AUR#820 Feb 23 Landmark Visit To U.S. By Orange Revolution Leader; Foreign Min Choice Rejected; Constitutional Court Human Factor

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

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
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            “The Orange Revolution is not over. The movement that brought
              thousands of Ukrainians together to overthrow the post-Soviet
                   regime lives on. Much progress has been made to bring
                democracy to Ukraine, but much more remains to be done.”  
                                                 [Article One]
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer

              –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
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                      Historic Movement to Create a Democratic Ukraine
                               ‘Lives On,’ Says Former Prime Minister
PR Newswire-US Newswire/, New York, NY, Thu, February 22, 2007

              Ukrainian opposition leader makes political debut in the U.S.
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 37
The Jamestown Foundation, Thursday, February 22, 2007

                   March 1, 2007; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Washington, DC

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Friday, November 23, 2007

PR Newswire/USNewswire, Washington, Tuesday, Feb 20, 2007

                Talk will also be broadcast over the Internet via webcast.
Diana Howansky, Columbia University

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 5
Washington, D.C., Friday, February 23, 2007
                               REJECTED BY PARLIAMENT 
               Spoke Ukrainian instead of Russian at meeting in Russia
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, February 22, 2007

       U.S. has no plans to deploy missile-defense components in Ukraine.
Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thu, February 22, 2007

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, February 22, 2007

Embassy of Ukraine to the United States, Washington

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 9
Washington, D.C., Thursday, February 22, 2007


                                    IN WESTERN UKRAINE
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1720 gmt 22 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007

By Catherine Belton in Moscow and Roman Olearchyk in Kiev
Financial Times, London, UK, Tue, February 20 2007

Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, 22 February 2007

                    Writer profiles Ukraine’s Constitutional Court judges
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Svyatoslav Khomenko
Glavred website, Kiev, in Russian 0000 gmt 19 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007

POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, February 14, 2007

POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, February 14, 2007

                                  NATURAL GAS MARKET
               Plans for gaining control of Ukraine’s natural gas network
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly
International Social Political Weekly, No 3 (632)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 27 January – 2 February 2007

               James Mace’s birthday is approaching, we remember him
                & try to understand the phenomenon of his personality.
COMMENTARY: Viktor Kostiuk, Head of the Journalism Department
Zaporizhia National University, Zaporizhia, Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest #6, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 20, 2007
                  Historic Movement to Create a Democratic Ukraine
                           ‘Lives On,’ Says Former Prime Minister

PR Newswire-US Newswire/, New York, NY, Thu, February 22, 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and Orange Revolution
leader Yulia Tymoshenko announced today that she will visit the United
States. Ms. Tymoshenko will travel to New York City and Washington,
DC between February 26th – March 2nd.

“As an unwavering supporter of freedom and democracy in Ukraine, I

look forward to returning to the birthplace of these historic principles,”
said Ms. Tymoshenko.

During her stay in the U.S., Ms. Tymoshenko will meet with government
officials, lawmakers, business leaders, policy experts and scholars to
discuss the important issues facing Ukraine.

She will address efforts to advance the country’s path to democratic reform
and be honored by policy organizations that support her passion and
commitment to Ukraine.

She will also speak at some of the most prominent American universities
and think-tanks on topics of Ukrainian/American interest.

Ms. Tymoshenko will address geopolitical issues critical to the
security of Ukraine, Europe and the United States. These issues include
Russia’s domineering role with its neighbors and more broadly in Europe,
especially as it relates to energy security. She will also speak to
Ukraine’s continuing path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

She also intends to confront certain misperceptions regarding the
current state of democracy in Ukraine. “My sense is some in America
mistakenly believe the Orange Revolution is over, that democracy has

won – and that liberty and justice have secured their place in our country’s
history,” said Ms. Tymoshenko.

“The Orange Revolution is not over,” she continued. “The movement that
brought thousands of Ukrainians together to overthrow the post-Soviet
regime lives on. Much progress has been made to bring democracy to
Ukraine, but much more remains to be done.”

Democratic reform is taking root in Ukraine. The country had its first
free and fair elections just a few years ago, and rule of law is slowly
beginning to take shape. However, those who oppose Ukrainian

independence are actively working to undermine democratic progress
within the country.

For example, pro-democratic Members of Parliament and advocates of
reform in Ukraine have been beaten in the streets to silence their attempts to
bring about reform, and, in turn, intimidate others from doing the same.

“We will not be intimidated by those who want to turn the clock back on
Ukraine,” concluded Ms. Tymoshenko. “I hope my visit to the U.S. will help
our American friends better understand the current issues impacting Ukraine,
and I look forward to experiencing first-hand the great example of freedom
and democracy that is America.”                        -30-
For more information, please contact TD International in Washington, D.C.
at (202) 872.9595. TD International is a FARA-registered representative of
Ms. Tymoshenko’s political party, BYuT.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
           Ukrainian opposition leader makes political debut in the U.S.

Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 37
The Jamestown Foundation, Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous political bloc and head of the
Ukrainian opposition, arrives in the United States on Sunday, February 25,
for a six-day visit that will take her to New York and Washington.

It is her first visit to the U.S. as a politician. Her visit follows that of
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on December 4-6, 2006, and President
Viktor Yushchenko in April 2005 (see EDM, April 4, 7, 2005).

Tymoshenko’s visit has been organized differently from that of Yanukovych.
His tour was highly choreographed by his Washington public relations firm in
such a way that he refrained from open discussions and refused to meet the
Ukrainian diaspora.

In this case, Tymoshenko’s team in the U.S. is taking a more open, inclusive
position, ensuring that diaspora are included and that both sides of the
aisle in American politics are being addressed in a more substantive manner.

In New York, Tymoshenko will speak at the Council on Foreign Relations,
Columbia University, and will be hosted at a luncheon by J.P. Morgan
investment bank.

In Washington, Tymoshenko is set to speak at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies and the National Press Club, as well as holding
high-level meetings with the U.S. government and Congress.

She will meet with the diaspora in both locations and also will receive an
award at the annual Ronald Reagan banquet. Press interviews are scheduled
with the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Financial
Times, Time, and Newsweek.

The Tymoshenko bloc finished second during the 2006 parliamentary elections
with 22.2%, a three-fold increase over her 2002 results. Most national
democratic parties, which had aligned with business centrists to create Our
Ukraine in 2002, deserted Our Ukraine and Yushchenko in the 2006 elections.

Our Ukraine received 10% fewer votes in 2006 under Yushchenko than four
years earlier under president Leonid Kuchma. Political parties, such as
Reforms and Order, have moved from Our Ukraine to the Tymoshenko bloc.
Rukh, led by ousted foreign minister Borys Tarasyuk, is reportedly holding
negotiations to follow suit.

Two factors explain why a large proportion of orange voters defected to the
Tymoshenko bloc.

[1] First, shock at her dismissal as prime minister in September 2005 only
two weeks after Yushchenko had described the Tymoshenko government

as the “best in Europe.”

[2] Second, the bloc’s consistent opposition to any deals with the Party of
Regions. Tymoshenko stated unequivocally, “We believe that establishing a
coalition with the mafia is treason to Ukraine.”

This opposition reflects the bloc’s long-standing position during the four
years of anti-Kuchma protests that preceded the Orange Revolution when it
refused to negotiate with the Kuchma regime and called for his impeachment.

Yushchenko and Our Ukraine never supported impeachment proceedings

and defended Kuchma from allegations arising from the Mykola Melnychenko
tapes, on which the president is overheard ordering the kidnapping of journalist
Heorhiy Gongadze.

Just last week Prosecutor Mykhailo Potebenko, who presided over the
Gongadze cover up, was awarded a state medal for his “contribution to the
building of a law-based state.” Former Polish president Alexander
Kwasniewski, who brokered the December 2004 roundtable negotiations,

has confided that Kuchma was given immunity during the talks.

Yushchenko and Our Ukraine have always been noted for their flexibility. In
2002-2003 and in 2005-2006, they wavered between negotiating deals with the
authorities and Party of Regions or working with Tymoshenko.

After the 2006 elections, Our Ukraine’s political council head Roman
Bezsmertny negotiated an “orange coalition” of democratic forces, while Our
Ukraine leader and prime minister Yuriy Yekhanurov negotiated a grand
coalition with the Party of Regions. Both coalitions were sidelined by the
Anti-Crisis coalition.

Yushchenko’s preference for broad roundtables could be seen in the Orange
Revolution and in August 2006. The Tymoshenko bloc opposed both round-
tables, and they were the only parliamentary force that refused to sign the
Universal agreement.

Tymoshenko bloc deputy Hryhoriy Nemirya explained, “They saw no reason to
sign a document where Our Ukraine’s participation is window dressing for the
Party of Regions to run the government or be present at the birth of a
Molotov cocktail coalition that could explode in the hands of the people
trying to build it.”

The Tymoshenko bloc and the Pora party condemned the signing of the
Universal agreement as a “betrayal” of the Orange Revolution.

A February poll by the Razumkov Center gave Tymoshenko 18.9% popular
appeal with Yanukovych at 23.7%. Yushchenko’s support has plummeted to
11%. The Tymoshenko bloc and Party of Regions control 70% of deputies
in parliament and both forces are likely to gain more seats in the event of
elections ahead of 2011.

Based on polling trends in the last two years, Tymoshenko and Yanukovych
are likely to be the frontrunner candidates in the 2009 presidential

Tymoshenko has admitted, “And I want to say that from childhood I knew
that I would be leader of this country. And I am not even joking here.”

In February, Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko bloc signed an agreement
establishing a united opposition of 204 deputies. Our Ukraine leader
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko said it would “counteract the revenge of
anti-democratic forces.”

Yushchenko, who has finally agreed to head Our Ukraine, has understood
that the Tymoshenko bloc is the key to preventing the Yanukovych government
from infringing on the democratic gains of the Orange Revolution. The New
York Times magazine  (January 1, 2006) wrote, “Tymoshenko is a compelling
mixture of ruthless calculation, iron will, and sincere passion.”

Tymoshenko and her political bloc face four key issues in the

coming months.

[1] First, the opposition alliance is opposed by the business wing of Our
Ukraine that harbors what has been described as a “Yuliaphobia.”

[2] Second, establishing a more clearly defined ideological profile for the
Tymoshenko bloc. Currently, “The charisma of Tymoshenko the leader will
act as the bloc’s ideology and its program.” The Tymoshenko bloc unites the
liberal-center-left ground and the Fatherland Party has a social democratic
profile giving it the ability to absorb disillusioned Socialist voters.

[3] Third, in the 2006 elections the Tymoshenko bloc finished second place
in six of eastern and southern Ukraine’s ten regions. This strength could
grow and challenge the Party of Regions outside its strongholds of Donetsk
and the Crimea.

[4] Fourth, balancing between being head of the opposition and the 2009
Orange front-runner presidential candidate.

Tymoshenko’s visit to the United States follows her two successful visits to
Western Europe in 2005 as prime minister and last year as opposition leader.

Her U.S. visit next week is set to change U.S. perceptions of Ukraine’s
politics and reinforce her image as playing a central role in defending the
democratic gains of the Orange Revolution.                -30-
(Ukrayinska pravda, April 17, 2006, February 2;, January
10;, December 9, 2005; (,
Kyiv Post, August 11, 2006)
The Jamestown Foundation,

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                  March 1, 2007; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Washington, DC

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Friday, November 23, 2007
WASHINGTON – The Washington Group (TWG), The Ukrainian
American Coordinating Council (UACC), The Ukrainian Congress
Committee of America (UCCA) and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
(USUF), cordially invite you to a Community Meeting with Yulia

The event will include a presentation by Ms. Tymoshenko, questions
from the audience, and responses to the issues raised.

Location: U.S. House of Representatives
Rayburn House Office Building
South Capitol and Independence Avenues, SW
Room B339-B340
Washington, DC

RSVP by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 via e- mail at or
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


PR Newswire/USNewswire, Washington, Tuesday, Feb 20, 2007

WASHINGTON – The following advisory was issued today by the
National Press Club:

National Press Club “MORNING NEWSMAKER”
News Conference, Friday, March 2, 2007, 9 a.m.
National Press Club (Lisagor Room)

Member of the Parliament of Ukraine and Leader of Ukraine’s Main
Opposition Party, The Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT), Ms. Julia
Tymoshenko will discuss “Ukraine and European energy security, the
state of Ukrainian democracy, transitional democracies of central
Europe, and Ukrainian-Russian relations and their interplay with U.S.
foreign policy.” 

Contacts: National Press Club: Peter Hickman, 301/530-1210
(H&O/T&F), 202/662-7540,
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
              Talk will also be broadcast over the Internet via webcast.

Diana Howansky, Columbia University

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 5
Washington, D.C., Friday, February 23, 2007
                                  YULIA TYMOSHENKO

WHAT:     Speech by Ukrainian MP Yulia Tymoshenko
WHEN:     Monday, February 26 from 6:00-7:00 pm
WHERE:   Rotunda of Low Memorial Library, 535 W. 116th St.,
                 Columbia University, New York, NY 10027

Yulia Tymoshenko, head of the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland party and
the Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral Bloc, played a central role in Ukraine’s
Orange Revolution in 2004.

She served as Prime Minister of Ukraine from January-September 2005,
leading Forbes magazine to name her the 3rd of the 100 Most Powerful
Women in the World during this period.

Reservations are required, as seating will be limited to 450 individuals
and will be filled the day of the talk on a first-come/first-served

To RSVP, please call 212-854-9016 or email and provide your name and phone

This talk, which will be in Ukrainian with simultaneous translation into
English, is free and open to the public.

                     EVENT WILL BE WEBCAST LIVE
For those unable to attend the talk by Yulia Tymoshenko please note
that the event will be webcast live from 6:00-7:00 pm.

To access the webcast links, please go to the Harriman Institute’s
homepage at (Links will be provided for

the talk in Ukrainian, as well as for the translation into English.) The
links will be active the day of the event.

Additionally, the webcast will be available on The Columbia Cable TV
system, CTV, channel 74. The webcast will also be archived for future
reference.                                            -30-
NOTE: Diana Howansky, Columbia University,

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                              REJECTED BY PARLIAMENT 
           Spoke Ukrainian instead of Russian at meeting in Russia

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, February 22, 2007

KIEV – The Ukrainian parliament Thursday rejected President Viktor
Yushchenko’s choice to be foreign minister, dealing another major blow to
his efforts to maintain control over the country’s foreign policy.

Career diplomat Volodymyr Ohryzko, nominated by Yushchenko to replace

the ousted Borys Tarasyuk, won only 196 votes, far short of the 226 needed
for approval.

He failed to win the support of the parliamentary majority coalition, whose
members accused him of being hostile to Russia and unprofessional.

Lawmakers also rejected Yushchenko’s choice of Viktor Korol as Security
Service chief, in a 190-4 vote.

Yushchenko, who won the presidency after the 2004 Orange Revolution, has
sought to pull Ukraine out of Russia’s shadow and win membership for the
country of 47 million people in the European Union and NATO.

But the president has fallen far short of his grand ambitions, and last year
he saw his party humbled by the more Russian-leaning party of his political
rival, Viktor Yanukovych, in parliamentary elections.

When Yanukovych put together a majority coalition, Yushchenko agreed to
nominate his one-time enemy to be prime minister, and the two now govern
jointly in what has become a bruising battle for power with the president on
the losing end.

Yanukovych forced out Yushchenko’s former foreign minister, Tarasyuk, last
month after a monthslong dispute that resulted in the government temporarily
cutting off funding to the Foreign Ministry. Under the constitution, the
president gets to nominate the foreign minister, but his choice requires
parliamentary approval.

Yushchenko tapped Ohryzko, who had served as Tarasyuk’s deputy, to\

replace him. But the parliamentary majority immediately said it was
disappointed with the choice.

Ohryzko came under particular criticism for his decision to speak
Ukrainian – and have it translated into Russian – during a conference that
included Russian and Ukrainian politicians and experts. Some attendees
complained that it slowed down the talks and Ohryzko, who is fluent in
Russian, should have spoken Russian.

“He showed a total absence of professionalism. He showed that he is not a
diplomat, but a person with an inferiority complex,” Yanukovych’s ally Yuriy
Bondarev said.

Yushchenko’s party and the bloc of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
supported Ohryzko, arguing that he was a career diplomat who had risen
through the ranks of the Foreign Ministry.

Former Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko, a member of Yushchenko’s

party, said that Ohryzko could be counted on to stick up for Ukraine.

“Today he thinks about the national interests of Kiev, of Ukraine but not
about the national interests of Moscow. He doesn’t grovel at the feet of our
big neighbor,” Udovenko said, referring to Russia.

Yushchenko’s office said it had no immediate comment on the rejection of the
foreign minister candidate. Under Ukrainian law, Yushchenko can propose
Ohryzko again.                                -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       U.S. has no plans to deploy missile-defense components in Ukraine.

Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thu, February 22, 2007

MOSCOW — The U.S. national security adviser sought Thursday to ease

Russian concerns about American intentions, saying he did not consider a fiery
speech by President Vladimir Putin to have been a sign of confrontation, and
reiterating reassurances about U.S. missile defense plans.

Washington and Moscow have been trading heated criticism over issues
including U.S. plans to deploy elements of a national missile defense system
in former Soviet satellites in Europe.

At a security conference this month in Germany, Mr. Putin said the U.S.

“has overstepped its national borders in every way” and is fostering a
global arms race — an unusually clear, comprehensive account of Kremlin
complaints about U.S. conduct.

U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley played down speculation

that the remarks heralded a return to Cold War-style confrontation.

“We do not read President Putin’s comments in any way … as an invitation
to confrontation,” the Interfax news agency quoted Mr. Hadley as telling
Russian reporters during his visit to Moscow, which included a meeting with
Mr. Putin.

U.S. and other Western journalists were not invited to be present when he
made the remarks, which suggests they were aimed at a Russian audience.

Mr. Hadley repeated assurances that planned missile defense sites in Poland
and the Czech Republic would be aimed at countering a potential threat from
Iran, and constituted no threat to Russia. “It is not directed in any way
against Russia,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

According to Interfax, he also indicated the U.S. has no plans to deploy
missile-defense components in Ukraine, which shares a long border with

Mr. Putin and other Russian officials have rejected the assurance that the
system would be meant to combat an Iranian threat.

At a meeting between Mr. Hadley and his Russian counterpart, both men
acknowledged disagreements but pledged to work closely together to

overcome them and reach common goals.

Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov said the two countries

should cooperate closely in areas such as fighting international terrorism
and striving for global peace.

“This does not mean that our relations are cloudless — there are
disagreements, there are misunderstandings, including on security matters.
That is why it is very important that the dialogue that we have continues to
develop at all levels and allows us to deal with those issues so that they
don’t damage bilateral relations,” Mr. Ivanov said after the Kremlin

Mr. Hadley also met with Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev, two first
vice-premiers who are seen as the leading potential candidates to succeed
Putin in 2008.

Mr. Hadley, who is visiting several European capitals this week amid a
flurry of international diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program, the
persistent Mideast unrest and other issues, also said Moscow and Washington
share goals and should continue to seek common ground when they disagree.

“Where we have disagreements we’ve been able to talk candidly about them
and work together constructively,” he said.                 -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, February 22, 2007

KYIV – U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor has met with Ukraine’s
former Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk to hand over a letter from U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to the press service of the
Narodny Rukh Ukrainy Party.

Rice thanked Tarasiuk in the letter for the contribution he made as
Ukraine’s foreign minister

She said his activities were invaluable, as Tarasiuk facilitated Ukraine’s
foreign policy course toward integration in the European Union and NATO
during momentous political events in Ukraine. Rice wished Tarasiuk success
in his further activities.                                -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Embassy of Ukraine to the United States, Washington

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #820, Article 9
Washington, D.C., Thursday, February 22, 2007

WASHINGTON – The Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Oleh

Shamshur, presented the high Ukrainian Orders “For Merit” to Ambassador
William Miller and to Ambassador John Herbst on February 22 at the U.S.
Department of State.

This award honors the personal contribution of Ambassador Miller and
Ambassador Herbst to strengthening relations between Ukraine and the

United States of America, as well as their outstanding diplomatic
performance while they were representing their country in Ukraine.

U.S. Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns and other State Department
dignitaries attended the ceremony.

In his remarks Dr. Shamshur pointed out the long standing commitment

of Ambassador Miller to Ukraine even after he officially ended his
Ambassadorial duties in Kyiv.

Amb. Miller continues to take an active part in further development of 
U.S.-Ukrainian relations serving as a co-chair for the Coalition for a

Secure and Democratic Ukraine (CSDU).

The Ukrainian Ambassador also praised highly Ambassador Herbst who
represented the U.S. Administration at the time of the Orange Revolution –

a truly historic event that took such an impressively peaceful and
democratic turn.

Oleh Shamshur remarked that today’s Ukraine continues its headway

towards Euro-Atlantic integration, transforming itself into a modern
European state and building upon the mutual benefits of the Ukraine-
U.S. strategic partnership.                                 -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                               IN WESTERN UKRAINE

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1720 gmt 22 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007

LUTSK, Approximately 7,000 supporters of the People’s Self-Defence

public movement held a rally in support of the movement in Lutsk.

The rally started at about 1700 [local time] with a concert by Ukrainian
singers, which was followed by speeches by the People’s Self-Defence
leaders, Taras Stetskiv and [former Interior Minister] Yuriy Lutsenko. In
their speeches, Stetskiv and Lutsenko called on the public to unite efforts
in establishing control over the authorities.

Lutsenko said this is needed to force elected politicians to deliver on
their promises. The demonstrators held flags with symbols of People’s
Self-Defence, the Pora Party, the Sobor party and the Our Ukraine bloc,

and Ukrainian national flags.

At the end of the speech, Lutsenko handed a large People’s Self-Defence flag
to demonstrators, after which the Ukrainian national anthem was played. Also
on Thursday [22 February] Lutsenko met students of the State Lutsk
University.                                          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


By Catherine Belton in Moscow and Roman Olearchyk in Kiev
Financial Times, London, UK, Tue, February 20 2007

A leading Russian ore producer and a Ukrainian industrial group have inked a
preliminary merger agreement in a deal that could establish the largest
steelmaker in the former Soviet Union.

The deal would merge Gazmetall, controlled by Russian billionaire Alisher
Usmanov and which produces about 6m tonnes of steel annually, with Kiev’s
Industrial Union of Donbass, known as ISD Group, which produces some 9m
tonnes of steel a year.

Mr Usmanov told the Financial Times that both groups had yesterday signed

an agreement to start valuations of the two group’s assets, a process he said
would take about three months.

The proposed merger follows a drive for consolidation in the steel industry.
Russia and Ukraine are ranked among the world’s largest steel producing
countries and home to vast coal and ore reserves.

“We have long been looking to consolidate assets within [the region]. This
will reduce the cost of production,” Mr Usmanov said.

Mr Usmanov said he wanted to offer shares in the new company to investors
through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange within a
year. Analysts said the combined company could be worth anywhere between
$10bn and $20bn. Neither company has transparent financial accounts.

Mr Usmanov said a merged company would produce about 20m tonnes of

steel annually within two years, overtaking the regional number one spot from
Severstal, which produced 17.6m tonnes of crude steel worldwide last year,
of which 12m was produced in the CIS.

ISD does not have its own sources of ore. Ukraine’s ore deposits are
controlled by competing Ukrainian and Russian steel groups. Gazmetall
controls 40 per cent of Russia’s iron ore output.

Gazmetall also owns two leading Russian ore producers – Lebedinsky and
Mikhalovsky Ore. ISD owns two mills in Ukraine and also in recent years
acquired Hungary’s Dunaferr and Poland’s Huta Czestochowa mills.

Vitaliy Gayduk, Ukraine’s national security and defence council chief, is
one of the principle shareholders of ISD. Sergey Taruta, board chairman, is
the other main shareholder. ISD could not be reached for comment.

Mr Usmanov said Mr Taruta would likely be appointed president of the merged
company, while Gazmetall would appoint the company’s board chairman.

Mr Usmanov said Gazmetall remained open to further consolidation, possibly
with Severstal or Evraz, the London-listed Russian steel group. “Whoever
best suits us will be our first partner,” said Mr Usmanov, who also heads
Gazprominvestholding, the investment arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday, 22 February 2007

With so many “big” news stories in Ukraine—energy issues, the fight for
political control, questions over foreign policy—it’s easy to miss the
smaller items.  But sometimes, these smaller items send very large signals.

For example, on 16 February, President Viktor Yushchenko awarded former
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Mykhailo Potebenko the Order of (Kyivan)

Prince Yaroslav the Wise.

Yaroslav introduced the first book of laws in what was then Kyivan Rus’
during the 11th century and is credited with expanding both the principality’s
territory and culture.  The medal was created in 1996 for “distinguished
service to the state and people of Ukraine,” and it recognizes, among other
things, “wisdom” and “honor.” (1)

According to President Yushchenko’s decree, Potebenko was awarded the

medal “for his great personal contribution to the creation of a law abiding state,
the strengthening of legality and law and order, and his long-term work on
the occasion of his 70th birthday.” (2)

The decree probably would have been missed by most Ukraine-watchers in the
West were it not for long-time Ukraine analyst Taras Kuzio, who found the
three-line decree and publicized it on his blog. (3)   This is fortunate,
since the small decree speaks volumes about President Viktor Yushchenko.

Kuzio termed the awarding of this medal to Potebenko “shameful,” and it is
possible that others may find this an understatement.

Potebenko became well-known internationally in 2001 when he led two major
high-profile investigations as Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General – the
examination of the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze and the prosecution
of Yulia Tymoshenko.

The Prosecutor-General’s “investigation” of the Gongadze case was roundly
criticized by just about every international organization looking into the
matter, leading eventually to calls from the Council of Europe, Reporters
Without Borders and then US Ambassador Carlos Pasqual for him to resign.

Potebenko was accused of stymieing the investigation in order to protect
state officials, including President Leonid Kuchma, who appeared to be
implicated in Gongadze’s death.

In 2005, after months of evidence collection, the European Court of Human
Rights satisfied a number of complaints from Georgiy’s widow, Myroslava
Gongadze, including her charge of a “failure to investigate the case.”

The court found that the prosecutor’s office had ignored repeated requests
for assistance from Georgiy Gongadze in the weeks before his death, when he
reported being followed by state law enforcement officials.  “The response
of the GPO was not only formalistic,” the court wrote, “but also blatantly

Moreover, following the recovery of Gongadze’s headless body, the court
said, “The State authorities were more preoccupied with proving the lack of
involvement of high-level State officials in the case than discovering the
truth about the circumstances of the disappearance and death of the
applicant’s husband.” (4)

Mikhailo Potebenko was the Prosecutor General during these events.  Not only
did he apparently conduct little investigation, but he denied that the body
recovered was Gongadze’s in spite of numerous DNA tests to the contrary and
then refused to accept as evidence secretly recorded tapes of President
Kuchma implicating him at least in Gongadze’s disappearance, and probably
his murder.

The European Court of Human Rights wrote, “The fact that the alleged
offenders, two of them active police officers, were identified and charged
with the kidnap and murder of the journalist just a few days after the
change in the country’s leadership, raised serious doubts as to the genuine
wish of the authorities under the previous government to investigate the
case thoroughly.” (5)

As Potebenko and Kuchma were being criticized internationally, and facing
increasing protests domestically, the Prosecutor-General announced that he
was investigating then Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for a variety
of offenses, including embezzlement during her time as head of the gas
intermediary Unified Energy Systems.

Although Tymoshenko sat in government, her refusal to drop a number of
anti-corruption measures that affected the president’s supporters had led to
considerable tension between the two.

Eventually, she was fired, arrested, and held in prison for 40 days before
being released by a court for lack of probable cause.  Yushchenko, who was
prime minister at the time, called the arrest “political persecution.”  (6)
Persecution, then, by the same Potebenko recently awarded a medal by

Despite years of attempts, Potebenko (and his successors) were never able to
prove in court any of their charges against Tymoshenko, who then perhaps had
the best revenge by being named the first prime minister after the Orange

At the very least, Potebenko’s work on Tymoshenko’s case was shoddy and
unprofessional.  At the worst, it was designed to do nothing more than to
persecute an opponent of the president.  Or perhaps it was designed simply
to take the attention away from the Gongadze case, which was creating such
problems for him, Kuchma and the country.

This is the man, then, to whom President Yushchenko last week awarded a
medal for “service to the country,” “wisdom,” and “honor.”

In 2004, during his presidential campaign and the Orange Revolution,
Yushchenko vowed to prosecute those who had ordered the murder of

Gongadze. It was, he said, “a matter of honor.” (7)  The organizers have not
been arrested or prosecuted, however, and at this point—seven years after the
murder and over two years after Yushchenko took office—it is unlikely that
they ever will be.

In fact, many observers and politicians have suggested that Yushchenko
struck a deal with Kuchma during the revolution – Yushchenko would ensure
Kuchma’s freedom and Kuchma would not stand in the way of the rerun
presidential election that brought Yushchenko to power.

While no one can ever truly know why the organizers of the Gongadze murder
have not been arrested, the possibility of a compromise agreement fits well
with Yushchenko’s nature of deliberation and conciliation.

Repeatedly throughout his political career, Yushchenko has chosen compromise
over confrontation.  In the last year, Yushchenko blessed the return of his
defeated presidential opponent Viktor Yanukovych to the premiership, and
then gave in to Yanukovych’s pressure to replace Foreign Minister Boris
Tarasyuk instead of fighting for his longtime ally.

And now, the President has done his best to rehabilitate the career of
Mykhailo Potebenko, a man Yushchenko himself once condemned, and a

man who remains disgraced internationally.

One wonders what Yaroslav the Wise would have thought.

On 26 February, Ukraine’s parliamentary opposition leader and former Prime
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko arrives in the US for a five day visit that will
include stops in New York City and Washington DC.

The majority of her time will be spent in Washington, wooing US officials,
political leaders, journalists and business representatives.  The visit
comes just two months after a similar jaunt by Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych, whose inability to provide firm answers to questions failed to
impress officials.

Tymoshenko’s time in the US capital is expected to be capped off by meetings
with both Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice.  Cheney’s decision to see Tymoshenko is somewhat of a coup, given the
Vice President’s usual hesitance to meet politicians not holding state

The planned meetings demonstrate Washington’s keen interest in Ukraine, and
the Bush administration’s desire to continue to support a country viewed by
many as having real potential as an example of a successful transition from
(semi) authoritarianism to democracy.

The transition has not gone nearly as smoothly as the US had hoped.
Although defeated by Yushchenko in the presidential election, Yanukovych
faired well in last year’s parliamentary elections, used division among the
“democrats” in parliament to return to his previous position of Prime
Minister, and then used recent constitutional amendments to consolidate his
power at the expense of Yushchenko.

The Prime Minister’s most recent tenure has included an imposition of grain
export quotas in order to control prices manually—resulting in storage bins
of rotting grain—agreements with petrol companies to control prices outside
of market mechanisms, and a suggestion that the country was negotiating with
Russia to “merge” their pipeline system.

However, unlike every other country in the former Soviet Union (excluding
the Baltics), Ukraine can boast of a real, strong, independent opposition.

According to Tymoshenko’s top foreign policy advisor and the deputy head of
her bloc, Hryhoriy Nemyria, while in Washington, Ukraine’s opposition leader
will “speak to both sides on Capitol Hill,” in order to “take away some
positive lessons and see how they may be applied to ongoing reform efforts
in Ukraine.” (9)

In addition, Tymoshenko suggests that one of the primary messages of her
meetings will be to underscore the “deep transition” that her country is now
undergoing, and the need for support and understanding as it does so. (10)

                                   SOURCE NOTES
(1) The website of The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine via
(2) Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 116/2007, 16 Feb 07 via (in Ukrainian, not
available in English).
(3) “A Shameful Decision,” Taras Kuzio Official Blog, 19 Feb 07,
04:04 PM EST via Originally published in
Ukrainian at
(4)  “European Court of Human Rights judgment,” Institute of Mass
Information, 9 Nov 05 via
(5) Ibid.
(6) Eastern Economist Daily, 17 Apr 01 and ITAR-TASS, 20 Apr 01
via Lexis-Nexis.
(7) UNIAN news agency, 1130 GMT, 23 Feb 05 via Lexis-Nexis.
(8) Author interview with Tymoshenko, 23 Dec 06, Kyiv.
(9) Email correspondence with Hryhoriy Nemyria, 18 Feb 07.
(10) Author interview with Tymoshenko, 23 Dec 06, Kyiv. 
Contact Tammy Lynch (
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
                     Writer profiles Ukraine’s Constitutional Court judges

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Svyatoslav Khomenko
Glavred website, Kiev, in Russian 0000 gmt 19 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007

The Ukrainian Constitutional Court faces “massive” tasks, ranging from the
law on the cabinet to the future of political reform, and the way it tackles
them will be closely watched by politicians and the public, a Ukrainian
website has reported.

The author takes a close look at the twelve judges who comprise the court,
their backgrounds and their individual qualities and ponders what will
influence them in their decision-making.

Unlike the previous convocation, which was made up largely of legal
professionals, the new composition includes many with close political
connections, the website says.

The following is the text of the report by Svyatoslav Khomenko entitled “The
human factor of the Constitutional Court”, published on the Glavred website
on 19 February; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

The destiny of the law on the cabinet, the possibility of the dissolution of
parliament and the cancellation of political reform – answers to all these
high-profile questions which have been put before the Constitutional Court
will be based not on ordinary and logical legal considerations, but on
political expediency.

This is the conclusion one might reach when analysing the people who make up
Ukraine’s sole body of constitutional jurisdiction.
                      “MASSIVE” TASKS FACING COURT
And, indeed, the tasks facing the court are truly on a massive scale. The
CCU [Constitutional Court of Ukraine] must endorse or overturn [President]
Viktor Yushchenko’s statements about the unconstitutional nature of the
controversial law on the cabinet. The pro-presidential Our Ukraine party is
disputing the introduction of an instruction for MPs of local councils.

[Opposition bloc leader] Yuliya Tymoshenko, on the other hand, wants it
extended to MPs of the Supreme Council [parliament]. And it in turn promises
that the CCU will very soon be giving its findings regarding the legitimacy
of the [Viktor] Yanukovych government and give Yushchenko the opportunity

of announcing early parliamentary elections.

In addition, the Constitutional Court is looking at whether MPs were right
to prevent it from examining the constitutionality of changes to the Basic
Law which have already come into force (and it is expected that this
decision could be the first for the court in its new composition).

And if it transpires that the UCC does have the right to look at the
validity of the existing constitution, then the most intriguing issue in
Ukraine’s political life – the possibility of the cancellation of political
reform – will be on everyone’s lips.

It is indicative that the decisions of the CCU on these matters will be more
of a political than a technical nature. They will provide a new political
reality and create a code of rules of the game which the most important
players in the country’s political scene will have to abide by.

In these circumstances the role of the new members of this sole body of
constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine will increase considerably. And it
has to be said that there are things we should be concerned about.

For whereas previously it was made up of faceless professionals who were
unknown to the public at large, today it includes at least several people
who have their own rich political history and fairly close connections with
a number of leading Ukrainian politicians.

Whereas the previous composition of the Constitutional Court included eight
professors, two academicians, six corresponding members of the academy of
juridical sciences, in the CCU today there is only one professor and not all
of them have a degree in legal sciences.
The problems the present Constitutional Court has had to contend with at the
beginning tend to indicate that it will have a lot of difficult and,
possibly, controversial work ahead of it.

The swearing-in of the CCU judges, which previously was considered a mere
formality, has been turned by the MPs who feared that the court would revoke
political reform into a soap opera and a subject of political bargaining.

The judges were finally sworn in only after President Viktor Yushchenko and
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych found a common language and signed a
declaration of national unity.

However, if the CCU judges had been appointed as a result of political
accords, then one may well surmise that their job will amount to
implementing these same political agreements.

And if any law comes up for examination by the CCU, then the outcome

of the court’s decision will depend not on whether this law conforms to the
constitution, but which political forces with representations in the
Constitutional Court this law benefits and which it does not.

Let us try to assume which political players can expect members of the CCU
to pay special attention to their wishes, and which of the “constitutional
judges” of the current convocation could in one way or another be
responsible for requests put by the country’s leading politicians.

The most senior of the UCC judges appointed by the Supreme Council is Pavlo
Tkachuk, who has been in this post since September 2002. Tkachuk was
“summoned” to the Constitutional Court from his job as assistant-consultant
to the MP Oleksandr Moroz.

In addition, evidence of his closeness to the Socialists is that during the
parliamentary elections in March the same year he stood for the Supreme
Council on the SPU [Ukrainian Socialist Party] list, but his fairly high
29th position on this list proved to be not enough to convert it into a
deputy’s mandate.

The remaining five judges were appointed to their posts in August of last
year. At the same time, it did not pass by without controversy.

Shortly before parliament had to decide on its candidates for judges, the
speaker Oleksandr Moroz said that it would be democratic if each of the
parliamentary factions had the opportunity to “put forward” their “own” man
to the CCU. But things did not happen as expected and parliament “went for”
Anzhela Stryzhevska, who was proposed by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc.

It is possible that the Party of Regions was simply unable to forgive her
for the decision she reached on the level of restraint against [Party of
Regions MP] Borys Kolesnykov when she was judge of the capital’s Pechersk
district court.

But nature abhors a vacuum, and at the expense of the YTB the “Regionals”
were able to put forward “their” man to the CCU, and now people are saying
there are now even two “Donetsk people” in the CC of the present
convocation. They are,

[1] first, Anatoliy Holovin from Makiyivka, who impressed as deputy chief
prosecutor and chief military prosecutor when Henadiy Vasylyev was head of
the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office; and,
[2] second, Vyacheslav Ovcharenko, who comes from the same area as the
incumbent prime minister, who joined the CCU straight from his job as
chairman of the Yenakiyeve municipal court.

The socialists’ proposal for Constitutional Court judge was Mykhaylo Kolos,
who stood on a number of occasions for parliament for the SPU, although he
never made it as an MP.

Having had the chance to provide their “own” man, the socialists remembered
their old blood brother and took him to Kiev from the Ostrozhska academy,
where he was head of a department of special law disciplines.

Mariya Markush, an MP of the previous convocation and a native of
Transcarpathia, became a judge from the communists’ camp. However, it would
not be correct to speak about her as someone who is totally devoted to the
“anti-crisis” team.

Many people recall that during the memorable elections for the Mayor of
Makiyivka in April 2004, Markush took the side of the Our Ukrainian MP,
Viktor Baloha, who now heads the presidential secretariat, and voted for a
controversial decision recommending that [former Ukrainian President] Leonid
Kuchma should sack the governor of Transcarpathia, and now a political
emigre, Ivan Rizak.

Finally, a lecturer at the department of constitutional, administrative and
financial law of Lviv University, Petro Stetsyuk, became the “protege” of
the Our Ukraine bloc. In short, his future as a CCU judge was in the balance
because from the very outset his candidature did not get the expected 226
votes of Supreme Council MPs.

The members of the anti-crisis coalition voted for him only after the
president signed the law preventing the CCU from examining changes already
submitted to the constitution.
                          YUSHCHENKO’S “PROTEGES”
Traditionally, judges appointed by the head of state prefer to stand up for
him in the Constitutional Court. As far as the incumbent President
Yushchenko is concerned, this is only half true, because he personally
appointed only three judges and the other three were proteges of his
predecessor Leonid Kuchma.

The following apply to the latter:
[1] Volodymyr Ivashchenko, who came to the CCU from his job as deputy

head of the presidential administration in 2001;
[2] Valeriy Pshenychnyy, who has been in the apparatus of the Constitutional
Court since 1997 and became a judge there in 2003, and
[3] Syuzanna Stanyk, former justice minister, Ukrainian ambassador to
Switzerland and the wife of the odious former head of the NTKU [Ukrainian
National Telecommunications Company] Vadym Dolhanov.

Traditionally, the media and experts associated “work” with the judges of
the Constitutional Court from President Kuchma with his all-powerful head of
administration, Viktor Medvedchuk. They say that he has not lost touch with
them even now.

And the three judges of “Yushchenko’s draft”, who took the oath in August
last year, are described as totally devoted to the current head of state.
The most public of them until recently was the first Prosecutor-General of
Ukraine, Viktor Shyshkyn.

For some time he was described as close to Yuliya Tymoshenko, but after her
split with Serhiy Holovatyy, and then with Anatoliy Matviyenko’s Sobor
party, of whom Shyshkin was a member, they started to speak about him as a
member of the president’s team.

The two other judges appointed on the president’s quota, Volodymyr Kampo

and Dmytro Lilak, are described as quiet professionals.

The former nearly became Ukrainian justice minister back in 1992 (at the
time parliament was examining procedural infringements over this
appointment, and it was revoked) and the last ten years he has been engaged
in teaching, and the latter was until his appointment a judge in the chamber
of economic affairs of the Supreme Court.

Judges of the Constitutional Court who are appointed by the Congress of
Judges can be seen as somewhat “dark horses”.

Whereas during the final years of Kuchma’s presidency, this section of the
corps of the CCU was seen to some extent as dependent on Viktor

Medvedchuk, now they are almost the most independent part of the CCU.

Andriy Stryzhak, who was appointed to the CCU back in December 2004, is the
only one who could be considered as a reminder of the old times of the work
of the president’s administration with the Congress of Judges.

His swearing-in was blocked for a long time by the “Orange team” who
remembered the various legal decisions he made when he was head of the
Transcarpathian Court of Appeal, which allegedly pointed to his closeness to
the USDP(U), although they remember less that during the first Mukacheve
mayoral campaign in 2003 he was described as someone close to Viktor Baloha.

On the other hand, Vasyl Bryntsev, the former head of the Kharkiv Region
Court of Appeal, is described as a judge with views close to the “Orange”
team. His decisions acquitting members of Kharkiv protest demonstrations
against the policy of the Viktor Yanukovych government in the run-up to the
2004 presidential campaign were quite controversial.
Three CCU judges appointed by the “judges’ quota” came from the Supreme
Court, and whereas Yaroslava Machuzhak, a former judge of the chamber of
criminal cases of the Ukrainian Supreme Court specializing in juvenile law,
is not linked with any of big political players. Anatoliy Dikivskyy and Ivan
Dombrovskyy are from time to time described as sympathizers of the current
head of state.

These surmises are based on the fact that when they became judges of the
chamber of civil cases of the Supreme Court, they were allegedly involved in
drawing up the decision to re-ballot the second round of the 2004
presidential elections, virtually making Yushchenko president of Ukraine.
However, so far there is no other convincing evidence of their possible
involvement in this.

On roughly the same basis the sixth CCU judge on the “judges’ quota”
Vyacheslav Dzhun is linked with the Party of Regions. The only proof of

such a link is believed to be the fact that Dzhun worked as a judge of the
Ukrainian Supreme Economic Court at a time when it was headed by the
present “Regionals” MP, Dmytro Prytyk.

As we can see, at the present moment neither the president nor the
anti-crisis coalition can count on the devotion of the 12 members of the
Constitutional Court (and that is precisely how many are needed for any
decision to be adopted by the CCU). But this does not mean that they are

not seeking ways to create such a majority.

It is precisely these questions, according to rumours, that Viktor
Yushchenko and, more frequently, Viktor Baloha, are discussing during

their meetings with Viktor Medvedchuk.

It is precisely for these very purposes that the Party of Regions is
allocating a separate staff entity responsible for establishing reliable and
fruitful contacts in the building on Zhylyanska [street in Kiev where
Constitutional Court is situated] Andriy Klyuyev would seem to be dealing
with this.

Obtaining control over the majority in the CCU in adopting at least one
decision capable of showing rivals that they have established control over
the court is now a matter of principle for each of the interested parties.

It is possible that this is the reason for the Constitutional Court’s long
silence. According to some figures, the number of motions which have piled
up for the CCU has already exceeded 60, and a decision has still not been
taken on any of them.

Will the CCU judges wait for the big players in Ukrainian politics to decide
among themselves who is more important and then take the side of the

Or are we now seeing the calm before the storm, and we will soon be hit by a
wave of decisions of the Constitutional Court which instead of clarifying
the situation in politics, getting it out of the crisis, will give new
impetus to the struggle for power between its key players?

Only the CCU’s first few decisions could have provided answers to these
questions. They could have shown what it is today that has stronger
influence on the interpretation of the Constitution and, as a consequence,
the rules which will govern the way the country’s political process will

Among the options are the professionalism and sense of principle of the CCU
judges and their ideological convictions, the personal relations between the
“CCU judges” and the leading Ukrainian politicians, and pure-and-simple
“cash” which more than once in Ukraine’s history has not only “triumphed
over evil”, but has taken the situation in the country beyond the bounds of
common sense.

In any event, one cannot dispute the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
And everyone will have to play according to its rules, at least until the
next elections. And for the moment the interested parties are trying to
influence the “human factor” of the CCU and are unaware which (or rather
whose) factors of influence on it will prove to be the most effective.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Over the surveyed period the right to change and define Constitutional
procedures was bitterly argued. Practically each political force strived to
initiate new turn of political reform or revision of the Constitution.

The prime minister and his allies were the only who protected the main law.
“The Constitution is sacred,” Viktor Yanukovych insisted.

It all started when the President asked the Constitutional Court to explain
articles of the Constitution which define general initiative. The problem is
that the Constitution does not elaborate these questions.

The President believes that such referendum may relate only to legislation,
otherwise it is merely consultative or advisory and not binding. This was
the reaction of the President to the pressure by supporters of referendum of
the NATO and the CEA.

Yuschenko is reckoned that the questions submitted for the referendum he is
forced to call, can be treated as consultative only. If the Verkhovna Rada
ratified the law on the NATO access, the legislative referendum could be

The point is that in compliance with current legislation about referendum
the President cannot call a referendum on access to the international
organizations. This at least gives time to Yuschenko to avoid politically
inconvenient referendum. The coalition claimed he ignores people’s opinion.

Despite serious problems with the legislation regulating the referendum,
certain political forces tempt to acknowledge new wording of the
Constitution. For instance, UNA-UNSO proposes to cancel political reform
through the referendum referring to the “right of citizens to define or
alter the Constitutional regulations and cannot be usurped by the

The President also welcomes this idea. Several parties have submitted a new
wording of the Constitution. Tymoshenko’s Bloc called this a priority task
of the bloc for the current session and promises to submit its wording of
the Constitution in about two months.

The balanced Constitution “shall not be adjusted to the person,” Tymoshenko
states and only unbiased wording can “put order and peace in the state.”
Present draft of the Constitution reminds “close manual fight and is
practically a manifesto to open war between the branches of power.”

MPs from Our Ukraine also favored the initiative. “Creation of the new draft
of the Constitution is possible,” Ruslan Kniazevych assures. People’s
Self-Defense of Yurii Lutsenko points to “reset of the Constitution, the
legislation of Ukraine to create Ukraine for people.” Most of oppositional
forces are confident that new wording of the main law may end permanent war
for authorities and legal chaos.

Protest of the opposition against the reformed Constitution is widely
disputed and neither the government, nor the anti-crisis coalition can
ignore it. “We feel now the shortcomings [of the Constitutional reform]. we
believe that improvement of the Constitution is the path we are going to
walk trough in the nearest time,” Viktor Yanukovych admits.

However the prime minister is currently more concerned about supplementing
the altered Constitution with necessary laws, which extend powers of the
highest executive body.

His allies were categorical. “We strongly oppose adoption of the new
Constitution in any wording, especially through plebiscite,” Rasia
Bohatyriova put it, “stop playing powder by the flame.” Party of the Regions
believes implementation of the initiative threatens Constitutional

Viktor Yanukovych accuses new political projects in speculations around the
Constitution, because they “made the Constitution a campaigning mean.” If
there is such a need, the prime minister proposes to improve the
Constitution through creation of the Constitutional commission and stop this

The government ignores the President’s commission, but the anti-crisis
coalition took precaution measures: Communist Party submitted its wording of
the Constitution. In the meant time, opposition escalates tensions around
cancellation of political reform.

Tymoshenko’s Bloc collects signatures to cancel amendments to the
Constitution. The coalition in response deepens the reform locally. The
speaker emphasized the necessity to “take and improve all necessary laws
about local self-governance.”

At the same time, the opposition hopes for the re-run. Tymoshenko assured
her political force will make all efforts to speed up elections to the
Verkhovna Rada. After the legal grounds to dissolve the parliament are
proved, the President’s hand will not falter and he will disband this

Our Ukraine supports Tymoshenko’s Bloc in search of the legal grounds for
dissolution of the parliament. They may appear in the near time, leader of
the Our Ukraine faction is convinced. “Political chaos, initiated by
governing coalition may be stopped only through early election,” says
Viacheslav Kyrylenko.

“Political participation in the election is not a problem for Our Ukraine,”
leader of Our Ukraine states and warns the coalition of the re-run. Bloc of
Yulia Tymoshenko is compiling new election lists.

“You shall not push anybody to the early election,” it may split the
country, Communist Party cautions opposition. Party of the Regions “being
the force counting all variants” considers the scenario of early election,
but it will be the ruling of the coalition to defeat “orange” camp. “The
only possible variant is when we ourselves will decide to dissolve the
parliament,” says Taras Chornovil.

The anti-crisis coalition tries to ensure itself from possible extreme turn
of events and restricts powers of opponents. The law On Constitutional Court
was registered in the Verkhovna Rada by which the coalition wants to ban the
Constitutional Court from revision of the legality of constitutional reforms
which are in force.

Besides, the draft specifies the procedure of impeachment and limits to 15
days the right of the President to suspend resolutions of the Cabinet of
Ministers by sending them to the Constitutional Court.

The only plus of the draft, opposition names time-limits on consideration of
claims and proposes to deprive the Constitutional Court of the authority to
interpret laws, which only protracts judicial proceedings. However, the law
has no chance to go through the Constitutional Court.           -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

POLITICAL REVIEW: Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, February 14, 2007

Over the surveyed period Ukraine was shaping the relations with Europe.
Ukrainian government and its leader faced many problems with the EU.

The prime minister had to swallow another portion of critics from the
President’s supporters for his speech in Davos, which embarrassed Europe,
particularly, statement that Ukraine is not ready to join the EU.

The situation shall not cool but heat even more. Earlier, due to uncertainty
the integration into the European Union was limited to nice but useless

Yanukovych himself started to do something. He directed to create another
institutional mechanism, which will adapt the legislation of Ukraine to the

Meanwhile, the President insists European strives of Ukraine were mentioned
in the text of the new treaty with the EU. “Today, Ukraine seeks a new
treaty with the EU in which the key point is Ukraine’s membership in the
European Union,” Viktor Yuschenko told.

Mandate for holding of negotiations with Ukraine stipulated that a new
treaty with Ukraine would envisage cooperation within the policy of
neighborhood without any hopes for membership.

At the same time, sociological surveys show that most of the EU residents
support Ukraine’s stance. Unfortunately, the meeting Ukraine – Troika EU was
shortened. The foreign minister of Germany announced that negotiations about
a new treaty will most likely start in March.

Still, the EU is not yet ready to include prospects of Ukraine’s membership
in the treaty. Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed confidence that Ukraine and
the EU shall not lay down excessive demands to each other.

At the meeting with the minister, Yanukovych pretended eurointegrator and
was as if disappointed that the new treaty does not envisage membership of
Ukraine in the EU.

Despite the prime minister is more interested in creation of free trade
zones rather than in dim promises of membership, Ukraine has not yet met the
key demand relating to creation of the free trade zone with the EU – joining
to the WTO.

The date of Ukraine’s entry into the World Trade Organization is postponed
each time. This time the economy ministry names August 2007 the final date.

The prime minister, however, is satisfied with the results: “It was my
government which practically completed integration into the WTO within three
months.” He forgot to mention that most likely joining to the WTO will be
synchronous with Russia.

The surveyed period could not do without North-Atlantic integration as well.
14 senators of the USA push through the law envisaging financial support of
Ukraine, Albania, Georgia, Croatia and Macedonia on their way to NATO.
Communists assess the initiative as rude interference with the internal
affairs of Ukraine.

Poland also assisted Ukraine claiming that NATO membership is a very
positive step on the way to the European integration. Visiting Germany, the
President of Ukraine secured the support of the chancellor, who assured
Yuschenko that the new treaty between Ukraine and the EU will signal future
membership of Ukraine in the EU.

As for the NATO access Viktor Yuschenko was more restrained than before.

“We shall raise awareness of the society, understand that this is a
wide-national priority and not the speculations,” the President said.

The prime minister, in the meantime, was rebuked by the international
European organization – the Council of Europe. Rapporteurs of the PACE
monitoring committee slammed the Ukrainian prime minister for inability to
secure supremacy of law and transparency of governing at all levels.

They named the coalition-shaping process opaque and accused Party of the
Regions in breach of the Declaration, which brought it to power. Hanne
Severinsen and Renate Wohlwend noted that status of political reform is
still questioned. Ukraine suffers lingering distribution of powers after
introduction of the new political system. “The limits and irreversibility of
the reform still produce conflicts and confuse.”

The rapporteurs state that incorrect amendments to the Constitution raised a
number of questions, which current government is unable to solve. As long as
the power is now represented by the government rather than the President, it
was rebuked.

“The new Cabinet of Ministers is full of officials who represent corruption
union of business interest with the government. People, finally, do not know
for whom they voted,” the rapporteurs admit.

Yanukovych was furious. He responded the words of rapporteurs are
groundless: “I used to talk on the level facts.” The justice ministry
demanded PACE refuted the information about preparation of non-democratic
drafts which contradict the standards of the European Council. The ministry
was concerned about “inconsistency of views of the PACE rapporteurs with

the real situation in Ukraine.”

The reasons for concern do exist. Political scandal erupted after Viktor
Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin assumed possible unification of gas
transporting assets of Ukraine and Russia.

It all started when Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers offered Gazprom to return
to pre-market payments for gas bought in the previous years. It is payment
for transit of Russian gas by additional 30 billion cubic meters of gas.
“Previous agreements (2002-2004) more benefit to Ukraine,” Andrii Kliuev

Soon the prime minister announced possible unification of gas transporting
assets with Russia and creation of gas transporting consortium. “We can talk
only about equal terms of unification so that partnership was clear,
fifty-fifth as they say,” Viktor Yanukovych promised.

Allegedly Ukrainian partners are interested in extracting assets in the
territory of Russian Federation. The President of Russia in response
confirmed interests of his state in creation of a gas transport consortium
and assumed access of Ukrainian structures to development of Russian gas
deposits. Russia yielded even in the question of gas price. “We are always
ready to support and even deviate from the market,” Vladimir Putin told.

Yanukovych sells gas transporting system of Ukraine to Russia, the
opposition caught the message. BYT started to unveil another conspiracy of
the second big plan, after RosUkrEnergo targeted at destruction of Ukraine.
Yulia Tymoshenko reminds it all started from excessively high prices for gas
and warns it will end with seizure of gas transporting system of Ukraine.

Present government wants to make Naftohaz Ukrainy bankrupt and give away gas
transporting system to Russia. BYT quickly registered a draft banning any
manipulations with property of the national stock company.

Our Ukraine supported the initiative of Tymoshenko’s Bloc and the factions
blocked the rostrum. They demanded the government of Yanukovych reported

on Russia’s intentions as for usage of Ukrainian gas transporting system,
which, in fact, initiated the Ukrainian side.

Viacheslav Kyrylenko, leader of the Our Ukraine faction, was indignant about
public learning about agreements relating to gas transporting system from
Russian President and not the government of Ukraine.

BYT and Our Ukraine demonstrated unity, when protected energy interests of
Ukraine and not accidentally. After creation of RosUkrEnergo and report of
the government on gas supplies the government of Yurii Yekhanurov was
discharged. BYT and Our Ukraine, however, don’t have enough votes to dismiss
the government of Yanukovych.

The prime minister escalates political tensions and opposition takes
advantage of it. Yulia Tymoshenko called on Viktor Yuschenko to call NSDC
and dissolve the parliament, but the President said that talks about
unification of gas transporting assets with Russia are premature.

“Ukrainian gas transporting system remains in the ownership of Ukraine, in
the state’s ownership, and is not subject to any changes. This is the top
priority of the government’s policy,” Yanukovych justified.

He noted that the matter is about implementation of modern projects in gas
transport sector, particularly in participation of the Russian Federation in

construction of gas pipeline Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod if volumes of gas
transit to Europe go up. It would be profitable for all parties to the project.
Experts do not dare to estimate these statements.

On the one hand, participation of Russia in construction of the
Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod section is “more profitable for Ukraine than for
Russia,” it boosts transit capacities of Ukraine up to 20 billion cubic
meters annually. On the other hand, construction of the section had been
postponed several times because Russia insisted the entire gas transporting
system was managed by the consortium.

Is this a first stage in implementation of more scaled project targeted to
intensify control over Ukrainian gas transport system? Presently, Gazprom
controls the major part of post-soviet area excluding Ukraine, Georgia and

At this consortium does not solve the main problem of Ukraine – diverse gas
provision and dependence of Ukraine from its main supplier – Russia and visa
versa. It makes Ukraine even more dependent.

Finally the parliament conceded to demand of opposition and amended the law
On Pipeline Transportation, which bans any manipulations with gas transport
system of Ukraine. Tymoshenko’s Bloc has saved the most significant
strategic assets of Ukraine by banning alienation of gas transport system –
the bloc estimated its achievement.

The prime minister was irritated: “What gave us the law passed in the
parliament? Nothing! It is pure political game.” The Cabinet of Ministers
has never discussed gas transport system with Russia, Yanukovych


The matter was about consortium for construction of the
Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod section. In his opinion the law initiated by BYT,

like freezing of the parliament’s operation, testifies protracted political
confrontation because ban on transfer of gas transporting system has
already been regulated.

Russia has equated Ukrainians to other migrants. From now on all new-comers,
except for Belorussians, are subject to registration. Earlier, Ukrainians
could stay in Russia up to 90 days. Ukraine turned to Asia and opened a year
of Kazakhstan in Ukraine.                                   -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                   NATURAL GAS MARKET
               Plans for gaining control of Ukraine’s natural gas network

Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly
International Social Political Weekly, No 3 (632)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 27 January – 2 February 2007

Changes that have taken place in the rules of the game on Ukraine’s natural
gas market look insignificant, but at first glance only.

The latest alternations and amendments made on December 8, 2006 and
January 16, 2007 to the Cabinet of Ministers decree # 1729 “On the Provision
of Natural Gas for Consumers”, issued on December 27, 2001, are umbrellas
for far more far-reaching plans for gaining control of Ukraine’s natural gas
network (i.e. low-pressure gas pipelines that are now controlled by
regional-, city- and district-level gas distributing organizations) than one
may think at first blush.

In this case, the ownership of Ukraine’s natural gas distribution and
transportation network is claimed by a monopoly supplying natural gas to
this country, which, despite a Ukrainian company’s participation (albeit
formal) in its statutory capital, is de facto managed from a ‘near-abroad’

The rules of the game are changing far too often on the natural gas market.
In [the Russian natural gas giant] Gazprom, for example, there are different
approaches and opinions as to whom to work with in Ukraine in the future.

You may therefore never predict when today’s favorites, RosUkrEnergo and its
Ukrainian subsidiary, closed joint-stock company Ukrgaz-Energo, may lose
their status as privileged partners.

To reduce such a probability to zero, their owners and managers must propose
something that would prove in practice that Gazprom will never be able to do
without them.

There is no best way to do so other than by gaining possession of regional
natural gas network in Ukraine, as Ukraine’s current legislation forbids the
privatization of the country’s gas network, and this fact gives no peace to
Gazprom and its allies.

As long as the ban on gas pipeline privatization remains in force, it is the
proper time (as RosUkrEnergo and Ukrgaz-Energo apparently decided) to
secure a grip on gas networks managed by regional gas distributing

Last year, numerous schemes for selling stocks in regional gas distributing
organizations were proposed for consideration. Bargains of some kind were
even proposed to some of them, or, to be more exact, to their owners.

There was even a notorious conflict with five regional gas distributing
companies in Western Ukraine, where the first attempted purchase of shares
at knocked-down prices had failed altogether.

Strange as it may be, bargains on the cost of shares in regional gas
distributing companies came to a full stop, as if by preconcert, last
By a strange coincidence (believe it or not, it was the case), it’s exactly
in December when changes and amendments were made to Cabinet of
Ministers decree # 1729, which initiated the change of the rules of the
game on the gas market.

By that time, a plot for securing a grip on regional gas distributing
companies (this was about not only their shares but also businesses and
markets) had apparently fully matured.

The simplest way to do this seemed to involve replacing the current gas
distributing companies with their own affiliated entities– a job that
needed to be well prepared for.

At a time when people were all celebrating the coming of the New Year, a

new idea may have leaped into the mind of those who invented the brilliant
plot, or someone may have remembered some additional opportunities for
achieving their goals which the amendments did not ban.

Or, and this is most likely, they did not succeed in rushing amendments that
would help them translate their vast scheme into reality through the Cabinet
of Ministers the first time. But in the end the result is more important
than the process.

On January 16, 2007, the Cabinet of Ministers updated the above mentioned
2001’s decree with amendments as proposed by the Fuel and Energy Ministry,
which radically changed the alignment of forces on the domestic gas market.

According to the amendments, household consumers should be provided with
domestically produced gas, and [national gas monopoly] Naftohaz Ukrainy is
to act as authorized manager and distributor of these gas resources, with
natural gas to be directly sold to household consumers at regulated prices,
by economic entities licensed to sell natural gas, i.e. regional, municipal
and district gas companies.

So that we have our apartments warm and with running hot water, gas should
be supplied to municipal heat supplying companies and district heating
plants by the same Naftohaz Ukrainy.

For that matter, it should be noted that Naftohaz Ukrainy, and more
precisely its subsidiaries, the state company Ukrgazvydobuvannya and public
corporation Ukrnafta, annually produce about 14.5 billion cubic meters and
about three billion cubic meters of natural gas, respectively — in all
about 17-18 billion cubic meters at best.

Household consumers take 18-20 billion cubic meters, which is clearly less
than what is needed by the population. In the past, when the country had
seen better days, gas was supplied to Naftohaz Ukrainy at the rate of $50
per 1,000 cubic meters, which partly compensated for the cost of Russian gas
transportation to European consumers.

Part of the gas was supplied to household consumers and state-financed
organizations in Ukraine to make up for deficient amounts of domestically
produced gas and also to provide gas for municipal heat supplying companies
and district heating plants.

As there is no such source of gas now, where is gas to come from for
Naftohaz Ukrainy to provide heat for the population? It is a good question,
but to date there is no clear answer to it.

According to these innovations, in 2007, gas is to be provided for consumers
in all categories, including state-financed organizations and industrial
consumers, from the following sources:
     [1] national joint-stock company Naftohaz Ukrainy, including the gas
          to be purchased under international contracts or purchase and sale
     [2] companies (enterprises) set up with participation of Naftohaz
          Ukrainy, including the gas to be purchased under external economic
     [3] other suppliers of gas to be purchased under external economic
Now let us try and recall how many gas importing companies (enterprises) set
up with Naftohaz Ukrainy’s participation there are in Ukraine? Right you
are, there is only one of them, specifically Ukrgaz-Energo, a closed
joint-stock company and the sole organization in Ukraine to purchase gas
under external economic contracts.

This is to say that in 2007, every state-financed organization and
industrial consumer will have to sign contracts directly with Ukrgaz-Energo,
as was already the case in 2006. In other words, the entire amount of public
funds appropriated to this end from the national budget will go directly to
the bank accounts of RosUkrEnergo via Ukrgaz-Energo’s.

But those who invented this scheme wanted more than that. To this end,
regional gas distributing organizations have been deprived not only of their
right to supply gas to consumers other than the population but even to be
paid in cash for their services, i.e. to deliver gas directly to consumers.

The amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers decrees stipulate that contracts
for gas transportation to consumers should be awarded to gas suppliers,
which means to say that it is the gas supplier, namely Ukrgaz-Energo, who
will be the only company to be paid money for gas supplied to consumers.

It should be noted here that this company’s monopoly position will
eventually undermine security of Ukraine’s gas transportation networks and
inevitably affect all of Ukraine’s gas transporting and gas distributing
companies without exception, regardless of their pattern of ownership and
including those where majority stakes are held by the Ukrainian government.

In support of the innovations they offer the arguments that are already too
well known. These are the ineffective use of gas pipelines by gas
transporting and distributing companies; the need for massive investments in
modernization of the gas transporting infrastructure; strong competition in
the gas market and so on.
But in reality, this will inevitably bring about further monopolization of
Ukraine’s gas market, collapse of the country’s gas distributing network,
massive lay-offs, the disruption of the national gas industry, an increased
threat of man-made disasters and the loss of control over prices (which in
fact is already occurring).

This will be followed by further property redistribution in Ukraine, to be
accomplished through prices’ and the freezing of domestic hydrocarbon
production under the pretext of its lack of efficiency.

The industry’s potential has already been undermined by the Naftohaz
Ukrainy’s multimillion credit deals, logistical support contracts and debt-
swapping deals involving what is broadly known in certain circles as

This begs the question: whose interests was that campaign intended to
meet and in whose interests has this campaign been carried out?

Ukrtransgaz, a company wholly-owned by the Ukrainian government, will
find itself in dire straits as well, because it will not have the money to
properly service the country’s gas network, which will now depend on
Ukrgaz-Energo’s goodwill.

By the way, Ukrtransgaz employee staff, having learnt of what kind of
destiny was ahead of them, began to sound off. But the ‘insurgency’ was soon
crushed down by the Fuel and Energy Ministry and Naftohaz Ukrainy, who
assured the people that they would only benefit from the January 16’s

According to the amendments, the state company Ukrtransgaz and other
organizations licensed to transport natural gas for technological and other
industrial needs will have to purchase imported gas.

In other words, gas will have to be purchased from Ukrgaz-Energo or
somebody else (?), as the Cabinet of Ministers decree does not say a single
word about whom the gas should be imported from (or, rather, whose
resources it should be taken from).

It therefore turns out that Ukrtransgaz and regional gas distributing
organizations will not have the guarantee of buying gas for meeting their
technological and industrial needs, and the probability is very high that
they will not have the money to pay salaries to their employees or carry out
repairs (however urgent) on their gas transportation infrastructure.

According to the vast scheme, gas transporting companies are now deprived
of their right to be paid money for their services, along with the right to
supply gas directly to consumers.

Apparently driven by the intention to get regional gas distributing
companies ‘beaten completely’, the Cabinet decided to update procedures (or
algorithm) for the distribution of the money that the companies obtain in
payments from household consumers. Upon arrival to a bank account, the
money is automatically shared among the gas supplier, Ukrtransgaz, and a
regional gas distributing organization.

The algorithm is to be developed by Naftohaz Ukrainy and approved by the
National Energy Regulatory Authority. With such a ‘statesmanlike’ approach
by Naftohaz Ukrainy to the January 16’s amendments to the Cabinet of
Ministers decree, it will be hard to expect that the company’s decisions are
fair, especially as varying patterns will be developed for each individual
company, allowing room for corruption.

As further follows from the Cabinet of Ministers decree, Naftohaz Ukrainy,
the companies established with the national joint-stock company’s
participation (read Ukrgaz-Energo) and entities purchasing natural gas under
external economic contracts must not sign gas transportation contracts with
companies other than the state company Ukrtransgaz and the economic
entities licensed to supply natural gas directly to consumers.

There is one more feature in the Cabinet of Ministers decree referred to
above. Gas transportation and producing entities affiliated with Naftohaz
Ukrainy, as well as economic entities licensed to supply natural and
oil-well gas directly to consumers should supply gas within quotas as set
for gas supplying organizations (with the exception of companies affiliated
with Naftohaz Ukrainy or Ukrgaz-Energo), in accordance with contracts
signed with consumers other than the population.

It also stipulates that natural gas should be supplied to consumers in
accordance with contracts signed with Naftohaz Ukrainy and affiliated gas
importing companies (i.e. Ukrgaz-Energo).

This means that companies affiliated with Naftohaz Ukraniy, and gas
importing organizations partly controlled by Naftohaz Ukrainy (as you may
guess, this is again referring to Ukrgaz-Energo) are entitled to supply gas
to consumers on privileged terms which imply the right to gas transportation
among other things. As for other suppliers, contracts for gas transportation
should be signed between consumers and gas transporting organizations.

The text of changes and amendments to Cabinet of Ministers resolution
#1729 was drawn up by the Fuel and Energy Ministry, Naftohaz Ukrainy
and organizations affiliated with the national joint-stock company.

Note that the document is not straightforward about the possibility of
Ukraine’s regional gas transporting network being given over to private
hands. What’s the point in doing so, especially as the desired result is
almost there?

All that remains is the setting up of entities alternative to regional gas
distributing organizations. It would be interesting to know who is going
to implement this part of the vast scheme?

As this has not yet taken place, we would like to know what the Fuel and
Energy Ministry and Naftohaz Ukrainy think about the above mentioned
innovations on Ukraine’s gas market.

What kind of interests (apart from Ukrgaz-Energo’s) were state officials
from those government agencies guided by?

We are awaiting answers, unless, of course, topics of this kind are
considered indecent to discuss in this country.              -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
               James Mace’s birthday is approaching, we remember him
                & try to understand the phenomenon of his personality.

COMMENTARY: Viktor Kostiuk, Head of the Journalism Department
Zaporizhia National University, Zaporizhia, Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest #6, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 20, 2007

With James Mace’s birthday approaching, we remember him and try to
understand the phenomenon of his personality.

Tens and hundreds of our compatriots are known to have proved their creative
potential outside their native land – “Our blossoms are all over the world,”
as the saying goes – asserting the existence of the country of Ukraine. But
what made a successful American scholar move to a young and little known

The scholarly activity of the young Oklahoman began from a tragedy, or more
precisely, from the realization of a tragedy that had befallen a distant

Eyewitness testimonies, archival materials, and mass media publications on
the Ukrainian Holodomor helped him understand its nature and consequences
and gave him grounds to declare to the entire world that genocide had been
committed against the Ukrainian people.

Mace moved to Kyiv in the early 1990s. What bound him to Ukraine was a
pain in his huge heart rather than business interests. In 1994 he wrote in
the newspaper “Literaturna Ukraina,” “Today, when I hear scholastic debates
on whether Ukraine is building a socialist or capitalist society, I wish it
would be the society of liberated people.” In his opinion, a liberated
person is an informed individual who is free of fear.

His knowledge of Ukraine’s realities led him to the following conclusions:
“A country with the most fertile land in the world, immense mineral
resources, and with a better- educated labor force than the US has become a
laughing-stock. The economy is unable to maintain such a large government.

The country keeps sinking into debt and is wasting loans intended for
investment. Its environmental conditions are the worst in Europe. The
population is shrinking; people are losing hope for better days. At the end
of the 20th century Ukraine is the same ‘sick man of Europe’ as the Ottoman
Empire was a hundred years ago.”

Having deeply immersed himself into the past and present of our country,
Mace the researcher asserts, “Ukraine is a post-genocidal society.”

After researching the Holodomor for many years, Mace began to consider
himself a Ukrainian. One is led to wonder: if a person who is so deeply
concerned about our problems and so sincerely interested in the good of our
people is Ukrainian, what percentage of Ukrainianness do our politicians,
business people, journalists, artists, and each one of us have?

But the heart of the great humanist could not bear the post-genocidal
manifestations of our everyday life. The Ukrainian land that was so dear to
his heart became his final refuge.

A worthy way to honor the 55th anniversary of James Mace’s birth would be
to acknowledgment his achievements. In the next days much will be said and
written about his life, research, and compassionate publications.

I believe that what we need to say about Mace is not words of praise but
gratitude. Thank you, great humanist, for stirring our society, which made
our parliament finally recognize, not without a lot of huffing and puffing,
the Holodomor of 1932-33 as genocide.

Forgive us, James, for transferring power into the hands of people who break
publicly made promises, who despise the state language and the things our
nation holds sacred, who disregard freedom of press, and who impersonate a
political opposition while playing soccer or tennis together.

My students and I will refer again and again to your publications because
they shape social optimism, teach us critical thinking, and encourage people
to be humane.

For the second year in a row, journalism majors at Zaporizhia National
University are using James Mace’s “A Tale of Two Journalists” in their
classes. For them this is “an active way of contemplating the past, present,
and future” (Larysa Ivshyna).

Below are extracts from papers written by this year’s freshmen students.

[1] Without a doubt James Mace may be called a true Ukrainian and our
national hero. The kind of openness and honesty that he had about the
Genocide and Holodomor of 1932-33 is not found in any history textbook,
and this is truly hard to believe. Unfortunately, Maces’ knightly and
scholarly courage did not find acceptance either in the US or Ukraine.

But we are happy that today this person is acknowledged in our country as a
prominent scholar. James Mace was a true journalist and a real man, who was
not afraid of making the truth known to people. This is what journalists
should be. We need to look up to him and strive to be as honest as he was. –

[2] It is very unfortunate that James Mace’s name does not ring a bell with
most Ukrainians. I did not know anything about him until I enrolled in our

He was an American but decided to throw in his lot with a country that at
first was foreign to him and later became his true Fatherland. It was his
love for our country and people that made him tell the truth with no fear of
consequences. – Natalia BUHAR

[3] Reading the biographies of such people as James Mace, you think,
“There he is, a hero of our time.” He is worthy of being called a real man.
It is hard to imagine that in times of discord and feuds there was a man who
was not indifferent to our people’s lot.

His Tale is a postulate of human dignity and journalistic honesty. It
demonstrates the everlasting confrontation of truth and evil. I am taking my
first steps in journalism, but I can say that Mace is an example on which
the spiritual development of future journalists must be based. –


[4] Journalists often like to think of themselves as fearless advocates of
society’s right to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth. The Pulitzer Prize was established in order to honor those who
follow this principle.

But what do we do with journalists like Walter Duranty, i.e., those who
conceal the truth and openly despise any conceivable journalistic ideals?
The answer is obvious: shame, contempt, etc.

Just like Gareth Jones, one of the characters of his story, James Mace
always had the courage of his convictions in expressing his views on
Ukrainian history and ethics. The Holodomor was a terror for the whole
nation and a murky period in the 20th century.

Even Western nations have acknowledged this. Holodomor denial is the
most immoral of all crimes. Isn’t it time to cleanse our consciousness?
Isn’t this an opportune moment for establishing the truth? – Maria MELNYK

[5] James Mace is one of the few people who demonstrated the true paradigm
of the journalistic profession. With considerable skill and using the
examples of Duranty and Jones, he managed to show the fleeting glory of
Duranty wearing the laurels of a lie, and the “everlasting failure” of Jones
wearing the laurels of truth.

Some may say this is a paradox of existence, but consider: when a person
with a serious illness deliberately infects others, that is a crime. When a
deceitful journalist deliberately infects society with the “disinformation
virus,” doesn’t it make sense to sound the alarm?

Sooner or later, lies will out, so a young journalist should learn from
Duranty’s mistakes in order not to tremble at death’s door in fear of
eternal damnation. It is regrettable that journalists do not take an oath
like doctors do. Maybe then they would understand the scope of their
responsibility. – Halyna YATSENKO

[6] James Mace’s journalistic legacy is simply awe-inspiring. It clearly
reflects the author’s deep knowledge of Ukrainian culture and history. The
reader is favorably impressed by the zeal with which the author comes to the
defense of justice and truth. The breadth and depth of his thinking as well
as the simplicity of exposition make Mace’s publications accessible to all

He devoted many years of his life to researching the history of Ukraine, a
country that was not his native land. I believe that every journalist,
especially a budding one, needs to read A Tale of Two Journalists.

This is a case where a future professional has to learn from real- life
examples, to understand and be aware of every aspect of journalism, not
just its positive sides.

I believe that “A Tale of Two Journalists” helps one appreciate the immense
importance of the journalistic profession. In journalism, as in any other
public sphere, there will always be the dilemma of choosing between two
different ways to achieve a goal-the principled, honest way or the
unscrupulous, slippery one.

I believe that every budding journalist needs to read this story and make
his or her own choice – whether to live in harmony with fame, which is
sometimes sullied, or with one’s own conscience. – Yana POLSKA

[7] Of course, not every leading journalist has read this story. But this
does not mean that the problems it describes have no relevance today. In
his story the author not only talks about ethics in journalism or its
absence, but also discusses facts from Ukrainian history that were kept

secret for a long time.

Much has been said and written about the Holodomor, but how much is there
that we still don’t know? Yes, you can conceal official data and figures.

But what do you do with millions of murdered people? How is it possible to
conceal the names of those who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the

James Mace’s publications are thus not simply collections of an observer’s
comments but an opportunity for Ukrainian society to look at its present in
the light of the past. – Kateryna SHYIAN

                          GROUP AS UKRAINIAN BLOOD
[1] By Mykhailyna KOTSIUBYNSKA,
literary critic

“For me the name and image of James Mace are one of the purest and most
moving phenomena of the human race that I have ever come across. I was
fortunate to know people like that – Vasyl Stus, the Svitlychnys – Ivan and
Nadia – Alla Horska, and others.

“Ukraine called to Mace from across the sea and from a different continent,
and he answered the summons. He said, “I was called by your dead.” But the
living also called him.

“He accepted their sufferings and hopes as his own, learned their language,
and did his utmost to make the global historical tragedy of the Holodomor
known to the international community. He became a kind of eyewitness of the
Holodomor at the trial of history, and he opposed ignoramuses and enemies
that are still there even now.

“He left prosperous America and came to live in unstable and unpredictable
Ukraine. He did not idealize our country. He was deeply moved by all its
problems, and he never referred to it with the arrogant phrase “this
 country” because it was already his country. He worked to make it more

“After learning of Mace’s American Indian descent, I felt that he became
even closer to me. I have always had a special feeling for the romanticism
of the American aboriginals and was interested in this original culture.

“In the 1960s I became acquainted with the works of Pauline Johnson, a
Canadian writer and a vivid personality. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and
she wrote about Indians.

“Translating her works into Ukrainian, I was able to draw closer to the
fascinating world and noble heroism of Indian legends. In her dignified
personality and creative work I saw some kinship with her contemporary,
Lesia Ukrainka.

“They even died the same year, each of an incurable illness. So it has
always seemed to me that Mace’s Indian blood belongs to the same group as
Ukrainian blood.”

“The dirty smear campaign aimed at blackening James Mace’s name will have
a boomerang effect on its instigators because it testifies, above all, to
the troglodytic level of their consciousness. To Mace the love and tribute of
all those who cherish Ukraine will be an eternal protection and a guarantee
of remembrance.”
                     HOW TO LOVE ONE’S OWN PEOPLE
[2] By Valerii STEPANKOV,
professor, Kamianets-Podilsky University

“To my great regret, I did not have an opportunity to talk or even meet with
Professor James Mace. Therefore, I cannot share my personal recollections of
this remarkably conscientious and courageous man. As a scholar, I knew about
his significant body of research on the Holodomor, that terrible tragedy of
the Ukrainian nation.

“His articles alone (primarily in “The Day”), which were later published as
the book “Day and Eternity of James Mace,” struck me as open and sincere,
showing his unconcealed feelings for Ukraine and respect for its past, as
well as his honesty and fervent determination to make the truth of this national
tragedy known to the intellectual and political elite of today’s Ukraine.

“Equally striking was the nagging pain in his heart caused by the callous
indifference of most government officials to the history of the people whose
interests they were supposed to advocate and defend.

“In this way my imagination began to outline the image of a person whose
actions, on the one hand, increasingly commanded respect and, on the other,
left me wondering about the inner motives behind them.”

“I could not understand what made a foreigner and well-known scholar, who
could freely enjoy all the comforts of a democratic society in his native
country, come to work in Ukraine, which many of our people dreamed of
leaving in search of a better life.

“More than that, he fought our bureaucracy, paying dearly to break through
the wall of our indifference, if not contempt, for our national memory,
self-identity, and self-respect in order to bring forth the citizen in each
one of us.

“He sounded the tocsin of consciousness to make those who still had one wake
up from the lethargic sleep of apathy toward their own nation and help them
comprehend the scope of the 1932-33 genocide, and learn the lessons needed
to overcome its consequences.

“I searched for an answer to the question: why did James Mace take our
tragedy closer to his heart than most of us Ukrainians do? I found the
answer in the fact that he was a descendant of an Indian tribe that had
virtually disappeared from the face of the earth.

“Therefore, an understanding of this kind of tragedy was in his blood.
When he was studying the Ukrainian Holodomor, he was terrified by its

“The Ukrainian tragedy turned out to be so close to the tragedy of his own
people that he transferred his love to Ukraine (as a mother does after
losing her children) and with all his strength sought to keep it from going
down the same path as the one taken by his tribe.

“He became a more aware Ukrainian than most of us are, and at the price of
his own life showed us how to love one’s own people and defend its dignity.

“I want to believe that the time will come when, having learned to treat
itself as a historical entity and to respect itself and its dignity, the
Ukrainian nation will consider James Mace one of its finest sons.”
[3] Anatolii DIMAROV, writer
“A man who burned his heart in the fires of love for Ukraine. A man whose
voice was heard throughout the world. A man who did more than all the
parliaments of the world together.

“A man who became a plenipotentiary representative of the victims of the
Holodomor, an unprecedented genocide that claimed millions of lives. It was
engineered to destroy an entire people whose only fault was that it bore the
name of the Ukrainian nation and stubbornly lived on instead of vanishing;
whose very existence sent the bloody executioner into fits of violent rage.

“A man who broke through the dead wall of silence that was painstakingly
erected around the horrible event, which nearly wiped an entire nation off
the face of the earth.

“A man whose heart was stirred day and night by the ashes of our brothers,
sisters, and parents murdered by starvation.

“This man was James Mace, an American citizen who became a Ukrainian. He
came to knock on the door of our sleeping conscience and memory and make
himself heard. He gave his whole life to Ukraine.

“He did not simply do everything possible to have the US Congress
acknowledge the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-33 as genocide, so that other
parliaments would follow suit.

“Mace tore himself away from a comfortable life in a wealthy country and
came to Ukraine, a country steeped in penury, in order to awaken our anti-
national parliament in which the communists opposed any reference to the
Holodomor, to say nothing of its recognition as genocide.

“Could we expect anything else from the heirs of those thugs who tore away
the last potato from a hungry child’s mouth only to crush it under their
dirty boots? They swept peasants’ households clean of every last grain and
buried people alive because they did not have the patience to wait until
they starved to death.

“Even today the bloody executioner of Ukraine who started the genocide is
dearer to them than their own fathers. Even today they carry Stalin’s
portraits, pressing them gently to their empty hearts at their wicked

“Now they begin to defame the late James Mace and smear his name with
mud-a  name that is holy to every conscious Ukrainian.

“Those are corrupt people without honor or conscience, made insane by their
fury at Ukraine-a country that has just risen from its knees and is freeing
itself from the colonial yoke that for three torturous centuries rubbed its
neck sore and made it bleed.

“But they will not succeed in spitting on our Mace. Mace lives! Mace is not
answerable to death or decay. He is knocking at the door of our hearts and
our memory.”
[4] By Stanislav KULCHYTSKY
, professor, deputy director of the

Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

“I was acquainted with James Mace for two decades, but for the first five
years we knew each other only from our publications. At first there was a
distance between us, which was determined by the nature of our upbringing
and fundamentally different life experience. I not only felt this reserve
but studied it, analyzing the worldview of people who were formed on the
other side of the Iron Curtain.

“Each representative of this group with whom I was in frequent and long-term
contact has left a trace in my heart: Professor Bohdan Osadchuk from Berlin,
Professor Roman Serbyn from Montreal, the Canadian historian Orest Subtelny,
who is known to everyone here, and James Mace. Without a doubt, Mace’s
influence was especially strong-not only because of our frequent meetings
but also because of his intellectual level.

“In the second phase of our acquaintance we reached a common understanding
of the social order in which the terror by famine was possible. He made me
pay attention to the national aspects of the Holodomor, whereas I insisted
on the importance of studying the socioeconomic aspects of the tragedy.

“It is clear now that we also need to study the all- Union famine of 1932-33
as a socioeconomic phenomenon because the January 1933 food expropriation
campaign in Ukraine was made possible only by this famine.

“James Mace called me a friend and colleague, but actually we became friends
only once we began to agree on professional matters. He may have been the
first to feel that we were drawing closer to each other because he was very
open with people.

“The people who knew Mace well have recently witnessed his entry into the
pantheon of national memory as one of the most prominent figures of
Ukrainian history at the turn of the last two centuries of Ukrainian

“After his untimely death Mace begins to receive that which our society did
not give him while he was alive. Even curses heaped upon his head from the
rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada and in communist newspapers become signs
of recognition.

“The Day began publishing the third series of my articles that were written
in the last two years. This series is devoted to a reappraisal of Stalin’s
terror by famine and is entitled “The Holodomor of 1932-33 as Genocide:

Gaps in the Evidentiary Basis.”

“In these articles I show that the young American researcher, James Mace,
was the first postwar scholar who understood that the Stalinist terror in
Ukraine, including terror by famine, did not target people of a certain
ethnic origin or occupation.

“Rather its objective was to destroy the citizens of the Ukrainian state
that came into being after the disintegration of the Russian empire and

survived its demise in the form of a Soviet state.

“I affirm that Mace formulated this idea long before he became the executive
director of the US Congress Commission on the Ukrainian Holodomor.

“At the international conference on the Holocaust held in Tel Aviv in 1982
he was the first to call the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 genocide and
formulated the main objective of Stalin’s terror by famine: to destroy the
Ukrainian nation as a political factor and social organism.

“The same formulation appears in his paper that he presented in 1983 in
Montreal at the first international conference on the Ukrainian famine of

“Mace’s formulation is clearly subsumed under the legal concepts contained
in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide adopted on Dec. 9, 1948.

“In the remaining time before the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor we must
sound the alarm as much as possible to convince the international community,
and above all the Russians, that our position is well-grounded and sincere.

“I am certain that this can be done. I am also certain that James Mace’s
scholarly legacy will make this task easier if it reaches broad segments of
the Ukrainian and international communities.

“I will not mention all of Mace’s work – if it is ever published, it will
take up five or six volumes. I will dwell here only on the most important
thing: the testimonies of Holodomor eyewitnesses.

“In the summer of 1990 I published a review in the large-circulation
bilingual journal Under the Banner of Communism, entitled “How Did It
Happen? Reading the Documents Produced by the US Congress
Commission on the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-33.”

“The three-volume edition of oral testimonies was still not published at the
time, so I used a computer printout that Mace brought me during his first
visit to Ukraine.

“The subsequent 17 years witnessed a steady increase in the sociopolitical
and academic value of this collection of testimonies, which was published in
the original language (90 percent were in Ukrainian).

“Perhaps we could have surpassed the compilers in the method of processing
testimonies, even though I have grave doubts about this when I read the
books published in Ukraine.

The three-volume edition was prepared according to the strict canons of oral
history, which was a new trend in historical source studies at the time.
These are now classic canons, but our scholars still have not mastered them

“But this is not the problem. The eyewitnesses of the famine were questioned
by Mace’s assistants in the mid-1980s. After more than a quarter of a
century, how many long- lived eyewitnesses with wonderful memories can
today’s researchers expect to find?

“In the mass media and at various official meetings held in connection with
the 60th and 70th anniversaries of the Holodomor I insisted, sadly in vain,
that the three-volume edition of testimonies needs to be reprinted because
it was published in 1990 by the US government printing house in Washington
in a minuscule number of copies. Let us hope that this problem can be

“After all, it is not the dead who need the truth about the Holodomor. We,
and our children, need it as part of our national memory.”
[5] By Andrii MATSIIEVSKY, director of School no. 2, city of

Haivoron, Kirovohrad oblast

“Our staff is deeply and sincerely grateful to James Mace, who as an
American, for many years raised the question of the Ukrainian Holodomor
like no one else in the world and wrote hundreds of articles and books.

“He continued his work at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, enduring unjustified
rebukes, mainly from communists who pointed to his origin and tried to
tell him where he should go.

“American that he was, he was also a great Ukrainian. The descendants of
those 10 million Ukrainians who died during the Bolshevik-engineered
Holodomor are grateful to him.

“We are also grateful to “The Day” for its hard work – the publication of
the book “Day and Eternity of James Mace.”

“We are fascinated by how James Mace conducted his research in the US.
This was his responsibility in the US Congress Commission on the Ukrainian

“For decades he endured the cavils of those who were unwilling to speak the
truth. Among them were many politicians, primarily in Russia and Ukraine,
and communists in Canada, a country with the largest Ukrainian diaspora.

“James Mace began his research on the Ukrainian Holodomor in 1981, when no
party documents had been published yet on this tragedy. Ukrainian Americans
voiced their demand for this kind of research.

“Mace spoke about himself in the words of Martin Luther, “Here I stand; I
cannot do otherwise.” Thanks to Mace, the world learned about the genocide
against the Ukrainian people.

“He became a great friend, advocate, and defender of Ukraine. Future
generations will certainly be thankful to him for his work. We bow our heads
to the memory of James Mace, who departed from this life so early.”
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