not be an end in itself, they should be
“instrument” for solving social and ecological problems.

According to Artov, the reserve became today a “titbit” for some officials
who aspire to make money selling land on the south coast of Crimea. Sale
of Crimean lands can lead to destruction of Crimea.

Crimean ecologists demand from the Minister council of Crimea to submit
results on boundary of Yalta reserve and to forward agreement to the
President of Ukraine.

Moreover, ecologists demand to allocate funds for work completion of
boundary set of objects of natural-reserved fund of Crimea that has state

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea Anatoly Hrytsenko
proposed the President to remove 800 hectare from the reserve. According
to Hrytsenko, Yalta and villages of the south coast of Crimea don’t have
possibility to realize big investment projects because of lack of free

The speaker offered to solve this problem through reduction of area of
Yalta reserve. According to Hrytsenko, free land areas can be sold by
open auctions.                                          -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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NewswireToday, Castleford, Yorks, United Kingdom, Jan 22, 2007

The mountains and seas in Crimea, Ukraine, offer visitors great
opportunities for outdoor adventure activities.  AccessCrimea announces
the launch of its diving tour, in the beautiful waters of Balaklava, Crimea,
in the south of Ukraine.

Crimea is a peninsular located in the South of Ukraine. It is a land of deep
blue seas and towering coastal peaks, palaces and castles, expansive
forests, and ancient towns of stunning historical value. Crimea offers the
visitor a wealth of opportunities for outdoor adventure activities; such as
hiking, rock climbing and diving.

AccessCrimea, the leading tour operator in Crimea, is now offering a week
long diving tour to Balaklava in the south-west of Crimea. Balaklava is in a
unique and fascinating location that offers an intriguing mix of history and
natural beauty.

It was the location of the Crimean war of 1854 between Russia, and Britain,
France and Turkey, and the southern-most point that the Germans reached in
the 2nd World War. Balaklava’s clean waters and magnificent scenery make
this a great destination for diving, exploring, or just lying on one of its
many wild beaches.

Balaklava offers 30 dive sites, with an array of shipwrecks, underwater
caves, vertical walls, and even an old Soviet submarine factory built into a
mountain. Balaklava is the diving destination for people who want to
experience the new and exciting.

The founder of AccessCrimea is from Britain but has resided in Crimea
for 5 years. He stated that; “Many divers today are looking for something
new and off the beaten path. Balaklava is the destination for such divers.”

He went on to note; “There’s a lot more to this trip than just diving: the
tour includes a day in Kiev, and two tours to Crimea’s main sites; the
ancient cave towns at Bakhchisarai, and the historical palaces of Crimea’s
stunning south coast.”

AccessCrimea provides a wide range of tourist services; from booking
accommodation, to supplying translators and guides. Being a small company,
AccessCrimea offers its service on a very personal level. The services are
very flexible; an individual itinerary can be tailored according to a
clients needs.                                  -30-

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

By Walter Ruby, The Jewish Week
Cinderella Travel, New York, NY, Monday, February 5, 2007

It is a hot August day in Alushta, a popular beach resort on the scenic
Crimean coast set against a magnificent backdrop of green and rugged
mountains climbing to 5,000 feet.

Tens of thousands of vacationers from across the former Soviet Union are
strolling along the town’s tightly packed Naberejnaya (seaside promenade) in
minimal states of dress, plunking down on blankets on adjacent pebbly
beaches and swimming in the clear and limpid waters of the Black Sea.

As an “affectionado” of beach towns from Hawaii to the Cote D’Azur, I am
struck by how lively and colorful the scene in Alushta is compared to resort
towns in the West.

Certainly there is a whole lot of selling going on out on the Naberejnaya,
where one finds a seemingly endless line of vendors manning small stands
that sell a cornucopia of products and services to beachgoers at what, for
Westerners at least, are rock-bottom prices.

Here are sellers of cold beer and home-made wines; impossibly delicious
watermelons selling for six Ukrainian hryvnya (about $1.20); grapes;
peaches; eggplants; garlic and sweet onions; roasted corn on the cob; dried
fish hanging on poles and spicy; piping hot Georgian meat; and cheese-filled
pastries with exotic names like chiburekee and hatchipuri.

Nearby, representatives of competing local tour companies hold aloft
colorful signboards spelling out their travel offerings for the week and
attempt to out-shout each other in enticing tourists to sign up for tours of
caves, waterfalls and ancient fortresses scattered around the rugged Crimean

Rickshaw drivers on bicycles weave precariously in and out of pedestrian
traffic as they urge walkers to take a load off their feet and take a ride
down the Naberejnaya.

Other sharp-eyed capitalists have come to the waterfront with a storehouse
of lavish costumes and exotic animals, calling out to passersby to pose as
Marie Antoinette or Rasputin, or with a monkey or falcon perched on their

Overall, the Alushta waterfront is a festive “anything goes” sort of scene
with an over-the-top, almost Felliniesque, quality. It is tacky as hell to
be sure, but tacky in an ingenuous, life-enhancing way they would never be
able to replicate in places like Fort Lauderdale or Santa Monica.

Speaking of which, it seems more than a little surprising that the American
travel industry has yet to discover Crimea, a triangular, Maryland-sized
peninsula suspended like a pendant from Ukraine ‘s southern coast far out
into the Black Sea that must surely rank as one of the most exquisite and
affordable vacation destinations on Earth.

Crimea’s overpoweringly beautiful landscape, with majestic vistas of
mountains plunging into the sea, comes together with an overabundance of
ruined cities and castles, fin de siecle palaces from the last days of
Imperial Russia, as well as modern resort towns like Alushta.

The mountains of southern Crimea are a naturalist’s paradise – a wild-west
landscape filled with great stone monoliths, hidden waterfalls and
spectacular caves. Further north the mountains give way to broad steppes,
and rocky beaches segue into sandy ones. The flora and fauna of Crimea are
Mediterranean-like, yet with enough rain to keep the landscape translucently
green year around.

Crimea is the place where Russia first encountered the Islamic world when
Catherine the Great captured the place from the Ottoman Turks, some 225
years ago.

Today this region, upon which Pushkin, Chekhov and Tolstoy lavished some of
their most sublime poetry and prose, remains a scintillating blend of Europe
and Asia with a mixed population of Orthodox Christian Slavs and Muslim
Tatars, and with a myriad of archeological and architectural treasures.

Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, some 500 miles north of Alushta, has gotten
some ink in the U.S. media in the two years since the country’s
pro-democratic “Orange Revolution” as a hip undiscovered “new Prague,” and a
growing number of American Jews have been taking heritage tours to shtetls
in western and central Ukraine their ancestors inhabited a century or more

Yet Americans and western Europeans are few and far between in Crimea,

once known as the “Soviet Riviera” and today Ukraine ‘s main tourist mecca.
Crimea is packed with visitors during the peak season, but nearly all of
them from the “FSU” or nearby East European countries.

Indeed, during a weeklong visit to Crimea last August, my fiancé Tatyana,
her teenage daughter Hannah and I managed to go through our vacation without
overhearing another person speaking English.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Americans have not yet begun showing up in
Crimea in significant numbers because the tourism infrastructure still has
some distance to go in terms of dropping old Soviet habits and adapting to
reach western standards.

While several luxury hotels have been built in resorts like Yalta and
Alushta in the past several years, with sky-high prices to boot, many other
hotels with quite decent accommodations do not accept credit cards and
insist that visitors pay their entire bill up front in hryvnya (pronounced

In addition, there are very few car rental companies in Crimea. This
lamentable situation means that visitors who wish to reach sites of interest
in scattered and often remote locations around the peninsula must either
seek out and hire a driver with a car and negotiate a price per day for his
services, or accept being crammed onto tour buses and mini-vans and put up
with guides who rarely speak English and tend to put tour group members
through their paces in much the way that drill sergeants treat military

For all of that, Crimea is developing apace and western style conveniences
are arriving rapidly, if only to service the “New Russians” – the nouveau
riche of Moscow who have traveled the world and are now demanding the same
level of services at home that they find in Spain or France.

In the meantime, Crimea remains a place for the adventurous; people willing
to put up with a certain level of inconvenience and discomfort in order to
experience one of the world’s most vibrantly beautiful locations before it
is transformed into a more standardized, but less interesting, place.

Crimea has a fascinating history that begins with colonization by the
ancient Greeks (Cape Meganom, in eastern Crimea is traditionally believed to
be the spot where Odysseus found an entrance to the Underworld of Hades in
Greek mythology).

Then came conquest by the Scythians, Byzantines, Cimmerians, Khazars (a
mysterious Turkic people of the southern Russian steppes whose monarchs
converted to Judaism around 800 A.D.), Venetians, Genoese, Mongols, Crimean
Tatars and Ottoman Turks who, as noted, were expelled by the armies of the
lascivious but geopolitically adept Catherine the Great.

According to local lore, one of the mountains above Alushta is said to
resemble Catherine lying on her stomach gazing hungrily across the Black Sea
in anticipation of never-realized conquests in Turkey.

Crimea’s history impacts its present-day composition of some 2.5 million
Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars (a Muslim people who were expelled to
Central Asia by Stalin during World War II, but who have now largely
returned), Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Crimean Kairites, a nearly extinct
Turkic people descended from the Khazars who practice a religion that
venerates the Torah, but rejects the oral tradition of rabbinical Judaism.

With the recent ascension to power in the Ukrainian government by
pro-Russian prime Viktor Yanukovych, the expectation on the street in
Alushta is that the new Russian millionaires from Moscow will start
investing in Crimea ‘s infrastructure in a big way.

Indeed, the Orange Revolution with its pro-western and anti-Russian
sentiments, never had much impact in Crimea where ethnic Russians
considerably outnumber Ukrainians.

A wild card, however, are the Crimean Tatars – estimated at about 15 percent
of the population – who are widely resented by the Slavic population for
ongoing efforts to reclaim lost lands, and who seem, in general, to be
moving in a more Islamic direction (Tatar women wearing head scarves

can be seen selling melons and trinkets to bikini-clad tourists on the
Alushta waterfront).

Alushta is hardly the most renowned of Crimea’s beach resorts. That honor
falls to Yalta, which lies thirty miles down the rugged coastline to the

Yalta remains the crème de la crème of Crimea, a faded dowager from the
gilded age of Chekhov (a statue of his famous literary figure A Lady With A
Dog occupies the place of honor on the Yalta Naberejnaya), that is presently
shaking off generations of Soviet lethargy and preparing for its second
coming with an influx of flashy luxury apartment buildings.

Yet Alushta, a less sedate town that is presently celebrating its 100th
anniversary, is where the action is in Crimea, a place where middle-class
Russians and Ukrainians of all ages come for a rollicking good time.

Alushta is a relatively small place with a permanent population of about
35,000 (at least five times that number cram into town during the high
season of July and August) but it offers great differences in terms of

The beachfront is wild, crazy and open all night, both along the laid back
Naberejnaya, where couples stroll at all hours and night swimming is a
pleasure, and the less appealing downtown entertainment zone, which during
July and August is a raucous party scene with a frenetic combination of
discos and carnival rides.

Yet only a few blocks up from the beachfront, at the other end of a charming
hillside park filled with cypress trees and southern pines, the city is
eerily quiet on warm summer nights under a canopy of bright stars.

Astride another hilltop is the old section of town, one finds a rabbit’s
warren of distinctive Russian-style wooden houses, an ornate Orthodox Church
and a recently restored centuries-old mosque with a soaring gilded minaret.

Alushta means “Place of Winds” in ancient Greek, and because it sits in a
bowl-like valley with the wind whipping down from a mountain pass about
seven miles away, the town has a slightly cooler, decidedly less humid
climate than Yalta, which is so closely hemmed in by mountains that it can
be stifling during the summer heat.

Alushta also has the advantage of being at the center point of the Crimean
coast; with Yalta, Livadia Palace (site of the 1945 conference featuring
Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill), the kitschy Swallow’s Nest castle, the
soaring I-Petri mountain and the port city of Sevastopol within an hour to
two hour’s drive to the west; and the awe inspiring Valley of the Ghosts
with its rock monoliths, the exquisite cliff-dominated Novy Svet coastline
and the great Genoese hilltop castle of Sudak, a similar distance to the

Alushta is also less than an hour’s drive from Simferopol, the gateway to
Crimea for travelers arriving by train and plane, and only 90 minutes from
the ancient mountaintop cave city of Chufut Kale (or Jews’ Fortress), a
mysterious, now abandoned, place settled nearly 2,000 years ago that long
served as the spiritual center of the Kairites.

The principle pleasure of Alushta is, of course, the sea, and the Black Sea
is divine on a hot summer day – unexpectedly clear, calm and deliciously
cool. A visitor has a choice of swimming at the beach attached to his or her
hotel or sanatorium, or paying a fee of about a dollar to swim at one of a
number of public beaches.

Like the Mediterranean, the limpid Black Sea is a swimmer’s – not a wave
rider’s – sea. On most beaches there is no discernable effort by lifeguards
to keep swimmers close to the shore (often there are no lifeguards at all),
and visitors can swim far enough out to sea to float on their backs and
enjoy the wide panorama of the Alushta waterfront and green mountains
soaring high above the town.

For the more adventurous there are diversions like parasailing over the
water for about $40. Tour boats leave hourly from the principal piers of
Alushta for excursions up and down the coast, including a mellow eight hour
round trip sail to Yalta and the Swallow’s Nest castle for about $15 a
                                      WHERE TO EAT
Alushta has never been known for world class dining, but during the last
year or two, some upscale restaurants have sprung up to serve the “new
Russian” clientele. One is the Dorado Fish Restaurant (at the far western
end of the Nabarejnya), which is attached to the sleek new More (Sea)

Diners on a third floor outdoor terrace overlooking the sea are treated to
linen table cloths, impeccable service and an extensive list of Crimean and
Georgian wines.

Tanya and I had a local Sauvignon, which was a little sweet but delicious,
while listening to a local crooner giving a mannered performance of Tony
Bennett songs. Despite all the flourishes, prices are quite reasonable. I
had an excellent veal in asparagus dish for 70 grivny (about $13) while
Tanya had a superb salmon for 60 grivny ($12).

The most charming restaurant in Alushta is Valdelai (Aquarius), an
oh-so-mellow New-Agey sort of eatery located at the eastern end of the
Naberejnaya, which offers alfresco dining on three terraces and overhanging
balconies amidst abundant trees and semi-tropical flowering bushes
overlooking the sea.

The thick foliage so muffles sound that, even on evenings when a rock band
is performing on one end of the outdoor restaurant, diners at the other end
can savor their food and sip their drinks in complete tranquility.

Valdelai offers a wide assortment of wonderfully cooked dishes for prices
that are also to savor (I had a succulent lamb shashlik and fried potatoes
for $6).

Still, the restaurant’s trademark crème de la crème (literally) are its
desserts, especially an ice cream concoction called the Egoist, which is
composed of several flavors of ice cream, chocolate waffles, noisettes, and
Sheridan ‘s liqueur. Equally delicious is the Coco Paradise, with ice cream,
Malibu liqueur, cream and banana.
                                        WHERE TO STAY
Until recently, it was difficult to find hotels in Alushta up to western
standards, but that has begun to change. The most resplendent addition to
the city’s waterfront is the Crimean Riviera, a meticulously appointed
hostelry with a first rate if slightly stuffy restaurant and bar and a huge
swimming pool set amidst tropical vegetation fronting on the beach.

Still, the price tag ($253 a night during the high season, $195 off-season,
suites $477 in high season), might give pause to some visitors, especially
since the Crimean Riviera is so close to the downtown entertainment zone
that the throb of all-night revelry penetrates the more dignified ambiance
the Crimean Riviera seeks to maintain.

An alternative hotel that is cheaper and quieter is the Crimean Stars
Boarding House, set alongside the Naberejnaya and offering among its diverse
services a special medical program offered inside what is referred to as a
“hydrochloric cave.” High season prices there range from $98 to $123 for a
double and $142 to $180 for a suite.

The Aquapark, which is part of an entertainment complex that includes one of
the few water parks in the former Soviet Union, has double rooms from $128
to $139 and suites from $152 to $180, but unless you are looking for an
atmosphere stressing squeaky clean family fun, this may not be the place for

More upscale and secluded is the just-completed More (Sea), a gleaming
collection of stucco vacation villas, each with a large swimming pool and
tennis courts (both rarities at Russian resorts) and a faux gazebo
calculated to evoke the 19th century world of Pushkin and Lermontov. At the
More, double rooms range from $152 to $208 during the high season and suites
start at $380.

An alternative form of hostelry is a venerable institution known as the
sanatorium – places that during the Soviet era rewarded loyal workers and
government apparatchiks from Moscow, Leningrad and elsewhere with
free-of-charge vacations on the Crimean coast including three meals a day,
entertainment and medical treatment.

Most of the sanatoriums in Alushta, which are mainly located on a scenic,
secluded, and beautifully landscaped hilltop known as Professors Nook, still
function in the old way, except that guests now have to pay a portion of the
cost of their stay. Many sanatoriums now open their doors to foreigners, who
pay a considerably higher, but still relatively modest, bill of fare.

Tatyana, Hannah and I were fortunate enough to find space at the Dubna
sanatorium, which serves as a vacation home for scientists and technicians
from Dubna, a small town near Moscow that is home to the once-super-secret
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

At night it is possible to pick out the Dubna atop Professors Nook from
miles around because of a neon nuclear symbol emblazoned on its roof.

Yet other than that garish accoutrement, the complex is quiet and dignified,
with a gorgeous view of the sweep of the coastline and a winding path
leading from the hotel down to the beachfront passing through charming
gardens filled with cypress and acacia trees.

Staying at the Dubna is like placing oneself in a time capsule straight back
to the Soviet era, with a paternalistic management fussily trying to ensure
that everyone sits in the same place each day in the dining hall, and
offering “folkloric” musical programs filled with balalaikas and ballads.

Still, the “old regime” style feels somehow comforting and nostalgically
egalitarian; especially in comparison to the “serve the rich and screw the
rest” ethic clearly taking over in resorts like Alushta. Meals at the Dubna
are nourishing and tasty without being exciting, but certainly no one will
go hungry here.

The best part of the package is the cost – only $48 a day per person for
foreign guests, including three meals a day. Incredibly, spa treatments and
medical and dental services by in-house doctors and dentists are also
included in the price. An American travel agent can make your reservation,
but the Dubna does not take credit cards, so you will have to pay the whole
cost of your stay in grivnye upon arrival.
                                      DAY EXCURSIONS
There is so much to do and see in Crimea that any visitor who is here for
less than a month will have to make hard choices. For those who love nature,
trekking in the rugged backcountry is strongly recommended.

Just up the mountain from the semi-tropical languor of Alushta is the Valley
of the Ghosts, a surreal badlands landscape of giant stone pillars that look
like they might have been dropped from the sky by alien visitors, but were
in fact sculpted by wind erosion.

The Valley of the Ghosts and Mount Demerdzhi, which towers above it, can be
toured on horseback as well as on foot. From atop nearby Demerdzhi, whose
Tatar name means “Blacksmith’s mountain,” a reference to the deep red hue it
takes during the afternoon hours, there is a sublime view over rock-strewn
mountainsides, verdant vineyards sloping down to Alushta far below and a
grand sweep of the Black Sea coast beyond.

Another nearby nature hike is to the Dzhur-Dzhur waterfall set in a lush,
thickly forested glade in a gorge cut into the stark, arid-looking

Visitors, who are hot and sweaty from the exertion of a 45-minute climb to
the falls, can cool off instantly by plunge into one of several frigid pools
fed by natural springs, with water temperatures just above freezing.

Also not far away is the Marble Cave, which was discovered in 1987, and has
several expansive underground halls with stalactites and stalagmites of
fantastic shapes, resembling mammoths and dragon heads.

Ninety minutes or so further afield is Bakhchisarai, a medieval town filled
with mosques and brightly colored houses, set at the edge of a canyon in the
center of Crimea, near where the southern mountains rise majestically from
the northern steppes.

Bakhchiserai was the capital of the Crimean Tatar khanate during the 16th
century and retains a strongly Middle Eastern flavor, with Tatar men sitting
in outdoor cafes smoking hookahs and playing sheshbesh.

The centerpiece of the town is the Khan’s Palace, a sprawling series of
halls and courtyards with intricately designed wooden ceilings, ornate
Arabic inscriptions and exquisite marble fountains.

The windows of the rooms where the women of the harem once lived are
covered with grilled latticework that allowed the women to look out without
being seen.

In the corner of a reception hall is a small white fountain known as the
Fountain of Tears, built by an 18th century Tatar khan to express his grief
over the loss of a Polish princess he loved who was murdered by a jealous
lady of the harem.

The great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, placed two roses in the fountain
when he visited here in 1820 and wrote Fountain of Bakhchisarai, a poem that
is a still a part of the repertoire of every Russian school child. Two roses
are still placed in the fountain every morning; evoking an eye that
constantly sheds tears.

Up a steep footpath into the hills that tower over Bakhchisarai is the
Uspensky Monastery, a gold-domed church build into a sheer cliffside that
was originally founded by Byzantine monks in the late 7th century and newly
restored since the collapse of Communism.

Today the monastery is a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians, with
bearded Russian priests in long cassocks asking visitors for alms and
babuskhkas (grandmothers) in head scarves and bright costumes gossiping
beside a spring said to contain holy water.

A bracing climb of about an hour beyond the monastery brings the visitor to
Chufut-Kale, a ruined city of cave dwellings located on a windswept
mountaintop plateau with dizzying views in all directions.

Chufut-Kale is believed to have been founded by the Goths and Alans under
the guidance of the Byzantines around the 6th century A.D. and several
hundred years later to have fallen under the rule of the Khazars, whose
kings converted to Judaism in the 8th and 9th centuries and whose empire,
which stretched from the Caspian Sea to Ukraine, included Crimea.

A nearby equally mysterious cave-city known as Mangup-Kale is known to have
been captured by the Khazars. Chufut-Kale, which has Jewish inscriptions
dating back to 1203, was ruled for several centuries by the Crimean Tatars,
but they abandoned the city for Bakhchisarai in the 17th century and
thereafter Chufut-Kale was occupied mainly by the Kairites, a Turkic people
who have preserved a proto-Judaic identity.

For this reason, the city became known in the Tatar tongue as Chufut Kale
(Jews’ Fortress).

Passing through a stone gate in the thick walls surrounding the lost city,
the visitor finds a vast network of once inhabited caves and ruined Kairite
temples (the Kairite word for “temple,” kenassa, is from the same Hebrew
root as bet knesset or synagogue), several of which contain mysterious
inscriptions in Hebrew lettering, but in the Kairite tongue.

One such inscription, which can be seen in a kenassa with a tiled roof,
records the visit of Czar Alexander III in 1886.

There is a “time out of mind” quality to this stark and lonely place where
one feels a direct link to the legendary Khazars, who still retain a ghostly
connection to the modern world through their fast vanishing descendants,
the Crimean Kairites.

There are only about 800 Crimean Kairites remaining today (there are also
small Kairite communities in Israel, Lithuania and elsewhere), and their
numbers are steadily shrinking due to assimilation and intermarriage. Most
Crimean Kairites now live in the city of Yevpatoria, two and a half hours
northwest of Alushta, across the steppes that cover the northern two thirds
of the peninsula.

In this shabby but vibrant 2,500-year-old seaside town, originally founded
as a Greek colony, and today a stew of ethnic and religious groups, it is
possible to visit a centuries’ old Kairite kenassa and speak to bearded
community elders wearing Turkish fezzes.

The elders explain that they adhere to the strict letter of the law as
written in the Torah, but reject any additions after the time of the
Prophets. The Kairites proudly display Torah scrolls, recite the Shma on
Yom Kippur and wish each other Shabbat Shalom. Yet they stress they
are ethnic Turks and have no relationship with modern-day Judaism or Israel

They also have less than friendly relations with local Jews, who accuse them
of having collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of World
War II, a charge the Kairites heatedly deny. Adjoining the kenassa is an
historical museum, graveyard with stones covered with inscriptions in Hebrew
lettering and a restaurant serving Kairite cuisine.

Two hours east of Alushta along the majestic coastline is an area known as
Novy Svet, a collection of magical bays and soaring rock outcroppings. Close
by is the spectacular fortress of Sudak, a huge medieval fortress built atop
a seaside cliff with thick walls and 14 square towers.

The Sudak castle was constructed by the Genoese, whose seafaring Italian
city-state colonized the Crimean coast during the 14th and 15th centuries.

This was one of the terminal points of the Silk Road linking China with
Europe, a place said to have been visited by Marco Polo’s father and uncle
on their first trip to China .

From the fortress walls, there is a dizzying drop to the beachfront below.
In recent summers, there have been medieval festivals at Sudak complete

with jousting tournaments.

The places recommended in this article only scratch the surface of all there
is to see and experience in Crimea . Here is betting that the first-time
visitor will follow the lead of Pushkin, Chekhov and Catherine the Great,
and return many times to this magical peninsula; a sublime mélange of
mountains and sea, East and West, legend and half-forgotten history.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 9, 2007

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko laid a wreath at the memorial plaque in Nations
Square and observed one minute of silence on Friday to honor hundreds of
Ukrainians killed in Flossenburg, a German concentration camp where his
25-year-old father, Andriy, was imprisoned during the Second World War,
according to the President`s press-office.

“This was the final stage of his [father’s] confinement. He used to tell me
how they were liberated by the Americans and how he escaped when he was
being transported from Auschwitz,” he told reporters.

After his escape on October 20, 1944, Andriy Yushchenko was arrested in the
Czech city of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) and sent to Flossenburg. He was one of
its fifteen thousand inmates. His name and personal number, 38034, can still
be found in the camp archives.

The President saw Flossenburg’s Death Valley and crematorium, and prayed in
a chapel. He then wrote a few words in the Flossenburg Golden Book,
“Sixty-two years ago, my father was here along with hundreds of other young
people. I bow my head to honor them.”

Mr. Yushchenko gave the Flossenburg Memorial Complex some earth from

Babyn Yar.                                      -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 22, 2007

KYIV – An exhibition “Unclassified Memory” will be opened in Kharkiv,
on which secret materials [made public in 2006] of Security Service of
Ukraine will be represented.

The head of the Kharkiv department of SBU Andriy Mukhatayev told
journalists the exhibition will be organized next week jointly with Kharkiv
regional state administration.

Exposition is devoted to the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. It
will represent documents, access to which was denied till recently.
The exhibition “Unclassified Memory” is movable.

It is planned to hold it in all regional centers of Ukraine. Citizens of
Kyiv, Donetsk and Luhansk have already seen the materials of the
exhibition.                               -30-

FOOTNOTE: I wonder if the SBU Exhibition in Kharkiv still has
in it the famine photographs taken in Russia in 1921-1922 that
were shown in the SBU Holodomor Exhibition when it was held
in Kyiv in late November 2006.  The photographs were said to be
from Ukraine 1932-1933 but they were not.  AUR EDITOR
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                     ERECTED IN KYIV DOWNTOWN

ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, January 29, 2007

KYIV – The Kyiv City Rada has allotted a land plot to be used for
Holodomor victims memorial erection, the Cabinet press office
reported. [

The Verkhovna Rada has acknowledged the 1932-1933 famine as
Ukrainian nation genocide in November 2006.

On October 25 Ukraine commemorates Day of Holodomor and
political repression victims. According to experts, about 7-10
million of Ukrainians died from the Holodomor in 1932-33.

Apart from Ukraine, the Holodomor has been already recognized as
genocide by 10 countries – the USA, Canada, Australia, Georgia,
Moldova and Baltic States.                           -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Article By Arkadij Sydoruk, Writer
The Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, Mirror-Weekly #1(630)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Jan. 13-19, 2007 (in Russian)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 10, in English
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2007

The fact that Stanislav Kulchytsky and James Mace belong to different
generations is really not so important. Of importance is that they were
born and grew up in polar societies, totalitarian and democratic.

The Ukrainian historian and the American researcher of Ukraine’s modern
history had taken different roads to the truth about the Holodomor.
Kulchytsky’s road was longer and harder.

“James Mace, like all Western researchers, had a jump on me,” Stanislav
Kulchytsky admits.” They knew everything they needed to know since their
college days. By contrast, I had to make up on my reading when I already
had a doctorate in history.

Orest Subtelny, my good friend for whom I did much to promote his book
“Ukraine: A History,”  told me that he had read twelve volumes by Arnold
Toinbee at the age of 16. I could do it only in 1990 when the world’s most
outstanding work on the philosophy of history came out in the Russian

Hitherto, I knew only Marx, Engels and Lenin – to their advantage and my
disadvantage. On the other hand, I knew the Soviet archives to which
Western researchers, Subtelny and Mace including, had no access.    

Research activities of Kulchytsky and Mace have very clear chronological
boundaries. The former focused on the Ukrainian history between WWI and

The latter’s focus looks narrower from the chronological point of view – the
emergence and death of national communism in Ukraine in the 20s – early 30s
and the Great Famine of 1932-1933. However, for a good quarter of the
century Mace was a diligent student of Ukrainian history and civilization.

Their professional careers also showed some divergence. After his graduation
from the Odesa Mechnykov university department of history and move over
to live in Kyiv, Kulchytsky took his postgraduate course, working also as a
researcher at the Ukraine’s Academy of Sciences Institute of Economics.

“Economic history is my only focus in science – I haven’t done anything else
in my life,” he said. While at the Institute of Economics he was deeply
involved with the industrialization of the USSR. His interest in this topic
grew when he started to work at the Institute of History.

Later on, when the Ukrainian historian tackles the Great Famine of
1932-1933, the American researcher will engage in polemics with his
Ukrainian colleague. In his articles (they had never met face-to-face),
James Mace criticized Kulchytsky for concentrating too much on the
economy. Kulchytsky responded by saying the economy has always
been and will always be a major approach.

Being a self-critical and sensible person, Kulchytsky had to admit finally,
saying, “When I wrote my first book on the Famine titled ‘The Price of a
Great Turning Point’, I looked at many things but couldn’t get their true

Mace read the book, commenting that it has an “exaggerated economic
edge.” Kulchytsky’s book was published by Politizdat publishers in 1991,
a short time before Ukraine proclaimed its independence.

For his part, untangling knotty puzzles of Ukraine’s modern history, Mace
concentrated on the national issue.

In his doctoral dissertation “Communism and the Dilemmas of National
Liberation: National Communism in Soviet Ukraine in 1918-1993″ defended
in the University of Michigan in 1981 and then published by the Harvard
University Press, Mace explained the reasons for the collapse of national
patriotic ideas and of the process of Ukranianization by their
incompatibility with the communist ideology.

“For me, this view was absolutely strange, same as everything connected
with national communism, the Communist party and the system of power,”
Kulchytsky wrote. “At the time, I focused on the economic crisis per se. It
provoked the developments which led to the 1933 Holodomor. Without the
economic approach, it is impossible to study the Holodomor. I didn’t realize
at the time that the economic approach alone was not sufficient.”

The book, regarded by Kulchytsky as a watershed in his research work,
contains a definition of genocide. “I used the word in its direct meaning –
the extermination of the people. For me it was a synonym of the
Holodomor. I didn’t give it any legal meaning.

Now it has acquired an international legal sense. With time, digging into
the nature of Soviet totalitarianism, I became aware of its true meaning,”
he said.

Existing in the conditions of a liberal totalitarian regime, Soviet Ukraine
lagged years behind on the realization of its greatest national tragedy,
even more so with the recognition of the Famine as genocide. The almost
10-year delay coupled with the pressure of the communist regime and impact
of former stereotypes explains the situation Kulchytsky found himself in.

For his part, James Mace was the first among Western scholars to describe
the manmade famine in Ukraine as genocide back in 1982, addressing an
international forum on the Holocaust in Tel-Aviv.

“The aim of the Holodomor, as far as we understand it, was to annihilate
the Ukrainian nation as a political factor and public organism, to reduce
Ukrainians to the status described by Germans as naturvolk (or primeval
people – Auth.),” Kulchytsky noted.

Incidentally, this important work of Mace was first published in my
translation and 25 years later it came out in the Ukrainian historical
journal, #2, 2007 thanks to personal cooperation from Stanislav Kulchytsky.

Kulchytsky and Mace began to study the issue of Holodomor under
different circumstances and for different reasons. The Ukrainian scholar
operated on the orders from the authorities, something that totally
changed his life.

When in 1986, due to the potent campaign of the American diaspora, the
congressional and presidential commission to investigate the Famine in
Ukraine was set up, the Communist party nomenklatura in Kyiv viewed it
as a preparation for a large-scale subversive act in the run up to the 70th
anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Ukraine.

Kulchytsky recalls that, alongside with other researchers, he had been
summoned to the Communist party central committee and instructed to
work on the so-called anti-famine commission. “The commission, in fact,
produced negligible results,” he recalls, “but examination of archives
exposing the ruthless crime of the Stalin regime, had changed my views
in the course of one year.”

Based on his research, Kulchytsky prepared a report to the central
committee in the fall of 1987 which was shelved for a long time. “The
nomenklatura spurned my report, and my vision of the famine was just
my personal opinion.”

James Mace took up the issue of Holodomor in early 80s on the heels of
his doctoral dissertation on the national communism. At that time, Roman
Szporluk, Professor of History of Central and Eastern Europe at the
University of Michigan and Mace’s tutor, introduced him to Ukrainian
immigrants who had survived the Holodomor.

Mace, an American Indian, was so much emotionally overwhelmed by their
recounts that he felt the pains of Ukrainian as his own. “Your dead have
called me,” he said after some time.

Jointly with Robert Conquest, James Mace headed the Harvard project on
Holodomor. In 1986-1990, Mace was named executive director of the
congressional and presidential commission to investigate the Famine in
                       GLASNOST AND THE RED SEAL
Stanislav Kulchytsky first heard about the work of the commission and Dr.
Mace in 1987 when the commission report was received by the Academy of
Sciences Institute of History via Ukraine’s foreign ministry. Both scholars
had known about each other since mid 80s and kept track of their activities
by their publications.

They met for the first time when Dr Mace came to Kyiv in early ’90s. Mace
wasted no time about coming to the Institute of History. He handed over to
Kulchytsky three volumes of evidence of famine survivors prepared for
publication by the US commission. The Ukrainian scholar published his
review of the documentary materials in “Under the Banner of Leninism”
journal, now Polityka i Chas.

Interestingly, Kulchytsky could lay his hands on the 1988 report published
by a state publishing house in Washington only in 1991.At the time, he was
in charge of writing off documents from the Communist party central
committee archive, and the US report was a kind of a reward for his dull
work. According to Kulchytsky, the commission report was received by
the central committee office on May 9, 1988.

As all the archives were closely guarded by the ministry of state security,
small wonder he couldn’t see it earlier. The situation has not changed
despite the declared policy of Glasnost and Perestroika.

Even Kulchytsky, a leading specialist in a state-run research institution,
who was invited to present his expert opinion in front of the central
committee political board members, had only restricted access to archives
with anti-Soviet documents, viewed as extra dangerous stuff by communist
Stanislav Kulchytsky was eager to get acquainted with the unique 500-page
document, the bulk of which was written by James Mace. Especially with
the chapter titled “Post-Stalinist Soviet Historiography on Ukraine” which
reviewed the articles on the Holodomor published in early 1988 by the
diaspora-targeted News from Ukraine (its complete version came out in
print under the title “On the situation in the Ukrainian agriculture (1931-
1933)” in the Ukrainian-language issue of this paper – “Visti z Ukrayiny.”

James Mace described the publication as “an indicator of permissible
research boundaries for Soviet Ukrainian historians” in the aftermath of a
speech on Dec. 25, 1987 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet power
in Ukraine made by the CPU first secretary Vladimir Shcherbitsky. In it,
Shcherbitsky for the first time broke the taboo set by Stalin  and
recognized that there was a famine in Ukraine in 1933.

“The article in the News from Ukraine which was in fact a report to the
central committee, created wide repercussions, mostly in the negative vein,”
Kulchytsky recalls. ” The positive lied in the fact that I touched on the
topic [of Holodomor – AUR], the negative was that I justified the central
committee policy. That was what Mace spotted in the English translation
of the article, quoting it almost verbatim in the congress report.”

The article produced wide repercussions in the West. After its publication
by the Ukrainian Historical Journal Dr Mace analyzed it in detail in his
fundamental work “How Ukraine was allowed to remember” which was
published in the Ukrainian Quarterly, an American journal.

Mace called it the first scientific article by Kulchytsky about the Famine.
Mace gave Kulchytsky credit for concluding that the primary cause of the
Famine was the Moscow-ordered grain seizures rigorously controlled by
members of the so-called emergency commissions sent from Russia.

Analyzing another article published in Sept. 1988 by the News from Ukraine,
Mace stressed that its author was the first to shed light on the existence
of such commissions and, therefore, provided additional information for
Western researchers.

J. Mace emphasized an important evolution in Kulchytsky’s views as
mirrored in his article “1933: the tragedy of famine” published in #2-5
issues of The Literaturna Ukrayina in 1989. Same year, the article was
reprinted by the Znannya Publishers. It was Kulchytsky’s response to
a barrage of criticism leveled against his earlier publications.

In the opinion of the American researcher, it was crucial that Kulchytsky
had denounced as Stalin’s and his circle of party and state leaders’ gravest
crime the use of emergency commissions to forcefully seize grain, to punish
the villages for grain shortfalls as well as the blockade of Ukraine and
criminal and cowardly news blackout imposed by Stalin on the situation in
Ukraine’s rural areas.

“Kulchytsky presented the issue as a Soviet historian, his research was
equally political and scientific. As soon as his access to the archives
widened, he stopped being a Soviet historian and became just a historian.”
Mace commented.

James Mace praised Stanislav Kulchytsky on several counts.
[1] First, Kulchytsky sent a report to Shcherbitsky to pursuade him to
recognize the famine in Ukraine.
[2] Second, he authored research works, newspaper articles and radio
broadcasts which, although not absolutely frank, included all the facts
one was permitted to discuss at the time.
[3] Third, he made a breakthrough by publishing questions in The Silski
visti newspaper for the book “33: Famine. A book of people’s memory,”
written by Vladimir Manyak and his wife, journalist Lidia Kovalenko

More than once Mace took the side of Kulchytsky. He shielded him from
the attacks of blood-thirsty radicals, realizing that Kulchytsky’s goal was
to influence the party nomenklatura into acknowledging the tragedy of the
Holodomor. Dr. Mace called Stanislav Kulchytsky a self-sacrificing
Ukrainian scholar.
Kulchytsky never portrayed himself as a man without sins. Nor did he beat
his breast begging repentance for his past work.

Answering my question about his reaction to the fact that some of his
conclusions eventually proved false, he quietly replied, “I guess, my answer
would be unexpected. I study the history of Ukraine every day. And every
year I come up with discoveries, first for myself.

It is quite natural, because we have been brought up in line with a very
specific set of guidelines and stereotypes. There is no getting rid of them
overnight. My perception of the world is still changing. I haven’t become
an anticommunist.

I just perceive things as they were and I am often the first to present this
or that opinion. I do not care at all if my past views are different from my
present ones. It refers to my past evaluations of the famine given in my
publications in the 60s-70s.

At that time, there were many facts I didn’t know about. I must admit I was
a die-hard communist at the time. My reports (as an expert with a doctoral
degree I was requested to submit my evaluations to the central committee)
are stored in archives.

I also have them at home but I have no time to analyse them. When I got
wind that Roman Serbyn, a renowned scholar of Ukraine’s history and
professor of the Montreal university, set out to analyse the rethinking of
the national history in Ukraine, I handed over these materials to him.”

Getting back to his friend and colleague James Mace, Stanislav Kulchytsky
says, “He was not involved in tutoring me. He helped me to get rid of the
Soviet professor stuff in me and become just a professor.”

                                    ON FEBRUARY 18,
Interestingly, in the booklet “Myth about the holodomor. Invention of spin
doctors. Kyiv, 2006″ disseminated by communist lawmakers in Verkhovna
Rada prior to debates on the Holodomor bill they lashed out at James Mace
and Robert Conquest, author of the best-selling “The Harvest of Sorrow,”
as well as at Stanislav Kulchytsky.

Mace is hated by Stalin’s ideological successors because he was the first to
tell the world the truth about the greatest tragedy in the history of the
Ukrainian nation. Stanislav Kulchytsky thus comments on the attitude to him,
“They hate me because I was one of them and then became a different person.
Anyway, I do not care.”                               -30-
NOTE:  Article translated from Russia to English exclusively for the
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv. The
English version can be republished only with permission from the
Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                         HISTORY AND MODERN TIME
                  The manmade famine in 1932-1933, Holodomor

By Volodymyr Zvihlianych for Ukrayinska Pravda
Ukrayinska Pravda Internet newsletter (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 20, 2006
Action Ukraine Report #814, Article 11 (in English)
Washington, D.C., February 11, 2007

Quite recently, Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs called the historical
tragedy that befell the Ukrainian nation, the manmade famine in 1932-1933,
the “so-called” famine [or holodomor, to use a Russian and Ukrainian word
for it – AUR]. It was done specifically to avoid the need to recognize it as
an ethnic genocide. Russia is a legal successor of the USSR [and is
therefore accountable for all its deeds – AUR].

One of Soviet Union’s leaders during whose reign the Holodomor occurred
was Stalin. Logically speaking, Russia bears responsibility for Stalin
crimes, the Holodomor included.

However, there’s something wrong with the logic of the present Moscow
rulers. This makes us think again about the roots and after-effects of the
crime committed to deliberately wipe out the Ukrainian nation.

The British Premier Winston Churchill wrote in his memoirs that he had

asked Stalin about the price Russia paid for the collectivization of land.
Raising both hands, Stalin said the collectivization cost 10 million lives
and took 10 years, but in the opinion of the “father of the peoples” it was
absolutely necessary.

For whom? The people didn’t need it. Hence, it was needed by the
authorities symbolized by Stalin, it was needed by the communist-fascist
ideocratic regime.

Ideocracy is the reign of ideas. The Holocaust [Holodomor] in Ukraine
is primarily an ideological crime which had taken place in peoples’ heads
long before it was actually committed, in mid-19th century Germany.

It was there that the glorious Karl Marx, battling with the greatest
philosophers of humanity in the quiet of his study, hatched up a theory of
dialectical and historical materialism, a base for the communist ideology.

According to communism, all people crave for equality and commonness.
According to pre-Marx philosophers, however, people seek commonness
and equality in thinking, morals, religion – that is, in things that
distinguish humans from animals.

Why didn’t it sit well with Marx?

In Marx’ view, it was ephemeral equality: uniting people in the realm of
faith, it made them different in the area of material things – in the
economy. The restoration of economic equality and transparency in human
relationships makes it necessary, according to Marx, to wipe out the idea of
God, morals, law, religion as leading to the ephemeral equality of people.

Marx also believed that private property stands in the way as it fences off
and estranges individuals from one another. Hence, the private property must
be crushed. The proletariat, the social class without private property, is
the tool to deal with it, disposing of other classes at the same time.

Finally, ethnic groups, different nationalities hindered the transparency of
dialectal and historical materialism. They, too, had to be destroyed.

Incidentally, one of the communist slogans blessed the destruction as it ran
“The proletariat has no Motherland.”

Thus, the theory of communism earmarked physical force as a tool to realize
its dogmas. Theory must be implemented in practical things, Marx taught.

Accordingly, by staging the October coup in 1917, Vladimir Lenin and the
Bolsheviks crushed large private property overnight, attaining the declared
transparency for their dictatorship.

However, small private property of peasants and numerous ethnic groups that
inhabited the Russian empire hindered further implementation of the Marx
theory into reality.

The most numerous ethnic group were Ukrainians, known as the nation of
small land-owners. They provided a major challenge for tailoring the social
structure to the principles of communism. Stalin, the successor of Lenin,
fully realized this. Therefore, the destruction of the Ukrainian nation was
seen by him as a deed of honor and a safeguard for the existence of his

The ideocratic regime in Russia had acquired its communist and fascist
features when the crackdown on private property was coupled with the
destruction of the ethnic group, Ukrainians, who owned private property.

For the record, these pitiful developments took place in Ukraine long
before Hitler came to power and, guided by his racial transparency theory,
began to annihilate Jews.

Hence, out of three postulates of the Marx theory, the destruction of
religion, private property and ethnic groups, Hitler, who sympathized with
the communists in the 20s and was supported by the Bolsheviks,
implemented only one – the racial-ethnic genocide.

For his part, Stalin went farther than Hitler. His genocide was total and
absolute, incorporating all the three kinds of genocide –
religious-cultural, economic and racial-ethnic.

To realize this is crucial for the definition of the Ukrainian Holodomor as
the gravest crime against humanity committed in the 20th century. The

echo of the racial-ethnic genocide as performed by Stalin successors
can be heard today in Chechnya.

It is no surprise that Stalin started the Ukrainian Holocaust [Holodomor]

by exterminating the Ukrainian intellectuals in late 20s – early 30s of the
last century, with about 500 most talented poets, thinkers, scholars and
writers falling under the axe.

The communist-fascist ideologists had to destroy the carriers of the
nation’s historical memory, beating them into brainwashed voters to
participate every four years in a show called elections of people’s

The Ukrainian Holocaust [Holodomor], therefore, had a systemic character.

It cannot be explained by the tyrant’s moody whims; it was a well-planned
action reaching farther than the life spans of its planners and perpetrators.

Its purpose was to destroy the nations [of the former Soviet Union – AUR].
This purpose later found its way into preposterous concept of amalgamating
all Soviet nations [into a single Soviet people – AUR] actively promoted by
the Brezhnev and Khrushchov regimes.

What are the consequences of these dramatically tragic pages of our history
and crimes against Ukrainians that have no statute of limitation?

[1] First, unconditional recognition of the regime that existed in Ukraine
and the Soviet Union as perpetrator of communist-fascist genocide.

The acknowledgement of this fact is unthinkable for those who declared
themselves successors of the USSR. However, without recognizing this
historical truth it is impossible to argue about how to overcome the
consequences of the Soviet regime.

[2] Second, the restoration should start from the things first destroyed

by Stalin – mentality, national identity, culture and ethnicity. Cultural
preconditions to enable the Ukrainian identity to take root in the country
must be created.

Only then, economic reforms will succeed. To act otherwise means to
admit the validity of the Marx-Lenin concept proclaiming material things as
primary and spiritual things as secondary.

Rebuilding Ukrainian culture, therefore, will become a major prerequisite
for the nation’s physical existence.

[3] Third, the awareness of the tragedy of the Ukrainian Holocaust

[Holodomor] must be ingrained in the nation’s genetic memory. In
Germany, the failure to recognize their Holocaust is a crime entailing a
term in prison.

Whereas in Ukraine, non-recognition of the 1932-1933 Holodomor is a
common occurrence involving no punishment. Here, we must learn a
lesson from the Jews who embed to their children the awareness of the
Holocaust in order to be spiritually united with those killed for the sake
of ruthless ideology.

[4] Four, the recognition of the gruesome fact that the Ukrainian Holocaust

[Holodomor] was perpetrated not by aliens from space, but by the
Ukrainian henchmen of the communists cum fascists.

Stalin had attained what he was after – to split Ukrainians. Will the
present Ukrainian government be able to bridge the geographical
and, most importantly, the moral rift?

It’s only then that we can make Moscow and the UN recognize the

Ukrainian Holodomor as an act of ethnic genocide by the
communist-fascist regime.                   -30-
NOTE: Volodymyr Zvihlyanych is Doctor of Philosophy and researcher
at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies in George
Washington University, USA.
NOTE:  Article translated from Ukrainian to English exclusively for the
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv. The
English version can be republished only with permission from the

Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
                              POSTED ON GOOGLE VIDEO
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 12
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2007
WASHINGTON – The documentary “Harvest of Despair” has been
Leonard Klady wrote the following about the documentary film, “Harvest
of Despair” in an article for the Winnipeg Free Press, Friday, October
26, 1984 which is posted on the Infoukes website, Toronto, Canada:

“IN THE FALL and spring of 1932 and 1933, the government of the

Soviet Union created a man-made famine in Ukraine to quell what was
perceived as the dangerous threat of regional nationalism.

With alarming design, the authorities succeeded in their goal. The
possibility of rebellion was eliminated at a most terrible cost of millions
of lives.

Harvest of Despair recalls this black period of modern inhumanity. The
exceedingly well-documented film details an act of genocide using both
personal and historical ammunition.

The result is an unquestionably sobering film which rightfully deserves wide
distribution on television and in the educational system.

Produced by the Ukrainian Famine Research Committee (since renamed the
Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center — Webmaster

InfoUkes) with assistance from the National Film Board and a variety of
private and public funding sources, the movie screened at the Planetarium
Auditorium of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature on October 26
and 27, 1984. It is a real eye-opener.

The startling aspect of this bit of history goes well beyond the act by the
regime of Josef Stalin. The insidious nature of what transpired was
orchestrated in such a fashion that those within and outside the borders of
the Soviet Union were led to believe low crop yields and drought were the
cause of what is estimated to be seven million deaths.

However, subsequently available meteorological, trade and political data
quite conclusively proved this not to be the case.

THE ROOTS OF THIS deliberate and vicious act are traced back to the years
immediately following the 1917 Revolution. Emerging from the era of the
Czars, Lenin opened the door to liberal trade and cultural activity in

As detailed in the film, it was a time of tremendous growth of all types in
the region. With Lenin’s death and the rise to power of Stalin, there was a
change in Soviet government attitudes.

Ukraine, with its independent attitudes in education, politics and culture,
was viewed as a hot bed of dissent. No method was viewed as being too

severe to bring the area back into the fold.

The historical documentation has been vividly assembled. One can see that
tremendous research was a part of making Harvest of Despair. There can be no
question that without the film and photographs uncovered from the 1932-33
famine, the film would lose much of its authority.

However, the production’s greatest asset remains the eloquent and emotional
testimony of survivors and first-hand witnesses to the horrors.

Memories of those who saw relatives and friends slowly succumb to disease
and malnutrition fill one with the most terrifying images. It is clear from
the tone of these people’s recollections that their lives were forever
changed by the experience.

Harvest of Despair is a chilling reminder that so-called civilized modern
societies continue to participate in or remain silent witness to the most
gruesome atrocities. Let’s hope in some small fashion this and other like
documents can reverse the terrible tide.

FOR YURIJ LUHOVY, THE PRODUCER and editor of Harvest of Despair,

the documentary provided him with a very special opportunity to stand up
and be counted for something of a very personal nature.

The 34-year-old film-maker, a native of Montreal, admits most of his income
has come from editing feature films of questionable quality. He has a
reputation as a good “doctor” someone who’s brought in to salvage a movie
which is deemed unreleaseable by film exhibitors and distributors.

“This movie,” he says, “represents one of those rare situations where you
have to demonstrate some courage and conviction.

It may seem very strange but even 50 years after the actual famine,
survivors now living in Canada and the United States are still fearful of
reprisals. I cannot honestly say whether relatives of mine who live in the
Soviet Union will not suffer because of this film.”

Despite positive response to world premiere screenings in Toronto last
month, Luhovy remains anxious about the film’s reception and its eventual
distribution to television and educational systems.

Produced on a modest budget of less than $200,000, the producer-editor
indicates that the film could simply not have been made without the
tremendous commitment of many people.

He personally viewed more than a million fe&t of historic stock footage to
find roughly 20 minutes (720 feet) of appropriate material for the film.

HE ALSO INTERVIEWED more than a hundred living survivors of the

famine who live in Montreal. In the vast majority of cases, these people
refused to be filmed or would only consent on the understanding the
material would not be seen until after their deaths. Luhovy says their fear
of reprisals is unshakeable.

“Of course, all of us who participated in the film would hope it has some
small effect on getting the famine official recognition by Soviet
authorities,’ Luhovy notes.

“But most important is that people not forget what occurred. The film was
not made out of anger, it was made to show the senselessness of the action.
We must always remember this and ensure such incidents never happen again.”

Harvest of Despair: The 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine. Director: Slavko
Novytski, Producers Yuri Luhovy and S. Novytski.
Article Reprinted, with permission, from the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winnipeg, Canada, Friday, October 26, 1984.
The documentary “Harvest of Despair” has been posted on Google video.
The link to the documentary:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
13.                 HOLOCAUST: NAMES AND MEMORY

By Alexander Feldman, Member of Parliament of Ukraine
News Blaze, Folsom, California, Sunday, January 28, 2007

The 27th of January is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Day of sorrow. Day of grief.

62 years ago, on the 27th of January 1945 troops of the First Ukrainian
Front released a small Polish town Oswiecim in Upper Silesia. And a true
situation of what had been happening there was revealed.

Reality turned out to be bloodcurdling. Hundreds of kilograms of women’s
hair, piles of toys, bales of assorted clothes, thousands pairs of glasses
worn by somebody at one time.

And at the rail terminal on the camp’s territory, soldiers found a stock of
Zyklon B, a toxical agent, the amount of which would be fair to slay 20
million people more. It happened when “the Jewish question” in Europe
had been already solved by Nazis.

Time will pass, and the Holocaust revisionists will declare all over the
world: “Oswiecim is a Jewish myth. It’s just a labour camp where Hebrews
were made to work and exposed to disinfection.

Aerial survey has not confirmed presence of gas chambers, compressor
stations and crematoria.” Unfortunately, a revisionists’ lie on the
Holocaust will be put forth by some mass media, by reputable ones
sometimes. Someone is likely to be generously paying for this lie.

No compressor stations were in Oswiecim really. Zyklon B was placed in
specific gas reservoirs that were kept underground in Auschwitz as
distinguished from other extermination camps. According to R. Hess, the
camp commandant, crematoria used to function round-the-clock, so pipes
were burned through and dismantled. The last burner was blown up by a
Resistance squad.

The Holocaust revisionists have always been fed with “the Nazis’ gold”,

by Fascists’ supporters and anti-Semites of all kinds. And today they
shamelessly go on working off dirty petrodollars.

The Holocaust defiers are not only engaged in re-writing history, disasters
and tragedy of the Second World War. They are also trying to cross out
remembrance of Hitler’s genocide in order to rehabilitate fascism somehow
or other.

Revisionism of the Holocaust has used an interpretation such as: the
Holocaust was not in existence, it was dreamt up by Jews, or Jews used
to be killed but the death toll was fairly overstated, and, at last, the
Holocaust was a rightful vengeance on the Bolsheviks for the October
Revolution or the Holodomor.

Such interpretations are an attempt to reanimate Nazism. Today’s fascism is
a mutant and modernist, it can get into different guises and act under the
veil of national political, youth, religious, sport and cultural movements.

There is always ground for neo-fascism where social demagogy and deceit
exist, where a ruling elite does nothing to liquidate a gap between the rich
and the poor, and unsettled living conditions of the majority of population
become routine.

Hitler came to power riding along on economic chaos and political crisis.
The national socialists promised everything at once to all groups of the
population for account of foreign nationals.

It’s notable that more than 65% of members of Hitler-Jugend were the
children of workers. For them a brown uniform was the only chance to work
their way up. Fascists began by burning books on town squares and ended
with Oswiecim ashes.

That’s why mankind should not forget the results of past wars. We are
turning to the lessons of the Holocaust so as not to betray our bleeding
memory, not to allow Nazis, fascists and their supporters to be

People, in particular youth, should know the truth of their crimes. Oradour
in France, Lidice in Czechia, Khatyn in Belarus, Babi Yar and Drobitski Yar
in Ukraine as well as over 200 Ukrainian villages burnt up by Nazis with its
dwellers – are appealing to our memory, screaming

The Holocaust is not only a problem of Jews, but Jews became the first
victims of the Nazis. Fascists terminated their political opponents, members
of the resistance, POW’s, non-combatants of many invaded countries; but
the only reason for murdering Jews was that they were Jews.

It’s hard to believe that in the twenty-first century, the president of Iran
and the highest legislative body of that country are appealing to destroy
Israel only for its being a country of Jews. But this is true.

Historians have not discovered written instructions of Hitler or of his
minions concerning killing Jews. But this does not change the substance of
the matter. Which murderers or hangmen would purposely leave traces of
their bloody villainies?

Plans of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” were straightforwardly
spoken of by Nazi elite as early as the eve of World War II, and since the
22nd of June 1941 the plans became reality.

It was not by mere accident that top secret reports like “There are no more
Jews in Belaya Tserkov”, “There are no more Jews in Zhytomir”, “There are
no Jews in Priluki…” were constantly received by “a Jewish Department” of
Adolf Eichmann in Berlin from murderers of the Einzatsgruppe SS.

Hitler’s secret services always concealed masterfully traces of their
crimes. That’s why official documents did not speak of murdering Jews
without disguise. Information on punitive actions against the Jewish
population was substituted by words deportation, special procedure,
transfer, resettlement, etc.

Paucity of SS Einzatsgruppe made it impossible to rapidly solve the “Jewish
Question”. That’s why on the eve of war the SS authorities and Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) agreed on rendering assistance
(people, ammunition, equipment) to SS Einzatsgruppe by regular army units.

If you attentively trace the arrows on the Operation Barbarossa map, you can
see that tanks and infantry of a German regular army are followed by the
destroying flames of the Holocaust.

“A Jewish race is being exterminated… – this is our programme and we are
going to execute it. It’s a glorious page of our history, never written and
never to be written”, used to announce H. Himmler to the SS and army

Jews were not only the Holocaust’s victims. The world is proud of the

heroic deeds of Jews, soldiers and officers of the Soviet army, armies
of the USA, Great Britain and Canada, partisans of Ukraine and Belarus,
resistance fighters of France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and the courage
of the rebels of Warsaw ghetto and Sobibor.

For all people of the globe, the Holocaust is a lesson of where fascism,
anti-Semitism and racism may lead us. As a centuries-long blaze, a memorial
stone at the Oswiecim concentration camp bears some words inscribed in
many European languages.

The words are: “Let this place for ever be a howl of despair and warning

for mankind. The place where Hitlerites murdered nearly 1.5 million men,
women and children, mainly Jews”.                           -30-
NOTE: Alexander Feldman is a Member of Parliament of Ukraine and
President of Jewish Fund of Ukraine.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                          LANGUAGE LAW IN UKRAINE
                         Language issue takes back seat in Ukraine

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 28
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Thu, Feb 8, 2007

Although Ukraine’s Party of Regions introduced a new draft language law
to parliament last fall, interest in the bill will decline following the
unexpected death of key party ideologue Yevhen Kushnariov last month.

Elevating Russian to an official or second state language requires a change
to the 1996 constitution, and the ruling Anti-Crisis coalition is short by
60 votes.

The Party of Regions and Communists are alone in their support for elevating
the status of the Russian language.

A large proportion of the centrist camp that backed the Leonid Kuchma regime
continues to support the 1989 law and 1996 constitution that make Ukrainian
the sole state language but provides for official tolerance of local
language diversity.

National Security Council secretary Vitaliy Hayduk, head of the Industrial
Union of Donbas, a rival to Renat Akhmetov’s Systems Capital Management,
which backs the Party of Regions, is opposed to making Russian a second
state language. “We should proceed very cautiously, without going to
extremes. We should not sensationalize the situation, either,” he warned.

The language issue has had little saliency, except during the 1994 and 2004
presidential election campaigns. The Razumkov Center warned on the eve of
the 2004 elections that the language issue in of itself would be unlikely to
head to “serious social conflict,” but they added, “politicization of this
question could lead to negative consequences.”

Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian political advisors
politicized the issue in the 2004 elections.

In a 2001 Razmukov Center survey only 7% of respondents believed that the
Russian language was a critical issue, placing it 24th out of 30 issues. In
January 2002, only 1.6% said that the inclusion of language in a party’s
program would influence whether or not they would vote for it.

A 2006 survey found similar results. Of the ten most acute problems facing
Ukraine, the Russian language was mentioned by only 8%, a figure due
primarily to the 25% interest level in the Crimea and Donbas. North and east
of these two regions only between 2.5% and 4% saw it is as an issue.

Two-thirds of the 8% who consider the Russian language an issue reside in
the Donbas and Crimea, two areas that are bastions of support for the Party
of Regions and Communists and ironically where Russian is not in any way
challenged, let alone threatened.

The Razumkov Center and other think tanks found that Ukrainian- and
Russian-speakers each number about 40%, the other 20% percent use both

The latter could be the crucial swing vote in Kyiv and central Ukraine. The
language issue has therefore never generated more than a third in favor of
elevating Russian to a second state language.

One reason why the language issue is not a priority for most Ukrainians is
that tolerance of language diversity is different from the election rhetoric
of politicians intent on capitalizing on the language issue.

The Russian language dominates in Ukraine’s print and Internet media, while
television has a greater degree of Ukrainian-language content.

The top three Internet sites in Ukraine are Ukrayinska Pravda, Obozrevatel,
and Korrespondent, all receiving between 43,000 and 48,000 hits per day. Of
these, only the first appears in both Ukrainian and Russian while the latter
two are solely in Russian.

Language choice does not appear to be linked to political allegiance, as the
first two are sympathetic to the Orange camp, while the latter is published
by an American who publishes the Kyiv Post.

Korrespondent magazine, the print version of the web site, is a Ukrainian
attempt to emulate Western newsweeklies, such as Time, and is aimed at New

A new Russian-language glossy news magazine, Fokus, is edited by a
well-known former journalist from the Ukrainian-language 1+1 channel and a
2006 parliamentary candidate of the Reforms and Order (Pora) bloc.

It is no coincidence that these two magazines are in Russian, nor that all
of Ukraine’s glossy journals are aimed at New Ukrainians. These include an
entire range of Western women’s and lifestyle magazines reprinted in
Russian. Indeed, the only woman’s magazine in Ukrainian is the flimsy,
Soviet-era relic Zhinka (Woman).

Use of the Russian language is dominant in the 18-49 age group, while
Ukrainian is stronger among the 50-59 population. Yet, New Ukrainians and
young people, whose source of print information is in Russian, backed the
Orange Revolution.

Young people do not support elevating Russian to a second state language,
perhaps because they tend to back Orange parties, such as Our Ukraine, Yulia
Tymoshenko and the Socialists whose voters support Ukrainian as the sole
state language.

All of Ukraine’s leading print newspapers are in Russian (Fakty, linked to
Viktor Pinchuk, Segodnya (Party of Regions), Kievski Vedomosti, 2000,
(Social Democratic Party-United) and were staunch supporters of the Kuchma

The Orange camp also has invested as much in Russian publications as in
Ukrainian ones, such as Kyivskiy Telegraf (Andriy Derkach, Socialists).

Our Ukraine has a greater number of Russian- than Ukrainian-language
publications: Pravda Ukrainy (Petro Poroshenko, Our Ukraine), Izvestiya v
Ukrainy and (Oleksandr Tretyakov, Our Ukraine),
Delovaya Stolitsa, and Vlast Deneg.

Two newspapers sympathetic to the Tymoshenko bloc are also in Russian:
Gazeta Po-Kievski and Vecherny Vesti and a third, Svoboda, is published in
both languages.

Ukrainian-language newspapers with large circulations are only made
available thanks to the state, such as parliament’s Holos Ukrainy.

Ukrainian-language publications linked to Our Ukraine include only Ukrayina
Moloda and Bez Tsenzury, which have small circulations compared to the
Russian-language media. The Socialists still have close ties to the large
circulation Silski Visti.

The language ambivalence reflected in these attitudes to media language
mirrors the support for the legal status quo on languages and tolerance of
diversity. Parliament is unlikely to pass the latest draft language law.
(Razumkov Center National Security and Defense 2003 Yearbook;
Ukrayinska Pravda, December 6, 2006; December 2006 poll by the
Ukrainian Sociological Service for the Ukrainian Democratic Circle,
January 4; Zerkalo Nedeli, October 28-November 3, 2006)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1434 gmt 7 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Feb 07, 2007

KIEV – The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting of

Ukraine is drawing up strict sanctions against television channels which do
not fulfil the requirement for dubbing, as of 1 February, 75 per cent of
broadcasts from Russian into Ukrainian. Heads of the National Council
[for Television and Radio Broadcasting] said this today.

Despite a memorandum signed earlier, only nine out of 14 leading television
channels meet the standard for broadcasting in Ukrainian, namely 75 per
cent, the head of the council, Vitaliy Shevchenko, said. His deputy, Ihor
Kurus, acknowledged that television channels at large had turned out not to
be ready for “Ukrainianization on the air”.

There is a lack of translators and television presenters, and the quality of
the dubbing of films and broadcasts, above all from Russian, is poor.

In addition to television and radio broadcasting, the compulsory dubbing
into Ukrainian has been introduced for foreign feature films that are
screened. Before the end of the year, 50 per cent of films in cinemas have
to be shown in Ukrainian. All children’s films and cartoons are subject to
being translated fully by that time.

Today President Viktor Yushchenko sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych requesting “[the government] to take measures to resolve the
issue of dubbing foreign films into Ukrainian or inserting Ukrainian
subtitles into them”.

The president’s press service reported that “with the aim of strengthening
further the positions of the state language in the social life of Ukraine,
and taking into account the need for conducting a well-balanced state
language policy”, the president had requested [the government] in his letter
“to take all possible measures to bring the current order of distributing
and screening foreign films in Ukraine into line with the law `On film'”.

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

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, February 7, 2007 

KIEV (AP)–A local appeals court has restored a special status for the
Russian language in an eastern city in Ukraine, officials said Wednesday.

The city council in Kharkiv voted in March to make Russian a regional
language, allowing it to be used together with Ukrainian in state and public
institutions as well as at universities and cultural institutions.

Local prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the decision and won the case in
court. But the city council challenged the decision at the local appeals

The constitution adopted by Ukraine following the 1991 Soviet collapse
declared Ukrainian as the sole state language, but many Ukrainians,
particularly in the east and on the southern Crimean Peninsula, consider
Russian to be their native tongue.

Six regional governments and nine city councils in the east and south last
year granted Russian special status – decisions that were heavily criticized
by President Viktor Yushchenko.

The Party of the Regions, whose leader, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
enjoys strong support in the east and south, campaigned in elections last
year on a promise to make Russian a second state language.  -30-

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

       Sunday, February 11, 2007, 1:00 P.M., Silver Spring, Maryland
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #814, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Sunday, February 11, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Kyiv Mohyla Foundation will host fundraiser in
the Washington/Baltimore area for a premier Ukrainian university.
WHAT: Kyiv Mohyla Academy Fundraiser & Awareness Event/Dinner
WHEN: Sunday, February 11, 1:00 pm
WHERE: St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Cultural Center
15100 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20905
Please make reservations prior to the event by calling:
301-593-5316 (Valentyn Zabijaka); or 301-873-2035 (Andriy Bihun);
or 773-685-1828 (Marta Farion)                       -30-
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.

Jim Onyschuk, Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group (TUGG)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February, 2007

TORONTO – The Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group (TUGG)
( is hosting a genealogical tour to Western Ukraine
in June of 2007. Here are the particulars:

The “Discover Your Roots Tour” runs from June 7 to June 24, 2007.
For complete details and how to register see:

We will spend a number of days in Lviv, Chernivtsi, Ivan-Fankivsk,
Ternopil and Kyiv, both as tourists and researchers. We will visit
various archives and visit the villages of our ancestors.

Here is a more Detailed Itinerary  of the Tour:

Those wishing to go on this “Discover Your Roots Trip”, will need to
fill out a Reservation Form,
and the Archives Family Search Form

It is important that the Archives Family Search Form be filled out as best
you can. Our intention is to forward the requests from the Form to the
respective archives for processing.

We will inform them when we will be visiting their archive and hopefully
the requested genealogical information will have been prepared and
readied for our visit.

Costs: Air/Land rate, based on a twin/sharing basis is $3599.00 (CAN$)
For Single Occupancy per Person add $600.00 (CAN$).    -30-
Jim Onyschuk ( )

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