Monthly Archives: March 2007

AUR#825 Mar 19 Seventeen Demands By The Opposition, Supported By The President; Nuclear Fuel; ADM; NATO; Holodomor 75th Council; Missile Defense

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 825
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
KYIV, UKRAINE, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.             THE SEVENTEEN DEMANDS BY THE OPPOSITION,
                      SUPPORTED BY PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO
Full text of the joint statement by ByuT and Our Ukraine
Blocs signed in the presence of President Viktor Yushchenko
Posted on www.expres.ua on March 13, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article One (In English)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

2.     U.S. COMMITS $14 MILLION TO U.S.-UKRAINE NUCLEAR
                            FUEL QUALIFICATION PROJECT
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 15, 2007

3.                         NUCLEAR POWER IN UKRAINE
           Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy – it has 15
                           reactors generating half of its electricity.
Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from Russia.
World Nuclear Association, London, United Kingdom, February 2007

4ADM COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF UKRAINIAN SUNSEED
                   CRUSHING FACILITY IMEZ FROM RISOIL
By Nicci Pugh, Food Business Review Online
London, United Kingdom, Friday, 16th March 2007

5.         UKRAINE JOINS GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO COMBAT
                                  NUCLEAR TERRORISM
Office of the Spokesman, U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC, Friday, March 16, 2007
 
6.     U.S. SENATE APPROVES ADDING FIVE COUNTRIES TO
                                NATO INCLUDING UKRAINE
Associated Press, Washington, D.C., Friday, March 9, 2007

7.                         PLAYING THE UKRAINIAN CARD
                   Timoshenko should be writing a thank-you note to
                             Putin for the success of her U.S. visit.
COMMENTARY: By Nina L. Khrushcheva
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thursday, March 15, 2007

8.      UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, DENMARK SPEAKER DISCUSS
                               DEEPENING OF COOPERATION 
Liudmyla Martynova, Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16, 2007

9PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SETS UP COORDINATION COUNCIL

           FOR PREPARING EVENTS ON 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF
                                  HOLODOMOR OF 1932-1933
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 15, 2007

10UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL HOLODOMOR COORDINATING

     ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE
      First sitting, March 19, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukrainian House, 15:00-18:00
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article 10
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
                  MISSILE DEFENSE TO BENEFIT SECURITY 
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 16, 2007

13. HRYTSENKO CONSIDERS ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM IN CZECH
REPUBLIC & POLAND STRENGTHENING EUROPEAN SECURITY 

Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency

Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16 , 2007

14.    REPRESENTATIVES OF UKRAINE AND RUSSIA ‘COULD

                           US AMBASSADOR TO KYIV SAYS
Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16, 2007

15.           TEXAS MAN SPREADING THE SOUNDS OF JOY
                         TO UKRAINE’S ORPHANS IN ODESSA
By Jim Butler, Eagle Staff Writer, The Bryan-College Station Eagle
Bryan, Texas, Sunday, March 18, 2007

16.    HER DARE-DEVIL LITERARY LEAP FROM TRACTORS TO
           CARAVANS: PROFILE OF AUTHOR MARINA LEWYCKA
PROFILE: Of novelist Marina Lewycka
First Novel: “A Short History of Tractors In Ukrainian”
The Sunday Times, London, UK, Sunday, March 18, 2007

17. UKRAINE WEEK AT WAYNE STATE UNIV, DETRIOT, MICHIGAN
    Join Us For Series Of Events Exploring The History & Culture Of Ukraine!
                       Monday through Thursday, March 26-29, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 19, 2007

18.              ITALY’S ALTERNATIVE TO NURSING HOMES:

                                  UKRAINIAN CAREGIVERS
Davide Berretta, Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, MA, Thursday, March 15, 2007
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1
  THE SEVENTEEN DEMANDS BY THE OPPOSITION,
             SUPPORTED BY PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO

Full text of the joint statement by ByuT and Our Ukraine
Blocs signed in the presence of President Viktor Yushchenko
Posted on www.expres.ua on March 13, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article One (In English)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

“Due to unprofessional running of the country by the so-called anti-crisis
coalition, Ukraine is afflicted with a full-fledged political, social and
economic crisis unseen in the history of independent Ukraine. The

situation has endangered the national security of Ukraine.

For the first time since gaining independence, Ukraine is faced with a real
threat of losing its independence.

Due to the proposed entry in the Single Economic Space with Russia,
deliberately created and growing dependence of the country on energy
supplies from Russia, rejection of Ukraine’s EU aspirations, destruction

of the Ukrainian identity, Ukraine will inevitably cede part of its
sovereignty.

The country has been hit with managerial chaos, a sharp increase in the
number of Ukrainians living below the poverty line, continued opaque
transfer of national wealth to oligarchs, growing black market economy,
rampant corruption and crime, various crises involving agriculture, utility
payments, customs, etc. This is just a short list of problems that
increasingly begin to afflict Ukraine.

The threats may become irreversible following a possible creation, by
coercion and graft, of a 300-strong constitutional majority in Verkhovna
Rada by the present ruling coalition.

At this crucial moment, the parliament of Ukraine, which should have been
playing a stabilizing role in accordance with the constitution and common
sense, has irreversibly turned into an obedient tool of the Yanukovych
government, rubberstamping destabilizing legislation proposed by the
government.

We place the responsibility for everything going on in the country
personally on V. Yanukovych, his docile majority in VR, his government

and his pocket allies, Symonenko and Moroz.

Today, all political parties and executive structures must urgently take
steps in order not to lose our independence in the near future.

The parliamentary opposition demands that the following

steps be taken to stop the looming threat.

1. To put to a referendum the form of state governance in Ukraine, draw
up and adopt a new constitution.
The rash and unbalanced political reform triggered off a deep conflict which
apparently cannot be resolved by negotiation. The reform has become a tool
for a planned destruction of Ukraine as a strong and stable country.

We demand that urgent steps be taken to find the way out of the present deep
constitutional crisis, to end the stand-off and chaos in the executive. This
can be achieved by adopting a new constitution which will set up the
required balance and harmony in governance and return political stability.

The key role here belongs to the people that must have its say about the
form of the state governance in Ukraine (presidential or parliamentary
republic).

It is urgently needed, therefore, to announce and hold a referendum only

on this issue. The parliament and government are to nominate their
representatives for a constitutional commission initiated by Pres.
Yushchenko.

2. To confirm Ukraine’s foreign policy agenda.


We need to confirm Ukraine’s foreign policy course as envisaged by the
law “On the concept of Ukraine’s national security.”

The leading role of the president in defining the foreign policy as
envisaged by the Constitution must be implemented politically, legally and
organizationally. The president must have the right to nominate a foreign
minister to be later approved by VR.

3. To stop the onslaught on the Ukrainian language and culture.

Attempts to narrow the use of the Ukrainian language and political
provocations based on this issue must be stopped. Draft laws tabled in
VR aimed against the Ukrainian language must be dropped off its agenda.

Decisions by coalition-controlled local councils challenging the
constitutional role of Ukrainian must be revoked. Attempts to destroy

the Ukrainian culture and national identity must be stopped.

4. To stop politicizing, criminalization and corruption in law-enforcement.

The following officials in the Interior Ministry, General Prosecutor’s
Office must be sacked: Interior Minister Tsushko, his deputies and heads of
oblast police departments implicated in criminal offenses; Prosecutor
General Medvedko, his deputies and oblast prosecutors who are linked with
criminal clans.

Politically non-affiliated officials, chosen by a consensus decision by the
president, government, parliamentary majority and opposition, must be
appointed.

Investigation of high-profile criminal cases must be resumed.

A new head of the Security Service nominated by Pres. Yushchenko

must be urgently approved by VR.

Any military functions by the Interior Ministry must be terminated. The
president must subordinate to himself the internal troops of the Interior
Ministry and other military formations, as stipulated by Paragraph 17, Art.
106 of the Constitution.

5. To rupture criminal links between business and power, which lead to
corruption in ministries; to sack ministers and their deputies who are
involved in conducting business. To replace them with professional

managers without any links to businesses.

6. To ensure direct supplies of natural gas (without go-betweens) from
Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Direct gas-supply and gas-transit contracts must be resumed with Russia,
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, including those ratified by VR. Efforts to
incorporate Ukraine in EU single energy system must be stepped up.

Due to the threats of losing its pipe-line system and against the backdrop
of increasing corruption and growing shadow economy, Ukraine must

revoke all contracts with RosUkrEnergo and affiliated companies in all
fuel/energy sectors.

7. Substantially raise salaries and pensions.

In the wake of recent price hikes for essential goods and food, lowering
living standards of the majority of Ukrainians, to ensure growing incomes
of working population and pensioners alongside measures enhancing
competitiveness of the national economy.

In this context, to urgently revise the 2007 budget with the aim of raising
the subsistence level and minimum salary as of 01.01.2007.

8. To resolve the utility tariffs crisis.

To declare the Yanukovych government responsible for the utility tariffs
crisis and recognize the government’s track record in pricing the utility
services as unsatisfactory.

To adopt the law “On housing and utility services” (#3069) and revise the
existing tariffs based on this law. The government must report to VR on
April 3 on rectifying the consequences of the utility tariffs crisis.

Natural gas extracted in Ukraine must be sold only to the residents of
Ukraine at minimum profitability prices.

9. To uproot corrupt schemes in the economy.

Urgent measures must be taken to do away with newly formed shadow
schemes in the economy. The law approving the pattern of VAT rebates
and excluding hands-on management must be passed.

Corrupt licensing of grain sales must be stopped. Mandatory auctions for

the purchase and lease of non-arable land, state and communal property
must be introduced.

10. To stop government pressure on business.

Normal conditions must be created for the registration and conduct of
business in Ukraine. The law on the single social payment and on the lower
tax on the wage fund must be passed.

The practice of ruining competitive environment and creating tax breaks for
businesses with links to the government must be stopped.

11. To stop unlawful seizures of property.

Unlawful seizures of businesses have started under the Yanukovych government
umbrella. It allows the authorities and docile corrupt judges to seize
private and state-owned property, land, assets and divide them among the
accomplices. We demand a fast-track approval of the law to prevent such
seizures.

12. To stop the destruction of statehood and system of power in Ukraine.

To drop the bills aimed at ruining the system of power, foreign and domestic
policy, defense and state security and eroding presidential powers.

Specifically, to drop the bill #3207 on changing the constitution which
cancels the system of local state administrations; on the president of
Ukraine; on the National Defense and Security Council; on domestic and
foreign policy priorities; on the Constitutional Court.

Based on paragraph 15, art. 106 of the Constitution, to ensure the
enforcement of all presidential decrees suspending regulations of the
Cabinet of Ministers, including those related to personnel appointments.

13. To remove all obstacles for holding local referendums.

Due to the impossibility to effectively fight corruption in the regions, to
impose a new system of local governance based on referendums on early
local elections of city mayors and councils implicated in illegal dealings with
the sale of land and communal property (bill #1154).

14. To impose criminal liability of judges for illegal court rulings.

The law curbing corruption and abuse of justice in the courts of all levels
and creating a system of accountability of judges must be passed urgently.

To reach a fair balance, the Supreme Council of Justice must include three
representatives of the parliamentary opposition. Judges who have smeared
their names and the prestige of judiciary by passing unlawful verdicts must
be sacked.

15. To stop the Central Election Commission from becoming a manipulated

and corrupt body.
The representative balance of political parties in CEC must be restored. Two
nominees for CEC by Pres. Yushchenko must be urgently approved by VR.

16. To pass the law “On the parliamentary opposition”

Control of the executive and accountability of officials for violating the
Constitution and laws, as well as for abuse of office must be legalized by
approving the law on the opposition #2885.

17.  To implement an urgent and comprehensive program to deal with the
catastrophic situation of Ukrainian farmers and agriculture  To urgently
pass laws ensuring full-fledged functioning of the land market as of  Jan.1,
2008, reinstate land ownership for farmers, stop uncontrollable theft of
land.

We are fully aware of our joint responsibility for the fate of Ukraine and
its people. We are gravely concerned over threats to strategic course of
Ukraine posed by the activities of the government and parliamentary
majority.

That is why we strongly urge the president not to sign any laws promoting
corruption and lobbyism passed by the majority.

For the sake of Ukraine, for the sake of our people we are ready for
determined actions.”                                 -30-
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Link: http://www.expres.ua/articles/2007/03/13/15263/ 

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NOTE: This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  The translated article can be used but only with
permission from the Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Washington.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2.      U.S. COMMITS $14 MILLION TO U.S.-UKRAINE
           NUCLEAR FUEL QUALIFICATION PROJECT

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 15, 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Clay Sell
today announced that the United States will invest $14 million to provide 42
nuclear fuel assemblies to the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant under the
U.S.-Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project (UNFQP).

In an agreement reached last week, Westinghouse Electric Company will
manufacture nuclear fuel assemblies, which account for one-fourth of the
fuel that powers a reactor for up to four years of operation.

Deputy Secretary Sell is in Kyiv today to meet with top Ukrainian officials
and U.S. business leaders to promote diversity of energy sources, greater
energy efficiency, and adherence to open and transparent market principles.

“The United States and Ukraine are advancing energy security through
cooperation in projects like the U.S. – Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification
Project that encourage the diversity of energy supplies and suppliers,”
Deputy Secretary Sell said.

“To ensure a path of economic growth, we must promote policies that
encourage open and transparent market principles, increase energy
efficiency, and further cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation.”

Ukraine has committed to procure approximately $42 million of low enriched
uranium, which will be used to manufacture the fuel assemblies and fund
technical services, for the UNFQP project.

The Westinghouse Electric Company fuel assemblies will be demonstrated to
qualify as an alternate nuclear fuel source in Ukraine.

The U.S. government has invested $52 million since 2000 to manufacture fuel
assemblies and implement training programs to advance UNFQP.

The UNFQP is part of DOE’s International Nuclear Safety Program, managed
by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which, for over a decade,
has
provided technical assistance and technology transfer to former Soviet Union
countries to improve the safety of their reactors.

While in Kyiv, Deputy Secretary Sell met with the Ukrainian Deputy Prime
Minister for Fuel and Energy Adriv Kluyev, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to
the Prime Minister Konstantine Hryshchenko, and National Security Defense
Council Secretary Vitaliy Haiduk.

During these meetings, Deputy Secretary Sell discussed the importance of
promoting sound energy policies that encourage domestic and foreign
investment and building on open and transparent market principles.

They also discussed making more efficient use of current resources by
improving energy efficient technologies and practices. Deputy Secretary Sell
highlighted the U.S. – Ukraine partnership in the global war on terror and
the countries’ cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

Deputy Secretary Sell also met with U.S. industry representatives where he
discussed opportunities for investment and use of new and emerging
technology in Ukraine’s energy sector.

Deputy Secretary Sell arrived in Ukraine after visiting Russia where he
participated in the U.S. Russia Energy Working Group, met with senior
Russian officials, and delivered remarks at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Deputy Secretary Sell will travel on Friday to Georgia where he is
expected to meet with senior Georgian officials.          -30-
—————————————————————————————–
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.
News Media Contact(s): Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940
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LINK: http://www.energy.gov/news/4878.htm
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3.                       NUCLEAR POWER IN UKRAINE
             Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy – it has 15
                      reactors generating half of its electricity.
Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from Russia.

World Nuclear Association, London, United Kingdom, February 2007

In 2004 Ukraine commissioned two large new reactors. The government
plans to build up to eleven new reactors by 2030.

A large share of primary energy supply in Ukraine comes from the country’s
uranium and substantial coal resources. The remainder is oil and gas, mostly
imported from Russia.

In 1991, due to breakdown of the Soviet Union, the country’s economy
collapsed and its electricity consumption declined dramatically from 296
billion kWh in 1990 to 170 in 2000, all the decrease being from coal and gas
plants. Total electricity production in 2004 amounted to 181 TWh, and total
capacity in 2004 was 52.7 GWe.
                     NUCLEAR INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT
Nuclear energy development started in 1970 with construction of the
Chernobyl power plant, the first unit being commissioned in 1977.

The nuclear industry remained relatively stable during the many changes that
occurred when the country became independent of the former Soviet Union.

In fact, during that period and since, there have been continuing
improvements in the operational safety and output levels of Ukraine’s
nuclear reactors.

Ukraine’s 15 nuclear power units at four nuclear power plants are operated
by Energoatom, the country’s nuclear power utility. The country’s nuclear
production increased to 87 billion kWh in 2004, which accounted for 48%
of total domestic electricity production.

The capacity increased from 11 268 MWe net in 2003 to 13 168 in 2005 which
was 26.3% of the country’s total installed capacity. This increase was due
to addition of two new VVER-1000 reactors.

All are Russian VVER types, two being 440 MWe V-312 models and the
rest the larger 1000 MWe units – two early models and the rest V-320s.

Power reactors have operated in Ukraine since 1977, and over 300 reactor
years of operating experience have been accumulated. Load factors have
increased steadily and reached 81.4% in 2004.

At the end of 1995 Zaporozhe unit 6 was connected to the grid making
Zaporozhe the largest nuclear power station in Europe, with a net capacity
of 5718 MWe. (The second largest station operating is Gravelines, near
Dunkerque in France, with a net capacity of 5460 MWe.)

In August and October 2004 Khmelnitsky-2 and Rovno-4 respectively were
connected to the grid, bringing their long and interrupted construction to
an end and adding 1900 MWe to replace that lost by closure of Chernobyl
1 & 3 in 1996 and 2003 respectively.

They were completed by Energoatom using a consortium of Framatome ANP
and Atomstroyexport. At the same time it was announced that Khmelnitski 3
would proceed.
               CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Ukraine’s best-known nuclear power plant was Chernobyl (Chornobyl in
Ukrainian). This had the only RBMK type reactors in the country.

Unit 4 was destroyed in the 1986 accident, unit 2 was shut down after a
turbine hall fire in 1991, unit 1 was closed in 1997 and unit 3 closed at
the end of 2000 due to international pressure.

A nuclear power strategy involving building and commissioning 11 new
reactors to double nuclear capacity by 2030 is under consideration to
enhance Ukraine’s energy independence. It is expected that an international
tender will open up the choice of technology.

Interruptions in natural gas supply from Russia in January 2006 sharply
focused attention on the need for greater energy security and the role of
nuclear power in achieving this.

Late in 2006 the government decided to set up a new national nuclear
industry entity to be known as Ukratomprom. This will be a
vertically-integrated nuclear corporation reporting to Energy Ministry and
cabinet. It will initiate construction of an enrichment plant and fuel
fabrication.

Ukratoprom will consist of six state-owned enterprises including Energoatom,
the VostGOK uranium mining company, and the Novokonstantinov uranium
development company.

Three major projects will be launched in 2007:
[1] a $1875 million uranium production venture including refurbishment
of VostGOK’s hydrometallurgical plant and construction of a uranium
mill at Novokonstantinov,
[2] the US$ 1 billion NFEF enrichment plant to be completed by 2014, and
[3] a $200 million components development.

In connection with the South Ukraine plant, the first two 150 MWe units of
the Tashlyk hydro plant are under construction to give pumped storage peak
capacity.

Reactor life is designated as 30 years. Plans are underway to extend reactor
lives to further 10-15 years, subject to safety and economic considerations.
Plans for 15-year life extensions for Rovno 1 & 2 are expected to be
submitted 2007-08.
                                      THE K2-R4 SAGA
Both the government and Energoatom were determined to bring two new
reactors – Khmelnitski-2 and Rovno-4 (K2-R4) into operation as soon as
possible. Both reactors were 80% complete when a halt was imposed in 1990.

In 1995 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the
Governments of the G7 countries, the EC and the Ukrainian government
which required closure of the operating Chernobyl reactors. Thus, Chernobyl
reactors were shut down – the last in December 2000.

The Memorandum stipulated the agreement on international financial aid to
Ukraine to support Chernobyl decommissioning, power sector restructuring,
completion of K2-R4 nuclear reactors, thermal and hydro plant
rehabilitation, construction of a pumped storage plant, and to support
energy efficiency projects in accordance with Ukraine’s energy sector
strategy.

In 2000 the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)
approved (by an 89% vote apart from abstentions) a US$ 215 million loan
towards completion of K2-R4.

This EBRD funding, though a modest part of the US$ 1480 million estimated
to be required, was a key factor in plans for their completion to western
safety standards.

Conditions on the loan included safety enhancement of all 13 Ukraine nuclear
power reactors, independence for the country’s nuclear regulator, and
electricity market reform.

Following approval of the EBRD loan, the European Commission (EC)
approved a US$ 585 million loan to Energoatom. The EC said that approval
of this Euratom funding “a few days before the permanent closure of
Chernobyl gives a clear sign of the Commission’s commitment to nuclear
safety … as well as to the deepening of [EU] relations with Ukraine.”

It “will finance the completion, modernisation and commissioning of two
third-generation nuclear units”. The EC pointed out that it and the EBRD had
concluded that the project met all safety, environmental, economic and
financial criteria.

Russia earlier provided US$ 225 million credit for K2/R4 equipment and fuel,
then in 2002 a Russian loan of US$ 44 million for completion of the units
was approved.

The arrangement covered goods and services from Russia. It followed signing
of a US$ 144 million agreement in June, including about US$ 100 million of
fuel.

However the promised loans of US$ 215 million and the Euratom’s US$ 585
million were deferred late in 2001 because the government had baulked at
doubling the wholesale price of power to USD 2.5 cent/kWh as required by
EBRD. Ukraine also rejected almost all approved Russian loans.

The Ukrainian government then approved estimates for the completion, site
works and upgrades for the K2 – R4 nuclear power reactors, at US$ 621
million and US$ 642 million respectively. With local finance and a bond
issue, Energoatom proceeded with work on both units.

In July 2004, prior to start-up of the two units, the EBRD finally approved
a scaled-down loan of US$ 42 million. This sum was matched by US$ 83 million
from Euratom, approved by the EC. The project finances the post-start-up
component of a safety and modernisation program developed for K2 and R4.

The loan was approved on condition that revised tariffs are implemented in
order to fund upgrading of all 13 operating power reactors in Ukraine to
K2-R4 standards, that a decommissioning fund is set up and “an
internationally agreed level of nuclear liability insurance” is reached.

A program on modernisation and safety improvement of K2-R4 was
established taking into account IAEA’s recommendations. It consists of 147
“pre-commissioning”, “post-commissioning” and “before and after
commissioning” measures.

In 2003-2004, Framatome ANP, an independent expert of the EBRD, together
with the local Riskaudit Company, reviewed the implementation status and
sufficiency of the program. They assessed positively the result of this
program’s implementation.

In August 2004 the Ukrainian President said that Western governments had
failed to honour their 1995 undertakings to assist his country in exchange
for closing the Chernobyl plant, particularly in relation to the
Khmelnitsky-2 and Rovno-4 completion, grid infrastructure and a pumped
storage hydro plant.
                                       FUEL CYCLE
Ukraine has modest recoverable resources of uranium, and produces up to
800 tonnes of uranium per year – around 30% of the country’s requirements.

The uranium ore mining and uranium concentrate production in Ukraine is
performed by the Vostochny Uranium Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise
(VostGOK).

Late in 2006 Russia’s new Uranium Mining Company (UGRK or UMC)
announced the possibility of a joint venture to develop the
Novokonstantinovsk uranium deposit to produce up to 2500 t/yr by 2020.

In December 2006 Australian-based Uran Ltd agreed with Ukraine’s Department
of Fuel & Energy and VostGOK to carry out a feasibility study for ISL mining
of the Surskoye and Gurevskoye uranium deposits in the east of the country,
near VostGOK’s existing operations.
           UKRAINE ALSO HAS ZIRCONIUM RESOURCES
Ukrainian uranium concentrate and zirconium alloy are sent to Russia for
fuel fabrication. The nuclear fuel produced from these Ukrainian components
then return to Ukrainian NPPs.

All fuel is imported from TVEL in Russia. The country depends primarily on
Russia to provide other nuclear fuel cycle services also.

In order to diversify nuclear fuel supplies, Energoatom started
implementation of the Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project (UNFQP).
The Project assumes the use of US-manufactured fuel in the VVER-1000
following the selection of Westinghouse as a vendor on a tender basis.

South Ukraine NPP’s third unit will be the country’s first to use the six
lead test assemblies supplied by Westinghouse, which will be placed into the
reactor core together with Russian fuel for a period of pilot operation.

After this is completed, a reload batch of 42 fuel assemblies will be
provided by Westinghouse for a three-year period of commercial operation at
the unit with regular monitoring and reporting.

In addition to the initial supply of fuel from Westinghouse, other aims of
the project include the transfer of technology for the design of nuclear
fuel. An attempt was made in the 1990s to set up a complete suite of fuel
cycle facilities other than enrichment, but this failed for political and
financial reasons.

The December 2006 decision to form Ukratomprom has revived intentions
to build a fuel fabrication plant as well as an enrichment plant.

Ukraine has been seeking cooperation with other countries which have
experience in this area as a part of its effort to increase its supply of
low-cost nuclear electricity and to reduce its imports of natural gas and
other energy sources from Russia.

In December 2005 Ukraine and the EU signed an energy cooperation agreement
which links the country more strongly to western Europe in respect to both
nuclear energy and electricity supply.
                    RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT
There is no intention to close the fuel cycle in Ukraine.

Spent fuel is mostly stored on site though some VVER-440 fuel is again being
sent to Russia for reprocessing, at US$ 418/kg (the arrangement was
suspended 1992-6).

At Zaporozhe a long-term dry storage facility for spent fuel has operated
since 2001, but other VVER-1000 spent fuel is sent to Russia for storage. A
further US$ 400 million storage facility is envisaged.

Also, a centralised dry storage facility for spent fuel has been proposed
for construction in the new energy strategy which is currently under
consideration by the government.

RBMK spent fuel from decommissioned reactors at Chernobyl is stored,
and a new dry storage facility is under construction there.

From 2011, high-level wastes from reprocessing Ukrainian fuel will be
returned from Russia to Ukraine.

Preliminary investigations have shortlisted sites for a deep geological
repository for high- and intermediate-level wastes including all those
arising from Chernobyl decommissioning and clean-up.
                                 DECOMMISSIONING
Four Chernobyl RBMK-1000 reactors, plus two almost-completed ones, are
being decommissioned. Unit 4, which was destroyed in the 1986 accident, is
enclosed in a large shelter and plans are well advanced to build a new, more
durable containment structure.

This project will be funded by the International Chernobyl Shelter Fund
facilitated by the EBRD. The cost of building the arch-shaped confinement
shelter is estimated at more than US$ 1 billion.

The start of the first evaluation phase – the technical phase – of bids to
build the shelter was announced in November 2004, and the financial
evaluation phase is to follow. The awarding of the construction contract is
scheduled for autumn 2005 and project completion for 2008-2009.

In May 2005, international donors made new pledges worth approximately
US$ 200 million towards the new confinement shelter.

The largest contribution, worth more than US$ 185 million, came from the G8
and the EU. Russia contributed to the fund for the first time and other fund
members, which include the US, increased their contributions, with the
Ukrainian government pledging the equivalent of US$ 22 million.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said it had contributed
another EUR 49 million to the fund. The EC has committed EUR 239.5 million
since 1997, making it the main donor.

The new pledges follow the more than EUR 600 million in cash contributions
already pledged to the fund by a total of 28 donor governments.

Units 1-3 are undergoing decommissioning conventionally – the first RBMK
units to do so, and work will accelerate when the new dry storage facility
is built.
                                    ORGANISATION
In 1996 the former nuclear operating entity Goskomatom spawned a new
corporate nuclear utility, Energoatom. Then Goskomatom was replaced by
two Departments within the Fuel & Energy Ministry:
[1] a Department for Nuclear Energy, responsible for civil nuclear
power plants operation, and a
[2] Department for Atomic Industry, responsible for the development
of nuclear fuel cycle.

Energoatom’s current priorities are to increase safety, bring load factors
up to 83-85%, and extend the working lives of the reactors by 10-15 years
(at about US$ 150 million per VVER-1000 reactor).

The regulator is the State Nuclear Regulatory Administration of Ukraine
(SNRA), under the Ministry for Environment Protection & Nuclear Safety.

The 1995 law on Nuclear Energy Use and Radiation Safety establishes the
legal basis of the industry and included a provision for the operating plant
to have full legal responsibility for the consequences of any accident.

The 1995 law on Radioactive Waste Management complements this, and the
consequent state program was approved in 2002.

The Ukrainian Chernobyl Affairs Ministry was responsible for the licensing
of nuclear waste storage facilities but this role was taken over by the
country’s Nuclear Regulatory Committee (SNRCU) in 2000.
                               NON-PROLIFERATION
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine negotiated to repatriate
nuclear warheads and missiles to Russia in return for nuclear fuel supplies.

Ukraine then joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a
non-nuclear weapons state. Its safeguards agreement under the NPT came
into force in 1994, and in 2000 it signed the Additional Protocol in
relation to this.                                     -30-
—————————————————————————————–
Sources: IAEA 2002, Country Nuclear Power Profiles
Perera, Judith 2003, Nuclear Power in the Former USSR, McCloskey,
UK. Ukrainian Ministry of Fuel & Energy web site. Nuclear Ru,
Nucleonics Week, NucNet. NuclearFuel 29/1/07.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: with charts http://www.world-nuclear.org/about/contact.html

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4. ADM COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF UKRAINIAN SUNSEED
                 CRUSHING FACILITY IMEZ FROM RISOIL

By Nicci Pugh, Food Business Review Online
London, United Kingdom, Friday, 16th March 2007

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has completed the acquisition of
all outstanding shares in Ilitchevskiy Maslo Extractionniy Zavod joint stock
company (IMEZ) from Risoil.

IMEZ operates a sunseed crushing facility close to the port of Odessa in the
Ukraine. Illinois-based ADM and Risoil became 50/50 shareholders in IMEZ
in 2004.

“The IMEZ facility at Illitchevsk complements our global asset base in an
important origination location,” said Mark Zenuk, ADM vice president and
managing director-Europe and Asia.

“We look forward to working with Ukrainian farmers to help meet the
changing needs of our food customers due to evolving global demands.”

According to ADM, Ukraine is the second largest producer of sunseed in
the world after the Russian Federation with harvests of approximately five
million metric tons per year.

ADM is one of the world’s largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and
cocoa, and is a leading manufacturer of biodiesel, ethanol, soybean oil and
meal, corn sweeteners, flour and other value-added food and feed
ingredients.

ADM has over 26,000 employees, more than 240 processing plants and net
sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 of $37 billion.   -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.food-business-review.com/article_news.asp?guid=019D6BE8-0A98-4E74-9216-94795F27108E
——————————————————————————————————–

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5.  UKRAINE JOINS GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO COMBAT
                                  NUCLEAR TERRORISM

Office of the Spokesman, U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC, Friday, March 16, 2007

WASHINGTON – The Government of Ukraine has announced its
intention to become a partner nation of the 14-member Global Initiative
to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (Global Initiative).

At the February 12-13, 2007 meeting of the Global Initiative in Ankara,
Turkey, partner nations emphasized the importance of broadening the
initiative to include nations committed to combating nuclear terrorism, who
endorse the Statement of Principles, and are willing to contribute to the
activities of the Initiative.

Ukraine is the first such nation to state its commitment to the goals of the
Global Initiative and its intention to participate in its activities. All
current and future partner nations are encouraged to include new partner
nations in their activities, upon receipt of their written endorsement of
the Statement of Principles by the U.S. and/or Russia.

Ukraine and all other current and future partner nations will meet again in
Kazakhstan in June 2007 to review the progress of Global Initiative
activities, to take specific steps to address gaps in implementation, and to
welcome new partner nations whose endorsements have been received by
the U.S. and/or Russia prior to the meeting.
——————————————————————————————-
For more information about the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism, please click the link http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c18406.htm
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/mar/81846.htm
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6.     U.S. SENATE APPROVES ADDING FIVE COUNTRIES TO
                             NATO INCLUDING UKRAINE

Associated Press, Washington, D.C., Friday, March 9, 2007

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate has approved legislation to endorse

the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to include the
admission of Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, and Ukraine.

The measure was approved Thursday night by voice vote. A similar bill was
approved by the House of Representatives on March 6.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the ranking Republican member on the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, said eventual membership for the five countries
” would be a success for Europe, NATO, and the United States by continuing
to extend the zone of peace and security.”

He said Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia have been making progress on reforms
through their participation in the NATO Membership Action Plan since 2002.

“Unfortunately, Georgia and Ukraine have not yet been granted a Membership
Action Plan but nevertheless have made remarkable progress,” Lugar added.

“This legislation will provide important incentives and assistance to the
countries to continue the implementation of democratic, defense, and
economic reforms.”                          -30-
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7.                    PLAYING THE UKRAINIAN CARD
                   Timoshenko should be writing a thank-you note to
                             Putin for the success of her U.S. visit.

COMMENTARY: By Nina L. Khrushcheva
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thursday, March 15, 2007

NEW YORK: As Russia appears to turn its back on reform and the West,
the United States has begun to look for ways to curb the Kremlin’s new
assertiveness in what Moscow calls the “near abroad.”

A recent visit to Washington by Yulia Timoshenko, the former Ukrainian
prime minister, appears to have given the Bush administration hope that the
United States has found a leader among Russia’s immediate neighbors with
the will to stand up to Vladimir Putin’s increasingly receding democracy.

Until recently, the United States had relied upon the Ukrainian president,
Viktor Yushchenko, to protect Ukraine’s independence.

But a series of disastrous decisions by Yushchenko over the last year – the
key one being his choice to name as prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, the
man he defeated in the Orange Revolution, rather than Timoshenko – has
sapped U.S. support from him.

In Washington, Yushchenko is now seen as spineless and directionless, not
the sort of traits that give confidence, particularly if you are supposed to
be someone protecting the interests of the West against Putin.

For Timoshenko, her U.S. trip was bound to be tricky. Foreign travel is
never easy for the leader of any political opposition. Your hosts often seek
to keep you at arm’s length. When they embrace you, it is usually to send a
signal to your opponent back home, not because they find in you something
intrinsically valuable.

This certainly seems to be the case with Timoshenko, who up to now has not
been an American favorite because she is perceived as a social democrat, not
an economic liberalizer.

But this time around, after meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney and
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Timoshenko left Washington with clear
American support for her vision of Ukraine’s future and its role in European
political and energy security. It is she and not Yushchenko who now appears
as the country’s leading emissary to the West.
Today in Opinion

Timoshenko should be writing a thank-you note to Putin for the success of
her visit. The Russian president’s tough- minded speech on America’s role in
the world in Munich last month, and the threats senior Russian generals have
been making against Poland and the Czech Republic because of their
willingness to provide sites for U.S. antiballistic missiles, has tipped the
American debate about Putin definitively toward the negative.

President George W. Bush’s hopes that Putin could be a strategic partner in
helping to settle disputes the length and breadth of Eurasia now seem less
obvious.

Suddenly, the choice for Bush and his team seems stark: Either face the
prospect of some kind of Soviet reunion, or make a determined effort to
block the Kremlin. None of this should be surprising, given Putin’s repeated
use of Russia’s energy clout against its neighbors, but it is depressing. So
depressing to some Westerners that they fret that standing up to the Kremlin
will only make Russia more aggressive.

Timoshenko’s trip to Washington appears to mark the beginning of an
American attempt to forge a new Euro-Atlantic strategy in a vitally
important region that lies at the crossroads of Europe, Eurasia, and the
Middle East.

Indeed, the Black Sea region, of which Ukraine is the heart, is the
Euro-Atlantic community’s eastern frontier with the wider Middle East.
Anchoring democracy and security in these borderlands has become an
imperative for both the United States and the European Union.

America and Europe share Timoshenko’s determination to secure Ukraine’s
independence, particularly as they seek to diversify energy supplies away
from Russia. The Black Sea is poised to become a key conduit for
non-Russian, as well as non-OPEC, non-Gulf oil and natural gas flowing
into European markets and beyond. The Black Sea region’s stability and
integration with the West is thus critically important to the long-term
energy security strategy of EU and NATO members.

Anchoring these countries to the West will not be easy. Whether the end
result is better relations or full integration into the European Union and
NATO is an open question. But both organizations need to reach out to
these countries, a process that should be seen as the next phase in
completing the wider Europe.

But playing the Ukrainian card alone will not secure the West’s interests in
the lands that were once part of or bordering on the Soviet empire. Energy
and political security will only come with a policy that engages the
Kremlin, and which spells out the costs of its imperial ambitions as well as
the benefits of turning Russia, at long last, into a normal country. -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Nina Khrusheheva teaches international affairs at the New School in
New York.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/15/opinion/edkrush.php
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8.     UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, DENMARK SPEAKER DISCUSS
                               DEEPENING OF COOPERATION 

Liudmyla Martynova, Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko discussed a deepening of
bilateral cooperation with Danish Parliament Speaker Christian Mejdahl. The
Ukrainian presidential press service reported this, referring to the meeting
in Copenhagen.

The parties discussed Ukraine – Denmark relations, noting prospects for
their great deepening. Representatives of the Ukrainian side pointed out the
importance of Danish support for Ukraine’s European perspectives.

     ACT OF GENOCIDE OF THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
Ukraine also hopes for Danish support to the draft resolution of the UN
General Assembly recognizing the Great Famine of 1932 – 1933 as an act of
genocide of the Ukrainian people, which is being prepared for consideration
at the 63rd session of the General Assembly in 2008.

Apart from this, Ukraine hopes for the support of Denmark in holding the
finals of the Euro 2012 football championship in Poland and Ukraine. The
parties also discussed the development of interparliamentary cooperation.

Ukraine was represented at the talks by Oleksandr Chalyi, deputy head of the
presidential secretariat; Volodymyr Khandohii, deputy minister of foreign
affairs; Anatolii Kinakh, chairman of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists
and Entrepreneurs; and Ambassador to Denmark Natalia Zarudna.  As

Ukrainian News reported, on Thursday morning Yuschenko left on an official
visit to Denmark until March 16.                          -30-
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9. PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SETS UP COORDINATION COUNCIL
           FOR PREPARING EVENTS ON 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF
                              HOLODOMOR OF 1932-1933

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 15, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has set up a coordination
council for preparing events related to the 75th anniversary of the
Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. This reads the decree No. 207/2007
of March 14, text of which has become available to Ukrainian News.

According to the decree, the coordination council’s basic tasks are
developing propositions on providing coordination of the events, held by
state power agencies, scientific and public institutions, for honoring
legacy of the famines’ victims in Ukraine and in connection with the 75th
anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933.

The President heads the coordination council. As Ukrainian News earlier
reported, the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933, also known as Holodomor,
took from 3 million to 7 million lives according to various estimates.

———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE:  Members of the Ukrainian President’s Holodomor
Coordination Council appointed from outside Ukraine include: Askold
Lozynski, President, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), USA; Morgan
Williams, Director, Government Affairs, SigmaBlezyer and Holodomor
Researcher, USA; Stefan Romaniw, Australia, Head of the Union of
Ukrainian Organizations in Australia and Head of UWC International
Coordinating Committee for Holodomor Mykhailo Sawkiw, President,
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), USA; Yevhen
Cholij, deputy chair, Ukrainian World Congress, Canada; and Orysia
Sushko, head of Canada’s Congress of Ukrainians, Canada. 
———————————————————————————————–
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10. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL HOLODOMOR COORDINATING
         COUNCIL ON PREPARING EVENTS RELATING TO 75TH
     ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE
      First sitting, March 19, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukrainian House, 15:00-18:00
 
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article 10
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
PARTICIPANTS: President of Ukraine, representatives of the
Parliament, government, Presidential secretariat, executive bodies, members
of the organizational committee, representatives of public organizations,
scientists, representatives of Ukrainian diaspora
SUBJECTS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. The draft of the presidential decree “On Commemorating the 75th
anniversary of Holodomor in 1932-33 in Ukraine” to serve as a base for
The Plan of Commemorating events for 2007-2008 which will be approved
by the Organizational committee.
2. Plans of Ukrainian and world public organizations concerning
commemorating victims of genocide of the Ukrainian people.
AGENDA:
1. Speech of the President (15 minutes)
2. Speeches (5-7 minutes)
a. Ihor Yukhnovsky – Head of the Institute of National Memory –
“INM objectives concerning commemorating events and arrangement
of  archives.”
b. Mykola Zhulynsky – Head of the National council on culture and
spirituality under the president of Ukraine
“Concerning building the memorial to the Holodomor victims in Kyiv.”
c. Volodymyr Ohryzko – Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs –
” Concerning international activities to commemorate the Holodomor
victims and ensure  recognition of the famine as genocide by foreign states.”
d. Yuri Bohutsky – Minister of Culture and Tourism –
“Concerning cultural events to commemorate the Holodomor victims.”
 e. Stanislav Nikolayenko – Minister of Education –
“Concerning educational events to commemorate the Holodomor victims.
Holodomor educational projects for children and young people.”
f. Stefan Romaniw – Chair of international Holodomor coordinating
committee of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) to commemorate the
75th anniversary of the Holodomor.
 “Concerning events under International committee to commemorate the
Holodomor victims.”
g. Vasyl Vovkun – Art director of The State Concert Company of Ukraine –
“Concerning organization of exhibitions and requiem tours in the regions
of Ukraine and world capitals.”
h. Oleksiy Kopytko – Coordinator of the “Yesterday” project under
Ukraina 3000 charity foundation-
“Concerning plans of the foundation to publish books and evidence
commemorating the Holodomor victims.”
i. Oleksandr Feldman – People’s deputy –
“Concerning discussion on Holodomor in Israeli parliament.”
 j. Valeriy Smolij – Director of the Institute of Ukrainian History at the
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine –
“Concerning input of scientists to commemorate the 75th anniversary
of the Holodomor in 1932-1933.”
DISCUSSION
INTERNATIONAL ATTENDEES INCLUDE:
Stefan Romaniw (Australia)
Morgan Williams (USA)
Michael Sawkiw (USA)
Bohdan Futey (USA)
Orysia Sushko (Canada)
Victor Pedenko (Canada)
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11.  WHY UKRAINE INSISTS ON THE FACT OF GENOCIDE

New Europe, Athens, Greece, Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Ukrainian Diaspora started the elucidation of Holodomor when this
topic was still forbidden by the Soviet regime. At present, the issue of
recognition of Holodomor as genocide was raised at the European
Parliament.

The MEPs Konrad Szymanski, Marec Siwiec and Charles Tannock initiated
signing a Written Declaration 4/2007 on the international recognition of
Holodomor – the great famine in Ukraine (1932-33) as genocide.

The Mission of Ukraine to the EU organises the exhibition on Holodomor in
the European Parliament. The exhibition, which will take place since March
26 till March 30, will demonstrate the documentary photographs and
documents concerning the famine, its consequences, and the methods of
the Soviet regime.

Ukraine, attracting public attention to Holodomor, urged the European
Parliament as well as the international community in general to support the
longing of Ukrainians and their friends for uncovering the truth.

“We believe that the facts of mass annihilation, performed by totalitarian
regimes in the past, must be condemned by the international community in
order to prevent such crimes at present or in the future,” the Mission of
Ukraine to the EU said in a statement, released to New Europe on February
27.

In 1932-1933 an unprecedented famine struck Ukraine – a country, which
was previously known as the “Breadbasket of Europe”.

Unlike in numerous cases of famines in European history, caused by natural
disasters, bad harvest, or consequences of wars, Ukrainian famine of
1932-1933 was an artificial measure, undertaken by the regime of Joseph
Stalin within the implementation of the Soviet project.

This policy implied practical elimination of national ideas and identities
that could have impeded the creation of the Soviet state on the vast
territories of many nations, which had been earlier seized by Russian empire
and failed to maintain their independence in the struggle with the
Bolsheviks – the virtual successors of tsarist imperialism.

Ukraine, which after long sanguinary battles for the statehood was captured
by Bolsheviks and joined the Soviet Union as Ukrainian Socialistic Soviet
Republic in 1922, still remained a country with strong national traditions
and European social model.

The national traditions of Ukrainian society and autonomist tendencies
demonstrated by the leadership of Soviet Ukraine could not have possibly
coexist with the Stalinist vision of the Soviet future.

Thus, Ukraine was condemned. In 1932 the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin
ordered his government to seize crops from Ukrainian peasants in a campaign
to collect money for industrialisation and militarisation of USSR. Soviet
officials, with the aid of regular troops and secret police units, waged a
merciless war against peasants.

Even indispensable seed grain was forcibly confiscated from households. Any
man, woman, or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a collective
farm was to be executed or deported. Those who did not appear to be starving
were often suspected of hoarding grain.                  -30-
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12.      UKRAINE’S DEFENSE MINISTRY GRITSENKO SAYS US
                     MISSILE DEFENSE TO BENEFIT SECURITY 

Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 16, 2007

KIEV – The US is ready to consider including one Russian and one Ukrainian
officer in the maintenance staff of missile defense facilities that it plans
to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic, Ukrainian Defense Minister
Anatoly Gritsenko said, citing the March 14 consultations with US Missile
Defense Agency Director Henry Obering.

Besides, the “US is ready to allow the military of Ukraine and Russia to
familiarize themselves with characteristics of these facilities and carry
out verification”, Gritsenko said.

He said that the “US was ready to inform non-NATO countries about a
potential threat in case of ballistic missile launches against which the
missile defense is to be set up. “If a launch carries a threat to Ukraine,
Belarus or Russia, these countries will be immediately warned”, he said.

Gritsenko came to a conclusion after the consultations that the “radar and
launchers of this system in the Czech Republic and Poland could become an
important element of the pan-European security system”.

He added that “if the arguments that the American side made were timely
conveyed, including to Ukraine, the tension in the mass media would have
been lifted”.

Gritsenko said that the Ukrainian president, the prime minister and the
foreign minister would state the official stance on the US’s missile defense
in Europe. The Defense Ministry for its part considers this system as
defensive only, Gritsenko said.

He earlier told reporters that the US’ plans to deploy the missile defense
facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic “worry Ukraine”, as possible
interception of missiles at a certain height could result in the fall of
fragments on the Ukrainian territory.
He said that “nobody knows what can be among these fragments”.

“If it will not be a nuclear bomb, a nuclear warhead in the literal sense,
it can be a ‘dirty bomb’ with radioactive substances that will contaminate
our territory in addition to what Chernobyl gave us. This also can be some
virus, biological weapons,” he said.                       -30-

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13. HRYTSENKO CONSIDERS ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM IN CZECH
 REPUBLIC AND POLAND STRENGTHENING EUROPEAN SECURITY 

Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16 , 2007

KYIV – Defense Minister Anatolii Hrytsenko considers that deployment of
anti-missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland aims at
strengthening European security. He disclosed this to the press on Friday at
a press conference.

He said that it is his personal position, and Ukrainian position will be
declared by persons, who have to declare it, in particular, President Viktor
Yuschenko and Premier Viktor Yanukovych.

Hrytsenko also said that on March 15, the Finance Ministry representatives
held meeting with American experts and discussed anti-missile defense system
deployment issues.

“If ground on preliminary result, I can say that if the society had been
informed on time, it would have been possible to avoid the tension, which
appeared in mass media,” Hrytsenko said.

At the same time, he said that due to the constructive talk it became clear
that the systems in Poland and the Czech Republic would be directed to
security of European countries.

“Radar and anti-missile units are things, which are likely to become a part
of European anti-missile defense system,” the minister said. He also said
that if rocket launch from the American system is registered and threatens
Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, the countries would immediately get to know
that.

Hrytsenko also said that the United States is ready to allow Ukrainian
militaries to the facilities to give them more detailed information.

“The American side voiced its readiness to include Russian and Ukrainian
officers, if they want, into the group servicing the radar, which monitors
the missile situation,” added Hrytsenko.

As the U.S. Ambassador William Taylor told reporters on Friday, Hrytsenko
suggested Henry Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency at the U.S.
Department of Defense, to give Ukrainian servicemen possibility to visit
anti-missile bases in the Czech Republic and Poland and Obering from his
side noted that this is a good idea.

“We shall develop this idea further with the Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and
Czech sides,” said Taylor. He also underlined that the corresponding actions
will be performed only after the Czech Republic and Poland agree the U.S.
proposition on deployment of the anti-missile bases on their territories and
after factual installation of the systems.

“And than, certainly after consent of the Polish and Czech side, which will
have a dominion for maintenance and control over these objects, Ukrainians,
Russians and representatives of other countries under their accord will have
a right to come, inspect and observe this,” said Taylor.

He also said that the American side has already handed over technical
documentation for these systems to the Ukrainian and the Russian
governments.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the United States had sent their
specialists to Ukraine for explaining the plans concerning construction of
anti-missile bases in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Henry Obering said that missile defenses in the Czech Republic and Poland
are being deployed for the matters of security in Europe and the United
States.                                                 -30-

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14.  REPRESENTATIVES OF UKRAINE AND RUSSIA ‘COULD
          ACCESS ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE INSTALLATIONS’,
                         US AMBASSADOR TO KYIV SAYS

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 16, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian and Russian military officers could be granted access to
U.S. anti-missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic if
consent is given by Poland and the Czech Republic, U.S. Ambassador to
Ukraine William Taylor has said.

When the objects are installed, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and
other countries will have the right to visit, to inspect and observe the
objects, with the consent of Poland and the Czech Republic, which will have
the sovereign right to service and control these installations, Taylor said
at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.

Taylor said it would be possible to discuss access to the objects after
their installation and with the consent of Poland and the Czech Republic to
such a step. He said the United States had invited Russian specialists to
visit the installations.

He noted that similar installations of the anti-missile defense were located
in Alaska and that his country has invited Russia to inspect them.

Taylor confirmed that Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko had
asked U.S. general Henry Obering, during his recent visit to Kyiv, for
Ukrainian specialists to be given access the installations in Poland and the
Czech Republic.

“General Obering considers this a good idea. We will be developing it with
Ukraine and Russia, as well as with Poland and the Czech Republic,”

Taylor said.                                          -30-
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15.   TEXAS MAN SPREADING THE SOUNDS OF JOY
                 TO UKRAINE’S ORPHANS IN ODESSA

By Jim Butler, Eagle Staff Writer, The Bryan-College Station Eagle
Bryan, Texas, Sunday, March 18, 2007

Once upon a time there was a shiny new trumpet, and it made a little boy
very happy when he blew it with all his might, even though the boy’s
parents had their hands over their ears.

But it wasn’t long until the little boy found a new best friend in a soccer
ball. The trumpet was put away on the top shelf of the boy’s closet and
forgotten.

Years later, the boy’s son tried the trumpet, but again, the trumpet went
back in the closet. Then one day, the boy, who was now an old man, took
the trumpet out of the closet and sent it on a long journey where a little
boy in a faraway land fell in love with it, and the trumpet made joyful
noises. And the listeners didn’t put their hands over their ears.

The end.

George Stuart reckons he sold hundreds of instruments in the 15 years he
owned Stuart Music Co. in Bryan. Some of them were cast aside in favor of
new infatuations such as sports or dance.

Stuart would like to recycle smaller horns and wind instruments that are
idle in the Brazos Valley for use by an orphanage band in Odessa, Ukraine.

“Instruments last a long time. I still have the cornet my parents bought me
when I was 9,” said Stuart, who calls himself an “old codger” but refused to
disclose his precise age. “At church last week, a guy came up and told me I
could have the cornet from his closet.”

Stuart’s goal is to return to Odessa in two months with enough instruments
for his students and enough money for his expenses.

He hopes to receive donations of trumpets, cornets, clarinets, trombones,
saxophones, flutes and French horns. “I’m not a string person, and I don’t
know if I could find someone to teach strings.”

His unlikely story starts in 2001, when Stuart accompanied his elder son,
Randal, to Odessa to meet his son’s future wife, Olena. (Stuart’s younger
son, Tim, also married a woman from the Ukraine, but that’s another story.)

During that first visit to Odessa, George Stuart taught music and English to
kids in a Presbyterian church. Through the church’s youth minister, George
Stuart met Paul Becker, whose organization, Project Heritage House, helped
support Internat No. 4, an orphanage 45 minutes from Odessa.

George Stuart returned to Odessa in 2006 with the intent of working with the
church. (He is a member of Bryan’s First Presbyterian Church, and part of
his expenses have been paid by the church’s mission committee.)

But before Stuart made arrangements with the church, he got a call from
Becker. “I ended up teaching at the orphanage every day,” Stuart said. When
he went back to Odessa, Stuart brought a set of 25 tone chimes for the
students to play.

The orphanage, which is run by the ministry of education, was built for 200
children but has 400 residents 5 to 18 years old. Stuart’s students are all
in fifth grade. “They are a beautiful bunch of kids,” he said. “They are no
different from children anywhere. One boy, Vlad, had a crush on one of the
girls, Olya, and just had to sit by her.”

The class’s favorite song was Holy, Holy, Holy, and the class name for the
hymn came from Stuart sounding out the notes: ding dong, ding dong, ding
dong. Because the students spoke no English, and Stuart spoke no Russian,
the song became “Ding Dong.”

“I got T-shirts made for them that had a picture of a tone chime with the
words Ding Dongs, and that was the name of the band. The kids loved it.
They are very talented and eager to learn.”

Because of the language barrier, Stuart hired a translator and paid her for
two hours’ bus time plus time at the school. “She [the translator] was also
a musician, so she helped me teach,” Stuart said.

Stuart took photographs of the instruments to class and asked the students
whether anyone wanted to play one of them. “All of them raised their hand
except one boy. I asked him why, and he said he didn’t believe he could
ever have an instrument.”

Stuart recently spent three months in Odessa, returning to Bryan in
February. When not at the school, he spent time writing music for the
students and walking around the city. “Odessa has more than a million
people. It is a combination of the old architecture and a lot of new glass
and steel.”

Besides seeking donated instruments, Stuart needs money for expenses. The
mission committee has been a help, but most of Stuart’s financing has come
from his own pocket “and it’s running out.”
                                   ANYONE DESIRING TO HELP
Anyone desiring to help with instruments or money can contact Stuart at
229-4954 or by e-mail at
gstuart2002@hotmail.com.

“When I saw how fast the kids progressed with the chimes, I said, ‘I’ve just
got to get them some instruments.’ I just know there has to be a lot in
closets.”                                                      -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Jim Butler’s e-mail address is jim.butler@theeagle.com.
http://www.theeagle.com/stories/031807/lifestyles_20070318003.php
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16. HER DARE-DEVIL LITERARY LEAP FROM TRACTORS TO
       CARAVANS: PROFILE OF AUTHOR MARINA LEWYCKA

PROFILE: Of novelist Marina Lewycka
First Novel: “A Short History of Tractors In Ukrainian”
The Sunday Times, London, UK, Sunday, March 18, 2007

High-octane wit and sparkiness helped boost Marina Lewycka’s improbably
named first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, into a runaway
bestseller. Her uproarious comedy of manners made nearly every must-read
list and was even the No 1 choice of holidaying Labour MPs.

Two years on, the imminent publication of her follow-up book is prompting
speculation over whether the 60-year-old author has fulfilled the high
expectations of fans.

Writing a successful second novel can be a difficult trick to pull off.
Muriel Spark’s follow-up, Robinson, was her worst book by far. Neither
Monica Ali nor Zadie Smith were given rapturous receptions the second time
around. Often, a writer’s best efforts are eclipsed by the starburst of hype
surrounding their initial discovery.

The first shots in a likely critical battle over Lewycka’s new tragicomedy
Two Caravans, published this week, were fired in The Times.

The reviewer either had a sense of humour failure that day or was critically
unsparing, accusing the author of playing for “cheap laughs” and indulging
in linguistic “caricature” reminiscent of Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

But it will take more than one critic to shatter Lewycka’s belief that she
is about to stretch her literary wings.

“Publishing one’s first novel at 58 is both wonderful and terrifying,” she
said. “Terrifying, because I feel this sense of urgency now. I have so
little writing time left, and so many things I want to write.”

Such aspirations are only natural after being shortlisted for the 2005
Orange prize for fiction and winning the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse
award.

A Ukrainian born in a refugee camp in Germany before growing up in
Yorkshire, she had been contemplating retirement from her job as a lecturer
on media and public relations at Sheffield Hallam University when her quaint
debut novel made her a rich woman who could take her pick of literary
festivals and foreign tours.

People who meet Lewycka tend to fall in love with her warmth and sense of
humour. “She is extremely likable and funny, without any pretension,” said
one. “She lives in the same house in Sheffield and has the same friends.”

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is the infectiously funny tale of
the ructions within a dysfunctional Ukrainian immigrant family in Britain
when the ageing widower Nikolai is beguiled by a young, grasping Ukrainian
divorcée with Botticellian breasts who marries him to get a British
passport. Nikolai’s quarrelling daughters unite to resist the “fluffy pink
grenade” who explodes in their midst.

Two Caravans deals with another kind of economic migrant – workers on
strawberry farms exploited by gangmasters. Here is a larger cast of
characters, including Irina, just off the coach from Kiev and eager to find
true love with a romantic Englishman, two Chinese girls and an 18-year-old
from Malawi who has come to England to look for her sister.

Lewycka would have been happy to write a sequel to the Tractors book,

she admitted. “But everyone advised me against it, saying that sequels
inevitably compare badly with the original. They said I should write
something completely different but exactly the same – a tall order, but I
hope I’ve pulled it off.”

That’s precisely what she has done, according to Peter Kemp, the Sunday
Times fiction editor – an indication that a battle of reviewers lies ahead.
“Her last book was entertaining, but this one is better,” Kemp said.

“It’s a very buoyant, witty and informative book about the horrible jobs
that people from eastern Europe and Africa find themselves trapped in. It’s
a stylised comedy and not meant to be social realism. In fact I admire the
way she had managed to moderate the tone.”

For the disparate ensemble of Two Caravans she found inspiration in
Chaucer – one of her favourite poets, along with Shakespeare, Donne and
Keats. Unlike Chaucer, she writes mainly in bed, from early morning until
lunchtime. “It’s to do with the business of being in a separate world,” she
explained.

Her “lovely” husband, a mining consultant who once worked for the National
Union of Mineworkers, brings her porridge. (“He works at home, too, though
not in bed.”) She then places her laptop on the tray, which rests on a
beanbag to protect her from its heat.

The couple, who have a grown-up daughter, were 1960s left-wing activists who
met in the London commune where Lewycka was living. “It was all a bit
sordid,” she recalled. “When my mother visited, she would come down the
stairs with a dustpan and brush.”

One of the two unpublished books in her drawer was a serious political novel
that she hoped would “change the world”.

“I sent it to everybody, but no one wanted it. It was so mortifying.” She
started writing Tractors about 10 years ago, but her lucky break came when
she joined a free MA creative writing course at her university.

The students’ novels were sent out to an external examiner, who also
happened to be an agent. Bill Hamilton, of A M Heath, recalled: “Her book
was extremely polished.

She had the attention of the tutors, all of whom were well established
novelists who gave wonderful hands-on support and advice. That’s what
gave her the confidence to complete it.”

Lewycka not only presented Hamilton with a fully fledged book, but also a
title that stood out as strikingly original. It initially caused some
bookshops to shelve the novel in their agriculture sections, and Amazon to
list it under science and technology.

She even suggested the cover, arriving at a lunch with some “lovely, rather
naive Christmas cards to show the rather incompetent Ukrainian artwork that
she thought would be a good style”, Hamilton said.

Her acclaim in Britain was in stark contrast to the sense of alienation she
experienced in Yorkshire as a child. “I got picked on. They call it dual
heritage now: you’re one person with your friends, another with your
 family.” Her parents ate borscht and spoke a strange language.

She was born in a refugee camp in Kiel, Germany, at the end of the second
world war, the younger daughter of Ukrainian refugees. She was too young to
remember the camp.

“As I understand, when the Nazis invaded Ukraine, they took a lot of
able-bodied people to labour camps. My parents were part of that. At the end
of the war, they met through the Red Cross. I was the product of that
 union.”

They came to England because the camp was in a part of Germany that had
been liberated by the British in order to escape Stalin’s Soviet Union where
a grisly fate often awaited prisoners of war and labourers.

Her father was an eccentric who, like Nikolai, had written a book about
tractors. She thought the notion was hilarious. “But once I started looking
into the world of tractor enthusiasts, I got hooked. Tractors lack glamour,
but they feed the human race and they changed the world.”

She has been writing for as long as she can remember. She composed her
first poem at the age of four and a pile of rejection slips attest to her
perseverance. “It’s a compulsion. I have a story and I have to tell it. I’m
an Ancient Marina, in fact.”

Before Lewycka’s mother died, Marina taped their conversations, hoping to
write her story. But the war was taboo for both her parents, and she created
a blend of fact and fiction in Tractors.

It was only when she began researching Tractors that she realised she had a
family in Ukraine. Her parents had lost contact with their relatives and
believed that had all died in the second world war.

Chancing upon a Russian family-search website, she posted a query and
several months later three Cyrillic e-mails appeared in her inbox,
purporting to be from relatives. “This must be an e-mail scam,” she thought.

But the letters that arrived next took her breath away. There were
photographs of her parents as children and sepia photos of unknown
grandparents, aunts and uncles – “men with long moustaches and women in
crepe de Chine dresses and amazing hats”. And an invitation: “Marinochka,
please come!”

Her cousin Yuri met her in Kiev and took on her on a magical mystery tour of
her family in his old BMW. “I have an intense sense of homecoming,” she
wrote. There was her father’s dilapidated old house with its earth closet at
the back, and an 86-year-old neighbour who burst into tears.

“She tells us what she remembers: that the old Lewyckyjs were loved by
everybody; that the Germans tried to drive the whole population into the
River Bug as a reprisal for two soldiers killed by partisans.” The whole
experience, she said later, was “like stepping into the pages of my own
 book”.

She can only watch helplessly as the pages of her latest work are dissected.
But those who know Lewycka have little doubt that she will observe the
advice she gives to literary late-starters and those with other dreams to
fulfil: “Keep going, keep going. It’s not too late.”           -30-
———————————————————————————————-
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article1530630.ece

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17. UKRAINE WEEK AT WAYNE STATE UNIV, DETROIT, MICHIGAN
     Join Us For Series Of Events Exploring The History & Culture Of Ukraine!
                         Monday through Thursday, March 26-29, 2007

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #825, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 19, 2007

MONDAY, MARCH 26  INTRODUCTION TO UKRAINE
12:00 p.m. “Folkloric Motifs in Modern Ukrainian Culture: Introduction to
the folklife of contemporary Ukraine.” by Svitlana Rogovyk (U-Michigan Dept.
of Slavic Languages & Literatures) (Romanian Room, Manoogian 408)
1:00 p.m. Documentary: Ukraine  (Manoogian 368)
2:30 p.m.  “Issues in Ukrainian Linguistics” by Stephen Pobutsky (WSU)
(Greek Room, Manoogian 171)
3:45 p.m. Feature Film: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors introduced by Prof.
Ken Brostrom (WSU Dept. of German & Slavic Studies). Discussion to follow.
(Manoogian 368)

TUESDAY, MARCH 27
12-3 p.m. Pysanky Egg Decorating Workshop with Roman Seniuk
(Romanian Room, Manoogian 408) (See http://romanseniuk.tripod.com/)
5:30 p.m. Feature Film: Everything is Illuminated introduced by Prof. Aaron
Retish (WSU Dept. of History) (Manoogian 368 )

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28
1:00 p.m. “Democracy Building in the Regions: 15th Anniversary of
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation” by Vera Andrushkiw (US-Ukraine Foundation)
(Manoogian 91 )
5:30 p.m.  Documentary: Chernobyl Heart, followed by a discussion by Dr.
James Tucker (Chair, WSU Dept. of Biology) of the  Chernobyl accident and
his research on it.  (Manoogian 358)
7:00 p.m. Ambassador William Green Miller will speak on “U.S.-Ukraine
Relations after the Orange Revolution” at the Ukrainian Cultural Center at
26601 Ryan Road, Warren, MI.

THURSDAY, MARCH 29
2:00 p.m. “The Future of Ukrainian Democracy by 1993-1998 US Ambassador

to Ukraine” William Green Miller (Bernath Auditorium, Undergraduate Library)
Immediately followed by: A performance by soprano soloist Olga Yalovenko of
Ukraine
The Awards Ceremony for Visual Arts/Poetry Competition commemorating the
21st Anniversary of Chornobyl.

All events are free and open to the public
For more information, please contact Dr. Alina Klin at 313-577-6245
E-mail: ukraineweek@comcast.net; www.clas.wayne.edu/germanslavic
Sponsored by a WSU Office of the Provost Global Grant, the WSU Ukrainian
Endowment, the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, and the Department
of Political Science. LINK: http://www.clas.wayne.edu/GermanSlavic/
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
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18.     ITALY’S ALTERNATIVE TO NURSING HOMES:

                             UKRAINIAN CAREGIVERS

Davide Berretta, Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, MA, Thursday, March 15, 2007

PERUGIA, ITALY –  Each Saturday, as vendors at this city’s biggest
open market clear out their stalls to head home, dozens of middle-aged
women, too blond to be Italian, do their own kind of packing up.

Out in the dusty parking lot, the women load slightly outdated
clothes, cellphones, linens, and appliances into white vans. Tucked
in with letters and packets of money, the goods are destined for the
families in Ukraine these women have left behind. It’s a voluntary
exile that is driven by economic need at home – and a host country
desperate for their skills as live-in companions for the elderly.

An average life expectancy close to 80 years has left many families
struggling with how to care for aging parents while keeping up with
two careers. Wary of retirement homes, Italians have embraced the
Ukrainians with gusto as an answer to a shortage of in-home
caregivers, a professional role snubbed by many.

Over the past five years, the migrants, attracted by Italian wages,
have filled the gap, bringing economic benefits to both their home
and host countries.

“Italy has created this demand, and it has invented this solution,”
says Alessandro Castegnaro, statistics professor at the University of
Padua and one of the few scholars to have given academic attention to
what he calls a “hidden revolution.” He estimates that immigrant
caregivers are saving the Italian economy around $1 billion yearly.

“Without them, the national health system would edge towards
collapse” Sergio Pasquinelli, a social researcher, told the newspaper
La Repubblica last fall.

New deal on salaries, but illegals still work for less
With many immigrant caregivers believed to be working or residing in
Italy illegally, estimates of their numbers range broadly, from
600,000 to 1 million.

Depending on whether they work in the south or in the wealthier
north, most caregivers make between $750 and $900 a month.

Only over the last few years have Italy’s powerful labor unions taken
interest in this professional category, attempting to protect workers
in it from the long hours and low wages many employers impose on
needy immigrants.

A recent deal on caregiving contracts brokered with the federation of
domestic employers set the minimum monthly wage at $715, the maximum
number of weekly hours at 54, and paid vacations at 26 working days a
year, according La Repubblica Metropoli, a weekly supplement aimed at
immigrants that is published by one of Italy’s largest circulating
newspapers.

But many workers overlook the strict regulations in order to land a
job. “Clandestinity [living and working illegally] is caused not only by
laws that complicate regularization, but also by Italian families’
demand for low wages,” says Professor Castegnaro.

Ukrainians ‘work harder’ and are more in demand
While caregivers come from a number of countries including Moldova,
Romania, and Peru, the main caregiver exporter to Italy is Ukraine.

Ukraine’s social volatility and a steadily rising inflation rate that
touched 18 percent in 2005 – the legacy of a sudden transition from a
state-controlled to a market economy – have pushed workers abroad in
search of higher wages.

“Prices now are almost as high as in Italy; salaries are not,” says
Tatiana, who was a cook in northern Ukraine before coming to Perugia
two years ago.

“Italy is good, we all like it. People are kinder,” says Tatiana,
whose 18-year-old son is still in Ukraine. She cannot go back until
she receives her residence papers.

But some of the differences are less appealing: “Dogs and cats here
are pampered more than children in Ukraine. Stores here will throw
away food the day after the expiration date. In Ukraine they will
leave it there for three, four months,” observes Tatiana. “It hurts,
for me to live and eat well, while my son does not.”

Ukraine has seen incoming remittances increase by a factor of 18 in
six years: from $33 million in 2000 to $595 million in 2005,
according to the World Bank.

Over the same period, Italy’s small Ukrainian immigrant community,
once numbering a few thousand, has become the fourth-largest in
Italy. Females make up more than 80 percent of residents – the
highest gender disparity among foreign residents here.

“Our women go to Italy, our men to Portugal,” agrees Alina, a
smiling, short-haired woman from Kamianets-Podilskyi, 250 miles
southwest of Kiev. Her Italian is brisk and lively, punctuated by
“Madunnina mia,” a typically Italian stock phrase that literally
means “Oh my little Mary.”

She sits down to talk with me with her cleaning gloves still on,
after finishing her housecleaning duties at a family house where she
had previously worked as a caregiver.

When asked why Ukrainians have developed a reputation being most
reliable, she replies: “Ukrainian women like to work more.”

Part of it might have to do with education. More than 30 percent of
Ukrainians in Italy hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, and
another third a high school degree.

“I was an accountant in a huge factory,” says Alina, “but all of the
sudden, my supervisor told me there was no diesel, no gas, no money,
no job. After a month, my children were growing, we needed the money,
and there were no jobs. It was then that I heard that so many had
gone to Italy to work.”

A temporary stint, but still yearning for home
Most of the Ukrainian women here seem to view their time abroad as

an investment, not a permanent relocation.

What makes this kind of temporary migration most convenient is the
compatibility between the workers and the clients’ needs regarding
living arrangements. A nuisance for the few Italian caregivers still
in the business – the necessity to live at home with the elderly – is
a crucial advantage for immigrants, allowing them to bypass their two
biggest expenses: food and rent.

The length of their time abroad varies: some stay only a few years;
others, like Alina, plan to stay 10 years.

“It is a long time, especially now, with my little nephews of 4 and 7
months,” she says. In the meantime, sending money and goods home
brings some relief.

“I just bought a big suitcase,” says Alina, “and filled it with
presents, like a beautiful, warm jacket for my David, at 50-percent
off.”                                                          -30-
————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0315/p01s03-woeu.html

———————————————————————————————–
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                          PUBLISHER AND EDITOR – AUR
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation

Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 8 050 689 2874
mwilliams@SigmaBleyzer.com; www.SigmaBleyzer.com
========================================================
       Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
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AUR#824 Mar 15 Seven Billionaires; Local Newspaper Closed; Human Rights; Black PR; Tightrope; Millions Died Plus Gold, Silver, Diamonds & Antiquities Pillaged

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 824
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2007

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.      THE WORLD’S 946 BILLIONAIRES, SEVEN ARE IN UKRAINE
Edited by Luisa Kroll and Allison Fass
Forbes Magazine, New York, New York, March 8, 2007

2.   UKRAINIAN TYCOONS UNDERVALUED IN FORBES RANKING
By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Mar 14 2007

3. UKRAINE: LOCAL AUTHORITIES CLOSE CRITICAL NEWSPAPER
         Closure of independent weekly Dzerzhinets in the central Ukrainian
          city of Dneprodzerzhynsk and the harassment of its editor-in-chief.
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
New York, New York, Wed, March 14, 2007

4.  UKRAINE: REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES – 2006
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  – 2006
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Tue, March 6, 2007

 
5.   NORWEGIAN MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY
    TELENOR CLAIMS TO BE VICTIM OF ‘BLACK PR’ IN UKRAINE
Catherine Belton in London, Roman Olearchyk in Kiev and
David Ibison in Stockholm, The Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

6.     NORWAY’S TELENOR SAYS RUSSIAN FOE ALFA GROUP
                     HAS RUN SMEAR CAMPAIGN IN UKRAINE
By Geoffrey Smith, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

                         HIS EU AMBITIONS FOR UKRAINE
By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, March 15 2007

8.          PRESIDENT SAYS UKRAINE’S FOREIGN POLICY

                               PRIORITIES UNCHANGED 
UT1 TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1715 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

9UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPEALS TO CURRENT LEADERS TO

PUT UKRAINE INTO THE EU DURING THEIR POLITICAL CAREERS 
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Mar 09, 2007

10EU’S FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF STRESSES NEED FOR POLITICAL
  AND ECONOMIC REFORM IN UKRAINE TO PRODUCE STABILITY
Paul Ames, AP Worldstream, Brussels, Belgium, Mar 08, 2007

 
11.       MAJORITY OF UKRAINIANS AGAINST JOINING NATO
Interfax-AVN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

12.  UKRAINIAN FOOD SECTOR FIRM KREATIW WILL DEBUT
        ON WARSAW STOCK EXCHANGE BEFORE END OF JUNE
Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Mar 15, 2007

13FRENCH RETAIL GIANT SIGNS AGREEMENT IN UKRAINE WITH
       THE COUNTRY’S SECOND LARGEST SUPERMARKET GROUP
By A. Bo., Les Echos, France, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

14.    UKRAINE SHOULD RAISE ITS DOMESTIC ENERGY PRICES
       TO HELP MAINTAIN ITS INFRASTRUCTURES SAYS THE IEA
AFX Europe (Focus), London, UK, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

15UKRAINE’S UKRGAZENERGO IN TALKS FOR $1.3 BILLION
            IN LOANS AND ABOUT  BUYING FOREIGN ASSETS
MarketWatch, London, UK, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

16SLOVAK-UKRAINIAN BORDER TO MEET EU CONDITIONS 
Czech News Agency, Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

17.    UKRAINE FINALLY OPEN FOR MEAT IMPORTS FROM

     POLAND BUT EXPORTING TO UKRAINE IS UNPROFITABLE
Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, March 11, 2007

18. U.S. GENERAL IN UKRAINE SAYS MISSILE DEFENSE SITES

    IN EASTERN EUROPE USELESS AGAINST RUSSIA’S ARSENAL 
Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

19RUSSIAN SENATORS SLAM UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FOR
WELCOMING U.S. MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM IN EAST EUROPE
Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1610 gmt 13 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Mar 13, 2007

20.     UKRAINE IS BEING READIED FOR WAR WITH RUSSIA
          Ukraine’s military technology integration into NATO has begun
Americans want Ukraine to join NATO and host missile defense elements
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Yadukha
RBC Daily, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

 
21.                         PENTAGON HEADS FOR KIEV
                     US Primes Europe for Missile Defense System
COMMENTARY: By Nikolai Filchenko
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 15, 2007
 
22.                  THE CIS CHAMPION OF DEMOCRACY
           Ukraine Walks the Tightrope between Moscow and the West
POINT OF VIEW: By Gennady Sysoyev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 15, 2007
 
23.                    WHY IS UKRAINE FIGHTING RUSSIA?
      Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine of the 1930s, which
       it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian people.
OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Zakhar Vinogradov
RIA Novosti Commentator in Kiev
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 11, 2007
 
24.                      THE ORANGE ON THE OFFENSIVE
             The opposition provokes a parliamentary crisis in Ukraine
COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Solovyev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
 
25.UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER, SPEAKER AGREE
              ONCE AGAIN ON WAY TO SETTLE POWER CRISIS
NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1700 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007
 
MARA D. BELLABY, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Mar 14, 2007
 
27UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER CONDEMNS PRESIDENT’S
                     NEW AGREEMENT WITH PRIME MINISTER 
One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1730 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007
 
28UKRAINE: OPPOSITION LEADER SEEKS EARLY ELECTIONS
By David R. Sands, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 2, 2007
 
29. HOLODOMOR WAS NOT ONLY 7 MILLION LIVES BUT ALSO
         66 TONS OF GOLD, 1,439 TONS OF SILVER AS WELL AS
                             DIAMONDS AND ANTIQUITIES
        Holodomor was also a large scale and effective pillage of people
By Oleh Nadosha and Volodymyr Honsky (in Ukrainian),
Ukrayinska Pravda on line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 5, 2007
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal 
Issue Two, Article One (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
 
30.          UK: SIGN THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE PETITION
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From: Stepan Speight Komarnyckyj
Ukrainian Genocide Petition in the United Kingdom
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Seven
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
========================================================
1THE WORLD’S 946 BILLIONAIRES, SEVEN ARE IN UKRAINE

Report Edited by Luisa Kroll and Allison Fass
Forbes Magazine, New York, New York, March 8, 2007

RANK           NAME            COUNTRY       AGE        BILLIONS

  214       Rinat Akhmetov         Ukraine           40              4.0
  323       Victor Pinchuk           Ukraine           46              2.8
  488       Serhiy Taruta              Ukraine           52              2.0
  488      Vitaliy Hayduk             Ukraine           49              2.0
  799      Ihor Kolomoyskyy      Ukraine           NA             1.2
  799      Henadiy Boholyubov   Ukraine           45              1.2
  891      Kostyantin Zhevago     Ukraine           33              1.0

It has been a busy year for Forbes’ team of fortune hunters. Strong equity
markets combined with rising real estate values and commodity prices

pushed up fortunes from Mumbai to Madrid.

Forbes pinned down a record 946 billionaires. There were 178 newcomers,
including 19 Russians, 14 Indians, 13 Chinese and 10 Spaniards, as well as
the first billionaires from Cyprus, Oman, Romania and Serbia.

Ingenuity, not industry, is the common characteristic; these folks made
money in everything from media and real estate to coffee, dumplings and
ethanol. Two-thirds of last year’s billionaires are richer. Only 17% are
poorer, including 32 who fell below the billion-dollar mark. The
billionaires’ combined net worth climbed by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion.
That equates to $3.6 billion apiece.

The average billionaire is 62 years old, two years younger than in 2005.
This year’s new billionaires are seven years younger than that. Of list
members’ fortunes, 60% made theirs from scratch.

Within the ranks are simmering rivalries. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the
world’s richest man for 13 years, and his pal Warren Buffett, who holds the
No. 2 spot despite enormous charitable donations, are quickly losing ground
to Mexico’s most-monied man, Carlos Slim Helú.

Helú’s net worth is up an astonishing $19 billion this year–the single
biggest one-year gain in a decade–and is now just $7 billion shy of Gates
and $3 billion less than Buffett.

In Europe, Russia’s mostly young, self-made tycoons are catching up to
Germany’s often-aging heirs and heiresses. Russia now has 53 billionaires

(2 shy of Germany’s total), but they are worth $282 billion ($37 billion
more than Germany’s richest).

After a 20-year reign, Japan is no longer Asia’s top spot for billionaires:
India has 36, worth a total of $191 billion, followed by Japan with 24,
worth a combined $64 billion.

India’s rich are also marching toward the top of our rankings. Brothers
Mukesh and Anil Ambani, who split up their family’s conglomerate in 2005,
join Lakshmi Mittal, who heads the world’s biggest steel company, Arcelor
Mittal, among the world’s 20 wealthiest. India now has three in the upper
echelons, second only to the U.S………..              -30-
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/10/07billionaires_The-Worlds-Billionaires_CountryOfCitizen_20.html
http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/06/billionaires-new-richest_07billionaires_cz_lk_af_0308billieintro.html
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2. UKRAINIAN TYCOONS UNDERVALUED IN FORBES RANKING

By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Mar 14 2007

A ranking of the world’s richest individuals published by Forbes magazine
has apparently undervalued the assets of Ukraine’s wealthiest tycoon, Rinat
Akhmetov, by about threefold.

The US-based business magazine Forbes has included seven Ukrainian
billionaires in its annual list of the “World’s Richest People” for 2007 –
four more than last year – but at least one of them, the country’s
wealthiest person, has had his fortune seriously underestimated.

Last week, Forbes rated 40-year-old Donetsk tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, a
member of Ukraine’s parliament, 214th in its list of 946 billionaires,
estimating his net value at around $4 billion.

For comparison, Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the Forbes list with
$56 billion, and Russia’s Roman Abramovich came in 16th place with $18.7
billion.

To the seven Ukrainian billionaires listed by the US-based magazine, there
were 19 Russians.

However, Kyiv-based analysts say the influential industrialist from Donetsk,
who boasts significant interests in metals, mining, energy,
telecommunications, food processing and even his own top-ranked football
team, is worth as much as three times more than Forbes gave him credit for.

“All our numbers are based on a snapshot of balance sheets taken on Feb. 9,
the day we locked in stock prices and exchange rates,” reported Forbes,
which boasts an international readership of 4.6 million.

Big Four international auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated the
consolidated assets of Akhmetov’s holding company, System Capital
Management, at $7.2 billion at the end of 2005.

Andriy Bespyatov, head of research at Kyiv-based investment bank Dragon
Capital, puts the figure now at almost $12 billion, based on the current
market value of Akhmetov’s assets, not all of which are traded publicly.

“We don’t know what kind of methodology Forbes used, but the figures
were greatly deflated,” Bespyatov told the Post.

For its part, PricewaterhouseCoopers might have used the book value of
SCM to get its figure of $7.2 million, he said. PricewaterhouseCoopers’

Kyiv office declined the Post’s requests for commentary, citing client
confidentiality.

Following Akhmetov in Forbes’ “Richest People” list was Viktor Pinchuk, who
placed 323rd with assets of $2.8 billion. Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former
President Leonid Kuchma, controls Dnipropetrovsk-based Interpipe, one of
Ukraine’s largest business holdings, in addition to significant assets in
media, machine building and agriculture.

Bespyatov said Forbes’ estimation of Pinchuk’s wealth was more or less
correct, as were those of Ukraine’s third and fourth richest individuals:
CEO of the Industrial Union of Donbass, Serhiy Taruta, and National Security
and Defense Council Secretary Vitaliy Hayduk, also co-founder of the
industrial holding.

Forbes said both are tied for 488th place with an estimated $2 billion in
assets. Pinchuk’s spokesperson, Nikita Poturaev, declined to confirm or
deny Forbes’ estimate of his boss’ monetary value, adding only that “we
were very honored to have been included in the rating of such a prestigious
publication.”

The fifth and sixth richest Ukrainians, according to Forbes, were the
co-owner of the so-called Privat business group (in Dnipropetrovsk) Ihor
Kolomoysky, at position 799th with $1.2 billion in estimated assets, and a
major shareholder in leading Ukrainian bank Privatbank, Hennadiy Bogolubov,
thought to be worth the same. Like their wealthier co-patriots, both control
a diversified business holding with assets in various sectors.

Dragon’s Bespyatov said the evaluations of Kolomoysky and industrialist
Kostyantin Zhevago, who placed last among Ukraine’s rich and 891st overall
with $1 billion in assets, were also distorted, but not as much as with
Akhmetov.

The Privat empire includes lucrative holdings in oil, chemicals, machine
building, metallurgy and finance, while Zhevago, at only 33 years of age, is
known for his mining, automobile, pharmaceuticals and banking interests.

In Forbes’ 2006 “World’s Richest People,” Akhmetov’s worth was estimated
at $1.7 billion, or $700,000 less and 191 places lower than in the previous
year.

In the U.S. magazine’s 2006 list, Zhevago, Bogolubov, Kolomoysky and
Hayduk didn’t appear at all.                             -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/26283/
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. UKRAINE: LOCAL AUTHORITIES CLOSE CRITICAL NEWSPAPER
         Closure of independent weekly Dzerzhinets in the central Ukrainian
          city of Dneprodzerzhynsk and the harassment of its editor-in-chief.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
New York, New York, Wed, March 14, 2007

NEW YORK – The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the
closure of independent weekly Dzerzhinets in the central Ukrainian city
of Dneprodzerzhynsk and the harassment of its editor-in-chief.

Dzerzhinets was closed on January 30, after the Zavodskoi civil district
court convicted the paper of defamation and incitement of religious and
national hatred.

Founder and Editor-in-chief Margarita Zakora said the decision is related to
the paper’s highly critical articles about local businessmen and officials
that revealed corruption in the city.

According to Zakora, authorities have tried to prevent her from launching a
defense or filing an appeal by not informing her of court dates and blocking
her access to case files. Zakora said she received a notice informing her of
an appeal court session scheduled for January 30-three days after it
occurred.

A week before, the same court ordered the seizure of property belonging to
the journalist and the paper, and the payment of 140,660 hryvnias
(US$29,071) in defamation damages to a local police chief for articles
accusing him of corruption and intentionally violating the city’s laws.

This court session was also held without Zakora’s knowledge; she was
informed of the decision January 31, when she found court notices stuck to
her front door.

Authorities have refused Zakora’s appeal, saying the time limit has passed.
Zakora maintains she could not meet the deadline because she received the
court’s notification too late.

“The closure of Dzerzhinets comes at the end of a seriously flawed judicial
process which has denied our colleague Margarita Zakora the right to answer
her accusers,” Executive Director Joel Simon said.

“The paper Dzerzhinets must be allowed to appeal this verdict, which should
be overturned. We also call on local police to investigate the attacks on
Zakora and guarantee her safety.”

On July 12, pornographic cartoons of the journalist were pasted on the walls
of her office building, the local library, and other public places.

Dzerzhinets reporter Nadezhda Kuznetsova also received the cartoons and a
copy of the paper by mail, which she turned over to the local prosecutor’s
office.

On June 17, 2006 an unidentified gunman fired into her apartment window,
days after the paper carried a letter to the editor critical of local
businessmen. Police had opened a criminal investigation, but no arrests were
made.                                               -30-
————————————————————————————————
http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/europe/ukraine14mar07na.html
Committee to Protect Journalists, E-mail: info@cpj.org
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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4.  UKRAINE: REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES 

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  – 2006
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Tue, March 6, 2007

Ukraine, which has a population of slightly less than 47 million, is a
republic with a mixed presidential and parliamentary system, governed by a
directly elected president and a unicameral Verkhovna Rada (parliament) that
selects a prime minister. Verkhovna Rada elections were held on March 26.

According to international observers, fundamental civil and political rights
were respected during the campaign, enabling voters to freely express their
opinions.

The opposition Party of Regions won a plurality of the vote, formed a ruling
coalition, and established a government. Civilian authorities generally
maintained effective control of the security forces.
                   SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS
[1] Problems with the police and the penal system remained some of the

most serious human rights concerns. Problems included torture in pretrial
detention facilities; wrongful confinement in psychiatric hospitals; harsh
conditions in prisons and pretrial detention facilities; and arbitrary and
lengthy pretrial detention.
[2] There was also continued violent hazing of conscripts and government
monitoring of private communications and movements of individuals
without judicial oversight.
[3] Slow restitution of religious property continued.
[4] There was societal violence against Jews and anti-Semitic publications
were a problem.
[5] There were serious incidents of refoulement – the forcible return of
persons to a country where they feared persecution. Refugees were
abused at detention facilities.
[6] Serious corruption in all branches of government and the military
services also continued.
[7] Trends of violence and discrimination against children and women,
including sexual harassment in the workplace and trafficking in persons
remained concerns.
[8] Frequent police and societal harassment of minorities, particularly
Roma and dark-skinned persons, remained a problem.
[9] Violence against dark-skinned persons was a growing problem in
the last half of the year.
[10] Inadequate labor legislation permitted both government and
companies to limit the ability of workers to form and join unions of
their choice and to bargain collectively.

During the year the government made several improvements in its human

rights performance. The elections for the Verkhovna Rada in March
were the freest in the country’s 15 years of independence and the media
continued to consolidate post-Orange Revolution gains in freedom of
speech and expression.                        -30-
————————————————————————————————
For full Ukraine country report, see:
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78846.htm
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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========================================================
5.   NORWEGIAN MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY
  TELENOR CLAIMS TO BE VICTIM OF ‘BLACK PR’ IN UKRAINE

Catherine Belton in London, Roman Olearchyk in Kiev and
David Ibison in Stockholm, The Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Telenor, the Norwegian mobile telecommunications company, has accused
Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa
Group,of running a “black PR” campaign against it in Ukraine.

In documents presented to a US arbitration panel yesterday, Telenor alleged
Altimo had paid Ukrainian journalists to discredit it and hired “false
experts” to undermine it in public, among other things.

The allegations represent a serious escalation in a long-simmering dispute
between the two companies over their shareholdings in Russian mobile
operator Vimpelcom and Ukraine-based Kyivstar.

Altimo responded yesterday with a sharply worded statement saying Telenor
was distributing “forged documents”. Telenor said it received the documents
from a “friendly source”but did not offer further details.

The dispute has spilled onto the streets of Kiev in recent weeks. Numerous
billboards have appeared in prominent places in the capital displaying the
slogan “Norwegians! Respect Ukrainian Laws!”

Telenor sought to escalate the pressure on Altimo further yesterday by
issuing a statement asking if the Russian company’s advisory board backed
the alleged “black PR” campaign.

Members of Altimo’s advisory board include Lord Hurd, former UK
foreign secretary, Sir Roderick Lyne, former British ambassador to Russia
and Sir Julian Horne-Smith, former deputy chief executive of Vodafone.

“The campaign was intended to incriminate the reputation of all Norwegian
citizens in Ukraine,” Telenor said in a statement yesterday.

There had been hopes recently of a rapprochement between the two after
Altimo said it was prepared to swap its 43.5 per cent stake in Kyivstar for
Telenor’s 26.6 per cent stake in Vimpelcom. However, it is understood these
negotiations have now collapsed.

Aside from the “black PR” allegations, Telenoralso filed a complaint
yesterday in the US District Court of New York against Altimo claiming it
was in contempt of an earlier US courtinjunction which banned Altimo from
engaging in further legal action in Kiev while arbitration proceedings
between Altimo and Telenor were ongoing.                  -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/8baf4d70-d1d0-11db-b921-000b5df10621.html
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.    NORWAY’S TELENOR SAYS RUSSIAN FOE ALFA GROUP
                    HAS RUN SMEAR CAMPAIGN IN UKRAINE

By Geoffrey Smith, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MOSCOW — The long-running dispute between Russian conglomerate Alfa

Group and Norway’s telecommunications giant Telenor ASA over their joint
venture in Ukraine escalated yesterday when Telenor accused Alfa of
mounting an elaborate smear campaign in the Ukrainian media.

According to documents prepared for a New York arbitration panel by

Telenor, Altimo, Alfa’s telecom arm, paid more than $86,000 in February
alone for various acts of defamation.

Telenor said these included placing negative articles in the Ukrainian
press, orchestrating bogus “round tables” of public figures condemning
Telenor and Norway in general, and placing banner advertisements on streets
in central Kiev with the message “Norwegians, Respect Ukrainian Law!”

Altimo denied the allegations and accused Telenor of slandering it in turn.
“The forged documents presented [by Telenor] are a routine bad-faith attempt
to disinform society about Altimo’s activities, intended to damage the
business reputation of our company,” it said.

The accusations are the latest move in an acrimonious conflict between
Telenor and Alfa, a vast financial-to-telecom conglomerate controlled by
Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

Both are shareholders in OAO Vimpel Communications, one of Russia’s largest
cellphone operators, and Kyivstar, a Ukrainian mobile provider, and have
been vying for control of the two companies in a struggle marked by multiple
lawsuits and frequent boardroom battles.

Telenor owns 56.5% of Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile-phone operator by
subscribers. Altimo owns the other 43.5% through a subsidiary, Storm.

The two had cooperated for years on developing both Kyivstar and VimpelCom,
in which Alfa holds just under 40%, and Telenor 27%. But relations soured in
recent years as differences over the strategic development of the two
companies became irreconcilable.

Yesterday, Telenor asked a New York court to hold Altimo in contempt for
trying to derail the arbitration of their Kyivstar dispute.

Telenor said Alfa had filed three new suits in Ukrainian courts this year,
aiming to prevent Kyivstar’s 2006 results from being audited. It argued this
violated a December ruling prohibiting Alfa or its subsidiaries from taking
such action.

Telenor started arbitration proceedings with the New York Federal District
Court in February 2006 in response to what it perceived as efforts by Altimo
representatives on the Kyivstar board to block decisions by boycotting board
meetings.

Altimo Vice President Kirill Babayev said in an email the company “fully
respects the New York Federal Court and has never violated any of its
decisions or rulings.” He called Telenor’s accusation “yet another PR stunt”
to distract attention from its legal defeats in the Ukrainian courts.   -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7. PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO TO SCALE DOWN

                        HIS EU AMBITIONS FOR UKRAINE

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, March 15 2007

KIEV – Faced with political gridlock at home, Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s
pro-western president, will today row back on previous calls for speedy
membership of the European Union.

In a speech in Denmark this evening, Mr Yushchenko is set to call for a
fresh start in relations between Kiev and the EU, where opposition towards
the eastward expansion of the bloc has been rising.

“Membership of the European Union remains our ultimate goal, but is not an
end in itself,” Mr Yushchenko said in statement released ahead of the visit.

Ukraine’s desire to meet the criteria for EU membership “is driven primarily
by an internal desire to create a stable, prosperous and democratic
society”, he said.

But he added: “We therefore need to focus on the substance of reform and
integration and not become pre-occupied with the end point. If we get the
substance right, the rest will take care of itself. This will be the basis
for a breakthrough in the Ukraine-EU agenda.”

This evening he is ex-pected to call for the establishment of a special
panel of EU officials that could help steer Kiev towards western standards
of democracy, prosperity and eventual membership within a decade.

The policy shift will be viewed as an attempt by the embattled president to
shed his reputation as a “Euro-romantic” – a charge levelled at Mr
Yushchenko by Viktor Yanukovich, prime minister, who is seen by many as
pursuing pro-Russian policies.

Mr Yanukovich, who lost the 2004 presidential elections to Mr Yushchenko,
made a remarkable comeback last summer, emerging as head of government

after inconclusive elections. Since then the two bitter rivals from the 2004
pro-democracy “Orange Revolution” have been locked in a bitter power
struggle.
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8.     PRESIDENT SAYS UKRAINE’S FOREIGN POLICY

                              PRIORITIES UNCHANGED 

UT1 TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1715 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said that his country’s foreign
policy priorities have not changed despite his differences with the
government because these priorities are clearly set out in the constitution
and do not depend on personalities.

Speaking in a prerecorded interview broadcast by two Ukrainian TV channels
on 14 March, Yushchenko said: “Undoubtedly, the foreign policy priorities of
the nation have not changed. They are stipulated in the constitution.

They are stipulated in the law – in particular, in the law on the main
principles of defence and security policy. These are laws that provide for
our integration into continental policy. And it goes without saying that the
foundations of that policy have no personified nature.”

Yushchenko criticized Finance Minister Mykola Azarov for making public
statements on US plans to deploy elements of a missile defence system in
Central Europe, saying Azarov was not in a position to comment on an issue
clearly outside his remit.

Speaking about the missile defence system, Yushchenko warned against hasty
conclusions. He added that Ukraine should respect its neighbours’ choice.

“It is a state’s right to develop its defence policy or to take integrated
part in the development of defence policy,” Yushchenko said. “Why should
Ukraine judge a nation or people for taking a correct decision, plainly
speaking?

[1] First, we should clearly separate strategic threats from issues of a
regional defence initiative.

[2] Second, we should receive the clearly stated positions of the countries
that will host those means so we could show respect for their interests.
This is quite important. Neither of the countries has given an official
reply, therefore, excuse me, it is not appropriate now in Kiev to stir up
the issue of our attitude.

Frankly, I would like to recommend that no such steps be made on behalf of
the authorities until the stage of negotiations and consultations has been
passed and until this issue has been formally put to consideration and a
formal decision has been taken.”

He defended his choice of foreign minister, Volodymyr Ohryzko, whose
candidacy has been rejected by parliament. Yushchenko described him as a
career diplomat with a good professional record and reputation.

He added: “Why not Ohryzko? It this at variance with the constitution or the
law? Finally, is this in breach of moral, ethical or specialist
requirements? Why not Ohryzko?

The president of Ukraine will never be a source of instability in this
country, but as regards the games being played on the field pertaining
exclusively to the president’s remit, I would like to state once again that
the president will always have a final say on these issues.”

Speaking about negotiations on a new accord with the EU, he said Ukraine is
not insisting on having a specific date for its EU membership, but it wants
the EU to clearly state a European prospect for his country.

“We are not talking about a calendar date,” Yushchenko said. “It is
extremely important for Ukraine to secure something else – a beacon that
determines Ukraine’s European prospect.”

He added: “The main thing for Ukrainians, in my view, is understanding that
the answer as to when Ukraine will be in the European Union largely depends
on ourselves.”

Yushchenko also defended his pro-NATO stance, saying that Ukraine’s
involvement in a collective European security system was a major safeguard
of Ukrainian sovereignty and independence.

“I am an ardent proponent of forming real foundations of Ukrainian national
independence,” he said, suggesting that NATO could provide those.

“What model of security is capable of defending Ukrainian sovereignty in the
best way?” he asked rhetorically, recalling the NATO experience of Ukraine’s
Central European neighbours.

“I am a proponent of a collective model of defence and security in the
interests of both Ukraine and other European countries,” Yushchenko said.
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9. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPEALS TO CURRENT LEADERS TO

PUT UKRAINE INTO THE EU DURING THEIR POLITICAL CAREERS 
  
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Mar 09, 2007

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko appealed to this ex-Soviet republic’s
political parties to do more to ensure that Ukraine makes it into the
European Union during their political careers.

Yushchenko’s call came amid disappointing results in talks with the EU,
which has agreed to work toward closer political and economic ties with the
nation of 47 million, but stopped short of recognizing it as a future
candidate for membership.

Both Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych have declared EU membership a strategic goal – rare common

ground for the often feuding duo who share power.

In the past two weeks, Yanukovych traveled to Berlin and Yushchenko to
Brussels to push for more recognition from the EU; both declared their
visits a success, but returned home without promises of future membership.

“Our national idea is a European Ukraine,” Yushchenko told a crowd of
political supporters as he laid flowers at a monument to the revered
national poet Taras Shevchenko on the 193rd anniversary of his birth.

Yushchenko said he was convinced that Ukraine would join European

structures someday, saying he had “no doubt.”

“But I would very much like for it to be done by this generation of
politicians,” he said. “This is something we must talk about very clearly,
distinctly and constantly.”
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10. EU’S FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF STRESSES NEED FOR POLITICAL
    AND ECONOMIC REFORM IN UKRAINE TO PRODUCE STABILITY

Paul Ames, AP Worldstream, Brussels, Belgium, Mar 08, 2007

BRUSSELS – EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana stressed on Thursday

that political and economic reform in Ukraine are essential for the stability of
the country, where the pro-Western president is locked in a power struggle
with a government led by his Russian-leading rival.

“I hope very much that the process of political reform and economic reform
will continue, that will be very important also for the bilateral relations
with the European Union,” Javier Solana told reporters after meeting with
President Viktor Yushchenko.

The president was forced into a power-sharing arrangement with his rival,
Viktor Yanukovych, who became prime minister after elections last year.

Yanukovych’s coalition has trimmed back Yushchenko’s authority and sought

to counter the president’s strongly pro-Western push in foreign policy.

He has put Ukraine’s move toward NATO membership on hold and forced the
ouster of the pro-Western foreign minister.

Last week, parliament – dominated by Yanukovych’s party – refused to endorse
the president’s new nominee for the post, causing concern in Brussels about
the stability of a neighbor that is becoming increasingly important as a
transit route for Western Europe’s oil and gas supplies from Russia and the
Caspian region.

Solana said the EU wanted to deepen relations with Ukraine but stressed, “we
would like to see the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian political
structures to be as stable as possible and as constructive as possible.”

Ukraine and the EU launched negotiations on Monday for an agreement to
cement closer economic and political ties, but upset Yushchenko’s supporters
by stopping short of the former Soviet republic’s appeals to be recognized
as a candidate for membership in the European bloc.

Yushchenko said he hoped that position might evolve during the negotiations.
He was in Brussels to attend a meeting of center-right political leaders
from across Europe ahead of an EU summit focusing on the environment and
energy security.

Ukraine is a key transit country for oil and gas supplies to the EU from
Russia, and the EU is keen to develop further links to alternative fuel
suppliers around the Caspian Sea to help reduce the bloc’s dependence on
imports from Russia.

The EU is hoping Ukraine will agree to extend a 670-kilometer (410-mile)
pipeline from Odessa on the Black Sea to a Polish refinery in the city of
Plock so it can bring Caspian oil to the west. However officials from
Yanukovych’s government have expressed doubts about the project.

On a visit to Poland on Wednesday, Yushchenko said the pipeline project was
“one of the biggest projects discussed in Eastern Europe,” and a big chance
for Ukraine to develop economically and increase its position in Europe.

The EU on Wednesday announced a A494 million (US$647 million) aid

package for Ukraine over the next four years, substantially increasing annual
assistance.

The assistance will focus on strengthening “good governance and democratic
institutions, bringing Ukrainian legislation and standards closer to those
of the EU and supporting cooperation in key sectors such as energy,
transport and the environment,” the EU said in a statement.    -30-

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11. MAJORITY OF UKRAINIANS AGAINST JOINING NATO

Interfax-AVN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

KYIV –  The majority of Ukrainians are against their country’s
proposed entry to NATO, with the number of those opposed
up 4.1% in the past six months, General Director of FOM-Ukraine
Oleksandr Bukhalov told a news conference at the Interfax-Ukraine
headquarters in Kyiv on Monday.

According to FOM-Ukraine polls, the proportion of the population
opposed to Ukraine joining NATO grew to 64.1% in February, up
from 61.8% in November and from 60% in August, he said.

The proportion of those wishing Ukraine to join NATO was 19.1%
in February, up from 17.8% in November, but down from 19.2% in
August, he said.

The percentage of those undecided fell to 14.3% in February from
18.7% in August.

The proportion of those who want Ukraine to stay out of any military
alliance fell to 45.9% in February, down from 50% in August, and the
proportion of those taking the opposite view rose to 29.4% from
23.8% over the same period.

The company polled 2,000 people older than 18 in 160 cities, towns
and villages and said the margin of error was 2.2%.         -30-

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12.  UKRAINIAN FOOD SECTOR FIRM KREATIW WILL DEBUT
        ON WARSAW STOCK EXCHANGE BEFORE END OF JUNE

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Mar 15, 2007

WARSAW – A further two foreign companies will debut on the Warsaw Stock
Exchange (WSE) in the first half of the year, said the WSE president Ludwik
Sobolewski.

“Orco is close to its debut. A Ukrainian firm from the food sector Kreatiw
is working on its prospectus as well. Its offering should be conducted by
the end of June,” Sobolewski said.

Orco Property Group, a property developer registered in Luxembourg, wants to
acquire at least EUR100m from shares it will offer in Warsaw and Budapest.
The company is listed in Paris and Prague already. Its capitalisation
currently amounts to around EUR1bn.

According to Sobolewski, at least sixty companies could make their debuts on
the WSE this year, compared to thirty-eight in 2006. The WSE is actively
looking for firms willing to enter the Polish capital market abroad.

It is currently taking part in the Poland Expo Kazakhstan 2007 fair, which
is an opportunity to talk to representatives of seventy Kazakh companies.

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13. FRENCH RETAIL GIANT SIGNS AGREEMENT IN UKRAINE WITH
       THE COUNTRY’S SECOND LARGEST SUPERMARKET GROUP

By A. Bo., Les Echos, France, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

FRANCE – French retail giant Auchan yesterday announced a triple partnership
agreement in Ukraine with Furshet, the country’s second largest supermarket
group. First, it will acquire a 20 per cent stake in Furshet, and then the
pair will set up two separate companies.

One will be charged with developing the Auchan brand in Ukraine, while the
other will develop shopping centres based around hypermarkets. Learning from
its mistakes in Morocco, Auchan will have respective controlling stakes of
66 and 50 per cent in these two companies.

Furshet turned over approximately 370m euros last year, an increase of 41
per cent on 2005. Its founder, Igor Balenko, will remain at the helm.  -30-

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14. UKRAINE SHOULD RAISE ITS DOMESTIC ENERGY PRICES
    TO HELP MAINTAIN ITS INFRASTRUCTURES SAYS THE IEA

AFX Europe (Focus), London, UK, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

LONDON – Ukraine should raise its domestic energy prices to help maintain
its infrastructure, primarily the crucial pipeline that links Russia with
western Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

“The leverage Ukraine has on transit is weakening,” the IEA’s executive
director Claude Mandil told delegates at a ‘Ukrainian Energy Summit’
conference in London.

Ukraine plays a major role in securing Europe’s energy needs, taking more
than 80 pct of cheap Russian gas supplies to Europe via pipeline. It also
hosts major oil transit routes.

Mandil suggested Ukraine, which he noted was the “most energy intensive
country in the world,” should raise internal prices in order to improve
transit infrastructure.

Prices are so low in the gas, coal, electricity and heating sectors that
maintenance costs are not even covered. “The only sector where prices

cover costs is in oil and oil products,” he explained.

Despite some rises, low tariffs are also plaguing the industry as they lead
to a shortage of investment, said the official. Further, low tariffs run the
risk of re-nationalisation, as the government would be able to buy back
companies it sold off, which could hinder competition.

Mandil also urged Ukraine to focus on transparency issues, as data from

the Eastern European country is questionable.
He said some of Ukraine’s energy data is “extremely poor,” and there is
“huge scope for improvement,” in setting market regulations.

However, a Ukrainian consultancy — Troika — said domestic utility tariffs
surged 87 pct year-on-year in 2006, as the government adjusted them to
higher gas prices.                                  -30-

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15. UKRAINE’S UKRGAZENERGO IN TALKS FOR $1.3 BILLION
          IN LOANS AND ABOUT  BUYING FOREIGN ASSETS

MarketWatch, London, UK, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LONDON – Ukraine’s CJSC Ukrgazenergo is in talks with Western banks
to raise $1.3 billion in loans and is also in discussions to acquire power-
generation assets in countries to the southwest of the former Soviet
republic,
the company’s chairman said Tuesday.

Ukrgazenergo, a natural gas distribution company, is a 50-50 joint venture
between Ukrainian state utility Naftogaz and RosUkrEnergo AG. RosUkrEnergo,
a joint-venture between OAO Gazprom and businessman Dmitry Firtash, has a
monopoly on the sale of gas to Ukraine following a controversial agreement
in early 2006.

Speaking in an interview, Ukrgazenergo Chairman Igor Voronin said the $1.3
billion in loans would finance the acquisition of 10 billion cubic meters of
gas for storage to face a peak of consumption during the year.

In the interview, he said the company was in talks with Credit Suisse Group,
ABN Amro Holding NV , Morgan Stanley, WestLB AG, Raiffeisen and Merrill
Lynch.

Some $400 million in loans last year was raised with OTP Bank Rt.,
Raiffeisen and Alfa Bank, he added.

Voronin also said the company is in talks to acquire power-generation
infrastructure both in Ukraine and abroad, seeking to seize opportunities on
“undervalued” assets.

He said assets bought abroad wouldn’t use any of its gas. The chairman said
the company is buying its gas at $130 per 1,000 cubic meters and selling it
at $140. After general expenses, taxes and interests on its debt, it still
generates a small profit, he said.

In a statement distributed to the press Tuesday, Ukrgazenergo said it
generated UAH1.01 billion (UAH1=$0.2) in earnings before tax for 2006 on
revenue of about UAH16.8 billion.

For 2007, the company is contracted to import a minimum of 55 billion cubic
meters and could buy up to 62 billion cubic meters, which compares with 34
billion cubic meters last year.

The RosUkrEnergo agreement giving it the monopoly of gas imports to Ukraine
has been criticized for its opacity. But Voronin said the accusations
“suggesting corruption or criminal behavior … have no basis.”

“Nobody can give an example in how (the agreement) is not transparent,” he
said, insisting the terms of the contracts have been disclosed.

Voronin said his own company, Ukrgazenergo, expects to pay the equivalent

of $2 billion in taxes to the Ukrainian government in 2007, or 10% of the
national budget, compared to $800 million, or 3% of the national budget, in
2006.

Asked if he was concerned that Gazprom could decide to sell directly to
Ukrainian customers, Ukrgazenergo’s Chairman said “Why? Do they want to sell
cheaper? I am sure Gazprom understands the various problems of bilateral
Russian-Ukrainian relations,” he added.                    -30-
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http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/ukraines-ukrgazenergo-talks-13-bln/story.aspx?guid=%7B18880AC3%2D2D63%2D494B%2D898C%2DC2FB3C3C1C32%7D&dist=rss&siteid=mktw

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16. SLOVAK-UKRAINIAN BORDER TO MEET EU CONDITIONS 

Czech News Agency, Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

BRATISLAVA – Slovakia will meet the EU conditions concerning its border

with Ukraine by June, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak told journalists today.
“We do not accept any variant other than that we will be prepared (in
June),” Kalinak said.

The Slovak-Ukrainian border is to become an external border of the broadened
Schengen area as of next year. A EU assessment commission will arrive in
Slovakia in late June to check the security of the border with Ukraine.

The government of PM Robert Fico today agreed on an action plan according

to which Slovakia would join the Schengen area.

Kalinak said the plan was a reaction to last year’s critical comments about
Slovakia not being sufficiently prepared for Schengen. Kalinak said that a
new Slovak-Ukrainian border crossing in Vysne Nemecke would be opened

by June.

However, first EU commission will come to Slovakia in late March to assess
the country’s preparedness in the area of personal data protection. In
September, the commission is to check the protection of Slovak air borders.

Originally, Slovakia and other countries that joined the EU in 2004 were to
join the new police database, the Schengen information system, called SIS
II.

However, in view of the delay in the development of SIS II Portugal’s
proposal was finally approved to expand the operating SIS I database to
include the new EU countries.                             -30-
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17.    UKRAINE FINALLY OPEN FOR MEAT IMPORTS FROM
    POLAND BUT EXPORTING TO UKRAINE IS UNPROFITABLE

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, March 11, 2007

WARSAW – After months of difficult negotiations with Ukraine, the

embargo on Polish meat has been lifted. However, for most Polish meat
producers exporting to Ukraine is unprofitable.

“Hardly anybody exports. Some companies try to form business contacts, but
exporting is unprofitable at the moment,” said Witold Choinski, head of the
Association of Meat Producers, Exporters and Importers.

Depending on the product, the duty ranges from 0.6 to 0.8 percent of the
price plus EUR1 per kilo. However, it cannot be lower than 10 percent. “We
are now checking whether other countries are obliged to pay the same rates,”
said Choinski. The entrepreneurs suspect that the meat from Germany may be
transported to Ukraine via Russia.

The rates would have to fall by at least 50 percent with slightly higher
prices if exports were to be profitable. “We are still negotiating, hoping
that something may change. So far, we have exported successfully to South
Korea, Japan and Hongkong,” said Maciej Duda from PKM Duda.

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18. U.S. GENERAL IN UKRAINE SAYS MISSILE DEFENSE SITES
    IN EASTERN EUROPE USELESS AGAINST RUSSIA’S ARSENAL 
 

Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

KIEV – A senior U.S. general said Wednesday that the Pentagon’s planned
missile defense system in Europe would be useless against Russia’s vast
arsenal of warheads, and expressed hope that Moscow’s opposition to the
initiative would eventually soften.

Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, spoke
during a two-day visit to Ukraine to explain U.S. plans to put a radar
system in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor site in Poland to
guard against potential attacks from Iran, a project that has angered Russia
and received a mixed reaction in this ex-Soviet republic.

“We are talking about no more than 10 interceptors,” Obering told
journalists. “They would have no effect against hundreds of missiles and
thousands of warheads that the Russians have. … They are not even in a
proper position if we were concerned about Russian missiles.”

Pro-Russian protesters interrupted a news briefing by Obering, chanting:
“Yankee, go home” until they were forcibly dragged out by security guards.

“I’m very glad to see that democracy is alive and well” in Ukraine, Obering
said after the brief disruption. Asked if he’d seen such opposition anywhere
else, he quipped: “Only in my own country.”

There are no plans to put any part of the missile defense system in Ukraine
– a move that would enrage Russia – but U.S. officials have said that
Ukrainian industry might be invited to cooperate on the military project.

Ukraine’s pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko has strongly hinted that
he backs the plan, saying that it would help create a unified defense system
for Europe. “We are talking about Ukraine’s solidarity with countries that
are developing a defense policy. It’s not a policy of conflict,”

Yushchenko later told Ukraine’s ICTV and state television in an interview.
“Why should Ukraine condemn a nation for taking the right decision?”

But the more Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych warned that
deploying such a system near Ukraine’s western borders could harm Ukraine’s
relations with its neighbors.

Under the constitution, the president controls foreign policy, but
Yanukovych has taken a bigger role in all foreign policy decisions.
Ukraine’s government has said it would only give a formal opinion after it
learns more.

A major concern has been the potential for missile or interceptor components
to land on Ukrainian territory, causing injuries here.

Obering said the interception process releases a “tremendous amount of
energy .. destroying almost the entire warhead and interceptor. That is why
we want to use this ‘hit to kill’ technology.”

He said that an Iranian missile could fly over Ukrainian or Russian
territory, but that debris from a destroyed missile “will not fall on
Ukraine or Russian territory.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he does not trust U.S. claims that
the missile defense sites were targeted at a potential Iranian missile
threat and has warned that Moscow could be forced to take countermeasures.

Obering said that Russia has been invited to visit interceptor sites in the
United States, and if the host European countries agreed, “we would extend
that invitation to those sites in Europe.”

“I hope that our ongoing engagement with the Russians will hopefully
mitigate some of their concerns,” he said. “They will be understanding that
these sites in no way represent a threat to them.”

Obering said the missile plan also includes a mobile radar site that would
have to be located closer to Iran, but he said because the defense system
wouldn’t be operational for another four to five years, there is time to
decide where to locate that.

He said that no countries in the Caucasus – three ex-Soviet republics in
which Russia and the West are vying for influence – had been asked to
participate.                                      -30-
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19.   RUSSIAN SENATORS SLAM UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FOR
 WELCOMING U.S. MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM IN EAST EUROPE

Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1610 gmt 13 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Mar 13, 2007

MOSCOW – The leadership of the Federation Council Defence and Security
Committee is critical of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s statement
supporting the deployment of sections of the US missile defence system in
the Czech Republic and Poland.

“The creation in Poland and the Czech republic of US bases of the missile
defence system does not promote peace or enhance security in Europe, not to
mention the development of good-neighbourly relations.

This is obvious to any unbiased military expert,” Vasiliy Klyuchenok, first
deputy chairman of the Federation Council Defence and Security Committee,
told Interfax-AVN today.

In his view, “the creation throughout the world of US bases of the missile
defence system meets US aspirations to achieving global superiority”.

“Under the cover of fighting terrorism and ensuring protection against
nonexistent missile threats, the USA is doing all that it can to ensure its
absolute dominance in the world. And it is a great pity that such a simple
truth is not perceived by the leaders of some neighbouring counties of
ours,” Klyuchenok said.

Another deputy chairman of the upper house’s Defence and Security Committee,
Adm Vyacheslav Popov, described Viktor Yushchenko’s statement as
“counterproductive and short-sighted”.

“Today’s statement by the Ukrainian president supporting proposals to
station parts of the US missile defence system in the Czech Republic and
Poland shows that Yushchenko personally, in order to please the USA, is
ready to support any initiative by Washington,” Popov said.

The senator emphasized that “the statement shows that the Ukrainian
president is still taking its lead from the aggressive US foreign policy and
is ready to support any US initiatives”.

“I would not be surprised if Yushchenko wanted to see components of the
third positioning area of the missile defence system in Ukraine too. But he
will hardly get support from the Ukrainian people,” Vyacheslav Popov said.

“The USA has always pursued, above all, its own imperial interest and it
does not care about the interests of Ukraine. It has simply used, once
again, the voice of the Ukrainian president to achieve its goals in the
confrontation with Russia,” he said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said today that the deployment of
parts of the US missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland
would meet the interests of entire Europe.

“If the interests of each country are protected, if we have a means of
defence, then the interests of peaceful coexistence will only win from
this,” he told the Vesti-24 TV channel.                    -30-

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20. UKRAINE IS BEING READIED FOR WAR WITH RUSSIA
             Ukraine’s military technology integration into NATO has begun
     Americans want Ukraine to join NATO and host missile defense elements

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Yadukha
RBC Daily, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko joined in Europe’s
arguments over missile defense yesterday – siding with Washington,
of course. Yushchenko became the second politician (after Czech
lawmaker Liubomir Zaoralec) to effectively admit that the US missile
defense shield in Eastern Europe is meant for a war with Russia.

Yushchenko let this be understood in an interview with
EuroNews, placing the missile defense system in the context of US-
Russian relations: “In order to talk clearly about this issue, we
should take a stand based on Ukraine’s national interests. The
answer to this question can be formulated in two dimensions.

Firstly, American-Russian bilateral relations, which I don’t wish to
comment on at present. And then there are issues of a European
nature – a collective nature, I would say.” Yushchenko called on
Western Europe to set aside its doubts and follow the Czech Republic
and Poland in closing ranks beneath Washington’s anti-missile
umbrella. In commenting on Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s
negative reaction to the deployment of missile defense elements in
Europe, Yushchenko described it as “sending the wrong message.”

It’s worth noting a recent statement made by NATO Secretary-
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, concerning deployment of tactical
missiles in south-eastern Europe, which allegedly isn’t covered by
the Czech-Polish missile shield. Experts believe that these missiles
may be installed in Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. But Scheffer
didn’t specify a timeframe. Meanwhile, the US House of
Representatives voted on March 7 to pass a bill in support of NATO
membership for a number of countries, including Georgia and Ukraine.

The question of Georgia is already settled: there’s talk of
membership in 2009. Ukraine’s membership, as Scheffer noted in
February, is also planned for 2009 – but everything depends on the
endurance of Yanukovych, with the United States backing the
Yushchenko-Tymoshenko alliance to oppose him. Although Yanukovych
controls the economy, he is clearly losing on the media front. The
Orange forces are hoping to get his Cabinet dismissed by May.

Yushchenko dismissed his advisor, Yuri Lutsenko, yesterday in order
to give him time to organize anti-government demonstrations in May.
Lutsenko has already established the People’s Self-Defense
organization for that purpose.

If Yanukovych is dismissed, Ukraine’s accession to NATO in 2009
would become more than likely – and so would the prospect of Ukraine
hosting American missile defense elements. Some American missile
defense experts arrived in Ukraine yesterday. The delegation is led
by Henry Obering, head of the US Missile Defense Agency.

 
The official purpose of the visit is to inform Ukrainian leaders of
plans concerning the Czech Republic and Poland. For some reason,
however, the Americans will mostly be meeting with Ukrainian Defense
Ministry generals, who already support all US and NATO proposals.

Obering’s delegation includes his deputy, Patrick O’Reilly, who
recently spoke of Ukraine and the Trans-Caucasus being included in
the American missile defense zone.

Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petr Simonenko: “I think the
American delegation is made up of monitors and inspectors. They
won’t be explaining the missile defense deployment plans for Europe.

They will be checking Ukraine’s compliance with terms set in secret
agreements with the United States. This strategy is aimed at 2008-
09.” Soviet-era missile attack warning stations at Mukachevo and
Sevastopol in Ukraine may be converted to American missile defense
elements in future. (Translated by Elena Leonova)

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LINK: http://www.rbcdaily.ru/
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21.                    PENTAGON HEADS FOR KIEV
                    US Primes Europe for Missile Defense System

COMMENTARY: By Nikolai Filchenko
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yesterday an American delegation headed by US Ballistic Missile Defense
Agency director Lieutenant General Henry Obering arrived in Kiev, where the
Pentagon’s representatives and the Ukrainian authorities were due to discuss
plans to expand America’s ballistic missile defense system into Poland and
the Czech Republic.

In the face of the increasing number of opponents that the idea is facing,
including much of Western Europe, Washington has clearly decided to
attempt to placate the naysayers by sending General Obering in to do some
explaining.

The Pentagon delegation’s visit to Ukraine was organized on the initiative
of the American side. In Kiev, the meetings lasted from early in the morning
until late in the evening and included talks with Defense Minister Vitaly
Gaiduk, presidential advisor Vladimir Gorbulin, deputies from the Upper Rada
(the Ukrainian parliament), and representatives from the Ukrainian Foreign
Ministry.

On the request of the Americans, the meetings were held behind closed doors,
with General Obering appearing in public only at a final press conference to
discuss what brought him to Kiev and the talks that he had with Ukrainian
military and government officials.

According to General Obering, the American anti-missile facilities that may
soon be installed in Poland and the Czech Republic are necessary only to
neutralize the threats posed by Iran and North Korea. He insisted that these
facilities are not a threat to Russia and that the US has no plans to
establish a similar system in Ukraine or the countries of the Caucasus.

“We are talking about no more than ten interceptors,” Obering assured
journalists, adding, ”They would have no effect against the hundreds of
missiles and thousands of warheads that the Russians have. .They are not
even in the proper position if we were concerned about Russian missiles.”

General Obering’s placatory speech was briefly interrupted by four activists
from the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU), who chanted “Yankee,
go home” and waved banners featuring anti-NATO and anti-American slogans
before being subdued by security guards and ejected from the room.

Several journalists were briefly involved in the scuffle, as was Ukrainian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Deshchetsa, who managed to rip a banner
from the hands of one of the protestors.

In response to the incident, General Obering observed, “I am very glad to
see that democracy is alive and well” in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a demonstration was taking place on the street outside the
building, where about 50 PSPU activists chanted “We’re not Yankees, we’re
Slavs, and our brothers are the Russians” and carried signs reading “No to
American missile defenses in Europe,” “No to pro-NATO plans in Ukraine,”
and “Ukraine against NATO.”

The antics of the PSPU activists were unlikely to puncture the mood for
Washington’s emissaries, who were being handled with utmost care by
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

Eager to make General Obering feel welcome in Kiev, President Yushchenko
argued in an interview with Euronews the day before the American delegation
arrived that the idea of Poland and the Czech Republic hosting elements of
the US missile defense shield in is in Europe’s best interest.

“We are talking about the installation of components that are defensive in
nature and that will serve the interests not only of Poland and the Czech
Republic but of Europe as a whole,” he said, adding that “the development of
a collective model is always better than the development of a bipolar system
of confrontation.”

Mr. Yushchenko’s sanguine outlook is not shared by Ukrainian Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych, who has long criticized Washington’s plans to expand the
shield in Europe, but the prime minister’s opposition gave the president no
pause. President Yushchenko dismissed Mr. Yanukovych’s fears, calling his
position an incorrect signal.

“My main point is this: Europeans should rest assured that not a single
democratic victory of the Orange Revolution will be ceded or ruined,”
promised the president.

Incidentally, there were some signs of rapport between Yushchenko and
Yanukovych yesterday that could facilitate the hammering out of a unified
position for Kiev on the issue of the missile defense system: during a
meeting yesterday evening, the two Ukrainian leaders finally agreed on a
candidate for foreign minister, a question on which Viktor Yanukovych has
been stonewalling all progress for the past several months.

This is a positive signal for the West, which has been quietly confused
about whom to carry on talks with, given that Ukraine’s two leaders hold
diametrically-opposed opinions on foreign policy.

“The visit by the Americans is an overture. Their plan is to at least test
the waters, to find out how the Ukrainian elite feels about the missile
defense system and to try to make sure that it does not come out against
[the system].

They need the Ukrainians to not destroy Eastern European solidarity on this
question,” said Vadim Karasev, the director of the Kiev Institute of Global
Strategy. “Right now the Ukrainian military is not unanimously opposed to
the missile shield, and that is significant,” he noted.

Henry Obering has every reason to believe that his visit to Kiev yesterday
was successful. Today General Obering heads for Germany, whose leadership
has been increasingly critical of the American plan to put its missile
shield in Eastern Europe without consulting all interested parties.

Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel maintained that Washington should
take Russia’s opinion on the matter into account and mentioned that she
plans to bring up the subject during her visit to Warsaw on March 16-17: “I
think that we will discuss it there. .We, and I will say this in Poland,
prefer a solution within NATO and also an open discussion with Russia about
it.”

During his visit to Germany, General Obering plans to hold discussions with
German military officials and politicians similar to his talks with the
Ukrainian authorities, and he is sure to push Ukraine’s cautiously positive
outlook on the shield in hopes of convincing his German colleagues that
Washington’s plans involving Poland and the Czech Republic will not rupture
relations with Russia.                                 -30-
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LINK: http://www.kommersant.com/p749972/US_Ukraine/
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22.                 THE CIS CHAMPION OF DEMOCRACY
               Ukraine Walks the Tightrope between Moscow and the West

POINT OF VIEW: By Gennady Sysoyev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Ukraine authorities had to have guessed that the visit to Ukraine by
General Henry Obering, the head of the US Ballistic Missile Defense Agency,
would provoke at least some level of annoyance in Russia.

Moreover, taking into account that the general arrived in Kiev at the height
of a Russian-American war of words concerning the expansion of America’s
missile defense system into Poland and the Czech Republic, the fact that
Kiev not only allowed the overseer of the US missile defense system to visit
but even received him at a fairly high level of government was very annoying
indeed for Russia.

The actions of the Ukrainian authorities do have a certain logic of their
own: the ballyhoo surrounding the question of the expansion of the American
missile defense system in Europe gives Kiev a chance to stake out its own
foreign policy course, the idea of which boils down to a balancing act
between Moscow and the West.

Such a course was successfully charted by former Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma, who flirted with the West right up to a discussion of the advantages
for Ukraine of joining NATO, while all the while throwing adoring glances
over his shoulder at Russia.

This strategy brought more than a few dividends both for Mr. Kuchma
personally, who managed to stay at the top of the political heap, and for
Ukraine as a whole, which received cheap oil and gas from Russia while
simultaneously building a relationship with the EU and NATO.

After the triumph of the Orange Revolution in December 2004 and the coming
to power of the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko duo, Ukrainian foreign policy
began to list sharply in the direction of the West.

Eventually, however, the trend proved to be short-lived, and all Ukraine got
out of it was the title of “CIS Champion of Democracy” and a gas war with
Russia.

The political pendulum in Ukraine is now swinging in the opposite direction.
Last spring Viktor Yanukovych, who since 2004 has reliably worn the label of
“pro-Moscow politician,” triumphantly returned to power when his party won
the parliamentary elections. Since then, observers both in Ukraine and
abroad have been talking about Kiev’s return to the bosom of Russia.

At the same time, however, both the “pro-Western” Yushchenko and the
“pro-Russian” Yanukovych understand that orienting themselves only towards
the East or towards the West is ultimately not beneficial either for
themselves or for their country, where each of them considers himself the
key figure.

Thus, immediately after assuming the position of prime minister, Viktor
Yanukovych conveniently forgot about his solemn pre-election oath to make
Russian the country’s second official language.

Then, during a visit to Brussels in September, he attempted to push through
EU financing for the construction of a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from
Azerbaijan to Western Europe that would bypass Russia entirely.

During his December trip to the US, he promised not to sell Ukraine’s gas
pipeline network to Moscow and lobbied for his country to join the WTO
before Russia.

Meanwhile, Viktor Yushchenko got busy making overtures to Russia by firing
his vehemently anti-Russian foreign minister, Boris Tarasyuk, and preparing
for an official visit to Russia.

So no matter who eventually becomes the top dog in Ukrainian politics, the
victor will unavoidably have to strive to balance his interests between
Russia and the West based on the price that they have to offer for various
concessions that Kiev could make. The American missile defense system will
raise the stakes to tempting heights.                         -30-
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http://www.kommersant.com/p749942/r_520/Ukraine_Russia_US/
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23.             WHY IS UKRAINE FIGHTING RUSSIA?
 
    Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine of the 1930s, which
       it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian people.

OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Zakhar Vinogradov
RIA Novosti Commentator in Kiev
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 11, 2007

MOSCOW – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has once again
surprised Russia and other countries.

He recently unveiled a monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, signed several intergovernmental agreements
there, and announced his intention to establish a museum of the Soviet
occupation of Ukraine, like the one he visited in Tbilisi together with his
friend, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, and those in several Baltic
countries.

As usual, the Ukrainian and Georgian presidents said cynically that they
had nothing against Russia, and that the museums were only proof of their
countries’ respect for their past, for the elder generation victimized by
the Soviet regime.

Neither leader explained how they would separate the victimized Ukrainians
and Georgians from the Ukrainian and Georgian occupiers.

The picture has been complicated by the fact that millions of those who had
been considered occupiers one day became victims of Stalin’s regime the
day after.

The truth is that these official speeches are poor camouflage for ordinary
Russophobia.

Attempts at political correctness made by Yushchenko and Saakashvili did
not sufficiently hide their anti-Russian sentiments. It is clear to everyone
that they have become friends because they hate Russia.

Yushchenko’s stance in this historical confrontation looks more vulnerable
and less consistent than the position of Saakashvili.

Under its current president, Ukraine is moving further away from its
neighbor and partner, Russia, contrary to economic logic and common
sense.

Some two months ago, Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine

of the 1930s, which it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the
Ukrainian people.

These are the methods used by Yushchenko and his ideological comrades
to consolidate Ukraine.

Unfortunately, they are uniting the country not to tackle issues of social
and economic development of interest to both the eastern (pro-Russian)

and western (anti-Russian) parts of Ukraine, but to focus its attention on
negative issues, hunt down witches and stir up ghosts.

By doing this, Yushchenko is creating more problems for himself. Ukraine’s
parliament expressed its outrage at the famine in Ukraine in the 1930s, but
completely overlooked the hunger in Belarus and Russia.

Moreover, Ukrainian leaders are pretending not to remember that the famine
happened because of the policies pursued by Stalin, a Georgian by
nationality, and unnamed leaders of Ukraine.

In principle, the Ukrainian elite knows very well that its pseudo-historical
stand is vulnerable. But it is using it to hide its anti-Russian policies.

Russia, busy with its gas and oil projects, has chosen to disregard the new
ideological studies of its neighbors.

Its parliament seems not to notice the ideological tumor spreading through
the Commonwealth of Independent States, an ailing but still alive
organization bringing together 11 former Soviet republics.

As all of us who belong to the older generation were told in Soviet
universities, the viability of the superstructure depends on the foundation,
that is, on economic relations. Unfortunately, the superstructure (ideology)
is being turned into the foundation in some ex-Soviet countries.

Russia and Ukraine have more things uniting them than pushing them apart
economically. These ties do not just include Russian oil and gas supplied to
Ukraine, which it delivers to Europe. This makes our countries natural and
indivisible partners.

But the main thing is that Russians and Ukrainians have a common history,
which was both good and bad, and a common culture, which they
developed over centuries. And lastly, many Russian and Ukrainian families
are interrelated.

But Ukrainian politicians’ ideological confrontations with Russia, and
Russia’s apathy towards the issue, are making their people hostages to a
war against the ghosts of the past.

This is a perfect background for some Ukrainian political analysts, who
write in the press about choosing a specifically Ukrainian path towards
Europe, in the name of which Russia, once the closest and friendliest of
neighbors, is termed “the country of Russian imperialism.” They seem to
believe that if they want to become part of Europe, they should attack
Russia.

A top official in Yushchenko’s administration recently told me that Ukraine
can become not only a gas transit but also a political corridor between
Russia and Western Europe.

This is a disputable idea, for Russia does not need intermediaries, but it
is quite new for Ukraine. Maybe Ukraine should use the available
foundation to rebuild its ideological superstructure of confrontation with
Russia into that of real partnership.

This idea has also been supported in the European Union, which Ukraine
wants to join so much.

Justas Paleckis, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament who
attended meetings of the Ukraine-EU inter-parliamentary cooperation
committee, told the Ukrainian daily Den: “The main thing for Ukraine is to
have good relations with Russia. The European Union does not need
countries that have problems with their neighbors.”

Therefore, the war against the ghosts of the past is useless and even
harmful to Ukraine.

In the meantime, Yushchenko will be building his museum of Soviet
occupation, and maybe some time soon U.S. anti-ballistic missile
systems will be deployed near it. After all, what could be better than a
good neighbor?                                   -30-
——————————————————————————————-
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070309/61773609.html

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24.                 THE ORANGE ON THE OFFENSIVE
             The opposition provokes a parliamentary crisis in Ukraine

COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Solovyev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Yulia Timoshenko Bloc and pro-presidential Our Ukraine factions declared
a boycott of sessions of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada yesterday. The Orange
forces are threatening not to return until the government of Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovich meets their demands.

If the opposition does not fall victim to infighting and is able to continue
it offensive against Yanukovich, it will have a real chance of forcing early
parliamentary elections.

A real parliamentary crisis threatens in Ukraine, a year after parliamentary
elections. It was initiated by the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine,
which agreed on February 24 to force the Yanukovich government out of office
and to hold early parliamentary elections.

More than 200 opposition members of parliament walked out of the parliament
yesterday and announced that they would not return to the Rada sessions.

Spokesmen for the two main Orange parties said that the radical step was
made necessary by the prime minister’s refusal to listen to the opposition’s
demands.

They were referring to a 17-item ultimatum signed recently by Yulia
Timoshenko and Our Ukraine faction leader Vyacheslav Kirilenko in the
presence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and handed over to the
“anticrisis coalition” (a union of Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions, the
Socialist Party and the Communist Party).

The most radical demands by the opposition are:

   [1] the denunciation of the agreement for Ukraine’s entry into a
        single economic space with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan;
   [2] guaranteeing the president a key role in foreign policy;
   [3] dismissal of Interior Minister Vasily Tsushko and Prosecutor
        General Alexander Medvedko;
   [4] transfer of control over the internal forces from the Interior
        Ministry directly to the president; and
   [5] dissolving the contract with RosUkrEnergo in favor of direct
        agreements on natural gas supplies with Russia, Uzbekistan
        and Kazakhstan.

That was not the limit of the Orange appetite, however. The Timoshenko Bloc
and Our Ukraine hold that constitutional reform has led the country into
constitutional crisis and are, therefore, demanding that a commission be
formed to develop new changes to the country’s basic law.

In addition, they are urging Yanukovich and his associates to stop their
offensive against the Ukrainian language and to settle the crisis brought on
by growing utilities fees.

It would appear that the opposition was expecting from the beginning that
its demands would not be met. That is why they announced in advance that
there would be a parliamentary boycott if the anticrisis coalition did not
meet their demands.

Yanukovich met their expectations. He called their ultimatum “political
pandering” and “populism.” “That is the nature of their team,” Yanukovich
stated as he made it clear that he would not take heed of their demands.

“They have one goal: to receive power beyond the bounds of Ukrainian
legislation. They show their attitude toward the law at the same time. It is
nothing new for us.”

That was a call to action for the Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine. On the
command of the faction leaders, members of the factions gathered up their
things and walked out of the Supreme Rada. Yulia Timoshenko stated that the
parliamentarians would not return until the anticrisis coalition paid
attention to their demands.

“Today, everything is being dome to turn the parliament into a rubberstamp
machine that works only for the Viktor Yanukovich team. They want to draw
attention away from the constitutional crisis by offering the citizens draft
laws that do not in fact solve the problems.

They plan to throw the citizens a bone and make believe that all the issues
are settled,” Timoshenko stated, promising that “the band that is in power
in Ukraine will not rule.”

The mass Orange exodus from the parliament did not shut it down completely.
The anticrisis coalition controls 240 of 450 seats, which will allow it to
pass any law except constitutional amendments.

But it is not enough for the ruling majority to feel comfortable. Yushchenko
has already promised Timoshenko that he will veto any laws that do not suit
the united opposition.

Timoshenko has Yanukovich in a difficult position. Any decision that the
prime minister may put to the parliament can be blocked by the president at
the demand of the Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine. To overcome a
presidential veto, 300 votes are needed, which the anticrisis coalition does
not have.

Earlier, the ruling coalition had made behind-the-scenes agreements with the
Timoshenko Bloc to gather the votes to override vetoes, as occurred on
January 12 of this year, when Yushchenko’s veto of a law on the cabinet of
ministers was overridden with 366 votes. Now there is no one to make an
agreement with in the half-empty auditorium, and that means that all
legislation is under threat.

Yanukovich supporters are looking frantically for a way out of the
situation. Yesterday, one of the coalition leaders, speaker of the
parliament Alexander Moroz, stated openly that a constitutional majority may
be achieved with refugees from the Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine who
are dissatisfied with their leaders’ actions.

“When I talk about 300 people who will united with us, I have in mind the
sensible people who are tired of destructiveness and conflicts that do not
for society or the government or the parliament,” he said.

“After all those cataclysms, a significant part of the parliament members
will unite with us and work to change the constitution, among other things.”

The anticrisis coalition can count on a small influx into its ranks from
disappointed Orange MPs. But they are not likely to make a constitutional
majority. Analysts say that the speaker’s announcement should be taken as a
psychological attack on the opposition.

“Moroz’s statement was bravado, self-assurance and intimidation of the
opposition,” said Vadim Karasev, director of the Kiev Institute of Global
Strategy. “It is unrealistic that they will round up 300 votes. In a fight
like the one now, all refugees will be considered traitors.”

His efforts to frighten the opposition had consequence that Moroz did not
expect. The speaker’s readiness to accept all those dissatisfied with the
Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine into the anticrisis fold elicited a furious
reaction from the opposition. Timoshenko took the opportunity to accuse
Moroz of dirty politics.

“They are working very carefully with the MPs – scaring their children and
offering bribes. And they plan to round up 300 votes on that basis in order
to change the constitution and pass laws without a presidential veto. It is
practically a system for a coup d’etat.”

The Orange leaders do not hesitate to say that they will use their
unscheduled parliamentary vacation to stir up agitation in the regions and
urge the public to fight the authorities. The opposition’s mass offensive
against the Yanukovich regime is planned for May.

“We are preparing a mass protest action in Kiev for late spring. It will be
a spring freedom march! We are calling on all conscientious citizens of
Ukraine to take to the streets as a sign of protest against the policy of
the government and the anticrisis majority,” stated Rada member from Our
Ukraine Nikolay Katerinchuk.

“Our main goal is to install democratic authorities, conduct democratic
reforms and that is impossible under this constitution and this government
and that parliament. So there is only one choice – early parliamentary
elections.”

Yushchenko is also preparing for the spring flare-up in the fight against
Yanukovich. In recent weeks, he has been traveling through Ukraine (he was
in Zhitomir Region yesterday) and is taking every chance to criticize his
opponent. Yesterday evening, Yushchenko also fired his adviser former
interior minister Yury Lutsenko.

After leaving his ministerial post, Lutsenko headed the pro-presidential
public Self-Defense movement and more recently has been working in the
presidential secretariat on new Orange political projects. Now, in the heat
of the standoff, he cane devote himself fully to politics.

The current aggressive opposition stance may guarantee them success. But for
that to happen, experts say, it is necessary for the Timoshenko Bloc and Our
Ukraine to support each other and to stand firm in their efforts to provoke
a parliamentary crisis. If that is so, the country can expect early
parliamentary elections.

“The parliament is becoming a less representational political institution
and has lost its meaning,” Karasev told Kommersant. “The parliament is
turning into an organ of three political forces: the Party of the Regions,
the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, that is, it is a parliament of
the east of the country.”

In that case, Karasev says, the constitutional crisis will turn into a
parliamentary crisis, leading to a possible of a governmental crisis and
more legal grounds to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.
——————————————————————————————-
http://www.kommersant.com/p749630/r_527/parliamentary_elections_Ukraine_Orange_/

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25. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER, SPEAKER AGREE
              ONCE AGAIN ON WAY TO SETTLE POWER CRISIS

NTN, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1700 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

KIEV – [Presenter] The leaders of the country, the president [Viktor
Yushchenko], the prime minister [Viktor Yanukovych] and the parliament
speaker [Oleksandr Moroz], have again said that they have reached

agreement.

They decided to return to implementing provisions of the national unity
declaration [signed before Yanukovych’s appointment last August]. They

also agreed to set up a national council for Ukraine’s strategic development.

The head of state said this while opening the meeting of the National
Security and Defence Council [today].

He also said that a working commission comprising MPs will soon start
working. It will be led by Yushchenko, Yanukovych and Moroz. The task of

the commission is to make the system of power well-balanced, in particular by
way of amending the constitution.

[Yushchenko] Today we discussed logistics to launch the commission’s work
and how it will formulate these proposals. The president will submit these
proposals to parliament.

This is a good road map which, in my view, gives an answer to key systemic
disbalances that are currently in place between the branches of power.

[Yanukovych] We believe that if there is economic growth, if the decisions
taken are implemented, I have in mind the budget amendments that have been
drafted, then the president has every ground not just to join this process
of improving the economy and stabilization but to lead it. This is his duty.
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26. UKRAINE’S FEUDING PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER AGREE

   TO SET UP COMMISSION TO WORK OUT DIVISION OF POWER
Mara D. Bellaby, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s feuding president and premier reached agreement

Wednesday to set up a commission tasked with resolving their ongoing
dispute over power in the ex-Soviet republic.

Pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning

Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko have been battling each other for
supremacy for much of the last six months – a tug-of-war that has at times
led to conflicting messages about Ukraine’s foreign and domestic policy
goals.

“We came to a joint conclusion that today all institutes of power must work
together for political and economic stability in our country,” Yanukovych
said after meeting with the president.

The commission will study ways to improve Ukraine’s system of government

and propose changes to its Constitution to clarify the division of power.

Yushchenko said that the two leaders and Parliament speaker Oleksandr

Moroz also will seek to identify national priorities they can work on together.

“There is an understanding that this is a really difficult process where we
need to have huge patience (and) an appreciation for national and state
priorities to avoid pointless conflict,” Yushchenko said.

The apparent breakthrough in the troubled relationship came after the two
top opposition parties –  both aligned with Yushchenko – walked out of
parliament Tuesday and refused to return in protest over the way they and
the president have been sidelined.

Yanukovych, who lost the 2004 presidential election to Yushchenko after
street protests known as the Orange Revolution, has had the upper hand

since his party put together a governing coalition last year.

But Yushchenko has increasingly chafed at his diminished role, and his new
alliance with former Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenko, whose party is
the biggest opposition bloc in parliament, gave him more strength to force
agreement from Yanukovych.

With Tymoshenko vowing to work together with Yushchenko’s party,
Yanukovych’s majority lacks the necessary 300 votes in the 450-seat
parliament to override presidential vetoes.

Yushchenko’s office said he and Yanukovych also reached agreement over

the question of naming the new foreign minister.

Last month, parliament rejected Yushchenko’s choice of career diplomat
Volodymyr Ohryzko to replace the ousted Borys Tarasyuk. Yanukovych’s party
had orchestrated the pro-Western Tarasyuk’s ouster, and it led opposition to
Ohryzko.

Yanukovych told Ukraine’s Interfax news agency that “we talked about us
supporting the candidate put forward by the president,” but he stopped short
of saying that meant the majority parliamentary coalition would approve
Ohryzko.                                        -30-

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27. UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER CONDEMNS PRESIDENT’S
                     NEW AGREEMENT WITH PRIME MINISTER 

One Plus One TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1730 gmt 14 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Mar 14, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko has condemned the
agreement reached today between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych to return to implementing the provisions of the
national unity declaration signed before Yanukovych’s appointment last
August and to set up a national council for Ukraine’s strategic development.

Speaking during a studio interview on One Plus One TV on 14 March,
Tymoshenko said, “It seems to me that while I was out of Kiev for half a
day, the criminal authorities have somehow confused Viktor Andriyovych’s
[Yushchenko] plans again and tried to draw him once more onto a road without
an end.

I am convinced that neither Yanukovych nor the parliamentary majority will
change their absolutely anti-Ukrainian intentions, or their social policy.”
Tymoshenko said she wanted to meet Yushchenko and hear his position first
hand.

She also said that regardless of the position of the president and his Our
Ukraine bloc, her force would continue to push the ruling coalition to
fulfil the united opposition’s 17-point ultimatum, which was approved by the
president earlier this week.

“Our strategic plans for defending Ukraine and defending the people are
unchanged, and whatever the format we have to do this in – in a coalition or
opposition forces or independently – we will do it,” she said.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
28.  UKRAINE: OPPOSITION LEADER SEEKS EARLY ELECTIONS

By David R. Sands, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 2, 2007

Ukraine’s revived Orange Coalition will press for early elections in a bid
to halt Russia’s growing influence and control over the country’s vital
energy assets, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko said in an interview
yesterday.

Mrs. Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and key figure in the pro-Western
Orange Revolution street protests of December 2004, said Ukraine’s
sovereignty and hopes for better relations with the West are in jeopardy if
the government of pro-Moscow Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych serves
out its full term to 2011.

“If this government is in power until then, there would be nothing left of a
democratic Ukraine,” she said, speaking through an interpreter with editors
and reporters at The Washington Times. “The territory would still exist, but
it would not be Ukraine any longer.”

Mrs. Tymoshenko’s party and the party of pro-Western President Viktor
Yushchenko signed a new deal over the weekend to cooperate in parliament,
seeking to end a disastrous feud among the Orange Revolution allies that
enabled Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Moscow party to reclaim power in August 2006.

Mrs. Tymoshenko, considered a front-runner among reformists for the 2009
presidential vote, said the reunited pro-reform parties will push for early
parliamentary elections, although the move faces both political and
constitutional hurdles.

On a high-profile U.S. visit that includes meetings with Vice President Dick
Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Mrs. Tymoshenko said the
United States must speak out for Ukraine despite a full foreign-policy plate
that includes Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other pressing crises.

She noted there was “disillusionment” in Washington about backsliding in
Ukraine since her coalition was propelled to power in 2005 by a wave of
street protests that became known as the Orange Revolution because of the
orange flags and banners carried by the protesters.

But, she said, “a country as large and influential as your own has to lead
this kind of work. Your country does not have the right to be fatigued about
Ukraine’s future.”

Mr. Yanukovych, whose tainted win in the 2004 presidential election sparked
the Orange Revolution, has engineered an abrupt about-face in Ukrainian
policy since his political comeback last summer.

With a power base in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east, the prime minister has
put a hold on Ukraine’s efforts to join NATO, dismissed Mr. Yushchenko’s
pro-Western foreign minister, and signed an accord tightly linking Ukraine’s
economy to those of Russia and Belarus.

The charismatic Mrs. Tymoshenko, sporting her trademark blonde braids, said
Mr. Yanukovych’s allies dominate the courts and key security ministries in
Kiev.

Rich eastern business clans from Mr. Yanukovych’s political base in Donetsk
are buying influence and lawmakers to keep him in power, she said.

Mr. Yanukovych’s party “is trying to buy deputies like chickens in a
bazaar,” she said, “and these politicians are allowing themselves to be
bought.”

She was particularly scathing about the government’s energy concessions to
Moscow. She said Russia, through a shadowy Swiss-based intermediary company,
is in the process of locking up Ukraine’s oil, gas and electricity markets,
giving Russia a near-monopoly of energy supplies to much of Europe.

“Our new government and the Russian Federation are eating up the country’s
energy system like eating buns for breakfast,” she said. But she stressed
she did not consider herself an “enemy of Russia,” blaming instead Ukrainian
officials for failing the country’s basic economic and political interests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doing his own thing,” she said. “It
isn’t that I don’t like Russia. Politics cannot be motivated by such
feelings. It’s simply that I love Ukraine,” she said.

Mrs. Tymoshenko acknowledged that she had moved too quickly in her short,
stormy first stint as prime minister. Mr. Yushchenko dismissed her after
just nine months in office in September 2005, and her tenure was marked by
numerous policy and personal clashes.

She said Mr. Yushchenko also had underestimated the power of entrenched
interests opposed to the Orange Revolution reforms. A series of
constitutional changes since 2004 have weakened the president’s power while
building up the prime minister.

She compared Ukraine in 2005 to a scuba diver trying to surface too quickly
after years in the stagnant political depths. “If I have a chance to have
the responsibility in the future, unfortunately the reforms will have to
come at a slower tempo, to make sure we do not get another case of the
bends,” she said.                                        -30-
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
29. HOLODOMOR WAS NOT ONLY 7 MILLION LIVES BUT ALSO
         66 TONS OF GOLD, 1,439 TONS OF SILVER AS WELL AS
                             DIAMONDS AND ANTIQUITIES
         Holodomor was also a large scale and effective pillage of people
 

By Oleh Nadosha and Volodymyr Honsky (in Ukrainian),
Ukrayinska Pravda on line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 5, 2007
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal 

Issue Two, Article One (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
The official events to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor and
repressions are over. Viktor Yushchenko should get a lot of credit for his
commitment to the truth and determination to make his case in front of those
who are not aware of the full measure of the manmade famine in 1932-1933.

Such awareness-raising efforts should have been undertaken earlier and on
a larger scale. In my opinion, this year’s commemoration was the most
convincing, marking a watershed in the realization by Ukrainians of true
dimensions, causes and consequences of the Armageddon that struck
Ukraine in 1932-1933.

But: No matter what people are talking about, they are talking about money,
runs Murphy’s Rule 1.

It looks that only the horrors of the Holodomor can contradict this truth.
But, in fact, the whole world must be told that the 1932-1933 Holodomor
was not only the largest genocide recorded in history but also the most
large-scale and effective pillage of people.

It was a kind of gold procurement, a gold rush the Communist style, with
the victims taking out their family valuables from hiding places and
bringing them to pillagers in the hope of putting off death from starvation
or surviving.

We must admit that this idea took some time to dawn on the authors. It
came when one of us asked his mother in a telephone conversation about
how the family managed to survive the famine.

Their salvation, it turned out, was thanks to 7 massive gold things of rare
beauty and purity presented by grandfather, nobleman Kyrychenko and
captain of a ship in the Far East.

Having taken this gift of her father (in cash terms, it was a well-sized
capital) to a Torgsin store, grandmother saved the family and many
residents in her village of Monastyryshche, Ichnya rayon, Chernihiv oblast.
The rest of the villagers died.

The big question came up quickly: how much wealth had been pocketed by
the Communists in Ukraine? After digging in libraries and pestering several
professors, we can point to some facts.

Torgsin stores (an abbreviation of “trade with foreigners”) during the
Holodomor became the only chain of state-run stores where the populace
could buy some food essentials – but only for precious metals or hard
currency.

Formally, the all-union chain was set in the summer of 1930 under the
foreign trade ministry. In Ukraine, such stores began to operate actively
since January of 1932, with starving peasants, not foreigners, as their
customers.

The resolution “On creating the all-Ukrainian Torgsin office” was passed
by the Ukrainian Economic Council under the government of Ukraine on
June 29, 1932.

Government experts said that “the collection of hard currency held by the
populace will play a major role”, that “the gold kept in households must be
collected via a chain of Torgsin stores and used to serve the interests of
the proletarian state.” Can the dates and directives be viewed as
coincidental?

We compared the time and content of various resolutions and documents
on setting up the Torgsin chain in Ukraine with Communist party resolutions
to launch a genocide by starvation (on
[1] raising grain procurement targets, on
[2] “the three spikelets law” [law imposing criminal liability for taking
       even three spikelets from the state farm fields – Trans.], on
[3] banning food trade in rural areas, on
[4] combating “saboteurs” [peasants whom the authorities accused
     of sabotage of mandatory grain deliveries – Trans.] and others).

We were horrified by the perfectly synchronized timing of these documents.

The time pattern was as follows:
     1) the party takes away all grain from peasants;
     2) Torgsin stores take away all gold and hard currency. Further
          analysis of how the party and the Torgsin chain worked
          revealed that
     3) everything was done to prevent the  survival of Ukrainians.

In exchange for their gold and silver jewelry, peasants received coupons
which they could later exchange for food. The exchange could take up to
two months, and very often bearers of coupons were dead by the time
they could get some food. There was a secret instruction to Torgsin
salesmen: “do not promise customers a quick exchange.”

According to eye-witnesses, many starving people died when standing in
kilometer-long lines to Torgsins or immediately after they received food.

Here are some of the eye-witness reports:
NINA PEREPADA:
Every morning a 7-year-old boy Yury Perepada saw the following scene:
horse-driven carts used to go along Khreshchatyk [Kyiv’s main street –
Trans.] One man was in the cart, with two other men escorting it by feet.
Their mission was clear the street from corpses or those close to death.

The two lifted the bodies, put them on the cart and covered with matting.
Children and adults walked the streets by-passing the dead. The bodies
were reportedly taken to the Oktyabrsky hospital, laid up in layers and
from there taken to the Bajkove cemetery to be thrown in ditches and
covered up with sodium chlorite.

He remembers that there was a commercial bakery in 6 or 8 Pushkin St.
where they sold bread at very high prices. Still, the line of customers
stretched farther than Proriizna St. People often died standing in the
line.” (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933: Evidence of survivors.
Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy publishers, 2004 – Vol. 2).
HALYNA NAZARENKO:
“Since late night, we had to line for bread that tasted like sawdust. We
stood in line all night, and broke into tens in the morning as they would
allow only ten persons into the store.

Mom took her and dad’s golden wedding rings to the Torgsin store,
receiving several kilos of flour for them. From it, she made halushkas
(boiled lumps of pastry).” (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933:
Evidence of survivors. Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy
publishers, 2004 – Vol. 2).
ANDRIY OPANASENKO:
In Kyiv I saw dying peasants from nearby villages. Those miserable creatures
didn’t look like humans. They didn’t ask for food, they sat or lay, their
bodies swollen and big like logs, under the walls of building on Podol’s
Upper and Lower Banks. The dead were taken to Babyj Yar to be buried.
Half dead inhabitants were also taken there to die. (The Vechirny Kyiv,
November, 1998).
LIDIYA KUZNETSOVA:

I well remember bread lines. Sometimes, they were several kilometers long.
Those who lined for bread at dawn could get their small piece of bread only
late at night. Mostly, they were peasants from nearby villages.

I remember how people from villages would get their bread, sit in the corner
and die right there on the street. (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933:
Evidence of survivors. Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy publishers,
2004 – Vol. 2).

Very often the starving peasants were intercepted by GPU (sectet police)
officers who arrested the alleged speculators and took away their bread.
GPU often scattered peasants or locked them up – to ensure their deaths.
HALYNA AFANASYEVE:
I remember well how in the fall of 1932 Kyiv was full of starving and
swollen peasants, trying to exchange their inexpensive possessions for bread
or other food. A major inflow of starving peasants took place in the spring
of 1933. The capital’s squares and streets were full of live skeletons and
swollen people.

Their numbers were especially large in the  Polol district on the Upper and
Lower Bank  where there were many wide benches on which hundreds of
poor victims crowded. They were sitting, lying and dying.

Every morning carts went around the city streets. Their teams consisted of a
horseman and his assistants who picked up dead bodies. Together with the
dead, they also took away still living people. The dead and the half dead
were taken to a church on the Horeva St. where they were piled up.

Around the church a deep and wide ditch was dug out in which they put the
dead when the church was full of bodies. There was a bakery on the Upper
Bank St. which sold bread at commercial prices. One could buy only one
kilo of bread.

As the bread was in short supply, people stood in huge lines since late
night. Militsiya (police) scattered lines of exhausted people, drove them
into the church and locked them up there. They died in the church.

My mother Ulyana Khomenchuk  got into one of such police raids and was
locked up in the church. After 2 days they opened the church to get rid of
the bodies and put new victims into it. But my mother was alive and was
spared this satanic conveyor of death.

No one was swollen from starvation in our family, because we lived on the
Trukhaniv island and gathered deadwood which we floated across the
Dnieper and sold on the market. Besides, we had some valuables inherited
by my mother. Traders willingly accepted the valuables in exchange for food.

In Torgsin stores, supplies of flour, lard, sausage, tinned food were
abundant. In exchange for golden decorations we bought the cheapest brand
of maize flour from which my mother baked pies and sold them on the market
to feed her family. All Kyiv residents were involved in such business not to
die from the famine. (The Samostijna Ukrayina, October, 1999).

The major cause of deaths of peasants, even of those who got food from
Torgsin stores, was the mark-up, an officially allowed profit of a Torgsin
salesperson which was the difference between the amount of gold accepted
from the populace and the amount handed over to the bank. Very often,
salesmen understated in their receipts the weight and quality of gold they
took from starving people.

The mark-up could reach several kilos, with every gram of gold stolen from
peasants paid for by their lives. There were other kinds of fraud in which
Torgsin salesmen were involved, despite their high salaries and additional
food rations. Torgsin stores bought gold from Ukrainians at much lower
prices than those on the international market.

We cannot but agree with V. Marochko, Doctor of History, about another
dimension of this criminal robbery: the gold, titled by the authorities as
scrap gold, was a dangerous asset because it was part of sacred spiritual
traditions.

Family valuables, crosses, wedding rings, baptizing crosses were kept in
the families and handed over by one generation to another, adding to the
national spirit.

October 1933, a chain of 263 Torgsin stores operated in Ukraine. Each store
had its own network of smaller outlets. The largest number of Torgsins was
in the Kyiv oblast (58), the smallest number in the Donetsk oblast (11) and
the Moldavian autonomous Soviet republic (5). The chain had its specific
targets for the purchase of gold and hard currency which, because they were
excessive, were never met.

The scale of the Communist-engineered gold rush matched the time frame set
for the genocide: with 6 mn hard currency karbovanets earned by Torsins in
1931, the figure ballooned to 50 mn in 1932 and to 107 mn in 1933.

Of the total amount of valuables sold by starving Ukrainians, 75.2% was
precious metals, gold, silver, and platinum. Of the total amount of gold,
38% was in tsarist coins, or 18% of the total revenue received.

While in 1932 Torgsins “procured” 21 tons of gold (worth 26.8 mn
karbovanets) and 18.5 tons of silver (worth 0.3 mn), the figures for 1933
were respectively 44.9 tons of gold (worth 58 mn karbovanets) and 1420.5
tons of silver (worth 22.9 mn).

It was extremely unprofitable for Ukrainian to sell silver as the price of
it dropped threefold since 1917. Peasants were paid 1.25 karbovanets for
1 g of silver, with the price on the New York stock exchange at 1.8
karbovanets. Communist party revenues from such transactions were
colossal.

The government allowed Torgsins to purchase diamonds in the fall of 1933
when gold and silver buying fell significantly as the populace had sold what
they had and the number of Ukrainians dropped sharply. There was only
one Torgsin store buying diamonds, in Kharkiv.

Ukrainians got 12 karbovanets for one carat of defective diamonds and 260
karbovanets for pure diamonds. Any guesses why such a huge disparity in
pricing?

In four months alone, Torgsins bought 600,000 karbovanets worth of
diamonds. In 1932-1933, the Soviet Union sold abroad antiquities,
pictures and ancient jewelry worth 5.8 mn golden karbovanets.

Torgsins were not the only tools to rob starving Ukrainians. Who can
count the money Ukrainians had to pay for food on the black market
where the prices for bread were tens of times higher than even in the
Torgsins?

Or the amount of gold pillaged by the authorities from individual farmers?
A recount of such incident was given by war veteran Oleksij Riznyk in his
article “Gold for the dictatorship of the proletariat” (The Ukrayina moloda,
23.11.2006, p. 11):

“In 1931-1932, the authorities launched a large-scale operation against
individual farmers. Militsiya took groups of them to a prison in Vinnytsia.
My father was one of them.

On arriving in prison, every farmer was told the amount of ransom in golden
rubles he had to pay for his freedom. Militsiya officers rushed into the
cell, took inmates by the hair and hitting their heads against the heads of
others said, ‘Oh, hear how the gold chimes.’

Some were taken to torture cells where they were beaten up, had their
fingers broken by doors – until the victim agreed to name the sum of ransom
sufficient for butchers. My father told them he had only 35 golden rubles
left. The militsiya officers happily took the money and let him go.”

In conclusion, let us hear another eye-witness report:
MYKAL from the village of Pukhivka, Brovary rayon:

It was in the spring of 1933. I was eighteen and was a student at Kyiv’s
college of teachers. The enrollment was 99 persons, while only 33 graduated
from the college. Where are the rest 66 students? Some of them died and
some of them left for good. Sahno Volodya died at the math lesson after
working a night shift at the Ukrkabel plant. We carried him out and buried
at the Lukyanivsky cemetery.

We ate at a students’ canteen on Dyka street. They would give us a plateful
of water with one pea, calling it soup. We got 150 g of bread a day. I
prayed that nobody stole my bread coupons. The bread ration was so
meager you didn’t feel you ate anything.

One episode has remained engraved in y memory. We had a lesson in military
training outside Kyiv near the Lukyanivsky cemetery. We were dog-tired but
our instructor ordered us to run. Three of us didn’t run, we sneaked away.
There was a boy who had lived in an orphanage, Kostya.  It was time to
return, but he was sitting at a distance and didn’t move.

When we came up to him we were scared stiff – he was sitting near a ditch
full of children’s corpses. They all lay in a mess: positions of legs, arms
and bodies showed that they had been dumped in the ditch from a cart.

There were seven such graves there. They did it at night, bringing the
bodies, dumping them and going away for more corpses.

Our instructor called us, but we were shaking and crying, especially the boy
from the orphanage. He said: “This is going to happen to me, too.”(1933:
Famine; People’s Book. – Memorial. /Compiled by L. Kovalenko and V.
Manyak. Kyiv, 1991.)

If you divide the amount of gold and silver pumped out from Ukrainians
by the Communist regime, you’ll get 5 convertible karbovanets. Or 12
kilos of flour. That was the price of life, to be exact, the price of a
horrible death of one Ukrainian.

Is there any place for graves on the cemetery of destroyed illusions?
——————————————————————————————–
The authors express their acknowledgments to V. Marochko, Doctor of
History, S. Vakulyshyn, expert on Kyiv, N. Sukhodolska, Ph.D.(Biology),
R. Krutsyk, head of the Kyiv branch of Memorial and other researchers
for their help in preparing the article for publication.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/1/5/53000.htm)
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE:  This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Ukrainian Genocide Journal by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  The translated article can be used but only with

permission from the Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Washington.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
30.       UK: SIGN THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE PETITION

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From: Stepan Speight Komarnyckyj
Ukrainian Genocide Petition in the United Kingdom
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Seven

Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

RE: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Ukraine-Genocide/

Dear Morgan Williams

Please could you help promote the petition,
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Ukraine-Genocide/, by circulating details via

the Ukrainian Genocide Journal?

The more people who sign, and the more people who visit the

www.holodomor.org.uk website (visiting the site will mean that it appears
in Google searches and signposts people towards the petition) the greater
will be the impact.

I am aware that some British politicians will resist Holodomor recognition
so this support is required.
Please help,

Yours truly. Steve Komarnyckyj (lviv@skomarnyckyj.fsnet.co.uk)
———————————————————————————————-
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AUR#823 Mar 14 Economic Growth Strategy Needed; Bad Habits In Farm Policy; Threats to Ecosystem; American Soup; Putin At The Vatican; Lavra Crumbling

=========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 823
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007

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

1.      MORE STABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY NEEDED
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavlo Prokopovych, Ph.D.
Kyiv Economics Institute and the Kyiv School of Economics.
The Ukrainian Observer magazine #229, Jim Davis, Editor
The Willard Group, Kyiv Ukraine, March 2007
 
2.                     UKRAINE: EASING EXPORT QUOTAS
Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

3.              UKRAINE: OLD BAD HABITS CROP UP AGAIN
                           IN GOVERNMENT FARM POLICY
THE EAR: By Jim DAVIS, Editor, The Ukrainian Observer magazine
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 2007

4UKRAINE MUST CONVERT ENERGY OF ORANGE REVOLUTION
                     TO FORM A STABLE, PROSPEROUS STATE       

Presentation by Geoff Hoon, UK Minister for Europe
Adam Smith Investment Summit, London, UK, Monday, March 12, 2007
British Embassy, Oslo, Norway, Monday, March 12, 2007

5. NORWEGIAN PHONE CO TELENOR ACCUSES RUSSIAN RIVAL
                OF PAYING FOR NEGATIVE PRESS IN UKRAINE
By Andrew E. Kramer, International Herald Tribune/New York Times
Paris, France, New York, NY, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

6. LONDON JEWEL GIFT HELPS LAUNCH UKRAINE BUSINESSES
Leon Symon, London Jewish Chronicle, London, UK, Fri, Mar 9 2007

7.    NAFTOGAZ, UKRAINE’S OIL & GAS CO TO INVEST $800M 
Bloomberg News, New York, NY, Tuesday, 13 Mar 2007

8.   EXPERT ASSESSES THREATS TO UKRAINE’S ECOSYSTEM
             Water, Soils, Waste Disposal, Radiation Pollution, Forest
By Oleksandra SHEPEL, The Day Weekly Digest #8,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

9.          UKRAINE PLANS TO JOIN WTO LATER THIS YEAR
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 12, 2007

10.    EU INCREASES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE
EuropaWorld, Cowbridge, Wales, UK, Friday, March 9, 2007

11. EU-UKRAINE RELATIONS ARE AT A COMPLETE STANDSTILL
COMMENTARY: By Arnaud Dubien, Political scientist,
Editor-in-chief, Analytical Bulletin “Ukraine Intelligence”, Paris
EuraisianHome Analytical Resource, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

12.                             STORM FROM THE EAST
 Some loud dissent to government policy heralds from the Donbass region
BYuT Inform Newsletter, Issue 33, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, March 13, 2007

13.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO ACCUSES RIVAL
         YANUKOVYCH OF USING POWER TO SEEK REVENGE
INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
Associated Press, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb 28 2007

14.    TYMOSHENKO BOLSTERS DEMOCRATIC IMAGE IN U.S.
by John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Mar 01 2007

15.   YULIA TYMOSHENKO: AN ARCHETYPE OF OPPOSITION
OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Vadim Dubnov. Independent Journalist.
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Wed, February 28, 2007

16U.S. TO REASSURE UKRAINE ON MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELD 
Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, March 13, 2007

17.MISSILE DEFENSE: DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF OVER ABM PLANS
By Martin Sieff, UPI Senior News Analyst, Wash, DC, Mon, Mar 8, 2007

 
18.                                   “AMERICAN SOUP”
       Russian reactions to Ukraine, Caucasus missile defence cooperation
COMMENTARY: By Vasiliy Sergeyev, Ilya Azar, & Fedor Rumyantsev
Gazeta.ru website, Moscow, in Russian 2 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, March 09, 2007

19ACTION IN SUPPORT OF RUSSIAN LANGUAGE LAUNCHED
                            IN UKRAINIAN CITY OF ODESSA
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 12, 2007

20.          RUSSIA: WHY PUTIN IS GOING TO THE VATICAN
By Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Tue, Mar 13, 2007

 
                          CRUMBLES, THE PECHERSK LAVRA
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday March 6, 2007
 
22.              ALBANIAN GANGSTER TRADED IN MISERY
       Targeted girls from Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia
The Daily Record, London, UK, Thursday, Mar 08, 2007
 
23. UKRAINIAN CHARITY VOLUNTEER MAY FACE DEPORTATION 
By Ralph Riegel, Irish Independent, Ireland, Friday, Mar 09, 2007
 
           UKRAINIAN CHOREOGRAPHER SERGIY SHVYDKYY?
PRWeb, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007

25.     CONFERENCE: “UKRAINIAN LABOUR HISTORY: FROM
                    EVERYDAY LIFE TO SOCIAL STRUGGLE”
                    To be held in Kyiv on Saturday, March 24, 2007
Chris Ford, Ukrainian Labour History Society, UK, Mon, Mar 12, 2007

========================================================
1
. MORE STABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY NEEDED

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavlo Prokopovych, Ph.D.
Kyiv Economics Institute and the Kyiv School of Economics.
The Ukrainian Observer magazine #229, Jim Davis, Editor
The Willard Group, Kyiv Ukraine, March 2007

The housing market is of great economic importance in every country. In
poor Ukraine where most people’s wealth coincides with their housing
wealth, owning an apartment is considered as an inalienable right for
every Ukrainian household.

Because of the recent housing price surges, millions of Ukrainians have
experienced a considerable jump in their home’s worth. Nowadays the
average price of residential housing in the three million city of Kyiv is
about $2,600 a square meter.

Taking into account that Kyiv’s residential housing stock is close to 66
million square meters, one can conclude that the total value of Kyiv’s
housing stock ($172 billion) is equal to about 1.64 times Ukraine’s
nominal GDP (estimated at about $104.8 billion in 2006).

For comparison, the total value of the whole U.S. housing stock ($19.8
trillion) is 1.5 times larger than U.S. GDP ($13 trillion). Therefore, if
there is a bubble in Kyiv’s housing market, it is of significantly larger
proportions than anything observed in the U.S. housing market.

There are a lot of overpriced local markets for housing in the United
States. At the same time, it is almost impossible to determine if there is
an economic bubble in a market because buyers’ expectations of future
prices are a valid part of demand.

According to Stiglitz’s 1990 definition, a bubble exists “if the reason the
price is high today is only because investors believe that the selling price
will be high tomorrow — when ‘fundamental’ factors do not seem to justify
such a price.”

So, in order to check if the level of prices is consistent with underlying
fundamentals, economists use specially developed indices. One of them is
the home-price-to-income ratio.

To compute it, median, not average, values are used to identify the midpoint
of the corresponding distributions since average wages, for example, in poor
countries are skewed upward by a few reports of high wages.

Naples, Florida is widely regarded as one of the most overpriced real estate
markets in the United States. In March 2006, Naples’s median single-family
home price was $505,000 and Naples’ median household income was
$63,300. Therefore the home-price-to-income ratio was about 8. In Illinois,
for example, it was about 2.5.

Since then, housing prices have fallen in nearly every major U.S. housing
market. The number of homes foreclosed by lenders rose by 42 percent in
2006 from a year earlier. The mortgage industry has been plunging deeper
and deeper into distress because of a conspicuous rise in mortgage defaults.

Unfortunately, no information is readily available regarding Kyiv’s median
household income and median housing price.  From real estate listings, one
can conclude that Kyiv’s median housing price is at least $160,000, with
studios not fit for a family included.

For example, the median price for two-bedroom apartments is about
$210,000. Since Kyiv’s average monthly salary is close to $400, the median
monthly household income is not more than $600.

Therefore, Kyiv’s apartment-price-to-income ratio exceeds 22. It also
matters that prices for dollar-denominated mortgages in Ukraine are about
twice as high as U.S. mortgage prices, not to mention hryvnia-denominated
predatory mortgages.

According to the CNNmoney.com mortgage calculator, a family with
$24,000 in yearly income and $30,000 in savings can “aggressively” buy a
house worth $82,196 if the mortgage interest rate is a “Ukrainian moderate”
15 percent and there are no property taxes.  These calculations show that
risky mortgages and speculative demand have played not the least role in
inflating the bubble.

A housing bubble cannot develop without excess monetary liquidity and
inadequate regulation and supervision of the financial sector. This is the
case for both developed market economies and emerging market economies.

Inadequate regulation makes extending risky real estate loans by financial
institutions possible and the central bank provides excess liquidity.

In 2003-04, Ukraine experienced an export-led boom. Two major factors
were a surge in world commodity prices and the depreciation of the U.S.
dollar against the euro.

As a result of keeping the hryvnia significantly undervalued, the National
Bank of Ukraine (NBU) piled up considerable foreign exchange reserves,
about which the bank proudly boasted.

The NBU’s exchange rate policy also resulted in impressive money supply
growth and a two-digit rate of inflation. With Ukrainian goods becoming
relatively more expensive, the current account balance showed a deficit of
1.5 percent in 2006: Ukraine imported more than it exported.

Boosting the money supply without antagonizing international organizations
became quite of a problem for the quasi-independent central bank in 2006.

Along with increased borrowing, refinancing operations and reserve
requirement reductions were used by monetary authorities to offset the
shortage.

In 2006, the reserve requirements for hryvnia-denominated deposits were
lowered from 8 percent to 0.5-1 percent in three steps on May 10, August
1, and October 1. The steepest reduction of the reserve-to-deposit ratio
took place on August 1.

Ukrainian banks had no options but to drastically expand credit in order to
get rid of swelling excess reserves. A huge explosion in prices ripped
through Kyiv’s previously dormant housing market at the end of last August.

It is unreasonable to assign all the blame for the August housing price
explosion to seasonal factors. The NBU could not have chosen a worse
moment for carrying out the money supply expansion. The ensuing
insignificant increase in the rate of inflation showed that the housing
market, together with the credit market, was truly a great absorber of
monetary shocks.

Among the other factors preventing the housing market from functioning
properly are corruption, and undeveloped and missing markets. The fact
that Kyiv’s scarce supply of housing is insensitive to changes in housing
prices (see Table 1) shows that there are supply-side restrictions. Many
of them can be linked to the wild corruption in Ukraine.

Certainly, the non-existence of a legalized market for land and the
undeveloped stock market have also been contributing to housing bubble
growth, with the housing market again playing the role of a great absorber
of excess monetary resources.

Moreover, the lack of investment opportunities has led to poor
diversification of Ukrainian bank’s assets: more than two-thirds of banks’
total assets are loans, much higher than in neighboring European countries.

Table 1. The Residential Housing Stock Put into Operation in Kyiv by
Year (in millions of square meters)
————————————————————————————-
        2002      2003      2004      2005      2006      2007 (expected)
         1.1         1.1        1.05       1.2         1.3        1.4
————————————————————————————-

In reporting figures for 2006, everything looks fantastic: a 7 percent
growth in Ukraine’s GDP, a 134.2 percent increase in credit to households
(up from 126.6 percent in 2005). Ukraine has been going through a credit
boom. Consequently, the current account balance has been moving in the
opposite direction.

According to a 2004 IMF study titled “Are Credit Booms in Emerging
Markets a Concern?” private credit booms in emerging markets are
associated with consumption and investment boom (70 percent probability)
followed by banking crises (75 percent probability) and currency crises (85
percent probability). In other words, credit booms are typically followed
by sharp economic downturns and financial crises.

Those in charge of economic policy in Ukraine are not fully aware of the
existence of the rental market for housing. Until now, it has been part of
the shadow economy. So, in an interview published on February 1 by the
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine’s official newspaper “Uryadovy Kuryer
(Government Courier),”

Finance Minister Azarov stated that “in Europe expenditures on public
utilities constitute, on average, 35-40 percent of total income. In our
country, they are twice as low.”

Unfortunately, Kyivites did not understand how lucky they were and
pressured Kyiv’s city council into lowering the utility tariffs on February
8.

What is missing in Azarov’s explanation is the understanding that housing
expenditures in Europe also include rent and mortgage payments, not just
utilities-related expenses.

The NBU has been simply setting monetary policy with an eye toward
exchange rate stability and the government’s priorities, which certainly
attests to its quasi-independence. The bank has not paid due attention to
growing inflationary pressures for a number of years.

Last year’s 7 percent economic growth was accompanied, in a very direct
sense, by explosions in housing prices (67 percent) and credit growth. So
there is an urgent need for the government to switch to another economic
growth strategy, not employing monetary expansions without restraint.

What do an economy and a nuclear reactor have in common? The answer
to this question is square: They both tend to overheat. Everyone in Kyiv
knows what happened to the fourth block of the Chernobyl nuclear plant
in April 1986. The world’s worst nuclear accident was the outcome of a
controlled experiment.

In the course of the experiment an operator retracted too many control rods,
including manual control rods. An uncontrollable nuclear reaction ensued.
The operator pressed the emergency button too late.

The latest news from the NBU is that it sold 4,378 million hryvnias worth of
deposit certificates to Ukrainian banks on February 12-19.

When you add to that the 6,639 million hryvnias worth of banking resources
that the NBU sucked out of the economy in January 2007, the month previous,
you have over 11 billion UAH in liquidity squeezed out of the Ukrainian
market by the NBU in a very short period.

In the terminology of nuclear science, the monetary control rods have been
put in place.                                       -30-
————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Pavlo Prokopovych, Ph.D., Kyiv Economics Institute and the
Kyiv School of Economics. The views expressed are purely the author’s.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/229/1007
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.                    UKRAINE: EASING EXPORT QUOTAS

Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Last week Ukraine’s government relaxed export quotas on feed grains that
had been in place since last autumn.

Though some believe the move is a step in the right direction, quotas for
wheat exports remain in place, and many believe the government should adopt
a more consistent approach to agricultural regulation.

The government stated it enacted the quotas to protect domestic consumers

in an environment of growing global grain prices and to help overcome food
security concerns following a shortfall in last year’s harvest.

The move to ease these controls is good news to Ukrainian grain producers
and traders, but the market still has some way to go before it reaches
maturity.

Ukraine’s agricultural sector has several assets that position it for
long-term growth as an exporter of grains, oil seeds and meats. It has an
abundance of black soil, a strategic, centralised location ideal for export
into multiple markets, and an experienced workforce.

However, the general consensus is that Ukraine’s sector does not live up to
its potential. Dexter Frye, managing director in Ukraine for US-based
agriculture company Bunge, told OBG, agriculture in Ukraine is not nearly

as productive as it is in a lot of other countries.

If you reach the same levels of productivity here as in Western countries,
there will be a huge exportable surplus even with good levels of local
consumption.

One of the primary challenges is the need for modernization of the farming
sector. To invest in modern seeds, equipment and fertiliser, farmers need
capital, but Ukrainian farmers currently have limited means to access
funding.

Part of the problem is the current land ownership regime. Under the present
rules, land transactions must be approved by parliament.

This effectively cuts off the ability to transfer ownership of property and
therefore prevents farmers from borrowing against their land to access
capital.

Andreas Rickmers, general manager in Ukraine of American agriculture firm
Cargill told OBG that land reform would provide, the necessary stability and
predictability for landowners to make long-term investments in
infrastructure.

Other channels to fund modernisation are limited. Some multinational
companies offer advances to farmers for investment, and select banks have
begun allowing easier terms for credit. But high costs have also meant that
money often goes less toward capital investment, and more toward
consumables such as petrol.

Said Frye of Bunge, There is a huge opportunity for Ukrainians to modernise
the farm sector, to increase efficiency..but they need money to do it.

Though figures vary, the World Bank estimates the total lost export revenue
is $300m, just for 2006. Moreover, the quotas sent the wrong signals to the
investment world, and may encourage grain traders to scale back operations
and discourage investment.

Said Rickmers, The export restrictions had a severe impact on the grain
industry with lasting consequences. The abolition of the quotas did not
really help. Even today the wheat export restriction remains, and we are not
sure of the government’s plans for the future.

The good news is that many think the earlier quotas will not affect total
production later this year. Planting for this year’s August harvest had
already occurred when the restrictions were introduced.

Going forward, industry insiders seem to agree that what the sector needs
more than liberalisation is consistency. One of the primary industry
complaints surrounding the quotas was the fact that they were introduced
mid-season.

By that time, grain traders had already bought grain, positioned it for
export and, in some cases, sold it to foreign buyers. This forced companies
to renege on contracts and much grain ended up going to rot.

Industry insiders do not expect that relaxing export controls will usher in
more liberal agriculture measures, as most expect a more controlled regime
in the near term.

According to Rickmers, power has been changing so frequently that
there have been no long-term trends but I think so far the trend has been
away from free markets.

This is bad for the market if it is not predictable. Most countries regulate
their agricultural market in one way or another, but most of these also have
a clear framework for how these operate.

Frye agrees, I’m hopeful that it will be more consistent. In reality, people
don’t crave liberalism or a tightening of controls, what they want is
consistency – they need to know what to expect if they follow the rules.
——————————————————————————————-
CONTACT US: General Enquiries mail@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
Editorial Enquiries arohr@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
WEBSITE:  www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.         UKRAINE: OLD BAD HABITS CROP UP AGAIN
                        IN GOVERNMENT FARM POLICY

THE EAR: By Jim DAVIS, Editor, The Ukrainian Observer magazine
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 2007

As a small town boy,  I grew up in the tobacco, peanut and vegetable fields
of South Georgia and have spent a considerable part of my life involved with
agriculture at one level or another.

My involvement with agriculture in Ukraine has further convinced me of a
long-held conviction that governments, when dealing with agriculture, should
adopt the old motto that is taught to aspiring medical students, “First, do
no harm.”

Ukraine’s agricultural authorities have not shown themselves very adept at
adopting policies that actually benefit agriculture and some of the die-hard
socialist and communist elements in the parliament further complicate
matters by pushing policies that were out-of-date and just plain wrong 50
to 70 years ago.

Other politicians have shown themselves as totally corrupt in using
agriculture for their own purposes while doing great harm to farms and
farmers in the process.

If one seriously examines the recent history of agriculture in Ukraine, it
is hard to avoid the conclusion that the best thing that the government
could do for farmers – and consumers – is to get out of agriculture and

stay out.

Recently, an ill-advised action by the current government has led to
disruptions and negative consequences.

A government ordered blockage of export sales of grain without any notice
led to huge backlogs in the country’s port facilities, daily losses in the
hundred of thousands of dollars for wheat exporters who had contracted
shipments in good faith, and further damage to Ukraine’s already
questionable reputation as a reliable supplier.

Since late January, there have been reports that as much as 300,000 tons of
the stored wheat and other grains have spoiled and have been destroyed or
dumped.

Grain stoppages are bad policy under any circumstances and this particular
stoppage appears to have been more ill-advised than most.

Farmers with winter wheat planted last August will be left wondering how
government intrusion into the market would affect their chances of
profitability in the coming year.

Some of those with stands that are not so good may very well decide to
simply abandon fields if there is a lack of certainty as to market
conditions in the coming summer and fall.

The exporters who have been buying wheat in previous years at levels that
supported both the domestic and foreign markets will either exit the market
or offer low prices for lower quantities to minimize their risks of further
losses that could be brought about if the government involves itself in the
grain market again in 2007.

Exporters will change their trading patterns to minimize risks, and this
will almost certainly have a negative effect on the profitability of
Ukrainian farms.

Some multinational companies closed their Ukrainian affiliates as a result
of the latest embargo, leaving considerable numbers of experienced
Ukrainian grain trade personnel unemployed.

At some point – and it may yet take years – Ukrainian governments may
finally arrive at the conclusion that going into the market and buying
reserve grain at market prices is the best policy for all concerned.
However, that lesson has not sunk in yet and it is hard to see it happening
any time soon.

Russian grain authorities have been considerably cleverer, sometimes
announcing intervention prices, but not necessarily making any purchases.

On the other hand, Ukraine follows the old communist-era rules, making
intervention purchases, thus giving jobs to bureaucrats who will then have
to work with this grain, write reports on it, move it from one place to
another and possibly wind up selling it under special circumstances that
benefit insiders but not the government and certainly not the farmers.

There is in my opinion an even darker side to this issue. There are those in
the legislative and other government branches today who greatly desire to
see agriculture brought back under strong government control and for the
oldest and worst agricultural institutions, Khlib Ukrainiy, to again raise
its ugly head.

Nothing could be worse for Ukraine’s farmers or the country’s reputation as
a reliable trader, but we seem to be headed in that direction.

All of this suggests that the sooner World Trade Organization accession
may be completed the better off everyone will be. WTO membership would
tie the hands of government and avoid many of the worst of the government’s
current abuses of its power. [Editor Jim Davis: jim@twg.com.ua]
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/229/1004
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
4. UKRAINE MUST CONVERT ENERGY OF ORANGE REVOLUTION
                    TO FORM A STABLE, PROSPEROUS STATE
            
Presentation by Geoff Hoon, UK Minister for Europe
Adam Smith Investment Summit, London, UK, Monday, March 12, 2007
British Embassy, Oslo, Norway, Monday, March 12, 2007

Ukraine is Europe’s newest democracy. Its challenge now is to convert the
energy of the Orange revolution to form a stable, prosperous State. And
Business can play an important role in this transformation.

I know that you have just finished a session on macroeconomics and will next
discuss the investment climate. There are many people here much better
equipped than me to speak on these issues.

So I will concentrate on the broader issues of Ukraine’s political
development and its relationship with the UK and the rest of the EU.

I was in Ukraine just a few weeks ago. It was five years since my previous
visit, as Defence Secretary. I was struck by how much had changed. We all
saw the dramatic scenes of the Orange revolution on the television. And it
was powerful viewing. We saw democracy in action, on the streets.

Almost overnight, Ukraine’s relationship with the UK, Europe and the wider
world was transformed. This has allowed us to forge a much closer
relationship with Ukraine than in the past. Our main priority now is to work
with Ukraine to support its reform process.

This is already happening. We look forward to Ukrainian membership of the
WTO. This will be a major step forward in the reform process, a key step in
deepening Ukraine’s relationship with the EU, and an important point in
bringing Ukraine further into the global economy.

The UK strongly supports Ukraine’s Euro-atlantic ambitions. Currently, the
UK is supporting projects that provide assistance on EU policy
co-ordination, democratisation issues, and social services issues, to
mention only a few.

I heard much during my visit about continuing reforms. As a frequent visitor
to central and eastern Europe after 1989, I know how difficult it is to bed
down reforms that last. This is now the challenge for Ukraine.

We have seen significant progress in areas such as democracy and media
freedom. But, as you would expect, much remains to be done.

We would like to see still more political and economic reform and continued
efforts to tackle corruption and improve the rule of law. This will enhance
the everyday lives of Ukrainian citizens, improve the climate for foreign
investment and bring Ukraine closer to EU standards.

Ukraine’s EU prospects dominated my discussions in Kiev. This is not
surprising. Ukraine is, after all, a European state. And I firmly believe
that the possibility of EU membership must remain open to those parts of
Europe that are still in the process of transition, including Ukraine.

The next chapter of the story of Ukraine’s relationship with the EU is about
to be written. On 6 March, negotiations were launched on a new agreement
with the EU.

This will include a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that should
lead to extensive alignment of Ukraine’s external and internal market laws
and standards with those of the EU.

The new agreement with the EU will also deepen political co-operation,
support Ukraine’s reform efforts and contribute to the energy security of
both the EU and Ukraine.

EU enlargement has transformed the lives and societies of millions of people
across Europe. We in the UK want to see Ukraine benefit from this process.
But it is not easy.

The checklist of actions that must be completed before membership constantly
grows. And EU laws must not just be incorporated into local law, they must
also be implemented.

So my main message to Ukraine is to maintain momentum in the reform

process. And demonstrate real results.

Business has a crucial role to play. Investors should be frank friends to
the government. Investors know best what will work, for example in banking
reform. They know if corruption is impeding investment. And they know that
the rule of law is imperative to protecting their investments.

I hope, starting with this conference, we can see a partnership develop
which will deliver the practical reforms to spur further economic growth. I
wish you every success.

There is hard work ahead for Ukraine’s leaders and big changes for its
people. But I am confident that these changes will build a better future as
we move forward together.                         -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1036414846587&a=KArticle&aid=1173559930717
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
5. NORWEGIAN PHONE CO TELENOR ACCUSES RUSSIAN RIVAL
              OF PAYING FOR NEGATIVE PRESS IN UKRAINE

By Andrew E. Kramer, International Herald Tribune/New York Times
Paris, France, New York, NY, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

MOSCOW – Telenor, the Norwegian phone company, claimed Tuesday
that the telecommunications unit of Alfa Group, a Russian conglomerate
controlled by the billionaire Mikhail Fridman, had been paying journalists
in Ukraine to publish negative articles about Telenor in the midst of a
business dispute.

The Alfa subsidiary, Altimo, denied the accusation in a strongly worded
statement, saying that documents Telenor distributed to journalists to
support its claim were forgeries.

The documents were also filed as supporting evidence in an arbitration
process in New York, as part of a wider legal dispute between the
Norwegian and Russian companies.

Telenor’s claim, nonetheless, opened a window on one of the more cynical
business practices in the former Soviet Union, and one that is believed to
be widespread.

Telenor, the biggest telecommunications company in the Nordic region, and
Altimo, a major player in the former Soviet Union, are struggling for
control of two large assets – Kyivstar, the largest Ukrainian cellphone
operator, and VimpelCom, the second-largest Russian telecom. MTS is the
largest.

The companies divided ownership of Kyivstar and VimpelCom in a 2004
partnership that has unraveled into lawsuits in Ukraine, Russia and the
United States.

Telenor on Tuesday distributed what it said were internal Altimo planning
documents. They appeared to give an unusually fine-grained picture of the
budgeting and execution of a publicity campaign based on surreptitious
payments to journalists to plant negative articles about a business rival.

The effort, according to Kjell Morton Johnsen, Telenor’s vice president for
Central and Eastern Europe, was intended to discredit Telenor in Ukraine.

“The media and institutions in Ukraine are being used by a player in the
market for their own gain,” Johnsen said by telephone. “It’s insulting to
Ukraine that they can be used in this way. We need to get back to business
as normal.”

Johnsen said Telenor had obtained the documents from a person familiar

with Altimo’s business who wished to remain anonymous. Johnsen said
the documents were genuine.

One document distributed by Telenor and titled “Logical Rationale for the
Information Campaign under the Kyivstar Contract” purported to highlight the
strategy.

It notes ruefully that Norwegian companies typically have unimpeachable
business reputations, and that any attack on Telenor thus must be preceded
by an effort to undermine the image of Norwegian business generally.

“In order to break the existing stereotype whereby Western business and, in
particular, Norwegian business, always ‘plays fair,’ an information wave” of
negative publicity should be employed, the document said.

It suggested planting “investigative” stories saying Telenor used double
standards: that it obeyed Western courts but disrespected Ukrainian law.

The document said such claims of disrespect would resonate with rising
nationalism in Ukraine after the 2004 Orange Revolution. “Nationalism

must become the starting point,” the document said.

A spreadsheet titled “Plan of an Information Campaign to Discredit the Image
of Norway in Ukraine” purported to show that Altimo planned to spend
$74,950 between Jan. 29 and March 31.

One expenditure of $4,000, according to the spreadsheet, would have gone
to plant a story saying Telenor had acquired Kyivstar under favorable terms
after it struck a deal with Leonid Kuchma, the unpopular former Ukrainian
president.

A separate budget noted payments for stories that had already allegedly
appeared. Money was also noted to rent billboards that appeared in Kiev this
winter calling on Norwegian companies to obey Ukrainian law, a thinly veiled
campaign targeting Telenor.

Elsa Vidal, a specialist on former Soviet countries at Reporters without
Borders, a journalists’ group based in Paris, said planted articles were
commonplace in the region.

“Almost all companies pay money to newspapers to write about how good
their products are,” rather than place advertising, she said. “You can find
the same articles in two newspapers sometimes.”                -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/13/business/tele.php
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6. LONDON JEWEL GIFT HELPS LAUNCH UKRAINE BUSINESSES

Leon Symon, London Jewish Chronicle, London, UK, Fri, Mar 9 2007

LONDON – Pearls from London are helping to change the lives of Jewish
women at risk in the Ukraine as part of a joint international MicroEnterprise

operation involving Britain and America.

The MicroEnterprise scheme gives women in the former Soviet republic the
chance to start their own businesses.

Bob & Doris Gordon, Arthur & Andrea Waldstein and other Jews from
Boston MA are the architects and initiators of this project.

Started one and a half years ago, the MicroEnterprise scheme enables women
at risk, single mothers, widows and mothers with disabled children to earn a
living and build up their dignity by providing loans and expertise to set up
small businesses.

The Gordons and Waldsteins provided the know-how and expertise to set
up the project as well as the capital for the loans. Now, a donor in London
has provided $50,000 worth of pearls and jewellery to augment the project.

According to Slavic Brez, who is in charge of the scheme in the Ukrainian
town of Dnepropetrovsk, “so far more than ten loans were provided to woman
and this recent generous contribution will help an additional six to eight
women living here to run their own businesses.

It can transform their lives. Most are single parents or widows, usually
with children but without work. Life has been very hard for them. “This
scheme will give them the chance to support themselves, give them back their
dignity and self-esteem and show that they can stand on their own two feet”.

Whereas London has provided the pearls and other stock such as pendants
and brooches Boston has provided the capital to enable training in skills
such as book-keeping, business management and marketing.

The London element of the scheme is the brainchild of Rabbi Yonah Pruss, who
runs the office of the FSU (Former Soviet Union) Jewish Community Fund in
the UK which is part of Moscow-headquartered FJC (Federation of Jewish
Communities of the CIS (former Soviet Union).

This is a unique project” said Rabbi Pruss. “In addition to the very vital
day to day ongoing support of the elderly, children at risk and other
welfare assistance, this is the first project that empowers people to
support themselves. It is very low-risk and we hope to roll it out to other
places.”

One of the Ukraine’s biggest banks, with more than 4,000 branches, has
agreed offer the women loans at very low rates of interest – “because this
is business, not charity and all the loans will be paid back” said Mr Brez.

“These women could earn $500 – $600 a month, which is quite a lot for them.
Once they see that they can be successful, they start their own social
groups and take part in Jewish life generally.”             -30-

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http://www.thejc.com; http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=487705
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7.  NAFTOGAZ, UKRAINE’S OIL & GAS CO TO INVEST $800M 

Bloomberg News, New York, NY, Tuesday, 13 Mar 2007

KIEV – Naftogaz Ukrayny, Ukraine’s state- run oil and natural-gas company,
will invest $800 million this year in oil and gas extraction and pipelines,
as it tries to lessen its dependence on imported energy.

“We will review all our projects and will concentrate on the most
profitable,” Oleksandr Kovalko, the chief finance officer at NAK Naftogaz
Ukrayny, said today at a press briefing in Kiev. Ukraine depends on imports,
mostly from Russia, for about 80% of its energy needs.

The country wants to invest in gas and oil extraction abroad and the Black
Sea with international oil companies to diversify. Naftogaz will invest as
much as $30 million exploring for oil and gas in Egypt.

Naftogaz plans to borrow $495 million to $554 million abroad and more from
Ukrainian banks, for a total of $653 million, to refinance loans, according
to Kovalko. The company’s current debt totaled $2.5 billion at the end of
2006.

Naftogaz will probably resume borrowing by the end of spring, Kovalko said.
“We will attract loans and we may also issue bonds,” said Kovalko.
“Everything depends on the situation in the world markets and our financial
results.”

Naftogaz got a $350 million loan at the end of last year and a $200 million
loan in February from Credit Suisse, Kovalko said, without giving any other
details.

“We used this money to repay our $200 million debt to ABN AMRO in the

end of February this year,” he said. Kovalko said Naftogaz would increase
its net profit this year by cutting jobs and cost.

The government will also help to raise Naftogaz profit by allowing it to
raise prices for households in the H2 of 2006 after Russia doubled the price
it charges Ukraine for natural gas in January last year and raised them
again by 37% this year. Controlled prices for gas in the H1 of 2006 caused
Naftogaz to lose $731 million, Kovalko said.           -30-
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8. EXPERT ASSESSES THREATS TO UKRAINE’S ECOSYSTEM
         Water, Soils, Waste Disposal, Radiation Pollution, Forest

By Oleksandra SHEPEL, The Day Weekly Digest #8,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Environmental problems are a constant worry for biologists, ecologists, and
physicians. Ukraine’s leading experts agree that air, water, and ground
pollution pose the greatest threat to humans.

Other acute problems include domestic and industrial waste disposal,
radiation, and shrinking forests, which are causing a decline in flora and
fauna.
1. WATER —–
Ukraine’s major water resource is the Dnipro, along with the Danube,
Dnister, Southern Buh, Tysa, Prut, and other rivers. Experts stress that
every year nearly one-third of the Ukrainian population suffers from
illnesses caused by industrial waste being discharged in these bodies of
water.

“The state of our water and the full flow of these major rivers largely
depend on the condition of their estuaries – small rivers of which there are
some 63,000 in Ukraine,” says Heorhii BILIAVSKY, head of the chair of
ecological auditing at the National Management Academy (NAU) and
international expert with the European Community’s research and development
department.

“Their role is extremely important; suffice it to say that 90 percent of the
populated areas in our country are located precisely in the valleys of small
rivers and are using their water.

However, the state of these small rivers in Ukraine is alarming. According
to Derzhvodhosp statistics, Ukraine lost some 5,000 small bodies of water in
the second half of the 20th century; this will inevitably cause our large
rivers to degrade.”
2. SOILS —–
Soil has an immense value not only because it is the main source of food
supplies, but also because it is actively involved in purifying natural and
sewage water. It keeps the water balance on land, acting as a neutralizer of
a number of man-made disasters.

 Ukraine boasts the world’s largest deposits of chornozem. Proof of its
value is the fact that during the war the Nazi occupiers shipped out
trainloads of Ukrainian soil to the Reich.

According to Hryhorii FRANCHUK, head of NAU’s ecology chair,
Ukraine’s stocks and value of soils have been significantly reduced.

This is caused by the barbaric and insufficiently considered use of land,
erosion, salinization, and the sale of land to be used for quarry sites and
other industrial structures. Land use must be conducted intelligently and
carefully.

Tetiana SAIENKO, deputy head of Ukraina University’s ecology chair, says:
“In the race for harvests, our soils are becoming increasingly overplowed,
and incredible amounts of mineral fertilizer and pesticides are being
administered.

As a result, the soil on huge tracts of land in the steppe and arid zones is
no longer capable of absorbing and releasing water; its structure has
degraded; and it is full of harmful chemical compounds. All over Ukraine
soil fertility is decreasing on a disastrous scale.”
3. WASTE DISPOSAL —–
As a rule, Ukraine’s waste storage and disposal procedures fail to conform
to sanitary requirements. This leads to a high degree of pollution of
surface and subterranean waters, as well as soil and air.

Ecologists have calculated that Ukraine’s dumps take over some 1,500
hectares a year. All this poses a danger to the environment.

“The bulk of this waste is produced in Ukraine by the mining,
chemical-metallurgical, fuel-energy, construction, and pulp and paper
industries, and agribusiness.

Most regions in Ukraine lack testing grounds with facilities for the
centralized storage and disposal of waste. Because of lack of funds and
unoccupied land, the possibilities for building modern waste disposal
facilities are limited.

In the past most waste was burned. Now this is prohibited because a number
of toxic agents are produced during incineration,” says Oleh SHULHA,
associate professor at NAU’s chair of ecological auditing.

Italian ecologists have produced research that should make us reflect on the
legacy we are leaving behind.

In 2005 their studies showed that a glass bottle and a polystyrene vessel
degrades over 1,000 years, compared to three months for paper containers,
five years for cigarette butts, 10-20 years for all kinds of plastic bags,
30-40 years for nylon products, and 500 years for metal cans.
4. RADIATION POLLUTION —–
The consequences of the Chornobyl catastrophe long ago grew beyond
environmental problems, becoming a link in a chain of socioeconomic,
medical, biological, demographic, and other problems.

Since the files of the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the former USSR were
declassified, a number of Ukrainian ecologists have been insisting on
banning all nuclear power plants, the sooner the better, condemning them as
a risky and hazardous source of energy.

“The main thing is that a nuclear power plant means technology above all,
something that cannot function with a 100 percent safety guarantee,” says
Dr. Biliavsky.

He cites the outstanding Russian journalist G.O. Medvedev, who said that
Chornobyl demonstrated man’s omnipotence and impotence. He also cautioned
mankind against getting carried away by its omnipotence: “People, don’t fool
around with it, because you are both the cause and consequence.”

In Biliavsky’s opinion, claims that atomic energy is inexpensive are a
deliberate falsification: the designers of nuclear power plants do not
include in the value of an atomic kilowatt such expenditures as recycling
and storage of radioactive waste, or expenses connected with operating
nuclear power plants in keeping with established safety standards. German
experts write that “nuclear energy is less expensive only where safety is
regarded as a matter of minor importance.”
5. FOREST —–
Forests are among the major absorbers of carbonic acid gas. They are the
planet’s lungs, supplying oxygen and other valuable materials, and
protecting the earth against erosion and dry hot winds.

 
Forests have a powerful health-building importance, since certain trees, like
white birches, pines, and fir trees, produce special volatile agents –
phytoncides – that destroy pathogenic bacteria and make air curative. Our
reckless chopping down of forests has considerably reduced the size of
forested areas, making both man and nature suffer.

Tetiana Bilyk, research fellow with the National Academy’s Institute of
Hydrobiology, believes that the swift progress of civilization has in no way
quickened the progress of animal and plant species; instead, it has
accelerated the process of their extinction.

This is because their natural habitats are being destroyed: there are too
many hunters, too many fishermen getting their catch by unauthorized means,
too many lumberjacks chopping down precious kinds of trees, and so on.

All ecological problems are important and interrelated. Ecologists in
Ukraine are alarmed that the government is paying scant attention to these
issues.

“Since 1992 the world has been concerned about harmonious development, but
in Ukraine such important bills as “The Strategy of Balanced Development”
and “On Ecological Education” still not been passed by parliament.

Franchuk says that the education and ecology ministries haven’t even gotten
around to coping with the Balanced Development Strategy project, even
though this strategy is being actively implemented in most countries.

Experts are also worried by the fact that the Ukrainian authorities are
refusing to cooperate with environmental organizations; this reduces public
influence on ecological problems to a minimum. They are also displeased
with the residual principle of financing.                  -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/178406/

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9.   UKRAINE PLANS TO JOIN WTO LATER THIS YEAR

RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 12, 2007

LONDON – Ukraine plans to join the World Trade Organization (WTO)
later this year, a Ukrainian official told an investment summit Monday.

Igor Mityukov, adviser to the Ukrainian prime minister, said accession to
the WTO was this year’s priority for the Ukrainian government, and that
negotiations with WTO member-countries had almost been completed.

“We can see no insurmountable obstacles in this direction,” the official
said on the sidelines of the forum.

He said Ukraine’s parliament would soon have to adopt several draft laws,
which have already been approved in the first and second readings, and that
the government should efficiently introduce adopted legislation.

“I believe Ukraine could join the World Trade Organization in the latter
half of 2007,” Mityukov said

The Ukrainian official said he would refrain from comparing the timelines
for Russia’s and Ukraine’s accession to the WTO, since there were
“substantial differences between the two countries’ economies.”

He added that both countries should first of all pursue a coordinated tariff
policy so that their accession to the WTO would not undermine existing
economic relations.

To join the 150-nation World Trade Organization, Russia must sign bilateral
protocols and complete multilateral talks with all its trading partners in
the organization.                                  -30-
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LINK: http://en.rian.ru/world/20070312/61870055.html

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10. EU INCREASES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE

EuropaWorld, Cowbridge, Wales, UK, Friday, March 9, 2007

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood
Policy, Benita Ferrero Waldner, announced on the occasion of her meeting
with President Viktor Yushchenko on 8 March, that the European Commission
will provide a substantial increase in financial assistance to Ukraine over
the next four years.

An amount of EUR494 million should be available 2007-2010 to support the
reform process and the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan.

This represents a substantial increase compared to funding provided in the
past. In addition, Ukraine will benefit from increased lending by the
European Investment Bank.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “Ukraine has made remarkable progress
in democratic and economic reforms since the Orange Revolution. With our
enhanced financial assistance we will support the country to continue with
its reform efforts.

Our assistance will focus in particular on:
[1] strengthening good governance and democratic institutions,
[2] bringing Ukrainian legislation and standards closer to those of the EU
[3] and supporting cooperation in key sectors such as energy, transport
     and the environment.”

Key EU assistance activities over the period 2007-2010 will include:
[1] Support for the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Memorandum of
Understanding on Energy to promote the progressive integration of the
Ukrainian energy market with that of the EU, the development of gas and oil
infrastructure and progress on energy efficiency, and the use of renewable
energy resources.

[2] Support to strengthen Ukraine’s capacities in the areas of border and
migration management against the background of the forthcoming entry into
force of a Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement between the EU and
Ukraine.
[3] Support to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the
judiciary and to ensure the impartiality and independence of prosecution.
[4] Support to address environmental challenges, notably in the areas of
climate change and improved water quality.
[5] In addition to this assistance, Ukraine will be eligible to draw on the
proposed Neighbourhood Investment Fund. This Fund will be used to
leverage additional lending from financial institutions including the
European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
[6] A Governance Facility is being created to provide additional support on
top of normal country allocations to acknowledge and support the work of
ENP partner countries that have made most progress in implementing their
Action Plans.
                        EU ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE
The EU is the largest donor to Ukraine and has since 1991 provided
assistance worth well over EUR2 billion, mainly under its Tacis programme.
During the last programming period 2004-2006 planned EU assistance
amounted to EUR212 million.

The yearly average was EUR70.7 million per year in 2004-06 and is
EUR123.5 million per year in 2007-10. EU assistance over the last
programming period focused on three priority areas:

[1] Support for institutional, legal and administrative reform,
[2] Support for private sector and economic development and
[3] Support in addressing the social consequences of transition.

EU assistance is also provided to strengthen nuclear safety and for the
destruction of anti-personnel landmines.
              EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK (EIB) LENDING
Under its new external mandate 2007-2013, a lending mandate of up to
EUR12.4 billion will be available for European Neighbourhood and
Partnership countries including EUR3.7 billion for Eastern Europe, the
Southern Caucasus and Russia.                      -30-
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For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/ukraine/intro/index.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/partners/enp_ukraine_en.htm
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LINK: http://www.europaworld.org/week298/euincreases9307.html
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11. EU-UKRAINE RELATIONS ARE AT A COMPLETE STANDSTILL

COMMENTARY: By Arnaud Dubien, Political scientist,
Editor-in-chief, Analytical Bulletin “Ukraine Intelligence”, Paris
EuraisianHome Analytical Resource, Tuesday, March 13, 2007

An impression of the recent visits of Viktor Yanukovych to Berlin (February
28, 2007) and Viktor Yushchenko to Brussels (March 8-9, 2007) is that the
EU – Ukraine relations are at a complete standstill.

The EU is not ready to view Ukraine as a candidate country, since France and
Germany, the driving forces behind the European integration, have imposed
certain restrictions.

The institutional crisis in the EU, beginning of a new electoral cycle in
France, the problem of Turkey’s EU membership that proves that it is better
not to give prematurely promises in order not to regret the consequences,
are contrary to Ukraine’s EU aspirations.

It has been made clear to Kyiv that the relations between the EU and Ukraine
will develop for a long time within the framework of the European
Neighbourhood Policy.

For all that, it does not mean that the EU turns its back on Ukraine as the
Russian and Ukrainian mass media often say. That is indicated by the almost
twofold increase in financing Ukraine by the EU, which was officially stated
on March 8.

We should bear in mind that Ukraine is located between the EU and Russia

and that Ukraine has closer ties with Russia.

The point is whether Ukraine can go through socioeconomic and political
modernization without joining the European Union in the near future. The EU
officials have not come to terms about it.

The “gas war” between Russia and Ukraine (January 2006) influenced the
Europeans despite the fact that the EU leaders took this conflict
superficially.

Above all, we came to realize that the EU is vulnerable because it depends
on Russia’s energy supplies and that the priority here in Europe should be
given to the energy sources diversification with emphasis on the development
of the nuclear energy.

In this process Ukraine is considered an important element of the European
energy security, but of course, less important than Russia that has vast
energy resources.

That’s why the EU reaction to the events of January 2006 was more moderate
and restrained than that of the US.

More intense Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the sphere of energy will not
necessarily be taken negatively by any of the EU countries, except,
probably, Poland and the Baltic states, provided that this cooperation
guarantees stability of energy supplies.

As regards the attitude to Ukraine’s Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, I
would say that realist vision starts prevailing among the European
bureaucrats as the 2004 presidential election is being erased from memory.

Yanukovych does not delight the Europeans as President Yushchenko used
to do at the beginning of 2005. But, as a matter of fact, the EU leaders
almost gave up as hopeless the Ukrainian President, who had proved to be

a weak strategist.                               -30-
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http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/expert.xml?lang=en&nic=expert&pid=994&qmonth=0&qyear=0
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12.                           STORM FROM THE EAST
 Some loud dissent to government policy heralds from the Donbass region

BYuT Inform Newsletter, Issue 33, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, March 13, 2007

Despite a rash of economic data indicating a 7% growth in Ukraine’s economy,
the mood of the populace remains downbeat as dissatisfaction grows with the
administration of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Surprisingly, some of the loudest dissent to government policy heralds from
the Donbass region – the political heartland of Mr Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions.

Yet last week, the prime minister, during a visit to Hungary, trumpeted
Ukraine’s economic regeneration, “I am telling you that they dream that
someday the economy of Hungary will grow the same as Ukraine’s.”

Some thought Mr Yanukovych took his comments too far when he poured cold
water on EU growth rates. “We are not satisfied with the European GDP growth
of 3%. We should have not less than 7-8%. Then we will gradually catch up
with living standards, increase social standards and strive for the world
level,” said the premier.

“This is taking grandstanding to a new level,” said Oleksandr Turchynov,
deputy leader of BYuT, “the reality is he inherited a growing economy and
has pursued policies that have benefited an elite few while causing
widespread hardship.”

Last week there were reports of tens of thousands of people being left in
the cold in the Lugansk towns of Sverdlovsk, Krasnodon, Byelovodsk and
Lutugino, as heating was cut off because of unpaid communal tariffs.

Elsewhere workers have complained that wages are not being paid and sit-in
protests are taking place in several Lugansk mines over non-payment of
bonuses.

Despite GDP increasing to 7.1% in 2006, the State Statistics Committee said
that inflation in 2006 had risen to 11.6% compared with 10.3% in 2005.

Steel products make up more than 40% of Ukrainian exports and remain the
country’s principal source of hard currency. “The recent growth has been
driven by higher global prices for metallurgy and metal working,” said
Jonathan Schiffer, author of Moody’s 2006 report on Ukraine.

Notwithstanding the surge in heavy industrial output, there is a marked lack
of a “feel-good factor”  in the east of the country. The Donbass newspaper
indicated that as few as 2% of Ukrainians consider the domestic economic
situation as “good.”

“While many governments suffer from mid-term blues, they seem to have

come early for Yanukovych,” said Mr Turchynov.
Popular support for the government has evaporated in recent months, and is
attributed mostly to sharp increases in gas and electricity.

Another contributing factor is the growing inequality between the “haves”
and “have-nots” and nowhere is this more visible than in the industrialised
regions of the east.

The dilapidated state of infrastructure contrasts sharply to increased
industrial output. Ironically, much of the increased steel production is
destined for infrastructure projects in Asia.

The sense of injustice is magnified further by endemic corruption. A fact
picked up by the US State Department, which last week lambasted Ukraine
saying that corruption has spread over all branches of power. Bribery within
judicial system, police and even in high schools was singled out for
condemnation.

The dissatisfaction of citizens in eastern Ukraine is expected to benefit
the opposition, particularly BYuT.

The party hopes to build on its success during the 2006 parliamentary
election when it won in the historically eastern-leaning Kirovohrad Oblast
with 33% of the vote and came a strong second in the region of
Dnipropetrovsk with over 15% of the vote. Strong second places were also
secured in the eastern regions of Zaporizhia and Kharkiv.

It is not inconceivable that the east will be the battleground where the
future of Ukraine will be decided. In a thought provoking blog on the
website Foreign Notes, the author LEvko opined, “The huge human and economic
potential of the industrialised east of Ukraine has always played a foremost
role in the political set-up of the country.

It was from here Kuchma came to replace Kravchuk. And it was from here that
Yanukovych came to push out Yushchenko. It is possible that it is from here
the future victory of Tymoshenko will be prepared.”
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NOTE: Questions or comments? E-mail us at taras@byti.org.ua
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13.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO ACCUSES RIVAL
         YANUKOVYCH OF USING POWER TO SEEK REVENGE

INTERVIEW: With Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko
Associated Press, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb 28 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday accused the
Cabinet headed by his former campaign rival of seeking revenge for the
Orange Revolution, and said some of its decisions seem aimed at satisfying
Moscow.

Yushchenko beat out Viktor Yanukovych for the presidency after leading

2004 mass protests dubbed the Orange Revolution, but was forced into a
power-sharing arrangement last year with Yanukovych, whose Russian-leaning
party won the most votes in parliamentary elections and put together a
ruling coalition.

Decisions by the Cabinet and parliament’s governing coalition have been
“taken with such insufficient consideration that they can be based only on
emotions and the desire for some primitive revenge,” Yushchenko told The
Associated Press in an interview.

Since he returned to power as premier, Yanukovych’s coalition has trimmed
back Yushchenko’s authority and sought to counter the president’s strongly
pro-Western push in foreign policy.

Yanukovych has put Ukraine’s move toward NATO membership on hold and

forced the ouster of Yushchenko’s pro-Western foreign minister, and his party
last week refused to endorse the president’s new choice to be Ukraine’s top
diplomat.

Yanukovych’s party has also supported regional movements to make Russian a
second state language – an idea that Yushchenko has strongly opposed,
insisting that promoting the Ukrainian language is key to protecting the
country’s sovereignty.

Yushchenko said that he was concerned that some decisions seemed to be made
with an eye on the Kremlin’s interests, not Ukraine’s. “Such decisions do
not help develop relations if they are not grounded on the basis of national
interest,” he said.

He accused Yanukovych of failing to fulfill any of the pledges he undertook
when he signed a document aimed to promote national unity last year, as
Yushchenko demanded he do before agreeing to nominate Yanukovych as

premier.

The document was supposed to outline Ukraine’s main foreign and domestic
policy goals, including NATO membership and promoting Ukrainian as the sole
state language.

Yushchenko also accused the government of “very often ignoring the law and
the Constitution.”

But he insisted that he made the right – and only – choice when he agreed to
nominate Yanukovych, words apparently aimed at deflecting criticism from
supporters angry that he enabled the former premier to return to the
powerful position.

He added that he can’t be blamed for the collapse of the Orange Revolution
coalition, which led to Yanukovych’s return.

“What legal choice did we have?” Yushchenko said, stressing that his
decision was guided by electoral law, the results of the March parliamentary
elections and the makeup of the majority coalition formed in parliament
months after the vote.

“Let us be exact … I was guided exclusively by law so I live very calmly,”
he said.                                                     -30-
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14. TYMOSHENKO BOLSTERS DEMOCRATIC IMAGE IN U.S.

by John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Mar 01 2007

Firebrand female politician Yulia Tymoshenko traveled to the United States
Feb. 28 for a several-day visit, hoping to confirm her unofficial title as
the leader of Ukraine’s democratic movement and gain points at home and
abroad against her lackluster political opponents: Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych and President Viktor Yushchenko.

During her Washington trip, Tymoshenko was scheduled to meet with US
Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The
high-ranking meetings mirror the level of diplomatic treatment granted to
Yanukovych during a Washington trip last December.

Yanukovych also met with Cheney and Rice during that trip, intended to
justify his government’s controversial policies, which include a cautious
approach to NATO integration initiatives backed by the US leadership.

Yushchenko was accepted with highest honors by President George Bush
during his last trip to the US in April 2005, following the Orange
Revolution that brought him to power.

Since then, he has lost much of his authority on foreign and domestic policy
to Yanukovych’s governing coalition, and his role as the country’s
democratic messiah has been questioned.

Yanukovych’s trip was overshadowed by a dispute with Yushchenko over
leadership at the country’s Foreign Ministry that left many diplomats
wondering which leader was in charge of foreign policy.

Both Yushchenko and Yanukovych remain caught up in a wrestling match
over authority on top government posts and policy.

As confusion in diplomatic circles persists with respect to who is calling
the shots in Kyiv, the ambitious Tymoshenko is scoring political points on
the domestic front and hopes to convince powerbrokers abroad that she is a
capable partner on the Ukrainian arena.

One of her goals will be to revamp her image as a radical and power-hungry
populist politician. She is also trying to rub off the view of being a loose
cannon on the economic front, a reputation that has stuck to her since her
days spearheading the calls for re-privatization while prime minister in
2005.

“As an unwavering supporter of freedom and democracy in Ukraine, I look
forward to returning to the birthplace of these historic principles,”
Tymoshenko announced before her departure.

Tymoshenko, who played a major role in rallying protestors during the Orange
Revolution, but was fired as prime minister in 2005 after a bitter falling
out with Yushchenko, is also looking forward to the country’s 2009
presidential elections.

In the short term, the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (Byut) is pushing for early
parliamentary elections, in which it would be expected to do even better
than the 22 percent, or second place, that it got in the 2006 parliamentary
vote.

Recent opinion polls have put Tymoshenko way ahead of Yushchenko.
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc came in third during last year’s parliamentary
poll.

Tymoshenko is currently running neck and neck in the polls with Yanukovych,
the villain of the 2004 presidential elections, whom Yushchenko fatefully
accepted as premier last summer.

“We believe that after the Orange Revolution and the comeback of the old
political teams, the world stopped understanding Ukraine. I am going to the
United States to make Ukraine more understandable to the outside world,”
Tymoshenko said in Kyiv.

Tymoshenko’s US trip, her first as a major political figure, has been
carefully timed, according to political analyst Andriy Yermolayev.

Byut and Yushchenko’s increasingly divided Our Ukraine party signed an
opposition agreement on Feb. 24, thereby creating a counterweight to the
aggressive parliamentary majority consisting of the Communists, the
Socialists and the prime minister’s Regions party.

Yushchenko, who has had most of his powers snatched from him by
Yanukovych, could only welcome the move by Tymoshenko, who continues
to win over former Our Ukraine supporters.

“I approve and appreciate the unification of opposition forces in the
Verkhovna Rada [parliament] as an important pre-requisite to withstand the
systemic and open violation of Ukraine’s Constitution and current laws,” the
president said in a letter made public by his press service.

“She is going to present herself as Ukraine’s new democratic leader to the
world’s lead democracy,” said Yermolayev, who emphasized the symbolism
behind Tymoshenko’s visit in her role in reuniting the pro-Western Orange
political camp.

In a last-minute twist, Tymoshenko cancelled a scheduled appearance at
Columbia University in New York on Feb. 26. Her press service belatedly
attributed the cancelled appearance to illness. But high-profile meetings

with American politicians are still scheduled.

Taras Pastushenko, deputy head of Byut’s press service, said Tymoshenko will
meet with top senators, including Republican leaders Richard Lugar and John
McCain, a presidential candidate. A meeting with Democratic presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton is also possible, he said.

Byut’s press service said the Ukrainian opposition leader would meet with
members of the Ukrainian Diaspora, who overwhelmingly sided with Orange
parties against Yanukovych in 2004. In contrast, Yanukovych shunned
encounters with Ukrainian Diaspora during his US trip in December.

The Washington visit will also include speeches at the Center for Strategic
and International Studies and the National Press Club.       -30-
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/26195/
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15. YULIA TYMOSHENKO: AN ARCHETYPE OF OPPOSITION

ION & ANALYSIS: By Vadim Dubnov. Independent Journalist.
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Wed, February 28, 2007

MOSCOW – Yulia Tymoshenko bloc seemed to have miscalculated the right
time to raid the switchgear room in the Ukrainian Supreme Rada (parliament):
the deputies only needed to wait a few days until an 18-day break was
announced.

The success of that tactical move in no way brought Tymoshenko closer to
her strategic objective, disbanding the Rada, which had been inactive for a
month.

Three days later, Tymoshenko turned the lights back on, promising to return
to the switchgear room, or somewhere else, because there is not a single
political crisis in Ukraine in which Tymoshenko would not have a hand.

Nor is there a political issue which would not become a political crisis
once she embraced it. Be it her own parliamentary election success, or an
increase in utilities tariffs, which is what plunged parliament into
darkness in the first place.

Tymoshenko has always opposed anything and everything. She opposed
President Leonid Kuchma. She opposed her political godfather Pavel
Lazarenko (prime minister in 1996-1997).

She was in opposition even when she was in power, which was twice. And
both times she opposed Viktor Yushchenko, who was first prime minister
and then president and her Orange soul mate.

One has a suspicion that should some miracle happen and Tymoshenko
become president she would be in opposition all the same. And no matter
to whom or what. In the context of Ukrainian realities, this makes no
difference. The problem lies with realities, not Tymoshenko, who is an
archetype of opposition.

She is tireless and her improvisations are prolific. But most important of
all, she does not care a jot whom she attacks and from what flank once she
has an opponent. Some might say she is unprincipled, and they would be
right. Some may admire her sense of timing and versatility, and they would
not be wrong either.

Today, Tymoshenko is defending those who have been told to pay 500 to
700 hryvnias – more than a hundred dollars – for heat and garbage removal.

She is the traditional mouthpiece of popular anger, not the Communists,
who actually helped to pass the tariff hike as part of an anti-crisis
coalition.

Populism is the catchword. This left-wing slogan is also causing Our
Ukraine, with the president at the head, to line up behind her columns –
what else are they supposed to do knowing that they face early elections?

The archetypal opposition need not concern itself with in-depth logic and
hard background facts. Its business is to generate crises that would have
remained mere food for thought for political experts and economists if they
had not been stirred up by the opposition.

Ukrainian experts think the Yanukovich government made two mistakes.

[1] One was a simple decision to raise utility fees without any hint, verbal
or otherwise, of reform.

[2] The second was to heed widespread requests and start investing in the
essential sectors: coal and farming. Everything is so familiar that it is
time to speak of logic, rather than mistakes.

After winning the day, the Yanukovich cabinet needs to address two basically
disparate problems. On the one hand, the Party of Regions is compelled, with
an eye to the future, to go beyond its traditional regional borders and
become an all-Ukrainian party, and to increase its approval rating. On the
other, the cabinet must perform the functions that belong to it, i.e. run
the economy.

Which, given a short supply of ideas, is as difficult as raising its
popularity rating in Lviv (western Ukraine). The policy Yanukovich came
up with was logical and predictable: utility fees in excess of a hundred
dollars were expected to fill holes in the budget made deeper by its
senseless shakedown.

In response, lured by early elections, somebody would call a rally, while
Tymoshenko simply switched off parliament’s lights.

She is in opposition today, and in a war of all against all, everything is
permissible. In effect, this is the dream of any real opposition – to turn a
latent crisis into a lasting and permanent fix.

They do the same thing in Italy, a country where a Tymoshenko-style
opposition would feel right at home. In Ukraine, unlike in Italy, there are
things worse than a crisis.

Say, the ultimate victory of Tymoshenko herself. Because with her power,
lacking in principles and merciless, no one else could become an opposition
in Ukraine.                                              -30-
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
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16.  U.S. TO REASSURE UKRAINE ON MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELD 

Agence France Presse (AFP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, March 13, 2007

KIEV – A Pentagon delegation was in Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss a
controversial anti-missile system planned for deployment in neighboring
Poland and the Czech Republic, the US embassy said.

Lieutenant General Henry Obering, head of the missile defense agency, “will
discuss aspects of the US missile defence programme including proposed
missile defence bases in Poland and the Czech Republic,” the embassy said in
a statement.

Starting on Tuesday, Obering will meet officials in the president’s office,
the foreign ministry, the defence ministry, the national security council,
the national space agency and members of parliament. He will give a news
conference on Wednesday, the statement said.

The visit is part of a public relations drive to reassure foreign countries
about the planned missile defense shield, following sharp criticism by
Moscow and complaints by some in the European Union that its goals

have not been clearly explained.

US officials have also said they would want to site a radar to support the
system in one of the Caucasus nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Washington says the shield is directed against states such as Iran that
might acquire long-range missiles and denies claims in Moscow that Russia

is the target.

Russia has long objected to the expansion of the US-led North Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (NATO) towards its borders following the collapse in
1991 of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine, which lies between Russia and NATO member Poland, appears split

on the issue. President Viktor Yushchenko has courted the United States and
hopes his country will join NATO, while pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych is against membership, seeking only to join the European Union.
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17. MISSILE DEFENSE: DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF OVER ABM PLANS

By Martin Sieff, UPI Senior News Analyst, Wash, DC, Mon, Mar 8, 2007

The United States has launched its diplomatic offensive to try and improve
relations with Russia, especially on the thorny issue of building ballistic
missile defense facilities in Central Europe. But it is proving to be a
dialogue of the deaf.

The past week has seen heavy diplomatic activity on the ballistic missile
defense front.The United States and NATO have been trying at high levels to
persuade the Russian government that their plans to set up a U.S. radar
installation in the Czech Republic and a ballistic missile interceptor base
in Poland within the next five years are aimed only at Iran, North Korea and
other possible “rogue states” with missile capabilities, not at them.

U.S. Ambassador to Moscow William Burns said during a visit to Siberia
Tuesday that the U.S. and Russian governments should launch a new series

of bilateral talks to explain their conflicting stands on BMD issues and to try
and deal with their differences on them, the RIA Novosti news agency
reported.

Burns repeated the Bush administration’s position that building the ABM
radar and interceptor installations to protect European nations from the
threat of nuclear missiles launched by so-called “rogue” states would not
endanger Russia’s national security. He even offered the possibility that
Washington and Moscow could start a new cycle of cooperation on BMD.

However, Burns also made other comments certain to anger the Kremlin. He
said that the desire of two former Soviet republics, Georgia and Ukraine, to
join the U.S.-led NATO alliance was an expression of the desire of the
governments and populations of both nations.

For the Russian government, openly alarmed at what it sees as continued,
energetic U.S. efforts to reduce or destroy the Kremlin’s remaining
influence in its traditional home sphere of influence, the former Soviet
republics, or “near abroad,” those are incendiary comments.

Burns also referred to the NATO-Russia Council as a relevant mechanism to
try and defuse conflicts between the two powers over such issues. But from
the Russian point of view, this would have been regarded as just empty words
or boilerplate rhetoric.

For the NATO-Russia Council has been in existence for many years and from
the Russian perspective, it has served only as a platform for them to air
their protests — which they regard as always ignored — about the steady
encroachment of NATO bases, new alliance members and political influence
among their former allies and even in countries that were part of Russia and
the Soviet Empire for hundreds of years up to the disintegration of the
Soviet union at the end of 1991.

Burns’ comments indicated no softening of the U.S. position on BMD bases

and on the growing drive in Ukraine and Georgia, both former Soviet republics,
to join NATO – developments that would certainly infuriate the Kremlin.

The previous day (Monday) the head of the NATO alliance also sought to
soothe Russia on the BMD issue. But his comments looked unlikely to cut any
ice in Moscow.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, said in Brussels that both NATO and the U.S. government had
shown “maximum transparency” to Russia on their reasons and plans for
building the new BMD installations in Central Europe, RIA Novosti reported.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected this line of argument
the following day, when he claimed that the Kremlin was still pressing the
U.S. government for answers about its missile defense plans.

“We are discussing the issue with our American colleagues and are asking
them for answers to our questions and concerns, which are completely
justified. Although meetings and briefings are being held on the issue, most
of our questions have not received any clear answers,” Lavrov said,
according to another RIA Novosti report.

The Russian foreign minister said transparency and trust were needed to
counter the dangers of uncertainty over future U.S. strategic intentions
being generated through the Bush administration’s BMD plans.

Lavrov said new U.S. strategic moves were being closely watched by the
Kremlin. He said sometimes U.S. initiatives were made public before
countries that would be involved had been informed of them.

The RIA Novosti report said that Russia was also concerned on March 1

when a senior U.S. Department of Defense official announced that the U.S.
government “would like to station a radar base in the Caucasus.”

“The announcement evoked suspicions in Moscow that Georgia could be a
possible site. Georgian officials have denied the possibility,” RIA Novosti
said.

“The problem of strategic stability concerns everyone,” Lavrov said. “It is
not mere coincidence that calls are made in Europe, including by Germany, to
discuss issues such as the deployment of the American missile shield in
Poland and the Czech Republic,” he said.

Russia’s most senior generals have already publicly served notice that the
Kremlin is prepared to pull out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty,
which has been a cornerstone of superpower détente since it was signed on
Dec. 8, 1987.

“If a political decision is taken to quit the treaty, the Strategic Missile
Forces are ready to carry out this task,” SMF Commander Gen. Nikolai
Solovtsov told a news conference in Moscow on Feb. 19.

And Russia’s top serving soldier, four-star Army Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the
Chief of the Russian General Staff, warned Feb. 15, “It is possible for a
party to abandon the (INF) treaty (unilaterally) if it provides convincing
evidence that it is necessary to do so. We currently have such evidence.”

The Russian message appears clear: Verbal reassurances alone will not dampen
concern about the new BMD plans in Europe. Washington and Moscow

remain on a collision course over the issue.                  -30-
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18.                                “AMERICAN SOUP”
       Russian reactions to Ukraine, Caucasus missile defence cooperation

COMMENTARY: By Vasiliy Sergeyev, Ilya Azar, & Fedor Rumyantsev
Gazeta.ru website, Moscow, in Russian 2 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, March 09, 2007

The US State Department report on cooperation with Ukraine and the countries
of the Transcaucasus in the creation of a missile defence system threatens
to cause a major furore in Moscow’s relations with Washington and Kiev.

Gazeta.ru has learned that Russian parliamentarians are to raise the
“Ukrainian question” at the next Duma session. The military are already
threatening our neighbours with missiles.

The intentional or accidental mention of Ukraine on the list of countries
cooperating with the United States on the missile defence project has taken
the Russian-US conflict, which reached its apogee in Vladimir Putin’s

Munich speech, to a new level.

As Gazeta.ru has written before, on Thursday John Rood, US assistant
secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation,
presented a report in Washington which said that Kiev is cooperating with
Washington in some way in creating a global missile defence system.

The State Department document includes Ukraine on a list of more than 15
countries cooperating to some degree with the Pentagon within the framework
of the missile defence programme.

The list also includes Britain, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy,
Israel, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Poland, and the Czech
Republic. The American side’s statement on the possible participation of one
of the countries of the Transcaucasus in the missile defence project also
caused a sensation.

These plans were announced in Brussels by US Defence Department
representative Lieutenant-General Henry Obering. According to what he said,
it is a question of a radar installation.

Obering did not specify in precisely which part of the “Caucasus” the radar
will be installed. In this case, the term “Caucasus” covers the region that
is known traditionally to Russia as the Transcaucasus: Georgia, Azerbaijan,
and Armenia. There had already been speculation in the press that US
military facilities could spring up in either Georgia or Azerbaijan.

The news of the planned US cooperation with countries of the former CIS

[as published] drew an angry reaction from Russian parliamentarians.

Konstantin Zatulin, deputy from United Russia and member of the [Duma]
Committee for CIS Affairs, is in belligerent mood. In his view, the State
Department report is more than enough to provoke a tough reaction from
Moscow.

“In itself, the Americans’ persistent desire to drag Ukraine into the
missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic should not be

left without a reaction from the Russian side,” Zatulin told Gazeta.ru.

“Our country’s Foreign Ministry should immediately, on the basis of this
officially published report, raise in public, within the framework of the
Putin-Yushchenko commission, the question why Ukraine is engaging in
coordination work on the missile defence system, contrary to consultations
with Russia,” the deputy stated.

“This should prompt an inquiry in the State Duma – in any case, I will ask
the question,” Zatulin threatened, reminding us that the next plenary
session of the Duma is on Wednesday [ 7 March].

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma Committee for International
Affairs, is slightly more cautious: “As I understand it, it is not a
question of any concrete agreement, but of American plans, and that does not
yet mean an official response from Ukraine.” However, in the view of the
United Russia deputy, even “at this stage, this report prompts many
questions.”

“Obviously this shows even more disregard for the Russian side’s absolutely
justified concern, an even greater advance towards Russia’s – not Iran’s or
North Korea’s – borders.

If it turns out that there is already some kind of bilateral understanding,
there will be a huge number of questions for our American and Ukrainian
partners,” the head of the Duma committee stated.

The Russian military have gone even further than the politicians. Air Force
Commander in Chief Vladimir Mikhaylov threatened the neighbour states with
military conflict, in not very veiled terms.

Russia already has an appropriate response to the possible sitting of an
American radar in a country in the Caucasus region, the Air Force commander
in chief said on Friday.

“We have everything necessary to respond appropriately to all these
deployments,” Mikhaylov stated. “Russia’s S-400 [surface-to-air missile]
systems, whose range exceeds 400 km, ensure the performance of all the
necessary air-space defence tasks.”

The Foreign Ministry refused to give any comment to Gazeta.ru. Aleksandr
Pikayev, chief of the disarmament and conflict resolution department at the
International Security Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute
of World Economy and International Relations, did not rule out the
possibility that Russia’s response to possible cooperation between CIS
countries and the United States could be very tough.

“As far as a radar in the Caucasus is concerned, it is well known that
Azerbaijan has apparently given preliminary consent, and how Russia will
react to that is the big question.

But it could be a matter of countermeasures that would be very painful for
Azerbaijan, up to and including imposing a visa regime and taking a tough
line on illegal – Azerbaijani – immigration,” the expert told Gazeta.ru.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, Pikayev doubts that cooperation between Kiev
and Washington in building a missile defence system is more than a matter of
declarations, at least at the moment.

According to him, “Ukraine is hardly cooperating with the Americans more
than Russia is. It is most likely a question of some quite insignificant
projects.”

He reminded us that under the Ukrainian Constitution real power rests with
the cabinet, which is supported by a majority in the Supreme Council. “While
Viktor Yanukovych’s cabinet is in power, I think Ukraine is hardly likely to
go beyond discussions, or maybe some minor contracts with the Americans,”
Pikayev said.

Major-General Pavel Zolotarev, deputy director of the Russian Academy of
Sciences Institute of the United States of America and Canada, takes a
somewhat different view.

He told Gazeta.ru that the way the Americans are putting the question, in
order to have a missile defence system that would, among other things,
devalue the significance of Iran’s missile potential, is the right one.

“This is one method of countering the proliferation of nuclear missile
weapons,” the expert believes. However, according to Zolotarev, there is not
enough real dialogue between Russia, the Western countries, and the United
States to resolve this problem.

“We say ‘not enough dialogue’ because dialogue has, in fact, been taking
place to some degree.

But not sufficiently actively – nor, maybe, at the necessary level – for the
announced decisions on siting, say, radar systems in the Czech Republic and
a missile defence system in Warsaw not to provoke a sharply negative
reaction from Russia,” Zolotarev believes.

The expert described the differences within the Ukrainian leadership on the
question of siting missile defence components as “a natural phenomenon given
the power crisis that persists in Ukraine.”

At the same time the expert believes that there are no grounds for a sharp
deterioration in Russian-US relations. “The American side has apparently
realized that it cannot operate in its customary style – when Washington
consults with nobody, acting on the basis of its own interests.

The Americans will most likely rectify this situation now, and try to
involve the Russian side, too, in dialogue,” the academic concluded.

Ukrainian politicians have not yet commented on the US State Department
report. But there has been a reaction from Azerbaijan and Georgia already.

Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili, commenting on the question of
the possible siting of a missile defence radar on Georgian territory, stated
that “the United States has made no such request to the Georgian
leadership.”

Although Nika Rurua, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on
defence and national security, left a loophole: “If the United States needs
to deploy a missile defence system in Georgia, the Georgian leadership will
examine this issue.”

US Ambassador to Tbilisi John Tefft, for his part, stated that “there are no
plans to deploy a missile defence system in Georgia.”

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry also refuted reports of the possible siting
of radars on the Republic’s territory. “No, this does not correspond to
reality,” the Republic’s Defence Ministry told Interfax on Friday.

Asked whether such deployment is possible in the future, the Defence
Ministry spokesman noted that the defence department cannot comment

on such questions.

“This question falls within the competence of the government and the
political leadership of the country, so the Defence Ministry, as an
executive body, cannot say anything about it,” the news agency’s
interlocutor said.

[Following paragraph is published as boxed section] EU Frightened
Even the EU is now so concerned by the situation that it has decided to
intervene in Russia’s spat with America.

On Friday, behind the scenes at the EU defence ministers’ meeting in
Wiesbaden, Germany, FRG Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung stated that he
intends to raise the question of the siting of the American missile defence
system in East European countries within NATO structures.

Germany’s concern is understandable: The selfsame American General Henry
Obering who announced the siting of a radar in the Transcaucasus also said
that the United States does not require the consent of other NATO countries
for such steps.

“We should without fail discuss this within the NATO framework,” Jung stated
in reply. The minister added that his intention is dictated by the special
relationship between the countries of old Europe and Russia, which will be
spoilt by America’s military plans. Jung suggested that the missile defence
question could be the subject of discussion at a session of the Russia-NATO
Council.                                               -30-

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19. ACTION IN SUPPORT OF RUSSIAN LANGUAGE LAUNCHED
                           IN UKRAINIAN CITY OF ODESSA

Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 12, 2007

ODESSA – An action in support of the Russian language was launched
on Monday in the multi-national Ukrainian city of Odessa.

The action will continue for a week and will involve all districts of the
city with population of about million people, sources from the press service
of the Ukrainian Union of Orthodox Citizens, which initiated the action,
told Tass.

Motor rallies, meetings and the collection of signatures in support of the
Russian language will be held within the framework of the action “I Speak
Russian”. Round-table discussions and conferences will be broadcast live
so that people could speak in support of or against polylingual Ukraine.

A mass meeting with a demand to consider at a city council session this week
the implementation of constitutional rights of citizens to a free use of the
Russian language in Odessa will become the culminating point of the action.

In May-June 2006, the city council of Odessa did not venture to follow the
example of the Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Lugansk, Nikolayev and Kharkov regions
as well as the cities of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Lugansk,
Nikolayev, Sevastopol, Kharkov, Kherson and Yalta, which legalized Russian,
which is the mother tongue for most of their residents.

Kiev qualified these decisions as a manifestation of “language separatism,”
and they were challenged in court by regional prosecutor’s offices.

The Russian language has lost its special status in Krivoy Rog, Kherson,
Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye. However, within the past month, courts
of different instances have rendered lawful the decisions of the Donetsk,
Nikolayev and Kharkov regional councils, which granted the status of
regional to the Russian language.                      -30-
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20.   RUSSIA: WHY PUTIN IS GOING TO THE VATICAN

By Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Tue, Mar 13, 2007

On a recent trip to Jordan, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked his host,
King Abdullah II, if he could pray on the banks of the Jordan River.

The king, seeing that Putin didn’t have a decent place to pray, granted him
a hectare of land on the river bank. Upon his return to Moscow, Putin handed
over the land to the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Aleksy II.

Putin may well be hoping for a similar gesture as he visits the Vatican
today amid improving relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The Russian president has already visited the Vatican three times, but this
will be his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.
                                        TROUBLED TIES
Historical animosity between the two churches runs deep. The Orthodox
Church has accused the Vatican of aggressive proselytizing in Russia.

The Catholic Church has denied the accusations and has expressed concern
over the treatment of Russia’s Catholic minority. The two churches have also
argued over ecclesiastical property in Ukraine.

“Moscow is the ‘third Rome,’ and due to the lack of a ‘second Rome,’
relations with the ‘first Rome’ are very important to us.”

Putin, as a devout believer, has followed the Orthodox Church’s line. The
Russian president did not invite former Pope John Paul II to visit Russia,
as his predecessors Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin had done.

In 2005, the Russian Orthodox Church, with the help of its supporters in the
Kremlin and Duma, managed to push through new legislation that denoted
Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as Russia’s national
confessions. Catholicism received the status of a “guest confession.”
                             SOMETHING IN COMMON
But some observers have suggested that there is a greater chance for
reconciliation with Pope Benedict.

[1] First, Russia enjoys better relations with Germany, the country of the
new pope’s birth, than it does with the Poland of John Paul.

[2] Second, Putin, who lived in East Germany in the 1980s, speaks fluent
German. Today’s talks will reportedly be conducted in German.

The meeting is expected to concentrate on global issues, such as the Middle
East, religious extremism, and global terrorism. Putin is also expected to
discuss with the pope the possible return of a historic Russian church in
the southern Italian city of Bari. Putin plans to pray in the church, which
was built by Russia in 1913, on March 14.

Also up for discussion will be a possible meeting between Benedict and the
Russian patriarch. Such a meeting, most likely on neutral territory, has
been on the agenda for years, but, because of poor relations, has never been
finalized.

                                        SHARED FEARS
Despite the churches’ differences, they have a lot in common. Both feel
threatened by what they see as rampant secularism and the spread of the
Islamic faith.

Commenting recently on Putin’s visit, the Russian Orthodox Church’s envoy to
European institutions, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria said: “There is
growing understanding that Catholics and Russian Orthodox [believers] face
common challenges like militant secularism and relativism, atheism, and
moral dissipation.”

Putin has been adept at using the Orthodox Church for his own political
ends. Some observers have suggested that he sees the Orthodox Church
as the ideological arm of the Kremlin.
                                     USING THE CHURCH
The Orthodox Church has often touted the Kremlin’s line, for example
attacking the European Union’s Energy Charter.

And with the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church
Abroad expected to officially reunite on May 19 after decades of schism,
Putin is being seen as the “unifier of the church.”

In the last year, Putin has also made efforts to mobilize the international
religious community to support his political line.

In July 2006, ahead of Group of Eight (G8) summit in St. Petersburg, Putin
convened the World Religious Summit in Moscow, which brought together
hundreds of clerics from around the world.

Or as Channel One commentator Pyotr Tolstoy said recently, “Moscow is the
‘third Rome'” and due to the lack of a “second Rome,” “relations with the
‘first Rome’ are very important to us.”
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http://www.rferl.com/featuresarticle/2007/03/80e63321-70e4-4cab-bac6-201419c4ab8e.html
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21.      MONKS SEEK HELP AS UKRAINE ORTHODOX
        TREASURE CRUMBLES, THE PECHERSK LAVRA

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday March 6, 2007

KIEV Its golden domes have towered over the capital Kiev for a millennium.
Awed by its mysterious beauty and intrigued by catacombs containing the
remains of scores of monks, thousands pray every day at the Caves Monastery,
spiritual symbol of Slav culture.

But visitors are unaware of impending danger — the monastery is crumbling.
Rain, snow, rising underground water and human negligence threaten to reduce
the site to nothing.

Monks and architects say time is running out and demand urgent action to
protect the Caves Monastery complex, known in Ukrainian as the Pechersk
Lavra.

“We need to hurry to preserve its main treasures and monuments, key elements
of this ensemble,” said the Lavra’s chief architect Tatyana Kulik. “We have
no time. Caves have already fallen in.”

Rising behind Kulik on a chilly winter day were the golden cupolas of the
mediaeval Uspensky Cathedral, mysteriously blown up during Nazi occupation
in World War Two and rebuilt in 2000.

A grand complex with striking belltowers, resplendent churches, chapels,
gates, monuments and seminary buildings, the Lavra was founded by monks

near the Dnieper river in 1051.

Over the centuries it grew to become the main sacred site of Orthodox
Christianity in eastern Europe. It now draws millions of tourists to its
upper and lower sections, a short drive from Kiev’s bustling city centre.

The upper section is a museum under government control. The lower part is
home to about 150 monks. Both are in a dire state.

“The lower part…is in more or less acceptable condition. Every day we walk
around the territory, check which wells are filled with water, inspect
cracks in churches or buildings,” said Pavel, the senior priest who runs the
monks’ community.

“The story is very different in the upper part. The sewage and water supply
system have not been repaired. Snow has started to melt. Pipes are filling
up. The water is coming down, tearing out walls and pipes. Two buildings are
in a terrible state.”
                                           SLOW DECAY
A few metres (yards) from Pavel’s study, a cosy room filled with golden
Orthodox icons, there emerges a picture of slow decay.

A supporting stone wall is riven with cracks as are church walls and
seminary buildings. A chapel lists dangerously. Stone steps are worn and in
danger of disappearing.

Monks and builders work feverishly to reverse the decline. Truckloads of
sand and concrete arrive at the site daily. “We are working to strengthen
the walls of the near caves against landslips,” says Father Varsonofiy as he
leads the way underground to a site of a cave accident in 2005.

Caves collapsed metres away from the cell of St Anthony, the first monk to
inhabit the caves almost 1,000 years ago. His remarkably preserved body is
kept nearby.

As Father Varsonofiy shows new props installed to bolster the ancient
corridor, visitors descend the flight of stone steps, each with a candle in
hand.

The underground passages lead to prayer niches and miniature chapels where
flames cast shadows on icons barely visible through the darkness. Priests
recite prayers.

Experts still cannot explain why the caves collapsed. “The processes of
deformation accelerated in 2005. We do not know what will happen this year
because no scientific research has been conducted,” Kulik said.

“We have not studied the reasons for the accident.” She believes the
monastery’s location on hills near the river is one factor in a long list of
problems.

Negligence, ageing sewage systems, mistakes in planning the city’s drainage
system and construction nearby also played a role, undermining stability
underground.

Lack of funding underscores all the difficulties. Ukraine’s government, its
eye cast firmly on public opinion, pays scant attention to historical
monuments at a time when increasing public sector wages and pensions

remain top items on the agenda.

Architect and monks agree a short-term solution will be of little use to the
ancient monuments. They want a long-term state plan to preserve the Lavra
for future generations.

“The state must take heed,” says Pavel. “This is the only sacred place of
such rank in Ukraine. It is called ‘the second Jerusalem’. We should
preserve it at whatever price. We, monks, are ready to sacrifice our lives.”
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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22.      ALBANIAN GANGSTER TRADED IN MISERY
     Targeted girls from Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia

The Daily Record, London, UK, Thursday, Mar 08, 2007

LONDON – ALBANIAN Luan Placiki was the head of a multi-million-pound

sex slave ring that stretched across Europe.

He targeted girls, some as young as 16, from east European nations such as
Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia. They were often sold on

to other Albanian gangsters in the UK, some in Scotland.

Russian student Olessia Khledod told how she was sold by Placiki, 29, left,
to an Albanian pimp in Glasgow. She was forced to work as a prostitute in
a flat before escaping.

In 2003, Placiki was found guilty of kidnapping and smuggling women into

the UK and forcing them into the vice trade. He was jailed for 10 years but
prosecutors appealed the sentence and it was increased to 23 years.

London’s Wood Green Crown Court had heard he brought at least 60

women into the country – police believe the true figure was closer to 200.

The women were lured with promises of jobs as waitresses and nannies but
were drugged, raped, beaten and forced to work round the clock as
prostitutes. The victims’ families were threatened with violence if they
contacted police.

When police arrested Placiki, they found more than pounds 200,000 in one
bank account alone. He also owned several properties in London and abroad.
He’d been granted a British passport in 2001 after claiming he was an asylum
seeker from war-torn Kosovo.                       -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23. UKRAINIAN CHARITY VOLUNTEER MAY FACE DEPORTATION 

By Ralph Riegel, Irish Independent, Ireland, Friday, Mar 09, 2007

A UKRAINIAN woman is to be deported – just weeks after she was honoured

by President Mary McAleese as one of Ireland’s outstanding charity volunteers.

Iulia Schakova (25) faces the threat of immediate deportation despite the
fact that her outstanding work with the children’s charity, Barnardo’s,
earned her a Presidential award just last December.

Iulia – who lives in Midleton, Co Cork – was devastated when her pleas to
remain in Ireland were rejected and she was served with a notice of pending
deportation.

Yesterday Minister McDowell agreed to personally study the case after the
plight of Ms Schakova was brought to his attention by Cork TD Kathleen

Lynch (Lab).

“I am delighted about it (the intervention) – and I want to take this
opportunity to thank the minister for everything he is doing and for his
desire to look at my file one more time,” Iulia said. She added that she
will be broken-hearted if she has to leave Ireland.

Iulia has been living here for almost four years. After her marriage to an
Irish national broke up in 2005 she lodged an application for full Irish
citizenship, which was refused.                 -30-
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.  ARE NORTH AMERICAN AUDIENCES READY FOR A NEW
          FORM OF INTENSE DANCE EXPRESSION BY FAMED
         UKRAINIAN CHOREOGRAPHER SERGIY SHVYDKYY?

PRWeb, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007

NEW YORK – Sergiy Shvydkyy, internationally renowned avant-garde dancer,
mime-actor, choreographer and leading figure in contemporary performance
arts in Ukraine brings his unique choreographic vision, combining dance with
theatre, to North American audiences.

Currently residing in Canada, Maestro Shvydkyy recently premiered his work
“Master Class Carmen” at the “Cairo International Festival for Experimental
Theatre” to rave reviews.

His outstanding performance won an invitation by the Ministry of Culture of
Egypt to offer master classes and prepare a joint international project
later this year, combining artists from Egypt, Ukraine and North America in
a newly created and choreographed performance.

Recently, Shvydkyy founded the “Art Quick Dance Company” in Canada to
showcase his powerful gesture-based and intensively interpretive
choreography.

New York , NY (PRWeb) March 12, 2007 – Sergiy Shvydkyy, an internationally
renowned avant-garde dancer, mime-actor, choreographer, teacher and leading
figure in contemporary performing arts in Ukraine, has recently returned
from Europe after the world premiere of a new work –‘Master Class Carmen’–
a reinterpretation of the Carmen myth to sold out audiences.

Set to the dramatic music of Maria Callas singing Bizet’s operatic
masterpiece and to the Bolshoi’s “Carmen Ballet” by composer Radion
Shchedrin, it combines dramatically evocative music with powerful movement.

With so many dance companies competing for recognition, it is difficult to
find one that attracts and captures audience’s undivided attention.

Shvydkyy’s intriguing new art form, which combines powerful expressive
movement with theatre, has heated up stages in Europe and is ready to leave
its mark in North America.

His unique narrative expression and dramatic virtuosity, combined with
high-camp theatricality make his interpretations particularly visceral,
physical, sensual and multi-dimensional. Combined with audio and visual
technology, the audience is drawn into a new, intensely moving experience.

Shvydkyy, himself classically trained in Kiev, creates works of great
expressive force, seeking a universally comprehensible gesture-based form of
artistic communication through choreography and intense music
interpretation.

Shvydkyy, now a Canadian citizen, resides in the Toronto-Hamilton area,
after leaving his native Ukraine to broaden his scope and influence in the
world of dance choreography and performance both in Canada and in the
United States.

In recognition of his 9 years’ participation and unique position as an
international cultural icon in contemporary dance performance theatre, the
“Art Quick Dance Company,” which Shvydkyy founded in 2005, was invited
by the Minister of Culture of Egypt to participate in this year’s “Cairo
International Festival for Experimental Theatre” with his performance of
“Master Class Carmen.”

By audition and then invitation, this internationally claimed Festival
chooses and features artists from all over the world in order to provide an
expressive medium for experimental theatre and exchange of ideas between
different cultures and civilizations.

In addition to having this invitation extended to him for the past nine
years, Shvydkyy was awarded the honor of opening the Festival in 1998
with his extraordinary rendition of ‘Venus in Furs’.

His performance of ‘Isadora Duncan’ (1997) was staged on a specifically
constructed platform in front of the Sphinx and the Pyramids.

Shvydkyy’s most recent creation, Carmen, is unique in both its dance style
and its interpretation of the story. There are not one but three Carmens who
compete for the attention of the soldier and the matador and thereby create
a range of compelling and different interpretations of their unconventional
movements.

The mission of Shvydkyy’s unique dance style is to “create and then create
more for creativity is the secret fuel which endows people with the ability
to think and further understand themselves in relation to others”.

His innovative efforts evoked much talk and acclaim from audiences in Cairo
as his famous story of love and betrayal was seen in “a new light focusing
not only on the physical but also on the emotional level of characters”
(Ministry of Culture of Egypt).

After the Carmen performance, he was invited by representatives of the
Ministry of Culture to offer master classes and prepare a joint
international project.

Maestro Shvydkyy will be organizing this project later this year, combining
artists from Egypt, Ukraine and North America in a newly created and
choreographed performance.

After Egypt, Carmen was performed to standing room only audiences in Kiev,
Ukraine for four consecutive nights. Ambassadors from Canada, the United
States, Brazil and Spain were in attendance as well as other officials and
patrons of the arts who expressed interest in the newly created dance
company.

Shvydkyy, who looks more like a bodyguard then a master of movement, has
opened a new artistic window for audiences. His powerful new art form relies
heavily on dramatic, innovative movements and particular attention to
expressive interpretation of music.

Shvydkyy is “tired of traditional performances” and completely opposed to
“slavish imitation and repetition”. He brings audiences to tears in his
death scene in ‘Carmen Dance on Blood’ and has them holding their breath by
strapping knives to the arms of his ‘Carmens’.

Shvydkyy uses classically trained professional ballerinas, trains them in
expressive movement and acting, and then choreographs a spectacular event.

In addition to performing on stage, Shvydkyy has also acted in films such as
‘Good by Cairo’ directed by I. Ciszkewisz, Kiev and ‘The Divine Woman’
directed by A. Sadia Shekoo, Cairo (2005).

His move to Canada in 1999 gave him an opportunity to perform with the
Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble in ‘The Nutcracker’, teach at ‘Expressions
Creative Dance’ (Hamilton, Ontario), conduct workshops and from 1999 to
2005, coach a professional skating team – Skate Canada – in movement and
expressive acting.

In addition to Carmen, he plans to debut “Salome” in the near future before
North America audiences.

Sergiy Shvydkyy, was born in Kiev, Ukraine and received his B.A. in
Choreography and Arts at the O.E. Kornijchuk State University of Culture and
Choreography (Kiev).

He subsequently became a professor of choreography at the State University
and then worked as a dancer with the Virsky Dance Company in Kiev.
Shvydkyy began his professional career as a dancer but soon combined his
love of performing with his talents in choreography.

His twenty year career includes performing worldwide – Ukraine, Russia,
England, Scotland, Austria, Egypt, United States and Canada.

In addition to “Carmen”, he has choreographed and performed in “Isadora
Duncan,” “Venus in Furs,” “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” “Oedipus Rex,”
“Salome” and “Othello.” He is now a Canadian citizen and making North
America home for his “Art Quick Dance Company.”

MZI Global Marketing is promoting Maestro Sergiy Shvydkyy as part of
their heritage and cultural marketing programs in affiliation with the
Slavic Heritage Coalition Slavic Heritage Coalition.                  -30-
———————————————————————————————
Art Quick Dance Company, Larissa Van Duser; 646-489-1242
——————————————————————————————–
http://prweb.com/pingpr.php/U2luZy1TaW5nLVpldGEtU3VtbS1NYWduLVplcm8=
http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20070312/bs_prweb/prweb510481_1
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. CONFERENCE: UKRAINIAN LABOUR HISTORY: FROM
                  EVERYDAY LIFE TO SOCIAL STRUGGLE
                    To be held in Kyiv on Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chris Ford, Ukrainian Labour History Society, UK, Mon, Mar 12, 2007

The conference, “Ukrainian Labour History: From Everyday Life To
Social Struggle” to be held in Kyiv on Saturday, March 24, will cover
the study of history and contemporary state of working-class
communities, culture, nationality, family life, gender, sexuality,
migration, theory, politics and organization – that is labour history

of Ukraine.

For six decades two historical orthodoxies have dominated the history
of Ukraine:
[1] the official Soviet history which crystallized in the late 1920’s,

     on the one hand; and
[2] diaspora’s orthodoxy which made a significant impact on the
     orientation of contemporary Ukrainian history.

Both orthodoxies have their advantages as well as they share many
commonalities which create obstacles for the development of Ukrainian
history.

Leading figures and movements in Ukrainian past were adopted by the Soviet
orthodoxy and misrepresented to the meet the interests of the regime, which
was afraid of any independent grassroots protest; whilst the National
orthodoxy would adopted the same figures and movements diminishing their
socialist ideas and emphasising only their advocacy of national ones.

These problems cannot be seen separately from the context of the historical
climate in which they existed. Symmetrical ideological systems existed in
the East and West, mutually antagonistic, elitist and conservative in their
attitude towards grassroots movements for social transformation.

Both ruled out the possibility of an alternative to the established facts of
“actually existing socialism” or western capitalism, their assumptions were
pervasive in intellectual life including history and social science.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union many historians in Ukraine freely
rejected the straightjacket of the old regime only to adopt orthodoxy of the
neo-conservative historians in the West.

The conference “Ukrainian Labour History: From Everyday Life to Social
Struggle” aims to attract attention and to give an impetus to deeper studies
of issues that have been given no place of importance on the historical
agenda of Ukraine.

This debate is not simply of academic importance, it is also related to the
current malaise in which Ukraine finds itself. To rediscover the past of
Ukrainian labour is also to make use of that understanding to shape their
future.

The conference includes but is not restricted to the following issues:
[1] The everyday life and culture of peasant and working-class
      communities in Ukraine;
[2] Working conditions and struggle for labour rights. Ukrainian
      trade-union and cooperatives movements;
[3] Peasant movements and rebellions: from Koliivshchyna to
     Makhnovshchyna;
[4] Transformation of social and class structure of Ukrainian
      society, from the end of the XIX to the beginning of the

      XX century;
[5] Radical intelligentsia and labour. Ukrainian contribution to
     revolutionary theories;
[6] History and activity of Ukrainian socialist movements and
     parties as well as of the branches of Russian and international
     socialist organisations in Ukraine;
[7] Waves of labour migration from Ukraine. Social struggle of
      Ukrainians in the diaspora.

The conference will be held in Kyiv on March 24, 2007. Please, send
your proposals till March 20 to labhist.conference@gmail.com or on
fax: +38 (044) 234-89-21. Organizing committee phone number: +38
(097) 396-44-99.                              -30-

—————————————————————————————
Contact: Chris Ford: CFORDCPFORD@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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AUR#822 Mar 13 Energy Security, Ukraine Part Of EU Energy Problem; The New Seven Oil & Gas Sisters; Profiles Of The Prime Minister’s Inner Circle

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 822
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
             Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
    Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.      ENERGY SECURITY: AT LAST, A RESPONSE FROM THE EU
          Clarity is needed from Ukraine. Ukraine is part of the EU’s energy
             problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because,
              with a GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth
                                largest consumer of gas in the world.
James SHERR, Fellow, Conflict Studies Research Centre
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom [1]
Mirror-Weekly on the web, No 9 (638)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 8 – 16 March 2007

2.    HUNGARY CHOOSES GAZPROM OVER EUROPEAN UNION
             Budapest decides extending a pipeline beats bloc’s ‘dream’
By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Monday, March 12, 2007

3.      THE NEW SEVEN SISTERS: OIL AND GAS GIANTS THAT
                       DWARF THE WEST’S TOP PRODUCERS
                         The seven are overwhelmingly state-owned
By Carola Hoyos, Financial Times, London, UK, Mon, Mar, 12 2007

4.                 “UKRAINE ENERGY REPORT” PUBLISHED
Research and Markets, Business Wire, Thursday, March 08, 2007

5AN ATLAS: GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF UKRAINE
Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, Thu, Mar 8, 2007

6. GAZPROM EYES OBLAST-LEVEL GAS NETWORKS IN UKRAINE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 36
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, Feb 21, 2007

7.    UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER’S GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO

                  CUT POLAND FROM KEY PIPELINE ROUTE
       Slovak Detour Would Defeat Odessa-Brody Oil Transport Project
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 41
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash D.C., Wed, February 28, 2007

8. PM YANUKOVYCH SAYS UKRAINE’S MILITARY INDUSTRIES
            SHOULD INCREASE COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA
Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

9.        PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ORBITS
                        Profiles of the prime minister’s inner circle
   Key influential people are Akhmetov, Azarov, Klyuyev and Lyovchkin
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Leshchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 3 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service. United Kingdom, Sat, Mar 10, 2007

10UKRAINIAN BOXER KLITSCHKO STOPS AUSTIN IN ROUND 2
AP Worldstream, Germany, Sunday, Mar 11, 2007

11.       UKRAINIAN BOXER WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO LEAVES
                      PLENTY TO PROVE IN UGLY MISMATCH
By Steve Bunce, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, Mar 2007

12.    ‘A GIVING HEART’: YOUNG FLORIDA WOMAN SERVING
                   AS PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN UKRAINE
By Kate S. Peabody, Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola, Florida, Sunday, March 11, 2007

13BALTIMORE-TRAINED ARTIST SHARES UKRAINIAN EASTER
            EGG PAINTING CRAFT DURING HANDS-ON SESSION
By Laura McCandlish, Sun Reporter, Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, Maryland, Monday, March 12, 2007

14.       FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN EX-SOVIET LANDS,
                      GOLDEN YEARS ARE DIFFICULT TIMES
By Lev Krichevsky, JTA, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007
========================================================
1
ENERGY SECURITY: AT LAST, A RESPONSE FROM THE EU
       Clarity is needed from Ukraine. Ukraine is part of the EU’s energy
          problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because,
          with a GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth
                           largest consumer of gas in the world.

James SHERR, Fellow, Conflict Studies Research Centre
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom [1]
Mirror-Weekly on the web, No 9 (638)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 8 – 16 March 2007

Will energy security be the death knell of Euro-scepticism? Or will it be
the death knell of the EU? There might not be a third option.

In the days when security was mainly guaranteed by armed forces, those who
championed the supremacy of the nation state could be confident that when
collective security was threatened, Europe could rely upon NATO.

But today, when in the words of Russia’s official energy strategy, it is
energy which ‘to a large extent determines [a] country’s place in
geopolitics’, then NATO, in the words of its Riga Summit Declaration, can
at most ‘add value’ to what only the EU can do.

But will the EU do it? Will it persuade Gazprom, Transneft and the Kremlin
that they are dealing not with 27 ‘little platoons’, but an integrated and
toughly regulated internal market?

Will it enforce its longstanding principles of market liberalisation,
transparency and competitiveness not only in defiance of Russia’s energy
giants, but the ‘national energy champions’ of some of its own member
states?

Will it apply its oldest principle, solidarity, in support of members facing
asset grabs, ultimata and supply cut-offs-and governments exposed to
bribery and blackmail? Or will it fail to display the quality that Ernest
Renan defined as essential to a nation: ‘the sentiment of shared sacrifice’?

Without this sentiment, how can the EU ‘move beyond’ the nation state or
even remain a repository of trust for new members and a pole of attraction?

Therefore, today’s Euro-sceptic does not fear the power of the EU, but its
fragmentation and impotence. Yet he can finally draw some comfort.

On 11 January of this year, the European Commission published a 22-pg
document entitled ‘An Energy Policy for Europe’. Its language is unusually
forthright and its recommendations unusually bold.

Mindful not only of rising EU energy demand, but of ‘external
vulnerability’-‘the progressive concentration of hydrocarbon reserves in a
few hands’, the ‘discrimination and abuse’ of monopoly and the overwhelming
dependence of several member states on ‘a single supplier’-its unmistakeable
conclusion is that ‘this situation cannot continue’.

‘A common voice’ in energy policy (which already exists in trade) has become
‘crucial to geopolitical security’, and energy must now ‘become a central
part of all external EU relations’.

This week, the European Council (heads of government) will meet to consider
the Commission’s ‘communication’. Needless to say, it is most unlikely that
they will endorse its most radical recommendation: the ‘unbundling’ of
large, vertically-integrated national energy companies which, like
mini-Gazproms, control energy networks, production and sales in their own
countries.

Eleven EU members have already made the transition from ‘managed markets’
to competitive markets, with significant energy efficiencies and price
savings for consumers. Yet for the time being, several others will refuse

to follow suit. That is unremarkable.

What is remarkable is that the European Council seems set to adopt most
of the Commission’s remaining recommendations, including:

[1] supporting projects that promote ‘diversity with regard to source,
supplier, transport route and transport method’;

[2] expanding nuclear power (which already satisfies one-third of EU
aggregate electricity demand) as well as new sources of energy and new
energy saving measures;

[3] strengthening the regulatory framework ‘based on the highest common
denominator’ of best practice;

[4] adopting a Priority Interconnection Plan, including construction of a
Power-Link between Germany, Poland and Lithuania and the Nabucco
pipeline, bringing gas from the Caspian to Central Europe

If implemented, these measures will have far-reaching consequences in
themselves. They will bring the EU into partnership with the United States,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and other countries seeking to develop transport routes
independent of Russia.

They will address the most acute energy security problem faced by Lithuania
and several other new member states: energy isolation, brought about by the
eastward orientation of pipeline infrastructure and the absence of
electricity connections to the rest of the EU. And whilst the Commission’s
call to break up national energy giants will not be accepted, the trend is
against them.

They already are on the defensive politically and are coming under
increasing legal pressure, because EU Directorate for Competition is
enforcing Community legislation, and even the strongest are being reminded
that the rules are the rules.

For Ukrainians to focus on the exceptions to these rules is to miss the
point of the story. The European Union has begun to establish an integrated
energy market and a liberalised one. But can it succeed in the face of
determined opposition from Russia?
                               THE RUSSIA COMPLEX
The Russia complex is, as ever, a combination of overweening confidence and
congenital insecurity. From the vantage point of Kyiv, Vilnius and Warsaw,
Russia under Putin has acquired money, power and the determination to use
both.

But from the vantage point of Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and even Almaty, Russia
is a country characterised by stark demographic imbalances, decaying
infrastructure, dysfunctional governance and chronic underinvestment. It is
this combination of ambition and vulnerability which makes partnership with
Russia so difficult.

Where energy is concerned, this difficulty is felt in four respects:

(1) DIVERGENT ECONOMIC CULTURES. As Ukrainians well know,
Russia under Putin has experienced a considerable re-nationalisation of
economic power with a strong security service component. Like the
defence sector in Soviet times, the energy sector is now seen by many as
the engine of growth and modernisation.

Although leading Russian experts have exposed the deficiencies of this
model, it has brought short-term prosperity and the appearance of
international success.

This appearance of success makes it exceedingly difficult for the EU to
speak to Russia with authority, let alone persuade it that its approach
needs adjustment.

To Russia’s energy mastodons, ‘markets’ exist wherever money-commodity
relations exist, however unbalanced, inequitable or monopolistic they are.

But to the European Commission, monopoly is the antithesis of markets,
which, in principle, mean choice for buyer and seller.

To Alexei Miller, CEO [predsedatel’ pravleniya] of Gazprom, energy
security is guaranteed by a strong vertical of integration and control: ‘the
regulation from a single centre of regimes of extraction, transport,
underground storage and sales’.

From the Commission’s perspective, it is guaranteed by an impartial and
effective regulatory framework and by ‘diversity with regard to source,
supplier, transport route and transport method’.

(2) THE EMERGING GAS DEFICIT. The Russian fuel and energy
complex has become an increasingly important prop for the authority of
a state congenitally distrustful of decentralisation, alarmed by demographic
trends and conscious not only of China’s power, but the emerging
aspirations of resource rich Central Asian states.

It is this which largely explains the Kremlin’s arduous efforts to limit the
presence, bargaining power and ‘centrifugal influences’ of independent
energy actors, whether foreign or domestic (e.g. the former YUKOS).

Yet without major restructuring and market liberalisation, Russia will not
meet projected energy demand at home or abroad.

Production at three of Gazprom’s four major fields is already declining.
Even to maintain current levels of production, the International Energy
Agency calculates that 200 bcm [bn cubic metres] per annum will need to be
produced in new fields by 2015: a project which qualified experts believe
demands $11 bn p.a. in investment. But such investment is not taking place.
In the oil sector, the picture is no more encouraging.

(3) AN AGGRESSIVE RATHER THAN PRODUCTIVE PATTERN
OF INVESTMENT. Gazprom’s current investment strategy appears to
be focused on compensating for Russia’s emerging gas deficit rather
than remedying it.

Whilst under-investing in new fields and refurbishment of internal
infrastructure, it has displayed a marked appetite for export
infrastructure, downstream (i.e. foreign) acquisitions and non-gas projects,
whilst conducting what Mikhail Gonchar calls an ‘active hunt’ for energy
resources in other parts of the world.

In alliance with the Kremlin, it also seems determined to use every means at
its disposal to derail new energy projects that exclude Russia, such as
Nabucco and the South Caspian Gas Pipeline. Yet when pressed to say
where the gas from Russia’s own pet projects will come from, there are no
reassuring answers.

Whatever the motive behind this behaviour, it would be perilous for the EU
to reward it. By doing so, it will surrender its primary means of escape
from Russia’s already palpable energy crunch.

It will make itself increasingly hostage to Russia’s energy deficit and
whatever steps the Kremlin takes, or fails to take, to address it.

(4) GEO-ECONOMICS IN THE ‘NEAR ABROAD’. The ‘legacy’

issues of inter-elite ties, similar bureaucratic and business cultures, as well as
the multiplicity of economic linkages and dependencies means that energy
will continue to provide Russia with opportunities for geopolitical
tradeoffs and inducements to limit the sovereignty and samostoyatel’nost’
[capacity to exercise independence] of neighbours.

Why should such opportunities not be utilised in future as they have been
used in the past? Yet today there is a more worrying question.

Given the profitability of the EU market, the needs of the Russian economy
and the Kremlin’s fear of popular discontent, then upon whom will the
scissors first close as Russia’s resource constraints mount?

The answer is inescapable: energy dependent neighbours. Ukrainians have no
reason to doubt this answer. Yet it appears that many once again deny it,
preferring to believe that ‘fraternal relations’ will protect the country
from the consequences of Russia’s mistakes and Ukraine’s own weakness.
          UKRAINE: A PIVOT OF ENERGY SECURITY?
Ukraine matters, and the EU knows it. It was, after all, the January 2006
gas cut-off that prompted the EU to reconsider the mantra that ‘Russia is a
stable and reliable supplier of energy’. But the EU does not know what to do
about Ukraine except wait.

This is because it equates dvoevlastie [divided power] with paralysis,
rather than ferment. In this it is mistaken. But apart from Yulia
Tymoshenko, many of those best placed to point out this mistake are
unconvincing communicators.

Clarity is needed from Ukraine. This is because Ukraine is part of the EU’s
energy problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because, with a
GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth largest consumer of
gas in the world.

New efficiencies and new investment demand an energy economy constructed
on the basis of rules rather than deals. If Ukrainians who share this vision
do not make themselves known in Brussels, then Ukraine’s ‘European course’
will bear no resemblance to the EU’s European course.

Clarity is also needed, indeed candour, to counter the danger that the EU,
armed with more scepticism than knowledge, will make decisions that impact
unfavourably on Ukraine. In other words, Ukraine needs to demonstrate that
it can be part of the solution.

The first step in this direction has already been taken: the law on gas
pipelines passed by the Rada and signed into law by the President on 6
February. But the 6 February model needs to be more broadly applied:

[1] against the proposed Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod gas pipeline, which would
make the EU and Ukraine even more dependent on Russian gas and undercut
part of the market rational for Nabucco;

[2] against the moves afoot to transfer stakes in obloenergos [oblast’ level
distribution companies] to Gazprom: yet a further step to circumvent the 6
February law;

[3] against plans (some well advanced) to grant access to Black Sea gas
deposits on the basis of inter-governmental understandings with Russia
rather than open market tender;

[4] against the final assault on Naftohaz Ukrainiy and the transfer of vital
revenue from an entity which can be audited and monitored to another entity,
UkrGazEnergo, which cannot.

Outside parliament, the other founders of the 6 February model need to
become more cohesive and visible. Since absorbing the implications of the
RusUkrEnergo saga and his own responsibility for it, President Yushchenko’s
instincts about energy security have been unerring.

His group of officials in the Secretariat and the National Security and
Defence Council includes individuals of outstanding calibre.

But has the group become a team? Are European capitals aware of its
existence? Are they generating a body of ideas and alternative policies that
can be put to use once it becomes clear, even to the government itself, that
the present course leads to surrender and penury?

Moreover, it is presidential institutions, not parliament, who must take the
lead in responding to the three seismic shifts that have taken place in the
geopolitics of energy since the end of last year.

[1] The first of these is the decision by Azerbaijan to defy Russia, assist
Georgia and proceed with projects (including the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway)
that promise to provide effective energy connections between the Caspian,
the South Caucasus, the Black Sea region and Europe. This change of
course has brought GUAM back from the dead.

[2] The second shift is the quiet but unmistakable realisation in Kazakhstan
that the EU formula of ‘diversity with regard to source, supplier, transport
route and transport method’ now serves its own interests and is coming
within its means.

[3] The third is President Lukashenka’s brutal realisation that his policies
have left Belarus with no energy security at all. For the first time since
1994 the possibility of direct energy connections between the Baltic and
Black seas is now open.

The questions before Ukraine is so inescapable that even the government
understands it: is Ukraine to be a cavity in this matrix or part of the glue
that holds it together?

Is the EU prepared to be part of the glue that holds it together? Despite
the Commission’s report, that is still in doubt, because too many dogmas,
habits of mind and narrowly construed national interests stand in the way.

Clarity is therefore needed from the EU as well. It must ask itself what it
wants in Ukraine, the South Caucasus and the Caspian, and it must ask
itself what it will contribute in order to get it.

Only then will it be able to reformulate the old question with new
authority: where is Ukraine going and with whom?                 -30-
———————————————————————————————-
[1] NOTE: The views expressed are entirely those of the author and do
not necessarily reflect the thinking of the Ministry of Defence or Her
Majesty’s government. James Sherr: james.sherr@lincoln.oxford.ac.uk.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/638/56095/

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2. HUNGARY CHOOSES GAZPROM OVER EUROPEAN UNION
             Budapest decides extending a pipeline beats bloc’s ‘dream’

By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Monday, March 12, 2007

BUDAPEST: As the European Union struggles to achieve a common energy
security policy, the Socialist-led government of Hungary has broken with the
bloc by joining forces with Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, to extend a
pipeline from Turkey to Hungary.

The joint project would compete directly with an EU plan to construct its
own pipeline to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Starting in Turkey and crossing Bulgaria and Romania, the extended Gazprom
pipeline, called Blue Stream, would follow almost the same route as the EU
project, cost just as much and be finished at about the same time.

The immediate advantage to Hungary in joining the Russian project was
unclear, because Budapest could end up contributing to the construction of
competing pipelines.

The opposition in Hungary claims that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, who
leads the former Communist Party and has close ties to President Vladimir
Putin of Russia, supports Gazprom’s strategy to expand its influence in
central and southeastern Europe.

The Hungarian Economy Ministry, however, says that the country has ambitions
to become a major energy hub in central Europe and that the Blue Stream
project, with access to more Russian natural gas, would further this aim.

Gyurcsany said in an interview that because the EU project, known as
Nabucco, had experienced significant delays and could face further problems,
the Russian plan was more realistic.

When completed, at the earliest in 2011, the EUR5 billion, or $6.6 billion,
Nabucco project would benefit all the bloc’s 27 members and carry at least
30 billion cubic meters, or 1 trillion cubic feet, of natural gas a year to
the Union. Currently, more than a quarter of the Union’s gas, or 150 billion
cubic meters, is imported annually from Russia.

“Which of these two pipelines exists?” asked Gyurcsany, whose company
joined the Union in 2004. The Blue Stream line already runs under the Black
Sea to Turkey.

“The Nabucco has been a long dream and an old plan,” he said. “But we
don’t need dreams. We need projects.”

“The single problem with Nabucco is that we cannot see when we will have
gas from it,” Gyurcsany said. “If someone could say to me definitively, you
would have gas by a certain time, fine, but you can only heat the apartments
with gas and not with dreams.”

Andris Piebalgs, the Union’s energy commissioner, said the Nabucco pipeline
would transport natural gas across from the Caspian region, mostly from
Azerbaijan to Turkey. It would then be sent through Bulgaria, Romania and
Hungary and finally to Austria. These transit countries have established a
consortium for the Nabucco pipeline.

Gyurcsany said Hungary would support Russian plans to extend the Blue
Stream pipeline into central Europe despite its being a member of the
Nabucco consortium.

“Blue Stream is backed by a very strong will and a very strong
organizational power,” Gyurcsany said. “And there is capacity behind it.”

The cost of extending the Blue Stream pipeline to Hungary would be
EUR5 billion, according to the Hungarian Economy Ministry.

The Blue Stream pipeline is one of the world’s deepest undersea pipelines.
But because of low compression and other technical problems it pumps
less than three billion cubic meters of gas a year, well below the total of
regional needs. It was built to supplement Gazprom lines through other
countries, including Ukraine and Belarus.

Once the Russian natural gas arrives in Hungary through the Blue Stream
line, it is to be either sold to other European countries or stored in
facilities that Gazprom recently acquired.

Gyurcsany said he still wanted Hungary to diversify its energy supplies.
Hungary depends almost completely on Russia for natural gas.

Fidesz, the main opposition party in Hungary, said Gyurcsany was making
the country even more dependent on Russia by teaming up with Gazprom.

“I would be most thankful if we could diversify our supplies,” Gyurcsany
said. “I can hardly overestimate the risk that Hungary runs. Any prime
minister would be a fool if he did not want to diversify or if he bound
himself to one supplier. But chasing dreams is also foolish instead of
building on realities.”

Janos Koko, the Hungarian economy minister, said he saw no inconsistency in
the Hungarian position because it would lead to competition. “We also want
to diversify our energy supplies,” he said.

“Over 80 percent of our gas comes from Russia. There are two competing
projects. But Nabucco is more imagination than tangible. I would like to see
a stronger Nabucco.”

The EU agreed to speed up the construction of the 3,000-kilometer, or
1,900-mile Nabucco pipeline after an energy dispute between Russia and
Ukraine in January 2006 that led to shortages of natural gas in some EU
countries. Piebalgs said the Nabucco pipeline would “concretely contribute
to energy security.”

The pipeline has been subject to many delays, not least because of
uncertainty over whether it would be able to ship natural gas from Iran.
Iran is now subject to UN sanctions because it refuses to halt its uranium
enrichment program.

There also have been problems with financing the project. The European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which advocates competition
in the energy sector as well as diversification, agreed last year to finance
70 percent of Nabucco’s construction costs.               -30-
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/12/news/hungary.php

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3.  THE NEW SEVEN SISTERS: OIL AND GAS GIANTS THAT
                     DWARF THE WEST’S TOP PRODUCERS
                        The seven are overwhelmingly state-owned

By Carola Hoyos, Financial Times, London, UK, Mon, Mar, 12 2007

When an angry Enrico Mattei coined the phrase “the seven sisters” to
describe the Anglo-Saxon companies that controlled the Middle East’s oil
after the second world war, the founder of Italy’s modern energy industry
could not have imagined the profound shift in power that would occur barely
half a century later.

As oil prices have trebled over the past four years, a new group of oil and
gas companies has risen to prominence.

They have consolidated their power as aggressive resource holders and
seekers and pushed the world’s biggest listed energy groups, which emerged
out of the original seven sisters – ExxonMobil and Chevron of the US and
Europe’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell – on to the sidelines and into an
existential crisis.

The “new seven sisters”, or the most influential energy companies from
countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development, have been identified by the Financial Times in consultation
with numerous industry executives.

They are Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom, CNPC of China, NIOC of Iran,
Venezuela’s PDVSA, Brazil’s Petrobras and Petronas of Malaysia.

Overwhelmingly state-owned, they control almost one-third of the world’s

oil and gas production and more than one-third of its total oil and gas
reserves.

In contrast, the old seven sisters – which shrank to four in the industry
consolidation of the 1990s – produce about 10 per cent of the world’s oil
and gas and hold just 3 per cent of reserves.

Even so, their integrated status – which means they sell not only oil and
gas, but also gasoline, diesel and petrochemicals – push their revenues
notably higher than those of the newcomers.

Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, an industry consultancy, says: “The
reason the original seven sisters were so important was that they were the
rule makers; they controlled the industry and the markets. Now, these new
seven sisters are the rule makers and the international oil companies are
the rule takers.”

The International Energy Agency, the developed world’s sectoral watchdog,
calculates that 90 per cent of new supplies will come from developing
countries in the next 40 years.

That marks a big shift from the past 30 years, when 40 per cent of new
production came from industrialised nations, most of it controlled by listed
western energy groups, noted a report published last week by Rice
University’s James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy.

The biggest contributor will be Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest and most
sophisticated national oil company and thus number one on the FT list. After
the surge in crude prices since 2002, Saudi Aramco launched its most
ambitious expansion programme in a generation.

It aims to boost production capacity from 11m barrels a day – or 13 per cent
of today’s global consumption – to 12.5m b/d and then 15m b/d.

In doing so, Saudi Aramco will consolidate its position as the world’s most
powerful oil company, allowing Riyadh to remain the world’s central banker
of oil – turning taps on when there is a shortage of global supply, and off
when prices are falling below its comfort level.

International oil companies and the leaders of the main consuming nations
have come to accept Saudi Aramco’s dominance. But the recent shift in the
international influence of smaller national oil companies has been harder to
swallow.

By the end of last year, companies such as BP and Shell had lost their
leading positions on the world’s stock exchanges: Russia’s Gaz-prom and
PetroChina (88 per cent owned by CNPC) had pushed their way into second

and third place among the biggest listed energy groups.

ExxonMobil, perhaps the only energy company from the developed world that
can match the new batch in overall influence, now remains alone at the top.
Gazprom, Petrobras of Brazil and PetroChina have also outshone the others in
share price gains.

The main reason for this shift in power has been a resurfacing of the
re-source nationalism that began in Mexico in the 1930s, spread to the
Middle East in the 1970s and abated – and in some cases went into reverse –
when oil prices cooled in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Groups including Mattei’s Eni are having to accept new contract terms in
countries such as Russia and Venezuela, where national energy companies are
systematically clawing back control of fields.

Venezuela this month enacted a law that will give PDVSA majority control of
the Orinoco belt’s heavy oil fields, the largest such resource in the world.

In Russia the Kremlin wrested control of Shell’s $20bn (£10bn, EUR15bn)
natural gas project on Sakhalin Island at the end of last year and announced
Gazprom would lead the development of the vast Arctic Shtokman gas field,
relegating international oil companies to service providers.

This month Lord Browne, BP’s chief executive, travelled to Moscow to try to
head off becoming the latest Gazprom victim.

He proposed that BP marketed the Russian company’s future liquefied natural
gas abroad in an effort to stave off Gazprom’s ambitions to take control of
the Kovykta gas field, one of BP’s key Russian assets.

The impact of today’s nationalism is different from that of the 1970s. In
1975 Gulf, one of the original seven sisters and now part of Chevron and BP,
shifted all its movable investment dollars out of the developing world and
back to North America and the North Sea. This time international oil
companies are finding no new fields to escape to.

In fact, they have discovered no-where capable of pumping more than 1m b/d
since 2000, when Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field became the biggest find in 30
years.

Meanwhile, national oil companies are banding together to help to develop
each other’s reserves, leaving growth in the oil and gas industry – and the
resources for world economic development – in the hands of the new seven
sisters and the governments that control them.

The consequences of this could hardly be more profound. Fatih Birol, chief
economist at the IEA, estimates that the world is falling 20 per cent short
of making the $20,000bn investment needed to ensure adequate energy supplies
for the next 25 years.

Governments’ unwillingness to allow their national oil companies to reinvest
their recent windfall profits back into the industry lies at the root of
many of the worries about future supplies. Instead, those governments use
the money for social ventures or it is wasted.

President Hugo Chávez, of Venezuela, spends two-thirds of PDVSA’s budget

on his populist social programmes, with almost $7bn being funnelled in that
direction by 2005, compared with the $77m spent in 1997 by the previous
government, the Rice Univeristy report found.

Meanwhile, in Russia little of Gaz-prom’s earnings goes towards upgrading
Russia’s antiquated, leaking pipeline system, 30 per cent of which needs
replacing, the IEA warns.

In Iran, NIOC is still a gas importer despite controlling South Pars, the
world’s biggest gas field. It is hindered from boosting its oil production
or fixing its refineries because of the burden of financing subsidies that
keep petrol prices at just 10 US cents a litre.

But the poster child of what happens when a government restricts foreign
investment while using its national oil company as a bottomless piggybank is
Mexico. Pemex’s decline has excluded it from the FT list of the developing
world’s most influential energy companies.

The most pessimistic forecasters say the rapid ageing of Mexico’s giant
Cantarell field will turn America’s third largest oil supplier into a net
importer within a decade.

“The x-factor is [Mexico’s] Congress, with Pemex constantly locked in a
battle to secure sufficient funding and a reasonable fiscal regime, the
company cannot plan on a long-term horizon with great certainty,
handicapping its ability to manage declines,” says Ryan Todd, an analyst at
Sanford Bernstein, the US financial group.

This would contribute to a “severe problem” in world oil supplies within the
next three to five years. For Mexico, it would mean the gradual loss of 40
per cent of its tax revenue.

International oil companies are, however, competing not only with resource
holders but also with national oil companies thathave turned resource
seekers – highlighting the issue of energy security.

Jimmy Carter, who as US president during the oil shocks of the late 1970s
passed the most sweeping energy legislation in the country’s history, says
in an interview that energy insecurity is “still a major issue and will be
increasingly a crisis situation in the years to come”.

The present situation differs from the one he tackled in one main respect:
“Today we are experiencing on a global basis competition from China and
India that I didn’t know when I was president.”

The biggest of those competitors is CNPC. It has a solid foothold in China’s
large reserves, owning 88 per cent of Petro-China. But it is its rapid push
to secure international reserves that makes it so powerful.

Backed by Beijing’s feverish quest to secure the energy it needs for China
to develop, CNPC has fanned out across the globe into about 20 countries
from Azerbaijan to Ecuador.

It has pumped more than $8bn into the oil industry of war-torn Sudan, when
concerns over human rights deter others in the industry from involvement
with Khartoum.

“CNPC are the rule makers on access to new reserves in new markets and they
are changing the competition for resources, services, capital and markets,”
says Mr West.

Nor is CNPC the only company changing the rules in the race to secure
assets. Smaller national oil companies such as Petrobras and Petronas are
also keeping international energy executives awake at night.

Petrobras, for example, has been at the forefront of the technology needed
to pull oil out of ultra-deep waters, such as those that abut Brazil’s
shores. The company is now using those skills to compete head-on with the
likes of BP and ExxonMobil in Angola as well as the US Gulf of Mexico.

Malaysia’s Petronas has also spread out internationally, notably into Sudan
and Burma. It receives about 30 per cent of its corporate revenues from
abroad and operates in more than 26 countries, producing oil from about 50
projects, more than half of which it runs, Rice University’s report notes.

Companies such as Petrobras and Petronas have the advantage that they can
more easily woo fellow resource-rich national oil companies. International
oil companies continue to suffer from their 1980s and 1990s reputation as
haughty and patronising business partners.

Malcolm Brinded, head of Shell’s exploration and production, acknowledges
this when he says international oil companies need to ask themselves, “How
are we going to make this marriage work?” He describes Shell and other
international oil companies as “much less paternalistic than in the
partnerships of 20 years ago”.

Examples of this include anything from the tone the international groups use
in negotiations, to employing and training local engineers and building
infrastructure, such as desalination plants, even though it might not be
needed for the project in which the company is involved.

International oil executives are making these concessions because they
believe today’s power balance is unlikely to change any time soon.

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total and the man who made his
mark brokering deals with national oil companies in the Middle East and
Africa, says: “I think this new world will stay even if the price of oil
drops a little bit. People will keep in their soul that they have this
power – it will take time before they change.”

But he adds that his optimistic side believes that eventually national oil
companies, many of them battling declining fields and other technical and
managerial challenges, “might be forced to consider, ‘well, whatever we
said, those people are worth working with because we need them to develop
our reserves’.”

The wish expressed by Mr de Margerie could not be further from the
self-assured position his predecessor at CFP, Total’s ancestor, used to
enjoy 60 years ago. Yet it is a worry not only for Mr de Margerie and his
peers.

If the new seven sisters do not live up to their potential, the world’s
continued economic growth, China’s development and the west’s comfort

and wealth will become far from assured.
SAUDIS HEAD A RICH FIELD
With 25 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and the capacity to produce
nearly triple the amount of any other group, Saudi Aramco is the world’s
most successful national oil company.

The House of Saud dictates energy policy but leaves day-to-day strategy to
the capable technocrats who run it. Saudi Aramco is investing $50bn (£26bn,
EUR38bn) over 15-20 years but its biggest fields are ageing.
GAZPROM
No other company keeps Europe, and increasingly Asia, on tenterhooks more
than Gazprom. As a tool of the Kremlin, it has been involved in a gas
dispute with Ukraine and a debate with Japan and China over competing
pipelines from Siberia as well as the grab of Royal Dutch Shell’s majority
stake in the Sakhalin II liquefied natural gas project.

Gazprom has increased its influence with upstream deals in central Asia,
including Iran. Downstream, its push  into the European market has set off
moves to limit its access.
CNPC/PETROCHINA
All three of China’s top oil companies have been making ambitious moves
abroad. But China National Petroleum Corporation, with its 88 per cent owned
PetroChina as a listed subsidiary, is the biggest and has the widest
international reach.

Petro China holds most of its overseas assets in a joint venture with its
parent and is active in about 20 countries from Azerbaijan to Ecuador. CNPC
retains sole control of its controversial assets in Sudan.
NIOC
Iran is one of the few Middle East countries with massive hydrocarbon wealth
that is open to investment by foreign energy companies. National Iranian Oil
Company has partnerships with Italian, French, Dutch and Norwegian companies
and collaborates with Chinese and Russian groups.

Yet South Pars, the world’s biggest gas field, remains so untapped that Iran
is a net gas importer.
PDVSA
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez this year signed a law that allows PDVSA to
seize control of the $30bn Orinoco Belt heavy crude oil projects. PDVSA’s
production is shrinking but it is still important to the fortunes of
international energy groups, many of whose contracts are being rewritten.
PETROBRAS
The strength of Petrobras is in finding and producing oil from deep waters.
Expertise gained in Brazil’s waters is being applied in offshore west Africa
and the Gulf of Mexico, where its Cottonwood field is in production.
PETRONAS
Malaysia’s national oil company has been described as the role model others
would like to follow. Though a top-three exporter of LNG, Petronas risks
falling behind the gas groups of Qatar, Nigeria and Indonesia.
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/7b407c5e-d03e-11db-94cb-000b5df10621.html

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4.         “UKRAINE ENERGY REPORT” PUBLISHED

Research and Markets, Business Wire, Thursday, March 08, 2007

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c51753)

has announced the addition of “Ukraine Energy Report” to their offering.

This report provides updated facts and figures on the evolution of the
national energy market. For the oil, gas, coal and power markets, the report
details the market organisation, institutions regulating the market, and
energy policy of the country.

Energy companies active on the market are analysed. Domestic production,
capacities, exchanges, consumption by sector and market shares are provided.
Energy prices levels and taxes are described. Finally, the driving issues,
and the market prospects are proposed.

Our Ukraine energy market report offers a precise and reliable overview of
the energy sector in the country. With a focus on oil, gas, coal and power
markets, the report provides a complete picture of the country situation,
dynamics, current issues and future prospects.

With timely updated market data and continuous follow-up of markets news,
this report brings clear and concise insights, to help tackle national
energy challenges and opportunities. We have published energy market

reports for 20 years.

With highly experienced energy experts, analysts and an active professional
network, we are reckoned to be a trustworthy energy source for data,
forecasts & analysis, globally.
                                      TOPICS COVERED:
List of graphs and tables
General overview; Institutions and energy policy; Energy companies;
Energy supply; Prices; Consumption; Issues and outlines; Data tables
                               COMPANIES MENTIONED:
Tsentrenergo; Dniproenergo; Donbaseenergo; Zakhidenergo; Vostokenergo
Ukrenergo; Goskomatom; AES Corp; Vez; Energorinok; Naftogaz;

Ukrgazprom; Ukrneft.                       -30-
———————————————————————————————-
Laura Wood, Senior Manager, Research and Markets
press@researchandmarkets.com
LINK: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c51753
————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
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========================================================
5. ATLAS: GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF UKRAINE

Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Thursday, March 8, 2007

BOOK: An Atlas of the Geology and Mineral Deposits of Ukraine
Edited by Leonid Galets’kyi, Translated by Walter Peredery
University of Toronto Press, Cloth: Mar 2 2007
176pp /76 illustrations, CAN$100 in Canada

Seventy-six full-colour maps with text present the geological
characteristics of Ukraine in this translation of an atlas first
prepared by scholars at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences’ Institute
of Geology in 2001.

Widely acclaimed in its country of origin, An Atlas of the Geology
and Mineral Deposits of Ukraine includes up-to-date geological
concepts, as well as ecological, historical, and prehistoric items of
interest.

The seventy-six maps are grouped into seven categories: general
data, geophysical, structural, geological ‘slice,’ lithological,
ecological, hydrological, and mineralogical. Ukraine has for some
time been known as a country rich in mineral resources; as a result,
maps depicting its vast mineral deposits as well as its oil, gas,
and coal deposits may be of particular interest to foreign readers.

Leonid Galets’kyi is a department head in the Institute of Geology
of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

Walter Peredery is a geologist who has worked across Canada and
internationally.                                   -30-
——————————————————————————————
ROMAN SENKUS, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Managing Editor, www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
20 Orde St., Room 125, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, M5T 1N7, Canada
tel. 416-978-8669, 416-978-6934, fax 416-978-2672
E-mail: r.senkus@utoronto.ca; www.utoronto.ca/cius
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6. GAZPROM EYES OBLAST-LEVEL GAS NETWORKS IN UKRAINE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 36
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, Feb 21, 2007

Since the law initiated by opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and adopted

by parliament on February 6 has banned any form of alienating gas transit
pipelines and other Naftohaz Ukraine-owned assets (see EDM, February 7),
Russia’s Gazprom and officials in Kyiv seem to be adjusting their approach.

They now suggest transferring stakes in Ukrainian oblast-level and local
distribution companies to Gazprom, in return for Ukrainian “access” to gas
extraction projects in Russia.

Such transfers could, however, eviscerate Ukraine’s gas transport system
from within, aggravating Naftohaz’ already bleak financial situation and
potentially setting the stage for a transfer of the transit system itself
later on.

On February 19, Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko indicated
that the government might transfer parts of Ukraine’s gas distribution
networks to Gazprom.

Speaking in the wake of talks with Gazprom president Alexei Miller, Boyko
said, “Russia is not interested in anything other than distribution networks
in Ukraine.”

Gazprom has proposed specific options to exchange Russian extraction assets
for Ukrainian infrastructure assets. Ukraine’s State Property Fund is
currently preparing sales of minority stakes in distribution companies in
certain Ukrainian oblasts (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19).

Swapping Ukrainian infrastructure for “access” to Russian oil and gas
deposits does not seem to be a viable proposition. Ukraine is hardly able to
provide the high inputs of technology and investment capital required by
extractive projects in Russia.

More likely, such “access” would become a cover for non-transparent
transfers of Ukrainian infrastructure portions to Gazprom or to companies
and individuals fronting for Gazprom.

These proposals are being accompanied by distracting suggestions emanating
also from Boyko’s ministry as well as from Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

These profess intentions to seek production-sharing agreements for gas and
oil — including some offshore projects — in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,
Egypt, and Libya (Zerkalo nedeli, February 17; ICTV Television [Kyiv],
February 19).

Such intentions are also clearly beyond Ukraine’s means and might form a
smokescreen for the real game ongoing with Moscow.

More realistically perhaps, Yanukovych proposes that Naftohaz participate in
reconstructing Uzbek gas pipelines “together with the other interested
parties” — apparently referring to Russia, next to which Naftohaz could
only play a relatively minor role in Uzbekistan.

In a variation on this theme, Boyko cites Ukrainian investment projects in
Turkmenistan (building a bridge on the Amu Darya river, several gas
compressor stations, an irrigation water supply ring) as entitling Ukraine
to certain volumes of Turkmen gas (UNIAN, February 19).

However, most of these low-tech investments date back to the late 1990s and
have strained Ukraine-Turkmen relations because of long delays and cost
overruns.

This situation was a factor in Ashgabat’s December 2005 decision to renounce
direct sales of gas to Ukraine, selling the gas instead to Gazprom for
indirect delivery to Ukraine via RosUkrEnergo.

Members of President Viktor Yushchenko’s team are airing serious concerns
over proposals to sell infrastructure stakes to Russian interests.

In a February 19 teleconference with heads of oblast administrations, First
Deputy Head of the Presidential Secretariat Arseniy Yatseniuk criticized
such “regrettable schemes” for thwarting the creation of a competitive
environment in Ukraine and placing Russian interests in control.

Alluding to similar processes ongoing in European Union countries, Yatseniuk
decried the absence of a common energy policy for the EU or the former
Soviet countries (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19).

For his part, National Security and Defense Council Vitaliy Hayduk refutes
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Yushchenko presented a
“revolutionary proposal” to Putin about “unifying” Ukraine’s and Russia’s
gas transit systems during their summit in December (Interfax-Ukraine,
February 16).

That bold assertion by Putin in his February 1 press conference backfired,
prompting Tymoshenko’s legislative initiative and the Rada’s February 6 vote
to ban alienation of Naftohaz pipelines and other assets. However, that law
does not protect Ukrainian local and oblast-level gas distribution networks.

Meanwhile, both the presidency and the government support the creation of a
Russian-Ukrainian consortium to build the long-planned Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod
pipeline, which could add as much as 19 billion cubic meters to Ukraine’s
annual transit capacity for Russian and/or Central Asian gas to Europe.

While consistent with Ukraine’s interest in a narrow and short-sighted
sense, this line would actually increase Gazprom’s market share in Ukraine
and Europe and also expand the “single channel” for Central Asian gas
through Russia and Ukraine to Europe.

A Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod pipeline could preemptively absorb Central Asian

gas volumes that are needed for the projected trans-Caspian and Nabucco
projects.

With Tymoshenko in the forefront, the case is gaining political ground for
eliminating RosUkrEnergo — or any intermediary fronting for Gazprom —

from the Russia-Ukraine gas trade.

By the same token, Tymoshenko is calling for direct purchases of gas from
Central Asia, with Russia as transit country but not as commercial
intermediary (Ukrainian News Agency, February 16).

Last month, Yushchenko and Yanukovych separately signaled interest in

having Ukraine connected to the projected Nabucco pipeline for Caspian gas.
However, Yushchenko’s and Yanukovych’s signals on energy policy are
mixed and confusing (see EDM, December 14, 2006).

Given the magnitude of Ukraine’s gas market, some clear signals of Ukrainian
interest in the projected trans-Caspian pipelines could substantially
enhance those projects’ commercial attractiveness, demonstrating that market
demand is present and massive.                             -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.jamestown.org
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.   UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER’S GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO

                 CUT POLAND FROM KEY PIPELINE ROUTE
      Slovak Detour Would Defeat Odessa-Brody Oil Transport Project
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 41
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash D.C., Wed, February 28, 2007

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s government seems to have
abandoned a project to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline into Poland for
pumping Caspian oil outside Russian control.

Instead, Yanukovych is negotiating with the government of Slovakia on a plan
to transport both Caspian and Russian oil through a Russian-controlled
pipeline.

On February 26 in Kyiv, a Ukrainian-Slovak intergovernmental meeting chaired
by Yanukovych and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico discussed the
possibility to pump oil from Kazakhstan as well as from Russia through the
Druzhba pipeline system. The route would run from Ukraine to Slovakia and
farther into European Union territory.

The existing Odessa-Brody pipeline connects with the Druzhba system at
Brody. Instead of prolonging the line into Poland for Caspian oil, as
originally intended, the modified plan would pump the oil into the Druzhba
pipeline’s Slovak section, Transpetrol, which is about to pass under de
facto Russian control.

This plan, moreover, envisages a highly questionable way of using the
pipeline for both the high-quality oil from Kazakhstan and the lower-quality
Russian-Urals blend.

In order to avoid mixing the two types, it is proposed to alternate the
pumping of either type of oil, in a wave-by-wave process. This method is
being billed as “experimental,” its stated goal to preserve the quality of
either oil brand “to the maximum extent possible.”

The problem seems familiar from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC)
misadventures after 2001. There, light oil extracted mainly by U.S.
companies in Kazakhstan was being mixed with inferior-quality Russian oil on
the Russian stretch of the pipeline leading to the port of Novorossiysk.

For several years, the Russian side refused to compensate the U.S. and
Kazakh producers for the losses they incurred through the mixing of the two
brands. The compensation mechanism, known as an “oil quality bank” and used
in normal countries in such cases, does not seem to operate effectively on
the CPC’s Russian stretch.

Significantly, an oil quality bank is not being proposed for the
Odessa-Brody-Slovakia oil transport project. According to Fico, Slovakia is
eager to participate in the project, but any decisions must be made jointly
with Russian interests, which seem set to extend their reach into Slovakia’s
energy systems. Slovakia “has no effective control over the transit
pipeline,” he stated in Kyiv (Itar-Tass, February 26).

The Slovak transit pipeline, Transpetrol, has become a collateral casualty
of the destruction of Yukos in Russia. Yukos owned a 49% stake as well as
the operating rights in Transpetrol (technically through the
Netherlands-registered Yukos Finance company); the Slovak government
retained 51% and an option to buy the Yukos stake.

The Kremlin-controlled bankruptcy court in Moscow apparently intends to
award that Yukos stake with the operating rights to a Russian company. A
prime claimant, Russneft, now seems to be in retreat since its chief,
Mikhail Gutseriyev, lost out in some obscure political and business
infighting in Russia.

During the third week of February, Slovak Economics Minister Lubomir
Jahnatek discussed with Gazprom and Gazpromneft the possibility of their
taking over the Yukos stake (Vedomosti, February 21).

Transpetrol, 515 kilometers long and with direct connections to the Czech,
Hungarian, and Croatian transit pipelines, has a design throughput capacity
of 21 million tons annually.

Currently operating at somewhat over 50% of that capacity, it delivers more
than 5 million tons annually to the Czech Republic refineries at Kralupy and
Litvinov and some 6 million tons to the national Slovnaft refinery; and it
could take additional volumes of oil destined for Germany, where the Druzhba
system terminates.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian government seeks control over this strategic
pipeline. Loss of national control over Transpetrol could expose Slovakia as
well as Hungary to full dependence on Russian oil by precluding the import
option from the Adriatic Sea.

That long-discussed option envisages pumping oil from Croatia’s supertanker
port Omisalj, through the existing Adria pipeline northward into Hungary and
Slovakia and potentially farther afield.

For its part, Russia wants to “integrate” the Druzhba pipeline system with
the Adria pipeline, aiming to use it for pumping Russian oil to Adriatic
port terminals.

The move would be similar to Russia’s use of the Odessa-Brody pipeline since
2004 “in reverse,” north-south for Russian oil, instead of south-north for
non-Russian oil that would diversify Europe’s supply sources.

Just as the reverse-use of Odessa-Brody required cooperation by the
Ukrainian government, so would the Russian reverse-use of the Adria pipeline
and its “integration” with the Druzhba pipeline via Slovakia.

The first government of Viktor Yanukovych delivered politically on the first
reverse-use in 2004 and his second government now seems inclined to deliver
on the other reverse-use. In this case, however, the outcome depends on
Slovakia’s decision as well.

Since October 2006 both Yanukovych and President Viktor Yushchenko have
aired the idea of using the Slovak route instead of the Polish route, in
essence freezing the Odessa-Brody-Poland extension project. The Polish
option has the advantage of being immune to Russian control.

For its part, Poland seeks assurances that the existing Odessa-Brody
pipeline be also rendered immune to a Russian takeover, as a precondition to
extending it into Poland for Caspian oil.

To that end, Poland seeks a preemptive right for its PERN company to buy a
100% stake in that pipeline from the Ukrainian government, in the event that
the latter decides to sell it.

On that condition, Poland wishes to go ahead with the Odessa-Brody extension
project. Deputy Minister of Economics Piotr Naimski, responsible for energy,
discussed oil supplies to that project with the KazMunayGaz management in
Astana on February 21, in preparation for Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s
visit to Kazakhstan in March. (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19, 21, 26)
————————————————————————————————

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========================================================
8. PM YANUKOVYCH SAYS UKRAINE’S MILITARY INDUSTRIES
            SHOULD INCREASE COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s prime minister on Monday urged the country’s
defense industry enterprises to increase cooperation with Russia, a move
that could make it even more difficult for this ex-Soviet republic to join
NATO some day.

“We understand very well that today our main partner (in this sector) is
Russia,” the Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said, ordering
his deputy to start talks immediately with his Russian counterparts.

Yanukovych put the brakes on Ukraine’s bid to become a NATO member last
year, dealing a blow to pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who had
hoped Ukraine could win a place in the military alliance as early as next
year.

Ukrainians remain sharply divided over NATO membership. Many fear

membership would harm relations with Russia and hurt Ukraine’s military
industries, which remain closely linked with Russia. Supporters of NATO
membership argue it would increase Ukraine’s security and open up new
military markets to its products.

Yanukovych complained that Ukraine is seeing its military industrial
cooperation with Russia decrease.

He recalled that former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov had said that
if Ukraine is always talking about imminent NATO membership, Russia will
have to do its military industrial planning without Ukraine.

“Therefore we must clearly define our orientation,” Yanukovych said.

Communist and pro-Russian protesters, meanwhile, tried to prevent a pro-

NATO conference in the capital from getting under way by attempting to
block the entrance. Police had to call in reinforcements, and the conference,
part of a series of pro-NATO information events, went ahead.

“We are not a Western nation, we are Orthodox Slavs and our alliance should
be with Russia,” said 17-year-old protester Sergei Orlovsky, one of about 50
protesters. They prayed and held signs that read: “NATO, Hands Off Ukraine”
and “We are not Yankees. We are Slavs and Our Brother is Russia.”
————————————————————————————————-
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9.  PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ORBITS
                        Profiles of the prime minister’s inner circle
    Key influential people are Akhmetov, Azarov, Klyuyev and Lyovchkin

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Leshchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 3 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service. United Kingdom, Sat, Mar 10, 2007

The most influential people in Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s inner
circle are businessman Rinat Akhmetov, First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola
Azarov, Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev, and the head of the prime
minister’s secretariat, Serhiy Lyovochkin, a website has said.

Each of the four has his own group of loyal people among cabinet ministers
and prime minister’s advisers. The Lyovochkin and Klyuyev groups have
conflicting interests in the fuel and energy sector. Akhmetov has special
status and is the only one whom Yanukovych treats as equal, the author says.

The following is the text of the article by Serhiy Leshchenko entitled
“Viktor Yanukovych’s orbits” and published by Ukrayinska Pravda website

on 3 March; subheadings are as published:

Over 18 months, Viktor Yanukovych has covered the path from a ward at the
resort of Karlovy Vary to the cabinet on the seventh floor of the government
building.

The politician who was considered to be “a shot-down pilot” is now seizing
more and more of the steering instruments in the cockpit. By the way, this
is not a mere metaphor. Yanukovych really did study to fly planes for some
time. [ellipsis here and throughout as published]

Having returned to big politics, Yanukovych has changed his entourage. Many
old names were replaced with new ones. Some stars have faded, others drifted
away from the centre, while still others approached so close as to be in
danger of being burnt.
                              LYOVOCHKIN-KLYUYEV
The front line in Yanukovych’s team runs between Deputy Prime Minister
Andriy Klyuyev and the head of the prime minister’s secretariat, Serhiy
Lyovochkin.

Since the times of the complicated business history of Donbass [coal-mining
area in Donetsk and Luhansk regions], Andriy Klyuyev has been using an
armoured Mercedes – he survived several assassination attempts.

Lyovochkin has also been using the same kind of transport since his
relations with Viktor Medvedchuk deteriorated during their work in the
administration of [former President] Leonid Kuchma.

Klyuyev’s ascetic image is manifested in his was of brewing tea
soldier-style – right in a mug, which he then drinks in the presence of his
guests. Klyuyev once worked at a coal mine, and he does not understand

the Kievites who burn up their lives at night clubs.

It is also telling that Klyuyev’s post-graduate thesis in Soviet times was
on construction of missiles silos in zones of tectonic instability.

Lyovochkin’s thesis was entitled “The US state debt”.

Working as first aide to the president in 2004, Lyovochkin defended a PhD
thesis on macro financial stabilization in Ukraine. Thus he repeated the
record achievement of Dmytro Tabachnyk, who received his PhD at the age of
32 when he was the head of the presidential administration.

Klyuyev’s official tax declaration mentions over 50m [presumably hryvnyas].
He and his brother are the owners of Ukrpidshypnyk [ball-bearing producer].

According to Lyovochkin, his tax declaration has a figure “with more than
six zeros”. He sold the Kiev footwear factory to [Russian businessman]
Konstantin Grigorishin. His sister deals with the family’s business matters.

Lyovochkin is linked to the Klirinhovyy Dim bank, and the UESU-Avia. After
articles linked him to [gas import monopolist] RosUkrEnergo, he filed a
libel suit for 500,000 hryvnyas [100,000 dollars].

Klyuyev is the hawk in Yanukovych’s team, but Lyovochkin also does not suit
the role of a dove.
                                         KLYUYEV’S ORBITS
The conflict between Klyuyev and Lyovochkin is also connected with Fuel and
Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko, who is close to Lyovochkin and does not allow
Klyuyev to deal with the area he is in charge of – gas issues.

Klyuyev, for his part, from time to time plays on Boyko’s nerves by hinting
that RosUkrEnergo could be removed from the Ukrainian market.

As Boyko reduced Klyuyev’s influence on the fuel and energy sector, the
deputy prime minister finds compensation in other areas. In particular, he
influences personnel policy in the Interior Ministry.

For instance, with Klyuyev’s assistance, the most controversial figures of
the Orange Revolution period, Serhiy Popkov and Mykola Plyekhanov, were
appointed at the Interior Ministry.

Yuriy Lutsenko [former Interior Minister] said that Yanukovych suggested
that he return Plyekhanov as “a valuable professional who lost his job” to
the Interior Ministry, but Lutsenko refused.

After the coming of [new Interior Minister Vasyl] Tsushko, Plyekhanov is in
charge of personnel policy in the ministry, and Popkov is working as head of
the Interior Ministry’s main staff.

Mykola Dzhyha is in charge of Yanukovych’s people in police. The prime
minister supported Dzhyha’s appointment to “help” Lutsenko as his first
deputy.

However, neither Lutsenko nor Dzhyha himself showed any enthusiasm to
implement this vision of the head of government. Now Dzhyha can influence
the ministry from parliament.

Klyuyev is also considered in Yanukovych’s team to be the man behind a
moratorium on land sale. Opponents are convinced that the ban was prolonged
to allow land to be bought up cheaply.

Klyuyev also organized the transfer of profitable state assets, the
Ukrspetseksport state weapons exporter and Oshchadbank state bank, to the
control of the prime minister’s team.

This was done using similar technique.

In the case of Ukrspetseksport, Klyuyev at first only met its head, Serhiy
Bondarchuk, and advised him to submit a voluntary retirement notice. After
Bondarchuk refused, the government issued a resolution making the company
subordinate to the Cabinet of Ministers instead of the president.

Yushchenko appealed against the resolution in Constitutional court. The next
step was audits by the State Auditing Directorate. Then the tax
administration came to the company and began to study the company’s
operation during Yanukovych’s first term as prime minister.

The same happened to Oshchadbank. To subordinate the head of the bank’s
board to him, Klyuyev through his MP brother [Serhiy Klyuyev] is trying to
change the people in the bank’s supervisory board appointed on parliament’s
quota.

When it became clear that this is not enough, changes to the law were
organized to completely change the system of appointment to the bank’s
supervisory board. At the same time, inspections by the Main Auditing
Directorate were sent to the bank.

Political commentator Dmytro Vydrin, describing his first meeting with
Klyuyev right after his move to Kiev, recalled that Klyuyev greeted people
without getting up from his desk. Vydrin was astonished and predicted that
Klyuyev would never make a politician.

But his manners have improved significantly since then, and he has become
one of the main communicators with the orange camp.

Klyuyev’s kiss with Poroshenko [traditional friendly greeting between
Ukrainian men] in the heat of coalition talks last year was more eloquent
than words.

Klyuyev has close links with MP Volodymyr Sivkovych. The latter, due to his
KGB past, is the source of special information in the prime minister’s team.
Sometimes, he hunts with Yanukovych.

When Klyuyev was an MP, his subgroup in parliament included Taras Chornovil.
Rumours have it that the former member of Our Ukraine switched to the Party
of Regions in 2004 not only because his opinion was ignored in the orange
team, but also because Klyuyev, unlike Chornovil’s nationalist-democratic
colleagues, helped him solve many difficult personal problems, linked with
the health of Chornovil’s relatives.

Chornovil’s five minutes of fame started before the third round of the
presidential election, when Yanukovych, deserted by everyone, appointed him
head of the election headquarters. Chornovil’s influence has greatly
decreased now, although he is still present in the media space as one of the
Party of Regions spokespersons.

Chornovil, just like Hanna Herman [former chief of Radio Liberty bureau],
are tasked with creating an illusion of democracy in the party. At first
they promised that MP Oleh Kalashnikov, who beat up a journalist, would

lose his seat in parliament. This never happened.

Presently, they are opposing the secretary of the Donetsk city council
Levchenko, who called for making the Russia language a state one, leaving
Ukrainian for folk songs and funny stories.

Anatoliy Tolstoukhov is also near Klyuyev. Tolstoukhov manages the
500-strong staff of the cabinet’s secretariat. He was minister of the
Cabinet of Ministers in Yanukovych’s previous government and even

lived in the government building during the Orange Revolution.

But the incumbent leaders recalled Tolstoukhov only after the 2006
elections. He was not running on the Party of Regions list, but with the
marginal Eko Plus 25 Per Cent, which was set up by the shareholders of the
Industrial Union of Donbass company.

So, his appearance in the second row from Yanukovych looks like thanks

for the ordeal the loyal minister experienced. In particular, after the
revolution, his home was searched over a criminal case.

Tolstoukhov was accused of ordering the publication of the results of the
second round of the presidential election in the Uryadovyy Kuryer newspaper
despite a court ruling [suspending their publication].

Dmytro Vydrin recalls Tolstoukhov as the senior in his group in the Kiev
institute of political science: “He was very organized in that capacity and
did everything in a timely manner. But he is a strong official. And because
he is an official, he, unlike a businessman or a politician, cannot be
described. He is simply an official!”
                                  LYOVOCHKIN’S ORBITS
Despite his young age, Serhiy Lyovochkin entered big politics in 1999. The
then 27-year-old Lyovochkin was appointed Kuchma’s “scientific consultant”.

It is commonly believed that Lyovochkin junior was lobbied by Lyovochkin
senior, who headed the State Department for Implementation of Sentences,
which was in charge of all Ukrainian prisons. Allegedly, knowledge about
Yanukovych’s volatile youth, which he received in this post, allowed him to
promote his son in Kiev.

However, according to eye witnesses of the events, it was vice versa. Serhiy
Lyovochkin was brought to Bankova Street [where the presidential
administration was situated] by Kuchma’s chief of protocol on Yanukovych’s
request.

Lyovochkin’s father became head of the department thanks to Volodymyr
Lytvyn’s efforts [when he was head of Kuchma’s administration], rather than
the then Donetsk governor [Yanukovych]. Lyovochkin senior met Yanukovych
only in 2000, while his son knew him five years earlier.

The only fact beyond doubt is that from the outset, when he was appointed to
Kuchma’s administration, Serhiy Lyovochkin was positioned as a
representative of Viktor Yanukovych’s interests in Kiev. The parliamentary
elections in 1998 confirm this.

Lyovochkin was running in a constituency in Donetsk, where Oleksandr
Rzhavskyy won by a miracle. According to Rzhavskyy’s election headquarters,
the Donbass administration actively helped Lyovochkin then.

The owners of the title “president’s scientific consultant” at that time
were divided into two types.

[1] The first type appeared on Bankova Street on the day they received their
ID and never disturbed the administration with their presence ever since.
[2] The others carried out Lytvyn’s instructions. Lyovochkin was in the
second group. In late 1999, he visited the USA as part of Kuchma’s
delegation.

A rapid rise in Lyovochkin’s career occurred in 2002, when Kuchma appointed
him as his first aide to counterbalance the head of the presidential
administration, Viktor Medvedchuk.

Lyovochkin became “a good cop” with Medvedchuk being “the bad guy”. It was
with the help of his mediation that Yushchenko managed to meet Kuchma in
those years. The first aide was also the point of contact for Western
diplomats in Bankova Street.

Among Lyovochkin’s achievements was the cancellation of the scandalous
election of the Mukacheve mayor. Medvedchuk could not tolerate an
alternative channel of information for Kuchma and, according to some
reports, he initiated arrest of Lyovochkin junior several times but without
success.

However, despite good contacts with the Orange camp – Lyovochkin was even at
Yushchenko’s family birthdays recently – he worked for Yanukovych’s victory.

His name, together with Klyuyev’s, is mentioned on the “Rybachuk tapes” on a
transit server [which was allegedly used to help falsify the presidential
election results; the recordings of senior officials were made public during
the Orange Revolution by Yushchenko ally Oleh Rybachuk].

In the same year [2004], Leonid Kuchma agreed to change the gas middleman.
RosUkrEnergo became the operator of Turkmen gas supplies to Ukraine. The
press wrote repeatedly that this was done with Lyovochkin’s help. An
indirect proof is his close relations with the ideologists of the scheme,
Yuriy Boyko and Dmytro Firtash.

Lyovochkin even sued Yuliya Mostova from the Zerkalo Nedeli weekly for
500,000 hryvnyas to make journalists disinclined to mention the issue. The
suit will lead him straight to the list of enemies of the press.

Yet another hidden motive for such actions by Lyovochkin could be an attempt
to join in the war between Yanukovych and Defence Minister Anatoliy
Hrytsenko, Mostova’s husband, by making an additional hook to hold the last
propresidential minister on.

During the Orange Revolution, Lyovochkin organized secret meetings between
Yushchenko and Kuchma, and after the revolution he became parliament speaker
Volodymyr Lytvyn’s adviser. [Transport Minister Yevhen] Chervonenko, for
instance, offered him a post of deputy transport minister.

In Yanukovych’s current team, Lyovochkin wanted to be minister of the
Cabinet of Ministers. But this post was occupied by Tolstoukhov.

Another post in the prime minister’s close entourage – head of Yanukovych’s
secretariat – was occupied by the former deputy head of Medvedchuk on
Bankova Street, [Oleksiy] Ishchenko.

But he was dismissed after a few weeks and Lyovochkin was appointed to the
post. He turned the prime minister’s service into his secretariat, became
independent of Tolstoukhov and began a lobby struggle.

Lyovochkin strengthened Yanukovych with advisers, of whom he is in charge.
Some of them could see Yanukovych in flesh only once or twice in these
months because their work was collected by Lyovochkin at the entrance to the
prime minister’s office. He recruited into his team the people tested in
Kuchma’s times.

Four advisers are dealing with international issues for Yanukovych. They
solve many issues without even informing the Foreign Ministry.

The closest one to the prime minister in this group is the former Foreign
Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, who is de-facto Yanukovych’s personal
manager for these issues.

It is said that, for instance the Estonian prime minister’s visit to Ukraine
was prepared by Hryshchenko, bypassing the Foreign Ministry. He also
organized Yanukovych’s trip to the USA instead of the Foreign Ministry.

Hryshchenko’s predecessor in the Foreign Ministry, Anatoliy Zlenko, who
received the tile adviser for special international issues, has failed to
find anything to do in Yanukovych’s team.

The appointment of Andriy Fialko as Yanukovych’s adviser was aimed to
neutralize the activity of Anatoliy Orel. They opposed each other for a long
time, when working in Kuchma’s administration: Fialko has a pro-Western
vision, while Orel has pro-Russian.

Orel – the former teacher of Italian at the Main Intelligence Directorate in
Moscow – played the defining role in Yanukovych’s foreign policy before the
appearance of Lyovochkin.

During that period he managed to make a few surprises for his boss. For
instance, he crossed out the essence from Yanukovych’s letter to Javier
Solana [EU high representative for common foreign and security policy] that
the new government will support a border regime with the Dniester Region
agreed with the European Union.

However, Orel was pushed away to Yanukovych’s distant orbits and the limit
of his ambitions was to be appointed ambassador to Russia or Italy. Orel
even tried to show his usefulness to the Orange team, saying that 90 per
cent of Ukrainians in Italy voted for Yushchenko thanks to his diplomatic
work in Rome.

A group of advisers is in charge of economic issues in the Yanukovych
government. For instance, former Foreign Trade Minister Andriy Honcharuk
deals with entry into the World Trade Organization. He was the only one from
among his colleagues who accompanied Yanukovych in Davos.

Former minister Ihor Yushko is in charge of finance. He and Honcharuk are
close to [Kuchma’s son-in-law and big businessman] Viktor Pinchuk.

Pavlo Haydutskyy (deputy head of Kuchma’s administration) became
Yanukovych’s adviser after dismissal from Bankova Street in 2006.
Yanukovych’s speeches show sometimes that their macroeconomic ideology is
written by another prime minister’s adviser, Anatoliy Halchynskyy (Kuchma’s
former adviser).

The group of Yanukovych’s legal advisers includes Leonid Pidpalyy (former
deputy head of Kuchma’s administration), Mykhaylo Ryabets (former chairman
of the Central Electoral Commission) and Pavlo Yevhrafov (retired
Constitutional Court judge).

The former governor of Dnipropetrovsk Region, Volodymyr Yatsuba, is the
secretary of the council of regions under Yanukovych, with the help of which
the prime minister is trying to control the regional governors.

Yanukovych’s another adviser is the former head of the Department for State
Affairs and Kuchma’s former doctor, Oleksandr Vozianov.

Experts see only one explanation for this appointment – taking into account
Vozianov’s connections with Feofaniya hospital [for top state officials],
Yanukovych can learn secrets of health condition of many Ukrainian
politicians.

Lyovochkin also supervises political consultants Yuriy Levenets and Andriy
Yermolayev, and adviser on mass-media image, Hanna Herman, who also edits
Yanukovych’s speeches from time to time.

Apart from advisers, Lyovochkin’s influence also extends on Tolstoukhov’s
subordinates. For instance, Yanukovych’s staff lawyer and first deputy
minister of the Cabinet, Olena Lukash, or Tolstoukhov’s another first
deputy, Ivan Kutsyk, are also close to Lyovochkin.

State service also connected Lyovochkin with another person, on whom the
prime minister’s security depends, the head of his personal guards, Ihor
Sulima. Sulima got the job in autumn 2004 after his predecessor was
dismissed over an egg-throwing act of terrorism against Yanukovych in
Ivano-Frankivsk.

Much has been written about Yanukovych’s constant need for heightened
security: in connection with an additional metal detector installed outside
his office and after heightened security measures on the days of the prime
minister’s visit to his home city of Donetsk.

The move of two bodyguards from Donetsk to Kiev during his first term as
prime minister also shows that Yanukovych cannot live in peace in this world
and trusts only well-tried people. These two former policemen were employed
by the State Guarding Service. Since then either one or the other accompany
Yanukovych everywhere.

As it happens in politics, Lyovochkin’s present closeness to Yanukovych
could unite against him other ambitious people in Yanukovych’s entourage.

However, Lyovochkin has recently strengthened his status by joining the
Party of Regions and immediately getting a seat in its political council.
So, from now on, apart from supporting Yanukovych in the Cabinet of
Ministers, he will also deal with his party life.

“Earlier, there were days when Yanukovych held up to 30 meeting per day. It
was impossible to live in such conditions! Today, Lyovochkin is the
bottleneck through which one has to pass if one wants to get to Yanukovych,”
people who know the Cabinet’s kitchen explain. Lyovochkin also has the
facsimile of Yanukovych’s signature.

Another Viktor Yanukovych’s “favourite”, Eduard Prutnik, is Serhiy
Lyovochkin’s close friend and Christian relative [either godfather of his
child or father of his godchild].

During recent elections he was in charge of PR escort of the incumbent prime
minister and after the coalition was created he received the post of the
head of the State Committee for Television and Radio.

Ambitious Prutnik positions himself as “the proper boy” in the eyes of
western diplomats. He is talking about readiness to create public television
and goes to Brussels in order to get the money for information booklets
about NATO.

Prutnik is building up muscles in his post. He has brought the state
printing industry and Ukrtelefilm under his control and is going to compete
with [Transport Minister] Mykola Rudkovskyy for the RRT system.

The RRT system is potentially lucrative because it encompasses broadcasting
towers, FM radio transmitters and cell phone transmitters etc.

Another project aimed at accumulating money flows is the creation of a mega
television channel on the basis of regional television and radio companies
and Kultura television channel with a joint advertisement shop.

From 2007, Prutnik supervised the distribution of funds of national
television and radio companies. He has also secured for himself the status
of number-one expert on media law in the anticrisis coalition.

The figure of the Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko worries not only the
opposition but also Yanukovych’s colleagues in the Party of Regions.

Some fear that very soon, due to the RosUkrEnergo scheme, Boyko is going to
have the influence like [former transport minister] Heorhiy Kyrpa had in the
heyday of favouritism under Kuchma.

And if Yanukovych competes for the presidential post, Boyko will be the only
candidate for the prime minister’s post without alternative and he will have
plenty of resources to achieve this goal.

At the moment, Naftohaz Ukrayiny is managed from Boyko’s office. Almost
immediately after he was appointed fuel and energy minister six months ago
Boyko established control over Ukrhazvydobyvannya which until then was under
the patronage of Yushchenko’s teammate Ivan Vasyunyk and this broke one of
the conditions in the foundation of a grand coalition.

Ukrhazvydobuvannya is the most tempting asset of Naftohaz where the money is
not spent but made. And from the 1 March, when the head of
Ukrhazvydobuvannya, Yevhen Bakulin, became the head of Naftohaz, Boyko
achieved monopolistic control over this state owned monster.

Boyko’s another party comrade is Yanukovych’s international adviser,
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko. Boyko and Hryshchenko together recently tried to
carry out a project named the Ukrainian Republican Party [which Boyko
heads].

Another person close to Boyko is the first deputy internal affairs minister,
Mykhaylo Korniyenko. Before he came back to the Internal Affairs Ministry,
when [Vasyl] Tsushko took the post of the interior minister, Korniyenko was
deputy head of Naftohaz and security chief in this state- and Boyko-owned
company.

Before the last parliamentary elections Korniyenko was deputy internal
affairs minister for links with the Supreme Council. Despite of peace-making
title of his post, some sources say that he accumulated and later made
public information about opposition leaders and their family members.

The fact that Boyko in fact drove Volodymyr Sheludchenko out of Naftohaz,
because the latter could not compete with the minister, is another fact to
prove that Boyko has a special position in Yanukovych’s team.

This is given that Sheludchenko was close to Yanukovych since the times of
joint work in Donetsk Region when he was in charge of Donetskoblhaz and also
was Yanukovych’s tennis partner.
        PLANETS AND METEORITES WITHOUT “COVER”
Oleksandr Lavrynovych received his portfolio of justice minister in the
Yanukovych government due to the same reasons that helped him to take this
post for the first time when Kuchma was the president – Lavrynovych is
knowledgeable in nuances of the judicial field and has grounds to aspire for
one of the first places in the contest of officials most devoted to their
bosses.

Internal Minister Vasyl Tsushko has become closer to Yanukovych recently

due to his charisma of “a simple fellow”, whose street smartness is to
Yanukovych’s liking.

In addition, Tsushko is very sensitive to any wishes of the anti-crisis
coalition not only as regards staff reshuffles but also the smearing of
[former Interior Minister] Yuriy Lutsenko’s image.

Another Socialist minister, Mykola Rudkovskyy, also has limited impact in
his area, where people from Donetsk occupy leading posts.

He stumbles at scandalous reputation that has already been imprinted in
popular wisdom: “He is obnoxious like white-and-blue but makes a fool of
himself like orange.”

The story of a photo of Rudkovskyy holding a piece of paper which contains
words of harsh criticism of Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko should not
mislead anyone. According to information from government sources, they were
not written by Rudkovskyy in order to give it to Yanukovych.

The sources say the author of those words was Andriy Klyuyev, from whom
Rudkovskyy simply took the draft before a government session and awkwardly
got into a picture taken several minutes later.

Rudkovskyy and Shufrych have long history of relations. Their relations go
back to the times when the richest Socialist and the most scandalous Social
Democrat were partners in the gas-extraction business in Poltava Region.
Shufrych’s appointment as minister is originated in the principle of Donetsk
people “not to give up our guys”.

A few people remained with Yanukovych before the third round of [2004
presidential] election, and Shufrych was one of them. In addition, with
Shufrych coming to the government Yanukovych received a direct communicator
with his main opponent, Yuliya Tymoshenko [Shufrych and Tymoshenko are said
to have had a romance].

Another person from Yanukovych’s entourage is in contact with the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc: Mykola Demyanenko, who is improving relations with

YTB MP Bohdan Hubskyy. Demyanenko ensures Yanukovych’s comfort.

Demyanenko was the office manager in the Donetsk regional administration
when it was headed by Yanukovych. During Yanukovych’s first term as prime
minister Demyanenko was first deputy minister of the Cabinet of Ministers
for these matters. He is an MP now.

Another man who has close personal relations with Yanukovych is Anton
Pryhodskyy, who is the focal point of all railway transportation of the
Donetsk group. The prime minister’s son, Viktor Yanukovych junior works
under Pryhodskyy in the parliamentary Transport Committee.

The Crimean dacha, where Yanukovych or members of his family sometime

stay, is called “a family-type holiday hotel” of the Interregional Industrial
Union corporation, which is co-owned by Pryhodskyy and [businessman and
MP Rinat] Akhmetov. Pryhodskyy is considered to be one of the most
effective lobbyists in Yanukovych’s inner circle.

According to the MP himself, he is one of the few who are not afraid to
contradict the prime minister, proving that they are right.

Pryhodskyy is in charge of Crimea. The Crimean parliament speaker,
Anatoliy Hrytsenko, is his creation.

Oleksandr Melnyk, who was detained by Lutsenko as head of the Seilem gang,
implements Pryhodskyy’s vision in Crimea. Taking into account that the
peninsular is Yanukovych’s electoral reserve, the results Yanukovych’s team
gets in the next election depends on Hrytsenko’s actions.

Pryhodskyy is also described as the man in charge of the Constitutional
Court in Yanukovych’s team. The prime minister has his own man among the
Constitutional Court judges, Vyacheslav Ovcharenko. Before his appointment
to the Court, Ovcharenko was the head of a court in Yanukovych’s home town,
Yenakiyeve.

If one digs deeper into Ovcharenko’s biography, one can find out that even
before receiving higher education, in mid-1980s he worked as legal adviser to
the car repair plans in the Ordzhonikidzevuhillya [coal company].

Yanukovych worked as head of Ordzhonikidzevuhillya’s automobile fleet.
Presently, Ovcharenko is Yanukovych’s eye and ears in the Constitutional
Court, on which the remit, and thus the future, of the incumbent prime
minister depends.

One of Yanukovych’s most valuable achievements in recent months was the
appointment of Volodymyr Radchenko as deputy prime minister. The head of
government got his man in the Security Service, which is formally under
Viktor Yushchenko’s supervision.

In Radchenko’s case Yanukovych carried out a quick operation – right after
he learnt that Radchenko attended an interview at the presidential
secretariat, he appointed him deputy prime minister on the following day.
This was not discussed with the coalition colleagues, as the news reached
them right in parliament.

Yanukovych’s appointment as head of government marked the transfer of the
Prosecutor-Generals’ Office under his influence. At first, Oleksandr
Medvedko began to follow the head of government. Then, even against
Medvedko’s will, he was strengthened with 100-per-cent Donetsk man, Renat
Kuzmin.

The final act of raising the flag of the Party of Region over the
Prosecutor-General’s Office was the appointment of another deputy
prosecutor-general, Viktor Pshonka. He became Yanukovych’s communicator in
this agency.

Links between [ombudsman] Nina Karpachova and the Party of Regions appeared
right after the arrest of Borys Kolesnykov, whom the ombudsman defended. The
Orange accused Karpachova of betrayal, and the white-blue invited her to
their election list.

Karpachova, violating the law, was the ombudsman and MP at the same time.
She wanted to become deputy parliament speaker, but when she understood that
the idea has no prospects, she decided to remain the ombudsman.

This caused a storm of protests by Western [human-rights] organizations,
which were indignant that the defender of human rights is politically biased.

Rayisa Bahatyryova was another candidate for deputy speaker. Having not
received the post to the left hand of Oleksandr Moroz, the most influential
woman in the Donetsk team felt a strong feeling of ingratitude to
Yanukovych.

Bahatyryova has become close to the Arfush brothers [who publish the
Paparazzi magazine and organize beauty contests], who not only act as her
promoters in France, but also are said to have helped her with treatment
leading to striking improvement of the appearance of the anticrisis
coalition’s coordinator.

Many connect these changes with rumours about Bahatyryova’s ambitions to
head the Party of Regions, because Yanukovych has to concentrate on his work
as prime minister. However, people in Yanukovych’s inner circle are opposing
this as much as they can.

Bahatyryova is working much on her own image and is trying to actively
remind people of herself. In particular, a group of writers prepares texts
that appear in various publications with her signature.

Bahatyryova is also trying to establish contacts in the international arena.
In January she, without attracting much attention, visited Paris, where she
met the French foreign minister.

However, sources say that it was not the ID of the Party of Regions that
helped her but… acquaintance with the lover of a French government
official, who works in the public relations industry.

Bahatyryova’s first deputy in the faction, Vasyl Kyselyov, heads the Party
of Regions in Crimea, one of the basic regions on the voters of which the
prime minister’s rating is held. Kyselyov distributes roles among his
colleagues: it depends on him when and what MP speaks and on what issues.

Judging by public speeches, Kyselyov is now trying to occupy the niche held
by Yevhen Kushnaryov [who died after a hunting incident], the role of the
factions’ spokesman. But this experiment causes doubts in its success –
Kyselyov has made fool of himself recently.

Trying to oppose the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, which blocked the electricity
switchboard room, he began appealing to Tymoshenko’s past and touched the
taboo topic in the Party of Regions: “Who is a worse criminal – who stole
hats [reference to Yanukovych] or stole 7bn dollars?”

The deputy head of the parliamentary faction, Mykhaylo Chechetov, is
responsible for the voting results that are shown on parliament’s screen. He
conducts 186 votes of the Party of Regions and several more defectors in the
hall under the dome.

Chechetov gives orders whether to vote for or against a motion. The high
price of mistake in this post is shows by the example, where the Party of
Regions supported the ban to raise utility rates last year.

The anticrisis coalition had to cancel the popular decision, but the
Yanukovych government failed to clearly explain to the electorate why they
had to do so.

Yanukovych also has a personal minister for relations with the Supreme
Council. There was no such post in previous governments, and some people
even suspect that it was created specially for Ivan Tkalenko. He was head of
the Party of Regions’ secretariat in the time when Yanukovych was its
leader.

Tkalenko has friendly relations with deputy prime minister Volodymyr rybak
and fairly good relations with Mykola Azarov. However, despite high status –
minister after all – Tkalenko’s duties are to merely send papers between the
government and parliament and nothing more.
                                           AZAROV’S ORBITS
[First Deputy Prime Minister] Mykola Aarov is responsible for macroeconomic
policy of the government. The number of his opponents inside the Party of
Regions is increasing, but his ambitions don’t decrease.

Azarov became one of the most influential figures in Kiev politics much
earlier than Yanukovych. When Yanukovych was only one of 25 governors,
Azarov’s agency [State Tax Administration] were putting Borys Feldman [head
of the Slovyanskyy bank] behind bars.

In 2001, Yanukovych only dreamed about moving to the capital and brought
Holand-Holand rifles worth dozens of thousands of dollars to Kuchma as
presents while Azarov was creating the Party of Regions in its present form
by merging marginal parties. Thanks to his leadership in the tax
administration, the party’s numbers grew with great speed.

Azarov has much older history of relations with Viktor Yushchenko, which
began when the latter was the prime minister. They did not become enemies
after Yushchenko’s dismissal and, it is said, Azarov even took part in talks
on uniting the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine in the 2002 [parliamentary]
elections.

In 2002, Azarov – one of Leonid Kuchma’s favourites – had real chances to
become prime minister instead of Yanukovych.

According to eye witnesses, once Azarov and Yanukovych began a quarrel in
the presence of the then president. In 2004 Azarov de-facto ruled the
government instead of Yanukovych, when the prime minister was busy
campaigning for presidency.

The situation now is radically different for Azarov. He is a subordinate of
the prime minister, while his hands are itching to hold the cabinet’s
steering wheel.

His dissatisfaction grew even more when Yanukovych publicly, in the presence
of journalists, criticized Azarov, who still remembers the scope of his
remit three years ago. Azarov could do anything in Yanukovych’s first
government – up to employing his own son as prime minister’s adviser.

“In the current situation Azarov is guarding the house, but strategic
decisions where to spend money or what to privatize seized to be within his
remit,” a fellow party member of the first deputy prime minister has said,
describing the situation.

Azarov’s health is another problem. He has problems with his stomach. In
addition, orthodox Regionals cannot forgive Azarov his appearance on

Maydan [the heart of the Orange Revolution] together with Yushchenko’s
after the revolution.

At the same time, Azarov together with Yuriy Boyko are the most powerful
lobbyists of the pro-Russian policy in the government.

It is said that at a Cabinet meeting Azarov “buried” the discussion on a law
which was seemingly neutral.

It was about the work of foreign defence lawyers on Ukraine’s territory.
Azarov was extremely indignant that defence lawyers have to read their oath
in the state language and said: “Why are we discriminating the Russian
language?”

Although presently Azarov’s powers are limited, his influence on the
government’s work is one of the biggest even now. It is said that his
consultations with astrologists add to his confidence.

All the financial sector is in Azarov’s hands. Vadym Kopylov, who is close
to Azarov, is the de-facto head of the Finance Ministry. Anatoliy Brezvin,
who is not an alien to him, heads the tax administration, the beloved child
of the first deputy prime minister.

Azarov’s man, Volodymyr Makukha, also heads the Economics Ministry.

However, Makukha could be sacrificed according to the scenario:
“Yanukovych punishes the official responsible for raising utility rates.”
The prime minister has already warned the minister that the latter is the
first on the row to be dismissed.

The situation with Labour Minister Mykhaylo Papaya is somewhat different.
He owes his post to Yanukovych’s personal sympathy. But due to his duties,
Papaya works closely with Azarov and has a conflict with Tabachnyk.

They say that the minister and his curator, humanitarian deputy prime
minister are constantly quarrel over staff appointments in the state bodies
subordinated to them.

Dmytro Tabachnyk was included in Yanukovych’s second government to remind
the prime minister of comfortable work together in 2002-04 and also because
other candidates refused.

Chances were good that Yevhen Kushnaryov or Rayisa Bohatyryova would

become deputy prime ministers instead of Tabachnyk but they chose to
focus on the work inside the [parliament] faction.

Volodymyr Rybak is a representative of “old fellows from Donetsk” in the
Yanukovych government. Chances are slim that he will introduce radical
reforms in the public utilities sector and Yanukovych has already shown
signs of dissatisfaction with Rybak’s work. Rybak however must remain a
symbol that the previous generation of Donetsk elite is not forgotten.

Rybak is in fact a founder of the Party of Regions back in 1990s. It was
then called the Party of Regional Revival.

Rybak is notable for his peaceful nature and reluctance to start conflicts.
Immediately after the Orange Revolution, he said straightforwardly that he
recognized Yushchenko as president and criticized Nestor Shufrych who

called dfor continuing the struggle.

Among present leaders of Donetsk region, Anatoliy Blyznyuk, the head of the
regional council, is the most close to Yanukovych.

When the prime minister was leaving his governor’s office he managed to
persuade Leonid Kuchma to appoint Blyznyuk as governor, because he trusted
him more than the other candidate, Vasyl Dzharty.

The current head of the regional administration, Volodymyr Lohvynenko, comes
from the Donetsk-based group Enerho which is connected to former
Prosecutor-General Gennady Vastly and businessman Viktor Nuisances.

They are not Yanukovych’s closest favourites, but witnesses say that when
the issue of a new Donetsk governor rose, it was Yanukovych who proposed
Lohvynenko to Yushchenko.

The Donetsk mayor, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, is close to Yanukovych because

of regional registration of the prime minister. Also in 2004 he played his role
and made sure that Yanukovych also had his Maydan in Donetsk.

Yanukovych’s monoregionalism remains his problem – people who are not from
Donetsk remain on remote orbits of the present government team. The leaders
of Kharkiv, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya regions are important for Yanukovych
because they represent regions that are used to inflate his rating at
elections.

Oleksandr Yefremov and Viktor Tyhonov from Luhansk reached higher ranks in
the hierarchy of the Party of Regions than others. They are in charge of two
parliamentary committees – on parliamentary regulations and on state
building and regional policy.

This is another proof to the principle inside Yanukovych’s team – to thank
those who were persecuted after the revolution.

Kharkiv is represented in Yanukovych’s entourage by Kharkiv mayor Mykhaylo
Dobkin and the head of the regional council, Vasyl Salyhin, who was
acquainted with the mayor since 1990s.

In the previous parliament Dobkin remained with the United Social Democratic
Party almost until the very end and protected [Hryhoriy] Surkis’s
Poltavaoblenerho regional energy distribution company from [Russian
businessman Konstantin] Grigorishin’s managers with his own body, locking
himself in the director’s office.

However, right before the election, understanding the catastrophic situation
around the ratings of Medvedchuk’s bloc, he joined the Party of Regions and
ran from it for the mayor of Ukraine’s second largest city in terms of
population.

Oleksandr Peklushenko represents Yanukovych in electorally close
Zaporizhzhya, where the situation is difficult because governor Yevhen
Chervonenko is not controlled by the Party of Regions.

Kiev is another strategic region for Yanukovych. He remembers the lesson of
2004 – revolutions occur in capitals. This is the prime minister’s weak
spot. The Kiev branch of the Party of Regions headed by banker Vasyl Horbal
failed to change the situation in Kiev – Yanukovych is not accepted here.

According to some sources, Horbal became the head of Yanukovych’s Kiev
headquarters at the presidential elections with the help of Viktor
Medvedchuk. It is not ruled out that soon there will be attempts to move
Rayisa Bahatyryova’s son, Oleksandr – a deputy in the Kiev council, to the
first posts in Kiev.
                                       AKHMETOV’S ORBITS
The personality of Rinat Akhmetov requires a separate investigation and the
drawing of a separate universe. This is the only person in Yanukovych’s team
whom he treats as equal and even with emphasized respect.

“For instance, when Yanukovych organizes a meeting somewhere Klyuyev is
told: ‘come to that place’, Azarov is not invited at all, and they negotiate
with Akhmetov: ‘let us meet there or where it is more convenient for you’,”
sources describe relations in Yanukovych’s team.

According to eye witnesses, Yanukovych – already in the capacity of prime
minister – flew on Akhmetov’s plane and was even summoned to a meeting with
Akhmetov in his Kiev office.

Sources in the prime minister’s entourage deny the second fact. As regards
the plane, they say: yes, this happened once when Yanukovych returned from
Yevhen Kushnaryov’s funeral.

Akhmetov influences Yanukovych’s position through the parliamentary faction
of the Party of Regions. Nobody knows the number of people who are oriented
directly towards the richest Ukrainian businessman and this is the subject
of constant discussions among political experts. It varies from 60 to 100.

Ironically, Akhmetov is most interested in friendship between Yanukovych and
Yushchenko, because the country’s stability depends on this and thus the
value of his business.

Understanding that complete ownership of the System Capital Management [SCM]
poses the threat of becoming the victim of an outside attack, Akhmetov is
preparing for selling shares at stock exchanges.

Then the price of internal political stability amounts to a certain number
of billions of dollars which he gets or loses in the initial public offering
of shares.

Akhmetov’s friend Borys Kolesnykov heads the Party of Regions in
Yanukovych’s home base, Donetsk Region. Kolesnykov himself treats his party
leadership skeptically, and treats even more skeptically most government
officials.

Kolesnykov remembers Yanukovych’s inadequate reaction after his arrest
[after the Orange Revolution] and will hardly ever forgive this.

Also, he won’t forget the anecdote in the form of a commercial of the Jeans
mobile operator, which was widely spread in Kiev: “Yanukovych is calling
Kolesnykov and asking: ‘Borys, where are you? I am at the seaside!”

Another important person in Yanukovych’s entourage is US consultant Paul
Manafort, who was in charge of Yanukovych’s election campaign and lobbying
his interests in the USA. He was included in Yanukovych’s team by Akhmetov.
Manafort had a contract with SCM before that.

Vasyl Dzharty was the head of the Party of Regions’ election headquarters
during the last parliamentary election campaign. On the night after the
voting, an Ukrayinska Pravda correspondent witnessed Dzharty reporting to
Manafort that he had observed all Manafort’s instruction during a TV
interview. It is widely believed that Dzharty is close to Akhmetov.

In particular, it is said that the FC Shakhtar president [Akhmetov] lobbied
Dzharty’s appointment as Donetsk Region governor after Yanukovych

moved to Kiev.

However, sources in Akhmetov’s inner circle say that reports about their
close relations are invented, and the president of Shakhtar reprimanded
Dzharty right in the parliamentary session hall last year for spreading
rumours that he and Akhmetov have close contacts.

Coal Industry Minister Serhiy Tulub was one of the first among the officials
in the present government who moved from Donetsk to Kiev. In 1998, he moved
from the office of Yanukovych’s deputy to the post of the coal industry
minister.

Before May 2000 he was the minister of fuel and energy and left this post
after a scandal with then Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko. When the
time came for Tymoshenko’s dismissal, she accused people who objected her
scenario of reforming the coal mining sector of organizing her dismissal.

It seems it was Tulub who represented their interests. Back then, this
Donbass-based business was concentrated around Ihor Humenyuk, Rinat
Akhmetov’s partner.

At the moment the link between Tulub and Akhmetov can be seen in the Miner’s
glory order which was handed by the minister to the president of the
football club. It is believed that with Tulub’s help managers from
Akhmetov’s enterprises received leading posts in state-owned mining
companies Rovenky Antratsyt and Sverdlov-Antratsyt.

Volodymyr Kozak is at the outer orbits. The director of Ukrzaliznytsya
[Ukrainian railways] sits on one of the biggest money flows in Ukraine.
Prior to this, Kozak was in charge of Lemtrans company, owned by Akhmetov
and Pryhodskyy.
                           YANUKOVYCH AND ETERNITY
Apart from political contacts, Yanukovych is also close to some religious
leaders of Ukraine – the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow
Patriarchy, Volodymyr, and Donetsk and Mariupol metropolitan Illarion.

“The prime minister dines with Volodymyr on Christmas eve all the time in
metropolitan chambers, pays visits to him on his name-day, Easter and
Epiphany,” Hanna Herman says.

Svyatohorska Lavra stays under Yanukovych’s patronage. His wife also
intensifies religious influence on him.

According to Herman, Yanukovych “now maintains contacts with monks

of Mount Athon, whom he met during the Olympic Games in Greece”.
Yanukovych became religious after an unexpected encounter with an
elderly monk Zosima in Soviet times, when, according to Herman,
“Yanukovych was going through the most difficult time in his life”.

Now everything is changing in his biography.                -30-
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10. UKRAINIAN BOXER KLITSCHKO STOPS AUSTIN IN ROUND 2

AP Worldstream, Germany, Sunday, Mar 11, 2007

GERMANY – Wladimir Klitschko retained his IBF heavyweight title Saturday
night, dropping Ray Austin with a flurry of left hooks and stopping the
American challenger in the second round.

The Ukrainian knocked down Austin 87 seconds into the round with at least
three left hooks. The American climbed to his feet but referee Eddie Cotton
stopped the fight.

“I was surprised he got back up, but he wasn’t clear in the head,” Klitschko
said. “I was motivated by the talk from Austin and his promoter, Don King,
before the fight.”

Klitschko improved his record to 48-3 with 43 knockouts in the mandatory
defense, while Austin fell to 24-4 with four draws and 16 knockouts.

Neither Austin nor King, both of whom had called Klitschko heartless before
the bout, showed up at the post-fight press conference.

Klitschko established himself among the best of the heavyweight division
with wins over Samuel Peter of Nigeria, Chris Byrd and Calvin Brock.

Both fighters were listed at 2.00 meters (6-foot-6) and 112 kilos (246
pounds), with Austin’s camp hoping another big heavyweight would trouble
Klitschko.

But Austin didn’t land a meaningful blow in the first round. Klitschko
measured Austin with his left hand until he caught him on the ropes.

The Ukrainian snapped Austin’s head sideways with the first left hook, and
then followed with a series of hooks, some missing as the American fell to
the canvas.

Klitschko never used his right hand that was responsible for most of his
knockouts and earned him the nickname Dr. Steelhammer.
“What you saw today, you’re going to more of the future – Wladimir is
developing new punches, besides the right and the jab,” his trainer Emanuel
Steward said.

The crowd of 15,000 roared for Klitschko went he walked in, then jeered a
fight that featured just a handful of punches. Austin had been stopped just
once before in his four losses, in the ninth round, by Attila Levin in July
of 2001. It also was his last loss.

The 30-year-old Klitschko won the title in April, stopping Bird in the
seventh. Next up, his camp hopes, is a unification fight against WBC
champion Nikolai Value, the 2.13 meter (7-foot) Russian.

“Valuev wants it and I want it,” Klitschko said. “But you can imagine how
hard it is to deal with Don King.” Austin earned the title shot with a draw
in July against unbeaten Russian Sultan Ibragimov. The bout was televised in
more than a hundred countries. Former world champions Lennox Lewis and
Vitali Klitschko made short guest appearances in the ring.      -30-
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11. UKRAINIAN BOXER WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO LEAVES
                 PLENTY TO PROVE IN UGLY MISMATCH

By Steve Bunce, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, Mar 2007

Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Ray Austin in the second round to retain
his International Boxing Federation heavyweight title in Mannheim, Germany,
on Saturday after one of the least satisfying title fights for many years in
the sport’s once golden division.

Klitschko, who has stopped or knocked out 43 of the 48 victims he has
been matched against, dropped the reluctant Austin with a left hook and the
one-time sparring partner from Texas decided to stay on his belly for eight
of the count to 10. The crowd of 16,000 jeered the ugly conclusion.

Austin’s credentials were poor and the win failed once again to prove
conclusively that Klitschko has found the form that a few years ago left him
in the No 1 position to fill the void created by the retirement of Lennox
Lewis. However, concussive defeats in 2003 and 2004 clearly ruined the
Ukrainian’s confidence.

The plan now is for Klitschko to fight the World Boxing Association’s
champion Nikolai Valuev, who is unbeaten in 46 fights, in June or July, at
about the same time that his older brother, Vitali, returns to the ring to
meet Oleg Maskaev for the World Boxing Council version.

The fact that two Ukrainians, a Russian and a Kazakh fighter will contest
two of the heavyweight belts is one of the reasons why the the division is
as good as dead in America.

On the same night in Liverpool, Souleymane M’baye retained his WBA light
welterweight title with a disputed draw against Ukraine’s Andreas Kotelnik.
Three years ago M’baye beat Kotelnik in another controversial split
decision.

The nominal main event at the Olympia in Liverpool involved local boxer
Derry Matthews, who defended his World Boxing Union featherweight title
against the British featherweight champion John Simpson.

It ended with a points decision for Matthews, but he was down in the first
round and had two points deducted for hitting and holding in a bad-
tempered brawl, which left Simpson believing he had won.     -30-
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LINK: http://sport.independent.co.uk/general/article2350017.ece
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12.   ‘A GIVING HEART’: YOUNG FLORIDA WOMAN SERVING
                  AS PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN UKRAINE

By Kate S. Peabody, Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola, Florida, Sunday, March 11, 2007

 It’s 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside. You just woke up and you have to walk
about 300 yards outside to fetch your drinking and cooking water.

Sounds lovely, right? No, but it’s a typical morning for Ashley Hardaway,
a young Pensacola woman now living in Ukraine.

The 22-year-old Pine Forest High School graduate is a U.S. Peace Corps
volunteer in the tiny town of Brylivka in Ukraine. She went to Eastern
Europe last fall to teach English to students in the fifth through 11th
grades.

She’ll be there for the next two and a half years, also teaching a healthy
living lifestyle course, which includes AIDS education and abstinence from
smoking and alcohol.

Being the only American in a town of 4,000 can be stressful, she said. “They
all know I am the American,” Hardaway said. “And you represent America.
Whatever you do or say, they will think all Americans are like that.”

And because no one speaks English, “it’s hard to make friends. No matter
how well you learn the language, you will never fully understand.”

Her mother is very proud. “My daughter has always had a giving heart, so I
was not that surprised when she told me at a young age that she wanted to
make a difference in the world,” said Elaine Hardaway of Pensacola.
                             LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE
Life in Brylivka is far different than life in the Panhandle. Even
transportation can be a challenge. The buses usually are cramped, sometimes
with as many as 300 people, with most carrying along their produce —
potatoes, onions or carrots.

Hardaway said a recent bus trip was especially memorable. “I told the driver
I didn’t know where to get off, he said ‘I will tell you,’ ” she said.
Shortly thereafter, when the bus stopped, she said the driver called out,
“American, get off the bus.”

And she did, but soon realized she was at the wrong stop. “I had no idea
where I was,” she said. After waiting for about five minutes, “I literally
hitch-hiked in a car full of onions, beets and potatoes. It was odd, but I
made it to town,” she said.

Nevertheless, the rewards of living in Ukraine outweigh the drawbacks she’s
encountered. The people are generous and her students are eager to learn
English — that makes her work there worthwhile, she said.

“The people here are not wealthy, but when you go to someone’s house to
visit, they will give you the best food, the best wine they have, even
though they have no money,” she added. “You always hear about Southern
hospitality. I was raised on Southern hospitality and so I know. There’s
nothing like Ukrainian hospitality.”

The Ukrainians also are big on holidays, celebrating Christmas and New
Year’s each January. “Every month there is a holiday,” Hardaway said.

Men take time off from work on Men’s Day. And on Women’s Day, children
get the day off from school, “because all the women are teachers in the
town. The men cook dinners and give them candy.”

As much as Hardaway enjoys her time in the Ukraine, she still feels homesick
sometimes. Though she misses her family the most, she also longs for simple
things, such as buying a Diet Coke or dashing off to a fast-food restaurant.

The steady diet of potatoes — lots of potatoes — also takes getting used
to, Hardaway said. “There’s no such thing as the Atkins diet here,” she
observed with a laugh.
                               FOLLOWING HER DREAM
Hardaway is in Ukraine now to make good on a childhood promise. One
month after graduating with honors from the University of Central Florida
last summer, she took her degree in English literature and left home to follow
her dream.

Hurricane Katrina had an influence on the new college graduate. “It just got
me thinking,” she said. “There was just an influx of young people and
college students helping out, and it made you want to do something to help
the world before going into the work force.”

But those who know Hardaway best said her desire to help others came long
before Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005.

Going into the Peace Corps has been her daughter’s lifelong dream, Elaine
Hardaway, 51, said. Ashley is the second of three children. Her other two
daughters are, Aimee, 20, is a pre-pharmacy student at Pensacola Junior
College, and Aubrey, 26, a hospitality worker in New York City.
                                TAUGHT TO GIVE BACK
The Escambia County teacher explained that each of her children were taught
very early about giving back. But it was Ashley who took giving to another
level.

Having her daughter move so far away on her quest to make a difference
hasn’t been easy for Elaine Hardaway, but the genius of text messaging helps
ease her concerns. She chats with her daughter each morning.

“It’s easy for us now with the cell phone,” Elaine Hardaway said. “We can
get messages to our kids quickly.” She and husband, Edward, and daughter,
Aimee, also keep a weekly schedule of one telephone call each Saturday.

Getting used to her sister being that far away is still a tad difficult for
Aimee Hardaway. “I miss her terribly, because she’s not just hours away
anymore, and you can’t just pop on the plane to go and see her,” Aimee
Hardaway said. “When she left for college it was hard enough on me,
because I loved having her at home.”
                            PARENTS ARE ROLE MODELS
Aimee Hardaway also is a volunteer in her church nursery and the pre-school
choir teacher. Both sisters said their desire to help comes from watching
their parents, their role models. “My mom always volunteered at the theater,
and my dad at Habitat for Humanity,” Ashley Hardaway said.

The Hardaways also taught their daughters not to expect recognition for the
things they did. “It is not important for people to know what you are doing
for them, only that someone cared enough to do it,” Elaine Hardaway said. “I
told them just know in yourself that you are a good person, that is what we
tried to instill in our children.”

Even while in college, Ashley found a way to reach out and lend a hand to
some homeless children. She and three other students conducted a creative
writing workshop at the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando as part of
their course work.

A classmate on the project, Nathan Holic, said she not only planned the
weekly meetings with the other students but also continued to teach at the
coalition even after the assignment ended.

“It was a class credit, but she put lots more time in than she needed to,”
said Holic, who is currently in graduate school at the university. Although
she misses her daughter “tremendously,” Elaine Hardaway says she
understands her passion for reaching out to others.

“I was nervous at first,” Hardaway said. “Ashley is just a tiny girl. She
weighs about 100 pounds, and I worried that I would not be there to watch
over her. I pray for her every morning, but I have to leave it in the Lord’s
hands. He put it on her heart to go, He is going to take care of her.”
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                          ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS MISSION
The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Sen. John F.
Kennedy, D-Mass., challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve
their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing
countries.

From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to
world peace and friendship. Since that time, more than 187,000 Peace Corps
volunteers have been invited by 139 host countries to work on issues ranging
from AIDS education to information technology and the environment.

Who can serve: The men and women who join the Peace Corps reflect the
rich diversity of America in race, ethnic background, age and religion. They
possess varying physical capabilities.

They come from all geographical regions, all personal backgrounds, all walks
of life. Each brings a unique perspective. They include college graduates,
retirees, married couples or people who want to change careers. Details:
www.peacecorps.gov. [Karen Peabody: kpeabody@pnj.com]     -30-
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http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070311/LIFE/703110340

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13.  BALTIMORE-TRAINED ARTIST SHARES UKRAINIAN EASTER
             EGG PAINTING CRAFT DURING HANDS-ON SESSION

By Laura McCandlish, Sun Reporter, Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, Maryland, Monday, March 12, 2007

Baltimore-trained artist Nestor Topchy put a new spin on Easter eggs at a
workshop yesterday that brought participants ranging from children to
grandmothers to the Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen House.

The eggs were not exclusively the province of Easter, however, but the
Ukrainian decorated sort. Topchy had some wooden ones adorned with
geometric patterns hanging from his Byzantine gold-leaf icon paintings on
display there.

Now a resident of Houston, Topchy was a child when he learned pysanky, the
ancient egg-painting craft, from his mother — and both of them shared their
knowledge with about 30 people at Evergreen.

“Everybody’s really into the creative act,” Topchy said. “This tradition is
older than memory, and it’s richer than anyone’s mind. It’s a reminder to
not forget the achievements of all our ancestors.”

The hands-on session brought to life the works in an exhibit that opened
Wednesday at the North Baltimore mansion. It features pieces by five
graduates of the Maryland Institute College of Art who benefited from the
Evergreen House Foundation’s annual scholarship program.

Topchy (Class of 1985) was joined by two of the others, sculptural
decorative artist Lauren Ross (1993) and fiber artist Colleen Ostrander
(1995), in the egg-decorating workshop.

“It’s just the perfect thing. I can imagine the Garrett family being glad
that this was happening,” Ostrander said of the mansion’s long-ago
residents, who were among Baltimore’s foremost patrons of the arts.

Crouched over circular tables, the artists worked with participants who
sketched beeswax designs on their raw eggs and repeatedly submerged
them in baths of dye.

Participants clutched a tool known as a kistka to write on the eggs with hot
wax, which protects the white surface and reveals other colors through
layers of dyeing. They started with light yellow dyes and ended with black.

The yolks of the uncooked eggs usually dry out eventually. The dye wouldn’t
properly cling to a cooked shell, said the artist’s mother, Nora Topchy of
Woodlawn. “The wax seals the egg,” Nestor Topchy said. “Each time, you
cover what you want to preserve and dye it again.”

With Easter four weeks away, it was a timely event. Ukrainian churches
display the ornate eggs for blessing during Easter services and sell them at
bazaars and festivals.

Yet the timeworn practice predates Christianity. The symbols on the eggs —
whether natural scenes, religious images or angular shapes — vary among
regions of Ukraine. The patterns resemble the cross-stitch panels
embroidered on the Ukrainian blouses worn by Nestor and Nora Topchy.

The Italianate mansion on North Charles Street showcased myriad cultures.
Attendees practiced the Ukrainian craft in a Russian folk art-inspired
theater designed by avant-garde artist Leon Bakst.

Ross gave a private tour of her mixed-media installation in the dining room
downstairs. She created tongue-and-cheek breakfast table settings for the
Eight Immortals featured in the Chinese Daoist paintings that grace the
room’s walls.

Topchy’s works embody that range of influences. His images of the Virgin
Mary and Christ child, the Buddha and wild beasts hang in the mansion’s
gallery.

Topchy and his Ukrainian-Argentine wife, Mariana Lemesoff, have taught their
9-year-old daughter the ancestral craft. Minerva Topchy said her dad taught
her a trick: move the egg, not the wand, when painting it with wax. The
lines are steadier that way.

“It’s actually a maternal tradition,” Lemesoff said. “Mothers teach their
daughters. There’s a very feminine element related to the egg.”

Two friends from Baltimore’s Park School, Josie Verchomin and Lexi
Andrea, both 12, experimented with abstract scribbles and flames on
their eggs.

Minerva passed on her skills to the other children, and even the
professional artists, at Evergreen. “It makes me feel happy, because I’m
a little one teaching someone big,” Minerva said.         -30-
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E-Mail: Laura McCandlish, laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.eggs12mar12,0,6754732.story?track=rss

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14.      FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN EX-SOVIET LANDS,
                     GOLDEN YEARS ARE DIFFICULT TIMES

By Lev Krichevsky, JTA, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007

DNEPROPETROVSK, Ukraine – For Holocaust survivor Maya Petrova,
the fall of the Soviet Union hasn’t been so wonderful.

A retired hospital clerk from Dneprodzerzhinsk, Petrova, 77, is living on a
monthly pension of $25 – about the average in her country – with utilities
and medicines consuming the bulk of her income.

Her biggest dream now is to save enough to repair the roof in the old wooden
house her family built in 1911, where she still lives with her husband.
“Thank God, we always lived a decent life. Only lately has it become really
bad,” Petrova says.

The fall of communism has brought a cruel paradox to the lives of Holocaust
survivors in the Soviet Union. They can now be open about their wartime
ordeals as Jewish victims of the Nazis, but in the post-Communist world,
they have no government-sponsored Social Security-type system to rely upon
when they reach the age of retirement.

The Communist government did not allow the Soviet victims of the Holocaust
to receive any compensation from Germany. After the fall of communism,
Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet Union became eligible for
compensation. But most never lived long enough to get any money.

Decades ago, a Social Security-type program was not all that important to
Soviet survivors. They were young and energetic enough to rebuild their
lives – quite often in the same places where they survived the occupation
and where the rest of their families fell victim to Nazis.

But now, with no meaningful government safety net in place, most of the
aging survivors in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere in the former
Soviet Union live on or beneath the poverty line.

“Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet Union are among the poorest Jews
on earth,” says Steven Schwager, the executive vice president of the
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a group that provides a wide
array of social services to the population of survivors in the former Soviet
bloc.

Many are embarrassed that they cannot live in dignity. “When I needed to buy
a new pair of stockings last month, I had to give up fresh fruits and
vegetables from my daily ration for two weeks,” says an 80-year-old survivor
from Dnepropetrovsk who identified herself as Maria.

Sonya Khaikina, another survivor from Dnepropetrovsk, says she hasn’t lived
this poorly since World War II.

During the war, Khaikina, then a teenager, had to hide from the Nazis, who
killed the rest of her family. She spent a few weeks hiding in an abandoned
house’s attic on a diet of straw, which later caused her to lose all her
teeth.

“Blame it all on my age,” she says, trying to smile. “I got a whole bouquet
of diagnoses.” A retired clerk, Khaikina now receives a monthly government
pension of $24 and has no relatives to help her.

Claims Conference officials in New York say there are only about 9,000
Jewish survivors left in the former Soviet Union who meet the strict
requirements for lifetime pension set by Germany: those who survived at
least 6 months in a concentration camp or spent no less than 18 months in a
ghetto or in hiding.

A large portion of them live in Ukraine, home to half the 2.8 million Soviet
Jews killed by the Nazis.

Some criticize the German requirements for eligibility as unfair when
applied to the Soviet Union, where most ghettos existed for less than 18
months. In fact, about 40 percent of Soviet Jewish citizens killed during
the Holocaust died in the first six months of Nazi occupation.

Alexander Gurevich was 14 when he and his family became inmates of a Jewish
ghetto in Kharkov. In December 1941, he narrowly escaped a mass execution at
Drobitsky Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of this city in eastern Ukraine,
where 15,000 people died.

He escaped from the Kharkov Ghetto after most of the residents – including
his mother – already had been killed.

When Gurevich applied for a German pension a few years ago as a survivor of
a Nazi ghetto, it turned out he was shy a few weeks of the minimum
requirement for former ghetto inmates.

“I think it’s unjust. They should have taken my circumstances into
consideration. Had I escaped a few weeks later, then the Nazis should have
started killing us later,” he says bitterly.

Survivor advocates argue that different standards should be used to evaluate
the remaining survivor population in the former Soviet Union, and Schwager
says a broader definition exists: Holocaust victims who fled or lived under
occupation.

In the last several years, tens of thousands of needy elderly Jews who do
not meet the German requirements for pension eligibility have been
benefitting from social and charitable services provided by the Jewish
community, mostly through the JDC.

Raisa Bukhman, 85, is among them. Born in Dnepropetrovsk, she was evacuated
to eastern Russia before Germany occupied her native city. When she came
back after the war, she found out that her grandparents were killed, their
heads cut off and buried in the yard of their house.

Today, Bukhman – who worked until retirement at a food store and cafe – is
living in a cramped room in a dilapidated old house, the same house she was
born in and where her grandparents were brutally murdered.

Utility payments for the small apartment, which doesn’t have a bathroom,
consume almost half of her $23 monthly pension. She receives daily hot meals
from the local Hesed center, which is run by the JDC. “Without this help I
would have long been gone,” Bukhman says.

The JDC, the primary agency for providing these social services to Jews,
gets funding for Hesed’s $60 million annual budget from a number of recent
Holocaust-era settlements.

The bulk comes from the Claims Conference in the form of grants paid out
from proceeds from the sale of unclaimed Jewish properties in former East
Germany. The JDC also gets money from the International Commission on
Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and the Swiss banks settlement.

The JDC says it serves about 125,000 survivors in the entire former Soviet
Union, a number that includes all those who fall under the broad definition
of victims of Nazism.

They receive food, home care, medications, socialization and various
supplementary services through a network of 174 JDC-operated Hesed centers
that opened in the last decade across the former Soviet Union.

Grigoriy Kolodach, a young director of a JDC Hesed center in Dnepropetrovsk,
oversees services to some 7,500 needy Jewish clients, including about 5,000
wartime victims.

“Every person who was born before the war on the territory that fell under
German occupation automatically counts here as a Nazi victim,” Kolodach
says. “All these people get a special priority from us when it comes to
services.”

For victims of Nazism who depend on government aid for survival, the JDC is
a lifesaver.

“The aid – I don’t even know how would I live without it,” says Vladimir
Tereschenko, 67, a retired construction engineer. “You can’t live on a
pension alone.” The average Jewish senior who gets aid receives about $25
worth per month in services.

Most of the former Soviet republics heavily tax cash aid, so aid to
survivors there is channeled through the JDC in the form of social services.

Menachem Lepkivker, the JDC’s representative in eastern Ukraine, says the
JDC only is able to provide the bare minimum.

“There is not enough medication, and we could give more food,” he says.
“Now many people have to divide the daily lunch they get from Hesed into
three parts to live the whole day on it.”

Ironically, though the JDC’s money for these survivors is set to start
drying up in seven or eight years, the group believes that the death of
Holocaust survivors will shrink the population requiring aid.

Life has improved recently for Khaikina – making it much better than her
straw-eating days. She moved to a new Jewish old-age home in
Dnepropetrovsk, one of only three such facilities in the former Soviet
Union.

Opened two years ago and run with funds from Jewish charities, the
state-of-the-art Beit Baruch Assisted Living Facility is home to 50
residents, aged 75 to 98. Most of them are Holocaust survivors.

“I should be happy,” Khaikina says of her new home. “We are getting free
soap here. We have hot water around the clock so I can bathe as many
times a day as I wish. One should enjoy life in such conditions and never
die. But I’m just so tired and cannot enjoy it anymore.”        -30-
———————————————————————————————
http://www.jta.org/cgi%2Dbin/iowa/news/article/Forsurvivorsinex.html
———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#822 Mar 13 Energy Security, Ukraine Part Of EU Energy Problem; The New Seven Oil & Gas Sisters; Profiles Of The Prime Minister’s Inner Circle

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 822
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
             Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
    Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.      ENERGY SECURITY: AT LAST, A RESPONSE FROM THE EU
          Clarity is needed from Ukraine. Ukraine is part of the EU’s energy
             problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because,
              with a GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth
                                largest consumer of gas in the world.
James SHERR, Fellow, Conflict Studies Research Centre
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom [1]
Mirror-Weekly on the web, No 9 (638)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 8 – 16 March 2007

2.    HUNGARY CHOOSES GAZPROM OVER EUROPEAN UNION
             Budapest decides extending a pipeline beats bloc’s ‘dream’
By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Monday, March 12, 2007

3.      THE NEW SEVEN SISTERS: OIL AND GAS GIANTS THAT
                       DWARF THE WEST’S TOP PRODUCERS
                         The seven are overwhelmingly state-owned
By Carola Hoyos, Financial Times, London, UK, Mon, Mar, 12 2007

4.                 “UKRAINE ENERGY REPORT” PUBLISHED
Research and Markets, Business Wire, Thursday, March 08, 2007

5AN ATLAS: GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF UKRAINE
Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, Thu, Mar 8, 2007

6. GAZPROM EYES OBLAST-LEVEL GAS NETWORKS IN UKRAINE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 36
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, Feb 21, 2007

7.    UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER’S GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO

                  CUT POLAND FROM KEY PIPELINE ROUTE
       Slovak Detour Would Defeat Odessa-Brody Oil Transport Project
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 41
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash D.C., Wed, February 28, 2007

8. PM YANUKOVYCH SAYS UKRAINE’S MILITARY INDUSTRIES
            SHOULD INCREASE COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA
Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

9.        PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ORBITS
                        Profiles of the prime minister’s inner circle
   Key influential people are Akhmetov, Azarov, Klyuyev and Lyovchkin
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Leshchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 3 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service. United Kingdom, Sat, Mar 10, 2007

10UKRAINIAN BOXER KLITSCHKO STOPS AUSTIN IN ROUND 2
AP Worldstream, Germany, Sunday, Mar 11, 2007

11.       UKRAINIAN BOXER WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO LEAVES
                      PLENTY TO PROVE IN UGLY MISMATCH
By Steve Bunce, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, Mar 2007

12.    ‘A GIVING HEART’: YOUNG FLORIDA WOMAN SERVING
                   AS PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN UKRAINE
By Kate S. Peabody, Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola, Florida, Sunday, March 11, 2007

13BALTIMORE-TRAINED ARTIST SHARES UKRAINIAN EASTER
            EGG PAINTING CRAFT DURING HANDS-ON SESSION
By Laura McCandlish, Sun Reporter, Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, Maryland, Monday, March 12, 2007

14.       FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN EX-SOVIET LANDS,
                      GOLDEN YEARS ARE DIFFICULT TIMES
By Lev Krichevsky, JTA, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007
========================================================
1
ENERGY SECURITY: AT LAST, A RESPONSE FROM THE EU
       Clarity is needed from Ukraine. Ukraine is part of the EU’s energy
          problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because,
          with a GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth
                           largest consumer of gas in the world.

James SHERR, Fellow, Conflict Studies Research Centre
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom [1]
Mirror-Weekly on the web, No 9 (638)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 8 – 16 March 2007

Will energy security be the death knell of Euro-scepticism? Or will it be
the death knell of the EU? There might not be a third option.

In the days when security was mainly guaranteed by armed forces, those who
championed the supremacy of the nation state could be confident that when
collective security was threatened, Europe could rely upon NATO.

But today, when in the words of Russia’s official energy strategy, it is
energy which ‘to a large extent determines [a] country’s place in
geopolitics’, then NATO, in the words of its Riga Summit Declaration, can
at most ‘add value’ to what only the EU can do.

But will the EU do it? Will it persuade Gazprom, Transneft and the Kremlin
that they are dealing not with 27 ‘little platoons’, but an integrated and
toughly regulated internal market?

Will it enforce its longstanding principles of market liberalisation,
transparency and competitiveness not only in defiance of Russia’s energy
giants, but the ‘national energy champions’ of some of its own member
states?

Will it apply its oldest principle, solidarity, in support of members facing
asset grabs, ultimata and supply cut-offs-and governments exposed to
bribery and blackmail? Or will it fail to display the quality that Ernest
Renan defined as essential to a nation: ‘the sentiment of shared sacrifice’?

Without this sentiment, how can the EU ‘move beyond’ the nation state or
even remain a repository of trust for new members and a pole of attraction?

Therefore, today’s Euro-sceptic does not fear the power of the EU, but its
fragmentation and impotence. Yet he can finally draw some comfort.

On 11 January of this year, the European Commission published a 22-pg
document entitled ‘An Energy Policy for Europe’. Its language is unusually
forthright and its recommendations unusually bold.

Mindful not only of rising EU energy demand, but of ‘external
vulnerability’-‘the progressive concentration of hydrocarbon reserves in a
few hands’, the ‘discrimination and abuse’ of monopoly and the overwhelming
dependence of several member states on ‘a single supplier’-its unmistakeable
conclusion is that ‘this situation cannot continue’.

‘A common voice’ in energy policy (which already exists in trade) has become
‘crucial to geopolitical security’, and energy must now ‘become a central
part of all external EU relations’.

This week, the European Council (heads of government) will meet to consider
the Commission’s ‘communication’. Needless to say, it is most unlikely that
they will endorse its most radical recommendation: the ‘unbundling’ of
large, vertically-integrated national energy companies which, like
mini-Gazproms, control energy networks, production and sales in their own
countries.

Eleven EU members have already made the transition from ‘managed markets’
to competitive markets, with significant energy efficiencies and price
savings for consumers. Yet for the time being, several others will refuse

to follow suit. That is unremarkable.

What is remarkable is that the European Council seems set to adopt most
of the Commission’s remaining recommendations, including:

[1] supporting projects that promote ‘diversity with regard to source,
supplier, transport route and transport method’;

[2] expanding nuclear power (which already satisfies one-third of EU
aggregate electricity demand) as well as new sources of energy and new
energy saving measures;

[3] strengthening the regulatory framework ‘based on the highest common
denominator’ of best practice;

[4] adopting a Priority Interconnection Plan, including construction of a
Power-Link between Germany, Poland and Lithuania and the Nabucco
pipeline, bringing gas from the Caspian to Central Europe

If implemented, these measures will have far-reaching consequences in
themselves. They will bring the EU into partnership with the United States,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and other countries seeking to develop transport routes
independent of Russia.

They will address the most acute energy security problem faced by Lithuania
and several other new member states: energy isolation, brought about by the
eastward orientation of pipeline infrastructure and the absence of
electricity connections to the rest of the EU. And whilst the Commission’s
call to break up national energy giants will not be accepted, the trend is
against them.

They already are on the defensive politically and are coming under
increasing legal pressure, because EU Directorate for Competition is
enforcing Community legislation, and even the strongest are being reminded
that the rules are the rules.

For Ukrainians to focus on the exceptions to these rules is to miss the
point of the story. The European Union has begun to establish an integrated
energy market and a liberalised one. But can it succeed in the face of
determined opposition from Russia?
                               THE RUSSIA COMPLEX
The Russia complex is, as ever, a combination of overweening confidence and
congenital insecurity. From the vantage point of Kyiv, Vilnius and Warsaw,
Russia under Putin has acquired money, power and the determination to use
both.

But from the vantage point of Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and even Almaty, Russia
is a country characterised by stark demographic imbalances, decaying
infrastructure, dysfunctional governance and chronic underinvestment. It is
this combination of ambition and vulnerability which makes partnership with
Russia so difficult.

Where energy is concerned, this difficulty is felt in four respects:

(1) DIVERGENT ECONOMIC CULTURES. As Ukrainians well know,
Russia under Putin has experienced a considerable re-nationalisation of
economic power with a strong security service component. Like the
defence sector in Soviet times, the energy sector is now seen by many as
the engine of growth and modernisation.

Although leading Russian experts have exposed the deficiencies of this
model, it has brought short-term prosperity and the appearance of
international success.

This appearance of success makes it exceedingly difficult for the EU to
speak to Russia with authority, let alone persuade it that its approach
needs adjustment.

To Russia’s energy mastodons, ‘markets’ exist wherever money-commodity
relations exist, however unbalanced, inequitable or monopolistic they are.

But to the European Commission, monopoly is the antithesis of markets,
which, in principle, mean choice for buyer and seller.

To Alexei Miller, CEO [predsedatel’ pravleniya] of Gazprom, energy
security is guaranteed by a strong vertical of integration and control: ‘the
regulation from a single centre of regimes of extraction, transport,
underground storage and sales’.

From the Commission’s perspective, it is guaranteed by an impartial and
effective regulatory framework and by ‘diversity with regard to source,
supplier, transport route and transport method’.

(2) THE EMERGING GAS DEFICIT. The Russian fuel and energy
complex has become an increasingly important prop for the authority of
a state congenitally distrustful of decentralisation, alarmed by demographic
trends and conscious not only of China’s power, but the emerging
aspirations of resource rich Central Asian states.

It is this which largely explains the Kremlin’s arduous efforts to limit the
presence, bargaining power and ‘centrifugal influences’ of independent
energy actors, whether foreign or domestic (e.g. the former YUKOS).

Yet without major restructuring and market liberalisation, Russia will not
meet projected energy demand at home or abroad.

Production at three of Gazprom’s four major fields is already declining.
Even to maintain current levels of production, the International Energy
Agency calculates that 200 bcm [bn cubic metres] per annum will need to be
produced in new fields by 2015: a project which qualified experts believe
demands $11 bn p.a. in investment. But such investment is not taking place.
In the oil sector, the picture is no more encouraging.

(3) AN AGGRESSIVE RATHER THAN PRODUCTIVE PATTERN
OF INVESTMENT. Gazprom’s current investment strategy appears to
be focused on compensating for Russia’s emerging gas deficit rather
than remedying it.

Whilst under-investing in new fields and refurbishment of internal
infrastructure, it has displayed a marked appetite for export
infrastructure, downstream (i.e. foreign) acquisitions and non-gas projects,
whilst conducting what Mikhail Gonchar calls an ‘active hunt’ for energy
resources in other parts of the world.

In alliance with the Kremlin, it also seems determined to use every means at
its disposal to derail new energy projects that exclude Russia, such as
Nabucco and the South Caspian Gas Pipeline. Yet when pressed to say
where the gas from Russia’s own pet projects will come from, there are no
reassuring answers.

Whatever the motive behind this behaviour, it would be perilous for the EU
to reward it. By doing so, it will surrender its primary means of escape
from Russia’s already palpable energy crunch.

It will make itself increasingly hostage to Russia’s energy deficit and
whatever steps the Kremlin takes, or fails to take, to address it.

(4) GEO-ECONOMICS IN THE ‘NEAR ABROAD’. The ‘legacy’

issues of inter-elite ties, similar bureaucratic and business cultures, as well as
the multiplicity of economic linkages and dependencies means that energy
will continue to provide Russia with opportunities for geopolitical
tradeoffs and inducements to limit the sovereignty and samostoyatel’nost’
[capacity to exercise independence] of neighbours.

Why should such opportunities not be utilised in future as they have been
used in the past? Yet today there is a more worrying question.

Given the profitability of the EU market, the needs of the Russian economy
and the Kremlin’s fear of popular discontent, then upon whom will the
scissors first close as Russia’s resource constraints mount?

The answer is inescapable: energy dependent neighbours. Ukrainians have no
reason to doubt this answer. Yet it appears that many once again deny it,
preferring to believe that ‘fraternal relations’ will protect the country
from the consequences of Russia’s mistakes and Ukraine’s own weakness.
          UKRAINE: A PIVOT OF ENERGY SECURITY?
Ukraine matters, and the EU knows it. It was, after all, the January 2006
gas cut-off that prompted the EU to reconsider the mantra that ‘Russia is a
stable and reliable supplier of energy’. But the EU does not know what to do
about Ukraine except wait.

This is because it equates dvoevlastie [divided power] with paralysis,
rather than ferment. In this it is mistaken. But apart from Yulia
Tymoshenko, many of those best placed to point out this mistake are
unconvincing communicators.

Clarity is needed from Ukraine. This is because Ukraine is part of the EU’s
energy problem: not only thanks to the Druzhba pipeline but because, with a
GDP one-quarter that of Belgium, Ukraine is the sixth largest consumer of
gas in the world.

New efficiencies and new investment demand an energy economy constructed
on the basis of rules rather than deals. If Ukrainians who share this vision
do not make themselves known in Brussels, then Ukraine’s ‘European course’
will bear no resemblance to the EU’s European course.

Clarity is also needed, indeed candour, to counter the danger that the EU,
armed with more scepticism than knowledge, will make decisions that impact
unfavourably on Ukraine. In other words, Ukraine needs to demonstrate that
it can be part of the solution.

The first step in this direction has already been taken: the law on gas
pipelines passed by the Rada and signed into law by the President on 6
February. But the 6 February model needs to be more broadly applied:

[1] against the proposed Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod gas pipeline, which would
make the EU and Ukraine even more dependent on Russian gas and undercut
part of the market rational for Nabucco;

[2] against the moves afoot to transfer stakes in obloenergos [oblast’ level
distribution companies] to Gazprom: yet a further step to circumvent the 6
February law;

[3] against plans (some well advanced) to grant access to Black Sea gas
deposits on the basis of inter-governmental understandings with Russia
rather than open market tender;

[4] against the final assault on Naftohaz Ukrainiy and the transfer of vital
revenue from an entity which can be audited and monitored to another entity,
UkrGazEnergo, which cannot.

Outside parliament, the other founders of the 6 February model need to
become more cohesive and visible. Since absorbing the implications of the
RusUkrEnergo saga and his own responsibility for it, President Yushchenko’s
instincts about energy security have been unerring.

His group of officials in the Secretariat and the National Security and
Defence Council includes individuals of outstanding calibre.

But has the group become a team? Are European capitals aware of its
existence? Are they generating a body of ideas and alternative policies that
can be put to use once it becomes clear, even to the government itself, that
the present course leads to surrender and penury?

Moreover, it is presidential institutions, not parliament, who must take the
lead in responding to the three seismic shifts that have taken place in the
geopolitics of energy since the end of last year.

[1] The first of these is the decision by Azerbaijan to defy Russia, assist
Georgia and proceed with projects (including the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway)
that promise to provide effective energy connections between the Caspian,
the South Caucasus, the Black Sea region and Europe. This change of
course has brought GUAM back from the dead.

[2] The second shift is the quiet but unmistakable realisation in Kazakhstan
that the EU formula of ‘diversity with regard to source, supplier, transport
route and transport method’ now serves its own interests and is coming
within its means.

[3] The third is President Lukashenka’s brutal realisation that his policies
have left Belarus with no energy security at all. For the first time since
1994 the possibility of direct energy connections between the Baltic and
Black seas is now open.

The questions before Ukraine is so inescapable that even the government
understands it: is Ukraine to be a cavity in this matrix or part of the glue
that holds it together?

Is the EU prepared to be part of the glue that holds it together? Despite
the Commission’s report, that is still in doubt, because too many dogmas,
habits of mind and narrowly construed national interests stand in the way.

Clarity is therefore needed from the EU as well. It must ask itself what it
wants in Ukraine, the South Caucasus and the Caspian, and it must ask
itself what it will contribute in order to get it.

Only then will it be able to reformulate the old question with new
authority: where is Ukraine going and with whom?                 -30-
———————————————————————————————-
[1] NOTE: The views expressed are entirely those of the author and do
not necessarily reflect the thinking of the Ministry of Defence or Her
Majesty’s government. James Sherr: james.sherr@lincoln.oxford.ac.uk.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/638/56095/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2. HUNGARY CHOOSES GAZPROM OVER EUROPEAN UNION
             Budapest decides extending a pipeline beats bloc’s ‘dream’

By Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Monday, March 12, 2007

BUDAPEST: As the European Union struggles to achieve a common energy
security policy, the Socialist-led government of Hungary has broken with the
bloc by joining forces with Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, to extend a
pipeline from Turkey to Hungary.

The joint project would compete directly with an EU plan to construct its
own pipeline to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Starting in Turkey and crossing Bulgaria and Romania, the extended Gazprom
pipeline, called Blue Stream, would follow almost the same route as the EU
project, cost just as much and be finished at about the same time.

The immediate advantage to Hungary in joining the Russian project was
unclear, because Budapest could end up contributing to the construction of
competing pipelines.

The opposition in Hungary claims that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, who
leads the former Communist Party and has close ties to President Vladimir
Putin of Russia, supports Gazprom’s strategy to expand its influence in
central and southeastern Europe.

The Hungarian Economy Ministry, however, says that the country has ambitions
to become a major energy hub in central Europe and that the Blue Stream
project, with access to more Russian natural gas, would further this aim.

Gyurcsany said in an interview that because the EU project, known as
Nabucco, had experienced significant delays and could face further problems,
the Russian plan was more realistic.

When completed, at the earliest in 2011, the EUR5 billion, or $6.6 billion,
Nabucco project would benefit all the bloc’s 27 members and carry at least
30 billion cubic meters, or 1 trillion cubic feet, of natural gas a year to
the Union. Currently, more than a quarter of the Union’s gas, or 150 billion
cubic meters, is imported annually from Russia.

“Which of these two pipelines exists?” asked Gyurcsany, whose company
joined the Union in 2004. The Blue Stream line already runs under the Black
Sea to Turkey.

“The Nabucco has been a long dream and an old plan,” he said. “But we
don’t need dreams. We need projects.”

“The single problem with Nabucco is that we cannot see when we will have
gas from it,” Gyurcsany said. “If someone could say to me definitively, you
would have gas by a certain time, fine, but you can only heat the apartments
with gas and not with dreams.”

Andris Piebalgs, the Union’s energy commissioner, said the Nabucco pipeline
would transport natural gas across from the Caspian region, mostly from
Azerbaijan to Turkey. It would then be sent through Bulgaria, Romania and
Hungary and finally to Austria. These transit countries have established a
consortium for the Nabucco pipeline.

Gyurcsany said Hungary would support Russian plans to extend the Blue
Stream pipeline into central Europe despite its being a member of the
Nabucco consortium.

“Blue Stream is backed by a very strong will and a very strong
organizational power,” Gyurcsany said. “And there is capacity behind it.”

The cost of extending the Blue Stream pipeline to Hungary would be
EUR5 billion, according to the Hungarian Economy Ministry.

The Blue Stream pipeline is one of the world’s deepest undersea pipelines.
But because of low compression and other technical problems it pumps
less than three billion cubic meters of gas a year, well below the total of
regional needs. It was built to supplement Gazprom lines through other
countries, including Ukraine and Belarus.

Once the Russian natural gas arrives in Hungary through the Blue Stream
line, it is to be either sold to other European countries or stored in
facilities that Gazprom recently acquired.

Gyurcsany said he still wanted Hungary to diversify its energy supplies.
Hungary depends almost completely on Russia for natural gas.

Fidesz, the main opposition party in Hungary, said Gyurcsany was making
the country even more dependent on Russia by teaming up with Gazprom.

“I would be most thankful if we could diversify our supplies,” Gyurcsany
said. “I can hardly overestimate the risk that Hungary runs. Any prime
minister would be a fool if he did not want to diversify or if he bound
himself to one supplier. But chasing dreams is also foolish instead of
building on realities.”

Janos Koko, the Hungarian economy minister, said he saw no inconsistency in
the Hungarian position because it would lead to competition. “We also want
to diversify our energy supplies,” he said.

“Over 80 percent of our gas comes from Russia. There are two competing
projects. But Nabucco is more imagination than tangible. I would like to see
a stronger Nabucco.”

The EU agreed to speed up the construction of the 3,000-kilometer, or
1,900-mile Nabucco pipeline after an energy dispute between Russia and
Ukraine in January 2006 that led to shortages of natural gas in some EU
countries. Piebalgs said the Nabucco pipeline would “concretely contribute
to energy security.”

The pipeline has been subject to many delays, not least because of
uncertainty over whether it would be able to ship natural gas from Iran.
Iran is now subject to UN sanctions because it refuses to halt its uranium
enrichment program.

There also have been problems with financing the project. The European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which advocates competition
in the energy sector as well as diversification, agreed last year to finance
70 percent of Nabucco’s construction costs.               -30-
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/12/news/hungary.php

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.  THE NEW SEVEN SISTERS: OIL AND GAS GIANTS THAT
                     DWARF THE WEST’S TOP PRODUCERS
                        The seven are overwhelmingly state-owned

By Carola Hoyos, Financial Times, London, UK, Mon, Mar, 12 2007

When an angry Enrico Mattei coined the phrase “the seven sisters” to
describe the Anglo-Saxon companies that controlled the Middle East’s oil
after the second world war, the founder of Italy’s modern energy industry
could not have imagined the profound shift in power that would occur barely
half a century later.

As oil prices have trebled over the past four years, a new group of oil and
gas companies has risen to prominence.

They have consolidated their power as aggressive resource holders and
seekers and pushed the world’s biggest listed energy groups, which emerged
out of the original seven sisters – ExxonMobil and Chevron of the US and
Europe’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell – on to the sidelines and into an
existential crisis.

The “new seven sisters”, or the most influential energy companies from
countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development, have been identified by the Financial Times in consultation
with numerous industry executives.

They are Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom, CNPC of China, NIOC of Iran,
Venezuela’s PDVSA, Brazil’s Petrobras and Petronas of Malaysia.

Overwhelmingly state-owned, they control almost one-third of the world’s

oil and gas production and more than one-third of its total oil and gas
reserves.

In contrast, the old seven sisters – which shrank to four in the industry
consolidation of the 1990s – produce about 10 per cent of the world’s oil
and gas and hold just 3 per cent of reserves.

Even so, their integrated status – which means they sell not only oil and
gas, but also gasoline, diesel and petrochemicals – push their revenues
notably higher than those of the newcomers.

Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, an industry consultancy, says: “The
reason the original seven sisters were so important was that they were the
rule makers; they controlled the industry and the markets. Now, these new
seven sisters are the rule makers and the international oil companies are
the rule takers.”

The International Energy Agency, the developed world’s sectoral watchdog,
calculates that 90 per cent of new supplies will come from developing
countries in the next 40 years.

That marks a big shift from the past 30 years, when 40 per cent of new
production came from industrialised nations, most of it controlled by listed
western energy groups, noted a report published last week by Rice
University’s James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy.

The biggest contributor will be Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest and most
sophisticated national oil company and thus number one on the FT list. After
the surge in crude prices since 2002, Saudi Aramco launched its most
ambitious expansion programme in a generation.

It aims to boost production capacity from 11m barrels a day – or 13 per cent
of today’s global consumption – to 12.5m b/d and then 15m b/d.

In doing so, Saudi Aramco will consolidate its position as the world’s most
powerful oil company, allowing Riyadh to remain the world’s central banker
of oil – turning taps on when there is a shortage of global supply, and off
when prices are falling below its comfort level.

International oil companies and the leaders of the main consuming nations
have come to accept Saudi Aramco’s dominance. But the recent shift in the
international influence of smaller national oil companies has been harder to
swallow.

By the end of last year, companies such as BP and Shell had lost their
leading positions on the world’s stock exchanges: Russia’s Gaz-prom and
PetroChina (88 per cent owned by CNPC) had pushed their way into second

and third place among the biggest listed energy groups.

ExxonMobil, perhaps the only energy company from the developed world that
can match the new batch in overall influence, now remains alone at the top.
Gazprom, Petrobras of Brazil and PetroChina have also outshone the others in
share price gains.

The main reason for this shift in power has been a resurfacing of the
re-source nationalism that began in Mexico in the 1930s, spread to the
Middle East in the 1970s and abated – and in some cases went into reverse –
when oil prices cooled in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Groups including Mattei’s Eni are having to accept new contract terms in
countries such as Russia and Venezuela, where national energy companies are
systematically clawing back control of fields.

Venezuela this month enacted a law that will give PDVSA majority control of
the Orinoco belt’s heavy oil fields, the largest such resource in the world.

In Russia the Kremlin wrested control of Shell’s $20bn (£10bn, EUR15bn)
natural gas project on Sakhalin Island at the end of last year and announced
Gazprom would lead the development of the vast Arctic Shtokman gas field,
relegating international oil companies to service providers.

This month Lord Browne, BP’s chief executive, travelled to Moscow to try to
head off becoming the latest Gazprom victim.

He proposed that BP marketed the Russian company’s future liquefied natural
gas abroad in an effort to stave off Gazprom’s ambitions to take control of
the Kovykta gas field, one of BP’s key Russian assets.

The impact of today’s nationalism is different from that of the 1970s. In
1975 Gulf, one of the original seven sisters and now part of Chevron and BP,
shifted all its movable investment dollars out of the developing world and
back to North America and the North Sea. This time international oil
companies are finding no new fields to escape to.

In fact, they have discovered no-where capable of pumping more than 1m b/d
since 2000, when Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field became the biggest find in 30
years.

Meanwhile, national oil companies are banding together to help to develop
each other’s reserves, leaving growth in the oil and gas industry – and the
resources for world economic development – in the hands of the new seven
sisters and the governments that control them.

The consequences of this could hardly be more profound. Fatih Birol, chief
economist at the IEA, estimates that the world is falling 20 per cent short
of making the $20,000bn investment needed to ensure adequate energy supplies
for the next 25 years.

Governments’ unwillingness to allow their national oil companies to reinvest
their recent windfall profits back into the industry lies at the root of
many of the worries about future supplies. Instead, those governments use
the money for social ventures or it is wasted.

President Hugo Chávez, of Venezuela, spends two-thirds of PDVSA’s budget

on his populist social programmes, with almost $7bn being funnelled in that
direction by 2005, compared with the $77m spent in 1997 by the previous
government, the Rice Univeristy report found.

Meanwhile, in Russia little of Gaz-prom’s earnings goes towards upgrading
Russia’s antiquated, leaking pipeline system, 30 per cent of which needs
replacing, the IEA warns.

In Iran, NIOC is still a gas importer despite controlling South Pars, the
world’s biggest gas field. It is hindered from boosting its oil production
or fixing its refineries because of the burden of financing subsidies that
keep petrol prices at just 10 US cents a litre.

But the poster child of what happens when a government restricts foreign
investment while using its national oil company as a bottomless piggybank is
Mexico. Pemex’s decline has excluded it from the FT list of the developing
world’s most influential energy companies.

The most pessimistic forecasters say the rapid ageing of Mexico’s giant
Cantarell field will turn America’s third largest oil supplier into a net
importer within a decade.

“The x-factor is [Mexico’s] Congress, with Pemex constantly locked in a
battle to secure sufficient funding and a reasonable fiscal regime, the
company cannot plan on a long-term horizon with great certainty,
handicapping its ability to manage declines,” says Ryan Todd, an analyst at
Sanford Bernstein, the US financial group.

This would contribute to a “severe problem” in world oil supplies within the
next three to five years. For Mexico, it would mean the gradual loss of 40
per cent of its tax revenue.

International oil companies are, however, competing not only with resource
holders but also with national oil companies thathave turned resource
seekers – highlighting the issue of energy security.

Jimmy Carter, who as US president during the oil shocks of the late 1970s
passed the most sweeping energy legislation in the country’s history, says
in an interview that energy insecurity is “still a major issue and will be
increasingly a crisis situation in the years to come”.

The present situation differs from the one he tackled in one main respect:
“Today we are experiencing on a global basis competition from China and
India that I didn’t know when I was president.”

The biggest of those competitors is CNPC. It has a solid foothold in China’s
large reserves, owning 88 per cent of Petro-China. But it is its rapid push
to secure international reserves that makes it so powerful.

Backed by Beijing’s feverish quest to secure the energy it needs for China
to develop, CNPC has fanned out across the globe into about 20 countries
from Azerbaijan to Ecuador.

It has pumped more than $8bn into the oil industry of war-torn Sudan, when
concerns over human rights deter others in the industry from involvement
with Khartoum.

“CNPC are the rule makers on access to new reserves in new markets and they
are changing the competition for resources, services, capital and markets,”
says Mr West.

Nor is CNPC the only company changing the rules in the race to secure
assets. Smaller national oil companies such as Petrobras and Petronas are
also keeping international energy executives awake at night.

Petrobras, for example, has been at the forefront of the technology needed
to pull oil out of ultra-deep waters, such as those that abut Brazil’s
shores. The company is now using those skills to compete head-on with the
likes of BP and ExxonMobil in Angola as well as the US Gulf of Mexico.

Malaysia’s Petronas has also spread out internationally, notably into Sudan
and Burma. It receives about 30 per cent of its corporate revenues from
abroad and operates in more than 26 countries, producing oil from about 50
projects, more than half of which it runs, Rice University’s report notes.

Companies such as Petrobras and Petronas have the advantage that they can
more easily woo fellow resource-rich national oil companies. International
oil companies continue to suffer from their 1980s and 1990s reputation as
haughty and patronising business partners.

Malcolm Brinded, head of Shell’s exploration and production, acknowledges
this when he says international oil companies need to ask themselves, “How
are we going to make this marriage work?” He describes Shell and other
international oil companies as “much less paternalistic than in the
partnerships of 20 years ago”.

Examples of this include anything from the tone the international groups use
in negotiations, to employing and training local engineers and building
infrastructure, such as desalination plants, even though it might not be
needed for the project in which the company is involved.

International oil executives are making these concessions because they
believe today’s power balance is unlikely to change any time soon.

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total and the man who made his
mark brokering deals with national oil companies in the Middle East and
Africa, says: “I think this new world will stay even if the price of oil
drops a little bit. People will keep in their soul that they have this
power – it will take time before they change.”

But he adds that his optimistic side believes that eventually national oil
companies, many of them battling declining fields and other technical and
managerial challenges, “might be forced to consider, ‘well, whatever we
said, those people are worth working with because we need them to develop
our reserves’.”

The wish expressed by Mr de Margerie could not be further from the
self-assured position his predecessor at CFP, Total’s ancestor, used to
enjoy 60 years ago. Yet it is a worry not only for Mr de Margerie and his
peers.

If the new seven sisters do not live up to their potential, the world’s
continued economic growth, China’s development and the west’s comfort

and wealth will become far from assured.
SAUDIS HEAD A RICH FIELD
With 25 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and the capacity to produce
nearly triple the amount of any other group, Saudi Aramco is the world’s
most successful national oil company.

The House of Saud dictates energy policy but leaves day-to-day strategy to
the capable technocrats who run it. Saudi Aramco is investing $50bn (£26bn,
EUR38bn) over 15-20 years but its biggest fields are ageing.
GAZPROM
No other company keeps Europe, and increasingly Asia, on tenterhooks more
than Gazprom. As a tool of the Kremlin, it has been involved in a gas
dispute with Ukraine and a debate with Japan and China over competing
pipelines from Siberia as well as the grab of Royal Dutch Shell’s majority
stake in the Sakhalin II liquefied natural gas project.

Gazprom has increased its influence with upstream deals in central Asia,
including Iran. Downstream, its push  into the European market has set off
moves to limit its access.
CNPC/PETROCHINA
All three of China’s top oil companies have been making ambitious moves
abroad. But China National Petroleum Corporation, with its 88 per cent owned
PetroChina as a listed subsidiary, is the biggest and has the widest
international reach.

Petro China holds most of its overseas assets in a joint venture with its
parent and is active in about 20 countries from Azerbaijan to Ecuador. CNPC
retains sole control of its controversial assets in Sudan.
NIOC
Iran is one of the few Middle East countries with massive hydrocarbon wealth
that is open to investment by foreign energy companies. National Iranian Oil
Company has partnerships with Italian, French, Dutch and Norwegian companies
and collaborates with Chinese and Russian groups.

Yet South Pars, the world’s biggest gas field, remains so untapped that Iran
is a net gas importer.
PDVSA
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez this year signed a law that allows PDVSA to
seize control of the $30bn Orinoco Belt heavy crude oil projects. PDVSA’s
production is shrinking but it is still important to the fortunes of
international energy groups, many of whose contracts are being rewritten.
PETROBRAS
The strength of Petrobras is in finding and producing oil from deep waters.
Expertise gained in Brazil’s waters is being applied in offshore west Africa
and the Gulf of Mexico, where its Cottonwood field is in production.
PETRONAS
Malaysia’s national oil company has been described as the role model others
would like to follow. Though a top-three exporter of LNG, Petronas risks
falling behind the gas groups of Qatar, Nigeria and Indonesia.
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/7b407c5e-d03e-11db-94cb-000b5df10621.html

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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4.         “UKRAINE ENERGY REPORT” PUBLISHED

Research and Markets, Business Wire, Thursday, March 08, 2007

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c51753)

has announced the addition of “Ukraine Energy Report” to their offering.

This report provides updated facts and figures on the evolution of the
national energy market. For the oil, gas, coal and power markets, the report
details the market organisation, institutions regulating the market, and
energy policy of the country.

Energy companies active on the market are analysed. Domestic production,
capacities, exchanges, consumption by sector and market shares are provided.
Energy prices levels and taxes are described. Finally, the driving issues,
and the market prospects are proposed.

Our Ukraine energy market report offers a precise and reliable overview of
the energy sector in the country. With a focus on oil, gas, coal and power
markets, the report provides a complete picture of the country situation,
dynamics, current issues and future prospects.

With timely updated market data and continuous follow-up of markets news,
this report brings clear and concise insights, to help tackle national
energy challenges and opportunities. We have published energy market

reports for 20 years.

With highly experienced energy experts, analysts and an active professional
network, we are reckoned to be a trustworthy energy source for data,
forecasts & analysis, globally.
                                      TOPICS COVERED:
List of graphs and tables
General overview; Institutions and energy policy; Energy companies;
Energy supply; Prices; Consumption; Issues and outlines; Data tables
                               COMPANIES MENTIONED:
Tsentrenergo; Dniproenergo; Donbaseenergo; Zakhidenergo; Vostokenergo
Ukrenergo; Goskomatom; AES Corp; Vez; Energorinok; Naftogaz;

Ukrgazprom; Ukrneft.                       -30-
———————————————————————————————-
Laura Wood, Senior Manager, Research and Markets
press@researchandmarkets.com
LINK: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c51753
————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
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5. ATLAS: GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF UKRAINE

Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Thursday, March 8, 2007

BOOK: An Atlas of the Geology and Mineral Deposits of Ukraine
Edited by Leonid Galets’kyi, Translated by Walter Peredery
University of Toronto Press, Cloth: Mar 2 2007
176pp /76 illustrations, CAN$100 in Canada

Seventy-six full-colour maps with text present the geological
characteristics of Ukraine in this translation of an atlas first
prepared by scholars at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences’ Institute
of Geology in 2001.

Widely acclaimed in its country of origin, An Atlas of the Geology
and Mineral Deposits of Ukraine includes up-to-date geological
concepts, as well as ecological, historical, and prehistoric items of
interest.

The seventy-six maps are grouped into seven categories: general
data, geophysical, structural, geological ‘slice,’ lithological,
ecological, hydrological, and mineralogical. Ukraine has for some
time been known as a country rich in mineral resources; as a result,
maps depicting its vast mineral deposits as well as its oil, gas,
and coal deposits may be of particular interest to foreign readers.

Leonid Galets’kyi is a department head in the Institute of Geology
of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

Walter Peredery is a geologist who has worked across Canada and
internationally.                                   -30-
——————————————————————————————
ROMAN SENKUS, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Managing Editor, www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
20 Orde St., Room 125, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, M5T 1N7, Canada
tel. 416-978-8669, 416-978-6934, fax 416-978-2672
E-mail: r.senkus@utoronto.ca; www.utoronto.ca/cius
————————————————————————————————

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========================================================      
6. GAZPROM EYES OBLAST-LEVEL GAS NETWORKS IN UKRAINE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 36
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, D.C. Wed, Feb 21, 2007

Since the law initiated by opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and adopted

by parliament on February 6 has banned any form of alienating gas transit
pipelines and other Naftohaz Ukraine-owned assets (see EDM, February 7),
Russia’s Gazprom and officials in Kyiv seem to be adjusting their approach.

They now suggest transferring stakes in Ukrainian oblast-level and local
distribution companies to Gazprom, in return for Ukrainian “access” to gas
extraction projects in Russia.

Such transfers could, however, eviscerate Ukraine’s gas transport system
from within, aggravating Naftohaz’ already bleak financial situation and
potentially setting the stage for a transfer of the transit system itself
later on.

On February 19, Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko indicated
that the government might transfer parts of Ukraine’s gas distribution
networks to Gazprom.

Speaking in the wake of talks with Gazprom president Alexei Miller, Boyko
said, “Russia is not interested in anything other than distribution networks
in Ukraine.”

Gazprom has proposed specific options to exchange Russian extraction assets
for Ukrainian infrastructure assets. Ukraine’s State Property Fund is
currently preparing sales of minority stakes in distribution companies in
certain Ukrainian oblasts (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19).

Swapping Ukrainian infrastructure for “access” to Russian oil and gas
deposits does not seem to be a viable proposition. Ukraine is hardly able to
provide the high inputs of technology and investment capital required by
extractive projects in Russia.

More likely, such “access” would become a cover for non-transparent
transfers of Ukrainian infrastructure portions to Gazprom or to companies
and individuals fronting for Gazprom.

These proposals are being accompanied by distracting suggestions emanating
also from Boyko’s ministry as well as from Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

These profess intentions to seek production-sharing agreements for gas and
oil — including some offshore projects — in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,
Egypt, and Libya (Zerkalo nedeli, February 17; ICTV Television [Kyiv],
February 19).

Such intentions are also clearly beyond Ukraine’s means and might form a
smokescreen for the real game ongoing with Moscow.

More realistically perhaps, Yanukovych proposes that Naftohaz participate in
reconstructing Uzbek gas pipelines “together with the other interested
parties” — apparently referring to Russia, next to which Naftohaz could
only play a relatively minor role in Uzbekistan.

In a variation on this theme, Boyko cites Ukrainian investment projects in
Turkmenistan (building a bridge on the Amu Darya river, several gas
compressor stations, an irrigation water supply ring) as entitling Ukraine
to certain volumes of Turkmen gas (UNIAN, February 19).

However, most of these low-tech investments date back to the late 1990s and
have strained Ukraine-Turkmen relations because of long delays and cost
overruns.

This situation was a factor in Ashgabat’s December 2005 decision to renounce
direct sales of gas to Ukraine, selling the gas instead to Gazprom for
indirect delivery to Ukraine via RosUkrEnergo.

Members of President Viktor Yushchenko’s team are airing serious concerns
over proposals to sell infrastructure stakes to Russian interests.

In a February 19 teleconference with heads of oblast administrations, First
Deputy Head of the Presidential Secretariat Arseniy Yatseniuk criticized
such “regrettable schemes” for thwarting the creation of a competitive
environment in Ukraine and placing Russian interests in control.

Alluding to similar processes ongoing in European Union countries, Yatseniuk
decried the absence of a common energy policy for the EU or the former
Soviet countries (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19).

For his part, National Security and Defense Council Vitaliy Hayduk refutes
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Yushchenko presented a
“revolutionary proposal” to Putin about “unifying” Ukraine’s and Russia’s
gas transit systems during their summit in December (Interfax-Ukraine,
February 16).

That bold assertion by Putin in his February 1 press conference backfired,
prompting Tymoshenko’s legislative initiative and the Rada’s February 6 vote
to ban alienation of Naftohaz pipelines and other assets. However, that law
does not protect Ukrainian local and oblast-level gas distribution networks.

Meanwhile, both the presidency and the government support the creation of a
Russian-Ukrainian consortium to build the long-planned Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod
pipeline, which could add as much as 19 billion cubic meters to Ukraine’s
annual transit capacity for Russian and/or Central Asian gas to Europe.

While consistent with Ukraine’s interest in a narrow and short-sighted
sense, this line would actually increase Gazprom’s market share in Ukraine
and Europe and also expand the “single channel” for Central Asian gas
through Russia and Ukraine to Europe.

A Bohorodchany-Uzhhorod pipeline could preemptively absorb Central Asian

gas volumes that are needed for the projected trans-Caspian and Nabucco
projects.

With Tymoshenko in the forefront, the case is gaining political ground for
eliminating RosUkrEnergo — or any intermediary fronting for Gazprom —

from the Russia-Ukraine gas trade.

By the same token, Tymoshenko is calling for direct purchases of gas from
Central Asia, with Russia as transit country but not as commercial
intermediary (Ukrainian News Agency, February 16).

Last month, Yushchenko and Yanukovych separately signaled interest in

having Ukraine connected to the projected Nabucco pipeline for Caspian gas.
However, Yushchenko’s and Yanukovych’s signals on energy policy are
mixed and confusing (see EDM, December 14, 2006).

Given the magnitude of Ukraine’s gas market, some clear signals of Ukrainian
interest in the projected trans-Caspian pipelines could substantially
enhance those projects’ commercial attractiveness, demonstrating that market
demand is present and massive.                             -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.jamestown.org
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.   UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER’S GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO

                 CUT POLAND FROM KEY PIPELINE ROUTE
      Slovak Detour Would Defeat Odessa-Brody Oil Transport Project
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 41
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash D.C., Wed, February 28, 2007

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s government seems to have
abandoned a project to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline into Poland for
pumping Caspian oil outside Russian control.

Instead, Yanukovych is negotiating with the government of Slovakia on a plan
to transport both Caspian and Russian oil through a Russian-controlled
pipeline.

On February 26 in Kyiv, a Ukrainian-Slovak intergovernmental meeting chaired
by Yanukovych and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico discussed the
possibility to pump oil from Kazakhstan as well as from Russia through the
Druzhba pipeline system. The route would run from Ukraine to Slovakia and
farther into European Union territory.

The existing Odessa-Brody pipeline connects with the Druzhba system at
Brody. Instead of prolonging the line into Poland for Caspian oil, as
originally intended, the modified plan would pump the oil into the Druzhba
pipeline’s Slovak section, Transpetrol, which is about to pass under de
facto Russian control.

This plan, moreover, envisages a highly questionable way of using the
pipeline for both the high-quality oil from Kazakhstan and the lower-quality
Russian-Urals blend.

In order to avoid mixing the two types, it is proposed to alternate the
pumping of either type of oil, in a wave-by-wave process. This method is
being billed as “experimental,” its stated goal to preserve the quality of
either oil brand “to the maximum extent possible.”

The problem seems familiar from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC)
misadventures after 2001. There, light oil extracted mainly by U.S.
companies in Kazakhstan was being mixed with inferior-quality Russian oil on
the Russian stretch of the pipeline leading to the port of Novorossiysk.

For several years, the Russian side refused to compensate the U.S. and
Kazakh producers for the losses they incurred through the mixing of the two
brands. The compensation mechanism, known as an “oil quality bank” and used
in normal countries in such cases, does not seem to operate effectively on
the CPC’s Russian stretch.

Significantly, an oil quality bank is not being proposed for the
Odessa-Brody-Slovakia oil transport project. According to Fico, Slovakia is
eager to participate in the project, but any decisions must be made jointly
with Russian interests, which seem set to extend their reach into Slovakia’s
energy systems. Slovakia “has no effective control over the transit
pipeline,” he stated in Kyiv (Itar-Tass, February 26).

The Slovak transit pipeline, Transpetrol, has become a collateral casualty
of the destruction of Yukos in Russia. Yukos owned a 49% stake as well as
the operating rights in Transpetrol (technically through the
Netherlands-registered Yukos Finance company); the Slovak government
retained 51% and an option to buy the Yukos stake.

The Kremlin-controlled bankruptcy court in Moscow apparently intends to
award that Yukos stake with the operating rights to a Russian company. A
prime claimant, Russneft, now seems to be in retreat since its chief,
Mikhail Gutseriyev, lost out in some obscure political and business
infighting in Russia.

During the third week of February, Slovak Economics Minister Lubomir
Jahnatek discussed with Gazprom and Gazpromneft the possibility of their
taking over the Yukos stake (Vedomosti, February 21).

Transpetrol, 515 kilometers long and with direct connections to the Czech,
Hungarian, and Croatian transit pipelines, has a design throughput capacity
of 21 million tons annually.

Currently operating at somewhat over 50% of that capacity, it delivers more
than 5 million tons annually to the Czech Republic refineries at Kralupy and
Litvinov and some 6 million tons to the national Slovnaft refinery; and it
could take additional volumes of oil destined for Germany, where the Druzhba
system terminates.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian government seeks control over this strategic
pipeline. Loss of national control over Transpetrol could expose Slovakia as
well as Hungary to full dependence on Russian oil by precluding the import
option from the Adriatic Sea.

That long-discussed option envisages pumping oil from Croatia’s supertanker
port Omisalj, through the existing Adria pipeline northward into Hungary and
Slovakia and potentially farther afield.

For its part, Russia wants to “integrate” the Druzhba pipeline system with
the Adria pipeline, aiming to use it for pumping Russian oil to Adriatic
port terminals.

The move would be similar to Russia’s use of the Odessa-Brody pipeline since
2004 “in reverse,” north-south for Russian oil, instead of south-north for
non-Russian oil that would diversify Europe’s supply sources.

Just as the reverse-use of Odessa-Brody required cooperation by the
Ukrainian government, so would the Russian reverse-use of the Adria pipeline
and its “integration” with the Druzhba pipeline via Slovakia.

The first government of Viktor Yanukovych delivered politically on the first
reverse-use in 2004 and his second government now seems inclined to deliver
on the other reverse-use. In this case, however, the outcome depends on
Slovakia’s decision as well.

Since October 2006 both Yanukovych and President Viktor Yushchenko have
aired the idea of using the Slovak route instead of the Polish route, in
essence freezing the Odessa-Brody-Poland extension project. The Polish
option has the advantage of being immune to Russian control.

For its part, Poland seeks assurances that the existing Odessa-Brody
pipeline be also rendered immune to a Russian takeover, as a precondition to
extending it into Poland for Caspian oil.

To that end, Poland seeks a preemptive right for its PERN company to buy a
100% stake in that pipeline from the Ukrainian government, in the event that
the latter decides to sell it.

On that condition, Poland wishes to go ahead with the Odessa-Brody extension
project. Deputy Minister of Economics Piotr Naimski, responsible for energy,
discussed oil supplies to that project with the KazMunayGaz management in
Astana on February 21, in preparation for Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s
visit to Kazakhstan in March. (Interfax-Ukraine, February 19, 21, 26)
————————————————————————————————

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8. PM YANUKOVYCH SAYS UKRAINE’S MILITARY INDUSTRIES
            SHOULD INCREASE COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 12, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s prime minister on Monday urged the country’s
defense industry enterprises to increase cooperation with Russia, a move
that could make it even more difficult for this ex-Soviet republic to join
NATO some day.

“We understand very well that today our main partner (in this sector) is
Russia,” the Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said, ordering
his deputy to start talks immediately with his Russian counterparts.

Yanukovych put the brakes on Ukraine’s bid to become a NATO member last
year, dealing a blow to pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who had
hoped Ukraine could win a place in the military alliance as early as next
year.

Ukrainians remain sharply divided over NATO membership. Many fear

membership would harm relations with Russia and hurt Ukraine’s military
industries, which remain closely linked with Russia. Supporters of NATO
membership argue it would increase Ukraine’s security and open up new
military markets to its products.

Yanukovych complained that Ukraine is seeing its military industrial
cooperation with Russia decrease.

He recalled that former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov had said that
if Ukraine is always talking about imminent NATO membership, Russia will
have to do its military industrial planning without Ukraine.

“Therefore we must clearly define our orientation,” Yanukovych said.

Communist and pro-Russian protesters, meanwhile, tried to prevent a pro-

NATO conference in the capital from getting under way by attempting to
block the entrance. Police had to call in reinforcements, and the conference,
part of a series of pro-NATO information events, went ahead.

“We are not a Western nation, we are Orthodox Slavs and our alliance should
be with Russia,” said 17-year-old protester Sergei Orlovsky, one of about 50
protesters. They prayed and held signs that read: “NATO, Hands Off Ukraine”
and “We are not Yankees. We are Slavs and Our Brother is Russia.”
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
9.  PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ORBITS
                        Profiles of the prime minister’s inner circle
    Key influential people are Akhmetov, Azarov, Klyuyev and Lyovchkin

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Leshchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 3 Mar 07
BBC Monitoring Service. United Kingdom, Sat, Mar 10, 2007

The most influential people in Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s inner
circle are businessman Rinat Akhmetov, First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola
Azarov, Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev, and the head of the prime
minister’s secretariat, Serhiy Lyovochkin, a website has said.

Each of the four has his own group of loyal people among cabinet ministers
and prime minister’s advisers. The Lyovochkin and Klyuyev groups have
conflicting interests in the fuel and energy sector. Akhmetov has special
status and is the only one whom Yanukovych treats as equal, the author says.

The following is the text of the article by Serhiy Leshchenko entitled
“Viktor Yanukovych’s orbits” and published by Ukrayinska Pravda website

on 3 March; subheadings are as published:

Over 18 months, Viktor Yanukovych has covered the path from a ward at the
resort of Karlovy Vary to the cabinet on the seventh floor of the government
building.

The politician who was considered to be “a shot-down pilot” is now seizing
more and more of the steering instruments in the cockpit. By the way, this
is not a mere metaphor. Yanukovych really did study to fly planes for some
time. [ellipsis here and throughout as published]

Having returned to big politics, Yanukovych has changed his entourage. Many
old names were replaced with new ones. Some stars have faded, others drifted
away from the centre, while still others approached so close as to be in
danger of being burnt.
                              LYOVOCHKIN-KLYUYEV
The front line in Yanukovych’s team runs between Deputy Prime Minister
Andriy Klyuyev and the head of the prime minister’s secretariat, Serhiy
Lyovochkin.

Since the times of the complicated business history of Donbass [coal-mining
area in Donetsk and Luhansk regions], Andriy Klyuyev has been using an
armoured Mercedes – he survived several assassination attempts.

Lyovochkin has also been using the same kind of transport since his
relations with Viktor Medvedchuk deteriorated during their work in the
administration of [former President] Leonid Kuchma.

Klyuyev’s ascetic image is manifested in his was of brewing tea
soldier-style – right in a mug, which he then drinks in the presence of his
guests. Klyuyev once worked at a coal mine, and he does not understand

the Kievites who burn up their lives at night clubs.

It is also telling that Klyuyev’s post-graduate thesis in Soviet times was
on construction of missiles silos in zones of tectonic instability.

Lyovochkin’s thesis was entitled “The US state debt”.

Working as first aide to the president in 2004, Lyovochkin defended a PhD
thesis on macro financial stabilization in Ukraine. Thus he repeated the
record achievement of Dmytro Tabachnyk, who received his PhD at the age of
32 when he was the head of the presidential administration.

Klyuyev’s official tax declaration mentions over 50m [presumably hryvnyas].
He and his brother are the owners of Ukrpidshypnyk [ball-bearing producer].

According to Lyovochkin, his tax declaration has a figure “with more than
six zeros”. He sold the Kiev footwear factory to [Russian businessman]
Konstantin Grigorishin. His sister deals with the family’s business matters.

Lyovochkin is linked to the Klirinhovyy Dim bank, and the UESU-Avia. After
articles linked him to [gas import monopolist] RosUkrEnergo, he filed a
libel suit for 500,000 hryvnyas [100,000 dollars].

Klyuyev is the hawk in Yanukovych’s team, but Lyovochkin also does not suit
the role of a dove.
                                         KLYUYEV’S ORBITS
The conflict between Klyuyev and Lyovochkin is also connected with Fuel and
Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko, who is close to Lyovochkin and does not allow
Klyuyev to deal with the area he is in charge of – gas issues.

Klyuyev, for his part, from time to time plays on Boyko’s nerves by hinting
that RosUkrEnergo could be removed from the Ukrainian market.

As Boyko reduced Klyuyev’s influence on the fuel and energy sector, the
deputy prime minister finds compensation in other areas. In particular, he
influences personnel policy in the Interior Ministry.

For instance, with Klyuyev’s assistance, the most controversial figures of
the Orange Revolution period, Serhiy Popkov and Mykola Plyekhanov, were
appointed at the Interior Ministry.

Yuriy Lutsenko [former Interior Minister] said that Yanukovych suggested
that he return Plyekhanov as “a valuable professional who lost his job” to
the Interior Ministry, but Lutsenko refused.

After the coming of [new Interior Minister Vasyl] Tsushko, Plyekhanov is in
charge of personnel policy in the ministry, and Popkov is working as head of
the Interior Ministry’s main staff.

Mykola Dzhyha is in charge of Yanukovych’s people in police. The prime
minister supported Dzhyha’s appointment to “help” Lutsenko as his first
deputy.

However, neither Lutsenko nor Dzhyha himself showed any enthusiasm to
implement this vision of the head of government. Now Dzhyha can influence
the ministry from parliament.

Klyuyev is also considered in Yanukovych’s team to be the man behind a
moratorium on land sale. Opponents are convinced that the ban was prolonged
to allow land to be bought up cheaply.

Klyuyev also organized the transfer of profitable state assets, the
Ukrspetseksport state weapons exporter and Oshchadbank state bank, to the
control of the prime minister’s team.

This was done using similar technique.

In the case of Ukrspetseksport, Klyuyev at first only met its head, Serhiy
Bondarchuk, and advised him to submit a voluntary retirement notice. After
Bondarchuk refused, the government issued a resolution making the company
subordinate to the Cabinet of Ministers instead of the president.

Yushchenko appealed against the resolution in Constitutional court. The next
step was audits by the State Auditing Directorate. Then the tax
administration came to the company and began to study the company’s
operation during Yanukovych’s first term as prime minister.

The same happened to Oshchadbank. To subordinate the head of the bank’s
board to him, Klyuyev through his MP brother [Serhiy Klyuyev] is trying to
change the people in the bank’s supervisory board appointed on parliament’s
quota.

When it became clear that this is not enough, changes to the law were
organized to completely change the system of appointment to the bank’s
supervisory board. At the same time, inspections by the Main Auditing
Directorate were sent to the bank.

Political commentator Dmytro Vydrin, describing his first meeting with
Klyuyev right after his move to Kiev, recalled that Klyuyev greeted people
without getting up from his desk. Vydrin was astonished and predicted that
Klyuyev would never make a politician.

But his manners have improved significantly since then, and he has become
one of the main communicators with the orange camp.

Klyuyev’s kiss with Poroshenko [traditional friendly greeting between
Ukrainian men] in the heat of coalition talks last year was more eloquent
than words.

Klyuyev has close links with MP Volodymyr Sivkovych. The latter, due to his
KGB past, is the source of special information in the prime minister’s team.
Sometimes, he hunts with Yanukovych.

When Klyuyev was an MP, his subgroup in parliament included Taras Chornovil.
Rumours have it that the former member of Our Ukraine switched to the Party
of Regions in 2004 not only because his opinion was ignored in the orange
team, but also because Klyuyev, unlike Chornovil’s nationalist-democratic
colleagues, helped him solve many difficult personal problems, linked with
the health of Chornovil’s relatives.

Chornovil’s five minutes of fame started before the third round of the
presidential election, when Yanukovych, deserted by everyone, appointed him
head of the election headquarters. Chornovil’s influence has greatly
decreased now, although he is still present in the media space as one of the
Party of Regions spokespersons.

Chornovil, just like Hanna Herman [former chief of Radio Liberty bureau],
are tasked with creating an illusion of democracy in the party. At first
they promised that MP Oleh Kalashnikov, who beat up a journalist, would

lose his seat in parliament. This never happened.

Presently, they are opposing the secretary of the Donetsk city council
Levchenko, who called for making the Russia language a state one, leaving
Ukrainian for folk songs and funny stories.

Anatoliy Tolstoukhov is also near Klyuyev. Tolstoukhov manages the
500-strong staff of the cabinet’s secretariat. He was minister of the
Cabinet of Ministers in Yanukovych’s previous government and even

lived in the government building during the Orange Revolution.

But the incumbent leaders recalled Tolstoukhov only after the 2006
elections. He was not running on the Party of Regions list, but with the
marginal Eko Plus 25 Per Cent, which was set up by the shareholders of the
Industrial Union of Donbass company.

So, his appearance in the second row from Yanukovych looks like thanks

for the ordeal the loyal minister experienced. In particular, after the
revolution, his home was searched over a criminal case.

Tolstoukhov was accused of ordering the publication of the results of the
second round of the presidential election in the Uryadovyy Kuryer newspaper
despite a court ruling [suspending their publication].

Dmytro Vydrin recalls Tolstoukhov as the senior in his group in the Kiev
institute of political science: “He was very organized in that capacity and
did everything in a timely manner. But he is a strong official. And because
he is an official, he, unlike a businessman or a politician, cannot be
described. He is simply an official!”
                                  LYOVOCHKIN’S ORBITS
Despite his young age, Serhiy Lyovochkin entered big politics in 1999. The
then 27-year-old Lyovochkin was appointed Kuchma’s “scientific consultant”.

It is commonly believed that Lyovochkin junior was lobbied by Lyovochkin
senior, who headed the State Department for Implementation of Sentences,
which was in charge of all Ukrainian prisons. Allegedly, knowledge about
Yanukovych’s volatile youth, which he received in this post, allowed him to
promote his son in Kiev.

However, according to eye witnesses of the events, it was vice versa. Serhiy
Lyovochkin was brought to Bankova Street [where the presidential
administration was situated] by Kuchma’s chief of protocol on Yanukovych’s
request.

Lyovochkin’s father became head of the department thanks to Volodymyr
Lytvyn’s efforts [when he was head of Kuchma’s administration], rather than
the then Donetsk governor [Yanukovych]. Lyovochkin senior met Yanukovych
only in 2000, while his son knew him five years earlier.

The only fact beyond doubt is that from the outset, when he was appointed to
Kuchma’s administration, Serhiy Lyovochkin was positioned as a
representative of Viktor Yanukovych’s interests in Kiev. The parliamentary
elections in 1998 confirm this.

Lyovochkin was running in a constituency in Donetsk, where Oleksandr
Rzhavskyy won by a miracle. According to Rzhavskyy’s election headquarters,
the Donbass administration actively helped Lyovochkin then.

The owners of the title “president’s scientific consultant” at that time
were divided into two types.

[1] The first type appeared on Bankova Street on the day they received their
ID and never disturbed the administration with their presence ever since.
[2] The others carried out Lytvyn’s instructions. Lyovochkin was in the
second group. In late 1999, he visited the USA as part of Kuchma’s
delegation.

A rapid rise in Lyovochkin’s career occurred in 2002, when Kuchma appointed
him as his first aide to counterbalance the head of the presidential
administration, Viktor Medvedchuk.

Lyovochkin became “a good cop” with Medvedchuk being “the bad guy”. It was
with the help of his mediation that Yushchenko managed to meet Kuchma in
those years. The first aide was also the point of contact for Western
diplomats in Bankova Street.

Among Lyovochkin’s achievements was the cancellation of the scandalous
election of the Mukacheve mayor. Medvedchuk could not tolerate an
alternative channel of information for Kuchma and, according to some
reports, he initiated arrest of Lyovochkin junior several times but without
success.

However, despite good contacts with the Orange camp – Lyovochkin was even at
Yushchenko’s family birthdays recently – he worked for Yanukovych’s victory.

His name, together with Klyuyev’s, is mentioned on the “Rybachuk tapes” on a
transit server [which was allegedly used to help falsify the presidential
election results; the recordings of senior officials were made public during
the Orange Revolution by Yushchenko ally Oleh Rybachuk].

In the same year [2004], Leonid Kuchma agreed to change the gas middleman.
RosUkrEnergo became the operator of Turkmen gas supplies to Ukraine. The
press wrote repeatedly that this was done with Lyovochkin’s help. An
indirect proof is his close relations with the ideologists of the scheme,
Yuriy Boyko and Dmytro Firtash.

Lyovochkin even sued Yuliya Mostova from the Zerkalo Nedeli weekly for
500,000 hryvnyas to make journalists disinclined to mention the issue. The
suit will lead him straight to the list of enemies of the press.

Yet another hidden motive for such actions by Lyovochkin could be an attempt
to join in the war between Yanukovych and Defence Minister Anatoliy
Hrytsenko, Mostova’s husband, by making an additional hook to hold the last
propresidential minister on.

During the Orange Revolution, Lyovochkin organized secret meetings between
Yushchenko and Kuchma, and after the revolution he became parliament speaker
Volodymyr Lytvyn’s adviser. [Transport Minister Yevhen] Chervonenko, for
instance, offered him a post of deputy transport minister.

In Yanukovych’s current team, Lyovochkin wanted to be minister of the
Cabinet of Ministers. But this post was occupied by Tolstoukhov.

Another post in the prime minister’s close entourage – head of Yanukovych’s
secretariat – was occupied by the former deputy head of Medvedchuk on
Bankova Street, [Oleksiy] Ishchenko.

But he was dismissed after a few weeks and Lyovochkin was appointed to the
post. He turned the prime minister’s service into his secretariat, became
independent of Tolstoukhov and began a lobby struggle.

Lyovochkin strengthened Yanukovych with advisers, of whom he is in charge.
Some of them could see Yanukovych in flesh only once or twice in these
months because their work was collected by Lyovochkin at the entrance to the
prime minister’s office. He recruited into his team the people tested in
Kuchma’s times.

Four advisers are dealing with international issues for Yanukovych. They
solve many issues without even informing the Foreign Ministry.

The closest one to the prime minister in this group is the former Foreign
Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, who is de-facto Yanukovych’s personal
manager for these issues.

It is said that, for instance the Estonian prime minister’s visit to Ukraine
was prepared by Hryshchenko, bypassing the Foreign Ministry. He also
organized Yanukovych’s trip to the USA instead of the Foreign Ministry.

Hryshchenko’s predecessor in the Foreign Ministry, Anatoliy Zlenko, who
received the tile adviser for special international issues, has failed to
find anything to do in Yanukovych’s team.

The appointment of Andriy Fialko as Yanukovych’s adviser was aimed to
neutralize the activity of Anatoliy Orel. They opposed each other for a long
time, when working in Kuchma’s administration: Fialko has a pro-Western
vision, while Orel has pro-Russian.

Orel – the former teacher of Italian at the Main Intelligence Directorate in
Moscow – played the defining role in Yanukovych’s foreign policy before the
appearance of Lyovochkin.

During that period he managed to make a few surprises for his boss. For
instance, he crossed out the essence from Yanukovych’s letter to Javier
Solana [EU high representative for common foreign and security policy] that
the new government will support a border regime with the Dniester Region
agreed with the European Union.

However, Orel was pushed away to Yanukovych’s distant orbits and the limit
of his ambitions was to be appointed ambassador to Russia or Italy. Orel
even tried to show his usefulness to the Orange team, saying that 90 per
cent of Ukrainians in Italy voted for Yushchenko thanks to his diplomatic
work in Rome.

A group of advisers is in charge of economic issues in the Yanukovych
government. For instance, former Foreign Trade Minister Andriy Honcharuk
deals with entry into the World Trade Organization. He was the only one from
among his colleagues who accompanied Yanukovych in Davos.

Former minister Ihor Yushko is in charge of finance. He and Honcharuk are
close to [Kuchma’s son-in-law and big businessman] Viktor Pinchuk.

Pavlo Haydutskyy (deputy head of Kuchma’s administration) became
Yanukovych’s adviser after dismissal from Bankova Street in 2006.
Yanukovych’s speeches show sometimes that their macroeconomic ideology is
written by another prime minister’s adviser, Anatoliy Halchynskyy (Kuchma’s
former adviser).

The group of Yanukovych’s legal advisers includes Leonid Pidpalyy (former
deputy head of Kuchma’s administration), Mykhaylo Ryabets (former chairman
of the Central Electoral Commission) and Pavlo Yevhrafov (retired
Constitutional Court judge).

The former governor of Dnipropetrovsk Region, Volodymyr Yatsuba, is the
secretary of the council of regions under Yanukovych, with the help of which
the prime minister is trying to control the regional governors.

Yanukovych’s another adviser is the former head of the Department for State
Affairs and Kuchma’s former doctor, Oleksandr Vozianov.

Experts see only one explanation for this appointment – taking into account
Vozianov’s connections with Feofaniya hospital [for top state officials],
Yanukovych can learn secrets of health condition of many Ukrainian
politicians.

Lyovochkin also supervises political consultants Yuriy Levenets and Andriy
Yermolayev, and adviser on mass-media image, Hanna Herman, who also edits
Yanukovych’s speeches from time to time.

Apart from advisers, Lyovochkin’s influence also extends on Tolstoukhov’s
subordinates. For instance, Yanukovych’s staff lawyer and first deputy
minister of the Cabinet, Olena Lukash, or Tolstoukhov’s another first
deputy, Ivan Kutsyk, are also close to Lyovochkin.

State service also connected Lyovochkin with another person, on whom the
prime minister’s security depends, the head of his personal guards, Ihor
Sulima. Sulima got the job in autumn 2004 after his predecessor was
dismissed over an egg-throwing act of terrorism against Yanukovych in
Ivano-Frankivsk.

Much has been written about Yanukovych’s constant need for heightened
security: in connection with an additional metal detector installed outside
his office and after heightened security measures on the days of the prime
minister’s visit to his home city of Donetsk.

The move of two bodyguards from Donetsk to Kiev during his first term as
prime minister also shows that Yanukovych cannot live in peace in this world
and trusts only well-tried people. These two former policemen were employed
by the State Guarding Service. Since then either one or the other accompany
Yanukovych everywhere.

As it happens in politics, Lyovochkin’s present closeness to Yanukovych
could unite against him other ambitious people in Yanukovych’s entourage.

However, Lyovochkin has recently strengthened his status by joining the
Party of Regions and immediately getting a seat in its political council.
So, from now on, apart from supporting Yanukovych in the Cabinet of
Ministers, he will also deal with his party life.

“Earlier, there were days when Yanukovych held up to 30 meeting per day. It
was impossible to live in such conditions! Today, Lyovochkin is the
bottleneck through which one has to pass if one wants to get to Yanukovych,”
people who know the Cabinet’s kitchen explain. Lyovochkin also has the
facsimile of Yanukovych’s signature.

Another Viktor Yanukovych’s “favourite”, Eduard Prutnik, is Serhiy
Lyovochkin’s close friend and Christian relative [either godfather of his
child or father of his godchild].

During recent elections he was in charge of PR escort of the incumbent prime
minister and after the coalition was created he received the post of the
head of the State Committee for Television and Radio.

Ambitious Prutnik positions himself as “the proper boy” in the eyes of
western diplomats. He is talking about readiness to create public television
and goes to Brussels in order to get the money for information booklets
about NATO.

Prutnik is building up muscles in his post. He has brought the state
printing industry and Ukrtelefilm under his control and is going to compete
with [Transport Minister] Mykola Rudkovskyy for the RRT system.

The RRT system is potentially lucrative because it encompasses broadcasting
towers, FM radio transmitters and cell phone transmitters etc.

Another project aimed at accumulating money flows is the creation of a mega
television channel on the basis of regional television and radio companies
and Kultura television channel with a joint advertisement shop.

From 2007, Prutnik supervised the distribution of funds of national
television and radio companies. He has also secured for himself the status
of number-one expert on media law in the anticrisis coalition.

The figure of the Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko worries not only the
opposition but also Yanukovych’s colleagues in the Party of Regions.

Some fear that very soon, due to the RosUkrEnergo scheme, Boyko is going to
have the influence like [former transport minister] Heorhiy Kyrpa had in the
heyday of favouritism under Kuchma.

And if Yanukovych competes for the presidential post, Boyko will be the only
candidate for the prime minister’s post without alternative and he will have
plenty of resources to achieve this goal.

At the moment, Naftohaz Ukrayiny is managed from Boyko’s office. Almost
immediately after he was appointed fuel and energy minister six months ago
Boyko established control over Ukrhazvydobyvannya which until then was under
the patronage of Yushchenko’s teammate Ivan Vasyunyk and this broke one of
the conditions in the foundation of a grand coalition.

Ukrhazvydobuvannya is the most tempting asset of Naftohaz where the money is
not spent but made. And from the 1 March, when the head of
Ukrhazvydobuvannya, Yevhen Bakulin, became the head of Naftohaz, Boyko
achieved monopolistic control over this state owned monster.

Boyko’s another party comrade is Yanukovych’s international adviser,
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko. Boyko and Hryshchenko together recently tried to
carry out a project named the Ukrainian Republican Party [which Boyko
heads].

Another person close to Boyko is the first deputy internal affairs minister,
Mykhaylo Korniyenko. Before he came back to the Internal Affairs Ministry,
when [Vasyl] Tsushko took the post of the interior minister, Korniyenko was
deputy head of Naftohaz and security chief in this state- and Boyko-owned
company.

Before the last parliamentary elections Korniyenko was deputy internal
affairs minister for links with the Supreme Council. Despite of peace-making
title of his post, some sources say that he accumulated and later made
public information about opposition leaders and their family members.

The fact that Boyko in fact drove Volodymyr Sheludchenko out of Naftohaz,
because the latter could not compete with the minister, is another fact to
prove that Boyko has a special position in Yanukovych’s team.

This is given that Sheludchenko was close to Yanukovych since the times of
joint work in Donetsk Region when he was in charge of Donetskoblhaz and also
was Yanukovych’s tennis partner.
        PLANETS AND METEORITES WITHOUT “COVER”
Oleksandr Lavrynovych received his portfolio of justice minister in the
Yanukovych government due to the same reasons that helped him to take this
post for the first time when Kuchma was the president – Lavrynovych is
knowledgeable in nuances of the judicial field and has grounds to aspire for
one of the first places in the contest of officials most devoted to their
bosses.

Internal Minister Vasyl Tsushko has become closer to Yanukovych recently

due to his charisma of “a simple fellow”, whose street smartness is to
Yanukovych’s liking.

In addition, Tsushko is very sensitive to any wishes of the anti-crisis
coalition not only as regards staff reshuffles but also the smearing of
[former Interior Minister] Yuriy Lutsenko’s image.

Another Socialist minister, Mykola Rudkovskyy, also has limited impact in
his area, where people from Donetsk occupy leading posts.

He stumbles at scandalous reputation that has already been imprinted in
popular wisdom: “He is obnoxious like white-and-blue but makes a fool of
himself like orange.”

The story of a photo of Rudkovskyy holding a piece of paper which contains
words of harsh criticism of Defence Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko should not
mislead anyone. According to information from government sources, they were
not written by Rudkovskyy in order to give it to Yanukovych.

The sources say the author of those words was Andriy Klyuyev, from whom
Rudkovskyy simply took the draft before a government session and awkwardly
got into a picture taken several minutes later.

Rudkovskyy and Shufrych have long history of relations. Their relations go
back to the times when the richest Socialist and the most scandalous Social
Democrat were partners in the gas-extraction business in Poltava Region.
Shufrych’s appointment as minister is originated in the principle of Donetsk
people “not to give up our guys”.

A few people remained with Yanukovych before the third round of [2004
presidential] election, and Shufrych was one of them. In addition, with
Shufrych coming to the government Yanukovych received a direct communicator
with his main opponent, Yuliya Tymoshenko [Shufrych and Tymoshenko are said
to have had a romance].

Another person from Yanukovych’s entourage is in contact with the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc: Mykola Demyanenko, who is improving relations with

YTB MP Bohdan Hubskyy. Demyanenko ensures Yanukovych’s comfort.

Demyanenko was the office manager in the Donetsk regional administration
when it was headed by Yanukovych. During Yanukovych’s first term as prime
minister Demyanenko was first deputy minister of the Cabinet of Ministers
for these matters. He is an MP now.

Another man who has close personal relations with Yanukovych is Anton
Pryhodskyy, who is the focal point of all railway transportation of the
Donetsk group. The prime minister’s son, Viktor Yanukovych junior works
under Pryhodskyy in the parliamentary Transport Committee.

The Crimean dacha, where Yanukovych or members of his family sometime

stay, is called “a family-type holiday hotel” of the Interregional Industrial
Union corporation, which is co-owned by Pryhodskyy and [businessman and
MP Rinat] Akhmetov. Pryhodskyy is considered to be one of the most
effective lobbyists in Yanukovych’s inner circle.

According to the MP himself, he is one of the few who are not afraid to
contradict the prime minister, proving that they are right.

Pryhodskyy is in charge of Crimea. The Crimean parliament speaker,
Anatoliy Hrytsenko, is his creation.

Oleksandr Melnyk, who was detained by Lutsenko as head of the Seilem gang,
implements Pryhodskyy’s vision in Crimea. Taking into account that the
peninsular is Yanukovych’s electoral reserve, the results Yanukovych’s team
gets in the next election depends on Hrytsenko’s actions.

Pryhodskyy is also described as the man in charge of the Constitutional
Court in Yanukovych’s team. The prime minister has his own man among the
Constitutional Court judges, Vyacheslav Ovcharenko. Before his appointment
to the Court, Ovcharenko was the head of a court in Yanukovych’s home town,
Yenakiyeve.

If one digs deeper into Ovcharenko’s biography, one can find out that even
before receiving higher education, in mid-1980s he worked as legal adviser to
the car repair plans in the Ordzhonikidzevuhillya [coal company].

Yanukovych worked as head of Ordzhonikidzevuhillya’s automobile fleet.
Presently, Ovcharenko is Yanukovych’s eye and ears in the Constitutional
Court, on which the remit, and thus the future, of the incumbent prime
minister depends.

One of Yanukovych’s most valuable achievements in recent months was the
appointment of Volodymyr Radchenko as deputy prime minister. The head of
government got his man in the Security Service, which is formally under
Viktor Yushchenko’s supervision.

In Radchenko’s case Yanukovych carried out a quick operation – right after
he learnt that Radchenko attended an interview at the presidential
secretariat, he appointed him deputy prime minister on the following day.
This was not discussed with the coalition colleagues, as the news reached
them right in parliament.

Yanukovych’s appointment as head of government marked the transfer of the
Prosecutor-Generals’ Office under his influence. At first, Oleksandr
Medvedko began to follow the head of government. Then, even against
Medvedko’s will, he was strengthened with 100-per-cent Donetsk man, Renat
Kuzmin.

The final act of raising the flag of the Party of Region over the
Prosecutor-General’s Office was the appointment of another deputy
prosecutor-general, Viktor Pshonka. He became Yanukovych’s communicator in
this agency.

Links between [ombudsman] Nina Karpachova and the Party of Regions appeared
right after the arrest of Borys Kolesnykov, whom the ombudsman defended. The
Orange accused Karpachova of betrayal, and the white-blue invited her to
their election list.

Karpachova, violating the law, was the ombudsman and MP at the same time.
She wanted to become deputy parliament speaker, but when she understood that
the idea has no prospects, she decided to remain the ombudsman.

This caused a storm of protests by Western [human-rights] organizations,
which were indignant that the defender of human rights is politically biased.

Rayisa Bahatyryova was another candidate for deputy speaker. Having not
received the post to the left hand of Oleksandr Moroz, the most influential
woman in the Donetsk team felt a strong feeling of ingratitude to
Yanukovych.

Bahatyryova has become close to the Arfush brothers [who publish the
Paparazzi magazine and organize beauty contests], who not only act as her
promoters in France, but also are said to have helped her with treatment
leading to striking improvement of the appearance of the anticrisis
coalition’s coordinator.

Many connect these changes with rumours about Bahatyryova’s ambitions to
head the Party of Regions, because Yanukovych has to concentrate on his work
as prime minister. However, people in Yanukovych’s inner circle are opposing
this as much as they can.

Bahatyryova is working much on her own image and is trying to actively
remind people of herself. In particular, a group of writers prepares texts
that appear in various publications with her signature.

Bahatyryova is also trying to establish contacts in the international arena.
In January she, without attracting much attention, visited Paris, where she
met the French foreign minister.

However, sources say that it was not the ID of the Party of Regions that
helped her but… acquaintance with the lover of a French government
official, who works in the public relations industry.

Bahatyryova’s first deputy in the faction, Vasyl Kyselyov, heads the Party
of Regions in Crimea, one of the basic regions on the voters of which the
prime minister’s rating is held. Kyselyov distributes roles among his
colleagues: it depends on him when and what MP speaks and on what issues.

Judging by public speeches, Kyselyov is now trying to occupy the niche held
by Yevhen Kushnaryov [who died after a hunting incident], the role of the
factions’ spokesman. But this experiment causes doubts in its success –
Kyselyov has made fool of himself recently.

Trying to oppose the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, which blocked the electricity
switchboard room, he began appealing to Tymoshenko’s past and touched the
taboo topic in the Party of Regions: “Who is a worse criminal – who stole
hats [reference to Yanukovych] or stole 7bn dollars?”

The deputy head of the parliamentary faction, Mykhaylo Chechetov, is
responsible for the voting results that are shown on parliament’s screen. He
conducts 186 votes of the Party of Regions and several more defectors in the
hall under the dome.

Chechetov gives orders whether to vote for or against a motion. The high
price of mistake in this post is shows by the example, where the Party of
Regions supported the ban to raise utility rates last year.

The anticrisis coalition had to cancel the popular decision, but the
Yanukovych government failed to clearly explain to the electorate why they
had to do so.

Yanukovych also has a personal minister for relations with the Supreme
Council. There was no such post in previous governments, and some people
even suspect that it was created specially for Ivan Tkalenko. He was head of
the Party of Regions’ secretariat in the time when Yanukovych was its
leader.

Tkalenko has friendly relations with deputy prime minister Volodymyr rybak
and fairly good relations with Mykola Azarov. However, despite high status –
minister after all – Tkalenko’s duties are to merely send papers between the
government and parliament and nothing more.
                                           AZAROV’S ORBITS
[First Deputy Prime Minister] Mykola Aarov is responsible for macroeconomic
policy of the government. The number of his opponents inside the Party of
Regions is increasing, but his ambitions don’t decrease.

Azarov became one of the most influential figures in Kiev politics much
earlier than Yanukovych. When Yanukovych was only one of 25 governors,
Azarov’s agency [State Tax Administration] were putting Borys Feldman [head
of the Slovyanskyy bank] behind bars.

In 2001, Yanukovych only dreamed about moving to the capital and brought
Holand-Holand rifles worth dozens of thousands of dollars to Kuchma as
presents while Azarov was creating the Party of Regions in its present form
by merging marginal parties. Thanks to his leadership in the tax
administration, the party’s numbers grew with great speed.

Azarov has much older history of relations with Viktor Yushchenko, which
began when the latter was the prime minister. They did not become enemies
after Yushchenko’s dismissal and, it is said, Azarov even took part in talks
on uniting the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine in the 2002 [parliamentary]
elections.

In 2002, Azarov – one of Leonid Kuchma’s favourites – had real chances to
become prime minister instead of Yanukovych.

According to eye witnesses, once Azarov and Yanukovych began a quarrel in
the presence of the then president. In 2004 Azarov de-facto ruled the
government instead of Yanukovych, when the prime minister was busy
campaigning for presidency.

The situation now is radically different for Azarov. He is a subordinate of
the prime minister, while his hands are itching to hold the cabinet’s
steering wheel.

His dissatisfaction grew even more when Yanukovych publicly, in the presence
of journalists, criticized Azarov, who still remembers the scope of his
remit three years ago. Azarov could do anything in Yanukovych’s first
government – up to employing his own son as prime minister’s adviser.

“In the current situation Azarov is guarding the house, but strategic
decisions where to spend money or what to privatize seized to be within his
remit,” a fellow party member of the first deputy prime minister has said,
describing the situation.

Azarov’s health is another problem. He has problems with his stomach. In
addition, orthodox Regionals cannot forgive Azarov his appearance on

Maydan [the heart of the Orange Revolution] together with Yushchenko’s
after the revolution.

At the same time, Azarov together with Yuriy Boyko are the most powerful
lobbyists of the pro-Russian policy in the government.

It is said that at a Cabinet meeting Azarov “buried” the discussion on a law
which was seemingly neutral.

It was about the work of foreign defence lawyers on Ukraine’s territory.
Azarov was extremely indignant that defence lawyers have to read their oath
in the state language and said: “Why are we discriminating the Russian
language?”

Although presently Azarov’s powers are limited, his influence on the
government’s work is one of the biggest even now. It is said that his
consultations with astrologists add to his confidence.

All the financial sector is in Azarov’s hands. Vadym Kopylov, who is close
to Azarov, is the de-facto head of the Finance Ministry. Anatoliy Brezvin,
who is not an alien to him, heads the tax administration, the beloved child
of the first deputy prime minister.

Azarov’s man, Volodymyr Makukha, also heads the Economics Ministry.

However, Makukha could be sacrificed according to the scenario:
“Yanukovych punishes the official responsible for raising utility rates.”
The prime minister has already warned the minister that the latter is the
first on the row to be dismissed.

The situation with Labour Minister Mykhaylo Papaya is somewhat different.
He owes his post to Yanukovych’s personal sympathy. But due to his duties,
Papaya works closely with Azarov and has a conflict with Tabachnyk.

They say that the minister and his curator, humanitarian deputy prime
minister are constantly quarrel over staff appointments in the state bodies
subordinated to them.

Dmytro Tabachnyk was included in Yanukovych’s second government to remind
the prime minister of comfortable work together in 2002-04 and also because
other candidates refused.

Chances were good that Yevhen Kushnaryov or Rayisa Bohatyryova would

become deputy prime ministers instead of Tabachnyk but they chose to
focus on the work inside the [parliament] faction.

Volodymyr Rybak is a representative of “old fellows from Donetsk” in the
Yanukovych government. Chances are slim that he will introduce radical
reforms in the public utilities sector and Yanukovych has already shown
signs of dissatisfaction with Rybak’s work. Rybak however must remain a
symbol that the previous generation of Donetsk elite is not forgotten.

Rybak is in fact a founder of the Party of Regions back in 1990s. It was
then called the Party of Regional Revival.

Rybak is notable for his peaceful nature and reluctance to start conflicts.
Immediately after the Orange Revolution, he said straightforwardly that he
recognized Yushchenko as president and criticized Nestor Shufrych who

called dfor continuing the struggle.

Among present leaders of Donetsk region, Anatoliy Blyznyuk, the head of the
regional council, is the most close to Yanukovych.

When the prime minister was leaving his governor’s office he managed to
persuade Leonid Kuchma to appoint Blyznyuk as governor, because he trusted
him more than the other candidate, Vasyl Dzharty.

The current head of the regional administration, Volodymyr Lohvynenko, comes
from the Donetsk-based group Enerho which is connected to former
Prosecutor-General Gennady Vastly and businessman Viktor Nuisances.

They are not Yanukovych’s closest favourites, but witnesses say that when
the issue of a new Donetsk governor rose, it was Yanukovych who proposed
Lohvynenko to Yushchenko.

The Donetsk mayor, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, is close to Yanukovych because

of regional registration of the prime minister. Also in 2004 he played his role
and made sure that Yanukovych also had his Maydan in Donetsk.

Yanukovych’s monoregionalism remains his problem – people who are not from
Donetsk remain on remote orbits of the present government team. The leaders
of Kharkiv, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya regions are important for Yanukovych
because they represent regions that are used to inflate his rating at
elections.

Oleksandr Yefremov and Viktor Tyhonov from Luhansk reached higher ranks in
the hierarchy of the Party of Regions than others. They are in charge of two
parliamentary committees – on parliamentary regulations and on state
building and regional policy.

This is another proof to the principle inside Yanukovych’s team – to thank
those who were persecuted after the revolution.

Kharkiv is represented in Yanukovych’s entourage by Kharkiv mayor Mykhaylo
Dobkin and the head of the regional council, Vasyl Salyhin, who was
acquainted with the mayor since 1990s.

In the previous parliament Dobkin remained with the United Social Democratic
Party almost until the very end and protected [Hryhoriy] Surkis’s
Poltavaoblenerho regional energy distribution company from [Russian
businessman Konstantin] Grigorishin’s managers with his own body, locking
himself in the director’s office.

However, right before the election, understanding the catastrophic situation
around the ratings of Medvedchuk’s bloc, he joined the Party of Regions and
ran from it for the mayor of Ukraine’s second largest city in terms of
population.

Oleksandr Peklushenko represents Yanukovych in electorally close
Zaporizhzhya, where the situation is difficult because governor Yevhen
Chervonenko is not controlled by the Party of Regions.

Kiev is another strategic region for Yanukovych. He remembers the lesson of
2004 – revolutions occur in capitals. This is the prime minister’s weak
spot. The Kiev branch of the Party of Regions headed by banker Vasyl Horbal
failed to change the situation in Kiev – Yanukovych is not accepted here.

According to some sources, Horbal became the head of Yanukovych’s Kiev
headquarters at the presidential elections with the help of Viktor
Medvedchuk. It is not ruled out that soon there will be attempts to move
Rayisa Bahatyryova’s son, Oleksandr – a deputy in the Kiev council, to the
first posts in Kiev.
                                       AKHMETOV’S ORBITS
The personality of Rinat Akhmetov requires a separate investigation and the
drawing of a separate universe. This is the only person in Yanukovych’s team
whom he treats as equal and even with emphasized respect.

“For instance, when Yanukovych organizes a meeting somewhere Klyuyev is
told: ‘come to that place’, Azarov is not invited at all, and they negotiate
with Akhmetov: ‘let us meet there or where it is more convenient for you’,”
sources describe relations in Yanukovych’s team.

According to eye witnesses, Yanukovych – already in the capacity of prime
minister – flew on Akhmetov’s plane and was even summoned to a meeting with
Akhmetov in his Kiev office.

Sources in the prime minister’s entourage deny the second fact. As regards
the plane, they say: yes, this happened once when Yanukovych returned from
Yevhen Kushnaryov’s funeral.

Akhmetov influences Yanukovych’s position through the parliamentary faction
of the Party of Regions. Nobody knows the number of people who are oriented
directly towards the richest Ukrainian businessman and this is the subject
of constant discussions among political experts. It varies from 60 to 100.

Ironically, Akhmetov is most interested in friendship between Yanukovych and
Yushchenko, because the country’s stability depends on this and thus the
value of his business.

Understanding that complete ownership of the System Capital Management [SCM]
poses the threat of becoming the victim of an outside attack, Akhmetov is
preparing for selling shares at stock exchanges.

Then the price of internal political stability amounts to a certain number
of billions of dollars which he gets or loses in the initial public offering
of shares.

Akhmetov’s friend Borys Kolesnykov heads the Party of Regions in
Yanukovych’s home base, Donetsk Region. Kolesnykov himself treats his party
leadership skeptically, and treats even more skeptically most government
officials.

Kolesnykov remembers Yanukovych’s inadequate reaction after his arrest
[after the Orange Revolution] and will hardly ever forgive this.

Also, he won’t forget the anecdote in the form of a commercial of the Jeans
mobile operator, which was widely spread in Kiev: “Yanukovych is calling
Kolesnykov and asking: ‘Borys, where are you? I am at the seaside!”

Another important person in Yanukovych’s entourage is US consultant Paul
Manafort, who was in charge of Yanukovych’s election campaign and lobbying
his interests in the USA. He was included in Yanukovych’s team by Akhmetov.
Manafort had a contract with SCM before that.

Vasyl Dzharty was the head of the Party of Regions’ election headquarters
during the last parliamentary election campaign. On the night after the
voting, an Ukrayinska Pravda correspondent witnessed Dzharty reporting to
Manafort that he had observed all Manafort’s instruction during a TV
interview. It is widely believed that Dzharty is close to Akhmetov.

In particular, it is said that the FC Shakhtar president [Akhmetov] lobbied
Dzharty’s appointment as Donetsk Region governor after Yanukovych

moved to Kiev.

However, sources in Akhmetov’s inner circle say that reports about their
close relations are invented, and the president of Shakhtar reprimanded
Dzharty right in the parliamentary session hall last year for spreading
rumours that he and Akhmetov have close contacts.

Coal Industry Minister Serhiy Tulub was one of the first among the officials
in the present government who moved from Donetsk to Kiev. In 1998, he moved
from the office of Yanukovych’s deputy to the post of the coal industry
minister.

Before May 2000 he was the minister of fuel and energy and left this post
after a scandal with then Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko. When the
time came for Tymoshenko’s dismissal, she accused people who objected her
scenario of reforming the coal mining sector of organizing her dismissal.

It seems it was Tulub who represented their interests. Back then, this
Donbass-based business was concentrated around Ihor Humenyuk, Rinat
Akhmetov’s partner.

At the moment the link between Tulub and Akhmetov can be seen in the Miner’s
glory order which was handed by the minister to the president of the
football club. It is believed that with Tulub’s help managers from
Akhmetov’s enterprises received leading posts in state-owned mining
companies Rovenky Antratsyt and Sverdlov-Antratsyt.

Volodymyr Kozak is at the outer orbits. The director of Ukrzaliznytsya
[Ukrainian railways] sits on one of the biggest money flows in Ukraine.
Prior to this, Kozak was in charge of Lemtrans company, owned by Akhmetov
and Pryhodskyy.
                           YANUKOVYCH AND ETERNITY
Apart from political contacts, Yanukovych is also close to some religious
leaders of Ukraine – the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow
Patriarchy, Volodymyr, and Donetsk and Mariupol metropolitan Illarion.

“The prime minister dines with Volodymyr on Christmas eve all the time in
metropolitan chambers, pays visits to him on his name-day, Easter and
Epiphany,” Hanna Herman says.

Svyatohorska Lavra stays under Yanukovych’s patronage. His wife also
intensifies religious influence on him.

According to Herman, Yanukovych “now maintains contacts with monks

of Mount Athon, whom he met during the Olympic Games in Greece”.
Yanukovych became religious after an unexpected encounter with an
elderly monk Zosima in Soviet times, when, according to Herman,
“Yanukovych was going through the most difficult time in his life”.

Now everything is changing in his biography.                -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10. UKRAINIAN BOXER KLITSCHKO STOPS AUSTIN IN ROUND 2

AP Worldstream, Germany, Sunday, Mar 11, 2007

GERMANY – Wladimir Klitschko retained his IBF heavyweight title Saturday
night, dropping Ray Austin with a flurry of left hooks and stopping the
American challenger in the second round.

The Ukrainian knocked down Austin 87 seconds into the round with at least
three left hooks. The American climbed to his feet but referee Eddie Cotton
stopped the fight.

“I was surprised he got back up, but he wasn’t clear in the head,” Klitschko
said. “I was motivated by the talk from Austin and his promoter, Don King,
before the fight.”

Klitschko improved his record to 48-3 with 43 knockouts in the mandatory
defense, while Austin fell to 24-4 with four draws and 16 knockouts.

Neither Austin nor King, both of whom had called Klitschko heartless before
the bout, showed up at the post-fight press conference.

Klitschko established himself among the best of the heavyweight division
with wins over Samuel Peter of Nigeria, Chris Byrd and Calvin Brock.

Both fighters were listed at 2.00 meters (6-foot-6) and 112 kilos (246
pounds), with Austin’s camp hoping another big heavyweight would trouble
Klitschko.

But Austin didn’t land a meaningful blow in the first round. Klitschko
measured Austin with his left hand until he caught him on the ropes.

The Ukrainian snapped Austin’s head sideways with the first left hook, and
then followed with a series of hooks, some missing as the American fell to
the canvas.

Klitschko never used his right hand that was responsible for most of his
knockouts and earned him the nickname Dr. Steelhammer.
“What you saw today, you’re going to more of the future – Wladimir is
developing new punches, besides the right and the jab,” his trainer Emanuel
Steward said.

The crowd of 15,000 roared for Klitschko went he walked in, then jeered a
fight that featured just a handful of punches. Austin had been stopped just
once before in his four losses, in the ninth round, by Attila Levin in July
of 2001. It also was his last loss.

The 30-year-old Klitschko won the title in April, stopping Bird in the
seventh. Next up, his camp hopes, is a unification fight against WBC
champion Nikolai Value, the 2.13 meter (7-foot) Russian.

“Valuev wants it and I want it,” Klitschko said. “But you can imagine how
hard it is to deal with Don King.” Austin earned the title shot with a draw
in July against unbeaten Russian Sultan Ibragimov. The bout was televised in
more than a hundred countries. Former world champions Lennox Lewis and
Vitali Klitschko made short guest appearances in the ring.      -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================

11. UKRAINIAN BOXER WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO LEAVES
                 PLENTY TO PROVE IN UGLY MISMATCH

By Steve Bunce, The Independent, London, UK, Mon, Mar 2007

Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Ray Austin in the second round to retain
his International Boxing Federation heavyweight title in Mannheim, Germany,
on Saturday after one of the least satisfying title fights for many years in
the sport’s once golden division.

Klitschko, who has stopped or knocked out 43 of the 48 victims he has
been matched against, dropped the reluctant Austin with a left hook and the
one-time sparring partner from Texas decided to stay on his belly for eight
of the count to 10. The crowd of 16,000 jeered the ugly conclusion.

Austin’s credentials were poor and the win failed once again to prove
conclusively that Klitschko has found the form that a few years ago left him
in the No 1 position to fill the void created by the retirement of Lennox
Lewis. However, concussive defeats in 2003 and 2004 clearly ruined the
Ukrainian’s confidence.

The plan now is for Klitschko to fight the World Boxing Association’s
champion Nikolai Valuev, who is unbeaten in 46 fights, in June or July, at
about the same time that his older brother, Vitali, returns to the ring to
meet Oleg Maskaev for the World Boxing Council version.

The fact that two Ukrainians, a Russian and a Kazakh fighter will contest
two of the heavyweight belts is one of the reasons why the the division is
as good as dead in America.

On the same night in Liverpool, Souleymane M’baye retained his WBA light
welterweight title with a disputed draw against Ukraine’s Andreas Kotelnik.
Three years ago M’baye beat Kotelnik in another controversial split
decision.

The nominal main event at the Olympia in Liverpool involved local boxer
Derry Matthews, who defended his World Boxing Union featherweight title
against the British featherweight champion John Simpson.

It ended with a points decision for Matthews, but he was down in the first
round and had two points deducted for hitting and holding in a bad-
tempered brawl, which left Simpson believing he had won.     -30-
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LINK: http://sport.independent.co.uk/general/article2350017.ece
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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12.   ‘A GIVING HEART’: YOUNG FLORIDA WOMAN SERVING
                  AS PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN UKRAINE

By Kate S. Peabody, Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola, Florida, Sunday, March 11, 2007

 It’s 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside. You just woke up and you have to walk
about 300 yards outside to fetch your drinking and cooking water.

Sounds lovely, right? No, but it’s a typical morning for Ashley Hardaway,
a young Pensacola woman now living in Ukraine.

The 22-year-old Pine Forest High School graduate is a U.S. Peace Corps
volunteer in the tiny town of Brylivka in Ukraine. She went to Eastern
Europe last fall to teach English to students in the fifth through 11th
grades.

She’ll be there for the next two and a half years, also teaching a healthy
living lifestyle course, which includes AIDS education and abstinence from
smoking and alcohol.

Being the only American in a town of 4,000 can be stressful, she said. “They
all know I am the American,” Hardaway said. “And you represent America.
Whatever you do or say, they will think all Americans are like that.”

And because no one speaks English, “it’s hard to make friends. No matter
how well you learn the language, you will never fully understand.”

Her mother is very proud. “My daughter has always had a giving heart, so I
was not that surprised when she told me at a young age that she wanted to
make a difference in the world,” said Elaine Hardaway of Pensacola.
                             LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE
Life in Brylivka is far different than life in the Panhandle. Even
transportation can be a challenge. The buses usually are cramped, sometimes
with as many as 300 people, with most carrying along their produce —
potatoes, onions or carrots.

Hardaway said a recent bus trip was especially memorable. “I told the driver
I didn’t know where to get off, he said ‘I will tell you,’ ” she said.
Shortly thereafter, when the bus stopped, she said the driver called out,
“American, get off the bus.”

And she did, but soon realized she was at the wrong stop. “I had no idea
where I was,” she said. After waiting for about five minutes, “I literally
hitch-hiked in a car full of onions, beets and potatoes. It was odd, but I
made it to town,” she said.

Nevertheless, the rewards of living in Ukraine outweigh the drawbacks she’s
encountered. The people are generous and her students are eager to learn
English — that makes her work there worthwhile, she said.

“The people here are not wealthy, but when you go to someone’s house to
visit, they will give you the best food, the best wine they have, even
though they have no money,” she added. “You always hear about Southern
hospitality. I was raised on Southern hospitality and so I know. There’s
nothing like Ukrainian hospitality.”

The Ukrainians also are big on holidays, celebrating Christmas and New
Year’s each January. “Every month there is a holiday,” Hardaway said.

Men take time off from work on Men’s Day. And on Women’s Day, children
get the day off from school, “because all the women are teachers in the
town. The men cook dinners and give them candy.”

As much as Hardaway enjoys her time in the Ukraine, she still feels homesick
sometimes. Though she misses her family the most, she also longs for simple
things, such as buying a Diet Coke or dashing off to a fast-food restaurant.

The steady diet of potatoes — lots of potatoes — also takes getting used
to, Hardaway said. “There’s no such thing as the Atkins diet here,” she
observed with a laugh.
                               FOLLOWING HER DREAM
Hardaway is in Ukraine now to make good on a childhood promise. One
month after graduating with honors from the University of Central Florida
last summer, she took her degree in English literature and left home to follow
her dream.

Hurricane Katrina had an influence on the new college graduate. “It just got
me thinking,” she said. “There was just an influx of young people and
college students helping out, and it made you want to do something to help
the world before going into the work force.”

But those who know Hardaway best said her desire to help others came long
before Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005.

Going into the Peace Corps has been her daughter’s lifelong dream, Elaine
Hardaway, 51, said. Ashley is the second of three children. Her other two
daughters are, Aimee, 20, is a pre-pharmacy student at Pensacola Junior
College, and Aubrey, 26, a hospitality worker in New York City.
                                TAUGHT TO GIVE BACK
The Escambia County teacher explained that each of her children were taught
very early about giving back. But it was Ashley who took giving to another
level.

Having her daughter move so far away on her quest to make a difference
hasn’t been easy for Elaine Hardaway, but the genius of text messaging helps
ease her concerns. She chats with her daughter each morning.

“It’s easy for us now with the cell phone,” Elaine Hardaway said. “We can
get messages to our kids quickly.” She and husband, Edward, and daughter,
Aimee, also keep a weekly schedule of one telephone call each Saturday.

Getting used to her sister being that far away is still a tad difficult for
Aimee Hardaway. “I miss her terribly, because she’s not just hours away
anymore, and you can’t just pop on the plane to go and see her,” Aimee
Hardaway said. “When she left for college it was hard enough on me,
because I loved having her at home.”
                            PARENTS ARE ROLE MODELS
Aimee Hardaway also is a volunteer in her church nursery and the pre-school
choir teacher. Both sisters said their desire to help comes from watching
their parents, their role models. “My mom always volunteered at the theater,
and my dad at Habitat for Humanity,” Ashley Hardaway said.

The Hardaways also taught their daughters not to expect recognition for the
things they did. “It is not important for people to know what you are doing
for them, only that someone cared enough to do it,” Elaine Hardaway said. “I
told them just know in yourself that you are a good person, that is what we
tried to instill in our children.”

Even while in college, Ashley found a way to reach out and lend a hand to
some homeless children. She and three other students conducted a creative
writing workshop at the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando as part of
their course work.

A classmate on the project, Nathan Holic, said she not only planned the
weekly meetings with the other students but also continued to teach at the
coalition even after the assignment ended.

“It was a class credit, but she put lots more time in than she needed to,”
said Holic, who is currently in graduate school at the university. Although
she misses her daughter “tremendously,” Elaine Hardaway says she
understands her passion for reaching out to others.

“I was nervous at first,” Hardaway said. “Ashley is just a tiny girl. She
weighs about 100 pounds, and I worried that I would not be there to watch
over her. I pray for her every morning, but I have to leave it in the Lord’s
hands. He put it on her heart to go, He is going to take care of her.”
———————————————————————————————–
                          ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS MISSION
The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Sen. John F.
Kennedy, D-Mass., challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve
their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing
countries.

From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to
world peace and friendship. Since that time, more than 187,000 Peace Corps
volunteers have been invited by 139 host countries to work on issues ranging
from AIDS education to information technology and the environment.

Who can serve: The men and women who join the Peace Corps reflect the
rich diversity of America in race, ethnic background, age and religion. They
possess varying physical capabilities.

They come from all geographical regions, all personal backgrounds, all walks
of life. Each brings a unique perspective. They include college graduates,
retirees, married couples or people who want to change careers. Details:
www.peacecorps.gov. [Karen Peabody: kpeabody@pnj.com]     -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070311/LIFE/703110340

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
13.  BALTIMORE-TRAINED ARTIST SHARES UKRAINIAN EASTER
             EGG PAINTING CRAFT DURING HANDS-ON SESSION

By Laura McCandlish, Sun Reporter, Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, Maryland, Monday, March 12, 2007

Baltimore-trained artist Nestor Topchy put a new spin on Easter eggs at a
workshop yesterday that brought participants ranging from children to
grandmothers to the Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen House.

The eggs were not exclusively the province of Easter, however, but the
Ukrainian decorated sort. Topchy had some wooden ones adorned with
geometric patterns hanging from his Byzantine gold-leaf icon paintings on
display there.

Now a resident of Houston, Topchy was a child when he learned pysanky, the
ancient egg-painting craft, from his mother — and both of them shared their
knowledge with about 30 people at Evergreen.

“Everybody’s really into the creative act,” Topchy said. “This tradition is
older than memory, and it’s richer than anyone’s mind. It’s a reminder to
not forget the achievements of all our ancestors.”

The hands-on session brought to life the works in an exhibit that opened
Wednesday at the North Baltimore mansion. It features pieces by five
graduates of the Maryland Institute College of Art who benefited from the
Evergreen House Foundation’s annual scholarship program.

Topchy (Class of 1985) was joined by two of the others, sculptural
decorative artist Lauren Ross (1993) and fiber artist Colleen Ostrander
(1995), in the egg-decorating workshop.

“It’s just the perfect thing. I can imagine the Garrett family being glad
that this was happening,” Ostrander said of the mansion’s long-ago
residents, who were among Baltimore’s foremost patrons of the arts.

Crouched over circular tables, the artists worked with participants who
sketched beeswax designs on their raw eggs and repeatedly submerged
them in baths of dye.

Participants clutched a tool known as a kistka to write on the eggs with hot
wax, which protects the white surface and reveals other colors through
layers of dyeing. They started with light yellow dyes and ended with black.

The yolks of the uncooked eggs usually dry out eventually. The dye wouldn’t
properly cling to a cooked shell, said the artist’s mother, Nora Topchy of
Woodlawn. “The wax seals the egg,” Nestor Topchy said. “Each time, you
cover what you want to preserve and dye it again.”

With Easter four weeks away, it was a timely event. Ukrainian churches
display the ornate eggs for blessing during Easter services and sell them at
bazaars and festivals.

Yet the timeworn practice predates Christianity. The symbols on the eggs —
whether natural scenes, religious images or angular shapes — vary among
regions of Ukraine. The patterns resemble the cross-stitch panels
embroidered on the Ukrainian blouses worn by Nestor and Nora Topchy.

The Italianate mansion on North Charles Street showcased myriad cultures.
Attendees practiced the Ukrainian craft in a Russian folk art-inspired
theater designed by avant-garde artist Leon Bakst.

Ross gave a private tour of her mixed-media installation in the dining room
downstairs. She created tongue-and-cheek breakfast table settings for the
Eight Immortals featured in the Chinese Daoist paintings that grace the
room’s walls.

Topchy’s works embody that range of influences. His images of the Virgin
Mary and Christ child, the Buddha and wild beasts hang in the mansion’s
gallery.

Topchy and his Ukrainian-Argentine wife, Mariana Lemesoff, have taught their
9-year-old daughter the ancestral craft. Minerva Topchy said her dad taught
her a trick: move the egg, not the wand, when painting it with wax. The
lines are steadier that way.

“It’s actually a maternal tradition,” Lemesoff said. “Mothers teach their
daughters. There’s a very feminine element related to the egg.”

Two friends from Baltimore’s Park School, Josie Verchomin and Lexi
Andrea, both 12, experimented with abstract scribbles and flames on
their eggs.

Minerva passed on her skills to the other children, and even the
professional artists, at Evergreen. “It makes me feel happy, because I’m
a little one teaching someone big,” Minerva said.         -30-
—————————————————————————————–
E-Mail: Laura McCandlish, laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com
—————————————————————————————–
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.eggs12mar12,0,6754732.story?track=rss

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.      FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN EX-SOVIET LANDS,
                     GOLDEN YEARS ARE DIFFICULT TIMES

By Lev Krichevsky, JTA, New York, NY, Monday, March 12, 2007

DNEPROPETROVSK, Ukraine – For Holocaust survivor Maya Petrova,
the fall of the Soviet Union hasn’t been so wonderful.

A retired hospital clerk from Dneprodzerzhinsk, Petrova, 77, is living on a
monthly pension of $25 – about the average in her country – with utilities
and medicines consuming the bulk of her income.

Her biggest dream now is to save enough to repair the roof in the old wooden
house her family built in 1911, where she still lives with her husband.
“Thank God, we always lived a decent life. Only lately has it become really
bad,” Petrova says.

The fall of communism has brought a cruel paradox to the lives of Holocaust
survivors in the Soviet Union. They can now be open about their wartime
ordeals as Jewish victims of the Nazis, but in the post-Communist world,
they have no government-sponsored Social Security-type system to rely upon
when they reach the age of retirement.

The Communist government did not allow the Soviet victims of the Holocaust
to receive any compensation from Germany. After the fall of communism,
Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet Union became eligible for
compensation. But most never lived long enough to get any money.

Decades ago, a Social Security-type program was not all that important to
Soviet survivors. They were young and energetic enough to rebuild their
lives – quite often in the same places where they survived the occupation
and where the rest of their families fell victim to Nazis.

But now, with no meaningful government safety net in place, most of the
aging survivors in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere in the former
Soviet Union live on or beneath the poverty line.

“Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet Union are among the poorest Jews
on earth,” says Steven Schwager, the executive vice president of the
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a group that provides a wide
array of social services to the population of survivors in the former Soviet
bloc.

Many are embarrassed that they cannot live in dignity. “When I needed to buy
a new pair of stockings last month, I had to give up fresh fruits and
vegetables from my daily ration for two weeks,” says an 80-year-old survivor
from Dnepropetrovsk who identified herself as Maria.

Sonya Khaikina, another survivor from Dnepropetrovsk, says she hasn’t lived
this poorly since World War II.

During the war, Khaikina, then a teenager, had to hide from the Nazis, who
killed the rest of her family. She spent a few weeks hiding in an abandoned
house’s attic on a diet of straw, which later caused her to lose all her
teeth.

“Blame it all on my age,” she says, trying to smile. “I got a whole bouquet
of diagnoses.” A retired clerk, Khaikina now receives a monthly government
pension of $24 and has no relatives to help her.

Claims Conference officials in New York say there are only about 9,000
Jewish survivors left in the former Soviet Union who meet the strict
requirements for lifetime pension set by Germany: those who survived at
least 6 months in a concentration camp or spent no less than 18 months in a
ghetto or in hiding.

A large portion of them live in Ukraine, home to half the 2.8 million Soviet
Jews killed by the Nazis.

Some criticize the German requirements for eligibility as unfair when
applied to the Soviet Union, where most ghettos existed for less than 18
months. In fact, about 40 percent of Soviet Jewish citizens killed during
the Holocaust died in the first six months of Nazi occupation.

Alexander Gurevich was 14 when he and his family became inmates of a Jewish
ghetto in Kharkov. In December 1941, he narrowly escaped a mass execution at
Drobitsky Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of this city in eastern Ukraine,
where 15,000 people died.

He escaped from the Kharkov Ghetto after most of the residents – including
his mother – already had been killed.

When Gurevich applied for a German pension a few years ago as a survivor of
a Nazi ghetto, it turned out he was shy a few weeks of the minimum
requirement for former ghetto inmates.

“I think it’s unjust. They should have taken my circumstances into
consideration. Had I escaped a few weeks later, then the Nazis should have
started killing us later,” he says bitterly.

Survivor advocates argue that different standards should be used to evaluate
the remaining survivor population in the former Soviet Union, and Schwager
says a broader definition exists: Holocaust victims who fled or lived under
occupation.

In the last several years, tens of thousands of needy elderly Jews who do
not meet the German requirements for pension eligibility have been
benefitting from social and charitable services provided by the Jewish
community, mostly through the JDC.

Raisa Bukhman, 85, is among them. Born in Dnepropetrovsk, she was evacuated
to eastern Russia before Germany occupied her native city. When she came
back after the war, she found out that her grandparents were killed, their
heads cut off and buried in the yard of their house.

Today, Bukhman – who worked until retirement at a food store and cafe – is
living in a cramped room in a dilapidated old house, the same house she was
born in and where her grandparents were brutally murdered.

Utility payments for the small apartment, which doesn’t have a bathroom,
consume almost half of her $23 monthly pension. She receives daily hot meals
from the local Hesed center, which is run by the JDC. “Without this help I
would have long been gone,” Bukhman says.

The JDC, the primary agency for providing these social services to Jews,
gets funding for Hesed’s $60 million annual budget from a number of recent
Holocaust-era settlements.

The bulk comes from the Claims Conference in the form of grants paid out
from proceeds from the sale of unclaimed Jewish properties in former East
Germany. The JDC also gets money from the International Commission on
Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and the Swiss banks settlement.

The JDC says it serves about 125,000 survivors in the entire former Soviet
Union, a number that includes all those who fall under the broad definition
of victims of Nazism.

They receive food, home care, medications, socialization and various
supplementary services through a network of 174 JDC-operated Hesed centers
that opened in the last decade across the former Soviet Union.

Grigoriy Kolodach, a young director of a JDC Hesed center in Dnepropetrovsk,
oversees services to some 7,500 needy Jewish clients, including about 5,000
wartime victims.

“Every person who was born before the war on the territory that fell under
German occupation automatically counts here as a Nazi victim,” Kolodach
says. “All these people get a special priority from us when it comes to
services.”

For victims of Nazism who depend on government aid for survival, the JDC is
a lifesaver.

“The aid – I don’t even know how would I live without it,” says Vladimir
Tereschenko, 67, a retired construction engineer. “You can’t live on a
pension alone.” The average Jewish senior who gets aid receives about $25
worth per month in services.

Most of the former Soviet republics heavily tax cash aid, so aid to
survivors there is channeled through the JDC in the form of social services.

Menachem Lepkivker, the JDC’s representative in eastern Ukraine, says the
JDC only is able to provide the bare minimum.

“There is not enough medication, and we could give more food,” he says.
“Now many people have to divide the daily lunch they get from Hesed into
three parts to live the whole day on it.”

Ironically, though the JDC’s money for these survivors is set to start
drying up in seven or eight years, the group believes that the death of
Holocaust survivors will shrink the population requiring aid.

Life has improved recently for Khaikina – making it much better than her
straw-eating days. She moved to a new Jewish old-age home in
Dnepropetrovsk, one of only three such facilities in the former Soviet
Union.

Opened two years ago and run with funds from Jewish charities, the
state-of-the-art Beit Baruch Assisted Living Facility is home to 50
residents, aged 75 to 98. Most of them are Holocaust survivors.

“I should be happy,” Khaikina says of her new home. “We are getting free
soap here. We have hot water around the clock so I can bathe as many
times a day as I wish. One should enjoy life in such conditions and never
die. But I’m just so tired and cannot enjoy it anymore.”        -30-
———————————————————————————————
http://www.jta.org/cgi%2Dbin/iowa/news/article/Forsurvivorsinex.html
———————————————————————————————–
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Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two; Gold, Silver, Diamonds, Antiquities; Why Is Ukraine Fighting Russia?; United Kingdom Genocide Petition;

=======================================================
         UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE JOURNAL:
 HISTORY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933

                            
“UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE JOURNAL: 
HISTORY OF THE HOLODOMOR 1932-1933″ Issue Two
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007
          –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
          Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
  Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
                              DIAMONDS AND ANTIQUITIES
         Holodomor was also a large scale and effective pillage of people
By Oleh Nadosha and Volodymyr Honsky (in Ukrainian)
Ukrayinska Pravda on line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 5, 2007
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal,
Issue Two, Article One, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

2THREE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DEMAND
   RECOGNITION OF SOVIET-ENFORCED UKRAINIAN ‘GENOCIDE’
         “This is not directed at Russia but there can be no doubt that this
         was a Soviet-enforced crime against Ukraine”, Marek Siwiec MEP.
By Martin Banks, The Parliament.com
Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, March 7, 2007

3. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SUGGESTS OPENING
           MUSEUM ABOUT SOVIET REPRESSION IN UKRAINE
By Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili, AP Worldstream
Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, March 02, 2007

4.                     WHY IS UKRAINE FIGHTING RUSSIA?
      Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine of the 1930s, which
        it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian people.
OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Zakhar Vinogradov
RIA Novosti Commentator in Kiev
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 11, 2007

5UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SAYS LEADERSHIP

                         THE HOLODOMOR AS GENOCIDE
Office of the President of Ukraine
       Yushchenko thanked deputies who submitted genocide resolution
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 8, 2007

7. UNITED KINGDOM: SIGN THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE PETITION
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From: Stepan Speight Komarnyckyj
Ukrainian Genocide Petition in the United Kingdom
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Seven

Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

8.                  IN MEMORY OF EXECUTED UKRAINIANS
                        By German invaders in 1942 at Babyn Yar
All-Ukrainian Svoboda (Freedom) association
Posted on the maidan.org.ua website
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 26, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal

Issue Two, Article Eight (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

9.      63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL TRAGEDY OF
                 CHECHEN AND INGUSHS, SOVIET GENOCIDE
Andrew P. Grigorenko, President
General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Saturday, February 24, 2007

10UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO CONDOLES WITH
   JEWS ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 27, 2007

11HEAD OF ALL-UKRAINIAN JEWISH CONGRESS PROPOSING TO
  INTRODUCE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION FOR HOLOCAUST DENIAL
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 24, 2007

12.     DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE OF
     1932-1933 (HOLODOMOR) NOW AVAILABLE IN DVD FORMAT
Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre, Toronto
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Twelve

Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

13  HOLODOMOR DOCUMENTARY “HARVEST OF DESPAIR”
                               POSTED ON GOOGLE VIDEO

Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Thirteen 
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
     New evidence on how the famine was eye-witnessed and concealed.
IAUS Congress, Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday 29th June 2005.
Ukrainian Genocide Journal,  Issue Two, Article Fourteen
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2006
                                   OF UKRAINE WEB SITE
Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, January 17, 2007 

17.     PRES YUSHCHENKO: “ASKED WHAT THE HOLODOMOR
                    WAS, MY ANSWER IS ‘IT WAS GENOCIDE'”
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko’s address on Remembrance
Day for the Victims of the Holodomor and Political Repressions
Remembrance Service at St. Michael’s Square in Kyiv
Official Website of President of Ukraine (In Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 25, 2006
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal

Issue One, Article Seventeen (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

18UKRAINE MARKS THE EVENTS OF 1932-1933 FOR THE FIRST
                  TIME AT AN APPROPRIATE NATIONAL LEVEL
PERSONAL COMMENTARY: By Daniel Bilak
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, December 1, 2006
Published by the UKL407 (The Politics of Genocide),
The Ukraine List (UKL) #407, Article 3
Compiled by Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies,
U of Ottawa, www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca
Supported by the Dopomoha Ukraini Foundation
Ottawa, Canada, 12 December 2006

19.              HOLODOMOR: INAPPROPRIATE RENAMING
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ihor Lutsenko
Ukrayinska Pravda online, Kyiv, Ukraine,
Monday, November 27, 2006 (in Ukrainian)
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal

Issue Two, Article Nineteen (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

20.               CONSEQUENCES OF FAMINE GENOCIDE
By Fedir Moroziuk, Member, Ukrainian Association of
Holodomor Researchers, Kherson Oblast (Article written in 1997)
Posted on www.Golodomor.com website, Kyiv, Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
A Program of the Ukraine 3000 International Fund

Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal
Issue Two, Article Twenty (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
========================================================
1
. HOLODOMOR WAS NOT ONLY 7 MILLION LIVES BUT ALSO
       66 TONS OF GOLD, 1,439 TONS OF SILVER AS WELL AS
                            DIAMONDS AND ANTIQUITIES
        Holodomor was also a large scale and effective pillage of people

By Oleh Nadosha and Volodymyr Honsky (in Ukrainian),
Ukrayinska Pravda on line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 5, 2007
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal 

Issue Two, Article One (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007
The official events to commemorate the victims of the Holodomor and
repressions are over. Viktor Yushchenko should get a lot of credit for his
commitment to the truth and determination to make his case in front of those
who are not aware of the full measure of the manmade famine in 1932-1933.

Such awareness-raising efforts should have been undertaken earlier and on
a larger scale. In my opinion, this year’s commemoration was the most
convincing, marking a watershed in the realization by Ukrainians of true
dimensions, causes and consequences of the Armageddon that struck
Ukraine in 1932-1933.

But: No matter what people are talking about, they are talking about money,
runs Murphy’s Rule 1.

It looks that only the horrors of the Holodomor can contradict this truth.
But, in fact, the whole world must be told that the 1932-1933 Holodomor
was not only the largest genocide recorded in history but also the most
large-scale and effective pillage of people.

It was a kind of gold procurement, a gold rush the Communist style, with
the victims taking out their family valuables from hiding places and
bringing them to pillagers in the hope of putting off death from starvation
or surviving.

We must admit that this idea took some time to dawn on the authors. It
came when one of us asked his mother in a telephone conversation about
how the family managed to survive the famine.

Their salvation, it turned out, was thanks to 7 massive gold things of rare
beauty and purity presented by grandfather, nobleman Kyrychenko and
captain of a ship in the Far East.

Having taken this gift of her father (in cash terms, it was a well-sized
capital) to a Torgsin store, grandmother saved the family and many
residents in her village of Monastyryshche, Ichnya rayon, Chernihiv oblast.
The rest of the villagers died.

The big question came up quickly: how much wealth had been pocketed by
the Communists in Ukraine? After digging in libraries and pestering several
professors, we can point to some facts.

Torgsin stores (an abbreviation of “trade with foreigners”) during the
Holodomor became the only chain of state-run stores where the populace
could buy some food essentials – but only for precious metals or hard
currency.

Formally, the all-union chain was set in the summer of 1930 under the
foreign trade ministry. In Ukraine, such stores began to operate actively
since January of 1932, with starving peasants, not foreigners, as their
customers.

The resolution “On creating the all-Ukrainian Torgsin office” was passed
by the Ukrainian Economic Council under the government of Ukraine on
June 29, 1932.

Government experts said that “the collection of hard currency held by the
populace will play a major role”, that “the gold kept in households must be
collected via a chain of Torgsin stores and used to serve the interests of
the proletarian state.” Can the dates and directives be viewed as
coincidental?

We compared the time and content of various resolutions and documents
on setting up the Torgsin chain in Ukraine with Communist party resolutions
to launch a genocide by starvation (on
[1] raising grain procurement targets, on
[2] “the three spikelets law” [law imposing criminal liability for taking
       even three spikelets from the state farm fields – Trans.], on
[3] banning food trade in rural areas, on
[4] combating “saboteurs” [peasants whom the authorities accused
     of sabotage of mandatory grain deliveries – Trans.] and others).

We were horrified by the perfectly synchronized timing of these documents.

The time pattern was as follows:
     1) the party takes away all grain from peasants;
     2) Torgsin stores take away all gold and hard currency. Further
          analysis of how the party and the Torgsin chain worked
          revealed that
     3) everything was done to prevent the  survival of Ukrainians.

In exchange for their gold and silver jewelry, peasants received coupons
which they could later exchange for food. The exchange could take up to
two months, and very often bearers of coupons were dead by the time
they could get some food. There was a secret instruction to Torgsin
salesmen: “do not promise customers a quick exchange.”

According to eye-witnesses, many starving people died when standing in
kilometer-long lines to Torgsins or immediately after they received food.

Here are some of the eye-witness reports:
NINA PEREPADA:
Every morning a 7-year-old boy Yury Perepada saw the following scene:
horse-driven carts used to go along Khreshchatyk [Kyiv’s main street –
Trans.] One man was in the cart, with two other men escorting it by feet.
Their mission was clear the street from corpses or those close to death.

The two lifted the bodies, put them on the cart and covered with matting.
Children and adults walked the streets by-passing the dead. The bodies
were reportedly taken to the Oktyabrsky hospital, laid up in layers and
from there taken to the Bajkove cemetery to be thrown in ditches and
covered up with sodium chlorite.

He remembers that there was a commercial bakery in 6 or 8 Pushkin St.
where they sold bread at very high prices. Still, the line of customers
stretched farther than Proriizna St. People often died standing in the
line.” (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933: Evidence of survivors.
Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy publishers, 2004 – Vol. 2).
HALYNA NAZARENKO:
“Since late night, we had to line for bread that tasted like sawdust. We
stood in line all night, and broke into tens in the morning as they would
allow only ten persons into the store.

Mom took her and dad’s golden wedding rings to the Torgsin store,
receiving several kilos of flour for them. From it, she made halushkas
(boiled lumps of pastry).” (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933:
Evidence of survivors. Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy
publishers, 2004 – Vol. 2).
ANDRIY OPANASENKO:
In Kyiv I saw dying peasants from nearby villages. Those miserable creatures
didn’t look like humans. They didn’t ask for food, they sat or lay, their
bodies swollen and big like logs, under the walls of building on Podol’s
Upper and Lower Banks. The dead were taken to Babyj Yar to be buried.
Half dead inhabitants were also taken there to die. (The Vechirny Kyiv,
November, 1998).
LIDIYA KUZNETSOVA:

I well remember bread lines. Sometimes, they were several kilometers long.
Those who lined for bread at dawn could get their small piece of bread only
late at night. Mostly, they were peasants from nearby villages.

I remember how people from villages would get their bread, sit in the corner
and die right there on the street. (The Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-1933:
Evidence of survivors. Ed. By O. Mytsyk. Kyiv Mohyla Academy publishers,
2004 – Vol. 2).

Very often the starving peasants were intercepted by GPU (sectet police)
officers who arrested the alleged speculators and took away their bread.
GPU often scattered peasants or locked them up – to ensure their deaths.
HALYNA AFANASYEVE:
I remember well how in the fall of 1932 Kyiv was full of starving and
swollen peasants, trying to exchange their inexpensive possessions for bread
or other food. A major inflow of starving peasants took place in the spring
of 1933. The capital’s squares and streets were full of live skeletons and
swollen people.

Their numbers were especially large in the  Polol district on the Upper and
Lower Bank  where there were many wide benches on which hundreds of
poor victims crowded. They were sitting, lying and dying.

Every morning carts went around the city streets. Their teams consisted of a
horseman and his assistants who picked up dead bodies. Together with the
dead, they also took away still living people. The dead and the half dead
were taken to a church on the Horeva St. where they were piled up.

Around the church a deep and wide ditch was dug out in which they put the
dead when the church was full of bodies. There was a bakery on the Upper
Bank St. which sold bread at commercial prices. One could buy only one
kilo of bread.

As the bread was in short supply, people stood in huge lines since late
night. Militsiya (police) scattered lines of exhausted people, drove them
into the church and locked them up there. They died in the church.

My mother Ulyana Khomenchuk  got into one of such police raids and was
locked up in the church. After 2 days they opened the church to get rid of
the bodies and put new victims into it. But my mother was alive and was
spared this satanic conveyor of death.

No one was swollen from starvation in our family, because we lived on the
Trukhaniv island and gathered deadwood which we floated across the
Dnieper and sold on the market. Besides, we had some valuables inherited
by my mother. Traders willingly accepted the valuables in exchange for food.

In Torgsin stores, supplies of flour, lard, sausage, tinned food were
abundant. In exchange for golden decorations we bought the cheapest brand
of maize flour from which my mother baked pies and sold them on the market
to feed her family. All Kyiv residents were involved in such business not to
die from the famine. (The Samostijna Ukrayina, October, 1999).

The major cause of deaths of peasants, even of those who got food from
Torgsin stores, was the mark-up, an officially allowed profit of a Torgsin
salesperson which was the difference between the amount of gold accepted
from the populace and the amount handed over to the bank. Very often,
salesmen understated in their receipts the weight and quality of gold they
took from starving people.

The mark-up could reach several kilos, with every gram of gold stolen from
peasants paid for by their lives. There were other kinds of fraud in which
Torgsin salesmen were involved, despite their high salaries and additional
food rations. Torgsin stores bought gold from Ukrainians at much lower
prices than those on the international market.

We cannot but agree with V. Marochko, Doctor of History, about another
dimension of this criminal robbery: the gold, titled by the authorities as
scrap gold, was a dangerous asset because it was part of sacred spiritual
traditions.

Family valuables, crosses, wedding rings, baptizing crosses were kept in
the families and handed over by one generation to another, adding to the
national spirit.

October 1933, a chain of 263 Torgsin stores operated in Ukraine. Each store
had its own network of smaller outlets. The largest number of Torgsins was
in the Kyiv oblast (58), the smallest number in the Donetsk oblast (11) and
the Moldavian autonomous Soviet republic (5). The chain had its specific
targets for the purchase of gold and hard currency which, because they were
excessive, were never met.

The scale of the Communist-engineered gold rush matched the time frame set
for the genocide: with 6 mn hard currency karbovanets earned by Torsins in
1931, the figure ballooned to 50 mn in 1932 and to 107 mn in 1933.

Of the total amount of valuables sold by starving Ukrainians, 75.2% was
precious metals, gold, silver, and platinum. Of the total amount of gold,
38% was in tsarist coins, or 18% of the total revenue received.

While in 1932 Torgsins “procured” 21 tons of gold (worth 26.8 mn
karbovanets) and 18.5 tons of silver (worth 0.3 mn), the figures for 1933
were respectively 44.9 tons of gold (worth 58 mn karbovanets) and 1420.5
tons of silver (worth 22.9 mn).

It was extremely unprofitable for Ukrainian to sell silver as the price of
it dropped threefold since 1917. Peasants were paid 1.25 karbovanets for
1 g of silver, with the price on the New York stock exchange at 1.8
karbovanets. Communist party revenues from such transactions were
colossal.

The government allowed Torgsins to purchase diamonds in the fall of 1933
when gold and silver buying fell significantly as the populace had sold what
they had and the number of Ukrainians dropped sharply. There was only
one Torgsin store buying diamonds, in Kharkiv.

Ukrainians got 12 karbovanets for one carat of defective diamonds and 260
karbovanets for pure diamonds. Any guesses why such a huge disparity in
pricing?

In four months alone, Torgsins bought 600,000 karbovanets worth of
diamonds. In 1932-1933, the Soviet Union sold abroad antiquities,
pictures and ancient jewelry worth 5.8 mn golden karbovanets.

Torgsins were not the only tools to rob starving Ukrainians. Who can
count the money Ukrainians had to pay for food on the black market
where the prices for bread were tens of times higher than even in the
Torgsins?

Or the amount of gold pillaged by the authorities from individual farmers?
A recount of such incident was given by war veteran Oleksij Riznyk in his
article “Gold for the dictatorship of the proletariat” (The Ukrayina moloda,
23.11.2006, p. 11):

“In 1931-1932, the authorities launched a large-scale operation against
individual farmers. Militsiya took groups of them to a prison in Vinnytsia.
My father was one of them.

On arriving in prison, every farmer was told the amount of ransom in golden
rubles he had to pay for his freedom. Militsiya officers rushed into the
cell, took inmates by the hair and hitting their heads against the heads of
others said, ‘Oh, hear how the gold chimes.’

Some were taken to torture cells where they were beaten up, had their
fingers broken by doors – until the victim agreed to name the sum of ransom
sufficient for butchers. My father told them he had only 35 golden rubles
left. The militsiya officers happily took the money and let him go.”

In conclusion, let us hear another eye-witness report:
MYKAL from the village of Pukhivka, Brovary rayon:

It was in the spring of 1933. I was eighteen and was a student at Kyiv’s
college of teachers. The enrollment was 99 persons, while only 33 graduated
from the college. Where are the rest 66 students? Some of them died and
some of them left for good. Sahno Volodya died at the math lesson after
working a night shift at the Ukrkabel plant. We carried him out and buried
at the Lukyanivsky cemetery.

We ate at a students’ canteen on Dyka street. They would give us a plateful
of water with one pea, calling it soup. We got 150 g of bread a day. I
prayed that nobody stole my bread coupons. The bread ration was so
meager you didn’t feel you ate anything.

One episode has remained engraved in y memory. We had a lesson in military
training outside Kyiv near the Lukyanivsky cemetery. We were dog-tired but
our instructor ordered us to run. Three of us didn’t run, we sneaked away.
There was a boy who had lived in an orphanage, Kostya.  It was time to
return, but he was sitting at a distance and didn’t move.

When we came up to him we were scared stiff – he was sitting near a ditch
full of children’s corpses. They all lay in a mess: positions of legs, arms
and bodies showed that they had been dumped in the ditch from a cart.

There were seven such graves there. They did it at night, bringing the
bodies, dumping them and going away for more corpses.

Our instructor called us, but we were shaking and crying, especially the boy
from the orphanage. He said: “This is going to happen to me, too.”(1933:
Famine; People’s Book. – Memorial. /Compiled by L. Kovalenko and V.
Manyak. Kyiv, 1991.)

If you divide the amount of gold and silver pumped out from Ukrainians
by the Communist regime, you’ll get 5 convertible karbovanets. Or 12
kilos of flour. That was the price of life, to be exact, the price of a
horrible death of one Ukrainian.

Is there any place for graves on the cemetery of destroyed illusions?
——————————————————————————————–
The authors express their acknowledgments to V. Marochko, Doctor of
History, S. Vakulyshyn, expert on Kyiv, N. Sukhodolska, Ph.D.(Biology),
R. Krutsyk, head of the Kyiv branch of Memorial and other researchers
for their help in preparing the article for publication.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/1/5/53000.htm)
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE:  This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Ukrainian Genocide Journal by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  The translated article can be used but only with

permission from the Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Washington.
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
2. THREE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DEMAND
   RECOGNITION OF SOVIET-ENFORCED UKRAINIAN
‘GENOCIDE’
              “This is not directed at Russia but there can be no doubt that this
              was a Soviet-enforced crime against Ukraine”, Marek Siwiec MEP.

By Martin Banks, The Parliament.com
European Politics and Policy
Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, March 7, 2007

MEPs are calling on the international community to recognise the 1930s
great famine in Ukraine as Soviet-enforced genocide.

A small number of nations have already recognised the famine as genocide
and three deputies have tabled a written declaration calling for the
international community to follow suit.

The three are Konrad Szymanski, a Polish member of the UEN group, UK
Conservative Charles Tannock and Polish Socialist deputy Marek Siwiec.

A parliamentary declaration has to be supported by at least 50 per cent of
MEPs before it can go to the full plenary to become a formal parliamentary
resolution.

Siwiec said MEPs were currently being canvassed for their support and he
was hopeful that it would receive the necessary backing.

He said the reason he and his colleagues had decided to act now was
because they felt that international recognition for the alleged genocide
was “long overdue.”

“This is not directed at Russia but there can be no doubt that this was a
Soviet-enforced crime against Ukraine.”

An estimated 10 Million Ukrainians starved to death in 1932-33 as Soviet
leader Joseph Stalin stripped them of their produce in a disastrous forced
farm collectivisation campaign.

The true scale of the disaster was concealed by the USSR and only came
to light after Ukrainian independence in 1991.

A week long exhibition covering the famine, organised by the Ukrainian
mission to the EU, will run in the European parliament from March 26.

Russia firmly opposes the designation of the famine as genocide. -30-
———————————————————————————————-
http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200703/b936b29d-91df-4cef-8f85-e1e33ef920cd.htm

—————————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
3. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SUGGESTS OPENING
            MUSEUM ABOUT SOVIET REPRESSION IN UKRAINE

By Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili, AP Worldstream
Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, March 02, 2007

TBILISI – Ukraine’s president said Friday he supported opening a museum
dedicated to Soviet repression in Ukraine, but acknowledged that it would
be difficult.

Viktor Yushchenko made the comments while visiting the Museum of Soviet
Occupation in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, which chronicles the fate of
thousands of Georgians purged and killed by the Soviet secret police.

“When I am uttering these words, I understand that certain political forces
will be furious,” Yushchenko said in remarks released by his office. “But I
believe we must do it for our grandfathers and great grandfathers, and for
our children and grandchildren.”

Yushchenko, who like Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili has sought
to pull his country out of Russia’s shadow, has repeatedly pushed for
further recognition of Soviet crimes.

Last year, he won parliamentary approval for a law recognizing the 1932-33
famine, which many blame on Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, as genocide.

Moscow strongly protested the move, and the Russian-leaning party of
Ukraine’s prime minister refused to vote for the measure.

Opinion polls have shown that Ukrainians overwhelmingly welcomed the
Soviet collapse; in 1991, more than 90 percent of Ukrainians voted in
support of declaring the nation independent.

Since then, however, Ukraine has struggled to refashion its relations with
Moscow, triggering sharp disputes between Ukraine’s more pro-European
west and the Russian-speaking east and south over how close relations with
its former ruler should be.

At least one other ex-Soviet republic, the Baltic nation of Latvia, has a
museum dedicated to the Soviet period, as well as the Nazi occupation
during World War II.

Speaking on the eve of the two presidents’ visit to the year-old museum,
Saakashvili said the institution is not designed to anti-Russian. “This was
a Soviet occupation of Georgia not a Russian occupation,” he said at a
parliamentary briefing.

“If someone on the peripheries of Georgia is offended by the creation of
this museum in Tbilisi, then we are not guilty in this. With all
responsibility, I will say that this museum illuminates the history of
Georgia and it exists to ensure that such pages of history are never again
repeated.”                                              -30-
———————————————————————————————
Associated Press Writer Mara Bellaby contributed to this report
from Kiev, Ukraine.
———————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 

========================================================
4.               WHY IS UKRAINE FIGHTING RUSSIA?
    Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine of the 1930s, which
       it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the Ukrainian people.

OPINION & ANALYSIS: By Zakhar Vinogradov
RIA Novosti Commentator in Kiev
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 11, 2007

MOSCOW – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has once again
surprised Russia and other countries.

He recently unveiled a monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, signed several intergovernmental agreements
there, and announced his intention to establish a museum of the Soviet
occupation of Ukraine, like the one he visited in Tbilisi together with his
friend, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, and those in several Baltic
countries.

As usual, the Ukrainian and Georgian presidents said cynically that they
had nothing against Russia, and that the museums were only proof of their
countries’ respect for their past, for the elder generation victimized by
the Soviet regime.

Neither leader explained how they would separate the victimized Ukrainians
and Georgians from the Ukrainian and Georgian occupiers.

The picture has been complicated by the fact that millions of those who had
been considered occupiers one day became victims of Stalin’s regime the
day after.

The truth is that these official speeches are poor camouflage for ordinary
Russophobia.

Attempts at political correctness made by Yushchenko and Saakashvili did
not sufficiently hide their anti-Russian sentiments. It is clear to everyone
that they have become friends because they hate Russia.

Yushchenko’s stance in this historical confrontation looks more vulnerable
and less consistent than the position of Saakashvili.

Under its current president, Ukraine is moving further away from its
neighbor and partner, Russia, contrary to economic logic and common
sense.

Some two months ago, Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on the famine

of the 1930s, which it has interpreted as a Soviet genocide against the
Ukrainian people.

These are the methods used by Yushchenko and his ideological comrades
to consolidate Ukraine.

Unfortunately, they are uniting the country not to tackle issues of social
and economic development of interest to both the eastern (pro-Russian)

and western (anti-Russian) parts of Ukraine, but to focus its attention on
negative issues, hunt down witches and stir up ghosts.

By doing this, Yushchenko is creating more problems for himself. Ukraine’s
parliament expressed its outrage at the famine in Ukraine in the 1930s, but
completely overlooked the hunger in Belarus and Russia.

Moreover, Ukrainian leaders are pretending not to remember that the famine
happened because of the policies pursued by Stalin, a Georgian by
nationality, and unnamed leaders of Ukraine.

In principle, the Ukrainian elite knows very well that its pseudo-historical
stand is vulnerable. But it is using it to hide its anti-Russian policies.

Russia, busy with its gas and oil projects, has chosen to disregard the new
ideological studies of its neighbors.

Its parliament seems not to notice the ideological tumor spreading through
the Commonwealth of Independent States, an ailing but still alive
organization bringing together 11 former Soviet republics.

As all of us who belong to the older generation were told in Soviet
universities, the viability of the superstructure depends on the foundation,
that is, on economic relations. Unfortunately, the superstructure (ideology)
is being turned into the foundation in some ex-Soviet countries.

Russia and Ukraine have more things uniting them than pushing them apart
economically. These ties do not just include Russian oil and gas supplied to
Ukraine, which it delivers to Europe. This makes our countries natural and
indivisible partners.

But the main thing is that Russians and Ukrainians have a common history,
which was both good and bad, and a common culture, which they
developed over centuries. And lastly, many Russian and Ukrainian families
are interrelated.

But Ukrainian politicians’ ideological confrontations with Russia, and
Russia’s apathy towards the issue, are making their people hostages to a
war against the ghosts of the past.

This is a perfect background for some Ukrainian political analysts, who
write in the press about choosing a specifically Ukrainian path towards
Europe, in the name of which Russia, once the closest and friendliest of
neighbors, is termed “the country of Russian imperialism.” They seem to
believe that if they want to become part of Europe, they should attack
Russia.

A top official in Yushchenko’s administration recently told me that Ukraine
can become not only a gas transit but also a political corridor between
Russia and Western Europe.

This is a disputable idea, for Russia does not need intermediaries, but it
is quite new for Ukraine. Maybe Ukraine should use the available
foundation to rebuild its ideological superstructure of confrontation with
Russia into that of real partnership.

This idea has also been supported in the European Union, which Ukraine
wants to join so much.

Justas Paleckis, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament who
attended meetings of the Ukraine-EU inter-parliamentary cooperation
committee, told the Ukrainian daily Den: “The main thing for Ukraine is to
have good relations with Russia. The European Union does not need
countries that have problems with their neighbors.”

Therefore, the war against the ghosts of the past is useless and even
harmful to Ukraine.

In the meantime, Yushchenko will be building his museum of Soviet
occupation, and maybe some time soon U.S. anti-ballistic missile
systems will be deployed near it. After all, what could be better than a
good neighbor?                                   -30-
——————————————————————————————
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070309/61773609.html
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
5. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SAYS LEADERSHIP
   OF THE EUROPEAN PEOPLE’S PARTY AGREE TO SUPPORT
                          THE HOLODOMOR AS GENOCIDE

Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 8, 2007

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko told reporters in Brussels on Thursday he

approved the participation of Ukraine’s center-right parties in today’s
summit of the European People’s Party in Brussels.

“I think it is a very important instrument to promote Ukrainian policy in
Europe,” he said.

The President said party contacts were productive and helped develop
economic, energy and humanitarian ties, as well as any other cooperation
“where there are no ideological differences no matter what country we are
speaking about.”

Mr. Yushchenko added that he had asked the leadership of the EPP to

support a declaration to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as
genocide and had been reassured they would.             -30-
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================      
6.      UKRAINE & EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT’S
      DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT OF UKRAINE-EU RELATIONS
 

         Yushchenko thanked deputies who submitted genocide resolution

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 8, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko and President of the European

Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering discussed in Brussels (Belgium) the future
development of relations between Ukraine and the European Union.

This follows from a statement by the president’s press service, a copy

of which was made available to Ukrainian News.
Yuschenko assured Pottering that Ukraine has no plans to change its
European integration policy.

He noted that a clear European perspective is an essential element of
democratic transformations in Ukraine, saying that Ukraine will prove its
European ambitions by practical steps on its way to gradual integration

with the EU’s internal market and deepened cooperation.

As Pottering noted, the European Parliament welcomes Ukraine’s aspirations
for European integrations and Yuschenko’s personal efforts in this
direction.

‘Ukraine is on the European way. The European Parliament fully sympathizes
with Ukraine. It’s a European nation. President Yuschenko also has our full
support and my support personally,’ he said.

Yuschenko and Pottering discussed the launch of the talks regarding a new
enhanced agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

The Ukrainian president noted that the stage of principle formation and
agreement provisions is of vital importance to Ukraine.

‘We’re in the beginning of this process, a consultative period has started
and it’s important for us that the European Parliament and European Union
hear us,’ Yuschenko said.

According to him, it’s important for Ukraine that the new agreement with the
EU strengthens foundations for the EU’s functioning, with new partners
participating.

     DRAFT DECLARATION ON GENOCIDE 1932-1933
Yuschenko also expressed gratitude to European Parliament deputies who
submitted a draft declaration on recognizing the famine of 1932-1933 in
Ukraine as genocide against the Ukrainian nation and asked the European
Parliament’s head to personally support the initiative.

The president of Ukraine invited Pottering to pay an official visit to Ukraine
any time convenient for him, and received consent. As Ukrainian News
earlier reported, on March 8, Yuschenko left for Brussels on a working visit.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
7. UNITED KINGDOM: SIGN THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE PETITION

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From: Stepan Speight Komarnyckyj
Ukrainian Genocide Petition in the United Kingdom
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Seven
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

RE: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Ukraine-Genocide/

Dear Morgan Williams

Please could you help promote the petition,
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Ukraine-Genocide/, by circulating details via

the Ukrainian Genocide Journal?

The more people who sign, and the more people who visit the

www.holodomor.org.uk website (visiting the site will mean that it appears
in Google searches and signposts people towards the petition) the greater
will be the impact.

I am aware that some British politicians will resist Holodomor recognition
so this support is required.

Please help,

Yours truly. Steve Komarnyckyj (lviv@skomarnyckyj.fsnet.co.uk)
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Ukranian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
8.            IN MEMORY OF EXECUTED UKRAINIANS
                         By German invaders in 1942 at Babyn Yar

All-Ukrainian Svoboda (Freedom) association
Posted on the maidan.org.ua website
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 26, 2007 (in Ukrainian)
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal

Issue One, Article Eight (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

On Feb. 25, 2007 the Ukrainian community of Kyiv commemorated the

Ukrainian nationalists executed by the German invaders in Babyn Yar.

In February of 1942, the Germans executed activists of the Ukrainian
nationalist underground in Babyn Yar – Olena and Mykhailo Teliha, Hanna

and Ivan Rohach, Ivan Irlyavsky, the Sukhoversky sisters, Yaroslav
Orshan-Chemerynsky, Odarka Huzar-Chemerynska, Mykola Olijnyk,
among many others.

In total, 621 members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN,
were shot in Babyn Yar.

According to historians, over 55,000 Ukrainians were executed by the

Germans in Babyn Yar. The place has become a symbol of a great
Ukrainian tragedy.

On Feb. 25, over 200 Ukrainians came to Babyn Yar to honor the memory

of active fighters for independent and sovereign Ukrainian state.

Lighted by torches, Ukrainian national flags and red-and-black flags of the
Ukrainian revolution could be seen around the place. The commemoration
events started with the service for the dead nationalists held at the
commemorative cross. Near the cross, participants made another cross –

from lighted icon-lamps.

The rally after the service was opened by the leader of Kyiv OUN branch
Bohdan Chervak. He briefly described the events of the WWII, stressing that
there is a Christian cross at the site of mass murders of Kyiv residents.

“This humble cross is here to commemorate sacrificial deaths of thousands of
Ukrainian patriots murdered by the Germans in wartime. It is here in Babyn
Yar that the renowned Ukrainian poetess Olena Teliha is buried. We will
celebrate her 100th birth anniversary in July.”

Bohdan Chervak also added that, despite many forthcoming speeches to

be made by politicians and well-know public leaders, they will be never able
to reveal the whole truth about Olena Teliha.

“Why? The answer is simple: in the country still fighting for its statehood
there are those who regard Teliha as their enemy – because she never lowered
the Ukrainian national revolution flag,” the leader of the Kyiv OUN branch
stressed.

Head of Kyiv Patriot of Ukraine public organization Serhy Bevz said tens of
thousands of Ukrainians had been shot in Babyn Yar. Their only guilt was
that they were Ukrainians.

“Today, Ukraine is an independent country but this independence is ephemeral
because Ukraine is still ruled by foreigners. We have to realize that the
colors of invaders, be they red, brown or any other, do not matter. What
matters is that their only goal is to exterminate Ukrainians,” he added.

For his part, deputy head of Kyiv Svoboda branch Andry Illenko emphasized
that the public is unaware of the fact that primarily ethnic Ukrainians, not
political opponents, were shot in Babyn Yar.

” We must know that not only OUN members lost their lives here. Ordinary
Ukrainian were shot too, as well as prisoners of war.

Yes, representatives of other nations were executed here, but we must
remember that it is basically the site of the Ukrainian tragedy. We must
fully restore historical and national justice,” Andry Illenko said.

Other speakers at the rally included representatives of  the Kyiv branch of
the Youth Nationalist Congress, Ukrainian Resistance, the youth branch of
the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (Kyiv branch), organizing committee
of the International court to try the crimes of Communists against humanity,
and the Ukrainian People’s Party.

In conclusion of the rally, head of Kyiv branch All-Ukrainian Svoboda
association Andry Mokhnyk stressed that the main obstacle barring

Ukrainians from knowing their history are communist myths originated in
Moscow.

[1] First, that Germans executed mainly non-Ukrainians in Babyn Yar.

[2] Second, that Ukrainian nationalists helped Germans to carry out
executions in Babyn Yar.

“It’s a blatant lie. Babyn Yar is mainly a cite of the tragedy of
Ukrainians, with over 55,000 Ukrainians being murdered there.
Simultaneously, Babyn Yar is a hallmark of the unbreakable Ukrainian spirit.
In Babyn Yar the Germans shot activists of the Ukrainian nationalist
underground movement.

It’s an established fact that 621 OUN members found their deaths there.

They were executed as fighters of the Ukrainian national revolution,” Andry
Mokhnyk underlined.

For the record: on Feb. 16, 2007 nationalist patriotic organizations in Kyiv
created a coordinating council, Ukrainian Community of Kyiv, which includes
Svoboda (Kyiv branch), OUN (Kyiv branch), Les Kurbas Cultural Society,

Youth Nationalist Congress (Kyiv branch), Patriot of Ukraine NGO,
Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (youth council of the Kyiv branch),
All-Ukrainian Stepan Bandera organization Tryzub (Kyiv branch), Ukrainian
Resistance, organizing committee of the International court to try the crimes
of Communists against humanity, and Institute for Human Rights NGO.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://maidan.org.ua/static/news/2007/1172511331.html)
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE: This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Ukrainian Genocide Journal by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  Translated article can be used but only with permission
from the Ukrainian Genocide Journal. 
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
=======================================================
9.  63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL TRAGEDY OF
           CHECHEN AND INGUSHS, SOVIET GENOCIDE

Andrew P. Grigorenko, President
General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dear Friends,

Today February 23, 2007 is a 63rd anniversary of the national tragedy

of Chechen and Ingushs. At this day, 63 years ago, the soviet
international-socialist committed the gravest crime against Humanity –
genocide.

They hoped, under the cover of Second World War, to eliminate those
who from their point of view belong to suspicious ethno-religious groups,
and who does not fit into Procrustean bed of communism.

At this day, Chechen and Ingushs, similar to the other deported people, were
ousted from their ancestral homes and as cattle horded into freight cars,
which took them away into eternal exile and dooming them to death. The
deportee loses amounted to a half of their entire population.

Even today, regardless of a spectacle crash of international-socialist
empire of evil, those who considered themselves the legal successors of
USSR, do not get around even to apologize to the victims of genocide, or

pay them for their sufferings.

Instead, they sow grains of ethnic hatred, supporting and blowing up the
local conflicts, and in case of Chechnya, they are conducting dirty colonial
war, the war that brought Chechen people again to the abyss of total
annihilation.

Today I would like to appeal to Russian people: Stop your rulers! Stop the
new imperialists! It is time finally comprehend, that the empire brought a
misery not only to colonial people, but as well to the people of Russia
herself.

The rulers of modern Russia murdered the two legitimate presidents of
Chechnya, but they will fail to subdue a freedom-loving people, the people
who sustained their desire to read of occupation for two centuries.
——————————————————————————————–

LINK: www.grigorenko.org; grigorenko_us@googlegroups.com
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://groups.google.com/group/grigorenko_us?hl=en
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
10. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO CONDOLES WITH
JEWS ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 27, 2007

Ukrainians, who survived the Great Famine of 1932-1933 and know what
genocide is, condole with Jews on International Holocaust Remembrance

Day, Victor Yushchenko said in an address on January 27.

“Ukrainians have always remembered the victims of the World War II,” he
said. The President said over 1.5 million of Ukraine’s Jews had been
exterminated by the Nazis during the war.

“Ukraine has spared and will spare no effort to ensure that xenophobia and
anti-Semitism never become an element of politics.”          -30-
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[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================

11. HEAD OF ALL-UKRAINIAN JEWISH CONGRESS PROPOSING TO
 INTRODUCE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION FOR HOLOCAUST DENIAL

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MOSCOW – The head of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress Vadym

Rabinovich has proposed to introduce criminal prosecution for the denial
of the Holocaust.

In a letter to the Verkhovna Rada Speaker, deputies and the Prime Minister,
the text of which was obtained by Interfax on Wednesday, he said, in
particular, that “this is crucial today, when attempts are being made to
re-write the history of the Second World War, during which hundreds of
thousands of Ukrainian Jews were massacred.”

Rabinovich said the introduction of criminal prosecution for the denial of
the mass destruction of Jews “will serve as a warning against any attempts
at reviving fascism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, interethnic and
inter-religious hatred and will demonstrate once again Ukraine’s steady,
uncompromising stance in its refusal to accept and condemnation of such
phenomena, as well as its adherence to the principles of tolerance,
democracy and human moral values.”                     -30-
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[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 

========================================================
12.  DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE OF
   1932-1933 (HOLODOMOR) NOW AVAILABLE IN DVD FORMAT

Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre, Toronto
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article Twelve
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

TORONTO – The Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation
Centre (UCRDC) is pleased to inform you that the internationally
acclaimed, award winning documentary “Harvest of Despair” is now
available in DVD format in English for $25.00. [Information about the
documentary from the UCRDC website is found below.]

Please contact the UCRDC for further details:
Nadia Skop, Executive Administrator
Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre
620 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2H4
Telephone: 416-966-1819; Fax: 416-966-1820;
E-mail: info@ucrdc.org
—————————————————————————————–
                                HARVEST OF DESPAIR
It is called the forgotten holocaust – a time when Stalin was dumping
millions of tons of wheat on Western markets, while in Ukraine, men,
women, and children were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a
day, 17 human beings a minute.

Seven to ten million people perished in a famine caused not by war or
natural disasters, but by ruthless decree.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this tragedy the Ukrainian Famine
Research Committee (former name of UCRDC) gathered materials, sought
out eye-witnesses and documented this horrific event. Harvest of Despair
is the product of this effort.

The documentary probes the tragic consequences of Ukraine’s struggle for
greater cultural and political autonomy in the 1920s and 1930s.

Through rare archival footage, the results of Stalin’s lethal
countermeasures unfold in harrowing detail. Harvest of Despair examines
why this man-made famine remains so little known.

Blinded by radical leftwing ideals, world statesmen, such as Edouard
Herriot, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and writers such as George
Bernard Shaw, all contributed to the regime’s campaign of concealment.

Even the democratic governments of the depression-hit West preferred to
remain silent over Soviet Russia’s atrocities in order to continue import
and export trade.

In 1932-33, roughly one-quarter of the entire population of Ukraine perished
through brutal starvation. Harvest of Despair, through its stark, haunting
images, provides the eloquent testimony of a lost generation that has been
silenced too long.

The film Harvest of Despair won the awards and honours at the following
festivals:
     1. Houston International Film Festival – April 1985 – Houston, Texas
     2. Strasburg International Film Festival – April 1985
     3. Festival Des Filmes Du Monde – August 1985 – Montreal, Quebec
     4. New York Film Festival – September 1985 – New York City
     5. Columbus International Film Festival – November 1985 – Columbus,
         Ohio
     6. Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival – October 1985
     7. International Film and T.V. Festival of New York – November 1985
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.ucrdc.org/

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933]  ========================================================
13.  HOLODOMOR DOCUMENTARY “HARVEST OF DESPAIR”
                                POSTED ON GOOGLE VIDEO
 
Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Issue Two, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

WASHINGTON – The documentary “Harvest of Despair” has been
posted on Google video. The link to the documentary:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3897393411603039499&q=famine+Ukraine&hl=en

Leonard Klady wrote the following about the documentary film, “Harvest
of Despair” in an article for the Winnipeg Free Press, Friday, October
26, 1984 which is posted on the Infoukes website, Toronto, Canada:

“IN THE FALL and spring of 1932 and 1933, the government of the
Soviet Union created a man-made famine in Ukraine to quell what was
perceived as the dangerous threat of regional nationalism.

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

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

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

Produced by the Ukrainian Famine Research Committee (since renamed the
Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center — Webmaster
InfoUkes) with assistance from the National Film Board and a variety of
private and public funding sources, the movie screened at the Planetarium
Auditorium of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature on October 26
and 27, 1984. It is a real eye-opener.

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

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

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

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

Ukraine, with its independent attitudes in education, politics and culture,
was viewed as a hot bed of dissent. No method was viewed as being too
severe to bring the area back into the fold.

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

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

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

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

FOR YURIJ LUHOVY, THE PRODUCER and editor of Harvest of Despair,
the documentary provided him with a very special opportunity to stand up
and be counted for something of a very personal nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But most important is that people not forget what occurred. The film was
not made out of anger, it was made to show the senselessness of the action.
We must always remember this and ensure such incidents never happen again.”
————————————————————————————————
Harvest of Despair: The 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine. Director: Slavko
Novytski, Producers Yuri Luhovy and S. Novytski.
————————————————————————————————
Article Reprinted, with permission, from the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winnipeg, Canada, Friday, October 26, 1984.
LINK: http://www.infoukes.com/history/famine/harvest_of_despair/
————————————————————————————————
The documentary “Harvest of Despair” has been posted on Google video.
The link to the documentary:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3897393411603039499&q=famine+Ukraine&hl=en
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukranian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
14.                JAMES MACE MEMORIAL PANEL

    New evidence on how the famine was eye-witnessed and concealed.
IAUS Congress, Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday 29th June 2005.
Ukrainian Genocide Journal,  Issue Two, Article Fourteen
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2006
 
WASHINGTON – The James Mace Memorial Panel at the IAUS
Congress in Donetsk, Ukraine on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 was
chaired by Professor Mark von Hagen (a.m.) and Vasyl’ Marochko
(p.m.)
Five papers presented in Donetsk in 2005 are now available in PDF/MS
Word on the Gareth Jones website thanks to the outstanding work of
Margaret Siriol Colley and Nigel Lisan Colley in the United Kingdom.
 
The five papers can be found at the following link:
http://www.colley.co.uk/garethjones/james_mace.htm.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933]   
========================================================
15. RUSSIAN UNION OF FORMER CHILD PRISONERS FROM NAZI
    CONCENTRATION CAMPS ACCUSE UKRAINIAN POLITICIANS
    OF REWRITING HISTORY ABOUT GENOCIDE DURING FAMINE

Interfax Ukraine News, Moscow, Russia, Tue, February 20, 2007

MOSCOW – Ukrainian neo-nationalists are trying to re-write the history,
the Russian Union of Former Child Prisoners from Nazi Concentration
Camps (RSNBU) said in a statement on Tuesday

“The voices of the ideological successors to the Organization of Ukrainian
Nationalists and the Ukrainian Rebellion Army (OUN-UPA) have become
louder recently as they bid to falsify history, to turn two brotherly
nations, Russia and Ukraine, into foes.

Russia, for instance, is publicly accused of the genocide of the Ukrainian
people, during the Famine in 1932-1933,” the statement says.

A number of Ukrainian politicians are trying to use an old thesis about
premeditated genocide, which first appeared during the Cold War among
Ukrainian nationalists who fled abroad, it says.

“The famine spread throughout the Soviet Union, millions of Russians
and other Soviets fell victim to it. The population of Ukrainian towns
had bread and other food supplied from Russia, Polish and Bulgarian
villages,” it says.

“The RSNBU considers the attempts by some Ukrainian politicians to
rehabilitate OUN-UPA nationalists to be unacceptable and blasphemous.

These are murderers who fought on the same side as Nazi Germany and
are responsible for killing millions of people. It is a fact that Ukrainian
nationalists were part of the SS divisions and the notorious Nachtigal
battalion,” the statement says.

“We know what fascism is, and how people suffer from it. That is why
we demand condemnation of the attempts by some Ukrainian politicians
to whitewash the crimes of the Ukrainian nationalists against mankind,
and to use the 1932-33 tragedy as a political tool,” it says.         -30-

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[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
16. NEW SUBSECTION OF THE 1932-1933 FAMINE-GENOCIDE
         SECTION OF THE STATE COMMITTEE ON ARCHIVES
                                    OF UKRAINE WEB SITE
 
Roman Senkus, Director, CIUS Publications Program

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, January 17, 2007 

News from Ukraine:

A new subsection of the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide section of the

State Committee on Archives of Ukraine official web site has just
opened at:
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Famine/Pblicat/index.php?

The ultimate goal of this pilot project is to present online ALL archival

documents on the Famine, both published and unpublished. The
State Committee on Archives of Ukraine will be grateful for your
comments or suggestions.
 
Also please note that the entire contents of the following sections are
endangered.  They may soon be erased from the web.Viewers may
want to access these addresses ASAP:
Archives and Human Rights Violations
http://www.archives.gov.ua/News/HumanRights.php
Famine in Ukraine in 1921-23, 1932-33
http://www.archives.gov.ua/News/Golod.php
 
The Ukrainian Martirolog, XX Century
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Sections/Martyrolog/

Totalitarian Regime in Ukraine
http://www.archives.gov.ua/News/Totalytaryzm.php

Declassified Documents of the Ukrainian Archives
http://www.archives.gov.ua/Publicat/References/Rozsekr-fond.php

Archives of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army
http://www.archives.gov.ua/News/Arch-Doc.php

Archives of 1956 Hungarian Revolution
http://www.archives.gov.ua/News/HungaryRevolution.php

 
Home Page links on the www.archives.gov.ua site to other Web
resources may also be liquidated in a short while. Among them:

http://www.gulag.ipvnews.org/index.php
http://www.gulag.ipvnews.org/index.php

www.utoronto.ca/cius, r.senkus@utoronto.ca
Managing Editor, www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office
20 Orde St., Room 125, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, M5T 1N7, Canada
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
17.  PRES YUSHCHENKO: “ASKED WHAT THE HOLODOMOR
                  WAS, MY ANSWER IS ‘IT WAS GENOCIDE'”

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko’s address on Remembrance
Day for the Victims of the Holodomor and Political Repressions
Remembrance Service at St. Michael’s Square in Kyiv
Official Website of President of Ukraine (In Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, November 25, 2006
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal
Issue One, Article Seventeen (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dear Ukrainian people!

In my hand I have a spikelet of wheat.

I wish I could offer this spikelet to a little boy who died from starvation
in 1933 in the field near the village of Kruty in the Chernihiv oblast.

And to a small girl in the village of Vilanka in the Zhytomyr oblast. And to
a woman in the village of Krasnohirka in the Odesa oblast. And to a man in
the village of Teplivka in the Poltava oblast.

With pain in my heart, I wish I could give this spikelet to my Granddad
Ivan and his family who died from the great famine in 1932.

I wish I could give this spikelet to residents of thousands of towns and
villages in Ukraine. In oblasts Kyiv, Donetsk, Cherkasy, Mykolayiv and
Kuban.

I wish I could give this grain over tens of past years to villages Luteske
(Kharkiv oblast), Kosenky (Sumy oblast), Zajtsivtsi (Luhansk oblast) whose
residents, with few exceptions, died in the holodomor. They were dying at
the rate of 17 per minute, 1,000 per hour, 25,000 per day.

Such was the harvest of the great famine in Ukraine. Asked what the
holodomor was, my answer is “It was genocide.”

I do not know what kind of a country Ukraine would have been, had they
survived.

But I know what kind of a country Ukraine is today.

And I know what kind of a country it may become, if the souls of its
innocent dead are forgotten. Once oblivious of them, such a Ukraine will
inevitably lose its soul, its language and its national memory. It will turn
into a faceless land with a faceless and lifeless people.

Those denying the Holodomor loathe Ukraine deeply and resolutely. They
hate us, our spirit and our future. They do not deny history, they deny
Ukraine.

The Holodomor victims must be remembered as martyrs of one of mankind’s
largest catastrophes.

I do not ask, I demand that the Ukrainian lawmakers recognize the Holodomor
as genocide. This is their obligation and history’s pressing requirement.
Same as was the act of proclaiming Ukraine’s ndependence. Relieve yourselves
of fear and lies.

History has already passed its sentence on the murderers who had planned
and induced the Famine, with Stalin’s totalitarian Communist system being
its main perpetrator.

This system has no national identity because the latter is an imminent
feature of a civilization of humans. Death from starvation and extermination
is incompatible with civilization.

A genocide is a purposeful annihilation of a people or its part.

The 1948 UN convention defines genocide as an act committed with intent
to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious
group, or cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, or
deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

And now let me quote a letter Stalin wrote to Kahanovych, his henchman in
Ukraine in 1932:

“Ukraine is of topmost priority. Things in Ukraine have got out of hand,
in two oblasts (Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk, if I’m not mistaken) some 50
Communist party rayon committees criticized the plan of mandatory grain
deliveries, saying it cannot be met. If we don’t go about rectifying the
situation in Ukraine right away, we may lose Ukraine.”

Stalin wasted no time to deliver on his threat. A terror campaign was
launched against things Ukrainian. The country’s intellectuals, clergy,
every active representative of the Ukrainian identity was executed. It was
a well-planned act.

At that time the pupils of Mykhailo Hrushevsky [Ukraine’s first president
exiled to Russia – Transl.] wrote to him: “A true famine is ravaging
Ukraine. It was induced by politicians and aimed to break the Ukrainian
nation as a sole national force capable of serious resistance [to the
Stalin’s regime – Transl.]

Part of Ukrainians will die, others will be scattered over Russia’s
boundless territories.” It was a report by a secret police agent keeping an
eye on Hrushevsky and his friends.

 The territory of Ukraine and Kuban (adjacent area of Russia populated by
ethnic Ukrainians – Transl.] will be sealed off by law-enforcement units to
prevent peasants from leaving in search of food. Life will become
insignificant. Death will rule in Ukraine.

Just think about it: according to historians, in 1933 the average lifetime
for men in Ukraine was 7 years and 10 years for women. What’s that?
This is true genocide.

 In August of 1932, the regime imposed restrictions on trade, banning
peasants to buy or sell grain and obliging them to turn over their grain
only to the state without any payment.

In the fall of 1932 the authorities started to confiscate grain from
so-called deadbeats, farmers and kolhosps that failed to meet excessive
grain procurement targets. All of them were treated as deadbeats: this is
genocide.

 In the wake of a corresponding resolution by the Communist party central
committee, the authorities imposed a system of black lists for alleged
deadbeats.

In order to forcefully take away grain, seeds and supplies of food, the
regime used secret police units to seal off villages, farms, rayons and
kolhosps. Their number reached 82. Being put on a black list was
tantamount to a death sentence. This is genocide.

The regime resorted to the same methods which were used in Jewish
ghettos and Nazi concentration camps.

The crimes of the Holodomor paved the way for WWII crimes which
climaxed in the devilish atrocities of the Holocaust.

 It is difficult for me to continue the crime list. Despite all the
misgivings, Ukraine has survived.

We remember past sorrows as a warning against new crimes against
humanity. We are counting on international understanding and support in
this issue.

Today, speaking on Mykhajlivsky square in the heart of Kyiv, I’m urging the
Russian Federation in the first place to join us and, by commemorating the
Holododmor at the state level, to demonstrate the high degree of human
empathy which is typical of the Russian people.

I’m also urging every nation that has fallen a victim to the Communist
regime. We were all hostages and victims of the evil regime and we must
now jointly cleanse ourselves.

I wish to thank all countries that legally and politically recognized the
Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation. I hope that
the United Nations will be unanimous in recognizing the tragedy on the eve
of its 75th anniversary.

I deeply believe this will happen, because I deeply believe in justice.

The spikelet is burning my hand. I feel how the souls of our brothers and
sisters are reaching to it from the past. And I feel the warmth of their
touch.

Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of anything any longer. The Holodomor
dead! Your whole nation and your state is standing by you.

Let’s stop the flow of time for an instant.

And in this instant we feel how God is listening to the dead.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/news/data/11_12068.html)
———————————————————————————————–

NOTE:  This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Ukrainian Genocide Journal by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  The translated article can be used but only with
permission from the Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Washington.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933]   
========================================================
18.   UKRAINE MARKS THE EVENTS OF 1932-1933 FOR THE
         FIRST TIME AT AN APPROPRIATE NATIONAL LEVEL

PERSONAL COMMENTARY: By Daniel Bilak
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, December 1, 2006
Published by the UKL407 (The Politics of Genocide),
The Ukraine List (UKL) #407, Article 3
Compiled by Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies,
U of Ottawa, www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca
Supported by the Dopomoha Ukraini Foundation
Ottawa, Canada, 12 December 2006

COMMENTARY: By Daniel Bilak <dbilak@hotmail.com>
Date: Friday, December 1, 2006 8:53 AM

Daniel Bilak is a lawyer in the firm Sergei Koziakov & Partners in Kyiv

It’s been a very emotionally trying weekend here in Kyiv and throughout
Ukraine. This is really the first time that the country has marked the
events of 1932-33 on an appropriately national level.

The President spoke eloquently before the monument to the victims of
the famine in front of the Mykhailivsky Church of the Golden Domes.

He spoke of the fact that this catastrophic event in the history of  the
Ukrainian people was planned and executed as a deliberate policy of
Stalin to destroy the Ukrainian people as an ethnic and national reality.

This was an important message, because Russia, as the legal successor to
the Soviet Union, does not recognize the famine as having been directed
specifically at Ukrainians.

Russia maintains that the famine was not a genocide (ie. directed at a
particular race, ethnic group or nation), but an aspect of Stalinist
repression.

Indeed, the present Communist Party of Ukraine and the Party of the
Regions (which forms Ukraine’s government) also reject this calamity as
a genocide against their people.

They refuse to vote for a draft law put before the Verkhovna Rada by the
President that would recognize the famine as a genocide and would make
denial of the famine a punishable offence. Similar laws exist in various
countries (including Canada) with respect to the Holocaust.

On Saturday, in front of the Holodomor memorial, the President movingly
and emotionally recited some of the facts regarding Ukraine’s holocaust,
much of which was detailed in a documentary film shown on national
television Saturday night.

The following emerges:
 – in one year, 1933, in villages throughout Soviet Ukraine, 17 Ukrainians
died every minute of the day – that’s over 1000 people an hour, 25,000 per
day, almost 10 million during that year;

– that the average life span of a man during the period 1926 – 1937 was
calculated at 7 years and for a woman 11 years;

– that Ukraine in 1957 had 70% less population than it should have had
based on the rising birth rates in the country from 1900-1926;

– the census held in 1957 showed that Ukraine had lost one-quarter of its
population since the last published census held in 1926 (the results of the
1937 census were so awful that Stalin had them suppressed) ;

– that throughout the famine period of 1932-33, the Soviet Union recorded
massive grain exports.

The documentary showed shocking footage and described the horrors of
the famine through the tesimony of survivors:

– the army was deployed to circle and cordon off villages and even whole
oblasts to prevent starving villagers from fleeing their homes. Those who
escaped were returned to face certain death;

– starving children were picked up off the street and carted off to special
homes and left to die;

– Soviet commissars went from house to house, first taking the peasants’
grain, then their animals, then their shovels, rakes, axes, and anything
else that they could use to feed themselves;

–  people in the towns would drop dead in the middle of the street and at
the height of the famine, so many died that there weren’t enough coffins to
bury people; the bodies were thrown into mass graves;

– in 1933 so many peasants were foraging for food and dying on the streets
of towns and cities like Kharkiv that the internal passport system (which
still exists and whose logic still baffles westerners)was designed in order
to ensure that villagers couldn’t leave their villages and would die at
home;

– the commissars would try to catch people who had hidden food by using
tricks like arresting a child and since there was no food in the jails, they
would wait to see if the parents brought anything for the child to eat. If
they did, it meant that there was more to take from them. The parents
were then often shot or sent to labour camps;

– mothers forbid their children to go outdoors to protect them from
neighbours who, mad from hunger, would kidnap children to eat them.

This insanity took place only in Soviet Ukraine and in the predominantly
Ukrainian area of the Kuban in Soviet Russia bordering Ukraine. Although
there was a famine in the Volga region, in most of the neighbouring oblasts
of Russia and Byeolrussia (literally next door), the villagers were
relatively well fed. Many Russians were sympathetic to the plight of their
Ukrainian neighbours, but were prevented from delivering food by the
Soviet Army.

One survivor, who was later interned in a Nazi concentration camp
(what this woman lived through!), said that the famine was much worse than
war. In war, a few of your neighbours die, she explained. In the famine
entire families and whole villages were wiped out. At least in the camps
they gave you a daily ration of stale bread, water, and a potato.

The diary of one village teacher described the transformation of her
neighbours: “starvation is slowly turning people into brutal, savage,
dehumanized beings capable of the worst crimes…”

There is finally in Ukraine an open discussion of what happened in 1932-33
and a rising appreciation of its affect on the Ukrainian psyche. In Soviet
times, the mere mention of a “famine in 1933” in Ukraine meant immediate
arrest and deportation to a labour camp in Siberia. The teacher whose words
are quoted above was sentenced to 10 years hard labour and 5 years internal
exile upon discovery of her diaries in 1945.

Her words have been brought to light by my friend Ihor Drizhchaniy, the
head of Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU (the former KGB). He ordered
over 5000 documents from that era declassified and they are now on display
[a small number of them, UGJ Editor] in a special exhibition at Ukrainskiy

Dim, as well as on the SBU official web site.

Ihor is a true patriot and it is an honour for me to have him as my friend.
He has performed a tremendous service to the Ukrainian people. The
materials on display for everyone to read are as stunning as they are
revolting.

The plans to exterminate Ukrainians are as clinical as anything the Nazis
documented regarding the Final Solution for the Jews.

What emerges is that Stalin feared the Bolsheviks were losing their control
over Ukraine, especially in the villages. Stalin realized that if the
Bolsheviks lost control in Ukraine, they would fall from power.

Stalin feared both the rising national identity among the peasants and the
general populace (as a result of the successful ukrainianization policies of
the 1920’s), as well as Ukraine’s rising population (which was growing as
fast as China’s at the time).

Ukraine’s burgeoning national consciousness was already obstructing
Stalin’s plans to create a new “Soviet Man” and the peasantry’s rejection of
collectivization was beginning to erode Party discipline and Stalin’s grip
on Ukraine. His plan was to rid the Party of these obstacles by destroying
the source of the obstruction, the Ukrainian village.

By starving the villages, Stalin would break the will of the Ukrainian
nation and fill the demographic hole by populating Ukraine’s rich soil with
Russians and other ethnic groups from other parts of the Soviet Union. To

a large extent, Stalin succeeded. In the 1920’s ethnic Russians made up
only 7% of Ukraine’s population. By 1957, they made up over 20%.

The famine abated in late 1933 when Stalin felt that he had sufficiently
broken the spirit of the Ukrainian people and had reasserted Party control
over the countryside. He realized that he could not repopulate Ukraine
quickly enough to produce the food necessary to feed the rest of the Soviet
Union in the looming war in Europe.

By the end of 1933, the collective farms started giving out food to those
peasants still able to work and most Ukrainian villagers were starved into
submitting to the collectivization process.

Stalin turned his attention to planning a reign of terror to “cleanse” the
whole of the Soviet Union of “counter-revolutionary” elements in the
Communist Party, which began in 1934, killing millions until the onset of
World War II.

In this horrific context, the Holodomor offers Ukrainians an opportunity to
discover common truths about themselves by asking what it was about being
“Ukrainian” that resulted in the perpetration of this heinous crime. The
Holodomor has attracted intense interest and generated serious discussions
across the country.

Scholarship on the subject is widely published and is picked up in the
popular press. The interest cuts across generations. It was heartening to
see large numbers of young families with small children wandering the
candle-lit squares in front of St. Sophia and St. Mykhalivskiy.

The whole nation marked the famine with a national moment of
silence following the President’s address. People across the country put
candles in their windows to burn all night to mark the occasion.

I was moved to see young children carefully sheltering candles standing
next to weeping survivors of the famine, who pointed out where the
candles should be set before the Holodomor memorial.

A Hungarian friend of mine noted recently that the most remarkable thing
about the “Maidan” was that it was a peaceful revolution where the people
stood up to demand from their rulers respect for their dignity, and won.

They believed in the righteousness of their actions. That spirit has not
dissipated in the cynicism of the post-Maidan era. Perhaps the halo effect
of the Maidan and the facts of the Holodomor will stimulate Ukrainians to
come to terms with a common identity and their broader place in the world.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
========================================================
19.        HOLODOMOR: INAPPROPRIATE RENAMING

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ihor Lutsenko
Ukrayinska Pravda online, Kyiv, Ukraine,
Monday, November 27, 2006 (in Ukrainian)
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal

Issue Two, Article Nineteen (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

Obviously, many who observed Yushchenko efforts to equate the
holodomor and genocide got the impression that Ukrainians have been
trespassing on someone else’s turf.

It’s no simple matter to equate one horrendous crime and the other that
has already been defined, branded and denounced.

It looks like the law of precedent applied to history.

Not a bad idea, but only at a first glance: because to implement it in
reality head on, like Viktor Yushchenko is doing, is not a simple matter.
                         HISTORICAL CRIMINALISTICS
There are two reasons for this.

[1] First, the regime that committed this crime continues to exist now, in a
curtailed form. It is going out of its way to stop people around the world
from knowing the true measure of the Holodomor.

[2] Second, there is a technical reason. Unlike Stalin, Hitler preferred
direct style, transparency of his policy, to use modern parlance.

By openly declaring ethnic Jews a lower race he legitimized all further
encroachments on their rights, including the right to live. The openness of
style is a unique thing, especially so with regard to Hitler’s criminal
acts.

You don’t often see a murderer who speaks out loud about his intent to
commit a crime and then commits this crime in earnest under camera lenses.

Something of the kind happened in Nazi Germany, substantially facilitating
the condemnation of genocide in Germany. It is not difficult, therefore, to
prove the Nazis’ guilt.

Proving the guilt of Cheka operators, Bolsheviks and their leader Stalin is
a much more difficult challenge. Hypocrisy thrived in their midst, and their
orders didn’t have the clear chauvinistic edge.

No one gave orders to exterminate the Ukrainians, it would have been stamped
as politically incorrect [by the Bolsheviks themselves – Transl.]. Let it be
recalled that the incumbent Russian regime is loath to release complete
information about the Holodomor.

Therefore, the Nazis openly exterminated the Jews, openly declaring their
racial inferiority. Whereas Ukrainians were exterminated in a furtive way,
keeping the motives secret.
                           MOTIVES FOR EXTERMINATION
Quite a few motives were invented in the past, from destroying a base for
political opposition in the USSR to vengeance by the Jews for some past
historical grudges.

 Small wonder, as any mass murder is so much unnatural, senseless and
horrible that, trying to explain it, humans tend to broaden the framework of
logic giving rise to the wildest scenarios. Whatever the motive for
extermination, it stems from a sole source – separate self-identification of
Ukrainians.

The existence of a multi-million group of people divergent from other groups
in the USSR by many parameters, ranging from the language and traditions to
the way of maintaining households and self-government was a real threat.

This specific group had a fresh experience of armed fighting, it remembered
many radical political ideas dating back to tumultuous events that shook the
Russian empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In addition, this specific group populated strategic areas along the western
border of the red Communist empire and was rich in agricultural and
industrial resources. It was these factors that eventually determined its
fate. A pretext for destruction was found easily.

The issue of collaborationists must be treated separately. The fact that
many Ukrainians sided with the Bolshevik regime gives no ground to shift
part of the blame to the Ukrainian people as a whole, presenting the
holodomor almost as an act of self-destruction.

It is the same as putting the finger for Nazi atrocities in Russia on
General Vlasov [Soviet general who led his army to surrender to the

Germans in 1941 – Transl.]  and indigenous  population hired by the
Germans as policemen. Every nation has its share of traitors but we will
not dwell on it now.

No genocide, ergo, no crime?

As regards the discussion whether or not to recognize the holodomor as
genocide, it is apparently counterproductive.
Millions died horrible deaths in Ukraine.

Is it a reason enough to view the holodomor as a lesser crime than the
genocide carried out by the Nazi Germany? Is it a reason enough not to
denounce the unprecedented crime of the holodomor in the same way as

the genocide has been denounced?

Doesn’t holodomor in Ukraine deserve to become a separate precedent in
history, to serve as a yardstick for other, lesser similar crimes by
totalitarian regimes? Doesn’t it deserve its own name?

Most probably, the Ukrainian experience of revealing and exposing the

crime of holodomor can be of great help to those trying to expose similar
crimes in other countries.

That is why the dispute [over how to call the horrible famine in Ukraine –
Transl.]  should be stopped as it is fraught with a dangerous trap: if it is
not recognized as genocide, it is not a crime?

Both parties must admit: it’s not important whether you call it genocide or
not. Under a different name the crime is no less horrible.

Meanwhile, trying to score political points by renaming historical icons
with the help of loan cliches will only do harm.

It will harm Ukrainians – by presenting them as those with a much lower
status of victims.

It will harm the civilization – by hiding from humanity this unprecedented
crime.                                          -30-
——————————————————————————————–

NOTE:  This article was translated from Ukrainian to English solely
for the Ukrainian Genocide Journal by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko,
Lviv, Ukraine.  The translated article can be used but only with
permission from the Ukrainian Genocide Journal, Washington.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2006/11/27/51390.htm
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933]   
========================================================
20.            CONSEQUENCES OF FAMINE GENOCIDE

By Fedir Moroziuk, Member, Ukrainian Association of
Holodomor Researchers, Kherson Oblast (Article written in 1997)
Posted on www.Golodomor.com website, Kyiv, Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
A Program of the Ukraine 3000 International Fund
Published by the Ukrainian Genocide Journal
Issue Two, Article Twenty (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 11, 2007

It is over half the century, to be exact 65 years [1997], since the famine-
genocide in 1932-1933 in Ukraine. Although all progressive mankind have
recognized it as a reality, only P. Symonenko, leader of Ukrainian
Communists, speaking on television on Nov. 7 declared with irony, that the
holodomor death toll calculated by self-proclaimed researchers exceeds
the Ukrainian population of the country.

I will not speak for all Ukraine, but there are no Ukrainians left in the
Kherson oblast, let alone people speaking Ukrainian. We communicate in
surzhyk, a weird mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, while local leaders
communicate only in Russian.

Small wonder, as according to survivors from those times and archive
materials, the place of those who died from starvation was taken by settlers
from Russia’s oblasts Gorky, Ivanovo, other central oblasts as well as from
Belarus and other Soviet republics.

The numbers of settlers can be seen from the secret report by the All-Union
Committee for Resettlement under the Council of People’s Commissars of the
USSR of Dec. 29, 1933 and addressed to the head of GULAG Berman: “The
committee is sending you the report #38 on the resettlement to Ukraine as of
Dec. 28, 1933.

Simultaneously, we inform you that the plan for the number of resettled
persons has been fulfilled by 104.76 percent. In total, 21,856 peasant
households have been resettled, including 117,149 persons, 14,879 horses,
21,898 cows and 38,705 pigs and sheep.”

In 1932-1933, what is now the Kherson oblast was part of the Odesa oblast.
In accordance with the document, 2,120 households from Russia’s Gorky oblast
and 4,630 from Belarus had been resettled to the Odesa oblast [1]. These are
the figures for 1933 alone, while the resettlement to the south of Ukraine
lasted till the last days of the Soviet Union [1991].

Along with voluntary resettlement, there was a forced resettlement of
residents of Western Ukrainian oblasts after WWII. Here is an account of
that event given by Maria Stefanyshyn: “

It was exactly on Peter’s day [July 12 – UGJ], soldiers surrounded our
village, drove all of us out of our homes and set fire to them. We were
taken under escort to Rozhnyativ, a rayon town in the Stanislav area, shoved
into cargo rail cars and taken to an unknown destination.

After 2 days they released us in Kherson. From there, we went on foot to the
village of Mala Lepetykha. We found ourselves amid boundless steppe, with
scorching sun and no water around.

Could we, the natives of the free Carpathian region, feel comfortable in
this hell? Of course, not. Hence, four attempts to flee back home. We were
caught at home and dispatched again to Kherson – until we found a decent
area to live  – the village of Hladkivka, Hola Prystan rayon. It all
happened in 1950 through 1954.”

You may counter that the story has nothing to do with the 1932-1933
famine-genocide. Yes, it has. Back in 1932-1933, they used famine to
devastate Eastern Ukraine, later they used brutal force to destroy Western
Ukraine.

In 1944, Beria [head of Stalin’s secret police – UGJ] and Zhukov [general in
charge of Soviet army troops in the area – UGJ] signed a special order,
under which all Ukrainians residing in the areas under German occupation had
to be resettled.

When I published this order in The Holoprystansky Herald, a rayon newspaper,
in September of 1997 alongside with my comments, it caused a turmoil, the
newspaper reported.

Veteran Communists dubbed the order a Goebbels-type fraud and me as a
historian who spits on his country’s history, past and achievements.

The newspaper’s editor was summoned for questioning by members of a
rayon council, I was threatened with a law-suit and punishment, while the
editorial board had to admit that the document was not an authentic
document but a fake.

However, according to Khrushchov’s revelations [in 1956 – UGJ], Stalin
opted for large-scale resettlement to Ukraine.

Here is an excerpt from The Komsomolska Pravda: ” Much to Stalin’s
chagrin, he could not resettle all Ukrainians as the areas for resettlement
were scarce and there was the lack of transportation means.” [3].

The famine-genocide of 1932-1933 has led not only to physical
extermination of Ukrainians, it eroded their spiritual base, the national
idea and national awareness of the people.

We can see the consequences of the genocide today when small but
nationalistically aware Estonia, and not only Estonia, sides with the
countries of the West – while a 50-million Ukraine is wavering whether to
break away with its Communist past.

There was a multitude of appeals from the people to Verkhovna Rada,
president and government protesting the stupidity of marking the
anniversaries of the Bolshevik uprising in Petersburg, incidentally, called
by Ulyanov (Lenin) a coup.

The Russians have long stopped to mark it, but in Ukraine it is still a
state holiday. Take, for instance, our submissiveness, apathy, and neglect
of our own traditions. Aren’t they the consequences of the genocide? We have
learned to use Russian four-letter words in our speech, an unheard-of thing
in the past for a Ukrainian.

The Communist morals are convincingly demonstrated to us by our deputies
who prefer to resolve their problems in fist-fights in Verkhovna Rada, like
it happened on Apr. 16, 1997 when lawmakers Volodymyr Marchenko and
Natalia Vitrenko in a professionally thuggish way beat up their colleague
Pavlo Movchan. “I don’t have any scruples,” Marchenko said after the

incident [4]. No wonder.

Instead of crosses we now put guns, tanks, monuments of soldiers with guns
over tombs. The road to the Taras Shevchenko monument in Kharkiv is lined
with stone soldiers grabbing to their rifles. What for? So that the great
Ukrainian feels the Russian spirit? The same assertiveness had been
confirmed by Russia President Borys Yeltsyn who said: “We must do away
with Chechen bandits in Russia”[5].

Such assertive statements have already been directed at Ukrainians,
especially after Moscow Mayor Luzhkov’s speech in Sevastopol: “Ukraine has
no claim to Sevastopol. So far, we are speaking only about Sevastopol”[6].
What will Russia claim tomorrow? The south of Ukraine?

Another turncoat and reportedly a descendant of Ukrainian Cossack Lebid, now
Governor of Siberia Gen. Lebid wants to take Ukraine to international court
to cede its territory to Russia, saying that in any way Sevastopol has
always been and will be Russia’s territory.

Army generals have been echoed by church generals: “The purpose of the
conference is to restore our Motherland,” Archbishop of Zaporizhia and
Melitopol Vasylij [Moscow-run Orthodox church in Ukraine – UGJ] declared
on Dec. 24, 1996, speaking on the Channel 2 of Ukrainian television.

Most probably as a snub, the conference in question was held on Jan. 9-12,
1997 by Moscow-affiliated clergy in Zaporizhia, [the area with a glorious
Cossack past, the seat of the Cossack state, Sich – Translator].

Joining Levko Lukyanenko [a prominent Ukrainian nationalist and dissident –
AUR], I would like to ask indignantly, “How such abominable cruelty could
be done in independent Ukraine?” I refer to the events on July 18, 1995 on
Sofiyivsky square in Kyiv when police using gas and batons broke up the
burial procession of the Holy Patriarch of Kyiv and all Ukraine Volodymyr.

“They are ignorant of the national shrines and national symbols. On July 18
they demonstrated their closeness with the imperial forces by protecting the
Russia-affiliated church,”  Levko Lukyanenko added.

Isn’t all this lack of spiritual beliefs and national awareness the result
of the genocide? How much longer must we suffer to unite and feel a
full-fledged nation, to feel that we are UKRAINIANS?

Such kind of ideological duality is present everywhere, especially in the
south of Ukraine. My native village, Hladkivka, is no exception. When on
November 7 the local Communist leaders and their cronies were marking the
day of the Bolshevik coup, across the street there was a commemorative
church service for the innocent victims of the famine in Ukraine. From of
old, November 7, or the Dmytrij day, has been the day of remembrance in
Ukraine.

Therefore, the meeting of the Hladkivka branch of the Association of
holodomor-genocide researchers has appealed to the association council in
Kyiv to file a law suit with the international court on the grounds of the
crimes committed by Moscow in 1921-1923, 1932-1933, 1946-1947, with
appropriate compensations to be paid (excerpt from the meeting minutes of
Jan. 3, 1997).

  We suggest that the council of the association should initiate a proposal
in Verkhovna Rada making November 7 the day of the holodomor-famine
remembrance.                                      -30-
———————————————————————————————
                                             NOTES:
1. Collectivization and famine in Ukraine in 1929-1933. A collection of
    documents and materials. Kyiv, 19992, P. 642.
2. Khrushchev N.S. On the cult of personality and its consequences.
    Report to the 20th congress of the Communist party of USSR.
    Feb. 25, 1956. Izvestia of the Central Committee, 1989, #3. – P. 152.
3. The Komsomolskaya Pravda, Feb. 3, 1990.
4. TSN TV program, Apr. 16, 1997.
5. Novosti TV program, Jan. 19, 1996.
6. Russia’s Vremya TV program , Dec. 26, 1996.          -30-
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.golodomor.org.ua/pub.php?sp=2
LINK: http://ukraine3000.org.ua/eng/yesterday/vchora/5216.html
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Ukrainian Genocide Journal: Holodomor 1932-1933] 
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                Induced Starvation, Death for Millions, Genocide        

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